Tag Archives: reflection

When Your Path Shifts…

We always think we know what is best for us, and honestly sometimes we do, but sometimes the universe knows better than we do. Some of us call it God, some of us call it a force greater than ourselves. Whatever it is that you call it, that force helps dictate the right path. Even though we think we know what we want, sometimes we just do things because we think that is what is supposed to happen, and then it doesn’t. Then we end up back at square one, trying to figure out what the fuck we’re actually supposed to be doing. That my friends is where I am today.

In the two weeks following the death of my father I wanted to make a big change and take a huge chance in my life. I applied to an EdD program (Doctor of Education) at the university where I work. I got all my paperwork together really quickly, and if we’re being honest, applied to the easiest program I could find. They didn’t require GRE scores (mine are out of date and I REALLY don’t want to take it again), they didn’t require huge essays, lots of writing examples, etc. It was super cut and dry. So, I applied. Wrote the letter of interest, focused on a topic that I thought they would gravitate toward. None of it was a lie, but it wasn’t the real truth of my being, if that makes sense. I got all the paperwork done and submitted. Then came the wait. I assumed I wouldn’t hear back until the official cut off date was here (May 15). Yesterday, I got my rejection letter.

I opened the letter, assuming that I honestly didn’t get in, and I was right. I didn’t get upset. I honestly hadn’t invested THAT much time in this attempt at higher education. I honestly didn’t even really want to get an EdD, but I did want a big change. I wanted something to happen in my life. I needed to fill a void. I needed to continue making my dad proud. I needed to do all these things, but the thing is I wasn’t being true to myself or the path I know I am supposed to take. My heart wasn’t in it. It wasn’t the right path. And despite my attempt at changing something quite big in my life, it didn’t work because I wasn’t supposed to do it. My sister told me to apply again next year. And I very well could, but why would I want to try this path again, when I honestly know it isn’t the right path.

For a long time my path has been art. It is the only thing I have ever been really passionate about. I really like yoga too, but we all know no one actually makes a living on yoga. Art keeps my attention. Genuinely, there is no way that I would want to continue a career that didn’t involve art. I tried the library thing, I thought it would get me a solid job and put me in a career that I would get to have for the next 50 years. It wasn’t my path either. It was a huge supplement to the art path, because it made me a much better researcher, still not meant to be my path. All of the rejection over the years should have been the indication of that, yet I still apply for library jobs and things never happen.

But the thing is I’m applying for those library jobs and the EdD program for the wrong reasons. I did it for the potential of a ‘good’ job, where I could have benefits and a decent income. I did it for the wrong reason though. Why would I even attempt to do those things when I know it would make me feel empty inside. I don’t want to work in university administration. I don’t want to work in a library (unless it is an art library). I just don’t. I want to be a scholar. I don’t even necessarily want to be a PhD, but I want to be a scholar. I want to write articles, have them published one day. I want to maybe even write a book and have it published too. I want to work on innovative new ways to take my art history courses to the online platform that is much more interesting than the way I have them now. I want to show the world that art, be it visual or musical or literary, is the most important thing in society. I want to present at conferences and show the world what I know. I want to be a scholar.

The one question is how does one become a scholar? Well, that part I have to figure out, but lucky for me I have some amazing mentors who are helping me each step of the way. I have a family that supports me. I have amazing friends who support me. I have an amazing man in my life who wants nothing more than to be supportive and help me in any way possible. I have the knowledge to explore different topics. I just have to find the time and dedication to make it all happen. This time I have, and this time I will start to utilize until I get on the right path and become the scholar that I know I am supposed to be.

Will there be hiccups along the way? Yes. Will there be highs and lows? Yes. Will there be many sleepless nights? More than likely so. Will I keep trying? Every. Day.

I hope everyone has a productive Sunday!

Early Morning Reflections

It’s Good Friday 2018. Once upon a time almost 35 years ago I was born on Good Friday, but this year my birthday didn’t match up with the lunar cycles. I will be turning 35 this year. Just a little over a week. I’ve dealt with the 30s pretty well so far. I never got that blues people get when they hit 30. Big deal, right? Just a number. But this year I feel a lot different. This birthday, while a marker that I’m just as close to 40 as I am to 30, this birthday isn’t hard because of the age. This birthday is hard because I won’t get my annual note from my dad. Legit, making me cry just writing that. How has it been almost 6 weeks? How has it been going so quickly? I just need time to slow down for a minute so I can take a breath. I make it through the daily routines fine, but I never actually get the moment to rest and reflect. I never get a chance to feel what it feels like to not have my father anymore. Life just keeps happening, and that is wonderful and I don’t want life to stop, but at the same time I need some rest.

