Chosen

Thank you to all the people who have chosen me in my life.

From my first boyfriend who gave me all of our many firsts to my ex-husband who at least chose me for a time at least I was chosen and wanted at some point in my life by someone. Someone who wanted me and chose to commit to me and building a life with me for whatever time we had.

I don’t know if I will ever have that again with anyone so I can’t help but be grateful for the times I was chosen as a partner as someone desirable to have around. Whatever my flaws or features, I was wanted.

The callous that’s been protecting my heart for so long is falling away. Just as I prayed it would. And as it falls further and further away there’s a lot of pain and sadness. Feelings I haven’t allowed myself to feel and thoughts I haven’t allowed myself to think. Now they come crashing in like a damn tsunami. Such it is.

I’m sad sometimes. I am scared sometimes. But I’m always alone. I want a relationship with someone who chooses me every day. I want flowers for no reason. I want birthday presents from the one who loves me. I want vacations and date nights. I want a life partner who will walk alongside me and encourage me in our journey. I want to wake up and feel the warmth of his body in my bed. I want to feel his strong body next to mine. I want to watch him sleep and be the first thing he sees when he wakes.

One day, maybe I will be blessed with a loving, long-lasting, blessed by God relationship where I will feel wholly accepted, deeply loved, and chosen. And I will choose him. Every day. Every moment. For all of my remaining breaths and beyond, I will choose my partner and invest in us with every action, thought, and dream. Just as I would hope for him to do the same for us. One day, I want to forget what it felt like to feel alone, scared and sad. I want to forget the feelings but hold dearly to the lessons so as to never feel this way again. I want to build with someone. I want to build down, not out, not up, but down deep… grow roots and find water, let the tendrils of love sink deep and far into the souls we share and interweave so firmly as to never be broken or unbound. I want the depth of unconditional love for my partner, similar to that love of a child; deep, unbreakable, unconditional, altruistic, peaceful, wholesome love that restores faith, breeds hope, and is strong enough to endure growing pains and struggle that is innate to all relationships.

I will lift my eyes to God and rely on Him and his timing to make this a reality. He knows the needs of my heart and he will deliver in his own time and him own way. I will keep dreaming and hoping for the day when He answers. ❤️🙏🏼

Prayerfully,

The Repressed Peach

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Weary

Oh my soul. My soul is so weary from the last year. I feel tender and sore from the aches and pains this past year had been fraught with. I’m not so sad now or going through anything at this moment but the trials the last year brought has calloused my tender heart. Just like a scab that covers a wound when the scab finally falls off the skin underneath is a bit tender and sensitive. Such is the status of my heart and soul. I feel like the scales of callous are falling off little by little through the life I’m living and connections I’m making. I’m back in church where I feel the wooing of God again. I’m connecting with my feelings again and I realize I have a lot of feelings I’ve not given voice to. I’m feeling the sensitivity of my tender soul blooming again in my chest. As in my last post it’s like how the Grinch feels his heart swell in his chest and he sheds a tear. This is exactly how I feel. I feel the genuine desire to be happy and to be free to feel, laugh, love and enjoy life. I can’t help but cry and feel super sensitive. I don’t really know how to manage it except to feel and allow myself the time to experience the emotions fully. Prayer sounds like a good coping mechanism in this season. Maybe surrounding myself with people who love me? That sounds like a novel idea. Lots of hugs, maybe some laughter, comfy nights of sleep, a stiff drink from time to time… and I guess anything else that might allow me to feel good.

You know what though? I’m totally okay with feeling all this sensitivity and achy-ness. I want to feel. I want to be vulnerable and sensitive. I want to shed a tear when I feel sad, joyful, angry, whatever… I don’t want to keep that in anymore, I want to share it and let it out. I want to give myself permission to feel exactly what I feel as it comes. All this will lead my soul to rebound from the pain of the events of the last year.

