Tag Archives: thoughts

The Friends I Don’t Have; Part 2

Once upon I time I wrote a blog about lost, broken, and forgotten friendships. I ended with, “Sometimes I miss the friends I don’t have.” Last night I came to a whole other realization on this point. I don’t just miss the friends I don’t have, I miss the friends I thought I had. Reaching the conclusion that a person you considered a friend is only a half-friend is just as hurtful as losing the friendship all together.

Friendship groups can be tricky. You may think that you have a strong bond and that you share so many interests. The group spends days chatting and sharing stories or even just talking trash on whatever may be the hot gossip of the day. But what happens when one friend’s ego cuts through the bond like a freshly tempered sword? This is when the true friendships are tested. Perhaps two people are closer than the third first realized. Maybe Person A felt closer to Person B because Person B is remnant of Person A’s children or family members. Then what happens? Person C becomes a casual acquaintance; a small blip of a friendship through texting or social media, but no longer a real friend. Person A will tell you that he/she is not choosing one friend over the other, but the reality is that we all have preferences. We tend to be more attracted to those who are similar to ourselves, our children, our family members, or other friends we may have in our circle.

So, how do we move on? In today’s age of technology there is no real way to escape situations that cause pain or hurt feelings. We’re constantly reminded of unpleasant circumstances through Facebook posts, Instagram photos or tweets. Sure, we can remove these people from our timelines, but then you face the risk of looking immature. Does that matter? In a way it does. Word of mouth is powerful; it can be used for good or evil. Word of mouth can make a person look like a rock star or bat shit crazy. It all depends on who is saying what to whom. We can confront involved parties, but in my experience you’re usually made out to be a crazy person. An over-reactor. Thinking too much into it.

We come to a point where we just become non-responsive. The conversations become more casual than usual and far and few between. You begin to essentially fade away from people because you feel that no matter what you do, you’re wrong. You’re not good enough. You’re not worthy of friendships.

I’ve been a loner for as long as I can remember. Sometimes that shell just cannot be broken. Perhaps this is just the life I am meant to lead.

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It Will Always Be So

When you believe something, when you honestly and truly believe something, it is difficult, if not impossible, to change your mind. These beliefs can be demonic nightmares, torturous to endure. It can be anything: self esteem, self image, faithfulness in a relationship, intelligence, skill ability. Whether you believe you can’t do something, that you’re great at something, or that you are a victim of infidelity, it will be true. Well, at least in your mind. You’ll never be comfortable in any setting, especially social ones. The feeling of not belonging will take over your sanity and you won’t be able to enjoy yourself regardless of the situation. You’ll no longer know the meaning of “fun.” You’ll become an introvert; an avoider; a ghost. People will start to believe that you’re stuck up, unfriendly, a bitch. You’re friends will begin to feel that you’re not longer interested in their friendship or presence. You will slowly become isolated from everything and everyone. You’re life will become so lonely.

So what do you do? How do you fix this state of mind? You can’t. Once your mind truly believes something to be true, it will always be so.

A Piece of Me Dies

There are few things in my life that I’m proud of. My life has been a hard one. I grew up poor surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and parties. As an adult, I pride myself on being a decent mother, fairly intelligent, and a strong Zumba fitness instructor. This last year has brought everything I had been proud of shattering around me.

One: not being able to give my children the things they want to “fit in.” Recently my 10 year old daughter attended a birthday party where her 10 year old friend received an iPhone 6. I then had to watch my daughter cry silently as I explained that she wasn’t old enough for such technology. She does have a tablet, which was not a gift from me, but suddenly that’s not good enough for her. She wants to fit in. She wants to have an iPhone like so many of her friends. I stand by my decision on her not being old enough, but what about other trendy items? I can’t afford wardrobes from trendy stores like Old Navy, The Gap or P.S. by Aeropostale. Sadly my girls wear clothes from Wal-Mart of K-Mart. More often than not, their sneakers come from the same stores, or from Pay Less. Even though they choose their own wardrobes, a part of me dies inside that I can’t at least give them name brand clothes and sneakers. I see many of their classmates wearing Uggs, another item I will not buy because of how fast they are growing. But if I had the money to constantly replace the boots, I would buy them for my babies in a heart beat. They’re unable to participate in sports not only because of start up fees, but the fact that I work nights and cannot transport them. They’re unable to play an instrument in the school band because I cannot afford the instrument rental. I know many people will tell me that all of these things are trivial, but the truth is that they’re not. These things are important in a child’s life, especially the sports and musical activities. And when I have to tell my babies that they can’t do the same activities their friends are doing, a piece of me dies.

