Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Suffocation

At times I wonder how I came to be.....how did I become this person who is beating against the inner walls of the box, desperate to get out? For years I tried to confine myself within the box, because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I thought there was a certain way I should live my life. A certain way of doing things. A certain way to raising my kids. No wonder I was so unhappy for so long.

I was trying to live the American Dream....married, with two kids and a dog in Suburban America. A school teacher molding the minds of our children, our future. Soccer mom, hockey mom. Big family gatherings. Even after divorce, I tried to pursue that "dream". What I finally realized after much soul searching is that I never really wanted that particular life. There are certainly aspects of it I like, but not the overall picture.

When I was in high school, despite all the career testing I did that said I should be an architect or whatever else they said, all I wanted to do was to get a Jeep and a dog and head to the mountains and be a forest ranger. I even had a name for the dog....Jake. But something in the back of my mind worried that I would regret it later if I didn't get married and have kids.....take the normal path that girls my age would follow. What would people think?? I worried that following my dream would mean a life without any money. Maybe a life of isolation. I knew I wanted companionship, but wasn't sure in what capacity.

Now, at 43 years of age, divorced for almost nine years from a bad marriage and having ended an intense six year relationship with a man whom I love deeply but who drove me as crazy as I drove him, I am coming to the conclusion that I am much more of a free spirit than I ever realized. I am beginning to understand the need I have for open spaces, fresh air, and few people. There is also a need for connection, but on my terms. The internet is a wonderful tool for that. It lets people in but only as much as you allow. I'm also only allowing a few people into my life for the time being and in very limited doses.

Even though I am happier than I have been in years, I still have this underlying feeling of suffocation. I've talked about this for years.....the need to get out of Oklahoma and go to New Mexico or Colorado. My need for the mountains. Fresh air. Few people. Almost everyone has to put in their two cents as to why it's a ridiculous idea and how I should just bloom where I am planted and enjoy my life as it is. I know they mean well, but if they could live for just a day inside my head and really understand how I feel, they'd encourage me to move as quickly as possible.

I still struggle with what I "think" I should do or feel based on what the norm says, but my inner voice begs me to just listen to it and get out.....run, get away from it all and follow MY dreams, not what others think my dreams should be. And even though there is a part of me as a mother that feels very selfish in pursuing my dreams and leaving Oklahoma, there is a much stronger part of me that hopes my actions will inspire my children early on to follow their dreams and not let other people's expectations get in the way of pursuing what they want to pursue in their lives.

On days like today when I know to my very core that I am NOT living the life I should be, I feel as if I am suffocating. I know when I am in New Mexico or Colorado, in the mountains, my head is clear, I feel like I have purpose. My creative juices flow. I am at peace. I am home.

Today I made a few more baby steps towards releasing some things I need desperately to let go of. It's so very hard but feels so very good once you push through it. It's sort of like exercise. Damn, you're sore the first few times, but you start to feel an exhiliration that becomes addictive and you feel so amazing that you keep doing it....keep working out.....keep taking more baby steps but with larger strides each time.

One of the best parts of my life right now is the fact that I have the time to actually stop and think about what I am feeling. Over the last 6-8 years, that wasn't a luxury I had so I had to make snap decisions and was very reactive to situations. Now, I can slow down and really think about what is happening and how I want to react to it. It feels really good.

Life is good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What a Day...

What a day....

I was running on less than five hours of sleep and woke up to one hell of a hangover. The wine was very good last night and I enjoyed it, very much. Perhaps it was a little liquid courage, but it was worth it.

When the alarm went off at 5am I immediately went in and took 3 Advil with a large glass of water and promptly went back to bed for about 30 minutes to allow the pain reliever to kick in, which it did.

As always, I woke up with a positive outlook on my day. Daycare, while hectic, is usually pleasant even though there are those people who I swear look forward to making my life miserable with their strange tuition payments that I can't for the life of me figure out where they came up with the amount they paid. When my daycare duty is over, I head to the classroom, looking for about 25 minutes of quiet time before my day begins.

This day started off with a bang! I ended up with approximately 2 minutes of quiet time in my classroom and then realized minutes before the bell rang that I needed to go reschedule my Media Center lesson and more importantly, go to the bathroom before the students arrived. On the way to the Media Center I got stopped by the teacher who has taken over my after school duty and we were quickly joined by the principal. We stood talking about our chaotic afternoon dismissal procedures as I wondered if I would have time for the Media Center and the bathroom.

