Torn

          I tend to be very open and honest.  The reason I started this blog was to be more open and honest.  It is like my diary, that I feel like sharing with the world around me.  I have learned, over the years, that sometimes hearing someone else’s story, makes my story more understandable.  It makes me feel like I am not the only person that feels a certain way, or has been through something in particular.  Therefore, I share my stories.  I enjoy sharing them.  I like putting myself out there.  I like it because it makes me feel like I am not alone, and it makes me feel more relatable.  The responses I have gotten make me feel like not only am I not alone, but I have helped someone by sharing my story.  So, today I am going to share one of those stories.

          Since splitting with my daughter’s father, I have struggled with one thing in particular that I cannot seem to pin down.  At first, I was so very angry.  I had prayed and prayed that things would just work out, and they didn’t, they only got worse.  I was sad, so incredibly sad.  I wondered what I had done to deserve such pain, and let me tell you divorce is more painful than I ever realized, until I went through it.  At the end of our marriage, I was cutting myself, I was on medication for depression and anxiety, and I (gasp!!) actually got put on a 3 day suicide hold at a facility for people like myself.  I was miserable.  I was a mess, and I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of it.

          Then, I did.  I picked myself up.  I have no idea how I did it.  I went from crying everyday for a month, to exercising, reading, and getting a job.  No more cutting or medication for me.  I know why I did it…..Melody.  I had no choice.  I couldn’t live at my mother’s forever.  Most importantly, I couldn’t let my daughter see me let myself go completely.  I had to show her I was strong.  I found out….I am strong! I punched the heck out of my mother’s punching bad everyday until I felt better.  I got a job, an apartment, a car, and moved the two of us back down to Loveland. 

          My struggle has been with God, and with church.  Now, I did my best at first to try out some new churches.  I could never settle on one.  Everyone wanted to help me, to pray for me, but I was still so angry.  I held onto that anger for sometime.  I had prayed and prayed for my marriage to work, and it didn’t.  I prayed that I be spared some anguish, I wasn’t.  I lost friends.  I lost my church family.  No one treated me the same as before.  I didn’t want sympathy.  I wanted to understand and move on with my life.  I couldn’t find that for a long time. 

          So, I kind of gave up.  I stopped going.  I didn’t stop believing, I just stopped going to church.  Me, who used to go several times a week, who LOVED singing in the band, who worshipped with the best of them, I stopped going.  Then life happened.  I got really busy, and it became even more difficult to attend church.  I work and go to school, and desperately try to spend my extra time with my daughter.  Over time, I became less angry, much less angry.  I am glad that things worked out the way they did.  I feel like it was for the best.  I am happier than I have been in a very long time. 

          Yet, I still have this struggle, but it’s changed.  Now, I have questions.  Lots of questions.  I want to know, can I support gay rights and be a Christian?  Can I believe in evolution, and still be a Christian?  Can I get more tattoos, and still be a Christian?  These go on and on.  I haven’t lost my beliefs, but I am confused about what I should believe.

          The catch here is, I have learned A LOT about myself in the last year.  I am a weirdo.   I am a nerd.  I am goofy.  I am funny.  I am smart.  I am beautiful.  I CAN love.  I am STRONG!  I am someone that I never knew existed in me.  I LOVE being myself.  I am happy now because I have accepted the fact that I am who I am.  I have embraced myself, my attitudes, my goofiness, and all of it.  I enjoy life in a different way than I ever did before.  I do not want anything to change that.  If I change, I will accept that, but I will never stop being who I am.  

          Now, here is my question, and I want some responses people, can I believe in and support things that the bible doesn’t, and still be a Christian?  Can I question everything, and still believe there is a God?  Does that sound ridiculous?  I sure hope not, because that is exactly how I feel.  

          I am not angry anymore, I am actually quite the opposite.  I know that it all worked out for the best.  I guess, what I am looking for is validation.  I want to know that I can feel the way I feel, and it’s okay.

          Also…..I really miss singing in church! 🙂  

Update!!

