This Thing Called Adulting.

Blank blog posts are always a little intimidating for me because I never quite know what I'm going to say and type for all of you.  Writer's block is lame and it's even more ridiculous when you know damn good and well that you could spew sadness and bitterness, but opt for sunshine and rainbows and let's all find the silver lining together. And so.......here I go.......

Oh!  Before I get deep, let's all sigh at this glorious photo from my last photo shoot with Kel-Z Photography.  We found this great backdrop on Washington in Ogden, Utah and she caught me in the "Ray being silly (aka normal)" moment perfectly.  This is basically my life.  Crazy and really winging it at adulting.  You'd think I would have it figured out by now.  Nope.  But, I digress.  And so.....here I go.....

Life is crazy.  Life is beautiful. Life appears to be unpredictable in our eyes, but in the eyes of God, it is planned just as it is meant to be.  This is a challenging concept for me to swallow tonight.  In case 2015 wasn't without enough adventure, I was thrown a pretty swift curve ball to the gut this week.  I won't get in to details because it's done and I am moving forward, but I will share some musings with you that I've had in the last 48 hours.

Last week I shared some thoughts about the seasons of life and the seasons of mental health.  I also shed light on how challenging it can be for me to deal with the sudden changes and bumps in my ride of life aka adulting.  What does it all mean?  Why does shit happen?  Why do we cry like a sniveling baby with seemingly no control?  I have people tell me, "you're amazing, you're strong, you'll be OK."  I've also thought, "OK, this is super rad blog content, but I'm kind of over it so can we JUST have unicorns and rainbows and cease with the shit storms?"  But, the reality of it is my life is beautiful chaos and a long list of imperfection, but it is MY life.  I've been brewing up some new projects for 2016 and as I thought about how this little bloggy blog and my Instagram started I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the ride.  This has been a healer and a helper for me in so many ways.  But, it isn't just about me!  It's about all of you and your stories and your struggles!  We do this together and I am so grateful.
Our blessings FAR outweigh our burdens and I can feel it.  I came home tonight after going to dinner with my friend and in spite of us saying fewer words that we usually do because we were exhausted after a LONG week of adulting, we both felt better and more at peace with our realities.  I feel MUCH gratitude for the people in my life who get my dry, often dirty humor and jaded Ray outlook on life, but also see the deeply spiritual, authentic thinker and fierce lover that I am.  I could totally be a bitter bitch and hate God and never get out of the trenches of self-shaming, but I'm not doing that.  I am doing all that I can to let my brain process and cope and laugh when I feel like laughing and cry when I need to cry. My dear friend wrote an incredible blog after her son passed away and she often talked about the sunshine promises.  The fact that there is always sunshine after the storm.  That is so so so true.  However, when we are in the dark of the storm, it's sometimes hard to remember, "oh ya!  Rainbows come AFTER the rain and flowers grow better with rain and then sunshine."

When it is all said and done, we will look back on our toughest days and think, "holy crap, I was a master of self control and patience for not killing kittens and puppies while I was going through that mess."  I also know that we will look back and LAUGH when we still have the most important people in our lives because they strolled in at just the right time and didn't leave.  I have a good amount of sadness in my heart right now, but I also have an even greater amount of love and pure gratitude for my tribe of humans who, once again, are carrying me.  We CAN do hard things.  Absolutely we can.  And in the meantime, I'm going to take a nap (or in this case, go to bed before the clock strikes 2 a.m.)

The moral of the story:  Blessings are greater than burdens.  Write it down.  Embrace it.  Believe it. And I'll do the same.

Until next time, my lovelies!


Seasons of Life.

Hey hey, my lovelies!  It’s November!  How did THAT happen?  Wasn’t I soaking up sun in the pool like yesterday?  Sigh.  Winter is creeping its way in to the day-to-day of the ‘hood and it gives me much to be reminded about my love/hate relationship with the next three months at Chez Ray.

