same days forever

Originally written November 2018.

Nothing about it is really novel. I’m grateful. Not in that everyday thanksgiving applause for the soothing appreciables around me. It’s a cryptic thanks that I can barely hold onto because I have to face ugly authenticity to keep it in my grasp.

I’ve justified actions in my life. I’ve leaned into my will, creating unexpected life curves. I felt strong navigating the wrong worlds where my weaknesses were magnified. Foreboding joy, my inevitable curse.

It happened so slowly I didn’t know I was broken. I knew my relationships were twisted. I’d been to therapy and forgiven others. Much harder to forgive me. And more—to know me,—and why? To claim authenticity as my deepest desire, but…

…the duplicity. The juxtaposition of my desires, values and the truth of my decisions, life products.

After I changed everything I got lost for a while. I didn’t trust anyone, especially me. I tried new community endeavors that fulfilled me for a time, and then I stopped. I pulled away.

I took full responsibility and self assessment. I still got mad at blameful stories. I trembled with powerlessness and paranoia. But I faced it. I discovered the roots of issues in me dug into thicker, deeper roots. Ideas bloom. Some need to die or be in someone else’s garden.

I have learned things, but I have mainly learned that I need to learn more. I live for myself now, and I desperately try to focus on my daughter. It’s rare I can remember specifics about those years because it pains me that I lost time slaving my mind away for what didn’t ever add back to my life’s value.

That’s what I mean by cryptic gratitude. I used to be very open and carefree. Now I don’t let many people in. I am careful. I ask questions instead of share my story first. I test the waters and evaluate a person’s motives and value system. I judge on my perceptions when I didn’t before. I used to have a very enthusiastic way of connecting information in ideas, places, and people. That’s become more latent since I don’t go out as much and has been replaced with more analytical skills from reading and watching content.

I guess I’m possibly more well-rounded. Maybe boring. I’m always evaluating. Whoever I am, I’m different now. That’s what I’ve noticed lately.

the andrews update

don’t know why i deleted this. so sweet……

i might as well give up on blogging. not really. i’ll post when i can, but life has been happening, y’all.

first things first, justin and i got married. we shotgunned it down at st. andrews at the beach with a few of our family members. i wondered if i would look back and regret not having some large extravaganza, but i am 100% happy with my decision. that small wedding was enough stress on its own. i can’t even imagine a multi-thousand dollar affair. i’m happy to continue planning those kind of large events for folks, but i’m glad i stuck to my guns and kept it intimate.

we also moved. i lived at marsh landing for three years, and it was such a cool little place. we live in house now with a pool, and it’s finally coming together after a few months!

we’re also having a baby. a little girl, vayda pharris. we just love the name vayda, and pharris is my great grandmother’s maiden name. her birthday was january 8th, so i’m hoping vayda will be here around that time (we’re due january 20th). only a few more months to go. pregnancy has been interesting. i’ve been sick literally every day since about week five. i was sick all day during my first trimester, but i’ve kept up the morning ‘routine’ everyday when i wake up. after over 150 consecutive days of throwing up, i’m feeling like a true champion.

justin has been really busy with some upcoming festivals and concerts he’s planning. i can’t wait until it gets time for the holidays and we can both slow down a little. it’ll actually be busy at my job during christmas with events, but i’ll be taking it easy since i’ll be eight months pregnant. 🙂 that’s just a little update for now!

not only, but also

the existential crisis i was kind of vague about in previous posts was regarding my work. i’m so dramatic. it’s amazing what a few weeks of perspective can achieve. even in these several days, i can look back and see where perseverance and vulnerability to change has gotten me over a hurdle into the centered environment i have longed for myself. what i’ve tried to articulate in previous posts is that i was passionate about my last job. i felt important. those brands resonated with me, because i took ownership and responsibility of all i could. i value the people i worked beside every day. 

for five years i had the same bosses. for five years i had the same career responsibilities. for five years i had the same mental projections about the future based on those essentials. again, i’m framing this very dramatically. i sought the ends to all of these things. even though i still get to do some part-time work with my old company, i can’t be as immersed i once was. for me, when i transition into a new role, i’m all in. my mind begins to soak in and soak up. i start noticing the world from that perspective, and the old point of view fades. it’s still there somewhere. it’s just not in the forefront. 

