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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Seasons change, right?  We all accept that without question (though often with complaint!)

Our tastes change.  We crave cheese sandwiches for a week and then don't eat them again for months.  Maybe it's caeser salad that you can't get enough of, and then you can't get far enough away from. 

Our style may change - from casual to classic, from preppy to poised, from grunge to grand, from school-girl to sophisticated.

Our addresses change, or phone numbers change, our budgets change, we paint the walls new colors, we buy new coats, we plant different flowers, we vacation in different locations.......

Change is normal.  We accept that whether we like it or not.

Or, I think I've accepted change, even though I don't like it.

But to accept something that hasn't changed, and won't change?  Something that's been there my whole life, though I didn't realize it until just recently? 

That is hard to accept.  It's almost harder to accept than change, this "non-change" realization is.

To finally unearth what has been buried deeper than anything, to finally let it bob to the surface, to finally put words to a secret you didn't even know you were carrying..... and to accept it all?

If someone were to tell me that for the rest of my life, I'd have to live with bright blue skin, I think that would be an easier thing to accept.

Except that this is me.
I think I've always known, too.
I just refused to accept it.

Now it's time.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 4 - Friday 11/21/14 - Snuggling with my niece was the perfect way to cap off a chaotic week.

Day 5 - Saturday 11/22/14 - Learning that being open-minded is becoming more helpful as I grow through life.....

Day 6 - Sunday 11/23/14 - Not only did I get to enjoy reading one book today, I got to finish two! What a treat!

Day 7 - Monday 11/24/14 - Grateful that I have the Pup to come home to after long, rather trying days.

Day 8 - Tuesday 11/25/14 - Pushed myself today to attend a workshop I was very unsure of.  Glad I did, cause it turned out to be a pretty good experience!

Day 9 - Wednesday 11/26/14 - Never realized how much I appreciate my car until I finally get it back from a long spell in the shop!

Day 10 - Thursday 11/27/14 - Relishing in the fact that my treatment team knows me so well.  Saw all four of them this week, and feel so grateful for each of them.  I'm so grateful and so lucky to have such a wonderful team of professionals looking out for my best interest.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I've been contemplating normal again.  I've spent time with the idea of normal before, so it's nothing new, but.... always good for reflection.

Normal can change.  What is normal at one point in your life can change to a new normal years later.  That's ok.  Normal is not something stagnant.  Technically the dictionary defines normal as an adjective that means "conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected."  It's also defined as a noun meaning "the usual, average, or typical state or condition."

Reading both of those definitions makes me cringe...... because neither of them fit.  Not even close.  I struggle to conform to standards, even at school - I do things different enough to make a difference, but not different enough to get noticed.  Who am I kidding.  It's noticed.  It's frequently noted that I do things differently, and for the most part, no one seems to mind.  Except me.

I am not the usual or typical.  I don't dress like most of my peers do.  I don't enjoy the same activities that are typical or expected of my peer group.  I never have.  I am far from average in many areas - sometimes above average, sometimes below average, sometimes on a whole different planet than average.

I am not normal.
But I am me.

My therapist says that being me is a good thing. Normal is not a requirement to be a good person.  You don't need to be normal to care, to grow, to learn, to change.  You don't even need to be normal to make a difference.  In my case, at least, I just need to be me.

But more than that, I really want to like me.  And I don't.  At least not yet.  There are too many things about me that I am embarrassed by, ashamed of, or afraid to acknowledge out in the world.  I'd rather hide.  I'd rather hide my shameful bits, my embarrassing secrets, and fade into the crowd.

I know that's impossible.  I've spent so much of my life trying to hide, trying to blend in, when the reality is that it just makes me stand out even more.  I just choose to ignore that fact.  Cause I still think that I am hiding everything, when really, I'm only hiding it from myself.  And unsuccessfully at that.

It's time to stop striving for normal and instead, strive to just be me.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2 + 3?

Day 362 - Friday 11/14/14 - Had a fleeting moment of self-confidence after conferences tonight.  Maybe I'm getting the hang of this, finally.

Day 363 - Saturday 11/15/14 - Loved spending the evening with friends that always make me smile.

Day 364 - Sunday 11/16/14 - Two years ago the Pup rescued me, and I've been grateful beyond words ever since.

