Dear Miranda, I’m back on my medication.

In my quest to be more thankful I started trying to identify the elements of my life that hinder me from joy. As I mentally sorted through the list of things it became apparent to me that at the root of nearly every thing that I could think of was my anxiety. Things that shouldn’t cause stress (or should only cause a slight amount of stress) become almost debilitating and it is difficult to think clearly when your afraid or anxious.

I decided to go to my Dr. and get back on medication. It’s bittersweet because I have been off anxiety medication for about seven years now. However, it’s also a huge relief to know that I will feel normal during the holidays. The flutters of my heart rate leaping, my hands obviously trembling, and the crushing feeling of being completely overwhelmed will all be dissipating by the time Christmas gets here…and that’s a really big deal.

I know to some it would seem like it’s a cop out to try and be more thankful and then take medication that effects your mood. But those people probably don’t know anything at all about what Anxiety and Panic disorder is. Or probably any other mental illness for that matter.  I don’t want to be a Zombie. I don’t want to be numb. That’s not what medication, as you know, is about. I just want to be able to actually see the beautiful things around me instead of being trapped in a cage of panic. It’s not going to magically make me a super happy go lucky person. It will just turn on the lights so I am able to more fully look for the things that being me joy.

Anyway I love your face and I’m relived to hopefully soon be back to normal.

❤ -Catie

Dear Miranda, Dem’ Resolutions… let’s review.

1. Keep Up with the Health thing.
L.O.L. I’ve gained like 30lbs. and been eating total junk since man and I started dating. I DO want to get back to this, but not before the holidays. So I guess we will see this pop up on next years resolution list.
2. Take a BIG trip.
Yes. Yes. All my Yes!
3. Start an IRA and Savings Fund 
Done!
4. Drink more Water
… Ok really this should be number ONE next year because I’m horrible about it.
5. Be more positive/happier
This is a yes and I have to say I am really really proud of this yes because it’s not always easy.
6. Make time.
This is hard. I’m not sure if it’s a yes or no. In some ways I am doing a lot better about spending my time “wisely” and on things that matter, but I also have a lot less time with my new job. I’d say I have improved but still need to work on this.
7. Write more. Dance more. Sing more. (Live more)
So you know we started this blog last January? We are a pretty big deal. Also I have taken up Embroidery… Check, Check, Check.
8. Make new friends 
YES! I have new work friends which is cool. 🙂
9. Don’t kiss all the boys
You know, I’ve done really really well this year. I’ve dated, but I haven’t gone crazy. And even more importantly, I have stuck to my expectations even when its really hard. I feel like I should be someones whole world and if I’m not then they must not be my someone. Really, that’s a better resolution. “Know what you want and don’t settle for anything less then that.”

Dear Miranda, These are my thoughts on your struggles with Christians.

So I meant to get back to you sooner. And I wanted to be able to take my time in responding to your doubts. But life just keeps moving on regardless as to my feelings on slowing down (Jerk). SO for right now, until I have more time to give you my more eloquent thought process this will have to do.

My thoughts on God and your struggles with Christians are this. I’d be willing to bet that Christians keep more people from Christianity then any other factor. Religion (in general, not just Christianity) is SO personal that people (even really good ones) tend to become extremely close minded and rationality starts to slip away in favor of reckless judgement. Sin parts from our lips while we are in the act of condemning sin. Let me just go ahead and say right here that there are not just hundreds of denominations in Christianity…. but there are millions of brands of Christianity, because each of us is different and we tie our own lives and thoughts and ideas to our faith. And that is a BEAUTIFUL thing. However it leads to a lot of conflict.

I’m not now, nor will I ever press you to be a Christian. I hope that my thoughts will give you a glimmer of hope if you need it, but I will love you (which includes NOT judging you) regardless of what religion you are, always! People like to point out “sin” and I think they miss the point. All sin is sin. All sin is equal. If you have sinned once you are just as much a sinner as someone who’s sinned a billion times. No one is with out sin.

Really it’s almost a hippy Zen concept. We are all equal. We all mess up. We all know the ache of guilt, worry, and sadness.

The idea of Christianity was not Condemn or to pick each other apart! It’s the opposite. It’s LOVE. Unconditionally. Its hope and joy and peace. It’s a place to rest when you are weary or afraid. It’s the light from a big full moon in the dark. It’s a crackling fire, snuggley blanket, and good book. It is comfort.

And, at least to me, to be a Christian is to be that unconditional love, that comfort, that hope in the world around us because we were given new life. We are made to love God and Each Other.

