My Adoption Story

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So, I’m just going to get right into it. I was adopted when I was just over 8 weeks old (like a puppy- ha!) by two of the most amazing parents a child could ever ask for, who go above and beyond the call of parent duty for me. They spoiled me silly and made sure that I always felt special and loved. I am so so lucky to have been matched up with them.

For my first few weeks of life, I lived with a foster family. They didn’t expect to have me so long and they fell in love with me. It’s easy to do with babies, and apparently I was a pretty cute and happy one. I slept well, I ate well, and didn’t cry too much. My Mom said I was truly a dream baby. Yes, I’m patting myself on the back and praying if I have children they will also be dream babies. A girl can.. dream. 😉

March 11, 1985 is when I met my parents for the first time. My Mom actually said to my Dad on the car ride there, “What if we don’t like her? Can we give her back? What if she doesn’t like us?” Very honest and legitimate questions. It’s scary to bring life into this world, but somehow almost scarier to adopt a child into your life. But are you really any more prepared to be a parent by carrying the baby in your belly? That’s debatable.

I always knew I was adopted. From when I was a little girl, we celebrated my adoption day every year with a small celebration, just the three of us. I remember feeling weird about being adopted for the first time in grade school when one of our projects was to write out the physical traits we had inherited from each parent and I didn’t know how to fill it in. My Mom had to come in and speak with the teacher.

Thoughts of my birth parents come up every so often. I’ve tried to find them, but our adoption is closed and I am only allowed non-identifying information. This includes general health and wellness, physical descriptions of them at the time of the adoption, and traits, hobbies, and achievements. It’s actually very interesting information that I only got when I was 30 years old. I would have to petition the court in order to release their identifying information and even then it’s not a guarantee.

I don’t want to disrupt the life that she rebuilt after she gave me up for adoption. Hopefully she remarried and had more children, which means that I have siblings. That thought is almost to bizarre for me to conceive. I want to meet the people who share my DNA. I just teared up a little bit thinking about that– wow. Oh, and I have been on 23andme and ancestry.com without any luck.

I have questions for her, and more that have come up recently as I consider potentially bringing a child into the world in the next few years. I wonder if my birth mother held me after she birthed me. Did she snuggle me and speak to me softly, telling me everything was going to be okay, and she’d always love me. Or did she look away as the doctors pulled me from her, not wanting to see? I want to know these things, and I can’t even explain why I want to know them. I would understand either way.

My birth mom made an unbelievably selfless choice and I’d really just like to tell her, Thank You. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

 

People Pleaser

On my drive home from the beach after work today, I thought about how I don’t like the term people pleaser.

Unless… do you want me to like the term people pleaser? 😉 Ha!

This term implies someone who is a suck up and a brown-noser. An over-doting individual who can’t say “no” for fear of displeasing anyone. Someone who is willing to compromise their own desires to appease another. And that’s not quite me.

Some may consider me to be a people pleaser, but I don’t like to think of it that way. I just like others to be happy. I thrive on harmony. Also, you could call me a pushover, but it’s because I am happiest doing whatever makes the other person happy, so I would rather do whatever they want to do.

Is there anything wrong with this practice? Honestly, now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I should make some stronger decisions once and awhile so, just for the sake of it. Another something to keep in mind. Wouldn’t want anyone to mistake me for a people pleaser… 😉

On another note, it was so windy on the beach today. It was nuts! There was a heat advisory earlier, so I was concerned that I’d be sweating to death. Instead I was met with a major breeze and actually got caught in downpour. I got soaking wet and had to roll my phone up in my shirt, but it felt really good. The rain was cold, the drops were large, and the sun was still shining. Liquid sunshine, as they call it.

Enjoy these pics and a video! My big ol’ thumb made it into one of the shots, as it does. And I’m pretty sure that’s water on the lens and not some sort of godly apparition.

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Do You Ever Feel Stuck?

Recently it feels like I am coming out of a fog. One that I have been stuck in for awhile. I’m feeling more alive than I have in years. I say that with hesitation, as if by speaking it outloud, I may jinx it. I need to trade the word jinx to manifest. Anyway, I’ve been stuck in indecision and inaction for what feels like forever. This feeling of stuckness has been weighing heavily on me and I’m happy to report I am beginning to feel light again.