Day 365 - Monday 11/17/14 - Cracked through some bricked-up inner chambers in my brain.  Not sure if it's good or not, but it's definitely progress, and I'm nearly always thankful for progress.

365 Days of Giving Thanks becomes Thankful Thursdays in Year 3!

Day 1 - Tuesday 11/18/14 - Three years of daily gratitude?  Now that's something to be grateful for!

Day 2 - Wednesday 11/19/14 - I am grateful that my therapist never bats an eye when the dam that cleans my eyes crashes open.

Day 3 - Thursday 11/20/14 - Feeling rather accomplished today, as my whole class cheered when it was time to start math.  Kids liking math? Mission complete!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I watched the cutest piece the other day showing groups of kids freestyle dancing.  That always makes me smile.  That clip was followed by a commercial showing a design rehabber and construction guru looking fit beyond words, driving a back-hoe.  Changing channels found a home-cook turned tv chef talking about a delicious Thanksgiving dish his family loves.  A few channels later the screen was filled with a DIY-er sharing simple yet beautiful home improvement projects.  Then landscape artists.  Swimmers gliding across the pool filled the screen next.  Then an unplugged concert by a pianist with a beautiful voice.  There were more channels, too, full of talents and gifts and knowledge.

Sounds like a pretty typical weekend morning, right?  Well, at least for me it is.  It's a nice treat to get up and be able to couch it for a little bit before beginning the day, which is vastly different from weekday mornings.

I hadn't realized it before that morning how much I *still* want to be someone I'm not.

I wish I could dance.  It looks like fun, despite the fact that I tend to trip over my own feet.  I wish I knew how to design and build and woodwork - I loved it as a kid, but now?  I value my fingers, thank you very much.  Cooking?  Yeah, right.  Home decorating?  I wish.  My house looks almost exactly the same as it did when I moved in ten years ago.  Landscaping?  Heck, I wish I could keep a plant alive or grow some herbs and veggies, much less put the pond into the yard that I've wanted to do since childhood.  And I still kick myself for quitting music lessons when I was a kid.  I'm envious of those who can play an instrument, it sounds so beautiful.  Throw in singing, too?  You've got me.  I'm turning green on the inside.  And not a day goes by that I don't miss the athletics I used to participate in on a regular basis.

I have my own gifts and talents.  I know that.  My therapist reminds me of them fairly regularly, too, as I often forget that I do have things to offer the world.  I see the talents of others to be much more valuable than my own.  Instead, I see myself as too clumsy to dance, to weak to do anything requiring sustained physical exertion, as far from a homemaker as possible, too lazy to pick up any athletics, and when it comes to music?  I see myself as selfish for quitting lessons as a child.

Sounds pretty grim, I know.  So is the work I'm doing to change that.  Cause you know what?  One of these days, I'm going to feel good enough.

I'm going to feel good enough.

I'm going to feel like my gifts and talents are good enough offerings for the world.  More than that, I'm going to feel like I'm valuable, just as I am.

Monday, November 17, 2014


It's been a while since a song made it's way onto the blog, and there's no time like the present to pop one in right now.  Especially this one.  Life, right now, has become so complicated lately.  My mind is even fuller than usual (if that's even possible!) and that makes a lot of tasks more challenging than they need to be.

I know this is an old one, but it's a good one, at least in my mind....

Complicated by Avril Lavigne


Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Bought the Wrong Butter

You probably didn't realize there was a "wrong" butter to buy.

Well, when you're recovering from an eating disorder, there is.  Or, at least for me there is.

For the last as-long-as-I-can-remember years, I've always, always, always bought sticks of butter.  Preferably the quarter sticks.  They're easier to measure, I mean, cut.

Last week, I was in such a rush as I flew through the grocery store, I grabbed the butter my parents usually buy.  With only two ingredients, I was fine with that (the fewer ingredients the better, as always) I grabbed the tub of butter of the shelf and headed to the check out.  For once, I only had the items in my basket that I specifically walked in to get.


Of butter.




But I survived.

And I'm actually using the butter-in-a-tub.  It tastes the same, it still works, and it actually spreads easier right out of the fridge.  The only problem is that it's not nearly as easy to measure.  To track how much I used.  To count the exact calories needed.  I mean, sure, I know how much I'm eating, I'm just not able to be as precise as I'd like.  As precise as I'm used to being.