Two: realizing I’m not as intelligent as I think I am. Currently I am in my third semester of college. Each semester I have found myself in tears due to struggling with my academic load, and honestly it’s not a heavy one. I’d always been a good student through elementary and high school, but 10 years later I find myself on the tail end of everything. I sit in my biology class twice a week struggling to follow along. My professor’s words could just as easily be in German for all that I am able to understand. I look around the room at my fellow classmates who don’t appear to be having the same issue. They participate actively and ask questions in the same German language while I desperately listen for some small shred of the English language I’ll be able to jot down for later use. Perhaps I’m not as intelligent as I thought I was…perhaps I waited too long to return to the world of education.  I’m a receptionist at a gym and I teach Zumba fitness classes…not exactly positions I can make a living out of. I’m unable to go into the military because I’m a mother. College is, sadly my only option, but I’m afraid I won’t make it to graduation. A part of me died when I realized I’m not longer able to keep up.

Three: watching my Zumba career go down the drain. A little over three years ago I decided to get licensed, not to teach, but to have access to amazing events that only instructors could attend. I was pushed into teaching, but sadly I still have not been to any of the fantastic events I’ve longed to go to. When I first started teaching, I considered myself to be good. And I felt wanted. I was always a part of something, whether it be performing in a Zumba event or substituting for another instructor. Suddenly I am not an outcast. Only 3 or 4 instructors ask me to cover their classes and when I do I’m lucky if any students show up. A piece of me dies when only 2 people show up to a class I’m teaching. I’m rarely asked to do an event outside of any I’ve started or help start. The lack of interest hurts. People have posted hurtful things about my class on social media and it affects me…very deeply. I have my true friends who will say nice things to lift my spirits, but I can’t help but wonder what I’ve done wrong. Why am I so alienated? I’m currently on a break from teaching, and am unsure if I’ll return. The honest truth that many people will not notice or care kills of piece of me. I had Zumba dreams after teaching for the first time. But as with every other aspect of my life, I do not have the money to turn my dreams to reality.

It’s said that money can’t buy happiness. Maybe that’s true. But more often than not the people who make that statement are financially sound, and that is a fact. They may not be rich, but they are comfortable. They do not understand what not having money does to a person. They do not understand what it’s like to have a negative balance in their bank account. They do not understand what it’s like to live on hot dogs, noodles, and frozen pizzas. They do not understand what it’s like to have a piece of their spirit die.

I’m rebuilding my life…but so much of me has died.

The Ugly Truth

In 2013 my physician suggested that I see a therapist. I did not do this. I didn’t see how expressing everything that bothered me to a complete stranger would fix any of my problems; because it wouldn’t. The truth is that I’m sick. The thoughts that haunt me aren’t something that simply talking about can ever fix. These thoughts aren’t something that medication can hide; I know because I’ve tried. So instead I turn to writing…and you; the reader of this blog. 

I hate myself. Not like those girls who squeal about hating their hair, face, clothes…whatever. I honestly hate myself. It goes beyond physicality. I wish I was a completely different person. I wish I was a different person living a different life a different way. This is the first time I’ve ever confessed this to anyone…not even my fiance knows that I feel this way…until now. This is the worst feeling a person can ever possibly experience. Let’s face it: we don’t live in fairy tales. There are no fairy God mothers or genies to ease our pain or change our lives. And while we can change our physical appearance, status in society, and the level of comfort in which we live, we cannot change the way our minds behave. I can’t anyway. For years I’ve battled with being content with myself, but I’ve never been able to achieve it. Even when these ghosts are quiet, the smallest thing can set them a blaze. For example, seeing a peer from elementary school that I had idolized. 

