2019
Deep in Thought and My Current State

Monday, December 31, 2018

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I have felt more like writing lately. I think I say that often. It feels there are words drowning and crying to get free. And it seems they are always spilling out into actual words in my thoughts at times I cannot put them down to paper. And sometimes that feels right--just putting words to what my heart feels, so I can feel them better, but it's often so sad, because I want them in ink. Or at least black and white on a screen.

But as much as I have felt like writing, I was withdrawn, and maybe that's why I feel the words coming closer to the surface. Usually when I pull back, I keep urging myself to reach out more, I force myself to open Instagram, I try to talk to people more. This time, I just let it be. I forced nothing. If it felt forced, I didn't do it. And it felt right. So maybe I've been making a mistake all along, in trying not to let myself sit in solitude for a while.

I feel out of place. In a limbo, of sorts. I feel messy. I feel my failures in everything. I'm stuck, you see. I'm stuck, and I know there is change ahead, but I'm so stuck, and I do not believe it is possible to move in the meantime, to become unstuck. This is just where I am. And sometimes, I truly believe, that is just the nature of things. It is hard, though, so hard, to feel as though you have to act like you feel something. Or to feel as though you have to suppress something that is so important. How can I say I like who I am, I feel so me, be joyful of who I am, yet also feel as though I have no right to be me, no right to love, no right to joy. As though my only option is to feel shame. And do you know what shame feels like? It eats you alive.

I have found that goals no longer serve me, and I know that is not a popular thought. I am no longer a goal-oriented person, and I question whether I ever was. I remember frequently feeling stressed by having goals, but then I also realise my life situations have not always been accommodating, so it feels like I have always struggled through goals. That continues today, and thus I gave up on them. Maybe I will try again in the future, when I find myself in different situations, with different circumstances, but for now, no goals.

For 2018, I didn't make a list of goals, and I was going to choose a word, but instead I chose to focus on healing and becoming okay. I guess that is a goal, of sorts, and I am pleased with my progress on that. I don't think everything can be healed in a year, that takes time, but I am okay with where I am on that, and I know I made it far, and I have set the foundation for continuing there. As far as being okay, I will never be completely okay all of the time. Partially, that's human, everyone faces tough struggles, and everyone will fall apart at some point. But I accept I may fall apart more, or need more when things are rough. It's kind of the nature of anxiety + bipolar disorder + depression. Or maybe it's the nature of me. Either way, that is my reality.

This coming year, I thought I wouldn't do anything. No goals, no word, no focus. But then I realised that in itself is a focus, can be put in a word--be.

There is a lot of change ahead. I realise my life has been full of a lot of change, or maybe it's been a lot of change concentrated in a small time frame. I frequently feel frustration at this, like this is why I feel so all over the place, and crazy, but in the end, I think it's been good for me. I think I have grown more, faster, and have come to realisations earlier, and I think it is because of the changes, because of the experiences. And when I let myself feel what I need to feel, and I am honest with myself, and I stop forcing anything at all, and I listen to my body, and I listen to my soul, I find the greatest peace and contentment. So through the upcoming change, and adjustments, I just want to be.

Currently | 2

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

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making | ornaments I didn't finish last year, a few cards, and a scarf.
planning | Day hiking trips now that the weather doesn't threaten to kill me!
reading | Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - I'm almost done!
watching | Rectify...such an amazing show. I may even end up rewatching it. 
quote that is really speaking to me | It's long--see here. I want to write about this, but not yet.
working on | My art. Yeah, I just draw greeting cards, but I am pushing myself to learn new things.

And just a little bit here...

I never finished National Suicide Prevention Week... I did it on Instagram. Maybe I will go back and add links to the posts I did here for the Instagram ones.

I haven't shared a lot on here as much as I did this time last year. I've wanted to. It's simply work and life and lack of time, and I can't say that will change for a while. But here is a quick currently post, a beautiful photo, and me saying I have so much to share, but it's mostly limited to Instagram right now. I do have a lot planned, a lot I want to do, but I don't have the time to do it properly, so I'd rather post it "late." So maybe one day I'll do it all, I truly want to, but now is not the time. 

It Was You
National Suicide Prevention Week

Thursday, September 13, 2018

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It was you

The first time I believed tomorrow needed me

That I deserved a tomorrow. 

You had no idea

You didn't know I cried myself to sleep every night

You didn't know how badly I wanted to die. How I wished for it. Dwelt on it

You helped me believe I had worth, a purpose, that life was richer with me in it

And while my struggles didn't end there, your words stuck with me all these fifteen years, telling me I was a beautiful gift and tomorrow needed me.

"...but people more than anything else..."
National Suicide Prevention Week

Monday, September 10, 2018

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“You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.”
(Jamie Tworkowski)

So often I was told not to need other people. But at every step of the way, it has been people that kept me okay. That helped me in dark times. That got things going in my mind that would lead to discovering parts of myself I didn't know about, which would lead to further growth.

