I Almost Forgot

“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
~Johnathan Safran Foer

I almost forgot that this day, November 27, used to be meaningful to me.  On this day, I guess 6 years ago now, I met the person who became one of my closest friends for a short time.  Last year I was sort of “celebrating” this milestone.  But up until I re-read the post from this day last year, I ha forgotten the importance of this date.

I admired her so much.  She embodied everything I thought I wanted to have in a role model and a friend.  She embodied everything I thought I wanted to be.  We became good friends for a short while, but then she pulled away.  I was hurt so badly.  Sometimes I still miss her, but most times I wish I could just stop thinking about her.  I catch myself wondering if there is still a “what if?” But then I bring myself back to reality.

I let myself be happy for a brief time by taking risks, living authentically, and being vulnerable.  Unfortunately, this happiness didn’t last and the loss of that friendship caused me a great amount of sadness.  The question then becomes, what that brief moment of happiness worth the sadness?  It is really hard to know for sure.

Some Things Never Change

“Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, ‘where have I gone wrong?’  Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.”
~Charles M. Schultz

*this was supposed to be automatically published yesterday for NanoPoblano, but the new publisher doesn’t seem to like pre-scheduling my posts. Please accept my late post*

Yet another accurate post from Last year on The Old Blog:

I know what you mean, Charlie. I go through this on most nights. Despite realizing that it will take more than one night to recount all my mistakes, I just stay awake for most of the night thinking about everything. I must eventually get bored because I finally do fall asleep.
The worst nights are those when I’m on call; I get woken up multiple times and then have to try to fall asleep again multiple times. Each time it’s time to fall asleep again, I pick right back up where I left off when I fell asleep the last time. It’s usually quite a torturous night…
It’s always hard to know what are “mistakes” in life and what are just “the natural progression” of life events. Sometimes I can’t. Decide what’s worse between the two. If it’s just the way things were supposed to go, then it’s disheartening to know that there is no control and there is nothing you can do to change things. If something was a mistake, however, you feel bad about making a mistake but at least there is the possibility that you can make up for it…. Maybe.
Oh Charlie Brown, I wish I had the answers. If I did, I would be getting much more sleep at night. I would also feel like I was learning something about my life. Everything would be worth it, because I would become a better person, eventually. Hopefully it would also mean is make less mistakes in life.

Talking About Tina

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it.  You have to go down the chute.”
~Tina Fey

From The Old Blog, November 25, 2014:

I really like Tina Fey.  That might be the reason I was inclined to pick this quotation.
I also really enjoy waterslides, especially those ones that you go down on inner tubes and they have all the little splash pools along the way.  I don’t ever remember being “that Kid” who got to the top of the slide and was afraid to go down.  I always embraced the moment and I’d get set up as soon as the last person went down: I’d grab the bar or the sides of the jets and prepare to propel myself down the first dip as soon as I got the okay from the disgruntled pool worker.  There must have been a time, however, when I was a little scared, or unsure, or hesitant.  I must have been very young though – because I don’t remember it.  If it did happen, I was young, and it was all new.  I’m allowed to be uncertain when something is new, right?

I don’t feel like talking all deep and philosophical today.  I am just happy to see that I had (maybe) a sense of humour when I picked out all these quotations.  I still love Tina Fey.  Over the summer I read her book, Bossypants, and I loved it.  I have tried to start watching 30 Rock, just because of her, and while I enjoy the show, I’ve just been too busy and tired lately.  I have a much greater appreciation for the person and the artist that is Tina Fey.  Let’s just leave it at that for today.

Tina Fey is awesome.  She makes me laugh, and I need a little more of that in my life!

Taking One Day At A Time

“The only Courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.”
~Mignon McLaughlin

From The Old Blog, November 24, 2014:

I can only take my life one day at a time.  Getting through today is enough work and enough of a struggle. I lose confidence in my ability to survive when I imagine doing it all over again tomorrow.  Regardless, every time tomorrow comes, I get out of bed and survive once more.

It is a relief to know that having only enough courage for one day is all that matters.  I’ll worry about tomorrow’s courage tomorrow because likely in that next moment, I will find the courage I need to keep going.

That’s all I need, and that makes it a little easier to survive.

I really felt a string sense of peace with what I wrote last year on this day.  It was not *completely* about struggle, it was not about making good or bad decisions, it wasn’t about a friend I seemed to be over fixated on.  Rather, it was about me – the raw me – the true me.  While some days are better than others, I still days that feel like this post:  can’t imagine making it past this one day that I am living.  What is of ultimate importance, however, is that I just make it through the day I am living.  Tomorrow is another day.

It’s Always Okay

“‘It’s Okay’ is a cosmic truth.”
~Richard Bach

If there is one thing that I have learned from this November project that has taken me back over the last few years of difficulty, it is that this quote is truer than ever.

