Four Days

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In four days, it would have been our one year anniversary. June 24, 2013 would have marked one year since we decided to be together… one year since the happiest day of my life. It seems so far away now. It is hard to think of everything that was and all that could have been… or, I guess, may not have been had things kept going the way they were.

I know that there were things that bothered us about each other. I know I had lost myself several months before our end. I know that I had hoped and expected things that you weren’t able to give during the past year. I wish I could say that I didn’t see it coming. But, that would be a lie. I denied what my heart saw… what your heart saw.

I am flying to California on what would have been our one year anniversary. I’m not sure what that day will bring. All I know is that right now, I feel very, very sad. I want to feel bitter, but I just don’t. Tonight, I’m just trying to keep my head up.

The feelings of longing strike me the hardest at night time. I try to spend a lot of my time outside, busy. I don’t like coming home anymore because I know that I will have to fight through sadness, through missing you, through a million scenarios of what it will look like when we reunite. My mind is exhausted. My heart, while healing, still aches. I wonder what you’re doing, whether or not you’re having a good day, whether you see corgis everywhere because I sure as hell see a lot more bassett hounds. I wonder if you see blue Beetles everywhere… because, of course, every silver PT Cruiser I see makes me check to see if it’s you.

The pain isn’t crushing anymore… it’s just, sort of a throb now. The worst part is missing you so badly. Even though I rearranged my house, it doesn’t feel like mine at all. No matter how much I sage, your energy is still here. I’m in this limbo because I don’t want you entirely out. But I do feel like I will have to move once my lease is up, assuming I have the means to do so. So many wonderful things happened here including the beginning of our relationship and yet, heart wrenching things happened here… like the end of our relationship. Or at least, Act 1. 

I refer to this solitude as our Intermission. It helps me remember that there is still another Act to go. A second chance of sorts. A new beginning. I wish we could have made it to a year together. I was looking forward to that a lot. Unfortunately, we were just two weeks shy. Perhaps it won’t be so bad next year. Well, it won’t be… because… well, it just won’t be.

When I Miss You…

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I write. That is what helps me step back from tears. I had a good day today. I didn’t cry once. I had fun without feeling guilty. I heard a song that you once told me reminded you of me and I was able to sing along. I felt no need to change the station. I am healing. I am remembering things about myself that had been lost in the past few months. I am learning to be unapologetic about who I am.

Today, I hooped. A wonderful couple I met today asked if they could take a video. I had no idea how natural I looked in a hoop. I literally didn’t know what to say. Who was that person looking so beautiful with that giant smile on her face? That was me. That was Rachael. There was no embarrassment. There was no shame. There was no self-deprication. There was confidence. There was fire. There was that light shining brightly that used to be so dim.

When I miss you, I journal no matter where I am. When I miss you, I think of when we will meet again and how you will not recognize me. Or perhaps you will. As the person you fell in love with. Not as the person you left. I don’t know her. I don’t know the girl who was with you during the last six months of our relationship. What I do know is she isn’t there anymore.

I am alive. I am beautiful. I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I love to dance. I love to laugh and to make people laugh. I love to paint. I love to run. I love the smell of rain on cement. I love coming home to my home, my sanctuary. I love being around people who don’t take life too seriously. I love not caring about whether or not I’m “punk rock” enough. I love admitting that I don’t even really like punk rock. I love my eyes. I love my smile. I love my tattoos. I love my soft skin. I love my hair color. I adore my smile. I love that you loved me enough to allow me to discover myself again. I love that you love yourself enough to do the same.

Months will pass before we see each other again. But not years. We will come together again. We will be alive. We will shine brighter than ever before. We will be The Special Two.

Rebirth

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Last night, I experienced pain that I had never felt before. Not of the physical kind, but of the broken heart kind. The love of my life and I broke up less than a week ago and, while I understand his reasons and understand that this is not the end, the pain that I endured last night was nearly unbearable. The only reason I say “nearly” is because I woke up.

I’m pretty sure that the entire Capitol Hill neighborhood heard my screaming. From an alley. With my friend trying to console me. I had gone to the bar with the intention of having a beer and leaving… only to wind up with three (or four) vodka drinks in me on a somewhat empty stomach. I remember now why I don’t like to drink when my I am in turmoil. My friend saw me at probably the worst I have ever been.

