Little Victory

photo-1414322058660-a4c56ab6c1e2As part of my inaugural post for Celebrate the Small things hosted by Lexa Cain, I want to end things on a great big happy note on this dazzling Friday.

I’m truly thankful for a few things this week:

1) I finished Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub. It took me a little while to get invested in this novel. I had a hard time relating fully to the characters, but I’m glad I finished the story

2) I was more mindful this week. There were a few moments where the stress of all the activities I have going on mounted. In those times, I took a little time out for myself. When I was at work, I took a little walk around my floor. At home I did stretches and read. When all else failed, my husband would embrace me and comfort me.

3) My puppies were so loving this week. Along with my husband, the little ones seemed to sense how stressed I was, and laid on either sides of me while I was in bed. It made me very happy to wake up with a little wet nose nudging my shoulder.

What are you celebrating this week?

 

This is Real Life

photo-1465151990534-683bf7717c78It’s taken me a while to process how I’ve been feeling lately. Personally, I was the recipient of a pretty awful action. It was one that made me question humanity and my own ability to understand the emotional stances of others. It made me feel “less than,” which inevitably created a backlash of muck to inundate my mind. Things that had been buried returned to overwhelm me. I returned to the war zone I had fought so hard to understand and overcome, because I couldn’t make sense of the reality. I was ready to give up again, to return to the hole I had painstakingly crawled out of over the last year.

But I have refused to allow this. My body doesn’t want it, and my mind wants to do better. And with this, I have realized something pretty big: I still have a voice, and it matters.

What happened to me wasn’t fair. It was unjustified and cruel. No amount of time will change the action nor the snowball of issues that followed. What happened left a broken heart. Hurt and pain turned to anger and outrage. It swallowed me up, reminding me of how trust can be so easily violated. It reminded me of how there are still things about this world that are heinous, that people are capable of siding with monsters. It showed me that people can be both surprising and predictable at the same time. It convinced me that there are those who want to cause others harm, who will do anything and say anything to achieve it. It told me that there are some things in this life that are truly unforgivable.

It is painful right now. Nightmares have resurfaced. Anxiety has mounted. Self worth has shattered. These things must be felt fully to stay aware, to find a foothold in the fallout, to resist the darkness.

I will move on from this. There will be no forgiveness, nor will it be forgotten. But I will move on. I have cut the tether that has kept me stagnant. Because that is all that can be done.

I matter. Me. The human behind the computer. The person that received the hate. I am alive. I am breathing. Pain is the guide for healing, for the mending of the cracks in my heart.

I am here. This is my voice. This is my strength standing up to say the following:

If someone tells you that they were sexually abused, believe them.
If someone says that they have acted on notions of suicide,  be kind.
If someone has the words to say how much pain an assaulter can cause, show compassion.

Above all, be a good human being.

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Where Is My Mind?

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I tend to get pensive when I’m under the weather. My mind plays little games to stay awake when I’m under cough syrup’s spell but have work to do. Ironically, it tends to carry me further into distraction. So far, my mind has thought of the following:

  • Food
  • When it’s time for more cough medicine
  • What it would take to have world peace
  • Food
  • How Hillary Clinton and I have currently have similar ailments
  • What my pups are up to at home
  • Blankets
  • Food
  • How uncomfortable my body feels sitting upright
  • Sleep
  • Whether lunch can be taken at 9:30 AM
  • How much water I’ve had today
  • Whether I’ll have enough energy to read tonight

It’s a big bag of weird up there today (thanks, Gilmore Girls!)

Here’s hoping I stop thinking about food soon…

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This Friday Feeling

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Y’all. It’s been a tough week for me. I’ve been sick for about two weeks with two different colds. It’s that time of the year when I’m seeing a lot of clients at work, and my immune system is never up for the different germs that come through my door. Currently, my best friends are cough drops and nasal spray. I’ve also been restless during this time. My body wants to be active and lethargic at the same time. It wants to go work out, but also sleep 12 hours a day. I don’t think these conflicting feelings are helping me heal, either.

Today, though, I’m embracing the fact that I am very grateful for the wonderful man in my life, who has gone above and beyond to help me this week while I’m sick. While he is a very nice and caring person in general, I feel it most when I’m not able to shoulder my share of duties. He’s a great husband and as well as a wonderful caregiver. He’s the person I come home to, and the person who supports my choices, no matter how crazy. He’s my fella. He’s my main squeeze. We don’t always get along. We don’t always like each other. That’s marriage, though. We love each other fiercely, we support each other always, and we continually work at our togetherness.

