Time To Go

For a chance t get int my head, listen t this song I listened to while I wrote this post. mood, I was listening to this Time Will Tell by Gregory Alan Isakov.

life has been changing. The days are getting longer, as we creep slowly towards Spring. Things are changing in my personal life too. I am in the process of making some big changes. My biggest goal right now is a career change.

 I work as a Para educator, supporting the daily needs of kids with special needs. I have been struggling with the choice for months.  My coworkers will be disappointed. The kids will be disappointed. I will be a quitter if I walk away. We live in a culture that values sticking it out.  There is this myth that in time, things will get better. Yet this isn’t always true.

There is a time to let go.  My work has left me tired, sick and burnt out. I have not felt happy for months. I have moved, making things difficult. The commute is long, and the money isn’t the best. I am losing my own happiness.

I can feel it in my bones. I know myself now, and it is time to go.

 

 

 

 

 

though its hard, I have to follow the path that is best for me.

Finding Myself

I went for a walk to clear my head tonight. The days are still cold, but the bright sun lingers a bit longer each day. I’m exhausted, but trying my best to take advantage the extra daylight. We are living in Manchester, and I take walks up at the local college. Being on campus made me yearn for more. My college experience was very limited, as much of my life has been. Tonight my thoughts drifted to my path so far. I have been too cautious, and there have been direct negative effects on my well being.

My choices have always been based off what is best for everyone, even if it hurts me. My youth was spent as a shield, protecting my sister from my alcoholic mother. I attended a college that wasn’t my choice, because of my parents thought it best. A guidance counselor in high school told me that writing wasn’t a legitimate career. Her word made me question my passion, and set me back years. I chose not to move West based on uneducated opinions. My wedding was complicated by selfish actions of those who I thought would always be there for me. I always go above and beyond for people who don’t deserve it.

I am struggling. My entire life, my personality has been smothered. As a child I was sheltered, never given a chance to fail. My teens were shaped by judgements of those who thought they knew better. As an adult I’ve been surrounded by people who question my choices, and do not value my intelligence. And I have allowed others guide me into this sense of oblivion. I have been turned into a cautious timid person, who avoids change.

That time is done.

2019 is a rebuilding year. The house is being brought right to the ground, and rebuilt by my rules. I am done playing by the rules, and trying to appease everyone. I am off on an adventure, to find myself. My needs are coming first, regardless of what others think.

who knows where my path will lead, but I will be the one who picks the direction.

Overcoming Chaos

To say this weekend has been rough is an understatement.

My instinct is to keep things private. To discuss things is to let that wall down. To let people in is to show weakness. It goes against everything that has been bred into me since childhood. Yet sharing can be cathartic, and helps us grow.   There has been a big change in my thinking, that I just noticed over the last few days. This weekend was challenging, but I overcame it.

Photo by Hristo Fidanov

When we went to bed on Thursday, I noticed Maddie, our 10 month old Australian Shepard, was acting strange. She tried to get up and couldn’t. Her body was raked with tremors that quickly developed into full  blown seizures. It was a nightmare with my eyes open. Nothing is worse than not being able to go fast enough as your puppy  shakes uncontrollably in your husbands arms.

We were able to get her to the vet, and thankfully, she is Ok,  The Vet thinks she got into something and it had to work itself through her system.  We got incredibly lucky, and are happy to have her home. Yet it was terrifying. You know it is part of the deal, but it doesn’t make it easier emotionally.

We stayed until they had fully checked her out. We didn’t get home until 3 am Friday morning. Maddie had been given Valium and was sleeping . We had to monitor as she came down, to ensure the seizures had stopped. I was up until 5 am and missed work on Friday because of it.

The rest of the weekend was bumpy as well. My paycheck was two days late, which was a major issue.  We were not able to go out for our special dinner on Friday. I didn’t end up getting bills paid until Saturday. I also managed to get a nasty cold.  Sick and tired, it has been difficult to rest and catch up on that sleep.  The bad things just seemed to keep coming.  It has been a challenging couple of days .

But, it is important to keep moving. And I believe that my focus on positive thinking has been paying off in big ways. In the past, a weekend like this would have brought me right down. I would have stuck in a bad mood, and unable to do anything. This weekend I was able to ride out the challenges, and do it with a positive attitude. I was also able to stay productive. I  finished an entire book, and wrote.  The chores were done, and the bills paid. It was challenging, but I was able to get things despite the challenges.

It was a good weekend, despite the issues. I am learning to rise above the daily challenges, and remain positive.  There is a certain amount of pride that. life hasn’t been easy, but with the right attitude, I can overcome it. This revelation shows me what I am capable of accomplishing. It give me confidence to push into the future.

Till next time’

Colleen

Trauma Laundry

As the last of the laundry was folded, I sighed in relief. It feels incredibly good to get things done. It may seem small, but for me it is important to get laundry done. It is something that I am just learning to do. Usually laundry goes like this…… I wait till there is way too much. I put it in, forget about it. Or it is left in the basket unfolded for the entire week. I struggle with it, because I was never taught how to do laundry.

