Sunday, April 5, 2015

Starting To Change

It's been forever, hasn't it?  

It sure seems like it!

I've been adjusting (more on that later) and I actually managed to do a couple of art journal pages, so I thought I'd share them with proof that I'm not dead and all that...

The first page is for JOURNAL 52...week 5...the television prompt, posted way back in January...yes, I am that behind...shame of shames!

"You spent half your life trying to turn the other half around."  -Kathleen Edwards

What does that page have to do with TV you ask?  The words are from this song by Kathleen Edwards, called "Six O'Clock News":

I am not a TV watcher by nature...even when I do, I've got to do something else while I watch...and I wasn't really feeling the TV prompt...until I remembered that song and the line "You spent half your life trying to turn the other half around."  Which I really like and had more to do with where I'm at right now than any other TV related thing, so I just went with it.

And then there's the DOCUMENTED LIFE spread...also from way back in January...I feel so behind!  (Probably because I AM THAT BEHIND!)  The Art Challenge for this spread was "writing" and the Journal Prompt was "words with friends" and here's what I came up with:

You can't see it very much, but I used writing as my beginning only shows through in a few places.

I got the words on this page from this song, "Time to Leave" by Melissa Ferrick:

And I think they are some wise words indeed:

"You can't fix anyone else, babe."
"Being a friend means knowing when it's time to leave"

Aside from getting a little art journaling in, KAT MCNALLY'S APRIL MOON (still time to join!) has started, and I've been pondering the prompts in my head...she's got such a knack for helping you get to the meat of things, instead of just fluttering on the surface...she just asks the right questions, I guess.  

Kat's Reverb14 prompts last year had a very profound affect on me.  In fact, they are part of the answer to the first April Moon prompt: 

"That's when I knew that this chapter of my life had ended.  And now I was free to...

The thought of leaving my husband is something that had occurred to me many times...but there was always a reason not talking myself out of it with one thing or another.  Because it's wasn't something to do lightly.  So I stayed and things just kept piling up and piling up and I stayed and things piled.  And for years of my life, I waited and hoped things would change.  But they didn't change.  And so I decided that maybe if I changed, then it would be an inspiration to others and then they would change too.  But that's not what happened.

There was a point last year, during Reverb14, where I was sitting there typing my answer to one of the prompts and I thought to myself 'I don't want to live this life'.  I was so, so tired of trying and trying and having nothing to show for it.  I'd worked hard to make things better...but I was the only one who was changing...everything around me stayed very much the same...despite my needing it to be otherwise...despite my pleas for something/anything to be different.  

And something in me just snapped...I knew that nothing was ever going to change.  I knew that I was always going to live this same sad existence every day and have that for my life.  And I knew that I did not want to live that life forever.  There had been so much opportunity for things to have ended differently between my husband (Andy) and myself, but Andy was comfortable with the way things were...he didn't want anything to be different, and he didn't seem to care very much about what I wanted. This is not different from the entirety of my marriage...the difference is that I was not ok with it anymore, and I was not willing to keep trying.  He made his choice, and I'm not mad about it...I just wasn't going to let him make my choices anymore.  I needed things to be different and I wasn't going to be the only one compromising any more.  One person can't hold up the world.

And so I left, and I've been staying with my mom since January.  And in some ways, I feel in transition still...not settled...because this is not the end of the line for me...I will get my own place eventually and have my own space and take care of myself completely by myself...and so as I sit here and type away on mom's computer, in mom's house, I feel like a bit of a transient.  

But the thing is, I know now that I am free to do things differently.  That I won't always have this feeling of unrest...that I will find a place to put down roots.  I don't have to do the same things I've always done.  I can make another choice.  I can forge my own path.  And I'm working on it.

And that leads me to the second prompt for April Moon:

 "Knowing what I know now, I would tell my ten-years-ago self:"

Not to damn wait.  

Ten years ago, I was a year and a half into my marriage, and had pretty well already started to have doubts about it.  Instead of listening to my gut, I listened to other people.  People, who despite having the best of intentions, didn't really have the right to decide what I should do.  I chose to listen to them, and I lost a lot of time and opportunities.

I would tell my former self to get it together...pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get to it.  Nobody in life is going to hand you what you want, and you don't get anything by sitting there wishing for it.  If you want it, go work for it.  Don't let anybody tell you who you are and don't let anybody guilt you into being something that you don't want to be.

I'd tell her the same thing I am telling myself today:  Figure out what it is that you want and go get it.  Knuckle down, quit your whining and make things happen.  You don't get to blame anyone else ever again.  Whatever you end up with, good or bad, is because of your actions or lack of them, so whatever choice you make, you better be ready to make it work.

And on that forceful note, I'm done for today...

I'll leave you with some cuteness...Frida the adorable (and growing like a weed) puppy dog:

Had to trick her with treats next to the camera so as to get her to stay still...
...the paw on the leg is the last ditch effort at patience...half a second after I snapped this pic, she jumped up, head-butted me and stole the treat...


  1. "Don't let anybody tell you who you are and don't let anybody guilt you into being something that you don't want to be." So important!

    That is a brave step that you have taken. I wish you the very best for the next one!

  2. My dear, brave Sweet Red Clover! I suspected that this courageous step might be happening for you, after reading some of your blog posts during Reverb14. I know it is not easy to do what needs to be done as you pursue the life that YOU want, but it sounds as though you are on your way to creating the life of your dreams. I wish you all success as the future unfolds for you!
    In the meantime, I'd like to make a film recommendation for you: 'Elizabeth' with Cate Blanchett and be sure to find Roger Eberts film review as he makes some wonderful points on how a young woman has a steep learning curve as she takes on power in her life - it could be a fitting movie for this time in your life =)

  3. I've missed your posts and am so glad to see you again. Sending you lots of love and cheering you on, and acknowledging the courage of your move. But what a wonderful thing you've done in claiming your right to create a life that you love that makes your heart sing! Very very good!

  4. And now you are free to do things differently! Sending you lots of love and strength at this time and enjoy forging your own life. I love the journalling pages you have shared as well and although I am not familiar with the songs that inspired you I especially love "you can't fix anyone else babe". PS Frida is gorgeous.

  5. Sweets!!!! It is so great to hear from you again. You've been on my mind a lot since the new year. Transitions are hard. You are brave and I am proud of you for stepping out in courage! Thank you for sharing your heart and your art! I know many times they go hand in hand! Love you girl!!!

  6. I am so proud of you!! You left your Andy, I'm still here with mine. And it sucks. Go, live the life you've imagined!!

  7. Wow, wow, WOW Amy! This is HUGE world-changing stuff.
    As always, your courage and grace are awe-inspiring.
    You got this, girl. x
    P.S. Your puppy is the cutest!


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