Hello Mac

Today I opened up a lovely white box.  Its sharp edges reminiscent of a beautifully wrapped Christmas present and the plastic that perfectly sealed it smelled of newness. For me, this box contained a world of possibilities and represented the beginning of my new journey.

Hello Mac.  It’s so nice to meet you.  I’ve heard so many wonderful things about you and look forward to getting to know you.

I had a difficult time committing to you in particular.  I knew I needed a new machine; a new vessel to transport my work from the initial thought to the work in progress to the finished product that will forever float in the virtual world.

I did my research and was pretty certain you were the one.  I may have temporarily swayed, for a very brief moment to something that appeared to be more appealing on the surface, but ultimately, I just couldn’t shake what I felt for you.  Long story short, I chose you and now here we are.  I know this will be the beginning of a beautiful partnership.  Together we will create, together we will refine, together we will produce.  Hello Mac.  It’s so nice to meet you.

I am so excited to have made this purchase.  I’m not a materialistic person by nature.  I’m not known to be a big spender and actually suffer from buyer’s remorse.  I’m the gal who will fill up her cart, try to convince herself of why she needs every item in it while she makes her way through the store and leaves with absolutely nothing.  One by one, each item gets returned to its location so that it can be later claimed by its eventual owner, ie., not me.  Yes, I’m that person.

I used to be an impulse buyer.  If I liked it, I bought it.  I gave very little consideration to the value that the item would bring and to what purpose it would have in my life.  Instead, I would get an overwhelming sense of lust and if it felt right, it came home with me.  Eventually, this got old and I realized as the years went by that my impulse buys tended to collect and inevitably be donated to the Salvation Army or attempted to be sold at a yard sale.  I once bought not one, but two, yes two, blender sets at 2:30am from an infomercial on TV.  I ended up giving one to my dad and the other is still packed away in its original box with all its recipe books, smoothie cups and accessories.  I bought it 10 years ago.

After many similar purchase experiences, I ended up learning the error of my ways and instead of being a normal spender I have flocked to the opposite side of the spectrum and am now what I like to refer to as a hesitant shopper.  As such, one could see why forking out such an absurd amount of money on a laptop was not an easy decision to make but I knew that it was the first step to the new me.  The new me that writes when she’s anxious.  The new me that taps into her feelings instead of ignoring them.  The new me that is truly making an effort to understand why I feel the way that I do and to learn to not only live with my emotions but to come out of my experiences with new wisdom, with growth.

I know my Mac will help me down my journey and I can’t wait to see what we can make together.  A whole new world to explore, endless possibilities await.

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Breathe. Just Breathe.

12:45pm
Today I had caffeine.  Today panic took over.
A psychological change, an overwhelming feeling of worry.  The equivalent to “butterflies in my stomach”, but the fluttering is felt in my chest.
Debilitating.
Consuming.

I can’t concentrate on anything right now.  Nails tapping on desk, thoughts racing.

The trigger so minor, to anyone else, not even a worry.

Why won’t he respond? Breathe, just breathe.

1:07pm. He responds.
Relief. Release.

I decided to write this during a time that I was actually feeling anxious.  When it started I couldn’t think of anything else, it was impossible.  I grabbed a pen and my notebook and just began to write what I was feeling.  I wanted an outlet, I needed to vent.  What I found was that it did actually help me to feel more at ease.

There is much to be said about writing, about expressing what you’re feeling; transferring your emotions into organized thoughts and making them visually available for all to see.  It is therapeutic.  It is transcendent.  The ability to let go and to then look back as an outsider helps to put things into perspective.  Are my fears unfounded, am I overreacting?  If so, there is no point in asking why; the “why” is irrelevant.  I already know I overreact, I already know I am anxious by nature.  The real question is “how?”.  How do I surpass this fear?  What can I do to overcome the anxiety at this very moment?  More often than not, the answer is to breathe.  Focusing on the natural rhythm of breathing occupies the mind and when the mind is otherwise occupied, it doesn’t have time to indulge in our irrational thoughts.  Breathing.  Such a simple concept, such a natural solution.  I mean, we have to do it anyways right?  Breathing to survive, in this case, a whole new sense of meaning.

 

When you feel overwhelmed or stressed or anxious, what do you do?  How do you handle those moment?  Do you remember to breathe?  It’s easier said than done, right?
I know, I know.

 

Spring Has Sprung, Inside & Out

The sun shines brightly today.  Spring is finally showing its face.
I can feel it inside me too.  I am making a real effort to be happy and to find joy in the little things, in everything.  My determination to change my mindset is evident but the sunshine certainly helps.  Bright skies, chirping birds, light breeze, blooming flowers and green everywhere!

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For me, spring is a time of growth, of hope.  It sparks in me the memories of beautiful moments in the past spent under the glistening sun, watching my kids run barefoot across the grass.  I can hear their laughter and can see their smiles.  My body fills with joy.

Spring has sprung, inside and out!

Just as January brings with it a sense of new beginnings, so does spring.  It is a time to be freer, to wear less clothes, to fill our glasses with ice, to dip our feet in the water.  It is a time of cleansing and organizing, of cleaning and decluttering.  A time to shake off all the gloom from the dying winter and to embrace the heat of the sun with open arms.  A time to start fresh.

When I think about it, it would be wise to create a mid-year resolution.  Is this not the perfect time?  I’ve already had almost a half a year to witness my failure to complete, let alone barely begin, any of the New Year’s resolutions I eagerly made in January.  I am in a perfect position to evaluate what isn’t working, why it isn’t working and can identify new goals or modify my previous ones to better suit my current state.  Mid-year resolutions!  Yes!  Is that a thing?  It should totally be a thing!

