96: Cleanse

I’m starting off my Day Zero challenge with, arguably, the hardest goal on my list.  #96 reads: “Distance myself from the toxic people in my life and don’t feel guilty about it.”

By nature, I’m a people pleaser.  I have a desperate need for people to like me, and I allow the actions of others to affect me far more intensely than they should.  I am a social worker to my core, and sometimes that leaves me incredibly vulnerable to the malicious behavior of others.  On more than one occasion and with more than just one person, I’d become so desperate to be liked that I accept behavior I don’t deserve.  Then I fall into a tailspin of trying to figure out the why: why they hate me so much and why they feel they have the right to treat other people in this way (spoiler alert: they don’t).  It’s not only hurtful but incredibly infuriating, and then I allow this person who has done nothing but be rude to me to affect my mood for days on end.  I allow them to weasel their way into my psyche and affect me emotionally in a way that NO ONE has the right to do.

Cutting toxic people out of my life is probably the most difficult thing for me to do, especially when I can’t truly disassociate myself from a person due to family or work circumstances, e.g.  So my first challenge of 2014 is not to “disown” them (for lack of a better word), but to severely reduce contact and communication with those people I deem to be damaging to my emotional well-being.  I’ll never be intentionally unkind to another person, but I’m no longer going to go out of my way to be pleasant to those who refuse to act civilly toward me.  I can’t change others, but I can change the way in which I relate to them.  Because I deserve better.  And because those people are not deserving of me – my time, my energy, or my heart.

My Day Zero list is about living my life to its most fulfilling.  It’s about doing the things for me that make me happiest.  Continuing to give of myself to miserable people who will never like me is neither fulfilling nor enjoyable.  So I’m done.  Because people who go out of their way to be unkind, rude, or cruel to others are the worst kind of people.  And I have no more patience for them.

Day Zero on Day One

Most of my friends have described 2013 as being really amazing or really awful with little middle ground.  I don’t know that I can honestly say that 2013 was anything more than … another year?  Granted some wonderful things happened this year: I finished my first and started my second year of grad school, the hubs and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary, we brought little pup into our lives, I found a church that I love more than I can possibly say, I made a conscious effort to reconnect with the friends I left behind in NC and also made a few amazing friends (whom I suspect will be in my life for the long haul).  But this year was also pretty stressful.  Grad school in and of itself is time-consuming (and soul-sucking at times), caring for two dogs instead of one sometimes does feel like double the work, I  had to spend yet another holiday season alone (I had my family, but it’s not the same without your significant other), the months-long waiting period finding out where we’ll be living this time next year, applying for full-time jobs post-graduation…

I guess if I had to describe 2013 at all it would be: treading water.  For the most part, I was stuck.  I was still in graduate school, the hubs was still stationed a bajillion miles away… 2013 was a lot of planning and preparing for what’s coming next and getting excited about eventually moving forward.  However, it felt, at times (most of the time), like I was just standing still.  There were good things that happened (I mean, I can’t imagine 365 days of misery), there were things that made me want to crawl in bed and never come out again.  But I didn’t feel like I grew much this year.  I’d been so focused primarily on school that I don’t really recall having much time at all to do things for me.  That changed somewhat when I joined my church’s choir in November, but for 10 months prior, I was really just going through the motions.

That’s why I decided to put my Day Zero list into full effect starting today!  New year, new start, blah blah blah.  You get the idea (except I have almost 3 years to complete my Day Zero list).  I realized that, moving forward, I don’t want my life characterized by all of the things that I have to do – work, school, run a household, etc.  I want to be able to take a step back from the obligations of everyday life and say “I’m doing this for me.”  Tomorrow, a post about tackling my first Day Zero item will publish, so stay tuned!

Liebster Award

I need to thank The Direction Not the Destination for my Liebster Award nomination!  Though I’ve fallen away from blogging in the past 6-8 weeks, I think about this place a lot, and I’ve been around reading and commenting in that time.  Now that I have a lot more free time, I’ll be writing a lot more.  Despite my absence, I’ve been nominated anyway, and I’m so honored that you hold me in such esteem!  So here are the answers to your questions: Continue reading

I’m still here!

