Friday, August 10, 2018

Do I Get Lonely

Someone sent me a message on Facebook the other night:

There are a couple of things I want to share...

First off, the fact that anyone looks up to me makes me smile because it's flattering but frightening.  Talk about the blind leading the blind...Lord have mercy.

Second, let me throw some cliche' statements out there.  We all get lonely.  I think the funniest people are often some of the loneliest...but you wouldn't know it because we are working so hard to make sure OTHER people don't feel alone.  I also think that being an empath amplifies loneliness.  Empaths absorb so much of other's energy that we are often left "holding" so many feelings and emotions...becoming a keeper of all of it in order to save others from it...that we end up feeling isolated in what we can share.

But of course I get lonely.  Nights are the hardest for me.  I am a morning person.  Annoyingly so...I am up and singing and hollering greetings by 5:00 am.  People ask me, "How can you be SO fucking happy at 5 in the morning?"  Because I am usually full of hope.  My optimism is at level 100 bc "anything is possible" and I believe that today can be the day that something happens.

Well, by the time the evening rolls around I am feeling less than hopeful. I have usually resigned myself to the idea that the Universe hates me and I am going to die alone...well not ALONE ALONE bc surely I will be surrounded by a multitude of furry animals and waterfowl...but alone meaning I will be sans another human that loves me. 

So I try to delay this impeding evening pity party by staying in motion.  If I am not working out I am mowing the yard. If I am not mowing the yard I am vacuuming, cleaning, redecorating, talking to the ducks, pressure washing, dusting...you get the idea.  But eventually I have to stop the motion...and that is when it's really easy to slip into the dark place.

And I am lonely.

And my FB friend had a valid point.  People makes it seem like if you really love yourself than you should be okay with just being by yourself.

I DO love myself.  But I am a firm believer that the majority of us homo sapiens WANT and NEED a witness to our lives...someone to share ourselves with.  AND LORD YES I CAN HEAR YOU NOW...I have a million friends.  I clearly share my life and all of the random oddities that make it my life...pretty frequently with people who want to know...and also with people who DON'T want to know...

But that's different than having someone to crawl into bed with at night that knows how you like to be held.  It's different than having that person you can come home to and just lean in to....and you don't have to speak they just know you in that silence.  My friends are precious but they don't give me butterflies when they touch me.  There are so many little things...

AND LORD YES I CAN HEAR YOU NOW...I know that I COULD fill my bed at night if I wanted.  I could probably call up a few sweet idiots that like me and "go on a date"... but the truth is...I would rather be with no body than just be with some body for the sake of filling that void.

I often think of the irony of my loneliness.  Not to toot my own horn (there is a lot of "self-tooting" when you are alone but that's another topic all together), but people tell me a lot "everyone loves you".  Do they?  Maybe a lot of people love me...but yet...

I dunno.

The entire point of this post is...if you feel lonely...you aren't alone. See what I did there? Even funny, outgoing, social calendar full Amy, gets lonely.  Sometimes, and this may sound rather tragic, but sometimes when I am especially heavy hearted and crying into my pillow...I actually hold my own damn hand. I am not even aware I am doing it until I realize I am.  I don't know if that's sad or there is some poetic meaning to it.  But it helps a little.  And sometimes I tell myself..."okay...feel it (whatever I am feeling at the time)...live in this pain or saddness or grief for this moment...but you can't stay here.  When you wake up in the morning you will choose to believe again."

And when the alarm goes off at 4:00 am...I give it my best shot.

That's all we can do right.

So chin up buttercups.

xoxo

Thursday, July 19, 2018

A Letter to My Body

For all of my boos who read this blog AND are on my Facebook, you may be aware that a couple of Saturday's ago, one of my readers, through a vague instagram account, decided to let me know that I was "starting to gain too much weight".

Uh.

What?

Jaw drop (not at the idea that I have gained weight but that someone would think it was KIND or NECESSARY to share their opinion of my body size with me).

Through about 1.4 million comments, texts, and messages...y'all showed up for me.  I only maybe shed a few tears but I did probably give it more energy than I should have.  And for a second I started to doubt my grip on reality.  Because I am well aware that I am 198 pounds.  But I am usually pretty proud of my body these days.  SO, after mulling it over, instead of addressing the negative, I decided I would just write my body a little letter...letting the old girl know how I feel about her.  So here goes...

