Turn the page

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"There comes a day when you realize that turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book then the page you were stuck on."

- Taryn Malik

Today is my last day of treatment. 

Six weeks have come and gone and here I am, hours away from laying on that cold and hard table, tucked back in the vaulted room in the basement of the cancer center for the very last time. EVER. Hands tightly wrapped around the squishy blue oval ring they give you to help keep you still, eyes closed humming quietly to myself to pass the time and not think about what is actually happening. 

Mostly I feel excited and very loved as texts pour in with congratulatory words like "YOU DID IT!" "YOU ARE A RADIATION ROCKSTAR!" "LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN!" And I smile and think, "I DID do it." I just did the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life and I definitely plan on celebrating tonight. 

 I'm more then ready to be done as I don't think my poor hip could take much more. Where once was pink and supple skin now resides a four inch, dark leathery purple-red burn that has started to peel and causes discomfort when I wear anything tight. And I'm ready to have back those precious five hours a week dedicated to treatment. 

Overall, I'm ready to have my life back. I'm ready to have the strength and energy to do the things I love but mostly I'm ready to turn the page and start a new chapter.  

I have made the choice that if menopause is near I am okay with it. Despite the rollercoaster of emotions and pain and all that is still unknown, I'm going to wake up tomorrow and just live my life the best way I know how. If I am meant to be a mom that baby will find me in whatever way is destined to be. And I know that this experience will make me an even better parent. 

I've come to a place of feeling peaceful with the direction this is taking my life because I have been reminded of some really important things. So to the Universe and God I say thank you. Thank you for reminding me how precious this one life is. Sometimes those reminders come on the coattails of something traumatic like cancer. 

This experience has reminded me that life is short and as cliche as that may sound, I'm tired of wasting emotions and worries on things I can't control and people whose actions don't align with their words. I'm turning the page and this next chapter is going to be something pretty epic. I feel it in deep within my bones.  

Over the last few months  I've learned three very important lessons that I'd like to share with you now. They weren't easy. There were many tears involved but now as I look back, I'm happy it all unfolded the way it did. Life is pretty interesting and you better hold on tight because it's most definitely always mix of wild and bumpy. 


Your vulnerability is a gift

I've very openly shared my journey and I don't plan on stopping. I truly believe it's far better to be vulnerable and share what you are going through, especially when you feel alone and need the support, then keeping it to yourself out of fear of what others may think. 

There will be people that judge or unfollow or roll their eyes but honestly, that's okay. You don't really need those people in your life. Remember, life is very short. Kindly and lovingly send them on their way.

More then anything, share your story because someone out there needs to hear it. We like to think we are the only ones experiencing the very thing we are going through but I guarantee there is someone out there needing to hear exactly what you have to say.

Every time I was open and honest, especially with the really scary stuff, I was met with an email, message on Facebook or text from someone who needed to hear my words on that particular day. Knowing that my journey was helping someone else, that's a gift I never knew I could give until now. 

Asking for love and support isn't a weakness, it's the greatest thing you'll ever learn to do

Given that my family is 1200 miles away, there were many days where I felt really alone and scared. So I'd post something on social media because I knew that I would be met with the very thing I needed most, love. I really couldn't have gotten through this without all the words of encouragement, thoughts, love, prayers, and so forth.

I used to think that asking for love and support was needy and weak but through this experience, I've learned that it takes a lot of courage and strength to say, "Hey, I'm really struggling today and could use a little love." 

On the days when things were really bad, I'd go back over my feed and reread all those messages you sent me and it would lift me up so I could get out of bed and not only face the day but live the day.  So please know that it really did matter to me and I will forever be thankful.

Balancing your needs with those of others

This is something that hasn't always been easy for me. I'm a constant work in progress. The hardest lesson I've learned through this experience is that even though I'm going through something heavy and hard, so are a lot of other people I love and care for deeply. 

It's easy to get caught up in your own drama and think that what you are going through is so grave and deep but everyone is fighting their own battles and to them, what they are experiencing is quite possibly the hardest thing they have ever had to go through. 

