Archive | Slaying Dragons RSS feed for this section

Becoming a Butterfly

31 Mar

Spring is a time of change. The snow melts. The days start to get longer. The trees bloom and the flowers awaken. And in no time at all, there will be butterflies.

I’ve always been fascinated with butterflies, not because of their colors or their grace, but because of the amount of change they endure in such a short lifetime. Within the span of a-couple-months, a Monarch butterfly will hatch from an egg, spend its days consuming leaves as a larvae (caterpillar), attach itself to the stem of a plant or branch as the pupa (while it undergoes 10 days of change in the chrysalis), until it finally emerges as an adult butterfly with mere weeks left to lay an egg to ensure the survival of the species before passing away.

Change does not come easy to me – it never has, and it doesn’t matter how big or small a change may be, it causes me to over think, over analyze and over worry. I would be a terrible butterfly. I’ve hatched from an egg all alone in the world. Is this plant I’m on safe to eat? What if my chrysalis detaches during a storm? Will I be strong enough to break out of this thing when it’s time? How will my wings know how to fly without being taught? What if I fall? Now I have to produce the next generation – that’s a lot of pressure!

It’s a really good thing I’m not a butterfly – I may have never made it out of the egg!

Just like the butterfly, I find myself in a season of change. I am taking steps to return to school to further my education, a goal I set for myself when I watched my mom graduate with her Master’s degree, the first in her family and the best role model I could have ever asked for.

Scott and I are also apartment hunting. Together we’ve looked at two apartment layouts at one complex, he looked at a different complex today before work, and I’ll look it over on Saturday. I’m ready to have our own place, but I find myself on a rollercoaster of emotions from excitement  to totally terrified.

More often than not these days, I wake with knots in my stomach and a pounding headache after nights of stressful dreams. I know I’m worried about finances and finding an apartment that is clean and in a safe neighborhood. But I’m also worried about me. Living in Florida for a year while on the Disney College Program was one thing, I knew when it ended I would be returning home, to my room, to my safe haven. Now, that’s not an option.

I don’t know who I am outside of these blue bedroom walls – they have been my sanctuary since I was 10 years old (but I should mention that when we built this house I was all about the pink frilly life, so the walls were baby doll pink). This room has seen me change from pre-teen to an adult woman. I have slammed the door after arguments with my parents, shared my deepest, darkest secrets with friends, and cried my heart out in here when a boy carelessly broke my heart. This room has seen many late nights finishing homework or finishing a book that I just couldn’t put down. I do my best thinking and writing from this spot on my bed, staring out the window at the post office and the great void beyond.

My room has changed with me, always adapting to my needs. From pink to blue, from Barbie dolls to mountains of mystery and romance books, and my embarrassing love of Billy Gilman to my new love of running races.

But as I look around, I notice how the room doesn’t feel as big as it once did. Maybe that’s because I share it now. Most of Scott’s belongings aren’t even in here, they are sitting in our front room downstairs waiting for a place to call home. Or maybe it’s because, like the butterfly who knows when 10 days have past and it’s time to emerge, I know the time has come to move on.

I doubt the butterfly ever thinks about what happens to the chrysalis it left behind. I, on the other hand, think about a time when this room will no longer be “my room.” One of my sisters will move in here. They have always shared a room and have been chomping at the bit for me to pick up and leave already. I can’t blame them, it is nice having a space all your own in the house. Whomever moves in will change the walls, redecorate and add her own personal touch to the space. I will be erased. Just a memory of yesterday. My safe haven claimed by someone new.

It may be silly to feel so attached to a room, but we are each unique and have our own quirks. Maybe you are attached to a specific coffee mug, car or jacket. Called it an adult version of a security blanket, it’s that one thing you can count on being there to pick you up and warm your heart. And soon, I will be walking away from mine. I think I will feel lost for a while, unsure of my footing in my new room. But I hope with time I will feel comfortable there.

Change is never easy, but in order to progress through life it is a necessary evil. And so it is at these late hours of the night I find myself praying that my wings will know how to fly because whether I want to or not, I’m changing into a butterfly.

Do you live for change or does every cell in your body fight for things to remain as they always have like me? Tell me your best tips and advice for surviving a season of change! I don’t know how many more rough nights and anxiety starting mornings I can take.

Advertisements

Little steps, good vibes

5 Jan

I will be the first to admit that I have a tendency to turn molehills into mountains. I know I worry about things other people wouldn’t bat an eye at and I know I lock up my troubles and fears until I’m at a breaking point.

This year I want to change that. I want to be more relaxed, to go with the flow, to let go of the little things. I read somewhere a quote about additude, it was about constantly choosing happiness, positivity and to be a positive force of good in the world, so that’s what I’m trying to do.

I figured the best way to change my outlook on the world was to first start with the outlook I have on myself. Good things in, good things out, right?!