As I entered the Media Center, the bell rang. I decided to go ahead and get the lesson rescheduled. By the time I was done, my class was already lined up outside my classroom. I knew it would be two hours before I could go to the bathroom, so I asked a teacher to watch my class for a minute.

When I returned I could tell what the day would hold for me. Chaos. Attitude. Disrespect. Again? Seriously?

Certain students were already chomping at the bit, ready to engage with me....subtle defiance, just to see what buttons they could push. As the day wore on, I thought to myself, what more can I possibly do to get the attention of these kids? How do I combat such utter apathy? What more can I do to make certain students feel "safe" and engage them in learning? I wondered where the rudeness came from. What made them feel as if it was ok to speak to me in such a rude, disrespectful way. My head just began to feel heavy as I thought of all of these things.

I'm tired of fighting it. I'm tired of fighting in general. I'm not a fighter. I will fight, but I don't want to. I admit it.....I want things to be easy, especially when I feel like I have worked so very hard for things to go well in life for myself and others. Why do other people make it so much harder?

I want ............. for now, I want sleep. I should have been asleep an hour ago. I don't want to write more tonight.

This blog is good for me. It's so much different than simply keeping a journal. Maybe it's because I know there is a possibility of other people reading it and with a journal you always plan on the information staying totally private. I don't know..... All I know is I am very tired and I'm calling it a night.....

More later.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Place for My Voice to be Heard

I am discovering that I have so much to say....that I have a great need to be heard. Even if that venue is simply a blog emitting into the cyberspace universe my innermost feelings, not knowing if anyone will actually "hear" my words, the need is somewhat fulfilled by writing......knowing that I have put it out there.......knowing that someone might read it, might understand.

Today has been an interesting one. I have experienced a range of emotions from frustration to pure love to heartbreak. An emotional rollercoaster to say the least, but one that didn't break me, didn't cause me to go into meltdown mode which was how I would have responded in the past. The emotions merely caused me to slow down and think about each of them and what was causing each of them.

The frustration was because of the many strides I have made in my classroom only to feel as if I have accomplished nothing and my work and dedication have fallen on deaf ears......apathetic souls. I truly felt at the end of the day, "Why bother?" It's exhausting. How am I possibly contributing in any positive fashion?

The love was from hearing that I am, indeed, a "most important person" in someone's life. I was completely unaware of this and was utterly taken aback when I read those precious words telling me that I mattered to this person. Who knew? Who knew that I actually mattered so much to someone that I thought didn't really care all that much about me.

The heartbreak.....that might be a strong term, but it was maybe a realization that a dream I have harbored for many years might be just that.....a dream and that maybe it would never materialize, no matter how much I wanted it to. Maybe, sometimes, the dreams we have are not good for us and so that is why they never materialize. Maybe, sometimes, the information you receive is incomplete, altered, not fully the truth. Maybe, sometimes, you need to stop and listen to your heart, trust it.

What bothers me the most is that internal voice that speaks so clearly to me. It emphatically tells me what is an absolute truth and what is not. I trust it completely, I do. But just because I trust what the voice tells me, doesn't mean that other people have had that realization in their own lives that echo my truth. That leads to further frustration. How can you trust your internal truths so deeply yet they seem to conflict with your reality?

I think that you have to trust your instinct, listen to that voice. You simply cannot control other people or their thoughts or feelings. It is up to them to decide what it is they want in life. Just because you have a complete faith in the truth of a particular matter, doesn't mean others will feel the same. That you have no control over.....you can only control yourself and your thoughts and actions.

As I embark on this new year with "commitment" as my primary focus, one of the things I will commit to is trusting my instinct, hearing and listening to my inner truths, knowing emphatically that what I believe is the truth, at least my truth. The truth always comes out eventually, always..... I want to be sure that I live my life honestly, authentically, and truthfully. Anything less than that is merely a waste of time.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Lyrics

Songs are really having a big impact on my life right now, making me think about decisions I have made in the past. This song by Orianthi (who named her?) is a good reminder about how different people have different views about you. One man can find you stupid and useless and another can find you beautiful, incredible, and irresistible..... Why give your time to a man who finds you stupid and useless, I mean, really? And furthermore, why should anyone's opinion of you define you. You are the ultimate definer of who you really are and what you are about. If someone doesn't appreciate you for who you are, then that is fine. There are many people in the world who will.

