Thursday, February 13, 2014

Having nothing to say

You've probably noticed I haven't been blogging regularly in quite a long time. Everyone's noticed that know me because I hear about it and am asked about it. I find myself not having anything to say, yet inside I feel cluttered with words and thoughts and emotions, but they are jammed on the way out. I live in a lot of solitude and a lot of the time I enjoy it that way. Although when the opportunity presents itself, I end up talking someone's ear off and an explosion of words tumble out of my mouth. I notice that I will talk without even having anything important to say but wishing I had something of substance to talk about. But, for me, blogging is different than talking. I'm not sure this is a popular position based on many blogs I've read that post useless and nonsense material. Blogging is personal though and is a platform for a multitude of purposes. But my blog posts need to mean something....to me. It is a form of sharing, it's true. Sharing of information, opinion, and self. I wish I had more to say than I do. I wish my thoughts and emotions I could make sense of so I could express them. I wish I didn't think and analyze so much. I wish I could see the good in everything and make the most of each moment and be grateful for all the good in my life. Truth is I do have times that I experience this, but they are minimal. The pessimism and boredom takes over and the ruminating begins. Ruminating is a powerful and destructive thing. We are our own enemies. I feed the lesser me and give power to the doubt, fear, and weakness. Not wanting to make the effort or take the time to confront and stand up to it. The thing I wonder is, what kind of me would I be without those stumbling blocks? Will I find the strength and willpower in this lifetime to find out? When will I care enough to make a change? I hope soon.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Year, Same Me

New Year, Same Me
I've definitely been that person with the list of all the resolutions I'm going to make, and ways I'm going to change as of the first of the new year. As if that is such an easy thing, like the flipping of a light switch. I've done it every year for as long as I can remember. The list usually consists of of about fifteen things and by the end of the year I average about two things that I can check off. Quite unsatisfying. I have astronomically high expectations of myself as well as how I want my life to be, which is always a dangerous thing. And every year January 1st rolls around and I truly would expect that I would radically change. That motivation, determination, and desire would be strong enough to reroute all my bad habits. That I would appear to have it all together instantly in a pretty package. That the bad habits of laziness, procrastination and disorganization would vanish, and my mind would have the power to instantly and immediately start over fresh as of this day. And every year this lasts for about seven days if I'm lucky. I put in a google image search for "new year same me", the title I wanted to give this post. The image at the top of this post was one of the results. I am. That by itself is so powerful, but what do I put after that? What am I now? What do I want to be? Polar opposite answers. Do you ever have desires for a big, huge change? Like life-altering? You get stuck in a rut with the monotonous routine and just need to shake things up a bit. But at the same time, the idea of a major life-altering change is frightening. The anticipation and fear of the unknown are powerful forces that can both yield vulnerability. Vulnerability means weakness to many. Something that's been on my mind for months now is what "living" means to me. The past few years I haven't been doing this, I've grown accustomed to "surviving". How long until the adapting phase is over? How long til the idea that the stable foundation that I stand on metaphorically is gonna shake and crumble underneath me? How long til I can look in the mirror and accept who I see in the reflection? And how long can I avoid it? Will the feeling of brokenness ever go away? And will the fear that it won't ever subside? I am. Maybe that will be something to work on this year. Adding to it. I've been trying for many years to be somebody else. Nobody in particular, just someone other than myself. Why? Because myself has too much damage and brokenness that is far beyond repair. The only big enough answer to mend this would be God. Yet I still seclude myself and can't quite let go enough to let Him in. New Year means time is moving forward as it always does. There are no guarantees of the future. Quotes and sayings surround us...no time like the present...time flies...make every moment count. I live in the sunny state of Arizona, where the warmth blankets your skin. Yet I feel a dark gray cloud lives above my head and follows me around. Hope for a turnaround is still there thankfully, but as time moves on that hope dims a little more. However, since it's still there I'm gonna draw from it and hope that this year will be a brighter one. Much of that rests on me and my attitude and the choices that I will make. Realign where my focus is and change my attitude towards things. Change begins with me and starting with the things I am in control of. Or is it the other way around and learning to let go of control when things shift? Well, this whole "I am" thing definitely has me thinking. Cheers to your new year, my friends.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Acknowledging Progress


