Tag Archives: peace

What I’ve been up to

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I know I have been quiet for a while. It’s not that I haven’t thought about the blog or haven’t had things to say. But I have found (over the past year or so) that it is best to write after a situation is resolved, so I have some perspective, instead of in the thrall of the moment. It can become a serious TMI in a heart beat.

That said, it is a little calmer now and I think I am beginning to see what my life might be like on the other side. At this point what I am dealing with is all me, the rest has been resolved, salted and burned never to resurrect itself again. But there are a lot of questions I have for myself about who I am, who I’m not, who I want to be and how the heck I got this way.

Example, I used to be a bold-ish, laugh all the time, a shiny, happy type of person. I knew what I was good at and had confidence in those abilities. Now I am afraid to laugh, to let anything good in (not because I don’t think I deserve it) because I don’t want to feel how much it hurts that she (the happy girl) was in a coma and is now trying to wake. I want to really live again, to let myself love my life again and stop being afraid that at any moment my life will fall like cards. So I have set out on a mission to find what I love and try my best to hold on to it even if I’m terrified.

In that spirit I have taken up two new ways to challenge and make my life more colorful. I have always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument. So I bought a bamboo flute (above) and am going for it. I love the sound and it is helping me to learn music instead of just sight-read. Also I look forward to doing something soothing after 8 hour of computer screens (I have three) and stat order after stat order.

The second is so out of character for me that I shocked myself when I took it on and then continued with classes. I am learning two different Latin dances. Bachata (slow/sexy) and Salsa (fast/challenging). I never would have said that I wanted to dance, liked to dance or had the self-confidence to get out there and just have fun. But I find myself practicing in the living room and I just bought my fist pair of “real” dance shoes. Who knew your needed felt to turn properly?

Last night I went to a local restaurant the hosts a Latin night to meet up with some of my classmates and practice in a “non-class” environment. Let me say that at the best of times I don’t like rooms full of strangers, add to that performance anxiety and I could have spent the night on the bench. But my teachers and class mates are so wonderful and made me laugh at myself and get out there anyway. I ended up having a good time and even ran into a co-worker while I was there.

It is interesting that dance lets me learn to trust parts of myself that I haven’t before and I like the person I am when I’m dancing. There is so much of who I used to be and how I used to feel about myself that lives in this hazy place called the past. But when I work on music or dance, it is something that I am doing for me, in the now and has no ties to any of that. And that is liberating. I know that I will sing and draw and inspire young people again someday. But for now they are the field lying dormant, waiting to be fertile again and while they rest I will explore the other pasture newly cleared and full of possibility.

 

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Deva Premal: meditation and beauty

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Aad guray nameh
Jugaad guray nameh
Sat guray nameh
Siri guru devay nameh
I bow to the Primal Guru,
I bow to the Guru woven through time
I bow to the True Guru, the true
identity of the self.
I bow to the Great Guru whose great
glory will always be.
Guru: that which brings us from darkness
(GU) to light (RU).

shattered

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I threw my life on the ground and watched it shatter.

In a single moment everything, everything that I knew changed.

I raged, wept and futilely tried to put the pieces together.

 

I do not remember the moment I realized that my hands where cut and my blood dulled the once bright edges.

I put the shards down and backed away.

From a distance I could see the irrevocable change

But my hands still reached out.

Sheer force of will and the desire to heal stayed them time and time again.

 

Now a few scares stretch as my hands move once more towards the pieces.

Instead of seeking to replicate what once was, they nimbly dust and wash each;

Looking for the qualities that only it contains: a color, a shape or curvature.

Carefully I lay them out in the mud of this new life.

 

I am unsure how one piece will sit next to another: if the edges will combine to please the eye,

If the colors still compliment in this erratic new state.

But as each piece finds its place I see the whole better, I trust the wisdom of my hands.

It is not the piece I set out to make, not in its function or form

But it is stronger and more beautiful for the breaking.

AC 2012

What I left behind: finding my bliss

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I have realized that over the past 6 months or so I have done a lot of surviving and not a lot of living. I wish that I could say that it was necessary but I’m awake enough to realize that a good bit of it is hiding. So the question is what do I do about it?

