Happy Spring everyone! I know, I know…it’s technically been “Spring” here for a few weeks…except the reality is, for those of us in Chicago, it’s not really official until we hit a few nice days in a row. Last week saw some freezing temperatures…but alas, the weather gods blessed us with the most beautiful Saturday afternoon. I actually got my first sunburn of the season 🙂
I know I’ve been quiet for a few weeks, and I’m sorry about that. I like to write when I feel like I have something powerful to say and share. And lately, life has been a bit stressful, and the words just aren’t coming to me. And I fear tonight is no different. But I wanted to give it my best shot, and see how it goes. So who’s with me?
Have you ever felt that your life is changing so quickly that you just can’t quite catch your breath? That’s how I’ve been feeling. Transitioning jobs has been way more exhausting than I anticipated. That, on top of the painful stories I’ve shared, and the demons I’ve come to face, life has felt a bit overwhelming. And when that happens, it’s hard not to start doubting yourself and the choices you’ve made. Should I have changed jobs? Am I better off here? Was it a good idea to share the story of my attack? What do people think of me? Where am I going? What should I do next? Will I be all right?
It makes your head spin. At least it does mine. And I have to find ways to stay grounded. First, I try to remember that I can only take one step at a time. I also try to focus on a structure. Something solid that has meaning. For me, that symbol is a tree. The power of that symbol has been significant for me for quite some time now. A strong, living force, planted with roots in the ground, while soaring with beauty into the skies, and enabling life as it grows.
Perhaps that’s why I decided to get a wrist tattoo of birds on a tree branch. It seems drastic, I know. But I wanted a reminder of how far I’ve come, and I strong I can be. When I feel my world spinning with self-doubt and questions, it’s a reminder of the qualities I possess, and the person I want to be.
Now, I’m not condoning or encouraging tattoos…it’s an extremely personal choice. One that I know can offend people, and prompt ugly remarks and judgments. Yes, I have unfortunately experienced that as well. But at a time in my life that has been nothing but challenging, I wanted to mark the occasion (literally) with something beautiful and wise.
And it goes something like this:
“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust does not lie in the branch but in her own wings. “ Author Unknown.
I debated on whether or not it was appropriate to have two birds. I mean, after all, I’m single and alone. And then I realized. Single and Alone do not have to mean the same thing. There are a lot of people in my life. And when life is overwhelming and lonely, I want to remember to have trust in myself, and trust in the people around me. If I can do that, then maybe my fear of the branch breaking will disappear.
My best advice, from someone who’s been there (and if she’s being honest, someone who is currently still there), take a deep breath when times get tough. And keep something near by that grounds you. Remember that you have strengths, and it’s OK to trust them.
And, for those of you who are curious, my hanging wall planter, as referenced in the last post, was a total fail! I’m not quite sure how I did it, but I managed to break two screws while drilling my box together. That takes some skill, I know. As an alternative, I decided to make a loom, and teach myself to weave a wall hanging.
Ironically, it’s in the shape of a tree 🙂
Until next time.