Growing Pains - Good & Bad
This last week I focused on working my brain; being more creative and strengthening the connections between the right and the left side. I carved out 30 minutes everyday in my crazy busy schedule - colored in a coloring book, created a T-shirt design, tried to approach a work problem in a new innovated way, took some creative photographs(photo on cover), and worked on a short creative story (will be sharing soon). Overall, I felt it was a success. After months of avoiding people or having the lack of energy to do anything besides my daily grind, I found myself scheduling plans and feeling optimistic. I went to dinner with friends, found myself knocking out my to do list at work, wrote a list of 25 articles I want to blog about, and overall simply felt better about my day and my future.
Then the end of the week came and I realized no matter how well I felt I was doing; I didn’t finish the homework I needed to, the yard is growing weeds at a alarming rate, and my house is a disaster of a mess. Anxiety and stress attack. The thoughts start circling of how did I get here. Where did I go wrong? Even the 'I'm not enough' thoughts come to crush me down further. We have all been here, we have all ran out of time in the week and feel the stress of not being able to keep up. I tried to pull it together, and catch up on the things and then the Mother's day holiday hit. Already stressed and feeling overwhelmed, the holiday added on missing my own family 700 miles away, the recurring fear whether I will ever have the chance to be a mother myself, and soon I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders but was trying to muscle through it. In the car on the way over to my boyfriend's family who were having a picnic for mothers day the thoughts I was trying to ignore starting screaming louder than the music I was listening to on the car stereo. You are doing too much, how can you talk about finding time for yourself everyday when you cant even practice what you preach and stay on top of the things. You need to accept life as it is and stop searching for something more. The inner voice in our heads can sometimes be the most cruel. It knows all the buttons to press and how to hit hard on the emotions as my own thoughts went to 'how can you ever be a mother if you cant handle life now?' I just start to cry and couldn't stop, by the time I arrive at the house for the picnic my entire face makeup has melted off in tears.
I pull into a parking spot in front of the house, and my boyfriend after some kind, encouraging words goes inside to let the family know I needed a minute. Mind you, I can tend to be a proud person and I have learned over my life to smile and laugh off the hard things in life and always put on a front. So losing it while sitting in a parking spot they could see, only made it worse as I tried to force myself to pull it together and stop embarrassing myself. Every fiber in my being wanted to back up the car and drive away. I couldn’t face everyone, I couldn't handle them knowing I was a mess. But how would I ever face them again after just driving away without a word? Stuck in limbo sitting in the car, my boyfriends mom knocks on the window. Well hell, now I have to say something. I try to still act like I'm fine, maybe pretend I'm just catching up on some work, but my voice comes out in cracks and its obvious I am a lost little girl sitting in a car unable to hold it together. His mom is kind and assures me they are understanding and if I need to leave today it will be okay. She hugs me and I find myself in this moment with this lady who has spent very little time with me being kind and caring. I apologized for being this person, but her response was simply 'What? Someone with emotions?'.
I set my vision statement for J2H as finding happiness in connecting with the world around you, to appreciate the small things in life and to connect and help those in need. But when confronted with my first opportunity to connect and accept help, I honestly wanted to take off and drive as far away as possible. How can I talk in this blog about connecting when I don’t myself? So I took my five minutes, and I took some deep breathes and in the end got out of my car puffy eyes and all and walked into the house. I pushed past my embarrassment, my fear of this new family seeing me as a mess, and swallowed my pride and walked into the house. In the end, the picnic was pleasant and his family was welcoming and kind as we spent time on the lawn eating KFC. To take a moment even when I felt overwhelmed and be surrounded by quality people helped me gain some clarity.
Back home, I pulled back out my laptop that I had stubbornly put into a corner in my temporary thoughts 'just accept your life as it is' and wrote this blog. I want to honor my original thoughts of sharing my journey; both good and bad. To share that not every day will be perfect, or full of bliss and happiness but in the end striving to be the best version of yourself is worth it. And sometimes that isn't pretty, that isn't 'all together', sometimes its messy and scary and overwhelming. To break out of your comfort zone is uncomfortable, and even embarrassing but while growing pains are sometimes painful in the end you are worth it. You are enough. And remember it takes more strength to show up open and vulnerable than to hide behind a false front.
Moving forward this next week I will continue to focus on creativity, but I will also focus on balance and techniques for making the most of our most precious resource - time.