Monday, May 2, 2022

Human vs. Weather

 Most of us never consider the weather unless it's in extremes. 

For the past week or so, it has rained several times. I always thought it a little strange I rarely encounter a person in this corner of the world who has heard the sayings, "April showers bring May flowers" and "March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb". Back home, these sayings were quoted when the weather had made itself known. Maybe that's the disadvantage of living in what's considered a desert region...everyone is too worried about summer to really care about the rest. I don't know. 

I spoke with a friend about it, and he thought it weird that rain made him feel more human. Doesn't rain and snow do that to everyone? How could it not? 

When the weather is relatively neutral...when it's not slapping us in the face with its presence, do we not feel the same way? Neutral? With social media and the limited interactions we have compared to yesteryears, is not natural we feel...indifferent when the weather is the same? 

But then...the weather makes itself known.

It rains or it snows, and suddenly our entire being is aware. All of the senses are awakened. Certain people even say they can smell the extremes coming before a weatherperson can even predict its chance of happening. 

The weather's extremes make people take the same when it comes to sides. Either they absolutely LOVE it or they absolutely HATE it. They either have some of their best memories or some of the worst memories burned into their mind associated with it. They use it to express the emotions we all feel because sometimes even the best of words cannot convey the same intensity as something we all have dealt with. 

Those that pretend these extremes don't..can't...affect them tend to be the worst off. These are the people that ignore the gray clouds looming overhead and become angry when their outfit is soaked. The people that get road rage when they don't check the weather report and are late to work because they had to spend 10 minutes scraping snow off the roof of their car. 

I sometimes think that with the modern mentality of hustling and being boss babes God gives us extremes to slow us down. Remind us that we are not meant to live like robots, constantly going, going, going. 

We all have tried it...pretending the weather can't stop us. Going on business as usual. But we can't. Either we have to reconsider our wardrobe, or suddenly go a few miles less than the intended speed limit. We have to glance away, even for a moment, from our phones and screens and take it in. We have to inhale just a little more deeply, our ears have to be a little sharper to our surroundings. 

For me, the weather in its extremes brings out the most feminine urges. I want to burrow deep inside my blankets and stare outside a window(or sit on the porch). I want to make slow, passionate love and fall into the best sleep I've had in a long time, embraced in my lover's arms.  I want to make savory, good-smelling foods that hit deep in the belly as well as the soul. I want to make a fire and for a moment forget there is a world outside my door, begging to remind me of my never-ending to-do list. I want to slowly drink a glass of wine(or a cup of coffee) and listen to jazz music. I want my babies snuggled around me like a mother hen with her chicks. 

Why? Because my senses are front and center. 

The blankets feel softer, lovemaking more loving, the food(and drink) richer, the fire warmer, the company more enjoyable. 

I have bad memories that have happened during extreme weather, too. And I felt those more strongly than I had during neutral weather times, the memory of them ingrained a little deeper. 

As I said, I, too, am human and have tried to pretend the weather couldn't affect me. It's only when I have forced myself to slow down, even when everything inside me was screaming "go, go GO!" that I learned to truly appreciate the gift of extreme weather. 

 The gift of weather reminds us that we have senses and we don't use them enough. 

The gift of weather reminds us we aren't invincible. 

The gift of weather...forcing us to slow down.

That we are indeed, human. 


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Running on "E"

 I went to court for my divorce last week. I drove a total of 90 minutes for a 5-minute court hearing. 

"You need to fill out these two forms and then I can sign off on the divorce," the judge said. 

"Yes, your honor, " I said. 

"Court adjourned."

I sat there, fuming and wondering why the courthouse couldn't just send that in a letter. 

I drove home, and because it was a 45-minute drive with spotty radio reception, my mind decided time to unleash some feelings! 

Two more papers...then that's it. 

Almost eight years of marriage and all to undo it are maybe 10 pages and two hundred-ish dollars. 

Why couldn't he just be the man I needed him to be?

No,no,no,no......Tears start to form, and I wipe them away. Finally, the radio comes back on, so I crank it up and scream-sing the rest of the way home. 

Just when I think the thoughts have escaped my mind, I get a text message. 

"Did you get the divorce decree yet?" 