Hi all!

Now that my last fall semester ever is over (holy cow that flew by!), I have a little more time to blog before the spring picks up.  I haven’t forgotten about all of you or this place.  I’ve just been so incredibly overwhelmed lately with school, work, internship, church, church choir (yea – I joined the choir!  It’s awesome!), the gym, and finding time to care for myself and the pups… you get the picture.  I’ll be picking up blogging a lot more in the next few days, and I’ll hopefully start writing a bunch of posts on the weekends and scheduling them to go up during the week.

Thanks for being so patient with me.  Y’all are the best.

I attended a seminar on domestic violence and the military. It made me angry. And then sad.

Wow, I haven’t blogged in a while!  I’ve been so stupid busy with everything that blogging has kind of fallen by the wayside.  Oops!  Forgive me?

Anyway, something happened yesterday that I cannot ignore.  I knew I had to blog about it.

As I’ve said before, this year my graduate internship is at a domestic violence and rape crisis counseling center.  Our agency also runs a batterers’ rehabilitation program, but I’m not involved in that.  My sole focus is counseling survivors of violence.  Sometimes we’re invited to attend seminars and conferences run by various agencies and institutions in the area.  Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a seminar on the intersection of domestic violence and military families.  Being in a military family and also working directly with domestic violence, my interest was piqued.  I was really excited to hear what those in the court system had to say about domestic violence and how it affects military personnel and their families differently from how it affects civilian families.  Dealing directly with survivors in a counseling setting doesn’t offer me many opportunities to see what the courts are doing to also fix the problem, so I was excited to come away with a better understanding of how the court system works especially in terms of bringing justice to survivors.

Oh boy.  I was not prepared.  You are not prepared. Continue reading

Uhhh…. {Faith in My Friday}

FIMFbutton2

So, I have some internet friends that I chat with a lot.  We met on a wedding/general life message board years ago and kind of banded together in our own group after that message board imploded.  A few of us decided that we’d love to create a second group of Christian girls with whom we could share our faith.  It’s been a really wonderful experience so far, and we just started our very first virtual Bible study together!  The book we’re reading was actually one that I suggested – Let. It. Go. by Karen Ehman.

I had done some research, and it seemed like a really great bible study geared toward women who have a tendency to want to control everything around them, and since I have major issues with that, I was kind of excited to start reading.

Let me just say that I have never been more embarrassed to pump up everyone about a book only for it to be horrifyingly awful.  We’re only one chapter in (we read one chapter per week and discuss it every Monday), and I’m hoping that it gets better, but holy moly.  It’s bad so far, y’all.  Really bad. Continue reading

Tom Hiddleston reads me a sonnet to distract me from exams

So I have been stupidly busy this past week.  I’ve done 3 home visits for work, my regular hours at my internship, class, research for a project due next week, reading for classes, and trying to cure cancer.  (JK.  That last one’s a lie.  You don’t want me anywhere near a science lab.  I’d probably blow something up)

Anyway, I have my first exam of my second year today, so I’ve been spending a ton of time studying for that, and I think I’m ready.  Sweet!  I can write an insightful blog post about something meaningful and… insightful.  Or something.

Oh, but what’s that?  I have another freaking test tomorrow?  That awesome post will need to wait then.  Sorry folks.

In exchange for not posting in what feels like forever, I leave you with this video:

 

That sound?  It’s my ovaries exploding.  And I don’t even know that Hiddleston realizes how damn attractive he is, which makes him even MORE attractive.  HE IS THE PERSON FROM THE ONE DIRECTION SONG, PEOPLE.

So now that you all think I’m clinically insane, I’m signing off.  I’ll hopefully have something up for FIMF since I started a new bible study this week and have a LOT to say about it!  A. LOT.