Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fish In The Mirror

Hi all. I wrote this about 7 years ago when my fish in the mirror moment happened. I hope that it will help you find yours.
I want to keep sharing my life with you in the hopes that in getting to know me, you will feel comfortable sharing your life with me. I hope we will walk this journey together, as that is one of the things that helps keep me moving forward. It just helps to feel that someone understands; that someone has walked a similar path. That this person does not judge my path but walks with me until I learn to walk around the holes I have been choosing for my life.

When the split first happened, I felt less than nothing. A lot of that was from being treated with disrespect so long, for being made to feel that everything I thought was either stupid or wrong. It took a very long time for me to learn to love and care for myself. I had to learn self compassion. I had plenty of compassion to go around for others. I had spent my whole life "fixing" others when the person I really needed to fix was me. I did not realize how much my broken childhood influenced my now and in order to put that to rest, I had to recognize it, face it, and heal it.

This is the beginning of how I started the journey to loving myself. You can follow along with me and together we will be able to look in the mirror and smile, instead of making remarks about how inadequate we are.

The Fish In The Mirror
So many people have asked me how I got to feel the way I do about myself. I have shared this with a few people and I am going to share it today in hopes that everyone will realize that we deserve to feel good about ourselves, as much anyone does.
When I was involved in the beginning of the divorce, I had no self esteem. I felt less than worthless in life, ugly, stupid, no future, no dreams but something changed all that one day, when I went over to visit my daughter.
She had just installed a 55 gallon fish tank in her home. I sat down in the chair to gaze at the fish and several of them were preening to and fro in front of the mirror on the back of the tank. They acted like the "hawtest" fish they had ever seen was on the other side, not realizing that it was them, that they were looking at.
In that moment I said, I want to be the "fish in the mirror". I devised a plan that I would look in the mirror everyday and say something good about myself.
It was sooooo hard because I felt so useless and so ugly but I made myself look the first day. I had to say something about my face but I could find nothing, so silent tears rolled down my face. I looked again the next day and the next. On the third day I said " well, I guess my hair is alright".
I kept looking each morning determined to find something good to say about myself, and finally on the tenth day, I saw these incredible Native American deep set beautiful brown eyes. For the first time in my life I knew that my eyes were beautiful.
By the time two weeks had passed, I knew that I was beautiful and that my ex was so cruel to make me think otherwise. When I got sick in 2004, I had to take medicine to live. I gained a lot of weight from the medicine and because of my illness was unable to work. As I was sole support, this made my ex angry. I was so lost and hurt that he would not get a job to help support us when I could not. It finally made me realize that he would never be there for me, ever. I could hold on to something that was so bad for me or I could let him go. Getting sick and understanding finally that I was alone even though I was married, was the best thing that ever happened to me and when he came to me for the 5th time and said "I need to feel the wind in my hair" I replied, "then , go do so". It has taken me years to see that I am beautiful inside and out, and if others can not, they are not allowed in my life.
What was this thing that made me change my way of thinking? It was called compassion. I had such compassion and love for everyone else. How could I now love me and be as kind to myself as I am to others? This thinking literally changed my life and it will for you too.
You are all so beautiful. Let us become the fish in the mirror together, so that no one can make us feel less than we are, ever again.
"Never make someone a priority that keeps you an option" Unknown author
"Your history is not your destiny" Alan Cohen
And my favorite from a dear friend.
"Turn your scars into stars"
I was talking to her one day about scars and she told me to turn those scars into stars. It impacted me like a thunderbolt and I set about turning my scars into stars. I have succeeded with a lot of them, and I have her to thank for the idea to start. With love, Kimmee