"No"

"I need it for my RV insurance"

"???" 

"Because of the car accident. MY name was still on the policy when it happened, they need proof of our divorce." 

"I have to fill out 2 more pages and the judge said he'd sign off on it."

"When??" 

"I don't know...you know, you could call the courthouse and ask them yourself(?)" 

"Ok"

I see him on Easter, due to my youngest being in a singing part of the Easter service and me wanting to go. He doesn't greet me, but instead bolts out to his car, mumbling something about the church serving breakfast and we'd better hurry as he flies past. I feel guilty for coming and making him feel anxious. I assume he's going outside to smoke, but of course, he never sits close enough for me to tell. As soon as service is over, he gets up like he has hot coals in his pants and again bolts somewhere else. 

I talked about my last blog post with my therapist. About how I keep busy. 

"Maybe you should schedule yourself some time to...feel things, Jenn."

"Because I have time(?)" I say sarcastically. 

She looks at me and says simply, "Try making time. 10 Minutes this week." 

I don't have time! I think, but don't say. 

She also mentions how healthy relationships build a "house", and how most people(myself included) don't put the proper foundation and skip steps in the building process and that's why couples come to therapy. Because their foundation(or some other layer of their "House") is shaky. She sends me home with another photocopy to look at and think over. 

I manage to get fired for the first time, ever in my life. It's not my primary job, but my second job. This brings "the time to feel things", as my face gets hot and I cry for several hours. I also emotionally eat my weight in low-carb peanut butter ice cream and Easter egg Reeses, while watching Gilmore Girls for several hours. 

It's like getting a slap in the face from someone beneath you. Except it's your ex and a job you almost destroyed your body for. 

Over the course of 2 days, I get two separate guys messaging me, saying they'd like to possibly date me. Then skip over the formalities and go straight to asking nothing but sexual questions. 

Thanks, but NO THANKS. 

Just to amuse myself, I meet one of them for coffee. I'm the only one who buys(and pays for) coffee. 

He comes straight from work. Not laborious work. I ask him twice if he'd like to meet a little later to go home first, but he declines. 

Okay...

First thing I notice- his odor. I know everyone has a scent, but it wasn't one I'd exactly like. 

The second thing I notice-he looks sloppy. 

He looks self-conscious at first, so I put my customer service attitude on. It's awkward. The lulls in the conversation feel uncomfortable. Most of his questions are of sexual nature. When I try to steer the conversation to normal basic questions like "What's your favorite movie?", etc., he answers them but rarely asks mine. We have very little in common. He keeps asking if he can kiss me and I decline. I sip my cold brew coffee when trying to tactfully think of ways to steer the conversation to things that don't involve me being naked. 

We get ready to go our separate ways, I say I'll give him a hug. We hug, it's even more awkward. I get in my car and look down...and on my black sweater is half a pound of dandruff. A half a pound of DANDRUFF. THAT ISN'T MINE. I step back out of the car and shake myself, disgusted. He tries messaging me a few hours later, but I keep my responses one-sided and as short as possible, hoping he gets the hint. 

Guy #2 messages me again. I keep saying let's meet face-to-face and he keeps telling me days he can't when I keep telling him days that work for me. He repeats he wants to meet on all of the days I mentioned. I sigh in frustration, as I contemplate blocking him. 

Christmas time ex-lover messages me. He says he noticed me when I went to my old job today, and I looked nice. Wondered what the special occasion was. I tell him I met someone for coffee and went to get some groceries. He doesn't probe. He's being an okay friend at this point. 

I go to one of the owners at my old job(not the one I got fired from, the one I left with proper notice and much sadness from both the owners and me). He asks me how both jobs are. I explain to him I got fired from the second one. He asks me if I want to come back, I say a little too dryly, "Do you actually WANT me back?". He looks at me almost hurt. "Of course, we'd like you back...no one did that job better than you." I apologize, saying I didn't think they were still accepting more people, based on how many were on the schedule. He brushes it off saying it's still not enough and to talk to his wife, but he's certain they'd take me back in a heartbeat. I tell him I'll think it over. 

This week was beyond emotionally draining. I feel like my emotional tank is running on fumes, but I have no idea what to do in order to fill it back up. 

My therapist didn't prepare me for this part. 



