I found something I’d been missing…and it feels good

First off, Mom, stop reading. If you read it anyway, pretend you didn’t please.

So over these last months, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and pondering and just plain exploring my mind and whatever happens to pop in. I had been looking at some art online for inspiration and came upon some beautiful pieces of art that sparked a memory, well, less of a memory and more the remnants of a feeling long ago forgotten.

I came upon some nudes of women: curvy, colorful, serene, bold and sensual. I kept looking at them, realizing more and more that I wanted to see myself reflected in those moods and models. You see, for years, I have been a caregiver, a maid, a secretary, a chef, and a chauffeur. I was anything but a woman, let alone a woman who wants to celebrate her curves and sexuality and simple beauty. I would like to think that I’m more than all of those roles.

I am a woman who wants to feel bold in her skin, tender, and even sexy. I want my husband to be all over me, not because it’s been awhile, but because he can tell that I want him to be. I want to be at peace with myself and have it show in the way I carry myself.

More than anything, I want to enjoy being a woman, feeling alive and electric and satisfied and whole. I had forgotten that part of myself. I think I’m finding my way back, and it feels wonderful.

This song inspired me as well

Making A Mountain Out Of A Molehill: how I’m my own worst enemy

Here’s the thing…on a good day, when I’m feeling content and calm, a simple statement is just that. Simple. But on a day when I’m feeling anxious, worried or just plain irritable, the littlest thing blows up in my mind, quickly becoming the end of everything.

The other day, someone said to me, “I just don’t have time for you right now.” And typically, I know she’s busy and I can roll with it. The other day though, I took it as “we aren’t friends anymore because I don’t have time for you right now”. See the difference?

So I begin to spiral…I start thinking of all the things about the friendship that tick me off and annoy me and I send a text outlining my arguments for why we should still be friends and all the things that have bothered me about our friendship and so-on…you get the picture.

Well, my message goes unanswered and I’m quite sure she’ll never speak to me again. I’ve cried and sulked and resigned myself to a lost relationship. The next morning, I wake up in a pretty good mood, energetic and ready for the day. I’m still bummed about the day before but I decided to put it out of my head and do my work.

Hours later, I’m sitting down to relax and it comes to me: I made a mountain out of a molehill. I added my own tainted thought to her message and ran with it. I looked back at the original message, and realized what an idiot I had been. I texted her and asked if I was guilty of creating this drama, and sure enough, the answer was yes.

We talked and things are good, but I thought now would be a good time to reflect on how I got to this place. I definitely let my mood dictate my perspective. And it seems obvious now, but at the time, I just didn’t see it.

And the best part about this situation, is that I realized that I’d been holding in a lot of little things that bothered me about our friendship. I hadn’t noticed that I’d held on so tightly until I expressed those issues. I’m thinking the reason I woke up so energetic and happy the next day was due to the catharsis that I allowed myself. Lesson learned: engage in relationships that allow you to be yourself, in which you can voice what irks you without fear of rejection, that nurture your soul, and forgive your mistakes.

There’s always room for more…

When my sister-in-law used to talk about ice cream…she’d say,

There’s always room for ice cream because it fills in all the nooks and crannies.

Now, she was literally talking about ice cream, but this applies to love as well, as I was reminded recently.

On the Season 14 season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, there was a quote that struck me as profoundly beautiful:

Of course I’m talking about the love part, not the 40 part although…anyway, this quote also struck me as something a kid might actually say. But in all seriousness, I cannot imagine how you could have too much love in your life. I’m not talking about the smother kind, or the tough kind, or romantic kind, but a certain kind of love that’s hard to come by, and even harder to live by.

I mean that kind of vulnerable, be yourself, make mistakes and forgive kind of love, without conditions.

Living this kind of love is difficult at times, especially if you’re like me: full of insecurities and doubt, prone to depression and negativity. Some of my problem is illness related (as we all know by now), and some of it stems back to previous experiences. But since my…breakdown (not loving that word), I’ve been noticing that this kind of love exists around me already. Heck, it’s part of why I’m a child care provider! Kids accept us so easily and love us from the start. I also see it in my son, who, despite his teenage attitude, tells me what a great mom I am and that he loves me on a regular basis.

I have a handful of family members too, who have always been open and accepting and forgiving, but I didn’t let myself trust it for the longest time. I’m working on trusting it now, and it’s nice to know that I’m accepted as the imperfect and unique person that I am by people with whom I share a long history. I also have a handful of good friends that have shown me time and time again that I can count on them without judgement, free from expectations, and despite my sometimes questionable behavior, they are always there for me. It’s hard to trust a relationship that is still being formed, but it’s worth the risk. You never know where you’ll find a kindred spirit, someone you have something in common with, someone who sees through your facade, and someone you feel a connection with. Laura was like that for me, she just understood me and showed me the kind of love I’m talking about…

And finally, there is my husband, who has shown me this kind of love from the very beginning…well, not completely right away, but pretty early in our time together. Within a month of meeting, we were best friends and started to date. We got engaged just three months after we met, married four years later, and still going strong as we approach the 23 year mark of our first meeting. And we have been through good times and bad, and even though we don’t always agree, I know we will get through whatever comes our way.

Anyway, try to let the love into your life, there’s always room in the nooks and crannies!

Worth the Trouble

So I just listened to yet another Ted Talk that I got something out of…it was entitled Beautiful New Words to Describe Obscure Emotions by John Koenig. Find the link here

In this talk, he discusses how creating a new word for an emotion makes a person feel less alone, and validated even. He also discusses how “the meaning is not in the words themselves,” and states, “we’re the ones that pour ourselves into it.” This reminds me that our adult brains, our unique and diverse brains, give their own weight to the words we hear, interpret, speak…perspective is given life here! He says, “words are not real. They don’t have meaning, we do.”

He concluded his talk with a quote that I’ve found particularly meaningful. It speaks to the journey I’ve been on these past few months…it’s from Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes.

“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy but it is still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”

I agree with this quote whole heartedly, but trouble is the right word-it’s hard to be who you are, to feel comfortable and safe in your own skin. It’s hard to put yourself out there and risk, experience, rejection and criticism. But I have to believe in the end, that it will all be worth it. It has to be, right?