Archive for the ‘overcoming obstacles’ Category

i’m not in kansas, that’s the one thing I know for sure.   4 comments

dorothy in ozFor the past two weeks, I’ve been telling myself to Just blog it out.  That used to always make you feel better.  But the truth is, I’ve stared at this screen many nights trying to do just that and absolutely nothing comes out.  There’s no image of motivation, or song lyric for inspiration.  No title to begin, and no Answer to Life to end on.  So instead I’ve tossed and turned nearly every night trying to figure out what’s going on with me.  Where is my head at?  What’s causing my sleepless nights?  Why can’t I just seem to shake the old Something’s Wrong funk off?

This image of a cartoon Dorothy and the whole Wizard of Oz theme really seem to be the only things that seem to hit the spot with how I’m feeling right now.  To put it best, for the past few hours I’ve been finding myself thinking, Where I am?, What am I doing here?, and How did I get here?.

Between you and me, I haven’t felt this lost & confused in a while… which is evident from the lack of blog posts from yours truly.  While life has been busy this past year, especially with grad school, internship, and boyfriend, it really hasn’t been that bad.  But now, with the end of internship and grad school drawing near, not to mention the lease on the apartment that I’ve lived since moving to Chicago over four years ago, I’m really starting to wonder What’s Next?

As exciting as it is, I’m starting to feel the pressures of my old frenemy, The Unknown.

In my strong moments, I have all the confidence in the world in knowing that after proving to myself that I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.  I dream about the possibilities of living in a warmer climate and falling in love with a new city and new job.  But when I’m hindered by anxiety and uncertainty, the questions begin swirling around in my head.  What about your relationship?  What about all your friends and networks here?  How can you afford to move somewhere else?  Can you really move further away from your family?  What if no one will hire you?

There’s just a lot of questions right now, and unfortunately I’m not verykeep calm and follow the yellow brick road close to any answers.  But despite all that, I’m far from giving up.  If anything, this is really that Time before something Amazing happens and then you find yourself wondering why you were worried in the first place.

I’m waiting for my Something Amazing to happen.  I’m ready for all the pieces to come together and I can finally understand what all these blog days (and, essentially, the big move to Chicago) were all about.

More than anything, I’m ready to put aside the books and student loans and find my passion again.  It’s visited in bits and pieces over the past two years, but I’m really missing it.  I need it back again.

all of these lines across my face, tell you the story of who i am.   3 comments

When you’re twenty-nine years old and only beginning your first relationship, people tend to ask, “Why?” to defend that there is nothing wrong with you.  But they might as well save their breath, because there actually is something wrong with you.  I mean how is it that you can be mere months away from a milestone decade with only one notch on your girlfriend chart?  Come on!  That’s not normal! 

This twenty-nine year old with “something wrong” is obviously me. 

Two weeks ago I finally dropped my walls and faced up to the “something wrong” that has held me back for nearly half of my life.  It hasn’t been easy, in fact it’s been quite scary, but so far it has been worth it.  So much weight has dropped off my shoulders; however, while I’ve felt some sense of relief, life has been far from easy.  In fact, it’s been pretty difficult. 

As I sit here tonight, with a few tears in my eyes, I can only wish that I would have faced up to my struggle sooner.  When I think about it, I believe that my struggles began when I was in eighth grade, which would have been fifteen years ago.  Fifteen years of depression is just too long, and what makes it worse is thinking about much I’ve held myself back from.  

Without a doubt, love is the biggest sacrifice that my depression has forced me to make.  In a way, I guess you can say that it’s also my biggest regret for not conquering these demons of mine way back when.  I’ve already let it hold me back from potentially being with who I believe was the love of my life (which unfortunately I still regret more than anything in my life), but now I’m a bit fearful that it’s always going to hold me back.  I could say more about that, but today really isn’t the night to do so.  Sorry.

While I intended to include more in this post, unfortunately I’m not feeling like much of a blogger tonight.  After a great day of babysitting, tonight has proven to be a little bit rough.  But if I can leave you with one last thing, it’s this: Please don’t let anything, hold you back from love or happiness, as I have.  In talking to one of my best friends today, she said, “Kris,  I just want you to be happy.  You deserve to be so happy.” 

