Burned Out

I have been going, going, going for far too long. I’m tired, and I rarely enjoy any of the things I can really enjoy when I’m not so tired. I’m just so tired all the time. Things that are fun should be relaxing and help me recharge. But when I’m doing hobbies or trying to unwind, my mind is racing with all the things that I haven’t done.

I am trying to focus on the things I HAVE done instead of everything I HAVEN’T done, which is lot on both ends of the spectrum. I graduated high school with a 3.95 a YEAR early. I graduated college with my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science when I was 20. I bought my first house when I was 21. I opened up my own business when I was 24. I was successful and quit my full time job when I was 25. I am a successful business owner and bought my second house when I was 28. I have been homeless (in a sense). I have felt love and heartbreak. I have felt loss. I have felt failure and success. I have seen death and also new life. I have built the life I have now on a dream that I made come true. I am proud. I sacrificed to make the dream come true. I missed out on so much because I was building this. There was light at the end of the tunnel. It’s there, I’m in the light now. My business is self-sustaining and now I have too much business for just one person. I have for quite a while. It’s taken over.

overwhelmedI see it like mint. My boyfriend taught me how to plant vegetables and herbs. I learned how to keep it alive and how to nurture it and meet its’ needs so it can thrive. I learned what a struggle looks like, and I learned to love our plants. Now, back to mint. It’s a hearty plant that takes over. At first, I was worried about it growing at all. I thought I would kill it. So I took care of it, watched over it, loved it. Now, it’s taking over our planter box. I can’t keep up with it. It’s going to take over everything else in the box because it’s just growing all over everything. My business has taken over every area of my life, and now I need to prune it. Trim it back, and let the other areas have a chance to thrive too.

I know exactly what I need. I know what jobs I need help with. But it’s taking the time to train someone else and get them up to speed that takes away even more time that I don’t have. Training directly under me…someone should be paying me to teach them what I had to pay for. I need a student. “Dog Trainer Seeks Apprentice”. Too many have phased out. This life isn’t for them. They can’t handle the stress, or the intensity. It’s too hard, it’s too stressful, and it takes over. Too many people think they want this life, but they don’t. It’s not easy. It’s not playing with puppies all day. It’s mentally challenging, physically exhausting, and emotionally draining. You get attached, then it gets ripped away. You get frustrated when your clients can’t do what you can do. It’s not a realistic expectation for them to do what you do. You have to constantly remind yourself people aren’t being stupid… they just don’t know.

On a personal level, I sometimes don’t feel good enough for the other areas of my life. I feel like I fall short. Like, other people could do a better job than I could. Like I hold them back from better things. I’ve spent too much time building this business-life that I’m retarded in other areas to the point where I will always fail. I don’t voice it because I’m ashamed. Ashamed of not being better. Of not being able to perform as excellently in all areas of my life as I do in my business. I’m a phenomenal dog trainer. I’m an excellent teacher and coach of people who need help with balancing their dog. But balancing my life it seems I constantly fail. I feel like I’m spinning out of the control and I can’t catch the string of my life that is floating away. I’m watching it, but I can’t catch it. It’s going too fast. My lungs can’t get enough oxygen, my muscles are sore, and the space between my fingertips and the string is getting bigger and bigger.

I tried to balance. Work hard, play hard. I scheduled time off MONTHS in advance so I could enjoy a weekend here and there without dogs. One weekend a month. 12 weekends a year, I wanted to enjoy a couple days off. Even if that just means staying home, but only having our dogs. Day hikes, trips to visit my family (It had been 4 years since I had visited my dad at home until June of this year). I’m feeling pretty upset since this probably means I will need to work and miss my boyfriend’s friend’s wedding in Georgia, miss his birthday weekend, miss rock hunting, breathwork energy classes, parties, holidays, family get togethers, hanging out with friends because I’m too tired, camping.. etc.

I need about 4 more people besides myself to run the business where it’s more self-sufficient than it already is. I dream so big that in order for me to do everything, I need 4 people here, and then I need me. I have such big plans and wants in my life that it’s overwhelming for me to think of more than just today. And then when I do, I don’t want to do anything because it’s too much.

I don’t feel good enough. But for me to be better, I need more energy. I feel like I’m failing. I feel like my needs are being met and I’m being selfish. I do my best, but I feel like it’s not enough. I’m not enough, but I’m too much at the same time.

Where the Heart Is

I have been working on this post for a few days now, and I was hesitant to post it. But this is a safe place for me, and I can be vulnerable. Don’t like it, don’t read it.