I don’t have the most demanding job in the world, but I’m basically on call 24/7 when it comes to emails and such. I do my best to unplug from it and take time for myself, but it doesn’t happen easily. The only time it happened is when he died and I honestly couldn’t handle dealing with work. I could only handle being with family and loving on everyone.  I honestly don’t know how people do it and just jump back into life once someone dies. Shit, I feel bad because I keep writing about this. I feel like I should be moving on to better subjects like full moon yoga or something else, but here I am, stuck on this topic of death and grief. I’m not stuck on in, I’m more like swimming through it. Songs come on my playlist and I get the lyrics for the first time, even though I’ve listened to it so many times before. It’s so weird how that happens isn’t it? For Example. My friend Marah told me ages ago to download “Pray” by Sam Smith. So I did. It was a powerful song, and I like it but didn’t listen to it that much. Now, I think I listen to it daily because I get it. And it makes me think. “Everyone prays in the end” is one of the lines of the chorus, and I can’t help but wonder as he laid dying was he in his own mind enough to pray at the end? I know that he believed in God, and my mom tried to get him last rights, but I don’t know if he was in his own head enough to actually pray. He had a hard time talking to people because of the delirium that sets in from DKA, I just hope that he made sense to himself and was able to get that last prayer. I’m not a religious person, far more spiritual than religious, but I know from the time I knew he was going to the hospital to the end I fucking prayed. So maybe in the long run, if he couldn’t do it himself, maybe mine helped a little.

Another song that has been speaking to me lately is “Sunshine” By Matisyahu. Part of the chorus is “It’s raining in your mind, so push those clouds aside, forever by my side you’re my golden sunshine.” And I feel like my mind is full of clouds and rain lately. I put on a smile and make it through whatever I have on my plate that day, but I always feel like i’m on the verge of breaking. I sit on my couch alone during the day sometimes and just stare. I am genuinely running out of energy, and I know it will all come back in time. I know I will continue to piece myself back together, but right now everything is too wet and soggy from all that mind rain. I do consider my dad to be my golden sunshine.  And early in the morning when I hear those early morning birds chirp I think of him. I haven’t been to the ocean lately, maybe that is what I need to do. It’s the one place I know I can go and feel his soul. And I am so thankful to be by the ocean at this time in my life. It is saving my life, and feeding me an energy that I had no idea about.

I have so many friends who have lost their fathers over the past couple of years, three of them quite close to me. I can only say that I never wanted to be able to relate on this level with them, but I’m glad I have them to lean on. I try and express where I am mentally to those who haven’t experienced this type of loss, and while they mean well, they say shitty things, not meaning to, and it becomes one of those smile and nod situations. I mean, my own mom can’t even relate to the loss of a parent because both of hers are still alive and healthy in their 90s. I’ve never had to deal with the loss of a grandparent, which usually comes first. I know one day that I will have to deal with that experience, even though I pray it is a decade away (pretty sure my grandma will live forever).

So yeah. As the weeks go on, they say it is supposed to get easier, but I find that I am more compelled to say it doesn’t get easier it just becomes a more distant memory, which then becomes easier to deal with. My dad never got over the loss of his father. Grandpa died when dad was 27, just after I was born. I can only imagine what he had to deal with. Two small kids, his father died, still newly married. He didn’t have that man to ask questions anymore. And what a moment in life to have that taken from you. I can see why he never got over it.

While this is not a time to be mad about things, I am mad about a couple of them. My dad was the oldest of 7 siblings. I have seen and spoken to 4 of those siblings. Have the others contacted me, or my sister? No. I understand that they are going through their own grief, but you’d think that in a time like this they would find it in their hearts to take time and check on me, my sister, and my mom. No, I don’t have a relationship with these people because unlike my dad no one actually ever made an effort to be part of my life (and as elders I find that is their position in life and not mine). Am I bitter about it? Yes. Is this uncommon for his side of the family? No. Did he want me to have a relationship with his family, yes he sure did, and he made it a point to be part of their lives, so what the fuck happened? I guess the rift in our family that has always been there will continue to grow now that he’s gone. I will keep up with some, and it breaks my heart that it came to this. They didn’t even have to call, just fucking email me, facebook messages work too. My mom’s side of the family, the side I grew up knowing, his death has made us all closer. We are far more involved with each other since the funeral and its a fucking beautiful thing. I am so blessed to have such supportive and amazing people to call my family. I guess I just wish that the other half had given me more of a chance. All families have issues. Mine is not any different.

The one thing I will do differently going forward is forgive. The day before dad died I decided to reach out to someone I had a long, very serious hate toward because I decided to finally just be over it and forgive. So I reached out and told him that I forgave him and that I hoped his life was good. I felt so amazing after the fact and I let go of the pain that that grudge caused. It was an amazing day. So, today, despite my disappointment in my paternal family (some not all), I decide to forgive them. They don’t know their apathy has caused me serious pain in a time when I needed their love and support. So for that I forgive them. They also don’t know that I have taken notice in my 35 years on this planet that they have mostly been imaginary and no one taking an interest in the life of their niece/grandchild is entirely their loss, and not mine. It has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with them. So, to all my aunts and uncles who didn’t make an effort to communicate at the death of my father, I forgive you. He would have wanted it that way. And he is the only reason I do it. Because he wouldn’t want me to hold a grudge that causes me pain when I can just let it all go.

