Thursday, August 26, 2010

If Life Only Had More Bubbles

*When I started typing this, I really had no idea where it was going. When I finished typing it, I still had no idea. I think that I have been doing some deep sea thinking today, and just wanted to share with you a little bit of the craziness that is my mind sometimes. There is never a dull moment in Amy's brain. WORD*

When I became SCUBA certified years ago, I remember a lesson on becoming disoriented underwater. I have held onto this bit of information for years now, and think of it often when I am mermaiding around underwater...or lately...I have been thinking how it can apply to life in general.

My instructor told us that if we get turned around underwater, if we don't know which way is up, to just watch our bubbles. Bubbles you see, always rise to the top. So if you don't know how to find the surface, your bubbles will.

Follow them.

Wouldn't it be great if life had more bubbles? So when you were lost, confused, or disoriented, you could watch and follow?

I don't pretend to know anymore about life than you do. I am however, contrary to popular belief, a pretty introspective person. I spend a lot of time in my own head, dealing with my own thoughts. And boy howdy...that can be a scary place to dwell for too long. True to my Myers-Briggs personality type, if left alone for very long, I can go pretty deep inside my head to what we call "the dark place". The dark place is not synonymous with depression, it's a place where I do some pretty serious thinking about some pretty serious stuff. I like to think things through, to follow the rabbit trail of my thoughts.

I remember once Jenny and Drazil told me that I am smarter than you would think. They meant this in the best possible way...although at first I did say "So does that mean that you would think I was dumb"...and they can correct me if I am wrong, but what I think they meant is that I tend to come off as pretty care free and happy....laughing and joking. And that is who I am. For the most part. And for my historical readers (those who have read my blog from the beginning), you know that I have always felt the pressing need to be "that girl". Always optimistic. Always smiling. Always making others laugh.

But it takes a lot of work. And what happens is, that if I devote so much of my time and energy to being "on" all the time, the deep and brooding Amy gets angry. The chaos in my head starts to spill into my heart just a smidge...

and sometimes I worry that I am losing my mind.

NOT REALLY in the sense that I need to be locked up or seek help, but I am not at my best. I have to fight tears and emotional outbursts.

And eventually I lose that battle.

I have always had an internal debate with myself. Do I devote time and energy to dealing with the negative thoughts and trying to process through them...or do I put time and energy into shoving them down? Because I do believe that worrying about something too much is worthless. Life will surprise you. It's sort of a guessing game.

I have also started to realize, and I don't know why it took me nearly 31 years to put start putting it together, that I connect with considerable ease to people's emotions and emotional well being. I have known for a very long time that other people's happiness is more important to me than my own. I want harmony. I want to please people. I want people to love me. And I want them to feel loved. Many of us are like this.

But I think it goes beyond that. I think I am very sensitive to how a person feels. This is probably going to sound like I am smoking the good stuff or drinking the hard hooch, but I have come to believe that I have become so open to others that I take their energy and it can very easily become my own.

I make a very concerted effort to surround myself with people in my life that bring me joy, happiness, humor, or fulfillment. I don't have toxic friends or family members. I have let them go. I am...for the most part...aligned with people that make me smile.

But sometimes certain situations force themselves on me. And sometimes, I am connected with those who do not bring me happiness.

I had to spend some time the other day with a person who is not happy. I can sense it (although it's not really very hidden). I want to give her what she needs. A friend...someone to show her that life can be fantastic...that your attitude is yours to choose. I didn't really have a bad time with her, but it was a draining time. SO much of my energy was focused on her, and at the same time, so much of her negative energy was absorbing into me.

By the time I was free and back with Heather, my soul was very sad. I cried. Things were suddenly hard. Little things that had been bothering were for a moment...huge. I felt silly. But I also felt like I had stumbled upon something...something about me that I didnt really know how to put into words.

