Tag Archives: the future

We All Got Bruises

5 Aug

You know what I love about blogging? I love getting a chance to read a glimpse of a stranger’s life. I love when someone opens their heart and pours everything out, showing you that they are just as human as you are. The incredible thing about living your life out loud, for the world to read, is that people connect with you. You get to know them. You connect with them. Pretty soon you’re no longer strangers, you’re friends. And if you’re lucky, you get to meet them one day.

You might just become friends for life.

We all have bruises, they’re what make us interesting. How boring would life be if it was all roses and sunshine every day? It’s comforting to know that we’re not alone in our struggles. Whether it be mental illness, alcoholism, financial troubles, parenting issues, divorce, the death of a child, or countless other curve balls life throws at us. We all have obstacles to overcome in our lives.

Music is healing for me and of all the things it’s done for me, the most important lesson it has taught me is easily, “What will be, will be” and I need to put my trust in fate.

If a song speaks to me, I play it on repeat for weeks. I lose myself in the lyrics and belt the tune out while driving to the farm or the grocery story. I used to be drawn to pop hits produced by music giants whose record labels end up writing the songs for them, pumping beats into the background of the synthesized dance tracks. These days I’m much more into singer/songwriters who tell a life story through their music. The kind of songs which make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, giving you goosebumps as you listen to the words.

You feel yourself nodding, “Me too,” as your soul soaks in the sweet melody. A good song gives me a new perspective on my troubles.

I’ve got Train’s newest album, California 37, on a loop lately.

These bruises make for better conversation
Loses the vibe that separates
It’s good to let you in again
You’re not alone in how you’ve been
Everybody loses, we all got bruises
We all got bruises

I’ve been a little overwhelmed by life lately. Wanting to pursue my dreams, but realizing that writing doesn’t exactly pay the bills {at least, not yet}.

A lump formed in my throat the other day when looking at finances. It was obvious that I need to pick up a part-time job. We live in one of the most expensive areas in the US, and the reality is that it’s really hard to cut it on one income. So I had a rough couple of days last week when Ben was traveling for work, filled with fear and self-pity and hugging my best friend while tears poured from my eyes, the kids looking up at me wondering what was wrong with mommy.

Once I calmed down and started to look at things with a clearer head, I quickly realized that things aren’t nearly as dire as I had thought. I was talking with my brother over the weekend about what was bringing me down and he told me to call one of our oldest friends who was looking for help with his business. It’s the type of work I’ll be able to do around the kids’ schedules, allowing me time to continue with my writing projects, exactly what I need right now.

Part of the reason I was so upset last week was because I was afraid that I’d have to give up writing to go back to work, and my heart was breaking at the thought of having to stop pursuing my passion. Sure, I’d still try to write in the evenings, but I know how hard it is to juggle everything and at the end of the day you’re just exhausted. I’m hopeful that this situation will provide the best of both worlds: the income we need with time to still pursue my dreams.

In the meantime, it’s songs like this that remind me to embrace the ups and downs of life for what they are.

Que sera. {What will be, will be.}
 
We-All-Got-Bruises
 
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In-Between is Right Where I Want To Be

30 Jul

Have you ever thought about how you spend your in-between time?

I wrote about it recently, but since picking up a unique read, I felt the need to write on the topic again. 

A writer who I truly admire, for his way with words as much as his generous drive to teach amateur writers how to hone their craft, is releasing a new book this week called The In-Between: embracing the tension between now and the next big thing. Part memoir, part self-help, Jeff Goins takes the reader on a journey through his life’s most important in-betweens. Jeff describes how he has learned to slow down and appreciate the time spent waiting for the next major event, because sometimes those minutes, hours, days, weeks, and even years can be the most fulfilling aspects of our lives.

I agree completely.

{an excerpt}

“We all want to live meaningful lives full of experiences we can be proud of. We all want a great story to tell our grandchildren. But many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening right now.

Maybe the “good stuff” isn’t ahead of or behind us. Maybe it’s somewhere in between. Right in the midst of this moment, here and now. Maybe Annie Dillard is right. Maybe what we call “mundane,” what feels boring and ordinary, is really how we spend our lives. And we have an opportunity to make of it what we will – to resent its lack of adventure or rejoice in its beauty. Perhaps, the abundant life we’ve been seeking has little to do with big events and comes in a subtler form: embracing the pauses in between major beats.”

 

I daydream about this concept of “in-between” often. Maybe because I’ve spent most of my life anticipating each subsequent milestone. My parents often joked I was “10 going on 25” because it was as if I could hardly wait to grow up so I could start working to accomplish my dreams. Looking back on my childhood I can totally agree with this playful teasing, since I struggle to recall basic, everyday memories others can drum up so easily. I was too caught up in what was way up ahead that I missed out on the fun happening right in front of me.

The only thing that is certain is the moment we are in right now. {Tweet that.}

I like to believe that I’ve enjoyed the in-betweens in my life thus far, but truth be told there are plenty I could have appreciated more than I did. Jeff’s book is teaching me to value every day of my life as much as the last because the next day is never a guarantee. Time passes so quickly that if we don’t pay attention, it can slip right through our fingertips. I want to live each day full of gratitude for today and for all those dreams I have yet to accomplish.

If you haven’t picked up Jeff’s book yet, go buy it now. I have a feeling you won’t be able to put it down and it will leave a lasting impression, as it did for me.

In-betweenIsRightWhereIWantToBe

The Truth About Living Openly with Bipolar Disorder

10 Jul

LivingWithBipolarDisorderMe & my little firecracker on July 4th

I will never regret my decision to write openly about living with bipolar disorder. Never. There is something to be said for reaching a point in your life when you take an important leap. One you can tell your kids about someday. When I realized it hurt too much to keep it bottled up inside was the point when I realized that I wanted people to know I’m not perfect but I still love my life just the way it is, mental illness and all.

