Adjust.

I recently moved in with my man, my guy, my main squeeze, my dude, my boo thing…okay so I cringed at that one.

Y’all.

I live with a man. I don’t know if you are with someone and they have been living with you for awhile but I haven’t lived with a man or anyone for about 8 years. 8 years everyone. Yes I have a daughter who lives with me, but she allowed me to be lazy mom and hang out in my chonies and make popcorn for dinner.

But a man.

Y’all. (Yes I have an accent right now, just go with it. )

He moved 1800 miles west to be with me. That’s brave. He moved knowing full well what he was getting himself into.

He keeps saying things like, “it’s an adjustment.”

An adjustment.

Yes.

Girl.

He doesn’t nap. Who the eff doesn’t nap? A lazy Sunday afternoon and I want to read, watch Veronica Mars on Hulu and sleep. Nah. He is mowing the yard, thinking about dinner plans, and wondering outloud what else we can do.

I don’t know fool!

We have a garage now; go there.

He also has a remote job; which loosely translates to he works from home. He’s a senior project manager. Don’t ask me what he does, I don’t know. I just know he’s home.

Girl. He’s home.

Which means I am spoiled. My coffee is made for me by the time I drag my running late ass to the kitchen, my snack is packed so I don’t get hangry around 11:30 ish. And get this? He usually has lunch ready for me during the week. Say what?

But…he’s home. Asking me why I have Real Housewives on the DVR. Mind your business.

It’s been an adjustment.

Did I mention he does the cooking for most of our meals? He keeps it healthy but every once in awhile let’s me slide a little. Pasta carbonara anyone?!

An adjustment.

Lucky for him he gets to live with 45 year old me not 25 year old me. We are the same girl with a little more, what’s the word? Oh yeah don’t give a fuck attitude.

Which is an adjustment for me.

Could I be just a little more thoughtful? Most likely. Could I pause and think before I tell him to get bent? Probably should. I don’t always.

We are still learning and navigating our issues. Past and present. We are trying daily to let go of things that no longer serve us. Is it easy? No. It takes work. It takes talking to each other. Even on days the other is being a giant pain in the ass.

Younger me was such a people pleaser. She would have been tripping over herself to make sure he was happy or making sure he could do things that he enjoyed.

Or oh my god the tears if we had an argument.

Someone really needed to kick her in the ass.

Fast forward in my life and I learned some shit. Life lessons that I had to go through in order to grow through.

Bless and release.

I was single for a long time. I learned to love me. I learned to do things, find things, and not give a fuck about things.

Every once in awhile doubt clouds my judgement or perfectionist shows up, but I am still learning to say fuck it.

Because I worked on me I was able to figure out what I wanted, needed, desired in another human. In my partner and my best friend, and when I did; The universe said here. I am thankful for Craig and his strong heart and his caring person. He matches me pretty well. He is also able to put me in a time out when needed. Because I am pretty much full on all the time. I’m either hangry or tired. Or I am moody because my routine got thrown off. He handles as best he can.

That’s all I can ask.

It’s been an adjustment.

If he says that one more time, I’m gonna stab him.

Push.

I’m in the air again. I’m headed off to a Summit. A meeting of great minds bursting with creativity about how to run a business, be your own boss and get healthy doing it.

Did I just hear you roll your eyes at me? You probably said “oh she’s one of those.”

Quietly working on my health and my fitness.

Ha. No I take selfies like I’m famous. I pose and flex. I am no where near where I want to be. I work at it daily. Mostly because the eating less part doesn’t always click. (And I have a man in my life that cooks amazing food.)

I struggled with finding a work out that I enjoyed. Walking? I got bored. Running? Um no thank you. Elliptical? Okay I can do that. Am I going to push myself? Ha! No. I get tired and it hurts.

So there I was. Refusing to do anything that made me grow or be better version of me. How pathetic! I was spending all my time making sure everyone else was okay but not one moment did I take care of me.

I needed structure. I needed a coach. I needed a trainer.

I had been in sports growing up so I know me. I won’t push myself without completion or someone coaching me. I’m a little high maintenance.

I was introduced to Beach Body by my friend Cara.

( I can still hear the eye roll, but just hear me out.)

