17
Feb

I love you because...

Each year, I hang little notes of why. Why I love you to bits. Reminders that we all need of what we possess that others notice, what and why others love us. I can't even begin to explain what having you has meant, has done, has changed. Your dad always knew you would be a part of our story, I needed way more convincing and we are just so lucky to get to do this with you, for you.

Bella, I love you because...

You always try.
You are a book worm.
You run with me.
You really love Pearl.
You miss Mia.
You care about your friends.
You love our traditions and demand them as much as I do.  
When you laugh, you do it with your whole body.
You love family movie nights.
We share books together.
You kiss noses.
You love to learn.
You work at the piano and you sound so lovely.
You love your family.
You are my Valentine.
Love, mom.

Anna, I love you because...
Because of your love of books.
You are an amazing artist.
You are open to trying new things.
Love, dad.

Anna, I love you because...
You are a rock star!
You love Pearl.
You have the best singing voice.
Love, Cole.


Monkey, I love you because...
Your heart is always full.
You are a very good friend.
You care about school.
You are an amazing little brother.
You are dad's best buddy.
You love with all of your heart and know no other way.
You love food and dance when you eat.
You give me little guys.
You are a great student.
Everyone who meets you knows you have an amazing heart.
You have dad's gorgeous eyes and smile.
You make us laugh.
You love love.
You are my Valentine.
Love, mom.

Buddy, I love you because...
Because of your kind heart.
Because you are my best buddy.
Because you are a great little brother.
Love, dad.

Coley, I love you because...
You are silly!
You are there for me.
You work to reach your goals.
Love, Anna.

Coach, I love you because...
You work so hard on our house and I love to show you off for it.
You have always believed in our kids and you won't settle for anything but their best.
You believe in me.
Our kids look like you and you are so handsome.
You took a chance on yourself.
You are my Valentine.
Love, your bride.

Dad, I love you because...
You share Harry Potter with me.
You share stories with me.
You work hard and never stop till you get there.
Love, Anna.

Daddy, I love you because...
You read Strange Scouts to me.
You are my best buddy.
Love, Coley.

Pearl girl, we all love you!
Because you are the best lover of love.
You love to play outside.
You're snuggly and give great hugs.
Because you run to the door when I walk in.
Because you love our family.
Because you love the snow.
Because you're cute.
Because you ring the bell to go out.
Because you love the fireplace.

Mom, we love you too...
You give me back scratches. Love, Cory
You are beautiful. Love, Cory
You never give up on me. Love, Cory
I love your love of naps. Love, Cory
You buy us stuff that makes us a matching family like PJs! Love, Anna
You are smart. Love, Anna
You love Cape Cod. Love, Anna
You love me. Love, Cole
You are great. Love, Cole
You're the best mom. Love, Cole
You are a fiercely loyal friend. Love, Cory
You work hard all day long. Love, Anna.
Your heart is so full mom. Love, Cole
You work very hard mom. Love, Cole
You are relentless in the pursuit of your goals. Love, Cory
You snuggle with me. Love, Anna
I just love you. Love, Cory

I just love you all too. Love, me

15
Feb

Five Minute Friday - Confident

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on confident.

Go.

I'm not.
I'm just not.
I can't pretend to be, because I just don't have it in me and I can't fake it. Because I am not.
In anything that I do, anything.
I am not. I am scared instead and damn do I question.
My parenting, my leadership, my choices, my words, my decisions, my wants even. I'm just not.  
And I will be okay. Maybe more than okay.
Because what I have painfully learned is that confidence has nothing to do with me. But that doesn't mean I stop trying to be the best me.
Confidence doesn't live in me, but that doesn't mean I stop at all.
Fear propels me, it keeps me on my toes and it keeps my nerves tingling and it keeps me alive and working for what I want.
Fear more than any confidence makes me me.
I walk through it, I push, and although I don't believe in myself always, I also know I won't let me down.
I don't let others down.
I work for what I want, I fight myself to get there.
I worry because I love the "it" standing in front of me and although I am not confident in me, I am confident in the thing. I know the thing is worth fighting for.
And so I fight for it, I work for it, I put me into it and that's all I've got to give, me and my very best.
You know what I confident in?
You, of course it's you.
It's always been you and all you stand for.
Love and family and us and your belief in us.
I'm confident in you and in us.
I'm not, and I know others are.
I'm not and I know at times it knocks me off my balance.
I'm not and I will be okay.   
And I will be okay, more than okay. 

