Reminders of Loss

The hardest part about loss is the constant reminder that something is gone. The little moments that didn’t used to mean much, but now leave a dark empty hole where they used to be. Little memories create stabbing pains. Like little flashbacks, then the teasing little hurt that comes after reminds you there is now an empty space.

recoveryNothing really helps. Nothing really makes this feeling go away. Distractions ease the pain for a minute, but it always comes back. At least that’s how this is going for me. Start to sleep, wake up and realize it’s not a dream. This really did happen, and the pain isn’t fake. The loss is real. I wish it wasn’t. I wish I could turn back the clock and enjoy the little moments again because someday they will be gone.

Distractions do take my mind of off the suffering for a little while, and I try to do all my favorite things. Watching shows, working, video games, snuggling my dogs, being outside, and enjoying friends’ company only helps for a while until I realize this is real again. The only thing I need is time. I don’t really want to do much of anything. Cuddled up here with my dogs, staring off into space is honestly all I want. I don’t need chocolate or conversation, just company. Seems my dogs all know that. They can’t make the pain go away, but they know I need them to just be here. They’ll lay with me all day without complaint. They won’t try to push to talk about it. I don’t feel like a very good leader for my dogs this week. I can’t be a leader for them right now, I need them to make some good decisions for themselves right now.

Time seems to be moving faster than me. Where did the week go? Last I remember, I was talking about if the prednisone was working.

If I needed to start thinking about options for Napoleon.

If we were at that point yet.

Then, he declined rapidly. I watched as he started to lose his motor function. The light in his eyes went out, and he was telling it was time. He started having accidents in the house. He couldn’t hold his weight sometimes when he was just standing.

Then, he was gone. He was just gone.

soulhurtsNapoleon was a special dog for a lot of people, and I really love that everyone who knew him got a chance to see how special he was. He shared his happiness with the world, helped me through hard times, helped me teach other dogs, and helped clients learn some new techniques as well. It makes me happy to know so many loved and cherished him like I did.

The hardest part about loss is the reminders. I can’t stop thinking about it. My soul has a dark, empty space. There isn’t emotion there. No anger or sadness. Literally, that piece of my soul feels like it died. A little piece of my soul went with Napoleon. He left a little piece of his soul with me, but also took a little piece of mine.

I will heal. With time. But time has to slow down for me to catch up. I feel like it’s moving too fast, and I can’t keep up. I just want to lay here with my dogs until I feel better. Do absolutely nothing until my soul has started to heal. I’m trying to be happy and live, because that’s what he would have wanted. He was a very happy dog.

My heart and my soul hurt so much. But I will heal. I got this….

RIP Napoleon

Nappy and Heather

July 2013

My stomach is in my throat, and tears stream down my face as I’m grieving the loss of one of my oldest partners. Napoleon was my first dog, and my sidekick for the last 7 years. He helped me see the love of training dogs and helped me make the dream of owning my own business a reality. He was my demo dog for my clients and my service dog for working through PTSD. He taught me to be softer and how to ‘wait’ for what I wanted rather than to increase the amount of pressure I was applying. He taught me to trust, and he taught me what the human-dog relationship was all about.

The loss of my dog is that of the same as a loss of a child. An innocent, pure soul who we helped become something in the world. My heart is broken, but I feel it all throughout my body. Words are hard to form, and it’s difficult to get anything done. To find the motivation to even move or talk. This is a deep, deep loss and it feels like I left a little piece of heart in the vet’s office.

Milkbone NappyNapoleon lived with my mom since I broke my foot at the beginning of April ’15. She fell in love with him, just like everyone who met him. He was an amazing friend, and I enjoyed doing everything with him. He was an “American Dream Dog” as one of my client’s described him. After he had some training, he always listened, he was spot on with every command, he was 100% off leash reliable, and was polite with other dogs. I used that example with a lot of my clients because I believe any dog can be your “American Dream Dog” once you achieve this type of relationship with them. This won’t take the dog out of the dog, or change who they are.

I feel I have this type of relationship with all my dogs, but the one I had with Napoleon was different and special because he taught me this was possible. He taught me about living a life with a dog is one of the most fulfilling adventures. He was the reason I was introduced to Heather Beck from K9 Lifeline, and that started my entire journey on the path to becoming a dog trainer.
He stuck with me through flooding in my brand new house, the journey of me figuring out how to handle my PTSD, anxiety, depression, and my bipolar swings. He was there when I needed to get away from the world. He always greeted me like I was the best thing since sliced bread. He went through my divorce with me. I used him to help with evaluations and dogs who needed help. I used him as an example for nutrition, obedience, and behavior stories.

