Donut Debacle.

Alright, welcome back, lots to share. Yesterday was the first day in a 2 month weight loss challenge at my gym, so naturally I signed up. There aren’t a whole lot of people signed up so I have a pretty good shot at the $250 grand prize. While this money is not quite the sum of life changing events, it certainly would be nice and the pride of winning would be amazing. However, I don’t have my sights set on winning either.

For me, the goal for the next 2 months is to work out at least 4 times a week. As much as I’ve tried to convince myself that taking my dog to the dog park counts as exercise I’ve decided that me sauntering around the paved oval staying close to her while she adjusts to her new found freedom is not technically aerobic activity.

I didn’t work out at ALL last week and I’ll you why: FIRE ANTS. No, seriously. I got attacked by fire ants one day, when I was taking my dog for a legitimate walk and as I’ve never experienced anything like this – panicked and they stung the shit out of my foot. I counted 20 bites before my foot got so swollen that it barely fit in my flip flop. My mom made me go to the doctor, which was well worth it, They medicated me up and then I slept for the next 18 hours. It took a while for the swelling and the blisters to go down and today was the first day I felt okay using it and putting it in a tennis shoe.

So, for the first time in a week I hit the workout this morning. As it turns out it was an awful, awful, painful, hard, sweaty and squat heavy class. I loved it. It’s always so worth it when I go. It’s SO HARD to find the motivation some times, but man the reward is amazing. It severely changes the day for me. Today was a tough day at work, it was just slammed and non stop and full throttle and had I not gone this morning, I would have been in a horrible mood all day.

That mood probably would have led to other unhealthy choices. It’s like a domino effect. Even coming home from the dog park tonight – I was so tempted to stop and just grab something quick, or drive through for something but that would have made me feel like crap immediately after and if not immediately after then certainly tomorrow morning when I woke up feeling heavy and gross.

Instead, we hustled home and I have potatos and italian sausage baking in the oven for tonight’s dinner and lunch for the next few days. Today I started a new thing – on my measley 30 minute lunch break – I WENT SWIMMING!

So, I live in Texas and for those of you who don’t and are also poor you know what it’s like to NOT have a pool. We had one at one apartment complex my dad lived in when I was a kid. That one was a bummer because I always had to wait for him to come home to be allowed in the pool. Now, as an adult, I clocked out for lunch, put on my swim suit and marched across my parking lot and went for a swim.

It was a different kind of freedom. Obviously there was no one there – it was the middle of a workday – so I was able to do laps. I got in about 20 minutes of swimming, definitely got my heart going and felt some good muscle work. In a week or two the schedules at work will change and we won’t be short handed through out the week so I plan on trying to take 45-1hr lunch breaks so that I can have a longer swim and then actually have time to make food.

Today I had a shrimp stir fry in the freezer from Trader Joes, so I was able to throw that in my wok while I dried off and then ate at my desk when I clocked back in. I was shocked and amazed that I wanted to do more exercise but I love it and I’m excited about swimming because it’s a really good work out and I may get a little color out of the workout.

This is definitely going to be a long 2 months and while I will try my best to eat as clean as possible, I know that I won’t be perfect. The plan in my head was to start on Monday however, I didn’t plan my actions well and ended up not having “diet” appropriate food in the house so I did my shopping on Monday. Nobody wants to cook the same day they do their shopping so – noted. THEN I decided to really screw myself over and at night, when no body was looking, I went to Krispy Kreme and had 3 – THREE – 3 donuts.

I ate them all. I literally enjoyed every single bite, that is no lie. However, when I was done with them I wanted more. I didn’t eat them all at the same time, but when I finished the last one I was thinking to myself that I could easily eat at least 5 more. I can not stand their glazed donuts – they are so sweet they hurt my teeth. BUT their lemon filled and jelly filled are OMG SO GOOD. Wait I lost my train of thought HA

My dad was an alcoholic and always used to say “one beer was too much and 100 was never enough” and as a baked-treat-aholic, I get it. I mentioned it to my mom today and she feels the same way. We crave these sugary sweets and LOVE to eat them but it’s never enough. It never magically cures the sugar monster or makes me feel fulfilled or satiated. It ONLY makes me crave more. It’s almost not worth eating at all because it just leads to disappointment.

