Two Years Of Good

This day brings significance I must acknowledge. Two years ago today I moved into my sweet little space I now call home. I believed it to be the worst day of my life. I was grateful for a place to call my own, thinking I was headed toward homelessness, but I longed for my old life. This change was abrupt. It was forced. It was not my choice. The day I walked out the door of my old house my relationship was officially over. It ended a month previously, really. I moved myself into the basement guest room while I frantically tried to find other living arrangements. When I wasn’t doing that I was trying to wrap my mind around what the hell happened.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ve read the story of my abrupt life change. In this past blog Dip. Dip. Depression. I share the story of what happened that led me to walk through the door of my new place two years ago. Re-reading it myself I can say the most significant realization is the same. I can also say that two years later I still have no idea what happened to “M” for her to behave so horribly. I also still have no idea why she ended our relationship or why she chose to completely cut me out. I feel pretty confident now I know what happened in “M” that caused her mental break, but she will never tell me so I’ve come to my own conclusions and closure. I had to and I am still no less appalled by what she did, by the way. I accept that it is what it is. I can conjure up compassion for her occasionally, though it’s brief and far between. I know she struggles and suffers emotionally and that’s really an awful way to be. It’s unfortunate.

I don’t often give “M” my mental energy these days. I like much more to focus on my awesomely positive experiences and the goals I am working toward. Life fell magically back into place looking completely different than the old life I was longing. Soon enough I was done looking back, feeling happy and making plans for my future. I have a job I call my dream job even though much like my life it is very different than I imagined.

Life is good. Most days I’m pretty content. I honestly can only see misery when I think of the what if. That being if we had stayed together. Interesting how two short years can change my view of “the good life”. I like where I’m at now. I like where I’m going. While there have been plenty of struggles, I persevere. I really try to be positive. Soon enough things will change again, this time by my own determination. I will always be deeply grateful for this place that became my home. It’s where I came back to myself. Happy two years of good to me!

Gorgeous view from my kitchen window on a recent snowy day

In The Beginning I Was Me

I have been asked by a few people recently when I planned to post my next blog.  It has been difficult for me to get my thoughts in writing; wanting to keep the integrity of my blog and my story by telling it with love and a whole heart.  I have needed some time to reflect on how my recent experience will shape my future posts.  In my previous post titled Dip. Dip. Depression, I shared what has been happening in my life.

I feel like I have come full circle with my recent trauma and a new path on my journey is being paved.  My focus is more clear and I am relaxing back in to life a little more each day.  When this “saga” began, my plan was to head toward the east side of the country to be closer to my kids.  It wasn’t long before opportunities were placed in my path that signaled to me Portland is still the place I need to be right now.  What began as temporary housing has become the place I can call home for a while.  This solidified my decision to stay put.  My living arrangement is pretty fantastic and I cannot pass up this amazing opportunity.  Additionally, I have met some incredible people recently who have been pivotal in my new direction.  I am eager to pursue fresh ideas with some inspiring people.

As I recreate my life and move toward a place of healing, I am acutely aware of the fact that I must find my own closure in this ordeal.  It is becoming painfully clear that M’s refusal to talk with me will continue and we will not come to a healthy resolve together.  I have to be comfortable in not knowing.  I am not there yet.  I work on it every day, however.  I am also reminded on a daily basis in some way to be grateful for the place I am now.  Had we followed through with our plans together, that would have involved buying property.  I am so deeply glad that did not happen.  If “M’ is capable of this level of cruelty, I do not even want to imagine how much worse it could have been being entangled any deeper, financially.

What I think about most often is, what happened to the person I knew to be a kind, loving and caring human being? What happened to suddenly create a shift?  Why would “M” choose to be so hateful?  Are the people close to “M” concerned about this sudden change? Everyone in my life is certainly shocked. What happened to my sweetie, my quirky, fun-loving adventure partner? What happened?  What happened??  It’s an endless and unanswerable question in my mind.  Every time I go down that road, I come back completely baffled. Honestly, it’s mind boggling.  I don’t understand why “M” was so fearful of simply expressing feelings.  Why didn’t “M” just say, “let’s talk.”  Two words.  It could have changed everything.  It certainly could have created a much nicer outcome with a lot less hurt even if the end of this story were the same.

I had my feet so solidly planted in what I thought was a committed, long term relationship with the person I loved.  I truly believed, that even though we had our issues that needed addressing, our emotional ups and downs; especially with me going through grief, that we would work together like couples do because we wanted a life–together.  Nothing, absolutely nothing was so terrible in our relationship that it deserved this end.  I did not deserve this treatment.

I am beginning to accept the new direction my life is taking.  I am discovering a new and more thoughtful way to live.  I have tried to make my new and very small kitchen in my new space work for me the best I can with the resources I have right now.  I am doing all right.  I have managed to get some decent meals prepared and eaten, albeit a lot more planning must take place to get to a delicious end result.  Portable kitchen islands are on my radar.  It will help my kitchen be more functional for me.  Food storage and kitchen storage in general, is another issue.  I have had many frustrating moments, fits of anger and sobbing outbursts.  And, despite all the forced upon me hardships, I am doing all right.

I process as I cook; I breath through the pain and let go a little more each day.  I am surrounded by a loving group of friends who support me and encourage me toward my new beginnings.  I am grateful for the abundant opportunities and lovely people that have so perfectly timed themselves into my world.  I try to keep my focus on my wonderful new path that develops a little more each day, keeping me curious, excited and motivated.  I will be all right.  I certainly enjoy feeling more like me again; authentic me.  There is that saying, “hindsight is 20/20”; I see things now that I could not before.  What I see is that I am much better off.  Right here.  Right now. I feel happy again despite the pain of betrayal.  I am happy to be me.