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

(Don't) Turn Around, Darling

 At this week's therapy session, my therapist tried to give me some exercises to access what she calls my "wise mind", trying to see which one I would be most comfortable trying. During one exercise, I put out a question to(in my case) God and did my best to quiet my mind and focus in hopes of hearing an answer. 

"Think of a question," she said. 

I did, and the answer came quicker than I expected. 

"When you're ready, open your eyes...and let's discuss," 

I opened my eyes and blinked back tears. 

Not phased by my tears(at this point, I think my crying is a given at every session), she asked me, "What did you ask, and what was the response?" 

"I...I asked why I always expect more." 

"And? What did you hear?" 

"I heard because I deserve more than what I'm getting," I replied. 

"That's powerful." 

I cried some more. 

As I sit here, caffeinated and alone with my thoughts, I think back to what the past two people I've shared my heart(and body) with have said to me. 

"I don't deserve you." 

"You deserve so much more." 

And my initial thought is, 'Oh, they're just being humble.'. 

Looking back, however, tells me otherwise. 

Over the past two weeks, my mind has gone back to the past. Especially when having a particularly hard day at work and I feel like I'm failing. Their words and better actions echo in my brain. 

Was what my husband did *soo* terrible? I mean, I had it pretty cushy as a homemaker. Was taking a stand really worth losing that?

Should I have just taken my last lover up on his offer? Was only seeing him when he wanted so awful, as long as I was being seen at all? 

Is getting the crumbs better than starving? 

Why the hell am I okay with crumbs?!?

I put myself on a dating app, then, upon seeing the guys I should want, felt unworthy of, not ready for.... got frustrated at myself and ended up deleting the entire account. And feeling guilty for even trying so early. Again. 

I'm not "there" yet. 

I looked at their pictures of them traveling, eating, exploring, doing. Some of them have kids and can still do things. I sit here and...don't. I haven't traveled, I have done my fair share of eating(just not in any place that doesn't have a drive-thru), I have explored nothing and I haven't done...much. 

I've wanted to, but I always thought these things should be shared with someone...someone you love. And I spent almost 8 years begging my husband to do something, anything beyond sitting at home and watching movies or going out to eat and going to the movie theater with me. I then spent almost four months trying to get my recent guy of interest to do basic things with me, only to be met with his crippling anxiety and being made to feel guilty for wanting to enjoy anything outside his comfort zone. 

Now I'm at a place where money isn't entirely an issue(Thank God). I could do some things...

But a part of me just keeps hoping one of them would have been "that guy". The guy who said, "I see your heart and you deserve so much more, so I'm going to rise to the occasion." It's like holding my breath, waiting and hoping one of them will see and go, "You can breathe now, because we can do this, together," only for that moment to never come. 

I guess...I had hoped I'd find a guy where I'm at now. Like me. On the cusp of seeing there's more to life, that has goals and dreams and is ready to start them, but was just waiting for someone like me to start them with. 

Wait.

Isn't that what I ran away from? Two men who had a dream or two but no actual urge to do them, then they met me and thought I'd be the motivation they needed to get shit done? Only to realize I'm NOT Jesus, I can't make anyone do anything or motivate anyone to be something they don't-or can't-be on their own? 

Shit. 

And why...WHY...do I keep this notion? THat my life can't truly "begin" until I have someone to share it with? Why do I keep putting my goals on hold...small stuff, like running a 5K...because I'm afraid I'll have to do it alone? And that'll look...weird? Why are these thoughts inside my head? 

Another thing--why am I so busy? Both past lovers said this to me, but one in praise and the other in exhaustion trying to keep up with me. 

Busy was a coping mechanism when I was married. I could lay in bed and be sad my husband wasn't having sex with me, or I could use that energy to scrub a toilet! I could yell at him(and nothing be accomplished), or I could go to the gym and work out until I was too tired to care! 

I could notice the guy I was with had mental health struggles, or I could cook a week's worth of food! I could accept he wasn't the guy for me, or I could scrub the kitchen until it was hospital-level clean! 

My husband LOVED me being busy because it took the pressure off of him to face his own struggles within our marriage. If I'm too busy to talk(or nag, according to him), then everything is fine! Until it's not and I'm crying hysterically, while curled up in the fetal position in bed and eating chocolates and telling him I can't accept this! 

