Post 6: Anxiety

Anxiety is one of those words that you always hear without putting too much thought into, like sales tax and political corruption. Everyone says it, everyone has it, but no one ever really talks about it. I have recently come to terms with the severity of my own anxiety and how much it infiltrates my day to day life.

I haven’t been diagnosed with any sort of anxiety disorder, I’m not on any medication, I haven’t ever even discussed the problem with a doctor. What I do know is that I don’t run the dishwasher while I am at work because I’m afraid that’s going to be the time it breaks and floods the house. I don’t like to plug things into the older outlets throughout the house because that’s going to be the time that the house burns down. I know, without a doctor telling me, that the tight feeling in my chest, and the pain in my jaw from clenching my teeth when I’m stressed is caused by something more then just being over worried.

Everyone’s solution to my irrational thoughts, ( I know they are irrational…) is “Oh, don’t worry about it! Things will be fine, you have no reason to feel that way!”, but it isn’t that easy. I know that thinking about the fact that every time I leave the house there MIGHT be a fire, or a flood or a tornado or the dogs might need to poop, is absolutely ridiculous, it still happens. I cannot just make these thoughts go away like the flip of a light switch. I cannot just say “oh that’ll never happen!” and move on with my day.

Sometimes my anxiety is worse then others. It is often exasperated when my husband goes away. Partially because he is my safe place, my home, my shoulder to lean on. But mostly because I’m not confident in my own ability to handle a situation that may arise. It comes from not knowing what to do if something happens to him, if there is a car accident or he gets lost in the woods (which he wont, he can read the woods like a map), it comes from all of the what ifs.

The problem with anxiety, other then the actual anxiety is that unless you have that heart wrenching feeling at the spur of a moment, unless your mind goes to the worse case scenario on things that are seemingly innocent, you think its not a real thing. You think that people are just over reacting and looking for attention, when in reality, even if they wanted to, until they can talk themselves down and rationalize their own thoughts, they cannot just move. I know that when I leave the house, we live within a half a mile of a fire station on a busy street, we have cameras around the house to keep track of burglars and other wrong doers, and that bad things don’t happen to normal people on a regular basis. I know that with faith and hope and general life experience, things will all end up okay. Cleaning does help, a clean space means a clean mind. It means you can focus on your own well-being rather than the dishes and the laundry and the dog hair underneath the dishwasher.

Do you experience anxiety? How do you handle it? What are you anxious about? How do you find your solace? I would love to hear your input.

Post 5: Life and Everything That Goes With It…

Well, it is no mystery that I have been somewhat absent on the blog lately. Life has been one roller coaster ride after another, pretty much starting in April. Here we are, in the end of June and I am finally getting around to filling you all in on my life. Where is a better place to start then the beginning.

Back in April our leasing company let us know that they would be selling our town home that we had been living mostly happily in for the last two years. Now it wasn’t all bad, this meant we could get out of our lease early, without penalty and they were more then willing to help us find a new place to call home. Luckily, my cousin was also selling a fixer upper and it seemed like divine intervention that all of these doors were opening at the same time! So, we decided to see if we could even make this happen, if this was even a possibility.

Luckily, we got pre-approved and we were going through the motions of buying a home. We got it! We are, as of May 29th, homeowners in the midst of Colorado’s crazy house market! From there, we took on the project of fixing it up and getting it as close to perfect as we can. We replaced all of the flooring with the exception of two rooms, we painted the entire interior, baseboards, doors, lights, and a good portion of the trim. We were lucky enough to have a ton of help from our families and friends as well. They have helped us and showed us everything we didn’t already know. They brought us food since we hadn’t been grocery shopping in six weeks, they watched the dog when we were too busy to be the best dog parents we could be, and they helped move our stuff, which is no fun for anyone. We were blessed to say the least.

About two weeks after we closed on the house we went on this super wonderful vacation to Oregon. We were welcomed with open arms as always, by Todd’s family. We spent five days bouncing between waterfall hikes, the reservoir and Portland. I finally got to go to the ocean with my husband, we saw a whale or two and we got to relax finally. It was a wonderful trip! If you have never been to Oregon, and you enjoy the scenery of Colorado, I recommend Oregon for sure.