Dear Body:

I'm fucking proud of you man.  Do you know how far you have come?  Do you know how far WE have come?  Don't you let anyone else's opinion throw shade on what you are capable of.  Everything that makes you up tells a story of who you are, where you came from, and what you have done.  Every scar, stretch mark, little lump of cellulite that isn't ever going away*, that's you girl.  And that's okay.  Have you seen your ass?  Big.  Lovely.  Have you seen how the curve of your waist transitions into your hips?  Like a melting pat of butter on a juicy steak.  Do you see the muscles? The ones that make up your back, your shoulders, your arms?  Have you felt the power in your legs?  They can lift grown adults.  That's you boo.  

We've certainly been through some shit haven't we?  I am so sorry I spent decades hating you and blaming you.  When you know better, you do better.  And I do better now.  Now I find the things I love about you instead of getting stuck on the "flaws".  I appreciate you for what you do for me every day.  If I push you...you never disappoint.  We may be getting older, but we are getting better.  I mean...the joints are going and we are always sore...but that's fine.  That's FINE.

You are healthy.  You are strong.  You are the only body I've got.  And I appreciate you.  And love you.  I try to take care of you....I really do just love tacos and beer though...so there will always be that.  

So this is my thank you.  Thank you for carrying me through 38.9 years of life.  I can't wait to see where the next 60+ takes us.

Love, 

AIW

Simple and sweet.  Just like me.

This was me at a size 8.  Ideally, I don't have a weight goal anymore...because when you lift for mass...the scale is a little different.  But I would love to fit into all my clothes in my closet. With that said, I was a size 8 in these pictures because I was heartbroken.  For the first time in my life, I barely ate.  I would MAYBE eat a little during the day, but once I got home I would drink until I was drunk (turns out that doesn't really help with the healing) and then pass out.   OBVIOUSLY I was a sex kitten at a size 8, and OBVIOUSLY I could be a size 8 again in a healthy manner, but my point is...I may have been skinnier, but my life was being torn apart.

 And this is me now.  Those are a size 10 skinny jean from American Eagle.  They tight.  But I can zip those suckers up if I need to.  Which I guess you basically always need to be able to zip your pants up.

And this is me at a Crossfit/Shooting Comp last month.  Wearing my little Reebok shorts.  These kind of shorts were always my goal shorts when I was losing weight...and once I hit 167 and tried on my first pair...I thought..."Nope...never."  I didn't think I would ever get over my saggy, weight loss evident, inner thighs.  Then I bought these shorts this year.  Started wearing them during my garage workouts.  Now...I wear them around really fit people with guns.  And to the store.  And whenever.  Because life is short and they are comfortable and IF PEOPLE DON'T LIKE MY THIGHS...THOSE AREN'T MY PEOPLE!
 Awe.  And then there is today.  Today I hit one of my biggest, and hardest to reach goals when it comes to lifting.  Today I pulled 305 pounds on my deadlift.  I am really proud of myself.  If you don't lift, this number may not mean much.  But I have put in a lot of hard work to make it happen.  And I am no spring chicken!  I'm no winter chicken either...but still.  MY BODY is strong.  It has fat but that doesn't mean I am fat.  It's like that saying floating around Pinterest.  I HAVE fingernails, but that doesn't mean I AM a fingernail.  Mmmmkkkay?

And at this point, my nutritional goals are really fitness related.  I know if feed my body in a healthier way (did you know you are supposed to drink water and eat veggies and stuff?), that I could probably become a better athlete.  And so that's something I can work on.  I suppose we ALL have things we can do a little bit better.  But instead of hating your body in the process of improving, what if we loved it along the way?

One last pic.  Do you know this lady?  I don't.  But when we went tubing last May (when I was a size 8), she fed me melted jello shots like a baby bird.  So we are friends now.  But see my stomach?  Skin.  But see my face?  Living life.  Drunk yes...but in that moment I don't care about what my body looks like in a bikini.  And neither did Jello shot friend...or any of my friends with me on the river that day.

Life is short.  Life is hard enough already without you hating your own damn body.  Try it.  Try loving it.  See what happens.

xoxo

*I mean...it's 2018.  Trump can be President but we can't get rid of cellulite yet?