My last boyfriend HATED me being busy because I couldn't drop everything when he needed me to. Even when I gave him set times to meet that would be reasonable, those weren't good enough! It had to be on HIS time, not something that would work for both of us, heaven forbid! Then when I had time to take a breather and say, hey, let's work on making this aspect of us healthy...he was overwhelmed and didn't have time! Why am I springing this at such a bad time! He's busy! He has a lot going on! 

So, I cleaned, cooked, worked out, and put myself in literally anything I could to avoid the truth--neither guy deserved me. 

Neither guy thought I was worth being better for. 

A (large) part of me says, "Hey, that's just too fucking bad! Their loss! That is THEIR issue, that's THEIR struggles, not mine!", another part of me says..."Ouch. Damn. As much of my time and energy as I gave them...and they couldn't even try? I mean, REALLY try? Didn't they see how much I put into them? Into their happiness?" 

Why do I keep turning around? Why do I keep looking back, thinking maybe if I did or said one more thing, the lightbulb in their heads would go on and they'd outwardly say, "Yes! I'm going to be the man YOU need!" 

...And when will I be okay with my own company? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Mourning (Lost) Potential

 I went to see a therapist today. I was sort of anxious to go, I haven't been to one by myself...truly by myself...no kids to interrupt thoughts because I have no babysitter, or family therapy sort of thing....since I was a teenager.

This was the first "session", which of course wasn't really a session. It was a "hey, let's get to know each other, why are you here, what do you think you may need therapy for?" initial session. I can answer questions like that, can't I? Of course! 

But by the second or third question, my voice got shaky. My eyes started to water. I had to blink back tears. Towards the end, my therapist asked me a very simple question, and the tears just bursted forth. 

"Why are you crying?" she asked. 

"I...don't know," I responded. 

"What about that question brought you to tears?" 

"Nothing, really. I'm not entirely sure why I'm crying. It's not about that question," I said, awkward pause lingering in the air. 

She didn't know how to probe on that, and neither did I. 

But, on the drive to the grocery store, thoughts...answers I gave...swirled around in my head. And as the answers I gave echoed around in my brain, the tears returned. I tried to push them aside, blew my nose a few times, and sat in the parking lot until my eyes didn't look so red. 

Tonight, I texted a guy who I have been seeing(but not very long, obviously). He said he'd call to talk about an issue we'd been running into during the(very) short time we had been dating. When he called and tried to talk about everything else, I confronted him and he admitted he didn't want to talk about it. He wanted to forget it, pretend the issue wasn't an issue and act like it never happened. This was not the first time he had done this, but I had set a boundary line. If he didn't want to acknowledge it, then we were done talking(and dating). I said my goodbye and hung up the phone. He called a few more times, then texted me in panic mode. I tried to be the bigger person and just not respond. 

Then I thought, you know what? I'm TIRED of being the bigger person. I'm tired of trying not to hurt a man's feelings when they hurt me. Excuse my french, but FUCK THAT. I spent all of my dating(and married) life trying to end things on a friendly note. I told him exactly what the problem was, that I was trying really hard to resolve this in a healthy way, but since he doesn't want to, he can go fuck off because I'm tired of doing unhealthy. Life is too short, I've spent too many years doing unhealthy(in many ways than one, but especially in relationships). 

(Yes, I know I should have run the other way when a guy said he was interested in me and wanted to date even though he knew I was in the process of a divorce. Not my brightest moment, okay?!?!) 

I thought about the therapy session, the answers I gave, the answers I didn't give, the interaction with the man tonight, my soon-to-be ex-husband, and...why am I crying again?!?!

I thought about the last several times I've cried. The times I've cried in my car driving down backroads. The times I've cried in my bathroom. The many times I've cried in my bed. 

What brought on those tears? 

One word-POTENTIAL. 

I would be lying if I said I hadn't cried more within the last 6 months than I am now that the divorce is actually happening. 

I'm not crying over the divorce itself. Looking back, I should have done it sooner. I don't regret starting the divorce. I don't feel an ounce of "Christian shame" that I'm ending something that for so many years was drilled in my head to keep, maintain, and uphold no matter what UNLESS your spouse is beating you senseless or actively cheating on you with a person nearby. 

