Living into a dream

Living into a dream life is interesting. I have goals, tangible ones, and I want to achieve them. But, I’m a lot like most people: big goals, little action. The question today is how do I move beyond what ‘everyone else is doing’ to who I truly want to be? I’m great on a deadline. I am fantastic at procrastinating until the last minute. But this won’t help in the long term. Great for tests but not so much for things like getting out of debt. For the long term I need to be consistent on the little things. Debt for example, would mean consistently eating at home, buying fewer things, selling things that don’t matter to me, paying attention to the money I do have. For school? I know there’s the boards coming in May and June. I want to be ready to fly with those. I want to be an excellent pharmacist and I want to be trustworthy. How do I achieve something like that? The little things again? Of course. I need to study daily and to learn as much as I can. But I see it as an exam… which I normally cram for… Do you see my dilemma?

My life is full of so many things and I live rather randomly most of the time. I’m good in an emergency because I’m great at flying from the seat of my pants; but I don’t want to wait for an emergency to get things done anymore. I love the part of me that decides to go to the beach on a dime and the part of me that can sit and watch a movie with my kids instead of doing anything else. I like who I am. (I could write a book on that statement!) I love life’s interruptions. But, that’s the problem. If I want to reach my tangible goals then I need to set aside time to achieve them. I need to break them down and work them in parts so that I actually succeed. Part of the problem in the past has been that I allowed others to control my time. I have finally learned to say no to something good in order to do something great. I hate it though. I am still learning to manage my time and I’m doing better.

My writing isn’t part of my goals, which is odd. My writing is for my mental health instead. Each morning I wake up early just so I can have some time for just me. I treasure this time so much that I get out of bed despite feeling tired. I’ve made it a habit. If I can make writing a habit then I can also make using my time wisely a habit as well. Is that what I need then? Goals that excite me? Goals that I can’t stop thinking about? Living a life that I dream? Living a life that I love so much that finding the time to build it is easy? That must be the key. If I’m ambivalent toward something I’ll never do it. Again, my passion, is what I need to ignite. I am a passionate woman, I just need to let myself be who I am.

Being debt free doesn’t excite me, not in the slightest! What about being able to actually know that no one owns me? That sounds a lot better. If no one owned me or my time how would I be? I can feel the weight lifting off of my shoulders as I think of this. Now this is a goal I can feel. This is something I can become passionate about. How do I achieve this? There are so many possibilities!

thank you for reading,

me

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A Day in Little Washington

The littles and I spent a day in Washington, NC a couple of days ago. We got up early, ate breakfast, packed a couple of snacks and jumped into the car. About two hours later we arrived at the waterfront in Little Washington. First we bought hotdogs at Bill’s Hotdogs. Excellent dogs for a good price, I highly recommend it! Then we walked to the waterfront and sat down at a table and ate them. While we were sitting there a lovely four-year old girl with tight black curls and cute little bows sits with us and just smiles. Her smile is like sunshine and I think how wonderful it is that she can just be a child for a time.

There were some folks fishing from the floating dock. I decided to take the kids down there to see and feel the sea a little better. I ask them if they’ve caught anything yet. “Only a few little ones,” they say. Still, a few little ones is better than none and I’m happy for them. The dock is pretty cool, it goes up and down with the tides and the ramp adjusts from the shore. It was peaceful, relaxing, standing there for a few minutes.

Whenever I go to Washington, I have a sense of peace come over me. I find my steps slow along with my heart rate and I just want to take in the beauty of the place. I love the feeling of the breeze on my face and the sounds of the waves splashing along the sides of the boardwalk. My kids race ahead of me some and I continue to walk quietly. I stop to say hi to a boater, a live aboard like I want to be. We talk some of his boat and how he likes living there. He thanks me for saying hello, talks about how he moves his boat to different places and how if he wants to go to the gulf side he has it shipped for him over land. There’s something for me to learn from everyone I speak to.

