Queen of the Fighters

Today I glanced upon my very out-of-date blogging avatar.  When looking at pictures from my past, I often feel surprised at just how much I have changed, as well as how much I should have loved myself in the moment.  The truth is, I am often waiting for something big (or small) in order to feel good enough.  Waiting for the next paycheck so I don’t feel worthless and broke.  Waiting to be smaller so I can fit into old clothes and not hate myself when I look in the mirror.  Waiting to graduate so that I can finally have some stability and success.  Waiting for my next visit home so that I can see my family again and re-fill the parts of me that are hollow.  Educating myself about my infertility and waiting to get pregnant so that I don’t feel the empty and devastating feeling that I will never know what it feels like to be a mother and as society would say, “never experience real love”.

I am aware that so many of these thoughts are bullshit, but when you are immersed in expectations, images, others lives, and comparisons 24/7, it can really begin to weigh on your own personal thought patterns and perceptions of the path your own life is taking. A huge reason why I removed myself from Facebook.

So yeah, I can remind myself a million times a day to live in the moment, to stop comparing, to appreciate what I have now.  The reality though is that it is and will continue to be a constant process and one that I truly do battle with.  I’m not afraid to say that I do live with chemical imbalances and mental illness.  This isn’t a reason to feel ashamed or any less of a person.  It just means I have to work to push myself forward most of the time.

I am working (it’s always going to be a work in progress) to see myself as I am today and stop waiting until I make some huge miraculous break-through.  Here I am in the moment, and I don’t need permission to believe in the power that I have today.

A few projects that I am currently working on:

  • Writing more and as often as possible as it always heals me.  Always has.
  • Breathing deep.  Seriously, it helps.
  • Walking more.  The weather and my neighborhood are gorgeous and I want to enjoy it as often as possible.

 

Thank you for being here,

Jamie

 

 

 

Finding Me

The last few months are a blur.  By that, I mean this school semester that just came to a close.  I have had the last 2 days to relax, decompress, and honestly act ridiculously lazy (actually a difficult task for me).  Within this slowing down, I have discovered some very hurtful and dark feelings.  I knew they were still there, I have just become very skilled at pushing them away when I need to.

I made the choice to prioritize my education the day I decided to go back to school.  I feel it is more of a sacrifice when you are in your thirties, already have a life full of responsibilities, and then add in a full school schedule.  Still, this is a sacrifice I chose to make.  Perhaps I never thought I would take it this far.  But, the more I learn and the more I strive, the more successful I imagine my future.  I’ve always wanted things I couldn’t have and often times than not, those things (traveling, buying presents for my friends and family on special occasions, being healthy, taking vacations, affording basic necessities…) have been hindered by lack of financial support.  I don’t want to forever deprive myself of certain pleasures and experiences like I always have.  Point being, I am endlessly working hard in order to accomplish my goals.  I never let myself forget that.

But along the way, I have lost myself.  I have lost my spark; my silly, happy, witty, joking, fun, lively, joyous self.  I miss that girl.  I long to have her back.

It will be 3 whole months before I return to school.  One more year until I complete my degree.  I know that I cannot wait until then to start practicing some self-care.  It feels urgent that I start taking care of myself again.  I need to laugh, breathe, sing, dance, yoga, exercise, cook, write, explore, and live.  I want to shine again.  I need to.

 

I don’t know if anyone even reads these words I write.  But if anyone happens to see this and knows what it is like to fall down a dark endless path and feel like you can barely breathe because it hurts that horribly, please hear this:

You are going to be okay and so will I.  Don’t forget about your shine.

Jamie

Not Enough Hours in the Day

Listen up.  If someone in your life is a college student, I want you to know that they are carrying a great deal of weight.  It is rigorous, exhausting, extremely intense, and sometimes it feels like being trapped in the middle of a long, pitch dark tunnel – feeling as if you may never re-emerge amidst the light again.

It’s tough.  It is especially challenging when you are attending college as an unconventional, non-tradition student.

Sometimes, no matter how much support you know you have, this journey can feel soul-crushing.

What I am saying is this.  I have found that breaking point where I am giving all I possibly can and it still doesn’t feel good enough.  But, guess what?  It most certainly is.

I am human.  I have a pain threshold and I have reached it.

We can only do so much and no matter high how our self expectations may be, it is important to remember that we will never be perfect.  In the wise words of Miguel Ruiz:

“Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”

I have been doing the best I can and although it sometimes feels like not enough, I have chosen to accept my limits.  I am prepared to let the failures intertwine with my success.

We all have our pressures in life.  That is undeniable.  But we all need a shoulder sometimes.  Please let someone vent to you today.  Or simply call and ask how they are doing.  That alone, may be the greatest form of relief that person receives in a sea full of chaos.

Love and Light,

 

Jamie

Inner Dynamics

One month in. My meditation practice is lacking and so is my sleep. On the other hand, I have been balancing home and school life quite well. 

I have bursts of passionate drive lately where I wish I was out working with the homeless, volunteering my time in some way, or writing creatively and not only academically. For now though, my push is to continually strive to put as much of my energy as I can into my education. I know that this commitment is going to lead me to great things in my future. 

I am not referring to monetary or material rewards, but making a difference in this world. There is so much to be done and so much to influence. I will never stop sharing my voice and although I am merely a molecule within a sea of other beings, I know that what I have to say matters. 

Here’s to knowing what your passions are having the strength to live them loudly. 

Love and light, 

Jamie 

If the Sun Don’t Shine, I’ll Be Just Fine

The simple thing about dreams is, they don’t always turn out like Cinderella’s night at the Ball.  Life is not a fairytale.  Reality can be cruel.

