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Posts tagged ‘friends’

Semicolon Project Awareness Day

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It’s Semicolon project awareness day. In honor of that, I want to say…

Depression and other mental health illnesses aren’t always shown by making overly dramatic posts. Living with them doesn’t always mean we’re wanting to die and often times, when it is, it won’t be announced, it’ll be kept hidden. Living with mental health issues isn’t always easily visible to others. In fact, many times, those dealing depression try to hide the pain and sadness. We sometimes hide it with smiles, silliness, and a happy go lucky attitude.

They manifest themselves in different ways and they’re not on the same level for anyone. Maybe plans get canceled because we’re not up to acting happy and sometimes we’ll go out often because we don’t want to be alone. Sometimes we’ll over eat or not eat at all. Sometimes we’ll sleep a lot or barely. Sometimes the joy in things we normally love will fade and sometimes we’ll throw ourselves into it even more to try to distract our minds. Sometimes we will seem perfectly fine and other times, it’ll be easy to see. Some hide it well and others don’t. That doesn’t mean one is hurting more than another.

Depression can kill, not always via suicide, but also many times, over a long period of time, a mind can slowly give up and the body will start to deteriorate. It is not something to be ignored or treated as if it’s something we can just get over. It doesn’t have a cure. There are things that can help and make a difference, yes. One of those things is a good support system.

A support system of people that don’t judge, people that are there to help us through often makes the biggest difference. Coming from someone who has been on medicine, seen therapists, and tried many other forms of treatment, having people that stand by me has helped the most. We can be difficult to deal with. When in deep ruts, we can lash out, become unresponsive, and act out in many ways. When you stick with us through all of it, that says you love us, we’re worth the effort, and we’re more than the crippling sadness, anger, anxiety, etc that we face.

We are not our illness. We are people with hopes, dreams, desires, and goals. Thank you to those that see that. Thank you to those that help us in any way you can. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for tough love, when needed. Thank you for a kind and compassionate love, when needed. Thank you. Thank you for all you do. Many of us know that what effects us effects you too.

My story is far from over and I hope that yours is too. If we work together, we can lift one another up and get through, one day at a time. You are, he is, she is, I am, we are worth it. Our lives are worth living. I love you. Thank you for loving me too.

Raw Truth

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A soul that simply wants love and peace struggles with so much sorrow, stress, and heartache thrown her way. She knows that life is never perfect, but sometimes wonders why it has to be this hard.

She smiles and laughs a lot. She knows there’s still so much to be grateful for. But in all honesty, sometimes those smiles and laughs aren’t fully genuine. Sometimes she just wants to keep people from worrying about her or seeing how bad things can be for her or her family.

Sometimes she is the epitome of selflessness, giving of her talents, things that she owns, or her time, whether she’s really in a position to do so or not. There are times where she’s instead this being of such selfishness, where she can’t see beyond her own pain, needs, or desires. There are times when she makes it all about her.

Right now, she’s not okay at all and if being completely honest, she hasn’t been for awhile. She’s feeling so overwhelmed. She lets a fraction of that show for some to see sometimes, but often keeps much of it to herself. She thinks many just don’t want to deal with her pain, insecurities, doubts, and mental health issues.

She feels things intensely, all things. If she’s scared, sad, angry, worried, jealous, anxious, or even happy, she REALLY feels it and not just her own feelings, but those around her too. If someone she knows is hurting or even really happy, she feels it like she’s going through whatever it is the other is dealing with. Only those like her begin to understand what that’s like, that it feels like a blessing many times, but can feel like a burden too, most especially when they’re struggling themselves. It’s not something they can just shut off either, this is why sometimes she distances herself from others, not because she doesn’t care, but because she feels too much all at once.

She loves God and believes in the power of love, mercy, and forgiveness. Yet sometimes she struggles in her own sin and finds it hard to fully let go and move on. Some wounds haven’t fully healed, though it’s been decades. She has prayed with such genuine desire to be free of the pain and lingering anger that lives buried within and somehow she still can’t fully let go. She’s let go enough to stop the daily nightmares and to allow some to be in her life, to feel a powerful love for them and an honest desire to see them happy, but the pain is still there.

