Bodily Betrayal

My body has started taking me hostage. My anxiety is playing along.

For the past four years, around Autumn, I start getting dizzy and maybe even fully passing out. This year, it happened early– around August. I thought I was done for the year until last Friday, when it happened again. I was with a client, to make it extra scary and embarrassing. I went to Urgent Care, just to see what my vitals were, and everything was fine!

I took the next several days off, since it was the weekend anyways. But today started my workweek. Everything looks great, I should be making some good money this week. But my very first massage appointment, this morning at 10, and I was out again.

I don’t know if my anxiety is making it worse. I don’t know why I keep passing out. I don’t know what my body is trying to tell me, and to make it all worse– I don’t have health insurance AND I’m stressed out about money.

None of it is a good combination. I feel like my body is betraying me. Not that I’m great at treating her wonderfully, but somehow, she’s decided that enough is enough I guess.

I don’t have any point to this post except that I keep wanting to write, and I keep not being able to massage, which is my only source of income right now. And I think, too, if you’re out there, and your body is betraying you right now too– I hear you. I’m sitting on my couch, worrying about bills, questioning my life, wondering what is going to happen. And I hear you.

Lately

Something just whispered in me it’s time to create your own content. But I don’t really know what that means– except it’s time for me to write. I often feel inadequate– what do I have to say? Why add another voice to the collective? Isn’t someone else out there going to say it better?

Well, probably. To be honest. But I still feel a pull to write my own things. Post my own pictures. Fill up a space with my thoughts. Maybe engage with a few people along the way.

Recently, I’ve taken a food photography class (I’ll share photos and a writeup later), I took a quick trip up to Michigan to see dear friends, I bought a camera off of my roommate, I bought MORE cookbooks, I signed up for more classes, I have become obsessed with certain podcasts, and I passed out at work again.

This all sounds like a lot to brush over in a single paragraph. But I’ll plan on elaborating on them at later dates. Suffice to say, I have a lot percolating. Maybe a lot to say? Maybe I’ll realize that the more I say, the more I’ll have to say– that I won’t run out of words or ideas like my fears tell me I will.

Today, I’m taking it easy. I’ve had a rough few weeks. But also inspiring. I’m not beating myself up for taking a day off (she tells herself firmly). I’m listening to my body, because it’s been screaming. I’m sitting on the porch and petting my cats and thinking about what’s for dinner.

How is your Wednesday?

Life Self-Employed

Sorry for the accidental hiatus last Friday! Last week was my first full week of DOING MY OWN THING and the days sort of got away from me. First, I took a four day vacation (something I never do) to see friends, then I watched my adorable baby niece, and then… I just worked. In my first week full-time massaging, I did 12 massages. Which felt like a pretty good confirmation that– It’s all going to be alright.

But– I am doing pretty badly about the whole schedule thing. I thrive on schedules. So I have been going to bed at a decent hour and waking up… never. Why is waking up so hard? How do people bounce out of bed with hours to spare? The constant rain recently hasn’t helped, either. It all feels like time to nap for me!

I’m not sure actually how to get out of this. I’m working and doing those sorts of things, but things like… say, cleaning my house, or mowing my yard… well, it’s getting left behind in only the way it can with me sleeping on my couch.

I think one of my solutions is coffee. (I mean, what? HOw could that be a solution?) Hear me out. I normally didn’t drink coffee at home on my days off before. A day here or there without coffee, well it hurt, but I could manage. But I AM up early every morning for kitty breakfast and I think I need to just start throwing coffee down my throat at that point– no going back to sleep for me!

But more than anything, what I’ve been reminding myself today is to give myself grace. No name-calling. No chastising. No hating on myself because I was extra tired or didn’t get the yard mowed before it rained (again). Things will come. Schedules and routines will be built again. Yes, I need to put in effort towards that. But when I have a day when it all seems like a failure– that’s okay! I just needed that time off.

Back to getting things done– how do you self-employeds do it? How do you wake yourself up? What is your motivation? What names don’t you call yourself?

My Dad’s best advice

I have a great relationship with my dad. We are pretty much the same person (though I do have a bit of my mom sprinkled in, too. I’m just a walking paradox.) Even in my angsty teenage years, I would sit and talk with him for hours. We’re not big phone talkers, but get us in a room together, and we’re going to hash out life, we’re gonna try to solve the world’s problems, we’ll probably yell a bit (we don’t exactly agree on how to solve everything), and we’ll agree in the end that the best thing to do is spread love wherever you are. He’s a good guy.

In honor of Father’s Day, I thought I’d share some of my dad’s best advice to me.

You take who you are with you. For a good chunk of my life, I tried to run away from myself. Like, literally– hopping states, traveling places, and guess what– I was still me. This was my dad’s way of saying the only thing that’s gonna change me is me, not an alternate location.

You know, you don’t have to go to college.  This was the first time anyone had said this to me, the summer after my senior year of high school. I did go to college (two of them), but this felt like the first time someone acknowledged my autonomy.

The worst day working for yourself is better than the best day working for someone else. My dad’s an entrepreneur– he’s been a general contractor in his own business since before I was alive. I watched him set his own schedule, work HARD, and take time to spend with us. He set a good example, and ultimately, I decided I wanted what he had– freedom. Let me tell you, watching someone live that life— it looks good. I’m excited to start spending my energy on MY dream instead of someone else’s.

What great dad advice have you received, from your dad or a father-figure?

Happy Father’s Day!

Bigger

I know, I know. It’s the end of January. Any well-intentioned New Year’s Resolutions have worn out (my own– the “Sugar Free January” only lasted nine and a half days…)

But– It IS still January. So I’m doing this. This being, my word for the year. I’ve always liked this better than a resolution, anyways. So the word that keeps resonating with me at the beginning of this year, and all through this month has been– BIGGER.

“I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small…” Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail

It’s true, I do lead a small and valuable life. But I’ve got a desire to expand a bit. Not to make my life worth more, because it’s already full of worth. Not to fill voids, not to try to make myself happy. It just seems like time to grow  little. I’m not sure what this will look like yet. But in the decisions I make through the year, I’ll look at it through the lens of BIGGER. Not for the sake of bigger, but for the sake of growth.

06_Promises.jpg

My action plan so far is this: try 2 new things every month. I tend to hole up, in the winter especially, and I am what my therapist calls “a TRUE introvert,” but I need to try new things in order to expand my horizons. So far this month, I went to a day conference on interpersonal behavior in the workplace, I took CPR training, and I bought a new laptop to make all my blogging dreams come true! (Is this last thing a new thing? Not exactly, but this venture will hopefully produce growth in me as I pursue something I’ve wanted for a long time)