This heartbreak… it is different from all the others. It is different because I know in the deepest depths of my soul that my love and I are supposed to be together. While some may doubt me and say “you’ll get over it” or “you’ll find someone better”, that’s just not true. This love… it’s the kind you see in movies. It’s the kind that keeps people up at night. It’s the kind that people write about in books and dream about, wondering if they’ll ever find such a love. It’s the grow-old-together kind of love.

It hasn’t even been a week since my love and I ended our… well, before the intermission. I understand that the first week is always the hardest. It is always a test of endurance and strength. I cannot sit here and say that I will be ok when it is all over and truly believe myself. The week isn’t over yet. All I know is that what happened last night… that has never happened with any other break-up. While the vodka may have had some part in it, the screaming, the pain that released itself from my body, the pain that I felt as that pain left… the vulnerability… all of that was new.

Being vulnerable and being forced to recognize that even the strong must fall sometimes was hard. I have always been strong for other people and felt that I did not deserve other people to be strong for me. I have adhered to the idea that when you are strong, you are strong alone. Even the notion of “needing” other people to help you through it was a sign of weakness. It isn’t. It wasn’t. It won’t ever be.

I am not going to sit here and try to come up with reason after reason for what happened last night. I am not going to pretend that it won’t happen again because it very well may. Or it may not. I don’t know. All I know is that my tears, my blood-curdling screams, the feeling of something dying inside me, there was a reason for it. Something did die inside me so that perhaps something else could be born. I’m not sure what that is or what it looks like. For right now, I just… am.

The Knitting Lesson

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I got some yarn and a knitting kit for Christmas this year and it was quite possibly one of the best gifts I could have gotten. Not just because knitting is fun or because I picked it up quickly, but because it’s teaching me to cut myself some slack.

My first project was a scarf. A multicolored piece that showcased my progress; mistakes and all. I started it the day I got back from New Orleans so I was beginning to adjust to being back home and lots of energy from my trip went into it. A nasty habit I have is to berate myself, even slightly, when I make a mistake with something. Since I didn’t know how to pick a stitch back up when I dropped one, I either had to try to figure out how to pick it back up or continue on and leave the mistake alone. This was hard to do at first because I am a perfectionist by nature, especially with my art. But every time I dropped a stitch or tied an extra knot or whatever else, I’d sit there for a moment and say, “It’s ok. The mistakes will give your scarf character, and it’s your first scarf ever. Cut yourself some slack.” Little by little, those words are starting to help.

My scarf isn’t complete, but you can see where I have dropped stitches, mistakenly increased or decreased rows or didn’t follow the technique when creating a stitch. The hardest part about this process has been telling myself, “This is your first project. It’s ok to make mistakes,” because I want everything to be perfect. But, allowing myself to learn how to do something right and PRACTICING will help me create beautiful pieces over time, and even then I will still mess up. But I’ll know how to correct my mistakes without the internal put-downs.

So even though knitting has become a hobby that I enjoy very much, it has also started teaching me some lessons that I can apply to other aspects of my life.

I’m going to start taking dance lessons soon with people who are much better than me. Keeping that inner voice that tells me I’m not good enough quiet will be the biggest challenge, but I think I can do it thanks in part to the lessons that my knitting is teaching.

30 Day Healthy Eating Challenge

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Tonight, as I lay in bed trying to go to sleep, my mind can’t help but race. I had a fabulous day in Manitou Springs and at Garden of the Gods and I’ve been thinking about what what I can do to become healthier. My eating habits have changed dramatically over the past few months with the elimination of red meat, poultry and pork. I’ve been drinking more water and less sugary drinks. All of that has made me feel healthier, and get sick much less frequently. While all of this change has been good, I’ve noticed that, even though I’ve been eating a mostly vegetarian diet (I still eat fish from time to time), there are certain foods that I still love to eat that aren’t really doing me any favors.

I’ve decided to challenge myself to 30 days of eating nothing but healthy food. My goal is to have a vegetarian breakfast and a vegan lunch and dinner. My alcohol intake will also be dropping substantially and I aim to drink only once a week for the next four weeks, if at all. Considering my birthday is on October 12 and, well, it’s me… there will be tequila flowing that night. Anyway, back to what I was saying.

My 30 day challenge is something that I have decided to do in order to ensure continued health and wellness, stimulate some weight loss, and ultimately get in the habit of eating healthy enough to the point where bad food no longer tempts me. They say it takes 30 days for a habit to form and I think that if I can make it through the next month, it will have a domino effect and begin to influence other parts of my life.

