“Say Something” by A Great Big World

“Say something, I’m giving up on you

I’ll be the one, if you want me to
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you

Say something, I’m giving up on you

And I am feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all

And I will stumble and fall
I’m still learning to love
Just starting to crawl

Say something, I’m giving up on you

I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you

Anywhere, I would’ve followed you

Say something, I’m giving up on you

And I will swallow my pride
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbye

Say something, I’m giving up on you

And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you

And anywhere, I would have followed you
Ooh, ooh say something, I’m giving up on you

Say something, I’m giving up on you

Say something”

Source: MusixmatchSongwriters: Campbell Mike / Axel Ian / Campbelle MikeSay Something lyrics © Reservoir 416, Ian Axel Music, Chad Vaccarino Publishing, Manhattan Astronaut Music, Songs Of Universal Inc.

The Apology That Never Came

I was a hot head for a long time growing up. I think it had a lot to do with the resentment and uncertainty I had in the relationship I had (or lacked) with my mom. I often got in trouble well into my junior high years for hitting my siblings. I was angry and I took it out on the people that surrounded me.

When I was in high school I secretly wrote letters to my mom in prison – against the wishes of my aunt and uncle who were raising me at the time. They, with their adult wisdom, knew that engaging with my mother during such a detrimental stage of my life would be very toxic. But I was young, foolish, and full of feelings that I wanted my mother to know about. I had a friend who let me use her address for my mother’s responses and she would bring me the letters at school, without my aunt or uncle knowing.

In those letters I would spew my deepest, darkest emotions of hatred and retaliation with such imagery it would have made a film maker gasp. It felt good to know that my mother would most likely weep when she read the awful things I wrote in my letters to her. Writing those letters was the only sense of control I felt I had at a time in my life when I felt like my life was controlled by other peoples’ decisions.

The letters came and went for months, but the more and more I expressed my disdain to my mother, the more pain was piled on top of me. I though I was somehow transferring the pain she she’d given me back to her, but instead I was secretly hoping I’d recieve the one thing that was never going to come.

For whatever reason, my broken heart had always hoped I would receive some sort of apology. Some sign from my mom that she had remorse for the irreparable damage she’d caused. But I was naïve because even if her response back to my heartfelt letters was an apology, her actions never backed it up to make the words mean anything. I thought that if I saw the words “I’m sorry” in her handwriting, it would make the pain of her actions go away. I now understand that an apology without changed behavior is just empty words. It doesn’t heal, it just aggravates your sense of hope.

Part of me is glad that my mother never responded back acknowledging her mistakes or vowing to change, because it meant that never acquired the impression that she that she had any intention of changing. Her letters were instead filled with excuses and placing the blame of her actions onto anyone and everyone except for herself. Every letter I received from her threw me back into a pit of rage until one day I made the decision to not reply.

I like to think that was the true turning point when I accepted what was and made the decision to stop allowing her choices define who I wanted to become and what I wanted to accomplish. It empowered me to move on and release some of the anger I had been holding onto for so very long. It allowed me to enjoy the presence of those around me – the people that cared if I failed or succeeded; because at the end of the day, they were the people pushing me, loving me, and rooting for me.

I am forever grateful to the people that picked me up, held me accountable for my mistakes, and showed me the value of love outside of the norm; but most importantly, taught me just how great life can be when you are no longer waiting on an apology that will never come.

Exposed

A whole bottle of wine

More drinks to follow

Still don’t know how to feel

The bottle is empty and so am I

Eventually someone will be as obsessed with me

As much as I am obsessed with my own insecurities

Music plays on the stereo

And here I sit

Hoping for silence

Hoping for acceptance

Hoping for a newfound spark of love and appreciation

The empty bottles help

But only in the sense of feeling alone

Because they are here and you are not

They’ve never let me down

But you have

A Friendly Reminder

Here’s a little reminder to end your week on:

You are fucking awesome.