Living a life you’re proud of is important. It doesn’t matter what you’ve dreamed of if you’re not making it a reality. Living a life of purpose is real and necessary. Now that I’m in the profession I’ve aspired toward, I’m finally fulfilled. I feel like I’m living a purposeful, intentional existence and earning an income that allows me to live comfortably. This gives me a sense of peace and comfort as I can rest in this domain of my life and focus on other domains that need some tending specifically my relationships with others.

I want to speak freely and speak gently. I want to edit only my words to reflect my purest intention. I want to be true to my word in all things and not have to think back on anything. I want to be brave and courageous in my relationships but not crass or brazen. I want honesty without shame or ridicule. I want genuine interaction without agenda or fear. I want to trust again. Wholly. But most of all, I want people to be the same with me.

I know in time this will be a season of my past and I will grow into new areas. In the meantime I’m gonna work on myself a bit. I’m gonna keep my eyes on tendering my heart and connecting with God and friends while I feel the joy spring eternal in my soul again.

Warmly yours,

The Repressed Peach

Peace

I walk along on sodden ground. Unsure footing with each step as I hesitantly measure the risks of moving forward. The weight of ground tied to my feet as I lift them to make some measure of progress. In my mind with each step forward I know that I can sink, slip, fall, or gather more mud. Such is my truth of living life without stability. Stability from God himself. Stability from having a sure fire connection to the one who made me, believes in me, breathed life into my bones and rendered me purposeful from the stardust of the heavens.

My connection to God is as sure as the words on this page. However I have not been cultivating a relationship with Him as strongly as I have in the past. This came to light to me today while in church through the analogy of bearing fruit in your life as you find peace with God. I thought of my life and the relationships I’ve had with people and I feel like I’ve been rather bitter fruit lately. Full of contempt, judgement, spite, and general ugliness. Do I say a lot of it out loud? Nope. I keep it in. But that poison leeches out somewhere and I think it’s been leeching into my own soul. It’s turned into some form of loathing and ridicule which isn’t my thing. I don’t generally do that to myself so I had to find the source. Irrefutable truth be told: I’m missing my foundation in the spiritual sense and it’s all soggy ground. Hence the unsure footing, fear, shame, ridicule and loathing. I even told my love earlier this week that for the past year I’ve felt like the Grinch. And that’s the honest truth. I’ve never felt so full of bitterness and sadness or that my heart couldn’t or didn’t want to love. And if you know me, you know that isn’t who I am at all. Generally, I have hope abundant, love everlasting, I’m sweet fruit to be picked, I’m nourishment for the weary soul, I’m refuge from the storm, I’m a warm blanket when cold settles into your bones, and a strong shoulder when you’ve grown tired. But I’ve been none of those things this last year. I’ve recoiled into a place in myself that I didn’t know existed. I was depressed, sad, angry, lonely, bitter and empty. Emptiness fills more space than any of the others and it was awful.

So what’s changed right? Well, for one, the sun of my universe is back in my life. He brings me light, warmth, and love. He nourishes my soul. He fulfills me in ways I’ve never known before. He brings a smile to my face and a fire to my soul. He is sustenance. Without my sun nothing can grow. Without sun green grass doesn’t grow, flowers fail to bloom, grain rots in the field, and rain makes everything soggy and sour. With the sun, you are sure to hunger, sleep, and smile.

I can see more clearly. I can feel more fully. I can love without fear. I can be my most genuine self with all others because I am safe in the arms of my love.

Now, you might be wondering well what does this have to do with God and your spiritual self? Trust me when I say this: it has everything to do with my spiritual self. See, my sun brings light, love and warmth and he dries up all the rain so the ground I’m walking starts to harden and feel firm beneath my feet again. However, should the foundation I’m walking on be made of soil? Should it be so malleable and quick to change depending on the season I’m in? I would like to think no. It should be sure and everlasting no matter the season. It should be full of nourishment and richness that not only do my feet fall firmly beneath me in my walk through life but that my tree of life is full of rich, sweet fruit free to pick from as I encounter those in life. My current sun might die one day to become a beautiful star in my night sky only to one day be replaced by another life giving, life affirming sun, but the foundation upon which I operate should only grow deeper, richer, fuller and abundantly strong. This is my spiritual self. This is the self who is connected to God the ultimate creator. The giver of life and the ultimate counselor. This is where all other goodness within me abounds so that others may live and find gladness in their heart as they walk toward my tree of life.