The love, sweet and thoughtful gifts and random acts of kindness I have received throughout this time have quite literally blown my mind and I only hope that moving forward, I can be more selfless, thoughtful and think of others more often then I think of myself. 

We are a world longing for connection and to feel seen, heard and supported. I just want you to know I SEE you, I HEAR you and I'm committed to being here for you in ways I may have not be able to before. But I'm ready now. 

So with bated breath, I turn the page. What lies ahead is unknown and my darling, isn't that what makes life so exciting? 

 

 

 

The Struggle is Real - Thoughts On Aging Gracefully with saggy boobs

"there is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. when you learn to tap into this source, you will truly have defeated age."

- sophia loren

For a really long time I thought I was never going to age. Seriously. I thought that I was going to be the one person that skipped the inevitable, and remain the youthful version of myself forever. I am not kidding here. 

I'm fortunate to have genes that grace me with a somewhat youthful look and leave me looking at least six years my junior. However, they led me down a road that confused me into believing I would be saved from the inevitable truth; that we all will grow old. Five months shy of thirty-six, I often get met with the wide-eyed looks of surprise and confusion when I correct someone who thinks I'm in my mid to late twenties. Flattered I am, but I often wonder if that has more to do with my, at times, introverted and immature nature, rather then actually looking younger. 

As I see it when looking in the mirror, the years are written all over my face. Battle scars from a life well lived, hard lessons learned and years of running "wild and free" in the sun, slathered not in sunscreen but baby oil, as I told myself, "I'll just deal with it when I'm older. Ha ha ha" I guess the joke is on the older version of me now. 

 I have aches and pains in places I use to roll my eyes at when my mom would complain of similar ailments and I find myself typing in "anti-aging night cream" in the Amazon search bar more often then I care to admit. My boobs, once perky and youthful, are slowly working their way south and I have images of them swaying closer to my belly button then my actual chest, sometime in the near future. And I've now taken to smoothing out the "ruffness" on my face with the more then occasional plucking of dark, course rouge stray hairs. I can't believe I just admitted that to you. The struggle is real. 

And then, there is dating which I think I'll reserve for an entire post of its own, however after being married and thinking my life was going down a certain path and now, navigating the dark waters of dating in an online dating world, where there is something more shiny and youthful and new around every corner, I find myself drifting off into thoughts of my fifties living in a little cottage by the sea with my litter of fur children and shelves of books to keep me company. All with the occasional visit from my niece and nephews. Someone has to look out for me when I'm older and they love their TT, no matter what I look like. 

This my friends, is aging gracefully. 

The funny thing is, I really do love aging. I was always wanting to hang with the adults when I was younger. I preferred real conversation over superficial talks of clothes and trends. I preferred curling up in my bed on weekends hanging out with characters in books to raging parties where everyone tried to act older then they really were.I mean, I secretly played with barbies until I was at least twelve. That doesn't mean I didn't succumb to the pressurel, I was, after all, an insecure and impressionable youth. 

However, I was young and did things because I desperately wanted to feel,"normal." Whatever that means. I wouldn't however,  want to go back to that time for anything. Sure, I wouldn't mind if the girls would solute me in the mirror rather then warm my waste line, but all jokes aside, I really love the person I am becoming as I step into this new chapter of my life. 

I find myself shedding old stories of what my life is supposed to look like and taking more risks as I become more aligned with the life I actually want.

I want to feel good from the inside out. 

What is most alluring about aging gracefully is this unusual newness of starting to not giving a f$%K what others think. That is a newness that I find intriguing. That is something I've never experienced before. 

This isn't to say that I don't want to feel my best or I'm just throwing in the towel. I think as we work on our insides, our outsides should match. As I grow into the adult I want to be, I want an outer shell that can support her. And so its give and take. Its balance. It's accepting that I can't change my past but I can shape my future however I want it to look. 

An old friend (no pun intended. We've literally been friends since age 20) and I were talking on the phone yesterday when the topic of aging came up. I mentioned how strange it was, the day I realized I was no longer that youthful twenty-something, and was actually closer to forty then thirty. We started laughing as she confessed that occasionally she walks by a mirror and sees her mother and how it sends her into fits of panic. "Man, where did the time go?" we laugh. And then we laugh even harder because we just said, "Man, where did the time go?" as we confess how we promised ourselves we'd never say that and start talking about all the other things we promised we'd never say, yet now find ourselves saying all the time. 