Well, looks like I am going to have to update this blog a bit!  It’s been since October of 2011 since I last wrote.  Our lives have changed radically since then, and it’s moving along well.  Just a short (as short as I can be) update.  Since, my last post, I have split up with my husband, and Melody’s father.  We just recently finalized divorce, but we have been split up, for good, since shortly after that last post in October 2011.  I am now single parenting, minus the 1 or 2 days a week Melody is with her dad.  I am waitressing, and attending college now as well!  1 1/2 more semesters and I will have my Associates Degree!!  Together, Melody and I have been through many ups and downs in the last two years.  We have made it through with flying colors!  I am proud of where we are both at now, and where we are headed.  I have an itch to write again, so I shall!! I will keep up with it as much as I can, even though I am much busier now that I ever was back then.  That’s about it….Let’s move on to the good stuff…..

I was washed clean by the snow

It is often so easy to get down, unhappy, and/or depressed. I do it all the time. Right now, I am living with my mom, no money, a beater car, and having major marriage difficulties. My daughter is being affected by all of this as well. It’s sometimes so hard to keep going, keep facing each day.

No matter how hard it is though, I do get up each day, put one foot in front of the other and tackle what I have to do.
Just like Tom Hanks said in the movie Sleepless in Seattle, after being asked how do you go on after losing your wife. ” Well, I’m gonna get out of bed every morning… breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out… and, then after a while, I won’t have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.”

That pretty much sums it up, except for one thing. When we are grieving, going through a major struggle, or just depressed, we focus on the past only. We focus on what we had, and think we will never have anything that great again. What really happens? Something just as great or even greater happens. We just can’t see it. We have to trust God that things will work out, but isn’t that insanely scary?

In the movie, Tom Hanks’ character finds his one and only, and falls in love like the first time. He never saw it coming. Do we ever?

Recently at church, I was reminded about of how scary, unnerving, and yet how amazing having that faith can be. I was listening to someone tell a story of how their life was taking a drastic turn and how that person had faith that it was exactly where he was supposed to be. He was scared. He was nervous. He was also grateful and hopeful for his and his family’s future.

Again, I had a reminder of this in a meeting with my pastor. Am I scared to try to work on my marriage, heck yeah!?! How do I just let that go and trust, not only in God but also in my husband, that I won’t be devastated again? I walked out of that meeting hopeful, but still fearful.

I felt like I woke up today anew. I have a JOB! It’s not my dream job, but after looking for months, I would take anything. On top of that, I feel like I am working with some fantastic people, future friends. I have a car! It might be really old, but it runs awesomely. It got me out of the scary snowy mountains yesterday no problem. I haven’t lost my marriage. My husband and I both are working on it. How many people wish their spouse would be just willing to work on it and not leave. I have this beautiful daughter, that is growing by the day, and I am closer to making a steady life for her. I am surrounded by God’s beauty everyday here in Colorado. Mostly, I have God’s grace. Even though I was so angry at him, he never left me.

So, really I am not doing to bad at all. Things aren’t perfect, but rarely are they, really. Things are looking up. I am looking up. I guess, this should always be a reminder to anyone that, when things seem awful, they won’t stay awful. Eventually they will turn around. I am sure all this snow, has cleansed my soul! 🙂

The whole crazy story.

Judge me if you must, but I am about to lay it all out on the table, folks!  I know a few of you have been wondering about what has been going on in my life as of recent. Sometimes, I can be a very private person, and I refuse to share all the gruesome details with everyone. I understand people are just concerned, but telling the story over and over, just reminded me over and over. I didn’t want to do that. I couldn’t do that. I was in a spot, in which, I was not able to relive it all. I am sure everyone understands. I also want to tell my story because after all this time of being private, it feels good to just let it out. You might be amazed how good you can feel when you aren’t trying to hide the good, bad, or ugly from the world. So, here it goes. Beware, this is MY story, not my husband’s.