She knows she can be her own worst enemy and harshest critic. Sometimes she is so cruel to herself. Sometimes she makes herself cry from the way she speaks in her own head. Sometimes she doubts the kind things people say. She grew up feeling alone, unwanted, ugly, and not worthy of being truly loved. It’s hard to overcome years of feeling this way, years of being told she’s nothing, and years of being ignored. She’s trying, every day, so very hard, she’s trying. God loves her and He also sent many into her life that love her too. Part of her knows she’s loved beyond measure and that there’s so much good beyond the flaws. Part of her still struggles with doubts sometimes and then she feels guilty for feeling that way…

When some people only contact her because they want something, she feels unappreciated and used, worst of all is when it’s family that make her feel so awful. How can she cut ties with people whom she loves and yet feels may not truly love her in return?

She’s moody, a pain to know and love sometimes, talks an awful lot, is what some consider to be too sensitive, and a bit neurotic at times. In all honesty, she’s not always easy to get along with. Yet, she’s also very kind, generous to a fault much of the time, funny, great to talk to, and loving. She may not always be easy to stay connected to or be friends with, but feels maybe she’s worth it if you stick around.

Pet peeves are a long list with this one, but she has gotten better with keeping some of those feelings to herself. She’s, perhaps irrationally, irritated by loud eaters, IM speech and most especially when people use zero punctuation marks to separate thoughts, rude drivers, disorganization, improper use of words like they’re, their, and there, using words that aren’t words like irregardless, people messaging her about business opportunities she has zero interest in, mass messages and texts, chain messages, when people put empty containers away instead of disposing of them, cleaning up after grown ups, finding toilet paper rolls that are put on, what she feels, is the wrong way, and the list goes on….

She wants to be seen and heard…..

She wants to be enough, for her husband, her children, others in her family, her friends, her clients, and so much so, for her God. She wants to be enough for herself too….

If she feels a certain way about something or someone, do not try to change her mind. She will respect your feelings and beliefs, but she would appreciate it if others do the same for her.

She has so many unfinished projects out there. She wants to get better at starting a book or gift for someone and actually finishing them.

Though she’s happy with the life God has given her, sometimes she wonders what it might be like if she had made some better choices. Then she feels guilty for feeling that way. Clearly, life has turned out the way it has for a reason and to get here, the things that happened needed to happen. Yet, sometimes that’s hard to accept.

She really dislikes extreme heat or cold. Though things like humidity and horrible wind chill bother her and she will complain about them, she can’t see herself living anywhere than her home state, at least for quite a long while. When people tell her to move if she hates the weather, she is annoyed because it isn’t really that simple. Her whole life has been rooted to one state. In her mind, one doesn’t simply uproot everything because the weather sometimes sucks. Family, friendship, and love are pretty good reasons to stay. Yes, she may whine about weather now and then, but in reality, she’s home right where she’s at and doesn’t want to leave anytime soon.

She is, as I’m sure anyone reading this can guess, me. I could say a lot more. I could open up the floodgates. If I do, if I go into more detail, say more of what haunts me, what makes me who I am, who I was, and who I want to be, I hope you’ll not think less of me for doing so.

I feel I’m complex and yet not so difficult to know. If you really want to know me though, be warned, as mentioned before, I’m a handful. I think, perhaps, that you may find the journey worth it though.

My PTSD stems from being emotionally neglected by my mom, sexually and physically abused by one of her boyfriends, being either neglected or treated like garbage by my dad, the things that happened in my foster homes, and being raped by someone I thought cared for me.