There is no one else out there like you. Your thoughts, movements, attitude, passions, and interests are exclusive to only you.

Everyone might not love you, but the right people do. Do not overlook those that struggle to express it to you. Sometimes showing compassion is harder than expected.

Never stop searching for your individual purpose. Life changes constantly, so it’s okay if you change along with it.

Loneliness does not last forever.

Use your desire as fuel to accomplish your goals.

Be kind to everyone.

Beauty is more than a skinny waist or perfect hair.

You have survived 100% of your worst days.

I’m at drill soakin up the rest of my weekend. I know I haven’t kept up-to-date on here, but I always want to do better! Stay safe out there friends! Always feel free to drop me some love 👇🏻💋💞

The Beginning of The End

I lift her head up into my hands. My fingers line the jaw of her crying face.

“I’m sorry,” I whisper.

She turns her head quickly and I put my hands back in my lap. There are no words that I can say that will bring her any comfort.

Oh, how I love this sweet, sweet woman. Her voice is gentle and melodic, and her hair falls down past the middle of her back. She may not be a man’s first choice at the bar, but she stole my heart the second I saw her. She was wearing a green dress with brown boots and danced around the bar like she wasn’t bothered one bit that all eyes were on her. I know this because I specifically remember telling my buddy Joe that I was going to marry the dancing girl in the green dress someday. 

Now look where we are.

“It’s been three days. C’mon-“

She stretches out on the couch and lays facing the wall, her back to me.

I feel a hint of anger well up inside of me.When is this going to end? We can’t keep going like this… “Okay, well I’m going to go out to the garage and work on the car. I’ll be in to check on you in a bit.” I pause for a second before stepping away, hoping she will move or say something. Anything.

But she doesn’t move and she doesn’t make a sound.

There was a time in my life when this kind of empty silence would fill me with rage, but that was the old me. After the death of my father when I was twenty-one, I came to understand that there are some pains that can only be expressed by shutting down. I watched both my sister and mother go through the same thing. The thing is, it makes the people around you so unsure of what they can do to help you. I know there really isn’t anything anyone can do to stop the pain, but I can’t handle being shut out when my purpose as a husband is to be my wife’s crying shoulder.

I keep one of our wedding pictures hanging above my desk out in the garage. I reach out and touch where our hands meet in the photo.

The best day of my life.

With the most amazing woman I’ve ever known.

 

What on earth am I going to do to fix this?

Finding Myself

I start therapy on Friday. I’m very excited, actually. I feel like the stigma against mental health is kind of diminishing and more and more people are trying their hand at therapy. In all reality, everyone just wants to feel better. I’ve always wanted to talk to someone about all of the feelings I have, but I’ve never been so lost that I felt that there was no other option.

That is how I feel now.

I am on an unexpected, anxiety-ridden rollercoaster of emotions right now. I have hit rock bottom and I scheduled the appointment without even hesitating. I need this.  

Yes, I am a daughter and a friend and a mother and a partner… but who am I when it’s not based upon a relationship with someone else?

Who am I?

I want to strip down and view myself in a completely vulnerable and open way. I want to look at why I do the things that I do. I want to find the meaning of all the pent-up emotions that never address. Why haven’t I addressed them? Am I a complete narcissist and have no clue? What can I do to make sure that I am focusing some of my energy on ME? What in my life has happened that has changed the way I form relationships with others? What can I do to improve the way I carry myself around those that love me? 

There is so much that I want answers on.

So much to discover.

So much to solve.

I am so ready.