Seriously, Oregon is BEAUTIFUL!

Well, we spent an excessive amount of time at the airports due to delayed flights and DIA not being prepared, and we finally made it home. I walked into work on Wednesday thinking everything was fine. By Wednesday at 4:00PM, I had no job. My job of just over a year, had let me go. This being the first time I have ever been fired from a job, it turned out to be somewhat of a shock. It was a blow to my self esteem more than anything. The job wasn’t that great, and by no means did I feel like this was my dream position. I took the rest of the day on Wednesday to wallow in self pity and be upset. By Thursday I had applied for about ten jobs, and by that evening I had an interview set up for Monday. Whether it be by the grace of God or luck, I had a job by Monday. I start sometime next week, only five minutes from our new home, and I didn’t have to take a pay cut. If anything, it truly shows that everything happens for a reason.

Pacific City, Oregon

So, with that, here I am finally writing to you guys. Finally filling you in on where I have been, what I have been doing. Writing to the sounds of Crime Junkie in the background and some puppy love next to me. I finally have the time and the sanity to type my thoughts out. Please, if you know of anyone, send them to Unusually Awkward to follow. Don’t forget to FOLLOW the blog so you can receive email updates every time I update the blog. Don’t hesitate on giving me feedback as constructive criticism is the best way to better yourself.

That’s all for now, thank you for following me in my crazy life.

Post 4: My View On Relationships

My amazing dysfunctional family!

First things first, I apologize for being so quiet in the past few weeks. Life has been a whirlwind in both events and emotions. Todd and I have been so busy and it has been hard to find the time and energy to sit down and write. And, while I haven’t had time to write, I have had time to think. I thought about how complicated and stressful life is right now and how I know I am not the only one dealing with things right now. That everyone is going through something and it’s easy to forget that when you are only seeing smiling faces and success stories all over your timeline. But even with all of that, I have the best person by my side telling me that everything is going to be alright.

With everything that has been going on in my life right now, I couldn’t be more thankful for my husband. A majority of the things going on in our lives impact him greater than they impact me. He tends to be considerably better at handling his stress than I am though. Through everything that is going on, through everything that is uprooting our lives as they were even a month ago, he is still my rock. He is there every day to make sure that he has done everything he possibly can to relieve my stress, to make sure that I can get at least half a night of sleep and to make sure that I am fed and happy (which by the way, me being fed, generally also means I am happy…). My husband reminds me every day why I married him and why I am so thankful to have him in my life.

I can tell you right now that Todd is and always has been a better person than I am. He is much more patient, kind and forgiving. He can see the other side of a situation without thinking twice about it while I stand in the back being Judgy McJudgerson. Todd will help anyone that needs it and give you his opinion without making you feel like yours doesn’t matter. He can teach you how to do anything and actually makes it seem as though he is looking forward to doing it. One of the few problems of being married to such a fantastic person is that on occasion, and by no fault of his own, I feel as though some day he is going to wake up and think about all the times I have sucked as a wife and walk away. Never once has Todd been unfaithful, or threatened that he might leave, or even acted like something I had done wasn’t good enough. But still, I worry that because I know that Todd is a better person than I am, that he will find someone better.

I realize that this is irrational, I even realize that most of it is made up and yet still, I think about it every time I say something that would hurt my own feelings to Todd or every time I don’t support him in ways that he supports me, the thought crosses my mind. Sometimes it is fleeting, sometimes it is more detailed than I would like them to be. It, just like the rest of my stressors and fears is fading slightly as my own confidence works its way back into my life. While it still occurs often, it doesn’t come in the form of dreams. My subconscious doesn’t remind me of it every time Todd and I have a disagreement now which is an improvement to say the least.