Monday, July 16, 2018

Disney F#$ked Us Over Man

And by man...I clearly mean ladies.  ALTHOUGH I know that there are some dudes who read my blog but probably do so in secret.  So shout out to the ones with penises. You are welcome brothers.  AND...you have to take into account that Walt Disney himself enjoyed his fellow breathern (yeh PRIDE)...

How have I gotten off track already?

Two sentences. 

#shegone

ANYWAYS, I've just decided that at this point I am going to start blogging about random shit.  Which really isn't much different than what I HAVE been blogging about for almost 10 years.   10 YEARS???!!!  Yes.  10 years.  A decade of Amy wisdom covering everything from labia to lesbians to fat to thin-ish, to fat-ish...and back again. 

That's.How.We.Do

But I was sitting here watching a bird outside my window and I was like...man...I love birds.  And I do.  And so I followed up with a question to myself and was like...WHY do you love birds so much?  I thought maybe it was because I have my duck family now at the Lakehouse, but really...my love for birds...and by love I mean the deep longing I could communicate with the feathered suckers...goes back to Snow White.  AND Cinderella.  I wanted little bird friends to dress me.  I wanted a fat little mouse named Gus to be my friend.  I HAD human friends...but I needed all the animal friends as well.

Not much has changed.

But THEN I began to wander down that old familiar path of women blaming Disney for the skewed thought process of needing a prince (penis carriers) to save us. 

Let's pause once again for me to share something related but also not super relevant to the point I am trying to make:

I hate Disneyland, Disneyworld, Harry Potter Land, Seaworld.  ALL OF IT.  And I know my parents are probably reading this thinking "well, too bad we can't get our money back from the trips we took"...but even as a little girl I was underwhelmed.  You have to remember that I am 148 years old and in my childhood. there was no "fast pass".  You had to stand in line for hours to ride in tea cups.  TEA CUPS!  And on top of the that their "rollercoasters" were weak.  Tiny.  I am a thrillest (one who seeks thrills on rollercoasters)...and even as an 8 year old...I was disappointed.  And my mother, bless her frugal heart, wasn't about to spend money on any version of the Bippity-boppity-boutique....and rationed our food  over the course of the day like we were born in the Great Depression...so I wasn't like those little girls who come back from the Disney with an entire head to toe princess makeover. Although TO BE FAIR, Marji did buy me a stuffed Mini Mouse once.  But my point is...

No...I have forgotten my point at this point...

Although I know longer see Therapist (Blue Cross Blue Shield be trippin'), I think a lot about the concept of 'scripts'...the stories or things we tell ourselves to make sense of a situation, to justify behavior...the ones that may be buried in falsities...the ones that usually can do more harm than good.  Those scripts.  And while we certainly have brains in our heads and shoes on our feet, from a very early age the idea that we needed someone to save us (probably gonna be a dude), and that love is like a fairytale, was pounded into our hearts and heads.  And it continued once we gave up the cartoons.  I have been SOMEWHAT of an emotional wreck this last week and do you know what I almost did yesterday?  I almost watched...

THE NOTEBOOK

WHY?  Why would I do that to myself?  Luckily I had the mental fortitude to NOT watch the Notebook and instead watched The Sinner on Netflix (uh...hello disturbing), drink a bottle of wine, and go to sleep at 7:30pm. 

And if I am being honest, I get it.  We want to believe that whatever we feel is missing can be solved by finding another human being.  Like we are that toy that actually came from Tupperware (not Fisher Price as I thought until 34 seconds ago when I googled it) where you put the shapes in the ball that had the shape cut outs.  Like we are missing an octagon and if we can just find that octagon to plug our hole (sigh...that's a different post altogether), then life will be better.  We will be fixed.  Complete.

And I'm gonna tell you something else. 

I have no idea if that's true or not.

I find that most modern wisdom these days (Pinterest) contradicts itself.  Do we work on making ourselves "whole" so when we find another human being to bed and love...they are just "extra"?  Or do we have to work at love and getting what we want.

SOCIAL MEDIA PINNING BOARD....GIVE ME THE ANSWERS I SEEK.

Whatever. I am pretty sure in fact that I, Amy Irene Workman, may be smack in the middle of an existential crisis.

I know nothing. (uh...I know SOME things...like I love my animals and my 4th toe is starting to look like mother's toe and I am only 38).

