Sunday, January 3, 2016

Looking Back, While Moving Forward

My "Light at The End of The Tunnel". I took this picture during the fireworks show at Disneyland, my happiest place on earth.

     Wow, life has changed so much in the past couple of years. I sit here and think of all the plans I had; I have always been a planner. I had a plan for everything. That’s how I liked to live, there was a plan and it was to be followed exactly. That way there were no surprises or disappointments. That way everything would be perfect. I had my college plan, where I was going to go, what my major would be, what school I would transfer to after doing my undergrad. I knew who I was going to marry, how long we would wait to get engaged then married. I even planned out the age in which I wanted to have and stop having children. I had a plan because it made me feel safe. That I was going to be okay in a world that seemed as though it could fall to pieces, at any second.
    I had held those plans with white knuckles, never daring to loosen my grip even for a second. Even with my determination, life still happened. When all those plans started to fall apart, I did too. I couldn’t function. It sounds crazy, like, come on, Tessa just edit your plan; make a new one, roll with the punches. I couldn’t, so, I stopped participating in life. When I did start to “function” again I did things to keep my mind off of the fact that my life wasn’t perfect. Not only was it not perfect,  it was awful. I thought I was a failure. I tried to distract myself by making bad choices, which only added to my downwards spiral. I had dug myself into a hole and wasn't sure how to get out. The only thing I knew that I could do was to keep on digging.
   After about 2 years of living life alone in my problems, I let someone into my deep dark hole, for the first time. We were on one of the worst trips I have ever been on and things were finally too much for me to take all by myself. So, I ripped off the bandage that covered the nasty, awful, wound and shared my secret. Finally, I said, out loud, what had been eating me alive. What had been killing me. What had torn me apart. What had destroyed me. Through tears and shame, I told her what he did to me. She climbed into my deep dark pit and sat with me. For the first time in 2 years, I wasn't alone.
   I experienced a significant trauma. Trauma is defined as: a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. This trauma came right after a few of my plans had fallen apart and put every single other plan I had through the shredder. Looking back on it, I can see I was in survivor mode. I was trying to get through each day and desperately grasping for any sense of control over my life. Life was really messy for about 2 years, not to say life isn't messy now, it was just extra messy for awhile. During that time, I had let a lot of things go. Such as friendships, relationships, grades, school, my health, my faith, nothing had mattered to me anymore. My life mentality was screw everything.
   It has been over a year since I first told my secret. Life is really different now. I am getting help. I was diagnosed with PTSD, Anxiety, and Major Depressive Disorder. But I am getting better. I still have days when I feel like the world is caving in, however, they are appearing less and less.I have people standing by me, holding my hand through it all.                
    Looking back, I have much more grace in my heart for myself now. I went through a traumatic experience and didn't have the “tools” to deal with it, and that is not my fault. I still have to remind myself of that daily, but it is easier to remember now. I'm still on the journey, but, I think I see the flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.

xoxo Tessa

If you need help:
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline
1 (800) 656-4673
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 (800) 273-8255

Monday, July 21, 2014

California Calling Utah, Yoga Time?

Doing yoga with Tessa is one of my favourite things to do and ways of practicing. Unfortunately, she's in Utah and I'm in California.This makes for some creative planning. Such as never knowing if she's referring to her time or my time, and half the time we are playing catch up with texts.Because of this and a few other factors actually doing yoga together is kind of out of the question, or so we thought.

I can't remember whose brilliant idea this was, but I will volunteer to take credit for it.Over the Phone Yoga sessions. That's right, we found a way, and it's actually super simple and pretty fun.

We planned out the poses we were going to go through (and by this I mean we found a photo set on Pinterest), picked a time, lit some candles, turned off our lights and let yoga time begin. Since Tessa has never led a yoga flow before, I took this round. I'm sure that it would have helped if I had really planned out the session before, but Tess assures me that even flying by the seat of her pants this session was pretty good.

There had been a few times when I paused the flow to figure out how to transition from one flow to the next, this all could have been avoided with actual planning. But, the first session is always the one with the most problems.Other problems included not being able to hear each other's breathes, so knowing when each person was actually transitioning was a total guess.

Phone Yoga was a very big hit, big enough that we decided that we must do PY at least once a week, neither of us had actually been making time to practice. Now that we have a new system in place, we are starting to question why we ever got out of practice.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Knitting in the Snow

There have been many changes for me the past 3 months. The biggest change in these past 3 months, which really put all the other changes in motion, was that I moved to Utah. Yes, my non-skiing, southern Californian, warm weather loving self, moved to Utah.  It has been one of the biggest adjustments that I have ever been through. On January 3rd I moved to a state where I knew a whopping total of 3 people.  It has been a very scary journey.  I knew that I had to do something to meet people and keep myself sane. I saw they were taking sign-ups for a knitting group at a local church down the road. So, I bravely signed my name and waited until the next Friday with great anxiety. I have never been one to shy away from meeting new people but, it was just a mixture of so many new things at once.  So, when Friday rolled around I went armed with my rolling case of knitting supplies and a diet coke. Because, if all else fails you might as well be caffeinated.  

