My First One

Hey Lovely People,

I wanted to use my first post to tell you why I started blogging. So here it goes…

I have been on a spiritual journey for the past five years. It’s been full of ups and downs. I have had some amazing transformations within myself and the life I live. I love sharing my experiences with people because it gives others inspiration and courage to do things they never thought they could. Seeing people be inspired by the work I have done is one of the best gifts the world has to offer.

One of the relationships I have seen the biggest transformation with is my mom. When I started this journey in 2012 I wasn’t speaking to her. I stopped talking to her because I thought she took my then husbands side during the divorce and she was having another child. I couldn’t handle the divorce and my relationship with her. It seemed easier to quit talking with her altogether. We didn’t speak for about nine months. I realized how important my relationship was with my mom because of a relationship my boyfriend had with his mom. Towards the end of the nine months, I reached out to her to let her know why I was upset by writing a letter. We slowly started our relationship again, this time on different terms.

Some of the terms were, we could not talk about my little sister and it had to be when I wanted to speak with her. This didn’t last long because the more I delve into my self the more I wanted and needed to have a more meaningful relationship with her.

The last five years, I found out who my mom really was. She wasn’t the story I had made up about her when I was younger. She is this beautiful,  courageous, and strong women who I am working to become. I see the sacrifices, commitment, and love she has for her family, herself, and life.

In order to see this I had to break down the stories and walls I had put up to survive when I was a kid. When I started to delve into the stories and anger I had within myself I started to see my mom do the same thing. She started to look at the relationships around her to see what she could improve upon. It wasn’t easy. It was beautifully terrifying. We had many difficult conversations about our past, present, and future. We continue to have them whenever they need to happen.

Watching my mom transform happened because I was able to transform myself. I was able to look within myself and see what I can do to better this relationship. In doing this, I realized I am a mirror of my mom. I can learn more about myself by looking at my mom than I can from anyone else. She is emotional, courageous, beautiful, loving, and strong just like I am. I am truly my mom’s daughter. This is why I have seen the biggest transformation with my mom than I have with anyone else.

I want to share these transformations, difficulties, and blessings so that others can have the courage, strength, and support to get through things that may seem impossible. Nothing is impossible.

Please join me in this journey and see what you could find for yourself. I will post books, recipes, and stories that influenced my journey so you can see if they influence you in one way or another. Every journey is different and every journey is connected. All in one. One in all.

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Because People are Watching

I haven’t written in a while because so much has been going on. It’s the end of the trimester at school. I have been preparing grades, talking with parents and preparing for our Christmas school. One of the biggest things I have been experiencing is having something hit so close to home.

In the United States, there are people who discriminate or judge people based on things people in the culture do. There are many people that think that they should close the US border to people coming in. They say there are too many illegals who aren’t paying taxes or are taking away jobs from the US people, and so on. Some people think they are only criminals coming into the country and it isn’t making the country safe. Which is true, that is a high possibility. However, not everyone coming into the country have bad intentions. I never really understood this until some recent events in my life.

In CostaRica, the Costa Ricans have judgments towards Nicaraguans. Just as some people from the US have towards Mexicans or other immigrants. It has always been a part of the culture and way of life here. Within the last year, the situation in Nicaragua had changed, causing many of them to come to Costa Rica for jobs and safety. Some come legally, some come illegally.

A few weeks ago, an American- Venezuelan woman was visiting Costa Rican for her birthday. The night before she was to go back to the US, she was killed by an illegal Nicaraguan man that was working in her AirBnB. This is a horrible and tragic event that happened. The AirBnB owner did not take precautions to protect the guests by hiring a man that was illegally here. So many people have been affected by this in ways I never thought would affect me. The family and friends of the young woman are devastated by her losing her. The country is now dealing with tourist not feeling safe to visit. Nicaraguans are being judged based off of actions of a few.

This is affecting me because I am dating a Nicaraguan. He is legally in Costa Rica. And He has been here for many years. I never thought that I would have to be careful about the things I do in my own home because people are watching. The other day, I was in some pain because of my Endo. I started crying. Jonathan is always the best at comforting me. This time was a little different. He still comforted me and was there for me. He had to warn me to not cry or to cry very quiet because the neighbors are listening. I was confused as to why he said that. When I asked why he responded because the neighbors can think he is hurting me. I was blown away by this.

Fast forward a couple weeks… I get a knock on the door of my apartment. It was the neighbors in the back asking to speak to Jonathan. He was unfortunately not home, so I told them he will come by when he gets home from work. Some people were telling the neighbors to be cautious around Jonathan because he’s untrustworthy and does drugs. Which is not true by any means. Jonathan has had a past with drugs. Heis open about that because it is his past. It is something that he has not done in a very long time. He is trustworthy or my landlord would not have given him keys to the complex when he worked for him a few months back. I would have also noticed things missing from my house.

