Pregnant Envy

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Didn’t think I was insecure anymore, but I’ll admit, I – like many others – recently had my confidence shaken by this woman:

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Only 4yrs younger than me, she recently reached viral fame by posting her pregnancy progression pics online.

Despite that the woman is 5’8, had an original waist of only 23″, and is carrying her very first child, (all things that differ from me) the woman was/is still a physical anomaly!

Pregnancy is an incredibly challenging process, where you lose control of your entire body and, sometimes, yourself along the way.  Often, women do feel the need to compensate for what they cannot control with what they can.
I am one of them.

I’ve been through this before, I’m familiar with the process, I trust what my body is capable of without needing my assistance or permission.
I’m confident that I’ve been doing what I feel is best for me (and baby) to aid my body in doing its job to the best of its ability…

However, I am not above having my confidence rattled by the abilities of another human.  I’m a personal perfectionist who feels the need to “do it all” to prove – not to anyone else – but to myself, that I’m capable of anything… anything that CAN be done.
For one day, I let insecurity get the best of me.  I fell off my game, let myself down…
For one day, I made the mistake of comparing myself to someone else and feeling discouraged by my own inability instead of allowing myself to be encouraged and motivated them/theirs.

No, I am not physically capable of achieving the baby body that this model got through with. No matter what.
This woman is an anomaly!
Otherwise, her maternity wouldn’t have made her famous!

I’m okay with that.
After thought and honesty, I concluded that my emotional response to her frame came not from jealousy, but from guilt.
I haven’t been working as hard as I planned to during this pregnancy, I’m not giving it my all.
I was feeling guilty of this before I was introduced to her results, this only fanned the hormonal flame.

But, I’m back!
I’m not feeling sorry for myself or making excuses anymore!
It’s time to shut up and show results.
This is MY journey, my decisions, my responsibility for myself. I’m not her or you, I’m writing my own story.

Starting now. . .

Interested in seeing my journey?
You can catch up with my very normal, typical pregnancy experience via:

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Thanks for stopping by!

Pregnancy In Reality

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After much discomfort, stress, and lack of sleep, I’ve decided to blog about my current pregnancy.

For those just tuning on or who have been reading, but not watching the videos via YouTube, my husband and I are currently expecting a baby!  This is of course, my third time, but is his FIRST, so that is very exciting for both of us.

I’m currently 6 months (26 weeks) progressed in this pregnancy and, after reading and watching videos/blogs/accounts from other pregnant women, have some things that I feel the need to share and stress…

What triggered this?

The overwhelmingly common feedback from pregnant, or previously pregnant, women that pregnancy is all “amazing, wonderful, spiritual, glamorous, blessing…etc”.  And, be those things as they may be… that does not begin to cover the reality of what pregnancy really is. . . .

I’ll begin by going over some symptoms of early pregnancy that have since subsided or at least minimized by now:

  • Severe morning sickness

This felt like dying to me.  Granted, I experienced a worse version than most women (and apparently less than half of all pregnant women get morning sickness to begin with), but it was crippling and handicapped me from month 2 until month 5. At which point I was prescribed medication which I am still taking on occasion for lingering nausea and sporadic vomitimg.

  •  Headaches

This was another symptom that I cannot wholly contribute to pregnancy alone, but it was uncomfortable and often debilitating, nonetheless.  Another lone symptom, but also contributed or worsened by excessive vomiting causing dehydration.

  •  Lethargy

At this point I’m finally at the stronger, more energetic, healthier, more normal again stage of pregnancy (though I’m quickly nearing the end of it) and I no longer feel physically exhausted or fall asleep without warning in the middle of the day.  I’m guessing excessive vomiting had some contribution to that as well though.

  •  Cravings / Aversions

Something that may not ail all of you, especially first-time moms who are new to this ride and taking the changes in awe and wonder.  The aversions I found far worse than cravings, obviously, as they would usually be set off by or provoke another bout of nausea and vomiting.  Cravings I found fun, at first, but soon felt it became another symptom that caused me to feel out of control of my own body… as many do.