I actually went into a grocery store this week. Again, due to my lack of planning and because I wanted to pop into the Trader Joe’s since it’s been months since I’ve been in one. I knew I was going to spend $80 at Tj’s… I always spend $80 there and like normal I walk out and feel like I have nothing to show for it.

I bought stuff for salads and I bough their jicama wraps which are all the rave on the Whole 30 sites. They’re cut thin like tortillas (I think I shared that I tried to make some on my challenge, but didn’t have the right equipment) anyway, I’ll try those this week. Otherwise I bought stuff for salads, thinking that was gonna be good for this summer heat wave we’ve got going on. Salads don’t fill me up, they’re not what I’m looking for in a food. I didn’t have enough protein or fat in the one I made the yesterday so I was hungry almost immediately after.

I didn’t buy a lot of fruit there either, because my budget was already spent. However, I think I’ll pick some up tomorrow because although you’re not supposed to binge on ANY food I would much rather stuff grapes in my mouth than donuts. I don’t know if it’s quite watermelon season but watermelon tends to solve a lot of my problems.

I’ve got a few projects in the works right now and have been really diving in to some great things growing in my life and am excited to continue to nurture them. I will share an upcoming project soon. My goal is to unveil that project by the first week of July. It’s already been so much work and I’m learning to chip away at it, which I think is an interesting comparison to my weight loss journies.

Generally I expect the weight to just melt off the moment I decided to lose weight. Then months later, after lots and lots of hard work and plain chicken I give up because I had been climbing the mental mountain the entire time and there was no vista to let me pause and enjoy the view. At least THIS time right now, I know that in 2 months I’ll be able to stop and enjoy the view.

I’m not kidding myself here about anything either – I believe that I can lose about 20 lbs but that that takes a lot of dedication. 2lbs a week is healthy and what professionals say to aim for over 2 months – that’s 16 lbs. If I lost 20 that would be incredible. This isn’t The Biggest Loser, I’m not trying to work out for 6 hours a day. If the prize was $50,000 yeah, see ya, I’d be at the gym right now. but for $250 which will pay for 1 month of my gym and a gym clothes shopping spree – I’m going at my turtle’s pace thank you.

I have an amazon wishlist set up for myself for “June Rewards” and it’s basically a fitness trampoline with a bar and some bands for home work outs. When I leave my work outs in the morning I’m on empty and can barely walk, but by the end of the day I have a little vroom vroom left to do a quick at home or I can do it on the days when my schedule doesn’t allow for the classes. Anyway, the trampoline is around $70 so it’s not too expensive and if I stick to my budget and my classes for the rest of the month I’m going to buy it!

I think it’s a good idea to make a wishlist for after the two month challenge, something to look forward to, something special. I think about whether I want to blow it on online shopping or maybe do like a massage or something. I will think about it tonight, as I eat my nummy dinner.

Talk to you soon, friend.

Also bought myself some flowers and Trader Joe’s – honestly still probably better than fruit.
She was happy after the dog park!
My girl made a friend!!!

Unbeknownst to her, but knownst to us…

Throughout the day I kept thinking of writing a blog, I had a few ideas for witty titles, I had a few ideas for what to actually write about. Then a friend of mine and I were texting today and she dropped the “you know you can still write a blog even if the challenge is over.” She’s right, so Stephanie, this one’s for you kiddo.

I feel like where we left wasn’t actually the end but the beginning. I was feeling so good and on top of the world or at the very least on top of my own mountain of shit. My own personal shit mountain… no relation to the shit sandwich we grew close with in previous posts.