All of this has been hard for me to wrap my head around. I am not sure what to think about the situation. I have mixed feelings about it as well. This is a new experience for me. I am learning to love, laugh, and be happy regardless of what is being said. I know that I won’t stop being me. Jonathan and I have nothing to hide so we are living life as normal as possible.

Being put into this position is difficult. It’s requiring some growth and awakening within me to be able to understand fully what the feelings and emotions I am having are. As I am with all my life experiences, I am happy to have this practice of understanding.

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Living Life

Hey Guys!

It has been an interesting few weeks. So much has happened, conversations with my boss, navigating buying a new iPhone, trying surfing again, meeting new friends, and applying to freelance jobs.

First, I had a conversation with my boss that was super tough to have. It was great though because we are now on the same page. We understand each other a bit better now. She and I are better at communicating with each other now. Work is a more enjoyable place now. It was enjoyable before it is even more now.

Second, my iPhone got soaked in the rain on the motorcycle. It is now broken. I tried to see if someone could fix it and they could…. for $800. Hahah no, thank you. I will just buy a new one. Finding the cheapest option to buy one is difficult. I could have someone bring me one from the US which is cheap. The only problem with that is I don’t have the money to buy it without credit. I would have to pay monthly payments to the US for a year. I did some research and sending money from here to the US is not easy. It can take time and money to do. Soon, I will have my work visa which means I can get a phone here through the local phone carrier. The good thing about that is it’s cheaper because the currency is in colones. Since the dollar is worth more I spend less money. Living here is not always sunshine and roses. Navigating a foreign countries laws are tough and aggravating sometimes.

Third, I met some new friends and have been hanging out with them. I went surfing with a girl from work. It was pretty awesome. I am proud of myself. I was able to surf with no help. I did come away with a cut and swollen (very little) nose. Surfing is not something I would want to do all the time because it is a bit dangerous. Every once in a while, it is good because it’s great exercise and an amazing way to spend time with friends.

Fourth, I have been applying to freelance jobs on upwork.com. It is competitive. A friend of mine told me about it. She has been using it for a few months. It took her a good 3 to 4 months to be able to get a side job from the site. I am confident, I can get some side work on the site to help supplement my income. I am also going to do some babysitting for people here on vacation or during events like weddings.

I am really proud of myself and the efforts I am putting into making my life the best life possible. It is not always easy and I struggle. The struggle has helped me be more positive and excited about the life I live. I am learning to laugh and enjoy the life I have. It is pretty amazing.

Freedom in Schools

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Most of you know that I live in Costa Rica teaching English to second graders. I love having the freedom to teach how I want here. There isn’t the same type of politics in my school. I am allowed to teach how I want. We have a very basic outline of what we need to teach. They allow us to teach the core concepts however I want.

Last year, we were learning about scarcity. The students had so many questions about what it was and how it looked like in our world. Since I had been to Africa, I had some photos to show the children of what can happen when there is a scarcity of goods. I pulled out my phone. Opened up the photos of the children and things I saw in Africa. Some of the children didn’t have pants or underwear on. My students had so many more questions after this. I used what I experienced to create a conversation that the children talked about for days after. Which surprised me because they all live in a 3rd world country. I see scarcity and poverty in many areas of Costa Rica. Yes, none of what I see compares to what I saw in Africa. It still is here. The students were able to see the poverty and scarcity that we have here in a way they never could have before.

My point with this is…. If I had shown the same pictures to a classroom in the USA one parent would have complained about the children in the photos being “nude”. Or saying it’s child porn. I would have been in so much trouble that it probably would have cost me my job. Not one parent complained last year. I didn’t get written up or in trouble for the photos. Nothing happened because I was creating a valuable lesson and conversation with the children that will last them a lifetime. And the parents knew this.

This week, I sent home spelling and vocabulary words. One of which was god. I chose this word because we are learning about Greek gods and goddesses. Since most of my students are learning English as a second language, when I asked them to tell me what the word was, they said “good”. I knew this word would challenge their spelling skills. Every time I give the students new spelling words, I send an email home. As I wrote the email, I felt nervous about the words because the culture of schools I experienced in the US.  It has been 3 days since I sent the email. No complaints from the parents.

Now, the real point to this blog…. Back in the USA, my niece auditioned for her school play, Aladdin, Jr. She was cast as Jasmine. Last week, my sister said she was angry. I asked why. She sent me a letter, she received from the school (see picture below for the letter). There are a few parts from the letter that I have issues with, that could have been handled in a better way to teach the students how to think differently.

In short, the letter stated that they will no longer be performing Aladdin, Jr due to it negative stereotyping of the Arab culture. They want to “make choices that resist negative stereotyping, promote understanding and celebrate all people.” (taken from the letter itself) I understand the need to promote understanding and respect to all cultures and people. After living in a different country, I have an appreciation for different cultures. I may not agree with all the things other cultures do, I still see the importance of diversity. I have learned many things about myself and society that I appreciate since moving abroad. I have adapted my life and thinking to certain aspects of the Costa Rican and Spanish culture because I felt it was better and healthier than what I had known before.