I am, however, crying over the potential of the marriage. Aaron and I had dreamed a lot together, but as year one turned into year two, and continued on, I started to see a pattern. A pattern of dreams unfulfilled. Another year of unrealized dreams slipping away. 

And then I thought back to the very first conversation I had with the guy I dated. As we walked and talked, I stumbled on a truth within myself. 

"All the relationships I've had ended because I realized I always have a need to grow, to be better, to do better...and the men I've encountered are attracted to that. I don't doubt some want to be that person as well. Most do. But when I'm ready to make stuff happen and they're giving me excuses...I'm done. I give them a few tries, but I don't live my life that way. Everyone's allowed to have setbacks here and there, but to always be there isn't the way I want to live my life. We only get one life. I refuse to live it halfway." 

And I saw the look. The same one every man has given me when I start to share my dreams with them. And they share their dreams with me.  When I tell them, yes, you absolutely can do that dream, why not? Go try! 

I don't know what to call that look. But it's not the "finally, someone who thinks the same way I do!" look. But the "wow! YOU can make me better!" look. 

I should have known better. 

Then I thought about something I had heard an actress say during an interview. 

"Black women in particular need to lay off that "strong" thing. That's a trap. When you say things like "strong black woman", it makes us superhuman. And it makes people think we can conquer anything. And we...have to be careful with that word(strong). You want to be strong, but that can't be your label..." (Taraji P. Henson)

I'm tired of being the better person. I'm tired of being someone else's cheerleader, but not having a winning team. I'm tired of sharing my heart's dreams with men, only to realize if any are to come true, it has to be between me and God alone. I'm tired of always being the strong one and not being fed strength back into me when I show a moment of weakness before putting my big girl undies back on to deal with the next goal. 

I'm tired of mourning lost potential. 

Guess it's time to take my own advice...it's time to take the HEALTHY way.

By myself. 

For myself. 

I've also realized I have said something to myself a lot more since realizing my marriage was heading towards divorce. It was this- I don't NEED a man. I love men for obvious...uh..." physical" reasons(I REALLY love them for that if they know what they're doing), but that, as wonderful as it is, isn't a healthy reason to keep an unhealthy man. 

I'd like a man, I'd really like a man that would check all the boxes for a healthy relationship for me...however, I do not need a man to be healthy. I do not need a man to move forward in my goals(well, some, yes, but the majority of them? No.). I have the ability to be my own cheerleader...because I've no choice BUT to be my own cheerleader to make the goals I've set and accomplished happen.

I don't like to be strong all the time. I don't(entirely) like the idea that I'm most likely going to be doing this...moving towards healthy, moving towards better mental health...alone. Some days, those big girl undies look daunting, especially when you have no help putting them on. 

But...I'm tired of mourning lost potential a little more.  

Thursday, March 10, 2022

This Messy, Messy Life

"Never allow anyone from your past to direct your future. They had their chance to partner with you along the journey. They weren't up for the ride."- Alfa Holden

Today, I write to you from a messy place. Literally and figuratively. 

(okay, I *will* be doing some cleaning of the literal after I type this up. Pinkie promise!)

I didn't want to verbalize it on here because this blog holds so many(mostly) good memories. My weight loss journey, my courtship, my marriage. Our homeschooling, our cross-country journey to where God called us. 

But it also holds the bad ones, too. My failed attempts at trying to blend families. Our inability to conceive. Me losing myself in trying to be the perfect wife, homeschool mom, Christian(by the church's standard, not God's). 

My intentions for all of it were pure(I think). I guess when things are thrown your way, you either grow or slow. Either you grow through it or you slow down. I have chosen for so long to slow down. I know it doesn't look that way, but I have. I could blame a thousand people(and be justified in my blaming if I wallowed long enough). A part of me is currently in the blaming phase. A part of me is very bitter. I did what *they* told me. Why am I not getting the results they told me my family would have? They spoke for God! 

But regardless of what stage and what portion of me is feeling what I'm feeling, the truth is still the same. I can't stay stagnant. I HAVE to grow. I have to move forward. 