To start, I have to go back a ways in my memory here….and I have the worst memory, so bear with me.  I guess first, I should explain a few things about myself. No one would every describe me as “lovey-dovey” or “touchy-feely”. I am the exact opposite of those. I grew up around a family that barely said “I love you”. It was something that was supposed to be known, not spoken. Although, I did sometimes wonder about the love of my family, and think I would never be that way. I became that way. Not with my daughter, but absolutely with my husband. He comes from a very different environment, and basically didn’t know how to handle my behavior. I didn’t know how to handle it.  As much as I didn’t want to be that way, I was. I knew it would bite me in the butt.

Also, in the last two years ago I started something that was very bad for myself. I have dealt with Depression and Anxiety issues for a long time. Actually, I didn’t really “deal” with them, but rather, live with them. After I got pregnant, unexpectedly, those problems became HUGE. After I gave birth, and spent the majority of my time home alone with a baby, they got WORSE. I knew of postpartum depression. I assumed I probably had it, but I never did anything about it. I just shut off. I closed myself down from almost everyone around me, including my husband. I stopped giving love, I stopped laughing as much, I cried more, I became quiet, meek and awkward (explaining some of the problems in the above paragraph). This is not me. Through this process I started to HATE myself, more and more everyday. I beat myself up for all my mistakes, but more than that, I never let them go. I did eventually get put on medication, and in the last year started seeing a counselor, but in some ways it was too late.

I had been cutting myself. It started off as scratches with a knife, and over time it got slightly worse and worse. I cut my arms, and my legs. If I was extremely stressed or overwhelmed, I went to the bathroom and cut until I felt better. I cannot explain why, but it felt amazing, and I felt I deserved the punishment. The worst part, I did it when my daughter was in my care, and then made excuses for it. She never saw me do it, she never knew, I made it seem okay. My husband found out. He got angry with me, and threatened to break up our marriage if I continued to cut myself, especially while our daughter was around. What I really needed was someone to say, “Why are you doing this?” and “What can I do to help you?”. I just got anger and disappointment.

So, back on track now, my husband and I had separated for a short while. I went to visit my family and then vacation with my family, he stayed home. I played single mommy, while he worked. We tried to fix our marriage, but we did nothing to fix it. The only thing I can say is, at one point, when I was gone from him, I wanted to be with him so badly. All of a sudden, I wanted to hug him, him to hold me, to kiss him, to tell him I loved him. It was as if I was finally able to do these things. I actually thought, God changed me at the last-minute before it was too late!  I was wrong. He missed me too, but when I got back it felt as if he didn’t want me around. I felt like I was constantly getting on his nerves, and bothering him. He just wanted more and more time alone.

I tried to give him alone time. Then he stopped telling me where he was, and who he was with. I became paranoid. I thought the worst. I was so crazy with fear that when I called him and he wouldn’t tell me why there where girls giggling around him, and what he was doing, I freaked! That night was the last night I cut myself. I cut the words “HE HATES YOU” into my leg. I texted and called him a million times that night, but he never called me back.

The next day, after he found out what I had done, he said it was over. He looked right at my face and said “It’s over”. He wanted a divorce, and for the first time I believed him. I was hysterical. I lost it, completely. I walked down the road, alone, crying. I thought about stepping into traffic. My mom was supposed to be watching Melody that day. She called me, and came and picked me up. She told me I needed to talk to someone, so I did. We went straight to my counselor’s office. Through tears, I told her everything. I told her about the divorce, the cutting, the wanting to step into traffic. She was worried. She told me she needed me to go somewhere, if I was suicidal. I was scared, but I followed her lead.

It was then that I took my first ride in a police car. That scared me more. I went to the hospital, they wouldn’t let me have my purse and they made someone stand guard outside my door. I talked to the therapist, told my story several times. Then they told me I was going to go to treatment. They didn’t explain where, what was going to happen, or what it would be like. That was when I took my first ambulance ride. They took me to a treatment facility, and put me on a three-day suicidal hold. They kept my things, took my clothes and gave me scrubs to wear. It was scary.

