Friday, September 24, 2010

Soon Ending a Chapter?

Ronda at work looked at me earlier this week and said "You only have about four weeks left here...I'm gonna miss you."

Ok, reality check that I didn't particularly need or want!!

I want my life to move forward, but on one hand, I'm not ready to let go of one of the only areas of my life that brings me joy and a sense of purpose.

I know I'm working a long-term sub position the beginning of this year. I know it's going to come to an end. However, I just wasn't expecting it to come so soon.

I love my kiddos, sincerely I do. I love each and every one of them. I find enjoyment in getting to know each of them, getting to know their personalities, to watch their growth and to watch them blossom over time!! Even though I have a different group in many senses of the term this year, going from sped to "typical kiddos" where we are considered an ELL classroom (having quite a few kiddos whose first language is not english...turkish, hmong, vietnamese and another language), being with a different teacher, etc, I absolutely love my kiddos. And of course I enjoy seeing some of my returnees go to Mrs. Kendall's bench and getting to give them hugs and say hi. And I just know some of the other kiddos in other grades.

I love my co-workers. During this crazy time they have served as an outlet. I enjoy my time at work because I enjoy getting to laugh with them, to joke and know that we are all there to support and help each other out. We are a family, who are involved in each other's personal lives but professionally are there to support and encourage each other while at work. We work as a team, a pretty damn good team I might add, and there are no cliques in our little preschool setting. We have a world of our own. And I will not be a part of that environment here shortly. I've been there for a year and have found a comfort in this work environment....and I've found a rock of strength in my "family" there. It's going to be hard for me to not roll out of bed, exhausted but excited to go into work where we exchange "Good mornings", give each other words of encouragement, ask each other how we are, comment on each other's outfits, and exchange jokes and then start our days. It's going to be hard not greeting all of my 16 kiddos in the morning and my 14 kiddos in the afternoon. It's going to be hard not being told by co-workers that they are mad at me for not eating lunch with them the previous day's lunch while I ran errands. It's going to be hard to have to leave the lives of the women who have become part of my foundation. It's going to be hard to not be doing something that is bigger than myself, yet something that goes unnoticed by everyone else.

I don't want this chapter of my life to end. Yes I live month-to-month on a slim pay but it's worth it for me right now.

I don't know how to prepare my mindset for not having that. My work defines a large part of my mental well-being and who I am right now because it's worthy of defining me. I love being a part of a community, a family, where I know others and they know me and we love each other and work together so well.

I mean really, who else hangs out having margaritas with their co-workers and dog/house/babysits consistently for co-workers and families?! Who else has a work environment where they can shape the future generation without the kids remembering me and at the same time get to listen to disney soundtracks, get quality entertainment from the ones they are teaching and at the same time can joke and be so open with their co-workers?!

Oi vai, I'm not sure I'm ready for this....four weeks and my world will be rocked again...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Edwards, Colorado

Looking at the past

Last night I read some of my blogs from September to December of 2008.

And wow! I LIKED reading those blogs, I LIKED the strong growing woman that I was in those posts. I LIKED the positive, opinionated, educated, outspoken, faithful, energetic, adventurous woman that I saw coming through in those blogs.

I want to get back to that. I feel like for the past year or so I haven't been as positive and adventurous and spontaneous as I was back in those posts.

I think my environment, my responsibilities, the people surrounding me, the lack of a learning environment have all lead that.

Oh how I desire to be the same strong woman I was, to have that underlying peace and contentment, to have that strong will back in my life. I desire to be SO damn opinionated again.

Life needs to be enjoyed and I haven't been enjoying it lately. I've been hiding from it and avoiding it. I've been letting it get me down. I've been suppressing important parts of myself. That needs to stop.

Because even if no one else sees it or hears it, I haven't been ok for awhile now, and I don't exactly like who I am and how I've felt for awhile now.

I need to work on that.

Sometimes looking at the past is important in looking towards the future.

Hopefully this is an example of that....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Beaver Lake Trail

Today I drove just up the road to Beaver Creek Resort to hike up to Beaver Lake. I parked in Beaver Creek Village, took 5 Senses Trail which connected to Beaver Lake Trail which lead all the way up to Beaver Lake. The hike itself proved to be very difficult for me. I have come to figure out that there is probably something wrong with the tendons and ligaments on the inside of my right thigh as every time I've hiked this summer, that is an area that throbs from almost the get-go and then when I get home it is SO sore. The climb up was quite steep and more strenuous than I expected. I found I really had to dig deep to keep pushing myself along the's easy when you're with someone else to just keep going. The other person motivates you. But when you are by yourself, well it has to come from within.

