Being Weird

Weird – out of the norm; state of being that allows unique and unfamiliar traits to be represented; not going with the status quo; being true to oneself; living an abundant life…

I like that word, weird. It’s very useful when you experience an emotion you’ve never experienced before. It’s useful when trying to describe something that is good but completely new. Weird.

I have found that I use that word frequently lately to describe where I am. As I come closer to graduation I am confronted with the fact that I get to choose my life. Weird. I get to decide whether to relocate or to stay local, whether to keep in touch with some people or not. I get to decide if I want to work in a hospital, or a clinic, or a store, or on my own. It’s like I have a multiple choice game, a choose my own adventure kind of life ahead of me. I can decide for myself whether I like the ocean or the mountains or the plains or whatever. I don’t have to do what I’ve always done any longer. The only word for it is weird. Weird.

Why is there no word for being able to choose your own life? Why is it that people typically fall into a place and just make the best, or the worst of it, rather than change the place? Why is it that all of the decisions in the past were based on what other people thought, or did, or didn’t do… why did others pave my path instead of myself? Weird. Seems it’s more common than not that we don’t actually choose which direction we go. Why not?

Why is it we are constantly trying to prove ourselves to people we don’t know or don’t like? Why do we try to do things that we know we don’t care for? Why do we work in places we hate, live in cities we can’t stand, and never ever dream? Weird.

Who is it that decided we would grow up and be a doctor, nurse, teacher, lawyer, game designer, architect? Did we decide it? Did we really choose? Or did we ‘take the advice’ of our parents, our teachers, our peers? Did we try something and fail and decide with only one failure to just give up? Did we decide we weren’t good enough? What a terrible loss! How did we decide to give power to others on how we live our own lives? Why didn’t we just do what we felt best? Why didn’t we get out our hatchets and carve our own path instead? Weird.

I love the word weird. I love being weird. I love creating my own life how I feel is best. I love the fear that comes with the unknown, the knowledge that if there’s a twinge of fear that it’s good, that I will be challenged. I can feel the fear, the excitement, physically. Now that I am learning to listen to myself, my own feelings, now that I am doing that I am beginning to use my body as a measure of which way to turn. If there is a crushing feeling in my chest, if I cannot breathe and my heart begins to break, then I know that is the wrong direction. If the fear is there, the anticipation, the opening of my lungs, the breathing deeply and enjoying the breath then I know that that is the better choice, the better path to follow. All of this time has been wasted listening only to my head, listening to the lies others have told me, and not listening to my heart. Weird.

Maybe we could all be a little more weird. Weird in our own individual ways. Maybe we can actually step up and into who we are meant to be. Maybe we can actually tell it like it is, speak truth in love and let others know how we feel. Maybe we have to start with ourselves. Maybe we need to learn to listen to our dreams, our own individual purpose. There is hope, there is peace but to get there you have to believe. Believe in yourself and trust in your power to accomplish more than you’ve ever knew possible. Let fear be your friend and your guide, who knows what’s on the other side of the bend? It may be a life that you love.

thanks for reading,

me

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Ambulatory Rotation

Another month of pharmacy school has gone by, this one at a doctor’s office where I was able to work with an amazing team. Each day we had new people come in to ask questions about the meds, to find out how to get healthy again, to find out how to stay healthy… these people, patients, needed time to digest what their doctors have told them. They needed time spent face to face to go over their conditions and to know that someone was listening to them. We would often spend an hour or more talking with them, getting to know them, finding out their likes and their dislikes, finding out how we can help them take charge of their health. It was humbling.

They would look to us because we understood their conditions and because we understood their medicines. They would trust us when we told them they needed to change something because their kidneys were bad, or because if they stayed on it they’d mess up their hearts. We would help them understand how to take their blood thinners and how to measure their sugars. We did all of this and so much more.

One man came in with blood pressure to the roof and we put him directly with a doctor and recommended what would help right away. An hour later his blood pressure was back down and he understood a little better how dangerous that could be.

One lady came in and just happened to mention she felt like an elephant was sitting on her chest a few nights before, she was there to check her blood thinner. We sent her back for an ECG to make certain she would be OK to go home.

Another couple came in because his blood work didn’t look good, they were scared, they thought this must mean the end is coming quicker than they thought. We were able to give them comfort and reassurance that all he needed to do was change his diet some, drink more water, and have an evening walk every night. Simple things that every one can do to prevent the fears they had that day. His wife began to cry she was so relieved that this was something they could handle.

