Tag Archives: life

the precipice of change

I have been noticeably absent from this page for nearly a month, at a real loss for words of importance.

What had seemed important, what had felt was needed, has not felt the same in this new year. Last year was a hard one for me, and my family, as we had this internal struggle and collective unease about the direction of our lives. My husband was torn with being with us, and needing the presence of his family located on the other side of the country. I felt lost in my own head, aching at the absence of people who had distracted me from myself and weak to my naturally inclined sadness. I think that our children felt the weight of our distress.

This year is something different altogether, as cliche as that may sound. #NewYearNewMe is not uncommon on social media, though we all know that most people lack depth behind that proclamation. Because, really, how many people stuck with it once January ended?

I digress, though.

There are times in my life when my unsettled spirit stirs, when it feels something big coming on, some storm of excitement on the horizon. Things are going to change dramatically for us in the coming months, and the changes themselves are not what has me feeling anxious.

There is a certain euphoria that I get from unpredictability, from the unknown, for all things different.

Blame it on my gypsy soul. I’ve said it countless times, and yet, the statement fails to capture what exactly I mean. I live for those wild moments, those times when things do not go according to plan, even they send me into chaos. I daydream of grand changes in our lives, things that take us to a new path of life. So, when things feel too stale, I make a change. I get a haircut. I get a tattoo, something arty. I take up a new goal or project, knowing that I’ll most likely become too restless and just let it fall apart in the end.

But this time, this time there is a big change in our lives coming. I am unsettled in a new way, like I am getting ready for everything that is going to be different this year. I’ve felt the oncoming change deep down, and I wholeheartedly trust that intuition.

I chopped off most of my hair, a good 9 or 10 inches, and dyed it purple. I felt like I had to do something radical, and a secret part of me reveled in the mixed reactions that I received from strangers and those that I am more acquainted with. Don’t like it? I don’t really care; this is what I need for me.

Half of my house is packed up, although there is no concrete destination for where those items will be re-homed. The entire family feels pulled to Florida, to a new and fresh start, and we only become more anxious as the matters of rationality hinder our progress. Of course, we try to stay reasonable, we devise back up  plans in the case that circumstances do not fall in our favor. But it almost feels like we are already gone, our hearts and souls are just not here anymore, despite how much that hurts the people that we care about here.

There is still the possibility that the cards will not play out the way that we want. My sister tells me, however, that our will to move on will only help the universe give us what we desire. I don’t know if I can fully believe that, but I do know that our intuition, our gut feelings, are telling us that we are meant to head East.

And I have to hold on to that feeling because the thought of being rooted in a place so draining, so depressing, makes my heart ache unbearably.

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The Rational Choice.

It was there at the tip of my tongue– the admission that I have always thought but never really said aloud. Every cell in my body wanted to admit this thing, this fact about me that I am afraid he would frown upon.

We were lying in our bed, as we so often do, just talking quietly in the dark while we curled together. These are some of my favorite times with my husband. With my head tucked safely into my favorite little spot on his shoulder, I wanted to tell my husband my one true aspiration and dream for my life.

I don’t want to work a single day in my life. I want to sit around, drinking coffee and writing. 

Writing– it is the one thing that I obsess over, even though I am a writer with a serious case of ADD. Honestly, he already knows this about me. He knows how I have dreams of publishing one of those New York Time’s Best Sellers. But I have not really said aloud how that is all I want to do. I don’t even care if it brings any money. I just want to write without the obligation of anything else.

I never really admit it because it is a self-centered idea. Writers are notoriously selfish and isolated from the rest of the world. We hide in little corners, immersed and obsessed with our characters, dialogue, and tragedies. It is the single-most selfish thing that I could wish to do with my life, which is really our life, and I desperately want it.

