Category Archives: Foregiveness

Writing our Life Story: the next chapter

There comes a point in your life when you feel fulfilled.  The first look at a newborn and the world around you goes still.  Your heart is forever changed in a way that you never thought possible. The life you imagined in your head for years, suddenly becomes a reality unraveling before your eyes. The nights of hanging with girlfriends, are somehow replaced by sleepless nights and early bedtime that you wouldn’t change for the world. You choose to spend 5 more minutes watching your child explore their world, over cleaning up the dishes after dinner.  The days of a clean house seem less important, and time spent watching your child’s 45 minute bath become more meaningful and enlightening each day. The moment you realize every tear, scratch, and sad moment felt by a child doubles in strength for a mother’s heart, is the moment you realize that you are living your life for something much bigger than yourself.

Balancing your life takes on a whole new meaning.  This past summer I charaded my way through a circus act, attempting to balance a professional life (working 50-60 hour work weeks), a creative life (getting my photography & blogging businesses off the ground), and a family life.  Now that the chaos has ended and there is 5 minutes to clear my head, I’m realizing that my job as a mother trumps all other opportunities in life.  In 10 years I  will not  be able to go back and watch my 18-month-old son grab onto the edge of the counter and swing like a trapeze artist. The life I have created could easily continue on each day with a majority of my time spent focused on the monotonous activities of daily life.  However starting in September I chose to take an active role in my life, focusing my efforts on what means the most to me, family.  While it’s certainly not feasible for our family to have me do this on a full-time basis, perhaps it has given light to how I focus my attention in daily life.

I have never regretted the life I have chosen.  I value each aspect to my life, and am grateful for the opportunities and challenges I have experienced.  My professional career is one filled with research, innovation, and teaching opportunities which fulfill my innate desire to learn and lead others.  My creative life is an opportunity for adventure, to follow a passion, a belief, and allow myself to be the creator and the decision-maker all in one.  What matters is how I choose to spend my time.  What if I chose to not go to church on a Sunday morning and instead spend one morning with the husband, son, dog and myself all huddled into one bed that is too – small for our growing family?  Would people judge me?  Most likely, but here’s where I get to choose how live my life.  What if I choose to take a walk with the family over cleaning the house?  Would people judge me- you might if you saw the constant disarray of our house lately.  What if I spend less time in small talk at work and focus on getting the work done so I can leave my work at work? Does this make me less dedicated than others who work beyond a standard work week? The point isn’t that I don’t care, it’s about choosing what is most important and dedicating the time to prove it.

You have not seen a blog post here since July.  Doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested, or didn’t try.  It means I arrive home at 5 PM to a happy and energetic little boy who steals my heart.  We choose to have a family dinner and then spend our last hour together as a family, before I nestle into bed with my little man at 7:30 PM. I watch eagerly as his eyelids grow heavy, how he wrestles to distract himself so he can avoid sleeping for just 5 more minutes, and eventually listen as his breaths grow deeper and soft hums replace the squeals of laughter heard less than an hour ago.  Saying goodnight is always a ritual including a kiss on the forehead enclosed with a whisper “Dream Big Little Man,” (which sometimes prompts him to raise his arm to shew away the strange feeling on his forehead).  Often times I return to repeat the same “Good Night” ritual as I head off to bed myself.  From 8 PM to 10 PM is my time to re-aquaint myself with my husband as it seem likes months since we sat down to a bowl of popcorn and a movie. Over the past month I felt less inclined to do what “needed to get done” and  replaced these activities with what “I want to do most.”

Being a mom is the most rewarding and exhausting thing I have experienced in my life.  In an effort to make things even more complicated and exciting we decided to add another member to our family.  Consider this our announcement…

Little Man will the add the title of “Big Bother” to his name come April of 2012, creating a whole new chapter in our life story.  I can choose to be a passenger in my life, or the driver.  With some unchartered territory up ahead, and new challenges coming our way, I have the opportunity to mold and shape the story of this adventure we call life!


