Broken Chrysalis

I woke up this morning…different. Consciousness rose to the surface somewhere around 4am-ish. I don’t know because I didn’t reach for my phone, for once. Oh, all the familiar aches and pains were still there. So many days of being bent over the bench, using my hands as tiny vices, pushing down prongs, sawing, torching, searching for that thing I just had in my hand, eyes always in the microscope, everything pushing toward the center and never having my chest and arms opened up. I can feel it every morning when I wake up on my stomach with my arms out under my pillow. My hands and arms involuntarily push into the bed and my back burns all the way down the middle, my spine clearly out of alignment, muscles tight, hands clenched, throbbing and aching. But, today, even with the aches and pains, was…different. My head wasn’t so heavy. I didn’t feel dread for the day or the future or the heaviness of life’s burdens. I felt, maybe not energized physically, but certainly a new kind of energy, positive energy and the absence of negativity. I was actually able to pull my body out of bed at 5:45. No, it was better than that. I couldn’t KEEP my body in bed, when, for the past…at least three years I have had to willfully and grudgingly drag myself out of sleep wishing I never had to wake up again.

cocoon

It occurs to me that I’ve been in a very dark, confined space, not free to move at all, or to see or to feel. Nothing about my surroundings or situation has changed drastically…yet. But this morning, I felt like the cocoon is beginning to give. No wings are out, they are still bound, my legs still can only barely wiggle, but my antennae are out, feeling around, tasting the air, proboscis unwinding, ready to partake of life’s nectar, and my eyes are almost uncovered. I can almost see my way out of confinement. Every day I will wiggle a bit more, search a bit more, seek a bit more, till my bonds break free. I want to fly.

I won’t think about darkness anymore. I will push those thoughts from me and concentrate on the light. I will keep dark people at arms length and seek out the people who’s light is contagious. I will let their flame ignite my own. Then, when I’m a full fiery blaze, and those who’s lights have gone dim are drawn to mine, I will use my light to ignite theirs. I will learn a new way of thinking, a new way of speaking, a new way of existing. I will free myself. I will move my body, wake with the sun, and consume only that which will heal and nurture. I will grow strong. Someday very soon, I will love myself again.

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Choices Part 3

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Image taken from the artforadults Instagram page. Not my work.

Several previous posts have outlined the events that have lead up to the mess my life is in right now. None of it is pretty, lots of it makes me ashamed. I am stagnant and depressed. I keep saying I have no hope, but if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be writing this, I wouldn’t even try to get up in the morning and the dreams I have would go away and leave me alone. It’s been brought to my attention that I have choices. I CAN change my life no matter how impossible it seems. I NEED to change my life, or at least my outlook on the life I have. I have always gone where the wind blew me, until it blew me into pregnancy and marriage, which seem like a dark corner where the gusts can’t reach and so I stay here damp and rotting till someone comes with a broom and sweeps me out. The thing is, I don’t want to depend on anyone with a broom! I want to sweep myself out! Maybe not even out of marriage, and certainly not out of motherhood, but out of this stagnant depression, this groundhog day like existence of doing the same things day in and day out. Get up, take kids to school, go to work, come home, eat, help with homework, go to bed and do it five days a week and then clean and prepare all weekend for the next week to be exactly the same. My life isn’t horrible. I have three beautiful kids who love me, a husband who cares deeply for me, a job that pays the bills and feeds us all even if just barely, a car, clean running water, this computer, all things that most of the world doesn’t have and many yearn for. It’s absolutely unfulfilling, boring and enslaving. I have no time or money to LIVE. I only exist and I MUST do something about that. So here I plan to list my dreams, plans to make them happen, obstacles to overcome, pros and cons of each including the effects they may have on my family, in the hopes of being able to choose a pathway to freedom and happiness, or at least less depression. getting them all in order is going to be tough, so please bear with me as I struggle.