Another man came in to make certain he wasn’t bleeding internally because of his blood thinner. He had started it because of a blood clot of unknown origin. I see him sitting there and I wonder quietly like the rest why it happened and pray to myself it’s not an early sign of cancer.

Real people, real blood, real dreams, real lives. Dozens of them over the last month. And to think a pharmacist does nothing but count pills? Nonsense.

thank you for reading,

me

Life is for living

Live dangerously. Take chances. Dream. We all come into this world the same way. We all leave it the same way too. We are born and we die. We know how it begins and we know how it ends, why not make the middle more interesting? That’s the living part.

I’m tired of living vicariously through others. I want my own adventures, my own chances to fail. I want to live for the sake of living. It’s interesting, coming to the end of my school career. I’ll be a licensed pharmacist by this time next year. So what am I going to do with it? Who am I going to be? How do I want my life to look in ten years? five? three?

It’s easier to know what I don’t want than to know what I want. I don’t want where I’m at. I don’t want to get up, go to work, wish I was off, go home, go to sleep, and get up and do it all over again. I can hear my ‘friends’ saying, “but that’s what growing up is all about”. I can hear them saying, “get over it.” But I don’t care what they say. I don’t want that and so I am not going to put up with that either. I can hear them again, “you’ll learn” and totally discounting me, thinking I’m naive and that I just don’t know anything.

But I do know. I do know a lot. I’m not a kid, I’m in my 40s. I’m not naive, I have an incredible grasp of life. Maybe that’s the problem? Because I have such a grasp of life and because I understand how amazingly fragile it is, maybe that’s why I refuse to let it slip away unnoticed. I refuse to give up or give in. Not ever, never again.

I will not let my life go unnoticed. I will not let the days slip by without recognizing the love and the pain around me. I write. I write to save my memories and to remember my dreams. So what do I want in the next few years? Freedom, peace, adventure, love. I know something others around me don’t realize. I know that people do live lives they love. I’ve met them and I want to be like them. I’m not saying I don’t love my life now, I’m saying that I am not content to let it be this way forever. I am content that today I will go to work to learn and that I will be challenged and tired. I am happy to do that today. Even tomorrow and so on for weeks, months, maybe even years. What I am not content to do is allow my work life to be my only life. I will play and I will live.

thank you for reading,

me

Silence – The Dark Side

I have a theory… silence kills. I’ve experienced it. Silence can be a very terrible thing. Silence keeps people from sharing their stories for fear of being chastised, punished, beaten, ostracized and made into villains. Silence? What keeps society from knowing how their neighbor is being beaten each night? What keeps friends from knowing that their best friend is being bullied? Or their best friend is beating his wife? Why is it that abuse is so quiet? Silence.

I wonder what would happen if people quit keeping secrets. I mean, what if you actually knew how much your coworkers were getting paid and they knew how much you were getting paid? The business would have to be more fair in its payment schedules. What if you knew what other students grades were and they knew what yours are? Would you work harder? Or would you work less? You would have a better idea on how the teacher graded. What if, instead of lying, what if a woman could tell you that her husband shoved her into the wall? What if you already knew that he was dangerous because when he was mean to his girlfriend she told the world? Would you be there still?

What would happen if men would treat women as human beings and not pieces of meat? What if women took pride in themselves and only accepted men who treated them well?

I’m trying to form this one thought that’s been bothering me for a long time. I feel like if there were a community discussion where women and men could speak freely about what is going on at home, that we would find out that abuse is rampant. I think we would be able to see the depths that this goes.

These are some statistics from 2015 in the USA, when I left my husband. I can guarantee you that each and every individual who was in an abusive situation felt alone, felt that they had no choice, and felt scared of telling others. Take a look. 1 in 3 women? If it’s not you then take a closer look at your friends. *this is from ncadv.org

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetime.1
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience severe physical intimate partner violenceĀ in their lifetime.1
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.1
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.9
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.10
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.2
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.2
  • 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.2
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.2
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.2

This is epidemic, it’s not sporadic. Women and men and children are scared for their lives, and they have the right to be. What doesn’t have to happen is the silence. What if we started asking questions? What if we started listening? What if we, the survivors and victims, had room to speak? What if we began screaming from the rooftops? What if we stood up in our churches and demanded they step in? What if we quit being silent?

Abuse continues because we put up with it. It continues because we allow our friends to be treated poorly. It continues because there are too few who are willing to speak up and when they do speak they are punished. Their friends don’t know what to say and so say nothing, or quit being with them. Their family refuses to believe them and so they do nothing, and instead question their truthfulness. Their co-workers blame them. Others think they are whining, and still others think they need to toughen up. What very few actually do is believe them and provide them with a way out. Even when a woman calls the police for help she will very often not press charges.