So I really really hope that no matter WHAT other people say to you about their faith, you don’t let them stand in the way of the relationship you choose to have. Don’t let them dictate your feelings or your faith. Don’t let them steal your comfort. ❤

Dear Catie, It’s Nobody’s Business, But Here’s My Last Six Months In Gifs. (Featuring Emma Stone and the cast of Easy A)

 I mean, not really. I’m figuring it out for the most part and I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come thus far in the journey. But, still. Here’s a quick series of gifs that explain how I feel, despite feeling all of this and having select few people who know little or nothing about me ask me how I’m doing, because… Let’s face it. They’re not doing it out of my best interest. They want the scoop, the dish, and the gold medal of being a friend ‘whose shoulder I can cry on, if I want to.’ Thanks.

When I made the decision to separate, and told close-to-me people. Thanks for the vote of confidence that I have an idea of what my life is like, and what it isn’t.

Which brought this on:

The gold-trophy-award-friend who gives me a shoulder to cry on to win said award (and gossip):

When I go on a date (since our separation):

I mean, dang. How do you really feel about me and my life decisions?

Because I’m tired of hearing this:

One thing I’ve learned about people who are divorced (and those who end up as single parents like myself), is to not be so judgmental. It’d be great if others did the same for me, you know, if you wanna be friends that is.:

So now, on my days off (Sundays), this is me… By myself… Being awesome:

And finally:

Love you, Catie. I’ll end with this:

Dear Catie, I’m grasping at straws. (Warning: Rage)

Okay, real talk. Just so you know, Catie, I am not yelling at you, and as a disclaimer to you and our religious readers, I am not trying to ‘diss’ on any of you, or your Gods. In fact, the world would be fantastic if we could all just agree to love each other because that’s what we’re supposed to freaking do, but I digress. Actually, I digress a lot in this post. Ugh.

 

These are the things that I feel or know:

  • I know that we are not alone in this universe or else-wise. There is so much untouched and undiscovered that we can’t be the only aliens alive.
  • Despite attempting to see the other side of things, I cannot in my heart or sound mind assume that everything is for nothing, and that the creation of it all wasn’t the work of some greater power, some fantastic God or Goddess, a high power – if you will.
  • Things in my life have happened that are so miraculous or coincidental that I have a hard time second-guessing them as proof of either karma or divine intervention.

What I would like to believe:

  • That God exists. One God. A solo, single god. Be it that all the religions are just talking about the same god under different names or one or the other is wrong and it’s actually this guy not the other. I’d like to believe that one exists.
  • That whomever this God is, he is merciful. That he realizes not everyone at all times is going to be on point all the time – or even the majority of the time. That he won’t belittle them or show them the door just because – as humans – we continue to fail.
  • That God truly does forgive, and doesn’t hold the grudges of the things you’ve begged forgiveness for.
  • That God saves. That his son really did die on the cross so that you could make those mistakes.
  • That the bible isn’t just a string of great moral stories fabricated by man to explain the things around them that they didn’t understand, and also to grant us a great sense of morals to follow by so we don’t all kill each other like morons.

Believe me, fellow readers who are of a religion, that I am in no way trying to bash your religion. I am not trying to cause doubt in your minds. I am not trying to shit all over Jesus. What I am trying to say is there are things that I know and have cemented in my mind, body, and spirit and then… there are things that I just really wish I felt the same about. But the honest truth is, I have a hard time, a really hard time, with just about everything in the ‘What I would like to believe’ section. I don’t want to doubt it. I don’t want to disbelieve what millions upon millions of other Christians so readily believe and have gone past the trials of not believing. I do.

I’ve been trying to think of the reasons why I can’t wrap  my head around them just yet, and a lot of it has to do with:

  • Guilt / Shame of my life and some the choices I have made. (I’ve made some really good ones, but… we all stumble.)
  • Pressure of very strict religious environments and their lack of acceptance of pretty much anything I’ve ever felt needed some mercy and understanding.
  • People I know directly who are so devout and mean well, but truly, they just push and push and do not understand that they are driving a wedge between myself and wanting to talk to them about anything other than the weather – which, by the way didn’t you know, is a gift from God for those of us who haven’t royally screwed up today/this week/this month/this year.

I’m being catty. I don’t want to be catty, but I’m about to explode. I felt like I almost had a grasp on God, and having a relationship with him, and screw anyone else and all the organized religion that everyone wanted to push on me, and the communities that scrutinized me, and forget them because I had a God that was forgiving and loved me despite my flaws and was working in my heart in the most beautiful ways.

But wait, I’m doing it wrong. He’s merciful… if you deserve it. He forgives you… if you really try to change. He loves you… if you love him back. You can have him… if you change absolutely all of your ways and shed off any sin you currently practice.

Weird. It sounds like he’s becoming a human being instead of an Almighty God. But wait, this wasn’t his doing. This is some of his followers. This is humans, talking about him. This is humans talking about him to me.

Slowly, I began to realize that nothing makes me want to give up religion altogether and stop struggling to believe… more than the people who follow him.