We all deserve to be happy.  Unfortunately, those of us who struggle with this depression don’t believe that we do, which is why we don’t seek treatment right away.  But I’m here to tell you that we do, indeed, deserve to be happy.  We really do.  And from what I’ve been told, you can find that happiness when you drop down your walls and let yourself be helped.

The Story- Brandi Carlile

all those times we looked up at the sky, looking out so far. we felt like we could fly…   3 comments

I used to call myself a dreamer.  There really was no better way to describe who I was.  I used to spend my days reminiscing about past memories- and all those regrets in my childhood- and daydreaming about what the future held for me.   

I haven’t done much dreaming lately.  In fact, for the past year- maybe year and a half- I really haven’t dreamed at all.  Incidentally, I also haven’t done much blogging either.  I thought that I was just tired, or perhaps going through blogger’s block.  But since yesterday, I can’t ignore the facts anymore: I’ve been struggling with depression. 

Earlier this year I came out about my depression (and wrote a post about it), but to be honest, I never really stepped up and dealt with it… which is why I’m still not dreaming yet.

But I’m stepping up now.  Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend and a few supportive friends, I was able to say, “I can’t do this anymore.”  I really can’t.  I’m not going to sit here and share all of my struggles, because even though I’ve vowed to be very honest on this little old blog of mine, some things really are meant just for me and those closest to me. 

Although, that being said, I have a reason behind this acknowlegement: Please don’t hide from your problems like I have.  If you’re suffering from depression, please take my lead and find the strength within yourself (I promise it’s there.) to notify a doctor or psychiatrist, or even an understanding friend or family member.  Trust me, I know it isn’t easy, but you are certainly worth it. 

One more thing: So I haven’t really been much of a blogger for the past year, so this may not really come as a surprise.  But with everything going on (grad school, internship, studying, trying to have a social life) in addition to my struggle, I’m not sure how much I’ll be on here.  Initially I was going to announce an official leave of absence, but I’m just not sure if that will be the case or not.  So if this is the last post I write for a while- maybe a few months- then don’t be surprised.  But then again, I may be compiling a post in a few days.  Who knows.

But whatever the case may be, until the next time I feel the need to blog, take care of yourself. 

XOXO
K

if i can love again… and jennifer aniston can love again… so can you…   Leave a comment

Every now and then, I’m reminded of a post I wrote about a year and a half ago.  It’s a post that many have thanked me for writing because it comforted them to know that someone else had experienced the same loss, pain, and heartbreak as they have.  The post is called, Regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made. who would have known how bitterswee​t this would taste.(http://livelovelearnbreathe.com/2011/03/30/regrets-and-mistakes-theyre-memories-made-who-would-have-known-how-bittersweet-this-would-taste/), and I can tell you know that it’s nothing more than a memory from the past.

 

But I’m not here to write about the past… nor the pain one endures from a broken heart.  Instead I am here to provide evidence that one can overcome heartbreak and learn to love again.  Just like Jennifer Aniston, I, myself, am proof that love can find the wounded.

 

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers to how one finds love again- nor does (my friend) Jen.  But, I’ll speak for both of us and say that the only way to find love again is to take chances and never give up hope.

 

I’ve been with Cubby for 4 months, and while our relationship has its ups-and-downs, I will admit that he has made me believe again.  Yes, the guy I met on a random Sunday Funday has stolen my heart and helped me see that love is possible (again).

So if I can do it… despite all of the bad luck, heartbreak, and frustration… SO CAN YOU!!!

 

 

 

twenty seconds of insane courage.   1 comment

Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage, just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it. (Benjamin Mee)

It’s a Saturday night and I am perfectly content sitting on my couch in sweatpants, a ponytail, and leftover make-up from brunch this morning- watching Grey’s Anatomy.  Sitting here now, I’m not sure why I even bother with the crazy Chicago bar scene most weekend nights because this is proving to be better than any Too Loud- Too Crowded bar right now.  (Someone please remind me that I said this next weekend when I’m responding to text messages about where to go.) 