Positive growth?  Step forward in recovery?  Maybe.  Rather fear-inducing?  Yup.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 361 - Thursday 11/13/14 - I am thinking about thinking about tackling a petrifying task that I've been avoiding for 20 years.... that's a good thing, right?

Day 360 - Wednesday 11/12/14 - Hoping that I one day learn that the conferences I dread are never as bad as I imagine them to be.

Day 359 - Tuesday 11/11/14 - A sense of accomplishment washed over me after work, for the first time in a very long time.

Day 358 - Monday 11/10/14 - That my therapist isn't repulsed by my secrets?  Priceless.

Day 357 - Sunday 11/9/14 - Pleased to announce that I did absolutely nothing all weekend and was not bored for a single moment.

Day 356 - Saturday 11/8/14 - Starting to realize that being an introvert is not necessarily a bad thing.

Day 355 - Friday 11/7/14 - Happy to see my niece, and so so happy to have her fall asleep in my arms.  Bliss, I tell ya, pure bliss.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Simpler Time

My favorite childhood memories, all wrapped up in the pencil drawn comic strip that landed on my porch six days a week, and the color-filled panels that arrived on Sundays.  Some of my warmest memories from the time I was a very little girl were reading the latest Calvin and Hobbes on the side stoop of my neighbor's house - I could not yet read, and she read it the best ever.

The simplicity of childhood is something I frequently yearn for.  I wish I could go back to the time when life was fairly simple- when the most important thing to do each day was make sure to listen to the teacher.  When the most exciting event of the day was afternoon recess, when just my grade level took over the playground, playing all sorts of games that required imagination by the bucketful, but no electricity.

A time when a skinned knee meant a band-aid and a hug from teacher, or a band-aid, popsicle, hug, and kiss from mom.  A time before life became flooded with worries no seven year old should ever have to carry.  A time when curling up with a favorite book in the spectacular colors of fall made for the best time ever.

Wishful thinking.....

Thursday, November 6, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 354 - Thursday 11/6/14 - Pajama day?  Yes, please, and thank you very much!

Day 353 - Wednesday 11/5/14 - Finally have a day with no obligations except for work.  Excited that I'll probably be in bed before 9:00.

Day 352 - Tuesday 11/4/14 - Proud to have exercised my voice as I hit the polls to vote today.  Regardless of whether "my" candidates win, at least my voice was heard.

Day 351 - Monday 11/3/14 - Appreciating the fact that what was going to be quite daunting, rounding up some neighbors for conversation, became quite simple instead, as they were just leaving as I was arriving home.

Day 350 - Sunday 11/2/14 - Loved catching up with a friend today.  Some things never change, no matter how much time has passed.

Day 349 - Saturday 11/1/14 - Glad to sleep in after yesterday, it was much needed for this tired and worn down Violet.

Day 348 - Friday 10/31/14 - Happy to have the day I despise the most over and done with for the year.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I Don't Buy It

You know what I don't buy?  The need to place celebrities into the spotlight even more than they already are.  C'mon, I mean, these people are already often on camera in front of millions of viewers.  Why does their private life "have" to become our business?  Why do we care who is dating whom, where he ate dinner, who she was spotted with on the beach, and how much their house costs?  Are our own lives so empty that we need to feed on the lives of those we don't even known?

I can't.  I won't.

I purposely avoid the teacher's lounge at school because I don't care what is going on in Hollywood.  Or in Dollywood.  Or in Bollywood.  I care what's going on in the world around me.  I care about finding ways I can make it better.  I don't want to hear gossip about people who we don't even know, yet some talk about them as if they did.

I don't need that gossip fill up my brain, and the reason for this article comes from that point - while I don't watch or listen or read the stuff, I'm starting to hear about it from my students.  And to listen to nine and ten year olds talk about the latest Kardashian situation, or how much some celebrity's car cost, or did you hear what that football player did?  That makes me feel ill.  I'm sad for these kids.

When I was their age, I was reading books, climbing trees, going to baseball practice, playing in the backyard, imagining new worlds on the swingset, creating games to play with friends, making mud pies and potions out of nature's gifts, and listing to kid-friendly music that could only be heard on cassettes or CDs.