Now that you’ve had some time to live through this new year, take the time to do your own evaluation.  What is working, what isn’t working?  Are you where you envisioned you’d be at this time in the year?  Are you doing what you thought you’d be doing, achieving what you had hoped to achieve?  If the answer is “no”, it’s really not too late.  Do you have new hopes, new goals, or do you need to tweek your old ones?  Maybe you just need a little reminder, a revival of the desire that made you set that goal in the first place; a little kick in the ass, perhaps?  Do you have any new resolutions or have you done well with the ones you set back in January?

The Art of Choosing a Blog Name

I had the day off today and I spent much of it trying to come up with a name for my blog.  I spent quite some time jotting down words and phrases but nothing felt right.  I wanted a name that not only sounds good but that also represents all that I hope to express in my writing. I wanted it to convey meaning; an all-inclusive title, a means to encompass it all, my daily experiences with stress, my never-ending fears and worries, but also my hope and my faith and my desire to learn to live again.  I started to think such a title was impossible.  No name could possibly portray all that I want it to.

Later that evening when I shifted my focus onto something else, the name appeared to me.  It became clear that all that I want to discuss and to share and to express is all that I live and all the obstacles that I overcome day to day, moment by moment.  It is simply me, living my life, trying to learn and trying to grow.  Simply me, simply Sil.

 

If you had to come up with a name to describe you and your life what would it be?  Does it describe you well?  Does it incorporate all of the qualities and struggles that make up the multifaceted you?  How can one word or a few words rightly depict who we are?  Such a great exercise to help evaluate the real us and to tap into how we perceive ourselves.  What would you name or what have you named your blog?  What would be the title of your life?

 

Back to Basics

9:59pm. Focus Sil, focus Sil, focus.  I was in bed perusing the phone, looking for inspiration, looking for a clue, searching desperately for an answer.  The answer is inside me, I know it is, but finding it has proven to be quite the challenge.

I could no longer stay in bed.  Get up, grab the notebook your friend gave you at Christmas and the pen gifted to you by the woman who brought you into this world.  Put your thoughts on display.  Thought to pen, pen to paper.  Watch the words appear.  Surely they’ll make more sense on paper than they do in my mind, right?20160330_002004 copy

Chamomile tea, check!
Blanket over lap, check!
The sound of the water boiling in the kettle subsides and all I hear is the tick-tocking of the kitchen clock.  Tick-tock, tick-tock, four seconds gone.

I’m sitting at the breakfast bar on a stool that I’ve owned for so long but just recently decided to put in the kitchen.  As soon as I put the stools here, I thought, “Wow!  They’re great up here.  Why didn’t I do this earlier?”.  It’s amazing how much sense some things can make after the fact.

I take a sip of my tea hoping for a calm to sweep over me, hoping for some clarity.  I’m lost.  I’ve been lost for a while but this reality did not come to light until recently.  I’m trying to tap into what it is that I want to do with my life.  Sure I’m 32 and I have a career but I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.  I’ve come to the point where I’ve decided that I cannot accept limiting myself.

At 16, I imagined I’d have it all figured out by 32.  At 32 I’m starting to think I actually had it all figured out at 16.  I was different back then.  I was bright and full of life.  Optimism shone from my being.  I exuded confidence, I believed in life, in living.  Perhaps my naiveness is what allowed for such positivity.  I had an answer for everything, a working plan to achieve solutions, no matter the problem. People used to come to me for advice.  I was able to listen and to help others work through their feelings.  I used to write.  I wrote poetry.  I had an amazing way with words.  When I had a pen and paper handy, the words would just spew from me in a way that I still to this day can’t explain.

In hindsight, I really like who I was. I was pretty awesome.  I think Sil at 16 would have helped Sil at 32 find solutions that Sil at 32 just can’t seem to see.  What happened? Somewhere along the line, I became a realist.  I put aside my childish views and grew up.  I traded in my “live life to the fullest” approach for a “what’s next?” type of attitude.  I began viewing my upcoming years as a series of bullet point to-do lists categorized by age and complete with deadlines and check marks.
In high school I couldn’t wait to be in college.  In college I dreamed about getting married.  We were married after college graduation and became pregnant shortly thereafter.  When our first born was only 9 months old, I convinced hubby it was time for baby #2.

It took a while for me to a.)recognize this reoccurring pattern of mine and to b.) understand how flawed and troublesome it actually is.

Submerged so deeply in this mentality that has become a part of me, I can’t help but think, “what’s next?”.  I now realize the answer to that for the first time in my life is, “I don’t know.”

This year has been a psychological and emotional journey for me.  I’ve recognized my shortcomings as a working adult, as a wife, as a mother and am striving to become a better version of me.  I do not doubt that I am capable of achieving this seemingly impossible feat, I have just been trying to find a way to do it.  How?  How my Lord do I do better?  How is there no magic button that will turn anxious and jaded Sil into the bright ray of sunshine she used to be so many years ago?

The light bulb lit up this evening.  That is why an unexplainable force took me out of bed, made me grab these writing supplies and brought me to this stool.
Back to basics.
Back to what I loved doing when I was young and fearless.
I will write.
Thought to pen, pen to paper.
Surely this is the way back, right?

10:56pm. 57 minutes relished.  Euphoria.