Repurpose

It has been a while since I last updated the masses on the happenings in my world, so what better time than the beginning of a new year.  Happy 2016, everyone!

I am always happy to see a New Year come bursting forth with the fireworks, ball drops, and drunken people into the streets; however, this year, I was PUMPED!  2015 started out pretty rough as far as dealing with some sickness and work stress, but it took a turn, and ended really well.

I got a new job, one that I have been wanting for a while, it happened at just the right time.  I am loving my new job, and so blessed to have it.  I feel like a completely different person, full of life and happiness.  I do not dread getting up and going to work.  I enjoy getting dressed and seeing what my day will hold for me.  I am happy to have found a place and a job that allows me the freedom of doing what I love, and a company that I feel is just as amazing as the job itself.  I am really blessed.

The BF and I , (more like the BF, and I help), took the adventure of getting a puppy in January of 2015, and she is now a year old.  Her name is Maci, and anyone that knows me well, knows she is the love of my life.  She is a furball of happiness and surprises every day.  She makes me world a happy place, and reminds me that there is always happiness  in the simple things.  I could ramble about her all day and all night, because I love her so much, but I will spare you and just leave you with the cutest photo of her EVER!

 

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See what I mean?! Adorable and fluffy and pure love.

Two of my cousins had babies in 2015, both boys, and a month a half a part.  I have enjoyed watching the two boys grow.  I cannot wait until they are older and actually causing mischief together.  I’m sure they will be raising all kinds of hell in their future.  I will enjoy all of it, and their parents’ faces when the stories come out!

I also completed three 5K’s in 2015.  I had a goal of completing a 5K when I was 30.  I didn’t meet that goal, but I did complete three of them in my 32nd year, and I am completely okay with that.  I feel like this past year has really allowed me to get to know myself.  I feel like with everything that has been going on over the past few years, I have lost a bit of myself and my way.

In 2015, I found myself, and was reminded of who and what I am.  I am happy with me, work in progress that I am.  I have learned some valuable lessons in life and in love.  I am so very lucky to have found a man that I am completely head over heels for, and that has shown me what it’s like to “grow up”.  I know this sounds crazy, but everyone has parts of their life they are not proud of, and they need to work on.  I am okay with admitting my problem areas for the first time in a long time, and I am working on them.  Slow and steady wins the race.

The year of 2015 was a recovery and rediscovering period for me, and 2016 will be the regrowth year.  I am ready!  I have decided to focus on my faith, finances, and my relationships.  This really is the year of growth and regrowth for me.  I hope this year is a year of joy and blessings for all of you, as well!

Who Knew?!

I have been feeling pretty low about my career situation lately.  I went to school for this amazing degree, that I love everything about it.  I love literature, I love criticism, I love discussion, and I love analyzing.  I LOVE MY DEGREE!  I worked so hard for it, and I feel like it just sits on the shelf gathering dust, as the diploma that came with it. I have been asking myself, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” a lot lately. The answer is still a teacher, a helper, and a motivator.  Not a coordinator.

For once in my life, I can say I am happy with everything else.  I am happy with my relationship.  I am happy with my friends. I am happy with my hobbies, let me rephrase, I have found hobbies, and I am in love with them.  I am completely head over heels for Maci, the new fur baby in my life.  As well as her daddy, which is a good thing, considering we are coming up on two years.  He definitely has my heart like no other ever has.

I feel like I am getting my creative juices flowing again, writing, painting, creating, and getting the energy out.  Also, I started focusing on my health.  My workout regimen is on point, and I miss it if I miss a morning, and feel weird until I do it.  I have learned to listen to my body, rest when I need it, and push it a little farther each day.  I have registered for a 5K on April 4, and I am stoked!  I have never been excited about doing anything healthy.  It is a new lifestyle and I love this life.

Tonight, I was invited in on an opportunity which I think is amazing, and feel so blessed to have been asked to be a part of.  I have worked hard at finding out who I am over the past few years.  You tend to lose yourself, or really not know who you are until after college.  You are so caught up in working and going to school, and doing what everyone else wants you to do, that you forget to find out what you want to do, or like to do.

After school, I could not even tell people what my hobbies were.  I had not had enough free time to even know what I enjoyed anymore.  I loved to read before, but not the sight of a book made me cringe.  It took me almost two years to pick up a book and read it for fun.  I had read so much throughout my undergrad and my graduate studies that I just wanted to go blank and stare at a TV for hours.  Now, I am finding me, and have spent a good while convincing myself it is okay to put me first for once.