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Filed under Deep thoughts, Foregiveness, Let's talk about me!, The Caleb Times

When to clean out the closet: Finding all the pieces that don’t seem to fit any more.

As you may have noticed from previous posts, I have been draggin around the title of “woman with a quarter-life crisis, looking for a job, wants to live in a house, and not have to pay to do her laundry.” It’s been a title I’ve been dragging for months and months, and you’d think the weight would be getting me down.  It did.  However…you might also have noticed that The New Job, The New House, marrying the fiance’ this fall will bring a New Name.  Yeah, quarter life crisis solved, hello happiness.  That would seem logical, yet all this new stuff makes me realize that it’s time to clean out the files of the Old Heidi. 

Have you ever had a pair of jeans, your favorite pair, no matter how fat you feel these jeans always seem comforatble yet somehow flatter your temporary plump figure?  Eventually those jeans go out of style, not that you care, but eventually a new pair of jeans comes along, a better pair.  The new jeans are stylish, flattering, and give you the edge of confidence you’ve been missing.  Sometimes they come with Butt Jewels, adding a touch of sparkle to your life.  All things considered, the old jeans start to stay on the shelf more and more, until eventually you forget about them.  It’s not until you clean out the closet till you even remember those once favorite jeans were still around.  So, with regret you feel guilty, like you’ve abandon a best friend and can’t bear to separate from them.  So you keep them, just in case.

In the past few years I’ve carried so many pairs of my once “favorite” pairs of jeans, and shoes, pictures, jewelry, that my closet NEEDS to get cleaned out.  Five years ago I moved to Chicago following my graduation from small, private, rural Wisconsin college.  “The city” was exactly what I needed.  A teaching job in the inner-city, fell right in line with what I’d always dreamed of.  The windy city was bursting with activity, over-flowing with opportunities and life experiences, congested with all things materialistic, and flooded with emotions & feelings.  I was a sponge….I sucked!  Eventually, I immersed myself in everything that surrounded me, disregarding the family and long term relationship lingering in Wisconsin.  By the following year I had aged 5 years and was working in an extremely wealthy school district on the North shore.  You’d think that would be the job of my dreams.  It’s not typical of a novice teacher to land such an awesome opportunity.  Year 3 in a relationship, and moving to the ‘burbs, I was living the life of a 32 year old wife, planning for the birth of my first child.   I never expected to be buying a place of my own at the ripe age of 24 in NW Chicago suburbs, and carving out a life of my own.  I was confident that  I was going to be there for the rest of my life.  Everything about it felt comfortable.  Until a strange and uncomfortable twist of events, made all things around me extremely unfamiliar.   

My life had never thrown such a horrific turn of events gashing at my inner soul, that left me pleading for mercy in desperation.  My “normal” life felt like a cruel game, a bad nightmare that had to end.  It seems immature and naive to say it was the worst experience of my life, because in the end it was the best-worst year of my life.  Through the hurt and deceit I would never gotten to know me like I do today.  I would have politely summoned my way through life, demanding nothing of others including respect and truth.  I would have settled with what I had and pretended to remain optimistic that all things would be okay in the end. What might have been a sudden cruel turn of events, had been creeping up on me for years and everyone recognized it but me.  However, any and all warnings would’ve been dismissed into a pit of denial. 

Immediately I began trying to shove anything and everything into the puzzle of my life and try to make it all fit together, allowing me to just put all the pieces together and move on.  I tried repeatedly and failed.  I yearned for a man to fill the void of security was desperately needing.  I lingered for a safety net, and sought out girlfriends who would be honest and truthful.  I should clarify….I had immensely supportive girlfriends and family the entire time, I just didn’t realize it.  What I learned was I needed to diligently find the right pieces and put them into the spaces they belonged.