I have no delicious food pictures at this time, nor do I have recipes to share.  I think I really needed to keep this post about expression of feelings.  I can sense my blog will take a new direction that will mirror my new life direction.  So this feels like the perfect blog ending and beginning.  I do hope you will continue along with me on my next journey.

Love-yourself-in-the-process

Dip. Dip. Depression.

I really enjoy a good dip.  I define that as one containing protein, veggies and is substantial enough (for me) to sustain me like a meal with the addition of raw veggies and/or rice crackers.  I tend to forget to eat, under eat or eat the wrong foods for my body when things get hectic.  As I’ve shared in some recent posts, my life has become crazy hectic.  I have been coping with plenty of chaos these days as I adjust to my surprising life changes.

I do admit some of that chaos happens in my head.  However, I do not want to minimize the difficulties and stress I’m experiencing and I want to acknowledge that sometimes, well….I just need to breath because it will be okay.  I am up against some huge challenges and frenzied thoughts zoom through my mind when I think about the senseless cruelty of it all.  I am working to calm the crazies in my mind by staying connected to people and keeping focused in the present.

I have debated how much I want to share about what is going on to cause me so much stress these days.  I realize that I have already shared such a deep part of my life in telling the story of my mom’s illness and death.  I decided this is no different.  What I am currently experiencing is much like a sudden death.  It came as such a shock and complete surprise.  I am grieving plenty right now.  Just a few days after Christmas my sweetie, who I will now refer to as M, told me to move out then refused to have any conversation about what caused such an extreme action for no apparent reason.  There had been nothing negative between us of any significance that would result in this bizarre behavior.  I have been completely ignored since that day with the exception of one robotic, unemotional email that honestly just felt like an additional “slap”.  There have been just a few texts about practical things and that is it.  It is truly surreal.  My sweetie has abruptly become a complete stranger.

I left what could have been a career job just a few months ago to stay home and explore some creative endeavors while seeking work in my degree field.  This was a difficult and serious decision for me that involved many weeks of discussion with M.  Never did it include anything about unhappiness in our relationship or suggestions of any trouble; only complete support and encouragement for my decision.  This, adding to the bizarre behavior that was yet to come.  I am currently employed very part time at a local kitchen store at just above minimum wage.  I have little savings since I had just contributed most of it toward our household.  I don’t use credit cards.  You can imagine why I have chaos in my mind, I’m sure.  It’s enough to cause anyone some depression.

As I chopped the veggies and whipped up this dip in my food processor, depression was the very topic I was processing in my mind.  I had such an incredible realization the other morning so significant it has created a lot of churning thoughts.  The feeling is so profound I cannot ignore it.  I have spent months thinking that the death of my mom had triggered a depression in me so deep I was considering seeing a doctor to discuss prescription anti-depressants; something I never have considered at any point in my life regardless of the circumstances I faced.  I take a holistic and natural approach to everything I do.  I know there are plenty of options that are just as effective and much healthier for me than anti-depressant drugs.  Yet, I was feeling stuck in a depression I had never experienced before and all my usual “go-to’s” for feeling better rarely worked their usual magic.  I just felt so heavy and engulfed in angst.  What I have to say about that now is, I am so glad I was having issues with my new health coverage, keeping me from finding a new doctor to make an appointment with.  Because that profound feeling I woke up to just recently was the feeling of enlightenment that I am not depressed.  It was such an incredible feeling so penetrating I laid in bed, relishing it for a while. I felt so light.  I felt like me again. I am sad and I am struggling with the loss of my relationship and my home.  I am devastated that the person who said they loved me and wanted to share in life with me could treat me so horribly.  I am still sad about the loss of my mom, but I am not depressed.

I am very sensitive to peoples’ energies and I know that statement raises a questioning eyebrow for some, but to those who know what I mean, you understand what this feels like.  There is a general apathy about my sweetie, who is prone to inertia.  By M’s own admission, it is more comfortable to sit in misery than to work on moving out of it to a better feeling place.  I have lived under the roof of a home filled with darkness and I did not realize it until I was forced out.  For me, it is like a dark cloud that has been hanging over me suddenly dissipated and I see the light.  I find it interesting that the house had so many avenues for light with great windows, including skylights yet the house always felt so dark to me.  My physical and emotional energy was being consumed by M’s general despondency toward life.  I realize now that most of my time spent living under the same roof has been while my mom was sick and dying.  In my own grief I did not grasp the severity of what M was experiencing.

I had no idea how much this was bringing me down.  To date, this is my most significant realization.  I am deeply grateful for this and if it took this tragedy to come to my realization I will (eventually) accept it.  Even in the midst of all this mess, one would think I am depressed.  I am struggling with circumstances beyond my control and that creates a lot of feelings, but I am not depressed. It feels really great to say that.  I move through each day now with a feeling of hope that I thought was lost in me.

I am grateful that I am able to find the strength and resilience I need to take care of my physical and emotional health.  I actively work on my thoughts and emotions every day.  I use the tools I have to create joy daily.  I am gaining a deeper understanding of enjoying each moment.  I definitely get stuck and I sometimes make unhealthy choices.  I can somehow find the courage I need to pull myself from my own dark places.  Part of doing that is taking the time to make food that nourishes me and helps me feel my best.  When my body feels good, my mind feels good. This bean dip will help keep me on my path to the healthiest me I can be, in all ways.  I hope you will find it delicious and satisfying, too.  Enjoy with your favorite vegetables or crackers.

Cumin Lime Black Bean Dip

1 15 oz can black beans

1/2 diced yellow onion

1 Tblsp cumin

1 tsp garlic/salt

juice of one lime

1/4 c cilantro

1 large carrot

process all in food processor.  serve with veggies or crackers

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