I am questioning everything.

Seriously. 

But such is life.

Or IS it?

See?!?!?

Whatever.  Happy Monday beautiful people. 

Yours-

AIW

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Finding Amy

A year ago today I would get a text that would change the course of my life.  My friend said she had something to tell me, it had to be in person, and I wouldn't be able to go back to work.  Somewhere inside of me I knew what it was, but I think my heart was holding out hope that I was wrong. 

So I left work and met my friend...and that's when I learned that Gina had told a friend of a friend of a friend...that her and Heather had been having an affair.  And the Universe handed me the answer to the questions that had haunted me for almost 9 months.

This year has been both the fastest and longest year of my life.  It's strange because for at least 10 months of it...it seemed surreal.  It was as though I was living an alternate life...that at any moment I would wake up and I would be back in the Garlia house and be able to reach out and touch her.  But over the last couple of months there has been shift.  Now it seems the life I lived with her for 7 years was the surreal part.  That life, and what I thought our relationship was, seems like the made up part.  And sometimes that's hard to live with.

I remember laying in bed the day after and people reaching out to me with their stories.  They told me that it would take awhile but eventually I would move on.  Eventually it would get easier.  Eventually I would find an amazing human being who would show me what love really felt like.  I didn't believe them.  I didn't believe I would ever more on.  I didn't understand what "a long time" truly meant.  As I mark a year today, I am now afraid that it really will take years.  It's true that I am a different person today.  It's true that I have grown. It's true that I have "come a long way"...but it's also true that my nights are filled with nightmares about them.  And it's true that some mornings I wake up and whisper "I love you" in hopes that those words and their energy find her.

SO, since some of you lovely sugarmuffins have asked for an update...here we go.

First, I would like to wow you with this very detailed and impressive drawing...
I can probably mass produce that and mat it for you if you would like to hang it on your wall.

Oh?  What is it?

That is how I visualize my grief and sadness.  Stay with me here.  In the beginning, 12, 11, 10 months ago...it was hard for me to go out and be with other humans for more than say, 3 hours.  I would always drive separate because at any moment...I would slip back into that blackness...any moment the pain would become too much and I would want to go home and curl up and cry.  Eventually...without me really knowing it...I began to make it longer.  Damn days with other human beings would go by and, for the most part, I wouldn't have a break down.  If you look real close at my work of art you will see a pink outer circle.  It's almost a complete circle...but at the bottom...the pink has yet to meet.

The pink is my healing.  It's my happiness.  It's the moments of peace, and laughter, and calm.  It's thin.  But it is coming together. In the beginning, that pink shell was just a tiny dot on the periphery of the black and blue pain.

But it's growing.

And that's something.

In the last 12 months I have become a different person.  A better me.  I found myself.  And I am still finding myself.  I could not have done it without a wonderful Therapist that forced me to look at things in a different way.  I could not have done it without my friends who did, and will, show up whenever I need them.  I couldn't have done it without my family.  I read lots of self help books, poetry and pose.  I researched what it truly means when someone is a narcissist/sociopath.  I learned that it's okay to be sad and feel the loss.  I learned so many things.  I learned that I don't always have to be in motion, I don't always have to be productive, or funny, or "on".  I had to relearn what it meant to relax...because I had spent the last 7 years in a constant state of anxiety...I just didn't know it.  I worked so hard to "earn" Heather's love.  I felt like I had to DO to just show her that I was worthy.  SO silly looking back.  But it was a lesson learned.  Learning my worth has been the greatest gift from this disaster.

And I have finally started to let go.  Before I started typing this, it had probably been 3 weeks since I cried.  3 WEEKS?!  That's something kids!  Letting go requires me to be very mindful.  It is a deliberate act for me.  I hope that it becomes more natural...and much like me being with humans again...one day it will just...be. I started by writing it in places.  I bought an intention necklace that said LET GO.   I say it aloud sometimes when the thoughts try to creep in.  And I had to finally ask myself...what does holding on get you?  It had to be serving me in someway.  And I realized that I was holding on to the lies, the pain, the betrayal, the hurt...because that was all I had left of my relationship and marriage.  And if I let go of all of that...then it would really be over.  

I know it sounds ridiculous..because clearly...it's BEEN over.  But it wasn't for me.

