Friday, December 28, 2012

fifty two on fridays | week fifty two

"[. . .] I’ve had the highest mountains. I’ve had the deepest rivers. You can have it all but life keeps moving.

I’ve tried to cut these corners. Try to take the easy way out. I kept on falling short of something. I coulda gave up then, but then again I couldn’t have ’cause I’ve traveled all this way for something.

Now take it in but don’t look down.

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay. I’m on top of the world, ‘ay. Waiting on this for a while now. Paying my dues to the dirt. I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay. Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay. Take it with me if I can. Been dreaming of this since a child.

And I know it’s hard when you’re falling down. And it’s a long way up when you've hit the ground. But get up now, get up, get up now.

‘Cause I’m on top of the world. I’m on top of the world."

- Imagine Dragons, On Top of the World 
WEEK 52 - Reflection

Instead of posting a new picture this week, I decided to "reflect" on this past year. This series of images, I feel, sums up my year pretty well. At the end of 2011, I had all these exciting & fun things I was going to do, things I wanted to change to become a better person & stretch myself. I often joked with my husband shouting out, "2012! The Year of Liz!" with victory fists raised in the air. Was I in for a shock! I guess I can still say that 2012 was the year of Liz, but for reasons I was completely unprepared for.

I was the mother of two children. Ruby joined our lives in 2011, & I found things going much smoother than I would have thought was possible with two kids. The problem was, life was "easy" because I kept letting everything slide. The home was a disaster, I distracted myself with my phone to pass the days away & help me "survive" while Scott was at work, & my motivation to follow through with pretty much any of my resolutions for the year never truly came to fruition. I realized one horrible day that I was depressed. Extremely depressed. Hurtled into a depression that came from having another child, experiencing post-traumatic stress from my sister's death years before & not knowing how to handle it all.

I slipped into oblivion. Into a darkness that almost consumed me. I felt desperate, helpless, isolated. I felt like I could just melt into the floor & not return. I was disappearing into oblivion.

 I tried to push through, but my own strength was not enough.

I hated how my children were affected by this almost all-consuming abyss. Will climbing on my lap, grabbing my face, telling me to "wake up." Telling me, "It's okay mommy. Don't be sad. I love you." & kissing my cheek. The guilt I felt for letting my family down dragged me even further into a pit that I couldn't seem to claw my way out of. But I continued to try. I tried to remember to "be present." To see the beauty around me. To recognize the love of my Lord & Savior & put my faith in Him. To allow my family - my husband, parents, siblings, in-laws - to lift me up & help carry my burden. Through this horrible experience, I realized how loved I was, how blessed I was.

I sought greater help & forced myself into activity.

I started to believe in myself again. Not to be so hard on myself. To have the patience to allow myself to heal.

Life started to return to normal, & I realized what it felt like to be me again. I found joy in my life. Joy. Peace. Happiness. Purpose. My family was thriving, & I was a part of it, not just an unrecognizable shell of me on the sidelines, but involved physically, mentally, emotionally, & spiritually.

Now it's the end of the year, & I feel so alive! Sure, life isn't perfect, but who's is? The difference for me now is that I see the love of God reflected in everything around me - this beautiful world, my family, my love for living creatively & purposefully. I continue to choose happiness & strive to see the good around me & within me. 

I'm on top of the world, & I'm not looking down!

Continue on to the lovely Jackie Petersen to see her take on "reflection."

Friday, December 21, 2012

fifty two on fridays | week fifty one

“There's no place like home. [. . .]
If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again,
I won't look any further than my own back yard.”
- L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
WEEK 51 - Home

Continue to Katiusca Guzman Photography to see her beautiful film images of home.