I have been posting a lot of “self-discovery” blogs lately, but I just want people to know that it is okay to put yourself first.   Women tend to put others first, always and forget that they have to take care of themselves as well.  In my plus-sized support group, most of the women are in their 40s and 50s, stating they have forgotten to care for themselves through marriages, children, jobs and so forth.  They are just now realizing how unhealthy they are.  Health is not the only thing that can go to the wayside, happiness, life, and just enjoying the small things tend to be forgotten, and then before you know it, POOF, you realize you lost yourself somewhere along the way.

I am 31, almost 32, single and childless.  I am very thankful for this time in my life.  It is allowing me to focus on me, whereas a few years ago, I was upset and felt like a failure because I ended the relationship I thought was going to be the forever happily ever after.  I fell into a deep depression, I rarely left the house, I slept all of the time, and I was miserable.  Slowly, I came out of my fog, and started venturing out on my own, and realized there is still a life to live.  Even though I hate my job, at the moment, I am blessed to have it.  However, I am so glad I started my journey to fit, because without it, I would not be where I am today.  I have a great group of ladies that I get to communicate, encourage, and see their struggles daily.

Today, I am a happier, healthier me.  I am blessed, and this group, and lifestyle change has opened so many doors for me.  I honestly can say that I have never been happier with myself or with my progress.  I just hope I can motivate, help, and hold hands with other women like myself, that need a little pick me up, or soundboard at some point in their lives.  Women should encourage other women, not put them down.  We are all struggling with our demons, why not help someone through theirs, instead of a *tsk tsk*and a head shake in disappointment or sorrow for them.  Offer a hand to lift them up.  Do not look down on someone unless you are lifting them up.

Reality Check

As most of you know, I have been working on the 21 Day Fix, with Beach Body.  I have enjoyed it so much, as well as all of the ladies I have been working with, that I decided to become a coach.  This does not mean I am in the gym every day, or pushing my program on people, I am merely sharing.  Now, if you are interested in finding out more about the program, or trying it, let me know though, ok? J

I have found that this choice to make a change in my physical lifestyle has helped me in so many ways.  I know exercise is a natural mood elevator, I just did not realize it was this awesome.  I have battled with depression for a few years now, I would say the better part of 10 years.  I know some of you may know this; however, a lot of you do not even have a clue as to how bad it is.

There have been weeks where I have isolated myself in my house, not leaving for anything, except to gather necessities.  If you have ever seen me out on one of these hunting and gathering experiences, more than likely, my hair was not washed, and had not been for days.  I may have had a shower, or may not have.  I usually always shower, because I just have to.  Washing hair?  Not so much.  I never wear make-up out in these instances, and I usually have on a pair of yoga pants and a sweatshirt that is three sizes too big.

I do not share my depression with people. I do not talk about it much.  There are a few people that know how bad it has really gotten, but most do not.  Unless you have suffered from severe depression, there is no way to explain it.  There were weeks I would see my therapist two or three times.  Every day would be the same.  We would sit in her office; I would drink my coffee and cry.  She would nod and ask me questions.

A person can look completely normal and suffer from depression.  I am usually a really joyful person.  I talk to everyone, I laugh, I smile, and I am genuinely nice to everyone.  When I have an episode, I stop talking to people, I sleep or do not sleep, and my diet sucks.  There have been days where I have slept 20 hours out of the 24, and then there are days where I sleep four hours, out of the 24.  People who do not suffer from depression cannot understand what it is like.  They may see you somewhere, or wonder where you have been, but they never really understand.

There is such negativity surrounding depression.  So many people think it is a “fake” disease.  People use it as an excuse to not have to live life.  This is not true.  There is nothing more a depressed person wants to do.  They want to live life, they want to go out and not feel like they are about to burst into tears if someone asks them how they are doing.  They really, really want to live.  It is just harder some days.  Some days, they just cannot make yourself do it.

I am sharing this, because I have found that even though I still have days where it is physically hard to get out of bed and live my life, the change in my physical life has really helped.  I know this is not the case for everyone. There are still days that I have to make myself get out of bed, make myself workout, make myself shower, and make myself leave my house.  Some days I make myself look nice, so I will hopefully feel nice.  It does not always work.

I think sharing this about myself is part of my journey.  My journey to fit is also my journey to love myself, and my life.  It is important to stop hiding things from people, and share who I am.  This is important for me to embrace myself, as I am.  There are private things in life, but depression is not one you should be ashamed of.  I have been for a very long time, and it makes me feel like I am not always sharing the real me with people.  Throughout the years, I find the people that truly love me will love me anyway.  They will love me through my non-hair washing funk, and they will love me after.

Snow Day Fun Day

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This is how I work, guys!

Today, is a snow day in Alabama!  We have 10 inches, and it is still snowing.  It is so rare and so far between that it is amazing when it happens.  I have been looking at Facebook all day of pictures from home, and man do I miss the country.  I am happy I have power though, which my parents do not.  I will stay right here in my city snow wonderland.

