A lot of you follow my Instagram so you know that for the last fifteen days I have been attempting an experiment of sorts. An experiment to see if I can change my outlook on some things. My body, the world, my thoughts, etc. Some days have been easy, and some days have been tough. Some days have been fun and some have been sadly insightful.
I decided to do this because...this is where I admit a deep, dark secret to you all... I tend to be a glass half empty kind of gal. AGH! I know, pathetic right? But I'm not here to argue how asinine it is to think this way, its just how I've always been. I have always felt like I've had to struggle just a bit too much for things that come easy to others. I learned perseverance at an early age, and while for a time I saw it as a good quality to learn, most days it can fuck right off. Perseverance is great, don't get me wrong, but no one needs to learn it over and over again. We get it, we can persevere! Hurrah! Some days I want to be the chick that doesn't have to. And I know, greener grass and all that.
I thought that maybe if I delved deep within myself I could start seeing things a little differently. If I examine where things went topsy-turvy, maybe I could flip it right side up. Maybe I could squash my anxiety a bit better. Love my body a bit better. Learn how to let annoyances bounce off me better. I am a person who feels deeply. Unfortunately, I just keep most of it inside.
I'm glad to get my blog back up and running. I took a break for a bit to focus on my writing classes, but last night I had an epiphany! Ding! Writing this blog and writing my other little stories on the side is fun. I sit down and the words just come out of me. But lately I have been putting SOOOO much pressure on the writing I do for the writing classes that I leave class feeling drained and defeated and like I have no earthly idea what I am doing. Not so fun. So I need to take the pressure off that a little bit. I think if I keep writing for fun than that will weave into my writing for class. I think my problem is I want this so much and I am terrified of failing. I think that is another problem. I see a lot of things in my life as failures (because I am my harshest critic), when really they were learning opportunities. I'm trying to remember that.
Below is Day 1-14 and afterward I will post today's, Day 16.
***I didn't do a day 15. I could sit here and act like some pseudo-intellectual arse and tell you I've read great works of fiction like War and Peace or Crime and Punishment, but I haven't. Reading is my escape. I read all sorts of books, mysteries, women's fiction, some classics here and there, and even some romance novels (gasp! Shut up, some are good--and no, I'm not talking about Fifty Shade of Grey). But I'm not going to read something I don't want to. I'm not in school anymore, so I don't have to, ha! Anywhoo, I spent most of yesterday watching the War and Peace miniseries that came out earlier this year. What the hell people. That story should come with a warning: You will leave this feeling despondent, annoyed, and wanting to rewind the last six hours of your life. By the time I finished that, I had to go to my writing class where I left feeling despondent and confused. So day 15 didn't happen. Because it would have been a tirade of anger and depressive words. Sorry!
Okay, now that that is over. Days 1-14 (for those who want to catch up)
Day 1: Well it is June! The month of my birth. I haven't blogged in awhile (sorry) due to the busy-ness of life, but mostly I've been concentrating on my writing classes and pursuing that writing passion. They have been fun and challenging, but more on that to come another day.
My birthday month got me thinking of growing older, hopefully wiser, and what all there is to look forward to. So I wanted to set up a little challenge or task for myself. Thirty days of intention. Thirty days to work on myself, to better myself. My health has been so-so, my mind a battlefield of ups and downs. Time to change that! The years aren't rewinding so I only have what lies ahead. I hope you enjoy the journey.
Day one's intention is going to stretch the entire thirty days and it is the focus on my physical health. You only get one body and I've been beating the hell out of mine. I'm not starting a new @whole30(even though I will admit I should), simply because my birthday falls in these 30 days and I think a glass of wine is in order. BUT, for thirty days I will be whole30-ish. And I'm telling you all of this because if I put it out in the universe I won't cheat . I've known since I did the #Whole30 that I can and should not eat wheat and dairy. But I'm a stubborn mule and let's face it, bread is fucking delicious. Sigh. Bye, bye bread! Time to take care of my body. I'm sick of feeling like crap. Only I can change it. Day one, people. Here we go.
Day Two: Purpose
Whew, this job. I don't think many people outside of healthcare recognize what exactly a nurse is or what she/he does. Let's check it out.
1. Yes, I only work 3 days a week (sometimes 4 if I'm feeling brave). 12 hr shifts 7a-7p. But really I leave my house at 6:20am and get home at 8pm. I'm on my feet the majority of the day. They are long days. My back hurts, my feet hurt, my brain hurts. And no this isn't a complaint, just facts.
