Joy

…is an inside job. Its something I knew I wouldn’t find joy from a job, a man, a new country, or really even with financial gain. I knew joy was an inside job and that it required work.

Work work work work work (cues Rhianna).

But seriously, nothing good comes to us without some work. Sure, there are instances where an opportunity come, but we have to do the work on maintaining a blessing that has seemingly “dropped” in our laps.

So, for the past few…years, really, I’ve been doing work. Work on my self esteem, work on my relationships with God, work with my mindset when it comes to obstacles and entitlement, work with my need to be accepted and acknowledged by men, by my friends, by my family.

The work I have done is leading me into a new freedom. Free from the opinions of others, I am discovering that my Joy simply comes from the Lord. Knowing that I am completely utterly and unconditionally loved and accepted by God NO MATTER WHAT has been the key to my joy and my hope and my freedom. I recognize that He is number one. He is most important and because I am human and I will fail, His grace is the best gift that never stops giving.

I can smile in the midst of defeat. I can laugh in the stead of failure. I can shift when I feel stuck because he gives me joy…that passes beyond all comprehension. Its amazing, its fulfilling, and its free. I didn’t earn it. I don’t deserve it. I can’t repay it. And it will never be taken away from me. Incredible love. Incredible joy.

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I love a guy.

You know the saying about love?

Our first love is young. 

Our second love is hard. 

Our third love we don’t see coming. 

I guess I’m in between love one and two. But I still love a guy. What’s funny is, I’m 99.8% sure that we won’t be together and we may not remain friends. And it has taken a year to come to terms with that, but I think I’m finding comfort in knowing that that is probably healthy and best.

I still write about him. I still think about him. And most days, I’m not sure if I am in love with him. Or I simply possess a deep love FOR him. Our ability to differentiate the two is imperative. Love is unconditional. It keeps no record of wrong. It is humble and selfless and to quite honest it is uncomfortable and unnatural. Most people give conditional though. Though the conditions may be broad, when pushed to the limit, a limit is found.

This idea of unconditional love bothers me. Let me rephrase, its agitates my normal behavior. You make me sad, I love you less. You disrespect me, you get boundaries of my love. I know, there seems to be nothing wrong with that, but if love isn’t free…is it love? Whats the price of love? A ring? A wedding? A child? Can it ever be paid for?

I love a man. And he may not even love me back. And that makes me even more confident about my love for him. He’s made me sad. He’s offended me. Never disrespect, never intentional harm, never unapologetic. And I love him.

Some days I feel like proclaiming this love, because it is evidence that divorce and heartbreak, and failed relationships did not crush me. They didn’t steal my capacity to love and to give without expectation. And that is a miracle. That’s evidence of the God I serve. One who can heal and transform and restore.

Back to love. Family. I love them unconditionally. Friends…my friends. I love them unconditionally and even the healthy boundaries I establish for them are not barriers to my love.

My students. I love them unconditionally. And they need that love. They need to feel and see that love. They need to know that that love is…real love. So as they grow and experience life, they can be prepared to give and receive the love that covers all.

I still love a guy.

 

Cramping so you know it’s real

I said I’d post daily and it’s 1am, so I’ve already failed. Let’s technically call this yesterday’s post.

Monday I felt like a mad woman and I knew “aunt flow” was coming. My emotions, hormones, attitude, and “feelings” were high. Today it was confirmed that I’m not crazy, I’m just a woman.

“Just a woman”. Ha! Oxymoron. This evening I cried. My laptop almost died while I was on an online interview after my laptop mouse failed to work properly and I … I remembered that I’m single and no one could sneak me my charger. I have friends and “people”. I have help and support. Yet, at that moment the reality of my singleness stung. I almost cried into the screen.

I hadn’t planned to be 30, divorced, and single. There was a time when I was 24, married, and hopeful. Then I was 25, married, and alone. That shift happened quickly and tonight I cried. I mourned my marriage. My heart broke again for the loss of a husband, once a friend. I retold and reread my story again. And say with the reality that I was always have “been married”. I’d love to be a big person and say I’m thankful for the lessons marriage taught me but so much of it was hard and sad and draining that  I can only really say, dating was fun and my marriage was supposed to be a good thing.

I don’t assign too much blame. I played a role, he played a role. One of us is a husband, a father…

One of us is single and healing…

Maybe both of us are free.

Podcast: https://anchor.fm/cassandra-bruington/episodes/Division-of-a-marriage-e1h7sn

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom

Chicken in India

Mint a mile high

Colorful cages painted with brown branches, golden skies, blue raindrops, emerald crowns on the tops of trees

Freedom is jumping back into one’s cage of self and never escaping into captivity again

Aware of the grease, the bones, the gristle of a “chicken”

You’re done

Freedom.

Notarized.

I paused a Netflix movie to post this. So…you know its real.

Today, I scrambled to get documents notarized for my Work Visa. I’m about to leave the US in a matter of months to pursue a job abroad. I will be teaching 4th grade all subjects in Costa Rica! Excited is an understatement. I didn’t realize how much paperwork signing/applying/verifying would be required. I still don’t even understand if I sent everything perfectly. And being born abroad doesn’t make the process any simpler. Its confusing and annoying and very systematic even though no human being can explain the process considering my rare circumstances.

The notary at the bank (my shared branch because I still bank with an out of state credit union) did all my paperwork for free. He didn’t have to, but I am so appreciative. I saved $25. Then spent $20 for a document I forgot to have notarized by him and later paid for at a postal store that probably overcharged me.

Anyways…I sat at his desk and remembered the last time I had paperwork notarized at a bank. It was January of 2014. Divorce papers. I cried as I signed each page. I had gotten there at 4:59pm, right before closing after my ex kept asking when I would sign. He left me January 4th and the papers had January 10th on them. This had to be mid January. It was heartbreaking and I’m sure super awkward for the notary (a woman who kept her composure). I cried loud and deeply as I signed all thousand lines requiring my signature. I felt defeated. I was a little embarrassed. Not that I was crying- I needed that. I was embarrassed that my marriage had failed and this document was the proof.

So…as I sat in the office today. I almost cried again. Just in remembrance. Of a marriage I mourned and laid to rest. Divorce is a tragedy. I survived a tragedy. I overcame and rose above a tragedy. And 3 years later, I signed documents which I’d like to refer to as freedom papers. I’m leaving the US. I’m leaving (dis)comfort. I’m leaving what has been familiar. And I am so excited that now I understand the foreshadowing. At a bank alone. In an office with a stranger. Making a life changing written declaration. My life is changing.

I can never ever say I won’t survive. Or things won’t get better. Or I may not make it. Those statements are simply untrue. I will rise. I have been Notarized.

https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-notarized-document-315434

A notarized document is a document that has been marked with a stamp (or “seal”), which indicates that the signature on the document is legitimate. A notary watches you sign and then places the stamp near your signature (along with information which allows others to track down records related to the signature).