Sometimes, like tonight, I listen to music from my ‘old days’ and I just want to scream. I miss that life for so many different reasons, and in moments like those I don’t even recognize the one I have or how the hell I got from that one to this one.
I have avoided that music, many of the things I used to do and, in many ways, parts of my old personality, without even realizing it along the way. I tell myself I’ve grown, I’ve changed, I’m ‘forging a new way’… but the cold stark reality, in many cases, is that it’s much easier to avoid certain things than to realize I just hide from them because it hurts.. The Hubs was my link and common ground to so many things, I mean we built so many aspects of our personalities and preferences and habits and lifestyle together. To continue on without him feels to weird, so in so many ways I’ve changed myself completely. I’ve stopped listening to certain music, I’ve stopped dressing certain ways, I’ve stopped doing certain activities, I’ve stopped living certain ways. Of course some of that is inevitable; I’m a different person now that I’ve experienced his loss and I’ve grown in many ways after becoming a mother. The two events of losing The Hubs and becoming a mother happened so close together that it is hard to know what influenced what.
But regardless, sometimes I just look at myself and think…how boring. I shrink down to believing I’ve become a boring shadow of my old self, someone who can be too quiet, too predictable, too apathetic, too stuck in her own routine and too caught up in what she ‘should’ do than what she wants to do. I worry that our son will grow up lacking the sense of humor and life he would have had if his father was here, if we had continued on the way we were. I worry he will not be the same person he would have been had he had The Hubs’ influence and my old sense of life in his life.
I know I working on this. I know I am light-years better than I was a year ago, two years ago. I know I am living more boldly than I have in a while. I know that I have a great life and I have so much to be thankful for and I am likely making a much bigger deal out of this than I need to.
But I still want more of that old girl. I want to find a way to integrate the crazy fun girl with the responsible graceful widowed mother, on a daily basis. I need to, because I need to be true to myself. I need to stop running from that old life, that old girl who loved that old boy and had that old life. That old girl who could rock with the best of them and was quick with a smartass comeback or inappropriate joke. Because you can have two sides of yourself and they can merge as one. Because you can bring the past into the future. And because I can’t hide from hardcore music forever. I just have to listen to it alone for now.
My dear friend A surprised me today. She was going through some old boxes when she found some pictures from our high school days. Among those were several of The Hubs. She was so kind to bring them to me and give me a glimpse of the good ‘ole days…
Of all them, this one is my favorite. This was early in our senior year of high school, when we were both 17 years old. We were in the back seat of A’s car, likely going to lunch or to the park we often went to in the afternoons. From the odd angle, it looks like I was sitting on his lap, or in the middle between friends but leaning on The Hubs. Although I don’t remember this exact day, I remember the feeling. This was right around the time we first started to realize we had feelings for each other more than just friendship…what sweet and exciting days those were, to wonder if your best friend might be your true love.
At the time of this picture, we didn’t know we would end up dating briefly and then break up over something stupid. We didn’t know that after he joined the service after graduation, we would eventually realize we were really in love. We didn’t know that the first time we saw each other again, we would immediately know we were meant to be together forever. We didn’t know we would be engaged within two months of seeing each other again, and married one month after that. We didn’t know we would move across the sea to a foreign land together. We didn’t know we would have so many adventures and have so much fun. We didn’t know we would become pregnant with a child, a son. We didn’t know we would build a gorgeous home and feel so content. We didn’t know we would be so, so happy together….until death do us part. And we didn’t know how quickly that parting would come.
