The Exhausting Ride

There are days that I feel like I’m on a roller coaster ride. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking charge of my life, making the changes, and goingrollercoaster after the things I want. Then there are days where I feel utterly defeated and like I’m spinning my own wheels. It’s like every time I gather my will, gather my strength, life throws in a curve that throws me off my game.

For awhile I was on a roll. I was writing. I was happy. Things at work were going well. As well as can be expected that is. It really felt like I was finding my way, though. I was getting a handle on it all. Then everything changed. Work began taking a bigger toll, leaving me exhausted by the end of the day. I was simply mentally and physically drained by the time I left the building, which was never on time. Most days I was working over “off the clock” because that was the only way I could accomplish everything everyone expected of me.

The biggest “joke” for me at work is my boss telling me to “delegate”. Delegating requires having someone competent enough to delegate to. That’s something I don’t have. So I take it on myself, because I refuse to let anyone down. Problem is, by not letting anyone down at work means working late, and that in turn meant that I was made to feel guilty at home. Is there a way to make everyone happy? I still haven’t found that answer.

Then there was my writing… my refuge. My love and passion for writing is well known. I don’t hide that I want to write professionally, be published, see my own book sitting alongside my favorite authors on the front shelves of my favorite book stores. Some people close to me will ask “are you ever going to try to be published?” or “when are you going to finish your book?” Yet, some of those same people make me feel guilty for sitting down at the end of the day, or on the weekend, to work on my writing. They complain that I’ve been at work all day or all week, and once I’m home I’m “tap, tap, tapping”. I can’t win.

I know the easy answer is to not fall victim to guilt. I’m well aware of that. I’ve had therapists tell me that. Believe me, I know, so you don’t need to tell me that. It’s easier said than done. For thirty-three years I have strived to be the good daughter, the good friend, the good employee, the good (fill in the blank). I’ve never wanted to disappoint anyone, but normally that means disappointing myself. If everyone else was happy, though, then it was okay for me to be unhappy.

No, I’m not writing this to sound like a martyr. I’m writing this because I’m trying to make some sense of it in my head. This is my attempt at facing it, of venting, and to figure out what to do next.

One thing I’ve decided to do — attempt — is something I’ve never done before. I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal is to complete a novel during the month of November. I’m going to put my focus on How It Ends during that time. Do I think I’ll finish the book in one month? I don’t know. I’d like to think that I will, however, I refuse to rush myself. If I do something, I want to do it right. I don’t want to rush through and finish it simply for the sake of saying that I did. I want to be proud of what I wrote and accomplished. No… by deciding to participate in NaNoWriMo my goal isn’t to force myself to finish the book, it is to force myself to hold myself accountable to writing. I want to push myself to write every day, even if it is a solitary sentence. I want to see my book grow and develop. And, if by chance, I manage to finish writing the book in November, then I’ll be proud, but if I don’t… It’s okay, just as long as I wrote.

I know that I can’t live my life solely focused on making everyone else happy. I have to make myself happy. As much as I don’t want to disappoint others, I need to respect myself enough to not disappoint me. If I can’t do that, how can I expect anyone else to? Lord knows there are people in my life that don’t think twice about disappointing me. I deserve to have one person in my life that won’t disappoint me. That person has to be me.

So I’m setting off on a new adventure. I’m not waiting until November to get started. For me NaNoWritMo starts now. It’s just another change for me. At work I am taking the bull by the horns and battling for what I know needs to happen, and I need to do the same for myself. This is the first step. Hopefully I’m ready for the ride.

He who has made a thousand things and he who has made none, both feel the same desire:  to make something. ~ Antonio Porchia

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Time: Look Where We Are

As I start writing tonight, or this morning… it’s a blur to me… the words of a Backstreet Boys song come to mind. “Time… Look where 269702_461121460585971_2114647483_nwe are and what we’ve been through.” It seems fitting with where my mind is right now.

Friday, July 5, was my eight year anniversary at the TV station, almost two weeks after I uprooted my life to move to Augusta. When I decided to make the move, it was for a change. I set out looking for something. I’m not sure what I was looking for. Maybe I was looking for myself. If that’s the case, I’m still working on that one.

If you asked me fifteen years ago, when I walked across the gymnasium floor of Robert C. Byrd High School, where I would be today, this wasn’t what I envisioned. If you asked my classmates, they thought for sure I would replace our high school theatre teacher, Lisa Mosca, and run the theatre program at the high school. It was a consideration. If you asked others, I was going to be working in PR or at a newspaper. Now, if you asked me, I imagined being a wife, a mother, and living in Chicago or New York running a theatre. Living in Augusta, Georgia and directing (to simplify what my job REALLY is) was not in my plan… or anyone else’s.

