Category Archives: Change

I’m not (completely) coming back

Before this trip I’m on now, I’ve spent the past few months working 60+ hour weeks to keep my head above water and afford this month away from home.

I’m not going back to that.

There are literally not enough hours in the day to get all the work done as well as take care of myself and plan for my future. Certain things, like my health and projects I’ve wanted to do, were put on hold as I simply put one foot in front of the other. This trip was the light at the end of the tunnel and there is no way I plan to go back into the darkness.

I’ve been offered a few jobs that will allow me to work smarter, not harder. These opportunities are based on my skill set, experience in the autism field, and my passion of helping others. I’ll be able to continue living the life I have, but with “free time” and even *gasp* weekends off. Yes, the concept of a ‘day off’ is something that has eluded me for the past 2 years. I’m so happy that I’ll also be able to put time and energy into creating the movement based programing. Hey, I’ll actually have energy!

I realized the life I had been leading was nothing I could maintain after sleeping an average of 14 hours a day all last week. It also wasn’t making me fully happy. In many ways, I was going through the motions because it was easier than trying to change things in the midst of chaos. Colorado gave me the must needed distance to look at my priorities and how to achieve those.

The other thing that needs to change, which I was told about by my friends on multiple occasions, is I need to start valuing myself. I work really hard, I help others, and I do a bunch of really awesome things with my life. It takes energy to to these things and in some ways my humility of thinking “well, anyone would do what I do” has gotten me into trouble. It’s lead to people taking advantage of me and has put an unhealthy reliance on external validation.

It’s not about comparing my own personal achievements to those of anyone else, it’s that standing alone my life speaks volumes. For too many years people told me I can’t do things or things would never be possible for me. I’ve ingrained some of those thoughts and it’s time I realize I’ve proven them, and more importantly myself, wrong. I’m strong, powerful, and talented.

It’s time I remember who I am as I work towards the bright future.

Show me and Grow Me

 I’ve already begun to think about a presentation I am doing at OCALI this year. It is a poster presentation (SPOILERS: It’ll be interactive!!!) about How to Grow A Healthy Person. I made it not only Autism-centric because one thing I’ve learned is what works for one person can work for many.

I have a plant named Henrietta, I’ve mentioned her before. Some people may also know I’ve been growing lots of things this summer, or trying to at least, with mixed results. Being the Garden Witch and going traveling leaves (hehe) my babies anxious. Coming back in August, I had to do some serious Tender Leafy Care to see what could be saved. I grew a potato! For those who don’t think that is impressive, my relatives struggled with growing potatoes  in Ireland a while ago and they were much better at gardening than I am.

My proudest thing right now is of this, my Lemon Balm. I only really identified it yesterday because it was not labeled. It was not labeled because when I first planted it, it did not look like things were going to make it. Growing thriving plants from seeds is difficult for even experienced gardeners at times and this is seriously the first time I have tried to grow things. As a child, my mother would have a section of the garden which was mine and I know if she had not watered it it would have been mulch. 

You can never see how tall our plants will grow until they are finished growing. We never know how mighty we will grow until we are given the chance to fully thrive. If I had given up on this little cutie, I never would have seen him bloom. It just wasn’t his time to spring up until I got back. He waited for me and knew I needed to see him. We needed each other.

In some cultures, Lemon Balm represents the balance of Yin and Yang energies. We cannot fully have the light if we do not know the darkness. From the little seed I planted, he is almost all that remains of the original 200+ seedlings in April. He is the balance I needed to show me I have done good. I have brought life into this world. Hearing so much negativity, anger, hostility, gossip and pain causes me to falter. It would make anyone question what is real and what are just hushed stories people tell each other.

I know what is real.
This lemon balm is real.

It takes time.

Hold your horses!

Last night we had a new moon in the sky. It was the second new moon in the same month and this phenomenon is called a black moon. This new moon also marked the beginning to the Chinese New Year. We have now moved from the year of the snake to the year of the horse.

For those unfamiliar with the Chinese zodiac, it is a 12 year cycle with an animal representing each year. In one folk story, the order of these animals was said to be decided by their arrival in a race decreed by the Jade Emperor. The animals arrived in the order of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The origin stories of the zodiac vary, but of course I love a good story.

I was born in 1989 in the year of the Snake. Every 12 years, it is the year of the snake again and said to be a very favorable year for me. That’s an understatement if there ever was one!

The new moon also signifies new beginnings. For me, this is the little extra push towards being a freelance mental health professional and performer. Yes, I want to do both and I can do both. Already this month I’ve applied to casting calls, auditioned for a few films, and have already been cast in a student film as well as working on a film skit tomorrow.

I’ve been working towards this lifestyle for awhile and now that I am so close to living it 24/7, the important thing is maintaining it. I’ve never been the type of person who gets really comfortable standing still. The world is too big and beautiful for me to not want to see and do everything!

So now’s the time, people! Let’s go out there and take charge of our lives and passions. If you have already given up on your resolutions for change, guess what, you have another chance to start over. In fact, every day you have the chance to take charge and turn your life in a positive direction. Even the smallest step can be the beginning to bring you to a whole new location.

2014 is here and let’s make the most of it before we are doing this all again in 2015!

Little Bags

“If an emergency evacuation is necessary, leave your carry-on items on the plane. Retrieving personal items may impede the safe evacuation of passengers.”
 U.S. Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

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I live my life in boxes and bags. Really, I’m quite disorganized and having specific bags for specific purposes helps quite a lot. My pink bag is for the gym and it always has my sneakers in it. My blue bag is for my swimsuit and beach related props. My lunch bag is for food except when I forget to clean it out and then it is just for the insects. Everything has a place. So when I say earlier this week I unpacked, I meant I unpacked everything.

I unpacked my bags.

After almost 9 months in my new apartment I finally unpacked all of my boxes and bags. I couldn’t tell you exactly what prompted the investment, but it was time. In the same amount of time it takes for a human being to grow from simple cells to, well a human being,  I have lived in an organized state of chaos. Nothing has been wrong with my chaos because I’ve rather liked it. It’s cozy and smells like me. It was just time for a change.

Change is a thing. It’s neither good nor bad; it exists outside of morals or values. Is change wrong to create a flower from a seed? Is it bad for a bird to grow its flight feathers? Like Death or Taxes, change is unavoidable.

That’s where I found myself earlier this week; in a midst of change surrounded by flowers.

As a girl with a lot of baggage (HA!), I knew my really issue was of feeling at home. I’ve been so afraid of what is coming next that I didn’t even want to fully unpack in my first real apartment. Heck, I still don’t know what a real apartment should look or feel like. With so many new things I’ve found solace in some dependable things. Some things that are simple and elegant. The only bag I will be focusing on in my life for awhile is my purse.

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ÔÇťAbove all, remember that the most important thing you can take anywhere is not a Gucci bag or French-cut jeans; it’s an open mind”– Gail Rubin Bereny