22 Things I Want to Teach My Daughter

1. The only person that can ensure your own success is you.

2. The only thing that will ever make you ugly is how you treat other people.

3. Respect isn’t always easily earned, but it is always easily lost.

4. There is nothing you could do that would make me love you any less than I already do.

5. Being rich has nothing to do with money.

6. Don’t accept every apology you receive.

7. Smiling at strangers is a good habit to have.

8. You’ll never wish you ate less ice cream.

9. Don’t let people make you feel bad for dealing with your feelings in a way that helps you heal.

10. Your mental health is more important than any job.

11. You can change any situation by simply changing your mindset of it.

12. It’s okay to get frustrated. It’s not okay to take your frustration out on others.

13. Just because something is a rule, doesn’t mean it’s ethically right.

14. Family isn’t always blood.

15. Don’t break yourself in order to fix someone else.

16. Sometimes silence is more effective than action.

17. Never let honesty be an excuse for disrespect.

18. Grass grows where it is watered.

19. Your mistake isn’t as important as what you do to correct it.

20. There is a difference between a man that flatters you and a man that compliments you.

21. It’s OKAY to tell people NO.

22. Don’t let your kindness be mistaken for weakness.

23 Years of Adventure

Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. Twenty-three years of love. Twenty-three years of adventure.

I heard my birth story from my aunt and grandmother a bunch of times growing up. I think mainly because, as they tell it, it was a wild day! My mother was in labor prematurely and it was sometime in the morning when my aunt and grandma took my mother in to the hospital. I don’t know exactly how many weeks early I was born, but they had to life flight my mom from our local hospital to the hospital at the capitol, Springfield. My aunt and grandma tell the story that they actually raced down the interstate to beat the helicopter. They both swear they were in the hospital parking lot when the helicopter landed.

Sometime just after lunch I was born via emergency c-section. My back was actually up against my mother’s abdomen when they cut her open to deliver me, so I have a large scar across my back from where they cut me when performing the c-section. I was so small I wore doll clothes because preemie clothes were too big. I’ve been told it’s a miracle I survived.

But here I am. Flourishing in the sunlight, and dreaming of tomorrow. I have been blessed many times in this life. I do my best to slow down, breathe it in, and enjoy the things that bring me joy. In honor of today, I have made a list of a few of the things that bring me JOY!

  1. My beautiful daughter, Della Rae. Her spunky attitude and playful heart brings an overwhelming sense of pride every time I look at her.
  2. My handsome fiancé. Dylan’s passion for music and sly rhetoric reminds me that the simplest things in life are the most important. Our love is truly an adventure and I cannot wait to marry him in just over one year!
  3. The adrenaline rush that comes when you start to run.
  4. Sunrises.
  5. My family.
  6. Pumpkins patches and autumn weather.
  7. Hugs.
  8. Hearing “I love you”
  9. Good hair days.
  10. Singing in the shower and on road trips.
  11. The way my keyboard sounds when I type really fast at work.
  12. My daughter’s laugh.
  13. Hiking and camping.
  14. Pay day!
  15. Sunday morning snuggles in bed with Della Rae and Dylan
  16. Softball and basketball and football and hockey and any sport, really.
  17. Blogging and the friends I’ve made through WordPress.
  18. Mexican food and margaritas.
  19. Friends.
  20. Watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Some are silly, some are very common. But all bring me joy and make me enjoy the life that I am living. Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. A good life.

I am so very blessed. Here is to a life full of love and adventure!! 🎉🎁🎊

To all the MOMS on World Mental Health Day 🌱

Since the birth of our children, nearly every decision we make will bring us a sense of guilt. Put your baby to bed too early and you feel guilty for not enjoying your time with your baby while they are little. Keep your baby up too late, and you feel guilty that they aren’t getting enough rest. I have struggled with this immensely in the short stint of my experience with motherhood, and I know from many conversations I’ve had with other mothers of children of all ages, it is something that is never going to go away – as much as we wish it would. As mothers, we are under constant scrutiny and watchful eyes from everyone around us. We are criticized on how we feed our child, rather than the fact that the child is being fed at all. We feel the heat of dirty looks in the supermarket when we have a wailing child that we can’t quiet.  We take showers and look down at a body that looked very different just a few short months ago. We smile when you happily say hello to our children, but still feel the pain when you don’t acknowledge our presence with an equal amount of excitement. Do you care about me? Or do you only care about me enough to scrutinize who you think I am as a mother?

