26 Going On Nothing

26 Going On Nothing

I feel like everyone hits that point in their life where they look at that check list in the back of their mind and think:

College – Check
Job – Check
House – Not Check?
Marriage – Not Check?
Kids – Not Check?
Panic – Check?

Its that invisible check list that by a certain age you should have marked off all these huge milestones in your life. And if you don’t? Don’t worry, people WILL ask you about it. Frequently.

The number of times someone has asked myself or my boyfriend of 7 years (who’ve I’ve known for 15 years), ‘when are you two going to get married and have kids?’ is so high I can’t even keep track anymore. Whats not funny, is its not just family. Family I don’t mind, they know us, sometimes are joking around – I can be real with them, and they understand and leave it alone. But strangers, friends, acquaintances. Ask. All. The. Time.

It would be silly and stupid to admit that it didn’t bother me. Even at the 3 year mark people had starting asking us about it. Marriage? Children? My boyfriend would just look at me with the same thoughts running through his head. Why do we have to do that now?! Are we missing something, do we need to pass that point in our life, will we miss it?

When we first moved into our own apartment almost 5 years ago, (really 4) it kind of quieted the questions. This was socially acceptable. They got their own place, are biding their time – they must be planning that next step. But we were happy here, just in the new apartment phase, enjoying being on our own together. The real freedom of supporting each other and just enjoying our time.

Those questions were never far, ‘you two going to have kids?’ ‘when do i get to see you walk down the isle?’ ‘why are you wasting your money on that apartment, you should move closer to home and buy a house, it’s a better investment.’ The opinions always streamed in. I will admit that 2 years ago, those comments, and little stabs left behind wounds. They made me upset, I did feel like I was doing something wrong. I felt like we were missing on something everyone else saw.

I was also worried about other feelings inside me. I was growing more and more accustomed to the idea that I don’t want kids now, but I also wasn’t sure if I wanted to ever have kids. That idea, simply, was the most taboo. I was too afraid to bring it up to anyone let alone my boyfriend, because when we had first stated dating, it was a topic we brought up once or twice that – sure, we both wanted kids one day.

But when our family around us started getting engaged, pregnant, and married – that pressure was more and more there, in between us. Like when I say everyone, literally everyone felt like they had something going on, the number of weddings we were and are going to be apart of are so overwhelming. The stress I see everyone put themselves through is also – insane to me.

But you know you can only bottle this up for so long. Of course it would come up one day, I’m not happy to say in a nice easy conversation, but of course a fight. One that started because we were both too afraid of our real feelings and didn’t want to hurt or upset the other person.

Luckily, I would like to say that we’ve always have had a wonderful relationship, where he has always been my best friend first. We talked, and after a long night of mulling over where we were going, where we wanted to be – we were both grateful to realize that neither of us currently want kids, and neither feel a real big push to get married anytime soon.

Will we ever get married? Yes, that is a definite that one day we will tie that knot. But I don’t feel the need for a validation to get it done right now. We love each other, trust each other, and are committed to spend the rest of our life together. We’ve already built this beautiful life together, we have two beautiful fur babies and love to travel, explore and hike together. Just writing this makes me smile to think about all the places and experiences we have shared together.

Will we ever have kids one day? To be honest – probably not. We both dream of owning an animal sanctuary and making a difference rescuing those animals in need. What if it ever happened by accident? Then sure, we would make amazing parents and would never give up that mistake. But do I want kids, right now? No not at all. I love kids, I have a niece and a nephew that I simply adore, they are such beautiful babies and I love to spoil them. But do I picture myself a mom right now? No, not at all.

We knew, when we came to this decision, that neither of us wanted to get married right now, or have kids – we were going to get so much backlash from everyone. Our family, friends, or just people who felt the need to ask. BUT – we didn’t care. That was two years ago – I’ve made it clear, only when it was asked of me what I wanted. I was and am done trying to simply make everyone happy. I can tell you that some of our family was not happy to hear this. I know a few don’t believe the girl who played with dolls when I was a kid day in, day out, doesn’t want to be a mom. But that no longer bothers me.

I am so stinking happy right now. Living for each day, going for a hike yesterday, enjoying nature and chatting away about our vacation next week & the one at the end of the summer. Today we made the last minute plan to go to our game store, spend the day there just having fun with friends.