Some days, I feel okay. Some days, I think I’m mostly over what’s happened. I’ve mostly forgiven my mom. I love her more than I can say. Having her in my life means more than I can say. Her happiness is important to me. She is a gift from God. Some days though, something triggers painful memories and then I feel so angry that she wasn’t there for me when I needed her most, that she didn’t defend me, and that she left me to deal with what her, now, ex had done to me all on my own. She’s never really talked through this with me and she likely never will. I’m trying to accept that and most days, I’m okay with it. Some days are hard though, really hard.

My dad was so mean, outright mean, for so long. We have also made peace. He did apologize for hurting me and that means a lot to me. He knows he put me through so much and that I didn’t deserve it. Funny though, we don’t talk much. He’s locked up, so that’s part of it. Another part of it is that we just don’t have much to say to one another. We’re so different, in many ways. We have the same birthday and I can count, on one hand, how many times he’s wished me happy birthday. He’s not a sappy, saying I love you type and I very much am. It does hurt that we’ve never been close, even though I know a large part of that is because that’s just who he is. I long for a closeness, with him, and others I just don’t have. Sometimes I feel like I was born into the wrong family.

I know I burned bridges when I was young. I lied, stole, and caused so much mistrust when I was much younger. Some excuse it because of all I went through. Some never got over it, it seems. Some have gotten past it and know I’m not that person anymore. I do feel guilty sometimes still. I was hurt a lot, but I wasn’t innocent, free of hurting others either. I don’t feel that I deserved what happened to me anymore, but I also believe those I hurt didn’t deserve it either. I’m just glad that me died years ago and am grateful for those who either stuck by me or who let me back in when they saw that I’m different. (That’s why I often give many chances when I’m hurt, because others did that for me. I’m still learning when enough is enough though.)

I’m not okay and I’m not okay because of stuff going on with my son, things he’s dealing with at his dad’s, fighting to bring him home, money stuff, having several loved ones die in a few week’s time, a car accident, and trying to deal with it all at once. It feels like too much many days. I do keep pushing forward, one foot at a time, but some days it feels like I’m not going anywhere. Some days, I feel so lost and sometimes I’m so sick of acting like I’m happy when I’m not….

I look at my children and want more for them. I’m trying to be the good that I learned from my parents and not the bad. I know I have and will likely mess up again, but I’m going to keep trying, every day. I believe my kids know how much I love them and that they know I’ll always fight to give them a good life. Some days, I fear I’ll fail, but the fear never causes me to give up. I fall sometimes, but I always get back up and keep trying. I am that way with my hubby, my friends, family, and clients too. The day I stop trying is the day God decides I’m done.

Speaking of being done, I think this post is just about finished. I’ve not said it all, but then I don’t think I’ll be truly done for years to come. For now, I think this is enough. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I needed to free these thoughts, some of which I’ve written about before and I’m sure to again, and others maybe you’ve never seen before. All of which though, well, they were taking up needed space that I’d like to free up for other thoughts right now.

I’ve got clients to concentrate on, so that I can take the best photos I possibly can for them. I’ve got kiddos that need me to be alright. I’ve got a hubby that deserves a happier and healthier me more often. I’ve got a God and community to serve, to give my best to. So, with that, I’ll say au revoir, for now. Thanks, again, for spending this time with me. Until next time, much love and may you find a reason to smile as often as possible.

 

*photo taken by me at Regner Park, a couple of years ago.*

Ramblings of a Bi-polar Nature

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Riding high on a wave of intense mania

Energetic and ready to take on the world

That is until some little thing gets on my nerves

Now it feels like everything is going wrong

And I’m dwelling on every bad thing that’s ever happened

Don’t look at me wrong, I’ll likely snap at you

Though after I’m done ruining everyone’s day

I will feel horribly guilty and tear myself down

Feeling like the worst thing to ever happen to those I love

I’ve fallen into a pool of regret, guilt, and shame

Not seeing a way out of the sadness I’ve slipped into

Wishing for a life preserver so I can pull myself out

Up and down so often I feel dizzy and unsure of where I am

Why does it have to be like this?