Ever since my uncle died, I have been trying to “Live Like Bruce”, meaning embrace whatever life throws at you and keep smiling. It’s a good way to live and using his outlook as my mantra has been helping in lots of ways. It has opened my eyes and forced me to reexamine this little life that I am living. I’ve been trying to live more deliberately, but also doing my best to let go. Not everything has to be dissected and given meaning. Sometimes things simply just are, because they are, and they don’t really mean anything at all. Hope that makes sense. It does in my nonsensical brain anyway. 🙂

Yesterday, during what has become my nearly daily beach walk, I saw an older woman struggling to get out of the water. The surf was pretty rough and the tides were changing, so the waves were pulling on her pretty hard. She was still smiling, though definitely struggling. There were people all around and a even a man in the water next to her, but he didn’t seem to notice. I unhooked my headphones and called out Do you need a hand?

Her smile grew wide as she nodded and reached out her hand for me. We walked a couple steps together until she was on the flat sand. She thanked me and told me she had hurt her knee. I told her no problem. And it wasn’t. Honestly, it made me feel really great to help someone. We’ve all been that person struggling in the water at some point; maybe we should pay more attention to others who may need help but aren’t asking. Just a thought. I do a lot of thinking on these beach walks of mine.

I’ve been reading a lot more lately since I haven’t been going on social media. I bought a book of poetry by Danielle Doby and it’s called I Am Her Tribe. The poems are profound observations of the ordinary and they make my book nerd heart smile. I’m happy that I find so much comfort in words.

I am also tearing through Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle. She writes the way that I think, and I so admire her ability to say exactly what she means. Just like her reviews said, it feels as if she is speaking directly to me. My emotional self has been sobbing my way through this magnificent memoir of her life. I’ve been thinking about the book all day while I was at work. I read nearly half of it last night and want to savor the rest of it.

My man was shaving last night while I was reading in the master bedroom and when he came out of the bathroom, he saw me in bed with red, puffy eyes and tears streaming down my face. He was like, Oh my gosh, what’s wrong? I smiled and told him I am reading a really good book. He looked at me like I’m crazy. Haha, maybe he’s right, but we’re all a little crazy. And it’s more than okay.

Alright, that’s enough for a Tuesday… Hope everyone is having a good week!

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My Journey Back To Yoga

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So, it has been an extremely long journey for me to get myself back to yoga after hurting my back this past January. I’ve been doing some light stretching and working out at home, walking on the beach a ton, and participating in yoga challenges on Instagram, but it took me a lot longer than I would have liked to make it back to a yoga class. Practicing alone is great, but nothing quite matches the energy of a classed filled with sweaty bodies who’ve all come together for the same purpose.

After I herniated a couple of discs, I was scared to go back to yoga class. Not just because yoga is how I injured myself, but because I was nervous about what people would think about how much flexibility I’d lost and how much weight I gained. I felt broken, not just on the outside, but the inside too. My body and spirit felt heavy, and now, FINALLY, I can feel everything getting lighter.

Honestly, today’s class felt like coming home. Silent tears streamed down my cheeks during savasana. I did my best to wipe them away so no one would notice, but I think they blended in with all the sweat. It was a pretty tough flow– even the teacher agreed that it was more difficult than she had intended. I noticed the most weakness in my arms, which isn’t all that surprising.

Oh, I meant to mention that my uncle Bruce died this past Thursday. He was born disabled and doctors figured he would only live into his 30’s, but he was 67 years old when he passed. It’s very sad, and I feel horrible that my Dad had to bury his little brother, but he lived a long and full life.

We have been talking about Bruce’s life and legacy, and he is a role model for sure. He was dealt a very difficult hand in this life and yet he always managed to have a smile on his face. His positivity and outlook on life was truly an amazing example. I’ve been thinking about that a lot the past few days — I want to live like Bruce. Just dive into life headfirst and make no apologies, but have all the compassion and kindness in the world.