But that is just it. This is how we both enjoy to live. Just with each other, at our own pace. It might be taboo, that we don’t want to buy a house right now because we are still exploring our life. We don’t want to get married because we prefer to devote our time to ourselves, traveling, going on adventures. We don’t want kids because we don’t. I no longer feel the need to justify this to anyone, knowing that as long as we are happy – that is all that matters.

These little adventures are ours. We are happy living the day to day, knowing that this nature is out there, its beautiful and that’s all we need each day to be happy. I hope that you find this happiness with your best friend, or just within yourself.

Being able to experience life, day to day with my best friend, my lover, is something you can’t describe. But in my opinion, it is the secret of our success, 7 years strong – with lots of love, laughter – oh so much laughter – and adventure together. Remember that, when you feel you are down, the world is trying to say you need to do black and white – that the color you add to your life will add that flavor to everything & drown that out.

So at 26 – I’m happy to say I don’t have every next step of my life planned. I don’t see myself doing XYZ a year or two from now. The biggest things we have planned are our adventures we want to take this year, the things we want to do an experience. Money? Acceptance? Social expectations? Sorry, those didn’t make the cut.

I never dream in perfection

It’s been well over a week since I last wrote about my dream to go with the flow and to stop setting these high unrealistic goals for myself, essentially trying to just find my place, decide what I love, etc. Pretty heavy, right? Well, here I am another Sunday – difference is I’m writing again. Spur of the moment, felt the need to get my thoughts down on paper, and I’m happy to say for no one other then myself. I’m not looking to get 1,000 followers over night, to become a mainstream inspiration for others and go viral. No, that’s okay. I’m simply sitting here, sipping my coffee, my cat snoozing away next to me, watching the Sunday Morning Show (that I watch every week religiously, while my mom 1,000’s of miles away watches too), writing for me.

I wanted to get this down and out there simply to do it. Maybe, someone will read this and feel some connection – it will spark something in them, that makes themselves feel better, motivated. If not that’s okay, because it motivates me. It reminds me why I wanted to do this, why I wanted to remind myself that I’m not perfect, famous or anything but I’m special to me, the things I love are unique and just because I haven’t run a marathon, sold art or written a book doesn’t mean I’m a failure. I’m happy, and I’m simply happy being happy.

I’ve had a roller coaster of a week though. It was far from perfect, I was so stressed, had so much going on and definitely was close to tears more then once (PMS anyone?). So why am I smiling today? Because I am so stinking proud of myself this week.

I centered myself. I had this thought this morning, while I was browsing Instagram, looking at all these beautiful artists post their amazing creations and caught myself thinking poison ‘gosh, I’ll never be able to create THAT’. BUT the best part was I heard this other voice. One that I didn’t even know I had – tell myself ‘So what? what does that change?’ And it had me thinking, yeah, so what? Do I really want to be like everyone else, create the same things, always copying others? Nah, I’m actually pretty good.

I found myself smiling, realizing that the silly doodles, drawings and work I’ve been making, simply for myself, have really been helping with my spirits and soul. Where did they come from, right? Last post I talked about running, and how I wanted to go with the flow of starting to run more. Sure I ran since then, a few times, casual at the gym & once outside. But I never can sit still, don’t worry though – I’m not taking two steps back, jumping around. I’m simply going with that flow that you always hear everyone talking about.

Drawing, painting, etc, has always, always – always been a love of mine since I was small. But just like running, I have always expected my first one to be perfect – right off the bat.

I’ve not been to fair to myself have I? I distinctly remember sitting in art class 12th grade, looking over at who I perceived the teachers favorite student, create these realistic paintings and drawings perfectly, and as it looked to me at the time, without trying, while I made this flabby 5th grader art. That memory & feeling really haunts me today. Its a feeling that I remember, one that I told myself I would never create beautiful art like that. I would never be that type of person. I gave up. I remember the feeling of giving up, telling no one but putting down my brush and walking away.

Over the years I have done that a few times but I think I will always circle back to art. It’s a part of my genetic makeup to create, to be creative and enjoy the process of making something that is my own. But as usual I would create something, and when it was not 100% perfect, or didn’t come super easy, I find myself in that same spot, in my 12th grade art class, walking away from it.

