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Posts tagged ‘mistakes’

What If???

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What if I never met him?

What if I decided on a different career?

What if I didn’t have a mental health disorder?

What if my mom and dad stayed together?

What if I never signed placement papers?

 

Him? Which him? Hmm. What if I hadn’t met Jason? Hmm. There would have been a lot less heartache and stress. But. Then my son wouldn’t exist.

Different career? Like what? Accounting perhaps or maybe a career in law? Yeah. Maybe. But. No. I don’t think it would’ve suited me, in all honesty. But. Maybe. If I would have found a different path and stuck to it, I wouldn’t have met many of the people that I have. I have made some great friends doing what I do and it’s changed my life in ways I can’t explain.

What if I didn’t have a mental health disorder? Well. I think sometimes things would be a lot easier. But. Sometimes I think then I’d be someone different and I’m meant to be who I am. Maybe if I didn’t have the mental health issues I do, I would be a decent person, but maybe I wouldn’t. I’m guessing that a lot of my creativity wouldn’t exist, at least not the way it does. I don’t know in all honesty who I’d be, but I know I wouldn’t be me.

My mom and dad together? I’ve never known that. I don’t know that I want to. If they had, there’s no guarantee it would have lasted long. If it had, there’s no guarantee they’d be happy. What I do know though is that I wouldn’t have my brothers and sister. I wouldn’t undo their existences in my life or period. My parents didn’t make it. I used to wish that they had. That dream died years ago and I’m okay with that.

What if I never signed the placement papers? Maybe things would have gone better. Maybe all the heartache and struggles wouldn’t have happened. Maybe my son would have had a better life. Maybe. Maybe things would have been worse. I don’t know.

The truth be told is, there are many what ifs we can ask ourselves. I decided years ago that I don’t like the what if game. What if doesn’t really matter. Things happened the way they did for a reason. Going back to old events and imagining them differently won’t change how things are now. Even if they could change, I don’t think I’d want them to. What if? Well, maybe I just don’t want to know.

 

**picture taken of the view from my front porch**

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Yesterday Made You Who You Are Today

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I saw a post on Facebook today that my cousin shared about not regretting your past, no matter how many mistakes you made or what they were. Everything that was done in all of your yesterdays has shaped you into who you are today.

It is easy to put yourself down for mistakes you’ve made and to regret choices made in the past. “If only I hadn’t done….” or “I wish I never would have said….” And sometimes we beat ourselves up even more for things we wished we had said or done, but for reasons of our own, we didn’t.

Something I have learned over the years is, what’s done is done. Beating yourself up over the past doesn’t change anything. And as for things not done, either it wasn’t the right time for those things to happen or maybe they just weren’t meant to happen at all. That is for you to determine. If you still feel that you should go out and do something, don’t make the excuse that your time has passed. If it is something that means a lot to you and it can be accomplished, go for it! If it’s something you know was only for a certain time, then you need to let it go. Either way, find ways to make peace with what was and with what is. And never stop dreaming and working towards what can be.

I used to berate myself over the many bad choices I made, the people I hurt, and the people I trusted that hurt me. I put myself down for the person I was and I held myself back from becoming who I wanted to be. I thought I couldn’t be someone worthy of respect, trust, true friendship, and love. I thought I was destined to mess up and be alone.

Looking back, I am glad I didn’t hold onto those views and that eventually, with a lot of support and love, I overcame the old me. As alone as I thought I was, I realized I had more people beside me than I ever knew. But, it was more than that, I realized there was more to me than my mistakes and my dysfunctional past. I could overcome all of it and be someone I was proud to be. Every mistake, lesson learned the hard way, broken heart, and bad thing that has happened has made me into who I am today. I no longer beat myself up over or regret the paths I took, the things I did that, the people I spent my time with, or what has happened to me.

And, I would use my past to help others learn that they can also overcome theirs and that they too can be what and who they want to be. I feel that we all have untapped potential, can learn and grow all the days of our lives, can inspire as much as we’ve been inspired, can give so much, and be the person we want to be. The past may be written, but the future hasn’t been yet. So, I urge everyone who reads this to take comfort in that and to never give up on themselves. No matter how dark your days were, know that they can get brighter if you allow them to. Don’t let your past define you. Allow your past to make you into who you long to be.

 

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. ❤

DJ, do NOT press repeat….