I was on the verge of adopting a dog, starting a work out routine, starting therapy, conquering my life’s dream and of course, saving the world. Let’s start slow:

Working out. I’ve been going! I’ve been doing really well with sticking to the classes I’ve commited to with the exception of the weekend I got my dog, because there were some separation anxieties so I didn’t leave her side for 3 days. Really, she didn’t leave mine… Then as of yesterday, I sprained my right ankle and my left foot is swollen and looks like a sausage desperately trying to escape its casing. I was bit by something on my left foot. I know that may sound funny to you, but I have literally had to go to urgent care MULTIPLE times in my life because of bad reactions to bites. Last time I had a bite that was bad was a few weeks ago actually, where I think I was stung by a wasp and my toes ballooned up bigger than an entry for the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

Luckily, this time it’s my actual foot part which is less painful than my toes because there’s more room for the swelling, the problem is I put my weight on my actual foot part when I walk so it’s awfully painful. My ankle was just an accident. To avoid the grassy area where I got bit, I’ve been taking the dog a different route where I can stand on pavement and she can walk along the grass to do her business. It’s a grassy slope down to the dog park area and there was a loud noise that startled her, so I stepped on the grass so she didn’t choke herself with the leash and after the fresh rain, my flip flip slipped and down I went. I heard a crack in my ankle and literally thought I had broken it. I couldn’t feel it at first, so I stayed seated for a little while until I felt strong enough to stand. It’s mostly just tight, especially in certain positions but with the two injuries together walking is difficult.

So I worked out on Tuesday morning, cancelled last nights class and I cancelled tomorrow morning’s class. Hopefully I’ll be up for it Friday morning. I’ve been taking Benadryl and icing them both alternately.

Therapy is great so far. Only the 1 session but I feel like we connect and she gets me and I am really hopeful for this experience. I’m super excited to talk to her tomorrow because I’ve got some things I’ve been wanting to get off my chest. This blog will be like a rehearsal.

I’m having lots of feelings about adopting this dog. Some are good, some are bad, some are a little scary or at least they bring up the emotions that feel scary. The weight of responsibility and just overall feeling of OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE at times, feels insurmountable.

She’s such a great dog. She’s really low key and easy maintenance so far. She’s amazing at potty breaks and she goes so quickly when we go out. She’s an early bird, unlike me, so she patiently waits from 3am (when she wakes up) to around 6 or 7 (when I wake up) to be relieved. Now I understand the value and luxury of a doggie door!

I had a really bad day yesterday. I just felt empty but also that just awful, uncomfortable yearning for something that I couldn’t identify. I spent every free moment I had through my work day looking up apartment prices in various parts of the county. I was looking at Austin, my hometown in California, close to where my family lives in New York, random places along the South East coast line, I mean I even looked up apartment prices in Boise, Idaho thinking I’d find rock bottom prices. Median rent in Boise is $1400 a month! It is so hard to afford to live as a single person – at least one with a crappy paying job or maybe it’s just 2021. Why was I expecting a 3 bedroom luxury apartment to be $800 in Boise? (I’d still choose my mental happiness that I get from this job over a higher paying one that made me want to quit everyday.)

I had what was a pretty lonely weekend. According to the dog adoption manual I got from the rescue place it said to spend as much time with your new dog in the first few days. I happened to have a three day weekend from work and so that was perfect, it also poured all weekend. We basically just sat inside except for one day when we ran some errands. It was tough, mentally I wasn’t wanting to spend the weekend inside. I had made plans to take a weekend trip to explore this town in Texas that I have never been to and have been wanting to visit for years. I was going to camp and just enjoy some time outside. It’s about a 7 hour drive from Dallas and driving plus the camping is such meditative experiences for me. I do some of my best thinking while I’m driving.

I had wondered if I could take her with me, until I read the manual and decided that much change and car time would be way too much. Even at the end of this month I am making a 7 hour drive North to meet a friend to go camping for an extended weekend, so that will be a challenge in itself for us.

