The point where you love your body

0607111853I believe that women in particular can have a difficult time with loving their bodies, because I know I have personally had a very hard time with it since I first got a ‘body.’ As a little girl I was nothing but legs and height, and all I cared about was playing outside for as long as I could and doing boyish things with my brother. Puberty hit me at a really young age and I recall being thrown off by what was happening to me. My long, lean build was gone and I ballooned out in about every direction.

Of course, like any woman out there I was teased quite a bit and bullied a lot. The boys started noticing any girls who had ‘blossomed’ and so I covered myself in baggy clothes and hid it as best as I could. The worst teasing, unfortunately, came from my family because suddenly my metabolism was turned against me. I couldn’t just eat anything like I did as a kid and have it not show. My family thought they were helping me by pointing out my weight daily, but year after year of this on a constant basis deteriorated my perception of myself. I avoided mirrors like the plague and got used to hearing from my mother in particular that if I lost weight I’d be perfect. 

319919_1975714788888_1123630225_31682279_2101631656_nTurns out later that I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and this makes it difficult to lose weight, easy to gain, and your hormones are completely out of balance. Even when I was diagnosed and put on medication it didn’t help my weight, and I may have gained while I was on my medication. The symptoms it helped clear was cystic acne and it regulated my period so I wouldn’t go six months at a time without one.

To this day I always react to people bullying someone about their weight, even if the bully is that person. I make sure to say any good thing that crosses my mind, you look good today, etc. but I try to keep weight out of it. Lately I’ve been told that I look like I lost weight… and I know I haven’t. I just don’t need to lose any more especially since I am very content at how I am right now. I have never been as happy as I am about my body, especially because it just feels so much stronger. I had a set goal weight I wanted to go for at first, yet, I don’t care as much if I am at that exact weight or a few pounds above it because my body just feels good. It even shows in my career that I can give deeper massages that may have exhausted me if I did several in a row before and I don’t feel tired at all.

0907111815Through my journey I’ve had I have realized that finding love and appreciation for your body, and who you are, of course begins and ends within yourself. The kind of teasing and bullying I’ve been through for my weight is something I’d never wish upon any other woman or especially a child. Yet, I know as women we have to fight against not only what people say about how we look, or the media says, but also when we end up turning against ourselves as well.  To this day I don’t like it when people I don’t know tease me incessantly thinking they are funny and I will tell them every time to stop it. 

I am not one for resolutions or goals but I did have at least one this year that I will continue to love my body, treat it good, and maintain all the hard work I’ve done. I want to continue doing one of my passions I never thought I would have which is cooking 6-7 days out of the week. I’ve always been one to want to change little parts of me, my thighs, my stomach, and I’m learning to be content with what I’ve got. It’s a process continuing to love your body, especially when it seems like everyone is telling you that you need to fix any flaws that you have. I realize now my flaws are what make me… me, and that they can be the most beautiful thing about a person.

My attraction to dangerous things

cirqueplayI’m an adrenaline junkie since the age that I could do adrenaline inducing things. My father and I loved roller coasters, the higher, the faster, and the more loops and upside down stuff the better. Later on I was interested in more dangerous forms of horseback riding, and this included jumping where I would most likely end up falling off my horse. It didn’t stop me from pursuing jumping and I found a horse (my horse) who got a thrill out of it like I did. Her tail would go flying in the air, and she would take three jumps nearly in one stride no matter the height. It was some of the most exciting stuff jumping and a time where my mind would clear completely because all I could think of was the next jump and the course we needed to complete.

I’ve taken a break from my more dangerous forms of adrenaline and exchanged it for the excitement of Boudoir photo shoots instead. Still, there’s that part of me that has a bucket list of scary things I need to do. Recently I kayaked for the first time in my life in the ocean and that was a lot of fun for me to try and I’d do it again.

I’ve swam with sharks, Caribbean reef sharks in particular, and that was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Call me crazy but I’d love to meet great white sharks (in a cage just in case, of course) and also swim with whale sharks. I’d love to learn how to do scuba diving and get the opportunity to meet even more marine life and explore the bottom of the ocean instead of the top with snorkeling. I’d like to go white water rafting, and basically anything involved with water I want to do.

On land I want to go zip lining, and lately I’ve been tempted to buy something so I can go skydiving for the first time. I ran it by my husband about skydiving and he said to go for it so I might just get the thing to try out skydiving next time I see it. Any time I come across something new I always think in my head, “Hey, I could do that… I’m hoping to try out all of the things on my scary adrenaline list, even though it may take a while to complete.

