Unmoored

Hello, friends. Ever since my most recent Three Line Tales response post, I’ve been thinking a lot. About… well, everything. About my future. Specifically, what I thought my future would be like by now. Cute house with a big yard, two kids, married, a good career doing something I love, maybe even a dog. Hell, I at least thought I’d have my license by now. Sadly, that is not the case. None of it is.

Strap in for yet another pity party, folks.

I’ve written a lot in the past about all of the what if questions that plague me on a daily basis, and although I always advise others to not dwell on past mistakes and decisions, I’ve always had a hard time taking my own advice. On pretty much everything. Don’t get me wrong, given the opportunity, I’d never travel back in time to change anything, because the outcome would be completely uncertain. I may never meet my fiance, or have my son. Hell, I could die. Who really knows?

I definitely don’t. The Butterfly Effect and all that.

I wouldn’t change anything, but there are so many things I wish I had done differently. Things I kick myself over every day. I wish I hadn’t taken so many people in my life for granted, specifically, my mom. I wish I had opened up to her more, and tried harder to keep the lines of communication open after I left home. I wish I had focused on school more. I wish I had focused more on myself, and what I needed in my life, instead of trying to please everyone around me. I wish I hadn’t pushed everyone in my life away to pursuit a brand new life with a boy I had never even met in person. I wish I had gone to one of the many universities that I had been accepted to, and not left the country with said boy to go to a school that I never wanted to go to. I wish I had saved more money from the numerous, dead-end jobs, so that I could pay off my debts that I still owe to said school. I wish I had been smarter about life in general.

Mostly, I just wish I had gotten to know myself better. I spent so much time and energy worrying about everything and everyone in my life, and trying to run from my problems, that I lost myself. While other kids around me were branching out, deciding what path they wanted to take in their future to better themselves and start their lives in the real world, I was running around in virtual, fantasy worlds. Sure, I applied to schools, and I got into them. But I had no plan. Even when I thought I had a plan, it was bullshit.

Everything about me was bullshit.

I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted. And now, I still don’t know who I am. I don’t know my strengths and weaknesses. I still don’t know what I want. I don’t even know how to take the steps to figure out what I want. I don’t know anything.

And now, as a 27 year old woman with no college degree, no real training of any kind, no connections, no money, no friends, and no particular set of skills, I feel lost. Completely and utterly lost. And I am barely keeping it together. Whenever anything feels like it is even remotely close to being within my grasp, it slips away. One step forward, ten steps back. Now, I feel like I am just floating through life, stuck frozen in time, even though I am getting older. I’m getting older at al what feels like an alarming rate, but I stay stuck in one place, watching everyone I know fly past me, collecting more achievements and successes than I could ever even dream of having for myself.

I feel like a failure. Every day. Like I’m nothing.

I hate feeling like this, and I hate that I’ve been feeling like this for as long as I have. I especially hate knowing that it is completely my fault that I’m in this dark place.

I don’t know what to do anymore.

Jan
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Unmoored

Three Line Tales: Achievements

tltweek68
My timelines overflow with the accomplishments and achievements of those I know and love.
Another wave of caps and gowns, diplomas, and proud smiles.
My heart twinges with regret and sorrow over my own, personal failures.
.
.
.
.
.
.
My weekly response for Sonya’s Three Line Tales (Week 68) writing challenge. Photo by Faustin Tuyambaze via Unsplash.

#3LineTales

Daily Prompt 3/14/2016 | A Fleeting Moment of Confidence

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/14/2016 | Fleeting

I have a very love/hate relationship with diet and exercise. As some of you may already know, from the middle of October to the end of December, I decided to make some changes, and started eating a mostly vegan diet (I still ate eggs). I didn’t do it for any moral reason, and I don’t care if you eat meat, or don’t eat meat, I did it for me, to be a healthier individual. I struggled a bit at first with giving up dairy, as a large part of my diet tended to include cheese, or milk products, but I found that giving up meat was pretty simple, as I never really ate much of it, and didn’t really crave it in any way.

Not only did I make this change to my diet, but I also decided to actually DIET during this time. I downloaded a free app called Lose It!, which I had used previously to lose weight, and began tracking my daily calorie intake, as well as my weight loss. If you are counting calories, and want a free, simple app to help you out, I highly recommend it. Between this complete overhaul in my diet, and counting calories, I found myself struggling to stay on track early on, as well as struggling with cravings. I had many, many slip-ups and cheat days for the first month, and kicked myself over it, feeling guilty and disgusted with myself. I tried to keep junk food and dairy out of my fridge, but that becomes incredibly difficult when you live with a dairy crazed carnivore who wouldn’t touch a vegetable if would save his life. Every other day he was bringing home cookies, or ordering pizza, or bags of chips, and it was unbearable. I even asked him to stop, but he never did.

I was losing weight, slowly, but not at the rate that I wanted, so I started exercising. I was already going on somewhat regular walks with my son, around 2.5 miles each time we went out, but with the weather getting colder, I knew it was only a matter of time before we would be forced to stay indoor. At the recommendation of a few friends, as well as my mom, I started looking up beginner Zumba videos on YouTube, and was instantly hooked. I was able to burn several hundred calories in 1/4 the time as walking, and it was fun. The weight started to melt off after that.