So… here are the steps that I am going to take. Your help and encouragement will be welcome throughout this challenge and after.

1. Wake up and drink a tall glass of water before eating breakfast.

2. Cook the majority of my meals and eat out sparingly.

3. Hoop, hike, meditate or go to the gym after work at least three times a week. Hiking to the top of a mountain and then hooping for 20 minutes before going back down? Challenge accepted.

4. Limit alcohol intake to two drinks a week (except for my birthday).

5. Record progress in a journal.

I think five steps is enough to think about for now, however, if you have techniques that work for you I would love to hear about them. I’m well aware that my challenge will be exactly that. I may fall, but it will be absolutely crucial that I get back up. I welcome text messages, words of support, a verbal ass kicking if necessary, and hugs.

Oh… and I suppose that I should declare a beginning date for the entire world to see… my challenge begins Monday, September 24th at 7am.

Thank you in advance for your support, my friends.

What Did I Do to Deserve This?

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“We’re havin’ such a good time together and it’s only just begun… my heart’s never smiled so hard, baby… lovin’ you is fun.” – Easton Corbin, from the song ‘Lovin’ You is Fun’

 

I’m smiling from ear to ear as I write this post because I’m sitting here thinking about all the things I could have possibly done to deserve the amazing man I have. I still haven’t quite figured it out, but whatever it was, I’m glad as hell that I did it. If you’re reading this thinking “Oh dear… here comes another sappy love post,” well, you’re damn right! I’m ecstatic. I’m running around singing country tunes, dancing in my underwear, shouting from the tallest mountain I can find, “No, you hang up first”, straight up happy.

My friends who have seen me lately are scratching their heads because they’ve never seen me so girly. They’ve never seen me blush so much or smile so big whenever I talk about him. They see a spring in my step that wasn’t there before. They see a light inside me that shines brighter when I’m with him. I’ve always been Rachael, but it seems that he brings out the best in me. If there is anyone out there who I feel totally whole with, it’s him.

When we first met in November 2011 at my friend Hannah’s birthday party, he and I noticed each other right away. However, due to our circumstances at the time we couldn’t say anything. We just had a blast together. Unbeknownst to either one of us, we never forgot about each other nor did we know what would happen six months down the road.

In May of 2012, I was getting ready to take myself on a date. I wrote a status on my Facebook page asking if anyone would care to join me for dinner and if so, they needed to respond in 20 minutes. He was the only one to respond. We went to Watercourse (of the BEST vegetarian restaurants in Denver) and again, had a blast.

We hung out a couple days later at a beer tasting that he had invited me to. As usual, hours of fun ensued and by the time we left the event, we were holding hands. It just naturally happened and I was pleasantly surprised. I had not expected it.

The butterflies started fluttering their wings in my tummy and for the first time in two years, I felt completely at ease with someone. Although it’s only been a couple months since we started hanging out, I feel completely content. We decided that we wanted to be together in June and I whole heartedly believe that that was the best decision I could have made.

He gets me. I can be stupid around him. He makes me feel beautiful. I make him laugh. We talk… and I mean really talk… about everything. It’s like Christmas every time I get to see him. We joke around. We cook delicious food together. He kisses my forehead and cuddles me when I’m feeling sad. I push him to be a better person. For all those reasons and more, we fit.

If there was anyone that I could so easily give my heart to and trust to take care of it, it’s Dylan. In such a short time, he’s made me see why it never worked out with anyone else. It was natural to fall in love with him and I could not be more grateful. Once again… I have no idea what the hell I did to deserve him, but whatever it was, I’m so beyond glad that I did it.

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This blog is definitely worth reading & subscribing to. I feel like each post I read from this guy is exactly what I need at that moment. I may not read them in order, but eventually they all get read.

BA Expat

I’m a great worker. I haven’t always been that way, but a combination of better-defined goals and a genuine love for my job has made it relatively easy for me to sit down and crank out a solid six hours of productive work per day. But six weeks ago, I examined my day-to-day life and I realized that this was the only constant that I could point out – the only action that was reliably repeated day in and day out.

I believe that most highly successful people have routines. Moreover, I think that routines are a way of defining yourself – of prioritizing your life, of improving certain areas, and of maintaining others. A routine consists of a series of habits, and habits are the building blocks of a personality.

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