A Brand New Day

I guess the big question today is, “who do I want to be?” How do I begin to figure that out? I suppose I can start by asking myself what makes me happiest… what gives me the most fulfillment and sense of peace and well-being?

My kids, absolutely. That’s the first thing my mind goes to, but I also don’t want to define myself as a mother, first. I need more from life than just being a good mom. Where would that leave me when my kids are grown? Can I be a good mom without making that my primary focus? I believe I can. I believe there will be less stress in my life if I focus less on being the best mom I can be, and focus more on being the best person I want to be. I believe my kids will benefit from that more than me never giving myself room to fail where they’re concerned.

My creative side. That’s probably the one thing that brings me the most personal happiness. I love to create, I love to try new things, and I love to be surrounded by the things I’ve made. I don’t create anything for anyone other than myself. Each piece is a reflection of how I feel. Even the things I make to sell, I’ve made for myself and am sharing with the world. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to have a finished piece in my hands, and having the ability to look around myself and see the things I’ve made, surrounds me with calmness.

Being positive. It’s something I have learned I can only achieve if I make the constant decision to find the best in life. My default is to worry and be depressed. I forgot how easy it was to fall back into that pattern, but here I am. My life is in the midst of complete chaos, and instead of focusing on the good that can come from it, I’m worrying about the repercussions of my decisions. I’m scared of failing before I even try.

Who do I not want to be? I don’t want to be scared, anymore. How do I get over that fear? I’m honestly not sure. I feel like I’m in a cycle of being terrified of failing, so I try to find assurance in what I’m doing. When I get the direction I’m looking for, not only does that success become one that isn’t really mine to celebrate, I learn nothing about standing on my own. When I make a choice and follow through with it, I find that it’s not the failing that’s so bad, it’s the “I told you so” kick when I’m down. I get that it’s time to grow up and make my own decisions. I can’t be looking for affirmation from others. It puts too much importance on them and takes it away from me. I just need room to fail and support from those who love me when I’m getting back up.

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Grow Up!!

I took quite some time off from updating my blog. I didn’t really have anything to say. Maybe that should have been my first sign that there was a problem. I’ve found myself back at a place where I’m not happy with who I am. All the forward momentum I had, is gone. I’m right back where I was in my journey. Well, maybe not right back… it didn’t take me too long to figure it out, this time.

Why is it so hard to change the things I’m not happy with? Why is it so easy to fall right back into being the person I don’t want to be? How do I keep myself from taking so many steps in the wrong direction?

I’ve made myself unhappy, and the people around me unhappy. That’s not the person I want to be. It’s not a person I’ve been in a very long time. Where did my laughter go? Where did my sense of adventure go? Why am I suddenly so scared to learn who I am? I have an incredible opportunity to redefine myself, and yet I’m fighting every step of the way. What happened to me?!

I think my first step is going to be writing here again. I need to spend some time reflecting on who I want to be. I need to be less scared of failing and just accept that failure is a part of growth. I will stumble, I will fall, and I will be ok. I need to stop trying to define myself in the hopes that it will make others happy, and start learning who I need to be to make myself happy.

There’s simply no reason I should have reached this point of being so disappointed in myself again. Especially since I’m in a new situation. The outside influences are gone. Now is my time to blossom and become the woman I see myself as. When I look in the mirror, I don’t want to see that self-loathing looking back at me. It’s time for another personal shift in the way I behave.

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More Adventures in Photo Editing

I decided to join the great podeko on the 365 project. I’m using his amazing photos and editing them. I’m learning the ins and outs of Photoshop Elements and spending a lot of time playing with my new Bamboo!

Here are some of my favorites:

It smiled at me...

Burning Art

Ella

Ripple

Yosemite Sam

Tree

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Bacon Monster Strikes, Again!

News Flash! Bacon Monster loses control after finding people still eating bacon at Shawn’s Cafe! One Carnivore feared dead! What has this world come to? Stay tuned for more updates!

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Finding New Creative Outlets

The Great Podeko has taken on a photography challenge. He allowed me to play with one of the photos just to see what I could come up with. It was a fun challenge, and I look forward to doing more and learning all I can about image manipulation. Here’s the picture I edited, and you should check out the rest of his photos either at his blog or you can follow his year-long challenge at 365 Project. Let him know what you think!