So am I disappointed with how things have turned out? Sometimes… I wish I had a job I felt more fulfilled in. I wish there was someone to share the highs and lows with. I wish there was someone to give the love I have built up inside of me to. But, on the other hand, I always swore that I wouldn’t stay in Clarksburg, and I didn’t. I swore that I wouldn’t be married and divorced over and over again, and I haven’t been. I swore that I wouldn’t fall into being another stereotype of what people picture West Virginians to be, and I didn’t. Maybe things didn’t turn out exactly how I planned, but others have.

I’ve learned a lot in the past eight years. Some of the lessons have been hard. Some of the lessons have hurt. But I’ve learned. I’ve learned that you can set out into the world with a perfect plan, and it’s going to fall apart. Plans are great, I still love to have a plan, but you have to be ready to piece it all back together when it falls apart, because it will fall apart.

The hardest lesson I think I’ve learned is that the friends that promise to always be there will many times disappear. There are very few that grow with you. It took me awhile to understand that when you lose those friends, it isn’t always your fault. You can only do so much. You can write and email and text and call, but that isn’t always enough. Sometimes you’ll find that your friends have a hard time accepting the changes you make in your life. They have a hard time because they are scared to take a step outside of the box that is surrounding them. It’s painful to see a friendship that once meant so much drift away. I lost some friends when I made this move. Some simply became acquaintances, others simply disappeared.

One of my best friends disappeared from my life. I tried to understand what was happening, because it was one friendship that I never imagined ending. But little by little my friend disappeared. First there weren’t the random cards in the mail, or a daily email to talk about everything and nothing at all. Then it was discovering things were happening in my friend’s life after-the-fact, only to be told, “Well, I posted it on Facebook” or “It’s on Twitter.” (Yes, I do think social media has had negative impact on friendships, but that’s a post for another day.) Eventually I began becoming overwhelmed by the negativity of this friend, and I wondered if it had always been there or if it was new. Had my friend changed or had I? In the end, I decided that I had. I had reached a point where I didn’t want the constant negativity in my life. I didn’t want to walk on eggshells, so I just avoided it. It wasn’t long before I discovered I was “unfollowed” on Twitter. Then a few months ago I was “unfriended” on Facebook.

Both discoveries were a slap in the face. This was a best friend once upon a time… a sister… someone I told everything to, and suddenly they were out of my life. It stung, but it surprised me how quickly the sting disappeared. You see, that friend hadn’t left my life suddenly. She’d been leaving my life for a long time… probably since the day I announced I was taking a job in Augusta. The last thread had just finally been severed.

I miss the friendship. I miss the good memories and the good times and the laughter that we shared. I’ll always cherish that, because that friend was there with me through some of the lowest points in my life. For that I’ll be eternally grateful. I have no bitterness, and I wish no ill-will. Hopefully, one day, she will be able to let go of the negativity and find real happiness.

Eight years… I’ve had eight years of living and learning and changing and accepting. I’ve learned about me and about the person I want to be. I’ve learned that I can’t live my life trying to make everyone else happy, because I’ll only end up being miserable. I’m still looking for love, though, and I’m still trying to decide what I want to be when I “grow up”. My dad tells me he’s still trying to figure that out himself. Hopefully I won’t be waiting that long.

If you take nothing else from this, I hope that you’ll take this small piece of advice… Take the jump. It may not be easy. You may hurt. You may lose, but if you don’t try you’ll hurt and you’ll lose and there won’t be any chance of getting where you want to be.

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another. ~ James Matthew Barrie

The Battle Between Control and Surrender

The theme of rough weeks has carried over into a third one. I hoped for a change. I hope for a week that didn’t have me on a roller coaster of Aemotions, but that hasn’t happened. From the time my feet hit the carpet Monday morning, I’ve been battling through each day… attempting to surrender control while being reminded of why I have control issues in the first place.

Right now Mom is in the hospital with ketoacidosis. Big word that comes down to meaning that, because of her diabetes, her blood has essentially turned to acid. She’s been hospitalized for it before, so I pretty much know the rundown of what is happening and what to expect. The factor that it has happened again, however, makes me frustrated. It is one of the things that reminds me of why I feel the need for control. I know there are things that could’ve been done to prevent this from happening, and it frustrates me that I let my guard down. That’s a conversation, though, that Mom and I will have once she’s back on her feet.

