The Next Chapter

The next chapter of this story will be recorded here. You are humbly invited to find me there and follow along as I move down the road into the next great adventure.

 

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The End

ending

Here I am on the other side of the place I never truly believed I would see. It has been 5 years. 5 years since I made the decision to return to school and embark on my biggest adventure, and a big adventure it was. The story is not over but it is time to close this chapter. I have to say that this chapter was one of my favorites so I am having some trouble saying good-bye.

In the last 5 years I returned to school, moved into my first home with my husband, got engaged, adopted the sweetest dog ever created, started the social work program, volunteered in multiple ways that made me feel fulfilled, got married, went on a honeymoon, vacationed numerous times, celebrated the life events of multiple friends and loved ones, welcomed three new babies to the family tree, went back to therapy, graduated with my BSW, won multiple social work awards, started grad school, traded in my car for our SUV, completed two internships, graduated a second time, won more social work awards, got hired on with an agency in a clinical capacity, and documented the whole thing right here on this blog.

I am so grateful for what this blog has given me. It is so much more than a photograph, much more than a fickle memory that fades with time, this blog is me. It is my experiences from my own perspective. It is my thoughts, my feelings, it is all of me.

I have loved this space so much. There is so much that I have learned about myself here, most importantly; I am a writer. I will continue to write because this place has shown me how important writing is.

Thank to everyone who has followed me during the last five years. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Thank you for bearing witness to this part of my story.

I don’t know exactly what comes next but I do know it will challenge me in new and exciting ways. I know it will invite me to step into my greatness in ways I never thought possible. And I know somewhere I will keeping record of all of it because I am a writer and I know no other way.

Thank you again for showing up. Sending you light and love.

With Gratitude,

Jillian AKA The Idealist

Love and Support

In a few hours I leave for soul camp. I felt the need to write once more before I go because I know I will not write over the weekend and am not sure when I will start writing again once I return. Last time I had plenty of inspiration when I got back but I was so exhausted I couldn’t do it; not right away at least.

I was packing the other night and walked out of the bedroom to get my face cream, when I returned I found Lu standing over my suitcase with a toy in her mouth. I watched from the doorway as she dropped her toy in my suitcase and walked off to lay down.

Lucy can definitely sense when something is up, especially when we are getting ready to leave. She gets anxious and paces usually. I about died when I saw this. It was her favorite toy right now, a stuffed carrot we got her for her birthday in March. I guess she wanted me to be comforted while I am away. What a sweet girl.

Then this morning my husband came into say goodbye and had a love note for me to take to soul camp. It talked about how he and Lu would miss me but that they know I am doing all the good work and that they support me.

When I got up this morning I felt myself starting to self-sabotage already. I felt my walls going up, I felt myself backing away from what I know my work is right now. I felt myself shrinking. Soul camp is a big commitment to deep work for an extended period of time as well as a commitment to allow yourself to be seen by others. As much as I look forward to soul camp, now that it is here I am scared. There is a fear that once I start speaking my truth out loud for others to hear you I won’t be able to take it back. I won’t be able to go back to the place of comfort and denial that existed before. I don’t even know if that is actually true or not; I mean really I can backslide all I want, no one can make me do the work but me.

I am way too inside my head right now. It is going to be fine. I have this incredible support system to return to after the weekend is done. It is going to be fine.

Graduation Surprise

I was sitting on the couch when my husband came home tonight. We were discussing this and that when he told me that he had one of my graduation presents for me. He left the living room and came back with a box that had been delivered the day before, he had told me that he ordered new books so I assumed nothing of it when it was dropped off.

He gave me a pair of scissors and I opened the package to find a laptop. I was a bit stunned honestly. It was very unexpected. We talked about him getting me a double frame for my diplomas, I thought that was that.

Up to this point I have been using his old laptop from when he was in college 10 years ago. It works fine and I have been quite content, I would have never guessed he had this planned for me.

It is very nice. It is smaller than the 10 year old laptop, lighter too. It is a laptop/tablet hybrid which is neat but maybe a bit more than I need. The main thing I like is that it starts up quick and has a nice keyboard.

Being the engineer he is he apparently spent quite a bit of time considering all my needs and getting me a laptop that he thinks will meet them. I appreciate the gift, what I really appreciate though is the effort. It is a very thoughtful gift and one I am sure to put to good use through all the writing I do for myself and the writing I will be doing for my new job as well.

I have had a lot on my mind and heart this week as I prepare for soul camp. The fact that I still have not spoken to my mother is weighing heavy on me as well. This was a welcome distraction.

He’s sweet man that man I married. I am grateful for the meaningful gift, I am more grateful for him.

Don’t Drink the Water

I often have a cup of tea when I am creating, particularly when I paint, and this is tricky.

