Show me a sign

Journal Review

I wrote this segment in a journal 2 days after meeting my current boyfriend…

“Lately I’ve been going about this dating scene the wrong way. If the universe truly provides what you want and need then I must be putting out the wrong vibes and need to correct that issue as soon as possible. Per a therapy assignment almost two years ago, I was asked to make a list of 100 traits or qualities that I am looking for in a partner. The secrets out guys, I compare each and every one of you to that list. Now if a guy doesn’t score 100% it doesn’t make it a deal breaker, not one guy has even come close to 100%. There are things on the list that are must haves and there are others that are negotiable. The guys that I have been talking with and casually dating are all nice guys. There’s just something off, it’s bad timing when lining up with a career, they have a good job and can take care of themselves but our personalities don’t mesh, they can be gentlemen and romantic but I’m not attracted to them in the slightest, or they are gorgeous and kind of a jerk. I somehow need to stop blocking myself from having the guy who is all of these good qualities that I’m looking for from entering my life.”

I sent him a response from the night we met shortly after finishing my rant. As I sit here reading through these emotional scribbles I can’t help but think how blessed I am. The next journal entry I wrote was all about plans for a first date. We’ve been together since.

Everyone knows the saying “if you build it they will come”, well that’s how I feel about this journal entry. I wrote it down and then it happened. For the record, I scored my boyfriend on that list of 100 qualities and he’s scored the highest yet.

The universe hears your words. Focus on what you want, make changes, and let the pieces fall into place. Review your journals and see if the trials you wrote about are still remarkable? Notice if the universe provided the answers for them to workout. We live in a crazy magical world. Trust in it!

clairity

Exposure

I find that I write when my mind is unclear. My attention slipping from reality and rediscovering the dark tender areas that ache with memory. Exposing raw unsettling feeling.

Unable to identify the cause of these waves, I search for clues. Digging deep into myself, scouring my intuition for answers. I have learned the hard way that leaving decisions making to my heart and mind is impulsive and irrational. Causing emotional rather than intellectual problem solving.

I feel as if my hesitations and fears stem from ghosts that lurk in my past. Dog lays heavy over my hopes and dreams. Starving for clarity. I’m losing my identity. Wandering thoughts between spiteful decisions, lost passions, and the need to prove myself. My focus should be on goals, happiness, and striving for success. I should be doing these for me rather than in hopes that I can prove myself to someone.

What am I trying to prove and why? Is this an attempt for closure? Am I settling? Am I truly happy or just striving to make myself into someone Unrecognizable? My heart and mind are screaming. My soul is searching. My body still. I’m listening… waiting. Waiting for the answer to be revealed. Waiting for the fog to lift from my eyes. Waiting for the exposure of my truths.

Trust in myself is fragile. I’m afraid of repeating history, making the wrong decision, letting myself fall in love. I’m writing for resolve. I’m writing without edit. Writing from corners of myself that are mute. Advocating to release this inner voice, breaking the chains or insecurity and allow whatever my life is to be, be.

Forgiveness

Confession

I like to think that I’m a good person. I was raised by a loving and supportive family. I have the most incredible friends a girl could ask for. And my boyfriend, he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m living a pretty spectacular life these days. But when I take time to reflect on how I got to this point, I reflect on the few years of chaos in my life that I don’t like to talk about.

I’ve talked about my divorce, I’ve talked about my failed relationship that I jumped right into afterwards. I never talked about who I hurt along the way. I’ve always been self absorbed in my own trauma. I lived my own life and didn’t recognize or frankly didn’t care at the path of terror I was leaving in my path. We all have that one chapter that we don’t want to read out loud, this is mine.

When my marriage ended, I got into a relationship with a guy who spoke poorly of his relationship with his wife. It was so nice to have a man telling me that he wanted me, that he loved me, and would take care of me. I had a lack of those needs in my marriage and with a broken soul after a debilitating divorce, I would have jumped at any man who promised me the world. I contributed to this man’s divorce. The first time we decided to end the affair was when she found out that he was having a relationship with me. I wrote her a letter. In that letter I spilled my heart. I apologized profusely, and at the time although it hurt, I meant it. But I also lied about a lot of things in the first letter to protect the man that I had unintentionally fallen in love with. It’s wasn’t the genuine letter that I had hoped for. After a few months had passed and I felt more stable, I reached out the this man and wished him well. I told him about the healing process that I had gone through. He responded and the spark with almost immediately rekindled.