While Mom is in the hospital, Daddy and Paul are in Richmond. The company sent him down for meetings and to get a chance to look around, look at houses, and whatever else. So Daddy asked Paul to go with him. Despite the fact that my parents have been separated for thirteen years, this did not sit well with Mom. Granted, her emotional state isn’t the best right now, but she would have issues with this even if she were 100%. Daddy is nervous about this move, and understandably so. Having Paul go with him gives him some support in facing everything. I get it. Mom doesn’t. Daddy is oblivious. I have no control.

And then there is the job front. I’ve received my promotion along with another list of responsibilities to add to the list I already had. Problem is, the transition isn’t being made easy for me. Yes, I knew it wouldn’t be easy from the beginning. I knew that certain people would meet me with resistance. I was ready for that. However, I did think that my boss had my back. Instead I feel like I’ve been thrown into the lion’s den. To add to the difficulties, he hasn’t even explained what is happening to my department… consequently the resistance is even greater. As a fellow manager said to me today, “Welcome to management.” So far I feel like I spend each day slamming my head against the wall.

I actually did attempt to relinquish some control when it comes to the weekly show I produce. (One of these days I’ll list my “job duties”… It’s a doozy.) Anyway, I knew that with my promotion I would have to ask for help from time to time when it comes to the show. As it stands, over the past four years of the show, I have produced, directed, edited, handled social media, and posted web stories all on my own. On most shows that would be the job of at least two if not three people, but I do it all. Well, this week I reached a point that I knew I needed help, and I reached out to the host of the show. I gave him the topic I wanted us to cover and asked him to reach out to some of his contacts to get someone to come on to talk about it. That took a lot for me to do, and he knew that. However, tonight I find out that he didn’t get anyone. He contacted one person and that was the end of that. So tomorrow we have a taping at 2pm, and I’m currently missing 1/3 of my show. Tonight I stood in the kitchen fixing dinner, and all I could think was, “This is why I don’t relenquish control.”

It’s a daily battle for me. The battle between control and surrender. I have found myself going to old habits, controlling the things I can. They’re little things, but they give me a sense of control and in turn calm. I wonder if I’ll ever reach the point that I can completely let go. There are days that I look at my coworkers and I try to understand how they can simply sit back and go, “Eh… Whatever…” Do they not care? Is that the difference? It’s never made sense to me.

But, at the end of the day, I’ll keep trying. I’ll keep attempting to “let go”. Maybe I can’t let go of it all, but I’ll try. And tomorrow, I’ll get up and attempt to let go and have faith that everything will fall into place for my show, for work, for Mom, and for Daddy. What other option do I have?

I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much. ~ Mother Teresa

Change Is Never Easy

I’m not sure where the time went since I last updated. To say that “letting go” is difficult would be putting it mildly. It’s a daily struggle to not letchanges_ahead life overwhelm me and to remember that, at the end of the day, I’m not in control. Nonetheless, I’m still trying. Day by day I’m plowing through. Some days are better than others. And the last few weeks have handed me some real doozies. To say that I have a hard time with change is an understatement, but I’m facing them. I’m facing more than I care to.

The first unexpected change came two weeks ago tomorrow… Well, I guess it’s today since it’s now Tuesday morning as I’m writing this. I came home from work and found that my Desi girl had died. Desdamona Faith had been my baby since college. Mom got her for me from a friend whose cat had kittens. When she told me about this solid white kitten, I wanted her so badly. She’d already been given away, though, to an elderly lady. It seems that she was meant to be with me, though. The woman decided she couldn’t handle such a young and active kitten, so when I drove home from school, expecting to get my new orange tabby kitten, I was shocked to see Mom sitting there holding this little ball of white fur all curled up in her neck. For those that are wondering, the name Desdamona came from the Shakespeare play “Othello” which I had worked on the previous year. The name Faith comes from Faith Hill. She was playing on the radio, and it just seemed fitting.

For the next twelve years, Desi went through life’s ups and downs with me. She was there when I left Marshall. She moved back to Clarksburg with me and was my constant as I started a job that became a career. She moved into my first “adult” apartment with me, where I lived without the aid of Mom and Daddy. Then she moved nine hours away with me to Augusta, where we started a new life. Through all of the changes in my life for those twelve years, Desi was always there. To know that she’s gone makes my heart ache. I still struggle walking into my house, knowing she won’t come running into the kitchen when she hears my keys. But I have Chloe. She’s still by my side, and hopefully she will be for a long time to come.