Stop.

3
Feb

The next thing you know

She will be driving.
He will be in high school.
There will be significant others.
Phones or another gadget(s) will be coveted.
Privacy will be demanded.
Doors will be slammed.
But, we will still be us. 
And I will be okay. 

Because we have a base, we have a really strong foundation and we have ways that at the end of a hard day, week, month, cycle, we come back in small and meaningful ways. And it starts with all of our traditions. Lovies, I started them to remind you all that this is where we come home to. This is who we are, at our core, this is where we will always belong.

The next thing you know
prom will be a thing.
Graduation will come.
Schools will be researched.
The house will be quieter.
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know
this chaos will be our "remember when"... 
And tomorrow we will laugh at what made us cry hard and worry today. 
The next thing you know, all the things that make us worry will no longer matter. They will be fine, they will be good, they will be them. Not our version of them, not our hopes of them, but them. The them they were meant to be, the them they want to be. 
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know, their mess will be gone. The legos will be put away, the instruments will be no more, the running around will stop, the sign-ups for sports and things will be a thing of the past.
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know, it will go from just us five to four to three. And I, the one who struggles most with change, will be dragged into a new reality. One in which their decisions are out of our hands. One in which my time is again all mine. One in which I hope we remember how much we all loved and tried in this house.
And I will be okay. 

The next thing you know, our foundation will matter most. Our little reminders of love, our little reminders of us, our little ways of reconnecting. Because schedules will only get worse. Because time will only get more limited. Because we will have to divide and conquer. Because we will continue to be pulled in too many directions. Because we will be losing our minds at times. Because responsibilities will only get heavier. Because things will pile up and up. But, us, the real us, we're right here. The real us that will have warm pizza and a movie every Friday. The real us that will pile around the island and talk about our week over pancakes every Sunday. The real us that will connect over shows we are showing you from our childhood. The real us that always gives warm goodnights. The real us that piles on top of each other to read together. The real us that talks about our gracious heart. The real us that holds hands. The real us that sings in the car. The real us that eats ice cream for dinner to celebrate. The real us that vacations together every summer. The real us that hugs with all of our body. The real us that tries to laugh every day. The real us that makes dinner together important. The real us that snuggles. The real us that talks about love constantly. The real us that knows how to get home. The real us that realizes the power of puppy love. The real us that realizes we are a team. The real us.
And I will be okay. 

25
Jan

Five Minute Friday - convenient

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on convenient.

Go.

I wish I took advantage of it more, the conveniences all around me. I wish I didn't make things harder than they need to be. And what I really need to change is working smarter, not harder. Harder I've got down, harder I can handle, harder I know how to do and I know it inside and out. Smarter is where I need to focus.

And again, in my year of change, I need to realize that smarter has to be my choice and what I dedicate myself to and that means finding ways to make things more convenient for me and for them. I need to rely more on others, I need to let go of certain things, but I also need to stay true to who I am and what is important to me, or else I will wind up in a dark place of anxiety.

Instead, I need to open myself up to see that I am not alone. I am allowed to share my workload, I am allowed to ask for help, and I am allowed to find space to be and breathe. I am privileged enough to find that space, I am lucky enough to be able to find my creatures of comfort, and I am in a place where I have no choice but to give in to it all. I can't just wish this part of me away, the one that makes things so much harder. I have no choice but to face it and make myself change. I have to see that there are times it serves me and others well and there are times it crushes my light. I am smart enough to know the difference and I have to rely on just me to make it stop. Things do not need to be hard to be accomplished, they do not need to be thick as mud. And most times, when they are forced, they are not well taken care of and allowed to come to be more natural, which is always the better way. In my year of change, there are certain elements that fall squarely on me to change and learning how to make my life more convenient is certainly one of them.

