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Gypsy.

I’m a little sleepy today. My kid, my only child, my apple of my eye, was up most of the night with stomach issues. You know, the one where they stand in the door and say something vague like,

“Mom, I don’t feel so good.”

Those words were followed by me trying to wake up and ask all the right questions.

“Do you have to throw up? Does your stomach hurt? Does it hurt or is it a stabbing pain? Do you have a fever?” Rapid fire mom questions to get to root of the problem when my brain feels like a dumpster fire.

The answers were very vague. She mostly just needed me to go through all the questions and look for solutions while being asleep. She didn’t have a fever and the stomach was more nausea. So back to sleep she went as I made my way to get her Gatorade and look for medicine I didn’t have.

Now where was I?

Oh yes. I was thinking about faking it through tough situations. I was thinking about how some times you don’t have all the answers to the questions.

I have never thought of any of my tough situations were unique. It was shit. I understand that much, but my friend had her shit too. That’s how we got through it. We found each other on a trail. We shared food and got caught up watching sun beams.

I would say most of my life has not gone as planned. I think I am too much of a dreamer, so I don’t always make a plan.  I am more of a gypsy than I would like to admit, and so I float along in a caravan lead by unicorns.
I always believe in the best in people. I think you should absolutely root for them to win.

I am also becoming a realist. Not everyone is going to be cheering for me as often or as loud.

I have learned that some people are not going to be the best version of themselves. I have learned that I cannot save people from themselves. I have learned that I can be the bitch in their story and that’s okay.

I have also learned that some times the best thing to do is nothing at all and let Karma sort it out. I have also learned that I can be Karma.

Not having a plan has also set me free. I am not so set in my way that I haven’t learned to switch directions or take a back road when necessary. Barefoot, a breeze running through my hair, and maybe a little smirk.

The spark in my eyes, it’s there to remind you I know a little more than you think I do.

In my  twenties, I was more of a people please-er  and maybe not so sure of who I was; I had a rude awakening in my thirties. Now in my forties, I am more me.  I just need a reminder that it’s okay to take a back road every now and again. The view may be just what I need.

I have to remind myself we are all out here trying to live our best life. No matter what that looks like.

Today that looks like I didn’t work out, tried to eat better and stay away from sugar. I stayed off the scale, stayed home with my sick child, and worried about my adult responsibilities. I did get my floor swept, dishes done, and laundry sorted.

I think I showered. I know I didn’t wash my hair. That’s okay. I am a gypsy. We believe in dry shampoo, bare feet, Pluto in retrograde, and sage.

 

Connection.

I’m flying today. The destination doesn’t matter as much as the company.

Today I’m going to give myself some grace to enjoy the travel and not put so much pressure on myself to keep up with appearances.

For me this means putting down my phone, making eye contact with strangers and smiling at everyone. Seems simple enough, but I like to hide behind my phone and do the scroll.

We all need more connection in our lives. We get so consumed with our own wants, needs and desires we forget that there are others in our world around us that value our attention as well.

It takes extraordinarily amount of strength for someone to reach out and say, “I’m not doing so good today.”

A connection.

I think we need more of that. We live in the highlight reel of life enough. I can post all day long about how amazing my work out was; because it is. However, I probably won’t let you know I didn’t want to get up and I cried through most of it. I did get through it, so that highlight goes up for the world to see.

A how are you or you’re doing so amazing goes a long way.

I don’t get much conversations in with my daughter, but we have those 10 minute car rides and after we connect when I get home. We buzz and catch up. She’s very talkative right now and I love hearing her day retold and things she finds super funny. She is thoughtful and caring friend, and I love how she is becoming her own person.

Mostly I love our connection.

So as we move and buzz about our day, take some time to look up from your own train of thought and the scroll, and say hi. I know I will. Maybe smile too.

The world needs more connection. The human kind.

Strong.

I had hit the ground. Hard. I didn’t tuck and roll, I was 6. Girls, I have been told, need to work on their get off. The ground isn’t forgiving.   The black horse took off and I sat there staring up at the blue sky. It wasn’t the last time I would get dismissed off a horse, but it was the one that I remember the most.