And that brings me to LOVE.

I believe in love.  I believe in real, honest, loyal, passionate, forever love.  And I believe in it because I loved Heather...completely.  Accepting that her love for me was never real...never what I thought it was...is heartbreaking...and difficult.  But that is a reflection of her, not of me.  However, even though I believe in love I don't believe there is any love left for me to give.  I don't think I will fall in love again.  I believe I gave it all to Heather.  And maybe that will just be part of my story.  I will love my friends, my family, my furbabies. I will love good people and give love and kindness.  But I believe my great love has happened.  And in that regard, my heart is empty.  I cannot give what I do not have.  So I will think of myself as blessed and lucky to have experienced a great love...and instead of focusing on what I don't have, I will focus on all I do have.

The past certainly shapes us.  It makes us who we are...how we let it define us is up to us.  The future is not promised...and often ends up looking nothing like we thought.  All I have...all you have...is the "right now".  Today.  This.  When I wake up I have a choice.  A choice to be gracious.  Be kind.  Try and be a little better than yesterday.  A choice to laugh with a friend, share my story with a stranger, talk to ducks, kiss a dog, grow bigger muscles.  Not everyone wakes up to a new day.  So today I am thankful that I did.  

Here's to another 12 months.  Shoulders back and chin up.  We can make it.  I can make it.  And I choose to make it amazing.  xoxo

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas: No Mistletoe But Some Ho Ho HO

That title kinda sounds like things got dirty (raises eyebrows a couple of times in a quick fashion), when in fact...they did not.  But I wanted to take a moment and lock this into cyberland foreverness and say...

My first Christmas...the one of this new Chapter 38...was the best Christmas I have had in a very long time.

As I started to fall asleep on Christmas Eve...I could feel some sadness creeping in and tugging at my heart.  It was like I was at the beginning of a dark alley with my inner self looking like this...
Like "Come on Amy...I have a disaster waiting for you if you jussssst follow me." Well, I didn't want to.  So when I woke up the next morning and strapped on my baking apron this is what I told myself:

"We can't touch the past and we can't touch the future.  We can only touch the right 'now'.  So that's where I am going to focus on living today. In the right now".

And I did.  I thought of my friend Higgie that lost her mom this fall.  This will be a hard holiday season for her.  And so I reminded myself I even though my mother can drive me crazy...I have her...and the rest my insane family.  And then I thought of the people who don't have a passel of REAL and genuine human beings that surround them...and I DO.  They may be crazy as well...but they are mine and they love me.  I have a house that brings people together.  Ducks that make me smile.  Dogs that keep me alive.  Cats that love me (at least one). A lake in my backyard.  A roof over my head that I pay for.  

I have a lot.

And I let that be the coat I wore...and not a coat of sadness.

That doesn't mean the sadness won't come.  But as therapist reminds me...I am grieving a loss and it's okay to grieve.  But I didn't want it to be the centerpiece of my first Christmas in my new house.

Speaking of therapist...after the first two weeks of December where it was hard to function, I finally saw her and we talked about refocusing what I focus on.  So I supposed to set an intention each morning and practice gratitude when I end the day.  This is what I have been reading each morning:


I also bring it up during the day if I need to remind myself.  It actually has been SUPER helpful.  I am also focusing on LETTING GO.  Letting go of thoughts and scripts in my head.  Letting go of that which does not serve me.  I have a necklace that says Let Go.  And THAT has actually helped as well.  My favorite line is "I am getting far to old to settle and to put up with the nonsense of holding on only because it's comfortable and sentimental."

So now...some holiday pictures!

 My nephew Mitch and my new niece-in-law Laceee.  Christmas morning.  Present time!
 My new fireplace and entertainment stand from my parents.  This is the upstairs room in my house.  We were piled up reading.
 Took kayak out on the lake Christmas Eve. It was a warm day in old Pensacola.
 The first Lakehouse Christmas Party!  A little game of flip cup!
 Boobie and my dad snuggled up watching the Packers game.
 Higgie and Boobie
 Had my mother hard at work updating my sign (it would say Be Naughty. Save Santa the Trip).
 Honey Mae turned 10 on December 20th.  She had a cupcake covered with whipped cream!
 New new tattoo.  I am in love.  "Some see a weed.  I see a wish"
We were supposed to go a Christmas party downtown, but instead decided to drink on the couch, order pizza, and watch Four Christmases!