I expect to work on my foundation. I expect to grow in this dimension of myself and find surety in all that I know of who I am and how I want others to experience me. I expect to find my tree of life full of fruit sweet to eat in the form of a juicy peach dripping with gentleness, a gooey mango rich with kindness, a crisp tasty apple sweet with hope, a lovely lemon full of joy, a strong coconut of faith, a hearty banana of patience, and abundant berries of peace. I will cultivate such experiences through nourishing my relationship with God and as a result I will bear the fruit of my labors and those who encounter me will find themselves full of all the good that comes from me. No longer will they taste bitterness or any hint of negativity from me.

It is my earnest hope to bring about a transformation so deep within me that I am no longer seen as myself but that I am seen as a branch of the much larger tree, the tree of God and all the promises he has in store.

Cheers to transformations! Cheers to finding hope!

The Repressed Peach

So tell me about yourself…

Well let me tell you… I don’t really have a good response to an inquiry of this nature. What do you want to know? What are you curious about? What suppositions have you made about me that I can refute for you?

The basics. Let’s start there.

I moved around quite a bit as a young child. I grew up mostly in Arizona but I have a few formative years in Tennessee as well as Wisconsin.

Abuse was rampant in my household. As the eldest child of three I was witness to many atrocities of the human condition. Physical abuse. Sexual abuse. Drug abuse. Extreme poverty. Homelessness. Endangered children. Dirty, hungry, sad children. Children with no parenting. It was an awful environment. One that I knew I needed to remove myself from. School became my refuge. Teachers were my confidants. I sought solace in my friends and their parents. Life continued this way for the majority of my upbringing.

When I turned 18 I got my first tattoo. Two weeks later I graduated high school. Two weeks after that I moved out of my mom’s house. Six months later I moved back to Wisconsin with $400 in my pocket and my Honda Civic hatchback packed to the hilt. I drove myself across the country during a time in which cell phones were not common or affordable. With nowhere to officially live and no job, I started a life of my own on my own. My aunt helped me find roommates and let me sleep on her sofa for a couple weeks until I got connected. Within a couple days I landed four different jobs in various industries. This was early January 1998 so it was cold and snowy but my Arizona blood quickly acclimated to the new environment. Soon after my arrival in Wisconsin I got the itch to get into college. I didn’t know anything about how to apply for college. I didn’t know how I could pay for it. I didn’t know where to even start. As a first generation high school graduate from an impoverished family, I hadn’t the faintest idea about what college entailed or how I was supposed to gain access to the enchanted buildings that seemed to only open for those magic wand bearing individuals with silver spoons dangling from their nectar-laden lips. I just knew education was what I needed. Somehow I managed to enroll in community college and earned a couple credits in early childhood education. I finally had health insurance through my employer and had dental coverage too so one day I went the dentist for a routine cleaning and the hygienist asked me about school. I told her about my few classes at community college. She then proceeded to tell me about her daughter who had joined the Air National Guard to get her education paid for. I hadn’t ever even heard of the Guard or the Air Force for that matter. Truly I thought it was just something from Top Gun… I had no idea it was a real branch of the military. So, within two weeks of that conversation with the hygienist I went to the Recruiter and enlisted in the US Air Force. Not the reserves, not the Guard, but active duty US Air Force. And so began the best chapter of the rest of my life. Although I separated from the military eight years ago, I feel as though it was the absolute best decision of my life. I’m still reaping the rewards of enlistment all these years later. In fact, it would’ve been 18 years ago this past July that I started my military career. Boy does time fly when life is happening like it should and good things are taking place.

