. “When it rains, it pours”, has always been an understatement in my life. And although I have learned many survival tricks of the trade along my life, sometimes even an expert will still fall from the ledge from time to time. The difference is that not everyone will admit it.
It started in about August of 2017. A then thirteen year old tried to ruin my reputation and life because I wasn’t one of the many that would let her get away with whatever she wanted. Now, my name is tied to a crime I didn’t commit and cannot remove it, because I did the right thing and tried to save her from herself. My feelings were completely dismissed by all involved. I was in a somewhat relationship that left me empty more often than not, because even blatantly confessing what I needed got me nowhere. I was targeted and attacked on a daily basis for being a decent human being, so in December I finally was able to escape. Black Beauty ended up needing much needed but unaffordable work done on her, and I totaled the loaner car, running into a cement barrier, followed by watching oncoming traffic come at me all the way to my destroyed bumper, angry that this would be how I would be taken out. As usual, it didn’t matter how hard I worked, studied, or was lacking of sleep, I couldn’t catch a break to save my life. I ended up adding an additional $1,000 to my forever tab of debt for totally the car, and I lost the battle with the moving company to pay for the damage they caused during my escape.
My mother asked me to keep the faith, but the faith in me was long gone at this point. Mama bear reminded me that I had been through much worse, and logically I knew this to be true. However, it sure didn’t “feel” that way. Much like Princess Poppy, I found myself on my knees, drained of life, happiness, and color. And worst of all, it felt like someone had kidnapped Chasing Stormi and buried her alive. I had nothing left to give. I could no longer Shake It Off.
My friends were too busy with their own lives to be able to take time to help pull me from this constant hot mess of a personal storm. No one could help me anymore. I was once again left to sink or swim.
But I had sunk several times in my life. I had also swum amazingly in those small pockets of “the calm before the storm”, and I knew I had a choice. So how was I going to resurrect a dead girl? Without making a Zombie of course….
When you find yourself this lost for this long, it’s important to know that it’s not going to happen overnight. Like anything else, it’s a process. For it to be a successful process, you have to do it right the first time. It was time to start from scratch…
1. Move. During this dreary winter, I needed Vitamin D more than anything. But there is none to have currently in Kansas. So I walk when I can. I dance around in my living room. I clean house. Anything. Just move….
2. Divide and conquer. You can never take on the world and have the ability to be successful at the same time. Yes, bills are stacking up that I most likely won’t be able to pay when they are due, but looking at the whole picture only brings on more stress and anxiety. You must divide your list, look at which bills are due that week, and do your best to meet them by their deadline.
3. Sing. To battle the PTSD of driving in bad weather, I have resorted to turning on my Spotify and belting out to a really good tune. It distracts the need to cry hysterically or throw up.
4. Do Something For You. Even though I had no money, I went to the movies anyway, and I couldn’t have been more thankful. Yes, I will pay for it later, but it was needed and that is all.
5. Get Uncomfortable. I applied for something that scares the heck out of me, but we can’t live our lives in constant fear of what could go wrong. The worst that will happen is that I will get turned down, and lord knows there’s been plenty of that happening in my life that I was already a pro at hearing “no”. And yet, it never seems to stop me either….HA!
So yes, whether they admit it or not, even the experts fall from time to time when monsoon season arrives for 6 months straight. I can honestly say that I currently feel like I only have color back to my ankles so far, but Chasing Stormi has gotten untied and ungagged, and is preparing to dig herself out of the grave life thought it could put her in. So in the meantime, I’m sticking to the small things to help her along the way.
And the best part is that she won’t be a zombie. In all reality, she’s simply going back to replacing one. Because we are Storm Chasers, and surviving is all we know how to do.
Today was the same as every day.
I take my medicine knowing it’s going to be a very long day.
I close my eyes and search for peace.
I’ve got this, for I am a Storm Chaser.
So I exit my quiet space and enter into the world, waiting to see what today holds.
Unfortunately, this time of the year holds the same for far too many people.
Anger, bitterness, anxiety, and depression.
The holidays are hard for more than you know.
We all of loved ones that our heart aches for as we realize the new memories they’re missing on, forgetting that they’re with us the whole time.
Some don’t fully comprehend their worth, and they feel that this is the loneliest time humanly possible for them and it causes them to feel empty and cold.
Some stress of getting that perfect gift for everyone.
Some stress, because the ends refuse to ever meet!
Some have battles that we will never truly understand.
My own battle is two-fold.
From the second I leave my quiet space, I am consumed by those around me.
The anger, bitterness, anxiety, and depression is like hard, skeletal, long, and black fingers that clutch all over my body to hold me down until I am consumed by darkness.
I am like a football player, dodging and weaving to get to the end of the field.
This for me usually entails the finish of the day.
But every football player gets tackled. No matter how hard they train or what skills they use to try to escape and reach the destiny of peace.
When there’s no quiet space to escape to, I do my best to escape in my own mind.
I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and mentally re-lace my shoes.
For I am a Storm Chaser. And even in my weakest of times, I am still needed.
I smile once more, enter the trenches, and see who I can make laugh at me even for just one second.
This world is not a bad place. And there are still plenty of good people left in it.
Some just lose sight of it during this time despite their best efforts.
Some don’t realize they are angry, let alone how they are spreading it to others.
But our actions affect everyone around us.
Even a simple smile can save a life.
So I challenge myself to do better.
To make as many people smile before the sun rises again.
Don’t get me wrong, I have to take a lot of naps because it is exhausting keeping those hard, skeletal, long, and black fingers from clutching all over my body all day.
I do not always make it to the end of the field successfully.
Some days, I can’t stop getting tackled from the second I leave my quiet place.
But it’s important to remember that you have more tricks up your sleeve than you know!
And your beautiful smile is just one of them.
