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.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

I am taking pause to remind myself of what this day represents. 

It is a bittersweet day. The sweetness is for celebrating the fact that we can live our lives in freedom. We can have our barbecues and pool parties and shopping sprees in peace and live our every day according to the way we want to. The bitterness is the reason we are able to do these things. It's because of someone else's sacrifices. We silently honor and respect those individuals every day, but today we actively bring attention to them. They give their lives to us every day. These people deserve our respect, honor, appreciation, and gratitude.
 Memorial Day is a day to remember. It's right there in the name. What exactly are we remembering? The men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom, both in their life and from their life. The people whose lives were taken, we think of them. But it doesn't end at the end of their lives. Let's not forget the people they leave behind who are left with grief and losing someone they love so we can live in peace. All those people are someone's sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers.
 Let's remember that the men and women who lost their lives protecting what freedom stands for, lost a future with their loved ones. They knew they were fighting for something more. Something that they were willing to let their life be represented by. That sacrifice meant leaving behind a parent outliving their child. A child growing up without their parent. Those loved ones left behind for a greater cause, doesn't make the hurt go away. And let's not forget that sacrifice doesn't just mean loss of physical life. Let's not overlook the veterans who've served and survived. What about those brave service members who have become disabled? Loss of limbs and body parts, whose lives will never be the same and will have a physical limitation reminding them of their bravery. What about mental, emotional sacrifices? The horror they've seen and experienced, possibly fellow soldiers falling to their death before their eyes. The trauma, the nightmares, the difficulty of experiencing normal life after living the extremely abnormal. It takes a determination, strength, and power we do not know. To brainwash your mind into being okay with killing and fighting back at those trying to take our lives by taking their lives in return. Yet they volunteer to live this life. Unforced. To make their lives a sacrifice. Their bodies, their time away from loved ones, missing out on opportunities and memories, all so we can be free to live our lives as we choose. Not having to fight, because they do it for us. They take that on.

Men and women who are serving and have served your time: Thank you so much for your dedication. Thank you seems not enough. Two tiny words. I appreciate you and honor your service to our country. The sacrifice you make every day to wake up and do your job. It's not just a job. You are heroes. Thank you for making that choice, knowing that it could mean ending your life for the freedom of others. Even those who you don't know. I admire and respect you all. Grateful that I have my life that you work every day to protect. Thank you so very much. I'm so proud to be an American and to live in this country. It is flawed but our lives are our own. We have much more than others do. Thank you for protecting it.