To date, I’ve been in education for seven years and going into my 8th academic year. I have held many positions in education so far. Special education inclusion teacher, English teacher, special education department chairperson, assistant soccer coach, head soccer coach, class sponsor, ARD Facilitator, and now, my current position as school counselor. I’ve spent my time serving in education in various forms and while I’ve been here for some time I feel like I’m still getting to know who I am and how to function. Part of that is all of the changes I’ve had but all of them have been good for me; I’ve grown and learned so much. Regarding my current role as counselor I feel like I have finally achieved my ultimate goal. I’ve dreamed of this day for years. I can remember all the way back to fifth grade and talking with my friend about what I wanted to be when I grew up and distinctly remember saying I wanted to be a counselor. I wanted to work with kids who have faced the problems I had as a kid. I wanted to be for someone else what my teachers were for me and MORE! I toyed with the idea a couple times and thought maybe I would be a child psychologist or something but quickly went back to counseling when I realized psychologists only wrote prescriptions and research papers. Not my cup of tea. At all. I want to talk. I want to provide guidance. I want to cry alongside my students and listen with open ears and heart. I want to connect them to the agencies who can help. I want to guide them through the college or career paths they will face. I want to walk alongside them as they choose their paths for adulthood. So here I am… ready, willing, and very capable of giving everything they need and want to be successful young people.

Here are a few random things about me:

I have six tattoos. I want a couple more.

I have been skydiving.

I have gone on two humanitarian missions with the military.

I know more about the human eye than most anyone wants to know.

I have had two miscarriages and have one living teenage child.

I love the Green Bay Packers, San Antonio Spurs and the UW Badgers.

I’m a sports fan and enjoy watching nearly all sports.

I played soccer in high school and on an adult co-ed league.

I’ve played quite a few other sports too.

I’m Christian but not religious.

I believe in light, love, faith, good karma, warm nights, hot baths, cold drinks, strong hugs, the giggle of babies, and true love heal all that ails our world.

Motherhood is the best gift God ever gave me.

Garbage in=garbage out. I cannot watch videos or movies depicting humans defiling other humans in any shape or form. It isn’t entertainment to me and it poisons my heart and soul. I have to protect my soul from evils like that.

I’m not perfect (read any other post in this blog for evidence) but I aim to be a good person and do right by others.

I’m passionate about what I believe and rejoice in it often.

Few people truly know me although many think they have me pegged.

I’m constantly brewing with ideas and theories about endless facets of the human condition although I have no audience or group in which to volley those ideas.

I’ve been in love 3 times but only one man holds the keys to my heart and he’s the man of my dreams although he isn’t mine.

Married once and divorced once.

I’ve secretly (well not so much anymore I guess…) thought I was capable of being a bodybuilder.

The home I live in is the first home I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve always had to live in other people’s homes but never my own until now. And I built it.

I rarely get sick.

I love spicy food, Thai food, hearty meals, and light fare.

I like a good beer, Crown Royal and Dr Pepper, or glass of wine for special occasions or in social situations. Otherwise my favorite beverages are coffee, Dr. Pepper and unsweet iced tea.

My real dad and step dad have both died.

I don’t suffer any addictions.

I cry easily and often. When I laugh, when I’m sad, touched by a song or gesture, kindness, a good song, spiritual movements, and more.

I love to read.

I love to learn.

I’m not a great cook but can make some mean peach cobbler.

I’m a great teacher and decent writer.

I try to always remember where I came from so I never lose sight of where I’m going.

Humility and kindness go very far in any situation.

And to put my feather in my cap, my son thinks I’m pretty dope, a great mom and that I understand him better than anyone.

I don’t know if any of this will develop into anything more but I think it’s important to sometimes sit back and take stock of who you are and what you’re about. I feel like I’ve been reacting a lot lately and it was high time for introspection.

Humbly yours,

The Repressed Peach

Therapy.