I also remember I had to get back up in the saddle. It wasn’t a question. It was a statement. I was a long way from home. Up I went and I think I made it home. I don’t remember the trip that time. I think I was too young and I was too stunned.

That’s the first time I learned to be physically strong.

I loved the high jump in track. I still don’t get it really. I mean you have to run in a certain pattern to a bar, plant your foot, and fling your body at an odd angle over a bar to land on a mat.  Each time the height of the bar raising and testing your ability,  if you got it wrong, the bar hit you hard; but, at least the mat eased the impact.

What I did love is the is the competition was all in me. I had to decide to go for it. I had to decide whether I was going to win or lose. It was just me against that bar.

The first few times of hitting the bar always set me back. It didn’t hurt. It was a mental game. I had to be stronger than the bar. I had to know I could make it over the bar or I wouldn’t. Every time I let thinking about it interfere with the process of doing it, I would lose.

I had to learn to be mentally strong.

One of my favorite men died when I was 19. When my mom called to tell me I was home alone in my apartment and she had asked me to maybe call someone to be with me. I was puzzled by that and when she told me I simply hung up the phone, went to my room and got the quilt his sister had made me for my graduation and wrapped it around me. Popi, as we all called him, always let me come along on little day trips I invited myself on. I would happily crawl into the back of the camper,  stare out the window to wherever he decided he and Grandma were going. I didn’t care. I just knew I had to go. Mostly to Medora ND and the night show. He also believed in ice cream and taught us all to stir with your spoon until you had this perfect milk shake like mix in your bowl. And most importantly, he always made us all feel like we were the very best people.

When he passed away suddenly one day while sitting in his chair, I had to learn to be heart strong.

Strong.

I have fallen, I have fallen apart and I have been crushed. I got up. I dusted myself off and put on a band aid. I have gotten up after being mentally strung out. And I have sure as fuck got up after being heart broke. I am not saying it wasn’t tough. Some days it took everything I had to get out of bed.

Physically, mentally and heart tired.

Strong.

The one thing I have always had is my spirit. I am feisty as fuck. I am born into a family that doesn’t have one ounce of quit in them. I was always taught to stand up for yourself or for others and always do what’s right.  I have gotten lost along this path we call life and some days, I really needed a road map (ironically I have no sense of direction) and I am blessed I have wise friends that step in and redirect my steps, shake me mentally, and give me a hug.

Strong.

Life can be lonely. Yes, I have family. Yes, I have a tribe. A squad. A clan. BUT at the very end of every single day I have to be able to stand up and look in the mirror; I have to be able to square my shoulders, dust myself off and listen to my heart beat. I know that even though they will gather around me, protect me, and lift me; they won’t be there every time I open my eyes. Strength to get up, to learn, to grow comes from me.

My spirit.

So I carry lessons with me. Lessons on how even when I took that corner too fast on my huffy blue and yellow bike and got road rash, I  straightened out and tried it again until I leaned into that curve the road rose up to meet me  and pushed me along. Lessons on how to not over think every time the bar gets raised, but rather to re-count my steps and go for it. Lessons on how when my heart gets broke, I remember the times that made me smile and leave the rest.

Strong.

 

 

 

Doubt.

Did I make the right decision?

I shrug my shoulders.

Before that question would have left me paralyzed in fear, today I shrug my shoulders and usually say, “Fuck it.”

I might smile too. (so did you just now.)

But that Doubt.

Doubt is a sonofabitch. It comes in like that snobby girl in class, flipping her hair over her shoulder and looking down at me with that sneer  on her face. She doesn’t have anything to say, really, just whispers to her friends and laughs.

I check my shirt for stains and I have the urge to run to the bathroom to see if I have food on my face.

Nope. She’s just a bitch.

Someone getting inside your head is one thing, but the decision to let them live there is another.

Doubt.

Decisions use to be hard for me. I was always afraid I was making the wrong one. Guess what? No decision is still a decision.  I was also constantly afraid I was going to make someone mad for making the decision.

Or not making one.

Ugh! Doubt.

Again. There she is over there in the corner of the party. She is watching me again. She is waiting and there it is. She tipped her head back and  laughed.

This bitch.

I fight the urge to run to the bathroom and check my clothes.