Friday, May 24, 2013


Yes, I am tired. In a deep sense of the word. Exhausted, fatigued, weary. Physically, mentally, emotionally, even spiritually. Such an easy response to the "are you okay" question. Just tired. It's a great answer because everyone already knows what that answer entails. But does the assumption fit the reality? Tired because I have trouble sleeping? I have trouble sleeping because most of the time I sleep on the couch because that's where I am most comfortable emotionally not physically. I don't like sleeping in my bedroom. Most bedrooms in fact. I have bad memories of bedrooms. When I do sleep it is a restless one. A lot of tossing and turning and waking up multiple times. This has sadly become a regular part of my life. Also for the past few years I've discovered I grind my teeth when I sleep resulting in a sore mouth and jaw when I wake up. Tired of the daily, monotonous routine of no routine. Desiring so much more but laziness, fear, procrastination all get in the way. I am my biggest stumbling block to my own happiness. Laziness because I want a change, any change, and it needs to be a big one; but I don't want to put in the effort or work to make one. Fear because change means different, which is out of my comfort zone and familiarity. Fear that what I want in my life I can't obtain because I don't have what it takes to obtain it. Procrastination because there is always tomorrow and next week and next month to make the change. I have this delusional idea that I will be a different person and have the things I want in the next few years without knowing how it happened. It will just happen somehow. Sounds immature, I know. I'm tired of not having things the way I want them to be, yet tired that I'm not content and making the best of the way things are. Because the truth is, I have a great life. Everything that I always dreamed I'd have when I was younger. A husband that is my best friend and who is a good father. A child of my own. A beautiful house very close to family. It all looks right on the outside. The perfect picture wrapped up in a pretty little bow. Yet it's not enough. And I'm tired of the lack of fulfillment feeling. It's draining, and hollow. There is a stirring inside, an irritation, and that's how it starts. Then it gets stronger and slowly turns into anger. I'm a pretty quiet person emotionally. I am very good at covering up how I feel and maintaining composure on the outside. Yet on the inside I'm screaming. It's actually quite loud in my head, more often than you'd think. More often than I'd like. I long for quiet. Not only in my surroundings, but inside as well. I'm tired of being tired. What will finally be enough motivation for me to put action behind my words and behind my desires? What will it take? How long can I talk about being tired without doing anything about it? It's been said that if you want a different outcome you must do something differently. There's also the famous mantra that it's never too late. But it's uncomfortable. But I'm too tired today. But it won't happen overnight it will take time. But I don't feel like it. But I'm not good enough. But I've never done it before. The poisonous words I tell myself that cripple any type of motion forward. God tells us to keep our eye on the prize. To follow the straight and narrow path. To look on things above and not below. Such simple truths and yet I am still distracted by "things". Realigning my perspective is the key I think. The bigger picture. I guess we'll see. Time will tell. But God, the universe, luck, fate, and all outside forces can't do all the work, right? I've got to do my part right? It all comes back to choices doesn't it? Opportunity knocks, you answer. A door opens, you walk through it. Something must be done about it. You can't just listen to the knocking or stand still and stare at the door. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Gotta keep moving.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Failed Blog Resolution

Well, it looks like I've failed my New Year's resolution to write a blog post every day this year. I've definitely been shying away from blogging as you can see from the gaps in time between blogs. I am continuously asked if I'm writing and if I'm writing on my blog again and the answer is always no. Not sure why I avoid it when writing is such a release for me. It's a comfort, form of expression, and good practice on my quest to becoming a writer. Maybe it's laziness. Or the dreaded fear of no one caring about what I have to say. I think that is something everyone can relate to. What in the world do I have to say that anyone is going to care about? Why would someone care about what kind of day I had or what I'm thinking about? I guess the key is to remember why I write....for me. It's therapeutic and thoughts take on new meaning when they are put into words in front of you to see. I'm actually a very internal person. I process internally and say very little. I'm a very poor talker, which is why I turned to writing. When I audibly speak, my words come out jumbled and twisted and far from how they begin in my thoughts. But when I write, it flows like running water...smooth and clear. I hope so anyway :) What am I so afraid of when I blog? Well, I keep a few journals at home that I write in too. Not as regularly as I should or would like to, but more often than I blog. The thing is, fear of judgment is very real to me. And I'm not so fearful of judgment from strangers as I am from people I know such as family and friends. I think there is an image that we put up for all to see, and we build on what we want people to see. We try to control how much of ourselves we reveal. After all, what would people think of us if they know the whole truth? What's really going on beneath the surface. Those dark emotions and dark thoughts that we all have, how do we release them? There must be an avenue of escape before they explode out of us after being bottled up. And blogs are great, in that we can express ourselves behind the safety of a screen. But, what about the things inside us that might be socially unacceptable? The things that are uncomfortable to talk about? What about those things? The things that make us real....flawed....human. What about those? The danger and curiosities. The things we secretly wish but would never tell. People's feelings might be hurt. They would look at us differently. Think less of us. How unimaginable to tarnish that precious image we fight so hard to display. But, what about the saying that the truth shall set us free? Is that a blanketed statement meaning ANY and ALL truths? Where is the socially accepted line that shouldn't be crossed? And free from what exactly? From the internal chains that bind us and enclose us and free us from feeling trapped? The American Dream is that anything is possible, right? But, not really ANYTHING, right? That's where we're stuck. Sure anything is possible, but not for me. I don't have the money or the time or the ability or the intelligence. What limits do we put on ourselves? I put many limits on myself. It goes back to the fear of failure, doesn't it? It always goes back to that. Failing people we care about and failing ourselves. Why bother even trying? Why putting forth  time, money and hard work when the chances of succeeding and my true desires coming true are so slim? Because of the possibility of something more. More fulfillment. More reward. More opportunity. To not be stuck somewhere because it's the easier thing and it's more convenient. So, the real reason I don't blog more is this...what I write about is about something more. I can't seem to write about everyday things. My writing is my release and it must reflect the things that I need to express. Many times those thoughts are very heavy and I've been told that sometimes they are too heavy. My fear is that most people don't want to hear about that stuff. They want to hear about how things are going to get better, that people can change and situations can change. We all want to hear that. So, why not write about those things? Because that's not me. I must challenge myself to get past my fear and realize that maybe by sharing myself more, people can find a way to relate by reading something that we all tend to feel but are too afraid to say out loud. At the core, we are all the same. We want to be accepted and loved. We want happiness and at the end of our time we want to look back and say "I had a good life". Not perfect, but good. I want that. In order for that to happen to me though, I think I have to push myself to go to uncomfortable places. To stretch and challenge myself. To better myself and really put forth effort towards the things I really want. Then, at the end of my life, at least I will have peace that I tried. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Words we live by. Well, my friends, I am going to try and face my fear and be less afraid of what people think and be true to myself. So, let me ask you....what fears are holding you back from what you truly desire? Thank you as always for listening :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shower Me Clean