There’s a lot of stigma around therapy. Some people hate it, other people judge it, other people think it’s a novel idea but isn’t very effective and others even yet think it’s all just hocus-pocus, but for me, for me it was my life blood for 2 1/2 years. Every week I spent one hour with my therapist and in those minutes just 60 short minutes I solved problems in my head and in my heart and my soul that had been festering for years and years and years. Lots of abuse. Lots of doubt. Lots of self loathing. Troubled relationships. You name it I was going through it. So when I started therapy I didn’t really know what to expect from it and I didn’t know what I was going to get but in more ways than one it saved my life. It is the best investment in myself that I’ve ever made. 2 1/2 years, one hour a week and I never missed a session. I did better in therapy than I do in the gym but I was dedicated to my wellness at that time. I knew that if my mind was right my body would follow and that it did.

I bumped into my therapist tonight at a celebration party for my new counseling position at a local high school. I haven’t seen my therapist since my last session in December 2010 and so it was a very happy reunion. She was out celebrating and enjoying time with friends and family while I was celebrating with my friends and colleagues for my new position. I happened to look across the pavilion and there she sat so of course I got up and I walked over and I gently touched her arm and I said hi, she immediately got up and just embraced me of the greatest hug and she exclaimed my name and told me how she was so happy to see me, how often she thought of me and the 2 1/2 years we spent in therapy together. I gave her a brief rundown of all my successes recently and many accomplishments since our time together and she was just overjoyed. I could see in her face that she was happy for me and she told me she was proud of me. Out of all the people in the world who know me and proclaim their love for me or affection for me or even that they like me, I feel like my therapist, even though 10 years have passed since we sat across the room from each other and had a conversation she knows me, the true me, better than anybody. I would love to have that type of trusting relationship in my day-to-day life that doesn’t have to happen behind closed doors and doesn’t have to be relegated to just an hour a week of undivided attention and dedicated time to listen to what I have to say and really hear me. I look forward to a day when I have a partner in my life who I can talk to at any given moment, someone I can share my dreams with, someone I can share my passion with, someone I can wonder about all the wonders of the world with, and they’ll just listen and hopefully talk to me too but listen with a smile on their face and not be irritated or put off or annoyed by my brain. I have a lot of ideas and sometimes writing them down in this blog only goes so far. Yeah I have the international readers that are joining me from places like Turkey and Bangladesh and Scandinavia but really I need faces and I want dialogue and I want relationship between people. I miss that deeply and I feel like the further and further away I get from true relationships with other people the more isolated I become and the harder it is to bridge that gap.

So maybe I’m at a point where I might be facing time in therapy again. I might need to go and some kinks out in my character and sort out some misconceptions that maybe I have about myself or what my strengths are and where my weaknesses are. Maybe it’s time for the proverbial “tuneup”, if you will. That might actually be a really good idea. Maybe while I’m at it, maybe I’ll put just as much effort into my physical health as what I’m willing to put in for my mental health.

Therapy is powerful. Therapy is effective. And as Dr. Ray Wooten, one of my professors said, “all counselors are wounded healers.” Maybe I’m a little wounded right now so maybe I need to go get some healing of my own.

What a serendipitous meeting of two kindred souls tonight. I thank God for this encounter. And I thank God for all the many blessings I have in my life. As well as all of the many opportunities I’ve been given at every stage of my life and every person who has helped me grow and become a better version of who I am today. My therapist was a critical contributor in helping to shape who I am today and I will forever be grateful for that time and for her insights to help me be the best version of myself that I can be.

Expressly yours,

The Repressed Peach

Affirmations

The story of me and who I am never ends. I am constantly a work of progress and sewn together with multiple strands of inspiration, hope, love, and encouragement. Sometimes those strands get tangled, and some might even break, but at the end of what I hope and envision is a masterpiece of life, the picture will be clear and the images where they’re supposed to be. At times, I feel the tangle, I can feel the stress on the threads before it breaks and in those times I need to find my footing again. I need to find balance and peace that comes from within. I’ve found in past versions of myself and in past experiences that affirmations are very powerful for me. So, I find myself in a place where affirmations might be the thing that propels me toward my more complete masterpiece. Here’s my first draft:

1.  Fall in love with who you are.

This season I’ve been in has caused me to lose sight of who I am and what I’m about. My confidence has been shaken and it’s taking a heavy toll on my soul and body. I have to get me back. Back into my greatest shape mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically. My spiritual confidence is destroyed right now so that has to be a great area of focus.