I hope everyone's holiday season brought them a little of what they wanted, a little of what they needed, and at least a few moments of peace.  May 2018 be a fuckton better than 2017.  May we find ourselves a little wiser, a little more gentle, a little more hopeful...and realize we are just like a tree.  Most of the we will bend a little with the wind...but in the end...our roots keep us grounded and we remain standing tall.

xoxo

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Truth

The truth is...I am sad.  And it hasn't gotten easier.  And I am afraid it will never get easier. 

The truth is...I no longer believe them when they say "you will get through this and you will be stronger".  I am afraid the best parts of me are lost and I won't get them back.

The truth is...I barely hold it together most days...and even the "barely" part is getting hard to manage.

The truth is...memories are like ghosts with a death grip on my heart.  And it's easier to let the good memories wash over you until you are drowning.

The truth is...even when someone rips you apart, you don't stop loving them.

The truth is...you can read a million quotes or self help books about how "you are enough", but at the end of the day you are left searching for the why's and how's...and when you can't find logical answers you start to blame yourself.  You find comfort in the old belief that logically all signs point to "you were NOT enough".

The truth is...I have no idea what I believe anymore.  I find no respite in the idea of karma anymore, because if people get what they deserve...than I did something to deserve this?  Do I still believe in love?  In the human heart? 

The truth is...I am scared there is "no other side" of this.  That this IS what life will be like now.  Just getting through the day.   Until the next day.  And the next.  And that makes me so tired. 

The truth is...I cry myself to sleep at night just wishing that this was a nightmare and I would wake up from it...and not find the pillow next to me empty.

The truth is...I feel selfish and ungrateful for all the amazing people in my life that I DO have, that DO love me, that DO care about me, and who have not left me or betrayed me.  I hate that I give so much energy to the one who broke me, instead of the ones who try to hold me together.

And the truth is...you won't see this Amy.  Not in person or on social media.  You will see the smiling Amy.  Lifting weights.  Laughing. Telling jokes.  Loving the pups, pig, ducks, and kitties.  You will see the Amy that looks like she is strong and making it.  I don't think that Amy is real.  They say time heals. 

The truth is...

I am afraid they are wrong.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Chapter 38: This one is for me

I turn 38 years old today.  And I hope that is just a drop in the bucket of the years I have to come.  But I turn 38 years old today.

Today is a new chapter.  As I turned the page on 37, I realized that this last year has been the most painful and challenging year of my life...but I also have begun to realize that this last year was such an education for me.  I have grown more over the last 12 months more than any year of my life (I mean...THEY say your 4th year is also important but who can remember being 4 in exact detail).

Things I have learned this year:


1.You can't save anyone but yourself. You can't love someone enough in the hopes that your love will save them or fix them.   If someone doesn't want to change, there is nothing you can do to make them want it.  This has been my greatest lesson, and one of the hardest to accept.

2.  You will never be enough for someone that is not enough for themselves. I have spent the last 7 years of my life convinced I was "not enough".  This shaped every action and every minute of my life.  I spent all of my time, my energy...all of me...trying to prove my worth.  But one thing I know now...I AM ENOUGH.  I am Amy Irene Workman and there is a shitload of wonderful things about me.  I will never be the girl again that sacrifices everything for nothing...or very little...in return.

3.  It's the hardest times in your life that you will find the truest of friends.  I mean...I can't even type this paragraph without crying.  My friends, MY PEOPLE, are some of the most amazing human beings in the world.  I don't know what I did to deserve them, but I am thankful for their love and support everyday.  From showing up at my front door just to hug me, to care baskets, drinks, slumber parties, paint parties, yard work...you name it.  My tribe has been with me over this last year.  They saved me from myself.

4.  Sometimes you don't get a choice when things end...but you do get to choose when you begin again.  It took me longer than I thought to be ready to make that choice.  But I have made it.  It takes courage to let go of the people and things you built your forever on.  Sometimes it seems easier to dance with the devil you know, rather than dance alone.  Loving someone is a privilege, but so is letting go.  Both will teach you a thing or two about life.