I love taking showers. It's like an attainable escape. So simple. So ordinary. I turn the silver handle and hear the water pour out. It shoots out and pitter-patters to the bottom of the tub. It's waiting for me. I turn the handle all the way to the left allowing the water to heat up to its hottest temperature. I reach my fingertips in to feel if the water is the temp that I want it. It is. I step in and let the steam surround me. It encompasses me like a warm blanket wrapped around me. I wash and am clean and there is something so wonderful about that. I stand there and close my eyes as the seething water runs down. I close my eyes as it covers my face. I just want to stay in here. The water washes everything away and I am renewed again. I don't have to do anything right now, except just be. An isolated, quiet moment of freedom and peace cut off from the world. I can let my mind escape, even wander to another place. Nothing and nobody to worry about right now. Let go, Alaina, let go. Just for a few moments. Where will my mind run off to? An island perhaps? With the beating heat of the sun that makes you feel as if you're in an open sauna. No worries. In the next moment the water will wash it away.  I am clean. I am pure, just even for these few minutes. I choose to only hear the rush of the water and feel the warmth of the steam. Peace, sweet peace. The tensions release in the toasty steam around me. My body unwinds and I feel relaxation. But my time is up and I must get on with my day. Until next time.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Okay, I'm going to reveal something about myself that a lot of people do not know about me. I am currently in therapy. I have been for over a year. It helps me deal with sensitive issues from my childhood, as well as difficulties in my daily life right now. I guess I just wanted to say that it has helped so much more than I expected. I was definitely one of those people who avoided it, for fear of what it meant and fear of being judged when people found out. I felt I was a failure if I went. The first day was a complete surprise. I know it's different for everyone, and some people find it uncomfortable to air their troubles to a stranger; I found it to be the exact opposite. This person doesn't know me, what have I got to lose? I actually enjoyed the opportunity to have an hour to just talk about me and have someone give me undivided attention. It was amazing to me. I just spilled all my issues out with no problem and it was a very freeing feeling. More than anything, it's been a learning experience for me....about myself. And it really is a journey that I've been on. The most surprising thing is how they get you to say those things you're afraid to say out loud and it transforms you. Things that are buried so far deep inside that is difficult to access somehow comes to the surface. But even though it sounds like a bad thing emotionally, it really is a step forward in healing and confronting things that need to be confronted. So, I guess I just wanted to say that I think therapy has gotten a bad rap in the past, but it's a really great thing. It's really helpful. I recommend it if you're struggling and need a little help. What's so wrong with needing help?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Les Miserables