2. Focus on the now. Limit distractions. 

Like so many others, I find myself distracted by things that ought not be a priority. Social media is just perused out of boredom and escape from reality. I gain little from the abundance of time I spend checking, reading, deleting, reacting, etc to the steady stream of shit that flows from social media. Limiting that will ensure I avail myself to the things I need to do to improve my life.

3. Be brave. 

Like my confidence, my sense of bravery has wavered. I’ve found myself thinking pitifully about myself and my situation. Well, lemme tell ya, ain’t nobody got time fo’ that! Pity parties are for the feeble minded. I am not and will not allow myself to participate in that crap anymore. I will stand tall, be brave, and have confidence in what I am doing in all things great and small. I’m going to work on this characteristic. I must improve.

I will add more or edit as I make progress in my affirmations but I think this is a great place to start. I have to remember who I am and why I am who I am. Hopefully, I will remember soon and start acting accordingly. 😊

Thoughtfully,

The Repressed Peach

The last baby tooth. 

Parenting is such an interesting journey. It’s full of ups and downs, twists and turns and a little bit of duck, dive and dodge. It’s beautifully analogous to life. And oh what a life it is!

Being a mom is my pride and joy. It’s one of the things I feel I am best at. And by best, I mean in a simple, thoughtful, realistic kind of way. I’m not an over the top, hovercraft, expert-level Pinterest mom, and I’m not a bedazzled, superstar. I’m just thoughtful, caring, disciplined, routine, ordinary, yet exceptional mom to a spectacular young man who makes me love life, enjoy philosophical convos, explore new things, encourage laughter and make beautiful life-long memories together. He is my pride and my joy. He’s my happiness. And I’ve told him so since he was a wee small babe laying in bed ready to go night-night.

He’s a big guy now. Nearly 13 and full of personality, wonder, and silliness. I love every bit of it! Just as I loved watching him find his toes to watching him learn to sit up, I find joy in his development into young adulthood. Milestone and after milestone he’s just blossomed into the person he is today. Like many parents, one of the biggest milestones is cutting teeth. Oh watching, waiting and feeling for those baby teeth to come in is something so treasured and longed for. Our babies can dine with us! They can explore foods and try new things and menu options soon become endless! It’s a glorious thing to be shared by all. Photos are taken, tricks are played to encourage that new toothy grin, Grandma’s fingers, Grandpa’s fingers and everyone else in the family explore the newly developed toofers that have erupted! So much happens at this major milestone and so many adorable memories are made. From the first tooth to the last, we celebrate and create rituals and ceremonies to commemorate the adventure.

But what about the last baby tooth? That last little bugger that holds on and waits until nearly 13 to let go and give way for the final adult tooth to break through? No celebration? No victory dance? No letters from the tooth fairy? Well, tonight my son found a splendid way to celebrate. After pulling his own last baby tooth from his mouth, he washed and dried it then wrapped it in the customary tissues. But when he couldn’t find any tape to secure the wrappings, he took to the craft closet to tie a beautiful red ribbon around it. 

He sent me a text of his final product with the sweet words “my final present to the tooth fairy”. My heart nearly split in two from the pure joy and happiness I felt at his ceremonial wrappings and sincere words.

Tonight, when I play my last role as the Tooth Fairy, I’m going to relish the opportunity to get up in the middle of the night and cautiously leave a nice sum of money under his warm pillow. I’m going to remember the times we shared watching him cut his first tooth up to tonight when he so bravely pulled his own tooth and found a unique way of celebrating the commencement of this ritual and milestone. He’s a joy to raise. A joy to love. A joy to be a mom to. He’s my greatest gift and my most treasured person. ❤️

Lovingly,

The Repressed Peach