Aging is an interesting and extremely humbling experience. When I was living with my brother and sister-in-law, Henry, my five year old nephew would often ask me, "TT, when am I going to be a grown up?" and I'd always respond by saying, "Henry, you have plenty of time to be a grown up. Just be a little kid right now." 

But it got me thinking, we spend so much time when we are younger rushing to grow up and yet, here I am, "All grown up" and I can't help but wish that time would slow down, just a little bit, so I can catch my breath and really take it all in. 

As that cliche saying goes, "Life is short." 

And then all of this got me thinking that; man, life IS short so why do I waste so much time on things that don't matter? Like my sagging boobs and reading reviews on anti-aging cream on Amazon. And caring what others think. And being afraid of trying new things. And the list goes on. 

You can't erase your past and maybe that is what I'm trying to do with slathering on creams and lotions that tout gimmicks of restoring you to your youthfulness? There is no going back so you might as well buckle up and enjoy the ride going forward, saggy boobs and all. 

Aging gracefully, to me, is more about accepting your past and focusing on the here and now. Yes, another cliche but you gotta think that all these cliches have something to them, right? I mean, when they were originally quoted, you have to believe that who ever came up with said cliche actually, truly believed that what they were saying was one of their biggest "ah ha" moments in their life and they were just trying to spare us all and help pave the long and at times, tumultuous path. 

 I guess what I'm trying to say is I want to spend more time living, like, really living and less time worrying about aging because as I've come to realize, its inevitable. As my dad always said, 'we are all dying a little more every single day." Depressing, yes, but true nonetheless. We wake up thinking we'll get to it later, all those things we want to do, and then we realize twenty-years has gone by and we are left wondering, "Man, where did the time go?"

My friends, lets all let go of the should of's, the could of's and the would of's of our past and just cut to living. Truly living. 

As I embrace the sagging, the crows feet and the crinkles in my butt, I'm stepping forward into my second half of my thirties with a new fierceness and commitment to living well. I'm committed to taking care of my body, my mind and my spirit, not for vanity, but because I realize I deserve to feel my best. I deserve to feel that freedom within that only comes with truly living a life on purpose. 

Will you join me? 

I'll leave you with a song that has been circulating in my head ever since I started writing this post, one my mom used to sing to me as a young child that would send me into fits of giggles but has recently taken on a whole new meaning...

"Dooooo yourrrr...boobs hang low, do the wobble to and fro, can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow, can you throw them over shoulder like a continental solider, do your boobs, hang low?

And my friends, to that I say fucking celebrate your sagging boobs. 

Broken-heart, closed heart, open heart, full heart

"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.
She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

- Ariana Dancu

The title of this post actually came to me back in August of 2015 while I was on a cool, early morning run on the beach. True to form, out of seemingly nowhere, these four words echoed in my head and I couldn't shake them. I felt this overwhelming urge to stop and sit on one of the cold, sand-covered rocks and gaze out at the ocean when suddenly warm tears began to slide down my cold, wind-kissed cheeks, and these words came to me: broken-heart, closed-heart, open-heart, full-heart.

I sat there in a bit of confusion because I knew well enough that my heart was not full and it was barely even open. However, it no longer felt broken and I could feel the light slowly start to creep back in as I continued to process not only the events of the following two years but more importantly, what lead me down that path to begin with. So, to feel such a connection to these four words left me a little dumbfounded. 

However, there was an unexplainable deep knowing that this was something I was supposed to write about and when I got home I sat down at my computer and typed out the title thinking the words that needed to be shared would immediately follow. Nothing came and I grew more frustrated. Most of the time when this happens words to accompany the title follow shortly there after. But month after month nothing came. But something inside told me to be patient and nine months later they finally came and it all made sense.