So today, I was having a moment. I couldn't clear my head. I felt overwhelmed. So I decided to take a drive. I thought about driving to the beach...but it was too far for the amount of time I had. So, I drove downtown to a cemetery. I couldnt think of anywhere to go that would be peaceful. That I could be alone with my thoughts. This cemetery is really old, and actually a historical site here in Pensacola. I have never been in it, only driven by it. I wasn't even sure how to get in. I figured it out though, took my heels off, and walked barefoot around the graves. Some of the headstones dated back to the very early 1800's. Some were very old. Some were forgotten. Some were beautiful.

There was not one other soul there (at least not living).

I found a bench, sat down, and began to write. I wrote all my thoughts. I wasn't writing to anyone. And I will end up shredding what I did write. But it felt good to get it out. It felt good to make sense of things the best way I could.

I tried to follow my bubbles.

Being surrounded by stone markers that sum up a person's life, puts things into perspective for you. We all end up way or the other. We will all become ashes, dust, or dirt. What you believe happens after that varies from person to person. I tend to believe that this is our life. This is it. Make it the best you can. Choose your path.

Do what makes you happy.

That's hard sometimes though. We get lost in life and sometimes life sucks. But I think when we find ourselves lost, our bubbles are right there in front of us. I try to not get lost in the details of things I can't change, and focus on the things that are wonderful.

My wonderful bubbles.

I think of the things that make me a very lucky girl. I am smiling right now thinking about them.

Life is a series of choices. And we are all just trying to make the best choice. And turns out...NOT SO MUCH. But then we try again. We choose better. We choose different.

We do get to choose.

We can choose to follow the bubbles to the surface.


  1. I love you SO much!! I almost cried - been feeling like this lately. I need to remember to follow my bubbles too. (And batton down the hatches to deal with the unhappy emotional vampire SIL on Saturday - blerg) This was beautiful Amy. You never cease to amaze me.

  2. Wow Amy that is such a moving post. I can really relate to so much you have written here. I am so grateful to you for posting this and giving me some great food for thought.
    Jennifer - I did cry in the end. :)

  3. I had to link to this post. Thanks for the reminder, Amy.

  4. That was such an amazing post. I thought I was the only one who picked up the energy off of others. I too have ignored the toxic people but sometimes the bad vibes sneak in and I feel just like you. I love the Follow the Bubbles. That's going to become my motto. Thanks for writing such an inspiring post. I needed it and didn't even think about going to a cemetery. Can't wait to meet you in Chicago. It will all be such positive energy!

  5. It's hard work being a pleaser. I think that as we start to relearn who we are through this whole weight loss process, taking time to think and reflect is going to be the most important piece. Thanks for all that you share on your blog. Sometimes I feel like you are my crazy older sister, paving the way for me. Although I think I am older than you. :) You are the best!

  6. Awesome post...follow your bubbles...WORD!

  7. Love this post!! But Love you more

  8. love you and love this post
    you are a healer, a spiritual healer. you and your old soul would be the "elder" in this little village :-)

  9. Very touching Amy. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Argh. So moving because it sooo applies right not. I keep writing in my journal "I wish I had a crystal ball or a magic 8 ball so I know what is my ultimate path, my truth." But um, as you may have guessed, I don't have one of those.

    I don't really have any bubbles either, unless,(scary thought) my doubts/secret feelings are my bubbles? (I seriously just had this realization as I was typing and it's freaking me out!!!). Maybe I don't want my doubts to be bubbles because they're MINE. If they were someone else's doubts about my life or something they gleaned from a magic 8 ball I might be inclined to take them more seriously. But MY doubts? Well, they have never counted for much and I spent a lifetime shackling them down with mountains of food- so why should I start listening now.

    Damn you Amy for being so smart, so wise (totally different things you know) and so fucking funny!!!

    Have you ever thought about being a counsellor? You're so empathetic it would be an amazing experience for you and your clients.

    Just saying.

    Luv ya, B

  11. As a people pleaser myself, I appreciate this post so much. Amy, you have wonderful insight.

  12. Kind of needed that tonight, I've been a little overwhelmed and in my own head lately. I hate change and have so much going on.
    Anyway, thanks my beautiful friend...
    I'm glad you found your bubbles.