I have definitely put my dirty paint water mug up to my lips before and just barely stopped short of drinking paint water thinking it was tea. So naturally when I saw this today I laughed out loud.

dont drink the water

This is an awesome idea but let’s be real this would make zero difference for me. My power of observation is so poor it would still be a crap shoot even with properly labeled mugs. I mean, the paint mug I use is this ugly dark green plastic camping mug, it looks and feels nothing like my tea cups and I have still had a few close calls.

Something else I saw that I totally responded to was this:

doubt

This is so a thing it is unreal! haha.

This was my inner dialogue today when I was sitting on my floor cushion piecing together my wreath:

Yeah.. I got something here, this is cool as hell.

Wait.. That’s not quite right. Shit The glue already dried. Shit. Fuck.

What the fuck am I doing? This is crap. Absolute crap. Dammit!

Okay, now wait a second.. If I just.. Okay, okay, that’s better.

Hell yeah man. Not bad girl. You got this.

The creative process is literally just one long sequence of celebration, cursing, self-doubt, and euphoria. It is a confusing awesome roller coaster that I never get sick of riding.

Making

This morning I slept in and woke to the sound of music. My husband and pup were in the living room and kitchen listening to Pandora and waiting for me to join them.

We spent the day together quiet and creating. It was my favorite kind of day.

Here is what we made:

fire place2fire place

My husband promised a while back to make some kind of candle display for our fire place because we live in Florida and never have a real reason to use it. Today he delivered on that promise and I could not stop kissing him. I think it is stunning. Tonight we lit up all the tea lights while we spent time in the living room together, it changed the entire feel of the room. It feels more like a home, our home.

My creative inspiration came from one of my own personal truths around the word AND. I have discussed many times how looking for the AND in life has been a big part of my personal journey towards healing. The AND represents the gray area, it represents the space where all things are possible.

door wreath

This is the third wreath I have made but the first I have made since living in this home. It certainly has deeper personal meaning for me than any wreath I have created previously. I look at this as the welcome sign on our door letting all souls who cross our threshold know this is a safe space to show up just as you are.

It was a good day. I am grateful.

Party Pants On!

So something pretty incredible happened today when I woke up and sat in the reality that I am graduating in a few weeks, I am done with my internship and assignments at the end of this week, and I now have a job locked down.. I felt calm.

I know I have been carrying a burden of anxiety this semester (mainly related to my lack of clarity in terms of future employment), I did not realize how heavy that burden was until I finally set it down and allowed myself to take a nice deep breath.

That is exactly what it feels like to.. It feels like all year long I have been holding my breath waiting for this to be figured out and now that not only is this piece figured out but I am now also at the end of this part of my journey, I can stop holding my breath and take a nice deep breath in!

I am so excited for so many things and I finally feel like I can put on my party pants and celebrate! Lets be clear, my party pants are tie dye yoga pants, and me celebrating is pretty much me dancing around my own living room with the dog, but Yeah man! Let’s do this!

There is so much to look forward to:

I am FINALLY done with school! Which equals NO MORE PAPERS!! I love to write but on own my terms. I am so freaking excited to be done writing research papers and personal papers etc etc.

I am about to have my freaking Master’s degree! Suck on that not-good-enoughs!

I did an awesome job at internship this semester, got nominated for a few more awards, and ultimately conquered some major fears/insecurities. I had the growth experience I wanted to have, that is a big win in my book.

Soul Camp is next week. All kinds of excited about that.

I get a month off to relax and transition into my new position.

I got a job, huge weight off my shoulders there. And it is not just that I got a job, I got the job I wanted. Extra points!

Hubs and I will be traveling in May. Sounds like we will be meeting his parents in one of the iconic southern towns in a neighboring state and having a long weekend. I am excited to see my in-laws and just excited to travel in general. If his parents are unable to go, there is a chance that could happen, I think we may just do a beach trip but that is still welcome!

In September one of my soul friends/my hubs best girlfriend from college is getting married!!!!! My joy for her is unmeasurable. That will be another trip as she is out of state. It will be my first time in the state she lives in, excited to explore and celebrate her.

It sounds like the next Soul Camp will be in October and this one is going to be around sex. It is going to be HEAVY. Sounds like rather than just one weekend it will be a week long retreat. I am not a guaranteed Yes on this one. The subject matter is certainly relevant for me, I have a lot of really difficult work to do in this area. I think it will just depend on where I am at in my life. October may not be that far off but a lot can happen in a few months.

Then November we have another trip planned. This is the one I am really looking forward to this year, we will be going to the mountains with Lu.

I am sitting in a whole lot of gratitude right now. There is a lot to be thankful for. There is a lot to look forward to. I don’t know how I feel about the fact that I was delaying my feelings of joy, I wasn’t completely aware I was doing it until after I stopped. My party pants are on now though that is for sure!