All relationships must continually be worked on to thrive, whether it’s with a partner, a friend, or our own selves. They require commitment. We have to choose that relationship every day. We have work for it, no matter how much chemistry is there. This choice is easy to make even during the tough periods. Even through the times we get frustrated, get angry, or yell. Even when we’ve had to make touch financial decisions, or made sacrifices for ourselves or others.

This relationship is the best “working” decision I’ve ever made.

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Do you have a great relationship you’d like to share? Comment below. Give a shout out to the people who help you be happy!

The Book of Speculation

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As part of my weekend routine, my husband and I went to Target to pick up some things for our house. Something I can never resist while I’m there is perusing the book section. While the selection there is small, it is calming to me to walk through and note newer books. As I rounded the corner, I saw  The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. I paused at the book, and thumbed through, looking at some of my favorite lines again. My eyes watered a little bit, as I remembered the story, the characters, and the message it left with me.

This book changed my life. It isn’t the next great American novel, but I connected so much with the characters and the interesting world the author built around them. The writing is intimate. There were lines that cracked my heart and some that cradled it. It left a lasting impression on me.

This year has been one of profound change for me. For better or worse, I’ve kept a promise to myself to stop hurting. 2015 drudged up things that had been previously buried. That year took me backwards, dragged me down a path I had already walked and thought I had locked behind me. It seems though, that unresolved things don’t last in the past for long. It is easy to wish them away, but sooner or later, they’ll make you listen. Even when resolutions aren’t readily available, the mind has an interesting way of dwelling.

I sought medical help for the intensity of it all. My counselor was willing to listen to me, something that hadn’t happened in my life before. Their kindness helped me to understand how much of my life wasn’t working for me. Something that became apparent was how much I was hiding myself. The resulting consequences were causing my mind to feel a crisis of self and of my worth. I still struggle with this. There are times when my confidence wains, and I can’t stand for myself. I retreat within myself, and hold on desperately to books to give me worlds to explore. Books grant me time to see a thousand lives lived, and even more stories that take place in my mind. They help me straighten out the wrinkles of my own life, while sending positive vibes that I can get through it.

The power of The Book of Speculation resonated farther than the story. Passages on the water as a force for life and death were felt deep within, as if I was simultaneously cleansing my heart while consuming Swyler’s words. I identified heavily with the main character, a man who was stuck in a life that didn’t feel quite real, and knew little about his parents, who seemed like ghosts even when they were alive. Swyler is delicate but deliberate about how she unfolds the story, and the truth behind the facade around the family. By the end, the characters felt renewed, like an ugly truth had been cleansed. When I closed the book at the end, I felt my own life had been purged of a sadness that had weighed on me.

In life, I continue to seek clarity for myself, and by whatever means I must use, I am thankful for those who write and create what helps me find peace.

Have you read The Book of Speculation or any other book that made you feel refreshed after reading? 

 

Friday Feels

A photo by David Marcu. unsplash.com/photos/oyrtK2hJqBY

Hi all!

It’s Friday! Whether you’re just waking up, or you’ve been a work all day, I hope you’ll take the time to congratulate yourself on getting through to the weekend. Even when I was an hourly employee working 7 days a week, there was always something special to me about Saturday and Sunday. People are different. They usually are quite as stressed as during the week, and their interactions with others are more open and kind.

You’ve worked hard this week, I know. So take a second and pat yourself on the back, take a long, delightful sip of your beverage, and breathe in deeply. You made it. Soon, you’ll be free to make your weekend what you want it to be. It’s your time. Do what makes you happy.

This week has marked a big change for me. It has served as a reminder that in everything I do, I need to be sure that I keep being me. It sounds strange to have to be reminded of this. Essentially, are we all just being us every day? What I mean is that in everything thing that we do, we must remember that who we are matters. We bring our own uniqueness, and our own creativity to everything that we put our minds to, and it shouldn’t be any other way.

Being the same is boring. Imagine with me, a world of sameness. Everything would be stagnate. Nothing would be innovative, and no one would strive to make the world better. It would be boring.

So why do we compare ourselves to others? Why do we strive to be someone else? Because sometimes we forget ourselves. Sometimes we stray from what really matters, and we get bogged down by others around us. In these times, it’s important to let those influencers drop away and remember how far we’ve come by being nothing more than who we are. We were gifted with our own souls, and only we have the ability to decide how we choose to be.

Just be you. The rest will follow.

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What will you be doing this weekend? Share your plans below!