For as long as I can remember, my uncle had a sign hanging in his room that said, “Fuhgeddaboudit”. In looking it up online, and it is taking on a much deeper meaning. Actually the slang term was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Forget about it — the issue is not worth the time, energy, mental effort, or emotional resources. That really was Bruce’s life outlook, whether he was fully conscious of it or not. We could all learn a lot from the way he approached life.

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Yoga At The Big Cat Habitat

 

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This morning, I had a very interesting and rather unusual experience doing yoga at the Big Cat Habitat here in Sarasota. It began reasonably early at 8:45am, but it was already pretty hot and humid. Duh, it’s summer in Florida. There were tons of playful tigers all around us. Their enclosures are very large, which made it feel more like we were the ones in the zoo and they were visiting us. So amazing!

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In addition to the tigers, we were able to see some lions and one giant (almost 800lbs!) liger– a cross between a male lion and a female tiger. Apparently the Big Cat Habitat has over 50 big cats living there, along with bears, sloths, alpacas, alligators, foxes, and a variety of exotic birds. All the animals have all been rescued and are now being protected and cared for by this amazing non-profit organization and its volunteers.

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We were lead through an hour flow by a very sweet instructor from Pineapple Yoga. Of course, we did several rounds of Lion’s Breath (where you inhale deeply and then let your breath out forcefully while sticking out your tongue like a lion). We also shook our tiger tails in our free-flowing cat/cow poses.

Halfway through our practice, one of the lions started “talking” to us. Not quite a roar, but a deep grumbling. You can hear a bit of it in the video. It was actually a little scary sounding initially, but we felt very safe and welcome at the sanctuary. In fact, they gave us all a day pass to come back another time and see everything.

I would highly recommend the Big Cat Habitat experience to anyone. It was fantastic; practicing yoga there was just icing on the cake. Seeing and sharing my morning with these beautiful creatures just reminded me that habitat preservation is so important, as well as compassion for animals. And we need to have more compassion for others, especially ourselves, but that’s another post entirely…😉

Have a good weekend, everyone! ROAR!

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Excerpt From My High School Journal*

For today’s blog posting, I thought maybe some of you might want to read some excerpts from my highschool journal. It has been almost 20 years, so I suppose it’s alright. This was my junior year at boarding school in New England and I had mono, so I couldn’t do sports and had to be pretty low key. Hope you you enjoy!

*Names & places have been changed

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Thursday, September 6, 2001

It’s not bad or good, just kinda different.

Hey Lilly!

I’m back at Westbridgefield and it’s really weird. It’s not bad or good, just kinda different. There are sooo many new kids, it’s crazy. I don’t even feel like I’m at the same school. My friends are pretty much the same though… nothing to complain about there I guess.

My hall is pretty cool and the apartment of four girls is not directly across the hall as I feared. There are two new girls who are nice and I think I might become friends with. Who knows. It’s a new year… Anything can happen.

I’m kinda scared for the workload though. I have a tutor though and my awesome Ritalin. I just feel like this is gonna be a long year.

I miss Charlie like crazy and seeing his old room didn’t help. He barely talks to me online because there is so much going on in his room. He told me hasn’t hooked up with anyone. I’m glad, but I shouldn’t really care, ya know?

So, I saw Blake today and he got hotter over the summer. He looked REALLY good. I didn’t talk to him though… I think it’s too awkward. I saw Sean. It was good to see him. There are a lot of new guys, but I didn’t really get a chance to meet them. I’m not in the mood to meet new people, but basically I have no choice.

I have no idea what to wear tomorrow. Ugh. I’m sure I’ll be fine. Emmy is a cool roommate so far. I hope it lasts, because we definitely fought a lot last year. God, I miss last year. I need to move on from Charlie and get good grades. Yeah, those are my goals.

I don’t have much to say, despite what’s been going on here. Tomorrow classes start. I’m kinda nervous… wish me luck… goodnight! Love, Jules

P.S. Things between Catherine and I are fine… she isn’t mad about anything, which is good!

Friday, September 7, 2001

I feel so anti-social and out of place.

Hello Lilly!