In other words, I lived in a naive little bubble called childhood.

I'm kind of sad for the kids today who no longer have the chance to live in that bubble.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 354 - Thursday 10/30/14 - Thankful for the little loves that remind me why I teach.... like two separate students asking for hugs on the way out at the end of the day.  You want a hug? You can happily have one.

Day 353 - Wednesday 10/29/14 - Relieved that the "big family dinner" tonight was nearly event free.  This is a very, very rare occasion, and is a very good thing.

Day 352 - Tuesday 10/28/18 - Happy that I finally, Finally realized how to NOT over-schedule my day, which magically allowed everything on the agenda to be completed!

Day 351 - Monday 10/27/18 - SO thankful the Pup is back to his usual, playful self!  I've been waiting for his return!

Day 350 - Sunday 10/26/14 - Thankful for the extra snuggly Pup that I have today, even if it's cause he's not feeling himself.  Mommy time makes things better, or so I've been told, so I'm hoping that's what we're having today.

Day 349 - Saturday 10/25/14 - Kinda happy to see while grading tests that maybe I am a good teacher after all.

Day 348 - Friday 10/24/14 - Had a delicious dinner from a favorite restaurant and ate it while holding my adorable little niece!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Three..... ish

Three year blogg-a-versary.  Sorta.  Cause I kinda skipped 2 months.  I mean, during those months I wrote blogs, I just never published them.  Maybe I will.  Maybe I'll pre-date them so they show up in the chronological order they were meant to be in.  Maybe not. 

But for now.....

I can't believe it's been three years!  Seriously!  I didn't think I'd have it in me to do this blog thing this long, but you know what?  It's been such a powerful experience, that I now have one for my teaching, too!  That one isn't as busy as this one, cause, well, teachers are busy people and don't always have time to write or read outside of the classroom, but you know.....

I love My Purple Dreams.  I love the name.  I love that I get to be myself here.  I love that my words inspire others (even if they don't inspire me.)  I love that when I look back on where I was, MPD shows me how much progress I've made, even if it doesn't always feel that way.

Three years.  Three long winded years.  Now...... who's up for three more?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

No. More. Negative. News.

With so much happening in the world these days, the "news" (and I use that term lightly) has been extremely loaded.  So loaded, in fact, that I have not once regretted my decision to stop watching the news, and stop reading the papers.  It probably sounds like I live with my head buried in the sand, but believe me, I hear news I need to hear, and even more frequently, I hear news I never wanted to hear.

For example, why do I need to be bogged down by so many political commercials right now?  The news reporters talk about it enough, so why ruin the few TV shows that I watch by filling the commercials with political propaganda?

Moreso than that, why, why, WHY does the media need to sensationalize all the negative news out there?  Do they think it helps?  From what I've read recently (and in light of yet another deadly school shooting this week) there's been a total of 87 school shootings since Newton, Connecticut.  How scary is that?!?  I have a bit of advice for those looking for your 15 minutes of fame - DON'T SHOOT.  There are other ways to get your moment on the camera, despite what the media makes it look like.  The media seems to show that the only way to become news is to do something extremely dangerous, often potentially endangering others' lives.

I don't buy it.

Try doing something nice, instead.  I mean, I much prefer to spend my time that used to be spent watching the news or reading the paper reading a book, looking things up online (lately my time has been committed to KickStarter and Pinterest,) playing games, or doing the much neglected things around my house that I've needed to do.  Putting positive, or at least neutral energy out there feels a lot better to me than adding any more negativity.....

And I beg, beg, BEG of you news people, can we PLEASE stop focusing on the negative, and find some time for the Smile Stories?  Might make the world feel a little brighter, and a little less scary.

Rant over.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 347 - Thursday 10/23/14 - I am thankful for my therapist.  Always.

Day 346 - Wednesday 10/22/14 - Can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm kinda glad I can identify my emotions now, instead of just heap them all into the "melancholy" category.  Today's feeling?  Disgust.

Day 345 - Tuesday 10/21/14 - The Pup is back to normal, thankfully, and the whole ordeal can be put behind us now.

Day 344 - Monday 10/20/14 - SO happy the Pup is home after an overnight visit with the emergency vet!

