Who Are You With

Life can move so fast, sometimes we forget to check in with what is FEELING right, what is FEELING good.

This is a good piece to remember….

Old Friends Same Love

Hello! Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve written. I hope the holidays went well for everyone.

I’m working through some feelings about old friends. I think I have probably always seen my life as seasons and chapters. In one chapter these people where the ones I was super close to, or in this one, I was doing these things, and had this friend. Seeing life this way has made it a lot easier for me to recognize that these people were in it for that specific time and place, for lessons I needed to learn, and they aren’t necessarily going to be in all parts of my life. Now that’s not true for everyone. There are some friends where we have walked through more than one chapter together, hand in hand, and it’s been exactly what both of us needed. But when that happens, I think it’s because we were both learning and growing together, and from each other. Once the growth doesn’t feel in sync anymore, it makes sense that the relationship isn’t as strong, or it just goes away.

Even though I really get this intellectually, and have seen it play out many times in my life, it still makes me sad when I think about old friends. I feel sad that I don’t push to have them in my life, even if I know we are in different places. I feel guilty that I’m not missing them the way I feel I SHOULD.

I love my old friends. The ones that were with me through so much. The very small, few that knew everything about me, and I knew everything about them. I miss feeling like I had those select people where we could talk and laugh for hours. I miss feeling that comfortable with someone. I miss that we could finish each other’s sentences or give each other a LOOK and we knew exactly what that meant.

There is a lot that I miss. 

But I’ve changed. I’ve changed a lot. Some of these friends, it’s been 20 years since we were close. That’s a whole lifetime! I wouldn’t even recognize myself. For other friends, it’s been more of a slow burn. Maybe we stayed friends longer than we should of, but because of the love we both had, we stayed? For those friends, I’ve also changed.

I don’t miss the relationship.

I don’t miss feeling like I couldn’t fully speak my truth. I don’t miss feeling like we couldn’t work through anything.

Growth is hard I am realizing. I love learning about myself and growing, but this is one of those horribly painful growing pains. I’m just unable to swallow down how I feel anymore, and I can’t keep old relationships alive if that is what it takes. I would have loved it if we had moved at the same pace, if we had worked towards similar things. But I can see now that ‘my way’ isn’t the right way.

It’s just different. 

So in order for me to take care of ME, to honor ME, I will send love.

I will send the love that has always been there from the beginning of our friendship. But I need to hold myself up with more love than I have before, and I cannot settle when it doesn’t feel right.

I love you for the memories we had together, for having you to tell my secrets to, for feeling included and safe in your presence. I will always love you and I will continue to send you love as you journey through your life.

 

What the HELL is my role

The biggest question of my life right now,…

What is my role????

I’ve told myself I am confused about this question because

I am a stepmom.

Right away the words STEPMOM fill the room with hazy smoke, the kind where you can’t see 2 feet in front of you, and you suddenly have no idea where you even are. Just THE WORD is full of questions. 

But then for some of us, the role gets even stickier.

I’m not ‘just a stepmom.’

In fact, I am the kids main emotional support. I am the instigator, I am the listening ear, I am the one figuring things out, communicating with teachers, connecting the dotes, finding therapists, locating new schools, discussing, giving consequences, and driving all over the place.

It’s a strange dynamic because I enjoy being a part of a family. I love being relied on and knowing that they can trust me to follow through.

But,… I’m not the mom. I’m just a stepmom.

Right?

Am I only doing these extra things because their MOM can’t? No,… that’s not entirely  true. My love for them continuously grows the more I do. The more I learn about who they are and what they need, the more I want to show up.

Because I love them.

And then again there are times when I get super annoyed that their ACTUAL mom doesn’t know even a morsel about them. I get angry, and I feel taken advantage of, and I want to step down.

But what would I be stepping down from when my ROLE was never established in the first place?

What would I do if I ‘stepped down?’

Who would fill these roles if I didn’t?

So I go back and forth between feeling obligated and then really wanting to show up. Sometimes I have lots of energy for it and I feel empowered and strong. Other times I’m seething with anger and want to scream at everyone.

My feelings go back and forth, just like the hazy, muddy, slightly skewed title of ‘stepmom.’

I was thinking about this today as I was doing yoga.

MY ROLE is all over the place and nowhere and has no definition and is yet all encompassing. I was starting to get anxious just thinking about it.

But then I realized something else.

Why am I so special?

I mean, am I the ONLY one that doesn’t have a clearly DEFINED role?

I’ve been so caught up in my STEPMOM identity and what that means or doesn’t mean, that I didn’t give myself a chance to check out everyone else.

Maybe the reason this has been so confusing for me, is that we ALL seem to have some weird idea that our ROLES, any of them, should be clearly defined and explained.