If there is any advice that I can give to couples is to find out you and your partner’s love languages. The Pastor that married Todd and I told us one of the most beneficial pieces of advice for our relationship. He said that we love the way we want to be loved. If you find yourself waking up early and making your partner coffee and maybe a little bit of breakfast and making sure you wake them up sweetly, then maybe you can connect the fact that you too want your partner to do that for you. Or if you notice your partner constantly buying you little trinkets from wherever they go even though you think that the keychain from the gas station is dumb, maybe it would be beneficial to see that they want you to think of them everytime you look at something. It goes into the communication part of your relationship, you need to be able to read them and find out their likes and dislikes. You need to know what makes them tick and what ticks them off. It’s not a one time thing either, your relationship should be a constant learning curve. You shouldn’t know the answer to every question all the time. If you do, you get bored and mundane.

I know that I am only 22 and my experience in life is minimal compared to a lot of other people. But I do feel that even with my fears, I have a good relationship with Todd. Otherwise I wouldn’t have married him. Everyday I learn something new about him and I feel as if he learns something new about me. Without a doubt, our relationship, just like everyone else’s is hard sometimes. Sometimes I look forward to coming home to just the dog who won’t ask me why I am irritated or annoyed, but every day,  I look forward to kissing my husband and experiencing yet another crazy day with him. Every day I look forward to talking to him and every day I look forward to hearing about his day at work. Even when he irritates me and makes me want to lock him in the closet for a minute, I love him and appreciate him every day for it. And if your person doesn’t make you feel that way, in any relationship, whether it be friends, family or partners, than maybe you should think about your relationship a little bit more and see what you can do to improve it.

Post 3: Positivity and Trust

“Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to justice.”
-Charles F. Glassman

The worst things in the world are people. People are unpredictable, hard to trust and even harder to keep. Coincidentally, the best things in life are, you guessed it, people. Its no mystery that I have a pretty small “tribe” as people like to call it. I can count the number of friends I have on one hand with ease. To some that’s a problem, but I know that at any point in time, those 5 people would help me at the drop of a hat. They would be there without question to make sure that I was taken care of. But people are still the worst.

My first interaction with people I generally want to trust them. I want them to be the best person there is and I don’t usually expect them to turn their backs on me. But The Hardest thing about the expectation, is that it is rarely met. Trusting someone means being able to tell them anything, trusting that they will support you and inform you when they shouldn’t. Trusting someone means knowing that they are defending you when you aren’t around. It means being able to vent to them and they won’t use it as fuel in your destruction. Trust is not a finite resource, it is never-ending and should go on even after the relationship has passed. But that happens rarely, and usually only with lots of bumps and bruises on the way. Trusting too easily can get you in as much trouble as not trusting at all. People take advantage of the trust you are willing to give them, people use it as a door into your weaknesses. They use it as a away to break you down and put them on their level. Not everyone, but the ones that don’t, are the ones that deserve your whole life and whole dedication. Once you find those ones, you know you have found your true “tribe”.

Recently I have had some interactions with people surrounding me that make you wonder, why? Why are people so nasty? Is it because it is easier to make others feel inferior than it is to uplift people? Is it easier to make people question their worth than it is to evaluate their own? By no means am I saying that I am a perfect person. I can be mean, I say things out of reaction a lot of the time, and I tend to be a little bit moody. A lot of times my immediate reaction is anger or hurt, which also results in anger, but the most beneficial advice I have ever received is give it 24 hours to react. If something makes you upset, or hurt, or sad or mad or angry, give it 24 hours before you react. Honestly, it is one of the few things that has helped me change my attitude toward life.

If 24 hours pass and you still feel as passionately about the situation as you did initially, then by all means, react. Say what’s on your mind and make your voice heard. But if 24 hours pass and you’re not even sure what the issue was, than you will be glad you waited. In those 24 hours you will find clarity, you will absolutely find the true reason the situation triggered that reaction from deep inside you. This is true in love, in hate, in joy and in sorrow. While your initial reaction may be true, it won’t be what’s best for the situation you are in.

Which brings me back to positivity. We live in a world surrounded by sad headlines, pain and sorrow. We live in a world that is so keen on making sure that they are on top, they forget to help anyone up with them. While I know I am not perfect, I choose not to go out of my way to make myself better than anyone else. I choose not to go out of my way to make people miserable. I’ll be the first to admit that I could be better about making people feel better about themselves, but I know that at least I’m not making sure people are miserable around me. I am a work in progress, just as everyone should be. Once we feel we are untouchable and at perfection, is exactly when we start falling behind and failing as a community. It doesn’t cost you anything to simply be nice. It could cost someone else everything with one comment.