I had conversations with different people in my community that helped me open my eyes to a new way of living. What if we used this opportunity to create a conversation about the Arab culture instead of just pushing it under the rug?

One reason they canceled the show was because they called Arabs “barbaric”. Why not create a conversation or activity to show why this is not applicable to every Arab? Why not show the community and students photos and examples of Arabs that are normal or extraordinary? Why not give them the opportunity to grow and see the Arab culture in a positive manner?

The letter also stated “After careful consideration and with INPUT from the perspectives of many stakeholders—teachers, PARENTS, and community member…” This did not happen because my sister had no idea there was any issues with the play until she received the email. So, where did these parents perspectives come from? It sure wasn’t from all the different perspectives. If it had been, my sister would have had a chance to speak her side. What are they teaching the children by cancelling a play without having a conversation with EVERYONE involved? When I showed the students what scarcity looked like they understood what it really was and how it influenced their lives. Why not create something similar to the environment in my classroom? My students respect me in ways I could have never imagined because I allowed them to ask the questions they had without pushing them aside. My student opened up to me about their lives so that I could guide them through a new understanding.

Lastly, from what I understand there was one student and his mother that had the biggest issue with the play. She is a lawyer and activist. Her son was upset about the word “barbaric” was being used to describe Arabs. I have two question from this. Why did this conversation not happen before the students started rehearsing? Did the students not have access to the whole script before hand? Why couldn’t they change the word “barbaric” to something else? Why is everyone else having to do something because one person is upset? Why not teach them something greater from this experience?

I may not live in Maryland or the USA any more. I do know what happens there from family and friends, news and Facebook. I don’t say much about what I hear or see because I feel that it is not my purpose in this life to do so in that way. When I have something I feel led to say, I express what I need to say. I know I may not make a huge difference with this post, yet I know I am putting something good out into the world. If one person can understand the need to have conversations instead of pushing things under the rug, the way I am trying to express, I would be happy.

As a society, we need to have honest and open conversations with our children about the tough subjects. I know this is hard to do because I have to do this every day as part of my job. I know this is hard because not everybody is willing to listen and be open to what is said. I believe if one or two people benefit from the conversation than we did our job as leaders. The compound effect will multiple and eventually the majority of people will become enlightened and open.

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https://www.wthr.com/article/maryland-school-cancels-aladdin-jr-over-arab-stereotypes-1

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Maryland-School-Cancels-Aladdin-Jr-Over-Arab-Stereotypes-498331261.html

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/school-cancels-production-of-aladdin-jr-for-complaints-of-stereotyping-arab-culture/24086346

A Curtain Room… Means the World.

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Sometimes life throws you curve balls. What do you do with them? Catch them and throw them back. I have been using CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) to help me with my thoughts. It has been really helping. Lately, I have had some experiences with my boyfriend that have caused me to have to breathe and really think about my thoughts. The app I have been using has been great for this. I record different thoughts I have, good and bad. I write my feelings as well. It has been great to see where the different thoughts come from and how  to transform them into better thoughts.

This all started about a week ago. Last Wednesday, Jonathan told me that his ex was not going to let us see the children without her. He was very upset about this. I haven’t seen him this mad. He didn’t want to pay child support if she won’t let him have access to his rights. Costa Rican child support laws are very strict. If he doesn’t pay for two consecutive months, he would go straight to jail. He is frustrated with her because she uses the kids against him when she isn’t happy about something. We talked about the topic for most of the day trying to find a solution. We don’t have a solution for right now. He has a plan and set of steps he should take. It is very emotional for him when dealing with her because he wants to see his children. He wants to be able to use the rights he has a father and she makes it very hard for him to do that. I do my best not to overreact. I do my best to support him and help him see alternative ways to get through stuff, like he does with me.

The next day, Jonathan was not responding to my messages during the day like he normally does. I knew something was up, I just didn’t know what. I gave him his space and focused on my work. Once worked ended, I asked him how his day was. His response was that it wasn’t good. His last day of work will be the next day and his ex was creating problems again. He told me, we would talk about it in the evening. At this point, I had so many questions. I didn’t know what happened or why. I didn’t know what he was going to do and how this would affect us. It is the rainy season and work is slow around here. I knew I wasn’t going to see or talk to him much for the next 4 hours which was really hard for me. My thoughts wanted to go crazy. I pulled the app out and started doing some of the exercises and thought journaling. It helped as much as it could.

