Friday, November 18, 2011

Getting up

We fall down. We get up.

I have to say that I am grateful that even after falling repeatedly, I can find the awareness to get up. Life is hard.  There is no bells and whistles about that. That may be the biggest discovery in my 31 years. Growing up, I would always hear my mother say "Life is not a bed of roses." Having grown up, I now know exactly what she meant.

Somehow, with all the flash and euphoria of romanticized novels and this photoshopped world, we have lost sight of what is real.  Bad things happen every moment to good people all over.  Sometimes of their own doing and other times simply because of fate. Life happens.  Good things also happen to bad people and sometimes good things happen to us and go unnoticed because we are more focused on those things happening in other people's lives.

My struggle with my weight is not a bad thing. It is just what it is-  a struggle. I think my weight is a metaphor for all the elements in my life that need to be brought into balance.  However, while the struggle is not a bad thing, failing to act on it in consistent awareness is indeed a bad thing, and of my very own doing. I accept that.  I also accept that falling down is part of the process in the struggle towards life goals. The journey is as important as the destination.

I have realized that when my weight is climbing upwards, there are other things in my life that are in need of attention.  I have struggled with consistency in my effort to get my weight down and sustain weight loss but I have become more aware of myself in the process.

So today, I feel better. I feel better not because I lost 2lbs last week but because I have gotten up. I have chosen to rise above my problems and press on towards my higher calling. I have taken back the power and I am now seated firmly at the controls. I am in charge of my weight. I am in charge of my body. I am in charge of my destiny.

I matter. I count.

I will learn to listen to my inner voice when it objects to me accepting an invitation to do something my heart does not want to be engaged in. I will learn that self-preservation is not selfish. I will learn that a broken Sheer Almshouse has nothing to offer a broken world. I can't fix the world but I can choose to do the work of fixing myself. I am accountable but for me.  I am accountable for each day I live and each breath I am given. If I recharge my own self first, I will then have the strength to breathe life into other things within my abmit. But ultimately, after God, I come first.  A broken partner is a needy partner that drains any relationship. A whole partner adds value. This is also true in our relationship with life and the universe.  

For years I have mastered the art of putting other things first. Career, family, ambition. Now it is time to really look in before I look out.  So here I am, present, standing and fully accounted for.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two years in... the reality of marriage

I have come to realize that when I neglect this space, I neglect me. For the past few years, this blog has been my "private" public space to express myself.  For me, writing and to a lesser extent, talking have provided the most purgative release from whatever angst that ails. Writing has brought awareness of things that are often hidden and has brought me insight that has helped to keep me grounded in a sea of change.

As I have alluded to before, somehow marriage changed everything for me and I no longer felt free to just pour out with the level of authenticity I so prided this blog space for. I felt that I could not just share openly and honestly and so I simply stopped sharing. Two years into the marriage, I am now finding that the time has come to resume this journey into me.

It was easier to write about my life when I was single because I didn't feel committed or obligated to a common cause. It was all about me.  But what I have learnt recently is that while there is another in the equation, I am still here.  My presence should be thusly fully accounted for.

Marriage is not the only thing that made me stop posting here with regularity. When I turned 30, I struggled with finding relevance to this blog. What would a 30 year old have to say on a blog devoted to being 20? I had an identity crisis and could not reconcile this conundrum. I first changed the name of the blog to Thirtysomething, but then somewhere along the way, I decided to go back to Twentysomething but I added the "+" sign.  When I started this blog, I wanted to document the dramatic decade of my 20s as I tried to make sense of all of it and my place here on earth.  I added the + because, as far as I see it, the 20s are only the beginning of the self-exploration needed to keep centred in this life. I am still in many ways, the Twentysomething woman on a quest to find and actualise her truest self. I will be for the rest of my days. I do not want to start a new blog or change the name for every decade. The + anticipates all the years to come and the additional wisdom and insight they will bring.

At the beginning of the year I also started another blog that has provided a new career and the creative release I needed. I have used that platform well and it has opened up doors I had only dreamt of.  But, there is something about this blog that is special. I miss this space. I do not regret leaving it for a while because it made sense at the time. I wrote here when I had something to say that fit this space.  Now, it feels like I have lots to say.

I may have lost my readers here, but I am not looking for a following. That is for the other blog. Here I am simply looking to be me.

I am up at 4:00am writing this while ESC sleeps after coming home at 1:30 after a tiring and busy service.  I haven't been up alone this late in a while but I woke up when he came home and couldn't go back to sleep.

It is not easy being married to a chef. I suspect, it is not easy being married to anyone, including me. Such is life.  Despite, this, the hours and intensity that come with ESCs career have amplified some teething pains.

Marriage is a mirror that we hold up to ourselves.  I have felt more vulnerable over the past two years than I have ever felt in my life. I have opened up and let another human being into my most sacred places and that is a heck of a thing. 

It has also been very difficult to be so far from family and close friends. The distance made me feel like an alien  in my own life. I still look at pictures and read stories of home and feel like I am missing from it all. I have not left since I arrived and I am tremendously homesick, though I am afraid to admit just how much.

Yes, it has been rough at times, but, have we have certainly not been worse for the year. We have been growing individually and as a couple and that has made all the difference. We encourage each others growth.

So what's keeping me up at 4:00 am? 

I think I need a break. I feel overwhelmed with a lot of things I have been facing recently.  ESC and I are working through major issues, I have regained 3/4 of the weight I lost,  my little sister had a baby, my grandmother's cancer has spread to both her lungs and I cannot visit her in the US because my visa  renewal is undergoing a very lengthy session of "administrative processing."  All of this is compounded by the fact that I pretty much have to deal with my issues on my own due to ESC's hours.

It would be nice to leave the country with ESC for a few weeks and visit my granny and go home. We need the time together and I need the break. But, alas, it is peak season for him, and again he is the chef in charge of the kitchen and cannot take leave before April.

I am hoping and praying that things will align so I can visit my granny and be surrounded by family soon. Next year I will be traveling home work on a book that I am being commissioned for.  It cannot come soon enough.

I realize that for our marriage to work well, I will need to budget for annual trips away to meet family and friends so that I can refuel with the love and passion that space gives. I have neglected to make this a priority because I wanted to share the experience with ESC, but I am now aware that I need to go in spite of whether or not he can.  In many ways, I have to think like a single woman to survive the intense aloneness that comes from his hours and being so far from my support group and feeling like my life revolves around him.

I don't think we will be here for very much longer. Three years tops. He just changed jobs in April and will probably stay put for another year and a half until his two year mark. After that, the rest is up for grabs. While we have both fantasized about moving further east, I think I need to move back west first. But who knows? Maybe I am just anxious because I have been away so long and miss home. I could very well go home and feel rejuvenated and come back pumped for years away here as long as I get to go home at least once per year. I have never been away from home for longer than 6 months and I think that my lack of travel could really be the source of my current distress.  I just need to travel.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My battle of the bulge

I have been neglecting this blog- to my own detriment.  I miss this space, but I have been finding it difficult to find the words and the time to post here. But... alas, I am back.

I have a weight problem.

I have a sugar addiction.

I have regained 14.5lbs of the 20 lbs I lost.

I had been stable for a while then I took a baking class and as my cakes improved, my sugar intake did as well. I would eat nothing but cake all day for several cakes.

I know. I have been here over and over again and I am just tired. I feel like a stuck record. I spend the first months of every year losing weight and then my birthday rolls around in August and I slack off a bit and I fall totally off the wagon.

I am just stuck. In a rut.

I am now working in the food industry and that doesn't help.

But that is an excuse, not a condition.

I just need to get my act together. My health and my life depend on it.
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