the flash drive

Be softer with you.
You are a breathing thing.
A memory to someone.
A home to a life.

-Nayyirah Waheed

Today has been hard.  I guess if I’m being honest, the moment the calendar rolled over to April it has been one tough day after another.  April is the month that my ex-husband remarries.

While in my logical and present mind I know this shouldn’t bother me so, it does.  And you could all tell me, “But Sarah, you’ve moved on too.”  Yep, that’s also true.  But it doesn’t mean I don’t mourn the good times I had with one person over the course of 17 years of my life.  Almost HALF my life.  It doesn’t mean I’m not sad that I’ve officially and legally been replaced.  It is a very weird scenario that no one prepares you for in this life.

A long time ago I promised him I would give him a copy of all our years worth of photos and videos.  Since our divorce it has either slipped my mind or I just haven’t wanted to deal with it.  I have to meet him on Tuesday to sign one more lingering legal thing that ties us together and decided it would also be a good time to give him our memories.  So today I have filtered through them; thousands of photos and videos are now housed on a tiny flash drive ready to be delivered.  It’s almost like cutting through every scar, opening it up wide, and letting it all flow again.  One of my FAVORITE ARTISTS OF ALL TIME released an album a month or so ago and the first song guts me but it’s so real for me right now.  Here’s the first verse:

A love song was playing on the radio
It made me me kind of sad because it made me think of you
And I wonder how you’re doing  but I wish I didn’t care
Because I gave you all I had and got the worst of you

By the way, I forgive you
After all, maybe I should thank you
For giving me what I’ve found
‘Cause without you around
I’ve been doing just fine
Except for any time I hear that song

I’m trying to tell myself that this is ok.  I need to get it out, let it hurt, feel it, and move on. It doesn’t do me any good to bottle up the pain like it doesn’t exist because it does.  It’s real.  You can’t link yourself intricately with another person and not mourn the extrication, no matter the circumstances.  The key is to not dwell.

So despite me wanting to write this out and let the whole world read it, I’m trying my very best in this moment to be kind to me.  Feeling the hurt, moving through it, not comparing or assuming things, and recognizing I’m a person that deserves love too.  If anyone out there in this world is in the same spot I am, I hope this gives you some encouragement.  Even though it seems as if I’m saying it from a dark place; I see the light.  And that is positive.  Look for the light.

The memories I unearthed today made me laugh as much as cry.  And in “purging” them to that flash drive I’m choosing to visualize it as emptying my tank.  I’m now all ready for new memories to fill their place.

Bring on the new memories.  Fill up the tank.

TODAY I LOVE: the smell of Earl Grey tea

Climbing again

It is Friday night and I’m sitting here on my sofa, having a cup of sleepy tea, and watching Grace & Frankie (again) on the TV. (Side note: I’m SO excited for Season 4 which comes out next week.) ANYWAY. I got off work this afternoon and came home and deep cleaned my living room. I tore down the Christmas tree and all the decorations. I moved all the furniture and vacuumed. I bought a lamp (also random.) All that to say, I’m super content in this spot, right this second. Which puts me in a good place to talk about something that I’m not happy about: my fitness.

A week before Christmas I messed up my back. It was AWFUL. I’m too embarrassed to say what I did, but it was a dumb thing and I’ve LEARNED MY LESSON. ANYWAY. I couldn’t bend my spine at all. I couldn’t even sit. I could only lay flat or be in terrible pain. So needless to say my workouts were not fabulous. And then I went home to my family for Christmas. And then I went to California for 2 weeks to be with my fella. My butt has not been in a gym for 3 WEEKS. It’s embarrassing. And I didn’t follow my macros over the holidays either. I wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t perfect.

Confession: I’m absolutely terrified to step on the scale. (I’m not stepping on the scale until Monday morning, but still.).

I feel bloated and chunky and lumpy and likely 10 pounds heavier.

So that’s the bad news.

The good news? I can fix it. I can fix all of it. You know why? Because last year I learned how. I can’t tell you how much that reassures me that this is all going to be fine. This year when I’m looking at my fitness and health journey it is totally different than last year. It’s kind of like carving an ice sculpture. When you get started you have to take off a whole bunch of the bulk before you can even start to shape what you’re really trying to carve. 2017 was getting rid of the excess for me. In 2018 I get to sculpt something fantastic. Isn’t that wonderful!?

I admit, I don’t like that it feels I’m starting this year behind. But you know what? I had a great Christmas and New Years and California dreams. The rest let my back heal. I just…lived for a while. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Even if it does feel like I’m starting in a deficit. Whatever I’ve gained will come back off. I’ve proven I can do it.

So with that said…tomorrow I go back to the gym with my best girl. Good things to come.

TODAY I LOVE: my Filimin lantern

2018

IMG_0726

I colored my hair purple and blue right at the end of the year.  It’s vibrant and awesome and HELLO HERE I AM.  