When Jonathan arrived, he started to tell me about why he lost his job and what the situation was. I understood that his boss, my landlord, didn’t have the materials for Jonathan to finish building the house. Since he lived on the property of the house he was building, he needed to leave. He has no family or anyone around here so he moved in with me, temporarily. Which was a hard decision for me because I have come to like my space. I like being alone. We talked about my fears and concerns. One of the biggest things I struggled with was, we would be living in the same room as my home is a studio apartment. I need nights where I sleep alone without anyone with me. I can handle about 4 days then I need my room to myself. We didn’t officially decide another until 2 days later.

His ex was talking about how she loves him and misses him. She also got his mother’s number and was calling her. He didn’t like the things she was saying. She plays many games that Jonathan doesn’t understand. She has done thing like this in the past. We are working on getting through situations with her differently than he has in the past. This day was hard for me. I had enough for one day. I got angry at her for the first time. I was tired and irritated. I went running and screamed to let some of the anger out. He let me vent and cry. He understood how irritating it can be so he was patient with me.

One thing that I love about being with him even with all the drama and changes is that he makes it easy. He and I have a harmony, I have never experienced in this way. I don’t know how to put it into words. He respects me and my space so much so that he built a curtain wall around the couch. (see photo below) He did this so I could have my own space. Yes, I can hear him and he can hear me. Yes, it is just a curtain and not a wall. Yet, the thought he put into taking the time to do that made me cry. I was at work when he sent me the photo of his tiny bedroom. I had to hold back tears of joy. I don’t know many men that would do that so a woman could have her space. It blew me away. This is only one small and huge thing that I admire about this man. This is harmony. This is respect. This is what makes it easy to love him. I am currently writing this as he is asleep in his curtained off room. He makes me smile.

Keep searching for the perfect person. You will know when that person is in your life because even when things are hard and you feel like giving up, they will make it feel easier. One way to attract this into your life is to grow yourself. Keep fighting for your freedom and your respect. Figure out what respect should really look like and how it should feel. Attention doesn’t feel the same as respect and love. I still don’t know what respect looks like 100% and that is okay. I learn every day what it looks like. Find someone who will make a little room from curtains just to give you space.

Life is not always easy, it is worth living. Never give up. Life gives you exactly what you need, when you need it. I am here to share my story in hopes it will inspire change and awakening with whomever is ready to receive the messages, I do my best to share. It is hard for me to put into words the things I go through. I do my best because even if I impact one person that is enough for me. I know how inspirational others are to me,  I want to be the same for others.

Homemade Monopoly

Hey Everybody,

Jonathan and I have been wanting to play MONOPOLY. Since it is hard to find certain games in Costa Rica or we could need to drive a long distance to buy the game, I decided I would make a game as a surprise. I did some research online and found “LOVOPOLY” so I went with it. I used a lot of the same ideas from Liife with anna blog.

(http://liifewithanna.blogspot.com/2015/02/lovopoly.html)

I used a few pieces of paper to design the board. I designed the spaces according to the original game. The spaces were names after some places in our lives. The most expensive blue spaces were Nicaragua and USA. I chose these because I am from the USA and he is from Nicaragua. I chose places we have been such as the town of our first date, the town of where we live, the town his children live in, and the name of the wrong ferry we got on that made a trip the adventure of a lifetime. I used the street names we lived on when we were children. I used cities I have lived in and cities he wants to take me to when we go to Nicaragua for Christmas. These can be anything you want them to be. If you have children, maybe name some after your children. Get creative and make it fit your relationship and life.

For the life’s surprises and get lucky cards I modified the original game cards and add some of my own. Examples are Pregnant Pay Doctors, Ex goes to jail collect $200, hurricane flood pay $40 per house and $115 per hotel. You can get creative with these and create ones that work for you.

For money, we used money from a game we found here. We used beans for the houses and used little towers from another game we found for the hotels.

It came out quite well. It was fun to play. We were laughing and enjoying the time. Since we have had a huge amount of rain that caused power outages, we played in the candle light.

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Change is hard

The last few days have been intense for me. I have been having to deal with myself. My relationship with Jonathan has been testing me in ways I thought I had overcome. It turns out that I have more work to do.

It brought me back to the relationship I had with my ex-husband. When I was married I lost myself. When I lost myself, I lost trust in both of us. This started happening with Jonathan. I was having trouble trusting him and I knew it was irrational. I know this because he has done everything possible to show me that I am the one for him. It has been hard for me to believe this. And the reason is because I was so focused on the future, I wasn’t living in the present. I was trying to make myself be in a place that I am not ready for.

I started to feel hopeless and anxious all the time. I had a headache every day for two weeks. I didn’t want to go to work and my patience with the children was low. Things at work that never bothered me before started to get to me. I felt as though I couldn’t function.

This started about two weeks ago. Jonathan had lost his phone. He told me he could buy another one in 4 days. For a split second, I thought you can go 4 days without talking to him. I didn’t listen to this and let him borrow my spare iPhone. This was a mistake that took me a good long week to understand. Since the iPhone had my iTunes account every call or thing he did on the iPhone was sent to my phone as well. I thought I had turned this option off, which turns out I did not. He was good with everything. He didn’t do anything that I should have been worried about. I was making a huge deal out of nothing because of my insecurities.

