Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

What is 2016? It’s neither spiritual or human. It doesn’t have the power to grant life or death. It’s merely a placeholder of 366 days (leap year) for us to use as we choose.

This year was not horrible for me. In fact, it was quite successful professionally as I finally found myself in a role where above all else, I am valued as a person, and was able to bring my unique talents to the table and make things happen.

It took me eight and a half months, but finally, on Monday, September 12, I made a promise to myself, a commitment to lifelong fitness. After 15 weeks, I’ve lost 32.4 pounds, maybe more, as I haven’t had the opportunity to weigh myself since December 23. For the longest time, I made excuses in my head and tried my best to mask the grim reality that I was unhealthily overweight. Now that I’m looking and feeling better than I have in years, I can easily admit that I was miserable, always exhausted, and excruciatingly uncomfortable in my clothes and my own skin. I hated shopping for clothes and seeing myself in a mirror. I stayed home from events to avoid having to figure out clothes to wear that didn’t make me look fat, because guess what? I was fat. Fit Body Boot Camp is the best decision I made in 2016.

Another powerful decision I made was to let go of things in my life that were causing me undue stress. I had overcommitted myself the past two and a half years trying to survive financially in Napa. I felt like I was struggling to keep my head above water. However, it turns out that life is more than finances and money. It’s about living deeply and happily in this precious moment. If 2016 has taught us anything, it’s that life can end abruptly and without warning. I don’t believe for one second that any of us can be everything to everyone and be happy and true to our soul. I will begin 2017 with minimal commitments, a strict budget, and ready to live out loud, with no regrets.

As to my personal life, I’m not sure what the future has in store for me. I’m happily single, but I crave connection and intimacy. I’d like to have someone with whom to talk and share what’s inside of my heart and my head. Is there a such thing as having the best of both worlds? Can one be both single and connected?

The good news is that in this moment, I feel that I’m the best I’ve ever been. I’m saying goodbye to 2016 and diving into 2017 headfirst, to swim, not sink, even if I have to swim upstream. I’m ready to move forward on my journey. Are you ready to swim with me?

Beth

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The Loner

 

 

 

 
I am quite happy at this point in my life and I am 99% comfortable with living solo and spending time by myself. For 15+ years, I was in a relationship that consumed almost every facet of my life. Without intending to do so, I now realize that I had allowed that relationship to distance me from family and friends. Once it ended, I really didn’t know what to do with myself or how to reconnect with those that I had unintentionally abandoned. However, it feels like I’ve been working four years on completing a 1000-piece puzzle (remember those?) and I have a few pieces with which I am struggling to find the right place. It seems that no matter hard I try to fit in and make friends, I am still mostly a loner. I often travel, dine, and attend events solo. Sometimes I connect with people I consider to be friends or would befriend if we were strangers before, but I still don’t have the companionship or the level of friendship that I had with him. I do know now that I would never, ever allow any relationship to have that much control over me, but I definitely miss having a best friend with whom I can talk about anything. I carry many thoughts and emotions inside of my head and my heart.

I feel like I have a lot to contribute to a friendship. I am loyal beyond a fault, kind, polite, and caring. I usually give way more to others than I accept from them. I go above and beyond. So why is this so challenging? Interestingly, I think that some find me a bit threatening, for lack of a better word, although nothing could be further than the truth. I believe living solo is a sign of bravery that some may not possess and it makes them uncomfortable. All that being said, does the friendship world have a place for someone like me? Or am I destined to remain a loner?

I think part of the reason I feel the way I do is the influence of social media, with which I have a love-hate relationship. I scroll down my Facebook News Feed. I see people out and about with others, spending time with loved ones, and posting the perfect parts of their lives. It compounds the feeling of singleness. I wonder why I don’t have that level of comraderie in my life. Why am seeing all of this from afar instead of living it?

The good news is that living life completely on my own for the past four years is ultimately a testament to my strength and to some, that may be intimidating. I moved 2626.9 miles away from home. I take care of myself and my cat all by myself. I manage every detail of my life. I have learned a new career in only two years. My writing has blossomed. Perhaps being a loner is actually a gift waiting to be shared with those who understand and embrace my power and affection.

Love,
Beth

 

I’m ready!

It's My Time (source: http://blissinventive.com/)

It’s My Time (source: http://blissinventive.com/)

When my ex-boyfriend of 15 years was breaking up with me via telephone three and a half years ago, I remember I said, “I will never go through this again. I will be single the rest of my life.” If words are thoughts and thoughts become things, I may have sealed my fate, as I have been single ever since.