This time, his tone had changed. He said his marriage was failing, regardless of not speaking to me. He had issues in his marriage that he believed were beyond repair, but he took his time getting out of the marriage. After I found out that he had plans to celebrate his first wedding anniversary at an all-inclusive resort that he claims he knew nothing about, I was done. Heartbroken that the man who had chosen me when I felt the most unloved, wasn’t going to choose me. This time I was angry. I wrote another letter. Fuelled with spite and fire. I had learned things about his relationship with his wife that made me hate his wife. They made me angry and I didn’t think she deserved the man that had been so kind and loving towards me. I truly believe that SHE was the monster, not him. This letter that I wrote spilled all the honesty that I left out of the first one along with every little detail of the time her husband and I spent together. If I couldn’t have him, I damn well didn’t want her to have him either.

Another couple months had passed before I started making connections that he was thinking about me again. They had separated and he moved out of the house. Whatever hold this man had over my heart was toxic and potent. After on long evening of FaceTime confessions that he had me believe that he was sorry for hurting me. That he didn’t care about her and that he realized the time he took leaving his marriage was unfair to the relationship he wanted with me. He made the four hour drive just to take me on a date and the feelings rushed back. A few weeks later, his wife text me. She wanted to talk, but I only allowed text. I had to go to work and I feared that I would word vomit too much information or even worse, that I would cry. I told her that I was seeing someone and to never contact me again. The person I was seeing was her still current husband and she obliged and I never heard from her again.

I respected the first few months of keeping our relationship discrete. After it continued to be imperative that I was a secret, I got angry. We finally had the opportunity to be together without strings attached. Their marriage was over. He loved me, I loved him. It was finally my time to have him to myself. I never got that opportunity. We constantly argued over the level of publicity our relationship could have. Then we started arguing about everything. Season basketball tickets trumped my time visiting and being introduced to coworkers as just a friend was how we spent our last few days together. My feelings were hurt, I was grabbing at straws trying to maintain my dignity and salvage a relationship that I had waited so long to come to fruition. It took one drunken night out to realize that I was not the girl for him and his sights were set on his coworker. As much as he initially denied it, I couldn’t fight the feeling that there was something there. I pushed the topic and we lashed out at each other. The relationship was toxic and he felt I wasn’t letting him be independently after getting out of a marriage. I removed myself and began really working on the placed within myself that I didn’t like. It was then I began my journey to independent happiness, rather than filling a void. It was also then that he began dating his coworker.

It’s been a year since all of this happened and I put in the effort to take care of my heart. I find comfort and peace in the here and now. I don’t stress over the details even though I am still a relentless planner. I struggle with things that are beyond my control but I have learned better coping skills. The hot headed girl still remains but has cooled off tremendously. I attribute a lot of my growth to the man who ruined my heart and the wife whose marriage I helped end. I believe that all of this happened for a reason, regardless of how guilty I feel.

What I learned from him was that I deserve to be loved in a way much better than what my husband gave me. I also deserved much better than what he could give me. I learned to manage my finances and pulled myself out of a mountain of debt. And most importantly I learned to trust my gut, because my intuition might not always be 100% accurate but it knows when something is not right.

What I learned from her is that friends are important. That relationship drama is not for the world to know, but it better kept between spouses. I also learned that maintaining your health through nutrition and workouts regardless of your life’s situations is crucial in self care.

I learned about the Tone It Up program when I began creeping on his wife. She was apart of this fabulous community. Now, I am NOT a workout selfie kind of girl. I am not a hash tag queen and the only time I take picture of food is when my boyfriend makes a bangin meal, and that’s because I want to brag on his amazingness, not because anyone cares what I eat. I started following along with this nutrition program. I started seeing people’s results and thought that if I could get the recipes that it would work for me. I needed to do something to maintain my health but I never wanted to join this community because it was her territory.

