truth challenge #7

someone who's made my life worth living for...

i never really felt that i'd been depressed throughout my grief. at least not in the way it hit me last year. there were multiple times i felt like i just wanted to be dead--not suicidal ideations, i could never kill myself--but rather a longing to have all the chaos and anxiety end. but david would always come home, pull me out of bed and find something to lift me out of the depths of my own misery. the well was so deep some days i felt like that toddler who fell down the long shaft...the police and fireman who finally saved her. those days he was my reason for living...the love i felt for him outweighing the pull to the other side. i knew it would hurt him too much if i were gone. i was able to overcome some of the anxiety by focusing on the future we were planning together. when we would dream those big dreams, i could see beyond the depression which had hijacked my mind.


truth challenge #6

something i hope i never have to do...

bury david. the other day we were at the grave of one of his mentors--who died very young--and D started  talking about his funeral wishes. i am very familiar with funerals and end-of-life decision making...i'm a medical social worker. i am also preparing to start working as a hospice social worker, so it's not like this stuff makes me uncomfortable. it's just that i know i can't lose another person close to me. i used to worry when we first got married that something would happen to him. it doesn't cross my mind as often now, but it's still there when i see a young widow or read about another 30 year old with cancer. i just can't go through planning another funeral while i'm young. i hope i never have to be alone...


truth challenge #5

something i hope to do in my life….

publish my memoir. this should be obvious since it has been the one thing i've been talking incessantly about and the entire focus of my daily writing practice. it is also the one thing i have been consistent at over the past months. i have written more than i have exercised, which is generally the one constant for me. sometimes i daydream that i am being interviewed about the book. i plan out my press tour, visualize myself signing autographs after a reading in a quaint bookshop somewhere out east. i can see the book in my hands, feel its weight—the part of me which has been released from inside and brought forth into the world. i guess i see why people say it's like giving birth to a child, you have to put so much into it—carry it with you for months (years!) and finally it comes to the universe whole, for others to see. i am not as focused on the success of the book, but only on the connections. i yearn for others to read about my experience and see their lives reflected in the pages. these universal themes we all experience as humans are what bring us closer together. i crave that type of interaction with my readers someday.


truth challenge #4

something i must forgive someone for…

the first person i think of is my dad, but what am i forgiving him for? i don't think he's sorry for being an asshole, i don't think he'd ever apologize for being such a jerk an d hurting my feelings. i'm not sure if this is just his personality or his grief or alcoholism. at a certain point i just stopped caring enough to try and figure it out. do i need to forgive him for being thoughtless or uncaring or selfish or rude? the same could go for those friendships i left in the past because they couldn't fulfill my expectations. do i forgive cara for hurting me so badly when i really needed unconditional support and caring from my friends? i am also thinking about andrew witt…but i will never forgive him for what he did. i don’t believe in that type of forgiveness—what he did is unconscionable, and deserves no forgiveness.


truth challenge #3

something i must forgive myself for…

i'm trying to think of something, i guess i need to forgive myself for putting so much pressure to be perfect. to get everything done—to be the perfect wife, social worker, to be healthy and creative and fulfill my life's goals. i need to forgive myself for the unrealistic expectations i placed on myself. i'm finding this question hard to answer…is it supposed to be a mistake i made, something that hurt me, it's weird to look at it that way. maybe it's for being so demanding, and then beating myself up for not getting it all accomplished?

jodie, i forgive you for being a slave-driver, for creating mountain-high TO DO lists and big dreams that were impossible to achieve in the time you allotted to do so.


truth challenge #2

something i love about myself…

my smile. it's always the feature i get the most compliments on, and it's the one thing i do well. well, not the only thing, but i take pride in the fact that i walk down the street, look people in the eye and smile or say hello as i pass. i've noticed people just don't do this much anymore. with their heads down—texting on their phone or distracted by the one attached to their ear—people just aren't friendly like they used to be. i never realized my smile had this effect on people until i sent an e-mail to my old department explaining that i was moving to a new position. about half the people who replied to the message mentioned something about missing my smile. i know that after jamie died this stopped. i didn't walk down the street smiling at strangers. i didn't hold the door open to let them pass. i didn't look people in the eye and say hello. this was just another reason i knew i wasn't myself…it just didn't feel natural not to be smiling.


truth challenge #1

something i hate about myself…

i hate that i get so worked up sometimes and can't get out of it…like this horrifying downward spiral of anger and verbal diarrhea. i hate when i say things i don't mean when i'm feeling overwhelmed and depressed and hurt. i hate that i get so anxious i can barely breathe and sometimes rather than do my breathing exercises or go for a walk or write in my journal or call a friend—i just wallow in it. i hate that these emotions have the ability to paralyze me…literally and figuratively. but the thing i hate most is the anger. it fuels most of the other emotions and makes me a bad wife, daughter, employee. i hate that i can't just shut up and do the things i KNOW i should do to calm myself down and feel joy again. i hate that i just yelled F*@# YOU! to a bug that almost flew in my mouth because i am feeling this way right now. i also hate that i don't know if this is something i always had (and am only now acutely aware of) or if it is a result of my grief. i hate myself in this funk.
this is something i found on another blog...and apologize to its original creator, as i cannot seem to find it again!  the challenge is to complete 30 questions in 30 days to start speaking our truth. it is something i believe i do with every post on this blog, but here's to answering some of the tough questions with brutal honesty...


be free.

i made this video months ago, and couldn't get it to post directly from blogger. i totally forgot about it until tonight.  hopefully it will be better quality through youtube! 



today feels like this. 

i want to be outside with my camera, but i am forced to take a photo walk through the archives.  enjoy.



i got in a huge fight with my dad last weekend, and it has been weighing on me ever since. most of my life it has been this way...most of my life i have blown it off, pretended i didn't care, ignored the pain. it is becoming more and more difficult to carry this burden. i hate to think that each one of these arguments chips away at the relationship that was so strong through my childhood. the days following our argument, i found myself quoting him or thinking of something that he's (in)famous for and that pang of hurt bubbled up again. reviewing some of my journal entries, i came across this one.
we're flying down the highway, dad ejecting a deep belly MOOOOO, the animals unmoved by his mocking at 65mph. i used to think it was funny as a kid, horrifying as a teenager, and in the past year--barreling through west texas--i may have been found doing a drive-by myself. like father, like daughter...how scary. and this is not the only way we are alike: we are more like the bulls butting heads than the pretty dairy cows from the butter commercials. the wild bull and his offspring...passionate, opinionated, proud.