I’ve talked about my lifelong quest against that bitch named depression, but I wanted to focus on the seasons of our life in this post.  I’m also very pleased to reveal the fourth and final hair photo of this year’s series with Kel-Z Photography!  Behold straight and crazy hair, polka dots and lying on cobblestone at the Union Station in Ogden, Utah.  Cobblestone, you say?  Yep.  And the answer is no, it is not comfortable, but it looks cool so who cares??
I often forget that there are seasons in my life, both literally and figuratively, that I struggle with more than others.  Transition and change is hard for me. I was raised in a home with parents who valued roots and consistency.  We were all about traditions in our family, meaning we did the same things over and over every year for the holidays.  That proved to be really challenging for me as a young adult because I found myself being depressed because I was forced to spend Christmas Eve alone or not be able to travel home to visit my family.  At some point I finally came to terms with this fact: sometimes we have to do it alone and it’s OK.  Christmas Eve alone didn’t last very long once my family found out and I’ve since spent the holidays with my aunt and uncle and cousins and am never wanting for company during Christmas. 
Figuratively, seasons of emotional health come and go as well.  When I was in organized therapy, there was always this goal to complete the task.  Be done with weekly, bi-weekly then monthly visits.  I felt like I could check off the box and be done.  Therapy – check, double check, here’s my token t-shirt for the road.  However, I was taken aback when my therapist looked at me and said, “it’s ok for you to come back if you need to.  We call them booster visits in this office.”  I laughed it off because I thought I was better than that.  I had put in my time and I was bustin out of this joint.  Wrong.  Within a year, I was back on the sofa with my shoes off and my journal open sharing some of my struggles and getting my booster dose.  I was and still am eternally grateful for my Jennifer and her scrupulous note taking about my jacked up life and even better emotional roller coaster at that time.  I still really hated my reality even though I had just paid hundreds of dollars to get over the other set of crappy realities in my life.  Once I moved to Ogden, I breathed a sigh of relief because I FINALLY felt happy, I loved my neighborhood and I fit in.  I could rest easier beause my life was going to be EASY now compared to what it was in Salt Lake.
My days of unicorns, rainbows and clicking of red shoes in the ‘hood was numbered and I soon had some struggles set in with work.  Wait, what?  This isn’t supposed to be happening.  I just worked in hell at the last place, that can’t happen again.  But, it sorta did.  Ugh.  I pressed on and I took it as an opportunity to create sunshine in a season that was turning out to be a really crappy situation. 
Now fast forward to the last year.  I talked about the journey it’s been in my last post, but I have really felt the seasons of life pass before me in ways that I loathe and love.  I’ve had some life goals in my heart forever that I’ve been able to accomplish in the last couple of months. Along with that I’ve cried some big tears over mistakes and stupidity that appears to be a common denominator with me.  It’s dumb.  I fell APART last week because my lady plumbing appointment, which was grossly overdue, did not go as I had hoped.  I mean, how glamorous can anything with a paper gown and stirrups be?  But, I’ve had super chill appointments in the past and this one threw me off guard.  I lost my marbles in the bathroom and my boss found me.  Oops.  New employee is a sniveling, imperfect mess.  We talked long enough for me to stop sobbing and I tried to recount what had happened.  What finally came out of my mouth was this, “let’s back up this train and remember that I have just been through one of THE most stressful years of my life and apparently I didn’t lose weight in stress this time around.”  Le.  Sigh.  My boss offered some really consoling words about my worth and my beauty and I stopped crying and went back to my desk.  Can we all say it together, “DAMN the seasons of life!”  I was really really upset for about 4 days because my waistline took the biggest hit (besides my pride and my finances) during my unemployment ride.  But, the best part of this is knowing that it is only for but a small moment and I will be OK.  I feel better this week, but holy hell, I was one emotional girl last weekend.  Lame.  I hate it when I’m the girl that drives me the most crazy. 
In conclusion I would like to share a really special video with all of you.  My co-worker’s wife recently embarked on a project that will bring you to tears.  It’s entitled, “1000 words: A Silent Interview on Self Worth” and it takes the viewer on a journey of facial expressions and body language as a group of women and girls are asked questions about their life and the seasons that come and go.  I could hardly believe the power and hurt and emotion that came across as these women displayed their vulnerability.  I have included the video below and I hope you will take the time to watch it with all the women in your life, whether young or old.  The questions that are asked are critical and they remind me that we do NOT give ourselves enough credit, nor do we give others the benefit of the doubt that they might be in a really shitty season of life. 

The moral of the story:  Just like the leaves change and the snow falls from the sky, our lives bring seasons of change that last for a small moment, but still bring beauty and magic to our lives. 

Until next time, my lovelies!