The other day, as I was cleaning out my room, purging myself and my life of anything that I no longer felt belonged , I stumbled upon my wedding dress. Something I thought I had gotten rid of months ago. It was tucked under some clothes that were stuffed in a garment bag I kept under my bed. I pulled out the short dingy white Nicole Miller dress we purchased four years early at Nordstrom and stared at it, waiting for the inevitable sadness to come but the strangest thing happened. It didn't. I paused and scanned the room, feeling as if some kind of joke was being pulled on me. Where was that familiar heaviness? Where was the deep sadness? The tears?

A smile slowly cracked from my lips as I cocked my head to one side.

"Huh?" I said out loud to my four-legged companion who was curled up in a ball on the floor by my bedroom door. He looked back at me with his usual indifferent blank stare. "So this is it." I said. 

I pulled the dingy white dress off the hanger that accompanied it in the garment bag under my bed. "I wonder if it'll be different if I put the dress on?" I asked Oliver. He cracked a single eye open and gave me a look that said, "shh, can't you see I'm sleeping?" I smiled back at him with a look that said, "Yes, but I don't care."  I slide out of my tattered jean shorts and mint green 'The Moon Made Me Do It' crop tank top, throwing them in a pile on the floor. I stood there, naked, clutching on to my past with both my hands.

Nothing.

I unzipped the back of the dress and slowly, one foot at a time, stepped in. beginning to work the dress up to my hips. 

Still, nothing.

I gently worked the dress up and over my freshly tan hips, being extra careful as I pulled the dress over my rear. All those squats have added a little extra junk in my truck and with one gentle tug, I had the dress up and was sliding one arm at a time into the arm holes and carefully zipping up the back. 

 Nothing.

I hesitated as I lifted my gaze, waiting for my past to finally catch up and for the flood of tears to come rushing out.

Nothing. 

It was like staring at a long lost friend in the mirror. Someone who I thought I knew so well yet today, is only a distant memory. If I could only go back and tell her what I know now. If I could tell her how brave and courageous she really was. If I could tell her that she needn't do anything she truly didnt't want to do. That love, real love, didn't look or feel that way. I wonder if she would have ever gone through with it? I wonder if she would have ever said yes? 

A smile broke loose and spread across my face, as coincidently, the sounds of Sia's 'Wild One' echoed in the background and I stared my past down in the mirror. Laughter broke free, quietly at first until a thunderous fit of wild giggles erupted from deep within and suddenly I was dancing with my past, wildly across the living room floor as Oliver looked on in a mix of pure confusion and terror. 

So this is what it really means to be wild and free. And for the first time, the title of this post had words. After months of waiting, her transformation was clear:

Broken heart, closed heart, open heart, full heart. 

 

 

Sometimes the hardest part is just admitting you are worthy of it all

I remember the morning after my thirtieth birthday party very clearly. A fun filled night full of family, friends, booze and gourmet foods. Four things I love a lot. That night I felt so special, so loved and I think the picture below speaks volumes as to the amount of fun that was had by all. However, the next morning, my actual thirtieth birthday, told a very different story.  

As I peeled open my swollen and puffy eyes, my head foggy, my stomach queasy, I could feel the familiar sadness start to creep in, as if a looming dark fog was settling over my unsteady soul. I knew this feeling pretty well. I had woken with her darkness so many mornings before. 

In just a little bit, I was to get in a car and drive three hours to Eastern Washington for the Dave Matthews concert at the Gorge amphitheater with my best girlfriends to continue celebrating and I felt horribly unworthy of it all.

I felt pretty unworthy of a lot of things to be honest. 

I had just turned thirty and my life felt like a huge mess. I had moved back from Taiwan four weeks earlier, damaged the car a friend temporarily loaned me in a fender bender the DAY he loaned it to me, took a job that keep me feeling safe and was living, once again, with my parents...all at the age of thirty. Don't get me wrong, I have a DEEP love and appreciation for my folks and all the love and support they have provided me over the years. However, I just felt so ashamed of my life. I knew I had to figure out how to relinquish this feeling of unworthiness and reclaim my sense of freedom. 

I laid in bed, with my eyes closed and head pounding, wondering if I would ever pull my shit together. My heart was a mess, my spirit was dull and all those big dreams I once had were lost in a mix of tequila fuzz and self-loathing chasers. 