Writing is not a rational career choice, however. Few have the chance to make it big, and it is not always a matter of talent but instead marketability. English majors are so often left with mountains of debt and not a pair of pennies to rub together. This is why I changed my major to business, why I have decided to go for one of those goals that is more like settling than chasing after my dreams. Owning a book store and cafe is somehow more sensible in my mind than pursuing a writing career. Even then, I may run myself into the ground because I’ll spend too much time with my nose in a book.

I did admit to my husband that earning my business degree is more like a second-class goal for me. I have to do something with myself, so why not? He told me the most beautiful thing, though. “You don’t really have to do anything if you don’t want to. I make enough on my own, you don’t even have to work.” He even told me that reading this blog feels like reading the work of a professional on a news site. My heart really soared at this, and I wondered why I am trying to settle.

Don’t get me wrong, owning a book store and cafe is still in the sights for me. It is realistic, and I have some amazing business ideas that really shouldn’t go to waste. But the problem is that I know that it will get to a point where it will lose it shine and luster. I will lose interest in it. I will get tired of sacrificing for it. There will come a point where I want a new business project and the shop will get pushed to the dark corners of my priorities.

Admitting that I just want to write and do nothing else means several things. Firstly, it means that it is entirely possible that there will never come a day when I can contribute to the household’s income. Sure, there are some writers that make it small, that publish independently and make a moderate amount of e-book sales. But the ones who really make a living from writing are the ones who have movies made from their works, and that is a total long shot. Secondly, it means that I have put us in debt with student loans for no reason. I will have earned two degrees and I will do nothing with them. He will be responsible for the debt that I have incurred.

How is that a fair choice for him? How could I leave him to work while I get to sit at home writing? I think that I have never seriously admitted to wanting to write full time because I’m afraid of being seen as lazy. It seems like such an indolent career, if it could even be called a career, because there is no real labor in the work. When all he does is labor-oriented, when he works so hard, how would it be right for me to do something that is such the opposite?

I think that my real question here is how do we choose passion over rationality?

How do we choose to do that which we love most when the world says that it is not the sensible thing to do?

When we crave to color outside the lines, how do we force ourselves to keep it neat?

all the parts of me

the plural inference of the title for this blog was not just because i think the word ‘elixir’ sounds cool.

i mean, that is part of the reason, but not the whole shebang.

i wanted to imply that there is more than one mind at work here, in the way that my personality is multi-faceted.

i tend to keep myself subdued in front of most people in my life, so my children and husband are the only ones who get anywhere near the full spectrum of personalities that i have going on.

storm with skin

lately, it seems like the free-spirited side of me has been the most present. she likes fleetwood mac and steve miller band. she wears lots of dresses and writes whenever and however she can. she craves to move and travel, for change to be a constant in life. gaudy rings, lace, and braids are an everyday thing.

this is the me that hits the gas when she drives down the curves of the mountain, holding to the wheel tight and refusing to brake. she holds her hand out the window, running her fingers through the wind just to feel connected. she is wild, and loving, and deep.

she is my gypsy soul.

boho

the girl who resembles a 16 year old me, pieced together with tape, chipped at the edges, and dipped in shadow- she worries me. she listens to korn, deftones, and slipknot as loud as it will go. she looks at the floor as she walks, hides from the world and hates it as a whole. she needs change as much as the gypsy, but in a desperate way that shouldn’t be indulged.

she grasps at whatever will pull her from the wreckage of her mind, but is willing to pull everyone else down on her way up.

this is the me that is gone now, at least for now. hidden deep in the recesses of my mind, she waits to come out again, to pull me back again.

black

there is another side of me. the one that tries to fit in. the one that goes to play dates with moms she has nothing in common with to try to find a clique. she wears nice, subdued, preppy clothes, she holds her head high, she flaunts her education. she is the know-it-all, a therapist for others, but she will let everyone walk all over her just to keep them happy. she wants to be trendy, she wants to be the connected parent, she wants to have the beautiful home with white picket fence.

this side of me can be so suffocating, so monotonous.

there is the book worm, the science geek, the hateful wench, the judgmental prude, the health nut, the day dreamer, the entrepreneur.

