I’ve Moved On 

Today was my last day at the job I’ve had for the last 4 years. 

I start a new job after I come back from my Ireland vacation.

I haven’t seen or heard from you in over a year and I’ve been fine with that.

At orientation for new said job I hear your name. 

You’re apparently coming back to town and working for the same agency as me for the summer. 

I was told “We all get along like family” 

I’ve moved on even though we have a history. 

The growth and strength that I’ve made in the last year is something I am very proud of. 

The man that has become my friend is letting you live with him this summer and told me “A friend is coming to stay” 

I have no expectations because I’ve moved on. 

I pray that you have done the same, so I can enjoy this next step in my journey. 

The Gift of Meditation 

I normally start my yoga classes with a five minute meditation period. This is just a time to try to think about nothing or set your intention for your practice that day. I say “When your mind begins to wander simply say the word “breath” and come back” this means that you are taking 5 minutes out of a 24 hour day to do nothing, but focus on nothing but breathing. However, something really cool happened at my “Good Morning” yoga class this past Saturday. During closing mediation, I was able to feel the sense of nothingness in the positive light. It was an experience of being present of everything except time. It felt like hours or days could have passed, but when I came back I realized it could have only been a couple of seconds. I have begun to incorporate some EMDR tapping into my classes and that really helps me get in tune with my body and emotions. Especially when I move down to the collarbone area. I can almost immediately feel the tears start to flow. It’s a very powerful life force. We had done EMDR that morning and I really had a strong feeling that I was pure emotion that day. With Mother Nature coming with her monthly reminder that this lesbian is yet again not with child, my emotions are always at the peak of explosion. While it is inconvenient most days, I’ve learned to embrace it and found it very useful on Saturday. I’ve said from the get go that mediation and shavasana are probably the hardest parts of practice. To be comfortable in the silence. To be able to let your mind go into nothingness while still being present. To use it as a tool to defuse the tense and overbearing thoughts in your mind. In today’s society, it’s very hard to obtain because stillness is a synonym for laziness and quietness is a synonym for meekness. But I’ve found that I draw my strength for the quietness and some of my most life affirming revelations come in the stillness. I was so excited for those couple of seconds and I want to strive for them again. I want to be able to do it at will and not just randomly. I’m finding that mediation is the best medication. Namaste 🙏🏼 

Always, 

Hannah 

What’s Next? 

The burn out is so real, folks. Social work is something that I’m still very passionate about, but currently I need a change. I got a random call from World Vision asking if I was interested in a part time summer job. I applied. It’s not a safety net job. It’s actually pretty risky. It is not something that I ever thought I would consider. There are no benefits and I’m probably going to struggle a little financially, but what is life without challenges? This may not seem like a risk to some, but I don’t take risks. I always play it safe. There is a change in my spirit and a wanting for adventure. I am also starting to prepare to go back to school. I need that MSW. I am applying to grad schools, and I’m studying for the GRE. I’m going to continue to teach yoga and travel. I’m also stepping out to preform more. I have the ability, I just haven’t taken the time to work on it. I’m realizing that I’m not stuck and I have things that I can do, but I never challenged myself to make myself better in them. I also have to prepare myself for setbacks. There will probably be storms, but ultimately “this too shall pass” and I’ll make it out on the other side being better for myself and others and there will just be natural growth that comes with entering new territory. I’m ready and excited. I’m ready to add some metaphorical color to my soul. ❤️

Always, 

Hannah 

John B. Macklemore 

I have listened to podcast S-Town a total of 3 times completely through [spoliers ahead] and the ultimate struggle for John was living. He was in a constant battle for survival from himself and in the end of it all he, in a brief moment of time, lost that battle. However, I know that the war wages on and because of his sacrifice, some will win their own battles. If you’ve listened to the podcast, you must be thinking that I’m a nutcase. A man who seemingly hated everything and had a poor disposition and ultimately couldn’t take the toll of living any more and “opted out”. How is that helping anyone? Well, it’s helped because he helped me. His disdain for life was not consistent throughout his time here. It came from a broken place. It came from a sickness (potentially a cause for his depression and suicidal thoughts through mercury poisoning from his many years of fire guilding, which I just find so fascinating) The man was intelligent, causious, reckless, a black sheep, no nonsense, and seemingly just another “every town has one” kind of guy, yet the timeline of his life is similar to many people who don’t leave their small towns. While his eccentric nature made for a great plot line, he was just another person with ambition, but too afraid to leave what he knows. If anything, I learned about time and it’s lack of change, but it’s ever consistent ticking is full of life and eloquently shows how many ticks we take advantage of. It also gave me the courage to leave. I love my life, but it’s also complacent and not allowing me to reach my full potential. Also, in John’s negativity, it allowed me to see the positive. Each day is a new chance for adventures and that sounds cliche, but things are cliche because they are the ultimate truths. Live and love and understand that there will be hang ups and hardships, but there is so much good. Thank you John for your legacy. 