 

When I think of the ultimate happy life for myself from this point on, this is what it looks like:

I could somehow magically quit my job and still pay my bills, no, pay them completely off except maybe the mortgage and I could stay home while my husband worked at whatever amazing job has magically presented itself.

I would still have to wake up Monday morning at the ungodly hour of 6:00am to take my daughter to school, but once I got home and saw my boy off, I could start laundry, do dishes, clean the downstairs and then the upstairs. In the summer, I’d tend my garden before cleaning the house, before things got too hot. That all should take maybe two hours. Then I would shower and dress and shop for the week. I’d get home, unpack groceries and head upstairs to Blog for the remaining two hours before it was time to pick up my daughter from school. We’d come home and I’d help kids with homework before starting dinner. We would eat, and clean up together, then I’d either hang out with them or go upstairs and read articles and watch vlogs on how to homestead, permaculture, how to raise animals for food, how to build treehouses, how to navigate the art business…

Tuesdays, up at 6:00am, off to school, home, garden, clean, shower, then go to some art studio like The Generator for four hours to work on some massive project till it was time to pick up my girl. Then home, homework, dinner, clean up, and hang with kids or watch more vlogs and read more articles on beekeeping and woodworking and outdoor survival…

Wednesdays, 6:00am, school, home, garden, clean, shower, Generator for art, school, home…well, you get the idea. All that till I could accumulate a big enough body of work to show my art at as many events, galleries and contests as possible up to and including Burning Man. Hopefully that would allow me to make more money and connect with people who could actually show me how to do all the things I have been trying to learn about through blogs, vlogs and articles. I would be able to keep up with housework and homework as well as having my own time to do the art, building and gardening work I’m passionate about. I would have time to plan the healthy meals which I love to find and prepare for my family. I would make meals and snacks that I know would help heal their minds, bodies and spirits as well as my own. We would use essential oils and other 100% natural products to clean our home and treat ailments and keep us healthy. I would have the TIME and money and energy to decorate and prepare for holidays and vacations. I would have TIME to clean up after our adventures and get the home back in order. On weekends I could afford to take the time and money to go on adventures with the family and bring them to my shows and exhibitions.

With the money I’d make from my art I would continue to fix this house up. I’d be able to put new floors in, update to energy saving appliances, make the murals and decorate the rooms the way I envisioned them. I could finish the ocean mural in my friend’s home and all the other projects I’ve started for friends but haven’t had the time or energy to finish. Once it was all done, I’d stay for two years enjoying it, making art, making connections and getting the kids through school as happy and healthy as we can be within this system and within this marriage.

Then we would sell this house and buy unimproved land somewhere and build ourselves a homestead where we could get EVERYTHING we need from our own land and be independent of the system except for property taxes, insurance, and the smallest necessities needed from town or other homesteaders. We’d go to music festivals and sell our wears and grow our own meat and veggies. I KNOW it’s not impossible! I can SEE people out there DOING it!

 

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Again, not my image. Taken from Instagram username wendyortizart.

 

All of that is how I WISH things could go from now till then. But where is the money going to come from? I have to face the fact that my husband is probably never going to get a job that could support us all and provide enough money to actually live life like that. No one is going to just GIVE us money to make that happen, and I’m not sure I’d even want them to. I hate feeling DEPENDENT on anyone. I hate being dependent on my husband for his half of the contribution to everything right now. I don’t want to ever feel obligated to anyone except those less fortunate than me. Maybe this hang-up with obligation is why I have a hard time opening up to my husband physically. I hate that I feel obligated and that it’s not my own not passionate choice in that moment, especially since there is only a small window of time between other obligations to get it done. I also HATE going to work outside my home and having to bend my family’s life around it. My kids are alone far too much of the time. I just don’t see any way around it. I make art whenever there are no other obligations and there is time before bed or I can afford to stay up and work when the inspiration is there. That happens maybe once a month, if even that. But I still do it and I will hopefully be able to come up with a consistent body of work at some point. Right now it feels like it’ll never happen. I’m struggling to come up with any kind of plan to make even small parts of this lifestyle come to be. Here are things I think I should do:

Meal plan on weekends and give a list of groceries to my husband. I don’t do the shopping, but maybe I should start doing that on weekends. He would scream about the bill, but maybe I can get him to trade the mortgage bill I pay, for the grocery bill he pays and then I wouldn’t have to answer to him for the amount of money it takes to feed a family of five an abundantly healthy diet. I’m not sure I’d even have the money or energy to pull that off, but I can look into it. I don’t get home till almost 7:00pm and I still have to help kids with homework, so he does most of the cooking and I’d have to depend on him to stick to the meal plan. Sometimes he’s not home till late either and then it’s even harder, but I enjoy cooking, and if we are eating right, the kids might not have as much trouble in school and I might be able to spend less time having to help them. I have no idea when we’d have time to fix up healthy snacks that so often require putting together instead of just opening a plastic package, but we can try…

I need to make a budget. How much we make vs. how much goes out. I already know it’s pathetic. I’ve done it before and got scared, so I put it out of my mind and hoped for the best. I need a PLAN for paying off all this debt that wasn’t a problem when I was getting paid a lot more. I can’t ignore it anymore. I MUST put in more effort to stay on top of my bills. I must get my money organized. I need to accept the possibility of bankruptcy or at least call the creditors and ask  for options to lessen the burden. When I think about this I get terrified. I’m no good on the phone even with friends and family. Seriously, the phone SCARES me. I know it’s irrational and after I do take care of something like that I feel better, but I’m literally terrified of paperwork and legal stuff and talking to people on the phone, or asking for help, or accepting defeat and fault. But it’s time to suck it up and act like the adult/parent that I am.

I need to stop complaining and be grateful. My kids aren’t sick, my husband isn’t sick. I am sick, but it’s fatigue and depression, not some life threatening, expensive hospitalizing disease. I CAN still get up in the morning and I CAN still go to work, I CAN still help the kids with homework and let them vent and talk to me about whatever they need. No matter how much I want change and adventure, no matter how much I resent my life as it is now, I DO have a lot of things to be grateful about.

Lastly, I guess I need to ask for help. I don’t know who to ask or how to ask or even really what to ask FOR. Anyway, enough for now. Thanks for reading. Really just typical American woman lifestyle stuff I guess. Advice and encouragement welcome.

 

 

Help?

img_9154Help. It’s such a hard thing to say, harder to accept. It’s hard to even know what you’re asking for or who to ask. I’ve been navigating the world alone for the past two years, fighting depression, debt, lost dreams, lost love, family issues. I don’t want to ask anyone, even if I knew who to ask. I don’t want to depend on anyone. I don’t want to even dare to hope that there is help or that anyone would help. Why should they? Everyone has their own struggle, their own debt and lost dreams, their own responsibilities. I have effectively cut off all my old friends. They don’t have the knowledge or recourses to help me even if they wanted to, which they wouldn’t because I shut them out. I don’t have any close family that can help me and those that could, I can’t ask. I wouldn’t even know what to ask for. I wouldn’t even know how to implement the help or advice because time and money are so ridiculously tight.  I don’t want to be bailed out, I want to EARN my hopes and dreams, not have them handed to me. I feel trapped, strapped down in the bed I made. I’m still struggling to break the bonds though. Trying with every spare moment that my body will let me be productive to plan and THINK my way out. My last post was a list of things we’d need to go off grid. But first I need to get out of debt. It seems hopeless and here is why. This is the list I made about my income to debt:

 

Average income is about $1,700/month

Bills broken down by how much should be paid/month – if they are paid quarterly I divided into how much it would be/month. My husband makes just a little less than I do and he handles the groceries, power, sewer, water, car insurance and upkeep as well as his own credit card bills. Just as a side note, we haven’t charged anything except small vet bills in the last two years at least.

