Tuesday, November 30

Moving Back Home

Today's Lesson: Facing your fears when the time is right with understanding and acceptance.

Tomorrow, December 1, 2010, will mark the day that my 'lease' at the condo begins officially again.  The check is written, my whopping 15 boxes are packed and waiting in the garage, and now all I need to do is clean the heck out of the room that will soon be mine.  It still feels very unreal...and I find myself tonight sitting in the silence reflecting on my life thus far.  I spent three months alone in that place, the next two months with amazing roommates, then the next six living there with Ryan.  It would make sense that obviously most of my memories there are with Ryan, and I'll admit..in the first few months after losing him - it was like a stab in the heart to even step foot in the place we'd once tried to make a home.  

However, with the love, support and strength of the amazing people in my life...I've finally reached a place in my life where I can truly look back on the life we had, the memories we made, and the things we lost and say "It was life: mistakes were made, but lessons were learned." Its not shrugging off the past like the situation was a pair of old shoes I grew out of, its smiling on it and appreciating what time we DID have that was happy.  

An incredible friend of mine and I were hanging out one night when I was just visiting Greeley from Yuma.  He knew how difficult Greeley was for me, but was so kind and understanding with his words its like I almost forgot the pain for a while.  We were watching a movie together when he started asking me about my future, what I was going to do to pick up the pieces of this tragedy and move forward.  (He knew that was exactly what I'd do because he admitted later the first reason he knew he wanted to be in my life somehow was when we met, he could see how positive I was and how I could find the best in every situation.)  So I started to tell him about Denver, the apartments I'd looked at in Arvada...far far away from Glendale, the jobs, etc... and he finally stopped me.  He said "Arianne, you shouldn't be going to Denver...you're chasing something there that you're never going to find, you should be in Greeley where you can be surrounded by people who love you."  It hit me like a ton of bricks (as would lots of other incredibly insightful things he'd say later on) and I knew he was so right.  

So that night I made the decision that I was not going to let my fears keep me from Greeley, I knew I wanted to be here, and never really wanted to leave... I only left in fear of losing the man I loved, only to learn later that love is about compromise, not sacrifice.  Greeley has always felt like home to me, and tomorrow marks the day I'm finally back on my two feet.  I will struggle, I will fall down and get some bruises, no doubt I will mess things up...but I'm a different girl these days...one who learns from her mistakes, and won't let them control her life.  

Sorry for the long pause blogger world, maybe now I'll be back on track :) 

For tonight...

Arianne Elizabeth

Friday, November 19

A Win and A Lose

Sometimes...actually a lot of the time...my generation is full of men who do not know what it means to respect a woman.  Considering what we've grown up with (Rap music about hitting women, Hughe Hefner & his wonderful idea of relations, Spice Girls instilling such self respect in us..) its no wonder that chivalry is somewhat dead.  On top of wonderful role models, the era of technology has led us to a whole different type of relationship between men and women.  One of my favorite movies of all time says it perfectly: 

"...I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It's exhausting."

He's Just Not That Into You is by far one of the greatest movies of all time, and no doubt one that every woman should see.  It is full of incredible life lessons, especially for the serial dater like myself.  I will admit that one of my flaws is making excuses for men.  Never is it: he's just not that into me.. its more like: I'm sure he just got busy, that or his phone isn't receiving texts..maybe mine isn't, I'm going to call the phone company and find out... <<< Not healthy!! 

So this week, I started making the exact excuses.  The new boy really was busy, being an apartment manager means he's got lots on his plate.  Its true he wasn't avoiding me, but I didn't get to find that out until today.  It wasn't exactly the news I was looking forward to hearing, but the reality is he was honest with me.  He told me he had something to tell me but wanted to tell me to my face.  Bummed me out to hear what he had to say, but he didn't dance around it, he came out and said it straight up. 

My chance isn't gone forever, but it is on hold.  I wasn't picked, but I don't see it as not being picked for another girl...it was a man trying to make the best decision for his kids.  How can I be depressed when I am lucky to still have that decent man in my life??  I don't regret giving him my number, or even giving him a chance... I showed him what a great girl I am and found myself a great friend...and you know what they say: "The best relationships grow from friendships." :) 

So, its a lose because my chance is officially on the back burner but its a win because if the chance ever comes back up again, I've found myself a good man with good morals.  Not a bad catch either way!  

Have a wonderful night bloggers!