Every morning I start my day with a big glass of water with breakfast. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not worth it to drink my calories and they say that a glass of water first thing in the morning helps to wake you up and jump start your metabolism. Sometimes for fun, I’ll add one drop (you really don’t need a lot!) of peppermint essential oil for a refreshing taste.

My drive to work used to stress me out also; it’s a new drive with more time spent on the expressway. And once at work, it’s trying to learn new processes and procedures, learning the ins and outs of a new work and team environment and trying to find where I fit on the already established team. I had no idea how draining that would leave me feeling at the end of the day. So to counterbalance both of those, I found a local christian raido station. The music fills my soul and recharges my batteries. I feel empowered to take on the world, or at least my little piece of the world that is.

Finally, my sleep schedule has been suffering lately and I realized it’s because I stopped exercising during the busy holiday season. But no more  excuses of being too tired after work, my waistline can’t keep expanding! One of my favorite workouts is the at home walking workouts by Leslie Sansone. I was so excited to find this 5K walk with a power boost on YouTube. I’ve used this workout twice now and it really gets your heart pumping, which for me allows for a more restful night’s sleep, allowing me to wake up in a better mood and more likely to make better choices through the day.

I’m hoping that as the days and weeks progress, these little things will become part of my natural routine and that I’ll be able to add more positive habits into my daily life.

What steps do you take to have a better day, life and outlook on the world? I’m still early on my journey and would love to know what’s worked for you!

Never Enough Time…

24 Nov

It’s been 21 whole days without his embrace, holding his hand, and being wrapped in the tightest, most perfect hug I’ve ever received. 21 whole days waking up without him here. 21 whole days of breaking out into tears at least once and not fully understanding what triggered them, but knowing in my heart they are the tears of missing him that I can no longer hold inside. The whole first month afer saying “see you soon” is always the hardest on me.

Long distance relationships (LDRs) are not for the easily distracted or the weak-hearted. These types of relationships are for those willing to put in the hard-work and dedication to someone they’ll only see and be with in person half a dozen days out of the year. LDRs can be complicated with opposite schedules and technology that doesn’t always work.

Days can be a long time or a short time depending on your point of view. These two photos were taken 7 whole days apart….an example of not enough time.

There’s never enough time when you’re finally reunited with the one you love. Time simultaneously speeds up and freezes. And now, sitting here reminiscing, I can replay each moment as if it has just happened. My fluttering heart when he greeted me by surprise at the resort checkin counter. Hurrying through the rain at Disney Springs (I really hate that they changed the name from Downtown Disney) just so I could get the Holiday Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich and a chocolate milkshake at Ghirardelli. And wondering around Disney Quest, the first time I’d been back inside since my last shift as a Cast Member there in May 2011. I beat Scott and two other guys at the Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam game, it was awesome! And then returning to the resort that first night and falling asleep while watching a movie and listening to his heartbeat.

This vacation was filled with the little, everyday moments I spend most days longing for. Rides in the car, meals together, holding hands while waking around somewhere, sideways glances and bright smiles, opportunities to make each other laugh and capturing our favorite moments with photos.

We had many adventures in our short visit – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in our matching Haunted Mansion Hat Box Ghost glow-in-the-dark shirts his mom got us, Food and Wine at Epcot, riding around on the monorail waiting for the fireworks to start, and riding his attraction three times just so I could find him at work! (Don’t ask where that is, I’ll never tell!)

But this time, we also found our adventures taking us outside the happiest place on Earth to downtown Orlando for a dentist appointment one day and a wedding on another, Halloween night to be exact. Scott was a groomsman in the wedding and I was his guest! Our first wedding as a couple! We even got to see the Orlando Eye all lit up on our drive back to the resort after the reception.

And then, when we were lost in the wonder of being together and not paying attention to the time passing, it was time for me to return home. This time was going to be particularly difficult for me as I know I won’t be returning to Walt Disney World for a few years (time to do the grown-up, money saving, budget planning, returning to school for my master’s degree to improve my future type of thing), which meant not knowing when we’d see each other next. But, because Scott is the most perfect guy for me, he had several surprises waiting for me to make getting on the pain less sad.

And to top it off, we are now planning his FIRST trip to my home state for him to FINALLY meet my family! Needless to say, I’m just a little, okay A LOT EXCITED! IS IT JANUARY YET?! Yes, long distance relationships are hard, stressful and sometimes lonely (especially as we prepare to go into yet another holiday season), but like so many things in this world, that is all forgotten the instant you are reunited with the one you love and discover like always how easily you pick up right where you left off from last time as if no time has even passed at all.

And just for fun, a couple of my favorite pictures from this trip! There’s so many though, so I don’t know how I’ll choose! Enjoy and stay strong my long distance friends! We’re one day closer to being with the other halves of our hearts!

