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“beautiful restlessness”

Hello World! Didja miss me? I know I’ve been MIA for sometime but am going to try to get back to chronicling my journey on a consistent basis. I make no promises except to say I will try. here we go.

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Several years ago the gentleman I was cavorting with described be as having a “beautiful restlessness.” At the time I didn’t quite understand what he meant by those words and to some extent I will never really understand what he meant as we have gone our separate ways. However the phrase keeps popping in my head and more-so in the last year or so. I wonder whether to be beautifully restless is to continuously be alone. To endlessly search for a place to belong. To eternally wonder will love find me in this city?

This year will be a dozen years since I got on a plane and flew to Parris Island to become a Marine. Sometimes I think it’s the best thing I ever did and sometimes to worst. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it. My time in the Corps helped to polish me into who I am today. It also put a few dings in my self-confidence. I struggle to write this post today as I’ve struggled since I got back from Barcelona to articulate what’s going on inside. I lacked the words because I was missing the understanding of how adrift I had become somewhere between finally finishing that degree and coming back from my second deployment. Was this the “beautiful restlessness” G-man (there is a story on this shortened nickname, perhaps I’ll tell it one day) saw and commented on? The searching for something, something to believe in, some cause to support, some passion to dive headfirst into, some love to call my own. It’s been a difficult journey to identifying that I AM searching … but for a while I did not know what I was searching for or more accurately I wasn’t willing to clear away the muck of expectations and examine what I, me, this little brown girl, from a little peninsula, in a little country near the equator really wanted from life.

I think some days I don’t dare speak it into being because many times what I have wanted was subsumed under what my circumstances would allow me to have, what I should do, what was the supposed better choice to make. I realize from a very young age what my natural instinct and curiosity led me to do was curtailed and redirected into “more appropriate” venues and expressions. That takes a toll, after a while you stop trusting your desires and curiosity, you stop yearning for things. Why bother, either they’ll be the wrong things or you won’t be good enough anyway, so just look to what is safe. I wonder is this where the “beautiful restlessness” comes into place? It’s funny (no ha ha, but more fascinating ) to me that even looking at, reading or thinking about the phrase I focus on the “restlessness” part of it rather than the descriptor of beauty. I equate restlessness as something bad or unwanted but perhaps I need to look at that again, and consider it as something that indicates a lack of stimulation. I’m not sure.

This is where I am with many things, I start thinking about it and my brain gets stuck at the opening salvo going round and round like the wheels on a bus. (yeah I know these aphorisms don’t really go together but whatevs). I think part of why I get stuck is this depression I’m dealing with. Some days are good and some are bad. On the good days I do as much as I can and on the bad days I stay in my house watching some forensic crime solving show on Netflix. It doesn’t leave much room for pondering the origin of certain attributes but now that this germ of an idea is planted I will meditate on it. Plus I’ve told y’all, so now I’ve plenty of accountability partners.

I know I’m a bit all over the place with this post, but I decided to just write it rather than wrangle my disparate thoughts into one cohesive whole. I’m not setting any goals for this, who am I kidding, I’m already thinking I need to get something up once a week if I’m returning to the blogosphere. Another thing to work on, unrealistic expectations of myself, perhaps I’ll write about that next.

How has everyone been? Can you identify with my struggles? Meet me in the comments.

Littlefoot

P.S. If you know me in off the interwebs and want to comment, don’t email or call me just leave it down below. Smooches, ‘Foot

Change: 2012 Year in Review

This year has been to quote a friend “MONUMENTAL!” I left the military, drove cross-country, lived in South Florida and decided it wasn’t for me, visited 2 continents, applied for graduate school and was rejected, moved to Spain and started teaching English. Whew, seen in the written form it seems like a great deal done and a great many changes. With these changes I am at a place of uncertainty.

Fall leaves

Fall leaves

As monumental as this year may have been I am left me with more questions than answers. Like leaves on trees that herald or reflect the seasons and float on the wind, I floated tumbled through the 2012. I’ve been pondering what to write in a post recapping the past year. And I’ve got nothing. Not that there is nothing to write about, however my thoughts are a jumble. I started this blog to chronicle my journey in life, sharing the ups and downs of life with an audience. Of late I felt like I had nothing to share because it’s all been rather blah. Not the say that my life is bad but the internal workings have all been negative or maybe questioning would be the better word.

