Sometimes it just feels

Hi. Happy Monday. This is sort of a letter to myself. I needed it today and maybe you do too.

12/11/17

Doing really scary things doesn’t always feel scary.

Sometimes it just feels like a bad idea. Like “what was I ever thinking?!” kind of bad.

Sometimes it just feels like an option. Oh, I could do that, but I don’t have to if something else comes up.

Sometimes it just feels maddening. It somehow pops into your every thought and consumes you.

Sometimes it just feels complete, even when it’s not. Oh, at least I started it. Better than nothing! Good enough.

Sometimes it just feels like a tug. Maybe it was your imagination? Could you possibly want this? Surely not.

Sometimes it just feels like butterflies in your throat. Excited? Nervous? Both.

Sometimes it just feels inconvenient. Uncomfortable. Ugh, but it’s soooo much work.

Sometimes it just feels right. And you are still terrified. It’ll be a lot of work. There will be a lot of planning required. There will be bridges to cross and hoops to jump through.

But you must

Go

For

It

Anyway.

To the courageous.

To the wild.

To you.

Three

If you can’t do anything else today, at least do these things:

  1. Appreciate the heck out of the breath in your lungs. Take a deep breath that fills your chest and stomach and then slowly release it.
  2. Smile at anybody. A friend, a coworker, a family member, a cashier, yourself in the mirror.
  3. Give yourself the space to embrace love and gratitude at a magnitude you’ve never before experienced.

Now go party.

Or the storm

When there are dark clouds on the horizon,

When there is the tell-tale charge of lightning in the air,

When the birds flee and the mammals take cover,

You can be one of two things:

The shelter

Or

The storm

I wrote about love

I do not write about love because I do not have the words for it.

I do not write about love because it does not occupy my headspace.

I do not write about love because no piece of paper is deserving of the story I could tell it.

I do not write about love because a man is not the sole reason I smile.

I do not write about love because I loved myself first.

I do not write about love because I continue to strive for more than to just “be in love.”

I do not write about love because no love looks the same.

I do not write about love because I did not fall in love.

I stepped into it. Like the first step into sunlight.

Arms warm. Eyes closed.

I did not fall anywhere.

I stepped and became illuminated.

I do not write about love because it’s something greater than that.

PS Patrick, I love you. I mean, you’re alright most of the time, I guess. Put the dishes in the sink. C u later.

a cry into a void

(A lil poem/prose to try to some up some thoughts I’ve had about our world lately.)

I think we pretty viciously point fingers at those who spew hatred.

We say they are vile, cruel.

Mean, unusual.

We imply that they are the ones who ought to be hated.

All the while marking ourselves as clean and pure. Incapable of such darkness.

We put ourselves on pedestals.

We expect the peasants to bow.

We are the conquerors of this new, wholesome world.

As bathed in blood as the generations of filth who preceded us.

“But we are not them,” we cry.

We fight for the right, just cause.

Just as they believed.

Our weapons? Our words.

Our misguided belief that our negativity is justified.

Not all hatred looks the same.

We’ve been raised, ready to identify any hatred that doesn’t look like our own.

“But we are blameless. We fight the good fight.”

All the while cultivating more hatred. All the while harboring more negativity than ever before.

Our hatred is as diverse as we are.

It looks like gestures, words, laws, ended friendships.

Nearly impossible to see your own.

Even as it covers you like a dark mud.

All are at fault. For contributing to a vicious cycle.

Twist your wrist now. The finger points into your own heart.

Cry if you must. Cleanse the festering wound, covered in haphazardly patched bandages.

Open your palms for unification.

Welcome to a new world.

We are all here to stay.

I Weigh 148 Pounds

Last Friday I had a doctor appointment and was weighed for the first time in ages. As I prepared to step up to the scale, I wondered how I would feel when I saw the number on the scale. Would it be higher or lower since the last time I was on a scale? I would feel surprised in a happy way or sad way? Would it ruin my day or inspire me?

I stepped up on the scale and watched the digits run up to 147.something. Let’s round up to 148. And, for the first time in as long as I can possibly remember, for the first time since I was at least in 6th grade, I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. I wasn’t happy or sad. I was staring at a number. Nothing more. Nothing less. I was eye to eye with a number that only means something greater than being a number if I choose to allow it.

It didn’t occur to me until later that I had just kicked some serious ass in that moment. Let me explain.

For the longest time, regardless of what I said of body acceptance and health and positivity, I wanted the scale to show a lower number. I wanted my body to look a different way. I unknowingly needed those things to feel good about myself. But last Friday was the wake up call I had no idea I needed.

In my brain, in my heart, the tables have turned. I felt nothing standing on the scale that day because joy, fulfillment, love, and meaning come from every other aspect of my life. They come from the parts of my soul that desire to help people and change the world, one child at a time.

My own self-love radiates from the part of me that finds the energy and light to love others. It does not stem from how much my thigh jiggles. Which is a lot. Because it is a thigh. Shocker.

I smile, not from flatness of my stomach, but from the reluctant smile of a student that is too cool for school that I made laugh.

I cry tears of happiness because I have never felt a sense of purpose in my life so much as I do now. My purpose? To be compassionate and empathetic. To spend my energy making an impact. Not on my weight. But on the world.

A scale. A pair of pants. A glance in the mirror. A recipe. They have never made, and never will make, me feel this way.

So yeah, I weigh 148 pounds and am 5 foot 4. For all intents and purposes, it’s overweight. And I don’t have to justify my health status to you. Or to myself. I can feel the health of my body, soul, and heart without any kind of scale.

And make no mistake. For the first time on this blog, I have not been afraid to post about my weight. Because my weight and my worth aren’t tied. Learn that. Live that.

Happy Wednesday, people. Go get it.

Realization

If you’re more concerned with the size of your pants, the filter on your Instagram photo, the way others perceive you than you are with your acts of kindness, your self-love practices, or your relationships with your fellow human beings then take a breath.

Close your eyes. Loosen your shoulders.

And try again.

Happiness is

Coffee with the perfect amount of milk

Sunny bike rides that relax me

Pain-free, sweaty runs

Listening to music that inspires me

Making one of my students smile

Cuddling Patrick when he’s a sleepy butt

Making and eating tasty pasta

Seeing wildflowers on the side of the road

Hugs from my students

Getting stronger at doing push-ups

My puppies’ reactions when I say “outside”

Talking to people I haven’t seen in awhile

Doing a craft and being proud of it

Hanging out with all my siblings

Making Liam and Clara laugh

Getting off an airplane

Finding that really cozy spot in bed

Putting on a sweatshirt when I’m chilly

Finding ripe avocados at HEB

Having a nice exchange with a cashier

Being content being alone

Reading books I really like

Waking up to a good hair day

Sing

Find what makes your blood sing. Then think those thoughts. Breathe that in. Live that life.

Find what makes you stop. What sucks all the air out of you and then fills you up until you’ll nearly pop.

Find what makes joy leak from your eyes. Cry those tears until the beds run dry. Watering the parched earth around you.

Find the sprouting flowers you have nursed. Do not pick them.

For you never know, flowers may just make someone’s blood sing.

(Rando journal entry from me to you)

Love,

Juliana

(Views like this are what makes my blood sing)