Starting over and moving on…

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Keep getting back up

It has been awhile since i have wanted to write here.  I have had a few musings of things to write, but never something fully formed i wanted to take the time to write about.  Still don’t really, so I am going to cobble a few ideas together….bear with me….

The last 5-6 years have been the worst and the best all at the same time.  I have been a version of myself I never wanted to be.  That caused people that I had formed close relationships to stop speaking to me.  I dearly miss them and think of them often.  I have been a great version of myself as well and made some other amazing friends.

I have lost jobs, had amazing opportunities, shied away from others because of fear of failure, embraced others because i wanted the challenge…through it all I have still stayed standing (metaphorically speaking)  I continue to put myself out into the world.  I know to some, or many, my life may seem like a failure or a waste, but i am working on me and every experience takes me closer to who I want to be!

So, a rundown of some aspects of my life:

Dating, because everyone is always curious.  This one is tough for me.  I wear my heart on my sleeve and put myself out there.  Which, sadly means I get hurt a lot.  I have dated a few people.  It has almost to a “T” gone like this every time.  “On paper you are exactly what I am looking for and want.  You are amazing and kind and thoughtful.  I am just not in a place right now to date and think i need this time to myself.”  I always appreciate the honesty, and fully support someone doing what is right for them.  Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.  What makes this all the more frustrating, is that literally within a week, all of them have started dating someone else.  WTF!!!!  In two instances they ended up marrying or engaged to the person right after me.  So ladies, if you are looking for that forever someone, date me for 2 months!  The next person will be your forever person!  LOL!

Job:  Teaching yoga and other part-time gigs was fun for a while.  I loved the free time i had and getting to sleep in!  However, it was not financially stable.  I finally found a job at a school that pays really well that i can actually support myself on!!  I am an Educational Assistant at a level 4 special ed school.  I absolutely love it!!  I even teach my class yoga and breathing on a daily basis!  It is extremely challenging and rewarding!  Even better is that once i have been there for a year, they will pay 50% of my tuition to finish off my schooling so that i can be a certified teacher!  There are a lot of teachers in my school that started off the same way!  It is a great track to be on!!  I am finally feeling like I am back on the track that i need to be on!

Mental Health:  I am doing GREAT!!!  By this i mean I finally have the skills and tools to cope with my depression!  My therapist is amazing and I have stayed on my meds instead of going off of them because I “feel” better.  I still have up days and down days.  But I don’t get stuck in it or stay in my hole like before.

Physical Health:  this is my biggest struggle.  I have never been able to find the self motivation to stay on a good workout track by myself.  I am motivated more when i have a partner to do these things with.  That is still a challenge for me.  I am still keeping the weight down, but I would like to now tone it all up and get rid of the proverbial beer belly.  This still causes me a lot of anxiety and I am very self-conscious about it.  My goal is to start back at a gym and start lifting weights again.  That is, as soon as my latest concussion clears up…I slipped and fell on the ice face first.  Don’t worry, it wasn’t a really bad one, but given my history, I am taking it easy and have been taking care of myself before it can get out of control!  I still love my yoga and do it almost everyday, but I need to mix some weight training back in!  Hopefully a year from now I can post some great before and after pics!!

For now, know that life is good!  I am happy, even with all that has happened.  I have friends, a great place to live with an amazing roommate and meet new and interesting people everyday!

I will leave you with 2 favorite pics of mine!  One is my yoga “wife” Beth.  She is a great friend and I love her dearly!  The other is my great friend Randy!  My yoga “husband”!  He and I love our Dangerous Man beer and try to go often!

