Thursday, January 31, 2008

...RiSiNg fROm tHe AsHeS...

I'm a passionate person. I don't always express my thoughts or show them outwardly in an obvious way...but I always feel them intensely. When I like something...whether it's food, a person, or an idea...whatever...I really like it...think it is the best. When I don't like something...I really don't like it...I have no tolerance for it...and there is not much anyone can do to change my mind. Consequently, my emotions can swing pretty far in either direction depending on the day and circumstance. When I am sad or hurt...when I fail...when I am is so difficult for me to overcome. I always succeed in overcoming eventually. It's just that I feel like it's almost impossible to right my start over. So, I struggle and get "stuck".

I think sometimes I get stuck waiting...waiting for someone to help save me. I'm not the kinda girl that gets "saved". I've never been good at being a damsel in distress. I don't wait in the tower for my prince. I usually try to find a way to get myself out. Sometimes it makes me feel sad, like I'm not worthy of I've never really given anyone the chance to save me. I always assume that he doesn't, but if the prince ever shows up...I'm already gone. I wonder if it's because I'm not pretty enough...or maybe it's because I'm not likeable...or as good as all the other "princesses". Sometimes, I wish things were different. Sometimes I am glad.

I read a quote once that said, "You save yourself or you remain unsaved." and that's how I've always tried to a phoenix. The phoenix was a mythical bird that lived for 500 years. There was only one phoenix at a time...all the phoenix had was itself. It was thought to be able to restore itself when it was hurt or wounded. I find it interesting that it was considered invincible...NOT because it couldn't get hurt...but because it could repair itself when it was hurt...even the phoenix could get wounded. After 500 years, it was said to build a nest that it would ignite in flames. The nest and the bird would burn so intensely that they would both be reduced to ashes. Out of the ashes, a new phoenix would be born. The phoenix is a symbol of rebirth and renewal, but not only was the phoenix thought to be was thought to come back stronger than it was before.

I've had some things going on in my life in the last week that have felt a bit out of my control. Some days, I feel stuck and I get mad...mad because I wonder why I always have to deal with this kind of stuff...mad because my perception is that somehow I am different or less fortunate...mad because it's not fair. The fact is that even if I am unlucky...even if it isn't fair, I can't change it. That's how life is. We take the cards we are dealt and try to make the best hand possible. You win some and you lose some. Life is a journey...a test...a time of growth...a trial. We should all want to become better than we are, but it doesn't happen's a process. Our trials can make us stronger, but it's not easy...or quick...or painless. It takes effort. We learn from our mistakes. I am no where near being able to compare myself to a phoenix, but I'm trying. I'm trying to take things one day at a time...and when I'm consumed by the "flames" of life...I will try to rise from the ashes...a little stronger each a phoenix starting a new life.

Friday, January 25, 2008

...holding my breath...

I do it all the time. I do it when I'm scared..when I'm surprised...when I'm in pain...when I'm worried...unsure. Sometimes I don't even know I'm doing it until I hear someone say, "Breathe!". I don't realize how uncomfortable I am until I draw in the first breath and the feeling of relief washes over me. A few days ago I experienced that relief.

My friend has been gone. He still is. I knew I would miss him when he left, but I underestimated how much. He was so many things to me...a coach...a friend...a running buddy...a sounding board...a student...a teacher...a confidante...and more. I laughed with him. I cried in front of him. I learned from him. I succeeded because of him. He made me happy many times and even made me sad a few times. He helped me realize my potential and changed me for the better.

I was sad when he left, but more than anything I was worried. I was worried that he wouldn't find what he was looking for...worried that he would never come back to train me...worried that he would forget me. In a sense, I've been holding my breath since September 14th. When my friend called me a couple of days ago, I felt relief...I took a breath. I don't think he'll ever be back, but I am learning to accept that. He's my friend and if he's happy, then who am I to tell him to do something different. I just have to keep breathing and be thankful for what I memories...the things I've one can take those things away from me. I should be grateful and aware of every breath I take. Buddha once said, " "Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn alot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us be thankful."

It's time for me to stop holding my breath. It's time to breathe so I can live.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

...bAd mOmmY...

