Thursday, December 1, 2016

17 changes I hope to make in 2017

2016 has been an interesting, challenging and unexpected year for me. And given the events of last year, it has been significantly better and more rewarding. I healed radically and completely from the deepest sorrow I've ever known. I started to see people, places and things outside of my selfish and cloudy little bubble. I asked for help when I was drowning. I fell in love for possibly and hopefully the last time. I made a life-changing decision and stared back when fear tried to stare me down.

But of course, it's been far from perfect. I have a lot on my plate right now, and more often than not, I feel more compelled to curl up in a ball and go to sleep than begin sorting through it all. I've put important projects and responsibilities on the top shelf, but even though they are out of sight, they are not out of mind. They still exist. They still need to be acknowledged. I've been dealing with some harsh and bewildering conflict in my personal life, and I don't even know where to begin making things right --- or at least making things peaceful and bearable.

At times, I've glimpsed the person I want to become, and at others, I've lost sight of her completely. I've succeeded in some areas and failed in others. But I wake up every day, show up every day, and try every day.

I want next year to be different. In a positive way. In a way that challenges me, breaks me, heals me, and rebuilds me. In a way that teaches me how to be 25 years old.

Here are 17 changes I hope to make in 2017. How about you?

1. My reaction to conflict

I'm not always under attack.

2. The frequency in which I count my blessings

I used to count my blessings every single day, and I was so much happier and calmer because of it. What happened?

3. The way I treat myself

My feelings are worthy, my thoughts are misleading, my goals are valid, and my moments of happiness are deserved.

4. The way I treat my loved ones

I only have a handful of people in my life who care deeply enough about me to keep in touch, prioritize my well-being, and put up with my crap. They deserve the royal treatment every day of their lives.

5. My level of freedom

I'm a grown ass woman, and I can do what I want.

6. My level of fear

Fear is not my friend. Fear is not my friend. Fear is not my friend.

7. My attention to self-care

I'm stuck with myself for the rest of my life, so I better start going to the doctor, eating healthier, drinking more water, and keeping track of my moods and thought patterns.

8. My living situation

Remember that scene from Boy Meets World where Mr. Feeny was telling Cory about moving a flower from a small pot in his living room to his garden? Why? Because if he didn't, he feared it would stop growing. Well, I'm that flower. And it's time for me to find a new home.

9. My inclination to please others

I've disappointed and confused people my whole life, so why bother?

10. My relationship patterns and beliefs 

I may drown in my insecurities, have a history of pain and disappointment, be the poster child for abandonment issues, and believe that I am perpetually unworthy of love, but the relationship I have right now is far too precious and rare to screw up. So I have some serious, serious work to do.

11. My aversion to adulting

It's time. It's time to adult.

12. My level of writing productivity

I must start writing every day again. No exceptions, no excuses.

13. My professional life in general 

I hope to achieve some semblance of professional and financial comfort and happiness next year. I don't ever want to feel stuck or uninspired. (Or broke as hell.)

14. The amount of time I spend online

It's astonishing how much life gets sucked away from you while you're staring at a computer or phone screen for hours every day. I want to cut back and see what happens, for I strongly suspect it will be all good things.  

15. The amount of time I spend procrastinating

It's getting quite ridiculous.

16. My negative assumptions

Can I get an amen from literally everyone who knows me?

17. My overall life balance

Balance is still and will always be everything. If I'm not careful, I might give way too much attention to one thing and not nearly enough to another. And I can say from experience that the results of that can be tragic.

<3 Madison                    

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Baby steps

I took a walk around my backyard the other night --- the yard I've called home for more than two decades, the yard where I've played and grown, the yard where I've seen sunsets and stars, the yard where my past dances around me and my future whispers my name.

I walked slowly and deliberately. I felt the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet and became absorbed in the way the sky turned from a soft pink to a midnight blue. I breathed in the memories of the land and breathed out the wisdom of the wind.

I don't know much of anything right now, but I do know this:

I must put one foot in front of the other. I must pay attention to the things I love and how quickly time can take them away. I must look forward to where I'm going, yet never forget where I came from. I must be grateful for every step I take, even if it's a misstep. I must always remember that everything happens for a reason, even if I don't understand it. I must say hello without forgetting to say goodbye.

I love this backyard with every fiber of my being. 

But there's a world and a future on the other side of it.

<3 Madison  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Miscellaneous thoughts (Part 14)

~ There are two sides to every story, and only you can know the real truth if you were the one who experienced it. If other people don't believe you, that's their problem. If other people misunderstand the situation, that's also their problem. Take comfort in the fact that YOU know the truth, even if other people don't. I'd like to believe that the truth always comes out either way.

~ I believe in karma. And I believe it is unbiased.

~ I don't think you truly realize the value of a real, solid relationship until you're in one. They have a way of making you look back on all the crap you put up with before and wonder why you spent a single minute of your life putting up with it. I currently have someone who thinks I'm the sun. I'll never settle for less than that again, and neither should you. You're fantastic and rare, and you deserve someone who doesn't treat you like you're anything less.