As it happened, I did not end up being selected for the scholarship of my dreams.  It was disappointing, to say to least.  I had already imagined how life-changing it would be.  I vividly envisioned the future.

I could wallow in it and let it discourage me, but honestly, I am too busy preparing Plan B.  (Good stuff in the works)

If I am being honest, there was a brief moment that I let myself believe that all the hard work I put in at my community college would be in vain.  What a brutal thought that was.

The truth is, up until three years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do with this gift of life.  My life.  I wasn’t sure what inspired me or where my passion was.  I know now.  Right fucking now.  I know what moves me. I know what pushes me.  I know what is worth fighting for.  I know what I am working towards.  I know what is driving me.

I will not stop pushing and climbing and falling and failing and succeeding until I accomplish my goals, breathe in my aspirations, and swim in my dreams.    And if that means I will also be swimming in pools of student debt, then so be it.

 

 

Number One

Today I got the news.  I was accepted to my first ‘big girl’ college.  The University I have been dreaming of, planning on, and working so hard towards for the last two years of my life.  Portland State.

So many decisions to make.  So many things to plan.

And so my future awaits.  I am proud, excited and completely terrified.

This vision still afloat

now in

the hands of

all the planets’ pulling

The unsettling of

the heart pushes

now, against

the palette of my path

until I reach that

fork that stands out

So very well

acquainted

we are

even in the dark

But the light is coming soon

No coins will

be tossed

Which way the wind

blows is

no matter to me

I see

Not right, nor left

not seen, only felt

Forward.

The Wind and the Sail

Tomorrow.  9 am. CHEMISTRY FINAL.

As I head into the most challenging exam that I’ve taken so far, I would like to talk about resistance.

This semester has been rough.  From the outside, it most likely appears that I have had it under control the entire time.  That, however, is false.

In semesters past, I have spent more of my down time studying.  Time was more precious these last few months, as was my energy level, and my mental and physical health.

There were times when I was so incredibly exhausted, that I had to give in.  I chose sleep over late night studying and, at times, naps over homework completion.

This, although very out of character for me, for necessary for survival.  If there is one thing I am, it is a warrior.

And so, while I do feel I pushed myself, it was not to my maximum.  If I would have worked any harder, I felt I might have given up, and I am certainly not a quitter.

That brings me to the topic of resistance.  You have to know when enough is enough.  I needed to protect the little bit of light and life that still radiates within.  Sometimes I feel that I gave up my livelihood in exchange for my quest towards my education.  My life has completely changed.  It has purpose and direction, but sometimes feels so trapped and alone.

So the sky is the limit.  I can join honor societies, maintain an impressive GPA, and conquer every class.  But if I don’t listen to the voice inside that reminds me to take care of myself, none of the other things matter.

I once was a workaholic and maybe now I have become a schoolaholic.

But I will never forget to put myself first because I am worth that.

Happy Belly, Happy Mind

So, it’s almost time for finals and I am doing everything I can to NOT stress eat. There is nothing that makes me happier than a big, fat delicious homemade salad. Seriously, I dreamed of this sexy thing all day!  

Kale mixed with walnut oil and balsamic, red peppers, heirloom tomatoes, chickpeas and nutritional yeast. The best!  

And now, back to studying.  

Work In Progress

“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”

~Larry King
I got in front of class today and told a story.  Most importantly, I listened to others tell their stories and felt the power that was present while they conquered their fears the same as mine; I felt their vulnerability.
This life is all about relationships.  Within relationships, we learn.  Communicating was always something I wasn’t exactly comfortable with.  My default was just to become emotional when things became too real.  But slowly, I’m evolving.
The people in my life transform me every day.  They listen to me and believe in me and that alone is incredibly motivational.
I recently shared childhood stories with my therapist.  Stories about all those cruel kids who used to pick on me for many years. I knew that it had a deep impact on me, but I hadn’t realized that I was still letting it affect me in my everyday life.  Point being, I know the past is done and gone.  I can’t change it.  I only wish to understand myself and feel comfortable about who I am.  And so I am working on it.
The future me is more confident.  The future me is more adjusted.  The future me feels more stability.  The future me also respects the present me.  I know I have so far to go, but I believe in the gift of time.  Every day is a new chance to see things in a new light.  A chance to move on.
One day I hope to give a speech to a much larger audience than just my classroom.  I hope that my words will touch lives.  Above all, I hope to leave behind a lasting impression in the minds of others.

Full Speed Ahead

Things are moving fast these days.  That’s both exciting and scary for me.  I met with my advisor this week to talk about what my next steps should be.  I will be graduating in approximately 10 months.  There are many universities to research and decide on, personal essays to write and many scholarships to apply for.  I’m thrilled that my dream is happening.  At the same time, I’m always wondering how I will pull it all together.

When you attend college at my age, it isn’t clear what to expect.  Now that I’m in my third semester, I believe I get it.  This experience hasn’t just been a way to hopefully secure a decent career for myself in the future.  College has been a forum to meet new people, open my mind to things I never used to think about, awaken my critical thinking skills, something to give my all to, but most of all it is shaping me.  When I am done with this journey, that I am only just beginning, I will be someone who knows what she wants and knows how to get it.  I am partly there now, but I have so far to go.  The path is long, but the view is worth it.

Every night before I go to bed, I think about what I am working towards.  I remember how lucky I am to be given the opportunity to work towards my dreams.  I envision my future and I know that all the struggle is for a reason.  This is all happening and it is so very real.