And that was just what I can recall off-hand of the first HALF of this!  Now, onto the short list of “magical blessings” that I’m still dealing with:

  •  Extremely tender, aching, swollen nipples/breasts

Started at a size 32D and am currently up to a 38DD and growing.  And the milk hasn’t even come in yet.  Oh, wait til that happens!

  • Backaches

Contributed to growing baby, stretched muscles, weakened core, suddenly heavier breasts, difficulty sleeping accommodatingly, and rapid weight gain.

  •  Weight Gain

At only two-thirds of the way through I’ve already gained 20lbs.  20LBS.  And I’ve still another three months to go!

  •  Cramping
  •  Brain Fog
  •  Blurred Vision
  •  Dry skin and hair – It’s said those improve, not always true.
  •  Chloasma – “mask of pregnancy” type of melasma, or rosacea
  •  Nausea – yes, still.
  •  Braxton Hicks – Mild, non-labor inducing contractions (still uncomfortable)
  •  Difficulty Breathing – baby has moved up against my lungs
  •  Increased Heart rate – Body’s attempt to increase oxygen
  •  Emotional Instability – You can not control your emotions
  •  Increased Urination
  • Joint Pain
  • Nasal Drip
  • Vaginal Discharge
  • – Your vagina is constantly cleaning itself in preparation for birth, there is constantly stuff flushing out of there. Some days you may even need a panty liner.

  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • – Due to pressure, pain on hips and ribs

  • Insomnia
  • – Due to any and/or all of the above

    Am I complaining? No.
    But, maybe that’s what motivates women to focus on the “magic” and the “blessings” that pregnancy creates, fear of being seen as complaining for telling the unfiltered truth.

    Well, I believe that filtering the truth, especially about pregnancy, creates an unrealistic idea of what to expect when you’re expecting, and leaves women in a panic or severe stress when they experience pregnancy like mine have been.

    *I won’t even get into these hoards of teenage girls who somehow got it into their heads that they should get pregnant, because it seems so great.

    My intention is not to convince everyone that every pregnancy is a horrible experience, every pregnancy and person is different.

    Nor, is my intention to simply complain.

    I would, however, really like to see a world where women tell the whole truth about pregnancies, not just behind closed doors (in private forums), and not just the beautiful version of the truth.

    Why is the pain and suffering we endure something that should be shamed or hidden?!?

    Why are we lying to eachother and creating unrealistic expectations based on the impression that we are superhuman and don’t vomit, cry, and pee.
    Yes we do! It’s ugly, but it’s true.

    And this, is what it takes to make a baby… in reality.

    Well, this is my experience anyway.
    What is yours? Honestly. . .

    Please, feel free to respond in the comment section below, or via:

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    Thanks for reading! Aloha!

Mutual Stress

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If you’re a woman, you may have experience with someone of the opposite sex muttering these words to you (or some version of) “you know it’s just your hormones making you feel this way”
And you’re probably aware of how immediately the interaction spirals downhill from there.

Recently, the husband and I have been finding it more difficult to be friends.
We are partners, we are housemates, we are family, but we are individually dealing with exhausting amounts of personal stress.  And when that’s the case, we usually have a companion to turn to, to talk to, to relieve stress… to keep the balance.
But, what we hadn’t accounted for, is times when we are both at our limit and both feeling like falling apart.  My partner’s problems have become part of my problems too, and likewise.
Turning to one another is no longer an option.  Burdening the other person in order to offload our stress would be selfish, and create more harm to the relationship.

So what do we do?
Who can we turn to now?

The best life is unbearable knowing he needs me and I can’t help him.
He’s unbearable, overflowing with tension and stress, not being the open, loving friend that I need.
I’m unbearable, pulling back, lashing out, pushing him away, because I’m falling apart and don’t know how to handle it on my own.

