The Gratitude In Overcoming Difficulty

I can be far too hard on myself at times.  It’s landed me in precarious and damaging situations, so much so that I am not only more aware of it – all this time later in Life! – but, despite slipping, I am also more willing to work hard to get to the root of it.  (I’m blessed to have the support in so doing also – that makes a world of difference.) Doing so, however, means being more vulnerable, but it’s a necessary part of growth and overcoming hardship – it takes (often uncomfortable) work to get to the other side!  

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I’ve come a long way, and weathered storms like most human beings (after the age of three!) and it’s important I remember that… It’s important for all of us to remember where we have been, what we have accomplished, and that we have more strength than we think – because it’s so easy to forget and beat ourselves up. 

It’s also important to remember that we are works in progress. Recovery is a journey – It doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes you can sail through the day, and others requires a moment at a time. 

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What NEVER slips my mind, though, is how grateful I am.  No matter my flaws, my moods, my “humanness”…not a day goes by that I am unaware of how blessed I am to be healthy, and to be alive.  

I remember that time I fell down the stairs, and had trouble with my legs buckling every so often – my body was eating the muscle from the inside out and I could no longer support my weight at times. 

I remember waking up with eyes so swollen – one of many effects of hyponatremia – that I actually staggered back, not recognizing the stranger staring back at me.  I stared into a reflective abyss confused, terrified, and wholly unable to see myself.  What HAPPENED..?

I remember when getting coffee and adding something to it – even a drop of skim milk – felt like an impossible hurdle. 15 extra calories? Not then

So when someone offers a kind word – whether of support of my lifestyle or some result of it…or simply asks for health or fitness advice – I feel it profoundly.  At times I even want to cry because I am not only touched and honored, but I know what it’s like to NOT have health, to watch myself dying a slow and painful death. . .and what it took to get where I am today.  (I am, incidentally, choked up with tears even writing this now…all this time later.)

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To be active and fit is a gift I will NEVER take for granted. Not only in remembering my own experiences, but knowing those without the fortune to walk or speak or see. . .my eyes have been opened in a such a way that I cannot UNsee.

I am thankful to each and every person who takes the time to encourage, to ask for help, to offer a kind word – you motivate and inspire me just as much, if not more so.  I work incredibly hard at it, and try my best…but I fail plenty too.  

To know I’ve potentially lifted one other person – even if only temporarily – is an honor.  It reminds me that my suffering was not in vain, and that I can give so much more having known it.

With gratitude. . . 

 

Gothiness – In Love With Halloween

It is my favorite day, Halloween. I’ve said it more than Scheherazade (though admittedly not with my life – nor freedom – hanging in the balance.)  Still, the ardent affections burrowed deep enough within my heart to remain all this time later.  Halloween in the Northeast in particular is divine – The fragrances in the air intoxicate, the colors seduce, the sounds enchant the ears – there is no aspect of it – neither linearly, nor in the peripheral – that does not send me reeling.  

For many years I wrote an annual Halloween “poem” of sorts – my boss at the time anticipated it harkening the 31st with such eagerness that I would be asked in advance when the e-mail was coming…nevermind that looming Shoe Show deadline! I’d have a new “story” each year – sometimes reflections on a trip I’d taken that reminded me of the season, or the general atmosphere itself, and the command upon my senses. 

I love Hallow’s Eve so much that as a child I was certain it would be the only day on which I’d be married – no matter the calendar year may not oblige with a Hallowed Saturday… To me, there was nothing better than the idea of saying “I do” when I felt most in my element. 

For a while there – and, at this juncture, I will spare the novel – I settled on being solo.  Independence always suited me – I like my space, and neither have I necessarily wanted to be beholden to anyone, nor anyone to me.  But in 2015, the stars aligned in such a way as to change my journey forever.  I knew that moment – even before we spoke a word to one another – that I would rather live my Life with him in it.  I am both humbled and thankful those celestial orbs adhered to their errand so devoutly (lest love have traversed my path only but for a moment…or missed it entirely.)  

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There are countless reasons that I love, but one – no small detail – is that I am accepted and loved for precisely who I am.  That odd amalgamation of goth and glitter…the vampishness, vulnerabilities, empathetic heart, and unconventional predilections towards all things Ninja… 

When I said I wanted to be married on Halloween, I was not only not met with resistance but was asked “on which day does it fall?”  This year…a Monday, sad to say.  But the Saturday before?  Ahhh…

As anyone planning a wedding can attest to, venues book terribly far out.  With about seven months (a hair less), and a contract out on the day I desired, I am convinced the stars – once again – conspired in our favor.  When I was told the day was ours he said “I thought you might have fallen over when you heard him say we could have the 29th!”  I nearly did. 

Not everyone has the luxury of having the date they *may so desperately* want.  And though I am certain two hearts are in true love to be committing in marriage, not everyone is quite so open-minded.  I feel blessed beyond words that I am in a partnership where I – and all my curious conventions (and two black cats!) – are embraced fully.  No two human beings boast edges as smooth as puzzle pieces – what matters, though, is that there is respect, support, and love in spite of our eccentricities (and less than lovely moments.)  

I recognize that Halloween isn’t necessarily the most traditional, nuptially-flavored day…but it was the one I had my heart set on. That I could choose it – indeed as a celebratory time for each year going forward – is special gift in my mind.

For as long as I can recall, my go-to phrase (and story-end sentiment) was “haunt like you meant it.” Well…while you are at it, love like you mean it too – because it is on that precipice where the most profound things occur, and when you suddenly realize just how OKAY it is to be you.