CGCnappyJust like all dogs, he has all kinds of happy, silly stories. I’m trying to remember them all, but the hurt is too much right now. Give me time. I feel this in my bones. My muscles hurt everywhere,  my head is going to explode, and my heart is in pieces. I hurt everywhere and all I want to do is sleep. But I have to be strong. The world keeps turning, and he wouldn’t want me to shut down. So, I’m working. Slowly, but I’m doing what needs to be done, and I’m teaching. I may break down in front of everyone, but I’m not stopping.

I don’t hide how I feel very well because it’s exhausting and takes way more energy than just being honest. So I’m being honest. My heart is broken and I’m on a roller coaster of emotions. I’m raw and fragile and I’m not a rock. I can’t be anyone’s rock for a while. I need to take care of me, and I promised I would be strong.

dirtynappyIf I didn’t make the decision, he would hang on as long as possible to be there for me, and he would be happy about it until the very end, regardless of how he felt. Rob told me Nappy would tell me when he was ready, and so I made the decision that as soon as I “heard” that, I would make a decision and I wouldn’t waiver. So, on Saturday night, he showed me. It was really hard all day watching him, and that night, it was unmistakable. I didn’t know if I would see him again when we went to sleep. I made the decision I would call as soon as everyone had a chance to say goodbye.
NappyHappysept2015This dog was very special, and helped me get over a lot of baggage. And maybe, he did his job. He helped me release a lot of things I was hanging onto and taught me how to handle emotions a little better, how to let things go a little faster, and how to teach everything I learned to others. And I absorbed that information, so his job was done and now it was time his soul went elsewhere and helped others learn.

I don’t believe in a Heaven or Hell. I don’t believe in God or Satan. I believe that when we die, pieces of our souls go where we are most needed. Usually to another broken soul, or to a new life. Napoleon has a pure, happy soul. He helped me realize I am also in charge of my own happiness, and external influences shouldn’t affect my happiness. I am in charge of my state of mind, and I can fight anxiety, frustration, anger, and sadness. I can choose to be happy. Right now, I am choosing to grieve the loss of my friend. Don’t worry, Poly, I’ll be happy again.

I miss you so much, and I’m so happy you chose me for a few years to teach me everything. I’m lucky to have had you in my life. You’re so special, and I hope your soul finds peace and happiness wherever it goes.

I love you, buddy.

Nappy 2013

December 2013

This Old Dog

Napoleon, December 2015

Napoleon, December 2015

Napoleon and Mia -June 2012

Napoleon and Mia -June 2012

It’s never easy when your kids are sick and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s never easy when it’s your dog and they can’t tell you how they feel either. You know they aren’t doing well, but you can’t ask them what’s wrong. Your heart breaks, but you have to be strong for them. They stick with you for everything, and they love you no matter what. You sometimes lash out against them when you are upset, but they love you right after anyway. You teach them how to behave.

So when they are sick and you can’t do anything, it breaks your heart. At what point do you step in and start interfering? In the wild, animals would suffer for days, weeks, months, sometimes years until the reaper finally takes them. It’s “humane” to step in and prevent that from happening, right? Isn’t it? It feels like the “right” thing to do, but you don’t know when it’s the right time to make the call. You don’t know when. Unless they tell you. But listening to them say they are done is painful too. Because then that responsibility is yours alone. You have to take on the choice and make it for them. You would want that done for you, wouldn’t you? To be put out of your pain, or prevent the suffering from getting worse.

The day we brought him home. Fat Napoleon! May of 2011

The day we brought him home. Fat Napoleon! May of 2011

Every time for me is different. This isn’t the first time I’ve been in this position, nor the second or third. I’ve been here a lot. This seems harder for some reason. I’m losing my very first dog. He’s been through a divorce, a horrible breakup, job losses, me starting up my business, the sale of my old home, the purchase of a new one and everything in between, and he’s been my guinea pig for so much that I’ve learned. I made so many mistakes with him, but he was also the reason of why I even got started in the first place. He was my service dog. He got me through an incredibly difficult trauma, but also taught me I can’t use dogs to replace human relationships, and I needed to be strong for him. Weakness in a leader isn’t a good trait. So, I learned to be stronger. I learned how to protect myself, and how to handle my emotions and my bipolar better. I am the person I am today because of what he taught me.