 

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Depression is a B!%#H

It has been a while since my last post.  It has been an interesting year so far.  Lots of highs and lots of lows.  For those of you that are aware, I live with, battle and suffer from depression on a daily basis.  I recently made the decision to go back to therapy and to get back on medication.  My depression had gotten out of hand enough that it is affecting my personal life and relationships and also my work life.  I had, for the most part been using yoga and meditation as my main tools.  I realized that I wasn’t actually doing as good of a job as I thought of taking care of myself.  Hence, I am trying to do so now!  If you have or have ever had episodes of depression, you know it is not easy.  There are relationships that i have harmed because I wasn’t taking care of myself.  Thankfully, for the most part, those people understand what I deal with and are compassionate and continue to stand by me.  Some others, sadly I may have lost permanently.  I came to the conclusion that I am tired of repeating the same shitty cycle every 2 years.  We all need help sometimes.  For me this is extremely difficult.  I am always willing to help others and often times the first to jump in and get my hands dirty to help anyone else out.  It is crappy that I can’t do the same for myself!  Needing help and being on medication is nothing to be ashamed of.  I know that intellectually.   It is hard to swallow my pride and admit that I need help.  That is a different type of vulnerable that I am not wholly comfortable with.

I believe that one of the ways that we take the stigma out of mental health issues and of depression specifically is that we talk about it!  Specifically those of us that suffer from it.  I’m going to get a little heavy here….I have talked to many that also suffer and I think what freaks people out the most that don’t have it is the amount that those of us that do contemplate suicide.  In the interest of being vulnerable, I don’t admit to probably half of how much it actually crosses my mind.  Think about that.  That is scary.  That is what depression does.  Now, I am not saying you need to be on suicide watch for me.  I am not going to harm myself.  But having just a passing thought constantly of:  I should just end it.  It would be so much easier…   This wears on a person!  On top of this my concussion issues do not help, let alone my anxiety as the cherry on top!  Shit!  I am making my self sound like a disaster! 😉

Yoga is great!  I wouldn’t be an instructor and practice if i didn’t believe in it!  When I go to my mat I am my most vulnerable and I have learned many lessons while sweating my ass off!  The biggest one, which i just got drilled home in a class a few weeks ago, was that it is okay to need help!  Yes, I have been told this before, but without my practice and the alignment of a bunch of crap that has piled up, I would not have heard it when I needed to most.

I ask you all to reach out to someone you know struggles or is struggling.  Just hang out with them!  You don’t need to have a heart to heart.  Just being around someone can be a huge help!  I have one thing to tell my followers that are reading this and one thing to ask!

First, if in the last year I have seemed off, cranky or unhappy I am sorry.  I likely wasn’t even aware that I was acting that way.  It is difficult to stay positive all the time when you are getting the help you need.  My sincerest apologies for any that this applies to!

Second.  For those willing to, check in with me from time to time and ask about it.  This can help to hold me accountable for my own self care.  I am pretty damn open about this subject and will honestly and truthfully answer you.  Be prepared as the answer is not always what you are ready for!

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday!  May you enjoy the time with family!  Please reach out to those in need as the Holidays are one of the hardest times when fighting this silent battle!

I’ll take my grey matter shaken, not stirred??

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When Concussion, with Will Smith, came out on Christmas i was excited to go see it.  The previews I had seen looked great.  Also, given my own personal experiences with the subject matter, I was very interested.  I don’t think that there was anyway I could have been prepared for what I saw.  In hindsight, I should not have gone to see it by myself.  It was like watching my own personal life story.  I sat in my seat after the movie for what felt like 20 minutes after the movie had ended.  I was so anxious I didn’t think I would be able to stand up.   Having just turned 35, I am slightly freaked out about what life will be like for me when I am 40, 45,50…  I already have noticed some issues that I am starting to have.  For those that don’t know, I myself have had 14 major concussions, that we know of, and untold amounts of micro concussions.  Which from the subject matter in the movie, can be just as bad if not worse than full concussions.  They still don’t know the long term affects and when they will start to effect people.  There is no “real” cure.  When I start thinking about this from a dating aspect, I kinda of panic thinking I will be single forever.  I can’t not tell a future significant other about my concussion issues, it is going to be an issue at some point.  On the flip side, who wants to get involved knowing that I may end up like one of the very publicized NFL players that have passed in the last decade.  I worry about what I am going to do if/when it starts to impact my ability to work.  I’m not rich, will I end up homeless because of it?  It is not something that I really even know how to start to plan for.  As selfish as it sounds, I am most worried about being by myself because of it.  It may sound trite, but I don’t want to be by myself forever.  I guess only time will tell.  Here’s to hoping that the symptoms hold of for a long time or never manifest at all….