Always, 

Hannah 

Where To Go From Here

In many ways and in many different times this has been said. When life goes “not as planned” and then you wonder “Well, what do I do now?” I’m finding that at 26, I have done and not done a lot of things out of fear of failure. I have played it safe and taken the path of least resistance to avoid failure, backlash, or heaven forbid, making someone angry or disappointing them. But in my early 20’s I was nothing but driven. I had dreams and plans and to look at some of them now, I’m envious of who I used to be. When I “got into the world” I got a bad taste in my mouth for discomfort. I didn’t ever want to fall on hard times and I didn’t ever want to put faith in my own ability to make a successful life. I just wanted to be comfortable, safe, and secure. Well I’ve been that for about 4 years now and I’m miserable. Where is my life? Somewhere along the lines I forgot about living and just worried about money. My thinking converted from adventure to the almighty dollar. I feel like its a fairly common occurrence, but that doesn’t mean that I need to accept that as is and continue following that same path.

After coming back from Nicaragua, there has been a sense of “What more can I do?” I am so grateful for that opportunity.I renewed my sense of self-empowerment and I have a new found drive to make my life and the lives of people around me better. I am starting with me first. We shall see where I can go from here, but I believe in good things and I believe that good things are going to happen. Not amount of money, or people, or careers, or opportunity can provide me with happiness if my internal view sucks. I have felt like a butterfly tacked to a cork board for awhile now and when I take the time to reflect I realize that the life that I am currently living is made for someone else. Anything that I’m ever going to do or be starts with the internal question of “Am I living in my full potential?” and up until now, I haven’t been, but that train stops here. I’m excited and scared and both are valid.

Always,

Hannah

Poetry Reading

In my tiny town, you don’t have to look far to find the differences in people. It’s also not difficult to see the similarities, but I have been conditioned to see what makes someone unique first. As I sat at the Market Place surrounded by a mixture of races, ages, students, and town folks. I could tell by the facial expressions which ones wanted to be there and which ones were getting extra credit. I also noticed the lesbian sitting beside me and how we both had on stereotypical garb and tiny black journals. It’s what I like to call “Tools in your Lesbian starter pack”

The poet covered all the bases from his childhood to Syrian refugees. He covered racial issues and he said something that I’m glad of. He said I am going to try to read this poem and explain my point of view coming from a place of white privilege. That’s a hard thing to admit, but for me it felt like it gave me permission to talk openly about race without the feeling of “how would she know” I may not know, but I do sympathize and I see what is happening in the world and I don’t agree and I may come from a ankle deep pool of diversity, but Appalachians are categorized in terms of status. I see it all the time and I live that life daily. I thank him for being vulnerable and reminding me that it’s okay. I had forgotten what it meant to be transparent and open about things that bring me true joy and things that make me angry. I don’t know where along the lines I made the subconscious choice to be a 1950’s housewife with no regard for my own feelings. I also want to thank the little baby who sat in front of me that made me laugh at her giggles. This is a continuing my journey of firsts.

Here’s to the rest of the firsts throughout my lifetime.

 

Always,

Hannah

My War on Stuff

In a time where I feel like I can’t do anything on the massive scale that I would like. I start to reevaluate to a smaller “me sized” scale. I can start making little changes in my life that have all the potential to snowball into big changes. I HAVE WAGED MY OWN WAR ON STUFF! Inspired by the book Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. I’ve started step number one of “Refuse”. I’ve been a minimalist in progress for about a year and a half now and while I can feel the change in myself and my outlook on the world from not being consumed my STUFF, I also didn’t want less stuff to mean more in the garbage. So recently I’ve made small changes.

  1. Exchanging paper towels for cloth towels
  2. Exchanging tissues for “hankies”
  3. Signing up for online statements for all my bills
  4. Receiving my tax forms and filing my taxes online
  5. Using reusable shopping bags at the store
  6. Signing up for eRecipients at the major stores I shop at
  7. Buying products with little to no packaging
  8. Making requests to companies that don’t offer eRecipients
  9. Compost all my food scraps
  10. Donate a bag or two every couple months with clothes and other miscellaneous items that no longer serve a purpose for me.
  11. Taking my own cup to places that use paper cups

Now with that there still comes a lot of room for growth and improvement. Things that I do that I’m not proud of in this area:

  1. I don’t recycle (my town doesn’t offer recycling and trying to take it all to another town is just not something I’ve put in my arsenal yet)
  2. I ask cashiers to throw away my receipts. For the places that still use paper receipts I figure that as long as I don’t have it, it’s fine. But, I understand that just because I didn’t throw it away personally, doesn’t mean it still didn’t end up in the trash.
  3. Buying harmful chemical cleaners instead of buying or making my own safe plant based cleaners
  4. Waste water (Showering, how I wash dishes, cleaning, etc.)
  5. I had eliminated all plastic kitchenware in my home last year, but then I wanted to try meal prepping…..well meal prepping lasted about 2 weeks and I now have a lot of tupperware

I’m a work in progress, but this is a battle I don’t intend to lose!

Always,

Hannah