I try writing, talking, praying, singing, walking, and more

Sometimes these things help tremendously

And I am so grateful for the support system in my life

Sometimes though, nothing seems to work

And I don’t see a way out or feel the love that’s there

I feel like a yo-yo and I just want to cut the strings

This journey has been rough and is likely to always be

But I know I am not on this path alone

What I go through touches more lives than just my own

My mood swings hurt more than just me

Over the years, I have driven many away

It’s hurt when relationships end and I feel like I have failed

Yet once again, people feel like they can’t deal with it anymore

I do have to say though, that in the most recent years

It’s gotten easier to deal with and as that’s happened

And the bonds formed have lasted, not so easy to break

I will say this now, hoping all will understand

Each of you that stands by me helps more than you know

You make it easier to get through each difficult day

You remind me that each phase will pass

You make me smile, see the beauty within

Your love, loyalty, and devotion is my greatest weapon

When great anger or sadness threaten to take me down

Your support wields within my hands

And like a blaze of fire, conquers it, even if only for a little while

Every day is a struggle, but you make it easier to fight

I lose some individual battles, but the war is far from over

Each victory over my inner demons is celebrated

Bi-polar threatens my happiness and my sanity

But I will not let it win, for I have too many reasons to keep going

Many of them are those of you that are by my side

Thank you for reading this lengthy post

Sort of poetry, sort of prose, more like a solo therapy session

Go from this knowing how very loved you are

And how grateful I am to have each of you by my side.

Grief Doesn’t Have a Time Limit

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Some try to put a time limit on how long one is supposed to grieve the loss of a loved one. But, after having lost so many in my life, I have come to realize that there’s just no set time limit when one should be done hurting.

On May 2nd, 2016, a friend of 21 years passed away. She’d been hospitalized due to an error during multiple surgeries she was having done. For weeks, she lay in a medically induced coma and the prognosis was pretty bad for some time. Then, she began to improve and there was hope for all who had been worried. She woke up, was breathing on her own, and getting some of her spunk back.

But, then shock hit many of us on the morning of May 2nd. I checked my Facebook and saw a status about my friend passing away early that morning. My heart broke in a way it never had before. I’d lost family and friends, but no one I’d had quite the connection with like I did with her. She was once my family, when married to my cousin. That was how we’d met. We’d formed such a bond that even after she and my cousin divorced, her and I were still close. There was a time when we shared everything. She was my best friend for a long time. We hadn’t been super close in awhile, but we’d been reconnecting.

I still feel like she’s here with us sometimes, like she’s not really gone. It doesn’t help when I see her Facebook profile connected. But, it’s so much more than that. I try not to get super upset. I believe she’d want us all to keep living and loving. I feel that she’d understand remembering her and missing her, but that she wouldn’t want us to be frozen in sadness. She wouldn’t want us so paralyzed by our grief that we forgot how to live.

I believe that it is up to the living to honor the dead by continuing to live. We should keep their legacies alive by telling others about them and their lives. And too, what better way to honor them than by living in such a way that would make them proud? Grief can do so much damage and it can be life changing. But as hard as it might be to keep going some days, I believe that it is imperative that we do our best to try.

So, to my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, in-laws, and friends that I have lost: I miss you, so very much. A part of me died with you when you left. But, I am committed to living the best possible life that I can while I am being given that chance, to loving those who are still here. May I honor your memories, may I make you proud by living in such a way that would make you smile. I love you, more than you know and I always will. May that advice be something you take heart to and find ways to follow and may I do the same, remembering on tough days that I need to keep going. Let us not allow grief to overtake us, but let love instead ever propel us forward.

Even Positive Changes Can Be Scary

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In one week from today, we close on both the home we’re selling and then the one we’re buying. Overall, I’m over the moon happy about the next steps in our journey together as a family.

I don’t like the town we currently live in anymore. It’s gone downhill so much. It’s become the norm to see cops on our block and that’s disheartening. I don’t want my kids to get accustomed to this. I want better for them and for all of us.