I lost 10 pounds. Then 15 pounds. Then 25 pounds. I had already reached my pre-baby weight, as well as my lowest weight since college, and I felt great. My skin had cleared up from the lack of daily in my diet, and I was able to buy clothes, several sizes smaller, for the first time since getting pregnant. I even began considering buying a bathing suit, and shorts, for the first time since college. I am not joking, I haven’t owned a bathing suit in 7 years, or work shorts in probably 5 or 6. I felt good, and I looked good.

For a fleeting moment, I was the happiest I had been in years.

Then, the holidays came. I tried to have some self-control, but no one in Kyle’s family seemed to understand my struggle with my body, or my diet. Despite being very open about my dietary restrictions, and politely turning down their cooking (they are the type of folks who cook everything with ten pounds of butter), they would just repeatedly tell me to “Just have a cheat day!”, or “You look fine, just eat!”, and it drove me nuts. Even when I did eat, his grandmother would keep pestering me to eat MORE, or actually BRING ME PLATES OF FOOD when I politely declined. She would get offended when I said no. I hated being forced to eat, but I allowed it to happen, just to please her.

That was the start of the end.

There were rapid-fire holiday and birthday get-togethers, and I found it harder and harder to control myself around all of the sweets and savory foods. So I didn’t. The weather had gotten gloomy, and sucked all the energy from my body, and I slowed down on my exercise, until I stopped completely. Over the course of barely two months, I gained back 9 pounds of the 27 total pounds that I had lost. I noticed the definition in my legs and waist going back to being flabby, and the new, smaller clothing that I had bought stop fitting me in a flattering way. And once again, I hated myself.

I tried to get back into my diet several times, but no longer had room on my phone for my calorie tracker app, and used that as an excuse to ballpark it, which ended in failure. I would get stuck eating my son’s leftovers from his meals, and using that as an excuse to eat other meat or dairy items, as I had already lost it for the day. I made a lot of excuses, and it showed. It showed all over my body.

The weather has started to warm up, and I have been able to get outside to walk more with my son, and he is finally old enough to play with me at the park. This has given me hope, and determination, to try to get back on track. My birthday is in a month and a half, and I have decided that I want to lose 10 pounds by then. I ate a vegan diet today, and managed to get a good walk in with my kiddo, as well as a brief Zumba workout (I am astonishingly out of shape from my time away from it). I felt great… until Kyle got home, made two amazing smelling pork burritos, and only ate one of them. He was going to throw away the other… and I ate it. Granted, I didn’t go bonkers on the calories today, but I ate a burrito that was basically nothing but meat and cheese, and I hate myself for it.

As I’ve written about in the past, self-control is my biggest downfall when it comes to anything. It has ruined everything in my life at some point. I love eating healthy, and I love exercising. I love fruits and vegetables and salad and cooking… but between the weather, my empty bank account, my un-supportive, carnivorous husband, and my horrible lack of self-control, maintaining any sort of healthy lifestyle is a massive struggle.

I’m hoping my self-hatred can outweigh my lack of self-control… otherwise, I fear I will never be happy with my appearance. And I can’t live like that anymore. I miss my fleeting moment of confidence.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/20/2016 | Dear Self-esteem…

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/20/2016 | Shape Up or Ship Out

“Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done.”

Dear Self-esteem, can we talk for a minute?

Sorry, you actually don’t have a choice here, so listen up. Everyone around here is getting pretty fed up with how you’ve been acting lately. Oh, you don’t know what I’m talking about? How about how you made Jan buy all that makeup to cover her acne, even though she knew that it would make it worse? Or how you make her try on every pair of pants that she owns 2 or 3 times before deciding on the pair that makes her look “the least fat”? Or how she sudenly has been feeling the need to wear shirts that cover her butt and thighs, even though she hates how they sit on her belly? Ringing any bells? Stop that shit right now. Oh, does her belly hang over her jeans a bit? Does that shirt color make her skin look red? Quit making her obsess with things like that, you wench. Did you forget that she had a BABY? She’s going to be stuck with that little muffin top for a while, and her hormones are going to be out-of-whack for a bit. Cut it out.

Here’s an idea. How about, instead of making her obsess over her stomach, and her butt, and her thighs, you motivate her to get back on the diet wagon? She was doing awesome, before you reared your ugly head, and made her start feeling hopeless. She lost 25 pounds, Self-esteem. 25 pounds! What have you done with yourself lately, other than make her feel bad? Exactly. So instead of whispering words like “fat”, or “muffin top”, or “tight”, in her ear, you whisper some words of encouragement? Maybe remind her that she weighs less now than she has in years, and that she has successfully lost all of the baby weight, and should be proud of herself, because she’s a badass mamma. Sound good? Great. Shape up, or ship out, bitch. We need to fix what you’ve broken.

Now that that’s taken care of, we need to have a nice chat with Self-control…

Sincerely,
The rest of the traits that aren’t assholes.

Thanks for reading, friends. 😉

Jan