Stop.

20
Jan

Finding peace

In all the little things.

Like a warm bath.

The quiet snow.

The fireplace.

An uncluttered home helping to unclutter my mind.

The weighted blanket I begged for.

Nightly reading dates.

Slow starts.

Deep breathes and listening to myself breathe out.

Our weekly gratitude writing.

Big, meaningful, hugs.

Warmth.

Lit candles.

Connecting on the couch.

Hand holding.

Snuggles and piling on top of each other.

Family games.

Good food.

Movies and unwinding.

In my year of change, so many things have been added.

And to be honest, too many things have been added. There are times I cannot really focus and the list is never ending and I feel as though I am buried. I have also felt very alone, already resentful and angry at how much I have to keep explaining myself. How much I have to defend who I am. And in my own mind and worry, I have felt very picked on, very under the microscope and what I need to remember that there are few that get others. I am no different and, I serve others well.

But I have also added so much of what will keep me breathing. So much of what will keep me grounded and happy and at peace. Which is all I wish myself in this year. Peace, calm and joy. I wish love and warmth. But I can't just wish it, I have to make it happen.

So I will find my breath in yoga.

I will find my calm in my nightly bath.

I will stop my racing heart with weight.

I will stop my racing mind with words and hugs.

I will remember what is at stake.

I will hold on to who I am.

I will hear their laughter and remember how important childhood is.

I will bask in their love and need and desire to be around us.

I will always keep them talking as I sit attentively and listen to their day.

I will remember that the last time I felt lonely, the universe provided. And I will remember that the universe isn't just listening, it also speaks loudly and I will sit quietly and listen with open arms and an open heart. I will remember what my person and my coach said when I turned 40, what is amazing about you is that you are always thinking and always leading with your heart.

I have been working on letting go of the toxic and moving in the right direction for me. My biggest focus in this year of chaos has to be peace, calm, and joy. They cannot be big things, but small manageable ways to find it in my world. Because my world is my world and my ways are my ways. And when I set my mind on something, I find my way. But, I also have to remember that I cannot force it like I do most things. I need to go slow and find a natural rhythm to this dance.

So, my small and manageable ways are starting to serve me well. They are working and I am finding my clarity. I am finding my own way.

13
Jan

I'm getting older too

"I built my life around you".

I have spent years of my childhood and young adult life building a life around proving someone wrong. Standing up for myself, standing up for what I can do, walking through fear, and saying "I can" to myself (even when I knew I was in over my head). It was lonely, it was scary, it was overwhelming, and it consumed my every thought. 

But, it also served me very well. It got me through, it told me I really can do hard things. It allowed me to walk and keep walking through fear and it defined real bravery for me. It showed me what strength really means and it taught me that I can. It reminded me I will never be confident, I will always and forever be afraid of everything, but I still can and will do things. 

I always had you in the back of my mind, I was always trying to prove to you how wrong you were about me, and although I will never shake this feeling, I also know I have to stop trying. The one thing I never wanted was for you to have control over me, my decisions, my life and instead, what I willfully gave you is full control. Because every move was to either hurt you or prove you wrong. And even though it has been almost 20 years of no longer wanting to hurt you, I still set out to prove all I had accomplished without you. I still clung to wanting you to finally see how strong I am, what I can do, what I have built, not because of you, but in spite of. You will never feel that way, I know you won't. You too are trying to protect yourself and your bubble and you need to feel as though I have always needed you and every decision I made on my own led me down the wrong path, not to the life I built.