I know that I could continue to live this life and get by but that is not what I want. I miss the passion in my life about work and creativity. I miss being bold and going places and doing things because I want to with or with out people.

I have used the excuse too long that I don’t know anything about this town or the surrounding area.  All it takes to remedy that is gas and the GPS. I have come to realize that I am afraid to feel. Being an emotional person most of my life this feels odd but it is the only explanation for many of the things I have let happen.

I don’t “make” anything right now. I love photography and haven’t taken picture in month, it has been even longer since I picked up a pencil or a paint brush. I have written but it’s so easy to escape feelings in the esoteric meanings of words. It is not so easy to evade color, beauty or the memories linked to smell. Once I came to this realization I was shocked that I have spent months choosing not to feel.

That is not to say that I haven’t ranted or cried but I feel something deeper lurking just beyond the emotions I know I cn control. It makes me stop conversations and stay out of my study. I know that I need to address it and love myself through it but I seem to chicken out every time I feel it coming to the surface. I don’t want to be one of those people who hides in other words and yet here I am, reading books and watching tv instead of engaging myself.

So how do I break the pattern? How do I reach out to myself in a way that feels safe? By making a list.

Things to do this weekend and next week:

  1. Cook all of my own food- on some very base level this is taking care of me.
  2. TV no more that 1 hr per day- I need to play in the real word
  3. Wake up every day @ 7am and use that hour doing something that is meaningful to me (blogging, praying, exercising)
  4. Go outside!!! Even just a walk down the st.
  5. Find a place in town that I want to go to and go there.
  6. Make a list of all my unfinished art projects and work on one.
  7. Take my camera anywhere and use it.

Some of you may wonder “what is the point in a list if you don’t do those things?”  Well for me getting my thoughts together in some form and out of my head always helps. Also having a record so when I find myself in those unhappy prone to numbness moments there is a plan.

I want to thank those of you who have been encouraging me to be less of a victim and more of a survivor. Thank you for you words directly and through your writing. I know that I will get my head out of the sand and rediscover what makes my life amazing.

Going back to school: life changes 101

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Where to begin…for the first time in the better part of a year I am starting to feel like myself again. I have my own place, stable employment and I’m not an emotional train wreck. So where do I go from here? I have had several interesting conversations in the last month or so that have me re-thinking “The Plan.”

To begin with I should state that “The Plan” has already had several revisions and was crafted in a time of utter confusion and emotional instability- hence the need for revisions. I started with something along the lines of “get the hell out of dodge!” this early stage had notions of running as far to the other coast as my little Neon would take me. Thank God my best friend made me sleep on that one.

Then it moved on to “Survive, we must keep safe.”  So I focused on my job but in my semi crazy state any change made me even more neurotic and so I moved again. To a place with a little more space and a lot more issues. Finally, I reached “Remember how to breathe.” This actually being the most challenging phase of the transition to reclaiming my life. Without the distractions of pain and survival to take up my waking thoughts and am now faced with the wonderful question of “What do “I” want to do with my life?”

The obvious answer would be to double my salary and go back to teaching. But after five minuets of logical thought I know that is not the answer. Because the truth is that I loved my students more than I loved my subject or teaching itself.  And I know that I cannot go back to throwing myself  into a life that is empty or diminishing. So I am left to ponder what kind of life/do I want?

In my head I can see a new path for myself and at the same time I have a lot of nagging voices saying things like “You went to school for five years to throw it all away? You want to go to night/correspondence school? isn’t that just a rip off?” But deep in my heart I know that I cannot go back to teaching and I cannot stay where I am either. My life here is good but it is only a stepping stone to real health and stability in my life. And I realize that I could pack up and move across the US and probably be okay now but I would be doing something that I don’t love in the name of money and I am not that kind of person.

I’m not saying that I won’t work a job I don’t “love,” I’m saying that I will not dedicated more than a year of my life to it if there is not an end goal and I think that is what I have finally found. So I’m going back to school to be a Vet Assistant. Other than teenagers my other great life long passion a has been animals. In fact I almost went to college for zoo keeping.

