Fate, God is Love, God's plan, happiness, hope, january 2014, joy that little things bring, life, Wills and Kate, write it out

Allow the sorrow to shake away.

Though I’ve been pretty much in a funk this week, I decided I wouldn’t let that keep me down. 

I discovered an old “dreamboard,” (a section of which is pictured above) and was blown away by how many of the things I posted came true. You guys, even more goodness happened than I could have imagined. I mean, I spent last Valentine’s Day on one of the most romantic dates of my life, in one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting, let alone living in for more than a year… and have I ever told you about that time I went on date in London with a stunningly charming chap back in 2011? I flew from Glasgow to London for 26 hours just for a date with him? Yes, this happened. Or the time a Danish man swept me off my feet in a beer garden, quite literally… he may have been in one of the pictures I featured in my summing up 2013 post. 😉

Needless to say, that board brought with it everything I could have hoped for, cut-out and posted, and so, SO much more. 

So earlier this week, while I was sitting in the doctor’s office about to burst into tears, I reminded myself how flippin’ much has happened in a mere three years. THREE YEARS. Holy moly. Imagine what is in store? For me? For YOU?! The world, my dears, is very much in our grasp.

I used to sing He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands back in Sunday School and what truth that is. The difference between then and now is the fact I realize that He wants to share the whole world with us, too… so long as we loosen our grasps on what we think needs to happen and simply accept every beautiful thing and opportunity He passes our way.

What a beautiful concept. 

This week included lots of sleep (on account of the funk and illness); brand new sheets, which feel like Heaven; The Office on repeat; attempts at getting back into Yoga; heart-to-hearts with dear friends; meditation; reading this series; and, of course, lots of Kate Middleton fandom. She’s perfect. 😉

I hope your weekend is wonderful, sweet friends. Make it wonderful. Splurge on some new sheets, wonderful lotion, and a lot of time to revel in what is, what has been, and what could very well be. And make a dreamboard! I certainly am working on mine. Erm, well, mine’s more of a Moleskin format this time… will share more about that soon. 😉 


❝ Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place. — Rumi
Fate, hope, january 2014, joy that little things bring, life decisions, life lesson, words from my heart, write it out

Tackling joy.

First of all, thank you for all of your support since my post last week. From emails and tweets, to every comment with suggestions and stories of your own struggles, thank you. You have no idea how much your outreach has helped me.

I’ve come to peace with a few things since last week’s rather rocky happenings. Mostly, that I do, in fact, believe firmly that everything happens for a reason. I tried to deny this the past few months since my return and it has been utterly exhausting. Mid-cry last week, in the middle of the night, I finally admitted to myself that as much as I yearned to, as much as I fought to, I would never be able to change how people treat me, nor how things might unfold from other’s behavior. However, I am in charge of the following: my behavior, and my reactions to what happens to me. That’s it. The rest lies in the Universe. God. Etc. And holy moly, accepting this, realizing this, coming to terms with this… what a relief. I feel as though a literal weight has been lifted from my shoulders. But I have also started to realize how much of my own happiness relies solely on me.

So I’ve started trying to take care of exactly that: Things I can control. I spent most of the weekend watching movies I’ve been dying to see, writing lists of what makes me happy day-to-day, writing, focusing on my health, and meditating. It sounds all to lifestyle magazine-ish, I know, but it’s been a game changer. My therapist, who, if I’m being 100% honest here, I hadn’t seen for months because I was “mad at him…” even said he could feel that I had made a sort of breakthrough. You guys, I was in a fight with my therapist (unbeknownst to him). If that’s not a sign that I hit rock bottom, I don’t know what is.

So here I am, feeling admittedly better. Of course this feelings comes in ebbs and flows. Some hours, minutes really, are better than others. But the most important thing is I am here. I am not in bed giving up. Because for far too many days that’s exactly where I was, exactly what I was doing. I am here.

I’m currently taking time to do things that used to make me happy, and it’s one of those things where forcing myself to do them reminds me of how much I enjoyed them in the first place. Pinning, yoga-ing, reading… it feels good. Your mind has this ability to build on your unhappiness and convince you joy no longer exists. Try not to let it fool you. Joy is there. It always has been. It is our job to tackle it. Make it ours again. No matter how much our mentality may oppose this notion.

Beyond this, I’m back to keeping lists on what I hope for this year… last time I did this — kept a physical list — everything I wrote down happened. Just putting that out there. 😉

I’ve always been a believer, and I am realizing that I always will be. And I’m OK with this. Overjoyed, really.

❝ I still get very high and very low in life. Daily. But I’ve finally accepted the fact that sensitive is just how I was made, that I don’t have to hide it and I don’t have to fix it. I’m not broken. — Glennon Doyle Melton
anxiety, cope, Fate, hope, january 2014, mental illness, ramblings, words from my heart, writing from the heart

This new year.

New Year’s Eve 2013.

