Life update

Hi guys!

How is everyone doing? I hope everyone is doing well and hanging in there. I know it’s tough, I truly do. Sometimes I feel like I am talking to an empty auditorium, but when I go and see on my stats that people still swing by to see if I’ve written or have read my posts, I feel all good & fuzzy. Those feels, ya know? It can bring a blogger back to write again. So that’s what I’m doing right now regardless of who is in here. First and foremost, allow me to deeply apologize for being MIA for most of last year. As you may know, I had a knee surgery back in June of 2020. I had a minor fracture on my femur during the operation and it put me back 6 weeks in wearing a leg brace and a walker. Yes, I felt like a 98 year old woman walking around with a walker, but I loved the fuss I got as a result. I would get these looks of “Aww, poor girl all disabled and stuff” or “Why is she using a walker, she doesn’t look old” to the outright outburst of “What happened to you?!” I got a lot of “medical ageism or medical stereotype” statements directed at me like, “You’re too young to have a total knee replacement!” Often I’d have to defend myself stating that I had bad arthritis and it wasn’t my fault. Things happen. I just happened to draw the card in life of having bad arthritis in my knee. What can I do? I had to make do of it and take care of my condition. Do babies ask for childhood cancers? No. Do they deserve it? Of course not! Did I ask for my spinal cord to be squished by my back bone and therefore need an emergency surgery in May of 2019? No. Things happen and I feel like people think you need to be a certain age to experience “old people” things. Having a physical therapist assistant tell me, “Oh, I thought by now you would’ve been able to do that (a certain exercise)” and expecting me to fit the mold and comparing me to what other people with knee replacements go through in their success stories. My surgeon said it would take about 18 months until I would feel like myself. It’s been 8 months and I am still going to physical therapy. I am improving! Those are just some of the negative things I’ve experienced other than the loneliness and isolation I have felt since January of 2019. I’ve learned you can’t rely on people for feeling good in lonely times. You must truly love being by yourself and make yourself happy. People will let you down. But in saying that, it doesn’t mean to stop checking up on other people and making sure they are ok. I’m not one to beg people to check up on me. I’ve discovered which friends are real and which ones have been fake from the beginning. It’s ok because I now just invest on those friendships that are genuine and it’s quite lovely. I’m sorry for ranting!

The beautiful thing about isolating and feeling lonely is that you are more in your head than usual. You get a clarity about life and future goals. I start thinking of where I’d like to be once things appear to be normal in society. But what will be normal? I think the world will open back up and we will see people doing things we used to see. However, there has been a sense of emotional trauma we have all experienced that we will be bringing into the “new normal”. Side eyeing someone when they cough or sneeze. That used to be normal, right? All you said was bless you and you went on with life. Now, when someone coughs or sneezes innocently (even due to allergies like myself), people will most likely step away and act like you have some crazy disease. There’s a lot of arguments of wearing masks and not wearing masks. I don’t want to get into it, but I wanted to show this cute mask from Snapchat which is much cuter than the blue mask I usually wear. Ugh. My hair is so 2020. Time to add highlights again!

So going to physical therapy has been beneficial and I am gaining strength on my operated leg. I still use a cane, but am lifting it up every 5 steps to get used to not using it when outside. Inside my home, I force myself to walk around as best as I can without a cane and it’s been helping. I went back to my original physical therapist in October of last year and it’s been going well. I like that my physical therapist believes in me. I don’t give myself enough credit when it comes to some things. My last appointment, he observed me walking with my cane and said I should try holding a 10 lb kettlebell on my left hand and walk one small lap. I did it. He walked beside me to make sure he could catch me if I fell, but I didn’t fall. I thought to myself, “Omg! I’m walking without a cane carrying a 10 lb weight…what is this wizardry?” Even I was surprised at how easy it was and it felt comfortable. Today I was a bit sore from yesterday so walking a few laps made me a tiny bit shaky. Having a determined spirit, I will begin walking carrying a 10 grocery bag in my home to practice. Technically, my surgeon does not want me to lift anything 20 lbs or heavier. He doesn’t want me to hop either! I was joking around with my surgeon and asked if I could hop (I was trying to ease into asking if I could do jumping jacks once I am all healed for exercise) and he said absolutely not! There goes my dreams of being a hip hop dancer! I do love dancing and I will consider watching my Tahiti dance training videos instead, hmm! I’ve accepted that my healing process is my own unique journey. When I see older people in their 80’s walking around after knee surgery at my physical therapy place, I only am happy for them. I am not jealous or anything like that, but just truly happy for them. I’m sure they have lovely grandchildren they want to do activities with as they should!