I am currently reading and studying a book called ‘Captivating’ by John and Stasi Eldredge. It is about understanding a woman’s needs, wants, and hormones. It is confusing being a woman sometimes, and it is incredibly frustrating. So many women suffer from the same thing. We have needs and wants, but we feel ashamed to voice them. Have you ever felt like you aren’t good enough, but too much at the same time? I do every single day. This book is part of my rehabilitation program and so I have started reading it.

A quote from the book that really spoke to me that made me think deep about myself… “How can a woman be confident, scandalous, and beautiful, yet not portray herself as a feminist Nazi or an insecure I-need-attention emotional whore? How can I become strong without becoming harsh? How can I be vulnerable without drowning myself in my sorrow?” That is the question, isn’t it?

The expectations that society has on women is ridiculous. We are never good enough, but we are too much at the same time. This doesn’t immediately make sense, but think about it. I’m not understanding enough, not kind enough, not fit enough, not pretty enough, not stable enough. But then.. I’m too sensitive, too needy, too emotional, too selfish. I feel this way on a daily basis. The result of this thinking… shame about ourselves. We’ll never measure up. I want to be perfect, and I’m far from it. And I feel it every day. I didn’t realize until I actually sat and thought about how I view myself. I’m ashamed. I should be better. I should be “X”. If I was a better woman, this wouldn’t have happened. If I wasn’t so sensitive, if I looked like her, if I wasn’t so busy, if I … blah blah blah…

I will never be good enough. To who? Why does it matter what ANYONE else thinks? Why have I given someone else so much control? I want to be good enough for me. And part of the process is figuring out what I want in my life. This a huge question. But also, not only what I want, but who I am. Who am I? Ok, I’m a daughter, sister, friend, dog trainer, etc. But those are all titles. Who am I at my core? I’m on my journey to figure that out.

strongwoman I’m opening up and saying some of the things I want. I want to be precious to someone. I want to be romanced and chased. I want to be sought after. Noticed and seen, wanted. I want to be important. To be a priority. To be fought for. To matter. To be enough. To be loved unconditionally through all my imperfections and flaws. To be beautiful. To have someone who would give me the world if I asked for it. I want to be seen for me and have someone think “Wow, she’s amazing.” Because I am! I have worked hard to be where I am, and the things worth anything require work and dedication and commitment. This isn’t me saying I need someone to give me everything or I won’t be happy. I am very independent and don’t need anyone. But I long for it. And it’s even more crushing when you thought you had all that and it was ripped away from you.

But ordinary people don’t have this. This is for heroines, damsels in distress, and queens in storybooks. We don’t get our fairy tale happily ever after ending. I want this, just like every other woman. I am embarrassed to write this, but this is part of my recovery. Why do I feel ashamed to want these things?  Why does it make me feel foolish or stupid? Because the idea of this has been abused and shamed in society. Either women need to be more submissive and focus on the home life, or they need to be less sensitive and buck up. Women of all kinds of backgrounds and personalities struggle with this concept. They aren’t enough, or they are too much. They have lost a sense of what it means to be a woman, and what it means to know who you are.

Beauty has been distorted and is no longer pure in the world. Society has changed the way we view ourselves, and made our expectations unmeetable. We watch TV, see things online, see things in magazines that have been altered or changed. It damages our self esteem and how we see ourselves. THAT, what we see, is how we are supposed to look and act, right? I mean, that’s what everybody wants – THAT. Not us. Not me. Not the ordinary girl with an ordinary job with an ordinary life. So how can any of us ever be happy with knowing that? We aren’t good enough, we can’t be that, so why do we try at all?

As said in the book, the deep desire to understand the heart of a woman and to express these desires causes much pain and suffering if those needs are thrown back in our faces or ignored. I know I want to put this damaged heart into a box and never open it for anyone. I hate I want any of these things. But then again, part of my recovery and rehabilitation is to learn how to express what I want and figure out who I am at the core. So, I’m accepting I may sound foolish and stupid. And I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. Which is why I started my blog in the first place. To share, to help, to understand, and to educate.

Anyone interested in this book can buy it on Amazon for pretty cheap. I’m taking my time with it, and this was just the first chapter. All these thoughts came from reading it and I’m also doing the workbook. There is one for men as well called “Wild At Heart” (which women-it’s good to read this one too and understand the heart of a man as well. That’s next after this book for me).