I needed something to change. I needed a spark to ignite the burning desire deep inside and to get me to step outside of my comfort zone and do all those really big things I had always wanted to do with my life.

Climb big mountains, travel to far off lands, be a rockstar girl boss, write and publish a book, help inspire change in others, live in Southern California, meet my love and live an adventurous life together. These were just a few. It's funny how some things never change over time though. 

As I lay there quietly in bed I felt the oddest thing. It was as if finally wanting to change bad enough was just enough to feel her darkness loosen her grip just a little. I knew in that moment this was my opportunity to escape her clasp.  It was now or never but I needed help, and before she could grab hold of me even tighter, I said a simple prayer which I believe, drove an unbreakable wedge between her darkness and my truth.  "Please help me. I cannot do this on my own any longer." Then, I peeled back the covers, sat up slowly and went about my weekend celebrating my self-proclaimed unworthy existence not knowing that I had just decided I was, in fact, very worthy. 

As I look back five and a half years later, I'm pretty amazed at what has transformed since asking for help in that moment of darkness. I wish I could say the clouds parted and bright rays of sun beamed down on me and magically, I was granted the ease I was longing for and everything started to fall into place. That wasn't exactly the case. Life got a bit easier in some ways but it also got a lot harder too. Allow me to explain.  

One of the greatest, and at times, most frustrating lessons I've had to learn over the course of my life is that you will continue to be presented with the same lesson over and over again until YOU, let me say that again, YOU, step up and take action to learn what you truly need to learn from them. My greatest lesson in this lifetime, I believe, is to accept that I am worthy of all that I want and desire and that I have all the power to create it. 

So, as I mentioned, life got easier in some ways when I asked for help and unconsciously declared that I am actually quite worthy. However, it still felt hard because I would continue to be presented with the same people and similar situations that would test me in great ways. 

The serious of events that took place from that moment on have taken my life on a really interesting and wild adventure. Each person, each experience, and every single moment has continued to teach me of my worthiness. Some of these lessons were harder then others, my failed marriage being a huge example, but was it really a failure or a lesson for me to dig even deeper and really see my value and worthiness? Walking away from a commitment like that wasn't easy but the realization that I WAS worthy of being treated better was what I needed to accept and learn. I was and am worthy of a deeper, stronger, more pure love with someone who truly sees and loves me. Accepting this one truth has helped me to see how worthy I am of other things I want for myself too. 

The career, the adventure, the unorthodox way of living, the body, the financial security and yes, the man who has the ability to love himself so much that he can love me too. 

And here is the real kicker, you are worthy of everything you want too.  

Do you even know just how worthy you are? 

The most important piece of this puzzle is identifying the things in your life that keep happening and truly believing that you are worthy of things happening differently. We may finally realize we are worthy but continue sabotaging our own happiness because we fail to understand that it is a muscle we need to constantly work. With every similar situation, it's our responsibility to do things a little differently. Can we say something in a different way? Can we forgive? Can we walk away? Can we find our voice and speak up? Can we accept the person for who they are? Can we accept the situation for what it is supposed to teach us?

My dad use to repeat this quote to me all the time. Back then I'd roll my eyes but now it's something I repeat often, "If you always do what you've always did you'll always get what you've always gotten."

The other night as I sat in my car watching the sun set over the pacific ocean I thought about my journey, how I ended up here and how I continue to be presented with people and experiences that are helping me learn this amazingly simple truth: I am worthy. Conflicts and people and situations that are making me rise up, find my voice and ultimately, lean in differently. Sometimes it feels hard. Sometimes they make me smile because I know why they are here. Sometimes I get sad because I just want this one particular lesson to be over already. And most of the time, I just say thanks. I get it.  

I smile at how far I've come and get excited about how much I still have to learn about life, others and myself. Something that use to feel daunting and so big is now an excellent example of living life as if it's just one big adventure. One thing is for certain, there is this peace in my heart that is unbreakable. I respect and admire the woman I have turned out to be and when I have a moment of being human, falling back into old patterns and habits, I nurture myself differently and remind myself that I am worthy regardless of what I sometimes say and do. 