Since I’m in for the night- hopefully, at least- I’ve decided to ease some internal uncertainties and PMS-induced hormones through the powerful remedy of blog therapy.  And after coming across the quote above (via Pinterest), which is from the movie, We Bought A Zoo, I think that I need twenty seconds of insane courage tonight.  Just a mere twenty seconds to say some things that I’ve been hiding inside of me, frankly because I’ve been too afraid to do so.  But here it goes, for the next twenty seconds…

It’s been a rough year.  Between the job changes and extra hours of grad classes, grad school assignments, and grad school life stress, I’ve found myself overwhelmed and/or numb at various points.  But while that is expected with the territory, I will say that the financial issues (student loan problems, loss of jobs, absence of unemployment payments, bills bills bills) are what has pushed me over the edge.  Honestly, I can’t remember too many nights this past year when I wasn’t stressing about (not having) money.  But despite these challenges, I’ll admit that I’ve really lost sight of myself this year.  In fact, in comparison to this time last year, I’m not sure if I’m really the same (similar) person as I was before grad school began last August.  I’m going to leave it at that instead of creating a laundry of “my issues”. 

So what’s happened to me?  How did I let myself go, and why?  And can I (finally) get back to being myself again…or do I have to wait until grad school ends next year?  Can’t I just please feel better, once and for all??!!

maybe i’m really not the girlfriend type.   Leave a comment

I know it’s been a while, so I should probably start off by stating that I’m still someone’s girlfriend; which means I have a boyfriend.  But that being said, I’m having a little trouble tonight with him- although, it really does have much more to do with me than him.  In fact, he’s done absolutely nothing but be wonderful… which may be my problem overall.  (Seriously, he’s fantastic!)

Okay… I’m just going to come out and say it because I’m actually completely confused right now by how I’m feeling.  So here it goes.  Out there for everyone (or whoever reads this) to hear: Maybe I’m really not the girlfriend type.  I mean, here I am… with a fantastic boyfriend who thinks the world of me, and I just can’t drop the guard and let myself be with him.  In a way, I’m afraid of letting him fall for me?  I don’t know.  Honestly, I’m trying to figure out what’s going on inside of me as much as you are as you read this post.

On that note, I think I’m going to leave it at this.  I know I owe you (and me) a much longer post, followed by many other long posts, but unfortunately I’ve found myself in a blogger’s block.  Maybe it’s the relationship, and the fact that I don’t really have guy problems to vent about.  (Maybe?)  Although, based on tonight’s reflections, I think I need to utilize this blog of mine as an outlet since I’m struggling a bit right now to hold onto myself as I continue along with this new role as an amazing someone’s girlfriend.

love & anxiety: two things that i know a little and a lot about, respectively.   4 comments

The following post was written for the blog, Peace & Penguins,and tackles the topic of Love & Anxiety- which are two things that I know little and a lot about, respectively.

When Alisha asked me to write a guest blog post on Love & Anxiety for Peace & Penguins, I thought that it would be an easy hour therapy session of rehashing my life stories of insecurity, doubts, and regrets.  But unfortunately, for the past week, I’ve struggled to get anything down on paper.  So here I am, over a week after telling her that she’d have my piece in no time, trying to figure out exactly what I can say about love & anxiety…which are ultimately the two words that have haunted me during my 28-year old life. 

While I’ve questioned how to begin this post, I feel that it is important to start off with the following statement: I’m twenty-eight years old and I’ve never been in a serious relationship.  However, and it’s an incredibly big HOWEVER, I’m actually (finally) on the verge of entering one…but more on that later. 

Today I came across the following lines in the novel, 50 Shades of Grey, which really struck a chord with me.  Here are the lines, and I’ll explain later:

Katherine often teases me that I’m missing the need-a-boyfriend gene, but the truth is I just haven’t met anyone who… well, whom I’m attracted to, even though part of me longs for the fabled trembling knees, heart-in-my-mouth, butterflies-in-my-belly moments.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me.  Perhaps, I’ve spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high.  But in reality, nobody’s ever made me feel like that.