WOW. So, I went to the movies with my Mom yesterday afternoon and we saw the Les Miserables movie. Neither of us had seen the old movie or the play. We both loved it. It was absolutely sensational! The acting was superb and so was the directing. The movie was beautifully made. The story was so powerful and moving. It was so intense, that I didn't want to blink for fear of missing something. The actors took acting to a new level with the emotion and rawness that was portrayed. The makeup and scenery and costumes, it all went together beautifully. What a wonderful story of redemption and sacrifice and love. I think it was one of the best movies ever made and definitely one of the best I've ever seen and a new favorite for me. Everyone needs to go see this movie. It's such a beautiful story with so much depth. I hope it sweeps all the awards this year :) For all of you out there who saw it, what did you think?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Enjoying Life Imperfectly

Every January 1st since I can remember, I make this plan that I'm going to somehow start living every day perfectly. Gonna get up early, read my Bible, shower, full face of makeup, hair perfect, clean the entire house, make a perfect breakfast and go through the day the way I "should". After three days, it's basically gone to hell. Not this time. I'm enjoying each day imperfectly.
It's much nicer going through the day without expectation of myself. Just to live the day moment to moment. It's absolutely freeing. Liberating. What a thrill to not plan your day before it even begins.
Enjoying the moments that add up the day, instead of how it may appear on the outside and to other people.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Learning to Play Piano

I decided to learn how to play the piano. I already have a keyboard that I bought many years ago. I played around with it a little bit, but nothing really stuck. Then life just got busy and back in the box it went, and has stayed there since. Well, my cousin Ashlynn got a guitar for Christmas this year and has been playing it non-stop since. I love listening to her play and sing. It has inspired me to get my keyboard out and learn to play. She taught me a few things and then today I went on to youtube and learned how to play two songs that I love...."It will rain" by Bruno Mars, and "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri. It's been really fun getting involved in music and learning to play piano is something I've always wanted to do. Makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something. Challenging myself. Learning new things. I'm tired of standing still.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Working on the house

Well, since New Years Day I have been a busy bee. I've been working on the inside of the house a lot. Trying to get it to look past the "just moved in" stage. We moved in last May. Everything is nicely painted and there are some pictures up and stuff but there are no bookshelves or much beyond that point. We have a lot of space, so that's not the problem. It's a matter of utilizing and organizing the space we have. I'm feeling really good about what I've done so far. I am quite lazy and tend to put things off.
I bought a coat rack and shoe rack for behind the front door in the entrance-way. I also bought a ladder bookshelf for the living room to display some pictures and books. I organized the office/playroom and found a place for everything. It looks nice and tidy now. I hung up a corkboard in the kitchen to display all of Becca's artwork and crafts. I also put the shelves up in my china cabinet and displayed all of my great-grandmother's china that was given to me. It looks really nice. My big purchase, though, I made New Years Day and it just got delivered three hours ago. I bought a brand new Dining Room Set. I finally saved enough money up over the past few months and I got a great deal on it too. It was a New Years Sale plus I got a military discount as well as friends and family discount. I just love it! We've been using a large folding table for a while and the table we had before that was a $50 Ikea table that was super tiny. So, finally we have a nice set to be proud of and can seat 8 people comfortably. Dark brown wood with dark brown upholstered chairs. It was bought with money that was left to me from my stepfather when he passed, so I think of it as his gift to me. Something I will always have. I'm real proud of myself for making my home more of a home.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Strong-Willed Child

