blog

The Love of Daisies

Just popping in before the 3 day holiday weekend begins for everyone. 😉

I am slowly adjusting to the keyboard for my tablet but it is not an easy one. I am persevering with it anyway.

Monday, hopefully, I will be back to the blog at least a few times a week for now. Still working on internet in my home but I have figured out a way to write my posts, save them and set up publishing dates for each entry. My biggest concern is comments. I won’t be able to respond as often and I worry about leaving people waiting for a reply, so, for now, I am going to aim for just a couple post per week till I get internet and can monitor comments more closely.

Today I am sharing this lovely photo of a daisy that It took at Old City Cemetary in Lynchburg, VA. Daisies have been a favorite flower of mine since I was a young girl. They remind me of only good things in this world. As we head into the 3 day weekend, I hope you find plenty of time for the good things in life.

Just a friendly reminder that while everyone is out there enjoying the long weekend please, remember a designated driver is the safest way to go! Stay home, walk, call a taxi, Uber, Lift or even your Mom but please do not drink and drive. Make choices before you drink to keep yourself and others safe while celebrating this weekend! Sober driving is the only safe driving!!

Be safe out there. We want everyone to be here on Tuesday morning!

Be Brave.

Jamie Christine

Advertisements
blog

Seeing Things

Seeing is believing or so they say.

I have been searching for a way to articulate anxiety. It is something that I have great difficulty putting into words so that others can see a little of what it is like to live with anxiety. I believe that if you can catch a glimpse of what others are experiencing in their personal struggles then, more often than not, we find a little more compassion and  understanding for things we don’t completely comprehend. At least, I hope that’s the way it goes.

I can only speak for myself but the more I begin to understand my own struggles with PTSD and anxiety, the more I wish someone else would just say, I get it, I get you. Intellectually, I know that there are a lot of other people living their best life with PTSD and anxiety. I know, that I am not alone. Bold, honest truth is that sometimes what you feel trumps what you know and those are the moments when we long for someone to love, accept and understand our struggles.

This past week, I’ve spent a fair amount of time watching the BBC hit, Luther. Thanks to Netflix, I’ve been able to catch up on four series just as filming begins on series five of the show. During one of my late night binge sessions, I came face to face with anxiety. It was the episode where Justin Ripley has been taken hostage. He is being held by the demented villain, hanging from a noose in a dark, damp, stone tunnel. He’s been beaten, branded and left for dead with a plastic bag over his head. Miraculously, Justin Ripley frees himself and begins to run toward the rusty ladder and a creaky hatch door that is presumably leading to his freedom. Up the ladder he goes and boom…that is when I see anxiety.

In a split second, as Ripley reaches the top of the ladder, I think to myself, “Oh no, don’t go out there! You don’t know what is out there!” Slamming the hatch door open, he barges out into the streets on London and his freedom. I slump back on my chair and mutter, “Oh my gosh, that is what anxiety like…” I am stunned. Suddenly, I have a visual representation of what my PTSD and anxiety feels like.

Life with anxiety and PTSD is just like being held hostage, constantly tormented by a nasty villain, all the while knowing that to survive you must break free. When you muster the strength and make a bold dash for freedom, the what if’s stop you at the bottom of the ladder. You never make it to the top and throw open the hatch door. You are crushed by a fear, worry and long list of unknowns and what if’s at the very first rung. You can see the door. You can see the noose on the wall. You need to get out. You want to get out. You’re paralyzed just long enough for the boogey man to get you again and suddenly, you’re hanging by your neck staring up at that hatch door, summoning the strength and courage to make another mad dash for freedom.

Hostage. Break out. Collapse. Repeat. Once a day or ten times in a day. It doesn’t really matter. To accomplish anything against anxiety and PTSD, you inevitably have to do it a hundreds times before you reach the top of a rusty ladder and find your freedom.

You see, I’m not trying to fail. I’m not the big screw up that you told me I was. I am not incompetent at life. I’m just a little tired. I’ve broken free a hundred times just to make a phone call. I’ve scrambled down a long, dark, damp tunnel repeatedly just to make a social event at Christmas. I’ve stood sobbing at the bottom of my rusty ladder under the weight of a thousand villainous thoughts attacking and dragging me backward just to mail a package at the post office.

I know you can do these things with ease, trust me, I know freedom is easy for you.
This is what it is like for me.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

blog

Anxiety Rising

Wow…missed yesterday’s blog post. Anxiety is stirring in the pit of my stomach. Just to be clear, anxiety is not nerves or worry. It is an entirely different beast all together. When I am nervous about something, I can push through the nerves and do what I need or want to do. When I am experiencing anxiety or having panic attacks about something, the more I push, the worse it fights back. Currently, there are so many changes occurring right now in my life, that my anxiety is already starting to rumble, deep and low in my stomach. I am doing everything I can to ward off an anxiety filled explosion the size of a super volcano.

