Who Am I

I can honestly say I’m a unique individual, and I’m really proud of that. I was born into a family that had already “lived”, if you will. My parents had my brothers and sister much younger, and then I came around later in their lives. Some people ask me if it’s weird that I have siblings that could be my parents, and it really isn’t. I wouldn’t change my life for anything. Ofcourse, there are things I wish I could redo, but that’s life. Everything happens, in my opinion, for a reason. It’s all experiences. No one has “the perfect life”, there will always be shortfalls, but it’s what you make of it that truly defines your life. If you can just learn over time to accept bad things happen and that you learned from it, then you’re doing it right. I have had plenty of bad but I’ve also had so much good.

Recently I’ve been going through another bought of life that has been subpar, balanced between bad and good. I am so lucky that I have found and married the love of my life. Since marriage, it’s been a wonderful six months of bliss. We have grown from two people in a loving committed relationship to starting our lives as one. We’ve had some up’s and down’s but nothing is disrupting the fact that we love one another deeply and will do whatever we can for one another. I could not be more thankful to have found him.

I am not the best person when it comes to personal financing. I’ve always just kinda lived without a financial goal in mind, paying for what I need to, buying what I want and thinking there is no limit. Let me tell you, there is a limit, and I found it. I’ve started truly budgeting myself and working to get myself back on my feet. Through the last couple months though, of feeling at rock bottom and thinking there is no way out, I’ve lost a dear friend. I learned at her memorial service that she did so much for others. She was a party planner, not professionally, though maybe she should have, and would host these wonderful times for her friends and loved ones just because. She gave back to those less fortunate. She was the epitome of pay it forward. Since she’s been gone, I’ve found the inspiration to give my skills back to the world. I have so many plans on what I want to do, though finding my own funds to make it happen has been a bit of step back. I’m finding the motivation to hone in on my artistic skills to learn web design on my own so that maybe I can be an expert and freelance. Also, I want to start a side stationery business and bring my love of my cats to others through cute greeting cards and maybe once some funds come in, I can do more professional work. I loved creating the invitations for my wedding and want to give back to others. My sister and I loved planning the creative pieces of my shower and wedding as well, and we want to start a side business bringing our love of working together, and creating fun pieces to parties for friends and hopefully we can reach more prospective clients. I also want to start making in memory bracelets for those we’ve lost to the battle of cancer and give some of the proceeds to a cancer research foundation.

I know these are all really big dreams and maybe out of scope, but I honestly haven’t believed in something more. I feel that I can make this all happen. I just want to give back to the world a little bit of myself. It’s always been a dream.

As for other things, I have plans to recover from a herniated disc injury from two years ago. I didn’t get surgery, and plan to avoid it at all costs, unless there is no other option. I am a runner and not being able to just get out and run is killing me. My husband takes part in Spartan Races, and one day I want to complete one, but I need to get myself back. I want to run another marathon, and even complete the Goofy Challenge – half marathon one day, and full marathon the next. I want to compete in a triathlon and one day complete my goal of the Iron Man. I am trying my hardest to be careful but it has been so hard. I am starting a new physical therapy routine that I’m sort of creating on my own, taking the exercises given to me during physical therapy when my disc herniated, doing yoga and low impact cardio and running when I can.

I’m giving up other things that have been crutches to me when I’m down – nicotine and alcohol. Not that I am a alcoholic in any means, but coming home and having a couple beers or glasses of wine and not doing something more productive, is a waste, and I always feel bad about myself the next morning.

I have so many plans for my life ahead. Starting new things, and leaving others behind. Living a positive fulfilling life. Enjoying time with family and friends. Showering my cats with affection and understanding their needs. Helping others. Being an explorer of the world.

I am a student of life.

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Wake up and smell the roses

You know those mornings that you wake up and you’re just not ready to start the day. The days where your bed is just the only place you want to be. Where you just want to spend five more minutes laying next to the love of your life and just listen to him sleeping soundly. That was my morning. My alarm went off for an hour and a quarter and I just didn’t care. I wanted to just live in those moments. The early morning of my day which is completely my own. It’s my favorite part of my day and also my saddest.

