New Chapters & Closing Old Ones

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One more sleep until I fly off to Nicaragua!!

But…it’s also one final night in my home.

I had no idea when I booked this trip back in October that I would also be moving from my home of over 5 years at the very same time. This trip definitely comes at the best time for me. I will not argue that. I am feeling so emotionally drained, exhausted and completely at capacity for being able to take on any more in my life. Travel recharges me, sets my soul on fire and also gives me the opportunity to learn about myself too. All the things I am really in need of at this moment.

But it has been very hard to get excited about it when in the middle of packing for my trip; I am also packing my life in boxes. It’s funny in a way because I am someone who always craves change. By year 3, I wanted to move. Every other month I want to travel and every week I’m thinking of what car I could get next! This has a lot to do with my childhood, but that is a post for another day!

But here I am going through SO MUCH change all around the same time and all I can think about is just crawling into my bed and letting the world just go on while I keep sleeping! I don’t want any more change. I’m good right now! I’ve had more than enough to last me a good….year. 😉

I also didn’t think my moving from this house would be in this manner, which definitely makes it more difficult. And if you’re just tuning in to my blog I suggest you read the first post to know just what sort of manner I’m talking about. But to sum it up, a divorce is like an onion…it’s not cut and dry. It comes with many, MANY layers of stuff you couldn’t have imagined dealing with! Not only am I packing up my belongings, I’m unpacking so many memories along the way. I’ve had to go through so many items and throw out things I never thought I would be throwing out. It reopens the sense of loss that I thought I had dealt with but I’m finding it may come and go for a little while longer.

Something I am guilty of is pushing down emotions in order to not feel them because they are just too much for me to handle or so I believe. I would rather be happy and full of joy…I mean who wouldn’t? But what I find ends up happening are these emotions creep back up, at times where I least expect it and when I’m not at all prepared to deal with them. But honestly, when are we ever really ready to deal with these feelings? The sense of loss, grieve, sadness, pain, anger…who can actually say they are ready at any moment to take these on? Not me, that’s for sure. I am learning, however, to not run from them anymore. I’m digging up some courage to face them as they come and embrace them. Letting myself accept them for what they are, giving myself permission to feel and know that it’s ok. In doing so, I truly believe it will help me move forward without dragging along a suitcase full of untapped emotions and unhealed pains.

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Last night I was encouraged to take some time to say goodbye to my house. Yea…as soon as the words came out of the person’s mouth…I cried my eyes out. I realized then that I had been holding so much back, protecting myself from really feeling the sense of loss that I was experiencing. But by doing that I was robbing myself of an opportunity to really give myself closure. So I sat on the floor this morning and said goodbye. Even as I type, the screen gets blurry from my watery eyes. Amongst the heaviness the home brings me sometimes, there are also a lot of memories. It was the first house we bought. The place I planted my first tree. My first attempt at growing a vegetable garden happened there…and only lasted one season! I hosted my first ever turkey dinner in that dining room. I have danced solo a lot in that living room, sometimes with the curtains open not caring who saw. Parties, sleepovers, laughter and tears. This house has seen it all. Though it’s sad, it also feels good that I’m letting myself grieve this loss, this end of a chapter. By doing so I will be able to move on knowing I acknowledged and honoured all that it gave me.

So, yes, I leave for Nicaragua tomorrow! I am a big believer that things don’t just happen…there is reason for them. Whether you want to call it fate or God, this trip and when it is taking place is all a part of my journey that was planned out for me. It couldn’t come at a better time. It will allow me the time to reflect on the last few months and to look ahead at the next ones. It’s a chance for me to be present in the moment and present with me. But for tonight, I am going to continue to say goodbye to my home, dance and sing solo one last time in that living room and be grateful for all that it gave me as I prepare to move forward.

 

It’s Not Always Rainbows & Butterflies

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Sometimes I get the sense that people think I’m always ok…like everything is good. Maybe it’s perceived through a lot of the images I post and the events I share. At first glance, and if that’s all you take, you would think I’m completely happy and have it all together. I have actually been told this by a couple of people before! Well I hate to break it to you…it’s not true. I have low days. And I’m writing this now because I’m just coming off of a couple of days where I felt anything but happy. I’m preparing to move out of a house I lived in for over 5 years, I’ve had some complicated challenges this past week, & I’ve been forced to look very deep within myself and have sometimes not liked what I have seen. But what I realized through all of it is that I still felt I had to keep up this face that I’m ok because people assume I always am. Crazy, right? Thankfully I have patient friends in my life who let me completely crumble in front of them and vent til there is no more wine left and nothing else to say. But all of this got me thinking. Why do I feel I have to hide it?

Most of what we see through social media are these images of people having fun, who look like they have it all together. I’m guilty too! But it’s like we have this pressure to measure up to it…to constantly show our ‘friends and followers’ that all is right in our worlds and look at us being completely together and emotionally perfect. HA!

The reason I started this blog was because I wanted to share my journey with others, knowing full well it would not be all rainbows and butterflies. And I wanted to share the good with the ugly because that is REAL! Life is not all good..sorry! It has major bumps along the way that can leave you with some nasty bruises. But they heal, you learn and you move on! But that is a HUGE part of the journey of life! And why should we feel we have to hide that part of it? It only constantly makes us feel bad to see people only happy and questioning why we can’t feel or experience the same! And I will be the first to admit that I get those same feelings too when I go through my social feeds. Well guess what? They’re not always having a good day! And for those who have said to me ‘you always look so happy and put together’ > I am not always all put together…and the major life challenges I have faced have proved that! But the moment we realize that life is not all made up of what we see on our computer screens, we start to see the reality of the world and accept the unhappy & unpleasant moments as a part of life.