Further down the boardwalk we gaze at all of the beautiful boats and start to pick and choose which kind we would like. We’re window shopping right now. There are a few on the hook in the river with dingys to come to shore. No sails are up right now and I wonder if the wind is too strong today or if it’s just because it’s a Monday and that’s the way things are. Most owners are either inside of their boats or at work somewhere. It’s an interesting feeling. I yearn for my chance to live like these and yet I am not jealous nor envious, I only see the possibility and am beginning to understand that there’s really no reason I cannot do the same. I look forward to that day more and more.

As we walk we approach the estuary portion that has been protected. The children lean over the rails watching for signs of turtles. Spitting in the water they wait and watch. I taught them a long time ago that it’s not proper to feed them but it’d be OK to spit and have them come and so the two of them are busily trying to hack up some spit to ‘feed’ the turtles. It’s quite a site and I love watching them. The turtles come, dozens of them. We lose count as we watch them. You can see the little heads from a distance and then when they arrive their bodies are of various sizes. One is a snapping turtle and reminds me of the king dragon in ‘How to Train a Dragon’, he’s so big. The kids ooh and awe and we all watch as the turtles vie for attention. Even the little fish jump at the chance to eat some spit. A lady goes by and says, “It’s not fair to spit, they’re not getting anything for their actions!” She laughs, though, and it’s all good.

As we turn around at the end of the boardwalk we go back to watching the boats. I meet a few more people and talk briefly about Washington and how much I love it here. One man says another place is better since it has more to do but he doesn’t understand how much I need the solitude for now. I’m looking to buy a boat not a house and so when the time comes where I can be with the multitudes again, I can do so. My front yard can be where ever I choose.

We went to other docks and finished our day with ice cream from Scoops. We waited for a rainstorm to pass and then finally made it back to my car a little wet and a lot of laughter. Days like this help to give me life while I go back to my town with its land-locked, high traffic, busyness, that tries to drive me insane. Breathing deeply and marking these sites at the waterfront helps me to make it another couple of weeks back at home.

thank you for reading,

me

 

What’s it like to be me?

What’s it like to be me? What is my ‘normal’ day like? Lately, my day begins when I go to bed at night. As I finally get ready to go to bed exhausted, no matter the time, sometimes 10, sometimes midnight… I always go to bed exhausted. Then my children think it’s a great time to talk. I love this. I cherish this, they are a part of my heart line and I love to know them… but I’m exhausted, couldn’t we have talked a couple of hours ago? Finally after shooing them away with enough love and hugs I settle down to sleep. It used to take me hours to fall asleep while I had so much on my mind but now it’s so much better. Now I fall asleep within minutes. I wake slightly a few times in the night as the dogs I sleep with decide they are cold and want under the covers with me but mostly I sleep well. Sometimes in the early morning I hear my daughter cry because of a nightmare and I climb out of bed and hold her some for a few minutes and then try to go back to bed again. But once I wake after 4 in the morning there’s really no point in sleeping because sleep will not come. If I wake fully after 2 I will likely fall back to sleep but it will take a while.

When morning comes, often before, I wake up and make my way to the table to have a cup of coffee and to write. I love this hour or two before the rest of the world wakes. It’s my time, it’s precious and it builds me up. I write some on my blog or I write in my journal or both. I never dreamed in a thousand years that I’d be a writer some day. If I have to go to my rotation site then I go get my shower and start my day after I’ve written some and had my coffee. If I have the day off then I write or read until the kids wake up, about 8. I love this part of my life. The next several hours are packed full of doing things. Things that have to be done like laundry, or cooking, or studying, or paying bills, or making calls, or finding someone to fix my car or mow my lawn. Then the evening comes and I start all over again…