In closing, I’m making it. I don’t know how, but each day presents its own battles, and each day I fight them to the best of my ability. One day, I hope to be in a much lighter place, but as for now it’s still raining in my mind.

Those Normal Things

If I am thankful of one thing it is that my dad died right before spring break, so I had week to catch up on all the shit I missed the week before that I wasn’t in the classroom. Did it go smoothly? No. But it went and here I am in the last 48 hours of freedom before I have to pretend everything is okay again. Actually, I don’t know why I feel like that is what I need to do. I don’t have to be okay. I need to keep it together for my own sanity, but in the long run I don’t have to be okay. One day I imagine that I will be fine with him not being around, but this week and last week have been surreal. I keep waiting for it to hit me.

Yes, I avoided doing things this past week. I tried to make sure I left the house daily, but that only worked for the first few days. I bought groceries. I went to Lowes and got some stuff to plant. I’ve been going to the gym daily (but I don’t have to leave the complex to do that) and yesterday I did laundry and cleaned. I’m not just sitting around, but I’m not very driven to go out. I was invited to a birthday party yesterday, but I didn’t go. Zack wanted to take me to a movie, but I didn’t want to go. Why am I keeping myself locked up? Because I can control this area and myself. That’s all. I know I can’t control the world, and that’s not something I try to do anyway, but I needed to get a handle on myself.

Today I go back to the yoga classroom to take my spot as the teacher. I’m afraid to go and do things, but I have to remember to just be my authentic self. I don’t have to be okay for this class. I’m going over to Zack’s buddy’s house tonight, because I promised I would, and I need to get out. Going from zero things in a day to two things where I have to leave is nuts! But Monday I will have to go to work. I will have to talk to people and answer questions (I think this is the reason I don’t go out, because I don’t want to answer questions or tell people how it happened). I have a lot of other things to handle on Monday too. Back to busy organized Deirdre. Besides, I’m putting some things into play for my future. I have a lot of things to work on to make sure they go smoothly. Deadlines approach quickly, thus I have a lot of things to work on. All while still taking time for myself. My birthday is coming very quickly. I have a lot to do.

Honestly, I have nothing real to say. I’m just babbling. I’m ready to feel normal again. Not sure that will ever happen, so I may have to give up that dream, but in the grand scheme of things I would really like to. My dad would want me to go on living and thriving and making a place in this world for myself. He was always so proud of me and thought the path I am on in life to be interesting and unique.

I also want to take a minute and publicly thank Zack for being such a solid rock for me the past two weeks. He dropped everything to go meet a family he had only heard of, in a very awkward time in our lives. He made sure that I was okay constantly. He held my hand and me as I cried. He helped me reason through things I had to handle. He listened as I practiced my eulogy. He bought me ice cream, even when I really didn’t need to eat ice cream. He’s put up with my not wanting to leave the house. I am eternally thankful for him being around. It breaks my heart that he never met my dad, because they would have loved each other. They are quite similar in their love for history and a good debate. Dad was looking forward to meeting Zack over my birthday weekend when we planned to come up and visit for Easter.

I don’t know if you ever get over the heart break of losing a parent. I know my dad suffered with the death of his father daily. I never understood it. I never wanted to understand it, but I do. I can’t see his fucking face anymore. What happens when I can’t hear his voice in my head anymore? I know it is all part of a process. And I know it will be a long process.

I see him everywhere. I hear the birds outside my window chirping to welcome the sun, and I think of him. I hear the ocean waves crashing and think of him. I see people excited to plant seeds and grow plants and I think of him and how much he loved to play in the dirt (when it didn’t hurt him too bad). Right now there is a single ray of sunshine breaking through the blinds. It is illuminating a single purple flower in a bouquet of flowers some friends of his sent to the funeral. I see him in that ray of sunshine and that purple flower. And then my eyes well with tears and I am happy and sad all at the same time. I know I have the strength to keep going, but somedays it seems almost impossible. I know it isn’t, and that is why I still make sure to do things daily (even if I don’t think I’m ready to do them) jut so that maybe by chance I can feel normal and do those normal things.

Must get ready for yoga. Have a lovely weekend everyone.

The times we had

I’ve been surrounded by people that love me for the past day and a couple hours. I lost my father late on Wednesday night. My daddy. And this is the first time I have been alone (everyone else is sleeping) since the moment he passed. My stomach hurts. I never knew I had this many tears, and this is the most surreal moment in my entire life. Yesterday, sitting around at my parents house he wasn’t there. He wasn’t just late to show up to hang out with all of us. He isn’t coming back. I am devastated in knowing this. When people die suddenly you’re stuck with that long list of things like I wish I would have called more. I wish I had gotten to speak to him one last time. I wish this or that and the other. And yes, I wish I had been the last person to talk to him on the phone. His brother Jim gets that honor. The last thing I talked to him about what financial stuff and how I had gotten my taxes filed. He asked me if I was getting any money back. That was our last conversation.