  13. Ah, Amy... do you know you are (I think) one of the 21st century philosophers that people will someday quote??? Amazing stuff... and your post made me think of Cara's title (the dash)... all that time between birth and death... and how much of a role model you are... Love you girl. Can't wait to give you a hug and say thank you in person for all your amazing friendship and support. Follow those bubbles... that is a motto for life.

  14. I dig this. And I dig you. That's all I can say with out getting all mushy :)

  15. I know this is a very deep post and I really got what you were saying, but in the midst of all that the song "Tiny Bubbles" was playing in the background. Hopefully you think that is a good thing.

  16. Remind me to give you a hug tomorrow. You're a beautiful person with a beautiful heart! Love you Amy!

  17. Great...I'm sitting here crying at 1 a.m. from reading this. The only reason I'm crying is because I'm just going through some stuff lately and this just hit so close to home right now.

    Thank you as always for being so open and honest.

    Love you.

  18. That was such a moving post. I am so impressed with how you can look into yourself and organise your thoughts so well. That's a skill I have yet to learn. You have come such a long way and shared so much. I just want to thank you so much for sharing. Love you x

  19. just throwing this out there... one of the things that i have learned in therapy is that the issue of others affecting our mood is a high sign of co-dependency/enmeshment issues. which is related back to our ultimate weight gains before this journey. just want to share that so you can put the brakes on it next time it happens. make other own their own shit! lol.

  20. Oprah has nothing on you. Really great post, Amy! Sounds like you are doing a lot of big thinking right now. :) BTW, the photo of you on the truck was ridic! You look AMAZING!

  21. Thank You! I needed that :)

  22. I'm sitting here with a loss of words. I'm never speechless, but I think in this case thats good. The introspection of our thoughts, hearts and soul doesn't happen often enough with folk that are "on" all the time. We have to make time for that. I truly understand being around someone who is draining you. Its like everything good has been sucked from you leaving you with nothing but a fatigued body and mind. Glad you have people in your life who make you smile. Smiling is goooooood.

  23. Wow. Given everyone else's sentiments that reflect my own, I'm just going to say one thing, that is a true Amy-ism: Word.

  24. You are amazingly inspirational. I'm going to channel my inner Amy as I try find my bubbles in life...while I drink the bubbles in my champagne. I love yoU!!

  25. I think that sharing yourself, your real self, is always a risk worth taking. Sometimes the biggest risk is sharing those feelings with yourself...stripping away the facade and really getting to the inner core. It's not a fun place to be all of the time, but your journey there, and your sharing of it, has a profound effect on all you share it with.

    Myself, I have a hard time with that too, and I relate to what you say about being an intuitive "type" and the effect and affect that can have on others. It's hard when you are an emotional sponge. It's hard not to want to "make it better" for those whom you love who are suffering, but it seems like the only way to survive sometimes, is to remove yourself, or emotionally detach from the situation. For some of us, it does require the removal of certain people from our lives- I have done that too, and it's painful..

    Looking back on my life and the friends and connections I have lost, I try to remember what the event was that caused the break, and in retrospect, it was survival. Sounds dramatic, right? It is dramatic. It is painful. It is necessary. For many of us on the journey, or about to embark upon it- the journey to ourselves behind the fat mask, it becomes both easier and harder. Easier to do it once you've done it a few times, but harder to do it interally+ reflecting on what we don't like, what's negative about ourselves, but I truly believe that it is only after the purge that one can get to the next level. I think that's why losing a lot of weight with the band seems to change everything. It does make us put ourselves first,and there is a ripple effect in that.

    Good for you, and thank you for sharing yourself with us, your followers, your support team, and your FANS!!!!!

  26. I wish I had read this the day you posted it. This day was my 50th birthday and I didn't know about bubbles. I've felt like this alot and all along I just needed to follow the bubbles. Thank you for crawling into my brain and telling me what I needed to hear! I'm going to special bookmark this post so I can read it again from time to time. I've got a couple of people in my life that I realized (while reading this) were toxic to me. They did something this past week to make me feel bad and I've just realized that it's time to let go.

    I feel relieved. Thank you.