I don't strive for perfection anymore because quite honestly, perfect is unattainable, perfect is unrealistic, perfect is boring and doesn't really exist. Worthiness doesn't come with obtaining this idea of perfection. Worthiness, like so many other things, comes with the truly believing you deserve it and then taking small steps in a different direction every time you are presented with a similar experience 

Worthiness is knowing that you do have a choice in the matter. You are the only one that can define whether or not you deserve something and then only you can go after it. 

One moment in your life could change everything. Whether you listen and make the small changes necessary from then on out, that determines everything.

So here are a few questions to real on. Chew on them. Soak them in. And then get very honest with yourself. But only do this if you actually want your life to change. 


1. Where do you feel unworthy? In what areas of your life? 

example: For me, it was money, a healthy, loving relationship, and having a job that is creative, fun, adventurous and location independent. Those were my dreams. And those also happen to be three huge areas in your life. If one is off, then your whole life can feel off. Three were off. That says something, right?

2. What is the story behind this unworthiness?

example: Yuck, I really hate having to admit this because its super scary and vul-ner-ab-le. But vulnerable is the key to happy times ahead so here I go. Once upon a time when I was young and super impressionable,  I picked up this little story from someone close to me who said, "Don't worry Amanda, you just need to meet a man who can take care of you. You don't have to worry about a career." Ugh. There. Sounds funny saying it out loud but from that moment on, it was like a tick that burrowed deep into my skin except it was my subconscious, and I learned that my worthiness was dependent on finding someone to take care of me. It's taken a lot of self-analysis and uncovering to redefine that belief. 

3. How can you reframe it?

example: Actually,  (if you know me you know I just did a little side-to-side head motion with a twist of index finger up in the air and hands on my hip) Let. me. tell. you. I don't need someone to take care of me. My dreams are just as important and relevant and I can achieve them just like anyone else thank you very much. (this is where I get super sassy}. The truth is,  I want a partner that grows with me, that pushes me to be better every single day, that gives me room to spread my wings and fly. That supports my dreams. Sure, we all want to be taken care of in some ways but having mutual love and respect for each other and our dreams is vital for happiness. 

4. Now the fun part...WHAT do you really want? 

example: I want to have enough money in the bank to always feel secure. I want a career that is inspiring others to achieve their ultimate greatness focused on health, wellness, fitness, travel and food. I want a love with a man that is deep, pure, real, passionate, adventurous and fun. I want to travel around the world and be location independent. Can I get a high five?

5. Decide and implement daily one small step to get you closer. 

example: Today, and every day, I wake up and set one little goal. For money, I put away X amount every week so that I can feel secure if something happens or if I want to take a vacation or have an unexpected expense. For love, well, I put myself back out on the market and took it a little more seriously and told the big old UNIVERSE that I'm ready. For my career, I'm taking bold and active steps, once again, in that direction. Travel, I'm committed to two big trips in the next five months and I'm gonna make it happen. 


You see, you really do deserve the things you want. Please believe me when I say this:

 You  Are  Worthy. 

 









What Do You Do When Your Soul Feels Restless


"Patience is the antidote to the restless poison of the Ego. Without it we all become ego-maniacal bulls in china shops, destroying our future happiness as we blindly rush in where angels fear to tread. In these out of control moments, we bulldoze through the best possible outcomes for our lives, only to return to the scene of the crime later to cry over spilt milk."
- Anthon St. Maarten


With any major life transition there are so many moments throughout the day where your soul feels restless and unsettled. It's longing for the comfort and ease of the familiar and that can stir up a lot. 

I think that is just part of the process of change. It's a conundrum at times, when one part of you wants the change and the other wants things to stay the same. I’ve never been particularly patient during times like this. What I've learned however is that this signals the perfect opportunity for growth.

Going through a divorce and moving back home brings with it a lot of moments where my skin feels like it’s crawling and as if there are weights sitting on my chest. That familiar panic sinks in and all I want to do is run someplace, any place other then where I am. Sometimes I just want to avoid everything I'm feeling at all costs. 