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“When the way you look at things change, the things you look at change.” I have heard/read this quote so many times and I haven’t realized just how true it is until today.

In the past, I found more to complain about than to be thankful about. I probably sounded like a broken record to many or another analogy I thought of today: The overplayed song on the radio that every time you hear it makes you cringe and want to throw the radio out of the window or perhaps at a brick wall. I also made the same mistakes over and over again; loved ones grew tired over the years watching me hit repeat over and over.

The truth is, I could still whine about a lot of things, but I have come to realize that all of that complaining only drove people away and made me more miserable than I was to begin with. Misery doesn’t always love company either, let me tell you. Let us not wallow together, that just makes us all feel worse. I still make mistakes, but now I learn from them and quicker than I used to. It’s amazing what a little maturity and a different perspective can do. 🙂

Sometimes there are things that happen that are out of our control that are horrible, devastating, depressing, cruel, and just hard to move on from. Financial woes, relationship issues, health problems, car troubles, loss of loved ones, and so on throw themselves at us along our journey and sometimes we stumble, fall, and get hurt. Hardships in life can’t be prevented and I know now that the goal isn’t to try to have a perfect life and nor is it to have a heart made of stone so as to get through life without getting your heart broken or your pride wounded. I believe it’s to come through all of life’s troubles having learned and grown.

I view life differently now. Yes, there are and will be things throughout my life that don’t pan out the way I’d like and bad things will happen to me, but I choose to hold to my faith, and push through every storm that comes my way till the sun shines again. It may rain for a good long while, but I know it will end, and in the meantime, let’s go jump in a puddle or two till it does, eh? I have a lot to be grateful for and now that I see that, now that my perspective on life has changed, I see my life as something beautiful and to be loved and lived to the fullest extent possible.

Also, while we may not be in charge of other’s actions and reactions, but are of our own, we’re going to make mistakes throughout our lives. I believe that each mistake is a chance to learn something and to grow from it. Though some keep making the same mistake over and over, like dating the same guy so many times that people are saying: “Just stay broken up or just stay together already.” or eating that food you know that will make you sick. I guess some people take longer to learn than others? Some perhaps never learn certain lessons, but I do believe for the most part that fear of making a mistake should not hold one back from living. We’re all going to fall and fail sometimes, but if we use that as an excuse not to do things, then I feel we’re not truly living. Life is full of risks, many worth taking. Learning and growing happen throughout life. If you ever feel you’re done growing, then you’re done living.

That is where my head is at today: Find new ways to see your life, don’t let fear keep you from enjoying life, mistakes are your next chance to grow, live your life to the fullest, and remember your happiness depends on you and not those around you. Have a great day! Life: Un-paused, hit Play.

Who Am I?

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I am many things to many people. Who am I to you? I am a mom to Zachariah. I am a daughter to Danette and Russell, a step-daughter to Cindy. I am a sister to Mike, Matt, & Brenda. I am an aunt to Joey, Ethan, Avery, Dorian, Spencer, & Kaylee. I am a grand-daughter to William & Clara and David & Lorinda. I am a niece to Lyle, Scott, Debbie, Karen, Pam, Cindy, Sandy, Marion, Holly, Lisa, & Georgia. I am a cousin to Chris, Meghann, Halley, Emilee, Scott, Kari, Katie, Sean, Courtney, Stacie, Hannah, Jack, Will, Lyle David, Jim, Bill, Tony, Alan, Theresa, Kristina, & Tamara…that’s just my first cousins. 😉 I am a friend to many. I am God’s child, a Christian, a beacon of light & love. 

I have been a co-worker, a passer-by in the store, the woman driving ahead of you and also behind you as well as next to you, the woman next to you at the bar, the one you see/hear singing karaoke, a teammate on bowling leagues, your competitor, a foe and adversary, the woman next to you at church, a choir member, an actress on stage at school and church, a writer, a photographer, a cook, a nurse to my sick child and others I have baby-sat for, ah yes and a babysitter, a cat owner, a lover, a fighter, a doodler, a giver, a taker, a loaner, a borrower, a thief, a crier, one full of laughter, a thinker, a procrastinator, a motivator, a roommate, a loaner, a party goer, a student, a judge and jury, a forgiver, and that list goes on and on.

