I am feeling the urge to write, but I don’t know what to say… for now the title line is blank, I really have no idea where this will go. I’m feeling oddly okay with just pouring my brain into my fingertips. Fly, you little buggers, fly.

I’ve got a 3 hour track of the most beautiful classical music ever created, I’ve had coffee, I’m forcing myself to sit up straight (don’t slouch… tits out, that’s what mom always said… Jesus, that’s awesome). So. Where shall we begin?

How have I been lately? I’ve been getting that question a lot lately. Sometimes it’s really hard to truthfully answer in the moment, so I usually just say “getting there” and then just move on. That’s the truth, I’m getting there, but there’s obviously more to it than that, but if I went into it, like some of you ask me to, I would be dead from exhaustion. So, let’s do checkpoints, sort of…. I’ll keep saying “getting there” and just take it at face value. I’m always working towards a greater goal, and sometimes I have setbacks, and sometimes I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was. Sometimes I slide back a few steps and have to pick up the pieces and find some mental superglue and stick myself back together. I sometimes feel like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz “they took my brains out and threw them over there, and then they took my heart out and threw it over there” and I’m a pile of blubbery mess. But like Scarecrow, I have friends who help me retrieve the lost pieces of me and together we stuff me back together and we move on. Sometimes it takes a while to find all the stuffings. I suppose I could do without some of the stuffings… I’m pretty padded as it is. I could stand to unfluff a little.

There, a segway!! I have discovered walking trails! And more importantly, some really comfortable shoes. Two pairs of shoes to be exact. As my baby blue Nike’s near the end of their life, I started using my gym pair as my everyday pair (partly because I had a brand new pair of sneakers sitting in a gym bag and face it, I haven’t been to the gym in a whiiiiiillllle… again, working on it) so I thought fuck it, I’m going to use them and go walking. Fuck yes. They’re good walking sneakers. I can lose weight walking and hiking more yes? Huzzah. And then there are the work shoes… my old work shoes were SHIT. I didn’t realise how badly they were shit until I couldn’t get out of bed one day after a 6 hour shift in them. Well, fuck that. I need to be able to move. Something had to give. And then the bestest boss in the whole wide world gave us all great news… we were going to be able to get a SERIOUS discount on a new pair of work shoes. So, as any sane kitchen bitch would do, I promptly ordered a pair of Birkenstocks. FUCK YES. The first day I wore them in the kitchen, I cried at the end of my shift because my feet and legs were completely pain-free and I was so happy. I was so happy in fact, I put those awesome sneakers on afterwards and walked home. It’s a 10K walk home. Can I get a fucking hallelujah!? It was necessary to add that swear. My mind was blown. But my feet weren’t! Having sneakers and work shoes that don’t make me want to murder everyone I set my eyes upon is kind of a game changer. I don’t hurt as much, so I walk more. A lot more. I get off the bus several stops early so I can walk and take in some fresh air and some quality me time… I pick one of the voices that’s buzzing around in my head and I listen to it and see what it has to say. I’m not saying I hear voices people, calm down. They’re all my own voice, they’re all my ideas, but they’re all screaming at once and it’s hard to sort all that out and not be so anxious all the time. If I start listening to one at a time, gradually, it gets quieter, and then I can sleep for once. So, the moral of the story here, get comfortable shoes and your life will change. I cannot stress this enough.

Since I’ve started walking, I’ve been finding more energy to go walking. There are some nice woodsy trails near my apartment building and I love being in the woods, so off on the trails I go. I try to cover every loop in one go, sometimes it takes me a couple of hours, and sometimes I stop and sit on a tree stump, but I find I always want to keep going. I sweat my ass off too, holy shit. The breezes sure are welcome when they come along. Or the rain, ahhh…. cooldown. My legs burn like hell for the first half hour at least, sometimes longer. I should have stopped at times and stretched and maybe eased up a bit, but I felt pretty determined to see if it would eventually stop burning and make that happen ASAP. It felt like it took forever. but all of a sudden, it hit me, I wasn’t burning anymore, and fuck, it was nice to walk through the woods, over rocks and tree stumps and moss and pine needles. It reminded me of all the walking and hiking and camping I did as a kid. I lived in the middle of nowhere. It was constantly a long walk in the woods, usually with a book and a snack. Well, guess who’s going to revisit her childhood habits? They were good ideas. I feel I might have an idea to possibly manage my anxiety and panic attacks.

