Juggle Struggle

Baking, handstands, adult coloring, gardening, flower arrangements, photography, crossfit, sunrise hiking, sunset hiking, any hiking, trail running, tie dyeing, sewing, crochet, modge podge, yoga, playing guitar, writing standup, podcasting, mask making, swimming, reading, listening to books, writing, blogging, nail art, tea making…

Straightforwardly, I’m a Serial Hobbiest.

If you paint this broadly, there are unlimited new experiences to be had and being interested in an abundant amount of newness and challenge isn’t something to shy away from. My capacity to accept failure is an idiosyncrasy I proudly showcase. Failing is not a problem, quitting is. Unfortunately during my years at the university of epic failure I somehow missed the entire course on letting it go. I will give effort to a fault. I’m a pressure player not an athlete in agony. It’s taken me three years to learn modesty in juggling. I hope if you’ve read this far you continue. Situationally we may not be the same but I’ve got a message worthy of reading if you’re a people pleasing street performer much like myself.

I don’t want to bore you with words and run on sentences of what made me “so busy”. The bottom line is this: I wanted to do all the things and be liked by all the people. Something in me told me I had to try hard at everything and go to every event for people to like me. I lived a long time in this absurd reality of mine. Right up until I didn’t.

I had my wires crossed where I was concerned with being present in the lives of people who are nearly strangers so much that I took the presence of my family and those I love for granted. I do not have an explanation for this. Unfortunately this is a failure left out of the aforementioned university. No one prepared me for the stream of consciousness following my failure to quit.

August 12, 2017 – I remember the burn and that deep heartache. I was preparing to head out for wedding photos instead of being in the car with my mom, aunt, & grandma heading over the pass to our family reunion. This reunion happens the same weekend each year and somehow the last few years I let myself book appointments that weekend to spend time with strangers. In this moment I was in my kitchen making a homemade face mask (for beautification not germs) containing lemon, egg, and maybe baking soda or something with a little grit. It was a bit on the drippy side so I was leaning over the sink when I applied my medley of whatever I had in the kitchen. The land line rang….

Hello…

I hear a squeak of a voice on the line… “Andi? I hate doing this over the phone but your grandpa passed away this morning.” My.Heart.Sank.

Even as I typed this I felt my throat tighten. I won’t go deeply into the fathoms of amplitude in regards to my grandfather. I’ll give you this: he was the greatest man I ever knew. One who was real and appropriately a jokester. He loved so hard and if you knew him, you felt that. He lived to only be 78 and before his 78th birthday he forgot who I was. Alzheimer’s is a real son of a bitch and the sadness it delivered to me and so many people I love for years is colossal.

I think of my grandpa every day. I talk to him when I’m sad and he often comes to see me in my dreams. Waking to reality is a welcome gloom after such a meeting in dreamland. I’m far from religious and I don’t know what to think of an afterlife, but I’m holding tight to the thought that he seeks me out during my slumber because he misses me too.

That very pain went straight for my jugular and sucked every ounce of breath out of my lungs. In that moment on that call, I quit the circus. Instead of the constant attempt to master everything I feel a tick to try while juggling redundant and insignificant relationships with people I hardly know, I packed my bags and almost overnight my circus was subtle fanfare in the background, like an occasional crackle on a radio.

“We are all given 24 hours in a day, it’s up to you to decide how to spend it” -My Husband

Goodness it irks me when he’s right, no matter how often or how right he is. However irritated I am, I’m thankful for his rightness in this case. Marriage should be a paid gig (particularly for him) and it’s not always about having someone you can celebrate with. It’s also about who you can walk through shit with and this epic shitstorm my husband had to wade through with me was one for the books. What’s interesting in hindsight is how all those people who I just assumed would be there, they are there, trouble is, I wasn’t. None of them hold it against me, they chalk it up to growing pains. I hold it against me. I forgive myself but the sting is there. The lemon, egg, and baking powder in my eyes while I’m wiping tears picking my heart up off the floor, the invisible in your heart version of that sting, I feel it often. I feel it most when I wake up from a visit in my dreams.

My message should be clear but in plain language… if you’re juggling and losing sleep and fretting about missing out on the next thing… you are failing and this is the only time I’ll tell you to quit. Quit it all and rebuild your soul without burden.

Till next time friends, stay beautiful.

In loving memory of my grandpa, Gilbert Miller.

I will give you this one thought to keep, I am with you, I do not sleep; I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain; When you awaken in the mornings hush, I am the swift uplifting rush
I am the singing birds in flight, I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not think of me as gone, as I am with you in each new dawn…

This is the most perfect photo of Grandpa, that silly face he’s making, that’s him. And my beautiful granny smothered in his love 💜 the way it’s always been 💜

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