A week ago I was on the beach attending a retreat. It was the end of a week of yoga, meditation, walking, healthy food, massages, working out, bare feet, sharing, honesty, acceptance, sleep, tequila, playing in the waves, and being around inspiring people.

I had this planned for about a year and it came at the perfect time. (Well, it would have been more perfect if it had come a week earlier before I pissed off someone I care about, but that’s another story for another time.) I was disappointed in myself. I felt stupid. I had made dumb choices when I knew better. I relearned lessons…again. I was desperate to not have been so damn foolish. I needed a retreat. I needed TO retreat. I waved the white flag at my life and my crazy mind then threw some bikinis, my “ No Shoes Nation” cap, and my yoga mat in a bag and got on a plane.

It did the trick. I headed home ready to take on the world…and my mind. A scratched, itchy toe my only ailment.

But by the time I got back to reality I had started biting my nails, my scalp itched from stress-induced psoriasis, and I had a desire to binge. My self-punishing coping mechanisms were still intact.

I thought I needed to just rest my sore had-been-walking-on-sand ankle. But it still bothers me more than a week later.

The next morning I couldn’t bite down because my jaw hurt from grinding my teeth.

By that evening I felt bursitis pain.

A couple of days later the sore throat and runny nose began.

Then the cough and congestion.

Followed by a rash.

Within a day my mind had reverted. So within a week my whole body was revolting.

It was quite quickly obvious I need to change my life and myself. But moving to Mexico and living in a rustic casita while someone makes me gourmet food and I walk on the beach isn’t a realistic option right now.

I gave myself a day of rest. Which became a forced week of what felt like punishment. I hear myself loud and clear. (I mean I DO tend to go over the top in my efforts to be understood by others. I guess I’m the same when it’s just me listening.) So now I am figuring out how to have that beach brain and body–I’m not referring to one that looks “good” in a bikini–no matter the weather nor surroundings. And how to change where I am and what I do to rise so my body doesn’t revolt.


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This started out as a note to an individual person. But then I realized it wasn’t just about us, it’s about all my relationships and life in general.

I’m at a place where (although sometimes I momentarily forget) I am true to myself and honest with others. I can be overwhelming. I can be confusing. I can be frustrating. But having me around is still totally worth it. I’m not a typical girl, and I don’t need to be. I’m not asking for anything, but also know what I want.

I want slow and sensual. I want connection and touch. I want fun and kink. I want mess and fierceness. I want honesty and reality.

I want to help and be supported. I want to teach and learn. I want to share and be introspective. I want to forgive and be understood. I want to be uninhibited and accepting.

I want to be wanted.


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When I moved a few years ago, it was a pushing of the reset button. And not some random will I end up among the dinosaurs or stars unknown reset. It was to a specific time and place for specific needs and wants. And, damn, did I have plans! I was going to take over the world…or at least Dallas.

Even though I’m kinda old, you’ll recognize me from your Child Psych 101 textbook. I need to feel safe and secure—and have the knowledge I can return to that place—in order to venture out and kick some ass. I didn’t feel that. I felt like I was standing on a figurative ledge, just waiting to be pushed off. So the me kicking ass didn’t really happen. And after the (maybe self-fulfilling) push finally happened I obviously felt, and was, less safe and secure.

There was no reset button available this time. Just standing (and at moments curling up in the fetal position), dazed. And then moving. Just moving, somewhere, anywhere. There’s no safe, no secure to be found. Not in a place nor in a person.

Except wherever I happen to be at the moment. And myself.

So all those things that make me me, yet I somehow find scary? I’m starting to do them. And I’m regaining my sense of safety and security in them happening instead of for them to happen.

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My life just ain’t workin’ for me. So, it’s time for a change. But the thing is, this life that isn’t what I want it to be is the result of a change. I know what I want, just not how to get it…obviously.