Chad and I went camping this week. We brought enough food to feed an army, and brought more than half of it back with us (we’re not smart) and we have a giant tent (it’s at least a 6 man tent), with a front sunroom. I guess we went more “glamping” than camping (I’ve only recently learned what that term meant). Glamorous camping. hahaha. How do we come up with this shit? I found myself working on remaining calm and not letting myself get frustrated while setting up that monster of a tent. It took us 20 minutes total to set it up, and we were slow, and methodical, and except for when one of the rods popped out of its pocket and hit me right in the mouth (ooh, it bloody hurt… I had a fat lip for a while) I didn’t lose focus, my patience, or my temper (and I only swore a little bit when I got punched by the tent). CHad was quite proud of me. I was quite proud of me too. Every other camping trip, I’ve wanted to hurry and get the tent up because I always felt I had to be in a hurry to do everything and I really don’t know why. I can’t for the life of me remember why I always felt I had to hurry to get everything done perfectly the first time, and to say yes to every single request that was asked of me, whether I knew what to do or not. I’m realising that I have been completely insane for years, not just in the last few months. I had another one of those epiphanies the other day. It’s hard to put it into words without making myself sound like the center of the universe, but here it goes. I feel one of the reasons for my anxiety and panic attacks are because I cared too much about doing everything and doing it all perfectly and making it look like it was effortless, like I totally knew what I was doing all the time. I don’t know where the hell those expectations came from but I would never expect that from anyone else, why the hell would I expect it of myself? So, I’m going to circle back to my scarecrow metaphor, and the stuffings I can’t find. I think perhaps it’s time to stop looking for some of the stuffing haha. So, in a way, I guess this my way of saying “my give a damn’s busted” 😀 I need to lighten up, really enjoy life more, not let myself be weighed down by having to behave like I was a programmed robot. So, that’s what I’m going to do. But I still need to move forward. Here’s to starting over.

The camping trip really was awesome. We hiked and picnicked, cooked over the campfire and discovered that the Celebration oatmeal cookies with the milk chocolate on the bottom makes an AMAZING s’more. Best of all, Chad and I reconnected after months of darkness. We had FUN. We laughed, we explored, and we ziplined again! Last year, I was so terrified because I had no idea what to expect. This year, we were a little more mentally prepared. I’m sad to say I still wasn’t physically prepared for that hill climb. Jesus. Halfway up, we cross a dirt road, so I asked for a break, and of course was obliged. Seriously, if any of you want to try ziplining, go to Anchors Above. They’re really nice. Because I was nervous, I made jokes, and some real eye rollers too. I joked about being jiggly and out of breath, and the fellow there was nice as could be. Bless his heart. Chad and I decided that this would be sort of a symbolic thing, because I’m all about symbolism and shit. We made it simple. I went first. The adrenaline made it hard to think. I will admit, I was still scared shitless. It’s high up! This was a jumping off point. To change. To do things that scared us. To do things we found exciting and exhilarating and fun, to enjoy the life we’re given. To change the things we don’t like about our lives, one step at a time, to get to our happy place. A starting point. A promise to try. To always work for it. Because we deserve it. The beginning of a commitment. It really was because once you stepped off the platform, there was no going back. Holy shit it was amazing. I had my headphones in, and I sailed above the treetops, with Strauss’s Blue Danube dancing around my brain. So much green. I spun a little too, so I got to look in all directions. Exhilarating. But I was holding on for dear life. My sore arm muscles are a testament to how hard I was white knuckling it. I suppose if life doesn’t scare you a little bit, you’re doing it wrong, eh?

The second jump is the fast one. It’s 900 ft long and last year it was one long shriek from top to bottom. But it sure is fun. Oddly enough, the fast one scares me less. I wanted to jump off the edge and yell something sweet to Chad, like “I love you” or something. But as I jumped off and started to pick up speed, fuck me if I didn’t inhale a bug. And in all my brilliance shouted “I ATE A BUUUUUUUUUUG” back at Chad… I could still feel its feet wiggling in my throat by the time I made it to the bottom of the mountain. Added protein I guess. RIP little fella… sorry. So much for profound.

All in all, a great week, and I’m comfortable with calling this a jumping off point. Something has sparked in me and I am developing a new interest. Once I really think I can stick with. And hone. I have discovered I really like hiking, and am going to use that to start getting into shape. I bring my mp3 player, and I sometimes so a little dance in the woods if a good dance tune comes on and no one’s around lol. Sometimes I stop for a couple of minutes to let the burn recede, catch my breath, and drink some water. Like I’m sure everyone did when they started hiking. It took a long time to get this out of shape, I used to think if I didn’t start losing weight within the first week of working out that I was going to fail. Jesus, what was wrong with me? Unrealistic goals and timelines, no wonder I was stressed as fuck. I’m working on calming the hell down, so far, short hikes are helping. And I love camping. I loved it when I was a kid, I love it as an adult. And I’m going to do it more. Why not? Exactly.

So there it is… I think you’re all caught up on the fabulously exciting world of crazy old me. Not quite as exciting as it could be, but hey, I just jumped off my starting point… i’m working on being interesting 😉

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