Self Portrait #31

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I am being told that I need to cocoon. That my body is under so much stress and chaos I am walking the threshold of becoming very sick. That it’s time I wrapped myself up and really started taking care of me. This is incredibly hard. I have goals and dreams and motivation that doesn’t really allow me to settle in. I have people to take care of, and wants of my own. I have no patience and feel like if it doesn’t happen now, the nit never will. I have always had this flaw. Holding on so tight to something that I don’t see the other possibilities.  I’m so focused on this, that that walks right on by.

To admit that I’m really tired, and my body is giving out is not fun for me. To know that I don’t have a person to tuck me in and tell me to rest while he handles the ship for a little while is daunting. How do you cocoon when so much rides on your shoulders? How do you let go of things you want so much it makes your heart ache? How do you trust that good is coming, if you just relax and allow?

I have no clue. But it’s a lesson I’m going to have to learn. Because after the cocoon comes the butterfly, and I’m damn ready for my wings. To be able to float and be free and enjoy all the beautiful things and people that are in my life.

I think we all have a point in our life where we need to cocoon and really take care of ourselves. But so many are afraid because it takes work. It takes a lot to wrap yourself up and get real with yourself and fix your problems. To actually want a better life instead of playing the victim card, instead of doing nothing to change your cycle. To strip down all the layers one by one and dig deep, instead of running away. To figure out why you feel what you feel and how to heal that wound. That is how you stay a caterpillar for the rest of your life. Who wants that, when you can actually make the changes that are needed to break you out of that cocoon into the light of a new life, as a new and beautiful being. It takes courage to change your life into something beautiful, and not settle. I hope you have it. Earn your wings.

Self Portrait #30

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Every now and then, I stop and realize that I am alone. It’s a strange feeling. It can be liberating at times, and scary at other times. I’ve been half of a whole for half of my life. That’s a long time. But then I remind myself a few things.

I can run a household, keep four children alive, run a business, do the never ending pile of laundry, drive a stick shift, change brake pads and oil. I’m smart and motivated and find the humor even when everything is falling apart. I can paint a house from top to bottom, lay tile. I can play the piano and guitar and will dance around if a good song comes on. I can cook and bake some amazing sugar cookies. I can ride a horse, a dirt bike, a four wheeler, a skiidoo and have jumped out of a plane.

I have survived miscarriages, my moms suicide, abuse, and other things that shouldn’t happen to you. Do you need photos taken of your wedding, baby, family, birth? I can do that. Do you need something sewn or your hair curled, braided or cut, or photos hung on your wall? I can do that. Do you need a friend that is there for you at any hour of the day, that will show up to help you with whatever you need, that will take a 2am phone call cause you’re upset? That’s me. Need your kid looked after, a baby animal raised and fed my hand every three hours? I can do that. Need a shoulder to cry on, some encouraging words or a reiki session? Well, here I am.  Need your woodpile stacked, help with a project, or something built? I can do that too.

So when I start to worry about it just being me, I remind myself to put my chin up/ I was with someone that didn’t appreciate these things about me, so it was already like I was by myself. Now I get to keep growing and stretching on my own, and give myself and my talents to those that appreciate them. We all have so much to offer. Every one of us has some talent, some gift, some purpose. Finding them and not feeling limited to express them is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and others. Make sure whoever you are with supports your growth and the amazing individual that you are. Better yet, be that person yourself.

Self Portrait #29

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My dad wanted a boy. He got three girls. My dad hoped we would bring home a boy that liked to tinker the way he does and hang out in his shop. Unfortunately we didn’t. So, I’m the one he always treated like a boy. I think that’s part of the reason I don’t allow much to limit me. Why I’m constantly wanting to learn how to fix things, how to do things on my own without help, how to be independent. I like to get dressed up pretty, but I  also like to dig in and get dirty.

I needed my brake pads and oil changed, and since all of my money goes towards lawyer bills and feeding four children, I’m broke and don’t want to pay someone to do something that I can do myself. And since my dad is injured right now, he can only boss me around while I do it myself. This was the best way I’ve spent a tuesday night in a long time. I removed the wheels, changed the brake pads, put the wheels back on and torqued them, emptied and filled my oil, replaced the filter and loved every minute of it.

These are the things that make life interesting and fun. These are the things that allow me to smile and feel strong. These are the things that I will fondly remember and hopefully one day my own children will be learning to do this as well. They will get their hands dirty and learn how to take care of themselves. I think everyone, especially girls should know how to change a tire. There are so many things I want to show them.

However, if you hear I was in a car accident because my brakes didn’t work, blame my dad. He obviously wasn’t a very good teacher if this happens.

