Seasons of Change

Lately, I have been listening to a mixed CD while driving that I have named “Women Who Rock.” Every time I get to the song “A Change Will Do You Good” by Sheryl Crowe, I must stop, rewind, listen, and sing out loud. I have to remind myself that sometimes change is for the good.

I was so excited over the summer to start teaching again, starting graduate school again, waking up in the morning feeling well, showering and singing of the blessings of life. Unfortunately, six weeks into the quarter, my plans changed. My teaching job suddenly ended, tightening my purse strings once again, losing the new friends that I had made, and regretting the option to start school in financial disarray. But the entire experience taught me several great things: I do have the ability to teach, I know my subject very well, and a little enthusiasm goes a long way.

In retrospect, I should have been teaching at another school at another state at another time. However, life doesn’t always work out as planned. That is when I step back and realize all that I have overcome to get to the state in which I now find myself. I am now looking at a prospective job that will allow me to teach from home (or coffee shop), and in turn, it will allow me to continue graduate school. It will allow some independence and keep me at a safe place while I still need it. When I stop and look around me, I can only say that I have learned from the experience, forgive myself for blunders, and continue to seek the road less traveled.

Maybe there is a reason for all of this change. My sister may be moving into our home and need help with her little one during the day. My family may need me for backup. My health may not continue to thrive. My student loans definitely need to be canceled, and it may just be better off for me to be able to teach on my own schedule when I actually feel at my best. I definitely still need time to work on me.

So now, I spend my days in grad school work, cooking for my family, and taking life one step at a time. As we move from one holiday season into the next, I will have something… make that lots of things, that I will be thankful for. Holiday gifts may be slim, but at least we have a loving family with whom we can share more gifts than we can imagine. Baked goodies will be given, and time takes the place of money. Right now, this change has done me good. And I can only hope that it continues to do so as I continue to learn and grow.

No Love Lost?

Lately, I have been singing a song of a different color.  No, not the ones like Alanis Morrisette or Melissa Etheridge after having kids, but a different tune all the same.  My sister says that I am finally coming back to life, but I believe that she is wrong.  I was never gone; I was just inside my cocoon.  I am loosing weight, gaining energy, and looking to make up for all the time that I lost being sick.

After my recent vacation from the world, I met a man that seemingly needs me as much as I need him.  We are kindred spirits who share many of the same life views and interests.  I do believe, along with my family that he is a reason for my revival.  I finally figured out the other day, while running errands for him or making sure that something was done for him, that he gives me purpose.  Life can be pretty lonely when no one needs you or wants you.  What reason do we have for getting out of our bed if all we have to do is take care of our own daily needs.  Routines are rote and there is no purpose in life when you are not accountable to anybody for anything.  While I am not sure if any of my love is returned, I need to give it in order to feel fulfilled.  Taking care of another gives me a reason for showering, making healthy meals, and pursuing a life beyond what I am used to living.

Meanwhile, the well of my soul is slowly being depleted and there is nothing to fill up the void.  Is there a point in an adult friendship where you can ask that more be given?  This has happened before in past relationships where I was dependent upon another person, but I have never been the one to ask for more for me.  How do I fill this well that once overflowed with need for love?  Now that I am needed, I keep pressing to get things done and they happen.  So, the question must be asked if being needed is all one needs to feel loved, wanted, and appreciated.  Am I getting the love that I need and desire?  Does this well become empty?  And is it appropriate for me to ask for love and appreciation in return?

If I am being filled with love and desire from another person, is that what it means to be loved?  Am I fulfilling my own needs by fulfilling his?  And does a friend need validation?  I feel that I am stuck in a perpetual state of youth.  I am stuck at 22 while my mind and soul are very old indeed.  I wonder if there are truly healthy relationships, and I wonder if they will ever exist for me.  Sometimes love is understood.  Other times, it needs to be said.  How do we know the difference?

I have loved, and I have lost, but if love is never requested, do we lose it in the first place?

A Change Will Do You Good

Over the past year, I have been hospitalized for depression 3 times.  This may come as a shock to those who know me, but I don’t think of it as being week instead being strong enough to ask for help.  While inside the walls of a cloistered environment, everything is safe.  There is a schedule, people with whom one may talk, regular meals, regular med times, and mind numbing predictability (usually).  Being on the outside is scary.  Without the routine of daily life, one easily slips back into that depressed state of mind.  Some of us sleep life away while the television becomes our best friend.  Microwaved meals make for a very unbalanced diet and unhealthy to boot.  We skip those needed meds and double up to make up for the missed ones.  Routine is a necessity for keeping sanity.

I have spent most of the past year making goals, keeping a calendar, and filling it full of activities to aid in my constant struggle.  Recently, I started implementing those good intentions.  Applying to graduate school will give me a reason for getting up and another date to keep on my calendar.  I even dared to interview for a full-time teaching position, opting for a daily structure, the ability to live alone, keeping a healthy lifestyle, and making myself accountable over sitting in the dark and waiting for my student loans to be canceled.  However, this change toward routine and living life will force me to repay my student loans, take on added expenses, assume more accountability, and actively pursuing life.  My calendar is filled monthly with events to attend, grocery shopping, dr. appointments, school, tutoring, teaching, visits to the farmers’ market, weekend dancing,  religious services, and hopeful dates.