Today was not a good day at all. I’m homesick and sooo not over Charlie. I was reading through all his emails from last year and started crying. I miss and him and what we had together. I don’t like how this year is starting.

Ellie is being attacked by like all the new guys. I’m not really interested in any of the guys and I’m not in the mood to be flirty with them. I feel so anti-social and out of place. I don’t feel like any guys like me. I know that I shouldn’t be concerned with that, but I can’t help it.

Today was such a long day. Seriously, it was insane. I am so bored while everyone is at sports… I don’t know how I’m gonna deal with it all fall. Classes went ok, but I really don’t like my new Spanish teacher. He’s a huge black guy and we can’t speak English in his class. He’s so intimidating.

Plus, Hailey is in both my Spanish and Math class. She was extremely nice to me, but she’s still loud and obnoxious. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll be fine

Anyways, while everyone was at practice I took a shower. Then we had a form dinner, which was good. After that was “Trivia Night”, which was completely boring. My table kinda sucked, too. I saw both Blake and Paul. For some reason, I will always be strangely attracted to them.

Catherine was so mean to me after “Trivia Night”. I was saying hi to Blake and she goes, “He doesn’t like you. I’m just stating the facts. He doesn’t really care.” I thought that was so rude of her and like not her place to say anything. I bet she will dance with him tomorrow night at the dance. Ok, enough anger.

Oh! So there was this guy at my table tonight who was so adorable. His name is Jon and he is a PG {Post Graduate}. He kinda looks like a mix between Paul and Blake (I know, I know…!) He seems really kinda shy though. Whatever.

The new guys are kinda weird. There’s one named Steve, but people call him Stifler, because he looks like the guy in American Pie. He’s funny, but really annoying. I can see him being like Brad. Basically everyone loves him at the beginning and then he crashed. Oh well. Robbie seems pretty cool I guess. God, I can’t remember anyone else’s names, sorry.

There are a lot of really cute new sophomores, but I’m pretty sure they’re off limits… I don’t wanna corrupt. Haha, well maybe I do. J I just want to be more friendly and not think about Charlie. He may still care about me, but being together is just not realistic. Ok, I’m absolutely exhausted now. I’m going to bed soon. Goodnight! Love, Jules

 

 

 

Not Everything Is As It Appears To Be

In this day and age of being inundated by information 24/7/365, it has become very difficult to know what’s real and what’s fake. As I’ve said before, the internet is still relatively “new” and there aren’t many rules and regulations. No one is quite sure what to do with this vast and expanding form of communication and miscommunication. So, here we sit with a wealth of information, but no real knowledge or wisdom. It is making everyone reliant on the internet.

We are so overly connected. Short story time! …

The other day, I forgot to bring my phone home from the office. As I was about halfway through my half an hour drive home, I realized my error. I briefly considered turning around before deciding it was not worth the inconvenience. Only once I got home did I realize how annoying it was that I had no way to contact anyone — at all. (Even my laptop was at work). My man was working that night, and I was worried that he might think I died or something. I was going to ask someone at the Publix Supermarket to text him for me, but then I couldn’t remember the correct order of digits in his phone number. Ugh! A good lesson in having numbers saved somewhere other than your phone, just in case. Showed my true colors as a blonde that day. 🙂

My social media detox has been good, except I find myself desperately wanting to go back onto Instagram. Two of my yoga challenge prizes arrived this week (pics below). Two pairs of hemp undies and a beautiful moonstone stone bracelet. I am excited to do more soon! Not necessarily to win — obviously that’s just icing on the cake– but I really enjoy participating in these yoga challenges with the amazing community I have met on the app.

 

On another note, sometimes people keep up certain appearances on social media that are far from accurate from what is going on, on the inside. I know far too many couples who have had public divorces/breakups after painting a beautiful picture of their life on Facebook. It’s sad that we feel forced to put up a front for everyone instead of dealing with the issues at hand? I’ve been there though.

Of course I’ve created an illusion of happiness on social media. People always tell me that I look so happy. Yeah, that’s intentional! Glad it worked. Haha. Sometimes I feel content, but mostly I’m just bobbing along like everyone else. I’ll work on keeping it more real. Will you?