This affecting our relationship in a negative way. I realized that I needed to deal with myself. I needed to deal with my inner issues. I tried and I tried. All I was doing was going in circles. Until it hit me. I need to think differently or it will end the same way my first married ended.

After realizing this, I started to do some work with myself. I started looking for answers. My first mistake was that I denied myself the opportunity for growth by seeing how I could handle not being able to talk to him easily for 4 days. I told myself I couldn’t do it. He needed to have a phone so we could talk. I put myself in a box of comfort that had consequences. This wasn’t quiet enough for me. It was a start and I needed to go deeper.

I reached out to a good friend of mine in the states and another friend at work. I realized I need to take care of me. I am so afraid of losing him that I am suffocating him and losing myself in the process by looking at the future and not the present. I started learning about cognitive behavior therapy because of my friend from the states. I have been using an app called Pacifica to help me work through my thoughts and feelings. It had been helping me prioritize my life and understand my feelings and thoughts. I have been making changes and growing closer to myself. I decided I needed to chose me right now.

When people are in a relationship with someone else intimately, it will bring out everything. Our deepest fears and anxieties will surface because the other person is our mirror. If the relationship is going to last and be strong both parties need to overcome their fears. I am taking time to understand myself.

I have said this many times before. When one person changes, it will force the other person to change in one way or another.

The other night, Jonathan was here. We were about to go to bed and I realized he cannot spend the night. I needed him to go home because my thoughts were not going to a place I knew would be good for me or my relationship with him.  I told him to I needed to sleep alone. He left. I knew he was not happy. I knew telling him to I needed to sleep alone would cause him to have to see himself differently. I knew it would cause some pain and discomfort within him. I chose to do it because it was what needed to be done.

He is still unhappy with me. He is taking space and speaking to me when he needs too. I give him the space and time he needs. When he messages me, I calmly reply with understanding and love. I am having to respond with love and respect. I don’t want to change him. I want him to be who he is. I have replying in a way this is new for me. It is pretty encouraging for me.

I am happy with myself because I have grown in ways I never thought I could. I am strong and powerful. The universe is mighty. It has a reason and purpose for the things we experience. Growth is its main purpose. Finding your higher self isn’t easy. It’s a lot of work. It is the MOST REWARDING work I could ever do. I am happy to be able to go through this experience because I am finding myself. I am aligning myself with the true me. I know that Jonathan will overcome this. I can see the power and strength he has inside. If for some reason he doesn’t then I will still love him and care for him. He is a good man regardless of his defects.

Keep pushing for your true self even if it is hard and painful. Keep going because the universe will reward you in ways you never could have imagined. It is worth it. I promise you that.

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Endometriosis

Hey Everyone,

Recently, the doctors told me that I have endometriosis. When I was in the states I could complain to my doctors about the pain I would have during my period and in other situations. They just had me on a type of birth control that didn’t allow me to have a period. This helped my pain tremendously. I didn’t know why I had the pain and the other symptoms. They couldn’t provide me with answers. I have been dealing with this since I was 14 years old.

As I have told you in previous posts, I am no longer on birth control. I decided not to use birth control so I can full feel and understand my body. With this comes so many questions and feelings. The last two months have been the worst. Between the pain and the emotional lows, I started to feel crazy. A few days ago, I decided to reach out to other people who have endometriosis. This has allowed me to not feel alone and isolated to some extent. I found out that my emotional downs are related to the hormonal imbalance and pain.

Some days are amazing, and some days are dreadful. And sometimes it is both. Today is one of those days where it is both. The day started off great. As the day went on the harder it got. Currently, I feel as though my body is betraying me. I feel as though I am being punished for something. I feel that I don’t deserve anything good because of this. This isn’t reality. It is my emotions and hormones “talking”.

I still need to get more testing done to figure out how severe it is and what treatment option is best for me. All of this is overwhelming for me. I don’t want to be touched. I don’t want to be around people. I just want my body to be normal. I know that I can work through this because I have worked through much harder things. I know that this will help me with my life’s purpose. It still doesn’t make it any easier. I still have to feel and be with the emotions and pain.

One thing, I have learned over the last few months is that I need to be there for me. I need to still love myself the best way I can even if I am in a low place. This is my life to live and I need to make the most of it no matter what life throws at me. This is here to show me something amazing about myself. I am a Phoenix burning again, only to rise from the ashes.

For all of you out there that have endo or some type of internal issue know that you are not alone. Know that there is more to life than the pain. Give yourself credit and love. Give yourself space to deal with the emotions. It is hard living with something that will never go away and affects your life on every level. You are warriors. You are strength. I will post about my experiences, success and failures. You all keep me pushing and fighting. Thank you.

