Tag Archives: family

Fly into the Light, Butterfly

Like a worm in a cocoon we are unaware of the transformation taking place until the moment we emerge a butterfly.

As the season that represents the hopes and dreams of the world is upon us once again, I find myself  filled with a hope and joy in my life I haven’t felt since 2003. 12 years in the making. I nearly gave up many times. It has been a long journey; at times very painful. Nonetheless, I have finally arrived. Today, I realized it all at once.

I haven’t been on a solo travel adventure  in some time.  As I left my house this morning my luggage lightly packed to leave room for possibilities, I stood on my front porch and taking a deep breath I thought – you’re really happy aren’t you?

I am at peace.  I finally care about something again.  In my teaching, I have purpose.  They help me be a better person and I help them too. I have great friends. I haven’t found that one special guy yet, but I’m enjoying dating 4 different men of interest in the meanwhile 🙂  I make a good salary finally and found a way to make extra money and paid off all my student loans.  I am debt free.  In 3 months I took my 7th graders to great success in an engineering competition where they were 5 of only 12 students in two counties to be awarded “outstanding engineers” and have lunch with the Chief Scientist of NASA. My life is on the rise again after fighting in the trenches so long. 12 long years.

I’m estranged from my mother who left me on Mother’s day, yet to return again. I have made peace with her choice and learned there are some things you cannot control.  One of those things is how people choose to behave and interact with the world.  Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is to let them go. Many times she asked me to leave her life. I wasn’t listening.  Now I hear loud and clear.  At about the same time my ex-boyfriend had left and my pet of 16 years died.  The timing of those two relationships ending was the peak of the tragedy over these 12 years. I spent much of the summer recovering from two big blows. I was really alone with myself once again.

After I came out of it all, I began to map out how I wanted the future to look. I became very clear on what I would and would not accept into my life. I thought a lot about what I wanted to focus on.  I made a plan. I stayed focused.  And you know what? I’ve been knocking it out of the park.  My goals are from my soul so working towards them feels in harmony with who I am.  When I FEEL that connection, I know I’m on the right path.

I also made the choice to have a serious talk with my doctor to manage a debilitating health concern when I finally couldn’t continue to have any quality of life without beginning medication. It is something that no one knows about and I’ve kept private for a very long time.

“Coming out”, if you will, freed my soul and allowed me to accept the whole me. Walking into the sunlight helped me love myself better.  In the end seeking treatment instead of suffering all these years was a great act of self-love.  Everyday I am happy I made the choice and my only wish is that I had made it sooner. That conversation with my doctor saved my life.

So, now I head to the red rocks and sunshine of health-conscious Sedona to introduce myself to the world of butterflies.  A new beginning; surrounded by some of the best of natures’ creation, I will spread my newborn wings and fly towards that which brings joy, peace, and health.  I look forward to witnessing the vastness of the Grand Canyon and drinking in the elixer of possibility seeing both my smallness and my greatness at once.

As  I go into the new year, I have but one resolution – to keep flying towards the light.

—- With love this holiday season from aneternaltraveler ❤

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Smile More Everyday

I was thinking today about the many ways in which we frustrate ourselves as human beings.  I wondered if there was a common cause of the hell we put ourselves through. So, I asked the question and waited for my mind to speak up.

Hours later…..

It came to me that much of our frustration can be traced to trying to change things or people that are not ready to change or feel no need to. Without realizing it many times, I think we expect others to consider our way of doing things or our way of thinking as obvious brilliance.  If they don’t comply we call them names or distance ourselves or worse gather other people together to “hate” them too.  Sometimes that anger turns inward and becomes depression, especially when we take their behavior as a sign of our failure or inadequacy.

wpid-20131213_104651.jpgSometimes, in fact I think more often than we realize, we have to accept things as they are in the present. We cannot force our way or change someone else.  Trust me, just like you I wish I could too. That annoying, undermining co-worker, the self-centered family member, the careless friend, and so on and so forth.  Trust me. I get it.  Why do you think I spend so much time trying to noodle my way into alternative pathways of thinking?? I struggle with these issues and I want you to know you’re not alone because we all do.  Heck sometimes WE are these people for others.