Those innocent (okay, maybe not completely, haha) young teenagers only knew each other. They only knew how much fun they had together, and how they brought out the best in each other. They only knew they’d found a best friend for life. They only knew they felt a spark that could ignite a great flame. They only knew a great life was ahead of them…
For so long I thought I’d never feel that zest for life again. That feeling of potential greatness, that exhilaration of knowing something wonderful was ahead of you. But lately, that happy young girl has been standing back up (this time with stronger feet and a wiser mind). That young zeal is returning. That desire for life and potential and future and adventure and love. That happiness. And to see this picture today brought the hugest smile to my face. It was perfectly timed, almost as if a nudge from The Hubs to remember that girl. A nod that he was proud that I’ve been embracing her boldness and vitality again. And a sign that he will always be with me, no matter how far forward I get down this new path.
I will treasure this picture, and those memories, forever. (Thank you A!) <3
In my last post, I took some time to reflect on the last year and all of the blessings, challenges, joys, and lessons it held. While it’s important to look back from time to time, it’s so much more important to look forward. So today, I want to look ahead.
I’ve never been really big on making New Year’s Resolutions. I’m driven and focused by nature, so I regularly have some sort of goal to strive toward anyway. And I understand my weaknesses enough to know that I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself about expectations.
But I absolutely love the idea of a ‘new start’, that ‘first page of a new chapter’ that a new year brings, and I like to harness that energy toward something positive.
So when I read about OneWord365 on SheLoves, it was like a lightbulb moment: the perfect way to give myself a focus for the year without all of the ‘shoulds‘.
What is One Word? Simple. Choose one word as a focus for 2013: one word that sums up who you want to be, or a character trait you want to develop, or an attribute you want to intentionally add to your life. Use this word to live intentionally. Place reminders around your home, be mindful of it, and soon you will see it shape your decisions and challenge you, inspire you, and change you.
My word for 2013: BOLD. This year, I strive to let boldness permeate every aspect of my life. And I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
What will your One Word be? (Share in the comments, I’d love to cheer you on!) Maybe your word came to mind instinctively. Maybe you need to think about it a while. Either way, it will come to you. And when it does, grab hold.
Here’s to 2013. Make it awesome! <3
In less than an hour, we’ll say goodbye to 2012 and welcome in a new year. Are you as baffled as I am that it could be possibly be 2013? I really don’t know where the last year has gone. It seems like each month has passed by faster than the last lately and now here we are, closing one chapter for another. In some ways, I’m a little sad. I never want to feel like I’ve let time pass without being certain I’ve squeezed every bit out of it as possible. But on the other hand, I’m eager to welcome a blank page. A fresh slate, a new book with 365 clear pages ready to be filled.
In an effort to recall, reflect, and record the past year, I’m following tradition with my annual Year in Review post. A lot of blogs do this regarding their blog pursuits but, as with everything else on this blog, I prefer a much more personal approach. The guideline questions I used last year were spot on, so I’m using them again. (Visit Get Busy Living and download the worksheet to write your own year in review.) I encourage you to reflect on your last year as you ready yourself to move forward.
Here’s to 2013. It’s going to be awesome :D
2012 in Review
10 (11 because they are all great!) great things that happened in the past year (in order):
- Began Invisalign treatment.
- Took control of my fears and went skydiving with an amazing group of ladies in Key West!
- Took a fun trip to Savannah with one of my best friends.
- Began my MBA degree.
- Gave back to the widowed community by photographing Camp Widow East in South Carolina.
- Achieved a successful Memorial event for incredibly deserving families in Fort Walton Beach.
- Traveled back to South Dakota to reflect and honor The Hubs.
- Photographed my lovely friend’s wedding in Maryland.
- Little Man started Montessori school!
- Took an epic road trip from FL to TN to NC to VA to DC and back to FL with my Mom and Little Man.
- Trained for and ran my first 10k at the Marine Corps Marathon events in Washington DC.
I am most proud of these three accomplishments from last year:
- Began my MBA degree and maintained a 4.0.
- Overcame a huge fear and went skydiving, which became a very meaningful catalyst to overcoming other fears.
- Stepped outside of my comfort zone, several times in several ways!
Three great lessons I’ve learned from last year are:
- ALWAYS trust your intuition!!!