Day 343 - Sunday 10/19/14 - Thankful for the bonus time with my niece today.  She slept in my arms for over an hour and it was heaven!

Day 342 - Saturday 10/18/14 - Loved being a part of such a positive educational movement!  Had a blast with 100+ colleagues today!

Day 341 - Friday 10/17/14 - Thankful the week is over.  It was a painfully, stressfully long one.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

All About WHAT Bass?

So there's the song that's been stuck in my head for a while.  Not the greatest of earworms, but not the worst.  A part of me really likes the song, as there is a great message in it.  Yet.... another part of me doesn't like it.  There's something just not right about it.

The first time I heard it on the radio, I skipped over it, only to come back to it when nothing good was on the other stations.  There was (and is) something catchy about the tune.  The line that caught me was this:

"Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top."

I don't know about you, but that is a reminder I need to hear every hour on the hour, and on the quarter hour when I'm in a bad place.  Another less powerful, but equally powerful (I know, I'm oxymoronic today) line says "my mamma she told me don't worry about your size."  Another truth.  Another thing I need to be reminded of.  All good so far, right?

And yet...... maybe you need to watch the video (though it may be a little offensive in places?  Or not?  I like the throw back to the 50's-ish-era.) and see what you think.  There's just something about the fact that "boys like a little more booty to hold at night," and "I ain't no size two but I can shake it, shake it, like I'm supposed to do, Cause I got that boom boom in that all the boys chase, all the right junk in all the right places."

I don't know about you, but something just doesn't sit well with me there.  Does that mean I turn the song off when I hear it on the radio?  Nope.  I even sing along to this earworm.  Doesn't mean I love all of it, though.  Guess that's the black and white thinking my therapist always reminds me of - this song is a grey are for me.

ETA - Just found this article that outlines my exact dilemma about this song..... interesting read.....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 340 - Thursday 10/16/14 - Terrified yet beyond grateful that one other on this Earth now knows holds the words that have tortured me for decades.

Day 339 - Wednesday 10/15/14 - Grateful to come home to the Pup, who is always happy to see me, no matter what.

Day 338 - Tuesday 10/14/14 - Appreciate the (sort of) apology I got in a meeting today for a breakdown in communication on the admin's part.  It's nice to hear administrators apologize for their mistakes.  Nice to see that they are indeed human.

Day 337 - Monday 10/13/14 - Relieved that the parent meeting that kicked off my day went a lot smoother than I anticipated.

Day 336 - Sunday 10/12/14 - First. Day. Home.  In ages.  LOVED being able to spend the day in my pajamas, finally!

Day 335 - Saturday 10/11/14 - Glad to have time with my dietitian today.  The way my stomach, and my eating, have been, I needed her input and support.

Day 334 - Friday 10/10/14 - So happy to be able to provide some pretty awesome, outside the norm learning experiences.

Friday, October 10, 2014


I run a lot even though I don't use my feet.
I realize that now.
I run when things are uncomfortable.
I run from change.
I run out of fear.
I run from sadness.
I run from anger.
I run from hurt and pain and discomfort.

And I run from my head.
My own thoughts.
And that's the hardest running of all.

In my mind, major disaster session,
though my therapist said all was fine.
The time to talk will come when the words are ready.
No time limits.
No pressure.

Except all of this pressure from me.

I tried to talk I really did try I came close too.
At one point I had wandered off into silence for a bit.
She asked if we were done for the day.
I couldn't answer in words,
but I did un-bury my face and uncurl myself from ball on the chair that I had become.

Then the tears came.
Lots of them.
So uncomfortable.
I tried.
The words were on my tongue but they couldn't escape.
It just wasn't happening, no matter how much I wanted to speak them.
I told Her I wish she had was a mind reader.
She laughed. Not that easy she said.

She's right.

Maybe next time.

I can't hold this secret for much longer.

Maybe next time........
Maybe next time.........

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Impressive? Or not?

Image courtesy of Sketches in Stillness.
So timely.  So, so, so timely.  The best part of the weather turning colder is that I get to bury my body in bulky sweaters that make me feel super cozy.  Even more, they make me feel like I can finally breathe again, after wearing a spring and summer wardrobe that makes me feel like I have to suck in my stomach.  Which I can't do.  Cause it's not that simple for me.  The health issues in my belly do make me look much more rotund than I actually am.  My belly embarrasses me regularly, even though there's really nothing I can do about it.