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So yea, I sometimes have really sh*tty days where I feel lonely, sad, angry and anything BUT joyous. Because, as I go along in my journey of major life changes, those feelings are going to come along with it. In fact, I’m always going to have those emotions come and go…because that’s life! And once I accept them as a part of life’s process…strangely enough…happiness starts to creep its way back in. Because I realize that I’m normal, I’m not alone, and that I have to sometimes go through those emotions and tough days in order to learn how to get to the good ones!

So I guess the point I’m really trying to stress is to not look at my Instagram and Facebook and take those images at face value. Yes, those were true moments of happiness and fun. And I love sharing them with the world because I believe we need to live more in the moment! But remember that those are moments and don’t paint the entire picture of my life. Yes, for the most part I have really great days and live with a lot of joy and happiness. But it has its struggles and that’s reality. And I want to make sure you see the tough sides of it too because maybe you need to know in this moment that you are not alone <3

Detours

roadtripThis journey. It has become one of some major self reflection and pushing of boundaries that have, in some instances, brought me way out of my comfort zone. I have been challenged and have been kicked in the ass. But I have noticed something along the way. I’m not giving up. I’m incredibly focused on experiencing everything this new life, with its many challenges & obstacles, has to offer me.

But in my being so focused I have noticed one thing. That I’m sometimes pushing out or questioning things that might be perceived to me as being in the way. Ones that I have thought of that could pop up in my life and would cause me to question this would be a totally new career move, a new person/relationship, or a spontaneous travel opportunity. I start to get a little nervous that these things may affect my path, interrupt the journey and cause me to lose focus.

So I have taken some time to think about what that would all mean. What if I were to open myself up to a new person or new career….or a chance to travel to a different country for 3 or 4 weeks…or more? How would this change this path that I think I am on?

Well, it was in those quiet moments of reflecting that I realized something. Those all would be A PART of the journey. Have you ever been on a road trip where you are travelling along and you pass something that looks so breathtaking, fun, and/or maybe even crazy that you just have to check it out? And maybe you drive right on by, but you always remember it and wish you could go back and see what it was all about. OR maybe you turn the car around and stop at it and find out it has the most amazing views of the sunset or the best fries you’ve ever eaten. I’m on that road trip right now and I have continually said that if this is my YEAR OF YES, I want to experience everything life has to offer…but my old behaviour is to stay on the highway and just get there already which can lead me to miss out on those fantastic, memorable stops along the way.**

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Those stops ARE a part of the journey and the moment I have started to recognize this, I have suddenly had more peace. That maybe these aren’t so much ‘stops’ but detours. Or maybe they were a part of the journey all along. But one thing I know is that I have missed out on a lot in my life. Whether it’s because of my childhood, my choices, or my fear that I have let get in the way. And though I have these old behaviours of just wanting to be at my destination already, I have a stronger passion to not miss out on anything along the way. For that new career move may lead to travelling the world, that new person could become the friend you share your dreams with or a great relationship that teaches you more about yourself, and that travel opportunity could open the door to a whole world of adventure. So instead of fearing those moments and how they may interrupt my journey, I’m taking a closer look at them and if they align with my heart, with my goals, and my YEAR of YES, then I get to add another exciting new chapter into my journey.

**I totally cried while writing this part, which I’ve learned is my souls way of saying that I’ve hit a nerve and I need to explore this more. I don’t cry very often so I always listen to my mind when I do. It is usually trying to tell me something. And in this case, I think it was telling me that I have hit an area here that means a lot to me. That it hits the core of my being and is something so important to my soul. That though I have missed many great stops on my life journey, I have so many more to experience and don’t want to let myself or my fears to stand in the way of that!**

What Adventure Awaits You?

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I keep hearing the same thing from people ‘I am living vicariously through you right now!’ While I am flattered by this and the fact that you are following along in my journey and cheering me on, I would rather you be out there experiencing life too!

I’m all about adventure…even more so in this stage of my life. Adventure helps build your confidence by getting you out of your comfort zone! In my last post, I talked about how it has helped me face fear head on to the point fear is scared of me now 😉 But most importantly adventure opens up doors to experience so much of what our world has to offer. It can stretch you to a place you never imagined going. It can lead down a path that can completely change your life for the better.

Overall though, as many of you have seen and commented, adventures are a ton of fun!! Which is why it’s hard for me to hear so many say they enjoy watching me do it, but aren’t taking the step to embark on their own.

I understand it is not for everybody. That sitting on the sidelines watching is enough adventure for them. And I can respect that. But then there are those of you who I can see the envy and the longing in your faces. And what I say to you is: I WAS you once! I had fear get in my way. I over-thought a lot to the point I would just talk myself out of it. I would think negatively about myself, like how I’m not good enough or strong enough to do that. I would find excuses to say no.

Then I said YES to one thing…and then YES to another…and realized just how thrilling and life-changing adventures can be!

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My hope in sharing my journey would not only be that you follow along but that it would encourage and inspire you to try to step out of your own comfort zones and embrace an adventure that has been calling your name for awhile. That you take the time to learn about yourself and appreciate the world we live in. I guarantee you that you will return with a new appreciation on life and yourself!

So next time you see me posting about going dancing on a Friday night or that I’m planning my next travel destination, think about something that you’ve always wanted to do and find the courage and strength I know you have in you to step into an adventure that has been awaiting you!