Part of this move is about safety and wanting to live in a better community. But, part of it is also because our current home is too small for our growing family. We’ve just outgrown this place. All in all, it’s time for us to move.

And like I said, I’m fairly happy about this move. I’m ready to see what God has planned for us. It’s going to be a good thing for our family. But, yet a part of me is sad and a bit scared too.

We’re moving to a town I’m fairly unfamiliar with and sometimes the unknown can be a bit scary. Will we find a church we like? Will we fit in? Will we become isolated? Will my kids like it?Will they make friends, especially my teenage son? There’s so many questions and I don’t yet know those answers.

I’m also a little sad about leaving because we’ll be further away from some people we’re close to. It’ll be a little difficult for us, especially me. I’m very much a social being a lot of the time. I know we’ll see our friends again, but it’s going to get even harder than it already is since having our daughter. That will definitely be an adjustment that will take getting used to. And how will I go about making new connections?

Mostly, I’m happy, been counting down the days for awhile. And I’m sure everything will work out wonderfully, just getting a little more nervous the closer we get. But, the excitement does trump the fear. Alright, let’s do this….

Cedarburg’s Strawberry Festival – In Review

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Cedarburg is known for many things, one of which being the Strawberry Festival, which is now celebrating its 31st year. People come from miles around each year to partake in everything strawberry, from wine and beer to chicken, brats, and even salsa. You can, of course, find fresh strawberries to buy and take home home with you. But, there’s more than just food and drink along Washington Avenue. There are hundreds of vendors selling things such as clothing, jewelry, books, toys, and plenty of other homemade crafts.

It’s more than food, drink, and shopping at the Strawberry Festival. Prepare to enjoy live music and games as well. I even saw people getting their hair done! It was quite the sight to see. There’s so much going on, you’ll never experience it all in one day. But that’s okay, they make a weekend out of it. It’s definitely something you’ll want to make sure you get to experience!

If you’re looking to spend the day there, I would suggest, however, to make sure you have a decent amount of money with you. Some things are reasonably priced, but others aren’t. If you’re on a budget though, you can make it work to go and have a good time.

It was our first time going and I wasn’t sure what to think. A number of people I know go every year, but I was told it gets very crowded and it can be a bit intimidating. It was indeed crowded, but it was a lot of fun. We enjoyed seeing the many different booths, trying various strawberry delights, and listening to the music we heard along our walk.

I would recommend going, just be sure to bring sunscreen and drink plenty of water, especially if it’s a day like today. My personal favorites from today were the steak sandwich and strawberry shortcake. I did also buy some fresh strawberries, will be trying those tomorrow; they look delicious!

If you enjoy events such as the Cedarburg Strawberry Festival, I’d also highly recommend Maxwell Street Days. They have four dates throughout the year, the next one being July, 17th. Cedarburg is a tourist friendly city, with so much to offer. Stop on out and check out the many events going on, you won’t be disappointed!

The War on Valentine’s Day

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People have varying opinions about Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day. Now that we have social media, those opinions are flooded all over the internet. One can’t possibly escape seeing them, unless they choose not to be online.

My own views about such days have changed over the years. I was once one who longed to have someone to celebrate it with and do the cute and romantic things. Usually, I was single and I tended to be bitter about it. The exception to that has been that I would still make it special for my son. Even though a lot of the ads and deals are about couples, those days aren’t only meant for couples to celebrate. It’s supposed to be about celebrating love in general.

My views later changed to feeling that it’s just another way for stores and restaurants to make money. I also felt that so many are just greedy and want another excuse to get more stuff. Whenever I would see someone brag about what their sweetheart did for them or complain because they didn’t do enough, I rolled my eyes. Shouldn’t love be about more than just what we can get from others? Is it really so superficial? Do we really need presents to show love to one another?

I still held onto that view, for the most part, even after I got together with my now husband. I am the hopeless romantic type, but I also felt that I didn’t need grand gestures to know how he felt about me and he most certainly didn’t expect them from me either. For the most part, I felt that the greatest gifts you can give or receive are time, energy, and love. Gifts are nice, but they’re not what’s most important.

