Jul 18, 2018

So What's New With Me?

Hello loves.
If you have been following me on Instagram, you may have been clued in that I have been riding the grief struggle bus a bit in recent days. I have noticed this often happens when I re-hash our losses or have some sort of milestone pop up.  Our baby's first birthday would be July 21st and I guess I was hoping it wouldn't hurt as much as it has in recent years. But it does, so I'm just going with it and trying to rest and take it easy while the feelings come and go.

In spite of this, I will still continue to tell my story.
I do believe it's important to share where we are and keep driving the point home that although I am, overall, in a much better mental space than I have been in recent years, no one can be happy 24/7 and when you have suffered through a loss or diagnosis of any kind, grief can and will rear it's ugly head from time to time, and if you aren't in tune with yourself, it may surprise you that it can come on so strong.

For me, I notice I tend to get more tension in my neck and shoulders, followed by headaches and migraines (that was QUITE the way to kick off the 4th of July weekend, let me tell you). I find myself frantically trying to fill my time with useless tasks and get frustrated when things don't seem to be going as smoothly as they used to. It's then I realize I am trying to hide my feelings, and usually start accepting grief for what it is, sleep more, and just.....be.

The ultimate release is a good cry, and that finally happened last night.
It was like I was letting go of all this angst I carried with me in the last couple of weeks.
I feel lighter today and more aware of how amazing my life is, and that's when I know I'm recovering.

I'm hopeful I'll be walking with grief much less in the coming days, and that's always a good thing.

I shared my journey with Lindsay and her readers over at Bourbon and Lipstick today, if you would like to learn more, catch up, or just get to know another awesome fellow blogger. Lindsay and I connected through our blogs many years ago and I am proud to call her a good friend, even if we have never met in real life.

Finally, I started as an affiliate for a wonderful company a little over a year ago, called 31 Bits.
I like them so much because they source artisans all over the world and give their talents access to a global market, which in turn allows for them to provide a better living for themselves and their families.

But, needless to say, because this isn't slave labor, the price tag for their items (including jewelry and homegoods) isn't dirty cheap. What I love about the items though, is that they are all different, they are all imperfect, and you can tell each and every stone, plate, jewel, bauble, etc really is hand-crafted from scratch.

With every purchase, they send along a beautiful card that shows you the faces of the people that make your gift, and I love to imagine sitting with one of them as they show me their craft.

The best part is, if you are weary about dipping your toe into a new company, and trust me, I get it, they are having a wonderful sale of all their Sale items. 40% off to be exact.

This means that items range between $10-$15 with the sale!

The necklace I'm wearing is $15.50 with discount. Just use code EXTRA40 at checkout.
Order enough stuff and you get free shipping too!

The 40% off Sale Items continues through July 23rd and because each item is unique, they do tend to sell out quickly, so treat yourself or your loved one to something special and hop to it!

Thanks so much for checking in with me. XO
Jul 9, 2018

I Am Owning My Story

I was always a light sleeper.
Always worried that one of my pets would get hurt in the night.
Always concerned with the details of the next IVF protocol; what the results may hold, what our chances were, what the next hit would be.
I worried about making it to the next round, the next step, the next milestone, certain that if I never made it as a mom, I would ultimately be nothing.

A non-mom is no way to live by society's standards.
I have offered nothing to this world. 
I cannot grow anything within me.
I have no purpose and should just back away in shame.

To say I was unhappy during those trying days of uncertainty in the midst of failed cycle after failed cycle would be the understatement of a lifetime.

Often times loved ones around me would try to give me the standard pep talk.

It will work, Tia.

And I often, so very often, would combat it with the shielded response.

But it might not.

Call it intuition.
Call it whatever you want.
But there was always something nagging at me, deep down inside, and with every forceful grasp at the next layer of mountain I climbed, I always knew we would likely not succeed at this.

This wasn't what we were meant to do as humans.
We were not destined to raise our own children.

And that intuition worried me to my very core.

And then we stopped trying.
We stopped treatments.
We stopped.
Just. Stopped. Everything.

I finally let go of that mountain I kept a tight grip of, and fell back into the clouds.

My head stopped spinning.
My feet, once grounded in impenetrable cement, moved again.
My body yearned to run, to leap, to do anything that didn't involve sitting in another chair having my blood drawn.
My mind became laser focused and my vision narrowed.
And my heart expanded ten-fold to the immediate loves in my life and everything I have been cultivating for the past decade.

And I realized that there was nothing to be afraid of.
Worry faded away, and the little annoyances and frustrations of daily life seemed so trivial in comparison to the storm we just walked through.

I slept. Deeply.
And continued this pattern each night.
And still do to this day.

Embracing my life, just as it is, has freed me from the criticism and judgment that I was putting on MYSELF because I THOUGHT that's how society viewed me.

And to be honest, society might still view me that way.
As nothing.
As no good.

Because I'm a non-mom.

But I can assure you that I simply raised my middle finger at the criticism, and kept looking forward, kept walking. 
Because none of that worry or judgment matters, really.

Sickness and death and despair will happen in the future.
But I now know that ultimately, when the dust settles, I am resilient.
I will continue to put one foot in front of the other, and keep walking forward.

Because life will go on.
And I will not fear the variables.
I will not fear the what-ifs.
I will not worry about failing.

Failure, you see, is just another part of life.
You MUST fail to succeed at something better.
To try a different route.
To keep pressing forward.
Only the strongest take failure and turn it into a positive, rewarding aspect of life.

And I can assure you I fail every damn day.
And it's glorious.
I get to reinvent myself as often as I want.
I get to try again.
I get to keep going.

So, when people ask me how I'm doing these days.
The honest answer is....I'm doing amazing.
Free from worry and embracing failure and watching how resilient I am.
Focusing inward and erasing the judgment and comparison and simply ENJOYING living.

THAT is the spice of life, folks.

Everything else is just....details.
Details that will eventually fall into place.
Most of which I can't control or manipulate even if I wanted to.

Those types of expectations are what causes worry, anyways.
The expectation of how life is SUPPOSED to go.
Life is SUPPOSED to go exactly as it's going.
We're living our best life, don't you see?

When you remove the comparison and expectations, all you're left with is the stuff and situations and destiny you were always meant to live. 

It's good to try new things.
To take chances.
Because you might just fail.
And then you take that failure, turn it into a life lesson, embrace what happened and move forward wiser, and lighter, and with more ease.

So, my dear, infertility did so much for me, even if it didn't give me the baby I thought I would have.
It gave me my LIFE BACK.
And I will be eternally grateful for all the failures along the way.

Thanks for reading. XO