Posted in life

Do I know myself?

Lately I’ve been asking myself several questions and I was surprised I couldn’t answer them. They aren’t difficult questions. What do I like to do? What is my personal style? What are my best qualities? What am I good at? Questions many people never ask because they already know. I thought I knew the answers to these questions but lately I’ve realized I have very little idea of who I am.

Strange because at the age of 58, society says you know yourself. You have life experience and can define who you are. Not the case for me. I think like many women, I defined myself as wife and mother. I haven’t been a wife for five years and although I’m a mother, my daughters are grown. The divorce put me in a downward spiral which I am happy to say is over.

Now I am left with so many questions. I put “me” on the back burner, completely forgetting who I am and what I like. In fact I’m not certain I ever knew the answers to those questions. As a perpetual people pleaser, it never occurred to me to even consider what I wanted.

Due to life circumstances I will be moving to a new city in about 18 months. I have no idea where I’ll be going. I’ll have to decide whether to follow my daughter and her family, move home and in with my mother, stay put here (without family or friends) or put the decision on hold and travel. My girls tell me staying here or traveling is just putting off life and living.

I think they are right. If I had the financially ability to buy a home, it might be an easier decision. Renting makes me feel rootless. My goal this year is to get to know myself and discover what I want.

I’d love to hear how you’ve learned who you are, what you’re good at, how you define yourself and how you discovered what you want in life.

Posted in Blogging, choices, communication, depression, divorce, Experience, Faith, fear, God, Jesus, love, Moving, New life, Uncategorized, Writing 201

Words for me

You never know when you read someone’s blog how it will you. The past few years of my life have been the most difficult I’ve ever experienced. My desperation drove me to the brink of death. My therapist has been telling me God has led me to this loin and this place to heal, to heal my heart and build a new life. Below is a repost of my old Pastor’s Blog. His words are wise and so true.

Are You Ready for God to Change Your Plans? Luke 1:28–29 (ESV) And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.         Are you ready for God to change your plans?

Posted in Blogging, Blogging101, choices, divorce, Dreaming, family, marriage, New life, Writing

Freedom to those we love

 

“We have to live our own lives. We have to give freedom to those we love.” Ross Poldark in Angry Tide by Winston Graham

Ross makes this comment as he and his wife leave their children behind as they head for London. She is sad upon leaving the children at home and Ross reminds her that before she knows it the children will be leaving her.

As a parent we all must face the moment when we know our children are adults and independent. It’s bittersweet because you want them to grow up, live their lives and be happy but you will forever miss your babies. I think that is one reason as a parent it is sometimes difficult to step back when they are adults and let them find their way. In our eyes they are still our babies. As a mother there is always this overwhelming desire you fight to keep them children.

I always knew my children would grow up and go out on their own, making their way in the world. What I never thought about was the first statement Ross makes. We have to live our own lives. I forgot in those years as a mother and wife I needed to make a life of my own separate from them. It is even more true now that I am divorced. I never thought about being anyone other than a wife and mother. It is much more challenging than I anticipated to find my own way in the world. I feel like the one who has had adulthood thrust upon her unexpectedly.

I know my passion but the question is can I make a living? Can I support myself? Do I have the discipline needed to focus and make it work? That is yet to be determined.

Posted in Blogging, friendship, New life, people, Writing

Mine your own Material

I have started so many blogs and inevitably let them fall to the wayside. I shouldn’t do that. At one time I had acquired over 1,000 followers. Now I realize it’s not 50,000 or enough to sell advertising on my blog, but to think 1,000 people might be interested in what I have to say shocked me. Then one day my depression took over and I stopped writing. I am going to expand on one of my favorite posts.

girlfriends

     Have you made a new friend lately? There is so much attention being given to our need for a good solid support system of people whether they be family or friends. Over and over it is being emphasized that we live longer and happier lives when we have those people in our lives. But what happens if your support system falls apart. Maybe you got divorced. Maybe you moved to a new city. Maybe you go a new job. Maybe you left for school. Maybe your financial situation or health situation changed and you could no longer join in all the same things you used to do. We are a transient society. Three-fourths of all American move on average of every five years. I am sure some of those moves don’t completely turn your life upside down but my guess it most of them do.