I love the moments right before I fall asleep. My mind replays my day’s highlights, as if to ingrain the smile or giggle or kiss in a corner of my brain, so that I won’t ever forget it. Tucked away safe so that I can unwrap it again when I need that memory.

Lying still, listening to the steady rhythm of the one I love beside me, I think about the day that awaits me when the sun rises.  I soak up all the sleep I can because chances are, I was up too late writing the night before. I no longer set an alarm; the sweet voices of my kids will wake me when the sunlight pours into their rooms.

The truth is, even though I will never regret my decision to tell the world about the chemical imbalance in my brain, I still wonder if I chose the right time in my life to open my heart.

Living openly with a mental illness means you’ll always wonder if the world is judging you. You’ll wonder if you will ever be looked over for a job you applied to or a promotion you earned because of the fact the employer knows you have bipolar disorder. You might wonder if you will ever work a regular job again now that you’ve written about the darkest and also the most manic times of your life.

These are the things I’ve been worrying about lately.

The truth about living openly with bipolar disorder is that even though I know my husband loves me with his entire heart, someday he might not because my illness might get in the way one time too many. My entire world would come crumbling down around me.

And if my world did come crashing down, if I was left to manage on my own, how would I do that? Again, the future employment picture bubbles to the surface. How would I support myself financially when my loving husband has been the main provider for the last six years? And would my symptoms suddenly break through the surface again, like a volcano that has been dormant but now is ready to explode?

These are the big, scary thoughts that sometimes make me wonder if I did the right thing.

Because the truth about living openly with bipolar disorder is that once you’re diagnosed, it’s yours to live with for the rest of your life. It’s yours to manage, to curse, to medicate, to appreciate. There is no erasing a mental health condition. Therein lies both the beauty and the beast.

The truth about living openly with bipolar disorder is that it’s shown me how far I’ve come as a person. How I’m no longer afraid of showing my true colors. I love my brain and all the creativity it has allowed me to express. Even though it may break down from time to time, I love this piece of me which has shown me what I’m capable of. And that is overcoming my fears and insecurities.

For this I say, I’m glad I’ve decided to be open about the fact that I have bipolar disorder.

No looking back. There’s only the beautiful mystery of what lies ahead.

Five Minute Friday {13}: In Between

28 Jun

EmersonBeautyQuote_BML

Things have been status quo around here for a while. I feel like I’m at that in between stage of life again. Like something incredible or terrifying could be just around the corner. It’s exciting and unnerving at the same time.

I believe that all we can ever do with our in between seasons in life is try our best. Wake up with anticipation for the gift we’ve been given of another day. Approach the motions of our day with love and try not to get too frustrated with setbacks like the toilet overflowing again or the tenth accident of the day during potty training week. {Those two go hand-in-hand, I guess.} Learn to appreciate the little things we’ve been blessed with, like overall good health and a roof over our head and a week’s worth of groceries in the refrigerator. Life is good.

As scared as I might be about the in between times in my life, I’m beginning to learn to embrace them rather than hide from them. Because as much as it may feel like an in between, no one ever really knows. What I do know is that all we’re ever promised is today.

So I’m going to carry on make the most of it.

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker’s

Five Minute Friday

A Life I Love: Blogging for Mental Health

15 May

Sometimes it’s hard to come to terms with the reality of what life has thrown at me. Why me?

Sometimes it’s beyond scary to admit that I’m struggling. I feel so alone.

Sometimes I fear that my friends will turn their back on me if they know the whole truth. How am I going to share everything?

Sometimes it’s terrifying to look back at what happened in the past because of what could have been. I’ve changed so much in such a short amount of time.

Sometimes I look around at all I have, the decisions I’ve made, how far I’ve come and I am in complete awe of my life’s fullness. How did I get so lucky?

On days like today, when the sun is so far lost behind the piles of sheer white and grey clouds, I find myself wrestling with my emotions. On days like today it’s so easy to remember if I let myself go there. The dark days, the weeks and weeks of bleak, dull depression that had wrapped its claws around me like a cat that caught a field mouse. The not being able to pull myself out of bed in the morning and the falling asleep on the couch in the late afternoon because it was so much easier to dwell in my grief than it was to push it aside to try to function normally. I haven’t felt that heaviness, the crushing weight of desperation, in seven years.

 

And for that I have so much gratitude.

 

But on days like today, twinges of it come back. And I don’t push them away. I let them come and I let myself acknowledge them, if only for a moment. Because I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to ever forget what I’m fighting for every day.

 

My mental health.

 

Not only for myself. But for my family. For my incredibly laid-back, fun-loving, funny, intelligent and handsome husband. The one who was by my side from the first day it all hit to the present. He is my better half and has all the qualities that I lack which is why we fit each other so well.

 

Together we completed our family with first a boy, and then a girl. Two little people who everyone says look just like us. I couldn’t be more proud of them, of their personalities which shine and twinkle like the stars in a deep black clear summer night sky. Each night, as we read stories before bed and snuggle in close, and every morning, when I nuzzle their still-sleepy noses to wake up so we can start our day, I take time to breathe in their scents. It’s hard to believe that they’re mine. I will always be their mom. He will always be my son. She will always be my daughter. And I want them to always be proud of me.

 

My life is the reason why I keep fighting. My family, my friends, my heart. They all deserve to see me succeed.

 

Each day may be a new battle, but every one I win makes me stronger for the next fight. At the end of the day, when the sun is setting and I see the brilliance peeking out from behind a mess of clouds, I know I’m staring into my future.

LifeYouLove_BML

And I’m nothing but enthusiastic for what lies ahead.

I'm Blogging for Mental Health.

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