Napoleon and Me

Napoleon and Me – July 2013

I’m watching him get old. Not only just get old though, but literally lose motor function every day. You see it in his eyes. You see it when he looks at you. And I am seeing what he’s showing me. I’m not being selfish here, I’m deciding what I want to do for him. Which course is the right answer for him? What can I do for him to make him happy at this point? The doctor thinks it’s a brain tumor at this point. Called him today and gave him an update on some changes since we started treatment. If it was what we originally thought, this wouldn’t be happening. We thought it was because he had distemper as a puppy. We thought this treatment would help. Every day, I visibly see him getting worse. It’s not a slow progression anymore.

Everybody

Right to Left:
Mamma (RIP), Marshall, Dante, Napoleon, Jinx
Dec, 2014

I want to be fair to him. I want to make the right choice for him. I’m stuck, I don’t know what to do. So I’m getting information. I won’t just give up. I don’t do that. But I want to make whatever decision is in his best interest. And I have a feeling I know the answer, but I’m not ready without all the information. The doctor said to wait until after the weekend so we can see if the new treatment is working. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m waiting. I hate waiting…

Napoleon and Jed

Jed (RIP) and Napoleon, hanging out while I shower.
Jan 2016

Learning to Live Again and Letting Go

It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small. The fears that once controlled us can’t get to us at all. It’s time to see what I can do. To test the limits and break through. I’m never going back. The past is in the past.

Sound familiar? I hope so. If not, you need to update your Disney song library. Anyway, there’s a reason I’m quoting this song. It’s really relevant to my life currently. I haven’t had balance of life and work since before I opened up my company. I haven’t known how, or wanted it. I do now. I’m taking a lot of joy in yard work, playing with my dogs again, doing normal house chores, planning bigger projects, cooking, reading, playing video games, watching shows, and yes-taking weekends. I wish there were more hours in the day, but I would fill them with more things. I’m also learning it’s ok to not fill every second with something and to just sit and not do anything for a while.

I’m setting up more appropriate boundaries with work vs. personal life like business hours and taking actual weekends to not answer client phone calls or emails. I’ve hired someone to help so I can leave town on my days off and not worry about everything. I mean, I still probably will in the beginning, but she’s shown great promise so far. She’ll be great.

I’m learning more about my walls, and where my internal boundaries lie. Some I need to let down, and others I need to adjust when it’s appropriate to keep them. I guess I didn’t realize how deep some of my wounds were. I’ve set up an impenetrable fortress. Some of it is a pride thing, sure. I don’t want to be used, hurt, abused, or used as a stepping stone again. But some of if is totally misplaced and hurts the people I love. I catch myself when I’m riding on a wall, and I’m actively letting it down for specific situations. This is kind of interesting to me because this is totally different for me. I haven’t let my walls down…ever, I don’t think. Learning curve for me.

I’m in a great place, but every once in a while, I get a pang of something I’ve lost along the way. Some things I’ve dealt with, some I haven’t. Small words, images, sounds, smells, sometimes they bring it back. Sometimes, it’s a bunch of things that remind me, and then all of a sudden, it’s like I’m reliving it.

My heart races, I can’t breathe, and all I can think about is going through all those feelings again. I’m carrying it around still. I’ve shoved a lot into a box, and I’m having to go through it now.

Speaking in literal terms, it started with opening up a box. It had reminders of parts of my life I’m needing to move on from. Not necessarily letting go of the death of my marriage, but letting go of a lot of guilt. Things that even though I had no control over, I blamed myself. This is a habit I get into when something doesn’t go as planned. The following few days after I opened that box there were signs that I hadn’t totally forgiven myself, or dealt with some emotions. I was just watching a show, and it hit me. I couldn’t breathe. And I was consumed by guilt and fear, and overwhelming sadness. I didn’t realize right away what it was, I just thought I was having an anxiety attack. (Yeah, I’m being vague, sorry.)