We are not perfect.  We are not without trouble.  We’ve been called “The Notebook couple”, but that’s just not true.
He is my best friend, and I’m his.
He loves me, and I love him.
That is the foundation of our marriage.  But, it’s not enough. 
Life happens, and being in love doesn’t cancel the bad.  Doesn’t dissolve the deadlines, the social disappointments, the work obligations, or the days that pass when you don’t have sex because you’re just too stressed… only feeding the stress.

During these storms, I remember all of the storms of my past, the ones I went through alone.  I’m reminded that I’m capable of enduring this, but I’m fearful that my coping mechanisms may not be built for two.
And while memories serve to reassure that storms do pass, with what consequence?
If we are carrying too much baggage to be in the same boat, won’t we drift apart?  Will we be able to recover from this storm together, or will we find ourselves on the horizon of a new dawn, cleaning up an old mess?

Right now, we’re in separate rooms… Sinking in our individual pools of problems.
Too overwhelmed to be capable of communication.
But, utilizing our personal outlets of stress processing.  Me on my blog, him wrist deep in a video game tournament. . .
So for now, we sit alone, widdling at the stress block one chip at a time.  Maybe, by the end of the night we will be removed enough to talk it out.
But, not for now.

Will this storm pass soon enough?  What is all the stress about?  How will we figure it all out?
Stay Tuned. . . . .

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Thanks for reading along with us!

Dear Diary. . .

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Today was more of an emotional rollercoaster than an emotionally sensitive person should be able to deal with…
Though, as far back as I can remember, I’ve been pressured and rolled by the powers that be, the universe has made me stronger and harder than I care to be.
But, at the end of the today, my best friend is laying next to me, he always has my back. 
And that is my reward for tribulations and adversities.
All I’ve been through, all I carry with me, and even days like this. . .
To lay in his arms and know that I’m safe.
*My Happy Place*

It’s not all love and sunny days, there are failures and frustration on both ends.  That’s human nature, that’s human relationships.
The important aspect is that through it all, despite the pitfalls, that love remains strong and he’s still my best friend.  I couldn’t imagine a day without him.  He’s both my weakness and my strength, and I’m the same for him.

We have forever to go til “death do us part”. . .
And I’m still confident that I’ll get there with him…
“Happily Ever After”

Stay Tuned!

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Crying

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There is a common misconception that crying is a sign of weakness.

I do not agree with this belief.
I have come to understand that crying is an instigation of strength, that tears are encased with weakness and emotion.

Among the Marines, I have heard said that “pain is weakness leaving your body.”
I both agree and disagree.
It’s understood that the Marines are referring to physical pain, while I attribute [some] tears to emotional pain and believe that crying pulls that pain from our bodies and flushes it through tears.
If, in fact, we are feeling weak from emotional pain, an almost inevitable action that is provoked is: crying.
And if/when we allow ourselves the bravery to cry to completion, it’s almost always a feeling of relief that comes over us, and all that is left inside of us after that, is strength.

Over time I realize more and more how utterly useless and completely burdening I am to my own body. 
Our bodies are miracles of science, operating themselves without our control.  When it’s low on food energy it sets off hunger pains to signal us to fill the tank.  When it’s worn down it simulates muscle fatigue to provoke us to rest and recharge.
Our bodies are constantly setting off signals to communicate what it needs to survive and thrive. 
All we do is get in its way!

When we’re signaled to eat, we too often eat what we want instead of what our body needs.  When we’re signaled to sleep, it’s too often just long enough to fit into our schedule instead of by our bodies clock.
And when we’re signaled to process an experience or emotion, we far too often suppress it instead, or “rationalize” it to be more emotionally convenient for our egos.

And is this strength?  Neglecting our own physical being for the sake of control?

Personally, I don’t believe it is.