She’s very timid. She’s a little hard to read because if I’m in bed or on the couch, I mean she can’t get close enough. But I think it’s because she wants me to protect her. She wiggles her way in between the couch cushion and me, where i assure you, there is not enough room for the both of us. So I inch out off the couch a bit to give her space to nestly comfortably – in my spot. Same with my bed, we had to lay some ground rules after her corner of the bed quickly became her side of the bed.

Yesterday, just in the depth of my emotions and after falling down a wet grassy slope I just wanted nothing to do with her. I was mad and angry, not at her but just in general and when I’m in that condition it just seemed so hard to take care of myself, let alone her.

I limped and wobbled back to my apartment and immediately laid on the couch in pain. It was time for her dinner. I was also starving but after swinging my legs around and putting weight on my feet and ankles it became clear quickly that only one of us was going to eat – boy was my dinner good. Just kidding. I fed her. She’s a picky eater and won’t eat dry food, plain. It has to be wet a little, so at first her foster mom told me to put water in her food. I’ve never had dog food but I can assure you putting dog food in water to soften it is like putting water on your cereal because you ran out of milk – it’s disgusting and insulting.

So I bought little cans of wet food for her and use a little bit of that with her dry food and she eats it up. She doesn’t trust around her food yet, like she peeks her head around to make sure I’m busy or doing something else and she eats quickly. If I move, come close to her or make too much noise she runs for cover into bed. So, I generally run the water in the kitchen so that she thinks I’m busy and can’t see me from her bowls.

Actually, just as I’m typing this she sees that I’m busy and looks me up and down and then goes for a casual drink of water knowing I won’t interfere. Then she runs back and claims her bed, formally known as my bed. Now she’s licking my elbow. I got a new body wash – coffee and coconut, I think she likes it.

With the adoption, there is a 2 week trial. During this 2 week it is to determine if it’s a good fit for both parties, if it doesn’t feel like a good fit, I return her and get my money back. After the 2 weeks, if I ever feel like I need to give her up they ask I return her to them and I wouldn’t get any money back. Ultimately, the money is not the issue. It’s how can you know if this is the right thing that will be the right thing for the next 10-15 years within only 2 weeks of what feels likea gigantic life change.

It should be mentioned that I don’t think either one of us slept the first night she was here. The second night wasn’t that much better. In fact, I think last night was the first time I got a decent night’s sleep since I got her. I thanked the Benadryl I had to take because of my left foot for those 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. There’s this weird feeling when you share a bed or a room with a dog at the beginning it’s half fear that she’s gonna pee or poop on something she shouldn’t or that she’s gonna bit my face or something in the middle of the night.

It’s just this bizarre realization about having an animal present and how at the very basis of being an animal is this unpredictability. It’s sort of the same for humans, there’s always that possibility that a person can just lose their shit at any moment and do something totally crazy or reckless.

She doesn’t seem like the type at all, but it’s just strange. I wonder if I can be a good dog mom, if she’s happy now or will be happy for the rest of her life with me. The past two days while I worked, I imagined she’d follow me over to the work area, where I put a nice big dog bed for her, but no she doesn’t like it over there, or that bed really. Today I got her to come to me for the quickest of boops on her nose but she quickly trotted off and back to her big queen size bed. I feel bad I don’t have a yard for her to play in or other dogs for her to play with.

It just feels like a very big decision that I thought I had made before I even got her but now that I have her, I’m just overwhelmed with all the years in the future piling up on me, today. Is that definition of anxiety? Or at least a very close example of it. Like, why is 10 years of the future stacked up on me and spread out over the two week trial period. Ultimately, I think this is just an adjustment period.

I was talking to my mom about it tonight and saying how I really need to respect the adjustment period – for both of us. I mean, I’ve been in my new job for 5 weeks and I BARELY feel like I’m starting to get the groove now. I had to adjust to the schedule, work load, learning new things, the new faces and overall the new routine. So this is the same.