My 21 Day Fix is still kicking.  I am so proud of myself for having constant movement and exercise for three week.  Of course, there are rest days in there.  I have decided that I really like my yoga at night, and I think I will pick it up again.  It helps stretch my body at night after sitting at a desk all day.  Not yoga with Autumn, but Yoga with Adriene.  It is much more relaxed and about finding what feels good, which I love!

Yesterday’s workout was a challenge, but a good one.  It was Total Body Cardio, which I feel gets me moving and stretch really well.  I feel like I am working my whole body, and my heartrate really gets going.  I was at the boyfriend’s so Maci was helping me workout.  She did really well for the most part, until the ground workouts hit.  She decided when it was crunch time, she would lay on my chest.  I let her stay, and it was actually pretty effective.  I think she liked it too.  She loved chasing my pony tail too. That was the challenging part.  Keeping her off of my head.

Today, was snow day number two.  I woke up around 7:30, got my workout in.  Today was upper body.  It was amazing!  I got a resistance band last week, and it really helped.  I did not feel like I got a good upper body workout last week, except for planking, push-ups, and abs.  Which was still good, but my arms did not really feel anything.  That is not.  With my band, my workout was so much better and I loved it!

My booty and legs are a little sore today, which as my friend, Danielle, says.  She loves that feeling, and I am loving it too.  It means my body is working and I am getting results.  When I do not feel a little stiffness the next day, I actually feel a little sad and know I did not keep my form as well as I need to.  I really concentrated on keeping my core engaged today.  Every time I breathed in, I would “HA!” out to get my core re-engaged.  I am really hoping for some sore abs tomorrow.

For the rest of my day, I am going to enjoy not having to do a thing.  I have my comfy clothes on, some books lined up, Netflix on and my meals planned.  Next up, scrambled eggs, sweet potato hashbrowns, and turkey bacon.  I am drooling thinking about it.

I wish I could bottle the happiness and excitement I feel about my new journey and lifestyle.  The lifestyle change is the workout every morning.  I am loving it.  I feel like I am waking up from a long, lazy, energy deprived state.  I know there are some of you out there reading who may be interested in my program and want some more information.  PLEASE, do not hesitate or be scared to ask me.  I am absolutely excited to talk and share with people.

Keep in touch, my lovelies!

Growing Pains

I have a friend, my very first best friend, as it were, that sent me the happiest of news last night, “Paul and I are having a baby in May 2015!!!” I was elated for them. They have been married almost two years, dated for 5 years before that, we all knew it was just a matter of time for these two, but the news came and we all were happy and responding with well wishes, congratulations, and the jokes that come with “doing it” from your old high school crowd.

About an hour later, as the texts were dying off, and our jokes were coming to an end, she sent a message that felt like someone had punched me in the gut, “The second generation is getting big!” Meaning our “crew” from school were all having babies of their own. This didn’t hit me like a rock because she said it, or because I am not happy for my friends, but because I am not part of this group.

Before long, out nights out for dinner and game night will be changed to play dates and birthday parties, and where will I be? I will be the one everyone smiles at and hugs, saying hi and secretly wondering when I will join the reign of “mom.” Will I ever join this so close-knit group? I have no idea.
Last night I had the first ticks of my biological clock. It ticked loud, and hard, and long. I sat in silence starting at my wall thinking, “What if I never have children?” “What if I never get married?” I know I am told, “Oh! You still have plenty of time!” But do I? I had surgery last week for endometriosis. This means my uterus doesn’t function properly, and a lot of women deal with this and go on to have tons of babies. Then there are the other women, who fight this issue their entire lives, and life of their fertility, only to take numerous drugs and shots, and still be disappointed. This is where people tell me, “Well, that isn’t you!” and “God has a plan.”

Yes, God does have a plan, and what if God’s plan does not include a family for me? I am a control freak. I have problems handing anything over to anyone. This follows me into my faith, as well. I have to catch myself several times a day, week, and month trying to make something happen, to control an uncontrollable situation. I take a step back, think on it, and eventually say a prayer saying I am sorry for fighting His plan, and trying to take control myself. I ask for help in handing the issue over, and pray for strength that I will eventually find it easier to let God take control.

One day, I may have a child or children, and if I do, I will consider myself blessed. One day, I may wake up and find my options exhausted, as well as myself, and decide it just isn’t going to happen for me. As for now, I am still extremely happy for my loved ones who are starting families, and growing them. I will still love on the little babies, and smell their clean hair, and rock them until I can’t feel my arms anymore. Then there will be moments, or days where these growing pains actually hurt. Deep down, painfully hurt, and that is okay too.