Arianne Elizabeth

Saturday, November 13

To Write Love On Her Arms

My first TWLOHA
Sabrina, Mom & Dad's 'love marks'
Today's STORY: One of overwhelming support and encouragement through the battle of depression.

Yesterday I had the great privilege of finally participating in my first "To Write Love On Her Arms Day."  Wheww, the title is a mouthful to say, but the organization is just incredible.  In their own words, the mission of "TWLOHA" is:

"To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.  TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery."

 To me what this means is simple...depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide most definitley exist in our world.  The rate of all of these is rising at an alarm rate with my generation.  Its a scary time, and knowing from experience...these kids and young adults are just trying to find a way to release the pain.  When I was thirteen years old and first picked up a knife, I didn't know what I was doing.  I'd never heard of cutting before, no one ever told me what it was or why people believed it helped them...I just was in pain and wanted it gone.  I used to say that the reason I'd cut was to turn emotional pain into physical pain, because physical injury will always heal.  

This organization offers hope to those who suffer and shares stories of thousands of people who've overcome their addictions, dropped the knife once and for all, and chose LIFE.  What better way to fill yourself with the encouragement you need than to witness so many people live happy lives, fulfilling lives, because they chose to fight for their life?  

As a twenty year old, my little brain holds more tragic memories than it should...and it is still painful to remember, sometimes brutal to talk about, but always a reminder.  Yesterday I found myself holding back tears at work when I got the photo from my mom and saw that my little sister and dad also wrote love on their arms.  Not that a mother's love isn't cherished...because I love my momma more than anything...but when I saw that my sister and dad supported the day too, I broke down.  Dad's always been one of the 'strong silent' types, and never really said he loved us first, he'd wait for us to say it then tell us.  Living in a house full of girls who are all 'i love you sluts' however has changed him :) To see him supporting this cause...felt like he was somehow saying he was proud of me for where I've made it to.  Here come the tears again as I write this because knowing your dad is proud of you...as a daughter, somehow that is just one of the best feelings in the world.  I was blessed to have two daddy's in my life, and even though God had to call one home when I was seventeen I couldn't have been more blessed to have the one I do in my life.  

I beat depression, many times over, and have since then sworn off the knife.  I choose life -- with whatever curves and road bumps it has in store, I know that I have the support system to rise above anything.  Not only that, but they did a great job raising us to be fighters...we all know how to strive for what we want.  

Today I am a proud survivor of depression, and a proud supporter of To Write Love on Her Arms as they continue the fight to offer light and hope to anyone facing the darkness.

In Strength,

Arianne Elizabeth

Ps. For more information on this organization and to purchase merchandise so you can spread the Love Movement more than just once a year visit www.twloha.com 

Thursday, November 11

Proud to be my Father's Daughter

Today...no lesson. Just a daughter missing her daddy.  

For two days now, the owner of the store has been hanging out at our store to see how we're running things.  Its always a little nerve racking just because no one wants to upset him, but it always ends up being better than we expect.  One thing about him is that he always switches the radio station when he gets there.  Instead of the usual twang of country singers singing about their ex-loves and alcohol, we were listening to christian radio.  Its always difficult to find things to be upset about when you're listening to such uplifting music, but occasionally a certain song would hit me right & bring back memories. 

When we brought daddy home from the hospital, we knew it wouldn't be long before the cancer took his body and God called him home..so we did everything we could to make him happy.  He wanted a whopper from Burger King really bad, so we stopped and got him one his last night in the hospital.  Then when we got him home the next day, he wanted to see his deck he'd just had put in his new house.  We all went outside with him and he asked to feel the sunshine, and put his feet in the grass.  Around midnight that night, he started feeling sick.  We knew something wasn't right, and he did too...about an hour later he was feeling better but knew his time was very short.  He told us he was at a crossroads, and he knew he was being called home.  So we put on encouraging music and sang to him and stayed by his side.  The song "Praise You In This Storm" came on and we all had to fight through tears to keep singing because it described us perfectly...

"I was sure by now, God you would have reached down, and wiped our tears away..but once again, I say amen, and its still raining. But as the thunder rolls, I barely hear, you whisper through the rain 'I'm with you' and as your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives...and takes away." 

As the last chord strum played through the speakers, daddy took his final breath.  The tears were no longer controllable, we'd just lost a daddy..husband..brother..son...he was gone.  In that moment, the first moment the earth existed without Bruce Alan Robertson, the song "In Better Hands" began playing, and as if a message from daddy...we knew he'd made it home. 