When does this thing called doubt appear. It certainly wasn’t with me when I was 3 years old banging out the screen door with my dog to go on adventures. I didn’t question my ability to climb bales and when I got older; I don’t remember ever questioning if I should get on that horse my dad swore was “just a little green.” (Hint: they were always a lot green.)

Doubt appears when I’m trying to be someone else to please someone else. A boss, coworker, friend and family; we have all tried to mold ourselves to fit someone else version of us.

No doubt appears when I let other people’s perception of me gets into my head. When this has happened in the past,  I took it all personally. Today I might have a 30 minute game delay, but I realize it tends to be a “them” problem and not a “me” problem.
That’s okay, not everyone can have good taste, so  fuck it.

Back to that bitch doubt.

I think I have it together today. Except my smile. It’s still too big and my laugh is still too loud.

That bitch doutbt is over there nodding her head.

So I think it’s time to confront her.

My smile is too big. I like to smile it’s kinda my thing.
My laugh is also too loud. That’s because joy is contagious and should be shared.

My decisions are what made me who I am today.

A strong, fierce bitch who would do anything for those I love.

I don’t think, no I know, I wasn’t given all this spirit and perseverance just to constantly have someone try to break me. To make me doubt my worth or abilities, there are plenty times in my day when I feel just that.

I look up at doubt and square my shoulders , I stand just a little taller and give her a wink.

I flip my hair and walk away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progress.

I’m writing this later than normal. I am really good at the last minute panic thing. I usually need the control over the last minute panic. I need to put on my headphones, pick out the right music and find the muse.  Some times she doesn’t talk, she whispers, so it’s important to listen.

My writing has always been as easy as breathing. I see in pictures and my imagination catches me off guard some days and before I know it I  have written and acted a whole play out in my head.

The problem is with my progress. I start. I start again and I hear my muse and she only takes me so far. I use to think why did that character stop talking to me?

Now I know.

My muse said let me start you; but you have to take it from here.

She was guiding me but also pushing me. I have to say my fear of what I can actually do with my craft stopped my progress.

I could say the same with my health and fitness journey.  I had always been heavy? No that’s not true. I could eat whatever I wanted my whole life and suddenly….stop.  I gained weight. Probably more than I liked to admit. You know how it is.

I lost weight. I did it healthy. I worked out 3 days a week and didn’t eat everything I saw during the day. I was fit and I felt good. Big problem was I didn’t learn to eat. I knew what I liked….mashed potatoes with some gravy and maybe a biscuit. You feel me?!

Then one day two years ago I stopped and I decided not to be scared. I became determined.

I found something that worked for me. I found motivation for me.  I became determined. I decided that I could be who ever I wanted to be.  I found out how to fuel my body, how to eat, and a motivating program that worked for me.  I was determined I wouldn’t let the fear of who I could be stop me.

Two years and  twenty-two pounds still off;  I give myself grace for days I eat all the things, because life is short and I like cheesecake.

Days I can chest press fifty pounds for four sets, I cheer and I am proud of the girl who didn’t give up on herself.

Days I hear the muse and let her talk to me before I tell her she can go, like tonight, that too is progress.

Spring.

The sunshine hits your face and the temperature starts to climb.

Spring. She shows up just when you have lost all hope. Winter seems never ending and we all feel that push.

We’re in a rush to reach for the sun.

I’ve always said Fall is my favorite season. It’s when I was born. I love the leaves and the hoodie season, but recently I have started to appreciate Spring for the sweet spot it is.

Spring.

I hate change. Did we discuss this already? I feel like we have. Let’s go over it again. Change sucks. It makes me anxious over things I can’t control.

However, change is becoming a theme

Much of change is wrapped in perfection. If I just arrange the notebooks just right before I start; than I can write. Or if I just lose these pesky 5 lbs; than I will start my work out program. See what I mean? Perfection.

Spring doesn’t wait for the conditions to be perfect. It just starts. Birds start singing louder and the flowers start to push through. They aren’t waiting on perfection.

I struggle with the start. I overthink, rethink, reorganize and talk myself out of projects because of the perfection.

Spring man, it shows up and I begin to think that I get a fresh start too. I get the chance to jump start my bucket list, think about running (no I don’t. I don’t ever think about running.), what would happen if I didn’t eat that piece of chocolate cake or what if I did start writing my novel.

