Monday, November 27, 2017

Coming back

2 yrs after the apocalypse of my divorce and I'm finally starting to feel I'm coming back.

I moved Sera a 2nd time to a new barn.  It's smaller, their management is much more horse friendly and closer to what I'm used to, the people there are super nice and I'm really liking it.  Sera is happier too.  She has been there 3 weeks and so far I'm actually RIDING regularly.  She's been confident and relaxed and I feel like I have my old horse back vs. a completely unhappy devil horse.

Also, last week I re-signed up with my Muay Thai gym, only due to a FB page I am following that called for you to do something different, I am now doing some Jiu Jitsu.  I've never "rolled" before and know nothing about it.  Had my second class today and had the following observations:

1. It is SO COOL to use your body in different movement patterns - or similar movement patterns but with a purpose other than pushing a barbell. ie: weighted bridges with a barbell vs. weighted bridge with a 175lb man on top of you and your intent is to bridge and get them off of you
2. There is so much to learn. Brain freaking overload. BUT I totally embrace the suck and know you gotta start somewhere and usually that somewhere is sucking as...s... if I keep going things will start to make sense with angles and weight and body movement.
3. It is really weird to "mount" strange men and have strange men "mount" me and I keep saying to myself "don't make this creepy, don't make this creepy, don't make this creepy" AND then I get into trying to figure it all out and it is totally not creepy. (my brain still goes there tho' even while watching the demonstrations - can't help it)
4. Fresh breath is going to be a priority. You are right up in people's faces breathing hard.
5. That gi? omg. It is heavy and hot and the whole class my brain is screaming get it off me, get it off me. However, you gotta lean into the uncomfortable... so I'm hoping it won't feel like I'm wrapped in a carpet after some more classes. 
6. I'm glad I ripped the band aid and am going to class and learning incredibly cool new things. Way cool. Loving it

Friday, April 14, 2017

The universe sends us messages

Went to the barn last night to ride my mare, Sera.  I have been struggling SO much with trying to figure out what to do.  I don't really want to show anymore.  It's not my thing... it's expensive and shrug...I just don't really CARE. 

I did when I was riding with Rex cuz it was a fun thing - a goal to shoot for and we were all in it together and it was what was expected or what I was supposed to do.  Shrug.  It was fine back in the day.

Now it's just me and yes yes yes... I could go show if I want.  It's just ... I don't really want to.  I'm not hugely competitive and that isn't really how I get my kicks.  And if I'm not going to show... well, do I need to take lessons regularly?  If there is no end goal and no event to train for... what is the point of lessons?  Can I just ride my horse and enjoy her and that is it?  Dunno.  Have felt very lost in this realm for a long time.

I go see her every day and check on her and feed her a supplement ... she is groomed and the farrier comes regularly and the vet when needed for vaccinations or whatever.  She has her buddies in the pasture now.  She is settled in and the green grass is growing and she is looking good with the winter coat shedding out...

Last night - I was getting all my things together to ride and this woman said, "Can I ask you a question?"  And I literally looked all around me - there was no one around - and said, Who?  Me?

She said, "Yes!"  She went on to tell me that she had just been to her first Dressage show and showed at Intro Level.  She told me her scores and they were all well into the 60's (a good score).  So I told her that was AWESOME and gave her a high five.  And then she asked if I rode Dressage... I told her I used to... but hadn't really in 2 yrs due to divorce and life bullshit but was getting back to it.

She told me I rode past her the other day... (and I totally remember that day cuz Sera was up and tense and unhappy to do that direction and I was thinking - gawd Sera, please don't be a shithead and dump me and run off in front of these people).  And she said after I rode past she told her friend ... oh, my, God - I want to ride like that person!  She was telling me about my seat and how it followed my horse and how I had such nice, elastic elbows... and my posture was just so upright and nice... she went on and on.

I was 1. embarrassed and 2. so fucking grateful.  I thanked her and told her she really made my night and thank-you so much for saying something.  It meant a lot to me.

And on my way home... after my ride... and even during my ride... I was thinking to myself. 

Here I have been thinking that I am unworthy to have a horse.  That because I sold my place and no longer live with my horse I am a failure.  All the people at the barn treated me like I was so much less once I was divorced... wouldn't talk to me, wouldn't look at me, people who once thought I knew something, now lecturing me like I was a child and didn't know anything...

And I bought it.  I bought it all.  Thinking I am stupid, a failure, what if anything do I know about horses or riding or anything to do with them, I don't deserve Sera...

And then the Loving What Is post I wrote about ... started at least thinking neutrally... or thought I was.  Until last night.

That lady saying that to me. 

