July 2, 2015

Travel Update


 Most of you don't know this but I am in Istanbul right now. My cousin is getting married here and it will be quite a party. Also, our entire family will come together and this hasn't happened in over 15 years. At first I was a bit hesitant. I wanted to go but at the same time didn't. My uncle convinced me otherwise. Also, what better way to start a new chapter in your life after a loved one has passed than to celebrate love and see your family again?! Exactly. I can't stay under my blanket every day. I gotta move on. I gotta celebrate life and its beauty and love. So, here I am. In Istanbul.

While I am trying to acclimate and get used to a new langauge once again {my brain still functions in English most of the days} I thought I'd send you back to some fun blog posts of mine talking about my love for this beautiful city by the Bosphorus. Have fun reading what I had to say a couple of years back, you won't regret it.

and if you are not ready to wait for another post...how about my next update:

Aren't you jealous?! 

Miss you all.


June 29, 2015

Your Journey Happens for a Reason

Happy Monday everyone!!

How was your weekend?
Mine? Well, as usual I tried to spend it as casually as possible. I stayed home most of the time, watched a ton of girlie movies, drank a lot of water and tea, ate bounty {chocolate covered coconut bars - and if you know me long enough you know I don't like chocolate but bounty? YES please}, and just enjoyed hanging out in my jammies. That is how I roll these days. Not too shabby.

Also, I had the privilege to enjoy a sunny Sunday afternoon...we drove around for over one hour in hopes to find a nice place to park and walk around and guess what? It wasn't possible. So we ended up going back to my friend's place and ate dessert in a restaurant nearby. It was a great afternoon, but one that exhausted us. My friend's newborn girl however was the champ...no crying, no complaining, just constant sleeping and funny facial expressions. Gotta love babies. 

And...I woke up to an email my FIL wrote to me. He has daughter hugs withdrawals and wishes I was there. Totally made my morning. I will fly home in three weeks folks. Three weeks...cannot wait. I have been away for too long...but what can I say?! Mom wanted me to stay a little longer and she got her wish...I just have to let go of her and our memories for right now, just as much as she let go of me years ago when I decided to move to the US. I have family there now, and I want to be happy there. I will always love my hometown and I will always return, even to visit mom and bring her her favorite flowers but I have to move on and live the life I was meant to live. So knowing my family awaits me and will be there to support me once arrived means the world to me. I am sad but I am hopeful because I have a great support system behind me, and those doggies?! Yes, those doggies will kiss me like they haven't kissed me before {sounds gross now, just re-reading it}. 

I am counting down the days I am going back home embracing my favorite person, hugging everyone, and moving forward. This journey happened for a reason and it is okay. It's part of my life and it will only make me stronger!!!!

Have a fabulous day. Send me some happy vibes though...I always need them.


image via here

June 25, 2015

Five Steps to Help One Recover

Seven full weeks have past. Seven! I cannot believe it. Where did the time go? Really. I have been away from currently very hot Northern California for eight weeks; that is also terrible. But, it has been seven full weeks. What is worst about these seven weeks is that I have not been able to fully grief, to mourn, to let go of my feelings, the pain, the sorrow, the everything I feel that makes me miss my mom ever so dearly. I have let go of some. I had to. Though this is a process, and if you have lost anyone close in your life, anyone dear in your precious life, you know that this is a process that will take months, if not years. This is not something you just shake off as Taylor Swift would say. This is something you have to deal with, you have to face each day, each second even, just to get by.  This is a process no one wants to go through but at some point in life kind of has to.