It was just last week, barely a week after I lost Desi, that I got another blow. After years of threats from the company, Daddy was told that his offices will be moving to Richmond, Virginia as of September. He has the option to retire early or make the move. There are a lot of benefits being offered if he makes the move, though, so it looks like that will be his decision. In August he’ll leave Clarksburg and move. On the plus side he’s a couple of hours closer to Augusta, which will be nice. It’s a lot for him to take in, and I know this isn’t easy on him. I know how scary it is to uproot your life. It hits hard for me too, though.

After Daddy moved back into the house in Clarksburg, he took to redecorating. What was once my room is now his office. It does something to you when you see your childhood room erased. But, at the end of the day, it was still there. The house wasn’t the same house that I grew up in, but it was still home. And, after moving to Augusta, I knew that a couple of times a year I would go back to Clarksburg… back home… to see Daddy. As of September I won’t go “home” to see Daddy anymore. The house will be sold and he’ll be in a new city, in a new state.

There have been a lot of changes over the past six months… from Grandpa passing away to the latest changes. I’m starting to realize that I’m not sure I really ever dealt with any of them, including Grandpa passing away. Now it feels like everything is hitting me at once.

No… I’m not a fan of change. I’m struggling to accept it. But there is really no other option. Change happens and I can’t control it. I know that things will be okay. I’ve just gotta get my bearings again.

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.  ~ Author Unknown

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This

Today’s been a rough day. Try as I might, I haven’t been able to keep my spirits up. I’m tired and frustrated and mentally and physically drained.today-is-a-bad-day I’ve wanted to scream. I’ve wanted to cry. So far I’ve done neither.

Today’s been one of those days where I’ve been reminded why I hate depending on other people. If you depend on someone else, you can be let down. When you’re a control freak, when you see to everything yourself, you’re the only person that can really let you down.

I’m trying to hope. I’m trying to have faith that things will work themselves out. I know they will. It just might not be as quickly as I want them to be. That’s what I have trouble with… waiting. I want to find a way to take control and fix things now, but I know… despite all my expertise in control… I can’t even work things out sooner than they will be.

So I need to let go. Sitting here tonight, thinking about everything, isn’t going to fix them. Try as I might, I don’t have the control. That fact makes me panicky. I’m still working toward acceptance. I guess that will only come with time.

Every evening I turn my worries over to God.  He’s going to be up all night anyway. ~ Mary C. Crowley

Rules For Being Happy

It’s been a few days since I wrote anything. Truth is, I really haven’t had much to say. I’ve done well at not stressing myself out. Granted, the week was rough with trying to catch up on things, but I think I’m pretty much there… at work at least. This week will start with a fresh page. Hopefully I’ll get things situated at home. We’ll see what comes, though.

Since I don’t really have much to say, I thought I’d share something I found the other day. I think it has some awesome tips for living a happier life. It’s definitely one that I’m going to hold onto!

Words To Live By (37)

I hope you all have a wonderful week! And thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. I hope something you see helps you too!

It Only Takes Five Minutes

It was bound to happen… Since I haven’t won the lottery, inherited a small fortune, found a sugar daddy, or become independently wealthy in woman-tearing-paper-towel-280x150the past two weeks, I headed back to work today. It’s one thing to sit here and talk about “letting go” is one thing when you’re sitting at home, on a day off. It’s another thing when you have to go back out into the “real world”.

I admit that I didn’t sleep well last night. Anxiety about what would face me today, along with changes that are coming with the new year, left me rather restless. Through the trip to work, I tried to focus on taking calming breaths and knowing whatever I came face to face with, I could handle. It took five minutes for my day to be tossed upside down, but I’m proud to say that I took it all in stride. By the end, I had accomplished much, worried little, and was in a surprisingly good mood, despite being tired.

Today is just the beginning. I’m fully aware of that. I’m also aware that there will be ups and downs along the way. But I’m determined to celebrate the little victories. Those small victories add up, and that is what counts.

So I will finish today pleased and satisfied that I’ve done my best. Maybe everything on my to do list didn’t get done, and maybe my luggage is still packed from my trip, but what I did today I did well. What needed to be done got done. The rest will get done… Maybe tomorrow, maybe this weekend… But the world won’t end in the meantime.

So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key. ~ The Eagles, “Already Gone”