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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Just Thinking....

Sometimes I feel alone. The alone you feel when you have something big to talk about but really nobody to share it with. A trusted girlfriend. I haven't really had that since I was in high school. I have my wonderful hubby of course. He's my best friend and I can tell him anything and everything but sometimes it would be nice to have a girl friend. I have a lot of aquaintances. People I surface talk with but I haven't really found one where I can share more intimate things with.
Who knows, I may never find that special friend and most days I'm ok with that. I guess today it just hit me that's all. I want to be more real on here but it's hard too. This is a public blog and some things just don't need to be splattered all over cyber space.
I do know that right now, I feel like everyone looks at me like I have my life all set. I've got it all together.. It's painful to see how people look at me, act around me, thinking that I am the all put together person and that I do everything and everything perfectly... That is such a joke!
My life has been tough and everything that I have right now, I earned.. Nothing was given to me since I was 16 and on my own. I started working when I was just 14 at the local bowling alley, cleaning ash trays, garbage cans and bathrooms. By the time I was 16, I was on my own holding 3 jobs and going full time high school. I did all of that by myself with my own strength. I had to be strong even at a young age.
It's hard being a teenager with adult responsibilities. I got married at 18 to a man I barely knew. We started dating in November and that June we wed. Through that time period he was in basic training in another state and we wrote letters to each other. That saying "Absense makes the heart grow fonder". Well it's true. I knew his family since I was 15 so I thought everything was going to be ok. I just didn't know him and through time it would all work itself out.
Then my daughter was born. My marriage was not ok, even from the beginning. I had low self esteem from not having a family that cared and he played upon my weakness. When I found the courage to end it, my daughter was 15 months old. I then became a single mom. That wasn't easy either. Dealing with a really rough divorce and having to handle my ex on a regular basis was very difficult.
I married my wonderful husband when my daughter just turned 3. That wasn't easy either. We both came into our marriage with a PILE of baggage from our past. Mine was up front and center dealing with court hearings after court hearings with my daughter along with abandonment issues stemming from my parents leaving me at 16.. When my daughter turned 5, I lost full custody of her to my ex and spent the next 11 yrs seeing her in the Summer months. That was the hardest time in my life, watching my daughter be raised by someone else and having little influence on her life. I felt like a babysitter when she came to visit because any parenting I tried to do, just got wiped clean when she went back. I had a lot of hurt over the custody issues, feelings of failing was up front and center in my mind for a long time. Dealing with low self esteem issues.
By the time my husband and I hit 3 yrs of marriage we were ready to call it quits.. Yes, that's right! Pull in the towel, walk away. My son was close to 2 at the time. Thankfully, God tugged on my husband's heart and told him to "Think Love". We decided to go to counseling at our church. The counselor offered us a chance to take a 2 yr course about co-dependency and healing old wounds to make a fresh start. We grabbed at the chance to save our marriage. Two long, painful, emotionally struggling years later, we finished the course. It was NOT easy. It dug up everything in our lives that was unpleasant and allowed us to work through it all in a small group setting so we could heal from it and use it for God's glory. It was powerful! I thank God everyday for that opportunity because that was the starting point in how I saw myself and how I viewed my marriage and my children.
During this time period I had another son. Financially we were also struggling. My husband is an aviation mechanic and when 9-11 hit, the aviation field was hit hard. No raises for 4 yrs. He was able to keep his job and that's by the grace of God because there were several layoffs during that time period. We ended up having to file bankruptcy while I was still pregnant with my 3rd child. What a blow that did for us.
When we decided to do that, we also decided to take financial counseling classes at our church to help us better manage our money. A long process and years later we are now debt free and living within our means. No credit card debt, no car payments and we only have our mortgage to contend with. We are now over 11 yrs passed our bankruptcy with excellent credit. That wasn't easy. We didn't have money fall from the sky, or given to us. We pinched, scraped and saved every last penny we had to make that work. We did a lot of free things when the kids were smaller. We had one car for two solid years. It was also not an overnight thing. It took many many months to get it under control, but it was worth every ounce of struggle we went through.
We purchased our third home back in 2007. The one we currently live in. Other than painting some walls, that was all we've done to it. Just recently as you can tell by my previous posts we are remodeling a bit to update the house and make it our home. This wasn't something we did first thing when we moved in. No.. we've lived here almost 6 yrs now and just now have the money to do what we want. Will we be able to do it all right now.. probably not.. We won't put any of this on credit so if we don't have the money then we stop until we do.
I guess lately, I feel like I'm being judged. I feel like others are looking at me like I have it all together. My life is perfect and that I can do it all. I'm some kind of super woman! Well, I'm not. It's taken a long hard road to get to where I am now. I'm still a woman in training. God is molding me each and everyday to be a better person from yesterday. I'm not perfect. Just trying to make good, honest choices for myself and my family.
 I cook wholesome foods for my family because I watched my husband undergo a huge, major surgery back in 2005. I watched him suffer for years with pain until he finally went to the doctor to get it checked. At that moment of watching him, realizing he could of died during that ordeal that life was precious. I decided then and there I was going to give up on fast food and drinking sodas. That was 7 1/2 yrs ago and I haven't touched any of it. Does that make me better than anyone else? NO.. It makes me human. My freedom to choose what's right for me and my family. I'm not judging anyone who eats fast food or drinks soda, so I'm wondering why I should be judged for not.
I make my stuff from scratch. Why, well in all honesty, I love doing it. I have given my extra time during the day to take care of my family and my way of showing that is cooking and baking real food for them. I absolutely love being in the kitchen. I never thought I would, but I do. I guess that goes along with God molding me everyday!
Another thing that I've done that has gotten glares is my running and fitness. Running was really hard at the beginning and I still struggle with it. I keep going because I love it. I had to step away from running for several months because I needed to refocus the reasons why I chose to run in the first place. It didn't come easy for me to run or to get fit. I just woke up each day and chose to do it!

