Thursday, May 24, 2012

Go ahead, JUMP!

I find myself recently feeling like I have just started to realize and live up to my potential as a person.  Like I have spent my entire life doubting what I am capable of because I always had someone telling me I could do better instead of applauding what I had done.  For the longest time, my mom has said to me, "As long as you do the best you can, I'll support you".  All the while, she knew I was capable of so much more, but she, in her German stoicism, left it to me to realize.

The thing about someone like me is that I've always been the fuck up of the family.  My older brothers were athletes, and scholars, who went to college on full athletic scholarships, and I was fat, little musician sister nobody really expected anything from.  And I had a father who expected perfection, but never could manage to deliver anything close to it himself.  The point is, I did the best I could, not really knowing what my best actually was.  I just kind of wandered around, doing what I thought I was supposed to do by studying music, but not really ever doing well at it.  Even now, as much as I love to teach, I'm not interested in going back to school to learn more about music.  I'm a little over it and all the pretentious, ego-maniacal people who fill the positions of upper level voice teachers.  Quite frankly, I don't care what degree you have, if you're an asshole and treat me like a second class citizen because I don't have a fancy degree, you're not good enough to even waste my breath on, better yet consider you my colleague. But I digress.

Now that I have seen just a glimpse of what success could look like, it makes me sad to know how much time, energy, money, and hope I wasted just getting by.  I never really wanted to push myself to do better, even though I know I should have.  In the last several days since I let my skeletons out of the closet to play, a switch has flipped inside me that means there is really no turning back from this point on the timeline of my life.  It's not that I want perfection from myself, but I do know that I'm capable of impressing graduate school professors and doing perfect score worthy work.  I know that I can work myself to edge of actual insanity and survive it.  I know that it's time for me to finish the weight loss journey by asking my body and mind to do things it's never done before and pushing harder than ever.

Every time I go out my door for a workout, I expect more from myself than I gave yesterday.  I know I can run faster, I know I can get stronger, I know I can work harder, I know I can live a better life once I get this enormous pile of shit out of my yard.  More than anything, I deserve more from my life than I've ever given myself permission to ask for.  Now that I know what I want more than anything, there is nobody to stand in my way except me.  And I, as human being and kick your ass then make you pancakes woman, am learning day by day to let go of things.  To get angry about things and direct that anger to the correct place, to allow myself to cry because I'm so sad on the inside that some days it's all I can do to get out of bed and lace up my running shoes.  I have never been allowed to feel all these things for fear of what someone else would think, and therefore, never really gave myself a chance to live up to the potential the universe has blessed me with.

There is no more denying it, I'm tapping into that potential, and it's a scary thing, the unknown.  What I do know about the unknown is that, while I may never be a legendary singer or performer or an amazing teacher, I will be a star in my own right.  There is no nobler deed than helping another person reach their potential.  I have a team of people, including me, who are helping me reach mine so that I can go out into the world and eventually help other people reach theirs.  There is nothing more scary than standing on the edge of a cliff and picking the right moment to either jump off of it or walk away.  Ask yourself these questions: Are you really living the life you want, or are you settling for what you think you want?  Are you really living to up to your potential, or are you too scared to take the leap of faith?  Go ahead, jump!  It'll be the most amazing, terrifying, exhilarating thing you've ever done.  And when you land, you'll look back up at the cliff, and wonder why you didn't do that sooner!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Change and gravity

Once upon a time, there was a girl.  She fell in love with a boy, and that boy cheated on her for almost a year with another girl.  When he decided to leave the first girl, she begged him and pleaded him not to go.  He looked at her with sea blue eyes under long, think eyelashes and said, "The only things in life you can really count on are change and gravity".  Then he left her.  Almost 12 years later, that girl is this girl, and little did that stupid boy know the force of nature he was dealing with when he crushed her heart.

I talk about the universe swirling and how I can feel things coming before they get here.  I talk about having anxiety so deeply that I wake up each morning with knots in my stomach bad enough I can barely choke down half a bowl of cereal.  I talk about feeling things that are beyond myself and things that didn't happen to me in this life.  I have intuition beyond my own understanding.  I'm not psychic, but I do feel things other people can't.  I have dreams about people and they come true, I have feelings about things I can't explain, I sat at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans overcome with a sense of loss so profound all I could do was sit and cry.  I have past life experiences.  I sense things.

For that reason, people are drawn to me.  Sometimes it's in an attraction kind of way, which I'll admit, I'm mostly oblivious to, and sometimes it's just a "let me get to know this girl". People are intrigued by me, I guess, who knows.  It's not something I ask for, having gravity, but it's something I deal with.  It's part of what keeps me in my house a lot.  I read people very quickly, and I can get right down to the nuts and bolts of what makes them tick so fast that it scares people away sometimes.  I'm an intuitive, and people who are brave enough to actually get to know me either stay very superficial with me or understand that I know how they tick and are ok with that.  It's what makes finding friends, good friends so hard for me.  My personality is quirky, cute and funny, and a little snarky, but quirky.  

But back to change and gravity.  When I said a cosmic storm was coming, I knew that everything would change.  What I didn't realize was that my gravity would pull everyone around me into the storm.  The thing is, each person who stands in my storm path doesn't really know what's coming at them.  They don't realize that every decision I make while standing in the eye of my own storm affects them.  They don't realize that I'm bringing a storm to them.  Things happen around me and to me and to the people I love in a way that I cannot change or affect.  These things don't happen because I want them to, they happen because they must.  Like a gravitational pull that keeps our tiny little galaxy in order, when I change, the things and people around me must change or be left behind.   

