On Being Lost & Found

I was struck by something last week as I was standing near my sewing machine, smiling to myself as I "cooked" some embossing ink with my heat gun.

Actually it's been a theme for me since getting divorced last year: reclaiming/reconnecting with the "fun" me.

In conversations with friends recently I say things like, "I used to be fun."

To some of them I say, "Do you remember when I was fun?" and to others I say, "You haven't even known me when I was fun."

To some I've said, "I feel like I'm coming home to myself. To that place where the old me and the me of today are meeting up and finally getting on the same page."

I laugh more. I feel lighter (physically and emotionally). I'm working on not taking things so darn seriously all the time (this is an ongoing battle). I smile easier. I'm much quicker to say yes to impromptu adventures.

I want to be living the length and the width.

This also translates to my creative life. I feel like it's been a long time since I've felt the actual heart-pounding delight - almost like a high - that comes from creative play. From making messes and experimenting and what if this goes with this instead of this. I felt that way today while I was working on Project Life. It was a letting go of perfection, of holding on too tight. I was also simply taking the time to allow for fun within the realm of the creative things I do already.

I think it's also a reason I haven't scrapbooked as much or shared as much of my story in this space. I'm finding my voice again bit by bit (Who was I before? Who am I now?). And I think reclaiming the "fun" me is definitely a part of it.

I still feel lost at times. Scared. Unsure. Sad. Just this past week I had "one of those days" that essentially boiled down to me needing to be reminded that I need to find happiness within myself first and foremost. That I have to own, all the way through my bones, that I really am enough.

Music has been a great catalyst of fun for me. I have a physical reaction to music. We play it loud in the office. I play it loud in the car. I've been attending and making plans to see live music. I've been making time for old and new friends and we laugh and drink and eat and make merry and listen to music and I remember the lighter parts of myself that existed before the layers of years and responsibility and stress and loss and experience - that whole crazy combination life that includes all the awesome stuff as well as the things that are really hard.

I've learned that I have to allow and create opportunities for myself to have fun, personally as well as on my scrapbook pages.

And I have to let go.

And I have to be open.

So here I go, trying to fearlessly live the length and the width, inviting in the fun.

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  1. Kathi

    2013-04-09 22:45:15 -0400

    Ali...I can so relate to this. Thanks for sharing you experience.

  2. Michelle

    2013-04-09 23:24:27 -0400

    I too have learned to let go, I also turn the music up loud.

    I've also learned that I can no longer beat myself up over things that are out of my control... and I can't always be 100% in control of everything.

  3. Jodi LOM

    2013-04-09 23:45:21 -0400

    I read this and wonder when you jumped into my mind?

    I wouldn't trade my kids/pets/marriage/home and other things that make me responsible, but I do notice that I am so serious. I'm trying to figure out how to balance responsibility with fun. It surely wouldn't kill me to laugh more and to take many things much less seriously. My college friends would absolutely not recognize me. While I certainly do not desire to revert back to much of my college freedom immaturity, there is much room for improvement. I believe that wisdom & responsibility can live in the same space as joy & fun.

    Thanks, Ali, for your openness and transparency. Just a few things that we all love about you!

  4. jen gray

    2013-04-10 07:35:46 -0400

    I love you Ali.

  5. sara lambert

    2013-04-10 08:11:17 -0400

    Ali, I know what you are going through. two years ago, my husband had an affair, and after 3 months of hell (him not admitting anything but was still obvious) he moved out to move in with her. Unfortunately we are still not divorced (a business involved)but I cannot believe how much I have changed in the last two years, or perhaps not - perhaps gone back to being fun! Definitely not easy being a single Mum to two children, having to find a job to work around them and rely on my parents and family to help me out, but oh, so much happier :-) xx

  6. Sharron Heys

    2013-04-10 09:16:42 -0400

    Strewth…and I thought it was "just me" having to deal with all this sorta *stuff*! Such an honest, 'open', realistic post. Came at just the right time for me when I'm feeling so utterly dejected.
    Ali, you and Brene certainly reinforce resilience…Thank you both X

  7. Susan Heisey

    2013-04-10 17:53:10 -0400

    So that's what's going on over there... :) And I am supposed to be doing my taxes.

    When I first met you, you were SO fun. I have NO doubts you still are. In fact, I'll bet you're just getting going...

  8. Christy

    2013-04-10 21:37:24 -0400

    Oh, Ali, I understand what you are experiencing. I refer to myself as Christy 1.0 and Christy 2.0 ever since my children and I were in a horrific boating accident that killed one of our dearest 9 year-old friends. When you know you have run over and killed one of your best friend's children and try to stop the bleeding while his mother, with you in the boat, begs him to breathe...and you think there might be hope when you can tell there is not...and you have to figure out quickly what to do for the other six children involved, including your son, who was next to Bodee in the water and swam him to shore, and your daughter, the love of Bodee's life, who was kneeboarding behind the boat and witnessed his body popping up, and Bodee's brother, who witnessed the horror from shore, and my cousin's children who are like my own, one in the water, the other kneeboarding with my daughter. Children screaming, crying and scares for their own life and the life of their friend or brother. I had to figure out what to do for their sake until we knew, and then I had to tell them. One mother to six children who all needed a mother holding them.