"Its like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down, its like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground...its like the world is silent though I know it isn't true, its like the breath of Jesus is right here in this room -- So take this heart of mine, there's no doubt...I'm in better hands now."

This song came on today, as I watched a daddy walk through the store with his little girl close by his side.  Memories triggered in my mind, and I saw the image of my daddy after he'd gone to Heaven...but as if he was there with me, my mind was flooded with the happiest memories I had of him.  I felt a smile come across my face as I knew that he was still here with me...he promised us that day he'd never leave us.  "I know I promised I'd always be here for you, but God wants me here in a different way..."  

Daddy is gone now...and there are days my heart just breaks in his absence.  I want nothing more than just one more day, one more moment, one last hug...but I know that someday I will get all of that..only it won't be "one last" anything...when I see him again, I can be with him always.  Today I smile through my tears when I say that I am proud to be my father's daughter.  He was a great man and the world will always miss him...especially his two very special daughters.  But we were blessed beyond words to have had him in our lives when we did.

Rest in peace Daddy...I will see you again someday.  Love you forever.

Arianne Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 9

The Importance of Family

Today's Lesson: When everything else falls apart, as long as you have a strong foundation, there's no reason you can't rebuild.

This one is one that I have lived my life by ten thousand times over.  Every new person to come into my life always hears endless stories about my family in the "getting to know each other" phase because they are the single most important people in my life...my family.  There are days when I look back on the path I've traveled and am not a single bit surprised I've made it through, because I had the love and support of the most amazing family a girl could ask for.

After my mom remarried, my little sister and I gained three older siblings.  Debra, the oldest - and most motherly...Char, the second oldest - the drama queen (in a good way) of the bunch...and Jeff, the youngest - the ONLY boy in the whole family (besides dad).  A few years later Daddy remarried, and our huge family was complete.  Sabrina and I had two dads and two moms.  Trish will always be the answer to our prayers as she brought our dad closer to us and he was more involved in our lives when she came into his life...she brought out the best in him.  

Over the years all of us five kids have endured our fair share of heartbreak, and my favorite memories of my childhood include someone from my family showing their love and support by helping one another through those hard times.  

My family, to me, is literally my foundation...they are my roots..they keep me grounded when I can't even see the ground.  They've pulled me from some of the darkest moments in my life, even when I wasn't acting like the daughter or sister I was raised to be.  Without them I'd be one very lost 20 year old trying to find love in all the wrong places, but thanks to them...I know I can survive absolutely anything this life throws at me.  

The lesson here is...ladies and gentlemen, take a good hard look at your life.  What is the most important part to you?  I'm not saying there is no other answer other than family, sadly not all of us were blessed in having great families, but your foundation should never be built on a man, money, alcohol, etc.  Too many times in this life you see people who have made these things their foundation, so when they let you down - where does that leave you?  Alone and disappointed.  Society will tell you that it is more than okay to make these your priority, but look where society put people like Lindsay Lohan or Mel Gibson -- in and out of rehab or a raging media bully!  Not exactly the life we should be striving for...

Hope you all find great foundations...because like I said earlier, with a great foundation, its NEVER impossible to rebuild. 

For tonight...

Arianne Elizabeth

Monday, November 8

What You Give is What You Get

Today's lesson: Life really is all what you make it.

Today I was oh so fortunate to finally have this dreaded cough/cold catch up to me and knock me out of the running for my fresh start.  Here I had my alarm set for 5 am so I could get up and go for a run, start my lifestyle change, and have a great beginning of the week...and I'm still tossing and turning coughing up my entire respiatory system at 3:30 am. 

Despite this awful way to start my week, I spent the entire day in bed taking time to reflect my life and truly appreciate my chance to have a fresh start.  Everything in life is affected by the way your attitude is.  What you give, is what you will get.  

When I was younger, my parents got a divorce.  For many years I hated this fact, and as a child resented things way beyond my contorl or comprehension.  It wasn't until I was 10 years old that I finally realized just what God was thinking when he knew my parents wouldn't be together forever.  I was blessed beyond words with the family that I got, I wouldn't ask for it any other way.  The difference in my view was that after I saw the reason behind the divorce, I was blessed.  It wasn't long after that I began living my life with that same principle, with the difference of not resenting bad situations, just accepting them and anticipating the blessing that would soon come from it.  Some call it a blessing, others would soon grow sick of my optimistic attitude, but those were the people I didn't want to attract into my life in the first place.  