I got there at night, everyone was heading to bed. They talked to me, and said that if I needed anything to ask, but I didn’t know who to ask. They also told me that someone had informed DCFS that I was cutting in front of my daughter. Again, I freaked out. I finally realized at that moment, that what I was doing was wrong. I didn’t want to lose my daughter. I had to stop making excuses. I calmed down and went to bed. They woke me at 6 am, and that’s when it started. I hated it there, I couldn’t go outside, there wasn’t hardly anything to do, and all these strange women were there talking about their past jail experiences and drug problems. I thought I had nothing in common with them. I wanted to leave. I wanted to talk to my daughter. I tried to call her, but Jim wouldn’t call me back.

After my three days, I realized something. Those other women were like me. We all had problems dealing with our anxieties. We didn’t know how to cope in healthy ways. They cheered me up when I was crying, they understood me. We were all rooting for each other to get better, to do better, to be better people. At the end, we exchanged numbers, we hugged good-bye. It wasn’t as awful as I thought. I still care about them, hope they are doing well and try to keep in touch. They understood me.

After I got out, I went to stay with my mom. I was still sad, and definitely had my moments, but I was coping better. I started exercising, punching the punching bag, reading A LOT, and distracting myself in lots of ways. I still missed my daughter, I missed my family, I missed everything. My mom was following me around, with the best intentions, but it made me a little anxious. I started my job search, made plans. Everynight for two and a half weeks I cried. Jim completely cut me off. He made hardly any communications with me, other than about Melody. I felt I had lost my best friend.  I was mad at Jim, at my family, my friends, and God. I felt like no one understood me. I didn’t want to hear any “God is there for you” crap. I asked him for help, and felt like I wasn’t getting it.

Jim also made my life, my grief harder in other ways. I won’t go into that completely because that is not my story to tell, but it wasn’t easy. He got angry, and I got angry. We were mean to each other. I was constantly sad, I didn’t understand. He didn’t care to talk about it. I felt he left me when I needed him most. I NEVER wanted to divorce. He just gave up. I felt like my heart was physically being torn at times, and I felt like he could care less. I wondered if he had ever cared about me, ever really loved me. I blamed most on myself, but not all. I hated my depression and anxiety. I was mad at God for gifting them to me. I stopped going to church after some lady told me, “If only I could find God, he would cure those thing in me”.

Then, things got a little easier. Everyday, I just continued to go forward and things got easier. Yet, I still wanted my marriage back. I couldn’t face the truth of the situation. Jim started to be nicer, as did I. He started to try to be easier on me, to let me grieve. Melody starting staying with me. I kept looking for a job (which is harder than it used to be), and kept planning my future, alone.

Jim and I started talking more and more. Things got rough for him too. My response was….pardon my language..”Karma’s a bitch!”. The owners of his tattoo shop and good friends of his started having huge marriage problems. They decided to try to work on their marriage. He was with them through this, watched them grieve and cry, and started to think about himself. He stopped blaming it all on me, and started to blame himself as well. I told him, through tears and face to face, that he left me when I needed him most. He finally saw the hurt on my face.

I told him, at one point, that I was still in it. If he wanted to try again, I would. Some may say I am stupid, but it’s my marriage, and my family. Melody was struggling. She started to be angry at everyone around her. She still is. She saw me hurting, as much as I tried to hide, and she hurt. Then, he asked me to try again. He said he thought our problems weren’t as big as he was making them. After watching that other couple, he realized that our problems seemed tiny.

So, that’s what we are doing. We aren’t living together. I am still looking for a job. We started going back to church, together. We are going to be on the worship team again. We hang out sometimes. We have been spending time alone and with Melody. We are talking, but taking it VERY slowly. Don’t get me wrong, I am scared. I told him how scared I was. I never want to hurt like that again. I am willing to try because he is my love. We both made mistakes, we both screwed up, and I would rather fix that, than let it go forever. God doesn’t want to see us divorce. Why would he ever choose to split up a family? I have been holding this part back, afraid that people would think it’s a mistake. I know it’s not, and it is what I want. We are both slowly taking step to be better at our marriage. It’s what we needed to do from the start.