On Valentine’s Day he texted me to tell me he loved me so much and wish me a happy day. The weekend before I had some questions about adult things (money shit) and I called him to ask him because I swear to God he knew everything. Especially when it came to finances. My eyes always glazed over with that shit but I knew I could always talk to him about something I didn’t understand and he could break it down for me. I can hear his voice in my head as I type this. He never said he was going to shower, he always said he was going to get cleaned up. He would always call me “honey bunch.” And he always worried that he hadn’t been there enough for me when I was a kid. He worked hard to support us and create a life that he thought we deserved, and he was a success. I never felt unloved a day in my life. I never didn’t know that my dad didn’t love me. He ALWAYS told me. And if I had been gone, living in New York or Wilmington, and I would come visit he would hug me so tight. Fuck, he gave the best hugs and I would kill for one. Just one more. One more night sitting on the couch watching tv and answering Jeopardy questions together. Or just talking about politics and other bullshit.

My dad and I had so many fun times, just the two of us. A trip to Maryland to go to the wooden boat show. We met up with some uncles and cousins upon arrival, but the trip itself was awesome. That was the first time I think we got to know each other. Later on many moons later we took another road trip to NYC to take me back after having my tonsils removed. He drove during the day, because he couldn’t see in the dark, and at that point it was my responsibility. We listened to the Allman Brothers and he was shocked that I liked them. We talked about everything in those trips. Dreams. What we thought life was supposed to be and what we aimed to do. He was so proud of me for going to NYU, continuing his fathers legacy. His father, I never knew, but he is my Godfather. He died shortly after I was born. And I never understood how hard that was for my dad to deal with, until now.

The one thing that my father always made sure of is that his girls never went without. He had a shit load of health problems. Some stem from his life time of diabetes and complications from that. Others happened along the way. His body wasn’t as strong as it used to be. It wasn’t firing the way it should. But despite breaking his ankle or his arm he still made sure that everything was handled. Yesterday, sitting on the desk in the kitchen I saw a letter penned in his hand and it was everything. Everything in that letter was what my mom should do and needed to do in order to make things go smoothly after he died. He wrote it 4 years ago. He knew this day was coming, and honestly we all did, because of his health issues, however, we always hoped he would beat the odds and stay a little longer.

I am lucky that I didn’t lose him 24 years ago when I was a child. He went into renal failure then, and ended up getting a kidney transplant from his brother Arthur. Arthur, always been my uncle and will forever remain as such, gave me my dad for 24 more years. Because of his selfless act he prolonged the life of a dying man. And that kidney was fucking amazing. It never faltered. Never once. And I am eternally thankful for my uncle. I always loved how when Art would call dad would answer the phone Hello, Governor. And Art would always reply, Hello Doctor. I always thought it was the funniest thing. When Arthur called me last night, hearing his voice was so refreshing and it brought me back to earth for a minute. I know he is devastated after losing his brother, but I also know that he knows the pain of losing his father. And because of that, my soul is humbled.

I worry the most about my mom. I know she is a strong woman, but I worry about her. He never let her go without. Be it having a cup of water waiting for her with dinner when she got home from a long day or making sure the house was cleaned, even though he could never achieve her standard of clean–hell, none of us can. So, if you could find it in your heart to keep her in the light over the next few months as she finds her footing in this new era in life, I would appreciate it.

I know I am lucky. I am lucky because my dad told me every fucking day that he loved me and that he was proud of me. Not everyone can say that and my heart breaks for them. He was more than a father, he was a provider, my #1 cheerleader, my voice of reason, my financial adviser (even though I epically suck at this shit), my rock, my dad, my daddy. There was one day when I got scared when I was probably 5 years old. We went to the hardware store in N. Wilkesboro and something, God only knows what, scared me and I started crying. He lifted me up onto his shoulder and rocked me. He told that everything would be okay and that I should just let it all out. He never got upset. He always had a calming voice. He also held me on that same shoulder at my great grandmother’s funeral. I was so high up (also 5 years old) and I looked back on the people at that funeral celebrating her, and I felt so safe, so content because he wasn’t going to let me hurt.

Daddy, I look forward to the day when our energies are together again, somewhere out there in the ether. I will continue pushing myself toward bigger and better things and continue to make your proud. I will look after mom, Ginny, and Heather. I will make sure they know they are loved, just like you would have wanted. You are the best thing that ever happened to me in this life and I will love you until my last breath fades. I know you’re with me, hovering just beyond this realm where I can’t see you. But I feel you. I feel that big bear hug wrapping me up as tears stream down my face. I will forever be your honey bunch, your baby girl, and you will forever be my daddy.

Happy 2018, y’all!

Oh man! How is it January 2018?! Where is the time going?!

Overall, had a lovely holiday break thus far. Tomorrow I go to the library to work on everything for my future classes. They start next Monday. Eek! I am also going to start writing my paper tomorrow as well, and get into my GRE study habit. 2018 is dedicated to my waist line and my future PhD. Woo! Big things gonna happen.