I am one who loves even numbers and has an obsession with things being even and symmetrical, yet my favorite numbers are 3, 7, & 11 and not really sure why. I am O.C.D. with cleanliness and organization. I can tell if people have moved my things and some have messed with me with that because they find it funny to do so, I usually am not amused, though have gotten better with it over the years. 😉 I used to HATE the color pink, but I like it now. However, nothing trumps green and deep down, it’s always been that way even though I love many colors. I am known as Rainbow Dark, Rainbow or R.D. for short in the karaoke world because of that and also my tendencies to be random and show up in all black now and then. I love music, most forms of it and the forms I don’t, I find ways to at least appreciate them….like opera, polka (good at weddings lol), most rap, etc. I have Christian Contemporary, country, pop, classical, show tunes, Disney, alternative, rock, metal, ska, punk, E.D.M, and so on in my library. It’s been a lifeline for me for my whole life, as has been my writing. They have both been great outlets for self expression. I love to read, mostly fantasy and perhaps some drama/suspense as well. I do not like horror movies, messes with the Schizophrenia that I have. I LOVE comedies, laughter is wonderful medicine for an angry mindset or someone who is tired of crying. I also love fantasies like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, etc. Prayer is HUGE, as is my faith in general. It’s a huge part of me.

I am NOT a morning person, never really have been. I like to cook, when I have people to cook for. I have been experimenting more and more these days. I used the broiler for the first time this year and it turns out I can use it well. I also have been using spices and marinades. 🙂 I like to snuggle under a warm blanket and watch Disney or perhaps read a book till I am tired enough to sleep. I still sleep with stuffed animals and/or the pillow my grandma made me, when my boyfriend isn’t with me. I like a warm bath to relieve tension, but most days I prefer a shower so I can just get in and out. I still color and doodle, it relaxes me. I collect Tinkerbell dolls, many colorful things, butterfly stuff, and still have an obsession with Rainbow Brite. I like to watch N.C.I.S, Criminal Minds, Law & Order, & such to make my mind think. If it weren’t for the gore, I’d love to be a forensics scientist. Though I am more numbers oriented and think I’d be best suited as an accountant. If I’d ever gone for my dream however, I’d be doing Broadway to combine my love for theater and music. I’d love to be in the cast of RENT, Les Miserables, Grease, Oklahoma, and more. I will settle though for just watching and listening to the soundtracks. I wish I had more theater loving friends, eh, but it is what it is! I do also love football, GO GREEN BAY PACKERS! Oh and of course for baseball, GO BREWERS! I have tickets for opening day so that my boyfriend and I can go, it will be a first for us! I used to work at the ballpark, it will be nice to be there just as a fan. 🙂 

I hate onions, but love sour cream and onion dip, the chips are good too. Meat, yes, it is good. I especially like chicken and pork. found out how yummy they are when broiled. 😉 Cheese, it goes on a lot! I like my veggies too: cucumbers, non cooked green and yellow peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts…when made right, green beans, raw spinach, corn on the cob, peas, and I suppose carrots are alright. I like strawberries, raspberries, peaches….only the fruit itself, not anything peach flavored, nectarines, pears, bananas, oranges, kiwis, black raspberries, grapes, and will tolerate apples. Bread, I usually remember a restaurant for the bread they have. I am not big on rye or the bread that has chunks of stuff in it. Olive Garden has great bread sticks and Red Lobster has great cheddar biscuits. I am not big on seafood, but I eat more than I used to. Hmm. I am hungry now. I did brush my teeth not too long ago though and I should be headed to bed soon.

Throughout my ramblings, I don’t know what you have learned, but I hope I did entertain you for a moment or two. Dream big, just remember to go for them when you wake. Love without letting fear hold you back. Sing, dance, write, be you always, LIVE! It’s never easy to find balance, but try in all aspects of your life. Do grow up enough to take care of what you need to, but never fully grow up, keep a part of your youth alive. Make mistakes, get back up, and push forward. Celebrate your triumphs and learn from your failures. Don’t be naive and be a doormat, but do let people in. Give more than you take, but don’t be afraid to accept offerings of kindness. Love more than you hate. Hate and anger consume. Forgive, not for the sake of the other, but for your own so that you may be free. Preaching about karma means you still dwell upon it, let go and let God. Don’t miss an opportunity to tell your kids you love them, that you’re proud of them. Be a friend and let people be one to you. Be good to yourself, no matter how hard it is to do. Believe in you! It took me a long time to believe in me, but now that I do, it feels great! 