Change is never, ever easy.  Nothing will be the same when the storm clears, but everything will be better.    The universe in all its glory has a way of cleaning house from time to time.  Nobody ever likes it; nobody ever wants it.  The thing about the universe is that it never really gives you what you want, it gives you what you need.  And sometimes learning to want what you need is the battle, not the other way around.  I don't cause events ,but I do watch them happen and help people explain why they're happening at the same time.  There are things happening around me and to me right now that are all connected, woven together like a basket, where one piece cannot stand alone without the other, but must also exist independently.  All I can do is lock hands with the ones I love and stand in the middle of the perfect storm.  Knowing we are each trying to stay upright on our own, but holding onto each other just in case one of us comes close to being swept away.  My gravity attracts change, and it's what keeps me on the ground.  I'm holding on tight because the storm just started, and you better believe I won't allow any of my loves to get pulled out of my gravity.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Silence and the road to recovery

As all of you know, I'm going through a really hard time in my life right now.  Among the ages old wounds I'm nursing, I'm also single for the very first time since I was 18 years old, and that's pretty freaking scary.  I'm also learning for the first time in my life how to listen to myself. 

I started seeing a counselor and she gave me some homework.  Listen.  Write it down.  Go out.  Meet new people.  All of these are hard for me.  I'm great at listening to other people and helping them with their problems; which is why I've gotten so good at NOT listening to myself.  Meeting new people is altogether awkward and scary because I'm quirky and odd, and I'm not really sure who I am anymore.  This whole former fatgirl thing is really a weird social experiment.  So, I try to think through some of things whilst running.

Sometimes when I run, my mind is so full of things that I can't articulate them into coherent thoughts, and therefore can't actually accomplish any worthwhile thinking.  But something amazing has happened the past two days: my mind is silent.  Yes, I think about my to do list, my bank account, who I'm teaching today, etc....  But the things that have been eating at me have been silenced a little.  Part of this recovery process is actually saying the words to another human being that I was too scared to say.  Once it's out of my mind, whether it be on paper or in conversation, it loses some of its power. 

It's come to my attention, through both my own reflection and the observations of others, that I have anger issues.  I go from 0 to 1,000 in the blink of an eye.  Not only am I under direction to write down all my volcanic eruptions, I know that I can channel that negative energy into something positive.  If I'm going to be single, and not spending every waking moment that I'm not working with a partner, I'm going to spend it at the gym, or on my bike, or rock climbing, or canoeing or whatever else I can get into.  I haven't taken group exercise classes since I was a teenager (except for spinning), and I figure that sounds kinda fun, too.  Although, I'll admit, I suck at dancing, so Zumba may not be a great plan..... I want to hit my goal weight this year, and finally be done losing weight.  I want to run my fastest marathon, and make new friends.  I want to find some peace and quiet for myself.  I've started to find a little silence on my road to recovery, and if I just so happen to run several hundred miles this year down that road, then so be it.  As long as I can be still enough to hear it, the sound of silence just might deafen me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

In Preparation for War

I've started many a blog post out like this, so here's another one.

I never knew losing weight would lead to so much pain.

For me, being obese was a symptom of addiction, and hurts that were so deep I didn't even know they existed.  After losing 100#, I thought I'd already come through the storm.  I'm coming up on the two year anniversary of leaving my husband, I've lost all my friends, my family barely speaks to me, and I completely changed my life, including my career path.  One would think that might suffice on the pain scale.  Apparently, I was dead wrong.  All of those events and choices were just a warm up for what I'm about to go through.

Everyone who follows my blog, or knows me, knows that I've battled a food addiction, and am winning at the moment.  Although, it is always lurking in the shadows waiting for the opportune moment to swallow me back up.  Sometimes my God does things for me to help me along.  This time, he laid anxiety on me that literally has inhibited my ability to turn to food for comfort in my time of pain.  It's the ultimate irony, really.  The one thing that could make me feel better, my drug, makes me violently sick.  I know how junkies feel when they take a hit and it makes them puke.  I digress.

My decision to share this isn't a hard one for me.  I'm a private person, but when I have a public platform that should be addressed through my own experiences, I'll put it out there for the world. 

I've spent my entire life the child of not only an alcoholic, but a drug addict.  I don't remember much of my childhood, and for good reason.  For probably the first time in my life, I'm trying to own that I was abused in various ways by my father, who was likely too high or drunk to remember any of it.  My brain has locked up my memories to a certain age, and what I do have is memories of shame and humiliation and fear, always fear.  He's a pathological, habitual abuser, who didn't start with me and didn't stop with me.  But the monster that lives in my mind is rather quickly becoming more than I can bear.  It's changed me from the happy, healthy person I had become, to someone who is full of anger and resentment.  And for the time being, it has destroyed my ability to be with the one person who loves me and supports me, and has wrecked the little life I've built for myself here.

I have spent so many years in denial over his addiction, my addiction, and my role as an abused child.  Now that I'm old enough, God has seen fit to make me strong enough to say it out loud, to own it.

All the people I've lost and war I've already fought was just the spring preview game.  I thought when I mourned the loss of the fat girl i used to be, the friends I used have, the man I used to love, that I'd be done.  It turns out, confronting the monster that made me, and then mourning him while he's still living, letting go of my guilt and shame, will be like standing in the middle of a hurricane.  I'm going going to say it once, and then never again.  I'm a victim of just about every kind of abuse that exists.  But that monster is no match for me.  I'm may be just getting warmed up, but by God, I will rip your arms off and beat you with them, and then watch you bleed to death in the floor.  And when you're dead, I'll walk away, close the door, and burn the fucking house down around your body.  You don't own me anymore.