Sudden Realization

As I cuddled with my husband late one night last week I was feeling particularly emotional. We chatted about this and that and suddenly, through the course of my chatting I had a realization,

“I don’t know who I am anymore,” I said frustratedly

“Oh stop being so dramatic,” came his reply, a smirk behind it.

I was being dramatic. Sometimes it’s fun to say things as though your lines are being read by someone in a book. But dramatic or no, it rang of truth.

Who was I? Who was this new person who had given her business card out to 4 strangers within the last two days? Who was this person who felt glum that she hadn’t had enough human interaction that day?

I suddenly realized that the words I’d always used to describe myself - introverted and shy, didn’t apply anymore. Sometimes I’m still reserved, but if I am it’s because I choose to be. Not because I’m afraid of people or of social situations.

I use to prefer books to friends. While I still love books, I’d rather be with friends if the opportunity arises.

I use to sit as silent observer at social functions feeling awkward and unsure of myself. Now I’m unafraid to voice my opinions, start a new conversation or even make a joke.

I use to sit quietly at public play areas or in church waiting for others to introduce themselves to me. Now I’m the one introducing myself and seeking new friendships.

The change must have been gradual but the realization was sudden and stunning. The person I’d always defined myself as, scattered like sand and slipped through my fingers. The grains that still cling are only memories of her.




Would you erase the pain?

One of my husbands very favorite movies is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind both for the cinematography and the message it conveys. He really wanted to share it with me but knew I wouldn’t appreciate some of the content which gave it an R rating, so he edited it on our computer.

I watched it with him last week. It was a little confusing at first but as the movie went on the events that were happening became clear. I loved the quirkiness of the movie and the way it had been constructed and when it’s ending came my husband and I had plenty to talk about. The gist of the movie is that a couple whose relationship is on the rocks goes to a specialist to erase each other from their memories. After they’ve done so they have a chance meeting and are interested in each other immediately. And soon after that they are sent tapes upon which are recorded their bad memories of each other and they realize what they have done. In spite of knowing that things turned for the worse they decide to be together again.

It made me wonder if I would erase some of the painful experiences I’ve had in my life. Or if I would change past decisions if I could. It was more interesting that I had watched it just a week or so after I had returned home since my thoughts had been turned toward someone from my past while I was in Utah.

There are simply times where you see a place or smell something, and memories, whether good or bad seem to overwhelm you. Perhaps you thought all emotion that came with them had disappeared but were shocked to realize how keenly you felt that loss, or that stab of jealousy or that regret.

What a blessing to be able to open my heart up to my husband. We both loved only once before we found each other. My husband called things off with his girlfriend shortly before he went on an LDS mission. When he returned he was afraid that contacting her might see him fall back into the relationship despite being sure she wasn’t the girl he wanted to marry. She was a wonderful person, but he felt she wasn’t right for him. She had a friend invite him to lunch with her friends not to long after he returned and they had a nice time but he kept his distance and didn’t contact her again. Then, a few weeks before he and I were to be married he received a call from her family. She had been killed in a car accident. It was then that my husband found out she had been recently engaged and getting ready for her own marriage.

I remember sitting next to him and his sister at a church activity and as a hymn played I saw him silently sobbing. Was he still in love with her? No, but of course he still cared. He regretted avoiding her. He lamented to me that they could have been friends, that they could have shared their excitement with each other over having found someone they wanted to spend their lives with if he hadn’t been so afraid. He’s still regretful over the decision to avoid her. If he could he would change his actions there.

My situation was a bit different. My boyfriend when I met Tom, was serving an LDS mission. I had decided that I wanted to date while he was gone but I was certain I would marry him when he returned. I loved him a lot and faithfully wrote him twice a week. He must have been shocked then when my letters just stopped coming. When I couldn’t write him because I didn’t know how to say that I wasn’t sure about our future anymore. I hadn’t been looking for someone else but when that someone else showed up, I knew it was right. That didn’t make it any easier for me. I was in love with two men and my heart and the guidance I had received from prayer were tearing me in opposite directions.

I had such firm ideas. I was going to be the Mormon girl who waited for her missionary, I was going to marry the man who had been my first kiss, my first love. I wished I were deciding between something good or bad. Instead I was forced to choose between great and great. In the end I decided if I had prayed for an answer and received it, I should follow it. I did and I have no regrets on that score. As I look back on our marriage and the things we’ve gone through I know I was guided to someone who didn’t struggle with depression as I did, for very good reasons.

But that doesn’t diminish the fact that a little piece of my heart will always be missing. And like any wound, sometimes it still hurts. But I wouldn’t erase my first love if I could. I cherish the wonderful memories I have when we were together. I only hope that some of the pain I caused him when I finally wrote him to tell him good-bye has dissipated and that he is as happy now as I am.