I find it difficult to recount the journey from being part of a brotherhood as a Marine to floundering to find my way professionally as a civilian. What do I say about a lackluster (read nonexistent) love life and the paralysis of not knowing how to change that (a topic for another day). What school should I go to? What will I do if I don’t go to school? Should I stay in Barcelona or go somewhere else? If I leave where would I go?

I was re-reading a journal entry from last year’s 31 Day Reset I did in July. I was struck by what I wrote about living out my values in action. “I’d be happy and content. Perhaps, my itchy feet will want to stay put if I am fully living out my best life.” Perhaps this feeling of angst and unsettledness would leave me if I was doing work that was challenging, energizing and soul satisfying.

I started out this post as review of 2012, well the randomness captures what the year has been like for me. I ended 2012 with my mind is still a-whirled as it was when the year began. Sometimes, I feel like there is a ping-pong ball just bouncing around from one side to the next never settling or focusing on one thing. I wonder at this inability to hone in one aspect of my life and see it completed. I wonder, does anyone else feel this way and what is the trick to harnessing the frantic & frenetic energy of that ball into useful progress. Going back to the beginning of this post … change in the only constant of 2012. I’d prefer 2013 to be more constant with tangible progress.

I hope you entered your New Year with a calmer mind than I. Here’s to a fabulous 2013 with a clear vision and laser focus on what you want your life to be.

Lady Littlefoot

P.S. One sure thing from 2012 is the knowledge of my inherent geekiness. This year 2013 may just be the year of the geek!

Discovery: 2012 Monthly Review – November

Written Sunday, 16 December

This review is very late because I’ve been at turns lazy and absentminded. Ideally the monthly review of the previous month would be completed by the 7th of the current month, within the first week. Ideally. Alas, laziness and absent-mindedness are twin forces of evil, standing in my well thought out path. They are my own “Two Towers.” Moving on.

Last month I participated in BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) where the task was to post daily. I was more successful than not. I uploaded a post 24 out of 30 days in the month, a success rate of 80%. During the course of the month I kept beating up on myself for not posting daily and sometimes for the quality of the posts.I know I can do better with my editing as the typos I discover days later always slay me. But this about the journey not the destination. The exercise solidified for me my identity as a writer. I know I am not a novelist, looking to pen the “great American novel,” but I am an essayist, chronicling my observations of life and my journey. My hope is that in time my writing will address some serious topics that are dear to me such as Climate Change, (and if what if anything we can do to combat it), and sustainability (of food and energy resources). But that’s the long game.

The exercise of writing daily has taught me that I have to claim what I am. I have to own it and even if I don’t believe it whole heartedly I still say this is what I am. I struggle with saying I am a writer and look towards others to validate that part of me, but unless I claim it as so for myself it will not matter what anyone says.

November also taught me that the FEAR OF FAILURE is a debilitating thing. To be afraid of even trying something or applying for something I cannot describe the feeling, I have the words to convey the paralysis that comes with indecision. Fear of failure is a paralysis, followed by doubting. Or perhaps doubting of self leading to paralysis. Either way, its debilitating to the spirit.

Professionally I’ve discovered that though I like teaching, I prefer that my students are able to engage with me is discussion. A small but important discovery.

My word for the month of November was FOCUS. I focused on writing and researching the major I want to pursue when I go back to school.

On the travel front I went back to England after 5 years. I could not believe it has been that long but the 2-year-old is now 7 and there is a 4-year-old who didn’t exist when I last stepped food on Ingleterre. I wrote about my journey there on EasyJet and what I observed and discovered about myself while there. It’s all about the choices and once made do not look back at the what ifs.

For December I decided I would do my best to socialize more, especially with the natives (what’s the point of living in Barcelona if I only hang out with English speakers?). So the word for December is ENGAGE. So far I’ve been engaging.