You have gotten older, you are who you are, who you have always been, and you are trying. Not to change, but trying to be in this world. Not to accept it, not to embrace it, not to let things roll off your back but to be in it. That all by itself is a major accomplishment for you right now. Me, I'm getting older too and I am headed in a different direction this year. One that reminds me that it is time to put this part of me to rest.  And although I can tell myself that I have already done that a long time ago, what I really did was say goodbye to the anger and blame, what I still carried was proving myself. 

Because like I said, proving myself to you has served me well. I have felt a determination and grit and truth be told, if I put that down to rest, what else will I let go of and who will I become? I have been afraid to let this last part of us go. As I have watched you age, I realized this is not a game we play together, I am in it alone. You do not realize I am even playing, you are just living. And maybe, just maybe, you too are playing a solo game of she needs me. I do not need to know this, I do not need information on how the game has worked or hindered you. I just need to stop showing up for my part.

I am me because of so much that I have gotten from you. My hard work, determination, grit, sleepless nights, working fingers to the bone, and loving loudly, loving deeply, showing up for those you love, all come from what you taught me. I am also me from what I learned for me. Like to love kindly, to not have those around me be afraid of me, to be open and let them know we are a team and I always have your back, those are things I do better. There are so many things I thank you for, many others I have reminded myself that like all of us, you did the best you could with what you had.

So, not out of spite, anger or resentment, but with love...I am trying to build a different life now. One that is not built around you. One that starts with the foundation which has a mixture of all you have done well mixed in with all I want to do better. This will not be a snap of the fingers, there is always still stuff, I will of course linger too long in the past. I will of course think of a situation that will bring me all back, I will of course be reminded of the anger I held, of the burden I felt I carried, of the times it was just me. But it is time for me to embrace all change, and this is a big part of it. It is time for me to end this hold. I do not need to prove myself to you, I know who I am, what I have, what I still need, and I won't lose sight of that. I am willing to let the resentment go and allow you to think there was a need there, because, in some reality, there was. And more importantly I love you and want what is best for you. That is the meaning of love. I wish nothing but the best of what this world can give you and what you deserve after all you too have sacrificed. 

I am thankful for my life that could have gone in so many different directions. I am thankful for who I found and who I hold close. I am thankful for my foundation that told me I should expect better out of people. I am thankful for our relationship and my understanding of what has transpired. I am thankful that I get to wake up and be with the people I love most. I am thankful for how hard I work and the plans I make. I am thankful that I have goals and I am even thankful that I am still scared because I can relate so well to those that feel too frightened to move. I am thankful for all I have accomplished and even of my years of trying to prove you wrong, even my years full of anger, they have all brought me to a different place. They have all contributed to the final product. I walked through a lot and I found love and joy. I found what I was always looking for, family as I define it. 

"Well, I've been 'fraid of changin'
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm gettin' older, too
I'm gettin' older, too"

6
Jan

Lessons learned

We have covered a lot of ground, haven't we?
We grew up together, meeting exceptionally young.
We fell in love for very different reasons than why we are still in love.
Because we both changed and continued to grow.
We put a lot on ourselves, we have made some big changes and major decisions.
We have moved countless times, our biggest one leaving city living for an area we hoped to fall in love with and did.
We have worked countless different jobs, doing anything to make it work out and did.
We have paid off countless debt with three degrees and cars and a wedding and a home and a renovation.
We have been through disease and loss and fear of the unknown and concern.

We have aged, drastically aged, and we still think the other is adorable.

In many ways, our life has been like a videotape, me hitting fast-forward, spending too much time in rewind, and you hitting pause and stop.
And after all this time, there is little we know about marriage and couplehood, all these years later, there is very little we can share as any sort of advice, other than find your family.
But, there is a lot we have learned about each other and after almost two decades, lots we do well, lots we still need to figure out. Lots we hope to pass down to you both, lots we hope you do better than us, lots we hope to do better than we are. With each change, each new direction, we struggle, we stumble, and we come back to touch toes.

