The Rollercoaster Year

Like many, 2016 was a rough year. For me in particular, it was probably the year of rollercoasters. The year started off so strong and so full of possibilities, but my mental health kept throwing massive stumbling blocks in my path. With the spring came warning signs, the scariest suicidal and self-harming thoughts I had ever experienced. The summer had the crash. I reached the end of my rope and was so thrown out of whack that I needed a month to recover. The fall topped it all off with regular therapy appointments and a possible new diagnosis. I still haven’t made as much progress as I would like, but I now have some answers as a starting block, and I’ll hopefully be able to move forward with healing and solutions in the new year.

This year was a tiresome one for the world as well. So many deaths, so much fighting, so much hatred across humanity. During the presidential election, my stress got so high that I was physically sick. Especially in these last couple of months, it’s felt like events keep happening and kindling keeps getting added to a fire that could burn down the world. There’s a part of me that’s almost scared to see what could progress in the next year.

Thankfully, in spite of the tough, the worrisome, and the frightening, there has been hope. I’ve accomplished the goal I set for myself a few years ago to see new places and experience new things. I visited two new cities, greatly expanded my professional circles, and further proved to myself that I can fight through difficulties. There has been love and an abundance of smiles. Friendships have strengthened, my family has more than doubled, and my ability to trust and communicate has grown more than I imagined. I’ll be forever grateful that 2016 was the year I said yes. Not only yes to marriage, but yes to accepting help when it was needed, yes to believing people mean what they say, and yes to learning that love can be given freely.

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Fayetteville, AR- December 2016; photo by Cavalier Photography

Jumbled Brains

It’s been one of those days. There are so many topics I want to write about, but my brain can’t seem to focus on one enough to hit the “publish” button. This is the fourth post I’ve attempted to start writing today.

This is when I typically break out one of my journals. I can start writing about one thing and switch to another topic without having people question why I started talking about adoption, but then switched to materialism for a bit before settling on the general perception of the church in America. I’ve tried to get a full set of thoughts out, I really have. I’ve listened to music, I’ve sat in silence, I’ve taken a walk….this is apparently just the kind of day that my mind cannot be tamed.

So why am I writing this post? Why am I rambling on and on about something that has no sort of purpose? I’ve been on a blogging roll lately. I’ve written more in the past couple of weeks than I have in months. I feel like the posts I’ve published have had some good content and I’m proud of them. I want to keep that going, but I also am aware that the inspiration won’t last forever. What I’ve done in the past when experiencing a block is to just stop writing. I don’t want to do that this time. I want to push through and write something that is on my mind, even if it’s just short and simple and doesn’t have much to do with anything.

I know many people probably don’t really care what I have to say, but for those 45 followers out there, I want to put out semi-regular content. I want to be relatable and interesting. Part of the relatable-ness is admitting that writing inspiration isn’t always there. Maybe this is just an off day. Maybe I have too many thoughts running through my head. Maybe I just need that waterproof notepad to get those thoughts out.

Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, Frankfurt, Germany- September 2014
Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, Frankfurt, Germany- September 2014

A Response

It’s come to my attention that my writing on this blog may not always be the most cheerful. It’s not my intention to write posts that sadden people or make them feel that I’m lost. I don’t feel sorry for myself, and I certainly don’t expect others to feel that way either.

I know my writing style is much different than it was a year or two ago when I was writing on my other blog. It’s hard to believe that I entered into the world of blogging almost two and a half years ago. When I look back at all of that time, I know that I wasn’t being completely honest with myself or others in my writing. When I did write about topics that truly interested me or moved me, I worried about them for ages before ever hitting “publish”. Most of the time, the things I wrote didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of my character. They focused on the material, the superficial, and the emptiness that my life was mostly about.

With major life changes comes major growth. I’m not using this blog for any other purpose than to practice my writing and hopefully inspire some people along the way. I write about the thoughts going through my mind like the one yesterday because I know that I’m not the only person that feels that way after making initial contact with biological family members.

I want to be relatable. I don’t want to act like I have my life together because I absolutely do not. I don’t want to portray that life is all sunshines and rainbows, because I believe there’s also a strange sort of beauty in the melancholy times. Being human means experiencing ups and downs, and my favorite part of relationships is the ability to relate to others in those ups and downs.

This blog is meant to be a chronicling of my thoughts and the progress I’m continually making in healing and learning more about myself. Yes, there are still some fluff pieces every now and then, because they can be enjoyable to write if the mood strikes, but I’ve always enjoyed deep discussions more than small talk and I’d like to think my writing reflects that. Even the title of this blog is a word play on that move from the part of my life where I felt so lost to where I am now, content in who I’m becoming and excited to be able to open up about my struggles if there’s a chance my stories can help others in similar situations.

Temple of the Mount, Jerusalem, Israel- March 2014
Temple of the Mount, Jerusalem, Israel- March 2014

listening to: Aqualung

Headed Back to the Homeland (A Rambleblog)

It’s been a very eventful past couple of weeks. I’ve experienced Paris and Lugano (Switzerland), and I’ll be on a plane headed directly toward Alaska in the next seven hours. On top of all the traveling, I turn twenty-five on Friday. I’m still working through my feelings about this big birthday. Right now, I’m sitting at my computer just taking a break from the frantic unpacking and repacking that is going on in my room right now. No joke, my bed and floor are both littered with articles of clothing and bags and everything else a traveler might need. Have I mentioned it’s almost 4 in the morning? Apologies if this rambling is mostly incoherent.

This is the first all-nighter I’ve pulled in quite a long time. I’ve taken a couple of naps throughout the day and evening, but I feel like there’s no better way to prematurely combat the jet lag than to stay awake all night before a flight and then crash on the plane (this works especially well when your flight is a long one and the time difference means you’re actually gaining thirty minutes or so when you land).

This visit will mark my first time back in the states for six months, and my first time back to Alaska in ten years. My parents and I moved from Alaska to Texas twelve years ago, and I got to go back and visit the first two summers, but then the traveling pretty much got placed on the back burner. There is no way to fully explain how much I miss that gorgeous place. Alaska has a way of seeping into the deepest parts of your soul, and if you have the opportunity to spend any time there at all, you will thirst to be back there as soon as you leave. I know that not everyone feels as strongly about the state as I do, but I think there’s probably another reason I have such a tie to the place.

It seems every time I really sit back and reflect on my reasoning behind my thoughts, more often than not it somehow comes back to the adoption facet of my identity. I was born in Alaska, my biological family (on both sides) was located there when I was born, and there’s a high probability that my father’s side is still up there. It always gets back to wanting to know where I come from. That burning desire to know everything there is to possibly know.

It’s been almost exactly a year since the last time I heard from my biological mother. She emailed me last year to wish me a happy birthday, and although I tried to contact her to try and get some information about my father’s family so I could try and get some more questions answered while I was back in my home state, my efforts went unanswered. It might just be the way that I relate to things, or it might be pretty common in the minds of adoptees, but even being back in the same city that my biological family came from gives me a sense of connection, like we could have experienced the same thing if you ignore the time lapse.

To say I’m anxious to be back in Alaska is an understatement. I’m anxious, excited, joyful, anticipatory…I just have the sense that this trip could be a pivotal moment in my life journey. I’ll be there for twelve days. I’ll be turning another year older, reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in twelve years or more (some of them who I’ve known for almost twenty years), and making sure I soak in every single moment of the wild beauty Alaska has to offer. I’m interested to see where this trip will take me

Paradiso, Lugano, Switzerland- August 2014
Paradiso, Lugano, Switzerland- August 2014