As a girl who grew up in the Amazon who began to learn early on to appreciate my “home” where ever I was at the moment, little did I know I’d grow up with the mentality of being a free spirit. This way of growing up helped me to adapt to places much easier and made me begin my sense of adventure. I’ve moved 18 times so far and traveled to 13 countries (or is it 14?). I’ve loved it. The downside of this, my friends can attest to this too because they have felt the same way, is that you get that 5-7 year itch to move again because you’re so used to moving! Putting down roots somewhere and buying a forever house? Crazy! When I moved with my son in NJ, it was so he could go to a better school or the rent was more appealing in a safer neighborhood. It was mostly to improve life and not so much about my own happiness. I mean, I was happier as a result, but it was not my dream home or place. It’s funny how one’s dreams in your 20’s or even 30’s are mostly for where your job takes your or where you want to get a job. At least it was for me. I don’t think I really sat down and asked myself if I moved if it would be somewhere I could be totally committed to. One of my biggest fears in life was to be bored of where I eventually would settle down. There’s so many gorgeous places I’ve wanted to live at like Lake Como, for example. Being analytical about things in life, I weighed the pros and cons of moving there. Something just didn’t feel right. I think I was almost forcing myself to be excited about it. Lake Como is gorgeous (from the California side) and it offers views of the mountains and lots of outdoor activities. The idea of moving there eventually died somewhere in the halls of other places that I once dreamt about living at. Settling down doesn’t sound so scary anymore. Neither does maybe finding “the one” either as in the person. I’m pretty open to that. Trying to manifest the man of my dreams. I hope he finds me. So come on baby, wherever you are! Wink! I feel like I am at the stage of life where I can finally breathe and think it’s time. No more reindeer games of hopping all over the place. It’s fun while it lasts, but eventually finding a place you can call your home and where you can wake up every single morning and be glad you are where you are…that is a fabulous feeling to have.

Credit: dloudermilk

I realized finding “the place” must be like finding “the one”. Once you know, you know. And like they say about finding love when you least expect it or not even looking for love, it happens. That’s what happened to me. I found “the place”.

So last week on a normal day of googling something, I was looking at homes because of something else. It was in a State I told myself I would never, EVER move to. No way! I was gobsmacked at the homes I saw and everything the city and suburbs offered. I literally had a Big Fish moment! I couldn’t get over how beautiful and big the homes were and this State has palm trees in it! I thought this city would be boring, dry and deserted, but the city I like is full of lush trees, incredible parks and lakes. I checked out what this particular city offered and it offered everything I could dream of. It was like something clicked in my mind and I thought to myself, “Yes, this is the place!” THIS is the place I want to grow old at. I can see myself happy here for a long time. It’s got a bit of Philadelphia in it, some suburbs remind me of the nice neighborhoods of New Jersey, the weather is nice and sunny…people are nice and the fashion, omg!” Where is this place? Texas baby! I know, I know. Texas just experienced a freak snowstorm and blackouts, but when you find “the place” nothing will stop you. I know things will get better in Texas even though they struggled this past week. Texans are strong people and resilient. I want to buy a home there, but only after renting there for a small amount of time. I’m not saying which city just yet, but believe me, it’s a fun city with so many things that will keep me happy for many years. I don’t know anyone there, but that’s fine. I’m very used to moving and not knowing people. That’s the fun part of starting a new chapter in your life, no? I’ve looked at organizations I can volunteer at and I found one that is unbelievable. I miss working with people and this particular organization is perfect for me. When will I move there? I’d like to say within 2 years or sooner. I’m going by my healing and how mobile I am. My son is gradually warming up to the idea. I did say he can stay in Colorado with his friends if he wants, but he will always have an extra room if he wants to move in with me. I’m crazy about my son, so I’m hoping he’ll move with me too. So far, he likes that there isn’t an income tax in Texas. So that is my life update thus far. I can write more, but I’ve rambled on too long. I’ll try not to be away as much now that I have gained a sense of stability for once in my life. So right now, with this new sense of a permanent life time goal, I feel happy. I’m looking at places to rent down there and comparing prices. I like to plan way ahead so I don’t get stressed doing things last minute. I haven’t felt this excited about the future in probably decades.

Things do get better.

Lots of love. Until next time.