Perhaps it’s easy to say that when nothing absolutely “tragic” has happened.  However, despite the difficulty of this previous year, I am doing okay.  And, last year at this time, after a rather difficult year before that, I still said I was doing okay.

It’s all relative, I believe (and, isn’t that another somewhat famous quotation?).  So far in my life it seems like, even though nothing is ever perfect or what I would like it to be, everything is always “okay.”

And, that’s the truth.

  Something To Treasure

“If you are not happy, you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”
~Robertson Davies

I had a difficult week at work.  I was tired from waking up early every day, putting in long hours at a mentally challenging job.  I had some patient cases that challenged me beyond my limits and made me feel like I’m not smart enough to be doing what I’m doing.  And worse, I felt like I will never be smart enough or capable enough to do this job I’ve picked for myself.  Saturday was no better, when I still had to get out of bed, put on my blue scrubs, and cart myself to work and do it all over again for another day.

The day started out with a difficult case: a woman who was sick and only getting worse.  The baby inside of her also showing signs of not thriving well.  The decision was made to deliver her baby and we wheeled her into the operating room.  A 27 week baby that looked more like a 24 week baby that was difficult to deliver… a lifeless baby that I handed to the nurse… a baby that needed CPR before being intubated and whisked away to the NICU.  And the a tattered uterus to put back together.

IMG_6458I left the OR feeling more tired and deflated.  The feeling of the baby’s brittle bones between my fingers and his heavy doll-like head bobbing in my hands was etched in my mind.  I walked back into the delivery room waiting for the next disaster but instead found a large bouquet of flowers on the desk… and it was for me.  A rare and unbelievable gift from my husband – something to keep me going for the day.  The card simply said, “Have a great day, Beautiful.”

And therein are my treasures: A loving husband, who might not always seem to “get me,” but he loves me nonetheless.  Two healthy children who will never know the difficulties of the baby I had just delivered.  Another growing child inside of me – one that I came by rather easily.  A job that I love, despite how much it exhausts me.  And, all the opportunity and ability that anyone in the world could wish for.

 

My Backstory

“We are all special cases.”
~Albert Camus

From The Old Blog, November 21, 2014

We all have a story that makes us who we are.  I would argue that these stories are not always fun to tell or easy to accept.  It is these stories, however, that make us “special.”  My story is far from great, but I know it could have been worse.  I am the grown up child of a messy divorce, and this simple fact has made the “special case” that I am today:

My parents were newly divorced and were too busy hating each other and making each other miserable to really realize what they were doing to their children.  They provided the necessities and we never wanted for anything physical – we were clothed and fed, we went to school and we did well.  Emotionally, they gave us nothing.  I never felt special or like I mattered to my parents.  My accomplishments always seemed to fall on deaf ears and land in front of blind eyes.  I was a 12 year old girl with nothing to motivate me and no one to encourage me.
~From The Old Blog

Some days I go back to being that 12 year old girl, and I get angry at myself every time I do it.  I am embarrassed that this so heavily defines who I am and how I interact with people.  I fear that I will never be able to escape from that 12 year old me.  And, that right there is the problem: I should not want to escape from her.  Rather, I should want to open up my arms to her and give her that which she never had.  I should be the one to support her, motivate her, cheer her along, giver her advice, and be her best friend.  That is exactly what she has spent the last 20 years trying to find.  Now I can be that for her, I just need to believe it.

We all have stories that make us special cases but many of us are too afraid to go back and read those stories.  Those stories are what make up who we are and we need to understand them to really understand ourselves.  Going back to the beginning can also tell us how far we’ve come and, hopefully, allow us to realize how much we can help ourselves.

I an not a special case because I am the grown up child of divorced parents.  I am a special case because of what I have become as a result:
I am sensitive, kind, and loving.
I work hard, seek perfection, and achieve my goals.
I put others before myself and passionately give everything I can.
I am a loving mom, a sincere wife, and a good friend.

I am all of those things, even if I don’t always believe it… even if other people don’t always believe it.

Biggest Change Yet

“Life is just one damn thing after another.”
~Elbert Hubbard

Wow.  That’s all I have to say, really.

Last year’s post was probably the most depressing one I have come across so far in November.  I was so sad and I was lamenting over how my friendship was beginning to fall apart.  I commented on how literal this quote felt at the time.

Ironically, this quote feels comical to me today… The way it was intended to be, I think.  Life is really just one damned thing after another.  And, it’s kind of funny, really.  Maybe it’s not always funny when you’re in the midst of the crap (like I was at this time last year), but it does’t get kind of humorous after a while, I think.  and, maybe that’s what keeps us going… that funny thought that “something else” just happened when we were least expecting it.  I don’t know if that makes any sense.

Life would be pretty boring if everything that happened was predictable and expected.  At least I think it would be…

Maybe that’s what I tell myself to make me feel better about my crazy, crazy life…