On this Monday morning I woke up and realized that I honestly just have so many good things in my life. I’ve had my bumps in the road but I’m here still standing tall. That no matter what might come at me, I can take it on. I came across a box of old journals over the weekend and had to stop reading them just due to the context. It was hard to read and know how angry and sad I was. It ripped open wounds that I’ve covered up for so long and chose to forget. I craved attention that I wasn’t receiving and it really saddens me to remember.

Needless to say the weekend went on. I was in a disoriented state and was just not thinking. So upon waking up this morning, I realized what is wrong with me. Look where you were and look where you are now. Nothing is perfect but when you have 90% of your life on track, you’re planning your dream wedding to the most amazing guy you know (who manages to put up with your emotional pitfalls over and over again – seriously bless his soul), why get so sad. Life shouldn’t be this sad. It’s a journey and challenges you at times but you need to focus in on the good things to get you through. Wasting away your life being sad over nonsense is not living at all. Though I was in a fog all day and irritable, I also came to an understanding that I honestly have some serious changes that I need to make with myself. I need to live in the moment because you just don’t know what will happen tomorrow. You can plan and plan and plan for the future, but one small thing can happen tomorrow and that plan may change. I am not saying don’t have dreams and goals but realize that you may need to change the path to reach those goals at a moments notice. Life happens. Things come up. You may need to postpone your goal or completely revamp the route to get there but if you try, it will happen.

Update

1. learn more about exercise science and nutrition, 2. learn more about my job and how I can better do it, 3. develop my career path, 4. learn to cope with the passing of my dad and open up more, 4. work on my relationships with everyone in my life, 5. not let the little things tear me down, 5. let go of the past, dammit!, 6. draw at least one thing a day (no matter who tiny of a doodle it is), 7. see the world in a new light, 8. plan our dream wedding, 9. better manage my finances, and 10. be the best damn person I can (future wife, friend, family member, worker, etc) and truly learn things that will help me through life.

1. Plan: I’ve decided that I’m going to research as much as I can on each of these (personal training, nutrition, and yoga – extra points) once I’m married I’m taking a personal training course and getting my certification
2. I found an awesome site http://www.mindtools.com today and has helped me find ways to develop my career both current and future
3. See above – Trying my hardest to find as much information as possible but my everyday job is taking the brunt of my time – found some time today to do some development work and print some info on this so I can read up on it later
4. Also, in http://www.mindtools.com found a coping strategies link. Will be looking through that. Also have been reading up on Hannah’s post’s and finding a lot on Pinterest.
5. Still working through this. Having been listening to friends and trying to help them.
6. Not everyday, but maybe once a week,
7. Again, taking the place of my friends situations and placing myself in their shoes.
8. Awesome wedding planned – still have a lot of the creative stuff to do.
9. Finances haven’t been particularly good – been planning out expenses and in the process of quitting nicotine…therefore adding an extra $100 (give or take) to my budget a week.
10. Be the best damn person I can be…well…I’ve had my moments of insanity but I’ve made some reasonable changes. Mindfulness sessions at work on Wednesdays, meditation everynight, bedtime yoga everynight.

Open Book

I’ve always been told that my face is an open book to how I feel. I don’t hide emotions well. Frankly, I want people to realize “oh shit I might want to leave this girl alone” or “wow that girl is really happy”. For the most part I like to talk to people about life. I like to hear what they’ve been through and if I can help them through whatever trials that are still open, I’d love that. I’ve been told recently by one of my close friends that I am the “Momma Bear” of our group. Everyone flocks to me if they need to talk about something bothering them. I won’t lie, I make them time to hear what’s going on. Not to gossip or any of that garbage but to help people in need. Personally I was given the gift of empathy and can easily listen to people and understand what they’re going through, or at least put myself in their shoes to understand the best I can to help.

Sadly though, I can’t do that for myself. I listen to what people have gone through but either it’s not relevant enough or not in the same hemisphere (which sounds bad since I can literally relate anything I’ve been through to help others through their problems). It’s not that I’m not open to people, I really am. I love talking to people and hearing what they’ve been through to give me a better understanding of life. When it comes to relating it back to me, I have a really hard time.

I’ve come across so many blogs and self-help books to help me refocus my thinking and frankly, it’s helped a lot, thankfully. My favorite blog, is focused upon broken hearts and coming back from those ashes. I seriously love this post because though the author may be focusing on another topic, I can refocus it on something else in my life (she is an amazing writer and I wish I could write like her one day!)