While I still feel that way, I have also come to see that putting down those who wish to celebrate it isn’t a healthy way to look at things. Since days like these are supposed to be about celebrating those you love, how can I really tell someone they’re foolish for wanting to celebrate them? I think if you wish to do something nice for those you love, do it and don’t feel shame in doing so.

If you’re one that hates those days simply because you’re single and will feel ignored, I would urge you to remember an earlier point that I made, those days aren’t just about couples. You can still celebrate with friends and family as well and have them be meaningful. There were a few years when I was single that I did just that, bought candy and cute little things that didn’t cost much for people at work, my son, others in my family, and my friends. It’s not about how much you spend or if you even spend anything at all. You can make handmade cards and gifts if you want to do something nice. It’s about the thought behind the gifts, not the gifts themselves.

That is something some forget and I am still highly annoyed with those who feel they’re entitled to amazing gifts and trips for these or any occasions really. My opinion on that sort of attitude is to stop being a spoiled brat and remember what your relationship is really about. If you want to celebrate, great, but don’t make it a competition between you and your partner or you and your friends, who can give or get the better gifts. Attitudes like that tarnish any positive meaning behind the holidays to begin with.

My husband and I don’t personally do much to celebrate them, because we feel that we don’t need those days to tell or show our love for one another. We’ve gone out to dinner a couple of times, but that’s been more or less of an excuse to not cook and do dishes than it is to celebrate the holidays. Some years, I admit that I have gotten a few little things for him. (Though other years, I have done nothing.) I am, as I mentioned, the romantic type. I haven’t done anything out of obligation, but out of a desire to give. I do random things through the year as well, just because. That’s just who I am, a giver. But, it’s about a lot more than that. He’s not been one to buy me anything. Do I feel less loved because he doesn’t buy me flowers or shower me with gifts? No and that’s because he shows me daily that he loves me.

Every day, he tells me he loves me. He kisses me every morning before he leaves for work (or going anywhere without me, even the grocery store.) and at night before we go to bed. (and plenty in between) We hold hands when walking somewhere or even when driving sometimes. He rubs my back randomly and now lately with my pregnancy, he’s been rubbing my feet too. He cuddles with me, tells me I am beautiful, and does things like take care of the housework when I am sick or having a very bad day. He worries about me, encourages me, and believes in me. So yeah, sometimes when people brag about the flowers they got on their anniversary or their birthday, I feel a tinge of jealousy. I will say this though, it doesn’t last long because I remember all that he does and how much he cares. He just shows it in different ways than some do.

That, to me, is the key in relationships. Know your partner, your friend, or family member. Don’t expect them to be someone they’re not and find the ways they show their love and loyalty and then cherish those things they do instead of being upset about the ways that they don’t. If you’re the type that celebrates and wants to make a big deal about holidays and other important days, great. But, if your partner isn’t, learn to accept it. Do not try to change them and don’t let them try to change you either. Like I said, for me, sometimes I still do little things because I want to. I know he won’t, but that’s fine. In that way, we’re very different. But, we accept one another as is. If the love isn’t strong enough that it’s too much of an issue, than perhaps it’s not a relationship worth staying in, only you can figure that out. Know your priorities and know theirs and whether they match, whether the bond you share is going to make it through the times when you don’t agree.

All in all, I am going to sum it up this way, Valentine’s Day and the like are days in which we can ignore them or celebrate them. Whatever you decide is your choice and you’re not wrong for whichever side you land on, just don’t try to get others to agree with you. If you want to celebrate, go for it and make it a day to remember. If not and you wish to treat it as any other day, then just make it the best day possible, as we should strive for every single day. Just be respectful of how others feel. 🙂

My 20’s versus my 30’s

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I remember when I was my son’s age, 12, thinking that 30 was old. And when I reached the age of 20, I still thought 30 seemed a lifetime away and surely when I reached it, my life wouldn’t be the same. Well, I was right about that, though not in the ways I thought back then. I remember thinking that once you reached your 30’s that life would be more boring, that I couldn’t possibly enjoy my life like I did in those moments of my most cherished youth.