I don’t think that I’m going to surrender her at the end of the two weeks, but I am not taking this decision very lightly at all. I want to make sure that we both think it’s a good fit before I sign the final papers next week.

I mean, the guilt is crazy and I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone about my doubts and concerns. The two people who I’ve opened up to about my worries both assured me they are completely normal. A co-worker said she cried a few times after she got her dog because she was so overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do, now she says he changed her life and she can’t imagine life without him. That’s what my other friend said too, more or less. Even as I said I was worried my girl was resenting spending the days in bed, my friend quickly sent me a pic of her dog, lounging in her bed.

There are tons of resources out there for adopting and training dogs. I haven’t found a lot that are reassuring or calming to new dog parents. It’s brought up some other issues within me. This is part of the reason why I don’t want to have kids, or at least why I’m afraid to have kids.

I remember when I was little and my mom was on empty and didn’t have the energy to mom. Looking back now, I mean is when I can see that she was on empty, as a child one has no concept of what empty is… kids are never on empty it seems. Anyway, I remember when my mom would snap at me. She had a very particular tone. It was one of those stop you in your tracks tone. I can hear it in my head now and just remember that feeling of “oh crap ABORT ABORT ABORT” and just start flying back to my room to escape the awoken dragon.

I get that feeling sometimes, that I know my mom had. Where my battery is just on empty and I can’t give any more. I never wanted to be that person to kids. My first therapist and I talked about my mom and dad in therapy and I remember her saying that parents don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be good enough.

My parents weren’t perfect but they were definitely good enough. We would argue and fight just like the next family, but we would also apologize, talk it out and try to resolve any issue we had. Parents don’t always give their kids enough space to be mad. They think that when they’re done being mad the kids has to too and then they force the kid to apologize. My dad was really good about that. We had our own way of doing things. We would scream and fight and I’d go to my room and he’d stay in his room (the living room) (Quick shout out to all the parents who live in the living room so that their kids can have privacy). Anyway, whoever got over being mad first would come to the other, if it was me, I’d peek out of my bbedroom or maybe throw a shoe down the hall to see if he laughed. If he was ready to make up he would say “come out I’m ready to make up.” Then we would chat and apologize and then at a more rational level of emotion we could communicate with each other.

I do remember he was always really good at giving me my space if I was mad at him. He never forced me to have the conversation if I wasn’t ready. He would never make me change my emotion to have the conversation either. For instance, if I was still angry or hurt by whatever we were fighting about I could have my time to myself but then if we had to resolve it quickly I had at least gotten the time to cool down and collect my thoughts.

He had an amazing patience with kids, which I don’t think I have. Having a dog feels like having a kid to me – where I know I am 110% capable but that still doesn’t mean that I should. It has to feel right. I’m hoping over the next week, that feeling of this really feeling right takes the lead over this doubt that it’s currently contending with. Needless to say, I am super excited to see what comes out in therapy tomorrow.

Let me tell you about today really quickly. When I woke up this morning I was starving. I had ended up eating about 4 silver dollar pancakes from mix I had made 2 days previously for dinner last night. I woke up this morning practically drooling over food. All I had was stuff for tacos or taco salad and since that was going to be my lunch I fantasized about diner food. I wanted bacon and eggs and biscuits and gravy. I wanted an ice coffee the side of my head and all the benedicts the breakfast world had to offer. Since I wasn’t on a challenge I thought, screw it why not and I WENT TO MCDONALDS FOR BREAKFAST.

I didn’t just go to mickey D’s, I went all in at mickey D’s. I got a sausage mcgriddle, an egg mcmuffin, TWO hashbrowns and large vanilla iced coffee – no ice. I came home and ate the crap out of that breakfast. It was so good. It was the best $11 I could have spent. I debated stopping for donuts too, but I knew that would just make me feel bad unlike my feast for one.

