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. Gillian says…
    04/09/2013

    This resonated with me as I am going through separation and really want to get the real me back! Thank you for sharing with us all.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. MarinaV. says…
    04/09/2013

    Wow, amazing post, Ali!! And very inspiring!! I am so happy for you!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Pamela in Finland says…
    04/09/2013

    Great post Ali. Love from a sister soul.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Amin says…
    04/09/2013

    That dreaded word, Perfection!!
    I am waiting for Brene Brown's books that I have ordered to arrive including (The Gifts of Imperfection).
    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful writing Ali. I can relate to most, yet I do not know who is the man in the mirror!
    Fun for me was to serve others and their moods dictated mine.

    I am really looking forward to read more about your experiences. I am a firm believer that one idea and one idea alone in a fertile mind is enough to change his/her life around.

    Thank you from down under.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Ann6 says…
    04/09/2013

    You said "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." ......so true Ali, so understood from my side, so many times we count on others to make us happy or let us be unhappy, maybe it was a date that did not happened, that call we did not received,those words we did not hear, and then we are taken by those disappointments, losing perspective of us, ourselves, our values our own existence. So true we are enough, but even then still difficult to be and fill complete, so important to be able to look on those others beyond that are also part of our life, I so can relate to what you are saying here...
    I was thinking myself these pass days when trying to recover my balance in this difficult time of my life, that music is one of my most effective and instantaneous medicine, that change my mood immediately, what help me heal as well, and I though yah music will be my prescribed daily medicine, so curious you feel the same.
    I wish you well Ali, I have known your strength and a bit of your profound side over the years, I am confident you will regain your balance and find what ultimately will make you happy and complete.

    Ann

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Sue M says…
    04/09/2013

    OH, Ali... You said it all! When you lose someone (in my case, my hubby passed away) you have to find a new normal. Life changes are not at all easy..but with friends and family, it happens. Good for you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Andi Walsh says…
    04/09/2013

    Ditto

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. patty says…
    04/09/2013

    raw truth...
    you inspire & amaze me...
    thank you ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Donna says…
    04/09/2013

    Very heartfelt! Music is my Bible. Maybe this will help in some way: http://youtu.be/keQZcod87sE

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. christina kimmell says…
    04/09/2013

    My divorce took three long years. I never expected my life to change and adapt as it did. I didn't feel like myself anymore at all. Not only did my relationships with friends change, my relationships with family members too. So many people do not want to deal with the heaviness of your life, so they slip away. I expected change, but I did not expect my life to be tossed into the ocean.
    I truly feel that anyone that hasnt gone through it, just doesn't know the emotional toll and the need and desire for "normal".
    During the second year of the process, my father passed away and I was the one who found him. He was my best friend and whatever "world" I had left felt gone. It was after that when I realized that i had to put my big girl pants on and be strong. I was a single mother of three. I was done being the one looking for answers and wondering why my friends/family slipped away. I took one day at a time. Surrounded myself with the family and friends that DID stay. I found that the path to my "new normal" was a fun and exciting path. All that has past has made me stronger, prouder and braver. I laugh at those who judge me and stand up for myself when confronted with conflict. I'm no longer the shadow who stood behind a man. You may NOT be who you once were, but this new woman has strength to see the new future ahead and the new connections yet to be made. Smile, laugh and KNOW that you need to " let go and let god".. You will not only be fine.. you'll be amazing!

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

      Well said Christina. Those that haven't lost haven't lived the width AND the depth of their lives yet, IMO. It is in the darkest of times that we often grow the most and find out who truly are our authentic family and friends. Inner strength cannot be cultivated from the outside. But having a small group of individuals that truly support you, and are walking through the door while others have walked out, certainly make navigating through it all so much better.

    2. Angie Lucas says…
      04/09/2013

      I just have to say, Christina, that this was a beautiful & inspiring comment on a beautiful & inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Christine says…
    04/09/2013

    This was great to read Ali, thanks for sharing your words.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Krista says…
    04/09/2013

    Thanks for being so open and honest. We share a lot of similar personal struggles and you have seemed to capture exactly what I've been feeling myself lately. Thanks for the reminder to 'have fun!'

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Angie Lucas says…
    04/09/2013

    Lovely, Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. andrea g. says…
    04/09/2013

    awesome post, Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Suz says…
    04/09/2013

    Thanks SO much for sharing this Ali and for continuing to brave being "open" in front of all of us. To continue to do so in the midst of healing speaks volumes to your character and to your inner strength and resilience.
    Take care you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Tracy Smith says…
    04/09/2013

    You sound very much like me in the past 2 - 3 years since I lost my mom and requested a separation. Life is hard, but it also offers great opportunities and chances to fulfill ourselves. I am a true believer in "know thyself"; if we don't know ourselves, we can never truly know anything/anyone else.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Susanne says…
    04/09/2013

    Thanks for your words about "living the lenght and the width" - love that idea! Enjoy your journey!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. kate always says…
    04/09/2013

    hmm, I can totally relate, even though I'm not divorcing but am experiencing other changes, growth, and a few setbacks. Life is fluid, it evolves whether we adapt, or not.

    Thanks for reminder that music and creative time ease the transition.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Christine says…
    04/09/2013

    I've been away from your blog for a while (still follow you religiously on FB)...I had no idea you were going through this. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

    I came back here via Brene' Brown. Saw her on "Oprah's Super Soul Sunday" and was so inspired by her. How lucky you are to have a friend in her! How lucky she is to have you! Blessings.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Carin says…
    04/09/2013

    Beautiful post Ali.And like everyone else who has commented I can so relate to your need to find fun you again. I was just saying to someone yesterday that I have done more socialising in the past two weeks than I have done in the last year, and it has been wonderful to reconnect with the fun me, even though I'm still getting to know her again. Well done on stepping out, and letting yourself be fun you again.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. CJ says…
    04/09/2013

    We all need to be reminded about this I think. I hope you have lots of fun in store for you - I am sure you do. Life is such an adventure.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. sugarnuggets says…
    04/09/2013

    LIKE!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Laurie says…
    04/09/2013

    So thankful I stumbled upon this blog through Brene Brown's Twitter. I'm horribly lost, terrified and just beginning to see I can count on myself. I'm teetering with a divorce and you pointed out that I need to find happiness within myself first and foremost.
    Struggling to find purpose in and with my life nd self. Creativity has been sorely lacking.
    Thank you Ali for sharing and all of you who have shared your stories too. You all have begun to help fill this horribly huge hole in my soul.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Myra says…
    04/09/2013

    Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Paul says…
    04/09/2013

    thanks you for the helpful and inspiring share. if you don't mind, I will share that I realized I am a child of the Spirit and one of the fruits of the Spirit is joy. If I am receptive to it, the more it comes out in me. Thanks again.

    Reply 0 Replies

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