It is easy to fall back into unhealthy patterns, but often times we need that change in order to become healthy.  This isn’t just a mental change.  Everything must change from your view on life to the time you wake yourself up in the mornings.  Being sick and tired has left  me sick and tired, and change, whatever the costs to one’s lifestyle and pocketbook may bring, is the only way to break the cycle.

So, in light of this enlightenment, I encourage everyone to make one change in their life this month.  Make it for the positive.  This year I have changed homes, changed my diet, changed my physical size, aimed for goals, returned to practicing my religion, began dancing, applied for jobs and school, and began tutoring a subject I love.  But this total metamorphosis is not necessary for everyone, only those who like me find themselves in a rut and cannot bring themselves out of it.

Change your hair, change your clothes, change your friends, change your comfort zone.  And in the end, a change will do you good.

Change is in the Air

“Something’s wrong with the world today.  Don’t know what it is…”

For the past week, I have barely been able to get out of the bed.  I know that some kind of change is in the air.  I have been going strong for over a month and then BAM!, like a load of bricks falling out of the sky.  The fragrant smells of honeysuckle no longer linger in the air way past dusk.  Golden pollen doesn’t litter the surface of the pond outside my door.  The day grows shorter as we grow closer to Rosh Hoshanah. 

This is usually my favorite part of year.  Kids are in school reciting their multiplication tables and reading Newberry Award Winners.  Homework assignments and shopping lists clutter the door of the refridgerator.  Little art projects can be found everywhere.  Persephone is preparing for her annual return to Hades.  Maple trees grow into glorious flaming torches.  Men are cutting grass for the last time this year.  However, my heart and head are heavy, too much so for this young body.

Autumn is coming earlier than usual this year.  The weather has already turned a little cooler.  The animals are soaking in all of the sun they can.  I wonder what is in store for us…  I listen to the wind and hear silence…  Perhaps it is waiting to see what is just around the corner.  There is little anticipation.  Still I sit and wait for the expected.

Once I read on a tombstone that Time was the Eater of Things.  It truly is.  Sometimes I awake to find that Time has swallowed up the entire day.  I hope that it eagerly gulps the next several weeks as we pack, lug boxes, sort through belongings and prepare to move into our new home.  This is a change that I welcome with open arms.  More room to move, more room to breathe, more room to grow, more room to display all of my books.  This change in season will close the doors to an extremely hard year and hopefully open a new, rewarding chapter of Life.  Hashem knows that it may be exactly what I need in order to progress.

“To Everything There Is A Season”

Tonight I had a lovely chat with my dear old friend who just lost a child to miscarriage.  She has miraculously turned this personal tragedy into a triumph by creating her own foundation called Snowflakes of Hope (http://www.snowflakesofhope.faithweb.com/) for those who have suffered the loss of a child to miscarriage or stillbirth.  Talking with her and viewing her site reminded me of my own loss.

Loss runs deep and wide in my world.  I have lost my health due to chronic migraines and severe Fibromyalgia.  I have lost my chosen career because I was too sick to work.  I have lost my love and best friend because he was unable to cope with my illnesses.  I have lost my independence and moved back home after being ill.  I even lost the will to continue on this path shortly after the death of my close cousin.  Yet, with every loss, I find that there is something to be gained.

When I lost my health, I gained faith.  When I lost my career, I gained hope.  When I lost my love, I regained my family.  When I lost my independence, I gained the world of expression.  And when I lost my cousin, I gained the love of her 10 year old daughter who has come to live with us.  Now I am helping to raise a challenging child, using my talents as a teacher, seeking help for my illnesses, inquiring about returning to school, and attending religious services.  “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)  Seasons are changing.  I can feel the winds beginning to blow.

Evergreen Grrrl!

This past summer I was hospitalized for perhaps the worse bout of depression I have ever experienced.  This is probably why I chose “To Write Love On Her Arms” as my SocialVibe charity of choice.   Having reached an all time low, with my disability due to chronic migraines and severe fibromyalgia, being unable to teach or finish graduate school, losing my life love, moving back to BFE, and finally the death of my close cousin, I lost the will to continue down this path we call life.

While in the hospital, I met a lovely man who very quickly became a close companion.  Before leaving his stent at the hospital, he drew an amazing picture and gave copies to all of those that had touched him while he was there.  This pencil drawing depicted all of the things that led him to his place in life.  On the bottom, he wrote: “Stay green.”  I pondered over this image for a second because there was nothing “GREEN” about it.  Not even the paper it was drawn on had been recycled.  I asked him what he meant by the phrase and he so eloquently stated that to be green is to be young, always willing to know and grow, taking in all that surrounds us, easily adaptable, and ready for change.

He had no knowledge of my own personal quests: religion, health, independence, wisdom, love, and a greater view of myself and the change that I could make for myself or others.  So I have now adopted this motto of “staying green,” hence the title of this blog.  I hope that you will allow me to travel this road at my own pace with the guidance of those sages that inspire me daily.  I encourage you to travel this road as well, stay evergreen, and allow the grrrl to express herself.