It made me stop and think ... just because I was divorced and just because the people I'd known since I was a teenager... the people who I looked up to and thought of as family... just because they think certain things now, say certain things, act certain ways... it doesn't mean that you don't know anything. 

It doesn't take away from all the years and years and years of lessons, of clinics, of shows, of learning, or riding.  I still know those things. 

It's just now I am standing on my own and not relying so much on others.  Finding my own voice, my own way... and the universe is TELLING me these things.  And I have not been listening. 

I still don't know how to move forward with Sera... however, I still ride her and I still love her and she is still a part of me.  I will figure it out... in the meantime... I can simply enjoy my big red mare. 

I am just a woman with a horse.... with a nice seat and elastic elbows. 

heh - fuck yes!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Loving What Is....

Is the title of a book I'm reading by Byron Katie.  I'm not really FULLY getting it or understanding it.  Think I'm being stubborn about it in my head and trying to clutch on to old ideas/notions. 

However - she said one thing that really resonated with me. 

OK - framework.

She was talking about how we create our own misery/anger/sadness etc. when we fight with reality.  And reality cannot be the past because it's over and reality cannot be the future cuz it's not here yet.  And how we are all tied to our "stories" and so much of these stories we tell ourselves aren't even true.  We can't know without a doubt that they are true.  Yes, they are true in our heads but that is the issue... we make up stories and then fight with reality and it causes us great angst.

One thing she said that was powerful to me was... what if you are just a woman sitting in your chair at work.. and that is it?  There is no past or future or story about you other than what IS.  The reality is  - you are a woman sitting in a chair at work. 

And that thought was actually super cool to me and exciting and freeing.  So I'm continuing on with her work and I don't fully grasp it or understand it and that is ok cuz at least I have that one piece that makes sense to me so far and that is pretty cool.

And I'm using it... sometimes my brain tries to go down a path that causes me yuck.  (fucking evil brain hamsters running on their eternal wheel of fuck-up-ed-ness all up in my head)

And I stop and think.  Nope.  You are a woman driving a car... that is it.  There is nothing else.  No past, no future... just NOW. 

It is the totality of BE HERE NOW.   Workin' on it.

Signed up for a Tough Mudder Half - 5 miles and like 13 obstacles.  My training is now more obstacle focused and with lots of cardio stuff thrown in during or after my strength stuff and it's HARD but I'm getting it.  And I'm like wow - holy shit - this is really gonna go down and I really NEED this prep work for it cuz my workouts are hard and they aren't 5 miles and 13 true hard-core obstacles.

I ordered a rope to practice rope climbs... it was on my doorstep this afternoon. EEEEEP!

It's gonna double as a super fun rope swing for us and my sister's kids and whomever else wants to play on it. 

AND I had a boudoir shoot last week.  Was totally freaked out about it... and no, I don't love my figure so much that I see no flaws - was afraid I would see every flaw I have and HATE my pix.  And it's not something I do generally... show a bunch of skin or exude sexuality cuz well... I'm 46 and have been so very married... and now in a relationship and I just don't flaunt shit or even WANT male attention like I did in my 20's out in the bars.

I don't hate them - I got a sneak peek of 4 pix.  I see the flaws... however, I don't really care.  I liked the pix and looking forward to seeing more.  I just want it documented - now at 46 yrs of age - that I was once in shape and maybe my sisters kids will find the pix one day when I'm old and withered in a nursing home, slumped in a chair, drooling on my chest and they will be surprised and think  "Oh shit!  Aunt Shannon had some balls and she was kind of hot too!"  Grin. 

Happy Wednesday.  I hope you are well and happy and moving forward in this big wide world.  Big love - S

Friday, January 13, 2017

Checking in....

Saw Barb of Barb and Tamara in the locker room the other day in the gym.   SIGH.  I simply looked up and saw a "person" - gave that non-committal polite smile - then realized it was Barb and her face lit up with recognition of me...  her instinct was to say HI to me but I have rebuked all that really. 

Hard to explain. 

They chose Dave and that is fine - I guess I hoped it could have been different and they would not have had to choose one of us....but it's not...

I used to be IN their circle and now they want me removed to a friendly acquaintance - and I am like wtf?  You are my friend or you aren't.  You can't make me this beloved indoor dog and then oh - out you go into the backyard and we will pet you whenever it's convenient....  

So I had this brief flash of just SAD - a really deep sadness.  Sad for all the loss.  For ALL of it. 

However - I acknowledged it - yes.  That IS a sad thing. 