I had to do another grocery order today, which I love love love. I think I hadn’t done this during the pandemic because the grocery store was the only time I got to go to a place that wasn’t work, so I always went myself. Now, I love doing grocery pick up because I have to plan ahead and stick to that plan throughout the week. I really wanted chocolate and candies and a bunch of junk food. However, while I was making the order and couldn’t decide between all the treats I decided to only get one- I wanted a really rich, gooey, decadent ice cream.

I even changed my order from one store to another because the first one didn’t have the right kind of ice cream. I wanted to get exactly what I wanted. After dinner, a very unhealthy dinner of cheese ravioli with pasta sauce and more cheese on top I grabbed the pint of Ben and Jerry’s’ Phish Food and went to town. Much to my dismay, despite having all of the emotions to eat, I barely ate a quarter of the pint. It was too rich and I was full and satisfied!

That is the definition of a win. Also, I think it’s funny to mention that I forgot what farting and those bubbles in the stomach felt like because I hadn’t had dairy in so long. Right after eating I felt my tummy moaning like “ugh this broad is gonna kill us with all this dairy.” It made me appreciate my diet more and made me grateful that everything else I bought was the usual suspects for healthy eating, so the only real temptation here is the ice cream. The rest of the raviolis are in the freezer and if I want to eat them for dinner this week then I will. It’s nice to have the option.

Alright, so that was kind of a lot of blog and word vomit and I still can’t think of a flashy title. This has been a crazy week with some other stuff too so I’m looking forward to hopefully a few more good nights of sleep, some clarity through therapy tomorrow and some healthier foods to balance out the mega “cheat” day today.

FOURFER
That is my armpit that she wiggled almost five feet between body and cushion to plant herself in. How could you not love that face tho?

Day 30!!!! The challenge has concluded.

Holy macaroli. It’s day 30. I’ll tell ya… I’m glad. What a crazy month this has been. First of all, I’m proud that I pretty much stuck to it, there were a few instances but not a lot of “cheating.” Mostly this past weekend.

Even tonight, after work, I had to run out for an errand and didn’t feel like cooking so as I was driving I was passing all these great fast food restaurants and wanted to eat all of them. I also really wanted a milkshake, like a solid, fatty, oreo milkshake or something.

Alas, I came home and had egg salad lettuce wraps. Bleh. The great news is that I am starting a work out regimen tomorrow! I decided to sign up for Orange Theory fitness. I worked at one for a few months once, it was my night job and I loved the culture but couldn’t handle the 2 jobs. At the time I was really fit, the fittest I’d ever been and going to the gym regularly. I had had a personal trainer but that got too expensive. So now, this is a cheaper option than having a personal trainer.

I am using this to force myself into becoming a morning worker-outer. It’s an expensive membership – almost $200 a month! I’m committing to 2-3 months and I would like to go 4-6 times a week. What I do love about this studio is two things – 1) if you reserve a spot in the class and don’t go you have to pay a cancellation fee. While it’s only $12-15 bucks it’s certainly enough to keep me a woman of my word if I say I’m going to go. 2) There is no thinking involved. The workouts are coached in a group setting, all you have to do is show up and give 60 minutes of effort.

I’ve seen some AMAZING changes in people through Orange Theory. From physical changes to just a wonderful community of supportive friends encouraging each other to hit goals. So, I think this is the perfect way for me to segue back into working out. I had to think about it because it’s really a lot per month, but I haven’t been utilizing my $20 gym membership so let’s see if this helps.

Also, in very exciting and very personal news I am starting therapy! Thursday will be my first session and I am so excited about this journey, too. I had a counselor when I was 22/23 and she was incredible and really changed my life in a lot of ways. I’m hoping this counselor will help me to work on a few things I’m struggling with and hopefully I can take some big steps forward.

