Archive | May, 2011

Ready for a change.

30 May

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m having a hard time getting back into blogging.  After I was forced away due to lack of internet in Brazil, I just can’t seem to get back into the swing of things.  The sad part is, I haven’t even really missed it.  I think I just got to a point where I was overwhelmed by it and by what this blog turned into for me.  It was never meant to be a miscarriage blog.  It started as a way to connect my family back home to my pregnancy, so they could be a part of the changes in my body and the growth of their grandchild from afar…but then it got forced into the exact opposite.  Which, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I could never fully express how thankful I am for this community that I’ve discovered and the people I’ve met through it.  I would never give that back.  I shutter to think where I’d be without you all.

It’s just…when I come to this space now, I just feel kind of blah.  Although, if I’m being honest, I think I’m feeling that way in many areas of my life outside of my blog, too.  I was telling Tim last night that I can’t remember the last time I was truly happy.  I mean, I’ve found happiness here and there, but I can’t remember the last time I was literally beaming from joy or bursting at the seems with excitement.  This past year and half has beaten the crap out of me and has left me wondering who the hell this new Courtney is and what it is that gives her happiness now.  I don’t do anything for myself for purely the joy of it, I don’t even know what that would be at this point.  I think part of my separation from my blog has been to re-access my life.  I’ve spent a lot of time coming here to vent my sadness, but then I get sucked into it and have a hard time separating this life from my real life.  I need to get better at that.  I want to come here and talk about joyful things, things that make me happy and make my life worth living.  I want this space to be positive again.  Maybe, just maybe, I’m tired of hearing myself whine and I’m just ready to be happy again.

Brazil forced me out of my wallowing every day life and into a life of the unknown.  A life where the sun was warm on my skin and the water that surrounded me gave me an energy I didn’t realize I needed.  For a couple of weeks after I returned, every time my acupuncturist saw me he said Brazil was still surrounding me, the effects of it palpable.  But now I think that’s gone and I’m craving a way to find it here, in the life I have to live every day.  I guess this connects to my last post, in that I think I can achieve this with practicing living in the now.  I know it’s possible, it’s just going to take some work.

It’s funny, I think once I started getting readers, it stopped being solely about me here.  That’s not to say every post I have written hasn’t been from a genuine place or written with complete and utter honesty and I have never altered my thoughts or feelings to cater to an audience.  But it made it easier to focus on the reason they found me to begin with.  It made me obsessed with how many hits I got in a day and how many subscribers I had.  As awesome as it felt (and still feels) to know people want to read my words, it’s not why I should blog.  It’s not why anyone should blog.  (Although, anyone who spent junior high and high school feeling constantly picked on and left out would be lying if she said it didn’t feel good to be liked.  It certainly does!)  And as a result of stepping back and forcing myself to stop obsessing about my hits, it has made me re-evaluate why I’m here.  I want to readjust my focus.  It doesn’t mean I won’t still talk about my struggles with my losses, they’re a part of me now.  I just need to make a conscious effort to focus on the things in my life I am thankful for.  I am blessed with so much in this life of mine, and I need to stop ignoring those things and surround myself in them instead.

I hope by saying all of this, I don’t offend any of you still reading.  You still mean the world to me and I hope you don’t go away.  Maybe you already have, and I promise I don’t blame you.  And if I am able to shift my focus and concentrate on happier things, it doesn’t mean I won’t be here to give you the support you may need.  I can’t erase what I’ve gone through, and in a way, I wouldn’t want to (although, I guess I would trade my year of hell if it meant I’d have my babies here, but you know what I mean).  This community has given me the strength to get where I am now.  Without you, I wouldn’t be able to recognize the bubble I’ve been in and how desperately I’m ready to get out.

When I finally get to be a mother, I want to be able to show my child joy and happiness in our every day life.  I would hate for he or she to have a mother that just lives day to day without a smile on her face.  I have faith I can find it.  And in the meantime, I’m still here for every one of you that need me.  And I thank you with my whole heart for being here for me.  I wouldn’t be here without you.