I wasn't a little girl that carried dolls around. In fact, I never remember having a specific doll that I especially liked or played with. I never get "baby hungry" when I hold someone else's newborn. I love to hold them and see their tiny features. I love to cuddle them...and smell their necks...and kiss their cheeks...and then give them back when they start to cry. I've sat in circles of women that talked about how after they gave birth, all they could think was..I want to be pregnant again...I want more babies. After I had my babies...I always thought...I'm glad that's over and I'm not doing that again any time soon. I just smile and quietly wonder. I've always wondered if I am...somehow...less of a woman...a worse mother because I don't feel like most other women .

Being a mom can be one continual guilt trip for me, if I'm not careful. I always I doing enough? I really cut out for this? I remember when my kids were so little...5, 2, and newborn...I was so overwhelmed some days. I couldn't wait for the day when they would get older...the day that I didn't have to change diapers...the day that I could go to the mall without a stroller...the day that I could carry a purse again...a real purse, rather than a diaper bag that doubled as my purse. The list goes on. I foolishly thought it would get easier, and before I knew it, the day kids aren't babies anymore.

As my children get older, the day to day challenges haven't gotten easier...they have just changed. We don't have tantrums in the grocery checkout because they want candy anymore, but when I make them turn off video games to do homework or tell them to go to bed or to set the table...we have tantrums. I use to hate the glares from strangers when my kids would cry in stores, but I would gladly welcome those glares to never have to hear "I hate you. You're the meanest Mom in the world.". My kids don't cry when they are hungry anymore, but I have had to endure tears and complaining when I make them eat one bite of their vegetables. I wanted "a break" when they were little. I was always so tired. Sometimes, these days I wonder if they even need me and I miss the way it felt to hold them in my arms and rock them to sleep.

I wonder if I am a bad mommy because I didn't dream of babies when I was a girl. I wonder if I am a failure because I'm always late. I wonder if I am worthy of this job when I lose my temper. I am ashamed to admit that some days, I want to give up. I'm ashamed because good moms don't give up...they keep matter what...and I want more than anything to be a good mom. I want to teach my children well. I want to make lasting memories with them. I want them to be proud to introduce me to their friends. I want my children to know that I mean what I say. I want them to know that even if I'm late, I will ALWAYS be there. I want them to know that even though it's hard to hear hurtful words said in anger, that I will always forgive them...again and many times as I need to. Mostly, I want my children to grow up never questioning the depth of my love for even when I am tired and frustrated...defeated and floundering...I will never give up. I will never walk away. I will never stop trying to be a better mom...and I pray that when my children are grown they won't think I was a bad mommy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

...It's time to drop the anchor...

I'm not a person with alot of collections in my house. I don't collect figurines or snow globes or anything like's never been "my thing". The only thing I really collect is quotes. Whether they are poems...or movie lines...or quotes from famous people...whenever I come across a quote that is inspirational to me...I write it down and add it to my "list". I've even been known to pull out my cell phone in a movie to type in a quote or a line that I that is worthy of my collection. Yeah, it's weird, but it's what I do.

In the movie "The Guardian", there was a line that I thought of as I sat down to write today. Kevin Costner's character, Ben Randall, is teaching the young men that are in the Coast Guard about how to be good "rescue swimmers" and this is one of the things he tells them: "There will come a time when you might have to decide who lives and dies out there. It's a terrible responsibility but it's one you will have to make as a rescue swimmer. The bigger reality is, its also something you are going to have to live with as a human being. There will come a time when you will have to say no. The most important person to keep alive is yourself."

I've been thinking about letting go...letting go of the things in my life that are drowning me...the things that will kill me in a sense if I continue to hold on to them. "The most important person to keep alive is yourself." I heard that line in my mind as I thought about some of the people and things that are like an anchor around me. Sometimes it's easy to let go...and sometimes it takes the feeling of struggling to tread water before I realize that I have a decision to make.