There are lessons though, some we made the hard way, some that took someone else's opinion, an outside point of view to finally see clearly, some that work just for us, some that just plain old work. And lessons learned mainly means these are areas we messed up on loves and finally saw the light at the end of some pretty dark tunnels.

Lessons like there is no such thing as 50/50.
We're a team, we figure it out, we fill in gaps.
Yeah, we have our responsibilities and yeah, more of the day to day falls on me and more of the big projects fall on dad.

But what I finally came to realize is, what is important to me, gets done by me because I want it done. And if I want it done, that means I do it without complaint and without resentment. If I no longer want it done, I can leave it or I can ask for help in that moment. I cannot rely on anyone to do things that are only important to me because they honestly don't even see them in their path.

Lessons like the little things in any family, with every connection you have in life, really make all the difference. Remembering to make two cups of coffee on the weekend, remembering to plan little surprises, a hug in the middle of chaos, a hotel stay in town, a surprise sitter, a note left out of love. Small, little ways of reminding those you love that you do love them. Grand gestures mean nothing and are not possible when you are in the thick of it, it's the small that will always and forever matter.

Lessons like it is easy to love in the good and even easier to love in the bad, it's the ordinary that needs attention. And it's in the ordinary that you spend most of your lives. It is in finding love while parenting and doing the laundry, and figuring out the bills, and fighting over who ate the last of the ice cream, it's still wanting to be with that person in the every single day of life.

Lessons like be close. Connect and that means no electronics and talk. That means sitting on the couch and touching. That means sleeping next to each other, that means holding hands. That means connecting in the car ride, that means looking at each other, that means hugging for real a few times a day. Be close to those you love and keep them close.

Lessons like one person is a little more responsible for the joy in the relationship. And my biggest lesson learned, that can flip-flop. The one that naturally has joy in their heart will also find themselves staring into a void of unhappy and dark and it will be up to the other to bring the joy. It will be up to the other to make the silly jokes and laugh harder and bring their attention squarely on to joy.

Lessons like you each have a decision to make to stay and keep going. And there will be times you both really don't think it's a good idea and it is the other to ground you back to who you two really are. But, you each have the power to walk away, you each have the ability, you each decide every day, you are who I want to say good morning and goodnight to. You are home.

Lessons like, we give the whole world the benefit of the doubt, give it to each other and think the best of them too. Have them catch you praising them, praise them in public and praise them behind their back, and praise them to their face...praise them for their effort and praise them for loving you the way that they can.

Lessons like sometimes someone will love you with all they have, in the best way they can and it is not the way you "need" to be loved. There will be moments you will feel so lonely and unloved and you need to remember that feeling unloved is not the same as not being unloved. We all give and receive love differently and it is rare for it to match. Find what fills you full, communicate the hell out of it, and know they are doing their absolute best.

Lessons like after 18 years of us and on this day, 13 years after saying I thee wed, well, it's still us. Lovies, I found my person and I was so lucky. It came with such ease and grace in the beginning and I fell so hard for joy and love and laughter. When that ease faded and life got complicated, I got worried, but never your dad. He is always teaching me that it is always and forever us. Learn from the man who built a foundation that he knows will never crumble, he never doubts, he never wavers. He believes in us and because he is so confident, I do too. I have learned that family is the craziest ride of our entire lives and here we are. We have our seatbelts on, we have helmets secured, and we are not going to stop this ride for anything. My biggest lesson learned is that we are in this together and there is no breaking that. 

30
Dec

Change

Close your eyes, fall asleep and stay there. Something that has always been so simple, is so simple. But for me, I am always up, my heart racing, and I have been missing sleep. I am struggling to stay there, and I know why. All of my worries, concerns, and stress are waking me up and telling me I can't. Nothing can change, it all has to stay the same.

That's what time added up over years and years that have led to a decade over a decade does, it makes you too comfortable. It allows you to fall into a routine, your routine, and it hates change. And I hate change, I hate things changing, I always have. But that's okay, I have come to realize, it all has to change.