And this was what motivated me: if I don't finish this hike, no one else will care. But if I don't do make myself keep going then I've allowed myself to give up on me and fail knowingly. Well this just wasn't an option once I stopped bitching to myself about how bad my right leg was killing me and how bad my lungs were burning. I HAD to keep going and I HAD to get pictures of that lake as proof that I made myself do the whole hike!

I spent the walk talking to God about a lot of things. About all the battles that I have had in my heart and in my head recently. And wouldn't you know, God just listens. And then He responds!

I hiked all the way up to Beaver Lake, and decided to keep going on the trail to get to the other side of the lake. Well unbeknownst to me it just keeps going up and so after awhile I went a little off the path and sat on a fallen tree trunk covered by Colorado's version of moss to journal and think. Once I decided to head back down the path to the lake again, I started praying fervently to God: "God PLEASE just take my problems, please I can't handle them. Yes I know I'm being too damn independent again but Lord, really, I need and WANT you to take them. This weekend has shown me that I just don't know how to handle them..."

And voila, up popped the path to go down to the lake. (Ok God, I know you heard what I was saying and am responding to my're helping me find my way to the part of the lake I want to go to.)

As soon as I got down there I saw two fisherman that I didn't want to bug. I knew going down there I was going to dip my feet in the lake and as soon as I saw the shallow areas of water at the mouth of the lake with a little waterfall I just KNEW I had to go down there. So I took great lengths to not go near any water that the fisherman were next to. Instead I put down my pack about 100yds away, quietly took off my socks and shoes and rolled up my pants, picked up my camera and started traversing in the freezing cold water. WOOOOO how cold was that water!! When I say cold I mean COLD! Well after a little while of them probably finding it amusing of me hopping around in the water and getting my feet stuck in the mud, one of them asked me to take a picture of them. HA! Of course I had to pipe up and say that I was a Canon fan as he had this REALLY fancy Nikon camera on him. And then somehow we got to talking. Turns out Andrew Slowenski manages the Beaver Creek area of a company called SharpShooter Imaging. After a half hour of talking about everything under the sun, he told me that if I was interested, in the middle of October to call him and I would have a job for the ski/snowboard season as a photographer with them. He told me "consider this your interview, you are hired, if you call me you have a job. you have the mindset, you have the drive, you seem hardworking and obviously you have no problem talking to anyone, and you want to learn. you're hired if you come to me."

So I might have a job in a couple months depending on whether I get into nursing school or not!

So there it is, God took my problems, led me, opened up opportunities, and He allowed me to enjoy the beauty of this small majestic lake and all the serenity that it can offer for the afternoon.

It proved to be a tiring but peaceful and rejuvenating day for me.

And of course, I got to take some really cool pics :-)

(pics coming soon whenever i can get them to upload to!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Last night my heart was troubled so I do what so often comforts and distracts me....I took my camera and drove out to the country to play with my camera, to clear my head, and to be away from the problems of my life for a brief while. Here are some of the pictures that I took....made possible by a tripod and the beauty of nature...

The wonderful thing about the country is it brings you so close to God, it makes it so easy to talk to God, it is so easy to breathe, and it's one of those places that brings me back to center....just by being there. Adding to the wonderfulness of it all, I got to watch airplanes fly right over my head as I was out by DIA and I got to watch the brilliant lights of the planes as they took off down the runways.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Little getaway to Avon, Colorado coming up here in a few days....I honestly can't wait!

I need to get away and think and rejuvenate....

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Nitty Gritty

This is the nitty gritty: relationships are hard work.

All relationships. They are so complicated and yet so easy all at the same time. And what makes them even more complicated is how much you care about the other person and how much you care about the status of keeping your relationship healthy and happy. What makes them complicated is how much you care about your own well-being but also the well-being of the other person and how that will affect the dynamics between yourselves.

If you care about your relationships, it means you care enough to say and listen to the hard things, the things you wouldn't normally vocalize toward, say, an acquaintance. These conversations are never easy. They are never not emotional. They are intense.

What makes these difficult conversations worth it is the love you have towards the other person, how much you care about them and how much you want your relationship to succeed.