Post 2: Fear and Stress and Everything In-Between

Odds are, if you are living and breathing, you have both stress and fear in your life. To many, those don’t always mean the same thing, in my mind they often coincide. Whether it be because I don’t know how to manage my stress and anxiety or because I don’t know how to conquer my fears, I do not know. I’m not talking about the fear of spiders (which lets be honest, who isn’t afraid of those 8-legged freaks) or the fear of heights, I’m talking about the fear of life itself.
In October of 2017 , five feet from our front door, our pickup was stolen. . It had thousands of dollars of hunting and camping gear in it, as well as many memories as it was my father in law’s truck before it was ours. I wouldn’t say that was the start of my daily anxiety, but it certainly made it more apparent. I watched myself turn into someone I didn’t know, someone I didn’t recognize. I was obsessive about making sure the front door was locked and the garage door was shut. I would back the car out of the garage, only to put it in park and run to the front door and check it to see if the door would open from the outside. I would watch the garage door until the house was out of my view and still text my husband about how I wasn’t sure if it closed all the way. They did not only steal our truck, they stole my security. They stole my peace of mind. They took the normal creaks and cracks of a house and turned every one of them into an invader. I didn’t know how to deal with it, I was constantly stressed out about the doors on our house when they didn’t even break in, they just stole the pickup.
I’ve always been known for not knowing how to manage my stress. My second year in college, I was living on my own for the first time and noticed a pain in my molars. Thinking it was a cavity, I went to the dentist only for them to tell me that it was from clenching my jaw throughout the day without realizing it. In that same time, I was going to school, working, dating Todd and trying to love every minute of finally being out of my parents’ house. What I wasn’t doing was taking care of myself and noticing what my body was telling me. Stress was taking over me and I didn’t even know it. Now my stress presents itself in moodiness, tooth pain, fatigue and lack of motivation. I am constantly looking for ways to manage it and overcome it, essential oils, long baths, a drink or two, tacos. Nothing works well enough for me to “lighten up” as people like to say.
Between my constant stress and fear, I have found myself anxious about everything. When I leave the house every morning, I pray to God that the house doesn’t burn down because my dog is inside, I pray every day that Todd makes it to work safe and that we both make it home safe and sound and happy. I repeat the mantra “Please dear God just make sure Todd and I make it home safe and sound and happy” over and over until I can distract myself with something else. The happy part was added on because it is all encompassing of our families and friends and financial stability. It means that to be happy all of those things need to work out for another day. I find myself worried about taking my dog for a walk because it’s easy enough for someone to stop their car on the side of the road, pull me in and nobody would ever even know it.
I would like to say that I don’t think about all of these things even daily, but in reality, I think about them almost hourly. I find solitude in my habits, but then I think about how my habits would be easy for someone with nefarious plans to learn and then I think about changing my habits. I get bursts of energy where I feel like I can conquer anything, and then I find those thoughts creeping back into my head like a leaky faucet, you can leave the house but you still know, every day, the faucet is still going to drip.
I guess my question for you as a reader is, am I the only one? How do you deal with our stress? How do you keep your mind from going to the worst case scenario in every situation you find yourself in? How do you make sure that you are living your best life, without boundaries, without fear? Where do you find your happy?

That’s all for now.
Kodi.

Post 1: Unusually Awkward

A day in my life consists of waiting until the very last minute to peel myself out of bed, texting my husband “I love you sooooooo much!”, brushing my teeth, and finding clothes to wear for the day. All while talking to my dog, trying to get him out of bed, walked, fed and loved on a little bit before he’s left all alone for another day. I drive the 45 minutes to work on a two lane highway that’s simply not meant to handle the influx of people this state has gotten, and walk to my desk. This is where I will sit for the next 9 hours of my life, doing the least gratifying work that I have ever done in my life…And I think to myself, I’ve only got to make it to tomorrow. With that, by the end of the day, I make the 45 minute drive home, and get greeted by a wagging tail and puppy kisses. It’s enough love to make your heart happy for the whole night.