Living in a cute, comfortable little house with a yard for gardening, room for a big table where friends and I can eat and play, a decent kitchen in which to bake and keep my sangria cold. Grabbing a drink, laughing, and chatting with a friend. Listening to music, reading books, watching movies and TV. Going a little wild at concerts and sporting events with people. Spending time in nature and on my mat. Learning, traveling, museuming, sharing. Helping animals and kids. Taking care of someone who takes care of me. Feeling wanted and worthy. Being financially stable.

I don’t expect to get this magically by moving or taking a class or meeting a certain person. (Well, I did at one time, but not anymore.) I do expect it will take work and learning and difficult changes and temporary sacrifices. I was willing to all that with this most recent change/try, and I did. And it didn’t work. There are no promises in life. I get that. But I’m also tired of false hopes and misplaced trust. I know how and where I can get some of those things on my list. Like, for sure get them. So do I just retreat and accept that life? Or do I keep searching for a place and way I can have a life that has all of the above?

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Hindsight is a bitch.

It pretends to be a friend, knowledgeable and understanding. But it’s really worse than Regina George. Making you feel stupid and foolish.

It’s supposed to help you learn, make better choices in the future. But for me, it’s paralyzing. I try to learn my lesson, I really do. I apply what I’ve realized. I make a different decision than I did the last time. And then hindsight shows me how wrong I still was. Even with the brilliance of hindsight I end up hurting myself. It just ends up making me feel like an idiot and doesn’t provide assistance to actually make things better in the future. So as I sit here with all my 20/20 hindsight attempting to make a big decision, I realize it’s not helpful at all.


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In my life I have only felt completely comfortable with two people: my father and my ex-husband.

People scare me. The first panic attack I remember was in my kindergarten classroom. My mother has so many of stories of my fits when she tried to take me places: gymnastics class, to see Santa Claus, eating at a restaurant. I either was a total brat or just shy, depending upon whom you asked. But I wasn’t really; at the least I was completely uncomfortable and at the most I was uncontrollably terrified. No one understood. And I couldn’t express why.

My social phobia was debilitating when I was a kid. So many plans ruined because I couldn’t make myself leave the house, go out in public, nor even visit a friend. And the phone? That was at least as bad as talking to someone in person.

My father spent hours rehearsing with me, planning what to say in a given situation. We’d sit in kitchen chairs, holding our hands to our heads pretending they were phones while having possible conversations. It was the only way I could make a call. Sometimes even that wasn’t enough.

I was “sick” for so many parties and outings while I was growing up. My version of sick was having a panic attack, refusing to leave the house while my mom got pissed and my dad begged/pleaded/threatened. Until then one of them would finally be forced to call and cancel plans. My ex-husband actually took over this horrible, unfair job later.

Now it’s less debilitating, but I am still scared to go out in public or to talk on the phone. I just have worked so hard for so long that I can usually make myself do it anyhow.  I never feel like I fit in. I almost always feel self-conscious. I so want to be liked that I try too hard. Which comes across as very unlikable.

I know. Because I often don’t like myself. I don’t like being this way; I don’t like being scared and feeling foolish. I want to be fun and serene and easygoing and light hearted. But then sometimes I wonder, “Who do you think you are to deserve to be those things?!”  You know when I said I’ve only felt completely comfortable with two people? I wasn’t accidentally forgetting myself.

I’m still working on being comfortable with me.

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When my ex and I lived together I always had at least 45 good minutes a day. From 5:30 to 6:15 weekday evenings. No matter what came before nor happened after, those were content moments, sometimes the best of the day. I’ve thought about and discussed this before and labeled my feelings as excitement. I’ve been ruminating on this today (because it’s been just that kind of day) and had a realization: it wasn’t excitement, it was hope. My ex came home from work at 6:15. I spent the time before hopeful that he would be happy to see me. That I would be pleasing and pleased. That our evening would be nice. That it would be a turning point or a restart. During those 45 minutes my life had the possibility of being how I wanted it, how we planned it. And not sometime/somewhere down the road but that night, at dinner. I miss those minutes. I miss that feeling of hope. I’ve been trying to find it in other moments, but nothing has quite replicated it.


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