That’s just the physical world around me… Inside? Inside is different. Inside I worry and think. I pray and I hope. I hear my child ask for a hug and I give it to him or her. I see my kids avoid life on their computers or phones and I make them go outside. I ask about school and see how they are doing. And I dream. I dream of getting my degree and of earning the top spot in my virtual franchise that I’ve been in for years. I dream of living on a boat and of learning to sail. I dream of waking up to the waves and the rain. Of waking to the sounds of birds and of wind. I dream of living a life that I love. I already love my life, though, but I dream of making it less on physical things and more on the things that truly matter. I see myself as a calm spot in the midst of chaos. I see others being able to rely on me for peace and hope. I see myself being able to provide counseling and love to others. I wonder again why I am in this loveless town so far from the water. I can see myself teaching and I know that I can make a difference in other’s lives.

There’s another part of me that I’m just beginning to understand. I love hard. I’ve always loved hard. What I didn’t realize was that when I do I lose a piece of myself. I need the water and the sea to help me find me. As much as I love people and want so much to help them, it drains me. I need space and openness and the outdoors to refuel me. I really do need the quiet and the sea to breathe deeply. I can feel when someone is upset, and when I do I yearn to help them. The problem is sometimes I can’t help. And often times there are many people all at once. One or two or even five or six or heaven forbid ten or more people whose emotions blast me like a fire. Sometimes that’s what it feels like. How do I function when there are so many? This is why I take my escapes like others take medicine. Without my escapes I cannot refuel and I begin to fall into the chaos with the others. What good am I if I cannot breathe?

thank you for reading,

me

The Hell of Emotional Abuse

Do not discount yourself. So many people compare themselves to others. They decide they aren’t in hell, exactly, because ‘someone else has it worse’… I say stop it. Stop. Yes, some people have it worse than you and some people don’t. That’s normal. But that does not mean you are not both experiencing a form of hell.

If you are in an emotional abusive relationship do not say, ‘at least I’m not being beat every day’. All that does is discount what you are going through. I promise you, I wished he would just hit me, just get it over with already. If I’d had a damn bruise I might have moved out sooner… but you see? I did have bruises, I had bruises on my soul. Just because someone doesn’t throw a fist into you does not mean that person is not abusive.

Do not discount the implied violence and the soul wrenching guilt trips. Do not discount how you feel. Emotional abuse is like taking a trip on a crazy roller coaster in pitch black. You have no idea if around the next curve you will be falling into the abyss or climbing a mountain. You have no idea from one moment to the next whether you will be loved or hated. That feeling in your gut, that spark of fire burning there? That is your sign of how things truly are.

If you are scared and you can’t figure out why. If you are worried about the stupid shit that doesn’t even matter, things like messing up and forgetting something or not taking out the trash or having the car filled up or whatever… shit that doesn’t matter in five years… If you just can’t seem to be good enough no matter how hard you try… Or even worse, you’ve been put on some stupid pedestal and so if you make the slightest, tiniest error, you’ve failed… Yeah. Those things. Just because you don’t have a bruise doesn’t mean it’s not abuse.

So what if he doesn’t yell at you, yelling isn’t required either. There’s still the looks of displeasure and the cold shoulders or, heaven forbid, the silent treatments. Emotional abuse is one of the most destructive forms of abuse out there. Rather than destroy the outside of a person the inside is the target. The very being, the core of who you are, is the target. Not only do you have to fight it by yourself you begin to wonder why you fight and then you quit and you forget why you had any worth at all.

Then you begin to believe his lies. His lies that there’s no one else who could possibly love you. His lies that you may need some anger management because you burst into tears because he’s disappointed again. His lies that the only reason he stays is because he feels sorry for you, for there’s no way you’d ever survive on your own because you are just too stupid.