I’ve spent most of my life being neglected and being sick. . .
I’ve come to realize that the two are very much related. 
If you neglect your body, you will suffer consequences.
A human cannot live on candy and cola forever, and neither can we override necessary emotions for too long.  There are consequences to neglecting our health, and a very important part of our collective whole is our emotional health.

I went through my life not believing in tears, not respecting the power of a cleansing cry.  I can see, finally, that I was wrong. 
I thought myself strong for suppressing my tears (hell, all my emotions), but I now know that I was my own demise all along. I was never strong and I may not have been so broken, in so many ways, for so long if I had allowed myself to feel.
See, feeling doesn’t make you weak.
You have to feel the pain in order to let it out, and that takes bravery and strength!  It’s weaker to hide from that.

So, it might be true, pain is weakness leaving our body.
But, I believe that emotional weakness leaves through tears, until all you have left is strength.

If you take anything from what I’ve shared, take a secret. . .
A powerful, secret ability to let yourself feel, let yourself cry.
Do it in perfect privacy, if need be, and never let anyone know what you’ve done… But do it!  Do it for your own good, let your body heal. 

Be strong.

Thanks for reading and following along as I grow through life as a student and wife.  And a sincere thank you to all of you who’ve had roles in my life-lessons…

And oh, there’s more!
Stay Tuned! . . .

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Getting To Know You

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The second year of marriage, in my experience, is really the getting-to-know-you phase of being married. 

After all of the highs and lows of dating, the ins and outs of the wedding, and the obstacles and sacrifices of combining your lives, it’s really year two where things start to truly unfold.

During our dating and brief engagement, I thought my husband had seen me in some pretty vulnerable circumstances…
But, now that he’s held my hair back while I puke. . . He’s truly seen me at my worst!
My newly acquired spouse has seen me through holidays, and learned that I’ve always orphaned my way through as either a charity case or a forgotten face.
He’s taken me on vacations, in both hotels and tents, and learned of my resourcefulness (in case of zombie apocalypse).

In the past six months, we’ve traveled and explored, we’ve coordinated parties and furnished our house. We’ve gotten lost and decided to stay and look around, and we drove up a mountain where I watched him experience his very first snow!
I’ve taught him how to cook, he’s always teaching me things I didn’t know. . .

Yep, we’re past the honeymoon and getting pretty settled in.
And I’m glad.

I’m happy to see the butterflies go, and I’m perfectly content coming down from my cloud. I can see much more clearly with my feet on the ground.
Oftentimes, romance makes us weak, or keeps us high, but it always runs it’s course as time goes by. And the end result is that we come crashing down, we wake up eventually and have to recollect ourselves, reassess ourselves. (*none of that was meant to rhyme)

Well I’m glad for the drop, cuz I’m still on my feet and I’m back in control of myself in my entirety. A big difference this time, but the biggest change of all. . . Is the man still at my side.

It’s a beautiful place, in the calm after the storm, where quiet peace allows for rich conversation and exchanging of trust. All of the relationship impression has passed and you know you’ve found someone you can trust being completely vulnerable to. There’s something so perfect about exposing all of your faults and all of your flaws, all of your past and all of your failures, and regrets…
Having that person only grow closer to you, to close those wounds to put that luggage away, someone to love you for everything that you are, and still love you more for allowing yourself to be weak and trusting their strength.

And it goes both ways!

No relationship is the answer to all of YOUR problems. Anyone looking for that is going to keep finding failures and regrets.
No one should go into a relationship weak either. You both have to be strong and hold yourselves together in your own right. Don’t aim to be an emotional burden, or that’s exactly what your partner will see you as!
Be strong, be capable of independence, be self-fulfilled, but be able to allow yourself to be vulnerable to that person that you find you can trust.
Know when you are truly at this place.

It takes time. How much, is up to you.
There’s also that thing about too much too soon.
But, I think we’ll all figure that out. It’s all a matter of becoming who you are and being proud enough to share that person with someone else.