I needed to get away, I wanted to run away from everything. It was too much and I was afraid. Then I realized what it was that was bothering me. And once I realized what it was, I could calm down. I chilled out, I settled, and I also realized I’ll be stuck here unless I set down this baggage and move on. Acceptance. Before, it was flight. Now, I’m avoiding. Because I’m scared. But I don’t want to be in my fortress anymore. Buck up, Buttercup. It’s time to open the metaphorical ‘Pandora’s Box’ and deal with the unbalance, emotions, and really let it go. It’s a good thing. Because it means it’s holding me back, and I’m ready to face it and move forward with what the future brings. Still scary though…

Life is Great!

forestI love my place! That isn’t just referring to the house though! I love the property and the house, and I absolutely love the plans that are starting to form to make it really mine ours. But what I love more than all of that is where I am in my life. I found ME and what that means. Of course, I’ll always still be learning about myself, and how to improve and make life better and more balanced. But where I am, what’s happening, what plans are being made…I’m so happy with my life and where I’m going. And because I’m in that place, I’ve attracted the most amazing person I have ever met and get to share all that happiness and excitement with him. Little things every day remind me how far I’ve come, and where I want to go. I wanted to find someone who could handle my hectic lifestyle and keep up with me, but also slow down and just enjoy each other’s company when we have a few minutes. He’s a perfect match for me. He compliments my strengths and brings out the best in them. He also helps me with the things I struggle with and makes me want to be better. Every day, he silently reminds me I had to go through what I did to be where I am. I would never have been able to fully appreciate him and love him the way he deserves to be loved. I truly see him, and appreciate everything about him. Even doing yard work together is something I enjoy doing with him because we are building this life together. Life is good, and I see it getting even better.

Something I have struggled with since I started my company was the work-life balance. I’ve never actually had ‘balance’, but I never really felt I needed it…until now. I knew it would be tough, but I’m over the “new business struggle” and now I’m an established company who is growing, needs help, and I desperately want to have parts of my life back while still enjoying and loving what I do. I’m now working towards that ‘balance’ that I now realize I need to be happy. Not only do I need this for me, I need this to nurture all the other areas of my life. I devote a lot of time to one area, and another one is neglected. I want to give enough that all areas can grow and be ok. I want to LIVE now that I have sufficient means to do so.

robheatherRecently, there have been many events that have brought the sting of being ‘married to my business’ to the surface. It hurts. A lot. I want to go on vacation; I have to plan months in advance to go. I want to take a day off; sorry… no, you have a company to run. I’m sick; buck up, Chuck. I work anyway or nothing gets done. If I’m not here, I don’t get paid and business stops entirely. I want to take a break; sorry..no. You can’t because then I work until 10:00. I’m hoping with some new plans I have brewing, that will change within the next six months or so. Doesn’t stop the ‘now’ from reminding me there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do everything I need/want to do. But I’m working on it. Patience. I’ll get there. Just keep truckin’.

Also realize I don’t have the ‘unwind’ time from leaving work and transitioning to home. Another battle of the ‘working from home’ mindset. Thinking after I lock up for the night, I need to find a transition activity. Most people’s activity is driving home from work, I need something else. Maybe that’s a good time to go running or biking. Huh..food for thought.

Anyway, haven’t written in a while, and needed to update. So, in short: Life is good. And it’s getting better.

 

What A Wonderful Life This Is

Passionate.

Driven.

Deep.

Motivated.

Productive.

Those are all things that have described me as far back as I can remember. Those are all traits hat I used to build a solid foundation of who I am now.

Balanced.

Happy.

Strong.

Spiritual.

Self aware.

Humbled.

Those are traits I have also become through very tough experiences and I will continue to grow.

Peace.

Harmony.

Learning to be.

These are things I’m striving to continue learning and to be able to teach others. I am not perfect, nor do I have all the answers. But those are things I have started to realize I want in my life in the last few years. I have sorely been missing some balance and enjoying just the moment…until recently.

Mistakes.

Loathing.

Hurt.

Heartbreak.

Loss.

Defeat.

Failure.

A willingness to continue on.

Now, these are things that brought me to where I am.

Emotionally speaking, I crawled on my hands and knees in a bloody, fatigued mess, living off of nuts and berries in the wilderness… alone. However, I wasn’t physically alone. I had support, love, and the motivation of good people urging me to continue. This was a personal journey though, and though I had this support, I needed to do this ‘alone’. The actual event of me closing on my house needed to be done alone. This was a big decision because I was leaving so much behind when I walked out of those doors. Every day since then, I leave a little more behind and continue on with less worry, less stress, and a lot less baggage. I’m lighter and happier every day.

howtobeyourdogsbestfriendAt this very moment, I am sitting on an airplane, on my way to Albany, NY. I start the next step of my spiritual journey in Cambridge, at the Monks of New Skete monastery. They are teaching a seminar called ‘The Art of Living with Your Dog’. I was supposed to attend last summer, but I broke my foot and couldn’t go. So I’m going now, and it’s the perfect time. This is a big workshop, and I have been looking forward to this for a few years. I have butterflies thinking I’ll be sitting in front of the monks tomorrow, learning all they have to offer, in this very magical place. This is a big one, guys. This year is full of amazing things, and I’m drinking it all in. It’s been tough, and now I see how much it’s paid off. Not just the house part… but how much I have grown.