What I’m beginning to learn is that while we are on the path to accepting others “as is”, we are going to have a lot of stress and frustration to manage.  Acceptance is waaaaaay harder than hate.  Acceptance asks us to let go of our own egos for the chance to be a great leader.  Acceptance isn’t being passive. It is an active process and the greatest opportunity to eventually create real lasting change.

Most people don’t change or collaborate or compromise, because they feel threatened and defend their ego or their position. If you play into this, which most of us do, you end up with a stalemate. Everybody is positive they are right and each one digs in their heels.

In order to become the change you want to see in this world, you must release the obsessive thoughts that have become your focus in order to make room for more constructive energy to enter.

Exercise is Good for Your BrainPersonally, I do this by engaging in some form of physical activity during which I push myself past my own mind and out of my thoughts.  Then, I keep going until I find myself laughing or smiling. Let me give you an example, yesterday I went for a long bike ride with a lot of changes in elevation. My lungs and my legs were really feeling it. To keep going I had to stay completely focused on believing that I could get up that next hill.  So, that meant I had to get rid of thoughts that weren’t helping me achieve that goal. That means those obsessive thoughts had to take a hike while I was on the bike 🙂 When I made it up the hill, I was feeling like my lungs and legs would explode but it also felt good to show myself I could do it.

blond girl swingAt my half way point, I saw a park with swings.  A mother and child were swinging together and they looked so happy.  Next to them was another empty swing.  I stared at it for awhile remembering the joy I felt swinging as a child.  I wondered if it would be foolish to do it again at my age and whether my hips would even fit!  I said the heck with it and got on the swing and began to push myself higher and higher just like I did when I was a kid. I found myself spontaneously screaming Weeeeeeeeee!!! and smiling and laughing with such joy that I forgot all the negativity I started out with at the beginning of my ride. I was playing with the child inside that was always there waiting for me.

The point is this: Find a way to smile more everyday. Let go of the tension everyday.  Don’t let it build up. If it takes an intense walk, run, bike ride, etc. to reset, then DO THAT. Everyday grant yourself peace of heart and mind by choosing to find your smile. Choose to play with that child inside. Reconnect. Remember who you are – you are not a reflection of other people’s behavior. You don’t need to change anyone or anything to feel good about yourself and your life right now.  Just be.

Everybody Needs Somebody

Tradgedy and time on your hands has a way of re-teaching you who you are. It also shows you where you could use a helping hand.

I tend to be a person who hangs out with herself a lot. What do I mean by this? First of all I really do like hanging out with myself. Also, I grew up learning a couple of things that stuck with me.
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I learned that it’s best not to count on other people – so learn how to do things yourself. I’ve also learned to be a very good secret keeper for those who treated me badly but knew how to look good in front of others. These teachings have damaged my thinking and impacted all of image

my relationships. I’m starting to realize that now.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is fantastic that I can do so many things without needing to pay someone – case and point refinishing my bathtub. It cost me about $30.  I love that I am multi-talented!

The problem comes in when I don’t ever depend on anyone for anything, not even emotional things. I don’t have that group of gals I chat with. Heck, I don’t even have 1 best girl friend. I do have a great neighbor who I consider my best friend. We call ourselves the odd couple because he is 68 and I am 38 and we have a marvelous friendship. Of course he has a life with his wife and goes on vacation and such. So, when he’s not there I have no one. The thing is that other people are there, but I don’t form deeper relationships mostly because in good times and bad, I don’t want to bother them.

Eventually, if I’m going through something very trying and it’s beyond my ability to handle it alone, I can become very depressed and isolated. So, this is the ugly flip side of extreme independence.

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The order of events in my life lately seem to be of no coincidence. I am clearly being shown my areas in need of improvement and compassionately I’m also being presented with solutions. I need a better support group so that I feel loved no matter what and so I don’t have to rely so heavily on my romantic relationships to be the single source.