Last fall, after an amazing Winter/Spring/Summer of learning and appreciating the fullness of the Catholic Faith, I came to a very somber realization. 

As I lay in bed for a month(literally) with Covid/Stomach Flu/Flu/Laryngitis/Pneumonia, I realized if I continued on the path I was on, my future was going to look very bleak. It wasn't going to be this full, rich experience I knew deep down God had intended it to be. It was going to be less than, mundane. And I was going to be a shell of myself as I watched each child grow up and move out. 

I thought about my relationships with each of my children. I thought about my relationship with God. I thought about my relationship with my husband. And lastly, I thought about my relationship with myself. I thought about how life looked now, how life was going to look a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now. Is this what I wanted? 

I did a lot of soul-searching and praying over the course of last Fall. I also did a lot of crying once I realized where all this was heading. I did a lot grieving- I'm still not done with this part- but I did a lot of grieving in the bed and in the trips I had in the car when I finally got the strength enough to drive again. 

Putting words to it almost sounded illegal. This isn't what Christians *do*, not the good ones, anyway(or that's what I've been told). If it happened, it was probably my fault. I didn't pray enough, I didn't love in Christ-like love enough. I didn't serve enough. But as I saw the "fruits" of this labor, I saw it didn't really matter. The fruit was already bitter, the roots were never there, to begin with. I tried brushing it away, tried sweeping it under the rug, prayed longer and harder. I Gave myself over to serving my husband, my kids, my house more than I ever have before. I pushed almost everyone away because I didn't want a single drop of my energy to be spent on anyone who didn't understand what I was trying so hard to do.

And time marched on, and I wore myself out. My eyes were opened. I haven't been doing this for a season, I have been doing this for almost 8 years. The sweeping, the crying, the grieving, the Christ-like forgiving, the praying, the serving, the loving. It just came to a head in the fall of 2021. 

It was then I realized these "crosses" I bore were not mine to bear at all. They also were not mine to give to Jesus. Trust me, I tried. 

Once Fall turned into what started to feel like Winter, I put the words to it. First to myself, then to my husband, then to my kids. 

I wanted a divorce. 

My husband wasn't a Christian. He was wrestling with his own identity with God. He had faked it long before I came onto the scene but faked it harder after I did. He slowly made ideas not thoroughly spelled out in the Bible as Gospel truths, and(very vocally) looked down on anyone who didn't share the exact same beliefs-myself and our children who are exploring their own faith journeys included. 

He is/was addicted to pornography. He didn't want to receive help for it, he didn't want to talk about how much it hurt me, he didn't want to get to the root of WHY he was/is addicted to it. He wanted to "get saved"(and that's between him and God, so no judgment there), be forgiven by me, and move on. Not forward. Not grow. Not learn. Just go on as if it didn't happen. Just skip to the good part. 

He wanted to stay married, not because he loved me(not saying he didn't, it just wasn't his reason why), but because he felt like staying married was right in God's eyes. Because it was just the right thing to do morally. How romantic, right? 

He didn't want to go to family therapy at the time to talk about how much his actions have hurt not just me, but all of us. How to move forward together, as a family living not only with a man that has an addiction but also as a man trying to be a father and husband with Autism and ADHD. In a possible last-ditch effort to try and save our marriage, he has offered to go to Marriage Counseling recently but only with HIS pastor. I politely declined. 

He moved out the week of Christmas. Our divorce should be finalized by the end of this month. 

For the most part, I want to say I am working towards happiness. I am working with a company that seems to genuinely want me to find my fit there. I am cursing a bit more. I got a tattoo. I found out I enjoy certain kinds of white wine(not currently, though. I gave up my once-a-week savor of it for Lent). Without having to be a buffer between my kids and my husband, I feel like I'm working towards having a healthier relationship with my kids. I am finally moving past survival mode thinking and pushing ahead towards goal-oriented thinking. I am trying to set healthy boundaries in my relationships with my kids and others. I do genuinely feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders like I no longer have to tiptoe as if walking on eggshells, wondering what's going to work and what's going to blow up in my face(and heart) later on.