What can we do? What if we started a revolution? What if we always knew when a man hit a woman? What if we always knew when she is threatened? The reason this continues is because people get away with it. It continues because of the secrecy. What if victims were no longer blamed and no longer felt the need to be silent? What if a man knew, absolutely knew, that if he hurts his wife that the world would come crashing down his door? What if?

thanks for reading,

me

 

Being a mom…

My daughter turns 22 years old today. 22 years ago I gave birth to a tiny baby girl, 7 lbs 11 oz, not really that small, and too big for me. She had to be delivered by c-section. I would do a lot of self-hypnosis while I was pregnant and would talk to her while she was inside, but in my mind, not vocalizing much. When we found ourselves home, at first I didn’t know how to talk to her. I would think things toward her but she wasn’t inside anymore. How could I express my love to her with words alone? When I finally would speak aloud I sounded weird to myself. I didn’t really know what to say. Still, we grew used to it and we learned how to listen to each other.

Being a mother has been one of the greatest joys of my existence. Now, while she is sleeping again in my bed, just as she did when she was born, I wonder how can I help her through this particular time in her life. I’ve learned I cannot make her decisions for her, I can’t tell her what’s the best direction to go. I can only try to encourage her to trust her heart and to believe in herself as I have finally begun to do. I look back on my life and I can see that the times when I did trust myself and acted despite the status quo, despite what made the most sense. Those times when I listened to me worked out just fine. If I would have trusted myself more often it’s likely life now would look a lot different. God, I love my children. Having them all at home is wonderful. But, they aren’t supposed to stay here forever. They aren’t mine to keep.

How do I express my pride in who my daughter is becoming? How do I tell her that my heart aches when hers does? How do I acknowledge that I can’t fix everything? I can only hold her when she cries if she’ll let me. I can only encourage her to hold herself high and to believe in herself.

The life she grew up in, the emotionally devastating home? Oh how I wish I had taken them and left sooner. I wish I had known how closely they were watching. The damage done to their psyches, mine too. How do I help them to heal as I have healed and continue to heal? I want them to see themselves as I see them. I see them as miracles, gifts directly from God. I see them as amazing, intelligent human beings with hearts of gold. I see their potential to be anything they want to be. I see their struggles and yet I have to watch and wait as they work through things. I’m an action kind of person, I want to fix everything. But fixing things isn’t my job often times. My job is to love them and that I do well. Now to continue to teach them, but this time I shall change the curriculum to one of self-love and pride. The world will teach them enough about hate later. Let them learn to love themselves and then they will be able to love others better.

How is it the church which teaches about love forgets to teach the love of self? Jesus himself said we must love others as we love ourselves, meaning we are also supposed to love ourselves. Self love is not the same as selfishness and yet they’ve been equated too long. In our rush to be selfless we have turned into a world of depression and abuse. Might this have something to do with our upbringing? Might we learn to acknowledge the beauty in ourselves first? This is what I want to teach my babies. I want them to know it’s OK to love themselves and that a little bit of ‘selfishness’ is healthy. I want them to learn that depression isn’t something they have to live with. I want them to understand that it’s only a sign that things need to change. (This is not to say that those who are depressed are in any way wrong, but that the best way to treat something is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.)

How can I show them what love is? How can I show them to love themselves? I’m newly loving who I am. The power that comes with acknowledging that life begins inside me, love starts with me? That’s pretty awesome. Children are always watching, everything, all of the time, whether we know it or not. Show them love, show them they are worth loving. Show them this and show them how you love yourself as well. They will follow your lead so lead them well.

thanks for reading,

me

Power

Power. I am powerful. I sit here and read of the things I have written over the last several years. I see the woman I was and the woman I have become and I wonder how? Is it even possible? Is this really me? Did I, me, really do all of those things? And the ultimate answer is yes. Yes. Yes! Yes I did. I am powerful. I was able to turn fear into hope, turn chaos into peace. Me. Just little old me! I truly am powerful. I had no idea I could do what I set out to do. I had no idea I would succeed, all I knew is that I had to try, and if that meant I died trying then so be it. I was already dead anyway. So yes, I found my power. I found ways to say no, ways to say yes. I found people to help and I let relationships die with people who hindered. I did. I chose to live and so I did. I chose to move on to a new life. I did. It wasn’t an accident.