For the first time I started living MY life.  I wasn’t doing things to beg of others approval.  I wasn’t searching to be someone I couldn’t be, nor was I anxious about fixing everything now and pretending I was okay.  I wasn’t okay.  I had been the brunt of “our friends” jokes, I had been lied to repeatedly by those I thought cared about me.  I allowed myself to fall in love with a complete stranger, and grew comfortable with the dream of “our” future.  I couldn’t eat.  I would think of all the other girls and immediately get nauseous.  The roller coaster of phone calls at all hours of the night kept me sleepless and restless.  And just as I would start getting back up off my knees, I’d suffer another blow to the head, sending me back on the floor.

Yet the specs on spontaneously and randomness slowly seeped into my decision making process. Random trips 3 hours away to see family or friends didn’t seem crazy or unreasonable.  And oddly the return home on Sunday nights to a lonely suburban townhouse seemed uninviting and resentful.  I allowed myself the chance to get out and learn who people were, re-acquaint myself with old friends and former classmates.  It seemed that I was freakishly getting warped into an environment with an eerie calm sense of total confusion. 

I remember bumping into a High School classmate one evening when I was home attending one of my brother’s gigs.  I’d get asked questions about “what have you been up to for the past 10 years?   (that’s a loaded question…no, I’m not married. yes, I went to college & graduated. I have no children. I do have a good job.  I’m not sure if I want a significant other. and I’m not the same person I was in high school.) I knew that I was different than I was in high school, but how would explain where, how, and why I was at where I was.  Did I really want to disclose the fact that I was a desperate 34 year old teacher living in the burbs of Chicago caught in a 26 year old body?  How do you politely avoid some of the not so nice people who interacted with you in high school….but the question I’m still get totally confused on is: How did I end up in Jamacia with a group of 10 people from my home town 3 months later? Somewhere between devastation and Jamacia I ate my words that I once vowed to my mother “I will never live around here again.” Oops.  I like to note that I said that in pencil and so some words can be erased.

Fast forward to 2008.  I’m cleaning out my closet and I come across some pieces to the puzzle that represent the “old Heidi,” some of which I yearn to be in her shoes again (I didn’t mind the size 4 clothes she wore), and others that remind me that I’m right where I am supposed to be.  So the question that led me to this post….When do you get rid of the pieces that don’t seem to fit into the puzzle?  Do I get rid of the reminders and the indicators of who I was then?  For fear of losing sight of how the best-worst year of my life transformed into the new Heidi, I’ve always kept those pieces in my closet, on my book shelf and in my life as reminders to keep my sights in the right direction.  They were my reminders of how those Best “pieces” pulled me through the worst year of my life.  How do I acknowledge the past without it letting me hold me back from the opportunities I am embarking on now and in the future? 

Is it time to get rid of the old favorite jeans?  What about the stiletto heals that remind me of many exuberant evenings out with the girls in the city and the stories we’ll never forget.  Since I have a fiance that is slightly shorter than I and no longer feel as comfortable in those shoes, do I move on to the latest and great fad of flats?  Seeing how my small town is several years behind in fashion trends of the city, it’s almost time to update the wardrobe.  Maybe I’ll start by selling 1 pair of my size 4 jeans that I never really liked anaways and see where the process leads me….I may be back remorsefully testifying my guilt.

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Filed under Deep thoughts, Foregiveness, Let's talk about me!

Sorry, I suck at vocabulary!

It was just brought to my attention that all along I’ve been posting about the fiancee.  Much to my ignorance I didn’t realize there was a difference in spelling for a boy fiance’ and girl finacee’.  Apparently the way I’ve been posting, I’m getting married to a girl, which isn’t the case. I thought all fiancee’s were neutral (or in German it would be neutured) neither feminine or masculine. 

See somebody needs to remind me of my stupidity in the area of vocabulary, spelling, anything relative to words.  I’m not the word whore that all my friends are, but I try.  (At least I wasn’t referring to him as my finances)


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Filed under Foregiveness, Random thoughts