Please don’t misunderstand me, I love being back in Seattle, close to my family and friends. It's been very healing and therapeutic. However, this has been the way I have worked for a long time. When life gets hard or I am faced with the call to just sit with everything I am feeling, I jump into something new and exciting. I constantly jump from one thing to the next so that I could ride the waves of that blissful newness and not have to deal with the raging uneasiness inside. I didn't want to have to sit with what I was feeling. 

What I’m finding now, more than ever, is a deep longing to learn and grow from this experience and in order to do that, I have to stay around long enough to see things from a clearer perspective. I have to allow the dust to settle and the pain and feelings to sink in. I have to get really comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

A big part of me yearns to feel grounded and secure in my life and to feel this experience deep in my guts; all of it. This to me shows how far I have come in my growth and my evolution as a person.

But a big part of me wants to run too. 

I’ve been trying to approach this whole experience with a lot of grace and stillness, which isn’t easy for an extremely anxious person like me. I've had moments I'm not exactly proud of, falling back onto old behaviors. There are days when I want nothing to do with any of it. I want my old life back, the one filled with fields of clovers and vines, warm cozy fires, big lush gardens and furry animals. And then there are days when I am so unbelievably happy with where I am. I'm so proud of myself for choosing a better life over a comfortable one

I’m navigating, redefining and trying to figure out my next steps but at the same time, I letting things unfold naturally and allowing the God to take the lead. 

It's painful a lot of the times yet incredibly exciting too. 

I often wonder what is it about this process that makes my heart ache one minute and cry out in joy the next? At times it’s like this bipolar dance in my brain. A week ago I was standing in the kitchen and began sobbing uncontrollably only to feel relieved and at peace a short while later. Sometimes that's the only way to let all that built up energy out. To cry and scream and shake and throw your fists in the air. Sometimes I wonder how much I can handle and if maybe I have a little bit of bipolar disorder. I'm just being honest as this chemical imbalance runs in my family. But then I realize I'm human and betrayal and heartbreak can bring out sides of us we never knew existed. I think it's easy to confuse the two. 

Have you ever experienced this? What do you do?

As I reflect on the past two and a half months I've seen a lot of growth. I can measure it with new habits and rituals which look a little something like this:

*  I’m finding grace the best way I can by developing little practices to cultivate self-love and joy and most importantly, gratitude.

*  I show up as I am. I mean, really show up no matter what I’m feeling and I make no apologies. Brokenness takes time to repair. 

* I spend a significant time in my journal. Whether it’s one sentence or pages, it’s something that allows me to take an honest look at my situation and clarify my thoughts and feelings. It settles that restless fire in my belly. It provides a deep understanding and awareness and gives me peace.

* I’m getting really comfortable with being uncomfortable. There have been nights where I feel so lonely. In the past I’d run to the fridge and tear through it like a starved animal. However, now I find a quiet spot, dim the lights and give myself permission to cry if needed or close my eyes and focus on the uneasy feeling in my chest. The more we can sit with it, move through the feeling, all of them, the more we learn and can grow into our new lives.

* I’ve spent a lot of time outside, climbing paths to the top of mountains, letting the sun kiss my checks and warm my body as sweat drips down my spine. I take notice of the beauty all around me and give thanks for the awesomeness that was created.

* I give a lot of thanks. Cultivating a practice of gratitude, even for things like divorce and heartache is important. It’s what gives us a new perspective needed to grow.

*  I feed myself wholesome, nutritionally dense foods so my immune system is strong. Emotionally trying times can weigh heavy on your body and health. Turning to healthy foods is so important to create balance within the body.

*  I’m surrounding myself by amazing, supportive, loving, fun people (AKA – my family and friends). I’m extremely lucky to have such a unique family where we find smiles and laughter in trying times. Sitting around the dinner table, sipping on wine, eating good foods and laughing, we are never short of laughter and these people give some of the best hugs around.

* I'm putting myself out there to meet new and interesting people. I'm naturally introverted so at times this can be frightening. What I'm learning is how much I love hearing other people's stories and connecting with them in unique ways. 

Life can change in the blink of an eye, for better or for worse. My life did in one single moment. has changed quickly. In my heart I know that great things are happening because I decided to take a path that was right for me. It wasn't an easy choice but it has opened many new doors.

But then again, isn't that what happens when one closes in the first place?