Have you ever found a flower growing in the oddest place? You have right? It stopped you and you starred in wonder at this little bud reaching for the sun. No matter what. Let’s face it, you smiled a little too right? You admire it’s bravado. Why? It gives you that little ray of hope. It reminds you that if this little bud can burst through the crack in the Earth, so can you.

Spring.

Whatever has been on your mind all winter long, it’s time to start. You’ve got everything in you to push through the dirt and reach for the sun.

 

One.

“I don’t love you.” He said.

Then he said it again. On repeat until I told him to stop.

I got up from the sofa and walked away. We had just moved into our house. Just. Moved. In. Two days later he wrote one note and left it on the table for me to find.

We weren’t close to being perfect picture of a relationship. We had been through the ringer. Death, marriage, moves, jobs and  we had a child.
With one note on the kitchen table, that vanished.

Okay so it wasn’t just one note. That story involves me being the victim and playing that card. That story involves some wrongs. On my part as well, because well, I wasn’t being me.  When I figured out how to be me again, well the words I don’t love you no longer stung because I realized; no, he didn’t love me. He loved the idea of who he thought I was.

One.

Being a one in a world full of twos can be the most overwhelming thing to do. Good thing I was raised by people who taught me better. <wink>  I had a kid to raise remember? I didn’t have time to feel bad. Except some days in the bathroom. Cause that’s where all women go to have a melt down.

You get to see just how pathetic you look and when you look again you get to see just how amazing you are.

It’s amazing the amount of rejection that I see
In my reflection but I can’t get out of the way
I’m lookin’ forward to the girl I wanna be
But regret has got a way of starin’ me right in the face
So I try not to waste too much time at the bathroom sink ~Miranda Lambert

I spent a good long time being one.  I needed to be single. I needed to heal first. I needed to learn to trust. I needed to learn to trust myself. Because I hadn’t been trusting myself for years, the relationship with me needed to be repaired.

I had become so lost I had forgotten who I was. If you had asked me my favorite color, I couldn’t have told you. That people pleasing side in me was strong. The  what if it makes them mad side was strong.

One note on a kitchen table, I had started the road back.

I found out I am pretty damn strong and I am a pretty amazing mom.  I have a tribe of people who cheer for me. I also learned that if people don’t like me, they can get fucked. I spent a lot of years not being liked for being me and I refuse to be around people who want me to be a little less me.

“Do you ever get use to it?” I was asked.
“What? The being single? The walking into a room by yourself?” I replied.
“Yes” She nodded tears in rolling down her cheeks.

Yes.

The journey to rediscovering you is what makes it easier.

Even though every journey has to be made alone, there are still guide posts and maps. Bathrooms for a girl to wash her face and reapply her lipstick.

It’s okay to sit down along the side of the road on that journey and ask for directions.

By the way, my favorite color is blue and I still like to go to movies alone.

 

Brave.

When I was 12 years old I learned to drive my mom’s 1966 Buick Skylark two door hard top. It had three on the tree, an iffy clutch and temperamental breaks.

That was my first car. I had been upgraded from a tractor, four wheelers, and the ranch pick up I dented (only the tailgate).

I drove it daily 11 miles to the bus stop.

Yes 11 miles. Or was it 12? At any rate it was gravel and I competed with oilfield drivers for space and speed.

Brave.

The best part of the road was cattle guard at the top of hill, and I was sure we would catch air every time.

I had always pictured us flying over the top like a movie.

Windows down. Radio loud. Hair flowing with that rebel yell.

In reality the landing was hard and the radio didn’t work.

Driving that car taught me so much. How to shut it down, down shift and coast when the clutch went out. Or not to panic if I had no breaks.

Nope. I know what you’re thinking. Knock on wood and to quote my dad as he says to my mom, ” have I ever wrecked you?”

The answer is no.

I learned to take the ditch. It slowed me down and I always rolled to a stop. ( or the one time I eased to a stop with the help of Grant’s house I still can see his dad’s girlfriend coming out to check the house and he replied, “we’re fine. Thanks for asking”)

Brave.

Mom’s Buick got retired. When I got too cool or maybe because it wasn’t street legal. It’s funny because it’s the car that holds the most memories for me.