You can’t even do the checkbook right. Don’t you even know how to add? Seriously? Why would you buy something for you? Why on earth would you get yourself something from the store? Who cares if you like oatmeal or grits when no one else does? Why did you buy that? Don’t you think you need some rest? You look tired you should go to bed… And then gratefully thank him and go to bed only to be awoken an hour later because you need to put the kids to bed and turn out the lights and lock the doors because that’s your job and if you don’t do it then it won’t get done… How dare you get angry when all you have to do is take care of the house and kids! He works for a living, he pays for everything. You should be grateful… but you look so tired honey, why don’t you go get some rest.

What do you do then? How do you defend yourself from an enemy who is constantly changing? The only thing you can count on is that his mood will be different in a few minutes, maybe better, maybe worse. Some recognize it as ‘walking on eggshells’ trying to be quiet. No matter what step you take you make noise. There just isn’t any thing you can do. Emotional abuse is like that. It’s so far deep into the cave that you don’t know how to find your way out again. You are so lost that you begin to try to make the best of the dark and the dirt and the rocks. You’ve forgotten that there really is air and sky and rain and wind and not just the stale, old musty, mildewy dirt. When you are in the midst of an emotional abusive relationship it’s hard to find your way out.

So, yes, you are living in hell and yes you are in a hell just as bad or worse than others. Everyone’s hell is different but this one is yours. Do not discount yourself, do not make light of the fact you have no bruises. Hell is still hell and there is no comparison.

If I have described your version of hell then forgive me. I find peace in finding words. Words can draw pictures that help others to see.

thank you for reading,

me

Jealousy? Where did you come from?

And yet another emotion… jealousy. Wow. This one kind of surprised me. But recognizing it I understand and I’m OK with it. (Which also surprises me. I seem to be constantly surprised at how my reactions have changed over the last several years.) So rather than hide from it, from this new feeling, I decided to bravely and carefully take a closer look at it. I somehow trusted myself to be able to handle what I found.

What did I find exactly? I decided to call it jealousy but it’s not a green with envy kind. It’s more of another discard to a point. The man is dating someone and honestly that’s what I’ve been hoping for. I’ve wanted him to get his mind off of me and want to get on with his own life so I wouldn’t be a target anymore from his old life. I’m glad that he’s dating, it’s good. And yet, with the realization of it, I still felt the discard. The reminder that I’m not important to him. Why would I be important to him? I never have been, why would leaving him change that? Silly me.

What’s going on inside, then? Where did this emotion come from? It’s my kids. I love my kids and I want them to have amazing lives and I want what’s best for them. The problem is, I want to be enough for them and I’m not. I could never be, either. Kids need both their mother and their father to develop into healthy adults. Preferably neither mother nor father is a complete jerk, though. I’m worried my kids, especially my youngest, will meet his girlfriend and come to love her as she love me. As if she doesn’t have enough love in her to love both of us! Of course she can. I’m just jealous because of fear, because I don’t want to lose someone else. I’m jealous because I love her beyond my own breath. And my fear is unfounded. The future ahead has so much possibility and it can be good.

How can him dating be good? Maybe she could help him be a better dad. Maybe she can help him clean up his mess and make sure my kids don’t come home with lice again. Maybe she can make sure they actually sleep in their own beds in their own rooms for the first time in two years. Another woman could turn that house upside down and make it a home again. And that would be good for my kids.

And yet? I remember how my life was with him and I remember how he lives and how he behaves and how everything is always someone else’s fault and how I could never in my wildest dreams be good enough for him. I remember how I fell for him and how easy that was way back when. I remember how terrified I was just to go home. I feel sorry for her, if she does choose to stay with him. I pity her for I will not warn her of him. She will have to learn for herself. She’s an adult after all. I pity the fact that if she stays she will wonder what happened to her life in twenty years. She will wonder how on earth she let all of her dreams go. That is if she’s able to. I know so many who have given up on their dreams and died internally. It may be that she is no different from him.

It would be nice, though, to not care anymore. But, that is who I am and I am learning that I’d rather feel how I feel than go back to the chaos. I’m in love with living now and having my down moments is just part of life.

thank you for reading,

me

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

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