I'm reading the book, "The Strong-Willed Child" by Dr. James Dobson. I had heard of it before and was interested, and then my mom bought it for me. I wish I had started reading this book much earlier. Turns out it's all about my daughter. It's been such a struggle, the past year and a half with her. I find it very difficult to parent her. Especially doing it by myself while Eric is deployed. It has given me a new respect for single parents. Of course it doesn't help that Becca has her father's personality as well as everything else. I wonder what she got from me besides physical attributes. We have opposite personalities. I am shy, quiet, and avoid confrontation. Becca is never quiet, requires constant attention, and thrives on battles and testing limits. I am very early on in the book, but a comfort I have read already is that it is part of her genetic makeup. I have felt like a parental failure because of her behavior. Make no mistake, I do play a part in this, a big part. I struggle with discipline and consistency with her, which adds to the problem big time. My passive, non-confrontational personality conflicts with her frequency to start a battle between us. Another thing the book encouraged was prayer. To pray for my daughter. For the Holy Spirit to tame her strong will without destroying her spirit. This really spoke to me, and I've immediately started to do that. I'm definitely one of those people who pray as a last resort; when everything else I've tried has failed. God has more power than I do, and He loves my daughter more than I do too.
I need to learn control with her and teach her. I am glad I have this book, though. It is a great read and I recommend it to you other mothers out there who are struggling with the same battles I am.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

365 Posts for 2013

Well, hello everybody. It's been a long time I see. I didn't realize just how long it has been until just now when I saw the date of my last post. And what a year not to post. Let's just say I had a lot to write about. I just never did. Nevertheless, it's a new year and I want to take writing to another level. Those of you who regularly read my posts and those of you who know me personally, know by now that my dream is to be a writer. The extent of what kind, is yet to be determined. However, it is clear to me that it's what I'm meant to do. So, here I am at 6:30am, on the first day of the new year. I've decided to start back up again on my blog with a challenge to myself. I am going to write a post every single day this year, whether I feel like it or not. I've read many, many books on writing and how to be a successful writer. Every single one of them state strongly that in order to be a good writer, you must write constantly. I've actually been asked by many friends why I stopped posting on my blog and if I still write. The answer is yes, I still write. Not as much as I should or would like to. I stopped posting on my blog because most of the things I write about are very, very personal. My writing is vulnerable and I write about a lot of stuff  most people in my life do not know about. Why not share it? Well, in the past, fear of judgment and giving people close up access to deep, dark places in my life. But isn't that what all good writing is about anyway? For the writer, it's about unleashing inner emotions and thoughts. For the reader, it's about a connection to something beyond the page; beyond the words of the subject matter. I can't be 80 years old and still be saying I want to be a writer. There must be progress. So, this is me taking a step forward. Sharing with you my upcoming year. I know you missed last year, but this year couldn't possibly be worse. In fact, I would like to start the new year off right, in saying that this year I plan to take steps toward healing, and moving on from the past. Not forgetting it, or the mistakes and hurt and pain that came with it, but to no longer allow it to hold power over the present. I want this year to be a year of change for me, from the inside out. As a person, as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a child of God, and all of the other roles that I have. I will share with you that my biggest weakness is also my most hated trait about myself. It has been the Achilles heel of my life. Lack of follow-through. It stems from laziness. Great ideas that lead to nowhere. A decision that is never carried out. To put something off until the next day, week, or month. This year I want to make a conscious effort to work on that. To become more productive. Despite however I may appear, like most people, I am very hard on myself. To the point where, for an entire year, I did not look in a mirror because I hated what I saw so much. I've come far from that point to a place of acceptance. To have peace within myself. Believe me, it has taken many years to get to this point, and it was a path of self-hatred and self-destruction. Words I live by; they are my own: if perfection doesn't exist and is unattainable, there is always room for improvement. I will never be perfect, but that means I can strive to better myself and grow and improve on weak areas in my life. I've also learned to find what few strengths I have, and maximize and extend them towards other avenues in life.
So, anyway, I am re-opening my blog this year. I hope you come on this journey with me. I am nervous to let you inside my thoughts, but risks can bring forth great rewards, right?
I'm going to end each post with a concluding message to you, my readers.
Today's is: Happy New Year to you. Some people make resolutions for the new year or goals to work on. Tell me one of yours. If you are not one to make resolutions, I would ask you to simply think to yourself how you would like either yourself or your life to be different from this time next year. Life is short. As we've read in headlines the past few months, there is a lot of negative in the world. It's time to embrace the good and strive to better ourselves. After all, that is all we can be accountable for, nobody else.