How did I become a house wife?

151I don’t know quite what triggered it, besides our obvious move that we made over a year ago. I’ve always been a free spirit, very stubborn, and my husband was always the one trying to cook when he could and cleaning up after my messes. I hear some women talk about how we aren’t exactly as free as we think we are. This one lady who said these exact words said that we weren’t very free, we were only free to cook, clean, do laundry, and take care of the children. That men these days still don’t know how to help out and they are taught for us to take care of them… And essentially we become like their mothers. (Ew.)

This woman was also married for 36 years and recently had become divorced at the age of sixty. I thought of interjecting to say that my husband has always been a gentleman, opening doors for me, getting my coat, and he has always the one cleaning, cooking, he was even doing my laundry! I could tell she was very hurt by what happened to her, understandably so, and my unusual case with my husband probably wouldn’t be heard.

It was a strange situation with two service providers being in the room at once so I let the other gal answer any of her questions. Her freedom analysis of married women was interesting, but it isn’t the case for all women. I feel absolutely free with my husband, I have traveled more this year than any year in my life. He encourages me to go out with people if I want to, and if I do need him to clean I just need to remind him verbally to do it. Like most guys, dropping hints about dishes or cleaning will get me no where, yet telling him the exact thing I want from him will get him to definitely do it for me.

092I guess I felt more interested in this idea of freedom and us being there to take care of our husbands with cleaning, cooking, etc. because I’ve fell into the role of being like a house wife. Now, keep in mind I still work, I pick up days when my work asks me to, but I’ve even gotten my cooking times coordinated with when my husband might be coming home.

Dinner needs to be ready hopefully by the time he walks in the door, I will be finishing up with it so it is still warm for us when he walks in. I’ve basically taken over dishes duty since I am doing all of our cooking. I thought if I was ever at this stage where I’d consider myself a housewife I’d resent it very strongly. If you asked me a year ago that I’d be cooking complicated dishes almost every day of the week, doing dishes, and especially enjoying the cooking I’d of laughed at you… Very hard. When I visit my family they still don’t believe it, and I’d love to cook for them because it is one of my huge things of pride and discovery for me. My mother never really cooked for us, she really didn’t like it and since we never cooked at home there was not much for us to ever clean. The basics of how to cook was self-taught to myself by trial and error, and amazingly once I started cooking, there was this natural ability to make really tasty dishes.

Now the question of how I became a housewife I think is easiest to be explained by our move and my need to adapt and still feel important without a job. I wanted to be able to do something while I was job searching and though I assumed I wouldn’t be good at cooking, I still decided to give it a try. Now that I have a job the act of cooking, strangely enough, gives me a sort of stress relief after working even when my body is sore from massaging. I don’t know quite how I got to this point I’m at now… But I don’t mind being here.

My husbands job is furloughed

If you asked me if I knew it was coming, honestly, I’d say I felt it and knew that this would be the outcome. I got back from a trip with my mom and something was slightly off about my husband and I could sense it but I thought I was crazy. He took me aside when we’d brought up my luggage and I met him in his room as he told me he had something to say. I immediately stated that didn’t sound good, yet I never imagined how serious it would be.

His job is being furloughed. After many lows and very little highs they are letting him go at the end of the year since they won’t need his position. Tears started streaming down my face and I started crying, he held me as I shook and sobbed in the bed together. My worst fear is for him to lose his job, because I’ve never made enough money for the both of us and not having money is one of my biggest fears and I know this. He is so specific with his field that its hard enough to place him in a job position, so very quickly my world crashed around me.

I’ve been blessed as a kid, teenager, and an adult, that my parents have only lost a job once that I remember, even though they fought about money every day. I’ve never had to face this before, though the year of me searching for a job once I moved definitely put a lot of fear in me of the reality of how difficult it can be to be hired.

My rational side of me says to calm down, that everything must happen for a reason. There is some plan with what happened, there is hopefully an opportunity, a better one, waiting for us at the end of this. If this opportunity is waiting for us, I keep questioning how long we will struggle for it, if we have the money to survive, pay bills, and have food on our table. I can’t even imagine if the opportunity of something better not being there because it is a dark road I do not want to look down, or travel. I was really hoping for things to level out, get easier at least, with my finding a job, yet it’s not meant to be.