This quote up here?  If the world was blind, who would I impress?  I love it.  I wish the whole world read it.  Cause if we didn't have a society that is so judged by how you look, I think there would be a lot more peace in the world, and a lot less scrutiny.  Scrutiny can lead to scary stuff, and we don't need anything else to be scared of.

Monday, September 29, 2014

National Coffee Day

For all my coffee drinking friends out there..... Happy Coffee Day!
I wish I drank coffee, especially on days like these, where I know it's a very long day, and the easiest thing to find for a pick-me-up would be a cup o joe..... except I don't like it one bit.  However, I appreciate all those that do drink it, because while I can't stand the taste, I sure love the smell!

Image courtesy of Shirt Woot!

Image courtesy of Shirt Woot!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Perfection Returns

I'm back.  And battling a perfection complex.  Among other things.  
But I'm back, despite myself, I'm back.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 234 - Thursday 7/10/14 - Glad I'm not "purposely clueless" like some that I know choose to be.

Day 233 - Wednesday 7/9/14 -  A smiley day of tutoring made for a smiley Violet!

Day 232 - Tuesday 7/8/14 - Loving snuggle time with the teeny one!

Day 231 - Monday 7/7/14 -  Hopeful that this baby will bring some boundaries into the rest of the family, so I'm not the only one setting and sticking to them.

Day 230 - Sunday 7/6/14 - Grateful that I have the transition object from my therapist this weekend.  The family time is getting rough on me.

Day 229 - Saturday 7/5/14 - Delicious dinner with a delightful friend and of course, baby time!  Being an Aunt is going to be ok, I think!

Day 228 - Friday 7/4/14 - SO thankful to be able to be there, in the hospital, the day my brother and his wife made me an Aunt to the tiniest, sweetest, cuddliest peanut ever!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 226 - Thursday 7/3/14 - Hoping that all this planning and organizing and brainstorming turns out half as fun as it looks on paper!

Day 225 - Wednesday 7/2/14 - Appreciate the fact that while I might not be "doing" much at my internship right now, at least I get to hang in a pretty cool place!

Day 224 - Tuesday 7/1/14 - Happy to be tutoring such an awesome kiddo - very eager to learn and full of questions! That will make our work together rather fun!

Day 223 - Monday 6/30/14 - Grateful for the reminder today that taking care of me matters.

Day 222 - Sunday 6/29/14 - Slept in! Yes! Felt great!

Day 221 - Saturday 6/28/14 - It feels nice to be valued by those who hardly know you, they base their opinion on how good of a friend you are to their daughter.

Day 220 - Friday 6/27/14 - Really enjoyed hanging with the Pup today, lots of reading which was much enjoyed.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Like a Girl

I have always struggled with being a girl.  I've never been a fan of that monthly-ish gift that visits.  Or the soreness that arrives with it.  Or the cramps.  Or the headaches.  Or the mood swings.  Or the fact that to be considered socially acceptable, I have to spend hours each summer shaving my legs. 

I've often been envious of males solely because they don't have to shave their legs to be socially acceptable, they can have a beard and avoid shaving all together if they so choose, with no repercussions.  They don't have to spend hard earned money every month to take care of their so-called-gift.  They don't deal with body soreness or cramps every four weeks like clockwork.

This morning, something had me almost ready to say "I'm proud to be a girl."
Watch it, and let me know what you think.
I'm thinking that I'll be able to utter those words rather soon, I hope.......

What do you do like a girl?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 219 - Thursday 6/26/14 - Grateful for the laughter and smiles shared with my therapist today.  Much needed, and incredibly, therapeutically helpful.

Day 218 - Wednesday 6/25/14 - Appreciative of the much needed bonus visit with my dietitian today.

Day 217 - Tuesday 6/24/14 - So glad that my internship started off with a great day!

Day 216 - Monday 6/23/14 - Pleased that the medical test I had saw me in and out in under 40 minutes - unheard of!

Day 215 - Sunday 6/22/14 -  Whole Foods finally had a summer favorite, made me feel very happy!