Tonight I sat down and officially and seriously began working on my book that I want to write. In the past few months I have jotted down some notes on possible title and chapter names, but today I got out all my journals and read through previous things I have written to begin breaking down sections and forming some kind of outline. I tell myself that I can do this, half-believing it of course, but it's a start. I have struggled with this idea and desire to write a book because I haven't been able to narrow down a theme to focus the book around. Well, reading through my journals and writings, it is clear to me that there are three themes. They definitely intertwine at times but can also be their own separate thing as well. All three themes are about my personal journey through these three different aspects of my life. My fear that no one will be interested in what I have to say is still there, but my desire to write is becoming more dominant all the time. I am pushing through the fear one baby step at a time.
Now, I want to talk about my journals. As I was reading through them, I was able to see and appreciate how far I have come since my darkest days that began about five years ago. There is most definitely a journey that slowly progresses and goes through stages. I can see a separation between then and now. Though it is not a night and day distinction, it is still there, and for that I am grateful. Re-reading the emotion-filled rantings of desperate pleas and angry outbursts as well as loneliness and hopelessness was eye-opening. It was really, really sad actually. This person was so lost and just miserable, but her perspective was so off. She couldn't help herself, she was sinking in a sea of quicksand. I can't believe that was me. I am grateful that I feel I have moved on from that part of my life. I am thankful that I now have a glimmer of hope. That there is still possibility for me. That if I change my perspective and open up my mind and my heart, things can get better. And they have. I thank God for that. I pray and I feel restored. I am trying to see myself in a way that I think God might see me. Through His eyes and not through my own flawed ones. I am a vessel; that's what I am. I am what I am. No over-estimation; no under-estimation. I don't have to be what I was or even what I am now. I can choose what I am to be. And teaming up with God opens things up to even more possibilities. This is the way I want things to be. This is how I choose for things to be. It is not too late for me. There is still time. It's all about making the choice. Removing the pressure. Removing the expectations. Enough with the over-analyzing and micromanaging. When I have questions and need some direction and guidance, I know where to go. I am feeling positive and hopeful and I'm grateful for that.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Letting Go

I am most definitely in need of letting go of my past. I am stuck. The scars of my past are magnified to the point where I struggle to see clean flesh that is reserved for the future. The future is fuzzy to me and I lack excitement for it. I am too focused on the past and its unanswered questions and confusion. I constantly go back to thoughts of my former self at my happiest times and dissect it in sadness why I can't get back to that place. The reality is I can't go back there because it's in the past. That teenage girl knew herself; she had peace in her heart and mind. She saw things in black and white. She knew who to trust and she knew what she wanted. She followed her heart bravely. She loved fully. She was open and honest and happy to experience the world. What happened to her? Painful, traumatic memories surfaced in her mind that led her to her death. You can't undo time. You can't un-know something or un-hear something. It's time to stop chasing her and say goodbye. It's hard to let go of her innocence. I must learn to make peace with this person that I am now. Learning to like this person and change the things I am able to change. This person with fear, and hurt, and worry. Whose black and white world turned different shades of grey. The uncertainty of everything is overwhelming. She learned that her superhuman loved ones have flaws and are imperfect and do, in fact, let her down. The only ones she can truly count on is God, because even she lets herself down. She is a mystery to herself. There are secret doors inside herself that she has been locked out of for her own protection. Though slowly the locks are unlocking, but the question remains...is she brave enough to open them? Because she sure as hell isn't curious. I feel she is made of glass and wonder why everyone around her insists on her strength. I do not see what they see at all. Perhaps they just don't know the whole story. See, you can never be sure of what you see because it could easily be an act. A show. Because what you allow others to see is the one thing you CAN control. I spend far too much time trying to understand and analyze everything about my past that has brought me to this day. So much of it doesn't make sense to me. I cannot move on until it does. But what if it never does. I suppose that's where faith and trust in God comes in. When our inability as flawed and imperfect people falls short and breeds un-fulfillment. The sadness that comes with that is the fact that that teenage girl that I miss and love is gone. There are no traces of her anywhere inside me. That is quite a lot of power to give a past. It's up to me to take that power away and give myself some control back. Because I CAN do something about the present. I never think about the future; it's pointless to me. The battle is to live in the here and now. Not to forget the past, but not to give it the power that it holds right now. 
A few weeks ago I stood in the mirror, looked into my eyes, which appeared empty and lifeless, and repeated out loud, "everything's going to be okay". This lasted about five minutes. I would open my mouth and that is all that came out. I was trying to comfort myself. I am trying to learn to be okay with this person that I see in the mirror. She still seems like a stranger to me. But maybe it's time to change the perspective. See the possibility and hope to make this person a great one. Let go of the weights around my neck and the chains that shackle my ankles. What are the lables of these weights? What do they represent? It's fuzzy to me, but pain and sadness come to mind. I'm so tired of feeling sad SO OFTEN. Not all the time but more than I feel is appropriate. It's time to let go. Take back the power instead of giving it away to everything that comes into my life.
 