And then thought of the old guys at the gym, the other younger dude Aaron I say hi to... the people in my life now... and I moved onward with my day - I moved FORWARD into my day and into my life and did not stay in the past.  I spent about 30 second of thought on it in the locker room as I prepared for my workout... I certainly did not dwell on it. 

It just IS.

I thought on my way to the car about how I COULD change that if I wanted to - to try and befriend Barb and Tamara again?  But I really don't want to play that game and play seconds all the time.  I know if they have a party Dave will be the one to be invited, not me - unless he's out
of town.  And then what? 

One of the friends they have, Pat, whom I always saw out and about and we would stop to chat... Pat saw me at the gym and avoided eye contact at ALL costs even tho I said surprised - Oh! Hi!  I didn't know you came here!  She never responded and avoided me.  So I go to a party and then I'm like the WEIRD one to avoid or be awkward with?  No thanks.  Had enough of that with the barn clan. 

And who wants to feel that in a friendship?  Always picked last for the game?  Like how they had their housewarming for all the "neighbors" - the second string - the acquaintances.  You KNOW they had one for all their close friends... cuz that second string invite was addressed to me along with the neighbors.  It didn't have ANY of their close friends I always saw at parties and chatted with and knew thru them.....

So meh.

Thinking about it is different than dwelling and sinking into the sad until your skin is so saturated with sad that your fingers are all pruney and wrinkled with it...

 Life is just different and that was a really good and fun chapter but it's over.  And that is sad but there are lots of other chapters to experience and move toward....

AND even before all this happened, I bought like 3-4 Maya Angelou books... I've been wanting to read her.  She had a very hard childhood but came out of it with a real sense of grace and positivity and goodness.... got them all used on Amazon for like $3-4... will be looking forward to reading them!

**and maybe one day I will write about Dave but 1. I think he still reads this blog occasionally and 2. I think his friends do too.  And maybe they just want to try and figure out what happened and that is why they do... or they see if I'm ok without having to ask ... who knows.  I dealt with enough judgment, backlash, nastiness, anger, dislike, avoidance etc etc etc that I don't need or want to be attacked anymore. 

Trust levels still low.  Paranoia levels still above average.  All getting better... but gonna take some time.  Nothing at defcon 10 anymore ... no sirens blaring and red lights flashing at least.  Maybe things are a good yellow....mentally peeking around corners with a hard hat on.  grin.

Some things better left un-said and un-explained anyway. 

Like I said - those chapters are closed - the chapters when we had each other's back no matter what.  That is the past. 

Who knows if we will be in each other's "books" as they continue to write themselves out.... I told my sister a long time ago that Dave and I will never be friends - sad that we couldn't bridge the hurt to still find the friendship.  She told me, "you don't know that.  how can you know that?  you never thought you would be divorced either..."  How right she is... 

 And that is all the profound I have in me today.  ha ha ha! 

Peace to you and whatever you struggle with - I hope you are able to move it to the side faster and faster to continue FORWARD vs. staying stuck in the mire.  Here's to finding defcon 1 again when all lights are green....  

Big love to you and yours and even those that aren't yours anymore... more love is always a good thing.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Coming back....

OK - so that dinner with former friends / neighbors... dude.  That fucking shook me and left me in a really dark place.  Really dark.  Really really really fucking dark. 

Like I am The Destroyer of Men... that song by Henry Rollins.. Four Sticks... "you take a man and you crush him, you take his spine and you snap it...that's what you do... that's what you do" 

yeah.  That is me.  Destroyer of lives.

I destroyed my Dad when I put him into a nursing home - took away everything he had ... I destroyed Dave when I left - took away "our happy little life"...I was the cause of my Mothers physical abuse because she told me when Dad came home and if something was wrong with me as a baby - a scrape, a scratch, she was beaten for it ... I wasn't enough to take care of my sister thru all the domestic violence and foster homes when we were little - I couldn't protect her.  (uh hello, I was like 3 or 4 --- who COULD take care of anyone at that age???)  And I know... I know...  I will destroy Boyfriend at some point in time... and every happy statement he makes about us together... I cringe... because I am THE DESTROYER and I think ... just wait Boyfriend... just wait... I will ruin your life too...

I don't want to be in that place any more.  It isn't the truth.  It is dark and dank and putrid and evil.  That is not me.  I am NOT a destroyer.  Never my intent or want.  Never want to hurt anyone.  I am kind.  I am a really nice person. 

Visit with my therapist...

And started reading things.  Jade Teta has been hitting the nail on the head lately.  He had some posts about our "super powers" as humans on this planet.  Google him if you are interested.

Anyway - he said while going through a rough time, he wrote a core statement about himself.  At first the sad/overwhelmed depressed me thought I can't do that... I don't have anything to write. 