I was given access to hundreds work outs I could do in my home. I didn’t need to get dressed or figure in travel time or find my nearest gym. I had access to a healthy shake and recipes to help me not get bored with it. But most of all, I was plugged in, cheered on, encouraged by an amazing community I had access too.

Questions answered. Resources.

But first I had to answer a big question.

I had to know my why. Why was I doing this? To get healthy? Okay. That’s everyone’s goal. You ask someone about goals and they say “to be healthy.”

I needed to get real for this all to work.

My why use to be the same as every mom, “ I want to be healthy for my daughter. “

Nope didn’t motivate me. I still sat still and put in a half ass effort.

When I changed my why to me. To do something for me I became motivated. I went all in on me.

The most amazing thing has happened since I plugged in. I learned to like, no love, working out again. It’s my alone time. Good motivating music that I sing off key too, mess up words to songs and a work out I have stuck too because it fit my schedule and improved my attitude. Not to mention I am able to go on and encourage others to just do it. Get it in and get out.

I have gained so much knowledge on food, gut health and what exercises I love ( weights with HIIT) and what exercises I loathe ( all cardio all the time).

I have cried during a work out because it felt that hard and it made me that emotional. I have celebrated going up in weights and being humble enough to say when it’s too much.

I learned to not take the easy way out ( there’s a pill for that right?); and to turn to healthy food first. I went to school with Chalene Johnson and her 131 Method where she takes you on a journey of studying self and science while keeping you sane.

Stool school and gut health? Yes please. Big eye opener for me? I don’t need to eat breakfast nor do I need to rules by a clock to eat.

I dropped weight and kept it off because I studied my body. I know what it needs to run the best. I went from 185 lbs and fluffy and tugging on shirt because I felt uncomfortable; to now 170 lbs and strong AF. Not that a scale rules my life any more. In fact the less I can step on it, the happier I am. I look for things like : how do my jeans fit, what did I eat last night that’s going to cause me to feel bloated and nothing to fit right. How much water have I been drinking today?

And when I started to do all of that an amazing thing happened; I started to feel better and I started thinking everyone should feel this good. Everyone should get to work out at home with other people doing the same one. Everyone should get to read and learn about their gut health and how to eliminate what doesn’t work for their body. Everyone.

Does this qualify me as a “coach”? Hell yes it does! Do you need someone to push you? Inspire you? Get accountable too? Tell me your tired and you don’t feel like it. I’ll tell you I don’t care about your feelings. I will also tell you to go push play and just do it for one more rep.

You need help with food and having a plan ? Okay let’s start there. I know saying no to eating that last bite when you’re full or get out of the fast food line will have your body saying thank you. I will also tell you to go push play and just do it for one more rep.

You want someone to ask you what your goals are for the week? I can do that too.

I will meet you in the season your in.

Life Is meant to be lived. When you feel better, you glow differently and live more.

Take a step, then a couple more and I’ll help you through it because someone helped me.

*you can follow me and my journey on all the social media.

FB: https://m.facebook.com/hashtagmess/

Twitter: @orion_07

IG: @orion_07

Snap: @orion_07 #Mess

For more information on Beachbody and their products: contact me at burmantessa@gmail.com

Self.

I read this sentence today: Women are afraid of themselves.

Am I afraid to be myself?

I have to stop and think about it. I want to answer with: it depends.

I would like to answer a resounding hell no. I am always me, but that wasn’t always the case. I stumbled a few times down the path to me before I found my footing.

Judgement from the general public stops us from being ourselves most of the time right? Certain public places or people ask us to blend in a little and keep it down. There are a few of you out there that still are a bright yellow dot in a field of black; and you will not be stopped. Many have tried but it only makes you brighter. To that I say kudos.

But me.

I was a loud child. I was a talker and I still am. For those of you that know me, stop laughing. I am quiet sometimes. When I am sleeping or reading a really good book, I am introspective. It use to make me quite self-conscious. My greatest strength was being pointed out as a flaw.
I was told to be quiet. I was told I talk too much. Okay some of that was warranted because let’s face it, I like to talk.

In an age of people starring down at their screens and walking into poles, I like to talk to people.

