"Life goes on, man" - The Big Lebowski

Ahhh!  What an amazing movie.  I have always loved Jeff Bridges, but the fact that he pretty much has the personality of THE DUDE in real life, makes him that much more amazing.  This quote is actually really summing up my view of life at the moment.  Ive had so much going on over the past few months, that trying to get a hold on it or myself was next to impossible.  BUT!  Life goes on and I am suddenly faced with a wide expanse of possibility.  School is over (well, almost... I still have one class... easy peeeeasey) and though work is starting to pick up, I am not overwhelmed by 80-120 hour weeks like I have been the past two summers.  Soooo.....

What to do with all this spare time?

Well, do what I want to do, FOR ONCE.
Be the person that I want to be, FOR ONCE.

its finally here.  i can touch it.  i can taste it.  i can smell it.  its here.  its here.

my life is here. 

But now that I am able to do the things that I want to do, I've had to stop and think about why I haven't felt like I was able to do it before now.  Why haven't I been living my life the way that I wanted to?  What has been holding me back, and what, if any, are my barriers still?  Its been a struggle trying to come to terms with the way that I have chosen to live my life over the past few years, but I feel like every choice that I have made has positioned me for this moment, and has set me in a place where I can achieve all that I want to.  I have come up with a few things that really define not only the way that I have lived my life over the past few years, but how I think and who I am and who I am deciding that I want to be.  

I have two major influences from the past three or four years that have dictated my social skills and abilities.  The first is my work.  For the past two summers I worked with an individual who was incredibly challenging both mentally and emotionally.  I left my three or four day shifts feeling weak, and overwhelmed, and stressed, and hurt, and socially unable to communicate to people.  My life was my work, and it was affecting my health.  I had NO social life.  NONE.  NOTHING.  This made it hard for me to transition back to a normal social life this past fall, when I stopped working with said individual.  I felt like I didn't know what to say anymore to people, or how to act normally.  My usual extroverted self was hiding in a corner.  This new introverted creature is strange.  I hate it.  I hate not feeling comfortable in a social setting.  I hate feeling vulnerable.  I struggle with it every day.  BUT!  Every day I find myself getting more and more comfortable being around people, and starting conversations, and relating to experiences.  And it is ENCOURAGING when my friends understand and help me through it.  
The second major influence over my social skills has been this never-ending struggle with the emotional and mental scars of my relationship with Ben.  I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to just scream and yell and rage because I am so frustrated with myself and the things that I struggle in overcoming because of that relationship.  I cant stand the way that I react to things, or the paranoia, or the jealousy, or any of the other blatantly stupid things I do in my head.  Bottom line is this:  He hurt me.  More than anyone or anything has ever hurt me in my life.   Ask my family how hard it was for me.  Go ahead.  All that they probably remember is an incredibly broken person, in an insanely scary place mentally and emotionally.  

I am strong though.  It took me two years to get back on my feet, but I did it.  I was so scared to let anyone in again.  I planned on a life by myself.  I literally sat there and planned out my life for the next twenty years.  A life alone.  How sad.  How pathetically sad.  I talked with Meag a lot about my struggles over the past couple years and about how hard it is for me to actually trust people and how hard it is for me to see myself with someone for the rest of my life.  Believe me, I want to get married some day and have kids and a house and the whole nine yards... but wanting it and letting it happen are two different things.  I have shunned all the guys who came knocking.  I told myself that none of them were good enough for me.  That I needed someone who could actually equal me (I am a closeted narcissist, afterall).  Honestly, I still struggle with this.  But even moreso now because I see all my flaws and I see myself without those flaws and KNOW that it will take someone special to really compliment and challenge me.  I know that I still have to work out the shit in my head from this relationship with Ben, but I tell you... there is NOTHING in this world that makes me feel happier than knowing that I love myself and that I make myself happy.  I guess that I just need to remember that more often and stop worrying about what other people think.  Easier said than done, but if I can remember to just let go and be myself then all the stuff that I struggle with in relationships will disappear.  

