Mind Games

I don’t know what’s going on in my head…I’m so uninterested in everything. Life has been crazy busy lately and I hate it. I mean, I like it in the moment because every minute has a purpose, but when it all stops, like today, all the emotions just overwhelm me.

Right now I’m feeling all of the little snubs and judgments from my mom, all of the nights I didn’t want to fall asleep, all of the innocent but hurtful comments and questions from one of the kids I nanny, all of the unanswered texts, all of the situations where I feel I embarrassed myself, the disappointment that my mom is actually retired, the heartbreak of saying goodbye to our llama and the fear that this is it for me.

I went through a period this spring where I really felt like I was supported by the adults in my life. Everyone I told about nannying would praise me for being resilient enough to handle that all the time. But now I’m feeling the opposite. I seem to be encountering more people now who expect a lot more of me. And I just can’t handle the emotion that comes with that. Because, I think, on some level I know they’re right. It’s like when people say it’s easier to believe the negative opinions of you than the positive.

I want to love what I’m doing and I know that this is what I want to be doing, but I just can’t seem to ignore everyone else’s opinions. I feel like they need me to move on and challenge myself, but I feel like I’m already challenging myself by sticking with this. It’s really hard to basically want to just be a 50s housewife in an era of female empowerment. I respect all of the women who truly do want to go out into the workforce and make a difference and “have it all.” But I’m not one of them. And I just wish that people would respect that.

My mom was truly a trailblazer. She was one of a handful of women in her class at dental school in the early to mid 70s. That’s a lot to live up to. Because of her persistence and determination, I feel like the people who have known her the longest expect similar from me. I don’t want to disappoint anyone, but I also need to do what I want to do.

I know, I know. As long as I am truly happy with my life, they will be too.

But my mind likes to play games.

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P.S. I hope to post a bathroom update soon! It’s looking incredible!

Summer of Change

There are lot of changes happening this summer.

My parents are currently at my mom’s retirement dinner with her coworkers. She has one more day of work left, next Tuesday, followed by a few weeks of moving everything out and then she’s done. It’s very exciting for her, but a little scary for my dad and I. We have no idea how she’s going to fill her time–she’s starting to show signs of maybe being ready to slow down a bit, but she’s always been a very busy and involved person. We’ve learned how to keep the house running without her around and, honestly, really like it that way.

We are also in the midst of a bathroom renovation that rapidly grew to include siding, trim, carpet and other odd jobs around the house. My dad and I spent a good portion of Mother’s Day moving everything from my room and bathroom down to the guest bedroom and bathroom. (We let my mom do whatever she wanted; she chose gardening.) We didn’t realize how bad the bathroom looked until it was all emptied out!

Since I moved downstairs, we’ve discovered more and more things to improve in that bathroom. We’re replacing just about everything that doesn’t require more than a drill or a wrench to remove.

 

My bathroom is getting a little more work done…

I was really dreading the first day of demo. I thought I would really miss my space, but now that it’s all torn apart I’m just really excited for the finished product, which should be stunning! They’re putting up drywall next week, so things will really start taking shape!

On the less exciting end of the spectrum, my parents think they’ve found a new home for our last llama, Rosie. The process really sped up after a visit from one of my uncles. He tends to make things happen and straight up asked my dad why we still had Rosie. He hadn’t even been in the house five minutes when he called up a llama farm in eastern Wisconsin. That didn’t pan out, but he was applying some pressure and my dad finally decided to look into it seriously. They found a petting zoo about 90 minutes south of here that’s interested.

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I’m having trouble adjusting to the thought of not having any llamas. I was only two when my parents got the first two, which means that we’ve had them for 20 years. And Rosie was the only one who was born here. She’s never known anything different and now they’re going to send her to a petting zoo? She still seems to be pretty happy here, even if she doesn’t have any other llamas to socialize with. And I can’t imagine not having llamas around for my niece and nephew. My dad can understand that. Which is why he’s agreed to having chicks, ducks or pheasants every spring. Birds fly away before winter! So we now have four chicks.

So, yeah. Lots of changes. This will be an interesting summer.

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Stop Wishing; Take Action

I wasn’t planning on writing again so soon, but something miraculous just happened and I need to write about it while all of the emotions are still fresh.

I’ve slowly but surely been watching every movie Emma Stone has appeared in and last night it was time for Irrational Man. Surprisingly, I really liked it (I haven’t liked Woody Allen in the past). One of the main points of the movie is that you can’t just wish for something to happen; you have to take action.

So with that in the back of my mind, I sat down this afternoon and wrote the most heartfelt and honest letter of my life. I was only half serious about sending it. Until Facebook automatically sent it after I selected it from my files.

