“To sleep, perchance to dream”

I have always been a prolific dreamer. And in this case, I’m not referring to hopes for my future, although I’ve got an abundance of those as well. I’m talking about the kind you have while sleeping. I’ve always been a person who dreams very vivid dreams and I almost always remember them. I’ve always been fascinated with my dreams and the reasons behind what I dream and why I dream have always been of interest to me. I know there are a million thoughts and theories about why we dream and if those dreams mean anything.

My personal belief on the subject changes frequently. I’d like to believe they’re meaningful – but I guess I don’t really know. Sometimes my dreams are bizarre and unexplainable. But for the most part, I can look at things going on in my life and things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and kind of figure out why particular things were in my dreams.

For instance, I’ve had one reoccurring dream for as long as I can remember. In the dream, I’m getting married. I’m walking down the aisle and a sea of blurry faces are watching me as I stride confidently towards my groom. His back is turned at first but then he turns around and his face is a blurred, black smudge. I can’t see who it is. The details change, sometimes I recognize guests. My dress and flowers will often be different. But the basic premise of the dream is always the same. To me, this dream is pretty cut and dry. I want to get married, I want my life to go in that direction – but I have no idea who I’ll marry, if anyone – so the mystery remains. Sometimes, this dream makes me profoundly sad. Other times, hopeful.

Not only are my dreams usually vivid, but they are almost always connected to strong emotion. I’ll wake up after a dream feeling sad, happy, scared, joyful, etc.. Whatever the main emotion of the dream. Sometimes I wake up smiling or laughing out loud. Sometimes I wake up actually crying. A few times I’ve woken up truly sobbing. It’s always so bizarre to be in such a heightened emotional state without any conscious effort.

Lately I’ve been dreaming a lot about death. I had a terrifying, sorrowful dream about the death of my mother (who is alive and well in real life) and woke up sobbing and crying. I was in such a funk when I woke up it took practically the entire day for me to shake the emotions.

Last night I dreamed of my own funeral. My best friend and her sister stood by my grave and sang a beautiful song and I kept thinking, “Man, I wish I was alive to hear this song, it’s so pretty!”

When you search dream meanings online, you get an abundance of different interpretations. One site says, “Dreams of experiencing your own death usually means that big changes are ahead for you. You are moving on to new beginnings and leaving the past behind.” That could be a load of bull. But I hope it’s true.

Maybe dreams are completely random and mean absolutely nothing. Or maybe not. Either way, they’re a big part of my life. Sometimes I hate them, sometimes I love them- but I always enjoy thinking about them.

What do you think? Do you think dreams have meaning? Or do you think they’re the random misfiring of neurons or other random brain phenomenon? I’d like to know.

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“There was a dream and one day I could see it…” : The Avett Brothers

Last night, Dad and I went to The Avett Brothers‘ concert in Little Rock. The tickets were our birthday presents to each other. In all actuality, my Dad isn’t a huge fan of concerts (or any event with large crowds … Continue reading

I’m blue!

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A while back I heard The Color Run was taking place in my city and while I knew I wasn’t ready to run it quite yet, I also knew I wanted to be involved. So I signed up to volunteer.

Those of you that really know me, know that this is slightly a-typical behavior for me. Why? Well I’m a bit of an introverted-homebody. Talking to strangers isn’t my strong suit. Writing to them on the internet, that I can do; but face-to-face small talk usually has me running in the opposite direction. It’s not that I don’t like meeting new people or participating in things, I just, well, I take after my introverted dad more than my extroverted mom, so it’s not always easy for me.

Today though, I had a total blast!

I put myself out there, I participated in life. I had SO MUCH FUN!!!

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The Blue Crew!

I was stationed in “color zone 4,” near the end of the race, and it was our job to throw blue powder on all of the runners/walkers as they passed. We cheered and laughed and woohooed.

We turned blue.

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I had a blast volunteering, but I’m determined that next year, I’m going to run. I’m gonna make my dad and little sister train with me this year so we can run it together, it’ll be a challenge for me (Nothing for my dad who once ran the Chicago marathon!) – but I’m already excited!

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xo
j,ft❤

3 Month Update and Progress Pics (Ah!)

Today marks 3 months since I made the decision to change my life for good. 3 months of learning, of baby steps, of good decisions. 3 months of clean eating, of hard work, of working out, of sweat and sore muscles.

As of this morning, I’m down: 53.6 pounds!

Obviously, I’m super excited about losing the weight, but what I’m trying to be more excited about are the non-scale victories.

  • I’m down 2 pant sizes. (I have a stack of clothes I can’t wear anymore because they’re too big!)
  • I can walk up “the hill” without stopping to rest. (In case I haven’t mentioned it, “the hill” is this long/steep hill I found near my house, the first time I tried to walk up it, I had to stop many times to catch my breath and ease my screaming leg muscles.)
  • Today I am starting week 4 of T25 (Week 1, I thought I was going to die after every workout – I still feel like that now, but now I like the feeling!)
  • I’m proud of myself every day.
  • I’m more knowledgeable about health and nutrition.
  • I’m inspiring others.
  • I feel stronger.
  • Quite simply, I just feel so much better. Emotionally and physically.

And now for something I said I wasn’t going to do. Progress pics.  It’s not that I have anything against them in general, but come on, I don’t wanna put embarrassing full body pics of myself online. But, I’ve decided to stop looking at it that way. Its hard for me to see my own physical progress because I look at myself in the mirror every day and really, I feel like I look the exact same.

I have been taking photos w/ my phone just so I can look at them personally, but I know it inspires me to see other people’s progress pics, so I thought I should post them.  So please excuse the horrible quality of these photos, the dirty mirror and the dirty clothes in the background – they weren’t taken with the intention of sharing.