Since to my divorce I have been forced to face a hard reality and the worst part is I already knew this truth because I moved a total of 4 times in 6 years. That meant 8 schools in those 6 years. So I had just forgotten how difficult it is to make a friend. People don’t seek out new friends. Most of us make friends through reoccurring meetings of either work, school, church etc but we don’t actively seek to make friends.

Initially that seems okay and in general it is unless you are the new person or the person with a life altering transition which removes you from your comfort zone. It is then you realize how much on the outside you are. What do I mean? While there are a few super friendly types, most of us wait for the other person to ask us to join them. We don’t try to include ourselves for fear of being pushy or not being wanted or not fitting in.

The people who are already in a circle friendship are unaware that they are excluding anyone because they are preoccupied with their own sense of comfort and staying in that comfort zone. They have forgotten what it’s like to be new or facing a new life challenge.

It’s difficult making friends. I am not sure it’s easy for anyone and it’s certainly not easy for someone who is shy or insecure or hurting. As the world hustles along and people are busy interacting, they fail to recognize those around them in need of friendship.

Many of you will be thinking, these people should just come along or ask to join in but when you are on the outside looking in, it’s not easy. You fear being rejected and not wanted, so it’s easier just to stay alone.

How simple it would be if each of us just tried to make one new friend. To speak to one new person a day and ask one new person to join us for lunch or a drink each week. The best friend you might ever have could be out there and because we tend to look only forward with blinders on, we miss so many people who could add dimension and meaning and joy to our lives.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Need to Vent

needjob

    Excuse me but I need to vent. I have been seeking a job for the past 3 years. It is necessary that I support myself since my ex-husband left me after 30 years of marriage for a younger woman. There is no spousal support or alimony in Texas. I am almost out of money. And if you think I am trying for jobs out of my reach, I am not. I can’t even get Target to interview me.

    There is definitely age discrimination. I realize I haven’t been in the active workforce for years but I have lots of skills. I went back to school to update my computer skills. I have a college degree. I am personable and friendly. I don’t know what to do. I just read a really bad eBook, so maybe I should give that a go. No one can discriminate against my age or experience then. Sorry for venting. I am just afraid.

Posted in Uncategorized

Long lasting effects of Abuse

wisteria1

   The blogging assignment today was to add a widget, change your header etc. In some way we were to personalize our blog. I changed my header. It doesn’t show as much as I’d like but I could not get it sized right, so I posted it above. It is a photo I took several years ago in Paris. It is still one of my favorite pictures. I still find it difficult to believe that I had to beg my ex-husband to meet his French aunt and American uncle in the south of France. It took me several years to convince him to go. Now he flies the 777 internationally and goes to Paris all the time. I will admit it is a thorn in my side. He always wanted to go only to beaches or lakes. I was the one that wanted to explore the world. Now he is the world explorer and I am left to struggle to make ends meet.

    I have promised myself I will not make this blog just a b*tich fest. I did suffer from narcissistic abuse (30 years) and it has very long-lasting effects. Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome  If you are depressed, unhappy, have low self-esteem etc and can’t really figure out why, I suggest you follow the link and read. I’ve been through countless counselors seeking help. Now that I know what the problem is, I am hoping this new counselor will actually help me get better.

   From this point forward I will share happier thoughts and ideas on how I try to actively explore the world around me even if it’s just a few miles away.

Posted in Uncategorized

Only One Way?

map

  Maps. Directions. Roads. Lost. GPS, yes, GPS. Living in a new city my GPS has become my new best friend. I have never had a good sense of direction. When I was 14 years old, my family was driving from our home in Las Vegas to Disneyland. With my map reading skills, we ended up outside of San Diego. That is NOT close to Disneyland.

  One of the first things I did when I moved to Austin was to buy a map. It is large and I stand and look at it, trying to get an idea of where I am located in reference to where I am going. Studying the map, I determine there are endless ways to reach my destination. When I plug-in the address to my GPS, it even gives me options. It is up to me to decide which route to take.