I. Absolutely. Love and Adore. The people who make me feel this way, and it breaks my heart. I also recognize that I, myself, am giving them the permission to get under my skin and grind my gears with their pressure. It is not their fault I am being pushed away, not really. I am within my own power and right to not give them that chance, to not let them in. So I haven’t been. When religion comes up, I bottle up and bow out. When something is said I don’t agree with, I give up even wanting to argue the issue — especially on social medias, where everyone is a winner as long as someone agrees with you. 

I wish I knew others who felt about Him the same way I do – without the bullshit of condemning me and all of that shaming, guilting. We all get it, okay? Just because my sins are on the surface and yours are well hidden doesn’t make you any different from me. People make it so hard to love God with all of their damn nit-picking and rules and … I could rant for days on this agitating experience.

I’m ranting.

I’m sorry.

At the end of the day, I want so badly to believe in God. The same God that every other Christian believes in, rejoices in, and prays to. I want Him to love me so badly because I get that I am not perfect, and never will be, and that’s why He completes me. I want Him to wrap His arms around me and sing to me in the car when He plays that special song just for me – because He knows that’s how I hear Him best – and He knows that because He is God. When I think of Him alone, I am content and peaceful and feel like I can do this.

I’ll let you know how it goes, but I wanted to be open and honest about my feelings. Hopefully, in time, I’ll have posts about how great life is with Him in my life, but today is not that day. Today is a day of great struggle, as now I’m fighting against myself and the world.

Wish me luck,

Mojo

 

Miranda’s Resolutions in Review – November

You and I both know the pull of guilt when we look back on these and go, “WHERE DID I GET OFF THE DANG WAGON?” Today, I aim to revisit that wagon, pull a few pieces of food off of it, and go forth to conquer my own quest of life.

Apologize only when I regret. 

I need this, especially nowadays. I’m separated (divorce is still in the works, but dang, it’s expensive…) and while I still feel like I am in the right and that this is the best thing I could have done, the guilt not from myself but others looms over me. I need to fight it better. I need to not apologize to anyone for my decisions unless I regret it.

Be positive.

I’m kind of proud of myself about this one? Sure, we all have our days, but I remain the ray of sunshine I wanted to be. It’s funny, because when I was younger, everyone adored the way I could smile and light up a room with my seemingly endless joy and energy. I could float between conversations with people and make everyone feel noticed, important, and rather than it be taxing, it was rewarding. Now, I haven’t been anywhere in the physical world, not really, but I’ve joined a guild of people who are NOT roleplayers and simply play the GW2 game as a game between friends, as a hobby, as something ‘for fun’. There’s literally no strings attached, no drama (comparatively to roleplayer’s drama), and it’s a new group, a new atmosphere.. New hope. I’ve been cheerful, happy, pleasant – and people seem to really like me! When I walk in, they’re happy to see me! Now, I know what this says about me (that I seek out approval for others), but I don’t give a damn. It’s nice to be around a group of people not shaming me for my divorce or other decisions. I’m happy to be able to feel like I can be that happy girl again, and everyone feel it radiating from me.

No more sodas.

Good lawd. I’m so sorry about this one. I should really hop on this bandwagon again. I’m thinking of going from Dr. Pepper to Sprite/Ginger Ale, because at least then it wouldn’t be dark soda, right?

No more fast food.

I would save so much damn money if I did this, but I am having such a hard time deciding what to substitute for it. I don’t me substitute completely. I mean, ANYTHING to replace this with. Right now, dad and I make big dinners so we have left overs, but damn, leftovers of the same spaghetti for weeks (we keep remaking  the same spaghetti each week) gets old. I need to learn to cook. How do I learn to cook?! EGADS.

Plan ahead on school work writing anything and everything. 

I need to make time, a routine, and work on my blog and book ideas. More on this in another post.

Write for 30 minutes, every day.

This is still a thing, but again, more on this. ^

Work out.

I actually just did this one, and my arms hate me.

God, God, God.

I don’t know how I feel about him anymore, to be honest. I’ll write about this as well.

Work on at least two of these resolutions each week.

Ugh. Okay, okay, okay.

Love you, B.

 

Miranda

Dear Miranda, I know what I want for Christmas.

Today my friend Becca came over for a couple hours and we were lamenting the fact that we are so stinking busy that we literally have to schedule two hour time slots to see each other. Adulthood.

We also were talking about how the last six months have been totally insane for me. Basically everything in my life has done a headspin. Really…realistically that past year has been this way. A total hailstorm of change. The only constant being that there isn’t any constant. To be truthful, it’s exhausting.

Looking back I’m pretty proud of myself for continuing to dog paddle through everything because sometimes it really feels like  I am about to drown. So I’ve decided that all I want for Christmas this year is a few months of CALM. A few months were nothing changes. No job changes or relationship/friendship changes, not even a house change. That’s right… while I do want to move into a place of our own desperately need a few months of just nothing.

I hope Santa brings me a freakin’ break.

-Catie