In my primary school years I was separated from my fellow classmates because of the rule to be quiet and I couldn’t , it wasn’t really my fault. I didn’t want to be rude.

Being told I talk too much hasn’t slowed me down much in life. I don’t think a God given gift can be squashed. It keeps nagging at me. Even if I think maybe I shouldn’t say a word, I can’t help myself. In most situations, it’s almost a push. I say hello. I ask how their day is going. My natural curiosity in the human condition.

So is my talking too much a flaw or strength? Is it something I should shrink back from or is something I should fully step into?

I’m unabashedly talkative. It has gotten me to know people in a variety of different ways. I have watched through my experiences of working in public places where being a smiling and thoughtful conversationalist is a talent that not everyone has.

After I stripped away everyone’s thoughts about my ability to create conversations; I stepped fully into my creative side. My talent. My gift.

Just as I watched my daughter at age 2 become enthralled with colors, crayons, and the shape of eyes; I wasn’t going to squash that flame. She loved to doing anything with art. She would sit and draw and scribble at that very young age that I looked up and found anything I could help water that artist flower in her. I had books, I bought her more art drawing pens then a 2 year old should ever own, but here she is 11 years later; drawing. Studying eye shapes. How to make a hand look real.  If the universe calls her to that craft, who I am to squash it.

We are all have a God given gift that calls on us. Most of the time we need to quiet other voices finding our flaws before we fully step into who were are.

Self.

 

 

 

Sisters.

Today is my little sister’s birthday. I won’t tell you her age, but she does act like the older sister most of the time.

So if you see T. Please sing her happy birthday. She will smile and tell you thank you. She will say she doesn’t care, she’s not a “selfie” person.  T will never seek the lime light, but she finds herself there more often than not because of her feisty, fierce and outspoken voice on subjects such as ranch life, politics and stupidity.

I  am not as well versed as she is, nor is my hand shake quite as strong. Her wit is quick and dry; I am more prone to bluntness and a loud laugh.  We are both loud. That’s a family trait. A family of four that didn’t realize we were so loud until we are telling our children to shush.

We are sisters. Not twins. Not mirror images of each other and so we have  had many years to navigate our differences in the best way we can. This started from the time we shared a bedroom. We had bunk beds and then needed independence. The beds were split apart  and a toy box  was put between us and my mess.

My sister was my first friend. My mom tells me I was so excited to see her, I bit her finger. I was 2 okay. I had also had a lot of freedom and our parents up until this moment. As my niece once said about her brother, “I told you we didn’t need a baby.” T always had the softest heart, saving living creatures, and crying over injured animals.

We grew up taking adventures together, dressing kittens in doll clothes and learning to run from roosters.

You see, my dad sent two little girls off to gather eggs. The coop was around the other side of the barn. The chickens tend to free range, so gathering eggs wasn’t a problem. In and out. Until the rooster. This took planning and preparation. We would make it the garage, run to the end of the barn and scout out the situation. The most important thing was to find the beast, the second thing was to pick the “runner.” The runner took one for the team and ran her little heart out to distract the rooster. That rooster didn’t live long.

We absolutely see the best in each other and we absolutely call it as we see it. I think we both regret not stating more of an opinion in the others life, and so now being a little more, ahem, experienced, we now will ask hard questions and tell hard truths.

My parents instilled a strong sense of family from the beginning. They pushed, forced, told me to take her with me. Every where. If I was going, so was she.  Was this always a good thing? Most likely not. I was the older sister. I was also the one prone to find fun. I was told, held liable, for her safety.  I always got her home. I always knew where she was at….most of the time.

As I have gone through this life I have taken many lessons of being her older sister with me. I think that is, for good or bad, the reason I am so very protective of other relationships in my life.  I have a hard time knowing when to leave the table. I would like to think that I am a fierce and loyal friend, but I have been taught that not everyone that I bring into my life is meant to stay.  That it’s okay to be different.

When growing up with siblings, it’s hard not to compare yourself because everyone else is so busy doing the same. Features, body types, personalities all get torn apart and put to the test.   Self esteem takes a hit as you grow, but the best advice is to remember you are not your sibling and they are not you.

I am allowed to call her on her shit; you are not.