Sometimes instead of wishing to be a different person, I wish I had made different life choices. Made different friends. Had been more active in school activities.  Been better at sports. Basically had done everything in the complete opposite way than I had. Maybe if I had stayed within the popular circles instead of settling in where I thought I belonged…with the below average, the trouble makers. I grew up poor so I assumed I could never “belong” to a higher crowd. That I wasn’t worthy of them. I know now that it’s not true. I was well liked in school. I pretty much created my demise. I dropped out of any clubs and sports team I joined because I never felt like I was good enough and I was just dragging every one else down. Where did those thoughts even come from? I never had any one telling me I wasn’t good enough or smart enough or pretty enough. I told MYSELF these things. This is what sick minds do. 

The reality is I can’t change who I am and I can’t become a different person. Even if time travel did exist and I was able to go back, I wouldn’t know what I know now so I’d most likely make the same choices all over again. So either way I’d probably be exactly where I am now. Once in a while I’ll try to convince myself that everything happens for a reason and if I hadn’t made certain choices in my past I wouldn’t be where I am now. The problem is that I’m not happy where I am now. To me it’s a lose-lose situation. I have no reason to not want the life I have or to feel the way I do about myself…but it’s still there. Every day it’s there. 

So what’s the solution? What’s the answer? How do I move on from this. I can’t. This is a struggle I will always battle. Darkness is a powerful thing. It can drown out even the brightest light if it so desires. I live in darkness. Sometimes there are stars that light my way, but even they aren’t as strong as I’d like. Sometimes I’m afraid of myself and wonder how I can live out the rest of my life with these issues…with this sickness. But…what other choice do I have?

Lacking Motivation

You know what my problem is? Motivation. A severe lack of motivation. I’m not happy with my body right now because of a 30 pound weight gain caused by a medication. I’m now off the meds, but instead of being insanely driven to get back in shape, I’m just depressed over it. I’ve been trying to get myself in gear but I feel like I’ve been failing more than succeeding. I’m sure it doesn’t help that my stress levels are extra high. I need to get my act together.

I find it disturbing how situations in life can affect me so hard. Weight has always been a HUGE issue for me(no pun intended). In 2008 I weighed in at 232 pounds; I’m five foot five so it wasn’t pretty. I decided I needed to make a change. I got involved with different fitness programs: Zumba, running, Zumba toning, pilates, Urban Strip & Fit, and even Richard Simmons. After a year of actively participating in all of these, I successfully dropped 50 pounds. I wasn’t skinny, I was FIT. I was so proud of myself! I kept up my workout regime and eventually got my weight down to 155 pounds. I had muscle definition, including my abdominals. Not bad for a mom of two who opted to lose weight “the hard way” as opposed to surgery. I didn’t necessarily diet, but I did practice portion control. After hitting that weight loss goal, I didn’t give up on working out. I kept it up to keep it off.

Fast forward to 2013. I was working as a manager in a fast-paced, customer service business. There were never any breaks or time of peace and I was working 45-50 hours a week. I was burnt out and getting run down. After suffering a nervous breakdown while on duty(highly embarrassing by the way), my doctor recommended I give an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication a try. I obliged, and was surprised at how controlled my moods became. My stress levels dropped and situations that were out of my control didn’t bother me as much as they used to. However, over the next year I noticed that my weight slowly began to climb. I began increasing my workouts and changing the way I ate, but my weight continued to rise. It was devastating and my depression began to return. Sort of ironic since I was on medication for that problem. When I finally hit a 30 pound gain I went back to my doctor. She admitted that a side effect of my meds was weight gain. Holy. Shit. I was furious. Being overweight depresses me so why would my doctor put me on something that would make me gain weight? I just couldn’t have it. I had quit my job a few months before this visit so I felt confident about my self control to come off of the medication.