I hope just maybe you’ll still stick with me through this all.  I know I have so much more to give…not just to Tim and the people around me, but to myself.  I deserve better than this.  I deserve to beam with joy and burst with excitement.  And I know it’s possible.

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Live in the now.

17 May

Last night in therapy we came to a pretty easy conclusion on what is causing all of my problems in life: I refuse to live in the moment.

One by one, we talked about all of my underlying issues, why I get stuck worrying about things and can’t seem to move past the worry and live my life, and every single one of them is because I can’t seem to live in the now.

Remember this?  It’s because I’m living in the past or in the future, not in the present.  I always want what I had or what I think I could have, when in reality, what I already have – at this moment! – is pretty incredible.  My constant fear of my dog running away?  He’s here now: live in the moment!  My desire to move back home?  I live in an amazing place with a good life.  My desire to head back East is based solely on my past experience with living there* and thinking it would be nothing but grand if I were to move back.  How do I know this?  Sure, I believe I’m my happiest there, but my unhappiness here won’t simply disappear with moving, I’ve proved that time and time again.  Presently, I’m in a fantastic place with a lot of benefits.  Succumb to the present!   My fear of pregnancy?  I can’t control the future and worrying about what-ifs will not get me anywhere.  What will be, will be.

LIVE. IN. THE. MOMENT.

Tim is really good at this.  I’m going to bank on the fact he’s 12 years older than me and because of that he’s learned how to master it in those years, and I have faith I will, too.  But how do I do it?  Where do I start?

Do any of you find yourself not being able to live in the moment, and only able to focus on the future or past?  If you have mastered living in the moment, how the hell did you do it?

I’ve been aware of this for a while now…but having it so plainly pointed out to me as the root of all of my unhappiness, really hit me.  I could so easily see that if I were simply here now, mind and body, life would be a whole lot easier.  And also?  A hell of a lot more fun.

I’m starting to work on it now, because it obviously can’t wait until the future.  (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

* Ultimately, the fact my family lives there is a bigger pull on this one.  But I’d be lying to say that in my head, I don’t romanticize it and make it out to be the solution to all my problems.  

Brazil

13 May

Well, almost a week after being home, I finally made it through my Google Reader. Having all those hundreds of blogs unread was really stressing me out. Whew!

Brazil was simply amazing.  If it weren’t for missing Tim and Took as much as I did, I may have never left.  And I’m truly sorry I wasn’t able to bring you with me as planned, it turned out I had very little internet connection while I was there, and when I did have it, it was verrrrrry slow and irritating.  So I ended up taking a vacation from the internet.  If you haven’t done that at some point this century, I recommend it highly.  It feels good to detach yourself from the interwebs every now and again.  I had forgotten there’s a whole world out there in non-digital format!  And that world?  It was filled with delicious food, warm people, and plenty of sunshine.

I think I came back 20 pounds heavier, though. I had no idea the food would be so good. In fact, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to eat a thing. As far as meat goes, I only eat chicken, and if you don’t already know, South America is very meat-centric. But I was able to get by with consuming plenty of beans and rice, delicious chicken, lots of fresh fruit and juices, and plenty of sweets. As much as I enjoyed every bit of food I put into my mouth, my stomach is happy to be back. My stomach does not like Brazil as much as I do.

The first week there, we held our meetings in a lodge just outside the national park Serra do Cipó, where we are doing some work. It’s ironic we met in such a beautiful setting, because the only time I stepped outside was to go down the river above, and I only did that twice. So as much as I was told to take as many pictures as possible, sadly, you wouldn’t have wanted to see them because they would have been of meetings. But that river above?  I swam in it my second day there and was the happiest I’ve been in a long time.  I’ve never lived somewhere where the rivers didn’t shock you to death with their cold at first touch and never quite make it to the point where they’re enjoyable.  Although not necessarily warm, it was very inviting and comfortable to be in.  I had to tear myself away to give a presentation that some people slept through (I was apparently very compelling), and I would have rather had just stayed in the river.