Musings on Life and Love

I have read a number of articles out there about love, marriage, divorce, dating and life in general.  The biggest source of many of these articles is a site called Elephant Journal.  To be upfront and honest, I think that there are many wonderful contributing writers and loads of great articles.  However, I have become saddened/discouraged by the often times belittling of men in lots of these articles.  Especially the ones about divorce.  I have begun to feel sorry for some of these writers.  The massive bashing of your former spouse and basically saying how bad guys are as a gender is quite sad.  I am not claiming to be a better than other men, better than women, or even the perfect person.  Far from it.  However, as trite as it sounds, a relationship involves 2 people.  Sometimes it will be 50-50.  Other times it will be 60-40, 70-30…you get the picture.  Marriage isn’t easy and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.  It is hard and something that needs to be worked at every day.  Sadly, I realized this to late and regret the time I wasted on my own foolishness and selfishness.  I made my fair share of mistakes, so did she.  But here’s my problem with where we have come to in society.  Marriage is no longer something to cherish and to fight for or to take seriously.  There are many reasons out there, I’m sure.  But, in a study written up in the Washington post Aug of 2015, women initiate divorce 70% of the time.  That seems like a staggering number to me.  Taking into account the percentage of “legitimate” reasons to get a divorce (infidelity, abuse, etc..) it sounds like women are just getting bored and want to find greener pastures.  I am by no means trying to say that women are bad.  Nor am I saying that men are better.  It seems however that the way we view relationships is broken.    So on that note, I was thinking about my experience being married and the things I learned after that I wish I would have known then.  So getting off my soap box, here is my list of things that can help with a successful relationship and marriage.

1. CHOOSE LOVE!  This is the best advice and the one that should matter the most.  If this is the guiding theme of your relationship and your choices as a couple, there is nothing that should threaten it.  Love will always endure.

2. DON’T SWEAT THE MONEY  This is a tricky one.  Know each others strengths and leverage them.  Someone will always make more than the other.  This is okay as long as you are both committed to the goal of your happiness and your family’s happiness.  Be open and honest about the expectations here.

3. ALWAYS GROW TOGETHER  There will be times that you each develop and have personal growth separate from each other.  However, if you commit to exercising your relationship and keeping it from being stagnant by constantly working towards the same goals, dreams and visions, you will be just fine.

4. BE VULNERABLE    You don’t have to have it all together.  It is okay to be a hot mess and have no idea what you are doing.  This is normal and natural.  Be able to share your feelings and fears.  Don’t be scared to admit your mistakes, learn and grow from them.  It is okay to fall down.  Just be there to help pick each other up!

5. BE OPEN  It is scary to have another person know everything about you.  All your little secrets, your shame, your regret, your triumphs, your passions and fears.  But if you find the person that loves you regardless of all this and loves you even more because of it, don’t be afraid to keep that channel open.  Don’t wear a disguise about who you are.  Also, don’t be afraid to call your spouse on there BS if you feel like they are hiding from themselves and just putting on a face for everyone to see.

6. DON’T BE STUPID   This one is hard.  You will both make mistakes.  Sometimes really big ones, sometimes lots of little ones.  Learn from them and don’t repeat the same thing over and over.  At the same time, don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  That is life.  It is going to happen no matter what.  If you are constantly trying to not screw up, or thinking when the next time your partner is going to screw up, it is just going to make it that much worse.

