All your troubles will be miles away..

Hello friends.

It’s been quite a while, I know.

Since my dad passed away in May of this year, I’ve been trying to navigate a loss, a place that is still very unfamiliar to me. I’ve never been here before. And I don’t like it at all. Re-learning to live in a what feels like an alternate universe is extremely weird & uncomfortable. And although he feels very far away today, he still feels close enough to be able to reach. Like he’s just on a very long vacation & he’ll be coming home soon. I know that’s not the reality of things, but it still feels that way.

I knew it was going to be difficult, losing a parent. Especially one that’s your best friend. It still is. And even though my family & I had time to say our goodbyes, I’m afraid it didn’t make it any easier. We got 9 months from the time of his diagnosis until his physical body gave out. I am grateful we had the time to express our feelings, thoughts, fear, love, etc. I am grateful I got to tell my dad how much I admired and loved him–even though this is something I consistently told him throughout the years. . The conversations we had were absolutely the most difficult, but necessary. I am grateful I was able to grasp at some kind of closure-even though my heart aches daily for him to be here Because even though you have that closure-you still live with every accomplishment, success, dream, or celebration without them.

Yes, it’s been nearly 8 months to the day my sweet dad left this Earth to go to his heavenly home- but I still live with that grief everyday. I am walking through the muck of trying to find peace. But life just feels weird now. And also strange that the world and everyone in it just expects you to be “fine” & “good” at a certain point. They stop asking how you’re doing, they stop caring. And life goes on. As if there is a timeline for this sort of thing. And all I have to say to that is, why don’t you come to me once you’ve lost a parent–and we’ll see how you feel about that statement then. It’s so incredibly different to see someone who is grieving and think you understand them… and then to be on the other side of that as the one who has a hole in your heart that leaves a deep unexplainable ache. It’s one of those things you can’t truly understand until you’re walking through it.

Anyway, I guess I came here just to let that out. Because I’m tired of people thinking they know better. I get they’re trying to help, but in that sense it becomes worse.

Also came to say,

If anyone is grieving, you’re allowed all the time in the world that you need.

That people grieve differently and at different paces.

That it’s okay if you’re not okay.

& if people don’t understand, so be it.

Spend moments throughout the day remembering your loved one.

Talk to them.

Write to them.

Cry to them.

They’re there.

& I truly believe they’re listening.

My pops told me before he left he’d come watch over me & make sure people were being good to his “Sweet Michelle”. & he has. He’s met me in my dreams dozens of times. Some make me sad with heartache, but others make me beam with joy in knowing he kept his promise.

Holding you closer than most,

Michelle.

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Resistance.

I haven’t really felt like myself lately.

A huge part of that has to deal with the loss of my father this spring, I also think it may have something to do with me turning 30 a few short days ago.

Whenever I have a “big” and defining birthday, I always spend a couple of days in meditation & reflection. I go off the grid, really just turning off the notifications on my phone… I’ll journal & ask questions those big questions I’ll think about from time to time. You know the ones… like, “How come I’m not married with kids yet?” “Why haven’t I truly gone after my dream job yet? & if I do, what will it take of me?” Especially since the one I’m at doesn’t make me happy or gives me that feeling of purpose. “Why don’t I have more money put away in savings?” The list goes & on, but you get the picture.

I’ve also been more withdrawn & craving a lot of alone time. I find that it’s just more peaceful that way. Not necessarily what anyone would say is better–because you should get out of your comfort zone from time to time… but I get emotionally drained a lot easier than before. My love tanks will empty out & then I’ll need time to recharge. I don’t want to do meaningless thing likes sit around & have a few cocktails at a happy hour with friends. Or sit around watching TV with friends because their child is napping and they can ‘t leave the house. Can anyone else relate to that? I hope I’m not coming across as rude, I’m just trying to be honest.