I know if you have been reading my old blogs you’re thinking “wasn’t she writing a book?” and I was and have. But I also realize that I have to eat, and the writing will always be there waiting for me. I know the “real” writer’s are rolling their eyes and rightly so. I am not a real writer. I am a person who loves stories. Real writers write when there is no bread. Get up and do it every day and don’t wait for inspiration and that is not me. All I will say in my defense is that the birth of my would be novel is very much rooted in the death of my marriage and for now they are too closely bound.

There are many things that I am just awakening to. I took my first pictures in months of my bran new niece. It felt good to do something creative but I feel myself holding back. I know I am afraid to open the door. Anyone who works in a creative way knows that whether you mean it too or not your life ends up on the page, canvas or plate. It is the nature of creativity and there is a part of my the is still scared.

This is step one: imagine a different life. I was talking with a friend when I realized in some small way I already have done this. When I used to sit in my best-friends house crippled by a broken heart I would dream about the place I knew I would one day have. I saw an open room with lots of light a large window and I felt happy there. The other day I realized that I was already there. Sitting in my living room with the sliding glass door open to the balcony. Light streamed in on my two cats blissing out. I smiled looking at the tree just beyond and realized I was home. That place I had dreamed about finding was here.

Now I have to dream a bigger dream, one where I’m not just safe and stable: one where I am creative and passionate, one where I am brave and bold and not afraid to try again and again because I and worth it. My dreams are worth it and I still have lots and lots of time to be and do what-ever I decide. I’m about to be 32 and I am starting over- Yay me!!!

My new place…again!

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dinning room

Okay so I think this will be my last move for 8 months to a year. When I look back over the past year it has been one hung change after another. First I moved last Sept from Tx (where I had loved for 4 yrs) to Charlottesville Virgina. In Nov my mom was diagnosed with cancer and I flew home to be with her for two weeks and spent Thanks giving  with her and my sister.

I came home and my life as a knew it fell apart and I moved out in Jan to live with my best friend in Hahira GA. I lived with her until May when I moved in with a co-worker.  I lived with Laura until Labor-day weekend when I moved into my own place!!!

My life has settled down quiet a bit since then. My personal life is 89% sorted and my mom is doing amazing and well on the way to recovery. My cat (Ben) no longer hisses, growls or cries all the time. My other cat (Sandy) has only thrown up once since we moved and he had been up to two times a week not to long ago. The improvement in their comfort and disposition warms my heart.

living room

I have really enjoyed seeming all of my things again. I forgot how when you see your personality reflected in the things around you there is a sense of  “I belong here” that naturally goes with it. In its own way it is quiet telling that for the better part of a year I have in very real terms felt homeless. Not that I was not loved or cared for but that there was no possibility of permanence in the places that I have been.

Now I feel the opportunity to be expansive not just physically but in the ability to let my guard down and just be me, what ever that looks like. I get up at 7 am because I like too. I work out for an hour because I want to. I have a quiet time because I need to and then I shower and start my day.

I know it is not the life for everyone, quiet and full of cats but it is the life I choose for myself. For too many years i was not strong enough and then when I was I chose to give it up for something I though I wanted more. Now I find myself re-learning how to live on my own and I can say I’m proud that at each turn though hard or frightening I keep on going.

I keep fighting for the life I know I want and deserve and will have again; with or without someone else in it.  I have come to realize that the main component that matters is me. If I am calm and dedicated to my goals the rest will follow in its own good time.

So here’s to all of us that life shook up and said “try a different path” weather we thought we wanted it or not and made the best of it; keeping our harts warm as we learn to live again.

finding the way back is the path forward

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  I miss the girl who loved,

I miss the young woman who dreamed,

I miss the woman quietly confident.

I feel bare and empty,

But from this I can be filled:

       With new love, new dreams and renewed strength.

I always knew I would survive,

                                                                                  But I have come to the point

                                                                                          Where surviving is no longer enough.

                                                                                         Amanda S  08- 2001