2. I wish I could properly explain the stress of this job. As nurses we assess, we contemplate, we comfort, we advocate, we question, we serve. All while some days I'm scared out of my mind. We are constantly on our toes watching for minuscule changes, and when we miss them the sense of failure is suffocating. We scream internally at stupid, bastard cells that are multiplying faster than the poison we are pumping into them is working. We print out coloring pages and put on Disney movies for sweet babes all while knowing and hiding the fact that the road they are heading down will be excruciating. And often, none of this is enough. Those days are darker than ever.
3. Some days we are treated no better than servants. I hate those days. I'm not a waitress, I'm not someone you can berate. You're going through a horrific time with your child, let's talk it out and I'll try and not become cynical towards this noble profession.
4. Gosh these kids are cute. Funny. Resilient. Sarcastic. Scared. Brave. Bad-ass. Bald. I wish I had just half of their strength.
5. I honestly don't know if my purpose in life is nursing. Can a person have more than one purpose? The fact of the matter is nursing is hard. And many days I let the hardness get me down. It wins. It turns me bitter. Some days I hate my job. Some days I love it. I'd like to think that I can have many purposes in life (shit, this is my challenge, why not?). They could even change daily. Today, I'm a nurse. Tomorrow, I'm a writer. Maybe it doesn't matter? Maybe the goal is to just be a good person and to try and find a little happiness. Here's to that.
Day Three: The Art of Listening
I will be the first to admit I am not always the best listener. I get so mad (and embarrassed) with myself that I can't remember small details about a friend's life or what another friend's favorite band is. I know I need to pay more attention.
This is an aspect of myself that I would love to work on and change. I feel like I am listening, so why can't I remember details? I hate to admit it, but I feel that means I am not truly engaged in my conversation. I'm not truly there. And that in itself is such a tragedy. There is so much to learn from other people! Our friends, family, coworkers, strangers. How much wisdom I could learn by paying more attention.
So that is my goal. To listen intently. To grow and learn from those around me. I implore all of you to listen up also.. The world is a noisy, magical place. "Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." --Karl A. Menniger
Day Four: Finding joy in small places
Music. I don't care what kind of music you like, Joy is present in all kinds. Tonight I went to the Miranda Lambert and Kenny Chesney concert and it was pretty great.
Miranda Lambert was beyond fantastic. I forgot how many of her songs I have come to love. But what was so surprising to me was how listening to her songs brought me to so many different places. She has a song about going home and I cried. Like actual tears. Granted I am a hormonal chick this week (if you know what I mean), but dang. Music is such an integral part of our lives. There is a song for every feeling we are experiencing at any given moment. And tonight Miranda reminded me that going home just might fix that brokenness inside me I might be feeling.
Home is comfort, home is love, home is Jimmy, home is my mama, daddio, Kasey, Eric, and Caleb. Home is my friends.
Listen to music, my friends. Dance. Laugh. Cry. Find your home.
Day Five: Loneliness (good or bad?)
Today I found myself somewhat unexpectedly alone. I won't lie, I've always been a person who is okay being alone. It must be the introvert in me. But today, as I putt-putted around the house, cleaning up and putting laundry away, the quietness was a bit too much. So I went to Starbucks to work on my writing class assignment for the week and then went to the new AtHome store that opened near us. Everything still seemed very quiet, very... Lonely.
Sometimes I definitely struggle with the feeling of being alone versus being surrounded. I think it is important to know how to be alone with yourself. To be happy with just you. To do things just you want to do. But human and friend interaction is important also.
So today, when the loneliness was real, I was beyond happy to remember I was having dinner with one of my best friends. Cassie thanks for spending time with me tonight and putting a smile on my face! I love you beyond words!
Face your loneliness, my friends. But always, definitely keep your girls night out.
Day Six: Create Something for Yourself
As many of you know, I've been taking writing classes at @smudallas and have been loving it! But as the classes go on, the content gets more intense and it has led me to now where we are writing big chunks of our novel. My goal is by years end to have a completed rough draft of my book. Because of this and because I love it, I needed a space of my own to write. I've been going to Starbucks and other coffee shops, but that can be a pain. I don't always want to leave the house if I don't have to.
So! That brings me to today. On Saturday, Jimmy and I did some serious decluttering in the other two rooms of our house. One room we cleaned out so it could be a hers and his study. The best part? My half of the room I got to go crazy and do whatever I wanted. My amazing friend Christine spent most of her day off helping me transform my space into something bright and creative that instantly brought a smile to my face when it was complete. Oh and if you couldn't tell, I love pigs. And elephants.
Christine, seriously. THANK YOU!! For lunch, the painting beers, the laughs, and all the help!