Who are you?

And who will I become over the course of my new journey with a partner at hand?

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Stay tuned!

Lessons Learned

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Nope. . . .

Marriage is not a utopian bliss.

No relationship is realistically a utopian bliss, not even the relationship we have with ourselves, so stop looking for it!

Those dirty clothes your partner leaves on the bathroom floor, everyday, without any regard for you whatsoever…

Those plans your mate is just not capable of making on their own…

That door your spouse does not know how to close behind them…

These things will NEVER change!

Well, never is harsh, they might, with work and will and respect for your partners.

We all tend to get a little (or a lot) selfish in our relationships at times, but we must take inventory occasionally of how much we are pouring in to the relationship, how much we are giving back to our partner.

Are you just a giant child who feels entitled to be a self-centered, emotionally-unstable brat and that your partner should just deal with it and love you anyway, because again, you’re entitled to it?

Are you a dedicated business person who offloads all personal responsibilities onto your spouse, including housekeeping, bill paying, child rearing, and even coordinating recreational activities?

What, then, are you giving to the relationship?
What do you have to offer?

How are you a desirable person to date?
How are you pulling your own weight?

In what ways are you proving yourself a PARTNER?  Partner.

Relationships ARE 50/50!

That is a delicate balance that can NEVER be thrown off if you are truly serious about having a good relationship work.

It’s okay to give and take a little now and then, when the circumstances legitimately warrant it, but you do not get to be a giant brat and shut down, or act out, or fail to communicate effectively, in place of games and tests.

Your spouse is NOT your parents!

You are no longer a child.  Grow Up!

If you weren’t raised sufficiently and still need a mom or dad, you are NOT READY for a relationship.  Work on yourself.

Honestly, work on yourself, raise yourself. 
If you are over 24, then you should have the ability to see the world for yourself, you shouldn’t need mommy and daddy showing you the way anymore.

That lack of maturity does NOT make you desirable.  Work on yourself BEFORE you even think of dating or reproducing. 
It is a much slower and more difficult task to try and grow up with burdens and distractions pulling you down.
Trust me.

And here’s the trick:  ready? . . .

FOCUS ON YOUR FLAWS.

I know, you probably spend every ounce of energy in your existence avoiding this painful realization.
But, without being able to see what’s wrong, you will never be able to fix it, you’ll remain ignorant and confused. And faking only gets you so far… You’ve probably come to learn at least that much.

If you want to stop being that person who gets the guy/girl, only to have that person wrestle from your unwanted grasp 6 months later, leaving you heartbroken, self-loathing, angry, and confused. . .
Focus on your flaws.  On YOUR flaws.

That’s the ticket.

Don’t worry about what your partner is doing wrong, (let them read this too! ) because relationships are balance.  And if your other half is off, chances are, it’s because you are too.

If they are pulling away or becoming distant: 
Are you bitchy or negative or becoming an emotionally needy burden?

If there are issues in your lives, try approaching them with the silver lining first.  “You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.”
How do you want your partner to see you?

If they are emotionally needy or bitchy:

Are you distracted or distant? Are you bottling resentment or just failing to communicate with your partner?

A relationship IS a company.  You are running a business, the very difficult business of producing an incredibly addictive and potentially dangerous drug called Love. 
You are the company CEO and your partner is your co-chair.
Each of you has an important job to do to keep the company running smooth.
Shared responsibility.

First things first, who are you in business with?  Is this person capable of running a company head to head with you? 
Are they responsible, smart, caring, generous?  Trustworthy?
Are they immature, ignorant, selfish, greedy?
You should be smart about who you go into business with.  The partner you choose will be someone you expect to share everything with.
Be very discerning in the partner you choose.

If you take anyone who will have you, and pour every ounce of yourself into them, losing yourself along the way, because of loneliness and desperation, and hope that if you bleed yourself dry for them it will work out:

What do you, realistically, think is actually going to happen? 
You are not a desirable person to date.
You are a human house-pet.