I've found for some people maintaining relationships is easy because their relationship is never faced by tough stuff. And other relationships I admire their strength for all the storms they have weathered and yet the relationship is stronger than ever. This can be a family relationship, a friendship or a romantic relationship.

It applies to all three.

One thing I've learned about myself: I care. Therefore my relationships can be intense. I care that my relationships stay strong.

And I've also found that when I combine that with my passionate personality, my caretaker personality, and my bull-headed independent side, relationships can require a lot of energy on my part. Especially when I really love the other person.

There are a lot of relationships that I have let go by the wayside, obviously most of these friendships. A couple have been romantic for obvious reasons, and a couple are familial relationships because, well, there's a good portion of my family that just hasn't cared enough to try and stay together. Rather, they'd like to all look at each other as strangers and trying to be the one to constantly keep everyone together just gets too damn tiring.

But here's the truth: there's not a single relationship with any of the people that I'm close to in my life right now that I look at it and regret or resent the amount of energy and emotion I've put into it. Everyone in my life right now is someone worth me fighting even my own internal battles to keep around. Which I do more than anyone else ever realizes.

I've learned in life that sometimes you have to fake it til you make it. And this means most times, even when I feel as though my world is sinking in, as though my heart is going to just tear right down the seams, as though my insides are going to bust out of themselves from the anxiety attack taking hold, as though I can't breathe because every thought and feeling is physically restricting my breathing.....well even during these times everyone around me doesn't notice anything different as my smile is plastered on my face, I'm laughing and joking, and I keep pressing on.

I thought surely the other day that one of my co-workers might pull me aside and tell me to pick up the wreck that I was....however, instead I was told I was one of the most chipper people they knew and that I was always so pleasant and happy! So apparently I can fake it til I make it like a pro. (*note: I also attribute that to the fact that I get to work with amazing little kids who are so innocent and show you that life is all about enjoying the little things....and their incredible personalities just bring heart smiles....)

Life has been tough for me I've blogged about before, for so many reasons. I have so much transition and unknown in my life....and on top of that I have the pressure to be strong for everyone around me all over the place. My parents have dumped all their burdens and problems on me, leaving me to bear a lot of their stress. A lot of people seem to be dying around me so I'm having to be emotionally strong for family members, co-workers and the man I'm in love with. At work I am wonder woman, helping out in every area possible and doing as much as possible to make sure my kids succeed to the best that I can help them and to also alleviate the stress of all my co-workers. I'm losing a brother and gaining a sister-in-law which leaves me with a lose-gain thing going on. And then there's the man of who I am so desperately in love with. I'm trying my hardest to be strong for him in so many ways. Trying to help him get things on track, to encourage him in all the ways I possible can, to love him through it all, to express that love, learning to navigate this new relationship, and now to be a rock for which he can lean on as his family faces a huge loss.

Emotionally I have been zapped.

I have felt like I'm being taken advantage of. I'm fully aware that most people around me don't realize they are taking advantage of me. I'm caretaker and I'm compassionate, which means I always take care of the needs of others, I rarely say no to anything that anyone asks of me, and people come to just expect it. It takes a lot out of me emotionally and most times these people don't do much to give back to me and I never ask them to. Therefore they wind up taking advantage of me without knowing it, but still do it. And I leave being emotionally drained without anyone really giving back to me. Granted most people don't understand just how much I do worry and care about everyone all the time so they don't understand how emotionally taxing everything they ask me to do is.

And I keep giving and doing. It's just how I am.

And then I emotionally have to be strong for others. I've always been the go-to person in others lives. The one that others bring their problems to, that I help solve. I'm the one that provides support and encouragement...and right now I feel like EVERYONE in my life is needing that. Which means when I need it, there's no one I feel I can turn to when I'm having to be strong for them.

This is where I know I make mistakes. But I can't ask others to be strong for me when they are coming to me for that exact reason.

But I'm learning how to navigate this predicament. For the past year I have learned to ask things of's still rare and usually very small things. I don't usually ask for emotional support at all...but at least I've started asking for help. And recently I've started trying to learn to say no. It's really hard for me to do but I'm trying to learn how to say no to others when I know I'm about out of emotional charge. I've also started to give myself mental health days and times. Times when I can recharge myself, when I can take care of myself. This was a very recent development but so far I've implemented it a few times.

Lately where I've really struggled has been with trying to navigate a new romantic relationship.

This time it's been different. For starters I am in love with Britton. That's a huge thing for me. That in itself has determined how much I care about everything, how much I care about him, how deep everything touches me, how I approach all situations, how much I dwell on issues, how vulnerable I make myself, etc.