About 6 months after everything ended, I had genuine chest pain. I woke up for work. My boyfriend laying peacefully at my side. I went to the bathroom and almost fell. I was drenched in sweat and nauseous. When I crawled back onto the bed, the palpitations in my chest were strong and irregular. There was pressure at the center of my sternum and it wouldn’t resolve regardless of the relaxation techniques that I had been using. After three days or irregularity and discomfort I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with a mild heart arrhythmia that is affected when your health is poor. Inadequate nutrition, lack of sleep, not enough cardiovascular conditioning, all could cause my heart to slip into this arrhythmia.

The first step that I took to caring for myself better was to increase my workouts. I had a regular heart rhythm on my three month check up and I was happy, however, blood testing showed that my electrolytes were all low. My Potassium was 3.4 and my Magnesium 1.6. I was slightly dehydrated and was warned that I could slip back into this uncomfortable heart rhythm at any time. I needed to get my nutrition in check and I thought of the Tone It Up program. I’m hesitant to begin this program because of the unhealthy way in which I discovered the program. I feel like I took so much away from this TIU girl, that I don’t need to impose on her workout/ health regimen as well. I tried a few other options first, but with my schedule and my inability to cook like an adult, Tone It Up turned out to be the best option.

SO, this is my way of getting everything off of my check. I had an affair with a TIU girl’s husband and then started the program. My body couldn’t handle my unhealthy habits anymore and neither can my heart or soul. I’m letting go of the guilt. I’m thanking these two for all they have taught me about life and how to be a better person. And I am apologizing with my whole heart for all the pain and heartache that I contributed to ending your relationship. I have worked so hard over the past year to maintain my health, work on my mind set and find peace with what has happened/ what I had caused. This is my final part of letting go and moving forward. This is my confession.

Love yourself

Dear future boyfriend,

Dear future boyfriend,

I don’t know who you are. I maybe unaware of your presence in my life or you may not yet have made your grand entrance. I can tell you that I’m eager to experience your love. The butterflies of the first dates, the anticipation of being in your presence, anxiety waiting for a first kiss. The hopeless romantic in me longs for our beginning but until our moment arrives I will daydream of the person you will be..

You speak kindly. Respect that my trust must be earned and progress slowly with me. Be patient, honest, and genuine. No favors are being done by hiding your truths or making adaptations, show me who you are. I want to know the intricacies of your mind. What feeds your soul and captures your heart? Celebrate the small joys and accomplishments of life. Cherish the moments that pass by so quickly and always express yourself freely. 

I hope that you are ambitious. Eager for new life experiences. Be open-minded to our differences and embrace the changes associated with new love. As the rhythm of our lives ebb and flow, know that I am ready for the challenge. Loyalty is a priority. Don’t simply speak of your feelings but show me. I don’t ask for a stage production but for the small moments found in each day. Simply chivalrous gestures are more than enough.

What’s your favorite color, season, holiday? How do you drink your coffee? What’s your favorite food? Do you like to read? You must love dogs. Will you dance with me in the kitchen to my forever changing favorite song? The words I speak will not be lost but remembered and respected. Your thoughtfulness will be overwhelming but a blessing.

What is it that you do for a living? I hope it’s a passion of yours. No, I don’t want to know your salary.  I hope you have aspirations for your future and goals for your life. I want you to be stable and able to take care of yourself. I prefer your time and attention over the girth of your wallet. Be the guy who will play outside, crawling through woods and exploring rivers. The man who will explore the world by day and dine in the city at dusk.

Admire my appearance but fall in love with my mind as beauty fades over time. There is beauty in learning the human wiring of ones brain. Strengths, weaknesses, fears, flaws, embrace mine as I will yours. Accept my past for who I was, appreciate what I’ve gone through, but don’t let it affect our future as it’s made me who I am. Most importanly, I hope the anticipation of our connection is reciprocated.

When I’m with you I will feel home, safe, accepted, and comfortable. You will be all I have imagined and more than I deserve. A calming realization that our paths crossed with intention will ease the anxiety from the wait. My heart will be chaos and my mind will be clear. I know that you are out there. See me, for here I stand.

