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. Marie in NC says…
    04/08/2013

    AMEN AMEN AMEN! It's funny the different things we put on the shelf for ourselves out of obligation, expectation, practicality or just because we think we should -- I too am dusting some things off and trying things I've always wanted to do (dance class! me?! YES!)

    My guiding star (like one little word) this year came to me -- YES! just like that too.

    YES!

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

      Dance class is on my list too!

  2. Adelina says…
    04/08/2013

    This post hit home for me today. Last year I experienced a divorce of my own, from my corporate career. It defined me for 16 years and after our 3rd child was born I decided to stay home. I'm in major transition, struggling to keep my identity alive, fighting not to lose my creativity and trying to find satisfaction in being out of the collaborative environment that molded my identity for so many years. I'm grateful for a husband that is open to all my ups and downs as I go through the emotions of this transition. Open, accepting, gentle . . . these are words that resonate with me lately. Good luck with this new chapter in your life!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. kelly libby says…
    04/08/2013

    Brave post! I often think I'm the only person who feels the ways you wrote about. Thanks for being honest and real and a source of inspiration. Happy Monday, Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Steph says…
    04/08/2013

    thank you!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. angela says…
    04/08/2013

    When I have "those" days I tell myself all the things we are suppose to tell ourselves... you are enough, etc etc... but then a friend said to me... Angela even Jennifer Aniston gets ousted from time to time and for some reason that made me laugh and took a bit of the pressure to be perfect off. SO there you have it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Danielle Van Der Aa says…
    04/08/2013

    Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Jen says…
    04/08/2013

    Well said. I too have been in a situation similar to yours and I appreciate you coming out and saying it so profoundly. I'm not much of a writer so I could never say it as well as you do but I appreciate reading something that resonates with me as much as that did. So, thank you.

    Jen

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

    Yay! So happy for you. Isn't music just the most amazing mood changer? Dance. Dance. Dance.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Kim Darden says…
    04/08/2013

    Thank you. Great inspiration for my Monday morning. Time to focus on my passion.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. julie g. says…
    04/08/2013

    Ali, awesome post! I can relate, though not in the same sense. I have been so reflective lately, partly because I am also in transition (in a different way). I have realized that my life - as a whole - is a collection of different forms of "self". I find myself more often saying "in my former life.." not always in a negative or nostalgic way, but as an acknowledgement of another time.

    Transition - especially when it is not by choice - has this way of knocking us on our sides. And sometimes we immediately find a new identity (or we think we do), but most of the time we don't. Sometimes life is really hard. Really hard.

    My husband always says 'appreciate that it's difficult. appreciate how hard this is' and all I think to that is - 'that's easy for YOU to say.' But he's right.

    And it's in our most difficult moments we can learn so much about ourselves - and discover both who we used to be and who we will be. Just remember that difficulty is not a new state of being, it's transition. And the cool thing about transition is that eventually you WILL emerge. And you'll be all the better for it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Sarah says…
    04/08/2013

    Love this post. It totally hits home as I reclaim my own "fun" self right now! Doesn't it feel amazing?! (and by the way...I totally think you're tons of fun!!) :)

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

    Ali, I have been in the same state of mind and soul, five years ago, after a break-up, lost a lot, sad too. And i haven't scrapped for some times, months, years. And some time ago, i've refounf the pleasure to create and to make LO, telling my story - and i'm still having pleasure with it hopefully (I was wondering if it was lost..)
    So your post speaks to me.
    Bon courage
    carine

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

    Ali-thank you so much for posting this. I am in the same place in life that you are, with just different circumstances. All my life people have told me they loved being around me because I was so much fun-it was one of the reasons my husband told me he started dating me. Then, 3 years ago, he was taken from me in a tragic motorcycle accident just after we had become "snowbirds" in AZ. I was totally devastated, but had to take on the farming responsiblities along with my 2 capable sons. God has given me the strength to go on, but the light had gone out in my life. I have struggled to stay on top and scrapbooking all the old times has helped so much. Now I am, like you, trying to put the laughter, happiness and joy back into my life. I am praying for you as we continue on and know that you can do it--you are such a tough gal! I love following your blogs and your PL and look forward to more!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. amy tangerine says…
    04/08/2013

    GO YOU.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Kim t says…
    04/08/2013

    I so know what you mean. I feel like this a lot too. There are times when life is just a whole lot more work. It's more work to even try to feel fun or happy. But it is such a relief when you reconnect to that part of yourself. I've had some struggles in the last few years and have felt like that off and on. Where I catch myself being fun or thinking of less serious things and I think wow, I forgot what that felt like. Good for you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Anna Aspnes says…
    04/08/2013

    Love you friend :)

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

    Good luck on your journey :-)

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

    oh boy, I totally needed this today!!! Thank you so much for sharing, it's a battle I've been dealing within myself and the post partum depression and anxiety and feeling bad for my kids because I'm not the fun mama I thought I would be and I need to let go and just live this short life we have... thank you for the inspiration, Ali!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. samantha jane says…
    04/08/2013

    Thank you so much for this! It reminds me I am not the only one that needs to lighten up and not take life so seriously! I know this about myself and picked my One Little Word to be live. I have it everywhere reminding me to do just that!

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

    Wow! This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for your inspiration and sharing your thoughts!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Katie says…
    04/08/2013

    Thank you for your heartfelt words. These words stopped me in my tracks --> "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" YES. YES. EXACTLY. I too, divorced ...4 years ago but still a process. And there are still some tough days. But that quote sums it up. The old me and the today me is someone that I am really proud of. And I am happy to be in the place that I am. THANK YOU for your continued inspiration and this truthful post.

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

    going back over your post I re-read the part about music. I get lost in my music and felt the need to share my fav music quote for you to take with you through your journey:

    ~Some songs-like some people and places, can never be forgotten. They stay in our hearts because music gives voice to what cannot be explained. Emotions aren’t always easily expressed or even understood. Sometimes a song is the perfect way to sum up all the crazy feelings that are going on inside you. No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, special songs conjure visions of the past and dreams of the future.~

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Debbie says…
    04/08/2013

    Amazing! Just like Brene's book, I thought it was just me. It seems so many of us are on a similar journey. Thanks for allowing us to realize we are not alone. BTW, you are not only enough, YOU ROCK. Why is it so hard for us to know and feel that?! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Christine says…
    04/08/2013

    And we are on the same path. Ditto is my current path, too. Except I am embarking on a 5 day camping/backpacking trip, voraciously reading lots of books, and running. Oh the running!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Dawn Priestley says…
    04/08/2013

    Oh yes, I am in the same spot right now Ali. I'm so glad you've figured this out. I had to do that after my divorce to. YOU are the only person who can make you happy. And am needing to remember it right now too - 6.5 years into a long distance relationship. We are getting close - but not yet.

    I'm so happy for you to rediscover the joy in life. In you. Rock on girl!

    Reply 0 Replies

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