According to You Lyrics

I'm stupid
I'm useless
I can't do anything right

According to you
I'm difficult
Hard to please
Forever changing my mind
I'm a mess in a dress
Can't show up on time
Even if it would save my life
According to you
According to you

But according to him
I'm beautiful, incredible
He can't get me out of his head
According to him
I'm funny, irresistible
Everything he ever wanted
Everything is opposite
I don't feel like stopping it
So baby tell me what I got to lose
He's into me for everything I'm not
According to you

According to you
I'm boring
I'm moody
You can't take me any place
According to you
I suck at telling jokes cause I always give it away
I'm the girl with the worst attention span
You're the boy who puts up with it
According to you
According to you

But according to him
I'm beautiful,incredible
He can't get me out of his head
According to him
I'm funny, irresistible
Everything he ever wanted
Everything is opposite
I don't feel like stopping it
So baby tell me what I got to lose
He's into me for everything I'm not
According to you

I need to feel appreciated
like I'm not hated
Oh, no
Why can't you see me through his eyes?
It's too bad you're making me dizz-ay

According to me
you're stupid
you're useless
you can't do anything right
But according to him
I'm beautiful, incredible
He can't get me out of his head
According to him
I'm funny, irresistible
Everything he ever wanted
Everything is opposite
I don't feel like stopping it
Baby tell me what I got to lose
He's into me for everything I'm not

According to you [you, you]
According to you [you, you]
According to you
I'm stupid
I'm useless
I can't do anything right

Randomness





A very good friend of mine really likes my random graphic designs. In explaining how I do the designs I realized that they are very reflective of me and who I am. I sit in front of a white sheet of paper, pen in hand, staring at the paper, waiting for the design to come to me. I get an idea and put it down on the paper and let it evolve. There is order, yet randomness....much like me. The designs can be all over the page, or contained within an outline, yet totally abstract inside that outline.

Interesting parallels I thought. So, I decided to post a couple of my designs on here. I have to say that they are one of my favorite projects to work on. It is very relaxing to just sit and let the ideas flow. Watching a blank sheet of white paper transform into one of my designs is very rewarding. I never know what the final result will be. I also never know what people's reactions will be. My very good friend loved the circle design. My dad just saw, "A bunch of damn circles"! I love my dad! It makes me wonder how people view me and my randomness.....but I like that quality about me. It certainly keeps my life interesting!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Are you the most important person in someone's life?

Are you the most important person in someone's life?

This question was asked of me in an online quiz I took this evening. This quiz was 240 questions long and this is the only question I had to stop and really think about. Unfortunately, I couldn't emphatically answer "Yes!"

My first instinct was that I should be the most important person in the lives of my children, but they are teenagers. I think for my son there is someone else that he considers "the most important person" in his life and I think his girlfriend comes in a close second. I may be somewhere around fourth on his list. For my daughter, I don't know but I think she might consider someone else as well.

It was very sobering to come to the realization that maybe I am NOT the most important person in someone's life......me.....the person who values connection so very much. Don't get me wrong, I know I mean a lot to many people and have touched many lives as a teacher, but am I the MOST important person in someone's life?

No.

I am not.

I am truly sitting here just sort of numb....

My thoughts go to all the people I know and who they would most likely consider the most important person in their lives. I also reverse it and think if THEY are considered as the most important person in someone else's life.

They all are.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wild Horses by Natasha Bedingfield - Lyrics

I heard another song today that really spoke to me....here are the lyrics. Unfortunately, the lyrics you find online are often what the person who posted on the site THOUGHT the lyrics said, so I may have taken some liberties here not knowing what they say for sure!!

I feel these four walls closing in
Face up against the glass
I'm looking out...
Is this my life I'm wondering
It happens so fast
How do I turn this thing around?
Is this the bed I chose to make?
Its greener pastures I'm thinking about
Wide open spaces far away

All I want is the wind in my hair
To face the fear but not feel scared

[Chorus:]
Wild horses I wanna be like you
Throwing caution to the wind, I'll run free too
Wish I could recklessly love like I'm longing to
I wanna run with the wild horses
Run with the wild horses!

I see the girl I wanna be
Riding bare back, care free
Along the shore
If only that someone was me
Jumpin head first, headlong with out a thought
To act and damn the consequence
How I wish it could be that easy
But fear surrounds me like a fence
I wanna break free

All I want is the wind in my hair
To face the fear but not feel scared

[Chorus:]
Wild horses I want to be like you
Throwing caution to the wind I'll run free too
Wish I could recklessly love, like I'm longing to
Wanna run with the wild horses
Run with the wild horses!