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F*@# Yes…. Achieved!

 

Hey Everyone,

It has been an interesting few weeks. I have been trying to get used to being back at work. I have had some issues arise with my boyfriend and with myself personally. It has been showing me so much about myself.

Last week was the first week with the children. It was great. I am loving my new second graders. They are going to teach me so much about myself. I am excited to see how their individual personalities will work together and how I will have to adjust to help them find their own paths. It is going to be a fantastic and wonderful year. It will be full of trials and grow. I am ready for it.

In regards to my relationship and myself….

A few months ago, I wrote a post called “F*@# Yes!” It talked about how I needed to find someone who could say fuck yes to me. I needed someone who could see everything I had to offer and more. I needed someone who would do what they needed to be with me. I wrote that I needed to be that for myself. Since I wrote that, I had been being a fuck yes for myself. I had been doing everything I needed for me. I had been letting go of everything that didn’t work for me. I had been loving myself and being there for me in all ways.

As you all know, I have a new boyfriend. We have been seeing each other for a little over 2 months now. It has been amazing. There have been some struggles. We made it through them. We made it through them because I am a fuck yes for him and he is a fuck yes for me. We both see things in each other that we love. That keeps us fighting for our relationship.

He has kids with another woman. She does not respect our relationship. She has tried to get him to cheat on me with her. She has threatened to kill me if I go to see the children with him again. She has blocked him from talking to the children. He doesn’t like this. He is very open and honest with me about it as well. What I appreciate about this is that he is honest with me about it. He handles it the way he needs too. When he doesn’t know what to do he asks for my advice.

Recently, he and I got into a huge fight because he “played” her game and disrespected me in the process. Which is not okay with me. He has never disrespected me before so I needed to put a stop to it. I took actions so that he would understand the consequences if he did it again. We had a long conversation about respect and about what I need to happen. He also communicated with me things that he could have done that he didn’t do, such as delete the messages so I didn’t see them. I had seen what he could have done that he didn’t do. I appreciated that and told him so. He decided that he needed to stop talking to his ex and the children until she could respect him and our relationship. He will just fulfill his financial obligations. I do not necessarily agree with this because the kids will suffer. He however feels that he has no other options at the moment. I have to trust that he is doing what he feels best.

Today, however, is one of his son’s birthdays. She refused to let him talk to his son. She also communicated with his family that he is not doing what he is supposed to do. She made him seem like the bad guy to his family. He had a very hard time with this and told me. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want me to worry and that he was handling it. We talked about it and we found a way around it. He could have never told me about this. He did tell me because he would want me to do the same.

I really like that he is honest and upfront with me even when he knows I could get upset or worry. He isn’t perfect and he makes mistakes. He does correct the mistakes in ways no one ever has with me. I am this way and I expect my significant other to do the same with me. In this way, he has shown me I am a FUCK YES!

One of the other ways that I can see that I am a fuck yes with him is how he is with my emotions. With my monthly cycle, my emotions and hormones are all out of whack. It has been the worst I have experienced in a long time. This past Friday, I had some emotional downs. I told him that I was having a hard time with my emotions. His response blew me away just like it does every time I am emotional. I was sitting at my computer at work thinking  about this. I remembered I wrote something about how I was feeling a few months ago. I couldn’t figure it out until a few days later. That is when I realized I am a fuck yes. He sees me for more than my emotions. He sees me as a queen. He knows how to work as a real team. He knows how to overcome his defects. He knows how to correct his mistakes. When I think he won’t understand or won’t be what I need, he goes and surprises me.

I feel that this post is a little confusing. I am not exactly sure how to express my thoughts and feelings with this one. I am in new territory. I am in an uncomfortable and unsure place with him. I am happy. I am learning. I am glad he is in my life. The relationship is something I am getting used to. The respect, the effort, the love, and the fuck yes is something new to me from someone else. I have been giving that to myself and for someone to be that with me is a bit scary.

I want you all to fight for yourself. Fight for what you deserve. Fight for your fuck yes. It may be uncomfortable when you get it and that’s okay. Enjoy it. Observe it. Learn from it. Life is good.

Emotions and Hormones… A Monthly Thing

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This weekend was a tough weekend for me. I went to a place mentally that I have been in a long time. Many of you know that I recently went off birth control. I went off birth control because I needed to experience my monthly cycles, which I had not experienced in over 7 years.

This is my 5th period since I stopped taking birth control. The first 4 periods were not that emotionally and hormonally tough. My thoughts were not the best and I cried. This time it was not like that. My thoughts were out of control. I cried, screamed, and wasn’t here mentally. I think some of that has to do with a few things.