I’m going into the new year with a new attitude! Lots of positive love and thoughts for myself and others that I interact with. I’m excited to explore things with this attitude. I was reading my old facebook posts about the new year and I honestly keep telling myself the same thing. More love, especially for myself. And yet, I can honestly say that it has never happened. But this year, I’m hell bound and determined to have happiness and love and joy in my life. And, as you all are aware, that starts with me. Loving me for who I am right now in this moment. Discovering myself outside of my comfort zone, and learning to live. Living more than I ever have before. Adventures surrounded by hard work. What a year it will be!

Additionally, I’m turning 35. Officially my mid 30s. EEK! My first whole year as a yoga instructor. I was so humbled at my last class of 2017, 15 people showed up to share space and time on their mat with me. By far my largest class to date. It was so powerful, I didn’t even have space to put my mat down! So I was forced out of my comfort zone and had to teach with my words, and not my demonstration! It was a great challenge. And my boss was listening by the door and said that I did great! The students complimented me as well. It was a beautiful moment for me. 6 months into teaching and I have come off my mat. ❤

While my day today is going to revolve around food prep and preparing for my January Whole30 that starts tomorrow (so much wine to drink before then!) I am in such a happy place. My significant other has officially welcomed me into his life, I met his friends last night, and it was well received. Excited for my relationship to grow this year as well. I love him.

Holiday Reconnect

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It has been a hot minute since I’ve had an opportunity to blog. Since I moved I’ve been running around, unpacking, traveling, etc. and quite frankly I’m so happy to be able to be home for a few weeks before the travels start again. I need this time to ground myself. Focus. Hang out and just breathe!

I have had a blast running around though. I went to New Jersey to see my friend, Olga, and her family. Her oldest daughter got married and the wedding was beautiful! Spending time with Olga was much needed. I hadn’t seen her in 8 years, since I moved out of NYC. It was just like old times though. The only the that had really changed was she moved, and she got a cat. Everything else, the same.

Upon returning from Jersey I had to work one day and then I was off to visit my family in the North Carolina mountains. I drove way too much, but I was happy to get the time to see everyone. I like hearing what they’ve been up to. It was also my cousin Jon’s 26th birthday on Thanksgiving. I can’t believe he’s 26. Scares me that the youngest (he’s 3rd from the bottom age wise with the cousins) group of kids in our family will all be in their 30s very soon.

I spent Thanksgiving evening with my parents at their house. Mom had to work, so she was unable to go to the festivities at grandmas, but it was nice to see her and spend time with both of them. I broke the news that I had been seeing someone, Zack (just in case you didn’t know either). They were quite happy and look forward to meeting him. It won’t be over Christmas, because he has to work, but none the less, one day!

So here it is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. December will be here Friday. My lovely yogi sister, Starr, has a birthday on Friday too! And it wraps up the end of the semester for me. I’m excited to have time off from teaching. I get to focus my time on doing some academic writing for myself and studying for the GRE. Hurray! Christmas break is so fun! I have planned on doing a yoga tour of Wilmington. Spending time learning and practicing from those around me. I am excited to experience some new things and really push myself to get outside my comfort zone. I’m stuck there, and I have to stop it. So, naturally, I am going to go to my mat and try all the things. There are so many wonderful teachers in this town (it’s legit over flowing with amazing teachers) and it is silly of me not to take advantage. I think I might start on Friday morning, since it is the first day I have ‘off’ from work. And I know just who’s class to take. Alexis, I’m coming for you!

In addition to my yoga tour, I’m excited to study. To spend time expanding my knowledge and working toward a larger goal. I have been anticipating this time off so I could focus and just work on stuff I want to do, instead of stuff I have to do for work. Not that I don’t like that stuff, but sometimes I find it really hard to actually split the two and I know that I need to learn to do that again. I plan to pursue some big things, and push myself again. I’ve done a lot of pushing this year, and I want to wrap up the year itself with one last one. It will lead me into 2018 and help me stay focused next year. Because, I’m not doing all this stuff to not keep at it. Dreams are worth chasing. And I’m trying to focus on some short term goals for now, that will possibly lead me to that bigger dream. Dr. Deirdre. It has a fantastic ring to it, no?

In closing, here’s to the last week of classes! I look forward to the month off. I look forward to the holidays with friends and family. I look forward to pushing myself outside of this comfort zone so I can grow and prosper in a different way.

2017 has been an awesome year. 2018, I hope you’ll be the same.

Namaste!

Thanks, Universe!

It is a societal norm for us to stress over dumb things. Am I right? Whether it is something superficial like the clothes we wear not being “good” enough or the car we drive. Maybe it is where we live or how much we spend on fancy things like jewelry. All of that shit doesn’t matter. You think it does, but it doesn’t. Really sitting down and observing what you have, why do you have it? What purpose does it serve? Maybe it was a gift and you’re afraid of getting rid of it because it was a gift. Maybe you don’t even really like it? We’ve all been there.