I don't let go or give up easily...especially when it comes to the people that I care about...but there's only so long that a person...even a strong person...can tread water before they drown. I can't control other people. I've learned that the hard way. The only thing I can control is myself. I have to make my own decisions. I have to know when to walk away...when it's time to save myself...because the fact is that these so called anchors in my life that are dragging me down are not chained to me...I am holding onto them...I have to let go...I have to drop the anchor or I will drown. It's hard to walk away before you're ready. It hurts to mourn someone that is still alive. Sometimes, we have to choose ourselves over others in order to live.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I write a lot of serious...sometimes sad stuff, but I'm not a sad person. I want to write about something that brightens my day and makes me giggle when it comes to mind. There's a proverb that says, "Laughter is the best medicine." Years ago, I wouldn't have believed that, but today I know that is true. It makes me sad when I realize that I have gone through an entire day without laughing. I used to laugh all the time. I don't know why or what was so funny, but my friend used to make me laugh almost everyday that I trained with him...sometimes it was a giggle...sometimes it was long, loud laughter. Consequently, when something funny happened to me, I loved to tell him about it, because he appreciated the humor and usually had an equally funny retort. There's one particular "funny" that is my favorite.

I remember one day, my oldest daughter and I were stopping by Target. I don't know what for, but she wasn't exactly thrilled. You see, she's almost 12, she hates to shop, and I am the most embarrassing Mom ever! She was complaining as we walked in and I was trying to bite my tongue and ignore it. We got what we needed and waited in the "10 items or less" line. You couldn't help but notice the cashier right away. He was kind of a goofy lookin guy with an outgoing personality and a quick wit. I started to watch him closely because I noticed that even if they resisted at first, every customer..old or young...cranky or cheerful...left his line smiling at the very least..most left laughing. As we approached our turn, I noticed a man behind me. He was hard not to notice. He was a big, muscular guy, mid 20s, Corona tshirt, camo shorts, and backwards baseball cap. He looked like a manly man. He was holding something under his arm. I noticed that it was almost as if he were hiding something, but turned around to pay for my purchase and take my turn at a laugh. I don't remember what the cashier joked with me about, but he did and I laughed...not a roll on the floor laugh, but a small giggle. As I turned to walk away with my daughter, I heard the cashier say in a really loud volume..."FERGALICIOUS! DUDE, AWESOME FERGIE!" and my daughter turned to see that what this guy was hiding was a Fergie CD!!! The guy was not finding this fact he looked VERY embarrassed...and that just egged this funny cashier on. My daughter and I continued towards the door and our car. As soon as we got outside, we simultaneously looked right at each other and broke into hysterical laughter. My daughter's response through laughter was, "COME ON! A guy buying Fergie?!?" I immediately texted my friend whose reply was something like, "OMG did you ask him if he wanted to borrow some panties?" Again more laughter. My reply, "Nah, I think he already has his own!" My friend and I texted back and forth and my daughter and I would burst into laughter any time we thought about what had just happened.

Now, if we want to laugh or we're feeling silly, all my daughter and I have to do is look over and yell "FERGALICIOUS!!!" and it brings immediate laughter. Laughter can fix so many things. Laughter can bring people together and create memories. That day, laughter helped me go from "the most embarrassing Mom in the world" to someone that wasn't so bad to be around. I dare to say it brought us closer. It changed the entire mood of our trip. So, Corona man...thanks!...Your embarrassing moment created laughter and fun and memories for me and my daughter!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I sat on my bed and cried off and on for two hours. I had a good day today. I wasn't sad when I sat down on my bed to relax and watch TV, but I get so emotional every time. I can't disconnect myself from people that I don't even know. When other people see me, they automatically assume that I have nothing in common with the people that I cry for...that I couldn't possibly understand their pain. They have no idea that some days when I look in the mirror...I don't see me...strong...thin...healthy me... I see those people looking back at me.

Four years ago, I weighed 200 pounds. I decided that I was ready for a change. I don't know why the number 200 "woke me up". I don't know why 180 or 197 didn't. I just know that I opened my eyes and made a decision. I decided that I didn't want to be out of breath at the top of my stairs anymore. I decided that I didn't want to hate my reflection in the mirror. I decided that I couldn't remain a prisoner in a body that felt uncomfortable and foreign to me. It took me several months to figure out what worked for me and in the end it took me over a year to lose 70 pounds. I didn't go to a doctor. I didn't take pills or starve. I ate better and I ate less and I started working my body. I NEVER thought I could go from a size 18 to a size 2/4. I've never been strong. I've yo-yoed between being fairly thin and being slightly chubby off and on throughout my life, but even when I lost weight, I was never fit...never this small.