It has been a very, very long time since the last time I felt excited without feeling anxiety. None, despite the last minute emergencies that always seem to happen right when you leave town. No panic, no depression, no fear…and no mania. Just excitement and happiness.

I wake up happy, I’m happy all day, I love what I do, I’m in love with an amazing man who makes me want to be my best, and I go to bed happy. I love my life, who I have become, and I love this feeling of euphoria that I have. I feel like I am living life to the fullest, and I can make anything happen if I want it to. I want to feel like I accomplished something every day. Like I’m a better person than I was yesterday. I feel like I’m doing that. And I’m so happy. “Happy” feels like an understatement. Without sounding like I’m in a manic episode, I’m euphoric. And I can’t believe this is legal to feel this good. But I know I don’t want to feel any other way. I paid my dues, and I’m not feeling the slightest bit guilty about feeling this amazing. I want to say I’m lucky, but I don’t really believe in luck of the draw. I worked for this, I sacrified, I bled, I cried, and I lost. But these benefits… well worth it. I believe hard work pays off, and I deserve to feel this.

I can live in the now, make plans for tomorrow, and reminisce about what I learned yesterday. Today, sitting at the airport for a few hours would normally make me feel miserable. I’m not. I filled my time productively by responding to lots of voicemails, emails, text messages, set up my email accounts, scheduled more clients, and set up everything so when I get back, I am full until July. I’m busy, but not overwhelmed. The work-balance ratio is a constant struggle, but I want to work hard during the work hours, and then enjoy my time off and turn off and relax when I am off the clock.

I have house projects that I’m so looking forward to, I have work projects lined up, I have clients scheduled every day, dogs coming for training, and Rob and I make plans to do all kinds of fun things when we have the time off. Sometimes, that means just playing video games on rainy days. Other days, that means heading up to the mountains and hiking, mountain biking, or camping with our dogs. This is paradise to me. This is what I have wanted for a very long time. This is my idea of balance. This is my idea of ‘just being in the moment’. I’m not worried, I’m not stressing.

What a wonderful life this is. And it will keep getting better. This is one of the hardest things I have ever done. The whole last 2 years, not any one specific thing. And I feel like a warrior.

lovelife

More Than Just a House

Is this real? Is it over? I feel like the battle is done. This war that has been going on for far too long; it’s done. I’ve won. I fought for a cause, and I didn’t give up. I lost so much, but I continued on. Because something inside me told me to keep fighting with everything I had. It told me to fight through the pain, and the loss, and the mistakes, and wade through all the shit because there was something better coming. I lost my way a few times, but never stopped. It doesn’t feel real yet.

I guess it all started when my ex-husband and I decided to get a divorce. That’s when the story of my change started. Once we decided, and I was done, something died inside me, but something was also born. When he had the movers come get the furniture he was taking with him just a few days before our 4 year anniversary, it was finally real. I remember standing in the middle of my living room while they were taking his things and I cried. Everything was moving so fast, yet I was frozen. I cried because I wasn’t only losing a marriage, I was losing my best friend. He would be gone, and I could never tell him my stories anymore. At least, not in the same way. It was a death. The death of a marriage. It wasn’t an easy thing. It was terrible to just say goodbye to a relationship of 7 years. I started my adult life with this man, and I chose to walk away.

Shortly after he left, I was packed up and ready to sell our house. Literally, pictures were scheduled the very next day, and I was having friends over to clean. My stuff was in storage, and I was ready to go. I had a friend who was willing to take me in while I got back on my feet. I was shattered and broken. She was buying a new house, and I was losing mine. She was expanding her business, and mine was going to move to a stand still. My life would be packed up in boxes, and hers would be blossoming in her brand new house. I was jealous, of course. But it was more about me watching my life crumble before me, and seeing her moving in to her new place just made it all the more real.