My wish is to feel peace within myself. A quiet rest for my mind. What I miss most about that teenage girl is that she experienced freedom inside and peace. She did not have a painful past (that she knew of yet) and did not feel the weights and chains. So I call out to the heavens and ask God to break the shackles, give me relief and hope.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What Now?


What Now?

I've been listening to Rihanna's new song "What Now". Well, it's new to me anyway. I just love the angst and emotion in her voice. Not that I love that she feels that way but it makes for beautiful music, and believable and relate-able too. I, too, have felt this in recent months. See, I've been on a quest for feeling for quite some time now. Anything besides numbness. Not sure if it's due to medication I've been on, or if it's just a dense fog that has overtaken me. Either way, it's very unsettling. I try not to get lost in the big questions, such as "what's the meaning of it all?" and "what does it matter anyway?". Then the analytical side of me takes over and it's all downhill from there. It takes weeks to come out of. I get bored of being stationary, yet I don't like being too mobile either. So, what does that mean exactly? That I'm fickle? Can't make up my mind. My biggest weakness is laziness tied with lack of follow-through. I require high levels of motivation to do anything. Simply because it needs to be done is not a good enough reason for me. This discourages me and makes me want to live in a hole. I'm uncomfortable in large gatherings of people because I am uncomfortable with people in my personal space. Yet I get depressed when I am alone because isolation is toxic for me. I cannot make a decision for what I want to do with myself. I have been learning to accept myself and after a nasty battle with depression, I had to re-learn how to like myself. But the hard questions surface when I gather the courage to face the mirror. Do I trust myself? How well do I know myself? What am I hiding? What am I afraid of and am I brave enough to face it? When faced with the fight or flight response, I always flee, followed immediately by hiding and pretending to be invisible. If I avoid it and pretend it's not there, it will just go away. Pretty immature if you ask me. Yet I feel there is sadness that dwells inside me; a heaviness that I avoid strongly. I cannot stop digging for answers and truth. Yet when I find them, it's too scary to follow through to the end. That's where the healing begins, right? I fear that the weights will always be there. How do you live with a person you don't understand? And what if that person is you? Do you ever feel like you don't really know yourself? I struggle with the knowledge that once I faced the truth about my past, everything I ever once knew about myself was a lie. That person I once was has died. It's been replaced by this hollow shell of a person who has perfected the routine of going through the motions. What I long for is depth and meaning and purpose. Medication. Therapy. Books. Research. It helps, but only goes so far. I am realizing that I need to go more powerful. When I have exhausted all my power, and I still feel lost, I guess that's my answer. That this is bigger than me. Time to look up. The Ultimate Healer. Yet my pride wants to fix it on my own. It's a battle and I have to make this much harder than it needs to be. There is a quiet strength that surfaces when you reach desperation. You reach that point where you just want anything to be different. Just to feel something besides hopelessness, and sadness, and heaviness. Where you let go and release control wholeheartedly. Only then can the first step of healing and moving forward begin. Time to stop belittling myself and demanding expectations and punishing myself when I continue to fall short. Reality check, Miss Alaina. You are due.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Being Thankful