Two little words

This past week has been a very difficult one for me. I’ve been struggling with worsening depression for a while and it seemed to culminate the last week of my vacation. I’ve been snappy with the kids, nigh unto having several panic attacks and worn out in general.

As we boarded our first flight yesterday I hoped they would behave. The kids were all pretty good for the first little bit which was so helpful because I was busy trying not to throw up or freak out. Panic hits me in different ways every time and for different reasons. I still don’t know why my body was acting up but I was shaky and nauseas and that feeling of fear was trying to overtake my sense of reason. I was investing all my mental energy into calming myself. Then during our descent the baby freaked out. I had to hold her on my lap and she threw a fit about it. I was restraining her as she arched and cried and screamed in protest. I don’t know how but I was able to remain calm with her and firmly repeat NO to her over and over until she stopped fighting me after 20 straight minutes. But by that time I was broken.

We got off the plane and I stood there holding the baby feeling numb. I was waiting for someone to bring our stroller to us. Suddenly someone squeezed my shoulder and I found myself looking into a kind gentlemans face. He barely even paused as he passed but he said, “It’s ok” and with another squeeze walked away.

Well that opened the floodgates. All the embarrasment and anger and frustration I was feeling came out but with them came a feeling of hope and renewal. All because of a kind smile and two little words of comfort from a stranger. There are always people around us who need to hear that “it’s ok”. I hope I’m never too afraid say those words or too self absorbed to see who might need them. 




Year in Review

Most controversial post - Edward and Bella: True Love or True Lust. I still get comments on this post which was written nearly a year ago. By the way, my opinion of their so called romance still stands after having finished the series.

Funnest Blogging Event - My Bloggy Birthday Bash. The idea was so spontaneous and ambitious I think I was even more driven to make it work. I contacted sponsors promoting the idea and obviously they liked it. It was even better since my great readers stuck around all day entering each giveaway as it was posted. I thought it was a smashing success and tons of fun.

Funnest Post to Write - Mommy Brain. The idea for this post came to me late one night as I was falling asleep. Oddly enough, most of my better ideas come when I’ll likely not remember them later, though somehow I remember that they were indeed nifty ideas. But I digress. This one stuck with me and in the morning when I woke I got straight on the computer and wrote it up.

Most Difficult Post to Write - Fateful Day Part I and the continuations that follow. I knew when I began blogging that I wanted to eventually share some of the dark times I go through due to depression and the like. I also knew that it would be healing for me to write out this horrific experience but it’s ben more difficult that I thought it would be. Not because I’m afraid to share it but because reliving it almost causes physical pain. I’ve got 4 parts written and there are more to come. I hope sharing my experience might help another in the same situation.

Favorite Write-Away Entry - Misconception. I like to enter the writing contests over at Scribbit whenever I can. The topic for the month of July was Wonder Woman and I knew as soon as I read the title what I needed to write about. It was hard to pick just one to feature here though. Everything I write reveals a little piece of my soul. You can read my other entries here.

Most personal post - The demons in my head a.k.a. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I finally decided to write about what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is. It’s something I’ve struggled with most of my life and is a disease that needs much more awareness.

I’m looking forward to another great year of blogging. I hope all of you have a wonderful New Year!




Order - I can almost taste it

I’m feeling a bit better today as I figured I would. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder never leaves but it fluctuates in intensity. I appreciate all of you that came out of hiding to comment on that post. I still have readers! Yay!

As relates to the title of this post, I am so close to getting everything in order before Christmas break. I’ve got my new Christmas design up here. I’m generally more of a red and green Christmas person but I thought blue and gold look pretty nice together as well. I’ve closed my design queue until Jan. 12. I love doing it but I am looking forward to the break from it. PLUS - I’m getting a newer version of photoshop and want to have it all figured out before I start back in. I’m just about finished with my latest design and then that will be wrapped up.

Then, I have a package or two to ship out tomorrow to winners of some giveaways. So that’s just about wrapped up.

Plus I’m in the process of moving all our under the bed food storage into the hall closet where mice can’t get to it. So nearly all of our food stuffs are up and away and I will feel much relieved when they are. I know I caught one mouse but I figured there were more and I was right.

So does anyone else feel they simply cannot leave for vacation without putting the house in complete order? Weeks before I’m busy decluttering and cleaning, all so I can come home to a clean house and not have pests take over while I’m gone.