The purpose of this letter was to explain why I’ve approached a certain friendship the way I have for so long. I had wanted to explain this face to face for about 6 years, but the opportunity (and courage) never arose.

During those 6 years I had fantasized about how it would all go down. Next time we hang out, I’m just going to come right out and say it as soon as we get in the car (so I don’t lose my nerve). And after every outing, I would return home disappointed in myself for not bringing it up. But I would keep wishing that maybe it would come up organically. Maybe it would just come up in conversation during one of our 2 outings a year. Maybe she would text me one day and it would just feel like the right time to share.

But today, I stopped wishing and took action.

I don’t even remember how that blank page got opened and how I started spilling my guts. All of a sudden, I just was. And just as quickly, it was sent.

I was, of course, hoping for the best case scenario, but steeling myself for no response.

I left my phone in the kitchen and went to my room to distract myself. That alone was strange. I never leave my phone in another room, especially when there’s a chance that I could be getting a text or call.

10 minutes later, I returned to the kitchen and glanced at my phone–the blue light wasn’t blinking, which meant no response. But I noticed an extra icon below the time.

It was the Messenger icon.

She responded.

I unlocked my phone and, in no big hurry, checked my messages, like this was just my dad saying he was on his way home.

I couldn’t even comprehend what I was reading. I think I got half way through before I realized this was the best case scenario. It happened.

I literally fell to the floor and just started sobbing. I couldn’t believe that what I had wished for for so long was finally coming true.

All I could muster for a response was “Oh my god, you have no idea–I’m literally sobbing right now! THANK YOU SO MUCH!” I felt like a blubbering idiot.

But I did it. I stopped wishing, took action and got exactly what I wanted.

I feel invigorated and motivated! I can get whatever I want if I do something instead of relying on wishing.

That’s all!

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Story Time

I don’t know why, but it feels weird to be writing in this space again.

I’ve been writing a lot lately in more of a story format. I use what I’m experiencing in the moment (sights, sounds, feelings, etc.) and create what I imagine would be background for characters in a story. The thing that bothers me is that there’s really only one character: me. Because I’m using everything around me, I decided to just let it fly and embrace the fact that it’s extremely personal. So far, I haven’t changed any details. I am literally just writing my life in a book format.

That terrifies me a little bit, because I feel like if I continue with it and it evolves into some kind of narrative, I’m going to be too attached to change things around and make it less personal. But at the same time, I would never let anyone read it the way it is because it is so personal.

It also terrifies me because it’s making me think a lot. And I don’t have a great history with thinking a lot. It feels like something that could lead me down a rabbit hole. But it also feels like something that could help me uncover my potential.

So, as I mentioned, I’ve decided to just embrace it and cherish it as something just for me.

I realized that I really like writing in that format, though. And if nothing else, it’s good practice.

There are so many other things going on right now, and I would love to catch you up, but I just felt like this was important to get out of the way first. I hope that in the coming weeks I will be able to find some time and motivation to tell you about everything!

But if not, Happy Spring, Happy Earth Day, Happy April, Happy May, and Happy Friday!

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(P.S. La La Land comes out on DVD next week! I’ve been abstaining (from watching the movie/clips–can’t give up the music), so, hopefully, when I watch it again on Tuesday it will be just as magical as the first time! #morethananobsession)

Remembering a Dream

You know that feeling when you’re trying to remember a really good dream after you wake up? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately when I listen to La La Land. I feel like it’s supposed to inspire me somehow. But I can never quite grasp it.

If I’m being honest, I was starting to get a little sick of the music. Then one day last week I stopped singing along and just listened.

That is so much more powerful.

It moved me.

I feel inspired to do something–I just don’t know what it is I’m supposed to do.

It calms me, which is actually enough right now. It centers me.

My life has been a lot more hectic since we got back from Hawaii. Next week will be the first really normal week, schedule-wise.

So I suppose I’ve needed that one steady thing to bring me back from the craziness.

I think I’m in for a year of self-discovery.

Finding My Somewhere

I have to admit something:

I. Love. La La Land.

Actually, I don’t just love it. I’m a teeny bit obsessed with it.

And by obsessed, I mean I’ve seen it in theaters 4 times and have had the soundtrack playing almost constantly on a loop for more than a month now.

As I was listening to this song for the thousandth time (at this point in my obsession that’s probably not even an exaggeration anymore) this morning, this line grabbed my attention. It already stands out, since it isn’t directly surrounded by any other lyrics. But it hit me in a more personal way today.

“Is someone in the crowd the only thing you really see? Watching while the world keeps spinning round. Somewhere there’s a place where I’ll find who I want to be. A somewhere that’s just waiting to be found.”

