I can’t believe that it’s been over two months since my last post. The chaos of summer seems to overwhelm me every year. The kids have different schedules and most of the time it’s go, go, go all day long. I never stopped thinking about posting. Boy did I think about it…a lot. My thought process in regards to the blog this summer had a guilty vibe riding shot gun at times. I mean isn’t that what we do? We put added pressure and feelings of guilt right on top of our already overwhelmed, exhausted selves.
I am 100% sure that I posted about cutting myself some slack a few months ago. And that’s exactly what I did in regards to the blog. In order to be the best me which included being the best mom and wife – I needed to take a step back. I had to regroup and start falling back into a routine, a comfortable routine.
So I’m back. I’m looking forward to sharing some new ideas with you. I have a bunch of posts lined up with an emphasis on the art I’ve been creating including the #taggedbykindness project which is still going strong.
There will be some changes as the weeks and months move forward. I’m excited to announce a few guest bloggers (squeal) – you know who you are. With time and plenty of patience I plan on changing the look of Soul-Positive and adding some merchandise. So as most people look at January 1st as the start of a new year – I declare October 5th the rebirth of Soul-Positive. I hope you’ll stick around and see what grows.
I work part time as a server for a serving and bartending company. I enjoy my job because it gets me out and amongst different people, the money is decent and most often we’re allowed to eat (major perk).
Let me first start by saying that 9 out of 10 people are fantastic. I never feel disrespected. I am always welcomed and the majority of clients and their guests treat me very well. That being said I recently ran into the one out of 10 who had the ability to make me feel so very small.
I stepped out on to the patio with a tray of appetizers I was serving after being in the kitchen for a few hours assisting our Lead Server. I thought I’d give the girls who had been serving nonstop for a few hours a little breather. The first table I walked up to was mostly older gentlemen in their late 60’s and early 70’s. There was one woman in her 70’s seated in the corner. I asked if they would like to try an appetizer and one of the men rather boisterously piped up “where have they been hiding you?” I laughed it off.
The situation went down hill from there. There were a variety of off handed remarks that were nothing short of vulgar. I slid away with a little less bounce in my step and continued on my way. I felt very small. I shrunk into myself a little. What had I done to open up such a one sided dialogue of vulgarities? These are comments that I can imagine people might say to their buddies when no one else is around. But really to say them to my face and in front of what I later found out was this man’s wife was appalling.
I am writing this not for you to say “poor you” but because as the night wore on I started thinking of all the things I should have said. The silent permission I gave for not speaking up.
I am someone’s wife, someone’s mom. I am a daughter. I am a sister. Never once did that cross this person’s mind. How would I respond if someone spoke to my own daughter this way? Was it a lack of confidence? Was I afraid to make waves? Did I worry about my job? As hard as this is to admit a part of me didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable if I spoke up.
Weeks have passed and I have probably thought of this night a thousand times – all those coulda, shoulda, wouldas floating in my brain and out. I’ve been angry at myself for allowing myself to feel small. To silence a voice that was hurting and embarrassed and humiliated by another human being was wrong. I let myself down. I broke my own heart a little.
I try and find something positive in every situation. This situation is no exception. I recently whispered a promise to my soul – I will never again allow someone to make me feel so small. If standing up for myself makes someone else uncomfortable I will not apologize. I’ve learned that being brave doesn’t always come naturally or at the most convenient times. Sometimes being brave comes much later, when you had some time to process your own shortcomings. I am not always perfect in my quest to live a full, self accepting life. On occasion I have to step backward to leap forward. The key is to keep leaping forward. And that my friends is all we can keep doing….
I didn’t intentionally take a break for over three weeks. I thought I had this blogging thing down. I was scheduled and churning out posts like a boss when BOOM – life happened. The end of the school year always sends me into a bit of a tail spin. Teachers’ gifts, last minute school projects, cramming everything I possibly can into these last few days and weeks before school ends…the pace picks up and I slowly lose track of the days. It begins as a trickle and ends in a flood – complete with an emotional tidal wave. This tends to lead to a period of feeling completely overwhelmed. Hence the radio silence friends. I feel like I’m one of those cartoon characters where my feet are kicking up dust and running 100 miles per hour but I am covering exactly zero percent ground.
Am I alone in this emotional frenzy? I lean towards no. I cannot be the only mama who wrings her hands over what needs to be done on the never ending to do list. I move forward but not with any structure. I am not comfortable with frenzy. I like to always have a plan and negotiate changes logically. But as the school year comes to an end I feel like I drop my ball of yarn and am just trying to pull it back to me but the ball gets further and further away. My feelings of guilt for all the things that I haven’t been able to finish start to multiply.
Here’s the thing and after having many an end of school years I’ve learned to tread water for a while and pull myself back to center. The summer schedule gets a little easier and I settle into my routine, and the routine of our home. I take a few more deep breaths. I pause when it’s needed. I remain my own friend. I continue a gentleness with myself.
So maybe my posts won’t be as frequent this summer. Or maybe I will adopt a whole new schedule that allows time for writing more often. I’m ready to adjust my sails for whatever the next few months blows my way.
I hope you’re finding some peace in these summer months and finding some time to take care of you.
I recently began an art journal collaboration with one of my dear friends. We work independently for one month following a list of prompts and then mail the journal to each other and again work independently in the other persons journal. This is a wonderful project that really has my brain working overtime creatively and my soul searching through introspection.
The most recent prompt was “If I could do it all again would I change anything?” Hmmm…now this certainly brings up some feels. I thought a lot about the struggles I’ve had in my life – some small…some not so small. I know for a fact that I didn’t always handle adversity with an open heart or mind. My patterns of denial, overwhelming sadness or straight up anger I’m sure didn’t contribute to any kind of internal resolution. The road to becoming who I am today has been bumpy, winding and most often uphill. But this is my own private road and I’ve learned to navigate the curves.
What good is the coulda, shoulda, woulda game though? I am who I am because of personal growth. All the bruises that I’ve accumulated along the way have gently molded my soul. I really feel that 20/20 hindsight minimizes the journey. If I had a magic wand and could change the past I’d take a pass. For all the ugly that there has been – the stupid choices, the venom of anger, the sting of regret, the hollow of sadness…there has been immense joy. The moments where my heart has exploded with love, the chills from feeling the feels, the warmth of pride. I wouldn’t change one step of this journey. This journey of growth although sometimes painful is also filled with pure love. Changing any of the unpleasantness would take away from the hustle. We are who we are because of the journey. I worked hard to become this person and I want to feel every second of it.