It feels like a new season has started in my life. It’s like a level up. I’ve mastered the previous level so now I get to move on to the next and this new level has dogs, work outs and therapy – haha! It’s the trifecta of self-care and self-love. Working from home really has been a significant game changer for me. At least especially recently, my anxiety is so much better – it also helps I work for a dope ass company that treats humans like humans. This is not something I’ve experienced much of lately, so it could have just been the jobs I was working…

Day 30 is tearing us apart at such a great point in my life. Do you ever feel like you’re on the edge of a cliff? It’s scary and stressful and the worst possible thing that could happen is you having to jump off. I stood on the edge of a cliff once, and willingly jumped. Luckily I had a paraglide-sail attached. But there I was, floating off a mountain in Nepal. Completely trusting of the guy that I had met about 30 minutes before and his ability to keep us safe. That initial feeling of “OMG I’m seriously going to walk off a cliff right now” gets soaked up quickly by the realization that that was 100% what I signed up for and if I didn’t beat the fear in that SPLIT SECOND then I would never have had that experience.

That’s sort of what my life feels like right now. I’m at the edge of the cliff and I can do one of two things. I can turn around and say “no, it’s too scary, dangerous, unknown blah blah” and drive back down the mountain OR I can jump. There’s always a risk in jumping, but truthfully, there’s a risk in driving down a mountain. However the reward for driving is – THAT EVERYTHING STAYS EXACTLY THE SAME.

Whereas the reward for jumping is nothing stays the same. You are never the same person after you come face to face with that little scaredy cat that lives inside you telling you NO all the time and finally screaming YES in their face. When the scaredy cat wins, you lose. When you say oh shut up, I’m doing this, you automatically make it easier to say yes again and again.

One of my all time favorite quotes is “If you want something you’ve never had before you have to do something you’ve never done before.” This is actually my favorite quote because it’s so true.

I may have talked about this in a previous blog, but I’m gonna use this example again because it’s so important to me. When I was in NY in August of last year – that was when I had the breakdown and drove to see my family. I had a really wonderful week with all of them and it was great to be there. I was ready to head home at the end of the week but I hadn’t been completely honest with them while I was there.

I hadn’t really opened up about everything I was thinking and feeling. I since have – actually some of it was in this blog over the past 30 days. At the very end of the trip, I was saying goodbye to my brother, his wife and kids were gone and it was just the two of us. I don’t know how it started, but we managed to have a really great and out of the blue heart to heart.

I’ve always been the wise one of the family. Also the funny one, but who’s keeping track? Anyway, back to my infinite wisdom… My brother is a smart guy. Like, he wins for the intelligent one in the family (and that pisses me off) but he’s not always the best at giving me advices. A lot of that has to do with the fact that we are wired really different and so our choice patterns are different because we want different things. It’s crazy how that works.

So, this kid drops like some major nuggets of wisdom and advice LITERALLY AS I’M WALKING OUT THE DOOR TO DRIVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. I don’t remember all of them, because I really wasn’t listening but one of the things he said was there are two versions of me inside. There’s the strong fierce, jump of cliffs, travel around the world alone, don’t take no crap off nobody version and then there’s this weak, scared, insecure, self-doubting person.

I was going to say one was a woman and one was a girl, but that’s not fair because there are plenty of woman who embody negative traits or who aren’t the woman they thought they once were going to be, or hoped to be.

So then he said, and this is my favorite part – I have to kill one of them. He may have not said one of them, we all know which one I need to kill, so he may have said kill the weak one. You know that story they tell about the wolves that get separated and one is “the light” and one is “the darkness” and the one that becomes stronger is the one that gets fed more, well it’s sort of that logic.

There are two dueling me’s inside. The duel must end. I can’t be the weak one anymore. I can’t waste time second guessing everything and thinking I’m not good enough. I would 100% rather be that person who tried 1,000,000 new things and fails over the being the person that never tries anything new and stays exactly the same her whole life.

That, would be a mother fucking tragedy.