- Know your limits.
- Don’t hesitate on opportunities that feel right.
Three personal developments I have made in the past year are:
- Became much more comfortable in my own skin and confident in my worth.
- Began listening to my own heart rather than succumbing to the influence (perceived or real) of others.
- Grown much deeper in my faith.
If I could do things again last year, I would do these three things differently:
- Not hold back in telling people how I feel.
- Further explore some of my personal interests.
- Not allow ‘life’ to interfere with achieving my goals.
Three things I need to do less of in the next year are:
- Second-guess myself and/or hold back.
- Think about what others are thinking. The degree of this is the key, I will always be a conscientious person.
Three things I need to do more of in the next year are:
- Give. (But know WHO to give to…)
- Take care of myself.
- Enjoy the moment!
Three things I need to stop completely doing in the next year are:
- Procrastinating! Did I already mention this?!
- Giving up easily.
- Putting my worth in the wrong places.
*[For review for this next one, my goals from last year's post were: 1) Finally discover what I was put on this Earth to do, what I am meant for, what my gifts are and where I am supposed to use them. 2) Develop a deeper sense of self, learn to love who that person is, and allow her to do and be what she desires, without fear of judgement or making mistakes. 3)Take risks. Go higher and farther. Push past boundaries. Put myself out there.]
Three reasons I didn’t achieve my goals from this past year are:
To preface this I must say, these goals were too broad and set me up for failure; my MBA has taught me all about SMART goals ;) But seriously, I think I did achieve my goals for the most part. Here are the three I didn’t and why:
- I didn’t discover what I am ‘meant to do’ or figure out my ‘plan’. I did discover my gifts of writing, being a visionary, and leading and encouraging others. This goal didn’t work because I put undue pressure on myself (as usual). All will be revealed in time.
- I didn’t completely learn to live without fear of judgement or mistakes. I did, however, finally learn to love myself and have confidence in my worth, abilities, and desires. Some things are just too deeply ingrained to overcome in a year, but I will press on.
- I didn’t take every risk I could have, I didn’t push as high as I could have, I let some opportunities pass me by and allowed some boundaries to hold me back. But, I took more risks than I have in a very long time. I reached high and far, I stepped out of my comfort zone, and I got out there. This is one goal I actually HOPE I never achieve. I *always* want to reach higher and farther and deeper.
Three goals I want to achieve this next year are:
- Find the church where I feel at home with those who are like-minded and encouraging.
- Travel to at least 3 new destinations and discover something meaningful there.
- Become even stronger, physically and mentally.
Three reasons why I want to achieve these goals are:
- While my faith has grown, I’ve realized the importance of fellowship. However, it is SO crucial to me that it be the right kind or I won’t go.
- I want to see the world, to constantly reach out of my own little box and experience, give, grow.
- I owe it to myself, and my little guy.
Smartest decision I made last year:
Giving it up to God.
Biggest risk I took last year:
Putting my heart out there again.
One sentence that sums up this past year:
This has been a year of taking chances, making mistakes, experiencing growth, learning SO much, and desiring MORE.
One year from right now, I want to my ideal day to look like this:
Simple. Surrounded by people who I love and who love me in return, smiling and laughing and truly enjoying every moment, feeling completely content and at peace. Finally.
I’ll be back tomorrow with my annual Year in Review post, but just had to drop in to share our final winner from the Holiday Giveaway Quartet! Steph Trujillo, you are the winner of a sure-to-be-gorgeous customized pendant necklace from Karen Hazarian Jewelry! Expect an email within the next 24 hours. :)
Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in this giveaway series, it’s been lovely! And a HUGE thank you to our lovely sponsors [Liese Chavez, Inspirations Jewelry, Signal Mountain Artists, and Karen Hazarian Jewelry] for their generous donations of such great prizes. I hope you have all enjoyed it has much as I have and I look forward to next year’s giveaway series.
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