these aren’t just characteristics of my personality. they each have their own space in my mind. they appear when they see fit, they crowd the space in my head.

strangeness

for now, i’ll enjoy where the gypsy soul takes me. the winds can take me where they please, and the rains can wash me clean. the other parts can peak out, make small appearances, but the gypsy can have this life as long as she wants.

an unspoken truth

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you don’t know this, but this cup of chai tea with honey is my reward for a productive morning.

i got up when the alarm went off this morning, without waiting for the four alarms afterward to drag me from the warmth of bed. i brushed my teeth, made my husband his bottle of tea for work, ran his work shirt through the dryer to warm it up, and started getting ready for the day. i found clothes quickly, helped my husband out the door and kissed him goodbye. got the kids up, got them breakfast, took my daily vitamins, and helped the kids find clothes.

i talked with my son about the legos he wants for christmas. i not only made the effort to do my hair, but also tamed my daughter’s wild mane as well. i took my son to school without having to yell at everyone to get in gear because we were late. i got starbucks for me and my daughter before going to walmart. i went through the store leisurely, all while playing with my daughter and smiling a lot. our smiles made others smile as well.

so? you are probably asking yourself why these things matter. these actions are not major feats. millions upon millions of people do these types of thing every day, all day.

but all of these things are a big deal, especially for someone who has battled with depression and anxiety for the last decade.

alice

with manic depression, this was me most days. my moods flipped so much, i lost track of who i was.

at the end of august, i made the call that i have needed to make for so long now. i cried after making that appointment, those loud and torturous type of sobs. i chewed my nails until they were raw in anticipation of that day. he was going to laugh at me. he was going to ask that dreadful question “what in the world do you have to be depressed about?” that doctor was going to dismiss me, just like so many people before.

but he didn’t. that 80-something man sat me in his office like i was a real person and he told me what i already knew. he said that i am manic depressive, and that he was going to help me.

he started me on a low dose of paxil for the first month, a slightly higher dose the next month once we figured that it was not working in the way that i wanted. the higher dose was still not giving the desired result, so he placed me on citalopram two weeks ago.

and now, i feel good. i feel happy. i appreciate my kids and husband in a way that i haven’t in a long time, if ever. i’m writing again, which fills me in a way that cannot be described. i don’t hate my body and everything about myself. i can accept compliments without having to bite back my harsh denial. i can sleep through the night without waking up in killer panic attacks. lastly, i cannot remember the last time that i cried in the shower.

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i even took my picture today, which is a big deal, since i have avoided taking pictures of myself for the last six months.

i am not sharing all of this out of some cry for attention, but rather, to shine some light on an issue that is so often considered taboo.

stay at home moms are supposed to be thrilled to be at home. we are supposed to love absolutely every moment with our children, and we are supposed to be overfilling with an absurd amount of patience. because, after all, we are bad mothers if we aren’t these things.

the truth? most moms i know are only homemakers because daycare is too expensive and we don’t trust strangers with our preciously wild little ones. these factors aside, we could really do without the monotony of being at home with kids. we would be out in the world, rather than running errands and driving kids back and forth. we do this because we have, not necessarily because we want to.

you will probably think to yourself a few examples of moms that are rockin’ this ‘at-home’ thing. i can too. but a part of me wonders if they are faking it on any level. do they zone out on their books or smart phones at any point, mindlessly removing themselves from the world? do they ever binge on netflix and put aside their chores until the very last moment? do they ever feel inconsolably alone, especially among the chaos that is their family?

you are not alone

it will probably take a long time before people begin to recognize, accept, and attempt to treat depression in themselves and others in a comfortable manner. depression just isn’t something that is found appropriate to discuss, and the stiff conversation surrounding the topic only continues to drive the stigma behind the illness.

it took nearly 8 years for my husband to accept the truth about my struggle with depression. i am not sure that i could have handled his denial for much longer. this last year began to hurt entirely too much.

but now… now, my soul feels so much lighter.