Self Portrait # 28

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The other night my dad came over. I was cleaning out my fridge while crying ugly tears, because I’m learning to let the sadness out. I asked my dad if he was disappointed with me. That I have to start over, from scratch. And he looked at me and said, “I’m proud of you. I know how I felt when your mom died and I didn’t have little kids to take care of or a battle on my hands like you do because of how hard he’s making it. Just my sadness of losing your mom. And I’m still dealing with that. You made a really hard choice, but you have so much happiness ahead of you and that’s what is important. The happiness you will find at the end of this. I’m proud of you.”

My family doesn’t really say these things to each other, you should see my sisters face when I tell her I love her, or try to hug her. So these words mean so much to me. More days then not I want to ignore and pretend my life is not upside down. I want to cry. I want to stay in bed. I want to retreat from everything and everyone. I want to wallow in my self pity of losing my beautiful house, beautiful studio, beautiful property, beautiful dream I worked so damn hard for. But instead, I remember why I’m doing this. And when the sadness comes, I look at my four kids and remind myself what I’m showing them. When my heart aches, I pick up my guitar, or play the piano, or paint, or go put my feet in the grass, or dance, or read a book or get in the bath, or talk to friends, or play with my kids, I write in my journal and try to figure out where the root of my feelings come from and how I can improve myself. I do yoga, or exercise, or eat a bag of cookies. Life is hard. It is so easy to find the negative, to feel the want to give up. To wallow and ask why and feel sad for myself. But what a waste. I have too much light to give. There is still so much happiness to feel and make and be part of. Starting over is my chance to do it my way. Less material things, more love. Less anger, more adventure. Less fighting, more peace. Less fake, more raw realness. Thank you dad, for telling me you’re proud of me. That’s all I needed to hear.

Self Portrait #26

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This has been part of my life for a long time. I have always ignored it, to push it aside and continue on. I had heart surgery at 26, after a cardiologist looked at my heart and said I should be dead for what it was doing.

I don’t ask for help. I don’t like people thinking I am weak. I don’t stop when it literally hurts to breathe or move. I don’t like when people try to do things for me because I’m having and off day and it shows. I don’t like burdening people with my problem. I don’t like talking about it because then I have to think about the fact that this heart might not be enough to last me this lifetime. But, I am tired. I know big changes need to be made. The first step was choosing an authentic life for me, even if it meant stopping the dream I had spent so many years building. Even if it meant a broken heart for this chapter in my life. Even if it meant starting over, creating myself from scratch. Even if it meant losing so many things that I thought were important to me.

As hard as it is for me, I’m realizing it’s ok to feel weak sometimes. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to let someone care for you. To open up and trust others with one of your biggest weaknesses is a humbling experience. I can’t do it all, although I try to.

Sometimes, I want to feel like I can lean into someone and they tell me, I’ve got you. Let me take care of you today.” Which is why I’m thankful for the tribe I’m building. If there is one thing I am learning, it is, surround yourself only with people that truly care about you. That adore you and support you and push you to be the best you. People that save space for you in their lives. Surround yourself with people that genuinely love you, and are happy for your successes, and supportive of your failures. People that you know will look at you with open arms and say “I’ve got you”. Let the others fall away. Don’t waste your precious time on them. The people that surround you are a reflection of yourself. Make sure it’s a beautiful, loving one…

Self Portrait #25

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Sometimes you learn you can’t play nice when you’re playing with a narcissist.

Magic happens when

you do not give up,

even though you

want to.

The universe always

falls in love with a

stubborn heart.

I’m honestly too angry to write anything else today.

Self Portrait #24

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A small list of bad habits:

  • zero impulse control
  • not willing to share my chocolate
  • eating cookies in bed
  • never untying shoes
  • pretending things are fine
  • loving all the way to the quick
  • making checklists for checklists
  • buying too many agendas, but never actually using them
  • not being aware of my surroundings
  • dancing wherever when a good song comes on
  • tunnel vision with my goals
  • giving in to my kids too easily
  • leaving laundry in the washer too long so have to rewash it
  • killing all house plants
  • being real with people
  • giving too many chances
  • emotional shopper
  • multitasking too much so nothing gets done
  • jumping to assumptions too quickly
  • never saying no to a bet/challenge
  • playing practical jokes on friends
  • eating junk food instead of veggies
  • treating my pets like they are my family
  • giving too much of myself to others
  • snorting when I laugh too hard
  • loving hanging out in bed
  • ignoring my health issues
  • not answering my phone, ever
  • throwing out things when cleaning, then having to rebuy them
  • And….I’m not changing any of them. Ever. I’m learning to embrace the good with the bad. These are the things that make me, me. And nobody else can do as good of a job as me then me. And one day, someone very lucky gets to put up with all of this