It was a great day of getting our hands dirty and creating something fantastic out of nothing.
Day Seven: Contentment
Well, it's my birthday! The big 2-8. And here's an adorable picture of a happy baby giraffe. You're welcome. Today was a great day. I started it off with a massage, spent some time at the pool with some great friends and then ended it with a Rangers baseball game.
All-in-all I am very happy. I'm missing Jimmy and my family, especially on my birthday, but I had some excellent friends to help fill the void. So thank you!
Also, thank you, thank you to EVERYONE who wished me a Happy Birthday today. Each and every one out a smile on my face and it blows me away that so many of you would go out of your way to wish me well today. I love you all!! I'm really tired, so nothing too deep tonight. Thanks for a wonderful birthday everyone!!
Day Eight: Insecurities Be Damned!
I always leave my writing classes feeling somewhat insecure and completely unsure of myself. Can I do this? Am I good enough? What if I put all this work into this project and it sucks ass? I wish the teacher would just write, YES! Keep going, or NO, this is terrible. Lots of thinkings on the drive home. But I have to keep going and plugging away and just hope that it's not all for nothing. If anything I am enjoying it, but I hate those lingering doubts. Where did they come from? And what is the fine line between people who are all "YEAH! I'm a badass, I can do anything, nothing gets me down!!" And the others (more like me) who say "Gollee gee! I sure hope this is good enough! If it's not I'll put on a brave face and cry later." I'd like to be somewhere in between. It's something I'm working on.
Today and the next couple of days at work I am resourcing a new grad before she comes off orientation (Kristina, you're doing great!) and it is funny how you don't realize how much you know until you teach. It's funny and kind of ridiculous that I had a "holy shit! I actually know what I'm talking about!"
There are reminders everywhere that we are rocking at life. There are days that are going to try and tear us down, suck the life right out of us. But we got it people, we got it! Plus a couple of people told me my skin looked really nice today, so boom! If nothing else good happened today, a compliment always brings the happy dance.
So look for the good in the small. Try and shake off your insecurities with one positive thing in your day. I sure am a trying!
Day Nine: Knowing when to call it a day
Done. Done. Done. So tired and full of thoughts I can't even get them out correctly. So I won't try. Tired. Sad. Annoyed. Confused. Surprised. Scared. Loved. Hated. Respected. Laughed at. The list goes on and on. Today was weird. Not all bad, but just weird. Going from contentment and fighting insecurities to wanting to throw in the towel and safe hey life! Enough is enough... Bugger off.
I'm annoyed with myself that I played my typical Kelly game. Felt bad about myself so ate bad food and skipped off on my own. Not healthy emotionally or physically. I guess at least I recognized my bad habits, ha.
So, instead of dwelling more on this odd day and getting myself upset, I'm going to call it a day. Don't give negative energy any more power than it has already taken. Take care of your happiness and protect your heart.
Day Ten: Finding Your Home
So missed yesterday, oops! Jimmy got home from his very long week of business in NYC, we went to dinner and then I crashed after a busy week of my own. But before I went to sleep I thought about what home means to me. I found that it means multiple different things. It's the actual physical building we live in. A house that we bought 3 years ago that sometimes frustrates the hell out of me when it's messy or the closets aren't big enough or I'm sweating my butt off in the kitchen when cooking because there isn't great airflow. But I love it's age, it's character, it's safety. It's my release of held breath at the end of the day, the place I can be truly me.
Home is Jimmy and our love. Our goofiness, dumb fights, difficult times, respect for one another. Him and Gus are my home.
Home is my family. Mom, dad, Caleb, Kasey, Eric, Dale (and Chelsea and Devon), and my favorites Lincoln and Addi (hahah sorry suckers). We may all be miles a part but our love runs deep. We may be the most vocal, cat fight family you'll find, but the next minute we are clinking our beer glasses together and laughing again. I love my family fiercely. Watch out.
Home is my friends. My childhood best friends, my Baylor gals, my work chicks. Laughter, tears, reliance, love. You guys are my rock.
Home is what you make it. It's your safety net. I'm so blessed with all of my homes.
Day Eleven: Ignoring the demands of the day and doing instead what you want
Today I slept in without guilt (only until 0830 ), worked on my writing scene due this week, and then read a book for a couple of hours. I had laundry to do, could have worked out, gotten groceries, solved world hunger, gave myself a facial, shaved my legs (don't judge), etc. Our lists are filled with endless amounts of tasks, to-dos, and bullshit each day. Today I said screw it and did one of my favorite things in the world instead. I curled up in a blanket and read a book. Boom! Suck it list!