Do your job, pull your weight, but do make sure you’re not pulling theirs too.

None will have respect for you if you don’t respect yourself.  You offer an example of what’s allowed by allowing it.  If you are allowing yourself to be a doormat, to be disrespected by your mate… Why?  They’re doing it, because THEY CAN.
Get out and work on yourself.
Don’t blame them for being what they are, let yourself learn your worth.
You can only change yourself. Focus on that.
AND DON’T GO BACK!  DO NOT GO BACK.

All this shows is that you are not any smarter or stronger, that you just needed a timeout.
People that use you, will never change, they will only find someone else to use if not you.
And no matter the “punishment”, you are only actually teaching them, by taking them back, that they can get away with it. That it’s okay.
Don’t be desperate.  Don’t go back!

DON’T BE DESPERATE.

It makes you undesirable and attracts users who see they can take advantage of your weakness.

And, we’ve all been there at least once (or twice) whether or not we care to admit it. 
Relationships take work. 
Being good at anything takes learning,  training, practice.  And work. 
Work on ourselves.

Don’t put that burden on a potential partner, it will be your demise.

And if you jump from relationship to relationship just because the people are “hot” or easy or come with benefits, and you hope it will work out for you:

You are hopeless and self-centered. You need to stay single.
Don’t be a predator.  Work on yourself.

And the most important secret:

COMMUNICATE.

That doesn’t mean bitch & nag or smother & stalk.
Be a person desirable to date.
Give them distance, that comes ONLY with the condition of RESPECT.
And if they violate that condition, don’t take away your trust, be prepared to take away YOURSELF.
Have trust or don’t have a relationship with a person you don’t think you can trust.  They’re not the one. No matter how hot they are. No matter the benefits.  Move on.

When you get close to someone, you learn more about their character, their beliefs, their flaws.  And they, yours.
Maybe you begin to realize that you are not compatible with the person you’ve gotten to know… LET THEM KNOW.
Don’t be selfish and try to snake away, be a respectable person.  Tell the truth!
People CAN handle being dumped, just have tact.

You are absolutely entitled to your feelings, but BE HONEST.
You know when you’re being lied to, you’re left stabbed in the heart and confused.  We all do.
Give closure.  Take responsibility.

And above all, DON’T GO BACK.

It is NEVER okay to use someone as an emotional filler.  Especially someone you know is vulnerable and therefore weak.  Suck it up.  Real control, is self-control.  Work on yourself.

*Or see paragraph above about relationship jumping.

And that’s all, folks.

That’s what I’ve learned so far.  It took a lifetime to adjust my eyes to see the path, but now it is so clear.

This is no magic formula guaranteed to work, but they are resources I’ve gathered as I’ve passed previous levels.
*gamer reference

Marriage is not when life gets easy and relationships are perfect (or vice versa).
Relationships are a factory, producing LOVE.  Don’t neglect your factory or your business.  Nobody gets to be selfish and have it all, that does not make you a desirable person to do business with.  Work on yourself. 
Or stay single. . . Whichever.

But, stay tuned. . . .

Is This “happily ever after”?
Not so far, no.

Happy, yes.  Problem-free, nope.

Relationships are a human experience, even marriage.  People aren’t perfect, and they aren’t going to be.  Them or you, him or me.
But, that’s okay. 
Everything you are, makes you who you are.  The good and the ugly, the right and the bad.  We are comprised of balance.

I will catch him when he falls and help him back on his feet, because I trust that he will do the same for me.

As long as we have the same goal in mind, the same destination ahead, and we are going there hand-in-hand.

I believe in my partner… Everything that he is.

You are not a perfect person, you will never have a perfect relationship.
Stop looking for it.
Just make sure it’s good, and embrace what it is.

“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.”
-B. Bloom

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