On top of that, I'm not lying when I say I'm independent. I'm not used to actively inviting someone else into my daily routine, my hobbies and interests, my thoughts, my feelings, and relying on each other. I struggle with this. I'm so used to being by myself and doing for myself that today in talking with him, I realized how much I DON'T text Britton letting him know I want to hang out. I love being with him. So much so that I just wait until HE has time and then jump at the opportunity. But I am not used to asking people to do things with me or spend time with me that though I think I want to be with him, I never actually express it out loud to him. I don't express my desire. In that way I'm not vocal. I've also realized in general I'm not vocal. For instance, I'm SO incredibly attracted to Britton. I adore his smile, he is ridiculously handsome when he dresses to the nines, he looks hot as hell in anything he puts on, I think he's sexy in his jeans, I adore his smile, and love the way his lights almost always crinkle and light up when he's looking at me. I think he's a very handsome and attractive man....everyone agrees. And I adore looking at him. Both in a sexual and non-sexual way. There are times that I look at him and just drink in how good he looks. And then there are the times that I am visually undressing him with my eyes because there is something about the way he looks in that moment that is just so physically irresistable to me. I know I think all this. But he doesn't. I don't hardly express how good I think he looks....and yet he tells me all the time that I look cute in what I'm wearing. I need to work on this. I understand that. And I have realized that I love him. Deeply and passionately. Yet he's usually the one telling me he loves me first. My problem is in transferring my emotions from thoughts into words. I can transfer thoughts into words....and do so all the time. My mouth gets me into more than enough trouble. But transferring my emotions into words is harder for me, I just don't do it all that often. Therefore I need to work on that. But that comes with being independent. I'm used to just thinking and doing on my own. Not always including someone else into all of that. Which means I need to be aware of that and make more of an effort for that.

And lastly, Britton and I are a lot alike but we are so different. And it's not so much difference as it is periods in our life. I'm trying to learn to be with someone who is at a different part in his life. He has had quite a few girlfriends. He has learned all these things in a relationship that I'm learning. He's gone through all of this. Not to mention I haven't been myself all the way recently. I haven't been as easy-going and happy and crazy as usual. Hard to do when you have to be all responsible for your job around kids and none of your comrades live within a 30-mile radius. I used to be going all the time and now I'm a homebody stuck on a tight budget in a town that neither has anything to do, anywhere to go, nor bike lanes for relaxful transportation. So Britton doesn't know the full side of me that exists.

And I have come into his life at a very stressful time. With his sister-in-law dying, his brother who is one of his rocks in life is falling apart. As is the rest of the family. On top of that let's add in other complications in his life in other facets and, well, new relationships tend to be pushed by the wayside sometimes in light of other things needing to be taken care of. Not to mention his stress and emotional level has been through the roof. And when you're getting to know each other and crazy emotions are involved that's not necessarily a good or easy thing.

Hence the roundabout to hard conversations and complications.

Britton and I have been hitting rough edges around each other lately. Learning how to love each other and knowing that neither one of us is being our normal self due to all the stresses and emotions and complications in life.

But they need to be had. Because that's what keeps us learning and moving forward and ultimately leads to us being happy and successful in our relationship (please keep in mind the definition of happy and successful varies from person to person but I'm not going to explain what that means to me right now).

But the nitty gritty is also this when it comes to Britton: I love him. He is my future. And while these conversations are hard, they are only the first of a thousands of steps that we will take together for the rest of our time together.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Nothing Can Separate Me From the Love of God

It's the tough stuff in life that we learn from the most. And it seems that God brings me to my knees quite often just to remind me that HE IS THERE for me and He WANTS me to rely on Him....especially through the hard times. But also in the good/easy times.

God has been showing me just how powerful He is and how mighty He is to work in my life and in my heart, almost instantaneously.

This past month has been one of the most emotional months of my life. I'm still in this really weird and uncomfortable transition phase of life between graduation and figuring out life's next step. I have struggled with knowing that my friends are spread out all over the place and are not anywhere near by, making physical friendships hard to maintain. I make very little money and live paycheck to paycheck, like most people my age, but I barely make enough to pay all my bills and I really don't have all that many bills! It has been really hard for me to be comfortable knowing that unlike other 23-year-olds my age I can't afford a place of my own, nor a new car, and I rarely pay for any groceries. It's hard for me reconciling knowing that others my age are able to afford to really live their lives while I pay my bills (student loans, car insurance, phone, etc) and rarely have extra money to do much else than pay for gas and maybe $100 spending money for the month. That has really been weighing huge on my heart.

