Monday, August 26, 2013

110 Floors

The view is so clear, yet so distant.  Everything below seems so minute, so insignificant.  The reality is the higher you are, the harder the fall. That is, significant.

The 15th came and went, as anticipated the paycheck did not cover all expenses. Finances were not determined or solved. But, I am still here, still living and breathing and going about my daily routine. Life didn’t come crashing down around me.  I begrudgingly move toward the final option of a 401k loan to cover living expenses for one year. One year. This isn’t a plan B, or a fall back, this is my paycheck. This is the fire under me that will drive me to succeed in the set up and follow through of Invictus, LLC writing nutrition plans. This is the kick in the ass to get my personal training certificate and begin that avenue of income.. there is no plan B. Needless to say that is one heck of a chunk of money; this is by far the most secure, sensible option available. There is that heavy feeling in my stomach again. A pit. Fear, anxiety.. overwhelming stress and a force larger than I tugging, pushing, pulling me in every direction.

School started. Reality set in walking into a classroom after 15 years.  The self-doubt and questions surface once again. Two online classes, one classroom. What am I doing, can I really do this? Perception is reality, isn’t it? Sure I can. Maintain positivity. Keep looking forward, not one glance behind except the moments of reflection. Somehow, someway, I can do this. With at least six more hours in each day I surely could. Feeling the pressure and I’m only a week in.

Give grace to myself, easier said than done. A perfectionist, one who has come from a past full of trials and tribulation. One who realized at a young age, you need to look out for number one. Nobody else will. Time and time again of putting your fate in another’s hands, those who should be fully trusted and should have your best interest in mind failed you miserably.  A child’s eyes should not see, live through or experience some of which mine have. Scarred. If the ship goes down, you’re going with it. One statement so boldly stated to me, I will never forget. Said by the one who should be your shield, your armor in life at that age. A child. An early teen. Too young to live life independently. When you are dropped into darkness and find yourself alone, you have two options. Back into a corner and wait for rescue or rise above, create your own shield and move steadfast into the light. Only one option in my book, rise above. Nothing will stand in my way. Nothing will break me. 110 floors above I will not fall. I stand strong.

A change of pace, a necessary pause. Visiting my mom, stepdad and aunt in Tennessee over this last weekend. Too much time passes between visits. A year and a half since I last saw my mom. Significant history there, once again the kind no child or person of any age should witness. My mom has had her share of poor life experience, much more than I. Something dead out of a Lifetime movie.  These traumatic events from childhood through adulthood, creating dependency, inability to stand tall and express herself, I took on the responsibility of being her force field, her shield, in the years I was with her. As years passed, and new scars continued to appear, a deep depression came along with it. Long-term memory disappeared as though it never even existed. Never to be recovered. Sadly, remembering only the negative events of the past. Going years without speaking, seeing each other and wondering if I would ever have my mom in my life again I finally understood the breaking point, the depression. I call her every Sunday and have now for the past several years. She needs me as much as I need her. There is always a special bond between mother and daughter. Much needed quality time. A lot of repair has been done over the years, but I still look at her with the same eyes. I still want to protect her from the world and hug her so tight that nothing else can get in. My stepfather is a wonderful man. A saving grace to be by her side, I am thankful. My partner in crime was able to join in this journey to rural Tennessee. Knowing that the past would surface, bracing myself for him to hear some of these traumatic events in our lives, while many don’t know what to say when they learn, it is important to uncover who I am. My core, why I am, and how I came to be, me. While I’ve not revealed specifics, this will be the first I’ve remotely spoken of my past publicly. Even many of those close do not know. Assumptions are made, judgment, quick assessment, all acceptable to me.. I know who I am, where I came from and where I am going, that is what is important. However, this blog, this journal and exposure of inner self is raw and real and peeling back the layers is necessary. With this, I am vulnerable, and I am me. Knowing where I came from will allow you to fully understand and appreciate the journey that lies ahead. This trip held significance in many ways, I am grateful for the opportunity. Tears fell from my mom’s face as we walked down the terminal. I love you mom, until next time.

Back to fast pace life, standing on the edge looking down at what lies below. Everything appears to be so small in the grand scheme of life.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Live Life Unconquered.

Life Lessons. Live in the moment. Take one day at a time. The one who, openly and willingly, stands boldly next to me through this unknown journey repeatedly asks me.. how do you eat an elephant? Where I've now learned the reply, one bite at a time. When you take a moment to step back and stare that elephant in the face an overwhelming sense comes over you, as though you may have bit off more than you can chew. There's just.. so much. How? The question arises again, what am I doing? With no direct religious perspective or underlying tone, it is almost inexplainable. Speaking purely from inner self, there is something driving me. Pushing me. Pulling me. 