In retrospect, this was a good thing. I had lost both my job and the person I thought was my soulmate and I needed to regroup. My career came first. After a year of transitional jobs and a year and a half working for a business that didn’t value me, my education, or my talents, I finally landed on my feet this year at a place where I feel like I can have a career, not just a job.

I also had to finally find out that my ex-boyfriend was a lying cheater. While I never imagined reconciling, I believe I needed complete closure to move forward. In 2014, he finally returned my belongings. This year, Facebook’s strange algorithms caused me to stumble upon his not-so-secret profile, where I discovered he had been cheating on me for months, maybe years, maybe the entire relationship. While the timing was bizarre, I needed this level of closure to move forward. It’s sad, but I no longer have any feelings for him whatsoever. He was a coward who could never tell me “there’s someone else” while I struggled thinking that the failure of this relationship was my fault.

Therefore, this post is my coming out party. I am officially declaring that I am emotionally and mentally ready to date again. I am not necessarily looking for a long-term relationship, per se. I am ready for camaraderie and companionship. Since I have no desire to use a dating app or website, I am open to meeting guys through friends, as long as the first meeting isn’t a one-to-one date. I want a connection to happen naturally. If it’s meant to be, it will be. This is my bio:

I am an independent, risk-taking, dream-following, passion-loving woman who seeks like-minded men who honor freedom, individuality, honesty, openness, generosity, and kindness. I am a highly sensitive person who still cries when I watch The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, and Frosty the Snowman. I love all living things except spiders and snakes (I’m trying to get past these phobias). I live for travel, friends, food, wine, beer, writing, music, adventure, and spontaneity. I give my all to everything I do.

If words are thoughts and thoughts become things, I may have sealed my fate with this public declaration. Bring on the dates.

Happy New Year!

Love,
Beth

2015: My Roller Coaster Year

Love where you’ve been.
Love where you’re at.
Love how you think.
Love the power you pack.
Love all that you seek.
Love all that you feel.
Love your rocking emotions.
And the thoughts you make real.
~ The Universe ~
(http://www.tut.com/note/details/89/)

Remember as a kid going to an amusement park and riding rides all day? You became impatient and perhaps angry waiting in line for the rides. You were hungry and thirsty, for food, drink, and more. You faced your fears and rode that big roller coaster that took your breath away. At the end of the day, you were sunburned, exhausted, yet happy.

Life is a lot like that.

2015 has been my roller coaster year. When January 1 arrived after a hellacious New Year’s Eve party, I was impatient for change, And I got it, for better and for worse, in all aspects of my life.

Halfway through the year, I lost an important friendship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control. That loss, though, turned out to be my gain, as it caused me to delve within and find my strength again.

I spent six months trying to leave a job that was killing my soul and my spirit. I applied for jobs with more fervor. Like throwing darts at a dartboard, I knew that when it was the right time, I would hit bullseye.

At one point, these two crises came to a head at the same time and I hit rock bottom. However, I didn’t panic. Instead, I threw myself into traveling and writing, which have never let me down. I traveled to Monterey, San Francisco, upstate New York (Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes), and Chester County, Pennsylvania. New outlets for my writing, like Snooth and American Winery Guide, manifested themselves.

The turning point was September. On September 1, I was forwarded an email, which within 13 days, led me to my new job. It’s now been seven and a half weeks and I am so much happier. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be valued as a human being and part of a real team of professional and caring people.

November 3: I opened the Facebook app on my phone and there was my ex-boyfriend – the longest, most important relationship in my life (to date) – in my news feed as one of the people I may know, under a fake name. His profile and cover photos were of him and another woman. According to his About section, he had created this profile for her and was in a relationship with this woman more than three months before we broke up. There it was, in all of its glory, the answer to that question in my head for three years: Was there someone else? The good news is that I didn’t cry, I laughed.

In the blink of an eye, 2015 has essentially come and gone. The ride came to a screeching halt and I was breathless, but OK. I rediscovered myself: my power, my talents, and my calling. I found happiness within. I fell in love again with who I am and who I want to be.

Love,
Beth

What to do when life blindsides you

I feel like I owe everyone an explanation for not being very present right now, feeling disconnected and discouraged. However, that’s just my HSP talking. I don’t owe anyone anything. What I am going to share is what to do when life blindsides you.