But if you’ve ever felt resistance, and let’s be honest; we all have… you know what I’m talking about. You understand that something you liked at 17, you wont necessarily like at 30. & it has nothing to do with growing “old” or suddenly becoming a boring person–priorities shift, things change. And I’d much rather evolve as a human, into who I’m supposed to be, then sit in another situation or activity and want to rip my eyes out from feeling a disconnect. It’s just an odd thing, not feeling as connected to some people as I used to. And I’m trying to navigate this place, because I’ve never been here before. I know it’s mainly who I am. My thoughts. And I’m not trying to offend. I’m sitting in a lot of doubt about what is and what I need to do to be at who I’ve always dreamed of. I’m finding out that dreams are very demanding of us as people. And that means we need to take better care of ourselves; physically, emotionally, spiritually… etc. Boundaries are important, make them! And I’m certainly trying to understand this process of becoming the best version of myself. No matter how long it takes. And honestly, even if that means letting go of some people and stretching myself.

Am I making sense? Does anyone else feel this way? I know I’m meant to live differently than how I’ve been living. I know there is far more out there for me. & as the universe keeps nudging me to get moving instead of remaining stagnant, I’m both excited and terrified. Because I have no idea how to get started… but I know real change is coming soon.

Stay tuned,

Love, Meesh.

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Never enough.

Journal # 15.

The weather outside feels like fall, a perfect 63°. I went to Cantigny at 9am & walked the entire grounds by myself. It took an about an hour & I was the only one there aside from the groundskeepers. Its beautiful dad. They’re doing a lot of recon work & I can’t wait for it to be done. I sat in “your” rose gardens talking to you & didn’t want to leave. I wish you were here to see it. I know you loved this place like I did. Then on my way back I went to Herrick Lake & went fishing for a while…the sound of the birds chirping, the calm waters, light breeze was theraputic. I get why you would fish all the time.

This weather also reminds me of all the bonfires you’d make us & how patiently you would tend to the kindle… As we laughed & made memories under the summer skies. Roasting smores while you’d randomly, but not so randomly shout, “Yeaaaaaahh, baby!” & “you can but it on the booooard, yeee-es!”

Everyday brings a new favorite memory we’ve had together. I hope that never ends.

I do however seem like I’m still trying to catch my breath since the day you left us, dad. Since God called you home. And as the days normally crawl by, I find myself missing you with a new ache in my heart. It’s an difficult reality for all those who loved & were loved by you. But here we are, living. Just like you wanted.

Even though there are ugly & uglier moments of swimming through these waves of grief, I think you’d be proud at how much grace mom exudes. & how we’ve been carrying each other through this. It’s not easy, but we’re working on it.

I find myself questioning my faith in God a lot these days, dad. I don’t understand why he would take such a beautiful soul from this Earth. You gave so much to others. Joy. Happiness. Friendship. Strength. Courage. Laughter. Kindness. Love. Faith. The actual roof over your head & shirt off your back (at times). I could go on all day.

But, I don’t get where God is in all this. Why he didn’t heal you this side of Heaven. He could have. But instead we’re left without you.

I hope you hold up your end of the bargain. You said you’d save a spot up there for me. But until that day comes, please watch over me (us) like you promised. I’m counting on it.

There is so much to say, but I’ll leave that for my next journal entry.

I love you, dad.

Always & forever,

Meesha.

*15 days without pops*

*these journal entires aren’t being uploaded exactly as I write them, as he passed away May 12th*

Dad.

5/22/2018

*Journal entry 11.*

Pops—

I’m just sitting on the balcony while the sun sets; overlooking all the beautiful colors of the sky, the trees, the flowers…. Wishing you were here. You always understood the bliss that came from witnessing God’s creation….& could be happily surrounded by it for hours. We are the same in that sense. & during most (recent) days, that’s been my saving grace…stepping outdoors & letting the sun wash over me like a warm blanket as the light breeze gently hugs my cheek. It reminds me to keep breathing… And that if even just for a moment, everything will be okay.

It’s rained nearly everyday since you were called home. But I’m sure you already knew that. You would love it. I love it. It makes me think back to when anyone would complain about dark stormy days, you would say, “we could always use more rain.” Every time. I know it’s because you always saw the good in everything. Also, that you couldn’t wait for your gardens to bloom. I now look forward to storms, when in the past I would fear them.

I won’t pretend that I don’t have a huge hole in my heart & life now that you’re gone, dad. Because I do. It’s emptied me out & I’ve felt emotions I never thought possible.. A numbness. A complete heaviness. The kind where you have to remember to lift one foot in front of the other. I’ve felt my mind is often hazy. Because I don’t understand how to “get on with life” when a significant part of me has died.

