Friday, August 15, 2014

turning point

For the past three years I've been a stay at home mom.
I've lived in my various apartments spending nearly every waking moment with my son.
I've done countless loads of laundry.
My hands have been torn to pieces from scrubbing dishes and pots and pans.
I don't regret a single moment, but now I'm at a turning point.

Josiah is 3.
He's becoming so very independent.
I know that he'll always need me, but it's different now.
Now is time for me.

Where to go now?

I miss traveling.
I've felt stuck for a while now
I need to find my direction.
I need to find a way to find me again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day 1 or something like that

This is me today. I've had a bit of a rough week and here I am trying to figure out where to go next.
Today is another Day 1.
Despite the fact that I haven't met any of my recent goals...
Despite the fact that my apartment is supremely messy right now...
Despite the fact that today feel like things will never get any better...
Today is another Day 1.

I've noticed that a lot of people think wellness and health should have only 1 "Day 1"
as if one morning we wake up and decide I'm going to be better
and then suddenly are.
as if we can actually make significant changes by following a 30-day-challenge or 6-weeks-to-results formula
we can't.
Everlasting change is a journey.
There is no beginning and there definitely is no end
If we want to be better versions of ourselves and achieve our goals.....
We have to stop focusing on Day 1 mentality.

For years (since having my son) I've started things. I started being a vegetarian to lose weight. When that didn't work I started being a vegan. When I was pulling my hair out because that wasn't working I gave up.
I gave up so quickly because the Day 1 formula was stuck in my head.

Day 1 of new thing + tons of hope/excitement about results= results

Unfortunately, this formula does not compute. It's untrue, and in my opinion it's a lie that we have to stop telling ourselves.  In order to heal/lose weight/be more productive, whatever the goal is, we can't think in terms of Day 1.  

To find success we must create success. Believe it. Live it. 

Notice the period at the end of everyday.
That's the biggest point to be made here.
To be successful we must practice success everyday. Period.
No excuses.
No putting it off.
If you truly truly want to see things happen in your life,
Be the person you want to be.
Be genuine, be realistic, be kind.
Realize that 100% change doesn't happen overnight
and that every obstacle is another opportunity.

let your light shine and the world will be a brighter place

Friday, March 1, 2013

bringing healthy back

I am going to drop the extra 58.2 pounds of wright that I have put on my body. From this day forward I will be the person I want to be, and I will stop making excuses. No longer can I blame anyone but myself because I am not a child nor have I been a child for quite sometime. It is my own responsibility to eat a healthy diet and exercise, and it is my right as a human being to make time for myself. For too long I have played a passive role in my own life, but not any longer. Today I declare that the future is mine to create. I can shed the weight I have ignored for too many months, and I can become the healthy, active person that I dream of being.

Long term goals:

  • Lose the nearly 60 lbs that keep me in the "unhealthy" weight range
  • Complete The Color Run (5k) in November 
  • Achieve a state of mind that allows me to feel good about the person that I am
  • Stop beating myself up for the person I have been in the past
  • Reach an inner peace that allows me to enrich and inspire the people around me
Goals for this week:
  • Lose 2 pounds
  • Cut unnecessary sugars out of my diet
  • Drink more water
  • Stop eating fast food on a regular basis
  • Start a work out routine

Friday, March 23, 2012

Some days are better than others....

I guess I'll start by setting the scene.  I have a seven almost eight month old baby who is my world.  I adore him more than anything else, period.  When I was pregnant I put my college career on hold to alleviate the stress it was putting on my body.  When I got a job because I thought both my little one and I were ready for some space I quit it when I found this was not the case.  There is never a situation where I don't think about what is best for my family (my son, my partner, and myself), and I suppose that's how I've somehow transformed into what most would refer to as an "eco-friendly" mother.