I found a different friend who was willing to help me out by moving in to the main floor and I would live in the basement. I would live in the guest room of my own house. But I would get to keep my house. I didn’t think it would work because of my business. But we worked it out, and they moved in. Things worked very well for a while. And I cared deeply about every one of them. I still do. I attach to people, and they helped me through a very trying time in my life.

cemetary During this whole time…I made a mistake. A big one. I attached to an inappropriate person and fucked up. Hard. I wasn’t in the right mind, I was hurting and I was vulnerable. I hurt someone incredibly close to me, and I can’t ever fix it. I cope with what I did; I reached out to people who didn’t want my heart, but everything else. I put my heart in a box, and used people to fill a void to make me feel like I was beautiful, needed, important. I did this in all the wrong ways. I was using people. And I didn’t care, nor did I know it at the time. And then I found someone who caught me. I didn’t realize at the time, but I was caught in a brand new web of fucked-uppery. It wasn’t like that the whole time…or so I thought. Information came to light later where I realized there was a lot more going on than I originally thought. I was used and manipulated in the worst way.

I gave my heart to him. I gave him the whole damn thing. Every piece of who I was, I gave it away eventually. I wasn’t me anymore, I was a lost, broken soul, but I didn’t know it until much later. I unhealthily attached and became a co-dependent. Never thought in a million years I would be that person, but I was so lost, and I was enabled to continue being that way. Then, I broke my foot. Any bit of independence I had was gone, and I relied even more on him. I was literally useless and totally at his mercy. I was miserable, but trying not to be. I was fighting so hard to stay positive, even though I felt like a worthless sack of shit all the time. I was in pain, my mental stability was one of insecurity and dark thoughts. But I fought it with whatever inner strength I had.

Eventually, the relationship fell apart when I started to get back on my feet (no pun intended, but go ahead and take it that way). I was devastated and had no idea why it happened. I could get into details, but it doesn’t matter. What matters was that my soul was destroyed. I was betrayed in nearly every way. I needed a fresh start; I had too much baggage. So I decided to sell my house as quickly as possible and start over. I started fixing it up. I was insane manic for weeks… no, months and I used it to do house projects. I learned so many new skills, I faced so many of my fears, I met new friends, I started getting out and doing things for myself again. I felt empowered and felt like myself again.

It was about this time I decided I would never let another person take my independence. I will never lose myself like that again. I want to share my life, BUILD a life with someone, but never will I give away my pieces again. I want to build the puzzle together with both our pieces. And I never want to waste my time on something that is fake again. I want real and I want to build that god damn puzzle, even if that means we’re missing pieces sometimes, and we have to use glue, gum, and duct tape. I would rather have that than a fake fairytale. Anything else isn’t worth it. This was a milestone for me in my ‘recovery’.

I sold my house. I found a temporary place to go. I thought it was safe for my business and myself. I was sorely mistaken. It was alright for a while. Until it wasn’t, then it was a nightmare. The house I was going to put an offer on fell through. My temporary place was now looking like I needed to stay there longer. I kept looking at houses, and more and more properties were falling through for one reason or another. I had been looking for months, but nothing was going right for me. City laws, building codes, permits, the property was already sold, problems with legalities, ‘gentlemen agreements’ gone bad… One thing after another was falling through, but I managed to keep a smile on my face for the most part and kept on truckin’.

I had to move out due to a variety of complicated, stupid reasons. I have a client who has become a friend, who offered me some help. She thought it sounded so silly, but said I could live on her property until I figured something out. I graciously accepted. It was a loft in the tack room on her horse property. She has a beautiful house and a lovely little ranch with a chicken, cats, dogs, horses, and a really cool deer skull. I accepted and cried later. I was almost going to be living out of my truck for a few weeks, and she provided me a much better option. Though I have been homeless, it’s more a mental state of mind than physicality. They are a wonderful family and each and every one of them has a beautiful soul radiating with love and warm, inviting vibes. This was just where I needed to be at the moment. I hope I can help them as much as they helped me once I am able to.

I found a place and was under contract. I thought this was it…Until it fell through days before closing. I was crushed, yet prepared because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. And it did, so I started looking for houses again. Found another one, and was under contract with the new one THAT NIGHT. Negotiations, buyer’s agreements, paperwork where you sell your soul and your first born child, inspections, appraisals… you know the drill. It all finally went through. And we are set to close on Monday of next week. It’s not real until I sign those papers, but I feel like this time… it’s different. This time, this isn’t a dream. In my mind, I feel like the house is already mine, and I’m talking about the yard, and my plans, and I’m telling people. I have asked for help moving, and on all the other ones, I didn’t feel like making any set in stone plans for people to help. I do on this one. This one feels like me. This one feels like it’s the one. Though, I’m still cautious and careful because I have been so burned in the past.