  Of course our route can be interrupted by road work, an accident, one way streets etc. So we are forced to find another way to our final destination. GPS of course makes it simple. But when there were only maps ,no GPS,  and I would get lost, I had to pull over to the side of the road and study the map to find a new route.

   That is my life right now. I am pulled over to the side of the road studying it and trying to find a new path, a new direction to reach my destination. What is my destination? A life with purpose and lived with passion. Prior to my divorce, I was on a one way road and believed the life I was living was the only way to experience happiness. Since my divorce, I have slowly discovered that there are endless paths to living a new purposeful life. Just like when the GPS gives me a choice of routes, it is up to me to select which road I will take now because joy, purpose and passion lie just around the bend.

Posted in Uncategorized

Exploring Life 101

   Blogging 101 assignment: Identify my audience. Hmm, even though I’ve had blogs before, I have never considered the possibility I would actually have an audience. So this is an intriguing assignment. We were told to add media, try new styles etc to keep the reader interested. So I thought maybe learning a little more about me and where I am going with my life might help me connect with similar bloggers and people. 

me2015IMG_1180 Me now and me a million years ago.

       There are several things I typically tell people about myself when asked for the most unique or unusual thing about my life. I was on a national pageant representing Nevada. I was on a national TV game show. I was interviewed for the CBS evening news with Dan Rather. Those facts typically create quite a few questions. If you are interested in any of it, leave a question in the comment section of my blog.

   At the age of 40, I spent a week trying to improve my French in Roanne, France. It was beautiful and fun, but my language skills were still poor. Then at age 54, nine months after my divorce, I went to Tours, France. I spent 3 months doing my best to improve my French. Again it was a lovely time, but I have come to the conclusion my French speaking skills aren’t going to progress past advance beginner. Below are photos from my time in Tours. Yes that is a photo of a snake. I found it in my bathroom. Again if you want more information, leave a question in the comments.

snake IMG_1206tours1tourschristmas

   I have lived in several states, but have spent the past 30.5 years living in Texas with 30 of those being in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I moved to Austin in June to try to find a new life path. Austin is completely 180 degrees different than Dallas. It is down to earth, eco-friendly, creative and hilly with lots of trees. Dallas is flat, superficial, (who has the biggest house, diamond, boobs etc), not eco-friendly and has just recently become friendlier to the creative arts.

   I have no idea what the future holds. I have been unemployed for over 2 years now and just learned I didn’t get the job I wanted. So I am still seeking a new purpose. I am no longer someone’s wife. And while I am still the mother of 2 incredible young women, they have successfully gone on to live their own lives. Purpose. I think that is what most of us want. We just want to have a purpose and be loved. It doesn’t matter whether it’s here or halfway around the world in some remote village, we all seek those things.

   I have no idea who my audience might be. I am hoping people who are want to explore life either on a new path or an old path will be my blog followers.

Posted in Uncategorized

Blogging 101

Prompt 1: Who I am and why I’m here

me2015

I am an ordinary woman who has been through some experiences that are anything but ordinary. Some of them have been great and others have been challenging to the point that I didn’t think I would survive. I have chosen to blog publicly because I hope that my experiences might help others get through times that are anything but easy. I also hope to connect to others who have ideas and encouragement which will help me to continue to move forward from a life unexpected.  I have had blogs before and ended up deleting them because I found myself just venting which I decided was best left to a private journal. I currently have two other blogs. One is a book review blog, because I love to read and the other is based on life lessons I am learning from one specific character from a book series.

A few more specifics concerning who I am. I am about to celebrate my 56th birthday. My life looks nothing like I expected. I am divorced and currently unemployed. It seems 30 years of stay-at-home wife and mom work doesn’t make for an easily employed future. I was determined though not to live my married life in expectation of divorce. Had I done so, I would have been much more prepared for the life I currently live. I love to travel and learn new things. In my alternate universe I am a successful writer.