I'm "that" mom.  The one labeled as a "hippy" or at times even an "alarmist".  I use cloth diapers because not only is it a fantastic way to save money, it also produces less waste and I don't have to worry about putting nasty chemicals against my son's skin at every diaper change.  For the most part I make my own baby food because I worry about the preservatives and nutrient loss found in commercial baby foods.  I even have a refrigerator full of organic produce for me and my family to snack on (I"ll admit, I'm a little addicted to my local natural foods store).  On top of all of that I don't have any chemical cleaners in my house, which is weird because I never thought I would be one of "those" people; You know, the ones that are afraid of what all those long scary words on the back of the packaging mean.  It's interesting how one change leads to another and another and another.

I guess I can say I have a bit of a "natural" history.  My mom worked for a organic food co-op and I volunteered there as well.  While we worked there we got into the habit of eating organic foods and for a while I was a vegetarian.  A lot of the time we used natural cleaning products at work and at home because we had them in the store and they were convenient, but after the company went bankrupt we went back to living the way we always had before (shopping at Walmart, using Lysol and Clorox and all the rest).

So what was it that sent me back into the natural living universe?  I'd have to say it was my pregnancy.  When I was pregnant I was terrified of all chemicals and what effect they could have on my soon to be born baby.  So when Dylan and I moved into our first apartment, we took the time to find cleaners that were all natural and safe.  At this point I had already been researching cloth diapering and knew that for my diapers at least, it would be best to use a natural detergent (in order to minimize wear and maximize absorbency).

Now, unlike some cloth diaper mommies out there, I'm not all high and mighty about the fact that I chose cloth.  I know how convenient disposables are because I started out with them.  Despite the months of research and planning I had poured into cloth diapering, I ended up being in the hospital with my son much longer than I had ever planned and honestly just slipped into the convenience of Huggies.  It was kind of funny in a way because even though we had all of these natural cleaners and these teeny tiny little pre-fold diapers, Luvs became a staple in our house for the first four months of Josiah's life.  Talk about when worlds collide.

After we started cloth diapering it wasn't long before I started using our special natural detergent (Country Save if anyone is wondering) for all of our clothes.  For the record it does an amazing job and I don't have to worry about any chemical build up in my washing machine.  Well in addition to this adjustment, I noticed just the other day that I've completely stopped using dryer sheets (as they can't be used with cloth diapers).  I honestly haven't noticed a difference in my laundered clothes and inadvertently I'm creating less waste!

Friday, February 10, 2012

friday night

I watch my little boy playing with a spoon.  He's absolutely inspiring.  His determination is endless.  His curiosity astounding.  His presence in my life is wonderful, because he makes me think he lets me breath.   When I see him there's no doubt in my mind that I have done something absolutely amazing with my life.  I have no reservations about myself.  He is confident, and it gives me pride to know how much potential is bottled inside one little body.
I start to cry and almost instinctively he looks up from his play.  He sees me more clearly than any human I've ever known.  Babies are like that.  They can sense emotion.  They are perfectly tailored to understand your raw emotion and react upon it.  He crawls over to me and smiles, lifts his arms, and giggles when I pick him up.  He knows I need him as much as he needs me.  
How beautiful life can be when you stop and observe it.  He is six months old and the perfect counter-component to my soul.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Okay so this one's on fear....

I, the star student of my graduating class, the one who can handle the world as much as it handles her, the one who has always over-prepared for everything at the very last minute and made her presentation flawless, forgot to factor in fear.  That's right, sitting here 29 weeks pregnant; sitting here in my kitchen alone while my counter-part is at a working job interview; sitting here with nothing to console me but the vast digital world of the internet and a radio, [pause for the dramatic effect], I just remembered what I've been forgetting for seven-plus months now.  FEAR.

 I've forgotten that best-laid-plans are rarely best-laid-experiences.  I've forgotten that the real world is quite cruel, quite devilish, and most of all that it is ready and waiting to eat people like me for breakfast. How did I make such a tragic mistake??? How did I forget that alongside all of my excitement about the new baby, all my encouraging words to my partner in crime about getting a new job, all the moving and unpacking and application filing that I've done; How did I forget that change is nerve-racking at best.