Two more things things that I continue to struggle with, but that I am starting to get a handle of: my desire to please everyone around me, and the weight that I have put on through the years.  
I have always been a people pleaser.  I want to make people happy, because making others happy makes me happy.  Serving others gets me out of the "me me me" mind frame that I fall into.  But in trying to always please others I have forgotten about my desires and my wants and my needs.  I catch myself in the act somtimes... always letting people use me for rides (they assume that I will drive instead of them driving, or that I have an endless supply of gas hooked to my car), or spending obscene amounts of money on food so I can share with whoever is around me at that point.  In being such a giving person my bank account takes a huge hit.  And I can't afford to be that giver anymore.   I need to reel in all those things and put limits on how giving I can be without asking for help in return.
My struggle with my weight is confusing.  Most days I look at myself and see what others don't: the skinny me at the center of all this extra baggage.  This is part of the reason why I love myself so much.  I KNOW that I am absolutely stunning.  My eyes are incredibly mesmerizing, even for myself.  I love my nose, and my hair, and my jaw line, and my hands (that while very much like my father's in looks, have all the grace and femininity of my mothers).  I love that when I look in the mirror I am happy with the structure of my face and my frame (am I too shallow?).  What I don't love is how I feel when I start to let my worries about what OTHER people think of my body get to me.  
My boyfriend really challenged me a few weeks ago.  I was telling him about how I would like to get braces one day to fix my teeth, when he got upset with me for even thinking that way.  He asked me "what is wrong with your smile?  I love your smile"  (Back in high school he did a similar thing, where he took my face in his hands and forced me to accept a compliment he had given me).  I don't think he knows exactly how much of an impact that had on me.  He knows that I struggle with how I look, but he doesn't want me to.  And why should I worry about those things to begin with?  I thought about what he said for days, and now I try my hardest every day to wake up and remember that I am so beautiful, and that I don't need to worry about my flaws because EVERYONE has flaws.  I am trying to accept that there are going to be things about my body that I cant change and that I shouldn't change.  Loving myself is easy to do most of the time, but when I struggle with it, I REALLY struggle.  I am not letting that happen anymore.  I need to come out of the closet and just embrace the narcissism within!
With that said, there are things that I can do to help me with the way that I see myself.  One of those things is to lose the weight that I am so desperate to lose.  BUT.  I am not going to look at it as losing weight anymore.  I am going to look at it as living the life that I have wanted to: an active lifestyle, with activity goals, and healthy eating habits.  I will also be losing my glasses shortly.  I can't and shouldn't hide behind those anymore.

So while I've been envisioning this life that I really wanted to have I never really started grabbing for it until now.  I've been held back by different situations and by myself.  But I think that it was really a time of preparation for me.  I know that I will struggle from time to time with my relationships, but that it takes time and practice to master yourself and your actions.  I know that my own views of myself can be debilitating, but that in cultivating a deep self-love that I can overcome the insecurities that I have.  I am ending a journey and starting a new one.  It is a transition time for me, but I know that that transition is almost done and that this new journey is going to be the best one Ive ever taken.

To end this post I want to share with you all the person that I see myself becoming and BEING.  I think that the choices that we make in life will move us forward, keep us stagnant, or destroy the progress we've made.  I also think that who we are is always evolving, and that as long as we continue to actively pursue the life that we want to have that we will always evolve to reach that goal.  So the choices that I have been consciously making over the past six months to a year have been starting me on the right foot to get to where I want to be, to WHO I want to be.  And this is the life that I want and the person that I want to be:

A beautiful, strong, funny, active woman.  I want to run races, and work towards running a barefoot marathon.  I want to connect with nature as much as possible.  I want to continue to learn and grow in knowledge of the world around me.  I want to be financially savvy.  I want to be able to pick up and leave and go somewhere that Ive never been and experience things that I have never experienced.  I want to be a traveler, and a wanderer (not all who wander are lost - tolkien).  I want to experience love as fully as any mortal being can.  I want to find a place to settle down.  I want to build my own house in the woods with as much self-sufficiency as I can afford.  I want to have kids.  I want to be a best friend, and a mother, and a companion.  I want to look back on my life before that time and know that I lived it to its fullest, and that I am fully satisfied with what I have accomplished.  I want to be healthy -  physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I want to look at myself in the mirror and appreciate each laugh line that appears.  I want to see my hands and know that they have worked hard.  I want to wear my hair long, and be proud of my femininity.  I want to get a motorcycle to celebrate my freedom in life.  I want to break a bone to remind myself of my mortality.  I want to see breathtaking beauty.  I want to be near the mountains, near the ocean, near the sky.  I want to experience life.  

And I will.  I will.


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