  1. Cry. Get angry. You can’t move forward without feeling your feelings. Expect to cry frequently, at the most inopportune times, and to feel anger out of the blue. Grieving is real.
  2. You will wake up in the middle of the night, often more than once, so I suggest going to bed earlier as an attempt to get sleep.
  3. You will also unconsciously dream about what happened and rehash it over and over in your mind. Do whatever you can to stop. Breathe. Exhale. Release. It’s all in your head.
  4. Go to your chiropractor, your massage therapist, your acupuncturist, your counselor – whichever floats your boat – to heal yourself.
  5. Spend time with your pet. Pets offer the unconditional love you need that humans cannot.
  6. Immerse yourself in something worthwhile that will distract your attention, like writing, a special project, or charitable work.
  7. Purge or exercise. There’s nothing like a good purging of material possessions and/or a workout to physically release what’s going on in your heart and your head.
  8. Force yourself to get together with friends, even though you would rather stay home. Once you arrive to hang out, turn off the damn phone. Pay attention to each other. Savor the time.
  9. Plan a trip, alone or with others, in an attempt to leave negativity behind. It’s OK to escape.
  10. Do something you haven’t done in forever. Last weekend, I went shopping at a brick-and-mortar mall. I bought a dress. I can’t remember the last time I went to a mall, nor the last time I wanted to buy or wear a dress. I also bought kick-ass wedge sandals and strappy heels to go with the dress. Go, me.
  11. Take social media breaks and focus on you, because you are all you have and you are all you can control. Remember that social media is still media, complete with falsehoods, biases, misinformation, and people who aren’t what they say they are. You, on the other hand, matter most of all. Be good to yourself.
  12. If all else fails, make this song your mantra:

Here’s to survival,
Beth

Putting myself first

If I’m not at my best, I can’t give the you – my friends, my family, the world – my best. I have to put myself first to be the best I can be for everyone.

In my situation, it should not be that difficult to take care of me. I am single without children, so I have no dependents of any kind. However, as an HSP or an empath, I not only take on my own stress and emotions, but those of others. It’s not a conscious choice, it just happens because that’s who I am. Therefore, it’s not as easy as it seems.

This weekend, I decided to forcefully let go of everything and put myself first. I made a statement out loud: I am letting go. It was hard. I felt like I was betraying you. I felt guilty. I felt selfish. However, as soon as I said it, it was a huge relief. I spent the whole weekend doing what I wanted, when I wanted, and with whom I wanted. I enjoyed a wonderful Friday evening working, but it was a fun kind of work. Saturday morning, I slept in a bit (as much as a cat will allow), then took care of things I don’t have time to do during the week, such as paying bills, replying to emails, whatever I felt like doing. In the afternoon, I went to a party, then an unexpected afterparty. It turned out to be the best day and evening I’ve had since I moved to California. Sunday, I chose to stay at home. I even did some work and it was almost effortless because I was in the right frame of mind and environment. I love days when I am not committed to anything or anyone and have the freedom to do as I please.

I don’t think I realized how much of the world I was taking on until I let it all go. Being everything to everyone is like an heavy anchor. It brings me down and makes me feel immobile, constrained, and stressed. On the other hand, when I say yes to me. it makes me a better person, the person I know I am.

Love,
Beth

Letting go again

I’ve written and talked about letting go as many times as I have failed at letting go. My challenge is that when I commit to someone or something, I’m in it for the long haul. I invest myself and my emotions steadfastly and completely.

Then it happens. Something or someone hurts me or disappoints me. I am treated unfairly in some way. For most people, that would be the final straw, but with me, I try to remain hopeful. It takes a few times for this to happen before I really let go. This week, I was kicked to the curb. It shook me to my core and made me re-evaluate myself. After some tears, anger, and feelings of hatred, I realized I can’t keep allowing unfair circumstances or hurtful people to control me. When I hold onto something so tightly, that means I am allowing it/him/her to control me. I was giving the situation too much of my attention and energy.

After this experience, I promised myself no more, and after a few days, I am still keeping my own promise to myself. It’s not easy. Sometimes I have to just say to myself, “Stop thinking about it. It’s done. It no longer matters.” Sometimes I start to react, then stop in my tracks. I redirect my focus to something or someone that does matter. I regain control and distance myself from the circumstances.

The good news is when I obey myself and relax, I feel so much better. I know this is going to sound bad on some level, but sometimes not giving a damn is the best choice.

Love,
Beth