Until our paths cross,

♥Kaitlyn

 

Love yourself

The Cycle

I have the best friends. Look at all my free time to do whatever I want. Life is mine for the taking. I can have anyone I want. I’m smart, I’m pretty, I’m successful. He will miss me, he will wish he never left. It’s his loss anyway…

I’m ok, I swear I’m ok. This isn’t that bad. It’s just a failed marriage, it’s just the end of the relationship. “You’re young”, they say. “Plenty of time to meet the right guy” they say. I believe them…

I’m breathing. I’m going through the motions of day to day life. I am numb. Today’s a low day. This will pass. I have responsibilities to take care of. I’ll distract myself until this feeling subsides. I will just sleep until it’s over…

I don’t want to wake up. Opening my eyes floods reality back into focus. My dreams don’t bring me peace or provide an escape. I get out of bed. I can’t control thoughts. My body involuntarily functions…

I’m screaming, I was asleep. It was just a dream. I’m alone. I want to explain. I need him to know how I feel. Apologies and explanations come from desperation. Will it work? No. Does he miss me, no. He hates me, how quickly he’s moved on…

Is this how it feels to be dead? Stupid girl, couldn’t keep it together. Despair, panic, fear, hopelessness, grips at my chest and takes every last breath of air from my lungs. Each throb of my heart is a twisting dagger. Maybe I’d rather be dead. Will this gaping chest wound heal? I ruined everything. I hit rock bottom…

Clarity. He’s gone and moved on but I’m still breathing. I survived. My heart is healing. This is progress. I deserve better. I am better. I am stronger. I am independent. I don’t need a man to love me. I am my own hero…

I have the best friends. Look at all my free time to do whatever I want. Life is mine for the taking. I can have anyone I want. I’m smart, I’m pretty, I’m successful. He will miss me, he will wish he never left. It’s his loss anyway…

Love yourself

Goal Crushing

Having a positive mindset to achieve every goal you’ve ever dreamed of seems like an impossible task. I’m here to tell you that today I proved to myself that it is possible! In January I was 4 months into my attempts to better my life. I knew I was facing the right direction, but I didn’t know what needed to be done to be successful in my transformation. I seemed to be enjoying life but I still had stressors looming over me. I decided to write some goals and define some new habits that I’d like to achieve throughout 2017. These were things that I felt would help me continue on the journey to enjoy life and attempt to put those stressors at bay. I called them resolutions, however, they are more like lifestyle changes. I didn’t take this challenge lightly and I made sure I came up with a list of things that I truly wanted to accomplish. Here’s what I came up with.

  • Drink at least 65 oz. of water daily
    • How: Fill up green (24 oz.) water bottle x3 daily
  • Read 6 books
    • How: Finish one book every other month
  • Cook at least one meal a week/ Eat more salad
    • How: Meal prep once a week, plan out grocery list
  • Pay off Visa credit card debt
    • How: work overtime, budget, save

I am so proud to announce that as of today Friday June 16, 2017 I have crushed those goals that I’ve set for myself. Within 6 months rather than the full year!

Goal #1: I’ve been working out more consistently, trying to eat better to take care of myself, and drinking that water to stay hydrated. Some people eat their feelings, I don’t eat at all when I have too many feelings. At my lowest point over a year ago through my divorce I weighted 112 lbs. which was a loss of 20 lbs. from my “normal”.  Even though I was battling through some pretty rough weeks at the beginning of this year and fell back to 120 lbs. I kept my goals in mind. This morning after a very happy, healthy, relaxing vacation, I stepped on the scale at work. I was ecstatic to see the number, 130.2lbs.!

Goal #2: When I can’t say what I want to say, I write. When I can’t tame the thoughts in my head, I escape reality in a book. That’s what I’ve always used to help manage my emotions, but I’m not the strongest reader or writer. I’m sure some grammar Nazi could destroy my blog posts and make them flow more eloquently, but then it wouldn’t be my words. I also was always a slow reader. School was never easy for me. I would have to read something a few times before it really “stuck”. I was in reading labs and attended tutoring in after school programs to get my reading skills mastered. With that being said, setting a goal of reading 6 books in a year seemed very reasonable and achievable. My thoughts were if life happened or if I got busy then I still had adequate time. Over this past 6 months I have been dedicated to taking care of myself and most importantly my mind. Reading and writing have been my outlet and have allowed me to discover new pieces of myself. There are only 8 pictured because the one book was borrowed from a friend and returned, but these are the books that I’ve read in the past 6 months. 9 Books!! Its amazing if you set your intention on doing something rather than letting your thoughts overwhelm you and take control of your life, what you truly can accomplish! I know that there were days where my mind had been struggling to focus. I had wanted to day dream, think of what certain people were doing and where they were, imagining if they were thinking of me and trying to put myself in a fantasy land of my own life. That was such a dangerous mindset to be in and I battled through it with these 9 books. Staying focused on what’s right for me and important for my mental health. I can’t wait to see what the total count is by the end of the year!

