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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220 thoughts

  1. JenR says…
    04/08/2013

    Made me cry Ali. I so totally know what you mean and thank you for putting it into words so beautifully.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Jo-Anne from ZA says…
    04/08/2013

    Wow Ali, I am speechless!!

    That is exactly how i feel these days. Bogged done by responsibility, stress, loss etc and i always seem to be a 'fun killer' lately because i am always the responsible one and take life to seriously.

    I share this journey with you:-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Michelle Kelly says…
    04/08/2013

    A beautiful post. You are living your OLW! And there are so many of us that can relate to your words. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Jenni Hufford says…
    04/08/2013

    love this so much ali, and i love your openness.xo

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Michelle H. says…
    04/08/2013

    Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Joy N says…
    04/08/2013

    Ali, this is a bold statement, love that you are becoming aware of so many things...

    I'm not sure if you've heard of Dr. Brene Brown but her book Daring Greatly runs along these lines.

    Wish you continue healing along your journey

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Ali says…
      04/08/2013

      Hi Joy - yes, actually after I finished this post last night I picked up Daring Greatly again as I'm going to be participating in a podcast discussion about how it relates to creativity/scrapbooking, etc. I've known Brene personally for about 6 years now - she's a huge inspiration and a wonderful friend.

    2. Beth says…
      04/08/2013

      Ali is friends with Brene. Check out the back of The Gifts of Imperfection- Ali is one of the reviewers.

  7. alida says…
    04/08/2013

    Thank you Ali, I am defnitely taking your words to heart and will be looking out for more fun in my own life. Must say, you've always been amazing on your blog, even in the times that you think you weren't fun.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Marie says…
    04/08/2013

    Thank you, this is beautiful. And I think that lot of us can identify themselves in your post.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Nicky from Okotoks says…
    04/08/2013

    Your doing all the right things Ali - finding yourself foremost will be your greatest gift!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Ingvild says…
    04/08/2013

    Beautiful words Ali - feel the same. But also feeling things are getting better now. Winter is almost over, spring is here and the sun and the light - it makes me appreciata everthing so much more. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Debora Prass says…
    04/08/2013

    I totally get that... I sometimes think that I used to be fun too. What would my teenage daughter think if she knew me when I was fun, you know? That kind of thing. And the happiness and amazing things that comes with starting a family bring burdens and stress too... I'm sooo in that place right now, trying to take life less serious and more lightly. You put into words in such a beautiful way. Here's to being open and fun!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Lindsey says…
    04/08/2013

    Ali,
    I love this. For me the tension is between reclaiming someone I used to be and figuring out when I am no longer that person. You know?

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Sue says…
    04/08/2013

    Bravo Ali, Bravo. You are so brave to bring us all along on your "ride". It's amazing that if you are öpen" you give yourself the opportunity to heal, grow, improve and become the person that you are meant to be. Wishing you more fun, love and peace.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Mariangeles_Spain says…
    04/08/2013

    Great & inspiring words :) TFS :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. kelsey says…
    04/08/2013

    Go, Ali, Go!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Robyn says…
    04/08/2013

    beautiful post. Loved it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. lauren says…
    04/08/2013

    a wonderful post that i [and i'm sure many others] can relate to. seeking out awesome adventures and smiling/laughing more makes for wonderful days. :) cheers to your new chapter! *

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. heidig says…
    04/08/2013

    I know exactly how you feel. The first time I said something funny after leaving my ex-husband, I stopped dead in my tracks and thought "there's the old me"! I'm funny! It's an "ah ha" moment for sure.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Nadine B. says…
    04/08/2013

    To the woman IN the arena:
    Hold on on living your life wholehearted and daring greatly. Thanks so much for sharing your vulnerability and the struggles, that comes along at the same time. It's so appreciated and encourages me and others to do the same!
    YOU ARE ENOUGH, Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Ann says…
    04/08/2013

    I resonate with every word! Going through a divorce made me have to find my balance between three places in my life: where I had been a long time ago, where I was now, and where I wanted to go. Blessings on your journey. It's worth the trip.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Jenny A says…
    04/08/2013

    Beautiful post Ali - you always keep it real. It is such an inspiration to hear your voice.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Paula says…
    04/08/2013

    To all of us in this arena, we have so many things that can weigh us down, yet we each try in our own way to turn the tables on those things ... whether some days it's the clear victory of fun, laughter and unforgettable good times or whether some days it's breathing deep and surviving the day's events. Yesterday was one of those days for me. About to turn 50. Hitting almost 1 year of physical ailments that won't go away despite many tests, specialists and meds - realizing I may have to come to terms with the fact that my stomach muscle is paralyzed and what I eat won't budge, so I may have to be open to a 90% soft food/liquid diet. Realizing that I have to stop pushing my 15 year old with Aspergers to try to join new things - she has tried unsuccessfully so many times in the past year that it now seems more damaging to keep trying and failing than to just take a break and let her know we believe she is enough whether she has a big social life or not. Facing up to with the responsibilities we have with a live in parent who has cancer that what we envisioned for this time of our lives is just not going to be quite that way. Realizing that all of this is ok and somehow, someway we can navigate this. My OLW is understand, and I am striving for this understanding that can be very clear one minute and very alluding the next.
    I apologize for rambling - it's been a rough weekend. This post is what I needed, a strong reminder that fun is still there, waiting to be had, and today I am reaching out to it and praying for the strength within me to create it. Thanks for sharing Ali.

    Reply 5 Replies
    1. Sue says…
      04/08/2013

      Oh bless you on your journey. We are all sisters and share and support each other. Life is life and we need to meet it head on -you inspire me!

    2. Paula says…
      04/08/2013

      Awww...thank you both. There is always much to be thankful for, and we are all learning to dance in the rain in our own way.

    3. Karen S. says…
      04/08/2013

      Hi Paula, You have enough on your plate for any three people. Understanding? You are an incredible person, strong in your ability to cope and still asking more of yourself. Ramble on woman, you have that right. You are on my mind and in my heart.

    4. laura g. says…
      04/23/2013

      I agree with Karen S! you are going to be all right!! hang in there!

    5. Lucy says…
      04/09/2013

      Great insights we can all benefit from. Hang in there and thanks for sharing with us.

  23. Sarah says…
    04/08/2013

    thank you for sharing this... I can so relate to some of the feelings. I have not been burden with your challenges, but I too, cry more than I laugh. Years of living away from family and old friends and just not ever really exhaling has taken a toll on me and my husband. He says, "we used to have so much fun". I want to get back to having all this fun, but I honestly don't have the slightest idea how. When we go out, I worry about our three little boys, I worry about the money we are spending, I worry about things that are so trivial. But can't seems to let it go. But I'm willing to try. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Carin says…
      04/09/2013

      husband lol!

    2. Carin says…
      04/09/2013

      I can so relate to every part of your comment. Both my husbands and I are expats and it's tough sometimes. Hugs to you.

  24. Jonnelle says…
    04/08/2013

    Thank you for sharing!
    I love "I want to live the length and width", such a great goal.
    You're amazing and strong, I know the Fun Ali will prevail!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Jenny S says…
    04/08/2013

    Like so many here, I totally relate. Thank you for putting into words some of the feelings I've been having lately. Such an eye opening thought: "I’ve learned that I have to allow and create opportunities for myself to have fun."

    YES.

    Reply 0 Replies

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