And then the survivor in me stood up from somewhere in the back row balcony of the house packed full of sad and horrible and called bullshit on that.  Of course you do - you can write something.  So I penned one out.  It did help.. helped me to see ME from what I know to be true of myself vs. from other perspectives or from all the wierdos out there that have some issue with me now post-Dave and the strange made-up stories they tell themselves about me.

And Mr. Teta talked about how you re-write your story.  FUCK YES.  My story does not have to be wallowing in sadness.  I do not have to accept the less than treatment of people due to circumstances that in no way affected how they live their lives or carry on in this world.  I don't need to be the destroyer in my story.   I can re-write.

He talks about our perception being a choice.  Yes.  As hard as that is to accept.  Yes.  I am choosing to let the shit overflow in my head.  It's time to make another choice. 

I am reading Eat, Pray, Love which just beginning is spot on as well.  She talks about 2 yrs of depression/sadness from the divorce and still while that is happening good things happen too... and how the person she was married to... they knew each other better than anyone else on the planet and once the split happened, they became instant strangers.  Truth.  And it is so weird.  It's like I've just disappeared - become invisible and like I've never existed.  I've been erased.  Last 17 yrs just gone.  Like it never happened.  poof. 

And I've seen the movie so I know it ends well... or maybe that was Under the Tuscan Sun... anyway.  Whatever.  It ends well and her words are spot on so far. 

So nice to have some validation - even if it is in a book that was made into a movie... cuz man... I sometimes feel like a complete island.  I touch no one and no one touches me... I am a rock... I am an island...  I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain, it's laughter and it's loving I disdain... I am a rock... I am an island.... Paul Simon

I don't wanna be the rock... I don't wanna be the island.  I am a happy person, I LIKE people, I like making people feel good - I am an encourager in this world.  And I think in general the world needs more encouragement cuz it's way way way too easy to hear all the negative bullshit and that is exactly what it is - BULLSHIT and apply it to yourself. 

Soooo.  Based on my therapist visit I am trying to meditate 10 min a day.  I am mostly using that to self talk in nice ways to myself. 

I have this sign up in my cubicle at work "The Words You Speak Become The House You Live In".  I have been speaking horribly to myself... horrible things and thoughts.  Turning that around.  Tearing down the dark, dank, shitty house I've been living in. 

Building a new house.  A lighter house.  A happier house to live in. 

While I'm not sure I believe in God - I am spiritual and so I am saying things like: "you are worthy.  you are worth loving.  you deserve to be here.  you are here for a reason.  you are a survivor.  you are a champion.  you are so worth love. you are here for a reason.  the divine created you for something.  you ARE worthy." 

I am trying to find gratitude - thankful for the things I am blessed with and given the grace to experience/feel/see/hear/touch/taste... thank-you for the beautiful blue sky... the sunset... being able to see the moon at 7pm at night in the sky... for my happy little stump tailed dog....talenti gelato and sorbet on sale in chocolate and chocolate chip coffee...  

I am reading and re-reading the Jade Teta blog posts... re-writing my story.  Defining myself using only myself for input and not the negative of others.  Defining what is important to me.  Looking for where I want to go...

Yes - of course sadness is still around... like a wolf with steely eyes just waiting for me to falter so he can spring up and pull me back down... yes, it is still there I can feel him watching me... waiting...

However, right now I am Shannon Fucking Schierling.  I am happy, I love laughing, I like to play and be excited about little things and smile -

In college a roommate brought home a guy... in the AM when he came out of her room, he saw me and his face lit up, "you are that girl who smiles ALL the time!  I see you out and you are ALWAYS smiling!"  Yeah.  THAT is the me I know...

I love encouraging others and helping them to see they are GOOD and WORTHY... none of us are as bad as we think we are.  (ahem - including ME dammit!)

My old life is gone.  Door closed. 

My new life and story is being written...

I want it to be a happy story... one that makes people laugh and smile and feel good.  Most of all I want to be happy, laugh and smile again.  I'm don't want the darkness anymore... unless it's the night sky with a moon and stars.  That kind of dark I can handle.... 

I will find new friends.  I will forge a new path.  I have survived and will continue to survive.  I am a survivor. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

A victory...

Celebrate your successes.  No matter how small.  They are still successes!

Went to the gym extra early the other day to get my ass to work early.  I went to wash my hands and the woman who used to say hello to me at the gym pre-divorce - the sister of a Barn Person - was washing her hands in the sink next to me.