I wanna run too
Recklessly (not sure what this part is??) myself before you
I wanna open my heart tell him how I feel

[Chorus:]
Wild horses I want to be like you
Throwing caution to the wind, I'll run free too
Wish I could recklessly love, like I'm longing to
Wanna run with the wild horses, run with the wild horses!
YeeaaaahI wanna run with the wild horses

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Music - Consider Me Gone by Reba McEntire

We all know the power of music....it can uplift you, inspire you, depress you, make you want to dance and it can make you want to cry. It can give you the courage to stay committed to what you want from life. Today I heard "Consider Me Gone" by Reba McEntire and loved the lyrics. So, I thought I'd post them here.

Everytime I turn the conversation to somethin'
Deeper than the weather
I can feel you all, but shuttin' down
And when I need an explanation for the silence
You just tell me "you don't wanna talk about it now"
What you're not sayin' is comin' in loud n clear
We're at a crossroads here

If I'm not the one thing, you can't stand to lose
If I'm not the heir to that heart of youIf you don't get drunk, on my kiss
If you think you can do better than thisThen I guess we're doneLet's not drag this on
Consider me gone

With you I've always been wide open
Like a window or an ocean
There is nothin' I've ever tried to hide
So when you leave me, not knowin' where you're goin'
I start thinkin' that we're lookin'
We're lookin' at goodbye
How about a strong bout a strong shot of honesty?
Don't you owe that to me?

If I'm not the one thing, you can't stand to lose
If I'm not the heir to that heart of you
f you don't get drunk, on my kiss
If you think you can do better than this
Then I guess we're done
Let's not drag this on
Consider me gone

Consider me of being real
Consider me the past
Consider me a smile in an old photograph
Someone who used to make you laugh

If I'm not the one thing, you can't stand to lose
If I'm not the heir to that heart of you
Then I guess we're done
Let's not drag this on
Consider me gone
Consider me gone
Consider me gone
Just consider me gone

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Commitment

It's a new year, a new decade....perfect for new beginnings.

For years now I have been "trying" to change my life. I've read the books, listened to the cds, journaled about change, talked about change, thought about change, cried about change....but didn't actually change all that much. Daily I found myself confused, angry, disappointed, frustrated and I usually found plenty of people to blame it all on. I didn't understand what I was doing wrong.

Many people in my life reminded me about the enormous amount of time and money I had spent on my self-help books and commented that surely I had learned a few things from them. I had, I really had. I could quote Tony Robbins, The Secret, Mike Dooley....you name it. I had read and/or listened to them all over and over and over. But I hadn't really internalized it all. I certainly wasn't practicing what they were preaching.

A good friend quoted Yoda to me over and over...."Do or do not, there is no try". I was always complaining about how hard I "try" and nothing ever changes, my life was so stressful, blah, blah, blah..... I could talk the talk, but I wasn't walking the walk.

Over the last few weeks, maybe even months, I've come to realize that what was missing was my commitment to change. I let everything and everyone else take priority. I let it all get in the way so I could have an excuse for not doing what I knew I needed to do. I'm too busy, I'm too tired, I'm too stressed....I've had a lot of stress in my life....why does this keep happening to me.

Tyler Perry once said something about how your life will truly change once you take responsibility for getting yourself where you are. Don't get me wrong, I've had a lot happen in my life, but I am finally getting very honest with myself about what role I played in making these things happen or making them way worse than they ever should have been. I am really beginning to see how my decisions have impacted me in ways I could have never imagined.

I can sit here all day and dream about the woman I want to be, I can talk about it, write about it, but I won't become her until.... I do. And no one can do that but me. I can't do that without commitment.

So as I embark on this new year, this new decade, I do so with commitment. Commitment to myself and everything I want for my life. Commitment to look before I leap, think before I act or open my mouth, commitment to live authentically and embrace who I am, commitment to extreme self-care, commitment to truth.

The last several years of my life have been filled with heartache and pain, but also with love and laughter. I am where I am because I needed to learn....a lot. The journey is far from over, but I look forward to it now with great anticipation and excitement.

I am grateful, so very grateful, to all those people who have stood by me and encouraged me through all this. I am so grateful that they stuck by me even when I was acting like a complete ass. Their love and support mean so much. It gave me the courage to go on and to look very deeply at myself and see what I was doing to cause the heartache and pain.

I've done things in the past that I'm not proud of and said things I wish I could take back. I've given people the wrong impression about me out of fear. I've gone against my instinct. I've let others influence me. Now, I am slowing down, taking a moment to really think before I act, and making a commitment to live my life authentically and fully.

Thank you to all of you who have helped me on this journey.....hold on, because things are getting ready to really take off now!!

What happens when you take a break from Facebook?

Eleven days I ago I deactivated my Facebook account. The negative posts, political bashing, and idiotic memes were beginning to have an adve...