As we have gown up; I would like to say we have grown. She still likes her room arranged just so and  I still have a pile or three; she will out work me any given day in her tenacity to just get it done.

We still gather cows with our dad and he still sends off together; we tell him we will do it but not well. He still checks on us, riding up on that hill to see if we are even going the right direction. We still don’t have a clue.

I now pat the horse and tell him he is dong a great job and she says things to me like, “You telling him he did a good job and patting him on the neck cracks me up. Did he do a good job or was he just an asshole the whole time?”

T now likes to tell me what to do and I walk away.
I am the oldest after all.

Happy Birthday T.

 

 

Stick.

The blue Montana sky winked down at me. I just laid there in the grass. Nothing hurt. I was fine. This wasn’t my first time being dismissed off a horse. But this one was short and she was a little green.  We had just been sitting watching the steers go by us and I had just praised her being so good. My feet dangling in the sage brush when that back cinch dropped. She spooked and shot off like a bullet coming out of a gun. I couldn’t slow her down. For a small hose she had speed. My dad hollered from some where in the distance telling me to bail off. So I did. And here I was.

The problem with being out in the middle of no where is that I had only two choices on how I was getting back to the pick up and horse trailer. One was walking while leading said horse and two was getting back on said horse. Oh yeah, dad caught her. I believe he was riding a green colt at the time, so that made an interesting catch. Caught her he did, and took off the offending cinch. I believe his words to me were some where along the line of get on her she’s fine.
I did. We walked through the sage brush back to the trailer. She did fine. I was fine. Nothing a couple of miles wouldn’t fix.

(If you are wondering, my dad had that cinch slung across the front of his saddle and his horse did not like it, my dad is more of hand then I will ever be and took that as the time to teach his horse that adapting was his best course of action. )

Stick.

I looked in the rear view mirror. I could see the goose neck hitch and cranked my neck. I had to use my mirrors. I pulled forward and backed up. I was two inches to the left.  I pulled forward.  Now with enough knowledge and practice, backing up any thing is a breeze. I can parallel park, but a ball and hitch seemed to be my nemesis. I pulled forward. I backed up. Nope still off. I looked off in the distance. I blew out a breath.  I had to think. This wasn’t that hard. I had to get it done. What if my sister and dad weren’t out there doing their part, what if I had to get the trailer on my own, I would have to get it done. I just had to get it close enough to have the hitch fall on it. The problem with trying to get it perfect was interfering with my brain to just get it done. I backed up and looked. I was right over the ball. I began to lower the trailer while giving myself a high five.  To this day, I still give myself a high five for hooking up the trailer without it taking more then three tries.

Stick.

Life has a way of coming at me and testing me. Every once in awhile I have that mental break down and I think I can’t do it. Not one more rep. Not one more step. I don’t live there. I remember that my ability to stick is 100% so far and I re-train my brain. I tell my monkey brain to shut the fuck up and maybe I just need water, food, or a nap. Or I need to call my best friend and tell her I am having a day.

Giving up is not the option. Seeing a different route or pulling forward and backing up works just as well.

Stick.

 

 

Help.

So. Many. Boxes.

I looked around the room. I was surrounded. I had been unpacking for a week, but I felt like I wasn’t making much progress in any one room.

I just moved boxes.

I moved them from one too to the other.

Some were empty, so they went outside.

Some were partially empty, so I dug through them for that one last piece.

Some things just needed put away.

I stood up and looked around the room.

I was overwhelmed with the task at hand. I had just been doing it for so long it felt like I wasn’t getting any where.

I needed help.

I was tired of doing everything on my own.

When was the last time I asked for help?

Hmmm. I don’t remember.

You're not alone_

I am more of “I’ll do it myself” person and a more of “I’m fine” person.

When I should be ” I need my pack” person.

Every Spring in Cowboy Country begins what I have dubbed the Branding Trail. They start with gathering, counting, looking and marking new calves. Cowboys have their pack that help them. It’s a Code of the West. You helped me, I’ll help you.

That’s how they get it all done in a month. Every single weekend. They know they can’t possibly do it all alone.

They ask for help.

Help.

So here’s my question. Why don’t we ask for help more often? Is it this sense of pride? Or ego?