Okay so here's the moment when I stop to talk about change:

Be the change you want to see in the world....or something to that effect.  Ghandi said it.  He encouraged us to look beyond our measly existence, see the larger problems in the world, and to recreate who we are in order to form a better tomorrow.  This, this wonderful idea, this fantastic life goal, this is possible I suppose.  It is something to be sought after.  It is something that I try to practice in my life. I don't like the way big corporations shut out smaller competitors therefore when possible and within my means I shop at the smaller competitor or eat at the local restaurant (just so everyone knows I can't spell restaurant without thinking in a french accent....before I took french I couldn't spell restaurant). I don't like that mass produced food crops (livestock included) are treated with little to respect, covered in pesticides or pumped full of harmful hormones so I look for organic or sustainable choices and try to fit them into my budget (I'm not perfect, nor rich so my house is one of blended products and I'm not ashamed to admit that).  I hate the thought of diapering my child with disposable diapers that are going to sit for more than a few years in some trash dump so I'm planning to use cloth.  The point is we are all capable of making small changes in our personal lives to help shape the future we want to see.  That is not only our privilege as adults, but in my opinion our duty.  Having said all of that (and perhaps given you some insight into the type of person I am...) I would now like to point out that this is NOT the kind of change I am talking about.  

The nerve-racking, fear-inducing, life-altering change that I am referring to is just that, nerve-racking, fear-inducing, and life-altering.  I'm talking about the changes that happen when no one is paying attention.  The accidents that occur when our eyes drift off of the highway just briefly in the middle of after-school traffic.  The monumental points in one's life when all you can do is loosen the grip on your reins and see how the horse reacts.  Those few precious precious moments in life when you cannot help but let go and give into faith in whatever external being you so choose to believe in.  The change that keeps you up at night pondering over what the next step is, wondering if everything really will be okay.  This is the change I'm speaking of.

Okey dokey now, let's get deep for a minute...

Don't fret, our venture into the deeper end of life's ever-expanding pool will be brief, will not require a good smoke, and hopefully will be fully intelligible to anyone who so chooses to read my blog (not that I really have so many followers or  Okay, here we go for real this time.

I am at a good place in my life, mentally that is.  Here's why that's a bit surprising to most people (including myself at times)  I had a horrible first year of college.  Like I mentioned earlier best-laid-plans rarely equate to best-laid-experiences.  I wasn't ready to commit myself to a degree program, I had just gotten out of what I now realize that was an awful and demeaning two-year relationship (we're talking engagement rings and wedding plans serious here).  I wasn't anywhere near the school I wanted to attend, and to top it off I had lowered myself to [pause for deep regretful sigh] living in a dorm.  Despite the fact that I was perfectly aware of all of these negative factors surrounding my enrollment at the University of Arkansas, I was quite unaware just how much of myself I had lost in my last two years of high school.  I was oblivious to the fact that when my mother offered an open ear to listen to me vent about how awful the previous two years had been I should have spilled.  I should have just let go and told her everything, because after all she is my best friend.  She is who holds me together when I am hopeless.  

Why didn't I talk to her?  Honestly I guess it was embarrassment.  No body likes to admit that they've just wasted two years, two long hard years of their life dedicating themselves to a boy who honestly will probably never be anything but a misogynistic womanizer.  No body wants to sit in shame and listen to the I told you so's  and the why didn't you break it off sooners.  On top of that no body wants to admit this when they are heartbroken, because regardless of anything else or how he treated me, I did my best and I gave him my all.  Not to say that I don't take responsibility for my half of the fights that eventually became the direct cause of our split.  All I am saying is that I let myself be used and mistreated and worse than that I sincerely loved him and will admit that he has potential in life, just not the potential to love someone (this  being the direct result of his inability to love and respect himself).  Anyways, back on track here....let's see.  Oh yes, I was ashamed.
I didn't want to admit to my mother that she had been right all along or talk about how all of this made me feel.  Obviously, it made me feel like shit.  Like a teeny tiny pile of puppy shit that nobody wants to clean up or even deal with I felt as if talking to my mother would only be a burden on her and on myself.

