summer 17

It has been a while since I've taken the time to write about anything at all. Lately, I do so much of it on paper, keeping it to myself in the old fashioned way. The trouble with blogging, is I have adopted a bit of an attitude of "who cares anyway?" because really, I know there are more important things going on in this world than how I spent my summer. Still, this digital journal was something I started for myself years ago, back when people didn't really do much blogging. I'm just here to feel good about what there is to feel good about. You (possible reader) don't have to care, though it would be weird of you to be here reading this if you didn't. I think this is where the internet and social media have been crumbling the expression of happiness. It's all our own, and no one else's. That's why people tend to speak out against it. Whatever. This world is messed. This is my life stuff... you don't have to like it at all.

This summer has been incredibly life altering. After 6 years of looking for a place to stop, we finally did. It's sort of disorienting but in the best way. For a long while, I didn't know if I'd ever find a home here, in Edmonton. 6 years is a long time of packing up and moving, and starting over every other year. You lose sight of yourself in the mix of so much shifting. It's like living your very own Groundhog Day, trying to start over with the next place, and live. It breaks you. It makes you lose sight of so much, and yet it brings a lot into your view when it comes to appreciating what's there over what isn't. Still, it's tough. I eventually thought maybe it was a sign I wasn't wanted in this world at all. That might sound incredibly dark or morbid, but I have the tendency to feel that way about life at times. Once I finally found a place that welcomed me, and allowed me to trust and balance and BE.. it changed. It was like landing in the middle of a magical world that finally stands still. Yet, it has always been there. And, so have I. I belong here.

In all honesty, I spent so much of my summer mending a broken heart. Love is a really tough thing for me to release; when I hang onto so many things so deeply, tightly, and gratefully as I do for those I hold in my arms. I was very much in love. Deep, hard, heavy; but the sad reality was that the world had other plans. Life and timing most certainly got in the way. With so much instability swirling around both of our separate worlds, it was just so difficult to provide much at all with focus. It's incredibly sad when you finally stop spinning, and it has all ended in front of you. Like a magnificent blur. A sort of dream. It was a love that took me 36 years to find, and it has felt like an incredible sacrifice to have lost it as I have gained so much of what I need from my surroundings. They suck me in. I do love it, but damn, it's an empty feeling to find the world you were looking for, with an evident missing piece from your side. At least memory is a wonderful gift. I smile warmly at what was, and also more certainly at what is. Despite the emptiness that comes with such heartache, I know I'm in a much better place with myself.

I have also faced a lot of my own personal shadows. From my struggles with anxiety, depression, insecurity, and self worth; it has really become so clear where I needed to clean up some clutter. I'd carried a lot with me through the years, simply because I didn't have time to stop and think about it. In other cases, I was actually running from it too. You can't run from what you need to face. And so, I've come to accept these as pieces of my life that will remain as a chapter in my life story. It doesn't own or define me, it's just what was. Accepting self, life, family, circumstance.. it's like learning to take yourself in for all that you are. Resent, remorse, regret; they don't exist. With these open fields, and endless skies, I speak freely, I breathe deeply, and feel myself return. It's weird what your surroundings can do to your mind. It's just like suddenly the world presented itself to me and said,  "hey... we can really ease the load and just BE. You're the best at being you. So be it. You are worthy of love, WITH all of your imperfections. Just take care of you, and the rest will follow." 
If you say so, world.

I'm proud of all of the hard work that I've done... including the -real- actual work. It's my third year running a business, and while I'm probably the busiest I've been in my experience as an entrepreneur, I'm actually working less, and in more control. I don't put work at the top of my list of priorities, because health/mental health, well being, quality of life, family, loved ones, come way above the work itself in terms of value and importance. While I'm grateful to do what I love, and be supported for it; work, emails, messages, social media, followers, stats; it isn't my every waking moment. I have to take time, in order to gain strength to keep myself going. I'm the engine of my business.. and that engine needs to be taken care of in order to keep running. I rarely do late nights unless the creativity strikes. I see my strengths at the right times, and for that, I'm able to provide the best service I can. It all has its own payback, because I'm happiest when I can provide the quality I wish to represent. The money itself is not even nearly as important as the value of life and my purpose. I feel my health situation really put this into perspective to keep that in mind. Work will never take me away from what matters in this world. Life, you are number one. 