Two weeks ago, around when I posted the first post here back I was bit by the creative bug, needing to get my hands on something. I pulled out my sketch pad, one that I’ve had for a few years (like more than 3) that I’ve picked up and put down more times then I’m proud of. The difference was, I opened the first page, and decided to take a similar approach that I did to this blog. Instead of judging myself on every page, I took a moment to look at each piece I had created and remember the joy I had felt in those few hours when I created those pieces.

So many weren’t finished, there was a few now that I can see would be and will be great pieces, that I just simply got frustrated after one night of work and put down. But there was a few, finished ones, that I was and am distinctly proud of. Simply because they prove, that when I finish something, I can create a beautiful work of art. I began thinking about my art and all those times I gave up mid piece. I came to the most recent one I started this year, it was simply a line piece, nothing to it but that it had been therapeutic to work on but remained unfinished. And I decided to finish it. I worked on it for over a week, every singly night making a point to add a few more sections (it is a lot of lines).

I. Finished. It. That right there was my only goal. But after I finished, I realized that this was mine. In the beginning it looked like nothing, really weird funny lines on paper. I got the idea from some photo on the internet somewhere but then I made my own creation and I was so stinking happy with it, I actually posted it online. Of course, that might not have been the best idea. You know the internet is not always the nicest, especially to sensitive people & about art. Have you ever been on Reddit? The community is just wonderful, and I got awesome feedback from people. It felt great, someone even said they wanted to make it the background to their phone. WHAT?!

Did I expect that to happen every time? Of course not. But, sure a small part of me hoped that if I posted again, I would get more wonderful feedback and keep climbing from there. Silly, silly me realized after posting a second, and third time, when getting really no feedback (not even negative, just none) that I had made those pieces TO POST. HELLO? Did I step backwards? Yes. Of course I did. because I’m not perfect.

The difference is that this time, I realized it, and did not give up. Guess who is still doodling for fun late at night before catching some Z’s. 🙋. It is again, that roller coaster. I circle back to it, but this time I woke up smiling, looking forward to the ride. The thrill of the up and down, going around those curves. Sure, am I going to struggle with this every now and then? Yeah, again, I’m only human. But it felt so wonderful to be able to just create this week/weekend. Simply started a doodle for myself. I feel like I’m stepping towards being a better, more soulful person. Cheesy. I know. But I’m happy to be enjoying the little things. Hope you enjoy it too.

20190525_235030.jpg

Lines, simply a window to my mind.

Rain On The Rooftop

Another rainy week on Long Island means a bit more time indoors again, few more headaches and I can’t wear those fun sandals I just bought. I always hear people complain about the rain, how draining it is, boring and annoying it tends to be. Of course I can’t agree, have you never read a beautiful, earth shattering book, while a storm ragged outside? With (of course) a cat on your lap and a really delicious cup of tea? I wish those were staples for every rainy day. Of course, they aren’t – when you have to go to work and errands to run – those kinds of things are put on the back burner.

Recently, I’ve been practicing taking more time to reflect on myself and my everyday doings. It has been something I am struggling with – making sure to accept that I can have those wonderful hobbies that I don’t quite perfect all the time (I am definitely not Picasso but I do love to paint and draw). I am relieved to admit that my race obsession is over, I recently went through a panic that I felt the need to sign myself up for all these races other wise I wasn’t on track to accomplish all my goals (marathons, half marathons and 10K’s). To be 100% transparent I’ve only ever run in one race before, a 4 miler that I was not prepared for, never really ran outside and was just so proud that I had finished it, but from there I felt a rush to just push more and do more.

That was about a year ago, and still is my only race I’ve competed in.

Then when the clock struck 2019 – I had this overwhelming need to train for a marathon. Who can say they are a runner if they’ve never competed in one? I set my eyes on a May race, started to train, and ran myself into the ground. I got sick, discouraged and felt completely drained. I took a month off from the gym, running and everything involved – getting a spark of motivation from Haruki Murakami’s book ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’ in March. This book is a serious recommendation from me, not ever having read anything like that before – if I’m honest I had no idea these types of books even existed.

This book was a gift from my sister, and simply said ‘It made me want to run, so it will for you, read it.’ And I did, I had gobbled up that book, thought to myself ‘why did I even give up before?’ and set myself running. I started a training plan I found online – set myself to the SAME race from the beginning of the year, thinking I could go for a Half Marathon if I can’t prepare in time for the full. I got in about a month of consistent training, but noticed that I didn’t feel stronger anymore. I started to feel drained, sleeping all the time, was weak even in running and finally went out and bought a scale to realize I had lost a lot of weight.