    I have a hard time getting my fun on, and I know my family and friends long for Christy 1.0. Some have told me so. But, truth is...your One Little Word workshop got me and many of my friends through that first year...and I have come to like Christy 2.0 better. I am more compassionate and courageous. My faith is stronger than before. You have changed lives, Ali. Fun or not, that is what matters in the end. You have given countless people hope through their word journeys. You have encouraged us to celebrate the every day through Project Life. Ali 2.0 is amazing

  9. Maureen

    2013-04-11 16:51:40 -0400

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences here and on the Daily Digi podcast. You always touch me when you keep it real - positive, negative or just ...ok. It's all the various shades of life.

  10. Krista

    2013-04-11 17:00:23 -0400

    Thank you for putting into words how I've been feeling for the last few years. Loss upon loss had me reeling--just when I thought I was feeling the old me come back I lost her again to another upheaval. Just now I'm considering the idea that I can find myself in the instability -- that I can embrace/accept it, and let the real me reign again. Things aren't bad now, though I'm not where I want to be. But that doesn't mean that the real me can't come out to play in this space. I hope I'm right about that.

  11. Sheila Monteiro

    2013-04-11 22:37:36 -0400

    you're cool Ali Edwards

  12. Jenny

    2013-04-14 21:58:06 -0400

    I am so appreciate for your honesty and your willingness to be open to sharing your journey, which many of us seem to relate to. I am so grateful that your courage and strength have helped me to find my voice again...

  13. Priya Mohan

    2013-04-16 00:31:40 -0400

    I love reading your posts as you voice out the feelings untold or inexpressible in my mind and heart. Thank you so much for giving words to my thoughts and helping me find/understand myself better!

  14. Jasmine Marie

    2013-04-16 00:37:18 -0400

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Cheers to you on this journey!

  15. Jannifer

    2013-04-17 17:01:05 -0400

    So glad YOU are back.

  16. Debbie

    2013-04-20 09:21:58 -0400

    Thank you for sharing the struggle of finding yourself. I feel very much the same way an I am not going through a major life change. I woke up and realized that I am not who I want to be. I don't know when or how I became the person I am, but I wouldn't choose this person. I use to be fun and carefree. I would like to reclaim this person or better yet, become a better, more evolved form of myself.

  17. laura g.

    2013-04-23 09:39:15 -0400

    LOVE THIS POST!! THANK YOU! you said you realized that you needed to find the happiness within yourself...that's what i am trying to do...had a bilateral mastectomy and am on my last round of chemo soon..i have had moments when i am wondering if my life will ever, ever be 'normal' again...so i have learned to call a friend and find something to laugh about...Laughter is a great medicine...and Ali, i bet you have ALWAYS been fun...you just didn't realize it...i can see it in your posts with the way you interact with your children...and your creativity...

  18. Pamela Lois

    2013-05-01 17:23:15 -0400

    Ali, Thank you for being open, honest and vulnerable. I have been stuck and feeling this same way. Since my mother died, I've just been going through the motions: a dead woman walking. I have been living an a life which has been ignoring my authentic self. Thank you for courageously and simply naming what I couldn't. Now I will go forward. I loved this statement you made, "“I feel like I’m coming home to myself. To that place where the old me and the me of today are meeting up and finally getting on the same page.” This is exactly where I am. I like the sound of that, "coming home." My OLW for 2013 is "restore" so this message resonates within me deeply. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing yourself and your gift. I pray you will continue to flourish and share. XXX

  19. donna c

    2013-05-06 15:41:50 -0400

    3 words: best. post. ever.

  20. Nancy

    2013-05-07 07:44:23 -0400

    Ali this is so nice to read. I've just recently had my heart broken and am learning to depend only me to be happy. It's an interesting journey but like you I am just starting to find my happy self again. The weird thing is that I never realized I was lost until I started finding myself again. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Sasquatch Musical Festival 2013 | Ali Edwards

    2013-05-31 06:01:01 -0400

    [...] Good, good times answering the invitation to find the fun again. [...]

  22. Winnie

    2013-06-21 14:31:49 -0400

    I wanted to say that I was glad to read this post. Finding your voice and happiness will come. I know my situation is different, but I remember telling people the same thing "I used to be fun", or "remember when I was happy?". I lost my hubby to cancer when I was 40, and it really changed so much of my life. Fast forward, to now almost 7 years later, I am different, but I am happy and if you would have told me that years ago, I would have said "no way". I have been reading you for years from the CK days, and wish you and your kids all the best. Keep the music turned up and have fun!

  23. fafuna

    2013-10-07 14:50:52 -0400

    Oh, Ali. Thank you so much for sharing this. Thank you, thank you.

  24. Remika

    2013-11-24 11:13:34 -0500

    I am new to your site and this entry caught my eye because right now I feel like I am in the same place of rediscovering what I left behind. I sincerely appreciate you sharing your story, and that even through the pain you've been experiencing, you are finding your joy again. Absolutely beautiful. I have been feeling lost lately, but after seeing your work through Brene Brown's course, I am glad I looked up your website. Your projects are so inspiring and they are waking up that part of me that once sparked passion and joy. I can't wait to look up your projects and feel inspired again. So so grateful that I found your website and looking forward to discovering more. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  25. Miss_Ellen

    2016-02-13 21:30:49 -0500

    "Don't stop believing. Hold on to that feeling!" Sounds corny, but not so much when you are singing it, full blast, at the top of your lungs!

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