But at the same time...I'm grieving. I'm grieving what *they* told me I'd have, what I, in my heart of hearts really wanted. I grieve no longer being a housewife. I grieve no longer serving my family fully. I grieve not being pregnant again, possibly forever. I grieve the identity I thought I had. I grieve not having the man I had hoped I could count on to move forward in this thing called life. I grieve the outcome I never got, because even before I saw the "D" word in my mind, the signs of a failed marriage were there in all of us, for years. I grieve that my prayers, my hopes, what I thought were God's aspirations for us...never went past the longing ache in my heart to see them come to life. 


This life is so messy. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

What Am I Afraid Of?

 I decided to do two things I don't usually do, both with the same conclusion. 

The first thing I did this morning was weighed myself. I felt stupid doing so, because for the past several months it hasn't told me something I didn't already know and its not like I expected weight loss. At this point, I'm trying to (loosely) maintain the weight I'm at so I know my starting point for when I go make the changes needed to actually lose the weight. 

It said I gained several more pounds past my current maintain weight. I initially freaked out before checking the calendar and reflecting some. I ate later than usual last night. I ate more than usual. My period is day(s) away. I haven't been diligent about my water intake(thus, the overeating). So, yeah, no duh I've gained more weight. 

Then, something inside me wanted to do Eucharistic Adoration. Now, as newbie Catholic, I really have no idea if I'm doing this "right". I know there's Youtube videos on how to do it "properly", but right now as a former Protestant, I'm trying to get comfortable doing it at all. If it's offered at a Mass, I try to sit still and just be content in silence but my mind wanders. I have tried several times to do it with the livestreamed EWTN Roku channel but for some reason, it keeps stopping at some point which distracts and fustrates me. So, I gave up and went to Youtube. My mind started wandering so I set a timer and said I'm going to try REALLY hard to focus. I started to feel like God was speaking to me, but as in former months, I'm not so sure anymore. So, I wrote down what I was "hearing". When the timer went off, I lingered a few more moments and then went about my morning rituals. 

As I went about my morning, I pondered my own soul in both areas. 

I love being active, I love keto(I really do!), I love that I'm still able to move my body in some way and see progress(even if I haven't been lately). 

I love sitting at the feet of Jesus. I love the silence, I love being able to take that time out of my day/week and say "alright, Jesus, I'm listening"(even if my mind wanders). 

But...something is holding me back. I feel stuck. I know what I need to do...but I just don't seem to have the oomph to do it. 

Both brought me to the same question....

What am I afraid of? 

And the answer was also the same- FAILURE

I have tried and failed for my entire 20's to lose weight and keep it off. It's only within the past 2 years I have even reached(and stayed) under 200lbs. I love keto and will absolutely tout it as the best way for my body to be at its best. 

However, the pandemic(and working outside the home for over a year) shifted something in my head. Seeing bare shelves for hours on end as part of my job, then seeing it as I try to keep up with current events via social media tripped the poor girl switch in my brain. Now, even though shelves are relatively full again and as far as I know we(as a country) don't intend to go through another pandemic...the poor girl fear of not getting enough food and/or not being able to get the basics still looms in my head. I'm trying to restock my pantry but at the same time, I'm starting to realize it's not enough. I don't feel secure. I'm afraid we're going to have another tidal wave of bare shelves and I will have failed my family by not providing for them. So I have been eating up leftovers to make room for more stuff...and its showing. Poor girl has been trying so hard to waste not, want not and the only thing I'm wanting is to not be so big because of wasting not. 

At the same time, I have prayed so hard to my Patron Saint. I have prayed to Mary. I have prayed and hopped onto literally anything Catholic I can find. But I feel like I just don't have enough faith. I hear almost every day about people doing novenas and just laying something down(essentially to God) via a Saint/Guadian Angel/etc., mountains being moved, and I think I'm doing that. But I always do it with eyes cast sideways. Is this Saint ACTUALLY listening? Are they REALLY praying for JUST ME right now, up there? Can they in their Heavenly State SERIOUSLY intercede in such an amazing way or am I just being silly hoping they can do anything? I talked to my priest about it and he said praying to Saints, etc. is NOT a requirement for being Catholic. Some people choose to and some don't. I want to, but...I feel weird doing so, especially with my past of being pagan and largely being Protestant. Ultimately, I'm afraid that no matter who I go to, God is still going to let me down. 