First, the doctor told me that I could have endometriosis. The symptoms and my family history leads him to think it could be something I have. The doctors told me to watch my period as I had them. I needed to notice pain and other symptoms to see. The pain and symptoms have started to increase slowly. This weekend the pain was horrible. I could not get out of bed for the first 24 hours. I had a headache that caused me to just sleep. I had stomach cramps that made me want to vomit. I had to change my tampons every 2 hours. My breast have felt like balloons. Some of these symptoms have subsided slightly so I can function. Two things haven’t gone away.  I do not want to be touched and I do not want to be around people. My body feels very foreign to me. I don’t feel like my body is a part of me. I feel alien to my body. I need to go back to the doctors to get more tests done for a definitive answer on whether or not I have endometriosis.

Second, my period was late. Since I have a boyfriend and I am not on birth control, this had me stressed in ways I have never been stressed before. We use protection. We also only had sex based on my cycle. There were times I knew I was at a higher chance of pregnancy so we abstained from sex during that time. Neither of us want children right now (he has 3 already). We had to have a conversation about what would happen if I never started my period. This was not easy for either of us. It was harder on me because I am not ready for children. This would leave me to figuring out what I would actually do if I was. I didn’t want to have to think about that. This added stress to body. I used the stress relieving techniques I normally use. And they helped until my period actually started.

There two factors, really had a huge impact on my emotional state this weekend. I started my period Friday morning. By Saturday morning, I was a complete mess. I pushed Jonathan away completely. I told him things that I didn’t really believe. I said things that I know were hurtful to him. I know I was a (excuse my language) a bitch. I went couldn’t think. I couldn’t process anything. I tried speaking to my mom and that helped me see certain things I need to work on. Yet, it didn’t help with the emotionally feelings I was having. I lost it. I was completely unconscious of what was happening. I was screaming, crying, and thinking things like I had no control over myself.

It makes me sad that I went there. I thought I had moved past that part of me. I realize that I still have work to do. I was going to go back on birth control in November. After this, I am not sure that is the best thing for me to do. I want to be able to work through these times without the help of drugs. I want to be able to feel my body and my emotions. So that, if I ever do get pregnant, I am prepared for the hormonal and emotional changes that take place during and after the pregnancy. I do not want to go to the place I was at yesterday while I have a child I need to be there for.

I am not planning on having a child any time soon. For everyone, that knows me well, knows that I don’t want a child until I am 37. Why that age? I don’t know. It is just an age that stood out to me to have a child. I have some work I want to do with myself before I have a child. And age 37 seemed like the right amount of time.

After this whirlwind of a weekend, I am okay. I remember that I am not dying. I am not going crazy. I am burning. I am burning to ashes. And it’s okay. Because I am a Phoenix.

If you’re a woman who goes through emotions and things similar to me during their period, know that you are not alone. There are others out there that experience similar things to you. Stay strong because we are strong and powerful. We can overcome the emotions and hormonal changes.

For all the men who have a woman that deals with this, know that it is hard for them. Love them, support them, and let them know they are strong. Do something to help make their life easier during a stressful time. It’s not easy for us and sometimes we aren’t ourselves.

A Letter to a Death Row Inmate

Some of you are wondering what and why I wrote to a death row inmate. Here is why…

I recently watched the Netflix series “I am a killer”. Episode 9, Living with consequences, touched my heart. Joshua Nelson killed a friend because he wanted his car. It was a horrible and messed up action that he took to gain a car. He is now living on death row awaiting his execution date.

The episode talked about his childhood. It was said that he was sexually abused by his mother’s boyfriend or husband (I can’t remember exactly). This is not something a child should have to experience in their lives, ever. It does not excuse his actions later in life. It does, however, show a history that could have influenced his way of thinking. The same day he committed the crime, his mother had kicked him out of his house because of something the man had said to her. I do know that he had talked about killing someone prior to the incident with his mother. I am not saying this man is wrong or that he is right. He did something horrible and he should have consequences for his actions. Do I think he should be executed for his crime? No, I do not think he should be. I think he should live the rest of his life in prison.

As you all know, I do a lot of work within myself. I do what I can to support people through difficult and/or amazing times in their lives. I want to inspire people to be the best versions of themselves as they can. I felt that I needed to let this man know the things I wrote because I believe he has understood what he has done. I feel that he has really taken the time to get in touch with himself. I could not let a man on death row die without knowing someone out there understands and sees the things he wants people to see.

People may have some negative reactions to this. That is fine. I am at peace with what I have written. I am at peace with the fact that not everyone will understand the reasons behind what I wrote.

For the first part of the letter I wrote some personal things about my mother’s past to relate to him in the way I felt I needed too. Out of respect for my mom and her journey with her past I left this part out of the letter. This may make the letter seem off because a huge part was left out. I thought about not posting the letter and keeping it to myself as well. Something inside me says that I have to post this for some reason or another that is unknown to me at this time. One day, I will know the reason I had to post this.