I think I’ll have a hard time (for a long while) wrapping my head around the fact that I won’t ever get to see, or hug you again this side of Heaven. Or hear your goofy, contagious laugh. Scrabble & putting puzzles together. Drinking stale coffee as we would fish at your favorite lake. Flipping back & forth between watching White Sox & Cubs games. Weekly picnics during summer concerts in the park w mom & family.. The adventures & memories are endless. & I selfishly want more time.

I do however carry a peace in my heart knowing that you’re no longer physically ill & battling cancer, pops. I carry peace in my heart knowing that when you went, you knew with absolute certainty where you were going. During the last 9 months you met every challenge your team of doctors threw at you with “it’s just another hurdle”… & kept living your life like you always have. With absolute strength & dignity.
You kept saying & reminding us that, “If God heals me this side of Heaven, I win. & if he doesn’t, I still win.”
That will always humble my heart.

& if that doesn’t show your heart, faith, & character in all you were during this lifetime, I don’t know what will.

I miss you, pops.
Love always,
Meesh.

*I am posting this for no other reason than I have shared bits & pieces of my dad’s journey this past year…& although I haven’t really known what to share since his passing, or had much of a desire to… I thought I’d let you read a journal entry I wrote. If you think it’s weird, that’s fine…This isn’t a plea for help. Or anything of the sort. It is however how I’m choosing to process my pain.* That’s all. 💛

Day 11 without pops.

Reckless love.

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It’s been a while since I sat down at the keyboard in hopes to share some of my heart. To connect with all of you. and if I’m being honest, I feel pretty far out of the loop.

With all that’s going on in the world recently, my heart & mind have been pretty overwhelmed. I’m sure if you have air in your lungs, you could agree with me about that. You see, I’ve always prided myself on being an empath. But lately all of my emotions have been all out of whack. Only because I haven’t been focused on the right things. Working on my body, soul, & mind.

I love yoga & mediation, and most times those both coincide with one another. With those and the path of self-care I’ve been on, my energy has been shifting. I have not only been feeling with more intensity, but much more sensitivity. If that’s really even possible. So, with tapping into these different emotions…I have begun to set boundaries. I have to, otherwise I will unconsciously give away all of my energy & become quite a mess. Ya feel me?

Which leads me to one of the reasons I haven’t written on here in the last few months. I have been taking week-long hiatus’ off the internet. Unplugging. Going off the grid. That desire came from feeling overwhelmed for many reasons. I felt like a fraud. Showing up to work through others people’s problems, while neglecting my own. Trying to mend others pain while I was crying myself to sleep for a few weeks. Feeling unqualified. I felt like everyone had something else to give, except me. I know what you’re thinking, I’m being ridiculous. I know, I am.

It wasn’t until a dear friend who I’ve been through a lot with (however haven’t seen in a couple of years) sent me a message on Facebook… did I realize the effect my words had on others. That I needed to keep sharing my gift. To continue being light and love in this world full of darkness. I’ve been reminded before, but it had been a while. She had mentioned how she’s been down in the dumps & she always notices how I’m always “so positive”. We went back and forth for a little while & then she says this, “Well I’m not sure where you want to be, but I want to be where you are at. I seriously look at some things you write and pictures you post and it’s like…. I see the tree but I don’t see the beauty in the tree till someone points it out… you point it out to me and I want to be able to see it on my own.”

I know it’s a bit wordy, but COME ON. That was the sweetest compliment. Whenever I post something with a lot of substance, I always add a pretty photo to cut the intensity. That’s what shes’ talking about. & Wow. Wow. Wow. I was taken back by her. I sat there in silence for a few minutes and thought about how many times I wished I would hear if my words helped someone, if they mattered. & there it was, her encouraging me when I didn’t think my footprints were leaving a mark.

It was almost like God used her to whisper into my journey, don’t give up… because more people need your love than you think. & in that moment, I was reminded it was fear that wanted me to run away & hide. It was fear that wanted me to question my purpose. It was fear that wanted me to give up. It was fear that wanted to break me. It was fear that wasn’t fighting fair. I am done listening to the voices that are trying to pull me down, because they are only resistance in this thing called life. & they have no merit in my heart.