I walked up anyway - thinking grumpily how it was so early and now I had to deal with THIS first thing?  Show my tough face, wear my armor when I just wanted to go work out.  I stared ahead, minding my bid'ness.  Steeling myself.  Mantras in place. 

She stopped mid-wash - staring directly at me in the mirror and said in a very indignant and sarcastic tone;  Uh... GOOD MORNING.

Sigh.  What the fuck do you people want from me?  Why can't they just leave me the hell alone. 

I looked at her.  I said good morning.  I dried my hands and I left to roller and activate and work out.

When I left the bathroom - the hamster started running on that wheel. 

Have I mistaken her dislike for me for the past year and a half?  Did I imagine her walking right past me and staring right through me when she used to say good morning to me? 


And even if I did? 

This person is not my friend. 

I do not owe this person anything.  Not any thing. 

I never did things with this person on my personal time.  I know through personal experience what her sister thinks of me - that was made crystal clear.  I have heard through at least 2 people what this woman's mom thinks of me - and I DID have very personal relationships with her sister and mom - for years and years and years.  Over 20 years they were my second home/my second family. 

And what?  I'm to think this woman standing next to me looking so indignant was my champion, my lone supporter in her family's opinion of me?  pfft.   Riiiiigggghhhhhhtttt.  She hasn't talked to me for ages. 

Let her be as offended as she wants to be that I didn't acknowledge her existence.  She said good morning in the snottiest way possible - I said good morning back to her.  shrug. 

Let her go forth and tell her family how different I am and what a bitch I am. 

Don't care.  Don't.  Fucking.  Care.

And then my hamster stopped running cuz my thoughts made sense to me, I felt grounded and strong and remembered all the people in CA that LIKED me and enjoyed my company - I smiled to myself remembering them - seeing their smiling faces -  and I did my workout and focused on my movement, my ability, my weights and hello endorphins. 

It didn't crush me to see this woman who at one point meant something - an attachment with a family that is no longer mine.  It didn't make me feel sick to my stomach, didn't make me have any sort of panic attack, didn't make me shaky, didn't make me overly angry.... I simply went about my day. 

So yeah.  Victory. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Break...

I really like leaving Ft. Collins these days... I know I won't run into anyone that knew me when I was married.  No averted eyes, no avoiding at all costs, no hearing about the nasty things people say...

It's a nice mental break in not prepping myself for the worst all the time. "Stare at the ground when you are at Country House... don't look to see who is driving past... stare straight ahead when you go into the women's locker room at the gym..."  Planning my game face and my "ok - if you see X, just smile politely and say good morning - don't let it get to you, you are ok." 

I got a group text right before I left town from someone inviting me to their daughters graduation - I don't know the other numbers it was sent to.... but a couple of the replies were from the leaders at the barn I've been ousted from. 


No WAY would I ever attend a party any of those people would be attending.  I would NEVER put myself in that situation again...  to be actively shunned to my face?  No thanks. I politely declined and wished all the best to the graduate.

When I travel?  I can just go into the world when I'm travelling.  No planning required.  I can look into people's faces and smile and they smile back I can go to dinner with people from class and they act normal, talk to me, converse.  It's refreshing.

I stopped at the gym, Redefining Strength, before I left.  The woman who has been my personal trainer online owns and runs it.  I was able to meet her for the first time... so much fun.  I worked out with a group of people, shot the shit, called shit on people, laughed, joked.  People LIKED me.  Made me remember that I AM a like-able person.  I am funny and I am kind and I am encouraging and I am a really nice person. 

Reminds me of a quote I posted on FB - something about how not believing you are worth relationships/caring/love would be like not believing a light could shine through a broken window... I've been believing the brain bugs lately.   

I worked out - watched the next class - we all went to dinner... sat until we closed the place, talking, joking, laughing... I felt part of the group.  I had people laughing - they had me laughing.

I could so see myself there.  Building relationships! Having friends again!  I know I see all the old fellas at my gym.. and they are wonderful.  Truly they are.  However, I don't hang with them outside the gym and we don't work out together... we don't laugh and have girl talk and say vagina during dinner... something about that camaraderie...

I'm home - horrible period cramps, ugh - it is gray and cloudy and cold... Toe and Puppy Briar were happy to see me.  Kittehs were happy to see me.  Boyfriend is glad I'm home... it should be enough. 

I finished reading Brene Brown.... I read some things online about divorce and needing to close the doors on what your life was so you can open doors into the new.  Stop hiding from the world.  (so it's not just me!)  I'm trying.  Think that dinner and the invite before I left helped me with that - shut those doors.  Need to move onward and outward.  Find new relationships and friends.

Look outward and no longer backward. 

Easier said than done... however... one of these days it will be reality....