Well I will tell you who I am as a mother.

I am now devoted to life of selflessness. I have ran to the bathroom, cried out in overwhelming frustration, wiped my eyes, and returned back to my family with no one even noticing the crack of defeat I have hidden from my face. I have spent late nights worrying, planning, anticipating, and preparing. I love selflessly and whole-heartedly.

On my toughest days, I close my eyes and face the sky waiting for nature to give me strength… She always does.

I am persistent and I am determined. Even though there are times I feel like I might break under all of the pressure, the sun falls and rises, and so do I.

I am passionate. Passionate about my child. Passionate to build up the family that I have created. Passionate about the joys life has so graciously given me.

I am forgiving. I am consistent. I am fierce. I am patient.

Through the guilt that I so often face, I have come to understand that there are so many things that make me the best mother in my child’s world. Forget the pain you feel when you choose to do something that is in the best interest of you. We deserve some of our free will to be made solely in regards to our own wellness.

Because it’s hard being a selfless, persistent, determined, passionate, forgiving, consistent, and fierce MOM.

Gun Violence & A Parent’s Love

With the tragic and horrifying mass shootings that took place in the United States this week, everyone has been in an uproar about gun control. I get it. Let’s do something. But I think the one of the reasons we have such an awful gun violence issue in the United States is something that gun control simply cannot fix. None of what I want to talk about today has anything to do with gun control or taking away anyone’s right to bear arms. 

It’s easy to argue that the person pulling the trigger is responsible for the damage they cause, because that is the normal conclusion to come to when you hear of someone committing such a heinous act. And I would totally agree with that statement; however, there is another side to this that I feel is worth at least considering.

We have a gun problem. But more importantly, we have a HOME problem.

Since when did we become a nation filled with careless parents? Since when did we allow our nation’s children to be so disrespectful, lazy, and so careless about life? Since when is nearly 60,000 kids locked up in jails across America something that we are okay with?* Since when?

I know that most of America’s mass shooters haven’t necessarily been teenagers, but according to an article in The Washington Post, they are getting younger. Since the shooting in Charleston, more than half of shooters were under the age of 30. You may be quick to imply that it’s the younger generations’ fault that all of this is going on since they are the ones pulling the triggers. True. Ehh, kind of. 

What if I told you that children are have higher self esteem, communicate better, improved academic performance, and are less likely to have psychological and behavioral issues when they are exposed to love and affection at home? In 2010, researchers at Duke University Medical School found that children with loving and conscientious mothers grew up to be more resilient and happier adults. The study followed 500 children from infancy to their mid-30’s.**

I know with 100% certainty that I don’t have to fill this post with a ton of statistics, links to articles, and sparkly, mind-boggling information. You have the ability to google any topic you choose, so I urge you to go read up on just how important we are as parents in shaping loving, gentle, and soulful children.

It is absolutely critical that we show our children love and affection, and that has absolutely nothing to do with guns. Life can be busy and adulthood is overwhelming at times, but we cannot forget that we are raising tomorrow’s generation. Let’s raise a generation that is loving and passionate and gentle and open to talking about mental illness. Let’s love our children fiercely and show them that they have caring people that they can rely on – no matter what.Let’s raise a generation that knows that pulling the trigger of a gun is rarely a necessity.

You want to end gun violence? 

Quit teaching hate from within the walls of your own home. 

Stop whatever you’re doing that you think is more important (it’s not) and go love on your kids.

 

 

 

* – https://www.aclu.org/issues/juvenile-justice/youth-incarceration/americas-addiction-juvenile-incarceration-state-state

** – https://www.mother.ly/child/how-a-parents-affection-shapes-a-childs-happiness-for-life

Photos from Washington Post.