Day 214 - Saturday 6/21/14 - Finally had a day of no obligations! Enjoyed spending it with the Pup snuggled up and reading.

Day 213 - Friday 6/20/14 - Grateful my doctor was able to get me in on such short request.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 213 - Thursday 6/19/14 - Grateful for the ability to take a full breath again.  Kinda important.

Day 212 - Wednesday 6/18/14 - Loved the lightning show last night and today! Unfortunately, the Pup doesn't share my enjoyment of weather.

Day 211 - Tuesday 6/17/14 - Ice Cream Sundae for lunch.  Perfect on a very imperfect day.

Day 210 - Monday 6/16/14 - Exciting meeting this morning, so happy to be part of a team of action-oriented people.

Day 209 - Sunday 6/15/14 - Pleased that father's day was a smooth affair, for once.

Day 208 - Saturday 6/14/14 - Enjoyed a nice brunch with a good friend today.  Nice treat.

Day 207 - Friday 6/13/14 - Such a bittersweet day, the last day of school is.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 206 - Thursday 6/12/14 - Grateful that dogs can't tell time.  I was running late tonight, which is very unusual, and the Pup was still cheerful as always, even though dinner was super late.

Day 205 - Wednesday 6/11/14 - Happy that the rain stopped long enough for the end of the year celebration! Much better than cramming all the festivities into my tiny room!

Day 204 - Tuesday 6/10/14 - Loving the laughter the Pup brings me.  Best thing ever.

Day 203 - Monday 6/9/14 - Hit a hard realization today, but the thankful part is that I finally hit it, after several years of not getting it!

Day 202 - Sunday 6/8/14 - Proud of myself to sticking to a goal for a full week! On to week two of leaving nothing in the sink when I go to bed!

Day 201 - Saturday 6/7/14 - So happy to see so many old friends at a grad party tonight!

Day 200 - Friday 6/6/14 -  Loved dunking my students tonight at the school carnival dunk tank!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 199 - Thursday 6/5/14 - Feeling good about going to the board meeting, I know it meant a lot to the people I went for, even if it was exhausting for me.

Day 198 - Wednesday 6/4/14 - It was bittersweet tonight, celebrating retirements.  I'm grateful to have known some pretty amazing educators.

Day 197 - Tuesday 6/3/14 - Happy that tonight's concert reunited me with former students as well as allowed me to enjoy hearing the growth that current students made with their musical education!

Day 196 - Monday 6/2/14 -  Glad the vet was able to see The Pup on such short notice.  His allergies were horrid this weekend.

Day 195 - Sunday 6/1/14 - After the most torturous weekend, I am pleased to say all my end of year reports are done!

Day 194 - Saturday 5/31/14 - Locking myself in the house this weekend to get year end reports done.  Glad I have nothing on my schedule so that this can happen.

Day 193 - Friday 5/30/14 - Another rousing evening of musical theater featuring the second crew of former students - the arts are awesome!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 192 - Thursday 5/29/14 -  So impressed by how well my former students rocked the stage at their musical tonight!

Day 191 - Wednesday 5/28/14 - Thankful for the rainy day, it made recess duty a lot easier!

Day 190 - Tuesday 5/27/14 - SO so so so so so so happy to see my Therapist after a very long, seemingly impossible, 12 day break.

Day 189 - Monday 5/26/14 -  Remembering and appreciating those who fought for what I value - the freedom to live a life of my choosing in a [relatively] safe country.

Day 188 - Sunday 5/25/14 -  Grateful for a day of nothing.  They're few and far between lately.

Day 187 - Saturday 5/24/14 - Appreciate the bonus time with my dietitian today.  It was a much needed boost of encouragement that will hopefully carry me until my therapist returns.

Day 186 - Friday 5/23/14 - Shocked how productive the afternoon professional development was!  That's a rarity!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 185 - Thursday 5/22/14 - Glad to come home, even later than usual, and still be greeted by the ever-cheerful Pup that owns my  heart.

Day 184 - Wednesday 5/21/14 - So so so grateful for a much needed visit with my dietitian today.

Day 183 - Tuesday 5/20/14 - Huge sigh of relief that the last parent meeting of my school year went calmly.