In my more recent past I decided that I wanted to write a memoir of what has happened to me, however, whenever I start writing, it just hurts more to write and I’ve almost given up on the story because it took me long enough to push past the everyday suffering to start looking back upon it again. Whenever I get tipsy enough it slips out more and more. It’s painful.

My deepest wish however, is to write and design a children’s book of a girl who has animal sidekick (had been a fish) who can only talk to the girl. They travel through time together and fight crime. Frankly, it was a spin on what I went through in college. Having a trusting sidekick to help during the worst of it all to help make the right decisions. I have always been a major Harry Potter nerd. Reading those books and the adventures and trials that the characters did, was something I wish I was able to witness no matter how difficult. J.K. Rowling honestly was a blessing in disguise for me. She wrote amazing books that I could relate to. Ofcourse I realize witches and wizards aren’t real (do I wish they were, um ofcourse! because I’d be demanding where my Hogwarts letter was!) She was a real writer. Non-fiction, sci-fi to the most real level I have ever known. Whenever I feel down and just need a taste of who I was when I was in middle school, I pick up Sorcerer’s Stone and start reading all over again. It’s one of those books though, yes obviously is not real, has real qualities to it. The characters all face tribulations that everyone in everyday life does, at some point in time. Reading was one of my favorite hobbies through high school, and then once life caught up, I stopped reading so often. I’m lucky if I get a half hour in every night. I honestly miss being so absorbed in a book that I forget to eat and next thing I know it’s six o’clock in the morning.

It’s the simple things I miss most. As much as I love who I am now, and who I’ve become from the ashes of my past, aside from the countless yoga and mediation sessions to bring me back to a normal state, forgetting the cleaning, organizing, refocusing, and taking care of my fiancee and cats…the one thing I miss most of my younger adult life is just that and imagining I’m in the life of the main character. I always do. If I get sucked in enough to a book I just take the place of the main characters. Not even just one but all. I miss my imaginative side. I miss writing in a journal. I miss driving around the backroads of my hometown at night. I miss walking on trails for hours in the woods. Now, I have people wondering where I am. Now I am more mindful of what might go astray. I just want to go back to those simple days and think like I used to.

As much as I love who I am now, and what I’ve learned, I will never forget the girl I was while I was growing up. The tomboy. I used to climb trees and just sit there for hours writing in my journal about nonsense or admiring nature. Or when I would just be closed up in my room playing pretend that I was someone else from a book or movie. Playing sports was second nature, and now, I’m lucky if I can run 100 meters without passing out. Sports was my life from the time I was in Kindergarten through junior year of high school. Then I decided in college to run a marathon. Insane. But I did it. In the next 5 years I’ll be back to running another. I got that runner’s high. Nothing else mattered, and I want to get back to that.

Needless to say, as I’ve just blabbered on again with wine in hand…I’m an open book. You want to know about me, just ask. I’m always willing to listen to others and help. I’ve been through enough to try and relate and help as much as I can. It’s my calling in life. The game of Life is one worth playing…it’s well worth it. Push on.

Til next time…

100 Days

Yep it’s a full blown 100 days until I’m a married woman. I’m so beyond excited and anxious. I just can’t believe how fast time has flown. We booked our venue, set our date, bought my dress and some accessories, sent save the dates, booked the DJ, booked our photographer, booked our officiant, designed invites and other day of decor stuff, decided on a wedding party and gave some bridesmaid gifts, had planning parties, finalized a ceremony, started a beauty/workout routine, picked out bridesmaid dresses, and even a hair and makeup trial. Things have been moving smoothly. Yikes time flies when you’re having fun! So much more to do! Gifts, flowers, centerpieces, programs, printing, emergency baskets, music yes and no list, marriage license, day of accessories, showers, thank you’s, cake designing, finalizing menus, and so much more. I can’t wait! When you find the one, it’s all worth the stress of it all in the end, especially when they want to be part of all the crazy planning sessions too 🙂 I’m a lucky girl.

I’m the type of blogger where I want to make a difference in the world. One who’s words can just make someone rethink what is possible. I follow some of them and they inspire me to be a better person. That the pain that I’ve dealt with in my short life are only but life changing experiences. If I was the girl who I was only eight years ago (wow…eight years have passed since I graduated high school), I don’t know who I would be now. Probably just a naive girl. 