I’ve been off of these pills for about two months. My weight is currently fluctuating because I’ve been inconsistent with my workouts and eating. My drive is gone. There are other aspects in my life which are adding stress, such as financial issues and decisions about my fitness career, which probably aren’t helping my focus. I need to find a way to get myself together and find a balance. I won’t be happy if I stay at the weight I’m at now, which is 189 pounds. Being an overweight fitness instructor isn’t appealing. People tell me I look fine, but I know they don’t mean it. Sometimes people just feel obligated to be encouraging. I know eventually that little switch in my brain will flip and I’ll be back on my fitness journey. The waiting is driving me mad. 

To The Zumba Instructors

I’ve been a student of Zumba® Fitness for 5 years and an instructor of the program for 3 1/2 years. I absolutely love it. Maybe not so much at the moment, but that’s a story for a different day.

The biggest transition from student to teacher is losing time taking classes. Once you begin teaching your own, it becomes very difficult to participate in others. I still love being a student; perhaps more than I love teaching. However, between working, attending college, teaching my own classes, and being a mom there isn’t always spare time.

Lately, I’ve found that when I am able to sneak into another class, the instructor tells me I’m making them nervous. Why? What about my presence is making you uncomfortable? I’m not in your class to stand out or draw attention. I’m not in your class to judge or criticize the way you teach. I’m not in your class to “steal” your material(even though I admit to getting ideas from other instructors). In fact, I always take a spot in the back of the room as a show of respect for the teacher in front of me. You see, I’m a non-competitive Zumba instructor; I wish there were more like me. My sole reason for taking your class is to enjoy myself. To relive those days when I could take a Zumba class for the fun and freedom of it. To remember what it’s like to simply do and not think. To not have to put on a constant show because all eyes are not on me.

So when you see me in your class, please don’t panic. Don’t feel pressured. Don’t feel the need to be a perfectionist. I know I’m far from that! And if you happen to make a mistake, who cares?! As instructors, it’s important to remember that even when we do miss a step or have to wing a move because we forgot our own choreography, our students don’t notice. Just keep moving, even if you have to improvise some moves. They are going to do whatever you do, and that includes me. As someone who never or very rarely takes your class, I’m going to follow every move you make and not question the steps.

The Ugly

Today was one of those ugly days. The days when you just can’t bear to look at yourself in the mirror. The days when you spend hours trying to re-evaluate your routine and what you can possibly do to make yourself look better.

Today I hated my hair, my skin, and as always, my body. What set me off? A photo my girlfriend took of me sitting on our couch. Stupid, right? Should have been, but as I looked at the weird face I was making because of the unexpected shot and the ridiculous knot of my hair I thought, “I am not an attractive person.” Yes, I post selfies on Facebook and Instagram, but I found myself thinking that my pictures only looked decent because I’ve mastered flattering poses. I’ve learned the trick of looking attractive. I don’t look the same in person as I do in pictures. But does anyone? Who knows. That thought wasn’t on my mind today as I spend hours in self loathing and looking at photos of girls I wish I looked like.

When I have a low day everything affects me at one time. It doesn’t matter what the trigger was. It’s impossible for me to focus on fixing one imperfection at a time. I start falling into this spiral of doom; the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” tornado of torment. It’s not healthy and I know this. Still, I frequently find myself in that place.

There isn’t any easy solution to beating these kind of days. But I still try. I tell myself that it’s impossible to change the past or to completely change your life or to wake up in someone else’s life. I tell myself that without all of the “bad” choices I’ve made, I wouldn’t have acquired the blessings I’ve found. I’ve found acceptance for the most part. You can’t please everyone I’ve stopped trying long ago. I’ve found someone who loves me exactly as I am, scars and all. I have two amazing daughters. I have successful fitness classes. I have friends who would literally do anything to make me smile.

Sometimes the bad just overpowers the good. Sometimes I just have to succumb to it.