I think I got this attitude from my mother, she's always been optimistic...and sometimes one could say "obnoxiously optimistic."  Just the other day, I was texting her about how frustrated I was that the store was staying open late because customers didn't know how to read the 'Hours Open' sign.  She replied back, "Deep breath honey, those customers keep you in a job!"  I smirked and thought to myself "What a peppy brat she is today, I just want to be negative!" But eventually, the day ended perfect.  We did stay late, but the extra thirty minutes of pay tacked onto my paycheck were spent sitting in a rocking chair up front talking to my co-workers about life.  Some of the easiest money I've ever made!

So that's what I want to get across tonight...that there is something great that can and will come out of EVERY situation, even if it takes a few years before you get to see it -- its worth the wait.  They say life is what you make it, and they are more than right.  So take whatever negative thing you're dealing with today and imagine what great things might come from it! 

**One more thing: Even if you fake a smile for a whole minute, more times than not it will stick :) Try it sometime!

That's all folks!

Arianne Elizabeth

Sunday, November 7

Acknowledging Your Personal Growth

Today's lesson: Realizing the growth you've made as an individual, and not fearing the acceptance of it. 

As a little "catch me up" and starter to my story, there is a new man in my life.  Avoiding all the hairy details, he is a regular customer at Ace and we've been talking for some time now and just recently exchanged numbers to go out on a date sometime.  Now...keeping in mind the Arianne that most people knew & hated, I used to jump both feet into the pool on the chance that any guy was interested in me.  Do everything in my power to find him, hook him and keep him.  

Terrible way of living girls!  You want a man to stay in your life because he genuinely loves you, not because you can afford to buy him.   

After hanging out once, talking for a while, and getting to know more about him I've come to the conclusion that I like him.  How much yet, I'm not sure, but I know that as a person making him a piece of my life seems like a good decision.  I'm still sort of lacking in the friends department here in Greeley, so there is nothing wrong with making a new friend.  Talk has come up about possibly dating someday, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested, but for the first time in my entire life...I, Arianne Robertson, set boundaries right away.  I told him I'm nobody's girlfriend, that is an earned right.  He laughed and said he'd be glad to earn that respect someday.  

The story + the lesson = Where I am today... In my past, I've made the mistake of throwing myself into relationships...being someone's girlfriend made my life seem close to perfect - even if I wasn't being respected.  *Another note for girls: if you aren't being respected in your relationship, it may not seem like it, but being single is going to take you down a much happier path than being disrespected everyday.  I told this man right away that I am a woman who deserves nothing less than respect on every area of my life.  I followed it up with "if that's not okay with you, feel free to walk."  Maybe he's a good guy after all, because he thought it was great that I would respect myself that much to stick to my plan.  

So...my personal growth has taken me from very low and dark valleys in my life, all the way back up to a beautiful place in my life where I feel like I am wonderful, I deserve incredible things, and nothing/no one is going to keep me from getting where I want to be in life.  Today, I accept the growth I've made as my own progress, another brick in my path, and another very important life lesson I can consider learned.  

Now...time to grow in the world of Psychology 101.  Have a wonderful evening blogger world!

Signing off,

Arianne Elizabeth

Saturday, November 6

I Want to Write!!

In the past days since I wrote my last blog, its like creativity has come and slapped me in the face.  I have had so many things I wanted to share, and so I've decided to not be afraid to continue writing.  I stopped for many reasons, time being one of them, but I've also made some decisions in the past few days that will allow me more time to do school and blogging!  

Here's the deal followers -- I've revamped the blog again.  Gave it a makeover and a new focus.  Some people may not like what I have to say, but I have a message to tell -- and I'm going to tell it my way and in my time.  If you don't agree with what I write, then please quit reading...because as of now: I want to share a story of overcoming and empowerment, of taking an awful hand of cards dealt to you and turning them into either a royal flush or a beautiful house of cards.  

My life's journey has led me down some wild paths, and I now know what I want to do with my life as a result of the tragedy I've endured.  Maybe this blog will help me continue to work through my emotions & hopefully touch the life of at least one person so they can find the hope they need to work through their own tragedies.  

So...it is official: My Life In Boxes is UP AND RUNNING once again!  Hope to see the hits start showing up again, because I have so much more I want to share with the world -- and you guys who are my dedicated followers -- you will be the help I need to get the word out that this girl has a message to share, and I'm not backing down from it!

Signing off for the night 

Arianne Elizabeth