Goal #3: Before my husband and I divorced we had some debt. Debt from our honeymoon, debt from a new car, and debt from us just being young, stupid, and ignorant to managing money. The snowball quickly started rolling. We became a one income family for four months which lead to more debt, we had to purchase a second car adding another payment, and finally all of that life happening couldn’t sustain a marriage which lead to divorce lawyer bills. I honestly don’t know the exact number of credit card debt I had found myself in by the end of everything but to my that’s not important. I had three credit cards when my husband moved out. I used to be the girl who would put something on my credit card just because I hadn’t used it in a while. I would always pay off the total balance and would make sure that I had enough money in the bank before considering buying anything. All of that changed when I had to try to keep my head above water financially. My personal finances were my biggest stressors. I would lose sleep, I was too stressed and depressed to eat, I would feel guilty for taking a day off of work and not going in for overtime, but I was such an unhealthy person at the time that the thought of working more than what I had to was an additional stressor.

Today I paid off my second credit card in full!  I can finally say that the majority of that stress and despair is behind me in regards to my finances. My goal was to pay off this particular credit card by the end of the year. I had learned to be gracious with myself and balance my money a little better. Although I hated the debt, I accepted it as a part of who I am and the journey that I had been through and continue to go through. I put in my mind that patience and consistency will pay the bills. And BAM within 6 months I was able to pay off that credit card! Two down, one to go! I feel like I can do anything right now!

Lastly, here are some signs of a good day. Last night was my first night back from vacation. I never sleep well the first night that I have to switch from daylight to night shift so this morning I knew I’d be tired and looking a little rough. It also stormed like hell yesterday so I didn’t bother with my hair. I pulled it out of my face and called it a day. Within the last 24 hours:

  • One of the respiratory therapists at work told me that I have beautiful hair and that it always looks so nice and healthy.
  • I was asked by a new friend to be a plus one to a wedding
  • And I got a message from the nurse at Central Blood Bank whom I connected with while I was there the other day. She briefly got snapshots of my life story through my donation and this morning she messaged me with a suggestion for a blind date.

You guys, life just works the way it’s going to! Tell the universe what your goals are, dream big, be faithful, and have a gracious heart. Be thankful for the struggle. The bad days are just as beneficial as the good days. I have learned and have been shown within the last 6 months that it is possible to do things that you never imagined!

Love yourself

Just a Mutt

“One love, one heart. Let’s get together and feel all right” – One Love By Bob Marley

My dog is a three year old shelter mutt. I found him in a random pet store in the middle of Marietta, Ohio while I was killing time waiting on my ex husband. He had been at the pet store for three days and was almost a promotional pet to encourage people to visit the shelter. I spent a few hours with him that day in the pet store and when we left for the weekend I had signed adoption papers. The shelter that was housing him found him in a lumbar yard, and that’s about all I really know about the first year of his life before I adopted him. I seem to be the only one who accepts not knowing his genetic make-up.

People ask all the time what he is and my response is always this, “he’s my shelter mutt.” My response is then followed by blank stare with an inquisitive look at Carson. Before they even speak I say “the shelter said that he’s a miniature pincher and hound mix.” Because that’s actually what his paperwork says, and for whatever reason I want to appease the people who are hunting for his ancestry. The responses I get range from a confused, “oh ok, well he’s adorable” to a flat out, “no that’s not what he is” followed by an insertion of their opinion.