If there is anything I have faith in its my husband and I. I love him, and through all of our trials and difficulties it just has to make us stronger. I guess this is the time in my life to struggle, to really struggle, and I’ve taught myself slowly but surely to lean on my husband more over the years. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, every amazing, and crummy thing in our lives is there for us to grow, become stronger, or learn something new about us. So, it’s just been a lot to go through and I just have to trust my husband and hope this will lead us to a better path. I just don’t want there to be too many rocks, sticks, and obstacles for us to stumble over first.

Thinking of good comebacks after the fact

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHave you ever had someone say something to you and you really wish you had a comeback to give them right back? I had this recently happen to me and I will share it for an example:

Coworker: “Whoa! What happened to your hair?!”

Me: “I’ve been working… My hair gets fluffy when I work hard.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wish I had a better comeback and it always gets me the next day or even the next week for what to say. I also have this inner filter I try to keep on always because I don’t want to say something that would hurt someone’s feelings, even if that person is trying to rile me up. If a coworker looks especially nice a day that I work, I always make sure to tell them.

How a woman responds to a compliment is almost always, “uhhh… I look like crap today, are you blind??” so unfortunately even good comments have to be kept in check. I’ve learned the lesson of who will receive a compliment well, and who will make me feel like a dope for saying anything.

And, it’s okay to not say something nasty or smart as a comeback if you can’t think of anything to say in return until days later. Just laugh at the remarks and it’ll frustrate the person trying to put you down in that moment.

My middle finger hurts

140Imagine my surprise today when I woke up this morning and noticed that my middle fingers, right in the joint area, were aching every time I bent them. This perplexed me because my work day massaging the day before wasn’t too intense and I only had one deep tissue massage. Every time I wake up and something I need to massage is not working (my hands, my fingers, my wrists, etc.) it always makes me panic for how I’m going to work around it.

I of course wondered why it was mainly my middle fingers which were hurting me the most. All I could think of was that I may have been flipping someone off in my sleep, that’s all I could come up with. And I had to be intensely flipping them off in my sleep, because the joints were sore and I haven’t had my fingers hurt like that in a while. Or, who knows, maybe I was doing deep tissue frictioning on my pillow in my sleep, you never know.

So, when I walked into work I was less than enthused with my current predicament. One of my coworkers asked me what was up and I was honest that for some odd reason my middle fingers were aching. She immediately concluded that I must be angry, especially since it was the middle fingers that were bothering me. I told her I had a good day the day before, and she luckily offered to help me out.

My coworker is like a witch doctor because she seriously has magic hands and can make a certain area feel better with her voodoo magic. I knew she would be the one to help me at least dull the pain so I sat down, had a cup of coffee, and let her use her fairy dust on me.

We sat there while she held where the area was that was sore on my one middle finger, and then the other, and voila! it was totally feeling better. She says it was really nothing that she did but I don’t know any other person who can tune in like her and make something stop aching by just the tiniest bit of work. I’m convinced she is a magical handed voodoo priestess, but of course, she won’t admit it… yet.

Why isn’t this a career?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnyone who has been reading this blog for a while may know about my profession which had started out as a job, and over the years evolved into a passion. This would be my profession as a massage therapist, which I did on a whim because it was one of the few careers I could enter without having to do math. I’ve never been one to dream of being something as a little kid, I never played the game of, “when I grow up I wanna be…

So many people who entered the same class as me ended up dropping out. How many, you might ask? Well, more than half the class dropped out and there were so few of us that we were told if anyone else dropped out our class couldn’t graduate.

My classmates that did complete the class and graduated didn’t get their massage licenses. From what I know and the times we checked up there wasn’t anyone who was practicing… Except for me.

I must admit getting a job in this career as a new therapist was one of the toughest things I went through. Completing massage school was equaling difficult, as noted by my fellow classmates quitting the program. I haven’t come across many therapists who consistently do this as a job fulltime. On that same note I haven’t come across massage therapists in this profession full-time for several years. It seems to be that thing you do on the side with another part-time job.

I know why this seems to be the case, massage is physically taxing, but in addition to that it is mentally exhausting at times. I’ve noticed since my move the clientele have been much more relaxed, calmer, and very polite to work with. It is a totally different clientele, and I really did love my clientele where I came from, but they are just so different. Performing deep tissue massage is now more of a rarity than a necessity, and my body is feeling so much better because of this.

lilypadGiving massage is my relaxation time, my quiet time, you could even say my time to mediate and clear my head of thoughts that keep on circulating in my head. I never imagined this career wold evolve into something I love, but I do truly enjoy it. There are many other people in my career who see this as a stepping stone, a sort of means to an end, for them to work toward the ‘dream‘ career they’ve been waiting for.