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Trip to Savannah

Gracie Watson welcomes visitors to the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia each day. It is sad and yet poignant that she does this still....
I have started  my memory of Savannah with this child because I was like a child as I viewed this Historical city. Savannah was inhabited by the Native American Creek Tribe called Yamacraw,
(a group of Creeks and Yamasees), whose leader was called Tomochichi, when in 1732 a Ship from Britain called " Anne" arrived  carrying 114 colonists.  They greeted the newcomers with the first "Southern Hospitality".  Among the people that came to settle the new colony was a man called General James Oglethorpe.
Because of the friendship between Tomochichi and Oglethorpe, Savannah was able to flourish unhindered by the warfare that marked the beginnings of many early American colonies. (The above information garnered from Wikipedia) Portrait of James Oglethorpe resides in the Wormlsey Plantation Home Museum. 
In 1740 George Whitefield founded the Bethesda Orphanage, which is now the oldest extant orphanage in the U S. (I wondered as I viewed this name if we were distant relatives and if they were more closely related to Joe and John Whitfield. If you find this out, please let me know.)
 There was a  letter from Benjamin Franklin that got my attention. He sent gifts to the new colony, of Rice  that he felt would grow in the almost tropical climate! The Museum at the Wormsley Plantation House is small but worth the trip. And we had the added bonus of a re-enactment while we were there. 
The Hearse Ghost Tour was fun, if hokey in parts, but still worth the price of 15 dollars. For an added bonus our hearse ran out of gas and we had to push it to the gas station. LOL. We probably could have gotten our money back but it did make the evenings entertainment memorable!
Our next stop was a midnight look at the Colonial  Park Cemetery. It was not open and we planned a trip the next day but there is something that I love about Cemeteries at night... Savannah is built upon throngs of people unidentified under the soil. That is one reason for the ghost tours and many, many stories that people tell of seeing spirits in the many establishments. In the back of the Colonial Park Cemetery  are gravestones that were placed on the wall. One of them is of Jacob R Taylor who at 18 was killed in a bar fight at "Pirates House", thought to be the oldest standing structure in Savannah. The cemetery also houses Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who was killed in a duel while Governor of Georgia.   Story after story emerges as you read the many gravestones,  6 children lost in one family, duels fought over lost honor,   Revolutionary War General Nathanael Green ( Often misspelled as Nathaniel ) whose vault is still there but he is not, and 750 other colonists that died during the Yellow Fever outbreaks of 1820-1840. 
The other Cemetery we visited was Bonaventure. This cemetery is the one that houses the poignant little girl named Gracie that started my Adventure. The sculpture of her and others in the cemetery are so real, you feel as if they are right there with you. It is creepy and interesting all at the same time. Some of the great marble statues were carved by the Italian masters of the 18th century  and one of them struck me so much, that I could not move on for a while.

I felt at any moment she was going to speak.
 The monument to Johnny Mercer, co-founder of Capital Records.

 Some of what must be my family as they are Peacocks, Gilmores, and Morris families.
There was a section honoring the many people that have died in service to our country and I took a moment to pay them homage......

There are 22 squares in Savannah and I think we visited all of them. One is where Forrest Gump sat on a park bench telling us his story while waiting to catch a bus to go see Jenny. The little diner that Jenny worked at in the movie is near by and the falling feather that we watched in the beginning and end of the movie was dropped from a church steeple nearby the Wright Square where Tom Hanks sat, in the movie. We also visited the place that you see in the movie where Jenny said to Forrest, "Run Forrest Run" and he ran down that huge driveway of trees. It was magnificent to see  a part of our movie history in front of you. (Tom Hanks is one of only three actors to win an Academy Award Back to Back in our history). 
There were so many things that I would love to share with you and tell you, but what I took away from Savannah is that it is a beginning part of our American history. From the amazing African American Troops that fought for our Independence.

To the wonderful people that  started writing about it to make it come alive for us.

To the great food at Vic's On The River, which displays in part an amazing map, hand drawn by Union Soldiers detailing Shermans March from Tennessee to Georgia, and found hidden in a wall while renovating the building...

To the flagship "PeaceMaker" that is docked in the harbor for tours...

I think I could be comfortable in this! LOL..
 Savannah oozes history and I am so thankful that I had a chance to visit and see it with my family.  I could go on for hours and hours about all the things I saw, felt, or touched. The city impacted me. I felt like I was home amongst the ruins, the people gone on before, the Natives and the Colonials.
I learned a lesson about me  a long  time ago; Home is where I am..... Love to you all, Kimmee