If I said things were going just peachy at the moment I think you could probably sense the fact that isn’t true from 10 million miles away. Things are tough. Yes, I have a job I am beyond thankful to have. Yes, I have family and friends that love me. Yes, I have a place to rest my head at night, a place to escape the plunging temperatures. 

But when your heart is heavy and your mind is racing with anxieties, it’s hard to take a minute to enjoy much of anything. Especially when you try to focus on your breathing to deter panic attacks that are always one small trigger away. It’s pretty scary. And the fear climbs on and clings to your bones like its your koala baby and its life is dependent on its ability to latch onto you. Maybe a parasite metaphor would have been more appropriate…

Here’s a inconclusive summary of my mind as of late:

I miss Munich. I do. I wish I could have gotten my Visa. What if that was it? What if I won’t find my dream job again? What if I’m supposed to be there, but I am here? What if I could have done something? Where is my life going? Why is everyone else so calm? How are they? There’s obviously something wrong with my mind. I’m always a thought away from a full-on panic attack. I am bad at life. I miss him. I can see he wouldn’t miss me. Does he? He might. Does it matter? Is this as good as it gets? Was that taste of my dream life just God being cruel? Do I really trust that everything happens for a reason? How can other people be so good at this life thing? I can barely function. I need to exercise more. That would help. I need to change. I need to figure out my life. Everyone else has it figured out. What can I do? I miss them. I want to tell everyone who has been hurting my feelings lately that they have been doing just that. But I can’t. It’s my own problem. I’m too sensitive. I miss Munich. I wonder what life would be like if I were there now. I have to stop analyzing everything so much. I haven’t heard from them in a while, I bet they are mad at me…I need to change.

I think exhausting is too simple a word. 

Maybe you feel the same way? Or have you before? How do you get by? And, I’m truly stuck on this notion: Do you believe in fate? Do share your wisdom!

❝ … always rub honey into wounds instead of salt. ❞– Meggie Royer
january 2014, life lesson, recommended reading, wise words, writing a book, writing from the heart

Nuala O’Faolain on the art of writing a memoir.

I hadn’t heard of the Irish writer Nuala O’Faolain until last November when I happened to grab her audio book Almost There by chance at the library. I’ve always wanted to write about so many personal things, more so than I share here, but have had numerable reservations about the whole thing. She addressed so many of the specific concerns I had about the writing, and she convinced me it is worth doing, if not for someone else, than for yourself. I’m beyond grateful that I was nudged in this book’s direction on the shelf a few months back. What a way life has about answering our unspoken questions. The cherry on top? After hours of listening to her read in her beautiful Irish accent, I feel my accent skills might just be improving.

Memoir is, surely, a genre that leaves a lot of blood on the tracks. Unless it is completely solipsistic, it involves reporting on other people who have real lives. And the autobiographer knows in advance that there is going to be an afterlife, when the people within the book read it. It is therefore, of all seemingly candid forms, the one most likely to be shaped by diplomatic necessities. If I were the biographer of an autobiographer, I’d be very interested to discover what they felt they had to clear out of the way before telling their story. 

Novels are complete when they are finished, but the memoir changes its own conclusion by virtue of being written…. I was not at all the same person , when I handed the manuscript over to the publisher, as I’d been when I began. A memoir may always be retrospective, but the past is not where its action takes place.

The words it chooses to describe relationships are another development in those relationships… that I do not understand other people as they understand themselves… I am one person and other people are themselves, and not what I have decided they are. I see the beginning of some kind of learning about how to be a member of the social world in these realizations connected with writing a memoir. And that sliver of clarity was part of a wider clarifying of the muddle in my head.  

…And then my friend said three words to me and the three words were words that changed my whole view of what I’d done. They were words that made me want to look after what I’d written as if it were part of me, like a child. She had leaned across and and said three words that couldn’t be more ordinary, but they had stopped me apologizing for what I had written and made me want to get the best life I could for it. And the three words were “Stand by it!”–and then when I’ve said the words, there’s been a gasp of understanding. They’re words of real power.  

It took decades to learn how to talk myself into believing, every time I went out to do a job, that I would not fail… 

I found journalism hard, like a relationship that is always hampered by misunderstandings… I was always made uneasy by the three-way relationship between the journalist, the situation written about, and the reader who believes that what he’s reading is somehow a neutral account of the situation. Perhaps a need for greater truthfulness built up within me. I know it was a liberation to turn to relative honesty of memoir and then, fiction. 

A lot of journalists I’ve known have been working on other kinds of writing and it’s assumed that this is because working with words is their field, but I think it’s because even the best journalism is emotionally unsatisfying. The conventions of journalism are oppressive to the honest self.  

…and writers are the nearest thing to the human community has to spokespeople. 
We’re in this together, this getting through our lives, as the fact that we are word-users shows.  

Where I wrote, that was where I made my best effort to be a thinking person, able to get older every day without being pulled down by apprehension, looking forward, or regret, looking back. 

Writing has brought me up from underground. I’ve been my own Orpheus. 

I am trying to find where to watch Nuala the documentary, but have failed miserably in finding a copy? Anyone happen to know where I might stream/buy it?