My brother is also my biggest fan, he thinks I could just spit out oscar winning screenplays at the drop of a hat. Maybe I can, I’m not sure, to be honest, I’ve never tried. I’ve lived so much of my life being afraid of some of the stupidest things. Like, afraid I’ll never win an oscar? Who. is. afraid. that they’ll never win an oscar?

People are afraid they’re not going to eat next week or that they’ll be evicted. They’re afraid they’re gonna get killed or hurt by someone. People shouldn’t be afraid to be happy, they shouldn’t be afraid to go within and find the light of joy and to flame that sucker all over their lives, every day until they die. People should be afraid that they’re going to work their entire life away at a job that doesn’t give a shit about their well being. People should be afraid they’ll never be able to feel what it’s like to step off the cliff and feel that split second when fear turns into freedom. When you win. When you win a silent battle. That’s nothing to be afraid of.

I’ve always been afraid of sticking out. I had to try really hard to stick out as a kid, I always had to compete with my brother. He wasn’t the funny one but he was the brave one. He would dare to step out of his (well at least my) shell and perform for people on stage. He would get the laughs because he wasn’t afraid. I was afraid. I couldn’t even audition to be on stage.

We moved to a small town when I was 8 years old and a part of me feels like that was when I shut down, the first time. The kids didn’t like me a lot at first. I guess I’m kind of obnoxious. I mean, I understand and can see why people think of me like that. My dad used to pass my elementary school on his way to work. I remember a couple of times him stopping and pulling into the school parking lot, which was next to the gated playground. He would come over to me and ask me why I was standing alone. I would have to tell my own dad that no one wanted to play with me.

He would try to be positive and encourage me to go ask kids to play with me, or maybe start playing on my own and then others would come. It was so hard. It took a long time for me to be friendly with kids and almost 2 years before I made a close friend. I remember feeling like I couldn’t be myself and couldn’t shine around them. They didn’t like my light.

To be honest, I didn’t care for theirs much either. There’s less than a dozen people that I keep in touch with from my school years. But, I also think some of that contempt or disdain comes from not feeling accepted. When we moved to that town in the early 90s, it was very sheltered and their scope of life was limited. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but growing up I couldn’t identify that. So to them, I was new and unknown and a potential threat maybe and therefore I was chop liver and left to fend for myself.

I constantly think people hate me. Lolz. It’s funny to say it out loud, or admit to it. I just constantly feel like I’m not good enough and that I’m too aggressive and it doesn’t sit well with people. There’s a part of me that can get along with anyone, I’m really good at making conversation and asking engaging questions. The problem is I find that SO incredibly boring. Because nobody does that for me. Nobody is like let’s get in there and call out your soul.

I think that’s kind of why I shut down as an adult. People take all my energy. I can make conversation and make sharing time with someone enjoyable but when it completely depletes my energy bank and I walk away from it feeling empty then there was no point. Sometimes it’s nice when I see other people get a little bump from my energy, but most of the time people just waste it. People waste energy all the time, I do.

The narrative we have have inside our own heads can be so illuminating. It’s like, I feel like shit about myself because some little shit in 3rd grade told me to shut up? Our identities are wrapped so tight and so deeply into our past. We’ve been telling ourselves the same lies our whole life, it’s hard to understand that some of them could in fact be lies. That’s what we have to use our adult brains for, to distinguish the real from the fake. If your adult brain can’t distinguish your own lies from the truth then – you start therapy.

So in conclusion, it’s time for me to jump off a proverbial cliff again. Things must change. I want something I’ve never had before…

Also, in other news, if you’re interested. I’ve lost 9 lbs and 2 inches in my waist. Last time I lost almost 30 pounds so, it varies.

And also again, my brother is very funny and wise. He also reads my blog every day so it would be rude to not clear that up.

For those of you that have read this every day, I thank you. Thanks for sticking it out with me. What a ride. See ya again next year and remember … NEVER STOP CHALLENGING YOURSELF!