I’m moving in 7 days. One more week in a place that I have grown to despise. It isn’t because I’m too good for where I am, or anything like that, but it is because the property managers royally suck, so many corners were cut to try and make this place “good” but it’s just falling apart. Do I have everything I need? Yes. Do I also hate the fact that my toilet never stops running (and no one will come fix it) and that there’s a good chance that if people in my building do laundry, my living room becomes a swamp. Yes. I can’t tolerate it anymore. But in this process of moving on to bigger and better I find myself getting rid of so much stuff that I never thought I would get rid of. From furniture to objects to dishes, etc. I went through a box that I have been keeping for years. I call it my box of important crap. Yeah, the shit I thought was once important isn’t important to me anymore. Love notes from old boyfriends, little trinkets that they had given me along the way, etc. Gone. I felt nothing anymore. No attachment. Nada. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, but I’m here at the end and I don’t care so much. And, here’s the kicker. It’s totally okay. There’s nothing wrong with that! Let the shit go. I did. Not that you should do something because I suggest it, but why not give it a try?

Talking to a girl I did my Yoga training with the other day. I saw a fox painting that she would love, so I took a pic and texted it to her. We got to chatting about getting rid of old stuff and old energy to make room for new energy. And she said something that really resonated with me. I don’t need material things because my heart is so full. Full because of the things that I do on a daily basis. From teaching art to teaching yoga. It’s all really magical and I think the Universe agrees. I am content in my life. I’m excited about the future for the first time in a long time. I have something to work toward. And it seems that the Universe is going to provide some great opportunities for me to continue to be successful. What do I mean? Let me tell you a story.

Earlier in the summer my left eye started hurting. After a week it didn’t get any better so I went to the doctor. They sent me for a STAT MRI and ran all these tests and needless to say I had a huge bill by the end. Thanks to the American health care system! Anyway, I got everything in my account set up to be in a payment plan. $150 a month. I made the payments. I got a new bill in the mail on Friday last week saying I owed $300. Turns out I forgot to pay the damn thing last month. I’m not one to miss payments, but that isn’t the issue. I ended up calling the billing office to talk to them about the bill. I wasn’t understanding why it was as high as it was. The lady who helped me is a freaking saint. Turns out that they charged me for the MRI twice, and never applied the pre-payment that I made the day of the procedure to the account. So basically, my bill that was $2186 ended up being $307 by the time she fixed everything. Honestly, y’all. I was planning on getting an itemized list of everything I owed, so I could get financial help to pay it off. I couldn’t keep making the payment. But because this lady was actually doing her job, I just paid the $307 on my credit card and we called it a day. Moral of the story? Call and talk to people about the bills you have, especially if they’re medical! This is helping me because one less bill is always a blessing, right?

The story doesn’t stop there. I also work at a local University. Back in September I realized that I didn’t have any classes for Spring 2018 and asked when they would be setting up the schedule. Turns out they already had, but by mistake left me off. So I emailed my boss asking her to at least give me one class! This is the bulk of my income, so I need that to stay afloat. Time passed and I saw that I had one class on my schedule. Thankful! But I looked again two weeks ago and I had TWO! That was even better. Well, last week she emailed me again asking if I could teach a third class. Why yes, yes I can. I would love to. 3 is the max I can teach, so they don’t have to pay me benefits, but I will take 3. Then yesterday, just after I got off the phone with the lady at the billing office I checked my email because the Summer 2018 schedule had come out. Turns out I get to teach 2 sections each summer session. This is the max I can teach (or anyone for that matter) during the summer. And While I knew I had one class each session, having two now is like silver icing on the golden cake! I was brimming with joy! I had kept asking the Universe to help me figure this stuff out. Financial stuff gives me a lot of heartache, but I managed to get everything to work out in my favor. Big things are happening and I am so blessed and so thankful and grateful for those blessings.

Ultimate thanks to the universe. And also goes to show that worrying isn’t going to handle anything. You have to go out and make things happen for yourself. You have to keep asking the Universe to provide, and keep working hard in order to make that happen. You should also probably get rid of the old stagnant energy in your life to make room for new blessings to come in. If there’s no room for them, then they won’t show up! Silly as it sounds, I can’t help but thing it is real.

As I wrap up this time in this space I am thankful for what it has provided me in the time I’ve been here. It has facilitated some good, and a lot of bad, but those were obstacles that I had to handle. And I have. Now, HOPEFULLY I have done my damage and I can just relax for a bit.

Unrelated side note. Excited about Halloween! And I’m also super excited about the trip i’m taking in November to New Jersey. Going to see my old friend and watch her oldest daughter get married. Should be quite the party! I am also super excited about having some time to myself away from this town and such. I never go away, and if I do it isn’t far. So, going back to my old stomping ground is going to be great. Then it is the Holiday season and the end of my semester. Yikes! So crazy to think that everything is basically done.

I plan to spend Christmas break–the whole month off–just writing and researching and studying. I also plan to work really hard prepping for my upper level class in the Spring. I want it to be different. I taught it once and it wasn’t so great. But the first time never is. So this is my chance to get things together and really do it justice. Wee! I know I can. It is going to be epic.

Oh yeah, and today is my Dad’s 61st Birthday! Happy Birthday dad! Love you so much!

Okay. Time to get this day going. Yoga practice is go! And this is my new theme song.