On top of that, the devil has been attacking my heart. It seems whenever God blesses my life immensely, that's when the devil really starts to attack. And why not?! He doesn't need to worry about those who don't believe in God nor turn to Him....Satan has already won battles in pulling those people away from God. Rather Satan worries about those close to God, he wants to cause rifts. So when God blesses my life, that's when Satan finds little cracks in my heart to plant false seeds in the form of thoughts, doubts, fears, insecurities, and play on those already in my heart.

And this time around, I can admit that Satan has had a little advantage. I have been made vulnerable by this weird transition in my life and I have started to make my heart more vulnerable in general. For years, I have been the strong one, the caretaker, the happy one who solves all others problems and does all within my power to serve those around me in every way possible or asked of me. I have started to be more open about my own needs. And I have fallen deeply in love with someone who protects me and loves me. In order to keep our relationship healthy, I have had to learn to be vulnerable and open...something I'm not used to at all. And Satan has played on that. He has taken advantage of that part of my life I'm not used to and is not the most comfortable to bring a whole ton of insecurities to the forefront of my heart and mind.

And so a very emotional and hard month has ensued for me. A very emotional battle, one that has encompassed parts of my spiritual life.

I found myself again trying to take care of myself and my heart on my own....again to no angst and have been brought to my knees asking God to help me through it and to calm my heart and give me strength. Which is exactly what He wants to do for me anyway. But I don't learn this lesson very well, so I am constantly being taught to just really give everything over to God.

Yesterday was such a shining example of that. Yesterday morning was one of the toughest mornings for me that I've had in a long time emotionally. I have been beaten down and my heart has been in agony over a few issues, all of it coming to a head in my heart, making me question my worth and value. On the way to work, it all came crashing down and the tears came pouring out. I had to pull over and was crying out to God, literally. After going home to redo my mascara (you can't go to work with mascara going down your cheeks) I went to work and decided I needed to "fake it til I make it". I did an hour of work and hopped in my car to head to Fort Collins to get my hair done. I spent the whole way up praying, and letting country music comfort my soul. I prayed to God to take over all my emotional states, to comfort my heart, to give me a peace so that I could logically think through everything and work through problems. And I asked that God would take care of my issues. And sure enough He did!! I had some good conversations with friends that looking back was God speaking through them to me. And I prayed all day, having dinner by myself and talking with God all day long.

It paid off. One issue I was able to work through and resolve in my heart, I decided that I need spiritual counsel for a past incident in my life that Satan really uses to make me think that I am not a person of worth, and God placed a small calm upon my heart. I was able to give forgiveness for a few issues and able to ask forgiveness from someone for my own mistake.

But what struck me the most is when I asked God yesterday to take my heart and take care of me, HE SPOKE BACK!!

When I pulled over and broke down crying in my car, I picked up my bible, asking God to just give me a passage to cling to. I asked Him why I wasn't worthy of love and respect and asked Him that if I really was someone to be loved, that He would tell me in a passage in my bible. I opened my bible....and out fell a small piece of paper. A girl in my youth group my freshman year of college had given this to me and apparently I stuck it in my bible and forgot that it was there. Smashed between the pages, it hasn't ever fallen out until now. On one side she had written me a quick note and on the other side was this verse.

" The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph 3:17

My God loves me! He told me right out when I asked Him, He told me through that piece of paper. He loves me and I am worthy of that love. And he will quiet me with that love. And He rejoices in me, He takes delight in me, and he does so by singing over me! That is God talking to you, if not physically, that is God giving me a verse to hold in my hand to answer my question. And that in itself brought me to tears again.

Later on in talking with my sister-in-law as she did my hair, I was pouring out my troubled heart to her. And she gave me this verse, and it couldn't be more fitting for how I was feeling.

"No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us form the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

And in this God showed me that nothing can separate me from His love. And nothing can make me any less than the amazing woman that He meant me to be. While Satan might pry on the weaknesses in my heart, my insecurities, it will never separate me from God and His love and He will ALWAYS be there. He will always keep his hand on me, and He will never falter when I ask Him to take my problems and my issues and to work in my heart.

Thank you Lord, for never letting me from your grasp and for being a loving God who is always by my side, always loving me and taking delight in me.