Who am I? That is where I started this. I end this by saying, through all that I am to many people, at the end of the day, I am me. I am Carissa. Make of that what you will! I am finally heading to bed because I have finally grown tired enough to sleep. Good night and God bless!

Upon their throne, the unholy sit

First, yes I am a Christian. My faith means a lot to me. It has gotten me through so much. He has given me so much to be grateful for, much more than I deserve. I will never hide my faith from the world. Nor will I try to thump one over the head with my bible and condemn them either.

And therein lies my whole point to this blog. I was again inspired by another’s blog today. It really got me thinking about the church today, the way so many so called Christians act. I myself have turned away from organized religion more than once because of being judged, being shunned for being less than they desired me to be. The last I checked, as Christians, we are called to love one another as Christ loves us. We are NOT called to sit in judgment, NOT called to look down upon one another. Also, Christ himself befriended thieves, liars, adulterers, etc because that is what He and all of us are called to do, show God’s love. How are we to show them the way if we hold our noses in the air passing judgement?

And since when is it supposed to be a contest at church as to who wears what, drives what, who’s kids do the best in school/sports/music, who has what job, etc? I remember a sermon given at a church I was a member of that spoke of where our hearts are when we’re at church. Are we there focused on God, there to praise Him, worship Him, fellowship with friends and family? Or are we more focused on everyone around us and comparing themselves to everyone else? The pastor said, “I’d rather you show up in jeans and tee-shirt with your heart set on God than all dressed up and focused on worldly things.” To a point, I understand wanting to please God and some feel it is only proper to dress up in church. But, it’s gone too far now. It’s become a glorified fashion contest in so many places of so called worship.

I liked the church I’d most recently been going to. There, even the pastor wears jeans and a nice shirt. The small congregation dresses as they feel comfortable, most wearing jeans themselves. It’s relaxed and the atmosphere there is way different than what I have experienced in so many other churches. I also like that while the pastor has a set sermon, he also allows the congregation to participate. The hearts have been on fire for God, more focused on outreaches, helping one another, being beacons for Christ. There are so many good and kind people that love God more than themselves. It’s just saddening to see so many profess to love Him and then come off as cold and harsh. This attitude turns people away from God, not bring them closer.

Judge not for none have that right. We all sit in houses made of glass. At any moment, the stones can come flying in. It’s so easy to look down upon another for a mistake they’ve made, for a choice they’re making. How easy it is to think, “Ugh, how can he do that?” or “Doesn’t she know what that outfit makes her look like?” Thoughts like that are where it begins. We don’t have to like another’s choices, but they’re not ours to judge. We all make bad decisions, mistakes. It’s a part of being human and I believe we’re all called to look past them and reach out to one another in love, not disgust.

A quick quote and a few thoughts

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A friend of my cousin said this to her today and it really made me think. I would like to share it with you: “Embrace your next mistake, it’s your next chance to grow.”

My cousin was talking about questioning her life’s decisions. We all do that from time to time. But as her friend was saying, “If you’re waiting for the day you know it all and don’t do anything you wish you hadn’t, it never comes.”

How true, you know? Life is a series of trial and error, hit and miss. We’re meant to learn throughout life. The day we stop learning is the day we truly die. Making mistakes is a common occurrence for us humans, but instead of beating ourselves up for our failures, we should instead learn from what we’ve done and move forward. Life is too short to dwell upon what has already happened. 

I lost my great uncle two days ago, now all of the males from that clan are gone. Four brothers have moved ahead and now we just have their two sisters left, my great aunts Karen and Sheryl. I was thinking about that yesterday through the tears, about how very short life is. We all age and soon we find the generations ahead of us are passing on. It’s a part of life. While alive though, shouldn’t we make the most of the time we’re given? Whether we live to see our grandchildren or die young, touch other’s hearts and make a difference somehow, even if it’s just by making someone laugh who has had a rough day or sharing your art with the world…do something to show the world who you are and what you have to offer. 

Life is happening now, go live it while you have it! Don’t be held back by the past, like Mark said…”Embrace your next mistake, it’s your next chance to grow.” So, grow!!! Love, laugh, live!

 

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