xx

6 thoughts on “Life update

  1. finally! i have severely missed you, Jungle Girl. a post from you is like a little bit of light in this dim-witted world we have found ourselves in, stumbling around in the dark. hopefully they turn the lights back on so we can all get back to normal, whatever that means. your recent history sounds like “perseverance in longsuffering.” personally, i had another trip to the hospital for yet another kidney-related operation last month…or, “stent fun with dishpan, and the ever-present orange dye.” the dishpan has been retired to a garbage bag and the orange dye meds have run out, and i feel like a new man….but still a month older. Hmm, Texas? How are the beaches? I could go for a small island with lots of coconuts, and a couple of huts. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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    1. Hello and great to hear from you! Thank you for your kind remarks. I’ve been more of a missing light, however. Please forgive me. I’m trying to get back on more, but life has been a bit rough and scary at times. I just didn’t feel like I was in a good head place to come on WordPress and blog. I’ve been missing my mother throughout these 2 years of surgeries and I’ve felt like I’ve needed a mother like I used to when I was going through tough times. Luckily, I have her 3 best friends who are like surrogate mothers who comfort and pray for me. But it’s not the same as having my own mom, but nevertheless, it’s something and I appreciate their love. They will always be in my life regardless. They knew my mom the best and they often tell me what advice she’d tell me. I’m sorry to hear about your hospital trip. I can empathize with you, not your condition, but the hospital experience. Hope you continue your recovery! Yes, the reason I know I want to live in Texas is because the city has everything I want in it. I tried picturing myself living in other cities and I know I’d be bored after a while. It fits my personality, people are polite, the food is great, women are glamorous in their outfits yet casual and the trees remind me of Brazil. I’ve missed my palm trees. I’m not familiar with the beaches there. I guess they are ok. I saw they have islands which is similar to Sea Isle City in NJ where I’d go on vacations a lot. The city in Texas where I want to live nearby has lots of lakes and creeks. Living in Colorado and not being near a body of water has been driving me crazy. I’ve never been this far from the ocean before and it’s been killing me. I’m a beach girl and always will be. So if I can live near a big lake or a running river or creek, I’m a very, very happy girl. The sound of water calms my soul. No, I won’t be living near the ocean, but at least I know it’s near. Hopefully the place I rent will have a pool and then I can save enough money for a house with a pool. Don’t get me wrong, I love Colorado, but it’s not the place for me. I literally have no friends here. It’s been lonely and I need to live somewhere where people are very friendly. People are friendly here, but they are so used to their friends that it’s hard to break into a friendship group. But I am happy and am enjoying my time here because I know I’ll be moving in the future. Not sure when, but definitely. 🙂 Sorry for the long response! I forgot your email!

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      1. Hey! Sorry, I’m just getting to my comments right now. I have a post set up to go live around 9 am mountain time. I think my desire to blog again is coming back which is thrilling to me. I’m in a good head space right now and I’m eager to share my thoughts and feelings once again to whomever wants to read and get into my head.

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  2. As always beautiful lady, your enthusiastic free-spirited for life is as intoxicating as it was when I first made your lovely acquaintance over 25+ years ago…. (probably even longer now lol)…

    With so much that has come-and-gone, as well as much of each individual has endured in their own personal journeys… I can say one thing that is absolute when it comes to you my friend; that is you are a survivor, a warrior-princess, a woman of resilience!!!

    I omit I have not kept up with your blog like I used too so many moons ago, but as you know; some things take time… esp when traveling ones own journey… but for what it is worth, when I do catch up on your updates, my heart skips a beat and I am reminded of how far you have come and how much inner-strength you possess… sharing your life journey over the years…

    I just want to thank you for staying the course and continuing to be true to yourself! You are truly a picture of someone who has lived life and then some; but most importantly has not lost who they are in their heart-of-hearts!!!

    Not to go on; as no doubt you will receive many a encouraging word… but know you are some one who I admire Amanda (though we have never met IRL lol, other then a few limited phone calls a lifetime ago)…

    Be blessed and be strong…

    Steve (from “The Land of the Long White Cloud — Aotearoa, New Zealand)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Steve,
      Nice to hear from you! I’m glad you are doing well over in New Zealand. I am blessed to have friends near and far who still encourage me in my journey in life. I’ve never been happier than I’ve been now. It’s not what I have or lack of, but it’s more a state of mind. I can contribute it to many things, but at the end of the day, it’s how you see yourself. The past 8 years have been incredibly challenging to my mental health. Life has “leveled” me up because I’ve successfully survived some of the hardest years of my life. I can rest and smile. I still have days where things and people frustrate me, but I don’t allow it to ruin my day. I’m always striving to be a better person, not perfect as no one is perfect, but to strive to have a healthy state of mind. I believe a healthy state of mind still allows one to express anger, frustration, sadness and loneliness and embrace it, but to also move on from it and not wallow in it. I’d hate to be happy 100% 24/7. That’s not real life. It’s true, I’ve been happy since mid February and I’ve been thinking, “Wow, nothing is really bothering me. Something has to happen to make me sad or upset. I want to experience those feelings too! I can’t be on cloud 9 for all this time! So, life threw me a bit of heart breaking news about a dear friend and I’m a little sad about it. Life is so unpredictable. Anyway, I am laser focused on my future and really working on my physical therapy. This month of April is flying by so fast! Good to hear from you my friend. I wish you a wonderful day and many blessings. Stop by my page anytime. The light will always be on for ya.

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