Personal Evolution

Lately I have been doing a lot of writing. Just in my own journal because I love the feeling of pen on paper. I like the tactile quality of doing things the “old fashioned” way. I have a love/hate relationship with the screen too. As someone who has spent so much time hanging out in academia I have spent too much time in front of the screen! So getting away from it is a blessing. And carrying around a journal instead of a laptop is, by far, much easier.

A very wonderful friend of mine has recently started a PhD program at FSU in Tallahassee Florida and while she has been separated from me I still feel like she is close by. We were talking yesterday because the job she wants is open in the location she wants. The only problem is that she needs the PhD to be able to get the job. I flirt with the idea of going back to school for that doctorate. I want it some days, and other days I struggle with the idea of putting my student hat back on. What happens when I finish and have spent so much time and effort doing this great thing, and there’s nothing for me to do with it at the end, beyond what I already do? Don’t get me wrong the title alone would be epic for me, and I’d be the first doctor in my family, but I often struggle with the potential future that it would create. Yes, I would love to be able to study and do the things that I love in this world more effectively and write about them. Yes, I would love to be able to find a tenure track position and teach art history to the masses (because maybe one day it will be important again!). And I realize that I have to be far more dedicated to my studies than I already am in order to achieve any of this. There is lots of studying involved in even being accepted to a program. There’s lots of writing as well. Which I don’t mind, I just am so out of practice of all of these things that I feel I might be completely terrible at it. And I know that I probably will be at first, but eventually it will all come back. I’m not stupid, I am quite capable. I may in fact be the best damn researcher on the planet (I’m not really, but I’m damn good at it!). So what gives? What is holding me back? I honestly don’t know, other than fear.

So what is fear? Fear of failure? Fear of never being accepted to a school? Fear of not finding a university that would actually pay me to be there, because there’s no way I can afford to take out any kind of loan to do this degree. It will have to be a completely full ride. Basically, I have to get over these fears. If I try, and actually apply myself then I should find a program that will see my potential and let me in. If I try and actually find myself succeeding, then I will know this was the right path for me, yes? And maybe the universe will recognize the effort that I’m putting into it all. The personal evolution that I am going through to let go of these fears and just let things happen. I keep saying that I want my new place to be a different kind of energy and getting rid of the fear that lingers in my head about these tasks is something that has to be left behind. I’m throwing them out with the old furniture that I am not bringing with me! I’m letting it go with the old clothes that I donated. I’m throwing it all away with the trash I leave in the dumpster. Because I can do this. I know I can.

At first I didn’t think that I could be a successful yoga instructor, but I am slowly growing into one. I have had some great mentors! So if I can go from thinking that I’m not the best, to actually thinking that I am pretty good on the mat, then I can find my way to apply that to my education and growing my crazy number of degrees. Counting my High School Diploma I have 5. And one day, counting my high school diploma I want to have six.

I want that PhD. I don’t care what I have to do to get it. If I have to study all night, and work all day, then I will do what is required. It is something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for a long time. And they say (whomever “they” are) if you can’t stop thinking about it then you should probably just go ahead and do it.

I know that I am on a path of growth. I am uncomfortable most of the time, and that is simply me adjusting to this new realm of possibility. I want to be something better than what I am. I want to be the best that I can be. I want to work every day to find my way to that better place. I want to study and to grow and learn.

The journal that I am writing in these days, the cover says “The best way to get something done is to begin” and the only way that I can get this done is to start. I have to. I know how to. I just have to actually do it. So I suppose I should stop milling around, grab a fresh cup of coffee and dive into something beneficial for me and my future. No matter what it is, no matter how little I think I am accomplishing, a little is better than none. And eventually that “little” will evolve into something much bigger. Even pennies add up to something!

Fear is no longer an option. I have to push forward. The universe is pushing me in that direction and I can no longer resist.

❤ Namaste

It Takes a Village

Happiest of Monday’s to y’all! It’s going to be a beautiful week, full of lots of things and I just needed a moment to reflect on this past weekend. So much happened.

 

Saturday I wrapped up my mentorship at Salty Dog Yoga & Surf. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to get feedback about my teaching from the seasoned yogi’s that I work with. Such a blessing to have their leadership and skills to help me learn. From now on I am a full fledged member of the staff and I’m so excited to continue to grow in this space. I am really enjoying getting to know the people who practice there as well. Bunch of awesome people. And I have to say, the flow I put together for them was by far the best one I’ve done to date.

Sunday morning I went to Island Beverage to lead a yoga class. Not a great turn out but that was probably due to the insanity of the half marathon taking place on the island yesterday. It was muggy! and I felt so bad for the folks running. When they signed up for it they probably thought it would be a cool run, temperature wise. Either way, it looked like there was a good turn out for that. Way to go half marathoners!

