Perplexed

As I sit here, starring at my fingers calmly placed over the keys of my keyboard, I am overcome with a sense of calmness. Perhaps it is the familiarity of the keys under my touch, bringing peace to the convoluted thoughts spinning around my mind, I’m not too sure. But I continue to sit here patiently, willing my fingers to decipher my thoughts.

InternetofThingsI’m not sure how I feel. As I look around the world around me, I see that everything is in its correct place. My clothes are tucked neatly in my closet at home, my car is parked in its regular parking spot at work, and everything is as it should be. Yet, while I know that everything is the same as it always has been, everything has changed.

My outlook on life has changed. The person I am is different from who she was just a couple of weeks ago.

I  have always been a person who loves clothes, and any method of self-expression for that matter, but recently I can’t help but think “what’s the point?”. What is the purpose of establishing your individuality?

Recently, we experienced the loss of a family member. She passed away quite young and as I walked around her home, I couldn’t help by notice many of her possessions neatly organized in their assigned homes. A thought flashed across my mind,

“once upon a time, she had gone to a store, and picked out
each item because it spoke to her in some way”.

Days after her passing, the items remain, and she is no more. It’s true that she exists in our memories and left behind a legacy of learned lessons, but we can’t touch her. Instead we are left with items that she purchased to express who she was as a person, and that person no longer exists.

This realization has left me with an internal void. What is my purpose? I believe that my family member passed away young because she had fulfilled her life purpose. She had fully blossomed into the most beautiful flower and I believe god always picks the most beautiful flowers in the garden. But what is my purpose? Am I fulfilling it? I don’t want to leave behind a house full of things if I didn’t use them to make someone else happy. I don’t want to become so fixated on the things in my life that I become sidetracked and neglect fulfilling my life purpose.

I love my job and feel that I am making a valuable contribution to the world around me. The company I work for changes lives for the better, and that inspires me to work to my full potential every single day. The technology this company creates saves lives, and makes an impact in the world that I could never make as an individual. But, I can’t help but feel like there is more that I can do.

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Jumping Over Hurdles

At times, I feel that we are our worst enemy. We create a vision for our lives, and when we unexpectedly veer off course, or are pushed into unfamiliar territory, we start to see our lives through a shattered mirror. Our vision of ourselves becomes distorted. Thoughts like “this wasn’t meant to be my life”, “this put my life back 5 years” creep up on us and without realizing it, we’re left feeling vulnerable, helpless or both. It’s as though we mentally confine ourselves to the walls of a padded room in a physic ward. We become so entrapped in the current state of affairs that we fail to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Speaking as someone who has been pushed off a bridge into unfamiliar waters time and time again, I thoroughly understand the pain you feel when they splash into the icy cold abyss. The sharp pains you feel when the realization of where you are kicks in, and your inability to breathe as you look in every direction to find something to hold on to. We all have events in our lives that cause us to feel this way. The death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, learning that pregnancy may not be in the cards for you, not getting into the school of your choice, we all have events in our lives that seem shattering, but they make us stronger people. When you finally accept the changes in your life, and realize that you alone are the only person to pull yourself from the depths of sadness that have been created in your mind, you take a retrospective look at your life and realize that you may have underestimated yourself and tried to create a life that was inferior to what you deserve.

Growing up, I didn’t know what course my life was going to take. I became involved with a group of friends that I had no business associating with. I was in a relationship with someone who treated me slightly better than the dirt on the bottom of his shoes and silenced my voice. I can hide behind the excuse that I had an ill parent and that left me feeling confused and vulnerable. But the truth is, I had created this life for myself. I allowed my thoughts to control me and make me feel inferior. My life would have continued down that path if I didn’t fight for it. I had to fight for the life I thought I could create for myself. I set a list of goals for myself: Complete my master’s degree, find a life partner who will be respectful of the person I am (I wasn’t going to compromise who I was. I had already wasted 5 years and I wasn’t about to waste any more time), and be myself (whether people liked it or not). It was only when I decided to fight for myself that my life turned around, and I truly believe that this is the truth for many people. When we stop playing the victim in our lives and start taking control over what we want to accomplish, it puts us in a better state of mind. Yes, there are going to be events in our lives that push us off course, but it’s how we get back up that defines us. We can’t let the events in our lives define us. Similarly to a hurdle race in track in field, life is about jumping over hurdles. Sometimes our foot gets caught and we stumble, but we have to get back up and finish the race.

Rain Drops

raindrop

I love waking up the sound of rain on my window pane. Hearing the patter, reminds  me to wash myself of the worries and stresses of the previous day, and to start today  by looking through a fresh set of binoculars.

Two days ago, I went to the Demi Lovato concert (side note she’s AMAZING live –  phenomenal vocals!), and had a great eye/mind opening experience that changed my  life for the better. Before the concert started, I could hear the people around me  talking. Surrounded by conversations that were filled with profanity and negative  tones, I was extremely frustrated. Personally, I have a problem with negativity. I  don’t like it, I don’t want to hear it, and I appreciate it when it is kept as far away from me as possible. To be honest, I had to fight the urge to turn around and tell people to be respectful to their surroundings, especially when their surroundings included a group of young girls.

However, my perception of them changed when Demi Lovato started talking about eating disorders, self-harming, and the importance of fighting for yourself and getting help.  As she discussed this taboo subject, I noticed that I was surrounded by girls who couldn’t fight back their tears. I came to the realization that they may be facing similar body issue hurdles.

Almost ten years ago, I was in the hospital for an ovarian cyst that had ruptured. While in the hospital, I overheard the conversations of the girl in the bed beside me. She had an eating disorder. I remember hearing her as she pleaded with her dad to take her home. I remember his firm yet emotional say, “We tried it your way, you’re not eating, we need to stay here for you to get better, and the doctors will take care of you.”

More recently, I heard a teenage cousin of mine state that she wanted to lose weight, even though she is already very slender. She specifically said that she wanted to lose 6 pounds. Startled by her omission, (and mentally reverting back to the girl in the hospital bed beside me), I thought, I needed to squash this thought as quickly as it came out of her mouth.  Luckily, we were at a restaurant when she made this comment and another one of my cousins was eating a pound of wings. I pointed out the pound of wings and said “you want to lose 6 of those? Do you realize how sick and unhealthy you would look? It wouldn’t be attractive, you would just feel weak and miserable”. At that point she took back her statement, but I always worry that my actions weren’t enough.

Fast forward to this morning, something about the sound of the rain and the feeling of new beginnings inspired to me to want to make a difference in the community that I live in. I want to help raise awareness for eating disorder support programs in my community. I am not sure how to do it, or which charity to work with, but I know that this is an important issue to raise awareness about.

Mind Set: Motivated

Lesson Learned: We are all exposed to situations or scenarios in our lives that will impact us in some way in the future. I never fully understood why the memory of the girl with the eating disorder was so prominent in my memory. That memory combined with what I witnessed and heard at the Demi Lovato concert, will hopefully help me make a difference in my local community.

 

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