Monday, September 5, 2016
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Friday, December 18, 2015
Friday, October 23, 2015
Today I need to process the mess that is the last 6 months of my life.
Ever since we set out to move to Alaska, it feels like life has kinda gone out of its way to throw us off course. We felt really good about moving there, and then Matt's lung collapsed. We felt really good about moving home to CA to recover and be with family, but it took a lot of money on our family members' parts to get us home. Being home was actually really nice for me, but I know Matt had a very hard time not working.
And then we decided to move to Washington, because Matt found a job that could move him towards someday running a high-end fishing lodge. I felt VERY unsure about it and cried and cried when he got the job. I wanted to stay home with my mommy and daddy and be taken care of and recover from the Alaska fiasco. But we went to the temple and I had this confirmation that we had people to help in Washington, so off we went. I specifically had this little vision of an old woman who needed my help. I'm still trying to figure that out.
So we moved here. And ever since, it seems like bad thing after bad thing has happened. Matt didn't get paid for a while so we literally had to scrape pennies together to pay the first month of rent. My freelance writing work became spotty, but our rent went up and hospital bills and our RV payment just kept coming. We are like dirt poor right now and now I just got laid off from my job. I don't know how we're going to pay rent or bills or get out of debt. It feels like a non-stop stream of wave after wave crashing down on us.
Not to mention, when we got here I went full freelance from home and became EXTREMELY lonely. I started having panic attacks and anxiety and depression and just this utter sense of hopelessness about why we're here.
So the glass feels very half-empty right now.
But then I remembered all the blessing that have come to us in the last 6 months. When Matt's lung collapsed, my parents stepped in and helped us get back home. My uncle dropped everything he was doing and flew to Alaska to drive me home. He is an adept mechanic and somehow got the RV home in one piece, though limping. Being home helped me grow closer to my parents and family. I got to drive up the coast of California with my mom, a dream that I've had for over a decade.
Now that we're here, I get to go on beautiful hikes weekly that make me appreciate the beauty of the earth and push my body. My anxiety and panic attacks have gone away. My faith has been strengthened as we always seem to get just enough money to make it another day. Matt has a top-secret lead on an amazing job opportunity at his company that could help him get his dream job within 3 years if he plays his cards right. He's already in line to get a promotion and a raise next month. He loves his job, and that's fun to watch.
Not having a car made me ask for a ride to get to sewing class, and I got to tell my fertility story to my bishop's wife who was very understanding. I needed to get it out. I got to serve by helping make quilts for sick people. Some family members helped us buy a second car, so I no longer feel stranded and alone when Matt goes to work. I got called to Young Women's (a calling I felt prompted would come) and it has helped me serve and feel more connected and less lonely. The girls and presidency members are so amazing and it's only been one week.
We got to go up to Samish Island to stay with Matt's sister's wife's parents and they are amazing and it feels nice to know people here.
Not to mention, the only other LDS couple living in our entire apartment complex is the only other couple in the ward that doesn't have kids just like us. And they're amazing and awesome and Matt likes the husband and I can tell we're going to be great friends. They were in Utah before and we have like...a crazy, eery, bizarre amount of things in common.
And the best thing of all, Matt's and my relationship has grown stronger than ever. I feel like we are more respectful to each other, bicker less, and are more unified and communicative about things. I tend to take out my frustrations in life on the people I love the most, but I am learning to deal with it in other ways, and my marriage is stronger because of it.
So when I look at it that way, the glass doesn't feel half empty anymore. The glass feels refillable.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Almost immediately after the last session ended, someone I love very deeply posted something on Facebook saying that our church is a cult and that everyone who belongs to it is brainwashed. This makes me so sad, because the LDS Church has been a great source of peace and comfort to me.
I, like anybody else, have questions and sore points. I actually had a few while listening to Conference this time. (Like, why does it always seem like women are lauded as the strong but silent partners who stand behind great men? Why can't we simply be the great women, period, who stand alone from men sometimes?) Anyway, it makes me sad when people I love only find hurt and confusion out of the Church.
Maybe they don't feel like there's a place for them, which I totally understand. At the moment I don't really feel like there's a clear place for me as a married but childless woman. But I remain active because I know that at the core of the Church are the teachings of Christ, and there's a place for everyone at Christ's feet. While at times the culture of the Church annoys and saddens me, I have a firm testimony of the GOSPEL of the Church. And that's what truly gives me joy.
I know I can never really say anything to convince loved ones to come back to the Church. They are on their own journey and have to grapple with issues inside themselves. But the song lyric, "They who reject this glad message will never such happiness know" makes me want to tell everyone I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can make you HAPPY! It involves a lot of work and soul searching, plus some humility and consistent habits. But it makes life on Earth and our existence as humans make absolute sense. It gives me a purpose and a goal to constantly strive to be more like Christ. "The healing and strengthening power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement is for all of us who will ask."
I don't really have a conclusion to all of these thoughts. I just had to get them out before I forgot them. I hope anyone reading this who doesn't know about the Church (or does and has problems with it) realizes that I love you just the same. I try to never judge people on different life paths, because I know that we all have our own lives to lead. I am certainly the least perfect person I know. And my life is crazy NOT perfect. But being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does give me joy, peace, comfort, a purpose, a sense of community, knowledge, pride, love and hope. And that's all I can really ask for right now.
And because these are all so good, here's a bunch of quotes from this weekend!
Monday, September 28, 2015
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The Calm app on my phone is so life-changing. I am so alone with my thoughts all day that I've become almost scared of old wounds that could arise, so I try to distract myself, stay busy, and have a checklist of tasks to get done. When Matt comes home from his real job, I find myself feeling the need to qualify my time with him. Not because of anything he expects of me, but because of what I expect from myself. It's good to be busy, but I think I need to step away from the mindset that busier equals happier. The app gives me a safe space to allow thoughts to come to me without judging them.
I also find myself wondering how to fill all this time I created in my life. I'm the one who wanted to go freelance so I could be less stressed. And now that I have this time I'm freaking out at all the possibilities. I want to have a perfect day every day. I guess I'm still so task and reward oriented that I can't step away from needing to feel productive (which is what working full-time achieved.)
I'm trying to shift my mindset to the things that really matter to me at the moment, which are self care, connection with God, and my relationships with people.
So instead of telling you what I did today, here are the important things that really happened.
I met an Italian woman named Alessandra and her huge St Bernard named Romeo while on a hike. I connected with her about her country and feeling homesick. I hope I see her again.
I met women in my ward at a stake quilting activity. Decided to spend some of this free time volunteering here. Took home some fabric to cut.
I meditated and sent out positive vibes into the universe, then realized that I am a perfectionist. Gotta work on that.
I read a conference talk in line at the post office instead of feeling annoyed.
I let myself not work today so I could spend time with Matt on his day off.
I ate a ****-ton of food today (ok, all week) but I'm making myself not judge it. I've had a hard week, and I'll try to do better tomorrow.
Seriously, what are days for? What is my purpose hereeeeeeee????????? I guess I'll spend my time figuring that out, too.