My family doesn’t believe I should look at my job as a career, something I will do for years and years. My mother wants me to get my bachelor degree… In what I have no clue and refuse to throw so much money out there without a clue of what I’m going after. My brother thinks this career is too taxing on me as well and has asked me what will I do for a job when I injure myself? My husband used to agree with them in the beginning when I’d come home exhausted physically and mentally. Luckily, he supports me with my decision and my passion in this career.

I have sometimes entertained the thought of what other passions I’d love to do as a career: marine biology, teaching in science, anything to do with science, insects, animals, becoming a vet, physical therapist, a massage instructor, and even the idea of becoming a nurse. There are options when I think about other stuff that holds my interest and I have always loved the excuse to learn more.

I have been doing this career for four years, and you’d think it’d get mundane and tedious, yet when I come to work I’m looking forward to it. I’d like to learn more styles of massage, different ways of doing it, and it’s just so much fun to see someone feeling better because of my work.

Unwind me with a song or few

At my current job it is actually rather laid back, and I’ve ended up having to dial back my anxiety and learn to relax more. This doesn’t mean that I don’t need to unwind, take baths, and ice my body though. I’m still busy and business equates soreness with my profession, so I’m making sure to take extra care of my body.

This means hot baths on every busy day and even in prep for a busy day, going to sleep early, and listening to my favorite music artists to unwind me at the end of my night. I absolutely adore Jack Johnson because his voice is literally like a relaxing melody to listen to. I’m also a big fan of Coldplay as well if I want to relax, but Jack Johnson is my number one choice for going to sleep.

Now, if I want to listen to music getting ready for work I pick up beat, hyper music to wake me up and to generally get my body moving with some dancing to it.

It’s wonderful to busy again, it’s great to have a job doing my craft I love, yet it doesn’t mean I will try to go back to neglecting my body and thinking I will be fine. Getting enough sleep has been an absolute must for me, when normally I’d be going to sleep at 1am or 2am I definitely am not doing that lately. My muscles still need to be strengthened from not massaging and kind of babied because I haven’t massaged consistent clients for so long it seems.

Everyone has been very nice to me at my new work and absolutely love the space I get to work in. I just keep on telling myself to relax and be more laid back, because I always hype myself up too much.

Reminding yourself to breathe again

0906111858bAfter months and months of sending out resumes I finally got two inquiries back in response and interviews set up. Thus, began one of the most stressful times in job career searching life when I juggled setting up interviews each day and worried if both, one, or none would be interested in me. Turns out both were, but I decided on the one and went full stream ahead with my choice.

Once I saw the set up of the place, and also saw some people smiling at me hello, I decided in my head that they had to know this is what I wanted. After all of my time searching, sending out resumes and hearing nothing, my job search stress reached an all time high.

I couldn’t sleep at all for several days, even though I tried to go to sleep early. Waiting for the one place to contact me was a serious emotional roller coater. There was the high of giving, what I thought, was a good practical, and the low of time passing hour after hour without any contact. Each hour put me in a deeper hole of the idea of starting this all over again, and losing this place I really wanted. My days before these interviews were spent checking from the moment I woke to the moment I went to sleep checking websites for new prospects. I’ve never had a job search mean so much to me, and put everything on the line and made sure to sell myself in the interview.

In the evening of the day where I’d be hearing back about the job I wanted I got a text and wondered if it was my husband or my mother. Luckily, it was the job, telling me they wanted to hire me and to come in tomorrow to finalize things and to talk about my schedule. The relief I felt was immediate, and literally it felt like I could breathe for the first time in a while.

0628111941bI’ve started working at a record pace and don’t mind it one bit, It was welcomed after the time I have spent worrying. There are new techniques and modalities I get to learn, and of course, a different way of doings things. There is probably a whole different approach to everything even though it still is in my career I love, massage. Every place has a different way, a different style, but I look forward to the experience of learning and hopefully over time mastering it all over again.

It’s a new start, a new place, a new job, and I’m of course working with new people and clients. There seems to be that question of why I moved when people find out I’m not from around here, but I don’t mind answering it. It’s so nice to be able to say I have a job and that I’m able to keep on practicing in my career and it is like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. This whole experience wasn’t easy and it was much move difficult than I could ever imagine. I made the unfortunate assumption it would be a piece of pie and obviously it wasn’t.