I am already crying off and on about leaving Arizona. There is so much that I am going to miss. There are so many things that I didn’t get the time or money to go do and see. There are people who I never got to meet in person. I am trying not to panic over all that I will miss and all that I never got to do while living here. I am making my best effort to keep my focus on all the new adventures that are waiting ahead for me. Besides, I can always come back. I know the way.

Yesterday, I was thinking about moving and leaving my home. It occurred to me, all change is hard, isn’t it? Even if we are happy about the changes or excited for new frontiers, change is difficult, challenging and often times, overwhelming. Just ask any mother.

Many women have decide to have a baby. You work at it until finally you get pregnant. Everything changes. Your body, your emotions, your thoughts, your plans for your future, it all changes and you are thrilled! At the first twang of birth pains, there is a moment and I think for most it is only a moment, but in one painful, reality filled moment, you say…O.M.G.! The weight of it all hits you and somewhere in between breathing exercises and pain, your mind fully grasps the imminent arrival of a tiny, helpless human being that you created and are now fully responsible for. O.M.G…change.

Change that you desired. Change that you purposely decided upon. Change that you know is the right step for you in your life. Change that brings more change.

Anyone who tells you that change, good or bad is easy-peasy, is faking it or lying to you. Period. Be real. Be honest. Change is hard.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

blog

Morning After Doubts

watercolor-backgroundwm

I can not speak for everyone but whenever I make a huge life changing decision the morning after is always filled with doubt. I think it is pretty normal, pretty human thing to do so I do my best not to beat myself up when I find my mind swirling in doubt and confusion. I wake up in a panic, often mumbling out loud, “Did I do the right thing? Is this the right choice? Is this a mistake?”

Here’s the thing…
Personally, I think doubt can be useful when used in the right way. I think it is healthy to examine our choices, sometimes we have to do it multiple times. I think doubt causes us to do that provided we stop, control are racing thoughts and re-evaluate our decisions. Every time we have normal doubts then we are being presented with an opportunity to adjust our course or continue forward in our choice. It is important to recognize it as an opportunity to pause and search with in our hearts, minds and desires. Are we headed in the direction we want to travel? Is the life we wish to build?

I know that people say not to doubt, however, I think, that there is no harm in asking the important questions of our choices because we are responsible and accountable for our choices. Every decision we make defines the road we traverse on and manifests our lives. Our choices create our lives so why not take a few minutes, a day even, to re-examine our decisions because they are changing your life.

I think fear is a far worse culprit than doubt. Fear can seize our minds to the point that we never even make a decision. We just stop or even worse, we fear our choices which results in never taking a step. It is okay to use doubt to re-evaluate our life path. It is not okay to live in fear of our life path.

For myself, I asked the necessary questions this morning. I looked within again and said, yes, again. If I don’t seize this window of opportunity, I may regret it. I don’t want to look back on my life and say, “I had a chance to know you, to value you, to love you but I let fear of change stop me.”

Twenty years from now, I won’t regret the decision to move.
Be brave.
Jamie Christine

blog, photography

Sunny Saturday

DSCN1219wm

I am up late. Just starting to get my brain in focus and start some work. I came across this happy image and decided to share a quick post. I took this shot a few years ago. Up close and personal with the Brittle Bush. It is actually a weed the grows wild in Arizona but in the spring it is covered with these superb, sunny little flowers. They line the highways and cover the desert with a dazzling yellow spreading delightful beauty wherever they may wander. Yet, they are still a weed. Some times I wonder if creation comes up with things like the Brittle Bush just to confound humans and say, “You haven’t begun to discover the magic that is out there.” Magic like weeds that cover the desert with beauty. I wish each of you a sunny, happy Saturday. I hope that your weekend is wonderful and full of loving sunshine!

Be brave,
Jamie Christine

blog, photography

The Red Roan

DSCN9715wmbb

This weekend, I was looking through my collections of photographs, when I came across this shot of The Red Roan standing tall as the river flowed against him. I paused and stared because I just love this photo and this horse. He exudes strength and power. When you witness him standing in the river like this, there is a sense that he owns the Salt River. Yet, I’ve never seen him behave in a vicious manner. I have never had the privilege of watching him defend his place along the Salt River but he bares a few scratches and scars that attest to the fact that he is not one to be trifled with on his own grounds. He is definitely a stallion who calls the shots in his world. His presence is so impressive that catching a glimpse of him takes your breath away.

On this particular morning, when he glanced my way and paused while I took as many shots as I could in the moment, I was stunned. I still recall the feeling when he looked directly at me. Some may think that I felt wonder or amazement but the strongest emotion that arises from the encounter is gratitude. This beauty did not have to stop and acknowledge my presence with a glance. His is, clearly, the master of his domain. Yet, he did. I am grateful that he glanced my way because The Red Roan is the manifestation of what it means to be wild, free and in full control of ones destiny.

I am also jealous of him.
Be brave.
Jamie Christine