We must feel like we SHOULD know exactly what it means to be a good wife, or good friend, or great sister or daughter, or excellent employee.

We SHOULD have learned what the parameters are, what is expected, what isn’t, how we can EXCEL, etc.

The more I think about it, there isn’t one single thing in life that is surrounded by clearly created black and white boundaries and definitions, right?

What if the very concept of ROLE is just bullshit?

What if it completely depends on who the person is and their intention for how they want to show up in the world? Wow. That just took a lot of pressure off my shoulders. Seriously, I felt them just fall.

What if I don’t need to do ANYTHING to perfect my ROLE. 

What if I just get to be Jackie? I can do more or less depending on what I feel, but I don’t need to have all the answers, and I certainly don’t need to FEEL like I have to do anything. I’ve just decided while writing this that my only requirement is that I’ll do everything with lots of love. Love for the kids, and my husband, and his ex-wife, and my family, and my friends,…

But most importantly, I can have a lot of love for myself, and let myself OFF THE ROLE HOOK!

 

Answers are Sometimes Hidden Gems

I’m sitting here on a Tuesday earlish afternoon and thinking about trust. It’s so funny how when things are going great or even well, trust isn’t much to really think about. But what about when things are rocky? That’s the real test.

You know when you’re in the right place at the right time but you aren’t sure of all the logistics? When you don’t see how the pieces are going to possibly fit together?

Most people freak out.

Ahhh! I don’t have all the answers! Ahhh! I’m not in control. I can’t do this!

This is:
scary or
hard or
daunting or
NEW and I want to run away!

I think where I am definitely seeing this show up the most right now is trusting that there is

ALWAYS A SOLUTION.

Always. I’ve struggled in the past with thinking in black and white, it’s either all this or all that,…etc. And yet the older (and hopefully wiser) I get, I am realizing more and more that

LIFE ISN’T LIKE THAT.

I think life, in all situations has solutions that are these hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Sometimes we may need to step away and take care of our basic needs before we can see them. But they are always there, lingering in the shadows ready to be revealed if we are open to jumping and trusting.

I’m being tested a lot regarding many new mom responsibilities with my step kids and cray cray stuff coming up  in regards to my husband’s ex-wife. Lately I feel like I’m barely coming up for air. It’s scary and a lot of work and I have a lot of feelings to work through , oh and by the way, where has my own time gone??

But I really do believe there are a lot of hidden gems along the way for me to experience as well.

I’m expecting to become better at trusting the universe, but also:

time management,
patience,
being present,
remembering the purpose,
remembering my purpose,
making sure that taking care of me is most important,
feeling my feelings, and
knowing that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed because I know I know I know that there will be solutions right around the corner.

Finding the Tribe

As I find myself, I find my tribe.

It’s funny, I’m looking back through my life, and at certain times I thought I’d found MY TRIBE that would last a lifetime. Maybe I had. Maybe the ‘lifetime’ just ended before my life did.

It seems like people have this fascination with having great friends for a long period of time. However, if we are all ever evolving there is a very good chance that two people do not change at the same time.
Or even in remotely the same way.

Maybe our TRIBE is always shifting.

Even a year ago, I thought I had MY TRIBE. My lifetime tribe. I never would have guessed in a thousand years that my friendship base would have changed so much in just a year. I had some close girlfriends in my life that I’ve known for a really, really long time, through so many breakups and breakdowns and breakthroughs. We knew pretty much everything about each other. It’s hard to believe that only 9 months later we don’t even talk.
Sure I was sad for awhile, very sad and hurt when I felt that the relationship was changing.

Then I realized something.
What if we were in each other’s lives when we needed it?

But what if the relationship doesn’t make sense anymore because we’ve learned what we needed to learn?

Is that so bad?

I’m really not angry about this. I am who I am right now because they were in my life. Because I had someone to share my pain with, my joys with, my fears, and my love, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. In so many ways they taught me what friendship was, in the capacity that I could experience it.

I send them love almost everyday, and though we will probably never be close again, I am not angry. I am grateful. I am also astounded by the constant evolution of life. The constant movement that we could never expect.

So as my current tribe is being created, I’m fully aware of who I am bringing closer and why. In the past, maybe I was drawn to people for a variety of reasons unknown.

But that is not who I am anymore.

I know exactly what I am seeking and attracted to. I know what I want more of, and what feels good. My tribe is exactly what I need now in my life.

I guess I feel a little nostalgic for my dear old friends right now. I’m sending so much love to all those wonderful people that I loved and cherished throughout the years. Thank you for all the friendship and tears and I hope you find everything your heart wants.

I hope you are surrounded in the tribe that your soul needs. 

 

 

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