Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ramblings about Growth and Struggle

Can there be growth without struggle?

I switch back and forth between contentment, anger, and sadness. One constant is that I always feel blessed. How can I feel sad and blessed at the same time? I really don't understand my emotions. I have a lot of really good things happening in my life, yet the sadness and often detachment remains. Maybe this is my cross to bear -- managing and understanding my conflicting emotions.

God feels very far away. My Christian "practice", for lack of a better word, has been paused for some time now. There is a church down the street that I have thought about going to many times, but have yet to go. Why isn't God leading me there? I don't feel led anywhere. Where is He?

Then, there's my ADHD management combined with my addictive personality makes taking habit-forming medication difficult. I found that my "key" hours of high productivity take place 2-3 hours after taking my Vyvanse. But it's supposed to work throughout the day. Not long after taking it, I soon find myself antsy and it's hard to stay on task and concentrate, the very thing the medicine is supposed to be helping with. I take a mid-day dose of Adderall, but I don't feel like that helps much either. I've continued to work out in the mornings, but the feel-good endorphins don't last long either. It's like something in my body is suppressing all of this "good" that is trying to run through me. What is that something?

As I sit here writing, I see that I am experiencing struggle. Does this mean I am growing? I don't feel like I'm growing. But until I started writing this, I didn't think I was struggling either. The stakes are so high right now; there is a lot to be lost if I break. I don't know how close I am to breaking, or if I'm even close at all. Is this anxiety? Is this premonition? I'm surprised at the number of question marks that are in this post.

My doctor said that journaling is a good thing, that it will help with my anxiety and sadness. But today it's opened a wound that I have to deal with for the rest of the day, while trying to be an adult, with laundry and cleaning and preparing for the week ahead needing to be done. Maybe I was better off in the dark, thinking that I wasn't struggling and wondering if I was still growing.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Yoga State of Mind

I chose to do yoga because there was a promo for $30 for 30 days of unlimited classes. That's what got me in the door -- cheapness. I can't say I'm hooked, but I am enjoying it and hating it all at once.

What yoga asks of your body is what it asks of your mind. Stretch. Find balance. Stay calm and quiet. The noise of the world is left behind for one hour, just one hour, and I leave a better me, a more accepting self.

At the end of each class as we are winding down and doing our finishing stretches, the teacher puts on music. Yesterday as I'm laying there drenched in sweat (yes, you sweat in yoga), a song starts playing and I hear the lyrics, "...amazing grace is pouring down." And, there was no better way to describe how I was feeling in that moment. Graceful, grateful. Those lyrics and that song stuck with me.

I did some googling and found out it is a song called Enter One by Sol Seppy. It's haunting but in a good way -- is that possible? I'd like to share the song with you -- here's to hoping it moves you the way it moved me: Enter One by Sol Seppy

I've gone to yoga Monday through Friday for three weeks. I still do a terrible frog, a funny-looking vinyasa and an acceptable lotus. My 30 days is up next week, but my yoga journey continues. I found a Groupon for $39 for 30 days of unlimited classes at the same studio. Again, cheapness. In the door. Me.

There's no better ending to a (hopefully) good blog post than one that is oh so cliche. So on that note, keep calm and yoga.

Friday, July 4, 2014

New Enjoyment

I guess lately I haven't felt like I have anything to say that's worth posting...until now, at 3 a.m. Maybe because the world as I know it is quiet and I am alone with thoughts. I've read a few books lately: A Fine Balance, Lisa Wingate's Wildwood Creek, and Breath, Eyes, Memory. I wish I had taken notes of the passages that affected me, but I didn't, for the same reason as not posting: why bother?"

I enjoy writing and I enjoy posting to my blog. Those two reasons are enough to "bother." So here I am, at 3 am., finally allowing myself to do something I enjoy. I realize as I sit here typing quietly as to not wake up my fiancee, that any thought, any experience is worth posting. It's my journey, my own journey. What could be more unique than the words that run through my mind and the actions my body takes?

I've taken some big steps lately. I've let people in! I've gone to lunch with co-workers, and even shared with a few my semi-recent ADHD diagnosis. I'm not embarrased about it. Someone asked me about my mom, if I was going to see her for some holiday, and I said, "I don't really talk to my mom." It was hard to say out loud, especially to someone I haven't known long, but it's my truth, so I shared. With that being said, I am careful what I share and to whom because I know that it could potentially bite me in the tail. It's okay to be careful.