7. KEEP COURTING EACH OTHER   Never take her for granted.  I did this to often myself sadly.  When you ask her to marry her, you made a promise to be the man that would own her heart and fiercely protect it.  She chose you and you chose her.  Never forget it.  Don’t get lazy.  Keep the butterflies going.

8. PROTECT YOUR HEART  Be open to loving yourself and growing as an individual.  Be open to the world and to new experiences.  Keep a special place in your heart that only she can enter.  Always be ready to receive her and be willing to invite her in.

9. KEEP FALLING IN LOVE  You are going to change.  This is a given.  The amount of growth you go through from meeting -dating – engagement- marriage and beyond is tremendous.  Maybe you have children or just your siblings and parents.  If you don’t take care of each others hearts, one may choose to leave or to seal you out completely.  It is painful to go through.  You are each others family.  Always have each others back.

Rant now over.  I would love to hear others thoughts on this as we can all learn and grow from each other.  I will leave you with a picture!  As most of you know, my hair has gotten quite long.  I just had my first man bun put in this last week.  Thought I would share!

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Life is Good!

So it has been awhile since I have written.  Things are going really well!  I work at the front desk at my yoga studio and am teaching a fair amount!  I have even gotten to travel to teach at a different Modo studio and have other trips planned in the next few months!  Being a yoga instructor has been way more rewarding than I imagined it would be when I first started.  I am learning more about myself and becoming more comfortable with who I am!  Some exciting possibilities on the horizon, including finally getting the chance to travel and maybe even live abroad again!  This is the one that I am most excited about as I never really came home on my own terms or for the right reason.  I need to go experience the world like I had initially intended to.  It will happen!  I just need to stay patient a little longer.  I don’t really have lots to say now, so I will leave you with some pictures!

Oktobefest with my cousin and sister!

Oktobefest with my cousin and sister!

Visited Austin, TX to teach for a week!

Visited Austin, TX to teach for a week!

Everything is bigger in Texas... :)

Everything is bigger in Texas… 🙂

Hanging with fellow teachers!

Hanging with fellow teachers!

Having fun!

Having fun!

The Austin studio was so welcoming!!

The Austin studio was so welcoming!!

I got to bring Charlie to the studio over Thanksgiving! He had a lot of fun and needed a nap! Everyone loved him and loved on him!!!

I got to bring Charlie to the studio over Thanksgiving! He had a lot of fun and needed a nap! Everyone loved him and loved on him!!!

Modelling some new apparel!

Modelling some new apparel!

My favorite quote to date on our community board

My favorite quote to date on our community board

Teaching, working and more teaching (and yoga also!)

My sisters took one of my yoga classes!

My sisters took one of my yoga classes!

So, I have been back from my yoga training now for just over 2 months.  In that time there have been some changes that I didn’t think were going to happen!  To start, I now am the mostly full-time front desk person at my yoga studio!  I am super excited about this as I no longer have to work at BestBuy full-time!  I still pick up two 4 hours shifts a week, but will be just one soon!  I have a hard time parting with the discount!  I am also teaching about 5-6 classes a week. 🙂  This means I am at the studio almost every day.  I love being there and being more involved in my sangha (community)!  It is an amazing opportunity that I am enjoying. Now I just need to make sure I am getting my own practice in more often!   Also, I am going to Austin, Texas the first week in November to teach at a Modo studio down there.  It will be a great experience as I am going to be teaching 10 classes that week.  It will also be fun to meet more of the extended Modo community.  The only downside is that my mentor/friend/teacher Robi is also going to be there, but not until the day after i leave.  😦  Oh well!  I know we will run into each other again!