So help me remind the world just how amazing they are.
For we are Storm Chasers, and we were destined to be more.
Facebook Memories is a way to be forced to look back at the good and the bad of your past, and see where you stand today. For me, my feed seems to be focusing on the six birthdays that were spent with someone that was supposed to love me. Instead, he got too drunk before I could even start celebrating, spent every year embarrassing me to the point of pure disgust for being alive, threw in my face the constant choice not to choose me, and didn’t care the next morning about what he had done.
Even though each day takes the breath out of me reliving those moments, I figure I have two choices. I can let a dead man take me backwards, or I can continue to move forward like I earned the right to. I have decided the following:
1. No ghost of the past can erase the amazing person you have always been and continue to be.
2. Birthdays are a celebration of your achievements, awesomeness, and love. No one, dead or alive, can take that from you.
3. We work hard to show the world our love, and we deserve nothing but pure love in return. Nothing less.
4. There will be good times, and there will be bad. Even if Facebook seems to focus on the bad, it’s the good times that will forever win in your mind and heart if you let them.
5. Life is filled with constant personal storms. It is how we choose to handle them that makes us who we are, and we are Storm Chasers who conquer all! Even if it takes a while to do so.
I choose not to let the personal storms knock me down. I choose to not let the personal demons win, no matter how strong they think they are. I will wear my Birthday Tiara proudly tonight and celebrate with whoever chooses to join me. Because I am a Storm Chaser, and I have done some really amazing things that I am very proud of. And only I can take away my happiness from myself this year, and I refuse to do so today! *She says as she ties up her laces….
Because Today I have Purpose.
Because Today I have Goals.
Because Today I have a Destiny to Fill
That makes my Soul whole.
Because I am a #StormChaser.
Because the Future was Shown to Me,
And I am More than Ready to Accept it.
Because I am Here to Help You #SurviveOurStorms.
Because Today I Cannot be Beat Down.
Because Today, I put my Tennis Shoes on.
Because Today, I’m Ready to Run.
Are You Ready?...
If Not, Do Not Worry.
I've got you.
Dear Math Statistics,
I know this is going to be a long eight weeks for us both, due to the simple fact that we can’t seem to get along. I don’t understand the reasoning behind your theories, and you like to laugh at me when I can’t master them. However, I will still pass you, because I am a Storm Chaser. I tie up my laces, run as fast as I can, for as long as I can until I conquer my personal storms. So consider this fair warning. The fire of determination burns bright, and my feet are full of fuel. Bring whatever you’ve got, because I am MORE than ready to show you what I have….
Fear can paralyze.
Fear can make you sick.
Fear can hold you in the past.
Fear can keep you comfortable.
But fear can also be…
An opportunity to grow.
An opportunity to tie your shoe laces.
An opportunity to run.
How will Fear control you today Storm Chaser?....
Today, my fire gained fuel. I sat, with great pride and love, in the living room of the original Storm Chaser. I starred, in awe, at the beautiful face that held ornery eyes that would never age. Meet Nana. A woman that has greatly shaped me into the Storm Chaser I am today. She is the original.
Today, one of the strongest personal storms finally calmed.
The doubt of returning to school has been removed.
Although there are still some loose ends to tie up,
I saw a little piece of the sun today.
And it was beautiful.
I took off my running shoes, and stretched my legs out.
My toes wiggled in the warming sun.
We may be Storm Chasers destined to chase through our storms.
But we also earn the right to enjoy the sun once we reach it.
So take a second, and wiggle your toes in the sun.
There are plenty of storms coming.
Your shoes will be dry and waiting when the next one comes.
A personal storm came out of nowhere when I was least expecting it. Right after graduation, I received a letter that would shatter the world as I knew it. A letter that stated I owed Park University over $1,000, and I was not allowed to get my grads or return to school until the balance was paid in full. I fell to the floor and cried. I was currently unemployed, and $1,000 plus dollars refused to fall from the sky all summer despite how hard I tried.
I have tried everything all summer long. Friends and family are trying to help, however, every time the money starts to collect “life happens.” My chest would ache where my heart seemed to no longer be located. I finally know what I want to be when I grow up! And now, I am at a standstill until life finally decides to give me a break.
Why $1,000 plus dollars? This is the really awesome part. When financial aid got split between two schools, I spent all semester talking to both Park and JCCC to make sure that everything was going like it should since I had never split between schools before. I was assured it was. The bill is for taking an extra class. My Park advisor enrolled me in an extra class that was not covered by financial aid, because she saw the amount going towards JCCC thinking it was still available for use. Now I am stuck with a very heavy bill.
Time is against me. Since May 25th, the storm came and swallowed my heart and soul whole. I haven’t felt this terrible since I was told I would never dance again. Something that had been a major part of my identity for the majority of my life was ripped away from me. Suddenly, I had become lost beyond words. All because of a single turn and a knee cap that wanted to go its own way. It was happening again. I was lost. Until two days ago.
The shell is different, but this sassy Storm Chaser arrived on Friday for the first time since I graduated. “Hello old friend,” I said smiling in the mirror. I am not sure why she is back right now when there are no answers or solutions in sight just yet, but I welcome her all the same. My shoes are still laced. I am still chasing the same storm. However, now I have heart and soul again and it feels so much better. I may or may not be able to return this Fall, but the fire has returned to fight the storm a lot better. We will see what the future holds. But today, this sassy Storm Chaser is here to rule, and hopefully is here to stay.
She laced up.
She faced the storm head on.
She conquered her struggles.
She stopped to enjoy the rain, then began to chase once more.
For she is a Storm Chaser, unstoppable and beautiful.
She is amazing beyond words, because she is You.
We all have personal storms that we face. Some big, some small, and some in between. Here are some of my personal storms. Are you ready to run with me?....