Today I spoke with my therapist again. He made me say what I was hesitant to say. He made me tell him what I was thinking. “If I am so powerful as this, then others must be also?” His job is done. I am powerful and so are you. It is only a matter of recognizing it, finding it, living it. Believe it. Believe in yourself. You do have power, harness it. Take it. Allow yourself to be the powerful person that you are meant to be. It’s taken me a long time to accept this. I thought power was wrong, was somehow not appropriate. I thought that if I admitted that I had power then that meant that my ego was too big and that I would surely die and go to hell. But! But instead I learned something completely different. I learned that pretending to not being powerful, for allowing others to have power over me, was an affront to my creator. My God created me in His image. He created me to be amazing, just as he created you as well. What right do we have to play small! How dare we not live our lives to the fullest! How dare we belittle the Creator of all things! Take your power, take it! It is yours and it is your birthright. You and I deserve to be wonderful. We deserve to be amazing and smart and talented. We are worth it!

Power. Power is frightening. Power means that what happens is up to me now. Recognizing that I have the power to live my life fully means that when I do not live fully that I am relinquishing it. Knowing that the words I choose can cut someone in half or build another up, knowing that I have the ability to make or ruin a person’s day? These things are scary. What if I mess up? I will, you will. We all mess up. But if we don’t take our power back and accept it as our own then we live shallow wasted lives. Our children, our loved ones, those who cherish us… they all are watching us, copying us, waiting for us to make our move or to test the waters. They are waiting to see if we make it to see if they will even try. Why not show them? Why not let them watch us make it, let them watch us move mountains to become who we are meant to be. Let them watch, let them learn, let them grow. Our youngest will copy what we do. Do we really want to hold them back from their own power? By choosing to take hold of our own power we are showing them that it’s OK, we are giving people hope and letting them dream again.

Power? I am powerful. I am more powerful than I ever imagined. It’s scary, it’s hard, but it’s so worth it. Trust me. I am only now discovering who it is I am meant to be. Come along for the ride, for it’s a wonderful ride. Take your power back, own it. I am. Let’s do it together.

thank you for reading,

me

Don’t Wait

I know I keep harping on this but it’s so true. Life is short. Love your babies, hug your parents. AND take care of yourself!

You can’t wait any longer. You need to act now. You might not have another year, or another month or week. Life is short. Love now! Go for it! Go do the things you’ve dreamed of doing. Don’t wait anymore. Go dance in the rain, go play with the dogs. Go run around the block, bicycle, walk, whatever you like to do. Get outside with those you love. Or by yourself. Whatever it is you need to do, do it! Just do it!

If you can’t imagine yourself being like you are this moment in five years, then change it! Just do it. Do it! If you can’t stand the idea of living like you do right now in five years, then don’t. Don’t! You have the strength to change, you do. Do it! Life is worth it! You are not meant to be stomped on, beat up, or put down. You are meant for greater things than this! Quit waiting. Just start. Do it! Do one small thing that will lead to another small thing and then to another…

You can do it! I did. I’m just a little person with a big heart and I started with nothing thinking I was nothing… but I’m not nothing and neither are you. You and I are both worth it! Live! Today! Not tomorrow. not next week, not next year… today! You might not have another. There will never be a good time. The only time you have is right now. So what are you waiting for? Safety? Peace? If you don’t have it now and you don’t act on it you won’t have it tomorrow either.

Change doesn’t have to be giant, the little tiny baby steps work too. Telling yourself good things to combat the bad that you hear is small but huge… Tell yourself this. Tell yourself “I am worth it. I am beautiful.” Say it in your head, say it out loud if you can, just say it. “I am amazing. I am smart and capable.” Do not believe the lies that others say. Do not let others judge your soul. You were created by God for a purpose and that purpose includes living, loving and being loved. God doesn’t make junk. Don’t wait.

Every moment that you are awake you can speak kindly to yourself. You can combat the negativity, you can do it. I believe in you! I didn’t believe in myself before but I have changed that. I used to think I deserved my punishments, that I deserved my silent treatments and that I deserved to die. I was wrong. No one deserves that. No one, not me, and definitely not you. I wanted so much to give up, to quit. I wanted so much to just go to sleep and never wake up. Instead? I never gave up. I thought for certain I was crazy, but I wasn’t, and neither are you.

You have a right to live, truly live. You deserve to be loved and cared for. If you aren’t then leave. If you can’t, then get help. I did. I’m worth it. It was hard, it was terrifying, but I was worth the effort and so were my kids. You are worth it too. Don’t wait. Just do it!

thanks for reading,

me