Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell 2014, Hello 2015!

Well, it's time to let another year ride off in the sunset, as a new year approaches the horizon.  I don't know about you, but my 2014 was quite the interesting one.  There were definitely some ups (becoming an Aunt tops the list!) and there were definitely some downs (um, school troubles, anyone?) but overall, it was a growth filled year.

~ The highlights ~
I won a few technology grants for my classroom. ~ I presented at my first massive conference. ~ I jumped out of a plane with my best friend. ~ I did my first major presentation, speaking in front of my entire district of over 700 people. ~ I celebrated two years with the Pup. ~ I became an Aunt to the most adorable little peanut in the world, who has completely stolen my heart. ~ I paid off my car. ~ I watched my first class of students graduate high school. ~ I stabilized my weight. ~ I watched my niece transform my family, for the better. ~
I learned. ~ I risked. ~ I tried. ~ I grew.

Sure, there was a lot of failure and hurt and sadness and anxiety and
pain and fear and stress and tears.  But like the quote says.....
I'm going to try to see the possibilities instead of the pain.....

The word for 2014?  Possibilities.
For the first time in my life, I am seeing possibilities for a future..... for my future......

Guess it's time to bring on 2015!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Year 3

Day 38 - Thursday 12/25/14 - The peace my tiny little niece has brought to the family is quite astounding, and something that has made family time surprisingly tolerable.

Day 37 - Wednesday 12/24/14 - Took a detour this evening, and despite the rain, I really enjoyed looking at all the lights.  It was a nice escape, if only for a little while.

Day 36 - Tuesday 12/23/14 - Happy to be with a group of people that really, really get me, if only for an hour.....

Day 35 - Monday 12/22/14 - Four years ago today, I made the phone call that changed my whole world, the one that gave me my life back.

Day 34 - Sunday 12/21/14 - Glad to have a day to recoup after a hectic week.

Day 33 - Saturday 12/20/14 - I feel so lucky to be able to spend time with the world's sweetest niece.  She fills my heart up......

Day 32 - Friday 12/19/14 - Pleasantly pleased at how peaceful family holiday dinner was tonight - including extended family, on their best behavior for once!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I like rules.
I like following them.
(Hello, eating disorder.)
Or, at least I like following them when they do what I want them to do.
Which is keep me safe.

"Don't go out after dark if you're alone!"
That was one of my parents favorite rules growing up.
"Never say no if someone asks for help."
That was another rule they had.
"Always be helpful to others, no matter what the cost."
"Family first, even if it's not appropriate."
"Taking time for yourself is selfish, spend time with family instead."

My parents had so many rules.
And I've internalized them as my own.
Despite the fact that I've been living independent of my parents for more than ten years, their rules still haunt me.  They scared me into believing the world is a bad place, full of cruel people who you can't trust, or they might hurt you.

I'm tired of those rules.
I'm so very tired of them.
If I keep following "their" rules, I know I'll never be able to be truly at peace with myself.
If I keep following "their" rules, I will not be able to let myself be happy.
If I keep following "their" rules, I will live the rest of my life in fear.

How to get over the fear of "breaking" the rules my parents ingrained in me?
Suck it up and do it anyway.
Go shopping after dark.
Drive through the city that is scary.
Make the phone call that I'm afraid of making.
Suck it up and face the fear.
Over.  And over.  And over.

The worst part about these ingrained rules?  My parents set them, but it is me who chose to keep living them, long after they were necessary.  I held on to them.  And I continue struggling to let them go.  Because of all that?  I'm truly afraid to let myself be.  I'm afraid to allow myself to get excited, to feel happiness, to take time for myself without the guilt.

It's time to change the rules.
It's time to break them.  All of them.
It's time to suck it up and do it anyway.

I wonder what it is going to feel like 
to allow myself to live without them?
To feel excited about things....... to go on adventures both near and far....... to take time to get to know myself without the guilt....... to live a life I want to be a part of.......

I may be a rule follower.......
But these rules need to be broken.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Have you ever known something, but not really *known* it?
Clarification: Have you know that something was truth, but been unable to see it as such?

That's where I was, and still sort of am.
I mean, I know the truth is my truth, and I am finally fine with that.
It's everything else that I'm struggling with.

Example: I think anything that is unknown is scary.
Scary, in my mind, is equated to bad.
So when there are new an unknown feelings and emotions popping up,
of course I think that all those feelings are uncomfortable and want them to go away.

Except.  A question my therapist posed made me stop and ponder.
Just because it's a new, unknown feeling, does it have to be bad?
Unknown feeling + My mind = Yes
Unknown feeling + Reality = No

Except.  In my mind, every feeling and emotion is bad until proven otherwise.

Example: Imagine that you've spent your whole life blind.
Now imagine that you've been granted surgery that gives you sight
for the first time in your life.
The world is going to be so new, full of surprises and overwhelming experiences
that are exciting, even if they're a little scary.
That's what I'm talking about.

It's as if my whole world changed in an instant.  It opened up.
There are so many new things to look at and explore,
and it is entirely overwhelming to me.
I'll let you in on a secret.  
I am afraid to admit that I'm a little excited about these new feelings, 
about this new found sight, so to speak.

I mean, 
new + unknown + feelings = scary + bad
at least that's been the past equation.

new + unknown + feelings = opportunity + fear + excitement

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Year 3

Day 31 - Thursday 12/18/14 - Grateful to my therapist for pointing out something that should have been obvious to me (but of course, I was completely oblivious!) Didn't realize the progress I was making until she oh-so-kindly summed up today's conversation and showed me.