Not taught how to do laundry? For anyone that seems pretty silly. Many of you will find that strange for a 28 year old to say. I was never taught to do laundry properly. The reason was was because of the issues in my childhood home. My Moms alcoholism shaped my entire life.

The reasons for this were two fold. My mom was lost at the bottom of a bottle, and struggled to take care of us. When she was sober, she would do everything for us. I believe it was her way of making up for the bad days. My dad was busy working, trying to support the four of us. There was never a chance for me to learn these important skills. For me, there was a lot of catching up to do.

That is the unseen side of trauma. The focus tends to be on the emotional toll of growing up in a dysfunctional household. Yet there is also an impact on life skills. This tend to be unseen. It is hard to talk about, and a certain amount of humiliation that it brings. As a 23 year old, I couldn’t cook, couldn’t really do laundry, and had no idea how to clean dishes. I had spent so much time just trying to survive I had never really learned to live.

Slowly I had to learn how to do these things. The process has been tedious, but progress has been made. My dishes are much cleaner these days. I can make a mean Shepard’s pie. I have to be methodical with the chores, until habits are formed. Yet slowly, I am gaining ground. As little as it is, it makes me proud. That is why to have, folded laundry is a big milestone. Its means that I am learning how to live.

Throw out the rule book

” I don’t know if you have noticed, but you have been in a better mood.” My husband said offhandedly.

It has been two weeks since we moved back to Manchester. Two weeks since we left the stress of Greenfield behind. Things are better, and I feel happier. It was hard decision to make. We had to take a BIG step back. Yet the positive change in my metal health is showing that it was the right choice.

My marriage has also seen positive changes. The stress of our last place was killing us. Yelling has been replaced by talks and laughter. We have begun to work on our building our relationship again. Greenfield was a negative time for us. I am thankful to be in a positive place in my relationship again.

I didn’t really think of it until he said something. Suddenly I feel free. There is a calm that has overtaken me. I have spent more time engaging in self care. My eyes have also turned to the future in a meaningful way. For the first time in months my head has broken the surface, and I can breath.

I wanted to give an update on everything. The move has made things better for us. It was a chance to downsize, and reevaluate things. It has given us an opportunity to change things. I am treating it as the start of something incredible. I am back at baseline. The foundation we are building we be stronger than ever. This time I am throwing out the rule book.

This is my life, and I finally intend to live it my way.



Less is More

I have been doing a lot of thinking. I am nearing thirty, and feel the pressure of another milestone birthday creeping closer. Choices need to made about how to spend the rest of my life.One thing that I have been thinking about the type of life that I want to lead.

The last few years, I have been focused heavily on accumulation possessions, and it hasn’t made me any happier. Instead I was unhappy, angry, and unfulfilled. The system that we follow makes so little sense to me. We are told to go to College, get married, buy a home to find happiness. We are taught that this is the sole path that will bring fulfillment. If we give up our free time, the possessions will bring us happiness. There is something so tragic about that.

I also think that this has contributed to my heartache. I thought that things would fix my problems. If I got ahead, my past would simply melt away. The truth is that I cannot move forward until I fix the problems from my past. I need a simpler life.

I want to travel with my husband and dog. I want to spend time out in the rolling plains, see the High Rockies, and get to the Pacific. When we return I want a quieter lifestyle not encumbered by things. My whole idea of settling down has changed. I am no longer set on the 1800 square foot house. My dreams are smaller now, but I am eager to reach them.

This year I am rejecting the worm path to success. instead I am going to listen to the quite beating of my heart, and let it guide me to happiness.

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray

I am a big reader, and my goal for 2019 is 30 books. So far I have read two books. The last book I read was Ruta Sepetys Between Shades of Gray. It is a historical fiction based in Europe during World War Two. Here are my thoughts on the book.

This book focuses on the Soviet deportation of Lithuanians during World War Two. The main character is a teenage girl named Lina, whose family is sent away. The story follows her from the cattle car she is forced to travel in, to her forced labor in Siberia.

The book touches upon a very important part of history. Often people see World War Two in black and white terms. Stalin was an ally, but he was far from moral. He was a cruel, ruthless leader. Dissenters were quickly dealt with. People were shot or deported to hard labor camps in the east. This book brings home how cruel Stalin was.

This book was pretty good. The narrative style was strong, and it immediately pulled me in. Lina and her mother were such strong characters they jumped off the page. This book displayed the strength of the Lithuania people. They endured so much, and they still found a way to celebrate their culture.

There were minor issues I had. The timing seemed off and uneven in places. I was unhappy with the ending. The book was detailed in spots, but did not explain how Lina left Soviet Russia. This book was tragic, I was not expecting a happy ending. Yet after seeing the pain that Lina and her family endured, I guess I expected an explanation of what happened.

Overall, I liked this book, but the plot could be stronger. It is a great read for anyone interested in history. It touches on a unknown part of history, and that is important. I applaud Ruta Sepetys for dedication to bringing obscure tragedies to life. I highly suggest this book to anyone who love history.

Till next time

-Colleen