That Friday night, I met some of the best women I have ever met in my entire life. We are all different ages and from different walks of life. But we had two things in common, a love for God and a passion for knitting. This meeting was at the conclusion of my second week being in Utah and it truly put me at ease. It let me know there was a place for me and that I wasn’t alone. Knitting was my key to some amazing relationships in Utah. Knitting with this group of ladies made me feel so at home for the first time since I moved to Utah. It was finally something familiar in my new world of white every place you look and this magical freezing stuff that falls from the sky (apparently they call these things snow).  While at first these classes were a comfy safe haven, they turned into more. We started a project a couple weeks later that was a big undertaking. I have been knitting for years but I never made anything really all that big or complex. I stick to easy patterns that I know I can do and won’t challenge me all that much.  So, when it was brought up that our next project was going to be a shawl I almost didn’t want to go anymore. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it and that I would mess up. I became so worried that I didn’t even want to try. 

This safe haven was turning into a challenge. I made it impossible in my head. It was a serious struggle for me and it was made out to be this huge thing. It was pretty ridiculous. But then, I ran into one of the ladies from my group and they told me how happy they were that I joined the group. She really encouraged me and so the night we started the shawl I went in ready for battle. Not only was I going to be making something new, I was going to be working in the round which I have never done before and I was also going to be using stich markers which I had only used once before. I started my shawl about 8 times. Every time, I wasn't sure if I did it right, so I ripped it out. Then one of the ladies saw me and said “Honey you are never going to get anywhere like this, if you make a mistake no one is going to care”, this was exactly what I needed to hear. Since then, I have not ripped out any stitches and am diligently working on the shawl. It has taken me a longer time because I have to take breaks quite frequently because I started to get over whelmed and start to doubt my ability’s. But, I am doing it and I can’t wait until it is finished because it will be true triumph.  

My Utah adventure is proving to be everything I didn’t imagine and everything that I need. It has truly been a learning experience that only life can teach you and I can’t wait to see what else is in store. I will keep you updated with my shawl progress!

Xoxo Tessa

Thursday, March 6, 2014

One Coffee House to Another

My "Coffee Shop chilling" has reached a whole new level, my local Starbucks used to receive  the majority of my attention, meandering for a time or two at a small coffee joint in my town, but it never got me hooked. The place, while lovely, was just too small and, in my opinion, wasn't really focused as a coffee house. I don't really want to accidentally take up the majority of the tables.

Due to complete random happenstance, about two months ago I wandered into a coffee house in a town about 15 minutes from my own. Within a week, I was volunteering there and spending as much time as I could there. The atmosphere alone got me hooked pretty quickly, not to mention the coffee. Never had I wanted to buy drink after drink, if only I could actually afford it. The atmosphere only slightly changes on friday nights, making it less of a chill hang out, and more of a cool lounge. Live music is invited in and welcomed by new comes and regular customers alike.

I couldn't have found a better place to randomly walk into, everything had just fallen into place. I had never expected to actually be behind the counter at such a great establishment. Everyone I have worked with or been served by couldn't have been better, I wish I could make the drive everyday to get my coffee there. But, alas, by gas buying habit cannot support the drive. So, until it can, I'll just look over the photo's I've taken, and the conversations and jokes that have gone on. All the while, inviting as many people as I know the come out. If you ever want me to support something, make sure I really love it and you couldn't ask for a better advertiser. Nearly everyone I have talked to int eh past two months has heard about, and has been invited to the coffee house, wether for a friday night or just a regular business day.

(All photos are from my instagram)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Advent day 14

Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?

I'm eating one right now! Candy Canes are my all time favourite, there is no better candy, or ice cream, or scent, or taste. Come to think of it, I really want peppermint ice cream now...

I go through so many boxes of candy canes every winter, I'd tell you how many but I haven't kept count, also I've had too many to really know!

Nothing makes the christmas season like hundreds upon hundreds upon thousands of Candy Canes! If you haven't had any yet, I suggest going and getting some right now. There is no reason to wait on this, Christmas will not continue with out Candy Canes.

                                                               xoxo Lauryn

Friday, December 13, 2013

Advent: Day 13

Real tree, fake tree, or no tree? 

Every year I have had a real tree, except this year.... I love real trees, I would have a real tree every year if it was up to me! I love walking I to my house and being bombarded by the wonderful smell! I think they look fantastic as well! Unfortunately this year my parents stopped giving into my lust for real trees and bought a fake one :((( 

One of my favorite Christmas memories is going to the Christmas tree farm and picking a tree and chopping it down with my papa. We did that when I was little and I love that I have that memory. It is really satisfactory to not only pick your own tree but cut it down! Granted I was little so there was super cute pretending to cut pictures when it was really my papa cutting it down. Whatever you deside about a tree I hope it brings you joy! Merry Christmas! 

Xoxo Tessa

Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent: Day 9

Combat boots or Uggs? 

Combat boots or Uggs is a serious shoe question, I mean it is quite mind boggling for me! I wear both types of boots all the time. They both have pros and cons but I think over all I am going to have to go with Uggs. I'm going with Uggs because of the coziness factor. They are so warm and comfy it's like a nice warm hug for your feet! I wear my Uggs as soon as the temperature drops just a tad haha the are a perfect winter shoe in that my feet have never been cold while wearing them! Merry Christmas! 

Xoxo Tessa