Needless to say, I’m not the girl I was eight years ago. The last eight years have felt like a lifetime but also like a year. I’ve experienced what it is to lose someone so special in my life (my dad) and watch him leave my mom and me right before our eyes. I’ve dealt with heartbreak, the thought of never seeing the love of my life again. I’ve dealt with being taken advantage of. I’ve dealt with losing friendships. I have dealt with a debilitating back injury. I have dealt with losing myself. Though, out of all of these hard times, I’ve also seen what it is come back kicking and become my true self. I have been reborn from all of those ashes of my past. Being at rock bottom, like Ariel in the Little Mermaid when Ursla is taking over and she is sitting at the bottom of the vortex in the ocean, yeah I’ve been there and it is awful. Feeling like you can’t control one thing in your life and instead you try to numb that feeling of complete helplessness. It’s rough. But, it was an eye opener and I came back from it all. I am stronger than I ever imagined possible. 

Today, I read blog posts of super strong women who also have dealt with pain, suffering, weakness and I strive to live my days to my best potential because their words have brought me through. I’ve realized who I am or at least what I’m striving for. I remember the words my dad would always tell me when I was down. The words my mom and sister tell me often to help me through. The support and fierce love my fiance gives me everyday. The support of my closest friends that I’ve held onto. There is so much that I am grateful for. That is what keeps me going every single day. 

I’m the type of small town girl who wants to move mountains. I want to help find a cure for cancer so that no one has to watch the pain and suffering that I had to with my dad. I want to help ensure that girls don’t get taken advantage of and feel like they are absolutely worthless. I want to do so much for this world. One day I hope that I will. For now though, I am still growing from the ashes of my past. I am trying to figure out where I belong in this great world. For now, just striving to be a good person and following small random acts of kindness is enough. For now, just living my life one day at a time, truly happy with who I am, is enough. For now, just striving to be a good friend, fiance, daughter, sister, aunt, worker, etc etc etc is enough. I am happy with who I’ve become.

Day by Day

I’ve decided recently to start living a day by day type of lifestyle. Day by day meaning living in the present day. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring but you sure as hell can’t change what happened yesterday. So why do we keep trying to retrace our steps and fix all of those regrets? Well we’re human. It’s our nature. 

All I’ve done for years is wonder why but not in the true sense that I should be. It’s all what if’s, and shouldves, and couldves, and wouldves. It just shouldn’t work that way because there is no changing what has happened. All you SHOULD do is move forward. Take what happened with a grain of salt and realize you are where you are for a reason. It’s all part of life’s journey. 

I mean, there is plenty that I wish I could take back, but where would I be now if none of those things happened? I may not be getting married to the love of my life, I may not be the strongest person I have ever been, I may not have learned the things I have. The true lessons in my life that have gotten me to where I am at the young age of 25 years and 360 days. I could be doing very well, but I sure wouldn’t know the things I know. The ugliest pieces of life that many won’t see for another 30 years or even ever. Do I let it define me, do I wear it on my sleeve? To a point, but not where I let those pieces of me show through. The make me up, they are hidden deep within my soul. If when I faced these moments and took the other turn in the fork in the road, I would be a different person. I would probably be more naive and still think that everything in this world is beautiful and perfect and not realize that there are cold, sad, angry parts of this life. Being there has made me who I am.

I still believe even with all my heartache that life is beautiful. That it is perfect. It is! You just have to open your eyes and realize that those most prized pieces of your soul are right here. Right now. Those friends and family that are still standing next to you saying, wow you’ve made it a long ways. The people who are like wow I saw you 5 years ago and frankly I didn’t think you could get here and be this happy. The people who just cheer you on everyday. The people who say I’m happy waking up next to you everyday and always. This is life.

The bad will come, inevitably, but how you deal with it, defines who you are. Ofcourse you will make bad decisions and ones you will smack your forehead and go umm wtf did you do?! But don’t let those moments get you down. The next steps you take are most precious because they will mark the future. If it’s a wrong one, well you’ve learned a lesson. If it’s the right one, you can just get down and thank God (or whatever you believe in) that you made it. Life is a journey. It is not meant to be easy. It is meant to be tough, draining, but rewarding when you make it to your last days and you can say, man, I lived an awesome life, cause it’s gonna be.