I have one question to all of you. Does it really matter? If you want to know what breed he is because you want to get a dog that’s of that breed, that’s perfectly acceptable. Once you hear that he’s a shelter mutt, why is that not an acceptable answer? We transfer this same skepticism into our daily lives with each other. When we meet someone new we always ask where they are from. We all do it, but try this… When someone asks you what you are, try saying “I’m American” and see the baffled look you get in return. Even when I was volunteering in Ghana I was asked where I was from. When I said I’m American or I’m from the United States I was asked which state I lived in. Again, some out of genuine curiosity, but other out of the need to place an identity to me, just like my dog. If he’s not a pure bread dog or I don’t know exactly what combination of breed he is, does that make him less or a dog? That doesn’t take away the fact that he’s my best friend and companion. He’s the one who has been consistently there for me through the past few years of my life (and they have been a hell of a few years). In our generation we are hell bent on loving people for who they are, for what color their skin is, for their religious and cultural preferences. We are striving for the “one love” dream that Bob Marley sings about.

My heritage and my dog’s breed history is definitely a part of who we are. I can’t deny that because that’s where our hair color, eye color, and skin tone come from, that’s science.  I want to look at people for who they are, what they think and feel, I want to judge if they are someone I want in my life based on their personality and character traits. I don’t need to scrutinize what their background. I will love you for you just as I love my dog for the shelter mutt that he is.

 

 

Feature photo credit: Chasing Eden Photography

 

Help Others

We All Bleed The Same

This week I received the awful news of the passing of my coworkers son. He was only 6 years old. After a three year battle with cancer he finally succumbed to the disease.

I cried, I question, I prayed for his family, I got angry and then sad again.

But I’m on this positivity kick, right?! So this isn’t supposed to happen! How can I receive news like this and still try to keep up my happy tune and putting out my positive thinking mojo. I do my best thinking in the shower, so last night when I was washing my hair I was contemplating what I could do to give back to the family. The thoughts tumbled through my head one right after another. As quickly as one arrived my practical subconscious was kicking in. I thought: Donate money, of course that’s an option, although I don’t have much of my own to give. Send flowers? Oh I love flowers, but flowers don’t make up for the loss of a child. Pray for them and send my condolences. Again, yes of course. But none of that seemed like enough. I wanted to do something that also made me feel good because honestly that’s the goal.

I decided to go to the store. I bought a sympathy card and put some money in it, because that’s what you’re supposed to do as an adult when the tragedies of life occur. But then I did something for myself.

I made an appointment with Central Blood Bank. My blood type is O Negative which means I am a universal donor. I like to think that my blood type is a sign of who I strive to be. I can literally give my blood to anyone who needs it, and as a part of this human race I like to think that’s part of my purpose. It’s one of my little super power blessings that allow me to play my part in ‘saving the world’.  I’ve donated before to do my societal part and I try to stay consistent with scheduling, but this time I felt like this was something that needed to be done, for me. I showed up at the appointment and there is a questionnaire you fill out to make sure you don’t have cooties. There is one question though that asks if you are donating your blood for your own use in the near future due to illness or if you are donating directly for someone who is in need of blood products for whatever their condition. I’ve always clicked “no” because frankly, I’m thankful that I haven’t had a massive trauma or a serious illness that would require infusions and I just hoped that my blood would help someone, I never really cared about the identify of the receiver. Today when I clicked “no” I thought of all the children fighting childhood cancer. I thought of how strong they are for the medical treatment and procedures they have to endure. Those kids can handle more than most grown men that I care for at work. I put it in my mind that the blood that I am donating today is going to care for a child with cancer. It is going to be my very small contribution to their fight and although I was unable to help my coworkers son, maybe there is something I can do for another child out there.

Doing things for other people makes me feel good about myself.  It’s not about honor, recognition or other people’s opinions. If I wasn’t writing this blog post, very few people would know that I was going to donate today and even fewer would know that I did it to honor those fighting childhood cancers, motivated by the loss of a loved one. I’m just trying to be a good person with a genuine heart. I feel that you’re never to good to help someone. No matter what your paycheck or social status, all of our graves are the same size and more importantly in this case, WE ALL BLEED THE SAME!!

I share this post with you today because I encourage you all to donate life. Your mind and body can accomplish incredible things. They heal in ways that scientifically aren’t always understood but are miraculous none the less. With a donation of whole blood you have the ability to save three lives.  Twenty minutes out of my day, free cookies, a great conversation with my nurse, and walking out of there feeling good about myself. Well worth it!

I hope you hug your family members a little longer tonight, you tell your friends how much you love and appreciate them, and do something nice for someone you may not know. The life that will be changed by these small gestures could be yours!