I'm afraid to give anyone(a Saint, etc.) that much power in my life, but essentially, I'm terrified to fully and totally give my life in its entirety....to God. 

I guess it's because I was so sure I was giving my life to God. I thought my life was on a relatively chaotic but straight course to what God had for me. And I believe that I've had seasons where I give everything to God and have been blessed by it(even if I didn't see it at first or it didn't seem like what I thought). 

But then...I eventually take it back. I always do. Is this human nature? Going through the Old Testament would tell me-YES. Why am I so afraid to continually give God my life all the time? Why do I only trust Him when that's my only option? When I can't think/panic attack my way through it? 

Why is failure in both areas such an end-all, be-all? Who told me that? 

I...don't know. 

Granted, I am taking steps in both areas. I'm trying. 

I'm trying to remember, I won't be perfect in ANYTHING at ALL TIMES this side of Heaven. 

Omph. That hurts to realize! 

But that still means I'm also going to keep refining and retuning these areas. They're always going to be a work in progress. 

The little girl in me wants to stomp my foot and say, "That's NOT fair! You mean to tell me I'm not just going to get to a point where I ALWAYS trust God and can easily just hand over my life entirely to Him? I won't have a mountain top moment in either area where it'll just be second nature and I can kick back and enjoy the view?! I won't have to think AND watch what's going in my mouth(and not *just* watch what's going in my mouth)? I won't be able to stop feeling like I'm going uphill but will have to continually "keep on, keeping on" until I get to glory?!? What kind of crud is THAT?!" 

(I know some of you are probably laughing sarcastically like "It's called LIFE, Sweetheart!" but every time I have this revelation, I'm still taken aback by it)

I guess that's why both are called journeys and not destinations. 

Can't I just be a healthy weighted Saint already, for Pete's sake?!?! 

*Sigh*

Until Next Time...



Sunday, July 11, 2021

Indecisive Soul

 It has been a while since I've typed up anything.

It's so easy to write when you have big goals. I had come back to Christianity(or maybe I had finally made my faith my own(?)), I wanted to do dating and engagement as much of God's way as possible, God opened the door for me to find my husband, we dated long distance, we broke up, I tried(and failed) to become Amish, I dabbled in being Mennonite, we got back together. We got married, I tried(and failed) to lose weight, we got custody of his kids, we almost went through a divorce(or two), we gave custody of his kids back to their grandmother, I did some soul searching, I wallowed in depression for a bit, withdrew myself from who I thought was my best friend, I threw a hissy fit and hit the ground running on my weight loss journey and saving up to get my tubes untied. Found someone who may be my new best friend.  I lost the weight needed but wallowed some more in limbo. Cue Pandemic. Finally saved up enough money and got my tubes untied. Got a job for the next goal. Became Catholic. Had to quit said job after a year because said job started to kill my body. Returned to being a homemaker. 

And now here I am. Struggle bussing to lose 20 lbs., still not pregnant, and back to feeling in limbo. Feeling but not looking my age(thanks, genetics). Claiming to get off Facebook but just unfriending everyone because I got sick of seeing so many post things that are fear-based...er, I mean "informing others of the **REAL** truth"(whatever that means). Getting slightly addicted to Amazon discount code purchases. 

It's hard to write when you've spent the past year trying not to come undone. It's hard to write when your own eyes are opened to seeing most of the people that "follow" you on social media claim to be your friend but don't bother to do more than a sad emoji when you're having an off day(or weeks). It's hard to write when so many say they can relate to your writing, but at the end of the day, you feel like an online jester- just there to make them laugh. 

So, I stopped writing...anything. I stopped typing. I didn't see the point. 

To be honest, I still don't fully see the point. I don't have a big goal in mind. I feel like a broken record saying "I need to lose weight!"(but seriously, I do *shrugs*). Because so much of my written journey has been about finding amusement in the midst of the everyday, losing weight, chasing that next big goal. 

But my husband(Lord bless him) sees something amiss. He pointed out something is off about me. Something that only writing makes right. 

So, here I am. Typing up something I'm not even sure I'll publish. Typing up...something. Typing up my indecisive soul. 

Right before I make myself late to Mass(again). Crud. 

Until Next Time...