Regret

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Journey of Self Discovery

I’ve felt as though the majority of my life has been a quest for love. There was something missing, and I believed that I needed to find someone who would love me to fill that void. When I finally realized I was the only one who could complete me, I started my 40 Day Challenge.

Through the challenge, I wanted to learn to love myself. That was the end of the only real quest I’ve had in life. When I started, I wanted to be strong enough to face the issues that my marriage held in store. By the end of the challenge, I realized I had already put in so many years, and spent so much of my time and energy trying to make things right, that there simply wasn’t anything left for me to do. I gave it everything I had, and tried so many new things to rectify what had gone so horribly wrong, but there was never any lasting effect.

The new found love for myself and sudden courage and confidence I gained from my challenge made me realize I am worth more than the constant misery and struggle my marriage had become. What was the point of being complete, yet miserable? Is that the kind of future I’d want for my kids? Was there anywhere for me to progress in my journey to become the best me?

As I faced those questions, I struggled with feeling as though I had failed. It’s hard to walk away from a 12-year relationship. I didn’t ever want to become one of the statistics, one of the 50% who didn’t make it. But the cost of staying was simply too high. And I didn’t fail. I gave it my best, I hung in there longer than most would have, and I have no regrets walking away. It’s the best thing I can do for myself and my kids.

Now what? I’ve asked myself this each day since the end of the 40 Day Challenge. I kept coming up blank. The other night, as I sat with friends at a bar, however, it dawned on me that I’ve never really had the opportunity to just be an adult. Here I am, 31 years old, and I’ve always been a wife, a mom, a home school teacher, or a business owner, but I’ve never simply been me. I’ve never taken the time to discover who I am, who I want to be, or what makes me an individual. It’s time I focus on finding new experiences and learning about what I want from my life for myself. It’s time to shed the titles I’ve identified myself as for all these years, and just be me. It’s time for my new journey to begin.

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Do You Doodle?

I love when restaurants put paper down on the table and offer crayons to all customers! When I see blank paper and any sort of drawing implement, my heart goes all giddy! I love to doodle! Here are two I had time to make during lunch the other day! (|o:

Get your doodle on!

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LOVE to be ME Day #40

This is it! The final day of my 40 day challenge! Did I end up where I had hoped to be? Yes! I’ve found the happiness in loving myself and accepting myself. I’ve found a self-worth that I never thought was possible. The entire process has been challenging, but so rewarding at the same time!

Today, my last love is that I am accepting. I can love and accept people for who they are, I’ve learned to do just that with myself. And I’ve also had to come to a point where I’ve had to accept something that I’ve tried to ignore for several years. I’ve felt as though I’ve been the only one really putting any effort into a failing marriage. I struggled for so long trying to make things work, and I finally came to the realization that I needed to just find my own happiness, focus on myself, and see where that took me.

I found that I’m worth more than that. I don’t deserve to be treated unkindly, and I don’t deserve to be miserable. After carefully thinking through things, and taking all the factors into account, I decided it was time to ask my husband for a divorce. I finally found the courage to do it. It wasn’t what I had specifically been planning for at the start of this challenge, but it became clearer to me by the end.

Here I am, at the end of one challenge, and facing down several more! The only real difference is, I’m strong enough now to face these challenges head-on! I am looking forward to the start of a new adventure as a whole, new me!

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Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!

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LOVE to be ME Day #39

Through this challenge, there’s been one very large flaw that I’ve tried my hardest to not focus on. My weight. I kept coming back to my body. I would then decide to not include it in this challenge, because it’s not something that I need to accept, it’s something I can change. So, I decided to start doing something about that!

I’ve given up soda, and started counting calories. It has been three weeks, and I’ve lost 15 pounds, so far. While I’m ecstatic about the weight loss, and will continue with it for my health and to be a good example for my children, I’ve also come to realize that if I’m not happy with myself at my current weight, I probably won’t be happy with myself even once I’ve lost the weight. I created this challenge to get myself to a point where I can be happy with myself and love myself where I’m at, right now. It’s not about finding the flaws and loving them or changing them, it’s about not seeing the flaws at all.

We aren’t simply made up of our beauty and our flaws. We are more than that, we are unique, individual, beautifully flawed, perfectly created people. Just as I have decided to not identify myself by my mental illness, I shouldn’t be identifying myself by my weight! I am just me, and when I let go of the pressure to be someone else, everything just falls into place. I become a strong, wholly loved woman! Isn’t that who I want most to be?

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