It's been people.

And I keep forgetting it's okay to depend on people. It's okay to need people.

On Going Alone

Monday, August 27, 2018

Looking back, I missed out on so many opportunities, and so many beautiful things, because I didn't think I could go alone. In my later teens I only went out if I could get my boyfriend to go (and it really wasn't his thing). And then for four years in LaGrange, Georgia I spent going nowhere. I lived four years in Colorado and only went on a handful of hiking trips waiting for someone to go with me. I can't pinpoint one specific reason it was this way, but I do know part of it was it had been impressed upon me that it wasn't safe to go anywhere alone (except the store or something). Even though I never really felt scared that I can recall, I just always thought to myself, "I can't go alone, what if something happens?" But I think the rest might have had something to do with the fact that I wasn't fully comfortable being alone with myself. I never did alone very well.

I had taken a few drives over the years, all near to home, to scout out good places to take photos, and a couple places a few miles away I had gotten out and taken photos. But the first time I actually went adventuring alone, not near home, and actually got out of my car, was when I was twenty-five years old. It was 2013, and I was living in Centennial, Colorado (I miss that place!). A work friend had told me about an area in or around Parker where you could often see bison that time of year, so on that particular weekend, I decided to just get in my car and go.

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I don't remember why, but I never made it to the intended location. I just went south on Santa Fe, and I just enjoyed the sights. I listened to my music. My cameras were in the front seat beside me. I stopped and snapped a few shots of a fence, and just stood outside a while. I drove all over, having no clue where I was, and not caring. I took a bunch of different streets, I drove with the windows down, enjoying that cool, mountain air. I drove and drove and as the sun began to set, I just took whatever roads took me north, and I remember how good it felt to be alone with myself, and have the mountains at my side. I remember feeling content, joyful, clear.

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But I just kept getting caught up in that feeling someone needed to be with me and I couldn't go places alone.

When I moved to north Denver, I did start taking Sandey to the dog park. It was an absolutely beautiful place, and there was a hill to the northwest that if you went all the way to the top of, it was like you were in a different place. The mountains were so close, so beautiful, and I always enjoyed the windmills that were out there. I could just sit out there, just think, just be with Sandey (hardly anyone came up there).

And then in 2015 I went to my first concert by myself. I really thought it wasn't going to be as fun alone, but Matt Nathanson was playing more intimate shows at smaller venues and was doing meet and greets, and...I just had to. I was living in Greeley by then and I drove to downtown Denver to the Larimer Lounge (one of my favourite venues, it's pure awesome). It turned out to be the most amazing time! I didn't feel at all weird or strange or out of place like I thought I would. I laughed so much, took a slew of photos (even though it's way late, maybe I should post those?), and I got to meet this man whose music has changed my life, and he is so awesome (and gives really good hugs). I enjoyed myself so much.

In 2016, I went to see Howie Day, he actually came to Greeley and played at the Moxi, so it was just right down the street, and it was incredible show. Hardly anyone was there, so I could literally walk around, go right up to the stage, whatever. I got some pretty good photos there, too, and had a great time. I also got to chat with him afterwards. When he was done playing, he just hopped off the stage to mingle. He also picked at me for being short and took a few photos of us on my phone. Again, totally amazing experience by myself. (Maybe I should post these photos, too.)

Each time, I have felt so exhilarated. There is something about doing things that you think you need a group or friend for, all alone.

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When I moved back to Alabama in 2017, I knew I was going to be doing a lot of things either alone, or just me and Marion (doing things alone with your small child is a whole different thing though, and I posted a little about that here.). When I went to Colorado in March, I thought I was going to be taking a bus to RMNP and hiking alone and I was totally fine with it (but the company I had was absolutely amazing!). It feels normal now, but I think to most people (or people I know), it still isn't.

So, from an incredibly anxious and cautious and worst-case-scenario kind of person: go do something by yourself that you normally wouldn't. Whether it's hiking or a concert, or going to see a movie, or maybe you never grocery shop alone, just get out there and do it. Decide on it, prepare (especially when hiking, tell someone where you're going!), and do it. There's a difference in being alone with yourself at home, and being alone with yourself in a different setting.
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Thursday, August 23, 2018

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listening | the new songs for Matt Nathanson's upcoming album Sings His Sad Heart...they're amazing!
making | a house sweater...I hope it comes out this time!
reading | Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, slowly, and with delight.
watching | the entire Shameless series...again...don't judge me.
quote that is really speaking to me | I think the hardest work we do is unbraiding ourselves from habits that don't work for us anymore and clearing space in our lives to just enjoy the moments we're in. (Matt Nathanson)
something i am particularly enjoying right now | organising my life, in so many different ways.