Wellness Wednesday – 10/14/15

14 Oct

Tonight I am celebrating the farthest distance I have ever walked in a single day! So amazed at what a little determination, hard work and self-discipline can accomplish! 

I used to be one of those people who couldn’t understand how someone managed to work, take care of a family, have a social life AND still somehow manage to find time to workout. But when I started my Destination Chicago challenge through work (we have 60 days to walk the 365 miles from where our work is to Chicago), I began to notice all the times I spent sitting – reading, watching television/youtube, playing on my phone, being bored, talking, etc. and it got me thinking how much better that time would be spent if I was moving!

So this morning, I couldn’t eat breakfast because I was fasting for blood work, so I decided to take that hour I dedicate to breakfast and email and TimeHop and walk in place in my livingroom. I have two miles in before I got to work!

Once at work, I always arrive 30 – 40 minutes early to walk the track. But, since it was raining today I continuted my in place pacing in my office at a back cubical where people couldn’t see me until it was time to clock in. I was now up to four miles.

At 9:45 am I went to have my blood work done, and that was a little hike to another building and up a grand staircase. Then repeat to head back to my office afterwards. I was just under 6 miles. 

Then came lunchtime….still rainy and cold. Normally I would walk the track for an hour, but today I decided to check out the campus library. New this year is a treadmill desk and two stationary bikes with desks for students, faculty and staff to use. I prayed no one was using the treadmill desk on my walk to the library and then up the staircase to the fourth floor. And it was my lucky day because it was unoccupied! For the next hour I walked and watched youtube videos on my phone while connected to the wifi. I got some strange looks, but hey, if it’s there, someone outta use it! Even better, there was a tour group that came in of high school students and their parents and I overheard the guide point out that students use the walking desk to blow off steam or exercise between classes and then pointed my way like I was on exhibit. I tried so hard not to laugh. By the time I made it back to my office, I had in a little more than 8 miles.

When I got home this evening, I took a short break to catch up with my family and eat dinner before lacing up my sneakers once more. I completed the remaining miles while marching in place while watching youtube and a live Periscope broadcast. Then when I needed to stretch my legs I began walking up and down the hallway – you wouldn’t believe how fast the steps add up that way! 

And now, after asking so much from my legs and feet, it’s time to give them some love. A nice massage with doTerra essential oil Deep Blue Rub before bed and some easy stretches seem like they will fit the bill. 

How do you relax and take care of your legs and feet after being on them all day?

   New walking treadmil and stationary bikes with desks

  
The fastest this thing went was 2 mph. Still, not bad for a relaxing walk during lunch. 


    
 

Say Everything

20 Aug

Say everything. Put it down on paper. Let your thoughts flow without editing them. Don’t think…just write. Forget spelling, grammar, punctuation. Let go of your control…let the words flow from your mind to your pen (keyboard). Write fast. Anything. Everything. Something.

Let your pen express your deepest desires, darkest fears, dearest wishes. Let it be your voice, your friend, your escape. Express the feelings too long that have been locked inside. Let go of the sadness, the pain, the jealousy, the loneliness.

Just be you. Write until you feel drained and then write some more. Empty your emotional cup, every drop into the words on the page.

*I was cleaning off my desk and discovered what is written above scribbled on a piece of scrap paper. I wrote those words a few years ago based on the style of my letters. I don’t remember what this was for – a writing prompt, a homework assignment, a way to deal with something happening in my life at the time. All I know is that piece of paper and those words survived and speak volumes about how I view writing, how I like to think many great writers view it as well. 

Bitter-sweet Friday

14 Aug

Today is Friday, a bitter-sweet Friday. This morning I unlocked the doors to my office at the hospital for the last time. I clocked in for my last shift as a hospital employee in my office that is empty of all personal artifacts and signs that I was ever here. Today I will set out instructions and information for my replacement. At 3:00 PM today, I will close one chapter and begin to open a new and exciting one. These past three years have taught me so much about myself and brought to light dreams, goals, ambitions I didn’t know I had. I was privileged to work with some amazing people – together we laughed, cried and celebrated with each other; they are my work family and I will miss them the most. A hospital setting was never where I saw myself long term, but I am thankful for all of the experiences and lessons I’ve had. Life is about transitions and growing and stepping outside of our comfort zones, and I am eager to see where life’s journey takes me next! For those curious to know where I will be transitioning, I will reveal all soon, but for now, I’m not telling.

#BeastMode – crushing FitBit goals

5 Aug

I crushed my 10,000 step Fitbit goal today! Realized hours later I did 10 miles in my runDisney Tower of Terror 10 miler shirt! Must have been some subliminal Disney magic pushing me on! This was the first time I have gone a distance of double digits since my half marathon, runDisney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon last November!