 

The Honest Truth

After our, longer than expected, vacation, we are finally home. We have been home for a few days, and we are trying to get adjusted to our current living arrangements. We are in between places at the moment and currently staying in my husband’s new tattoo shop’s basement. Whew! I said it out loud!

I have this huge issue with being honest with people when we are struggling financially. I don’t tell the truth, I make up stories about what is going on and try to make it seem better than it is. I am thoroughly embarrassed, and afraid of disappointing everyone I know.

While to the people I know, this may seem silly. They will say that I couldn’t disappoint them, that everyone struggles sometimes, etc. I have this huge problem believing that. It’s one of my biggest problems, as a person. I have this crazy need to be perfect, even if I have to pretend. If I am not, I feel as if I am not only disappointing everyone around me, but also myself.

Everyone has solutions, it seems, on how to fix our constant problem with money. Some of them are helpful, some of them just cost more money. It’s all about money, and we don’t have a lot to start out with! We are those people, that screwed up our finances a long time ago and have been clawing our way out ever since.

I also just wanna put out there the answers to a few questions that I know people wonder about. Why have you been not working and staying at home? Well, I have been staying at home because any job I could find would basically only cover daycare. Then, someone else would be raising my child. Also, my daughter is starting school soon and I plan on getting one now that I have the time! I even had an interview yesterday!! Also, getting around while sharing one car can be challenging when everyone has somewhere different to be at different times! How could you just afford to go to Florida? Well, I barely scraped by! I only bought food, a few cheap cheap souvenirs and one night at the movies. I hitched a ride down there with my family and stayed in the house they rented!

So, there it is. I feel like pretending to be something I’m not only makes things worse. It’s easy for me to lie about it, and it’s much harder to be honest. I guess my morals are finally catching up to me. Also, I have learned that sometimes the best way is also the most difficult! This is who I really am, like it or not! I am flawed, and I need to be okay with that.

The Truth Behind the Tan

My almost five year old daughter and I just came back from a trip to Florida. While we spent a week on the beach, we both developed pretty good tans! After the first few days, I started telling my daughter how tan she was over and over. I was a little jealous, since she had been wearing 100 SPF and I was wearing 50, yet her tan was darker!! She told me she wished that she was even more tan. I just thought, she will be super tan by the end of the week, then she will be happy.

Well, as the week went on, I kept commenting on her darkening tan. She kept saying the same thing, “I wish I was more tan.” I started to wondering if wanting tan skin was something women instinctively enjoyed having or what! At one point, she even pointed to the brown ear of a dog on her shirt and said that was the color she wanted to be tanned. I just thought, “she’s such a girl!” and brushed it off.

Well, we have been back from Florida for a bit now, but we have stopped to stay with friends before we go home. I kept telling everyone the “tan story”, and how funny I found it. Tonight, I finally discovered the truth.

We went to church this morning, and she was in the preschool room with a few other young kids. She was telling me what had happened in class. Then, she was trying to tell me about one particular boy, who’s name she could not remember. She said “the boy with the brown skin”, as she rubbed her own skin. I said I knew who he was and we talked a little more about class.

A few minutes later, she said to me that when she kept telling me she wanted more of a tan, what she was trying to say was she wanted to have skin like that little boy from class. She thought his brown skin was pretty. She said when she looked at people with brown skin, it made her jealous. She wanted to be that color. I listened to her, and explained that he was born that way. She knew that she said, she just thought it was pretty.

I told her that some people don’t think that way and that I was proud of her for being like that. I said, other people would love to hear what she thought about it. She then told me, she didn’t understand why anyone would not think that way. I explained that some people don’t like people or things that are different, but that is not right, it is mean. Then I asked her if she thought people who were different than her were weird, and she said “no”.