Women have become so independent that it’s hard for us to admit we need help. Help unpacking. Help cooking. Help parenting. Help girlfriend-ing  and wife-ing.

We can do it all.  Not alone.
I’m exhausted. I am physically tired this week from boxes. Touching them, looking inside them, and wondering why I have kept all these things.
I am also so very thankful for the small group of humans in my life that wouldn’t let me do it alone.

Not everyone is going to ask for help. Some times we need to force our help upon them.

Living.

This week I’m going to write about something a little different.

I want to talk to you about my journey into health, loving my work outs and most importantly loving myself.

Important but different from my usual banter. I think. Let’s take a walk and see where we end up.

I’m going to start at the beginning.

I loved my younger self’s body. I have these really long legs and they make me fast. Pants were never long enough and never fit me around my waist. Tall and thin. I use to eat 10 pancakes at breakfast.  10. The rest of my day I maybe ate a lunch or I stuck with my normal diet of Dr. Pepper and Reese’s peanut butter cups.  Did I mention I was I sports?! What was I thinking? Soda and sugar. So when I got home I was famished and ate everything in sight, or if I had a meet or a game, I would eat all the carbs for that burst of energy I would need the next day.

And this is how I went into my twenties.

Care free. Eating everything I wanted without thought or reason.

Beer. Sure. Nachos? Yes! Breakfast at 2 am after drinking all night, bring on those biscuits and gravy.

I couldn’t get enough.

Did I move my body? Occasionally. Half hearted. I wasn’t concerned. This was easy. My body was an amazing machine. An amazing machine I was fueling with beer and doughnuts.

The body’s a temple, that’s what we’re told

I’ve treated this one like an old honky-tonk

Greasy cheeseburgers and cheap cigarettes

One day they’ll get me if they ain’t got me yet

With me so far? Nodding your head? Thinking man, those were the days.

Guess what?

My body hit the brakes. Skidded. Locked up. I woke up one day and I had gained weight. No, girl, I gaaaaiiiiinnnned weight.

I’m in mid twenties and I couldn’t button my jeans.

I shrugged my shoulders and looked for the easiest way out.

Read:  the most unhealthy way. There wasn’t portion control when I could go to a store and buy a pill but still eat everything. Portion control dieting didn’t teach me about food. It taught me to eat more fruits and veggies, which was a good thing, but calories in versus calories out stayed the same.

What was that teaching me? I knew I needed to eat less. Less what?

It wasn’t teaching me about food. It wasn’t teaching me about how to fuel my body. I wasn’t learning a thing.

I lost weight.

I got married. I lost weight. I gained weight.

I got pregnant.

Being pregnant was the time in my life where I ate well and worked out every day. I swam. I walked. I rode an stationary bike and I did prenatal yoga.

I gained twenty pounds with her.

I had a healthy baby girl weighing in at  almost 9 lbs.

I wasn’t in a hurry to lose that “baby” weight.

I ate better for her.

I started moving my body three days a week out of sheer boredom and I lost weight. I wasn’t eating as much and I was moving my body. You would think the a-ha moment would be happening here; but it wasn’t.

I lost a lot of weight due to not eating and  stress in my life. I couldn’t eat without throwing up, and man did that stink. I needed to eat but was afraid to eat. It was an endless cycle of stress and not feeling good about my life.

I went to the gym six days a week. It became my escape. I had a routine and it was all cardio.

I fit in clothes I hadn’t in years. I felt good about that. I looked good again. I was in the smallest size clothing I could remember. I went from a size 14 to a size 6.

I started therapy. I learned to trust my gut. My instinct were right. I was having a normal reaction to bullshit. I had friends telling me the same; and once it got repeated I started to believe it.

The more I moved my body, I started letting go of things weighing me down. I started to feel good about me again.

I got happy and then I got involved in my health. I had someone ask me to help them on their journey and I got surrounded by a community. I  learned how to eat to fuel my body, and I learned that my mind needs to be fed with positive thoughts daily.

I decided. I decided it was okay for me to have a strong body. I decided it was okay to lose weight. I decided it was time to live for me.

Amazing things happened when I decided. I lost a total of twenty-two pounds and kept it off for two years.