Anastasia Steele (50 Shades of Grey)

For the majority of my young adult life, I have relied on excuses and sarcasm to answer the question, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”  And when stating my boyfriend-free background and getting stuck responding to the inevitable question, “What do you mean you’ve never been in a relationship?  How is that possible?”, I find the anxiety tingles kicking in as I do my best to change the subject.  But here and now, I’ll put those insecurities aside and tell you that Anxiety is the answer to both of those questions.

Unfortunately I’ve been plagued by anxiety for a while now, and it’s held me back from many things over the years.  But above all, it’s prevented me from experiencing the love that I always dreamed of; from finding the love I always deserved.  For years I’ve thought that there was something wrong with me.  I thought I wasn’t good enough to be loved.  I thought I wasn’t pretty enough to attract the attention of a man.  I thought I would always be alone, because frankly being single is all I’ve really ever known. 

Sure, there were those “boyfriends” during my early teen years that typically lasted a few weeks, and then a few guys in my twenties that stayed around for a couple uncommitted hook-ups.  However, for the most part, I’ve been that girl who finds herself attending weddings without a plus-one and heading home after last call alone in a cab while the other girls leave on the arm of their significant others. 

Now, every once in a while, maybe on the night of a full moon or during a road trip back to Ohio, I’d find myself flirting with a seemingly eligible bachelor and hoping that something more than a one-night stand would come out of it.  But unfortunately, my anxiety almost got the best of me as daylight hit and my internal enemy asserted, “Are you crazy?  He’s doesn’t really like you.  He’s going to leave just like all of the other ones.” 

But something changed this past year; something that I really can’t quite explain myself.  In essence, I’ve lived this year under the motto: I don’t care anymore.  See, instead of letting anxiety hold me back, I’ve fought off the doubts and insecurities and strived to live fearlessly.  (Note: A little liquid courage usually helped too.)  I took some chances…including using a few daring moves and brave one-liners every once in a while.  And with each one of those incidences, I noticed my anxiety towards potential love decreasing. 

So that leads me to “The Now”.  As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I am on the verge of a relationship.  Actually…  I’m in one.  Yes, the girl who thought she’d always be single is in a relationship.  (With a wonderful guy, might I add.)  I’m pretty much living in disbelief, as are my friends and family who have heard my “No, I don’t have a boyfriend.” and “I’ll always be a single” lines, but it really is the truth.  Even though it hasn’t yet been discussed, I am practically someone’s girlfriend… which means that I kinda-sorta have a boyfriend. Me?  Really?  Wow.

To be honest, I’m still processing all of this.  I’m trying to convince myself that this is really, while also trying to understand why it’s taken me so long to let myself be in a relationship.  Why did I let my anxiety hinder my happiness?  Why did I let my insecurities get in the way of being someone’s girlfriend?  Why did I let my fears prohibit some amazing guy from being mine?  While I can ask these questions again and again, I’ll never fully be able to uncover the answers.  But I will remember the anxiety I’ve lived with that held me back from being happy all of those years. 

Unfortunately my anxiety is something that I continue to live with.  It’s something that I think I’ll always live with.  But when it comes to love, I’m learning more and more how important it is for me to combat all of my fears and doubts.  For starters, I don’t want to miss out on a chance with a good guy like the one I have right now.  I’ve held myself back many times before and simply, I don’t want to live with regrets anymore.  Sure it’s scary to let yourself be vulnerable and open your heart up, but the risk is worth it.  And honestly, I’m at the point in my life where I’d rather know that I took a chance than regret not taking one. 

Let me stress that I’m no expert when it comes to love, and in some ways I’m still not convinced that I’ll ever fully understand it.  But between you and me, I’m much more open to learning more about it.  And that being said, I think I’ll have to start with exploring the whole relationship thing, and maybe officially being someone’s girlfriend. 

Sure, it’s not easy and frankly I’m a bit scared, but I’m going to take these chances…starting with this great guy who has seen past my anxieties and boyfriendless past and see what life has in store for me.  And hopefully, one day, I’ll be writing a post about love without a mention of anxiety.  But for the meantime, I’m just going to take it day-by-day and see what this whole relationship thing is all about. 

XOXO

K