Mortgage – $640

Student loan – $50

Chase – $100

Home Depot – $100

Gas – $180

Property Taxes – $110

HOA – $20

New York Life – $30

Kids Insurance – $25

Cigarettes – $60

Fast food – $100

DoTerra – $60

Make-up – $50

Clothing or other necessities – $100

TOTAL = $1,625

 

Which means I should have about $75 left over every month.

Time to start keeping track of EVERY PENNY!

The FIRST step to independence is getting out of debt so I can start saving for the dream. As it is, it looks like I should be able to put away almost $75 every month, but I’m left with less than $10 at the end of every pay period. I need to know what the heck I’m doing with my money.

I can quit buying DoTerra all together. I can try like hell to at least cut down on the cigarettes. I don’t think I actually spend that much on makeup, but I can’t quit wearing it, cuz the bosses told me I had to. I don’t spend that much on clothes, but the “other necessities’ that I’m not even sure what they are, a kids field trip here, a bottle of wine there, pick up this or that at the store over there… Some of that is late fees too, cuz I can’t freaking keep the fuck up. Paying my mortgage late again this month which brings it up to $674, and I have to turn right around and pay it again out of this paycheck if I want to avoid another late fee. The property taxes will be due again in a month and how I’m going to save $450 by then I just can’t fathom, which means another late fee. I’m drowning and I don’t know how to keep my head above the water. How the hell do people do this? I see all kinds of new cars on the road and ours are on the verge of falling apart, even though we both wake up at the ass crack of dawn and work our asses off at the expense of raising our children. I want out. I hate money and the money sucking machine that robs people of life.

So I’m screaming, whether I want to or not, whether anyone will hear or answer. SOMEONE HELP ME GET OUT PLEASE!!!!!just-start

Dead

I have no passion left. I don’t care about anything I once cared about. Organic healthy food, gardening, exercise, making my own health and beauty products, hiking, camping, art, building, writing, fun, adventure, sustainable living, TREEHOUSES… Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest don’t inspire anymore, they only make me sad and angry now. It’s all so worthless. No one else cares who I am, or who I once was. those things don’t matter, who I was never mattered because I was the only one who cared. No one shared in those passions with me. I can’t care anymore. It’s too hard to keep up with all of that. There isn’t time nor money to care anyway and it hurts too much to give a shit when no one else feels my passion, no one else feels joy in doing those things WITH me, always telling me why we can’t, or why they don’t want to. No one cares to lift me up to a place where I am ABLE to care about those things and pursue them. No one is proud of my passions, and now I’m not either.IMG_6101 They are dead, and I might as well be too. I wish I was. I wish I could lay down and never wake up in this stupid world. But I can’t. I would leave and find like minded souls, but THIS is my family. I have an obligation to feed and clothe them, to keep them alive and moving forward. So I stay. I try to love them. I DO love them, even though it means losing myself. I’m trying. I wake up every morning, I pull myself painfully out of merciful sleep and I put one foot in front of the other, living the same drudgery over and over and over again. I work every day instead of doing the things that I once loved, and every cent I make is sucked away  by the money sucking machine. No passion, no hope, no joy. I hope I can keep trudging long enough to get them through before I die. I am dying. Slowly. I’ve failed the child that I was. Not a single dream has come true. I’m tired of fighting, so I won’t anymore. I surrender to this bondage, the enslavement to the machine. Fuck it all.

Please Pray

I have to share! I’ve been worried and wondering how on earth I’m going to get my bills payed and how I’m going to get me and my girls to K-Con this year. I PROMISED them I’d do whatever I could to get us there, but then I lost my job. I’ve been struggling hard. My new job barely covers the bills and I’m behind from being unemployed for two weeks. But PRAISE GOD, a friend just called and said she needs a muralist here in town for the month of June and I can do it after work and on my weekends! If the business owner accepts her bid it’ll be a $10,000 job! I don’t know what my share will be but I bet it’ll get us to K-Con so I won’t have to break my kid’s hearts! Please pray he accepts the bid and that I can get it done in a timely and professional manner without burning myself out? Thanks! Love you all!!!!!