The children and I fly out in a week and a half and then hubby joins us a week after that. We haven’t been with family for Christmas for 5 years. So thank you sis for getting married right before Christmas. I can’t wait to post pictures of her wedding, maybe even one or two of me all dressed up, if the double chin that comes out when I smile doesn’t dissuade me




Never Enough Time

We all feel that way on occasion. That there aren’t enough hours in a day to accomplish the things we desire. But sometimes this truth is more than something I just casually notice. Sometimes it’s like an actual weight on my shoulders. I think it feels that way when I start to add up how many days in a row I’ve gone without being able to do everything I had set out to do.

*Redesign blog design site - incomplete 15 days and counting
*Clean my bedroom - incomplete 6 days and counting
*Disinfect the bathroom - incomplete 5 days and counting
*Take the donations down to our church storehouse - incomplete 6 weeks and counting
*Reorganize hall closet - Incomplete 3 weeks and counting

You get the idea. I make my mind up that these things need doing. Then I tell myself that I’m going to get them done today. So when my ambitious projects fall through due to whatever else it is that came up (namely I’m picking up the living and dining room all day long EVERY SINGLE DAY and after that I just don’t want to do anything else), I feel like I’ve failed somehow. That I should have been better at managing my time, or had more energy or…whatever.

But I think I just realized tonight that:

1. Other things took priority that day, so why should I feel like a failure for not completing something that was obviously of secondary importance to me?
2. Starting into the should syndrome is just another way of adding to the already unrealistically lofty expectations I have for myself.
3. Maybe I should look at the things I did do and try to find a sense of accomplishment there.

Kids are all alive - check, read 10 new library books with kids all in one sitting - check, Had kids brush their teeth before bed - check, (WOW, now that is an accomplishment).

The only reason I ever feel like a failure is because I choose too. It’s me vs. my ideals and frankly, I’ll never win there. But that shouldn’t be what I’m focusing on. Can I be frustrated that there just isn’t enough time in each day and that I haven’t gotten around to that big project yet? Sure momentarily, but then I need to get over it because ruminating over what I haven’t done, doesn’t accomplish anything either.




A lesson in whining

So I whined yesterday and I may have even felt slightly justified in doing so. But then after posting, of course, I came across multiple blog posts about things they were grateful for in their lives. And I felt immediately sheepish. Sure, it’s ok sometimes to whine and we all have our crummy days/weeks/months but maybe I wouldn’t have cause to whine in the first place if I focused on what was great in my life instead of what was blah. That simple thought changed the entire rest of my day. Sure I still felt mopey and down and tired but I didn’t have to act it. I didn’t have to be grumpy even when I wanted to. Why is it that so often I am so strongly swayed by my emotions I don’t even realize I have a choice.

In any case, I got thinking about things I am grateful for and I’m not going to pour out a whole list here but I would like to tell you the first thing that came to mind. I don’t know why or where it came from because I hadn’t ever really thought about it like that before but here it is:

About 8 years ago I went on a Mormon pioneer trek. It’s something us Mormons do on occasion in memory of those of our faith who had to cross a vast part of the U.S. to get away from religious persecution. Our trek reenactment was 3 days long. I was an 18 year old girl at the time. In fact, the majority of the participants were young and single. Only one young man had captured my attention though. I spent most of the trek trying to arrange ways to be near him, to talk to him but I wasn’t sure if he noticed or cared. I was also struggling at that time with a severe episode of obsessive compulsive disorder. Alas that I didn’t know exactly what it was at that time, then I wouldn’t have spent so much futile time trying to beat it out of my head. The OCD is always present, but it hits me in waves depending on a number of different factors I won’t go into right now. Suffice it to say I spent most of the trip trying to fight it off with little success. By the second night I felt worse than ever, convinced I was an ugly person inside that no one could ever really like.

I was sitting alone on a log by the campfire that night and once again my thoughts drifted to this young man I was interested in. We had talked a bit but I wasn’t sure how he felt. I was feeling more alone than ever and I imagined him coming and sitting by me just to talk. You can imagine my surprise when a moment later I felt the log wobble a bit and knew someone was sitting down beside me. I was shocked to look up and see that my daydream had come true. He had seen me alone and came over just to talk to me. I married him 4 months later.

It’s amazing to me how I felt more immense gratitude yesterday thinking of this event than I did then. Yes, a silly little daydream came true and I was to twitter-pated to think of much else then but now I realize what a lifesaver he was in that moment. That simple gesture gave me hope that I was a good person and kept me going through the storm I was in. I’m so grateful he wasn’t worrying about whether or not people would make assumptions about us or whether or not he would scare me away. All he knew was that I looked kind of sad. It inspires me to set aside my worries involving myself and do the nice thing. Smile at someone even when I don’t feel like smiling. Compliment a stranger on her clothes or hair. Take someone some cookies just because. Stop assuming they’ll think I’m weird or that someone else will do the nice thing. You never know just how much they may need it.




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Summer Owens

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