~ Four months ago, I found myself anxiously wondering if I would ever heal from an experience that broke me down to an unimaginable degree. And guess what? I did heal. I healed so much that that part of my life feels like somebody else's. Like I watched and vaguely remember somebody else experiencing it rather than experiencing it myself. You will get to that point in your own journey as well. So be patient, be gentle, and have faith. Have SO much faith.

~ Listen to what other people have to say, but always take it with a grain of salt. The best wisdom you will ever receive can only come from within.

~ Deciding whether or not to cut someone out of your life is a deeply personal decision. Consider the consequences before you do it.

~ The desire to genuinely work on and improve yourself should be applauded in a world full of the desire for familiarity and blissful ignorance.

~ It's okay to pause before you leap and cry before you cheer.

~ Things in your life may change, but your attitudes and beliefs don't have to change with them.

~ Breathe. Take your time. Trust yourself.

<3 Madison  

Monday, September 19, 2016

One month sober

It's been one month since I last spoke to you. One month since you messaged me at 3 o'clock in the morning with intentions I will never understand. 

It's been one month since I gave my broken heart to somebody else, somebody unexpected, somebody who deserves to have it. One month since he immediately got to work putting it back together piece by piece and cherishing it like you once said you would. 

It's been one month since I finally found the courage to tell you that my happiness was more important than you. One month since you finally found the decency to respect that happiness. 

It's been one month since I realized you were more of a poison than a fix. One month since I realized my ability to breathe, laugh and live again. 

It's been one month since you left me for good. Maybe out of mercy. Maybe out of spite. It's been one month since I let you go without putting up a fight.

I thought I couldn't live without you, but maybe I can. Maybe I can do it for another month. And another. And another.

I must.

<3 Madison   

Thursday, September 1, 2016

My official website

Hey guys! Guess what?!

After years of toying with and dreaming about the idea of investing in my very own Internet hub, I finally have my very own Internet hub! An official website. A fancy website. A comprehensive website. And I couldn't be more excited about sharing it with you.

No worries though - I'm not going anywhere. This is only the beginning.

<3 Madison  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I hope you meet someone.

"You're going to meet someone wonderful someday," they said. "Someone who will make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else." 

Nearly everyone around me already had someone. The pains and frustrations of modern dating were shouting in my face. All the good guys appeared to be taken. The one person who held my heart handled it just irresponsibly enough to make me believe that maybe, just maybe he wasn't trying to be irresponsible with it at all. 

I couldn't grasp the concept of finding someone who thought I was fantastic and worth making an effort for. I couldn't believe in it. I couldn't see it. And so I drove down dead end roads and held on to things that made me bleed and settled for less and ultimately realized that I needed myself far more than I would ever need another person. 

And that's when I met someone wonderful. That's when I met someone who made me realize why it never worked out with anyone else. 

All I can say is that you won't believe in it until it happens.

So I hope you meet someone.

I hope you meet someone who makes flowers out of napkins and magic out of normalcy.
I hope you meet someone who remembers every little thing you tell them about yourself.
I hope you meet someone who notices, observes, listens, and asks questions.
I hope you meet someone who texts you back. 
I hope you meet someone who respects your boundaries and takes their time.
I hope you meet someone who never makes you question your worth.
I hope you meet someone who makes your happiness and comfort a priority.
I hope you meet someone who loves the sound of your laughter as much as you do.
I hope you meet someone who openly celebrates when you hold their hand or tell them your secrets.
I hope you meet someone who hugs your mother and opens the car door for you.
I hope you meet someone who is spontaneous and endearing.
I hope you meet someone who surprises and shocks you on a daily basis.
I hope you meet someone who thinks of you first thing in the morning and all day long.
I hope you meet someone who makes your stomach drop and your heart soar.

But most of all and more than anything else, I hope you meet someone who finally gives you a promising glimpse of what you really deserve. And makes you realize that whatever you had before was anything but.  

<3 Madison      

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A welcome note to sadness

Hello again.

I know it's pretty normal and expected for me to fall apart whenever you pay me a visit these days. You fill my chest, steal the smile from my face, create realities that aren't there, and eventually send me to bed with a weight on my shoulders and a sharpness in my heart. I crumbled beneath you every single time you even threatened to appear.

For months, you were the only thing I knew. I would've given anything to make you go away and finally let me reconnect with the person I was before you permeated my being.

I resisted you. I fought against you. I told myself you couldn't hurt me, even though you did just that.

But the other night, I felt something different when you stopped by.

Peace. Acceptance. A harmonious sense of familiarity.

And as I soaked up this new feeling, your severity began to subside. I almost immediately went from fearing I would crumble again to standing up even straighter and embracing you in a way I never had before. I saw you for what you were - a reminder of my strength and resilience. A wound I lived through and healed from, even though I didn't believe I would at times. A piece of my story, which is important. A piece of my past, which is not. A beacon of hope and light for my future, which is already looking better than I ever imagined.

So here's what I'd like to say to you now:

I see you. I welcome you. I accept you wholeheartedly. And I thank you for teaching me to find the light in all the places I failed to look while I was too busy telling myself you shouldn't exist.  

<3 Madison