I also need to finish the research for a school so I can start the new year sending out applications so that I can ENGAGE in my future.

Lady Littlefoot

Sometimes you have to ask yourself ….

I am a subscriber to O Magazine and have been so for about 6 years now. It is always filled with uplifting articles, great personal stories and other insightful bits to help you Live Your Best Life (LYBL) whether that be business, family, romantic, spiritual or otherwise. I have taken many lessons from O Mag over the years and used the tools provided in my personal growth and development. One of these was written by Life Coach Martha Beck back in 2011. That year, with the knowledge that my time in the Marines was coming to an end, I began to IMAGINE what my future would look like. I soon realised that I needed to identify some things and ask myself some questions before I could truly ENVISION my best life. Beck’s piece titled, The questions are all useful and some will resonate more so that others.

The first question seems simple and almost useless. 1. What questions should I be asking myself? However, Beck says “At first I thought asking yourself what you should be asking yourself was redundant. It isn’t. Without this question, you wouldn’t ask any others, so it gets top billing. It creates an alert, thoughtful mind state, ideal for ferreting out the information you most need in every situation. Ask it frequently.”

I have found this to be true. Sometimes I get bogged down by the what ifs in my head, by the choices before, by the comparison with others in the same age bracket, by all the things I haven’t done in my life. So bogged down that I can see the forest for the trees and am not able to find the path up ahead amongst the trunks and branches. I am at that point in my life (again it seems) but really what I need to do is ask myself the right questions and then go about answering them. The series of questions that follow build on each other. For instance when I first did the 20 questions number 8. What is my body telling me?, resonated with me as I was making plans to leave the Marines but was still unsure. Beck writes that your body, “is a wise, capable creature. It recoils from what’s bad for us, and leans into what’s good. Let it.” My body at the time, was recoiling from the work it took to maintain a high level of physical fitness. Since the previous year I had suffered one injury after another, the worse being a pulled right hamstring and an abductor. Previously, I had rolled my ankles too many times to count as well as doing something to my right shoulder where I couldn’t do weighted shrugs and certain other exercises requiring the use of my right shoulder. My body was talking. Loudly, drowning out the skeptical brain scared to leave the comfort of the known and venture out. My body was saying, you are done missy, you are done now before the next injury requires surgery. That is not a scare tactic, many Marines in my age range and some younger were having surgeries due to the injuries sustained during training or on deployment. I saw the light, heard the surgery sounds and kept walking down the exit ramp away from the Corps and the routines I had gotten accustomed to after 8 years.

That was just one question, however it helped to clarify something within myself and confirm the steps I was taking at the time. Now my body is telling me I need to get my ever-widening lazy butt back to the gym. Curves are appreciated, but a marshmallow looking girl is not. I’m not saying I am a marshmallow, but I love food so if I want to continue to indulge I need to find a way to get rid of the extra calories. I’ve come to the realization that I need a gym, preferably a personal trainer or small class because YouTube isn’t cutting it for me. I am lazy. I will roll over and pull the covers over my head every single day unless I have to go be accountable to someone. I know there is a gym near where I live, I have known this for about a month. Yet, I haven’t stopped in to check it out or sign up. Partly, because I am not the beast in the gym I used to be and it’s very demoralizing when you have to start over with the 10 lbs weights and they are heavy.

There I go again digressing from the questions. My aim with this post is to encourage you to use one of the many tools out there to improve your outlook and hopefully your life.

Messing with the umbrella on Phuket Beach. Best body shape & level of physical fitness.

Now that I’ve told you about the gym and needing to get fitness level up, I will go find the gym and get to working out. I know someone will ask me about what my body is saying sooner or later so I better get to it. The above picture is the goal 112 pounds (appx 51kg) of awesomeness. It is my goal for weight, body size and level of physical fitness. I could do 45-60 mins of cardio and then lift weights for an hour (I was deployed on ship with not much else to do).

Take a look at the 20 Questions That Could Change Your Life and start asking yourself some of them. If you’ve done something similar please leave a note in the comment section.

Lady Littlefoot.