So, I'm realizing that I've slowly become a very negative person about my life. I think I complain a lot about things that I'm not happy about. Those small and minor things that aren't going the way I want have become life-size, and have crowded out all the many blessings and good things in my life, making them much harder to see and take notice of. The truth is, from an outside view there really isn't anything to complain about. I think my attitude and perspective needs to be adjusted. I don't consider myself a very happy person and I don't want to be that way. I saw on Facebook and on the internet some posts labeled "Thankful Thursdays". I know it's Friday, but I think I'm gonna jump on board this train. I will just post mine a day late.
Since I have become a glass-half-empty person, I very much need to be forced or pushed into doing something or the two evils in my life, laziness and procrastination, will lead the way.
I want to take the time to remind myself to be thankful, because I have a lot in my life to be thankful for. The picture at the top of this post reminds me that being thankful can and should begin with the basics: I'm alive. And the people that mean the most to me are alive too, and in my life daily. So many people lose their lives and their loved ones through tragedy and hardships...the soldiers who lose their lives fighting for our freedoms and the loved ones that they leave behind to mourn; car accidents, cancers and illnesses, drownings, kidnappings, shootings, suicide, heart attacks, and so much more. Being grateful for life, that's where it begins. It is a gift. Every day.
My beautiful house is something I am thankful for. After living in apartments or staying with family for months at a time, I am thankful that I was able to choose a house that I love that I can call my own. Not abiding by anyone else's rules and free to do whatever I want with it. I am not homeless, out on the streets in the cold or in the heat.
I have a husband who works at a job he loves with great benefits and great stability. Many people in this country are job hunting every day with no luck. This job provides us money for clothes on our backs, comfortable living, vehicles to get us to and from, food in our mouths, education for our daughter, and a place of safety. I am thankful for the wonderful and supportive people in my life, both family and friends, who make living life better because they are a part of it. My husband is my best friend and partner in life, who supports me, believes in me, and takes care of our family. Our daughter that we are blessed with who is beautiful and smart and funny. So many out there are unable to have children or had them and then they were taken from them.
I am thankful that I know God loves me and that He gives love and forgiveness and chance after chance and I don't have to do anything to earn it. It is by grace. I am thankful for free will and that I live in a country where I can believe what I want and live how I want and not be killed for it through some dictatorship. Though my life is not perfect, it is a really good one. I have everything I need. When I remind myself of these things, and think about how others out there don't get the basics, all other things seem trivial and petty. So, I'm going to try and choose gratitude. Sometimes it's hard to see the good when life stings you. Things don't always go as planned, life is messy like that. It's a block in the road. Okay, take a deep breath, and walk around it or remove the blockage.
I've been thinking about starting a gratitude journal and writing in it every night. Or maybe when I notice a small blessing or good thing that happened, to write it down. So, when I'm having a bad day, I just open it up and read a few things. I encourage you all to remind yourselves of the basics when things just aren't going your way. When we look at the big picture, we can find something to be thankful for. We are alive. Let's start there. We are not fighting for our lives to keep breathing. Maybe metaphorically, but not physically. Time to realign our focus back to the big picture. Happy Friday everyone. Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Writing. Just Because





I don't know that this post is about anything. I just really felt like writing. Something. Anything. This urge is a common and regular one in my life. The problem is not always knowing what to write about. It's a release for me. A calm. A stillness. An escape from the routines and happenings of daily life. I want to immerse myself in the waters of the written word. To dive in for the exercise and refreshment. For cool relief from the heat that surrounds me. To come out feeling relieved and recharged. I used to write as a personal release. To vent deep emotions that I didn't want to say aloud. I always felt I could express myself better through writing. There seemed to be a break in connection on the path from what I was wanting to say to what actually exited my mouth. I've always felt that way. That's why I tend to say less. I actually pause before I speak to concentrate on what I want to say. Not the smoothest transition. Anyway, so I used to write to journal my thoughts. Maybe something that I was thinking about that I just wanted to express. Most times it was about an emotion I was feeling. I still write about those things mainly, but I am currently feeling a desire to write outside of my comfort zone and outside of what I know. To write about things that are outside of myself. To challenge myself and improve what I consider to be my craft. To get to be really good at something in life, it involves practice. To dedicate time and effort to refine something good into something greater. The thought of me being a great writer one day gives me great pleasure. Now if I can get out of my own way and try to overcome the fear of not being good enough, I can move forward on that desired path. The thought of something that I write being released into the world for others to see. I would hope that the end result would make a small impact on another person. Maybe something that I write will improve someone else's day. Or that my words give someone pause to think and reflect on. I want my writing to matter. I've always loved words. English was my favorite subject in school. So many journeys that a string of words can take you on. Can unleash every emotion. Choosing certain words to put together can mean most powerful things. When I was a kid I had a love of books. I took them everywhere. Reading in the grocery cart in the supermarket, in the backseat of the car on road trips, anywhere and everywhere. As a teenager I would read the teenage chapter books about the dramas of school and other people's take on life as a teenager. Seemed like a different era. And the love of words and reading are still there today. The impact that words have in music. I love lyrics to music. Pairing a melody to bring words to life and stir up an emotion within. It's all magical to me. So powerful. I want to be a part of that and the idea that I could someday be paired into the same grouping of great writers is a dream, but in my mind a farfetched one. The writers that inspire me, both in the written word as well as the music world are in a different class. I look up to them and strive to learn from them. I hope that someday I will be a great writer. Not for fame or recognition. But for my words to have an impact in the lives of others, the way the great writers have on us. For my words to stir up emotion in others. To make a difference. To inspire.