Left: taken about a month into my journey.Right: taken this weekend (10/26/13)

Left: taken about a month into my journey.
Right: taken this weekend (10/26/13)

Left: taken about a month into my journey. Middle: taken about a month and a half in. Right: taken this weekend (10/26/13)

Left: taken about a month into my journey.
Middle: taken about a month and a half in.
Right: taken this weekend (10/26/13)

I think I see the biggest difference in this photo - so happy that my stomach is shrinking.

I think I see the biggest difference in this photo – so happy that my stomach is shrinking.

These t-shirts are the same - just in different colors.

These t-shirts are the same – just in different colors.

Well, now that that’s over with, I just want to say thanks to everyone for all of the love, support and encouragement. It helps keep me going. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m motivated.

Every morning I wake up and tell myself: I can do this.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

j,ft❤

@theweighout October Challenge : Putting Away the Scale

The hardest thing for me so far this month has been getting rid of the scale.  I know it’s only been three days, but seriously, I usually weigh every morning.  I decided this morning to take the batteries out and hide them so I won’t be tempted.  Problem solved, lol.

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I’m really trying to focus on things other than the number on that dang thing.

@theweighout October Challenge : Vision Board

The girls @theweighout tasked those of us in the October Challenge with creating a “Vision Board.”

“We want you to get a little creative with your goals and create a VISION BOARD. … Find a wall in your home, a piece of card, a notebook, a pinterest board, or some clip art for the digital people. This should have pictures/quotes/scribblings that represent your GOALS. Not just your fitness goals, but career, travel, family and LIFE.”

Here’s mine:
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Separation Anxiety

Yesterday was the first day I had to leave my dog home alone all day while I worked.

He did not do well.  I walked in to find the blinds on 4 of my windows broken.  Luckily, they are a cheap fix.   But, it was still frustrating.  And I feel bad that he had such an obviously stressful day.  Today he is home in his crate and although I feel bad for having to leave him in his crate all day, it is safer for him and for my house.  I’ve been studying separation anxiety online and I’m going to work on some training with him that will hopefully help.

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As I walked Sulley early this morning, I prayed and thought about how I’m suffering from some separation anxiety at the moment as well.  While I’m not tearing down and chewing on the blinds, I am feeling lonely.  I have a heavy heart and periods of very uncomfortable anxiety.  I’m living alone again after being with family for the past year and a half… and I don’t like it.  Not even a little bit.  But for whatever reason, this is the season of life I am in at the moment.

Obviously, we are both in transitional periods and will have to do some adjusting to our new lives.

Thankfully for me, I know that even though I feel alone, I am not.  God is always there with me.  When I am alone and hurting – all I have to do is cry out to Jesus.  He is the great Comforter.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

What’s new?

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to anyone who may read this!  I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been busy!

I spent a wonderful week at my parent’s farm over Christmas break.

I packed up my room at my Brother & Sister-in-Law’s house and moved into my own place.  Bittersweet.  I like my new place, but I don’t love living alone.

I got a dog!

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As a family, we’ve had dogs my whole life and I absolutely love them.  But this is MY first dog.  He is such a huge blessing for several reasons, but mainly for two:
1) Living alone can be lonely, and I really don’t like it.  He’s a great companion.
2) He loves going for walks & encourages me to get out and move!
His name is Sulley and he’s a almost 3 yr old Frug (Pug/French Bulldog mix).  He’s just wonderful.

God is teaching me many things.  Patience.  Trusting in him to provide.  Faith.  Reliance on him for all things; especially for comfort when I am feeling lonely and sad.

“The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10

Crying- Why I’m no longer a cold stone floor.

I was always quick to cry as a child if I got hurt.  I remember one particularly unflattering picture of me as a child, I was probably 7 or 8 and I had apparently hurt my ankle.  I’m sitting in a chair, blotchy, red-faced, bawling.  I think my mom took the picture because I was being overly dramatic.  I probably wasn’t hurt all that bad.

But I guess as is normal, as I grew up, I definitely cried less.

I was never one to cry happy tears.  Never one to be moved to tears by a sappy movie or commercial.  I always made fun of my mom for how quick she was to tear up over things I thought didn’t warrant the faintest sniff.  I was lovingly and jokingly referred to as being cold – a heart like a “cold stone floor,” was the joke.  It sounds more harsh than it was – it was never meant seriously; for the most part, I cared about people and I felt compassion for people, I just wasn’t a crier.

I say wasn’t, because I am now.  I cry almost daily and it’s ridiculous.  I cry at sad stories.  I cry watching Dr. Phil or Ellen.  I cry during Google commercials, I’m serious.  Google commercials!  I cry reading books.  I cry reading/watching/hearing stories about people who are living their dreams.  I cry during movies.  I cry describing my favorite book to my mom.  I cry talking about sad things.  I cry talking about happy things.  I cry so much I’m wondering what the heck is wrong with my tear ducts.  I’m not talking all out sob fests, but watery eyes at the very least and several tears at most – on average.  The other day I sobbed so hard I thought I would stop breathing.  Today, I had tears in my eyes almost the entire time I read the book Kisses from Katie.

I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make here.  I’m not sure I’ve figured it out yet.  I still feel like the same person who thought crying all the time was silly.  But, now I’m trying to hide my tears from my mom while we watch some dumb show on TV, thinking about all the times I laughed at her for doing the same.

Is my heart just more sensitive now to the pain and joy of others?  Have I  become more empathetic and compassionate with age?

I googled “What does the Bible say about tears?” and I found this interesting article called “A Tearless Society.”  I suggest giving it a read, I found it enlightening.

What about you, what makes you cry?

Jes