Losing weight has been an issue to talk about. I don't even post about it anymore on my Facebook. It's hard anymore being real because being real.. well people don't want to hear real.. They also don't want to hear success stories. That means you are perfect somehow because you achieved something! I feel like I can no longer be real. I feel like I can't share my success stories with others. Losing 30lbs wasn't easy. I've struggled with my weight back and forth ever since I had my first child at 20. A roller coaster. This has never been an easy thing. I've tried and tried to lose and keep it off. It's honestly a daily battle for me. This has NOT been easy.
I'm real. I lost 30lbs and have gained back 4 of it. Why? Because I'm real. I'm not perfect. I'm going to succeed and fail, but I choose to get up and face the day. What am I doing about it? I'm not moping. I'm back to my running schedule and back to watching my calories. A minor set back, not a major one.
Another area I love is crafting. Making cards, fixing up the house by making curtains etc. I love doing that. I feel like I can't share that either because that makes me even more perfect when I'm not.
 I don't want to hide myself to help others feel better about themselves. This is me. I was broken for a lot of years. I feel sometimes like I earn the right to show my success for all the HARD WORK I've done over the past 20 yrs. I'm sure me saying that doesn't score anymore brownie points to those who may think of me as perfect! They may even think I'm a snob.. I don't know.
I've always been a loyal friend to anyone who has ever been a part of my life. I've always given my all. It's hard sometimes to see people you want to be friends with gravitate towards unsafe, emotionally unstable people and don't give you a time of day. I've worked so hard to find myself. To be an emotional STABLE person and nobody wants to be around that. They look at me as being stuck up or someone who is overly confident and maybe that scares people. I've had people even say about me that I have it all together and I don't really need anyone because of it. They need to be helping those that need it! Well, that's not true. Just because I've been helping myself become a stable person doesn't mean that I'm ok with being alone, without friendship. Everyone needs friendships! EVERYONE!
I've shared here my struggles because I'm not perfect.. If you were a friend or someone who cared, you'd want to share in the success as well. It wasn't easy getting where I am today. A wonderful marriage to the best man in the world- that didn't happen overnight. That took years to build and a lifetime to maintain. Also the opportunity to be with my daughter after 11 yrs apart. She lives with me full time now and I get to watch her graduate from high school in three short months.. God is faithful! All this with the patience and strength given by the almighty. I would of never been able to get through all of this heartache, turmoil and life changing events without His strength. He was my only friend for a lot of years and I owe all my success to Him.

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