My body has changed, but sometimes I think that my mind has not. I struggle to see what others see. That is why I cried tonight while I watched "The Biggest Loser". I cry just thinking about it now. When I see those men and women on the television, I feel their pain and struggle. I KNOW how hard it is...everyday...even now. I know what it feels like to be ignored in stores. I know how it feels to see people's faces when they haven't seen a while...since you gained weight...the disappointment and the shock that can't be masked with kind lies and fake smiles. I know how it feels to wake up hopeless.

My life is totally different today. Today when I walk in a store, sales people look me in the eyes. They speak to me. They help me. Today when I walk in the gym, I feel like I belong there. Today I run to the top of the stairs and back down again and hardly notice it. Today I enjoy shopping and trying on clothing. Today I notice men noticing me..and they no longer have a look of pity or disgust on their faces. Today I am no longer ashamed, but I am proud...proud of how far I've come...proud of the sacrifices that I have made and the lessons that I have learned.

I am not a fat girl anymore, but the fat girl that I once was still lives inside me. Sometimes she's barely noticeable...sometimes she overpowers me. She overpowers me with fear...she tells me that what I see in the mirror is just an illusion...that I am ugly and fat...that it will not last. I'm trying to learn to quiet her, but she is an important part of who I was...who I am. When I see a fat person, I do not judge. I do not make fun. I do not make assumptions. I hope. I hope that one day that person will "wake up" like I did and be reborn. The fat girl that I used to be has made grateful. She motivates me to get up every day and work hard...rain or shine...cold or hot...sick or well. So while I will never totally abandon her, I need to ignore her when she lies to me and puts me down. I need to teach the "old me" to accept and love "the new me" not be embarrassed by the believe the compliments...and to accept my beauty.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

...wHy cAn'T i bEliEvE?...

Why can't I believe that I am worthy of being loved? Why can't I believe that I am beautiful?...worthwhile? Why can't I believe that dreams really do come true? Why can't I believe what I am told?...that I am loved...that I am capable and strong? Why can't I believe the ones I love? seems that no matter how many times I am told, I NEVER believe. I doubt. I question. I rationalize and eventually...I reject...sometimes out loud, but mostly in silence with a nod and a fake smile. When I receive a compliment, I wonder if it is a cruel joke or simply given to me out of pity or even duty.

One day a couple of months back, I walked in my bathroom and looked at myself in the mirrors that surround the room. All I could see were flaws...wrinkles on my face...imperfections in my body...the list goes on. I decided to get ready for the day, go out dressed well, and try to carry myself with confidence. I was hoping that I could convince myself that I'm okay through my interaction with other people. So, I put on my cute, tight size 2 jeans, my pink, expensive 3/4 length sleeve jacket, my perfectly matching pink high heels, and I headed out for the day. All day...everyone stared...all day...I was worried...worried about what they were thinking. I created what I fear. I wanted people to see think I looked better than everyone else...and they saw me...but I didn't feel better...I felt...different...strange...bad. I walked through Target at the end of the day before going home. I acted confident, but I felt scared. I caught a man staring. It embarrassed me. I pushed my basket faster in the opposite direction and I looked away. I had to go back to get something I forgot and there he was again...the same man. He had a kind face and he smiled at me. Before I could escape like I had before, he walked towards me...he wouldn't take his eyes off me. He said, "Has anyone told you that you look pretty today?" Shocked and at a loss for words, I spit out one word..."No." He said, "Well, you do. You look pretty." Dumbfounded again, I said one more word..."Thanks." and I walked away. I didn't feel better. I didn't feel good, because I didn't believe. My first thought was, "Do I look so desperate that a stranger felt that he HAD to pay me a compliment?" I know that was not the case, but I told myself that it was. I would not allow myself to believe what he said.

I don't ever remember a time in my life that I felt differently. I'm never...enough. I've always felt second rate. I've always felt "almost" good enough...but not quite. I've always felt like a consolation prize. I'm not sure why..I have a few ideas, but I guess I'll never really know. It has made me seem...hard...tough...and uncaring, but I'm really not. I am soft and fragile...scared and worried...all the time. I want to believe...I just don't know how.