While I realize that this may be a touchy subject for some, I had to share. I grew up in a small, 100% caucasian, town. I grew up around idiots that said nasty words and thought nasty things about anyone who was different. They never thought twice about those “different” people and never accepted them.

It’s sad really. Some of those people, will always be very close-minded. They were brought up to believe what they were taught, and anyone who was different was definitely weird. I was lucky, I had a mom who lived further away. She taught me to never judge anyone based on how they look, their past, or their mistakes. She taught me we are all equal in this world.

I tried to argue with some of those people, I still do, “don’t say those words”, “that’s not right”, “guess what, the confederacy lost!”, but to no avail. They didn’t care what I had to say. It didn’t matter that it was 1998, not 1950. They believed what they believed.

I just learned from my daughter that, in the end, I had done one better than fight and argue. I had raised up a person, in this world, that sees nothing wrong with the color of one’s skin, she thinks it’s pretty.

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Do Not Disturb!

This week, if you haven’t figured it out already, Melody and I are on our way to spend a week in Florida! The husband is back home working, going to Heavenfest (I am jealous), working some more, and working on moving. While I get to spend the week on the beach! Ahhhh….vacation!

We are actually on our way to Destin right now, currently driving through Montgomery, Alabama. Isn’t there a song with Montgomery in it (my dad was wondering)? Right now, we are in the giant rental van with my dad and my step-mom. My step-sister, her husband, and cute baby are in their car following us. When we get there we will later meet up with my brother and family, and my step-brother. We are all staying in one big house together…for a week.

Right now, it’s my fun job to keep my daughter occupied. Actually, this is always my job, but right now she must sit still. Have you ever tried to occupy a child in the car for hours? Is not my idea of a good time. Oh, and if she asks me when we will be there one more time, I may lose it!

I had to keep her occupied on the plane to St. Louis, at 6 in the morning, after three hours of sleep. How dare I think that she would sleep!?! I had to keep her occupied at my dad’s house before we left, and now in the car. When we get there, I will spend the remainder of my vacation keeping her occupied.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my baby girl. I do enjoy playing with her and seeing her experience new things. I am so excited for her to see her first palm trees and experience the ocean. Sometimes, just sometimes, I get tired of keeping someone else occupied, from morning until night, all the time. Ya know?

I may need a vacation from my vacation after this is all over. I want to relax! I want to sleep in the car without her waking me up. I want to listen to my iPod without her constantly pulling the headphones from my ears. When, we get there I wanna lay on the beach, quietly. I wanna listen to the ocean, quietly. I wanna walk in the sand, you guessed it, quietly.

Now, I am sure as parents we all feel this way sometimes. It’s our responsibility and our burden. We need a break from taking care of another person for awhile. It’s especially worse if you are always with your children. I am a stay at home mom. I am with my daughter 24/7. I never get a break. It’s extremely rare anyways. We don’t have people that say…let me just take Melody for the day! That has only happened a handful of times in her five years.

It can be overwhelming at times. It can drive a person to need therapy (ha!)!It makes me miss my husband even more! I like sharing this responsibility. I like being able to walk into another room alone. To be completely honest, I am not sure that him being here would make a difference. You see, my little girl has gotten used to Mommy always being around. She would super glue herself to me if she could at this point. She loves me….a lot! She won’t even ever let me use the bathroom alone. I don’t remember what privacy is even like. It drives me a little crazy. I want some privacy more than ever!!!

Now, I love that I know without a doubt how much she loves me. That makes my heart happy. I feel loved. She shows me everyday, every hour, that she loves me. I will miss that when she is a hormonal teenager who wants nothing to do with me! For now, I will hope and pray for a little privacy, and to not go crazy on this trip. This may be interesting.

Life is Beautiful

It’s about time I wrote a post about a song! While I know not everyone feels this way, music is an amazing thing. Whether it be from a rapper, country singer, gospel singer, rock band, or wherever, the songs can be beautiful.