This might sound amazing, you lost 15 pounds, good for you! Right? Wrong. I needed to be consistently keeping my weight level – I felt like I was always eating, always moving & never really there when I finally took time to sit down and relax. This time around, I had a huge mental breakdown, deciding once and for all that the running dream was not for me. Of course I thought about it all the time, if you love something can you really give it up cold turkey? Then there was my loving family, asking me how the running was going, how was I doing with it, etc that brought up what I considered the failure all over again.

Come May – race time. My feed BLEW up of fellow racers, going for their first Marathons, people hitting PR’s, being successful, training paid off posts and I crashed. I was so upset with myself for not sticking to it, for giving up and not completing all my training. I even had a moment of panic, THREE days before the marathon was going to happen where I almost signed myself up for the 13.1 mile race – when my wonderful boyfriend sat me down and helped me see the panic I was experiencing was on myself and get through it.

Why did I feel the need to prove this race to myself? Why did I feel like if I don’t compete now, its the end of the world and I’ll never have another chance? Maybe because this was the third Marathon in my area that I had mentally planed to try and missed. Or that I was forgetting the reasons why I had ‘quit’ in the past.

But did I ever really ‘quit’? The definition of quitting is to give up. But did I really give up? I had that moment of ‘ahhh ha’ recently that made me realize I never really quit if I haven’t given up on this dream to simply run. I love to run, something about it, the high, the freedom, the exultation of pushing myself the extra mile simply for myself.

To side step a bit, I recently listened to this podcast that had a whole topic of how to love running again. At first I thought it would be geared to seasoned runners that have left behind their number of races and were more experienced then I was. To my surprise, it was simply for everyone – people of all experiences, all levels and ways to help motivate you to keep hitting the pavement. I got a lot out of it, but the main thing that triggered me was a segment that you simply need to run what feels right.

Afterwards, I was inspired – give myself a loose, simple goal over the next few months and see how I feel then. The message here – simply this. Do what feels right for you, don’t feel the need to copy everything you see on social media, every little thing you feel will make you seem perfect. Live for you and enjoy it. Just run.

Oh & also enjoy ice cream once in a while.

IMG_20190518_154303_960.jpg

What am I running from?

What am I running from?

What’s funny is that I woke up today thinking I’ll brush off the pages of my dusty blog that I never did anything with. BUT I was feeling a little cranky and mentally drained, so instead I took some time to go for a run, came back & cleaned up a bit – listening to a podcast while I whittled away some of the day. Here the blog still is, once again abandoned from yet another spur of the moment motivation that I haven’t yet fulfilled. As usual, I take a few moments to look at the past posts, read things I don’t remember writing at all & laugh a bit at my oh so positive self during that burst of inspiration.

My first post (that I did not delete) is all about picking up something and committing to it. I was so discouraged to see that I had so many things I tried to be ‘perfect’ at but had abandoned. And to be honest, I still feel that way occasionally, well lets be real – all the time. It is one of the many things I tend to struggle with, being consistent in my hobbies and dreams.

Recently, I started reading this book called ‘Own Your Everyday’ by Jordan Lee Dooley. I should start by saying 1. I am not normally into books like this – self help(ish) books and 2. I haven’t even finished it yet. There is just something about it though that helped me to realize, why am I trying to be perfect at one thing, why do I feel the need to ‘finish’ everything? Of course social media is a lot to blame – seeing these people post their perfect ‘fit’ lives, perfect ‘travel’ lives, perfect ‘everything’ lives is enough to make someone become discouraged and feel like once they fail, they can’t pick themselves back up and try again. Does this make sense? Stick with me a bit more…

I’ve been struggling a lot with my idea of the perfect ‘identity’ and how I wanted to portray myself. But that right there hit me this week – why am I trying to figure out what my perfect identity is? Who says I have to be perfect and why am I forcing myself to think I need to maintain that image? and for who? Who is going to care if that photo is perfect, if I hit the exact miles I needed to today for my training program or the fact that I had a minor (but huge silent) meltdown regarding it & quit that training all together vowing to never run again. That I can’t decide what book I want to read, should it be classic literature to impress people (again who am I trying to impress), or should I spend time reading my Bible and trying to perfectly draw a quote in the margin for bible journaling that I will be disappointed in and feel like I’ve yet to accomplish anything.