I took those lessons with me.

I had to learn to push it to floor when I can; there’s going to be rough spots but learn to slow down or it will just beat the shit out of you. Take the high side and go low on those corners.

And when you feel like you can’t stop; look for a ditch to help slow you down and pray.

Just don’t stay there. You have the ability to push yourself out.

Every chance you get roll down the windows, push those gas station sun glasses up and pull your cap down low.

Brave.

I still like to drive fast.

Only I call him Blue and he has heated seats and the radio works. I talk to him. I ask him if he wants to run. Or apologize to him on cold winter days when we have to take it slow.

Yes, I still roll the windows down and play the music too loud. Yes, I always wear my sunnies and my snap back.

And I’m still looking for that cattle guard on a hill.

Brave.

Change.

I wonder if I have some change?

Do you have any change?

I get to change!

I hate change.

I change my socks.

I change my attitude and my mind daily. Minute by minute some days right?

Real life change either gives me the hives or makes my whole day.

It’s constant. That’s my dad says.

One would think they way I have lived this life that change would get easier.

I have moved more than seven times in my life. I have been the new girl in more than one place, and that in itself has taught me about change.

I learned that letting go of what I knew and my friends was hard, but it wasn’t optional. I had to move and it pushed me to grow. I had to adapt to a whole new environment and for me that was the best thing.

Change.

It served me as life started to shift later. When I had regroup and move my life and my daughter. That was rough.

It was change.

And I hated it.

Mostly because I’m a mom and my decisions effect someone else.

I had to consider something.

Was this going to move my life forward?

Yes it did.

Adapting to change is hard. Everything in our brain screams at us to stay the same. The feelings that come up thinking about change are usually worse than the change.

How boring would our life be if everyone and everything in our life didn’t grow? Didn’t change?

Change excite us. Change pushes us. Change teaches us.

The things I went through in my life, good and bad, all changed me for the better.

Change taught me from a very early age that I can do anything.

Change taught me I can celebrate.

Change taught me I can survive and thrive.

Change has pushed me to look at life and think what I have is pretty darn amazing.

Change has taught me that even in my darkest moments I have something to learn.

Change has taught me you can’t just peek at life.

You have to kick down change’s door and embrace it.

Silence.

My breath sounded loud in my head.

One more step. Breathe out. One more step. Breathe in.

The rhythm of my feet was the only sound I heard.

The gravel road stretched out in front of me. It’s one of those perfect days. When the sun is just beginning to sink and the sky is that blue-pink, birds are singing their good night song and small animals run around in the silence.

Too much. I put my head phones on and flipped to a song and pushed play.

I thought I needed noise.

“Breathe. Just breathe.” I repeated. Because I didn’t want the silence.

I grew up in BFE. That comes with a lot of perks that not everyone understands or experiences.

Silence.

The crunch of tires on the gravel, birds chirping in warm spring days and the movement of humans and animals. They all came together as their own sound track.

No music. No horns honking.

Silence.

My shoes picking up their own rhythm as I picked up my pace. Enjoying the view. Watching the birds.

I push past another song.

I didn’t want silence. I would have to be alone with my thoughts.

Ugh not this song. I hit next. Next.

I watch the sun sink deeper into horizon. Finally fed up with the lack of a decent play list, I shove off my head phones.

Silence.

It greets me. It surrounds me. It makes me stop and really look around.

I smile at the wind blowing through the grass. The one bunny that looks as startled to see me as I am to see him.

I start to walk again. The cadence of my feet adding to nature’s sound track. My mind isn’t racing. I can feel myself start to relax.

Because sometimes it isn’t more noise we need, it’s less.

Silence.

A lot of us are afraid to sit in the silence. It feels painful. Like someone is pushing stick pins into your skin. Your mind playing the best of ‘you’re a screw up and this is why side A track two.’

Silence.

I look up. The silence isn’t so scary. I know it isn’t permanent. I know that when my mind likes to hit play on that sad pathetic bullshit, I know there is the B side. The highlight reel. The ‘best of’ sound track.

Silence.

It means I told the bullshit committee to take a seat. I have learned how strong I am, how amazing and how truly bad ass.

I pull the headphones off and stick them in my pocket.

I want to listen to the silence.