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I just learned that someone I went to middle and high school with passed away last week. We weren’t particularly close, so it doesn’t feel like a hard loss. Any life lost too soon is sad though. I’d like to take several moments over the next few days remembering him, remembering life the way it was ten years ago, reaching out to friends and connecting.

Death for me always brings about reflections on life. Running a checklist on the things that I’ve accomplished and the things still left to do. Thinking hard about my relationships. Feeling love for the people I’ve lost and appreciative of the people still here. It brings up a panick-y feeling that I need to tell everyone how much they mean to me. There are no guarantees in this life. The people who are important to us need to know how much we love them.

This one’s for you, Ron.

I’ve somehow found myself in the middle of letting go. I can see where I started, but have yet to see the end. Is there an end? Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. How has time passed so quickly and also so slowly? The heaviness has shifted around. I’ve begun to feel lighter. The pain is still there. It’s just duller now.

I’ve become a pro at pretending. At distracting, at filling my time. “Faking it until I make it.” Getting to know new people. Exploring their eyes, hoping to find answers that I hadn’t considered before. I’m not ready yet, but I really want to be. My heart keeps waiting, wanting to cling so hard to hope and faith and patience and love and fondness. “It isn’t fair,” my brain tells my heart, “it’s just not fair. We can’t wait anymore.”

I’ve been reading other people’s feelings about broken hearts. Hoping that somehow their words and thoughts will take over mine. I’d like to focus on theirs instead of my own. Being alone hurts. The silence is too much. Finding activities that help fill that space. Nothing quite fits. I’ll keep trying though. Maybe the space will get smaller.

I miss so many things.

Today I am grateful for:
Doing silly things.
Making choices that I don’t regret.
Loving the people who have chosen to stay in my life, over and over and over again. Kissing and squeezing and holding them tight. Thank you for loving me.

Today I am grateful for:

Receiving a check in the mail for a class that I taught. It’s not much, but it’s really cool. I’m getting paid to do something that I love!

My awesome co-workers.

A surprise delivery from a great friend. What a wonderful gift. They are gorgeous and smell AMAZING.

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This list. Something to think about as 2014 draws near.
http://thoughtcatalog.com/brianna-wiest/2013/12/24-rules-for-being-a-human-being-in-2014/#pKi7FCEHsbLtQJsw.01

Today I am grateful for:

6th (!!!!) annual Cookiefest.
My apartment filled with my nearest and dearest friends.
Watching my friends talk and laugh together. I have the best friends in the whole world.
Sharing one of my favorite ways to show love: baked goods.
The way the scent of cookies lingers in my apartment.
Feeling surrounded by love.

Today I am grateful for:

The body’s healing process. I got a gnarly cut on my finger last week. It’s almost healed! I didn’t pay much attention to it either. What a miracle that our bodies take care of themselves in the way that they do.

Deep thoughts that occupy my brain. Thoughts like:
mindfulness about presence and taking an active role in my life.
the difference between setting an intention and having expectations.
abundance and The Universe.

Energy clearing and redistribution, much thanks to Sage and Reiki.

Salt and sand on icy sidewalks. I am not graceful at all, so, I’ve biffed it quite a few times already. I know that this number would be higher if the sidewalks weren’t properly treated for traction.

This song:

Today I am grateful for:

SNOW! Two significant snowfalls in three days. Snow day today! Yessss! Here are some photos of Addie and I frolicking in the snow earlier.

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Being productive on an unexpected day off. Got all caught up on paperwork, went to the gym, put some yummy things in the crockpot AND decorated my apartment for a party this weekend. Right on. I've earned some couch time. 🙂

Brene Brown. Her work is so inspiring and has deeply affected my professional and personal life. Here’s a short animated clip of some of her stuff. Totally worth three minutes of your time. http://brenebrown.com/2013/12/10/rsabear/

This whole process of breaking up, letting go of a relationship, shifting the way in which I interact with my world, becoming used to not speaking with someone I care deeply for on a regular basis, is so, SO, tough. I keep asking myself a question over and over, as I’m sure others going through a similar situation have as well, “where does the love go?” I loved and cared for you yesterday and I’m supposed to suddenly feel neutral about you now? It never made sense to me. I don’t know that it ever will.

It seems as if though we are socialized to believe that when a relationship fails, that we have failed, that there is something inherently wrong with us, that we weren’t able to make it work, AGAIN. I’ve also found that it is acceptable and almost expected to vilify our partner, to talk shit about them and hate their guts for leaving us, or for not trying hard enough.

These ideas leave me feeling really uncomfortable.

This probably comes as no surprise to any of you, but I am a lover. In a big way. When I love you, I really love you. I care so deeply for you and am often moved by how much I can care for another person. I want to spread my warmth and leave people surrounded by a loving bubble of light. I am grateful for love and my ability to share it.

So, when my friends and family want to talk with me about how I’m better off or that he’s a big jerk, I find myself getting in the defensive position. I don’t speak about people like that, ever. So, why would I do it with a person who at one point in time was one of the most important people in my life?

Losing someone is hard. I get that. I also get why people feel the need to disconnect. It’s protective. When going through a loss, we need to take care of ourselves first. But after the dust has settled and we begin to see things clearer, I’d like new conversations to happen. To honor the feelings in my gut that tell me that hating and vilifying someone don’t align with the way in which I interact with this world.

What I am saying is that I would like to focus on love in all of this. To celebrate the things that were good about my dating partner and the relationship we shared. I want to look at my part in what didn’t work out and work on those things in myself. I want to really believe that just because it didn’t work out, does not mean that there is something wrong with me or my partner. That we are two people who cared about each other, but it didn’t work out. And that is okay. We are both one step closer to finding a person who we can make it work with.

There were lessons to be learned in all of this. There was love to be shared, moments to be remembered tenderly, signifiant life impacts to be had. None of those things could have happened between two other people. What we had was special and unique to us. THAT is what I’m going to focus on.

Today I am grateful for:
Love.
Finding balance.
Hands to hold. Hugs to give and receive.

I have a confession to make. I have an obsession. With cheese puffs. A food that has no nutritional value whatsoever. I love them. I love their airy deliciousness. I love how they leave orange dust on my fingers and stick to my teeth. I eat them throughout the day, it doesn’t matter the time. I eat them for breakfast. I eat them as a snack. I eat them before and after going for a run (but not during). Cheese puffs always seem to be an appropriate food to eat, no matter the time or activity. Secret’s out.  

I love drinking on a “school night.” For some reason, I really feel like I am living when I’m out late on a night when I have to be up early the next day. I feel rebellious. And when I wake up the next morning, most of the time groaning and cursing myself, I never EVER regret the previous night’s actions. I may have drank too much and didn’t get nearly enough sleep. But I also laughed a lot and spent time with friends whom I adore. I feel most alive in the wee hours, when I should be sleeping/reading/preparing for the next day. Those times I should be making more responsible and adult-like decisions, but karaoke-ing, playing darts or flirting seem so much more important. Those “bad” decisions seem to feed my soul. Cheers to that, friends.

Today I am grateful for:
Delicious snacks.
Enjoying the simple things in life. Like talking with strangers at a bar on a Tuesday at 1:00am.
Participating in holiday celebrations.

Today I am grateful for:

A packed schedule. I am lucky to know so many people who invite me to do things. I am lucky that people want me around and appreciate my company.

Ports in the storm. Places to go and people to lean on when life feels tough.

These boys. This video. This song and how the lyrics seem to have been written by my heart. Oh darling, I do indeed wish you well.

Witnessing random acts of kindness. ‘Tis the season.

Greeting people that I haven’t seen in a long time with big warm hugs and kisses.