What. A. Year.  I wish I could say 2017 was the most amazing year I’ve ever had, but that would be a lie.  It did have some very high points.  I did things that I’m supremely proud of, especially now.  It had some downs too…but you know what?  While those times were super crappy, I overcame and didn’t totally fall down the Black Hole of Sarah Self-Pity.  Well, at least for very long.  🙂

So…as I’m sitting here a week into 2018, I’ve been actively thinking about what I want to accomplish this year.  (I know, had I been on the ball I would have wrote this a week ago, but I’m in California with the fella right now and it’s hard to think of real life when you’re somewhat on vacation.)

I’ve got a lot of small to big goals that I want to do for the year, but I don’t really want to talk about those right now.  I just want to talk about one.  The big one.   The one that all the other small and big goals feed into.  More than anything, in 2018, I want to be PRESENT.

What does this mean?  To me it means a variety of things.  It means I want to engage the people in my life, the people I want in my life, to a much greater extent.  I need to remove distractions and make time for them.  (The reverse is also true, I need to NOT give time and presence to the people that are dragging me down and not on Team Sarah.) I need to be present and comfortable in MY skin.  Last year I lost 35lbs.  It was necessary. This year I need to focus more on refinement and learning where the contentment with my body lies.  There are a few things that I want to learn and perfect.  I need to give those hobbies my time and my focus.  I have a bad habit of letting life and circumstances control me.  Lastly, I need to be present with my emotions and actions.  I need to stop saying “sorry” for things that are not my fault, just because it’s my default mode.  If I feel a certain way its ok for me to feel it.

I have no doubt this year is going to be hard for me emotionally.  Things are happening that are just…sad.  But I really hope there are highs too.  I’m praying that I can make my own happies.  🙂

Oh, and I also hope to blog more.  But that is neither here nor there.  Ha!

TODAY I LOVE: sunny days, coastal breeze in my hair, and the smell of the trees

 

 

Choosing joy.

 I’m gonna be candid.  It’s been a hell of a few days.  I know I go into a lot of things here but all the details that sent me off the deep end are going to remain in my secret journal not my public one.  When there are other people involved it gets tricky and I don’t want to cause more drama.  

At any rate,  I got the news at the end of last week that my ex-husband was engaged.  You wouldn’t think something like that would send me off the rails as we have been divorced for over a year now.  But it did.  It just made me so sad.  And, like I said, I’m going to leave a bunch of my thoughts and reasonings private, but hello sadness and depression.  And ugly thoughts of myself and self worth.  

I wallowed in it for a day and then out of the blue my mom called me and asked me if I wanted to go to the lake with her and my brother.  And completely out of character for me, I said yes.  I got up off the couch, put on my bikini, and hit the road.  An hour and 15 minutes later, I was on the water and soaking up the sun.  It was 95 degrees outside, the water temp was 86 degrees and PERFECT.   

My brother was his typical silly, fun-loving, people-person self.  He played “photographer” and held his own photoshoot with my phone (the picture above.). It was so stinking funny.  And you know what, I kind of value all those stupid pictures on my phone.  Because that is a genuine, free, and willing smile.  I was laughing so hard at that moment.  And I’m so thankful I have record of it to go back on. Even looking at it now it makes me smile.  I wasn’t thinking about my past life.   I wasn’t thinking about my current life.  I wasn’t thinking about all the things I have OR don’t have.  I wasn’t thinking about who loves me and who doesn’t.  I had JOY.  

So I’m going to keep staring at this photo and remembering to choose joy.  Because the rest of the crap that is lingering in my psyche is just literally just crap.  It’s jaded thoughts, it’s distorted memories, and it’s the past.  Choose.  Joy.  This is my reminder that I CAN set it all aside and be happy.  Happiness can creep up and overtake the crap.  This picture is evidence.  I’m so, so thankful for it.  So thankful.  

I’m not normally spontaneous, but this one little trip gave me a hard-shift to my perspective and thoughts. 

TODAY I LOVE:  pool floaties 

the great depression

138 day move streak.  4 perfect months.  21 pounds and 23 inches lost.  I’ve had quite the string of accomplishments lately.  I’m not trying to brag; I’m just proud of myself.  That’s a lot.  I had (have) a long way to go.  I started this year wanting to be healthier not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.  And until the last week or so, I’ve totally killed it.  And then I didn’t.

My boyfriend flew home.  My best friend flew away.  I went back to work where a new season of stressors awaited.  My mom had surgery.  My brother got hurt.  I got food poisoning or a stomach bug or something.  It felt like my life was full of all my favorite things and people and then a big vacuum sucked it all away.  And it left me empty.