That’s all for today. Sorry it was kind of all over the place. Hope everyone is doing well!

Beach Walk

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So, one of the perks of my current work situation is that I am a very close walk to one of the top beaches in the United States. Siesta Key is less than a 5 minute walk from my office, and I walk there as many days a week as I can, weather permitting. Today, I walked over 5 miles and it was glorious. I am quite tired, especially my feet from the give of the sand. It’s so good for my back, knees, and joints though. Things you have to think about when you’re in your 30’s.

On my beach walks, I usually listen to music and just tune in to the beach. Of course, I also enjoy people watching. I love the feel of the water on my feet and the beauty of the sun on the glistening turquoise water that this beach is famous for. I feel grateful that I live here. It was a choice.

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Do I ever picture myself moving back up North? I honestly don’t think so right now. It’s hard to imagine not raising my potential children at the Madison Beach Club in Connecticut where I grew up, but I don’t think that’s my future anymore. I love this little paradise that I’ve found in Southwest Florida. I am lucky that my parents are here and the man I’ve chosen to share my life with grew up here all his life.

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Walking on the beach allows my mind to wander, in a healthy way. It’s majorly beneficial for my anxiety and I’d love to get to the beach every day. It’s my happy place, above anywhere else. Truly, it wouldn’t be a difficult goal to get to the beach every single day. Can I start a goal mid-way through the year? I think so!

 

Disconnect to Connect

Hey folks, I am doing a social media detox for the month of June. It’s honestly a bit harder than it sounds, at least for me — I reflexively open the Instagram app more than I’d care to admit.

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I did a social media cleanse in November 2018 and it’s quite beneficial. Like many of us, I tend to compare myself with others. What they said about comparison being the thief of joy is so true. Since I haven’t been updated with every moment of people’s lives, I am reaching out more, which is the way I think it should be.

Without the presence of social media, I am forced to occupy my mind in different, potentially more enriching ways. I think that not being caught up with Instagram and Facebook has made me more present, and it makes living in the moment seem much more important. Not everything has to be documented. Your life can, and probably should, just be your own.

I do miss memes and life updates, but my friends communicate these to me anyway. That way I don’t experience a lot of FOMO. I actually experience less, because I’m not checking out everyone’s highlight reel.

Last night, I made a delicious veggie dinner for myself. My man did not want this many vegetables and no meat! I didn’t look up a recipe — it’s just what I was craving at the time. Zoodles (zucchini noodles), mushrooms (cooked with olive oil, white wine, and garlic), tomatoes, chives, sesame seeds, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. So yummy! 10/10 would make again. Plus, I have leftovers for lunch today. I think it’ll be just as tasty as a cold salad vs warm like last night.

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Been Awhile…

Sorry, I’ve been a bit nuts with everything. You know, life. 🙂

I moved in with my boyfriend.

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My parents moved from the condo they owned on Siesta Key for the past 20 years. I got to visit their new home over the weekend and it’s very nice. Quite big for two people, but they say I always have a room there. I am so lucky to have such wonderful parents. They are my friends/soulmates, beyond their parenting role. Being an adopted, only child has made our bond an unique one.

I can only hope to be as nurturing with my future spawn, as they have been with me. I’ve got some big shoes to fill. That’s to say I get blessed with little humans. I’m 34 years old and not getting any more fertile. Haha, sorry, that’s meant to be tongue in cheek and not as pathetic as I maybe made it sound.

ANYWAY….

Moving in with someone after living alone for more than 5 years has been interesting. I like having someone at home, there for me, even if I don’t need them. We can just sit and be together, feeling comfort in just having each other’s company.

I’ve been a bit emotional and have had some anxiety, but it’s understandable. Change is hard for a lot of people, and for some reason it’s a bit harder for me. I am trying, and doing the best I can.

Today, I had to bring my car (2011 Ford Edge), whom I fondly call ‘Henry’, to the dealership. His power brake stopped working and it was under warranty. Now, it’s like the breaks are uber sensitive and I may have given myself whiplash. 😉

More tomorrow, hopefully…