As my 20’s progressed, I began to see that life wasn’t turning out the way I once thought it would and so many things I thought I knew about life were proved wrong. I must say that my 20’s were definitely full of excitement. There were so many parties, adventures, random road trips, and explorations. There are many days I can’t quite remember though and while we would laugh about such things with one another, truth is, it was sad that there were hours of my life when I couldn’t recall what I had said or done. But, such was the life back then for me and many others I know, and many others around the world too for that matter.

While my party days of my 20’s could be a blast, it is quite accurate to say that it was not all fun and games. With that partying also came being sick, injuries, death to loved ones because of reckless behavior (drinking and driving – not because of me, but it very well could have been due to many stupid decisions I made.), near death experiences, drama, drama, and more drama, heartbreak, and so on. I have learned a lot of painful lessons and often times, the hard way.

My 20’s were full of a lot of irresponsibility, careless actions, unwise decisions, and rash behavior. Now, I am not going to say that I didn’t enjoy my 20’s at all, because I do have a lot of great memories, made some great friends, and still have inside jokes that many of us still laugh about to this day. And, I can’t say that I just screwed everything up and didn’t do the right things at times. I wasn’t an airhead, but sometimes I made people wonder. I look at some people in their 20’s now and think, “Was I really like that?” And the answer, dear readers, is yes and sometimes much worse.

I am now 36, approaching 37 at the end of this year. Looking back at my frivolous days of my 20’s and then looking at my life and who I am now, I can tell you there are some major differences. The me back then and the me now would have quite the conversation should they be able to speak to one another. When I was 26, I said I wanted to find someone special, settle down, finally establish myself on a good career path, do better for my son, and behave more responsibly. But what I said I wanted and how I often behaved didn’t match up. I still was so selfish a lot of the time, though I wouldn’t bring myself to admit that. I worked here and there, wasn’t there for my son like I should have been, stayed up too late most nights, partied too hard with my friends too often, chased after the wrong guys, and just made a mess of my life. You’d think by 26 that I’d start to get a handle on things and I was making progress, but not nearly enough.

It’s so weird, when I turned 30, it’s as if a light switch went off in my head. It didn’t happen overnight, but turning 30 was really a turning point in my life. It’s as if the mist surrounding my head began to lighten and the fog began to lift. I began to see just how badly I needed to change, how my priorities needed to shift. I started going out less, trying harder to better my life, and began truly growing up. Life started to be more about my son, family, and working hard.

When I was 26, I lived with my grandma, had my son very sparingly and never knew when I’d see him, worked a seasonal job at the ballpark, and worked here and there on the off-seasons, hung out with a lot of people I shouldn’t have, and did things I am not proud of. My younger days were even more chaotic. At 19-23, oh it was even more wild. At 23, I got pregnant with my son and during that time, I did pretty well. I didn’t drink, took care of my body, and tried to change. At nearly 24, my son was born and then it didn’t take long before fear I’d ruin my son’s life the way that my parents had ruined mine and selfish wants took over. I have always loved my son, but back then, it wasn’t enough to do what I should have. It was about me, but I said it was to protect him, to spare him of the life I had. To a point, I did believe I wasn’t any good for my son, but that was also because I was afraid to try, only to end up failing. I didn’t give my son every effort he deserved and for that, I’ll always feel horrible. I am getting better at forgiving myself, my son already has. I know too that I can’t make up for time lost, but I can be there for him now.