I think taking time and doing the things you love instead of the things you have to do helps you stay sane. We currently live in an insane world people! Do what you want every now and then. Stick it to the man!
Day Twelve: Less Hatred, More Love
Sorry if my picture offends anyone. Actually I'm not, because it's 100% true. These past two days have been horrendous. A young musician doing what she loves, shot dead. 50 innocent people having fun, letting loose, loving life: dead. Because of some homophobic asshole who wants to prove something to a piece of shit radical 6,000 miles away.
I won't lie to you all, I don't know what the right answer is to gun control. I do believe that responsible adults have the right to own a gun. To protect themselves. But the fact that people can so easily buy and obtain assault rifles, weapons that can kill in minutes is appalling. This man was watched by the FBI years ago for saying supportive things about Al Qaeda and ISIS. Yet he was allowed to work as a security guard in a detention center and legally purchase a gun. Seriously??? I get it. People will always kill. People will always be evil. But we are making it too easy. It's too easy for a deranged man to kill first graders. It's too easy for a depressed college student to kill his peers. It's too easy for a homophobic radical to kill people in a club. There's got to be some change, people. I don't know what it is. But there's got to be something. And no it's not ignorant, racist comments. It's not turning a blind eye.
Until we figure out what it is, try and love a little harder. I know I will.
Day Thirteen: Love Yo'self
Due to PCOS and an intense love affair with pizza, I've struggled with my weight and body image since I was diagnosed at 17. If I was in a relationship with a human that was anything like the relationship I have with myself, it would have been over long ago. I would have keyed his car, thrown his clothes on the lawn for saying such hateful things to me. Pretty sad huh?
Oscar Wilde knows what's up. This quote took me by surprise and made me realize how awful I am to myself. I've stood in front of the mirror belittling my body and I've spent almost a decade ignoring and then obsessing over mirrors.
I'm not going to lie, it's hard not having a "normal" body. And yes, I know in the grand scheme of things I could have it a lot worse. But let's real talk here. I am just about over constant weight gain, hair in unwanted places, mood swings, hot flashes at 28, the ever-looming knowledge that it's going to take a hell of a lotta work to get me pregnant. I can't have cheat meals (even though I do) because they wreak havoc on my system. My nose runs, I sneeze, and I clog right up whenever I eat dairy. I hardly ever sleep more than 5 hours a night. I have hella bad anxiety.
So ya. Sometimes I want to say F it and give up. Give up trying so hard. Give up caring. But then I think what a waste to give up on this one body I was given. I get SO mad at myself that I have zero willpower sometimes.
Unfortunately at 28, I think I am just now working on this romance with myself. I'm trying to see some of the good in myself instead of only bad. I have long mermaid hair.. That's good ya? And I like my green eyes. So there's a start. I'm probably never going to love my thighs, but baby steps.
I hope you all can find the beauty in you. Here's to a long romance with ourselves.
Day Fourteen: Experiment... Even when it doesn't go well.
I've always liked to cook and bake. My mama is an excellent cook and I remember always watching her cook growing up and trying to pick up tips here and there. I'm still amazed how she somehow manages to have every dish finish at the same time and ready to serve at Thanksgiving. I wish I had more time to cook and experiment in the kitchen. Sometimes on my days off I spend hours in there trying new recipes. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.
Like today when I attempted to make homemade gumbo. I LOVE Cajun food, but I've always been wary of gumbo because, well because I'm a pale Canadian girl that doesn't know the first thing about cooking Cajun food. So I found an "easy" chicken and sausage gumbo recipe. You guys it smelled SO good when it was simmering this afternoon. I was giddy ladling it into my bowl over my piping hot rice. Then I tasted it and holy mother, sweet 8 pound, 6oz baby Jesus, someone save me, hot damn was it SPICY. Like tongue on fire, Dumb and Dumber ketchup and mustard spicy. Chug milk spicy, but I'm trying to be nice to my insides so all I have is almond milk in the house and ew. No one chugs unsweetened almond milk. I thought maybe I was being a baby, because I kind of have a weenie tongue so I let Jimmy try it and all I hear from the kitchen is "Woooo weee, holy shit Kell!" And he loves spicy stuff. Bummer because the flavor was pretty good.
So, nothing mind blowing or earth shattering to offer you all tonight. Except that I'll leave Cajun food to New Orleans and visit often. And my tongue hurts. And this cat picture has nothing to do with anything, just liked the snap filter.
Good luck to all my chefs out there! I'm not giving up and neither should you! Everyone get to experimenting right meow!!