All my life I have lived in the shadow of my older brother. He is two years older than me and I have both looked up to him my whole life and also been a little bit jealous of him. Always smarter, always had more friends, and all of the teachers liked him better. He played sports, is a fantastic woodworker, and unfortunately is still infinitely smarter than I will ever be. I always told myself the one thing I had going for me was that I was better with people than he is. Even though I am not even sure that’s true.

While he was always the best at everything, I found myself falling short of greatness. In my graduating class I was dead center as far as grades came. I was an officer in our high school FFA chapter and only lettered in academics my freshmen year. Those are my two claims to fame in my whole 22 years. I have 4 years of college under my belt and yet I have no degree simply because I refuse to spend all that money on something I don’t feel 100% passionate about. Which as of yet, is nothing. I have a closet full of half finished crafts for anyone interested in jumping in on some half done projects. I have a blanket that I started when I was about 13, that’s even pinned together, but I have yet to finish it. So it sits in my drawer and keeps the dust bunnies warm in the winter. I have a bunch of jewelry making supplies, but as it turns out, I’m not so great at basic skills like patterns. I’ve even tried embroidery, which is much harder than the YouTube videos like to portray! Luckily, Todd has opened my eyes to some new things like tent camping, archery and hiking. These are some of my favorite things actually! But my fear of abduction keeps me from traipsing through the mountains on my own…

I remember being told that I am different quite a lot throughout my life. No one could ever tell me how, or why even, they just tell me I’m different. Whether it be because of the way I talk, the things I find funny, or the way I carry myself, I am not sure. I find myself constantly wondering what people think of me, while simultaneously telling myself not to care.  On occasion I am told that I am super nice, or quite the opposite. And while it is none of my business what other people think of me, I can’t help but have the thought sitting in the back of my mind constantly. I remember meeting my husband’s friends for the first time and all I could think about was how they must be thinking about how boring and lame and bossy and different and annoying and mean I must be! I am shy and quiet around a lot of people, especially upon our first interaction and yet I couldn’t bring myself out of that shell to prove all of the thoughts racing through my head wrong. And so still, to this day, I find myself thinking about how much they must not like me and what they must say when Todd and I are not around. I have yet to discover how to overcome the overwhelming thoughts of dissatisfaction. I find myself navigating this world rather unusually.

Everything is not always dark and gloomy though, being unusually average is not a bad thing. It has shown  me so many new things in this world, and given me many great experiences! I have never wanted to be like everyone else. I take pride in the fact that I was the only girl Kodi I’ve ever known, and even more pride in the fact that I enjoy doing things that not everyone else does. My husband and I LOVE cooking, and crafting and hunting and fishing together. We love the outdoors, but we love hanging out in our beautifully decorated house and doing a puzzle together just as much. It’s a gamble every time we walk in our door seeing if our dog puked under the table or chewed up my underwear for the 47th time. Even though he has the cutest little puppy dog face, boy does he know how to make you question if you really need a dog at all.

I tried to come up with a few of my own strengths, have you ever tried to come up with 5 positive things about yourself? It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds. In fact, I have found it impossible, so much so that I have decided my strengths will come with time. So my strengths are to be determined. They will come with the self discovery I think.

If I don’t have you hooked by now, let’s be honest, you won’t find much interest in what I have to offer. I don’t have a lot of tips and tricks to offer. I don’t have a guacamole recipe with an entire backstory about my husband’s, grandmother’s, great cousin twice removed to proceed it to offer you. I have my life, which is Unusually Average in every sense of the phrase. I have the trials, the tributes, the triumphs and the tortures that life has decided to throw at me. Odds are, there will be humor to follow most situations, because as average as my life is, it is wonderful. I love every minute of it. My husband supports me in everything I do, and my dog has enough of a life to fill both of our hearts. I’ll give you my best, from the very beginning. Regardless of the views and the publicity, you will find my true, honest, raw unfiltered thoughts and prayers typed out for all to see.

 

That’s all for now, Kodi.