To me though, the real “artists” are the songwriters. They have this amazing ability to put into words something they feel in a way that we can all relate to, and love. They area able to reach down into the depths of their hearts and souls and pull out the beautiful words and emotions that we aren’t all able to do. They help us relate. They make us feel like we are not alone. They let us know that somewhere someone else feels the same way we do.

Songs can have so many different meanings. One song may mean something different to every single person that hears it. Those songs make us all feel as if we can relate, regardless of circumstance. I, not so recently, discovered a song that is just that type of song. Below, I will write the lyrics:

Life is beautiful
We live until we die

When you run into my arms,
We steal a perfect moment.
Let the monsters see you smile,
Let them see you smilling.

Do I hold you too tightly?
When will the hurt kick in?

Life is beautiful, but it’s complicated.
We barely make it.
We don’t need to understand,
There are miracles, miracles.

Yeah, life is beautiful.
Our hearts, they beat and break.

When you run away from harm,
Will you run back into my arms,
Like you did when you were young?
Will you come back to me?

I will hold you tightly
When the hurting kicks in.

Life is beautiful, but it’s complicated,
we barely make it.
We don’t need to understand,
There are miracles, miracles.

Stand where you are.
We let all these moments pass us by.

It’s amazing where I’m standing,
There’s alot that we can give.
This is ours just for the moment,
There’s alot that we can give.

This is a song by the not very known band Vega 4. This song has been in countless movies (My Sister’s Keeper, etc.) and T.V. Shows (Grey’s Anatomy, One Tree Hill). Although it has been in all of these shows, it’s isn’t a super popular song, most people never hearing it again. I kept hearing it so often, that I went searching for it. If you get the chance, you should too!

This song can take on many meanings. It may be referring to a relationship with God, your spouse, your parent, your sibling, or a friend. It is obvious that the song is about a relationship, and in that way we can all relate. We have have relationships, some more than others.

To me, this song makes me realize that we all need to slow down. Life can go by so fast and sometimes we forget to “stop and smell the roses”. Life is confusing and complicated, but it’s also amazingly beautiful. We all get wrapped up in our lives, in our problems, in our sadness, our schedules, our whatever and forget what is important.

To me, life is beautiful regardless of what I am facing. Physically, my life is amazing. I get to see the most beautiful mountains everyday. I get to enjoy the sunshine almost 300 or so days a year. The trees, the grass, flowers, rainbows, lakes, rivers, it’s all so beautiful what God created! More than that though, life is beautiful because I get the chance to love. I get to be amazed. I get to be me. I get to chose my path in life, whether good or bad. We all do.

Whatever it is your doing, Stop! Slow down! Look around and enjoy! Enjoy your kids, your spouse, your parents, friends, nieces, nephews, co-workers, siblings, etc. Enjoy your world. Be glad that your are able to live in that world. Above all, thank God that he gave you the opportunity to be alive amongst such wonderful people and things.

At least for a moment, let us all forget the haters, the sadness, the problems, the insecurities, all of it. Let’s focus on the good things because life can be beautiful, if we let it.

Insecurities

This post may make it seem like I am fishing for compliments (and maybe I am, who cares!). Sometimes I just look at my body, my face, my life, my actions, my behavior, my everything and think it’s not good enough. I seriously struggle with this! It’s like a fight against my own self. I will never be perfect, but dangit, I would like to be enough, for me! Although, I am sure I am not the only woman who has these same insecurities.

I am super jealous of those confident women, and I have tried to be like them. I try to dress nicely, fix myself up, stand up straight, look people in the eye and be nice, but I feel like a bad actor! It seems to make no difference and the minute I am alone I fall back to normal, feeling defeated. How do they get this way? How do they get so much confidence? Are they just faking it like me?

I hope one day to learn how to not care what other people think of me. I hope I can teach my daughter that she is beautiful and smart no matter what anyone says. Yet, How can I teach her one way and act a different way?