So…. The letter I wrote to a Death Row Inmate…

Nelson, Joshua, #0-989102
​Union Correctional Institution
7819 N.W. 228th Street
Raiford, Florida 32026-4000

 

Hello Joshua,

My name is Ashley Sprinkel. I watched the show “I am a killer” on Netflix. I watched your episode. By the end, I was moved to write you a letter. Your story touched me in a way that I had to find a way to let you know what was on my heart.

I know what I went through is nothing compared to what you have been through. I do not know what my letter will do for you and you’re life. I felt lead to write what is on my heart so I am sharing what is in my heart. Here is my story…

For you to understand a little bit about why I am writing this I have to tell you a bit about myself. I am an American living and working in Costa Rica. Getting here was not an easy thing for me to accomplish. I grew up in a household that was intense for many parts of my childhood. I can put myself in your shoes because of the experiences I have had…..

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I am working to overcome my defects that I have from my childhood. I am learning to forgive and be at peace with many things. I have always dealt with depression and anxiety. I followed what everyone told me I should do. I have hurt many people with my actions and words. I was emotionally crazy. I would yell and scream and blame everyone for my problems. It was never my fault. I lived as though no one loved me and everyone would leave. Since my mom had her childhood issues to deal with and my dad worked during the day and went to school at night I only had my grandmother. She died when I was 9 and my life changed. I felt as though I didn’t have anyone and everyone I loved was going to leave. This affected me in many, many ways. That are not really important for this letter. Fast forward a little….

I got married when I was 21. By the time, I was 23 I was getting divorced. He had left me for another woman. I lost myself completely. He was my life, so when he was gone I didn’t know what to do with myself. My depression and anxiety were the worst I had experienced. I missed work for a week. I drank every weekend to numb the pain. This lasted for about 2 months. I got to the point where I needed a better life than the one I was living. So, I screamed and yelled to the universe to show me the way to a better life. I will fight and I will do everything I possibly can to grow and be the person I know I am supposed to be. This was 7 year ago. I have kept that promise. I figured out what my purpose in life was. I figured out why I go through the things I go through. I have forgiven people and learned things about myself and life I never knew was possible.

Two years ago, I graduated college and got recently engaged. I started teaching at a local charter school. I was so excited to start teaching and influencing young children. This lasted for about 5 months. I got physically sick because of the stress the school environment caused me. I spoke to my fiancé and we decided it was best for me to quit even though I didn’t have another job lined up. I left worked and never went back. I tried to get a job for three weeks after this. I had many offers. None of them were something that would work for me. I have always wanted to teach abroad. Me and my fiancé talked about me going away for a year to experience a different culture and to live on my own for once. He agreed and a month later I was in Costa Rica.

That happened a year and half ago. This has been one of the most amazing years of my life. I am no longer engaged because I realized he wasn’t the man for me. I have a peace and love for life, I have never had before. I realized what my purpose was for this life. My purpose is to change the world. The things I go though and feel have helped me add something good to this world. I started a blog about the things I learn and grow from. I have been writing it since I decided to move to Costa Rica. I no longer deal with depression. I have a relationship with my family that I could never have imagined would be possible. I have inspired many people, some I know and some I have never met. My blog and way of living and thinking has been an encouragement for me and others. This brings me to why I am writing you this letter.

As I watched your story, I felt the conviction and heart you have for what you have done. I wanted you to know that there is someone out there that your story has touched. I want you to know that yes you did something horrible and you can have freedom from that. Even if no one forgives you, you can forgive yourself. You can give yourself the redemption that you need to have before you go into your next life. I realized that I have the ability to free myself from any situation with my thoughts and way of thinking about things. I believe that being in the cell alone has helped you see who you really are. Being alone with yourself makes you face yourself. Being alone is one of the best things you can give yourself. That is where you can find freedom even though you are trapped in a cell. I want you to know that I believe that you have grown from the crime you committed. Your facial expressions, tone of voice, and energy have shown me that you are at peace. You have given yourself the best gift you could. You do not deserve to die for the crime you committed. Other people who were on the show don’t have the same energy and understanding about what they did as you do. Society is not fair because people are blinded by their own past just as you were when you committed your crime. I can see you without seeing what you have done. I don’t see a murder. I see a man that is sorry for what he has done. I see a man that wants a chance to show the world who he really is. I see a man who has spent some time dealing with himself so he could live the best life he can with the situation he is in. You are more than the crime you committed. I know I am not telling you something you don’t already know. I am telling you this because I don’t want you to die thinking no one saw who you really are.

I understand that things aren’t always cut and dry. Things aren’t always what they seem to be. It is up to us as individuals to see that. It is up to us to change the world by changing ourselves. You have inspired me to keep doing what I am doing. I know that people will think I am crazy for writing an inmate on death row the things I have written. And I do not care because I felt this is what I needed to do.

Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being an inspiration for me to keep living my purpose. I am thankful for your story. Keep the peace you have within yourself. I hope that this letter leaves you well.

 

Sincerely,

Ashley