After 7 years of not seeing my dad’s side of the family, I was invited to spend the 4th of July with them in NC just when I needed it most. Then, they invited me to spend the week with them at their beach house.

I also reached out to my cousin in Nova Scotia who, despite never having heard her voice until now, has been a source of inspiration to me through various electronic and written mediums. She also wrapped me in her love and patience with the offer to let me “get it all out in a safe place” and to visit sometime.
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That’s the ticket isn’t it? One has to feel safe to open up. Part of being a secret keeper for abusive people is that you never know real safety. You tend to silence yourself and suffer quietly. It is not natural to trust , but very special and treasured dearly when it happens with someone. You’ll never meet someone more loyal.

Part of the challenge that I faced in my last relationship is that everyone in my life encouraged me to leave him. I did, several times. They all thought he was a piece of shit, psychopath, narcissist….you get the idea. So, when I’d leave and eventually find my way back, I felt more and more ashamed to talk to people. This can be very isolating and damaging. I was image
embarrassed.  I knew in my head what a manipulative bastard he was, how badly he was treating me. My heart kept going hoping against hope something would change. By the end of it all, aside from my neighbor, I stopped talking about him entirely to anyone. So I had nowhere to go with all the pain except this blog and my music. So thank you for keeping me going!

It’s past the point of needing to write a new chapter. I’m ready to crack open the spine of a brand new book and begin fresh with this post as my preface.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Send in the Clowns

I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless
and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.
—Robin Williams

I have been thinking about this irony quite a bit lately.  Most people think I’m a very happy, successful person who is well-adjusted and lives a good life. Some are shocked that I’ve had major challenges in my life.

I always try to make people feel a bit better about their mood or circumstances because I’d never want them to feel the terrible way I do inside most of the time.

What I find is that I’m left with no one to listen to me they way I listen to others. There are a number of people in my life who only contact me when they need something; advice or an ear, etc. Then, they are gone once they’ve gotten what they’ve needed. It is hard for me to make real friends despite my outgoing personality because they tend to be one sided. As anyone would, I tire of that quickly.

I find that I spend a lot of time alone. I am able to do so many things that most of the time I do not need to ask for help. Recently, I realized what a lonely life I really lead. The irony is that I’d really like to be involved with people who care about me. I’d like to have an inner circle that I could count on. It is strange how much I can make other people feel good, but I am alone; in my solitude with my nagging thoughts and there is often no one to comfort me.

For the 4th of July weekend, I visited a part of my family that I was estranged from for a long time. As I talked to my father’s only remaining sibling, looked through albums and watched my cousin interact with the family, I began to see patterns that have lasted generations. I haven’t even taken it all in yet, but I noticed the anger and the violence and the destruction. There may be one person on my dad’s side that is still married to their first spouse. Even those who are married are not in healthy relationships. I saw the way my family cuts people down and makes them feel small. I saw the vindictiveness and the way that the anger has turned inward on each person who lets their anger loose on someone else. I watched how they just struggle to find reasons to keep staying alive. I thought to myself how familiar it all is.

Everybody in my family has a broken piece in the unit; a missing father or husband, an angry man, a passive agressive spouse, co-dependents. I don’t think we even realize that we’re actually grieving that loss. It all comes out in wierd ways that we try to use to manage how close or how far away we keep you from knowing that pain. It’s like no one told us we could share the burden. 

I simultaneously draw people close and push them away with my humor depending whether I think they could handle the grief. I’m lonely because I learned that I cannot rely on people to stick around even if they promise forever or unconditional love. I cannot let them share my grief because to open it up with someone who will not stay by my side through thick and thin is to do nothing different than I’ve always done. Because I always get the same result, I don’t know how it feels to share with someone who actually keeps their words and doesn’t leave. I would very much like to know that feeling.

Here’s the thing, you can’t believe something else is possible if you’ve never experienced it. My experience is a lot of pain. I would like to be loved by someone who would let me stop being a comedian. In the meanwhile, I make people laugh because I don’t want them to come close to feeling the pain I do.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