I listen to podcasts. I keep a journal of my goals as if they already happened. I move my body six days a week for thirty minutes a day because my monkey brain needs it.

Some where on this journey for the past three years I learned that my mind and my attitude are a happier, less temperamental place when I move my body. I feel better.

I have a better outlook on life and I can play well with others.

I also fuel my body with healthy foods and keep junk out of my life. I have no room for negativity and I have no time for self hate.

This is my journey. I love who I am and who I am becoming. I am stronger physically and mentally.

I made the choice to do something for me.

Thank you for taking a walk with me.

Move.

I watched my suitcase move down the conveyor belt and out of sight. I grabbed the ticket and headed through security. I didn’t smile. Not yet anyway. I made my through the throngs of people and took my seat. I had a first class ticket to New York. I looked out the window and smiled.

Move.

I didn’t know then what I was getting myself into. Like most instances in my life, this was purely spur of the moment and the need for more. I needed a change. I didn’t know how to get the change I needed where I was at the time; so I did what any twenty something year old does. I moved.

I moved away from my home, my family and everyone I knew.

What I learned in that year and half of living in another state and being completely out of my comfort zone is that nothing is possible unless I move. Also always have a designated driver, at least two girls who know how to change a flat tire, get a train schedule ahead of time  and always leave the bar together.

Move.

I taped the last box together and looked around. This move was hard. I had formed a bond with my sister in law. We were as close as sisters, but I had to move back. So my small little mini me finished packing and left for the airport.  We all cried that day I pulled away.

Family means everything to me. Fierce loyalty means finding someone who doesn’t back down when things get tough. This woman and me are as fierce as two people can be. She would go on to be my mentor and my guide through a storm; and to this day I cannot tell her or ever express to her how much her fierceness, love and sheer determination mean to me.

Move.

The sun beat down on us. We had been at this packing thing for a week. It was down to the last day. The sun was starting to set as I closed the door on my house.  The thought of moving away…again…was a scary thing. It wasn’t an easy decision and I had a little girl whose whole world was in that town. It was all she had ever known and I was about to move her from it all.

Move.

The move back to my home state was a hard one. At times a gut wrenching slide into the ditch as I tried to help my daughter navigate the newness of it all. She hated it. She wouldn’t tell me that. She kept it all tucked away for fear of hurting me, but I knew. Her teachers knew. She missed her familiar home, her friends and her dad.

What she didn’t know or couldn’t understand is I had to move. I had to make the decision to better my life so I could better hers. I wasn’t taking away from her life, but trying to add to it.

Four years later and we have found some footing.  I don’t have that gut wrenching feeling of watching a car wreck and she has learned to move.

I had been in the middle of shit storm for so long, I didn’t have time for the mental break down I deserved. So because of that, I acted out like a teenager. I stayed out too often, I left her with my parents or my sister and I did whatever it was I wanted. Being selfish was a survival skill when I had been living someone else’s idea of life for so long, I had forgotten how to live.

Move.

Now I am packing again. We have outgrown this little space and I have grown too. I finally figured out who and what I want; and I am grateful he is brave enough to move too.

Move.

 

Cause I’m stuck on you, you’re stuck on me
I never gotta wonder where my honey be
I ain’t savin’ all my sugar for a Saturday night
Seven days a week I got an appetite
The sunsets like a tangerine
Let’s find a road we’ve never seen
Don’t waste another mile or a minute not kissin’ me
Life is short, make it sweet

Boots.

Every girl has a pair of boots.  Tall or short.  We all have that one pair of boots that make us feel like we have our shit together.

I sat contemplating as I was driving. I looked down at my attire. Hoodie, comfortable levis and my feet lazily stuck in my Ariat Fat Baby  boots. I smile in the rear view mirror and I remember.

I found a letter the other day. Not just any letter mind you.

The letter of  “Hey this being married thing….it isn’t working…for me. You’re great. But not for me. So let’s be friends?”

Okay so it didn’t go like that exactly, but it sounds way better than the real life version. Now I can look back and say thank you. I didn’t know it then, but I had just been given a gift.

I shift a little in my seat. When you don’t know where you’re going, any destination will do. Once upon a time, I was a passenger in my life. I was letting someone else do all the driving. I was busy reading the map and handing out snacks.