5.  Trust your gut.  Seriously.  Trust it.  I realize now that not only did I ignore what I "knew" when it came to the affair, I chose to ignore my gut from the beginning.  I don't believe in regret and think that everything from our past shapes the person we become...but I knew from the beginning things I chose to ignore.  "We ignore truths for temporary happiness".  I found that quote the other day.  And THAT is true.

6.  Not everyone has a good heart or good intentions.  Not everyone is a good person. As a believer in love and people, this is one of the hardest things for me to believe, accept, or understand.  Of course I am not naive enough to think that everyone in this world is "good"...but I was naive enough to think the person I loved was.   I have learned so much about Cluster B personality disorders...Sociopaths, Narcissists, Psychopaths, etc.  You know they say that 1 in 15 people have a Cluster B Disorder? So next time you are in a room of 30, 60, 90 people...look around and do the math (I am not going to do it for you bc math it unpleasant...much like smelling seafood) and know they exist.

7.  Closure may never come in the way you think you need it or want it to.  Sometimes you have to "close it" yourself.  Not just in heartbreak, but in life...things don't always end with a clear cut.  You may not ever understand WHY or HOW...you just have to find solace in knowing that you gave it everything you had and hope that when you come out on the other side you will be able to say "I don't know why you did it, but thank God you did...because look at me now".

8.  Integrity gives you real freedom because you have nothing to fear since you have nothing to hide.  Okay...so that is Zig Ziglar and not Amy Workman, but through all of this, I find peace in knowing I still have my integrity.  That I have been honest.  That my spirit is still one of hope and generosity.  I am who I said I was. That I am kind.  And optimistic.  And true.  Not just to myself, but to the people I call friends and the family I love.  Not everyone can say that.  Or they can say it...but their track record proves otherwise. If what you put out into the universe comes back to you, I've got some good things coming.

9.  The farther away you get away from negative people, the more positive you feel. I mean...Pinterest told me this but I think it might be true.  You also make room for more positive PEOPLE.  As an empath, I am greatly effected by people's emotions and energy.  As I begin to feel the realm of positive opening up, I can't wait to FEEL how it feels as I truly move farther and farther away from the negative.

10.  You will hear lots of good advice...but until you are ready to hear it...you will choose to ignore it.  You can read books, every quote under the sun, you can have friends tell you what you should do, you can have Therapist offer advice...but until YOU are ready...you won't be ready to hear it.  And I think that is okay. Put all the words in your think box and pull them out when you ARE ready.  The grieving process is different for everyone...and yours is YOURS.  Give yourself grace (in the words of my friend Brou Boo).  Hang out in the hurt once in awhile.  Feel all of the feelings.  But sometimes you have to say "fuck that shit" when the tears want to come or you want to take a turn to sad sack town.  Decide to make it through an hour.  Then maybe a couple of hours.  Then maybe a day.  You get my point.

11.  Do good and be good...but know that life may not always feel good.  I have asked myself over and over again WHY did this happen to ME?  I feel like I am a good person.  I save animals.  I read with 4 year olds. I try to smile at strangers, leave a place or person better than when I found it/them, and I like tacos.  If karma is real...then why?  If loving someone with truth, honesty, and loyalty was supposed to be the "right way" to love someone...then why?  So many why's.  I think the answer is that you just have to have faith.  You have to believe that things, the Universe, God...are leading you where you need to go.  My sister told me very early on in this process that instead of looking at it like the Universe was shitting all over me, maybe she said, the Universe is pushing you in the direction you need to go.  I think she was right.  Don't tell her.  Big sisters don't need to know they are right all the time.

12.  You can love someone with every part of you...but if they can not love you in return...if they hurt you more than they make you happy...if holding on to them is killing all of the good things inside of you...no matter how much you love them...you have to let them go.  This will take tremendous courage because you will have to believe in yourself.  You will have to have faith in the uncertainty of tomorrow.  You will have to believe that in uncertainty, anything is possible.

And finally...the last and most important thing that I have learned...and it took awhile to believe it but...

13.  I am going to make it.  When I would go over to my grandparents house, Grandpa would always be watching either golf or an old Western.  One of the lessons I learned from those Westerns was the guy in the white hat always wins. Always.  And guess what?  I'm the guy in the white hat.  Love conquers hate.  Good prevails.  And I am going to make it.

I love y'all.

Amy Irene Workman