So, here I am. Days before closing, and I’m being as still and silent as I can, to not interrupt the universe at work here. I don’t want to scare the very fickle ‘deer of a deal’ I have going on here. I’m making sure all my ducks are in a row. I’m doing everything right and by the books, so this can go through. I have worked so hard, and here I am. Final days.

homeThis is more than a house.

This is a new beginning.

This is a new start.

This means I am free of the baggage I have been carrying around.

I can let go, I can move on, and I can build again.

This is so much more than just a house.

Walks of Life

As I sit here, bundled up for warmth in all my heavy clothes and blankets in the loft of my friend’s tack room, I caught myself thinking about the paths of life. How do we all end up where we do? What choices, traumas, and sacrifices did we have to go through to get where we are? And why do some people seem to never ‘grow up’?

I’ve been contemplating this since yesterday, and it seems it’s because of what they have had to go through and what they learned in those experiences. It doesn’t always mean that person is going to come out the other side with good morals, understanding, love and patience. Sometimes it means they will come out hardened and unwilling to ever let anyone in again for fear of getting hurt. It’s an effective defense mechanism, can’t argue that as I have also been in those situations and chosen that path at one point or another. Sometimes, the experience they went through is incredibly strong to them, but not to others. What others’ think of them starts to weigh, and then they think they are being ridiculous and their self esteem drops because no one understands. Something so small can trigger a change and start to form a behavioral pattern of choices. This is how the individual starts to cope with stress, trauma, anxiety, things they don’t understand, and others’ emotions. Instead of being sympathetic, they may be condescending, or avoid it altogether. All this does is cause more and more damage. The root of the problem is never being addressed, and it will continue to build up until a change is made. History has a tendency to repeat itself until we learn how to change it. I’m always trying to change mine.

chakraSo, circling back around to my current situation. I have been a ‘gypsy’ for most of the year, and have been relying on friends’, family, and calling in every favor possible for the last few months. I have been scammed, hurt, defeated, stolen from, emotionally abused, lied to, conned, broken, and totally let down at every corner. So, what is my pattern? When did this start? How can I change my path? The common denominator is me. Not what others have done to me. Why do I attract this type of attention? I want to be in a stable environment, I want to calm down my life, and I want to get back to business as usual, and above all, I want to attract more positive, happy energy. For now, I’m being emotionally still. I don’t have many clients this week, nor dogs coming to me for daycare, boarding or training, so I’m taking the time to be still and observe and listen to what the universe is trying to tell me. What lesson am I meant to learn here?

It’s been on my mind lately for a variety of different reasons, but I think this is what I need to work on in order to achieve the happiness/positivity goal I really want in my life. Calming down my energy instead of letting it boil over and affect everyone else seems so daunting because I don’t know how yet. I’m just learning how to contain and balance all my chakras, which is very hard when I’m in the thick of it. So, I’m relying on my healer friends to help direct me to balance and teach me how to protect myself from others’ energies, but also how to help others and their own if I can. I don’t do energy healing work, but I’m a huge believer in the fact they do exist, and you can pick up toxic energy from anywhere. With the type of personality I have, I do pick up everyone else’s, especially the people close to me. I take it all, and I don’t know how to release it. This is my responsibility to learn how to do this to protect myself. I’m learning about shielding and which of my chakras get out of balance most regularly. When I found out, it didn’t surprise me. I was beaten down, hurt, and my baggage was too heavy. Since I don’t know how to remove the weight, it affects my psyche. I want to learn to clear this.

I have been conditioned to not trust, to be guarded, to expect disaster at some point (waiting for the other shoe to drop type attitude), and to focus on other peoples’ problems besides my own because it doesn’t hurt as much. I expect to get hurt at some point. Not just talking about relationships, but actual experiences. I take it all until I can’t anymore, and then I break down and collapse. I get back up, and I do it all over again. Which makes me strong because I don’t give up. I don’t know how, literally. I have to keep going, and I have to keep moving forward in all things. My experiences have taught me to keep going, but instead of at breakneck speed and looking before I leap, I’m cautious and more guarded and flighty than I’m used to. I take a step closer, and timidly take a step back for fear of losing it. Every time, I get a little closer, but in my experiences, every time, it’s ripped from me. So, I’m going in with an emotional arsenal. The Heather Militia, my boyfriend so lovingly named it, hehe. I could, again, lose this. So, if I do, I’m not doing anything without a fight. So, I’m emotionally preparing for war, I guess. And to me, that means the calm before the storm.