I no longer put the pressure on myself to do so much at once. I make a habit to reach out and tell someone when I'm in need of help, or  in need of someone to talk to. Needing isn't needy. By habit, I tend to do so much on my own so willingly, because I like to learn by getting my hands on things. I live to learn, but sometimes that can keep so much at a distance from entering my life. Letting it in by reaching out is an incredible lesson in also understanding my own self worth. Just because I can get annoyed at my own incessant need to understand it all, doesn't mean it's an inconvenience to others if I have questions. "Just because you can do it alone, doesn't mean you have to." I feel my health has taught me to exercise this message. I'm learning about how to stop trying to be my all. I'm glad I enjoy my own company and how curious I am to expand and understand things, but it really does shut out a lot of what wants to come in. I open my arms far more willingly these days than I have in most of my lifetime. I have to remind myself that this isn't a weakness. Help is aways there. You just have to ask.

In regards to my health, the waiting game to get tests done has not been easy on my mind. I'm stressed. I'm afraid. I'm nervous. I'm anxious to get my body back. It's not the same. While I'm often physically exhausted from it, I'm also looking at this as a chance to practice proper health, diet, exercise, nourishment, and most importantly hydration. You don't want kidney stones! Not that I have them (I might) but the thought makes me cringe. My kidneys are probably my greater concern in all of this, as I've had some problems with them in the past. Either way, drink more water and less coffee. Reviewing my diet has really pushed my view into the efforts involved with self care. It's not an easy thing for most people. Including myself. I remember, there were times in my career where I was treating my body similarly to how a college kids ploughs through a semester. Late nights, lunch? dinner? convenient snacks, whatever amount of caffeine to fuel the fire. Awful. I remember I would sometimes go over half of my day without eating or drinking anything at all(!) This is how some business runners actually roll, just to keep up with the demands. It doesn't pay off. Health is hands down what you want to keep track of. Holy crap, it's scary what people do to keep up with work. Nope. Not me.

My balcony became my sanctuary. It's where I go to take mind breaks, breathe, people watch, enjoy some sun, shut out the technological world, and just enjoy the day. I planted some vegetables and herbs, to treat myself like my own special chef on sunny nights for barbecuing and creating hearty dishes to fill the soul. It has helped me get through a lot of the tough stuff, and it gives me so much to look forward to. These are the things that matter to me so much, and I love that I'm able to provide in a way that treats me so kindly. It's like night and day, how I feel about life in general. I realize that what you surround yourself with really is what you become. I feel grounded, healthy, strong, and just really happy with watching things grow. This is when I realized how much I love life itself. I grew it myself, and now I'm gobbling it up. Did I mention peas? *squee*

In all of this, I'm just glad to know that I always see the blue skies behind each grey cloud. Sometimes my optimism really delights me, while other times I feel it can blur my focus from the problem that needs to be faced. Still, despite the struggles I'm currently sifting through, I know I've experienced worse days that these ones. I acknowledge the struggles, and on occasion I appreciate the pain. It makes me remember that great strength comes from these moments, and I'm learning every day to shine on no matter what. In all that I've lost, I know I have gained. Loss is never an easy process, and so, I just allow the grief and acceptance as they come. Some days I'm fine, other days I cry just out of the blue in the process of a thought or a memory. I'm grateful for it all, as weird as that may sound. All of what I was, all I've been, all I've seen and done, has brought me to who I am now. Life is such a marvellous mess of inconsistent weather forecasts. PS. Watching thunderstorms from the balcony is amazing.

Overall, the biggest struggle is sometimes in my energy. From the emotions of releasing what is no longer, keeping up with the world and life itself, to embracing what is here and to come; it can really overwhelm me on the days when I'd like to know the answers. I have no idea where we are going from here, but it's nice to say we'll figure it out from the place we now call home. No more running, at least, not from ourselves. It's so good to be home. Without it, I don't know where I'd be.

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