After I was done there I made my way home to grade 50 bibliographies. They were fairly terrible, and I’m sad to see that people have no idea how to evaluate the sources they use for research. However, once I was finished with those I made my way to the Yoga Village Festival! Such a nice turn out and the day cooled down a bit, and there was a nice breeze too. I got to meet so many people! Networking isn’t my strongest side, but I was in charge of Svasana assists at the “Relaxation Station” and because of that people really enjoyed hanging out with me. But who wouldn’t? You get a massage and to lay on the grass under some majestic pine trees! So perfect. I will say that touching so many people is exhausting. Having all of that energy pass through you and expending your own energy put me out by the end of the festival. To the point that making dinner was quite a task. It was so nice to see people come together to support this organization. It is such a beautiful part of the community and having so much positive energy in one space was inspiring. I can’t even begin to tell you how loving the space was.

As for the week ahead I’m going to a book club meeting today at noon and we’re reading the Untethered Soul. So awesome. I am really enjoying this book. I’ve never been much for books you find in the “self help” section of the book store, but honestly I haven’t been able to put it down. Learning how to not let things bother you. How to just let it go and when you feel like things are getting under your skin to just breathe and watch it go away. Something that I am really working on in my life. I let too many things get under my skin and drive me insane or make me mad, and it is unnecessary. I look forward to the discussion this afternoon.

This past weekend was also Fall break from my university job. So nice to, for the first time in 4 years, put my email on “Out of Office” and not deal with anything from Thursday to Sunday. I created a boundary. A real one and it was awesome! Everything was still there when I logged in today and I handled it all pretty swiftly. Back to the classroom tomorrow!

Well, I suppose the rest of my To Do list won’t do itself today, unless I actually get going. Welcome to my new followers! I’m thrilled to have you, and I hope to see some of your faces in a class soon!

Much love to all!

Namaste ❤

Solar Plexus Chakra

I’m focusing my classes this week on the Solar Plexus Chakra. Mine is out of whack. Being down on myself because of my weight and negative body image. Feeling exceptionally fluffy these days. I was at the gym yesterday and working out around mirrors I was in shock of how bad I looked. And it started that mind worm about my self worth and such. I had been thinking about the solar plexus this week and usually when I fixate on a chakra it is because that is not balanced in me. I started stressing about finances and how was I ever going to be able to afford all of the things I need when I’m moving in a month. I started getting anxious because I am trying to better my situation. I had an issue with work too. I realized they were paying me too much. So I spoke up. Now the rest of my checks will be docked until the money they have already paid me gets paid back. Such bullshit. I love how being honest can come back to haunt you. But once I realized it, and I thought it was just a minor fluke at first, they were so thrilled that I was honest. Makes me feel like they never would have noticed. But then I would have been living in fear of paying it back when they did figure it out. There’s the throat chakra. The speaking the truth. In addition to the Yama, Satya. Which is truthfulness and honesty.

I’ve been having a bit of a soul searching party lately. What do I want for the future. What do I need to do to grow and become a productive individual in my community and the world. So, I’ve decided since my funding is going to be rather limited the next while, I plan to study. Study for various things. The GRE. Yoga. Reading more and finding my way into something that I’m currently working on. Something that I haven’t figured out just yet. I have some exciting things to work toward and I know I can be successful in doing so. I just need to spend some time grounding myself and finding my self esteem again. Not doubting my ability. Not allowing the standard that society has created to justify who I am and what my life should look like.

I’m working on not worrying about expectations and just letting things happen as they happen. Most of the time it is not that hard. Sometimes shit is real hard. Like when it comes to my students. I expect them to do their work in a timely manner. I expect them to try hard to be successful. And this week all of those expectations have been shot straight to Hell. A simple assignment has turned into a shit storm of excuses and poor choices on their part. I’ve given them more than enough time to accomplish this assignment, and it was fairly simple. Actually, it was really fucking easy. But alas, I got so many emails last night about it. Waiting until the last minute. I just can’t even deal with them anymore. So, for part 2 of this assignment I won’t have expectations. I have provided them with more than enough guidance for this, and I plan to expect nothing. That’s the best I can do right now. Because they’re killing me. And I refuse to allow them to cause me grief. It’s their grade, not mine. I’ve done my job. Got my degree. And That’s all I can do.

In yoga I’m working on perfecting my Sun Salutation B. I am tired of Sun Salutation A to be honest. Everyone uses it, and I would rather be a little different. The movements were far more difficult than they should have been, because we did animals at the gym. Lots of bear crawling and shit like that. My shoulders are sore. Considering I hadn’t been in forever too. Makes it more difficult on the body to get back into the serious stuff. Planning on getting some good practice in tonight and tomorrow before teaching class at 3, and Saturday morning. I’m learning how to get off my mat more when teaching. One of my mentors suggested “Have you ever just thought of leaving it?” And I know it is that simple. I do. But sometimes I can’t bring myself to do it. I want to be the teacher who is always on the move. Changing the dynamic of the class. Finding more confidence in my teaching. I know it comes with time and it will come around eventually! I just have to give it time and not have expectations for myself. I need to have faith in my power. And balance this damn solar plexus!

Wish me luck! Have a great weekend y’all! I’ll be grading bibliographies and doing yoga while I house sit and host a book club!