And, I started yoga! Talk about mentally and physically challenging. What's more is that a small group of my co-workers first decided to start taking yoga classes at a studio (yes, I said studio. who am I?) by our office, and they asked me if I wanted to join in, so I simply said, "Yes." The group includes my boss, which is awkward because I'm positive my sweaty butt has been in her face on at least 3 occassions. I signed up for 2 months at a special rate I couldn't pass up, and I'm going regularly and allowing myself to do something new and that I am coming to enjoy, and enjoying it with other people.

So, here I am very early in the morning, or late at night depending on your perspective, and I realize that life is worth writing about. There is newness in my life, a newness I haven't before experienced. Simply stated, it's kind of cool. So I write.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Life is...

many things, but most importantly, it is not permanent.

That scares me. I feel like I've wasted so much of this fleeting life on sadness over circumstance. Even now, is this not what I'm doing?

There is a lot of regret over past behavior. I can't get those times back, not just for myself, but for those who were once a part of my life. Friends I hurt, pushed away. I drank away so many friendships and relationships. My life gets better every day. I am making myself known to others, opening myself up to the possibillity of new friendships, with the experience to appreciate the friendships that do develop.

I do still have my dark moments of pain and doubt and jealousy of others who seem to just have it so good. I regret my regrets and I'm sad that I sometimes get very sad. Emotions, thoughts, worries and whims definitely do not make sense. But they are a part of life and won't be around forever.

I find myself asking, "What will I leave here with?" I know I want to leave with a noble legacy, I want to be remembered for something, not great but significantly simple. I once thought, "I hope I have time to right my wrongs." But each day I find myself thinking more and more, "I am thankful for the time and grace I've been given to make the mistakes I've made." And, I know that righting a wrong really isn't all that possible, but moving forward toward thoughtfulness and forgiveness is a definite.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Where's God?

In my growing contentment, I find myself asking, "Where's God?"

I do not ask this because I find Him absent; rather, I find myself absent. When I read back on my blog posts, He was my center. These days, I am not doing the Christian reading or writing or journaling I was doing not that long ago. Where am I placing God in my life? Why am I not putting Him first?

I say prayers and give thanks while I pass through my day, but this isn't enough; I know this for sure. I wouldn't want God to wave hello to me in passing and move on with His day. I need His time and love and attention. Isn't this the same for Him? Does He miss me? Has He led me to write this post? Does God ever ask Himself, "Where's Kristin?"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Belonging

It's the grown-up things that scare me the most.

Buying a house, planning a wedding, getting out of bed in the mornings. All are on the same scale of "how the hell am I going to do this today?" I am now engaged -- no longer the damaged person I thought no one would want. He proved me wrong; now I'm just working on believing it.

We are building a house, making a home. Home. I feel at home in our 800 sq. ft. apartment. It's safe and warm and the same place I come home to day after day. We will have triple the living space by next May, a blessing I know I need to appreciate and be thankful for each day. I grew up moving from apartment to apartment, changed schools so many times. I'm moving deeper into stability, still not so sure how all of my baggage will fit.

Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve all this. I don't deserve this ring on my hand and the guy who comes with it. I don't deserve a home and a good job. Shouldn't I be stuck in the same circle as my mother?

So here I am, in a good place but wondering if I belong. When will I feel it? When will my surroundings match the thoughts running through my head? When will I know I belong where I am and I am where I belong?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rules to be Written

I finished House Rules tonight, underlining and scribbling notes in the margins because I couldn't find my highlighter.

I saw my family members in hers, Rachel the author. My mother was a key player, of course. But I was surprised how she took the role of both the father and the mother. The father was sick, controlling and demeaning. Abusive. The mother was the enabler, making excuses and choosing sickness over her children, a choice she was unaware she was making time and time again.

My mother justified my mother's actions. She was cruel sometimes, but didn't view her actions as anything more than lessons deserving for my bad behavior. I was bad. Selfish, inconsiderate, lazy. A poor example for my younger sisters--how many times I heard her say that! Her words cut deep into my security and sense of self; home was equivalent to a different four letter word.

Rachel was eventually estranged from her parents for her own sanity, to create the ability and opportunity to mold and manage her own life. I am estranged from my mother and my father. I hated that word estranged. But after reading Rachel's story, estranged now means empowerment, the choice to create your own house rules, rules of love and self-acceptance.