If you’ve gotten this far in my post, I just wanted to tell you…. you are loved. And that quiet cry of your heart? It’s there to guide you. It’s there to tell you that what you do matters. How you love, matters. You matter. It all matters. So make it count.

Breakthrough(s).

istock-499609170For the longest time I thought mediation & yoga were the worst.

Even when I knew nothing about the two.

I thought they were for the hippie, trendy, hipster type of person that only needed time to kill or wanted to look cool.

I thought, I sit in my thoughts all day with my anxieties– how could sitting in them while closing my eyes & breathing slowly, help?

I never really wanted to try either, because I didn’t think they would work, nor did I want to be classified in “that group” of people.

I thought it was all kind of “fluffy” & that it just wouldn’t be the kind of breakthrough I needed.

I was wrong. I was so so wrong.

I’m not sure what got me to that first yoga class a year ago, but I’m glad I got there.

It was a small class, in a yoga studio that didn’t have the wall mirrors–something I appreciated as I not only didn’t want to watch myself look ridiculous…  but I didn’t want to see the other women in the class slay.

I felt intimidated at first. My instructor was probably about 25 years old than me, I was 27 at the time. & she was stretching into positions I simply couldn’t mold my body into (yet).

I felt so incredibly out of shape–both mentally & physically.

I would push myself further than I imagined I could.

Even though my body was stiff & my mind unwilling–I kept going.

And as if the positions weren’t difficult enough for me, the instructor would come by & help guide my body into the right alignment… which would help me refocus while my burning muscles reminded me that there is purpose & fulfillment in pain. The kind that helps you grow.

By the end of that first session, I felt stretched in many ways. I felt energized. I felt like I not only needed to come back, I wanted to.

Fast forward 5 months down the road, I became a stronger person–physically, emotionally, & intellectually.

The yoga classes got a little easier, however I kept pushing for more advanced classes–so although I was stronger.. I kept getting my a*s kicked. Every single class.

Yoga just does something to you as a whole. I truly don’t know how to explain it.

It betters you as a person, it does. I can fully stand behind that statement.

Something inside you clicks and you realize you can’t control anything in your life but direct control of your own.

You dive into your consciousness. It’s a fulfilling thing. You begin remembering things that you have a fully working body … & all things as simple as that.

You find strength in your vulnerability.

You start taking better care of yourself throughout the week.

You start eating better, you work out more outside of yoga, you meditate more. You just sink into the things that bring you more joy. & you hold no excuses for the things that used to hold you back.

Yoga makes me want to dive deeper. It has woken something in me… & I have just scratched the surface of my soul. Every class I find myself evolving into a better version of myself.

It allows me to just lay everything on the mat & re-energizes me for whatever lies ahead of me in the following days.

Some sessions on my mat, I cried. Sometimes I fought my emotions. Sometimes I just wanted to fall onto my mat and just lay there. But no matter what, I didn’t give up.  I kept going.

And God, am I thankful I did.

Again I can’t fully put into words the gift it has given me, but if you’re contemplating it.. go. Not just to one session, but multiple. Because the breakthrough will come. I promise.

Dreams.

We have a lot of them, don’t we?

I know I do.

I have changed mine every few months only because I want to do it all.

I want to be a published author.

I want to be a life coach.

I want to be a speaker.

I want to build a community for those who suffer from anxiety and depression.

& I truly would love to do and be all these things, but there isn’t enough time in the day.

Lately I’ve been dreaming of being a writer. Daily allowing myself to just explore the world & hopefully let my words resound/resonate with someone.

But that’s the thing. I’ve been so incredibly focused on wanting to impress people with my words & wanting to be the best of the best, I’ve lost my way in writing.

I’m more focused on writing to an audience based off of things that will be accepted, versus what I’m truly passionate about. And for that I’m sorry.

So from here on out I intend to write my heart out.

About the good, the bad, & the ugly.

And if I only have one follower to my blog, that will be enough.

Because my words will ring true with my path.

I’m done living for applause.

I want to fearlessly live my purpose.

Even if that makes me look foolish to some.

 

Until next time, my dears.

Thanks for listening.