Food, Crafts, and Psychics

This past weekend my best friend asked me to hang out and explore a local artsy spot with her.  Me, being the art/junk lover, agreed instantly.  In case you didn’t know, I am a sucker for anything local, home-made, and that looks cool.  Lowe Mill is the DEVIL!  It has all of this and more.  They have an awesome little café area called Happy Tummy, (who doesn’t want to eat at Happy Tummy?!?), a truffle store, (all truffles made in store; they also have handmade marshmallows), and a new tea shop, (they serve sooooo many teas).  Who wouldn’t want to go here for just these three things, and all on the first level of the old shoe factory!

There is an old lift elevator that opens on both sides to cart you from floor 1 all the way to floor 3.  Each of these floors have unique artistic characteristics.  The first floor is constituted of the three places mentioned above, as well as a screen printing shop, a jewelry shop, and a couple of “classrooms,” which are for painting, stamping, and any other creative process you can teach in an hour.  Outside on the loading dock area, there is a little garden, with a vinyl record store and a metal works shop.  All of these giving you the feeling of going back in time to the actually ‘70’s as soon as you enter. 

The “fun” floor, or the second floor is my favorite.  When you exit the elevator, you walk around the corner and it is like a sidewalk street fair, with little booths and vendors all sitting out with pedaling their good to the public.  You start out with the little old lady who knits.  She has her little table set up with hats, scarves, and even cardigans; she knits while you browse and always throws out an interesting fact about her goodies.  Across from her is a tye-died shop, you know the kind with bright colors on shirts, dresses, flags, and hats.  This guy is eccentric to say this list.  On down the way is a couple of jewelers who make their own things with stones, beads, and wire.  You have an artist who sketches, the others who paint, you have the store with sewn items, and glued together dishes, which make candle holders, cakestands (anything and everything you’ve ever seen on Pinterest).  There’s another lady who makes hats, an old used and trade bookstore, some copper statues, and then the psychic. 

I am a sucker for psychics, tarot readings, crystal balls, and whatever else of the sort.  I never indulge, or at least not for a price.  I will scan my horoscope every once in a while and laugh at the general statements and move on.  This particular day the sign catches my eye, “PSYCHIC READINGS $5!” on bright pink poster board with stars and sparkles and pretty lettering.  I almost run over 3 children, a lady and a small dog making my way to this wonderful deal of $5 to hear about my future.  I mean, that’s a good deal!  My whole future for $5!  That kid better watch out, because I am moving fast, throwing things for my best friend to hold as I make a dash for said awesome deal.    

I rounded the homemade dog treats, and sat down concentrated on digging the $5 out of my wallet.  I look up and Ms. Psychic is sitting before me in all of her glory.  She had long brown greyed streaked hair, pulled back in a low ponytail.  She is wearing a plaid skirt, that reminds me of something from Outlander, and an old, faded, ripped out sleeves, Metallica t-shirt, and dirty combat boots.  I instantly regret my decision, smile and hand her the $5 anyway.

“Do you want me to read your palm or your stones?” she asks.

“What is the difference?” I ask. 

“Your palm tells a general story of you.  The stones give you more of a future insight.” She says holding up a little velvet drawstring bag.

My eyes light up, and I eagerly reach for the bag.  I mean she’s a psychic regardless! “The stones, please.”

She holds the bag between her hands and starts massaging them around.  She instructs me to do the same, and then when I feel as if I have mixed them well, pull out three and hand them to her.  I roll the stones around for half a minute, and eagerly dig in for my three stones. I sit them gingerly on the table, after all they are my future, and look at her expectantly.  She reaches down and pulls up a small notepad and flips it open. 

“I have to read my notes.  I’m not sure what they all mean.”  She says, flipping through the pages. 

My mouth falls open, and I am horribly appalled.  I have sat down to a hack!  She isn’t a real psychic, she’s a hack.  She just took my $5 and is reading to me what I could have Googled.  I listen to her as she reads my future to me in a total of 30 seconds. She tells me I have a motherly light around me and I should soon have a child in my life, that I am searching spiritually, and I am looking inside myself for beauty, instead of looking around me to the outside world.  I smile and she asks me if I felt good about my reading.  I looked at her, smiled, and said, “Yes! Thank you so much!”  I then proceed to gather my purse, shoving slightly emptier wallet in my purse and turn to find my friend. 

As soon as I round another corner of drawings and sculptures a “real” psychic in gypsy gear steps in front of me and asks brightly, “May I read your fortune?” I stopped and stared at her for a whole ten seconds before I answered, “If you were psychic you would know I paid the hack two booths down for my ‘future’.”  This left Ms. Gypsy speechless as I walked away in search of my friend and more creative artsy junk to buy.