I realize now that even if it hadn't been her, I really really should have talked to someone.  Here's what happened:  despite the break-up the ex and I moved in together in order for both of us to get on our feet.  We wanted to be friends because after all we had been each others' best friend for nearly two years (our friendship was always better than our relationship, go ahead and try to figure that one out, I still can't), and we had been making these arrangements for months.   Looking back this was an awful idea, but it gave me access to my summer classes as we lived only a few block from campus. This is what I'll call the beginning of my freshman year.  I took twelve hours that summer (an abnormally large number for a new student or really any summer student) and passed all of my classes.  My personal life and school life were still completely separate at this point.  I came out at the end of the summer with a 3.5 college GPA and a total of 23 credit hours when my AP credits were taken into account.  Everything on paper looked just fine.  That summer I was an English Literature major.  I was taking sophomore level classes.  I was learning a new language.  I had time for homework and friends.  In fact, through a crazy turn of events, my best girly friend lived right down the street from me.  Let me translate this for anyone out there:  despite the fact I was holding it together enough to do well at school, I was spending multiple nights a week with friends drinking and getting into all number of shenanigans.  Overall, if I hadn't had to deal with the ex, it would have been a great summer, the kind that goes down in your mental history as something to look fondly upon later on in life.  Dealing with Jefferson, I had what looked like a great summer and good grades but what was honestly nothing more than more heartbreak as I watched him man-whore around and had my own misadventures with a handful of guys.

The summer came to a screeching halt with the end of summer classes, a new job, and my best friend Julio (female best friend mentioned earlier) leaving for college.  Of course we saw her off with a huge party that resulted in a very miserable next day at work for me.  I guess it was about a week after this that I decided I had to I repeat HAD to move out of the apartment I was living in.  Lots of factors played into this but mostly I was just sick of Jefferson.  I decided that just getting a dorm (ugh. I still shudder at the word) would be the easiest solution seeing as I didn't (and still don't) have a car.  About three days before moving into my dorm I tell Jefferson to fuck off and go back to my mom's for a bit of a vacation from the life I had been living.   You'd think this kind of independent move would empower me and make me feel like a boss, but it really just dragged my self worth into an even darker place.

So basically by the time I was actually attending my "first" day of college Fall 2010, I was a mess.  A beautiful mess.  The kind that looks all put together and has tons of friends.  By this point my mom was starting to see my decline into a massive black hole.  I had quit my job, for no reason other than I hated it.  I made good tips, but I had been working there for about a month and still not received a paycheck, I hated working 35 hours a week , and my manager and I could not communicate (she barely spoke english, I barely speak spanish).  I was miserable with my new dorm and new roommate.  I didn't enjoy the boyfriend I had at the time.  Everything just kind went to shit and hit the fan all at once.  I started hanging out with old friends that honestly were no good for me to be hanging out with.  And very very quickly I was spiraling down in a world of drunkenness and class-skipping.  After walking around town until 6 in the morning with a boy who wasn't my boyfriend I decided that Banksman  shouldn't be my boyfriend any longer.   Normally  I would regret hurting someone as much as I hurt him, and it doesn't make me feel good, but he hurt me quite a bit as well.  Really, we were just a match that shouldn't have been made.  It didn't take long before I had a plethora of guys that wanted to date me.  Everything sounds about right for a college freshman right? Well on the other side of the coin, I wasn't skipping class because of hangovers (I rarely get hungover because I know to stay hydrated), I was skipping class because I was depressed.  I literally did not get out of bed until someone would text me and ask to hang out.  I didn't eat, I didn't shower as often as I should have.  I was in a very very bad place.  