Day 30 - Wednesday 12/17/14 - Thankful that I was able to make it through the day and be there for my student's presentations.  Even though I felt like crud.

Day 29 - Tuesday 12/16/14 - Happy to be a part of a tradition that makes me smile, especially knowing that since this is year 4 of our activity, it is for sure tradition!

Day 28 - Monday 12/15/14 - Thankful for the soft Kleenex my therapist has in her office.

Day 27 - Sunday 12/14/14 - Sometimes it's really hard to find a bit to be glad about.  Today is one of those days.  So I guess I'm glad that today is nearly over.

Day 26 - Saturday 12/13/14 - Happy to find a treat on sale at the grocery.  Ended a really bad day on a slightly sweeter note.

Day 25 - Friday 12/12/14 -  Feeling slightly accomplished, as my students and I were able to wrap up several projects today.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Six Hundred!

The quote that started the blog.....
This post, yes, this very one you're reading, is the 600th post on My Purple Dreams!

When the blog began, I figured that I'd post once a week or so.... now, three years later?  Well, if I posted once a week for 2 full years, that would be 104 posts.  Considering we're at 600?  Guess this blogging thing has worked out, at least for the most part!

A few reflections on the blog....

1.  I started this blog as a part of a recovery project.  While recovery is still a daily challenge, this blog has seen me through the lowest of lows, and I hope, will see me through the consistency of recovered.

2.  My favorite part of the blog is the fact that with each post, there is a chance that someone will read my words, and they will be exactly what that person needs to read at that moment.  The words will be the glimmer of hope, the sign, the realization that they're not alone, the affirmation that they're on the right path...... The words will brighten someone else's day, or comfort the tears that have fallen.  In essence, since I have read a handful of incredible blogs, that were such support during my roughest times, I hope that maybe my words can be there to help someone else.

3.  The hardest part of blogging has been making myself write when I don't want to.  It's been letting my words hit the screen even when they don't want to leave my brain.  It's a challenge, for sure, that I succumbed to this past summer for two months, but it's a challenge that is worth tackling on a regular basis.

To all who are reading this now.... thank you for sharing even a few moments of your day with me!  I hope you find something here that makes you smile!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen.

This is the last time, at least in my lifetime, that there will be a numerically fun day like this.

So far, I've seen:


And this year:

I think it's kind of neat that I've been present for 12 number-fun days.  

Yes, there have been other fun days, like:

The funny thing is, despite the number-fun play, I was never a math person.  I pretty stopped liking math in 5th grade, and pretty much failed out of Algebra in high school.

And yet.... I love numbers now.  I love how they always make sense.  There is no arguing with an accurate equation.  Yes, there may be different perspectives (for example, 1 + 1 = 3)* but for the most part, math and numbers are clean cut, proven, and reliable.

Considering the only reliable things in my life are my therapist and the Pup, 
it's no wonder I've become a fan of math!

*1 adult + 1 adult = 3 people (2 adults + 1 baby)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Year 3

Day 24 - Thursday 12/11/14 - Grateful that I woke up this morning to find the dream I was having was only that, a dream.

Day 23 - Wednesday 12/10/14 - Glad I was able to head home straight away after work - much needed evening of quietness and early bedtime.

Day 22 - Tuesday 12/9/14 - Took a fairly big risk today.  Still figuring out if it paid off.  But at least I tried something new, fairly terrifying, and potentially helpful.....

Day 21 - Monday 12/8/14 - A bit scared of the possibilities that exist, but grateful that I finally see more than a dead end.

Day 20 - Sunday 12/7/14 - Whatever it was that kicked my butt into gear, I'll take it! Closet cleaned out and trunk full of stuff to donate!

Day 19 - Saturday 12/6/14 - Grateful for some snuggle time with my niece.... so needed!

Day 18 - Friday 12/5/14 - Rough day.  Thankful it's over.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Year 3

Day 17 - Thursday 12/4/14 - Shocked my therapist a bit today..... A good shock, that is..... it was kind of funny, and made me smile and her laugh.

Day 16 - Wednesday 12/3/14 - Thanks go out to my BFF who accompanied me on a somewhat scary task today.  Since I'm typing here, I obviously survived the experience.

Day 15 - Tuesday 12/2/14 - Grateful for a very full day.  Kept my mind away from unhelpful, sad thoughts that are currently rippling through my district.

Day 14 - Monday 12/1/14 - Though painful, the reminder that life is precious, and to live each day as if it's your last, came through loud and clear today......

Day 13 - Sunday 11/30/14 - Loved taking the Pup for a walk on this very unseasonable day!

Day 12 - Saturday 11/29/14 - So, so, so relieved that a confidant continues to support me as a grow......

Day 11 - Friday 11/28/14 -  Honored to be a part of a very special day for some very special friends.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Courtesy of Sketches in Stillness
Isn't this a good question?  Who was I before the world decided who I should be?

Who was I before I decided to let society tell me who I should be?

I have absolutely no idea.
As someone who became a social chameleon by age four, I don't know that I ever really knew who I was, or what I wanted.  I remember one moment, being very upset at preschool because I didn't get to sit on the teacher's lap for my birthday (as was tradition.)  I also remember being told that it is no big deal, you'll sit on her lap another time.

In other words, what I wanted, what I thought should have happened because of the social expectations in the class, didn't happen, and I was told that there was no reason to be upset.  

Did I know the vocabulary then?  Nope.  Did I realize at that moment what was happening?  Nope.  Do I realize now how quickly I learned to surrender my ideas, desires, wishes, even needs, to those who were "in charge" of caring for me?  Nope.

But now I do.
And as an adult, I can change.