I have spent my whole life wanting to be someone in the crowd just watching other people live their lives. It’s safer that way. And I’ve been able to get away with that for a long time.

But now I’m starting to feel like I have to start living more boldly.

But when–and how–is my purpose going to make itself apparent?

My dad was telling me that if he’d known that everything would work out, he would’ve taken advantage of and enjoyed his single years more.

But it’s hard to appreciate the stage you’re at when you’re not positive that it actually will work out.

But then again, how positive can you be that something is really going to work out–even the best things can go downhill.

I feel like I should be enjoying this time a lot more than I am. I’m still trying to figure out who I am, I’m living at home, I’m single, I have an extremely flexible job and I’m still young.

Yet I find myself worrying about the future all. the. time.

I know I have to put myself out there more to get everything I’ve always wanted for my life, but it’s so comfortable in my bubble.

As I was looking through random notes on my phone the other day, I came across this quote:

Let your faith be stronger than your fears.

I saw it in my new favorite store in Hawaii and it made me think. I completely forgot about it, until I stumbled across it a few days ago.

I’m having a little trouble with the faith part right now. My fears have always had a tendency to take over. 
But I’m trying to think about this quote throughout the day and make different choices.

Because nothing will change if nothing changes.

I have to go out and find my somewhere. 

It’s Time

It feels good to be writing again! We’ve been pretty busy this past month and I needed some time to think about what I want and need to change this year.

My nephew was born a few days before Christmas and he’s the most chill baby I’ve ever seen! He’s been a snuggler, snorer, and smiler since day one! And he makes the most adorable puppy noises! I’ve decided to call him PB on this blog. Him and his sister (who seriously grew up in the last 2 weeks!) are PB & J! My brother is having a lot of fun with that! The first 2 weeks of PB’s life were filled with lots of family and friend get-togethers to show off our new pride and joy!

Then my parents, my best friend and I jetted off to Hawaii for 2 weeks! We spent one week on the Big Island and one week in Honolulu. We all needed that break for our own reasons, but I feel like I really learned a lot about myself.

It had been 5 years since we’d been on the Big Island and I had always regretted not ziplining while we were there. Well, this year we finally did it! I was getting pretty anxious on the drive over, but I was never really nervous. My parents, especially my dad, were pretty nervous, though! I knew it was safe and that I would love it, but it’s hard to scare those butterflies away!

I didn’t, however, think that I would love it as much as I did.

Neither did my parents.

They honestly thought that I would chicken out. My mom told me how proud she was after almost every run. They didn’t think that I would be able to overcome the fear.

But I was never scared.

It was exhilarating!

It was very unlike me. It made me think about some other (smaller) fears that I could overcome with this new confidence.

Then the next day we took a sunrise helicopter tour around the island. I get sick on regular airplanes…so we were all a little hesitant about it. I decided not to take any drugs, because I hate the drowsiness that comes with them.

I didn’t need them.

Again, I loved it! It wasn’t quite as exhilarating as the zipline, but, again, I overcame a major fear of mine.

(I couldn’t, however, overcome the 7-hour plane ride home with as much confidence.)

The rest of the trip was rather dull in comparison, but still enjoyable.

We landed at 5 am Saturday morning and only had a few hours to clean up and catch some z’s before some last-minute company arrived for the night. My brother brought the kiddos over for a sweet reunion and I was asleep by 8:30 pm.

Yesterday was the real recovery day. And last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I knew what I needed to write today.

I need some accountability on this, which is why I need to write it here.

It’s time for me to grow up.

2017 needs to be the year of Carrie.

I need to continue learning about myself and, most importantly, challenging myself.

I need to start seriously thinking about a career.

I have decided that that means two things:

  1. Posts that focus on me. After taking some time to think about, I’m just not comfortable with the number of posts last year that were all about J. Last year was all about the kids, and I need this year to be about me. This will be a challenge, but I think it will be good for me. I haven’t yet decided how I will channel that excitement about the kiddos, but I think it needs to be something more personal and private than public.
  2. I need to make time every day to write. I’ve seen this technique all over the internet and in various books and I’ve decided to try it. It doesn’t matter if this leads to anything–writing is something that has always calmed me and allowed me to think through things in a more tangible way. Toward the end of last year, I decided to commit time every day to exercise and now I’m addicted. It makes me feel so good! I’m equating this to mental exercise. I need to take care of my body and my mind. I’m not sure if this will be in the form of blog posts, in fact I actually doubt it. But it will certainly help me focus my posts on me.

I have never been a resolution person and I’m not even going to consider this a resolution, because resolutions rarely work. This is a process for me. It’s a journey. It’s an adventure.

I can’t wait to see what other discoveries this will lead to in the year ahead and I’m excited to take you along for the ride.

Wish me luck!

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