The last day of the meetings, we had a chance to explore the park a bit and it was the best part of my trip. We took a long bumpy 4-wheeled drive deeper into the park and hiked into a waterfall. As much as I enjoyed the river by the lodge, the river at the end of the hike provided me with such bliss, it has now become my happy place in my mind when I need to escape reality. Even though it was colder than the one by the lodge, it was just so….refreshing. I wish I were better with words to be able to describe it’s effect on me, but maybe describing it as my happy place is enough.

I’m sorry, I had no intention of swimming in the river while trying to keep my camera dry, so it was left behind and there are no photos. I’m sorry you can’t see the picture in my head. It would be your happy place, too, if you could. But it was right in the middle of this canyon:

After the meetings ended, we headed to Lagoa Santa where I said goodbye to my American and Bolivian colleagues and stayed behind to spend some time in our Brazilian office. Before continuing working, I had the chance to explore the town of Ouro Preto. Let’s pause for a moment to look at photos of this incredible town:

Founded because of gold, this has to be the most beautiful, historic town I have ever been to. In every direction you turn, there is a church that was built in the late 1700’s and roofs every color imaginable. The city palette and cobblestone streets make you feel like you’re in a storybook. I wish I had been there alone and not with two men. I would’ve spent hours ducking in and out of stores filled with handcrafts, I would’ve sat in a cafe on a corner and watched the people go by. Instead, I was with two men – one a colleague and one a board member – and that didn’t allow for my freedom necessarily. At one point we spent a good hour perusing a museum on the history of Brazilian currency. It was thrilling, let me tell you. Then, about half-way through the day in Ouro Preto, I started to miss Tim tremendously and was ready to leave. I know that sounds ridiculous and bratty, but it was just such a romantic city, it felt wrong to be there with two men that weren’t my husband. I wanted my husband and I to be checking into a bed and breakfast hidden down a sweet side street and wandering the cobblestone streets holding his hands and stealing kisses by blooming flowers. When we finally left, I promised myself I’d be back with Tim and I’d soak in every last bit of that city.

The next few days were spent boringly working in the office (have you noticed yet that I only had that one day off in Ouro Preto, and it was spent with a colleague and board member? That is not a day off in my book, just saying). But I did get to meet this guy:

That guy right there is the world’s biggest rodent (ROUS anyone?), a capybara. And I swear to you, I wanted to bring him right home with me the second I saw him. Poor guy was blind. Usually they’ve very social animals and they run in packs, but I’m assuming this little guy was being shunned because he could no longer see and was a bit elderly from what I could tell. I know there’s no way for you to tell this, but he’s the size of a dog. A medium sized dog, not a little one, and this is where he lives his life:

Not too rough of a life, really. I’m glad they live there and not in the streets and walls like our rodents here do. Could you imagine coming home and seeing that on your counter? Although, if it were me, I’d probably just make it my pet. But I’m a bit strange when it comes to animals. Have you noticed that yet?

Anyway, I know there aren’t very many exciting pictures, and I barely make an appearance in any of them…it was hard to want to bring my camera out when I was so exhausted from working. But you need to trust me when I say you need to go to Brazil as soon as possible. Even though I was working every day I was there, it was still absolutely incredible, and nothing like I thought it would be. I want to go back and spend a month exploring with Tim. Unlike other Latin American countries I have been to, Brazilians don’t make you feel uncomfortable because you’re an American tourist. They welome you with open arms and kisses on the cheeks. They laugh in good nature when you say you don’t speak Portuguese, they don’t get annoyed at you like so many other cultures do. And the food alone is worth going for. I wish I could describe to you what about it makes it so delicious, but I have absolutely no idea. I would love to go back and learn how to cook from a native. I also wish I would have taken pictures of the food to show you. They are very proud of their food and it shows incredibly.

So basically: go now. Go as soon as you can, you won’t regret it. And also? As much as I loved it, it’s nice to be back. I missed you guys.