The Wall

Hangry. Raw. Emotional failing. I’m running into wall after wall. I wanted to believe I’m going in the right direction, but now I feel as if I’m just going in some random direction, and not going anywhere. I’m wandering aimlessly. It feels like I have literally lost which way I’m going, and I’m pissed because I realize I have no idea which direction is up. I’m lost and frustrated and just want to go “home”.

I feel like I’m failing because I should be stronger. I should be keeping it together, instead of being a needy bitch baby who’s calling in every favor in the world to all who I care about. If I was stronger, I could do this. I’m falling apart. I’m lying on the floor of this studio wondering how this happened and the tears won’t stop. My heart won’t stop racing, and I have no idea what to do or how I got here, and why have I not learned whatever lesson I’m meant to learn. I’m juggling too much and my emotional muscles are giving out. I’m fatigued. Am I meant to give up? Am I meant to keep fighting through this? I don’t know what to do.

My body hurts, my brain hurts, and I want to shut down. I want to slow down, I want to stop. But I can’t, and I’m literally hitting that wall. The wall where your body just can’t take anymore. In training, I’ve been here so many times. And now I’m here emotionally. Again. I always get up, and the feeling is temporary, I know. “Don’t make a permanent decision because of a temporary problem.” Yeah. I know. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it.

I’m tired and I’m done. And the monster inside me is screaming to get out. This is when I don’t have the energy or mental strength to stop it anymore. So I’m letting it happen. I’m not stronger than my demon today. I’m overwhelmed and I feel beaten. So go for it, you demon. Do your worst, I’m wide open.

“Enjoy the journey” they said…

strength“Enjoy the journey” they said… “It’ll be fun” they said. Well, I say “Are we there yet?!” It’s like I’ve taken a cross country trip across Uganda… with a brand new pair of roller skates because that’s my style. This journey I’m on doesn’t just have speed bumps, I’m off roading with my roller skates. And I’ve fallen and gotten bloodied up, but I always seem to get back up quickly and keep going. I’ll never fall on that same bump again, though.

I can’t give up. I can’t stop. But I am trying to let go of the things I can’t control. Things have a way of working out when they need to, and as much as I can’t wait for all this to be over, I feel like I’m supposed to be going through this. To teach me something. And boy, have I learned.

I’ve learned about myself and what I want in my life. Who I want to be, how I want to treat others, and what is important in my life. I’ve learned to live lightly and enjoy the living, not the stuff or the money. I’ve learned to appreciate people and their hardships a lot more. I’ve learned to listen, not wait to react to what they are saying. I’ve come a long way, but I’ve also learned how unbalanced I am. I mean my energies and some emotional things I haven’t quite gotten over. There’s some unfinished business I need to address to be able to fully move on and be truly happy with myself. I’m not sure where it happened or where I picked it up, but I need to address it so I can be balanced and happy again. It feels like I can’t really work on this until I have a ‘home’. So I’m sitting on it until I can work through it. I need to learn to set down some of this baggage and walk away. It’s starting to get awfully heavy.

Something else I’m starting to learn is what ‘taking the time…every time’ means. Not only in dog training, but in life. I’m trying to not miss the little moments. However, I’m also learning when I need time for me to decompress and NOT take the time for that ‘opportunity’, but to take the time for me. It’s not about vacations or time off, it’s about the little moments every day where you take time for yourself and appreciate who you are. I’m proud of myself and for who I am. I have made mistakes, and I have learned so much from them. I’m happy. Even though my life has been chaotic for the last several years, it seems… I’m still happy. I’m happy because of who I am and where I’m going.

upsidedownWhen I talk to people who have gone through similar journeys, it shows in their eyes. You feel the energy change to a deep, loving, understanding vibe. And they listen to you. There isn’t much they can do to help you with this internal battle, but they get it. And you have their support. That feeling makes me feel like I’m not doing this alone. This is my fight, but having that support gives me the strength to keep fighting and becoming a stronger person. I feel like he’ll let me do my thing, and if I fall, he’ll catch me and then tell me to get back up and do it again until I succeed. I need that. I need him. (There, I said it.. in a blog.. that counts, right?)