It was in this time that I met Mr. Anderson at a party.  He was a friend of a friend who's birthday party I was at (early September), and  he was different.  Let me just say I went to said birthday with one intention, revenge.  I was pissed off at Dirkelton and I decided that I was going to piss him off.  It worked.  I went to the party to get hit on by boys and I did.  By the end of the night I had several new phone numbers in my phone and a date with some guy ...I don't even remember his name.  That isn't the point, the point is this, I got shitfaced.  The I can't stand up because I'm way more drunk than I should be kind of drunk and who was there making sure that I didn't get into any trouble?  Mr. Anderson.  He and our friend Mr. Clinton had taken it upon themselves to make sure that I was okay and safe for the night.  Thank God for that because really other than them and Dirkelton, I didn't have any friends at said party.

Mr. Anderson and I exchanged numbers the next day (we had both stayed over at Mr.Clinton's that evening) and that's how it all got started.    Our relationship that is. :)  I guess it's awful that a boy that I met while drunk at a party is what kick-started my venture into healing but he was.  Suddenly, I had a somebody.  I had a boyfriend who wasn't in it for sex.  I had found a companion, someone who respected me for me and didn't judge me because of my past.  It  was amazing (still is really ^_^).  I'm not saying that he is the sole reason that I started to climb out of my dark and twisty place,  but I am saying he definitely lent me a hand when I needed help climbing.  It wasn't long before I started going to class again and tried to at least buffer the damage I had created that semester.  I still had my off days and for the first month or so we still partied a lot.  But regardless, I was getting better, I was climbing up the slippery slope of recovery.

This is how I came to be in a better place.  
This is how I rose from the ruins that my life had become.
This is why I forgot about fear.

Let me tie together all of this for you....

Mid-December,  I am healing.  I am looking at a promising next semester full of classes I want to take, full of classes that can help fix the 2.5 GPA that I had slipped into.  Things are great for Mr. Anderson and I.  His job is going well, we enjoy being together, we are great.  Somewhere in between September and December the l-word had been dropped, and we had found something in one another that we both desperately needed.  We had discovered how to need someone because you love them as opposed to loving someone because you need them.  

Mid-December I feel really really ill.  I shrug it off as nothing because after all 'tis the season to get sick.  
About a week later an expected visitor doesn't show up.  uh-oh.

By New Years I've taken three or four tests and all to the same conclusion...there is a bun in my oven.  This is confirmed on January 17th with a visit to the local pregnancy center and an early sonogram.  I am 9 weeks pregnant.  

Here I have to give Mr. Anderson credit.  He did NOT freak out when I first told him that I was probably pregnant and he was there with me when I got my first ultrasound.  Instead of freaking out, we talked together, cried together, laughed together and decided that we were going to keep the baby.  After all we had  created the poor thing and were moderately sure that we could take care of it.  In the weeks that followed we started telling family {pause here to apologize to my mother for not telling her sooner}, and to our surprise no body was disowning us.  In fact, we were met with an amazing support system.  Everything was going much better than what we had expected.  

Now, if anyone has stuck around long enough to get to the conclusion of this post, here it is.  In the midst of being very comfortable with my situation.  In the midst of all the excitement of all the possibilities.  Everything starts to change, I mean that's what happens when you have a baby right?  Mr. Anderson and I move in together and everything is great, but his hours at work aren't great.  We're barely scrapping by and then we discover that an upscale restaurant in town is hiring full time line cooks.  What a coincidence! Mr. Anderson wants to be a chef, so BINGO great opportunity.  More hours, more pay and taking the next step for his career.  Sounds fantastic right?  That's what I thought too.  And perhaps it will be.  In the meantime, it it this momentous evening, the night of the working interview (that is the last step in the application process) that has caused me to realize how much has changed.  

In the course of a few months I have finished with my freshman year of college, reached mental wellness, found an amazing new boyfriend, and become a parent.  These, these are the type of life altering change that induce fear, but let me tell you, when you have a great support system, when someone is there holding your hand every step of the way, you forget to be afraid.  You forget that best-laid-plans don't always equal best-laid-experiences.  You forget to think about all the possible negative outcomes and you're excited at all the possibilities.  Suddenly fear has no place among your world-conquering attitude and it is fantastic, until the reality of it all hits you...then it's terrifying. :P 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm on an adventure....

be back soon. ^_^