No ground breaking discoveries or news over the last week regarding financial status. Still feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders although I've been reminded to celebrate the small successes, the wins.. no matter how small or large. Passing the math placement test into statistics, check. Trade in lease for a lesser payment, check. General business structure for Invictus, LLC (creating a healthier you from the inside out, through nutrition and fitness) created, check. Trademarking the slogan.. A Better You Than Yesterday. Creating a logo, the business side has endless opportunity and creation, in progress. Putting the cart in front of the horse, maybe.. but having those items in place makes for an easy transition when clients arrive. Partnering as a distributor with a premier health and wellness company offering energy, weight loss, nutrition, and sports performance products, AdvoCare, in progress. Starting ground floor at Colorado's Pro Gym part time, check. Align myself appropriately for the future, in the most strategic way possible, according to me.. which.. take it for what its worth based on recent decisions. Next stop, complete a personal training certification, provide supplemental income and help others along the way. Best of both worlds. Bottom line, good things come to those who go out and get them. While the financial burden festers I must appreciate, reflect upon and celebrate the small wins. Words of wisdom credited to Eric, who witnesses my emotion, or lack of, daily. The many who have come out of the woodwork to offer support, the unexpected or long lost friends, those near and dear who stand close, holding strong, warms my heart. I must admit it is uncomfortable to accept help from others, much like gifts.. I prefer to give rather than receive. Understanding that I cannot do this solely, that I am allowed the grace to be. To be less than strong, to be emotional, to be less than perfect. To just be. An area I must overcome and accept. Thank you all for your strength, encouragement, support and most of all, acceptance. 

School starts next week. Anxious, nervous? Absolutely. To be perfectly honest, not a clue what I'm walking into. Deep breath. One bite at a time. The second I expand the view to the large elephant in front of me I feel surrounded and drowned by the endless list of to do's, the priorities and deadlines and question of.. how. Keep smiling. Push through. Lift heavy, run long and clear your mind. Use fitness as an outlet. Every day I turn to my workouts, my passion, to somehow find release. In an out of control world, you lean on what you can control.. workouts and results of, are one. I control my destiny when I walk into the gym, or an event, it is my mind and body, my control. I can and I do. This, should be no different. I believe in me.

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with challenge, it means that it is going to launch you into something great. Focus. And keep aiming.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Band Keeps Marching On..

This is the point most would stop and question.. what am I doing? Why do I need to be this person, why do I need to step out of normalcy and create havoc in my world... why can't I just follow the expectation and be.. happy where I am. The inner voice, the bold pioneer, the one who so gently pushes me to this edge and the one who screams at the sign of contentment. Always more. More to learn, more to be, more to see and more to know. The edge. Dark, questionable, new, less traveled, exhilarating. Scary. Scary..  yet always a sense of deep inner calm.

So.. money. Money isn't real. Right? I mean.. We all work hard to pay bills, live, maybe save a penny or two. We stress about debt and credit. But.. at the end of the day, why? Guilty. I work hard to keep debt at mortgage, car and monthly household bills. That is all about to change. Finances are the biggest stress of my decisions to go back to school. Reality check. Financial Aid says sorry Jess, we see that your new reduced income only covers 40% of your monthly expenses, but.. you got this. It's cool. Standing in front of the oh so helpful financial aid assistant, holding back tears explaining what I'd just done to get here as though I expected a high five and.. nothing. 

Call my financial institution, they have a private student loan program. Money isn't real.. understanding and not quite accepting that debt is going to be a survival tool. It isn't as though I have a shopping habit, this debt is to pay for school, an education, I can only do what I can do.. money is not going to stop me from pushing onward. Unless I can't get it. A cosigner. Is this a joke, a cosigner.. at 35, working since I was 14, purchased everything on my own from a young age, never had any financial support or backing at any point.. and if I fell, there was nobody to catch me. So the answer, was that I don't ever fall. And I will not now either. Excellent credit, spotless history, minimal debts and enough assets in 401k to prove I am able to repay. Pressing to go back for loan review, asking if I could write a letter of explanation for my circumstances.. Big Bank says no. I chose this. I made these decisions that put me in this place. I have nobody to blame but myself. But I need help.. I'm asking for help. To be penalized or set up for failure by the system is disheartening. There must be another way. There's always a way. It just may not be very pretty.

Classes begin August 19th. T minus 10 days to overcome this obstacle. Living depends on it. 

If nobody thinks you can. Then you have to.