In that emptiness I let go of all the things I worked so hard for.   I didn’t count my macros.  I didn’t go to the gym.  I went to work and I came home.  I watched a lot of Grey’s Anatomy.  I did everything to fill the void but actually deal with it.  It was truly like I had a mild case of a kind of depression.  Nothing really made me happy.

Thankfully, I knew to get myself out of it I’d have to look ahead.  It would all pass.  I made goals for July.  I visited my family.  I watched the clouds and reprioritized.  I think I’m ready to start over.

I won’t lie; even writing this is as cathartic as it is embarrassing.  It’s humbling to admit that mentally I went from wonder woman to fragile vase in a matter of hours.  But the reality is I’m human.  And these days/weeks are going to happen.  I won’t be perfect all the time.  I’ve got to learn to cope better.  This was a cold reality check that I really don’t have it all together yet.  My old mechanisms are still there, under the surface, and will attack if I don’t deal.  I didn’t deal.

So I’m starting over.  I don’t know how much strength I’ve lost from my week off, but I was at least pleased(?) to note that my scale hadn’t went up any.  I hadn’t lost (despite the stomach bug) but at least hadn’t truly gained.  It’s going to take me a bit longer to gain my mental strength back.

I wrote this post for me.  It’s a checkpoint; a reminder for the future.  Thanks for hanging with me.

TODAY I LOVE:  Aussie brand deep conditioner (it smells so good!)

really moving on

You guys, I really debated if I was going to post this one or not.  It’s likely too personal, too raw, and too real.  (It’s been sitting in my drafts for days and days.)  But you know what?  I decided to hit publish.  Because like I said several posts ago, not every day is bright and shiny.  Some days are hamburger meat: raw, smelly, and squishy.

This past week I found out my ex-husband has been in a relationship for quite some time now.  First things first, let me get this out of the way and be very clear about it: I’m happy for him.  I’m in a relationship with someone too, so none of what I’m saying should be clouded or construed incorrectly under the guise that I’m bitter.  That is so, so, so not the point of this.

I’ve honestly been hoping and praying for quite some time that the right gal would come along for him.  We had our problems in our marriage (obviously, or we wouldn’t be divorced) but he’s a great guy and he deserves to be happy.  It’s just…the reality of actually seeing him with someone else…it’s just weird.  I don’t think you can be with someone, love someone, for 17 years of your life and it not feel strange.  It’s not something your emotions are conditioned to understand at first.  It’s would be like me seeing the same blue sky for years, but then all of the sudden waking up and looking outside and it’s orange.  lol.  It takes some getting used to.  It’s…finality.  I’m sure I’ve made a mess of explaining this, but it sure does feel good to let it out.  That doesn’t stop the slight sting that I feel of finally knowing I’ve been replaced, but at least I know it’s with a good girl.

At any rate, I am really glad that we’ve both moved on and are repairing the damage that we caused each other.  It really does make my heart happy, and I mean that sincerely, that he appears to be happy.  He and I talk a bit, but we haven’t talked about this.  In some ways I’m thankful.  We still care about each other and maybe tiptoe around some stuff so the other doesn’t get hurt.  I appreciate that.

So…how do you wrap up something like this?  🙂 Life moves on and things are definitely changing.  And as I like to say, that’s ok too.

And guess what?!  I actually did the RIGHT thing this time.  I didn’t eat my feelings!  No stress eating macaroni and cheese and pizza and cake for me!

TODAY I LOVE: feeling sunshine on my face

you know what? not everyday is great.

It’s really easy to only write about happy things.  I like writing about accomplishments.  I get downright giddy sharing a life hack that helped me.  It is not fun, however, exposing the underbelly of emotion.  The emotions that bubble up and catch you unawares.  The emotions that make you crawl into yourself and hide until it’s all better.  Sadly, I’m not being a very authentic person if you only get the good side.

Yesterday was just rough.  For the first time in 3 diligent months I just did NOT care about my macros.  I did fine all day but by the time dinner rolled around I was in such a mood that pretty much said, “Screw it” and ate whatever I wanted.  (Thankfully I don’t really keep much in my apartment.)  I had cleaned my office earlier in the day and in doing so it brought up a lot of emotions and memories.  Other than a few items, I hadn’t changed anything since the divorce.  All in all, I was lonely and sad.  And apparently ate my feelings (they taste like macaroni and cheese among other things.)

Afterwards I felt like such a failure.  That is not a great place to be, nor is it at all healthy mentally.  It was one day; one meal.  Lucky for me, my best girl called me out on these unhealthy thoughts and brought me around.  These days are going to happen.  I’ve got to manage my emotions, anticipate how I need to handle things, and not revert to my old way of stress/emotion management.  Life isn’t going to be easy and these moments are going to happen again.  And that’s ok.

Today, my friend, is a new day.  And that’s ok too.

TODAY I LOVE: opening a new tube of toothpaste (it’s evenly distributed!)