Teaching yoga has been an amazing experience so far.  I never could have anticipated how much I would love it and how much it would deepen my own personal practice.  I have said some STUPID things in my class.  Mostly because I sometimes forget how to speak the English language at in opportune times…  Needles to say, we have a lot of laughs in my classes!  While there are lots of positive great changes happening in my life and i am finally seeing a path towards a better personal future, I am still lonely.  Something is still missing.  I spend a lot of time by myself.  Most of it actually.  I am working really hard on being comfortable with being by myself.  It is getting better.  Going to bed though is the hardest.  I still have never gotten used to sleeping by myself.  It is a strange feeling that I still don’t enjoy.  For those that are interested, or want to know, I am not dating.  I don’t want to.  It isn’t fair to my self or a potential significant to start something knowing that I still love someone else.  Not that I haven’t had opportunities.  I have had some friends try to set me up.  I know that they just want the best for me, but I’m not interested.  I would rather hang out with a small group of people, read a good book or watch a movie.

Also, my appearance has changed quite drastically!  I am officially down 100lbs. from my heaviest weight.  I am now tipping the scales at a svelte 185!!  My hair is just starting to brush my shoulders and I am working on a beard!  The biggest surprise is that I never knew I would have slightly wavy hair!  I am glad it isn’t just limp and hanging.  It actually has quite a bit of body.  The beard on the other hand I am still not happy about.  I was talking to a friend that has an EPIC beard and him and his friend told me that it takes 60 days to determine if your beard is gonna be a keeper.  So far it has been about 3 weeks.  It is the best one I have ever had, but still not sold on it…  I am trying hard to give it the full 60!  I will post a picture when I can get a decent one taken!

So, for now, I am enjoying the journey I am on.  It is perfectly flawed and I am happy with my personal job/chosen field for the first time in I can’t even remember when.

S%!t got real…

For the last 2 years and a bit I have been living a life less extraordinary. My wife left me and I circled the wagons close.  I thought I was dealing with things and moving on.  I didn’t.  I engaged in self-destructive behaviors because I was lonely and sad.  I justified it by saying, feeling anything is better than sadness or nothing.  I thought that by moving on I would be wiping out any memory or the reality of my past.  I have realized recently that this is not true.  Moving on doesn’t mean I have to forget love and happiness that I had with someone.  I had a wonderful partner.  Unfortunately, things happen.  It didn’t end of working, for lots of reasons, but that doesn’t mean I can’t remember it and smile.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t find happiness again.  In fact, these last few weeks I have met someone, MYSELF!  After my divorce, I had (still do) some massive self-esteem and confidence issues.  It will still take more work to come back from, but I am finally seeing the road back! As you know I am at a yoga teacher training this month.  I was told that it would change me.  I was told I would deal with things that I had been holding onto and that emotions would come up.  I didn’t think it would happen.  But it did.  In what has to be the best class I ever had, I ended up sobbing on my mat in the middle of class.  It was such a release of pent-up emotion that I don’t even have the words to describe it.  I had the epiphany that it is okay to move on and grow.  I was so afraid to do that.  It doesn’t mean I am forgetting or pretending I didn’t or don’t have feelings for this person, just that I am giving myself permission to be happy again and to find happiness for myself, whatever that may look like.  I am learning a tremendous amount about yoga and everything that goes with it.  I am learning even more about myself and people in general.  I am here with 60+ other people.  They don’t know me, they don’t know my past.  But they have accepted me without question.  I have been myself and they don’t think that is a bad thing!  I have met and made some new friends that I hope and think I will be friends with for years to come.  There are some here that I have known for a few years already.  That person has been a beacon of strength for me and has been a sounding board in times of great need.  He has been there for me when I thought all was lost.  I don’t think he knows how much so.  Someday, soon hopefully, I will tell him.  If I can get through it without choking up!  For now this is my thanks to that person also.  For the first time, I am looking forward to possibilities, opportunities and a life extraordinary!

Some pics from training!  I will have more later!

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My first practice teach in the hot room with these lovely ladies! Plus our instructor!

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Dina and I. Extraordinary woman that I feel privileged to have met!