Whew…

I could go on, but as you can see these small things might not seem important to you, but they are important enough to me that I stress my entire world around them. I was exhausting myself to accomplishing every, little, tiny thing that I saw once on social media and felt the brief need of inspiration to be exactly like that one person.

But how was any of this actually helping me reach those goals, how did any of this make those dreams become a reality? The answer is easy, they weren’t. I was dragging myself down week after week, feeling sorry for myself and like I was a failure. The thing is, I know I’m not a failure. I have a happy, beautiful, wonderful life. I have a loving family that I helped to create (cat mom for life!), an amazing boyfriend, and plenty of wonderful adventures & dreams that I am living every day. Who was expecting more of myself? Just me.

And that’s the thing, it wasn’t a healthy pressure I was putting on myself. I was demanding that I be perfect, if I can’t run 5 miles at once without stopping on my first try then what was the point? If I couldn’t get through the ‘Iliad’ the first time because all I really wanted to read was a Nora Robert’s book, why bother reading at all?

This was definitely not an overnight – hit me in the face realization that was magically going to fix itself and my way of thinking – but it came over the past few weeks that I started to realize I was draining myself. I also did wake up today thinking about that book I’m reading, and a line I keep saying over and over to myself:

“I believe the purpose begins with taking responsibility and dealing with the dirt on the inside – the lies you believe and the toxic things you say to yourself before caking on the stuff that you think makes you more confident on the outside…..
If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.” – Own Your Everyday, Jordan Lee Dooley

That right there, sparked something in me. Why am I so toxic to myself? Why can’t I just enjoy the experience of feeling like running today, not setting a goal of miles. Why can’t I just read for fun, enjoy a day of games & not feel the need to showcase everything on social media in a perfect way? Why do I feel that if i don’t post here often enough, that I shouldn’t bother and can’t consider myself a ‘blogger’?

But, as I sit here enjoying the weather turning from a beautiful hot spring day, to a rainy muggy one – wait, no – that’s it. I am simply doing that, enjoying myself, watching the day change its colors, going with the flow of inspiration and knowing that I did run today, without caring what the miles were. That I spent random time listening to a podcast I had been dying to try out (Marathon Training Academy, I highly recommend it!). That I plan to read a book I got for my birthday I’ve been dying to experience and that is enough for me.

Of course, I will still struggle with that image, over promising myself TO myself. But, knowing I am not making any promises here is enough. I hope to write again soon, but as a note to my future self, I am proud. Proud of everything that I’ve accomplished and everything I plan to start, give it a try and keep going.

Feeling lighter then I have in weeks, here is something to make you smile if you read this far. I read this far, and smiled so I know you will too.

12998605_10209213487115549_3464706438410646125_n

Don’t Forget

If life was always easy, it wouldn’t be worth living. With happiness comes difficulties, and we all pay the price. Don’t forget where you came from, as that is the strength to keep you going. You’ve done this before, you can do it again. The strength in remembering is what will keep you living. Don’t forget. . .

-S Fuschetti

Always Tomorrow

She gave it her all, she loved with everything she had. She wept for the times she failed, for the times she couldn’t stop it. She devoted her life, thoughts, everything she had to dousing the fire but it was never enough. The addiction was more than she could handle. She couldn’t cure it, couldn’t stop it and only fed it with every breath she took. But then again, she didn’t see it wasn’t her responsibility to fix this – that her help was failing them. This was clouded by love, because, how could you not help them to bed as they stumbled along, leaving a trail of disaster from too many drinks, knowing you would be in the same place tomorrow, and the next day. ‘Just one more drink, a job can wait until tomorrow…’ – they would say.  She would sigh, and agree ‘Of course mom, we can fix everything tomorrow…’ – always tomorrow, as they poured that last drink. That last drink.

– S Fuschetti

End

Death was never a fascination for her. Death was something to fear. It was her kryptonite. It was to be avoided at all costs. To her death was like the wind, you couldn’t always see it but you can feel it. Inching closer and closer. Some days it was right there, as if it was waiting for her in the shadows. Others, it was toying with her. Crawling under her skin. Hiding in her closet or under her bed. Always on the back of her mind. Just waiting for her. She looked over her shoulder, knowing she could never escape. -S Fuschetti