And that’s exactly what I’m doing. Fast forward to present day if you will. I now find myself working a stable job that I love that more than pays my bills and takes care of Zach’s needs when he’s with me, have a schedule with my son and am overjoyed at being a much bigger part of his life, am engaged to a wonderful man who loves us both that has always been there for us, am a member of a church that really helps me grow in my faith, and have surrounded myself with a good group of friends that I can trust and that I don’t let take me down dark paths. If anything, if I start to have problems, they’re right there guiding me back to the right path. Life is truly wonderful, the best it’s ever been. I am much happier in my 30’s than I was in my 20’s. I finally look in the mirror and see someone I am not ashamed to look at, someone I can really love and respect. If you asked me to go back to my 20’s, I wouldn’t. Truthfully, I feel the only way to go is forward. ❤

Healed & Changed By Love

Love-Heals

It was as if all I touched was made of glass

Nothing I did went the way I’d intended

Kind thoughts in my head ended up sounding crass

Bridges were burnt and many relationships ended

Many times, I felt like a lost cause

Unworthy of long lasting relationships and love

The devil had my heart within his clenched jaws

Doubt and shame had me turned away from God up above

My past is full of mistakes, things I simply can’t take back

Hearts broken, trust shattered, bonds cut, & friendships lost

It was too easy to let guilt, shame, & heart break get me off track

All I wanted and having things my way came at too high a cost

And while I was too busy hurting many that loved me

The same was being done to me by many I loved in return

A viscous cycle that kept us going, no signs of letting us break free

Seeming to promise to let our wounds fester and burn

Would the words we used continue to cut one another deep

And the things we did break each other down

Could we not find a way to let love be what we chose to keep

And let the darkness, pain, and anger within drown

Over the years, God has helped me out of the hole I had so deeply dug

Unchained me from the past and showed me how to move ahead

It took a lot of humility, hard work, prayer, and yes, lots of love from Doug

Not to mention many others that never gave up, no matter what I did or said

As it turned out, I wasn’t so alone as I’d once thought myself to be

God showed me that He was there, always had been & forever will remain

And I also began to see surrounding me were good friends and many from my family

The bonds are still strong, despite the years of heartache & strain

Through it all, I have grown up so much

Giving up the woman I was for far too long

For someone with a kinder heart and gentler touch

And both a heart and a will that through Him is strong

Checking In & Catching Up

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Life has been very busy as of late. In fact, I don’t think I have ever had so much going on at once before. The last two weeks, we have had something going on every single day/evening. For the most part, it’s good things. Work is steady, there’s our church membership classes and of course church services to attend as well, bowling league, wedding planning, and now to add to that last part…we begin pre-martial classes next month. And then of course, there is my son’s birthday, my birthday, several Christmas gatherings, a friend’s wedding, and such coming up. We do have a stressful situation concerning my son to deal with and it’s not likely it’s going to get any easier any time soon, but we’re committed to making things better for him and getting him the help he needs.

Overall, life is going fairly well and it certainly is nice to have such a fulfilling life, full of so much love and laughter. I have never been so blessed, so surrounded by so many wonderful people that are supportive, kind, and loving. And I love planning my wedding, not the financial part of it lol, but all the details that are going into our special day. I also look forward to the many wonderful events coming up, like my son turning 12 in about two and a half weeks. Despite all that’s going on with him these days, I can’t ignore his birthday. My little man is slowly, or perhaps not so slowly, turning into a teenager and soon enough, he’ll be an adult. I can hardly believe I have a sixth grader who is so intelligent and full of so many ideas for his future. I hope that his future is as bright as he’s dreaming it will be. I will do all I can to help him along the way.

Sometimes we complain that life is too hectic and I will admit it’s nice to have some time to read, write, work on things I have neglected for awhile, and sometimes just do nothing but relax. But, I will say that overall I am alright with how busy we are because much of what we have going on is enriching our lives, helping us grow, teaching us, and providing pathways to brighter futures for us as individuals, as a couple, and as a family. Though, I am happy to have some time right now to catch up on my blogging. I hope all is well in the land of WordPress. I sure do miss you guys and gals when I am not on for awhile. If you read this, perhaps share a story with me? Tell me, what have you been up to?

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