She recalls the night she came to terms with being truly done with her parents. Her past replaced with freedom. And I realize I am not yet done. I am not yet free. I have one foot inside grief and guilt with the other foot wading in escape, toying with the idea of letting go of conditions and circumstance and living with both purpose and secure uncertainty.

I am just realizing the rules I must not just write, but that I must live by. Wholeheartedly experience freedom without regret pulling at my heartstrings. I honestly can say, I'm not quite ready to let go of Her.

Hope is something I have written, and as long as I have hope for a mom, my mom, I cannot fully jump in.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cotton and Cough Syrup

Here I am again.

I should be sleeping but I am thinking.Worrying.  Arguably obsessing.

I am failing - my boss, my boyfriend, my sisters. A deep part of me tells me I am not. Oprah says I'm doing the best I can with what I have.

Stability. A nice home. A good job. A closet full of clothes. Stability, I have craved, and now I have it but am not satisfied. I accept it in small doses, like cough syrup. You know it's good for you but no matter what flavor you choose, you can never find the one that doesn't sometimes make you gag.

Maybe this is...normal, balanced. I've always been so up and down. This could be the middle, like the Jimmy Eat World song. My motto. A song I blarred after leaving my first college. Yes, I said first.  (See above "stability" commentary.  No, the one above that.) A move I'm not sure I should have taken, apparent as it's present in my midnight ramblings. But here I am.

I can't see myself anywhere else. But not in the hopeless way of the past. I feel blessed and at the same time uneasy. Unsure,  overly confident, unsure which I am and why and when. Those damn W's get me every time.

Are you awake, too? Rambling, wondering, mind wandering?  Hopefulness among hopelessness?  Here and there? Sometimes nowhere, or at least it seems?

Woven into the scratchy fabric of my past. You know what they say about cotton. It shrinks. As does my past. And my past doesn't fit me today, unless I shrink with it. I don't want to shrink. I'd rather change my shirt.

I want to drink tasty cough syrup in my forever overly-large white cotton tee. Let's just leave it at that.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Don't judge Chris Brown's anger issues...

until you've read my last post.

I don't want to feel such strong anger, hate almost, toward anyone. I've been hurt, and I've hurt others. Am I that much different from my mother? Do others feel about me the way I feel about her, because of my prior actions and behavior which came from a deep, painful place inside? Is pain an excuse to gain understanding and forgiveness today from those I have hurt before?

My counselor once asked me, "When are you going to forgive yourself? When are you going to forgive that little girl?" Which comes first, forgiving others or forgiving yourself?

They both sound pretty damn difficult.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

House Rules by Rachel Sontag

Passages that stop you, keep you from going forward so you can begin to travel inward--inward toward experiences that you thought only you had. A difficult past, the yearning to just get out of your current condition with the current condition being home. Knowing your day-to-day isn't normal as you hear, "There's no such thing as normal. You think you have it so bad?"

Yes, I do in fact. Thank you for asking. 

I am getting real tired of hearing my counselor say, "I think we can all agree that our parents did the best they could." No, lady. We don't agree on that. My mother was a real bitch, obviously, because I'm in here once a week. Who goes to counseling once a week with parents who did the best they could? That was her best? Pity. If anything, she has gained my pity.

Marriage is on the horizon and I have to make a choice whether to invite her, the sorry mother who did the best she could, or the mother I wish I had, the mother who loved me on occasion when she wasn't belittling me or telling me how bad I was, telling my sisters, friends she doesn't even have anymore, her on-and-off-again-drug-addicted boyfriend, how bad and selfish I was. 

Guilt and shame as a child morphs into guilt and shame as an adult. It only must find the point of reference that hurts the most and is easiest to resurrect. From sitting in my room playing with cabbage patch kids wishing I could run away from the fighting and shouting, to deciding if I want my mother as a guest at my wedding.  

House Rules is ridden with highlights and scribbles in the margins (mine, just to be sure we're on the same page). Halfway through the book and I am affected in some kind of way, a way which keeps me highlighting and remembering and getting mad all over again. All I've ever wanted was to get away, to run away from what I knew and who I thought I was because of where I came from. Now I realize it's only through transformation that I can escape. Time-consuming, painful, seemingly neverending transformation.

I'd rather just read.