There's people who can deal with this long period of grief in a very simply, easy way. They don't technically shake it off but they do recover quite easily, and do not seem to feel much sorrow or pain. They do, but their way to get over that huge hole of darkness is less complicated, less sad, less everything. Then, there's people who have to deal with this grief differently. There's a black hole that looks too big to jump over, but also looks like it is slowly closing up to make room for a new path in life. I believe I am somewhere in between these two people. My aunt for example seems to be okay with whatever happened. Granted, she is healing differently, she is dealing differently. She has lost her husband, my beloved uncle, many months ago and yet it is still fresh. She has lost her grandchild way too early as well. She seems to have it all figured out. I, on the other hand, know that I must deal with the sudden loss of my mom differently. I have not lost my love for life, but I have lost purpose at the moment. I freaked out. I got burned out. I had no time to grief. It has been seven weeks but holy mother of whatever, I cleaned everything out, I organized everything, and figured it all out and had literally no time to sit down and accept what really happened. It came to me last week. My chest still hurts. My left side still hurts. My doctor said I am stressed, exhausted, and just in pain because I have lost a parent; and in my case it is in a way two parents since mom was mother and father at the same time. I have learned to let go of my feelings. When my chest hurts I start to cry and poof...the pain is gone. Just like that. I take hot showers {no bathtub where I am currently staying} and poof the pain is gone. I cry a lot. I watch a lot of TV or movies {thank you Netflix for working in Europe}, and I just try to go out as often as possible...not to get stuck in a room or apartment for too long. This gets really depressing, really.

So, the best five things I learned over the past two weeks that help me recover from my loss are the following:

1) LOTS of rest and fluids {herbal teas, and water, and maybe some coke}

2) Lots of fresh air, even if it is just a walk around the corner and back into bed...fresh air is crucial.

3) Crying. It is okay to cry. It is normal. No one looks pretty when crying so no worries there. Crying helps ease the pain, and let go of trapped emotions - and I have many trapped emotions.

4) Talking about it. It is not easy to talk about it here in Switzerland so I am going to talk about my loss once I am back in California. My in-laws are helping me find a place to go to. I learned that it is best for me to talk about it to someone or a group of neutrals. Friends here are helpful, family too. But when you talk to someone who didn't know mom, is fully new to the story...that is sometimes even more helpful. I even talked to my doctor here. She may just be my regular doc but telling her already helped tremendously. Oh, and writing about it helps, too.

5) Look forward to the future. I mean, as much as it hurts to look back and see photos of mom or hear someone talk about her...and as much as I want her here with me, she won't be with me physically. She will be next to me in spirit I know that and I feel it but I have to let go of the what if's, and look ahead. The future is bright. The future is mine. I have a wedding to attend. I bought a brilliant dress, and I am ready to celebrate my cousin's big day!!!! I have a husband to return to, a new place to finally enjoy living in, and a future as bright as even possible.

These five things are so easy, so ordinary. It's usually the simply things that make the most sense. It's like when tiny, little things enrich our lives even more than the bigger, more expensive items do. Simplicity is key. And patience. 

As much as I want to sleep for the next three weeks I know I cannot. I will sleep in longer and go to bed earlier but I will not let mom take over my life and make it sad. I am a happy girl. I deserve happy moments. I deserve sunny days, and walks along the lake. I deserve a chest that will not hurt any more. I deserve cry-less days. I deserve happiness away from my hometown. I deserve to return to my favorite person and spend the rest of our lives together. I deserve a new bag once I return, I deserve doggie kisses, I deserve the smell of a new baby {my best friend just got her second this week}, I deserve pure, unaltered, ridiculous happiness...in any way possible. I want it all. I need it all.

So I am letting go of this heavy heavy burden and pain in my heart and chest. I am letting go of those what if's because they do not exist anymore. I am letting go of the thought mom would call. I am letting go of whatever there is I must let go of to fully be able to live my life the only way I know how and want to. I am letting go of her. I am letting go of negativity. 

I am embracing today...a day I am channeling an easier way to get over that black hole and making it close up faster. I know it won't happen in a day but there's hope. One step at a time. I know I can. Thanks to writing it out it already helps a bit...a bit is better than nothing at all. No?

YES. I am using those five steps to recover...slowly but eventually I will be there.

So excuse me, I am going for a walk right now...and I will listen to cheesy but fun music...distraction is also key, not just patience and simplicity.


image via here and here and here


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