2018 was my year of different. It was my year of trying and retrying and making things happen. I stumbled, I thought I fell, I thought I was lost, but I regained consciousness and I kept going. I built each month on a different theme and I followed through, I built a year around words and actions. I built who I need to be and I remembered who I always was. I got myself ready for this moment and now, everything has to change.

Everything has to change because everything always changes and it is time this stuck in the routine girl, the one that keeps going in the same direction using the same tools, has to take a very different route. It's time for this woman who hates change to embrace it. And what better way than to make it my word for the whole year?

I will start with you my little faces. It starts with changing our busy routine and grounding into us.

January will be all about family time, even if it's moments each day, ending our day all together, all calm and allowing light to be our only guide. January will be a change to how we end our day.

February will be a change of heart with our letters of love. But this year, the whole family will get involved. A gentle reminder of why you are important, why I am important, why we need each other.

March will be a change in attitude. I will learn how to meditate and ground myself. I need this, my year might be an uphill battle but change is coming and change is good and my responsibilities are shared. I am not in this, any of this, alone. I need to stay grounded, follow my breath, allow the air to move in and out. I need to find a way to put my head on the ground and remember that I am only one and the world does not fall all on me. I will find peace within myself, not outward, but from within. March will be a change in attitude.

April will be a change with my relationship with joy. I will find a way to reconnect with joy and find it in my path every single damn day. I will remind myself that all of this sacrifice is for the ultimate which is joy. Not happiness which is planning for the future, but joy which is present in the here and now.

May will be a change to put aside the big and bold and more and a reminder to focus on the little. The little things in life, the little all around me, the little that is changing and becoming more and more big.

Junewill be to change my relationship with sleep. Once a week I will go to bed with my kiddos. I will close my eyes as my children are and I will be swept away into dream land. I will be okay with the amount of sleep my tired body needs.

July, I will be halfway there, I have made it halfway and I've got this. So June will be to change my relationship with stress. I will find ways to cope that are out of the box, I will find a way out of my own head.

August will be to find my style and dress with how I am most comfortable and feel like my best self.

September will be to connect with me, what I do well, how my year is going, what changes I need to make right away.

October will be to learn a new skill! I have been dying to learn how to use my camera for six years, this is finally the time!

November will be to change my view on resentment and let go of the black and dark I hold. Say goodbye to grudges and move on. Be okay with letting go and move on to all that matters.

December will be to decompress and a chance to reflect and see what other changes I need to make as I walk into a new life, a new purpose a new chapter.

Change I am ready for you, I am embracing you, I am an all in girl and I am all in with the changes I need to make. Each and every step will bring me closer to me, hold me closer to who I am, bring me closer to you. With tender love I say goodbye to you 2018. You were glorious and scary, you were full and lonely, you were my preparation and I am now ready.

10
Dec

One last time

I heard a baby cry the other day, not an annoying cry, but an ache for their mamma that had put her down.
I was in a locker room changing with my nine-year-old and I felt it stir in me, that feeling, the longing I have for babies.
I couldn't help myself, I turned to her and said, I miss that sound.
It fell out before I even knew what I was saying, and I immediately felt bad. Did I just make this tired mom trying to do it all feel like the "one day you'll miss this" bull that I hate so much?
But that wasn't the look on her face. She instantly softened, I could tell she was on the verge of apologizing for her crying baby and having a stranger fall into such deep longing for little, she just said, "you do?" and just like that, I found myself talking to a stranger.
I didn't get her name, but she knows the names of both my kids and I know hers. I know their ages and I know how she is doing. The struggle of two and all that comes with it. I saw in her what I feel, that motherhood can be so lonely and intimidating, but when someone extends the faintest of branches, you cling.
So, I made a joke about how babies trick you into thinking you've got this all under control and before you know it, you just don't.
She told me about her older son, I told her about my youngest son.
I didn't ask her if she was done, like we are done.