I shift in my seat. I look down at the relaxed sway of my leg resting against the door.

My boots.

Never thought something could be so deep over boots, but every bit of that is true_

 

I had a pair of  tall Louis Vuitton boots. The were soft supple leather with a nice heel. They fit my foot like a glove.  They made me feel like someone who had their shit together.

I look back down at my Fat Baby boots.

I have had these going on twelve years. They are comfortable and easy to wear. They don’t fit very well in a stirrup. They slow me up running down a shoot, but they are trustworthy and sturdy.

I had walked down one aisle of boots three times. I picked up a pair and smelled them. New leather. New boot. I touched the top and looked at the bottom. The color wasn’t right. I walked around another corner and looked at the tan colored boots. They had a little texture but they weren’t snake skin or ostrich. They were shorter than my normal pick. I picked them and smelled them. I looked the down the row and pulled out a box. Size 8.5. I put them in the cart and walked to the cashier. I didn’t need to try them on. I knew they were mine.

The girl that bought those boots was looking for something. She needed direction. She needed her roots. She didn’t know it at the time, even though it was hard, she was going to need to pull herself up by her boot straps and get on with this thing called living.

To my next contestant More

Everyone has lost someone,  ended a relationship, or thought they couldn’t go on after a situation in life has left them broken. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. We all have a story. We all have a time and place in life where we had to pull ourselves up by finding the one thing that has always brought us comfort and strength.

For some us raised in the dirt and the muck, that’s a pair of boots. It reminds me of where I am from, what I made of and just how many times I can get thrown in the dirt and get up smiling.

Can a pair of boots do all that? Yes. A pair of boots can do all that.

 

 

Sunnies.

I started stripping off my clothes in the car. It was a hot summer day and I had grass stuck to me every where. Yes, I mean every where. My legs were sweaty  on the seat. I had all the windows rolled down and the radio up too loud. I had one thing on my mind.

Swimming.

When you grow up in the middle of no where, back yard swimming pools are hard to come by.  But we had a river and when it was running just right, jumping off that bridge didn’t seem so far, and it felt perfect after a day of cutting down hay.

I had taken the afternoon shift in a red swather (or windrower). The seat was hot and the only shade was a small umbrella. I never drew the straw to be in the air conditioned cab. No, only the best for me. I didn’t mind.  The sound of the engine and the constant motion of the sickle bar put me in a spell.  I ate dirt and swallowed more bugs than I’d like to think about, but I had a plan. I was swimming with my besties  as soon as this half of the field was down.

One more row.

I don’t remember how old I was this particular summer. I was some place in between too young but just old enough to be a little more independent.  I knew I had to be home  a little after dark, but in summer that sun stays up just a little longer just for nights like this. Especially when I was meeting my best friend and we were just swimming, giggling. and dangling our feet off a bridge. Floating.
I can’t tell you a single thing we talked about that time. I am sure it was boy related.

Now decades later, I am driving my baby girl to school, working a full time desk job and trying to be the grown up the world says I need to be. I am trying to save money. I listen to all the podcasts and I am reading everything.  Adulting is exhausting.

It’s been a minute since I dangled my feet off a bridge with water dripping off my legs with my best friends sitting right next to me and some days it feels like yesterday.

When you hear that little voice whisper, just do it. Just listen to it a little more. Be a little less concerned with walking the straight line of adulthood. Remember what it was like to scream into the open and take that jump into the muddy water.

I am still the girl dreaming of meeting her besties at the bridge. Cheap sunglasses, bad tan lines and windows rolled down.

I am patiently waiting for Summer on this first day of May.  I can feel her coming. She’s taking her sweet time. Montana is known to have her own weather pattern. She is a stern parent and some times she likes to remind you she makes the rules. So up here, we learn to be grateful for when that warm sunshine starts to beat down on us.

I keep my shades up on my dash now and I wait.  I wait for that pull to remember what it felt like to feel  summer; rolled down windows, cheap sunglasses and Keystone Light. T-tops and late night phone calls to my parents saying I was going to be late; and yes, I knew where my sister was! I just had to go pick her up……..