I feel absolutely inadequate. I have all these friends and acquaintances, that seem to have so many good things in their lives. They are successful, super smart, driven, beautiful, and great at so many things! I am jealous of all of you! Right or wrong I am! My thoughts usually go something like this “yeah, I am smart, but so-and-so is much smarter!” or ” yeah, I can sing, but so-and-so can sing waaay better, and where will that get me?” or even “hey I look pretty today, not that anyone noticed, maybe I wasn’t as pretty as I thought!”

Aaargh! I hate being this way! Always wondering, am I pretty, am I smart, am I good enough for him or her or my parents or whomever! Always thinking people are judging me because my life is boring as a stay at home mom, because I didn’t finish school, because I haven’t accomplished enough, or whatever!

These thoughts have actually put a damper on some of my relationships, especially as of recently. With my parents, I walk around them feeling inferior, all the other kids are doing well and look at poor Sarah! They tell me this is not how they feel, but I can’t bring myself to believe it! My husband, I walk around looking at every other woman as if she were competition. Is she prettier than me? Is she nicer? It has turned me into this super jealous person I never used to be! With my daughter, I know she thinks the world of me, but she won’t always. Am I a good mother? Do I play enough, do I teach enough? With my friends, I just think that they are all out to hurt me. I don’t deserve a truly good friend, they are all better than me anyways!

Isn’t this sickening! Yuck! I wish I knew why I will never be good enough. I am working on this in therapy (yup, I am in therapy!). It just eats at me somedays more than others, ya know. I guess I also wanted you all to know how highly I think of you! Much more than I do myself! You guys are amazing! I sincerely hope that one day I can say that to myself, and mean it!

Where am I?!?

Where am I?!? This is exactly what I thought as soon as I stepped foot out of the airplane today. I lived in this area for the majority of my life, but after living in CO it’s so different! As soon as I took a breath of the St. Louis air, I thought “it’s insanely humid….yuck!”. I was getting so used to living in such a dry atmosphere, that breathing here is almost a chore! How do people live like this?!?

Within a few min of standing outside, my clothes were sticking to me. The worst part, it’s really not even that hot here! It will get much worse! All I can say is…I officially love where I live even more! Oh, and to all my Midwest friends, there is a much better place to live, trust me!

Anyway, starting out the trip in the Collinsville/Maryville area today. I pretty much spent the rest of the day catching up on all the sleep I lost with my early flight. Driving to Maryville, I am looking around, remembering this place. It’s like this whole other world that I vaguely remember. It’s all so familiar, yet unfamiliar at the same time. I enjoyed living in this area. It was an amazing, life-changing time in my life. I met some amazing people and some forever friends, but I love where i live now!

Back then, my mom used to say that I was like a gypsy. Jim and I moved all the time. We were never happy with where we were, we couldn’t stand to stay in one place too long. I often worried, after I had my daughter, what would happen when she started school. Would we be changing her school every year, because we were never settled? I couldn’t do that. I worried how that would all play out, what would happen in the future.

Finally, at one point, we went on a trip to Colorado and fell in love with the place. We came back home and struggled with making the decision to leave and move across the United States. In the end, we felt that was where God was leading us to live. I doubted that we would stay there forever, but I was willing to go.

Since moving there, we have met some more amazing people, more friends for life. Most importantly, we both feel like we are home there. I never want to leave! As much as I was excited to visit Illinois, I didn’t want to leave my beautiful home. I may have grown up in Southern Illinois, but I now call Colorado my home. I can see myself staying here forever. I love the mountains, the weather, the sun, the rainbows, the people, the things to do, the places to go. I love it all! I am so happy that I finally found my home!

One last thought, I have to admit something! The thing that gave me the most anxiety problems is causing trouble again! Coming here, this time of year, has me worried about that all over again. I am totally freaked about the weather! It may sound silly, but I have always had trouble not letting that worry consume me. So, keep me in your prayers. I am praying to not be so anxious, I want to enjoy my entire trip. I would appreciate your prayers too! Thanks, for reading, listening, praying, and caring for me!

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