I remember holding you and thinking, one last time.
I remember crying on the edge of my bed with my nine-day-old baby feeling loss, loss of babies, loss of little, loss of sounds, loss.
There was no connection to the present.
There was so much loss of the future me not having babies.
You were my last first.
So future me made me long for the baby I was actually holding.

One last time, as I held you.
One last time, as I fed you at 4am.
One last time, as I rocked with you.
One last time, as I sang to you.
One last time, as I bathe you and think about how this window will close hard one day.
One last time, as we say our goodnight routines.
One last time, as I read to you.
One last time, as I hold you too tight.

I know I still live there, in future me.
Future me with a kid in college.
Future me with kids living anywhere in the world.
Future me with grow-ups who were my little faces, holding their own little ones.
Future me with a quiet home.
Future me that has to be more than just your mom because I can't get lost in our future.
I need to be excited about future me.

I said goodbye to babies, I did.
I closed the chapter after we finished the last sentence.
I promise that the book is set, it's been written. We put the final touches on babies and it's been printed.
But when I do go back and re-read what we created, it's so beautiful that I find myself aching for them.
It's me standing in a locker room, talking to a stranger about how I miss the sound of baby beautiful.
It's me reaching out and wiping one little tear away from a little one that isn't mine and telling her, you're okay, your mom is right here.
And as I watched you scoop her up, hold her and find something to keep her occupied, I said goodbye.
I took hold of my daughter's hand and as we walked to the car, I whispered to her how happy I am that she started this for me.
I told her that I loved her and was proud to be her mom.
I wanted to just thank you for finding me.
You both found me out there and although you will start to walk your own way very soon, future me sees it more than you do, I looked down at how little your hand is right now and squeezed.

25
Nov

I am calling for self realization

Alone and quite now.
Warm coffee in hand, house decorated and glowing.
Soft but cold November rain.

I am calling for self realization becasue it's almost done now, my year of different.
The year everything had to change, but I still needed to be me.
It has been one of my favorite years, one of my favorite words, one I will have a hard time letting go.
Even though I took a three-month turn for the worse
even though a stumbled so hard I thought I was falling, unable to get up
even though I spent three months trying to climb out of what felt like a pit of crazy
even though I came as close as possible to losing it all
and when I woke up again, I realized what I now need to do.
Who I was, how I love, who I am, what matters to me.
I realized again what I have always known, that all of us are so different.
That in order for me to work, I need my balance, I need external balance.
Me, alone, I am too much.
Me, alone, I provide zero balance.
I welcome my balance from the outside.
I invite my opposites in, I find them all around me, and I welcome them with the most open arms.
But that does not make me less than.
That does not make me unhappy, that does not make me joyless.
It makes me me and there is never anything wrong with being me or you or you or you.
As long as I continue to challenge myself, as long as I continue to grow, as long as I use my core to guide me, I am all in on being all the way me.
And I honor you being all the way you.
I don't only accept it, I honor it and I need it in my life.

I realized a long time ago I am gritty as hell.
I am determined.
I am motivated.
I aspire.
I am hard.
And I am vulnerable.
I love with all I have because I know no other way, I am in all in girl.

And all of that is good, but too much of that is too much.
Which is why at every turn, I am drawn, attracted, connected to my balance.

In my year of different, I realized what I now need to do.
I spent so much time in a state of quandary and I now feel relief.
I am able to exhale again realizing that this girl was not losing her mind.
There was something so wrong and once it was pointed out, I felt immediate release of the unknown.
I have my plan, I am ready for my next chapter.
Because if I need anything, it's a plan.
And like always, once I put it out there, the universe saw I was ready and the floodgates are starting to open.

From the outside, it certainly does not look like I believe in myself.
I certainly do not look confident or ready for anything.
And most of the time, I am not.
Fear is my fire
but my balance does believe in me.
My balance is confident, relies on me, knows I will break through.

I am calling for self-realization, fulfillment of one's own potential.
I am calling for being so patient.
Guide me back to the ocean of laughter, guide me over in time.

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