to be real and raw, it all just happened fast. i knew my marriage was ending far before papers were filed. we both did. that’s how we’re able to be friends now and raise our daughter together. but right after i filed, i decided i was moving to a new, clear space. and to a school zone for V’s future. then, i felt a prompting to look for jobs. i applied for two. i got called for this one, and i prayed for a specific offer. i told my mom if i got that, i was accepting it. and here we are.

that kind of faith leaves room for doubt, and it got to me for weeks. i picked up and left a lot of comfortable knowledge and command behind. for weeks, i only saw my parents and vayda. i didn’t even really tell them about work because i was too tired to articulate what i was learning. we finally got to the week before i moved and packed up the whole house, my mom, dad, and grandma. that was the turning point for me. it felt so light to give away all that burdened me, organizing it beautifully into a place that is mine and Vayda’s only. without realizing it, i was performing all my tasks with my own flair at work and feeling like a team member. i had gotten through a big event and two grants while maintaining my marketing functions. 

i was doubting myself in certain moments, but ultimately i knew in my core that my belief in myself and my values is what landed me in this position. in the past month since moving and having this realization, i am overcome with more peace than ever. i wasn’t suffering in unrest before. i was simply enjoying solitude while i meditated on the right direction for my life. but now that i have this peace, i find my productivity has increased tremendously, and i attract great opportunities in areas that i desire. i have several commissioned painting projects in my queue which brings my heart so much joy. i have graphic design clients i work on in my free time.

and i simply love my career. my job with the agency is something i am passionate about. it’s fast paced, i design all day, write grants, talk to the press–there is always something going on. it’s something that makes me proud. i can visualize a future now that makes me prouder than anything i previously imagined. 

wanting for nothing feels excellent. blessed is really all i can say about my life.

purge

packing up my house has been easier than i thought it’d be. i have donated and thrown away countless dozens of piles and bags. i’m amazed i cleared nine large garbage bags of clothes and still have three closets and a garment rack full of clothes. (they’re really small closets, OK?!) i’ve thrown away old, bent art. even things i might like but just don’t find joy in anymore. the massive purge of 2018. i feel so light.

i had a mini existential crisis a couple of weeks ago. all this introspection showed me how far i’ve come over the last six months. i have not quit moving forward. blogging lately is really the first time i’ve looked back and analyzed how much i have accomplished. i made up my mind and i got to today. a couple of weeks ago i regressed a little and thought about retreating. my mind is going through the process i discussed in my last blog. changing, learning new processes, adjusting to new. i believe there is a natural loneliness. a mourning process. a tiredness. maybe even a longing and a reaching for my old mentality. but i’ve ultimately found, it’s gone.

not lost, but altered. i cannot backtrack to that place. this is a beautiful thing. it took me talking to some of my mentors and meditating on my thoughts for a few days to gain a more well-rounded perspective. who wants to keep the same endless mentality? i’d be so bored without the challenge of learning and growing in each moment. in my case, i am so blessed. i look back, and there is a great deal of passion in my interests. following the signs, i look ahead and there is potential for beauty, meaning, and purpose overflowing. 

thinking back to what i wrote about changing from art to business major in college earlier this month, i gave it negative placement in my life. ultimately, it has shaped my ability to make wise art, business, and personal “adult” decisions (financial, etc.). i think it’s human nature to look back on the part of the choice one didn’t make, like not continuing the art courses, and wonder. i spend a lot of time wondering. i want to make the best choices. and i guess now that i have the peace to heal over more recent life events, i am looking even further back and forgiving regrets i didn’t even know i owned.

i owe so much to my college career. i think it was painful for me because the person closest to me was immersed in all the studio classes while i was sitting in business communications lectures, which made me very jealous. plus, university was one big competition for me against my high school mentor’s voice in my head, “anyone who stays in Albany will never graduate college in four years, or maybe ever.” i wanted to disprove that theory. and i did (no one noticing, but me). 

why is this so heavy on my mind now? i graduated from college eight years ago. it’s weird how the mind works……. maybe it’s because after all these years, i haven’t had a job i felt that my bachelor’s degree mattered until the career i have today. i sacrificed my passion, art, to complete a degree program. i got a great marketing internship, which let to all my career choices. i have had profitable and passionate careers, but this is the first time i feel like my education means something.

while i was packing and purging, i found my college diploma on the bookshelf at home just like any other book, and i brought it up to my office. i’m not looking back to regret what could have come from other roads, but looking forward to what opportunities i can cultivate through my hard work. there are so many days within years between college and today that are blurs of waste. i hope i can reach forward with purpose and focus. when i look back.