Day 182 - Monday 5/19/14 - Happy to make a student extra happy today by showing up at their sporting event after school.

Day 181 - Sunday 5/18/14 -Thankful for the much needed naps (yes, naps) I got to have today.

Day 180 - Saturday 5/17/14 - Glad to be able to share my gifts with others who are interested, and in this case, eager to learn!

Day 179 - Friday 5/16/14 - Loved seeing a former student today!  Made my week to watch how she jumped right in and started helping without needing any prompting from me!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 178 - Thursday 5/15/14 - Have a whole new appreciation for honesty today, thank you to my always-honest and ever-patient therapist!

Day 177 - Wednesday 5/14/14 - It was nice to see an old neighbor, and even nicer to hear her say she was proud of me.  Good words to hear, wish I heard them a little more than I do.... which is almost never.

Day 176 - Tuesday 5/13/14 - Grateful to have been able to observe the hubub of my students today as they showed how far they've come this year! Awe-inspiring!

Day 175 - Monday 5/12/14 -  Insight from my therapist was exceptionally helpful today, as I finally, after what seems like forever, understand the idea of personal "rules" so to speak.

Day 174 - Sunday 5/11/14 - Thankful that mother's day passed without tears, for the first time in many years.  The family was on their best behavior for once, which didn't go unnoticed.

Day 173 - Saturday 5/10/14 - Grateful for my neighbor's help with a project, and my BFFs help with shopping attempt number one.

Day 172 - Friday 5/9/14 -  Honored to be included in a special graduation party, which I went to, despite feeling super uncomfortable because I knew very few people there, outside the family.

Friday, May 9, 2014


I.  Hate.  Shopping.

Like, I really, really hate shopping.  It is WAY too challenging to find anything off the rack that fits my weirdly assembled body.  I mean, I have to get petite pants shortened!  To make matters worse, I thought I was pretty set for seasonal wardrobes.  Last year I was determined to buy enough pieces to put together enough outfits for each season that I'd be set for at least a few years, only needing to add a piece here or there.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

I pulled out my spring work clothes this week.  Nothing fits.  Nothing.  (Except my shoes.)

I'd like to say it's because I've gained back all the weight plus some that I lost during the peak of my eating disorder.  

But that's not the case.  Not even close.  (Which I suppose is a good thing?)

This week, a big conversation in therapy was body image, and how much I hate my body.  What my therapist pointed out is that my body is dealing with two medical conditions that impact my size.  I never thought of it that way.  That my body isn't the size I *want* it to be because of my medical conditions.

But it's absolutely true.

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which often causes cysts to grow and painful swelling of those girl parts inside.  I also have Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) which causes inflammation in my abdomen, as well as painful bloating.  Add to that a half-dozen food allergies, all which cause that bloat to expand even more, and well.......... my abdominal area has a lot going on.
I was telling my therapist that even when I was in my early twenties, and super, super active (we're talking 14 hours a day of intense physical labor/activity), I was a teeny-tiny size, but I still had a huge beer gut.  I don't drink beer.  Ever.

That's when she reminded me that I have a medical condition that creates bloating and swelling in my belly.  This means that when I try on an outfit in the evening and lay said outfit out for work, it doesn't necessarily fit in the morning.  This means that all the spring clothes I had last year that fit and were flattering, aren't cutting it this year.

This means, that next time someone asks, "When are you due?" instead of saying nothing (or wanting to punch them) I can explain that I have medical issues that cause my stomach to bloat and expand, and no, I'm not pregnant.  Not gonna be easy, but it's worth a try.

This means that my goal for finding clothes is going to have to be different.  Instead of looking for clothes that fit, I'm now going to have to start looking for clothes that will make me feel good when I'm wearing them, no matter how bloated my belly is at that moment.  And let me tell you how impossible that task feels.  But I don't really have a choice.  I mean, I can squeeze myself into clothes that are way too uncomfortable, and that I feel super self-conscious in, or I can buy new clothes.  Neither sounds appealing, but I suppose trying to find a more flexible wardrobe will be easier than standing in my closet, crying for 20 minutes every morning as I try to find something that fits and feels ok.

The eating part of the eating disorder may be leveling out, but all the rest?  The body stuff?  That's a long journey ahead, and one I'm not looking forward to.