Surviving is not Living

Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

All Over the Place

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It’s not that I have nothing to say right now, it’s that I have too much to say, and I can’t really make sense of the mess in my head. No worries, the mess isn’t bad, it’s just chaotic. Ideas and thoughts and all that jazz. Because I can’t really make sense of what’s in my own head, today is going to be full of a bunch of links to things I think everyone should read. I hope to provide you with enough to carry through the weekend in case I don’t get back to you before then. Tomorrow is my friday and then I’m headed back to Kansas for my 10 year high school reunion.

WHAT?! How has it been that long already? Seriously. When did we all become grown?

10 years. Hm.. that just got me thinking of a post idea.  Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, what follows is gonna be others’ posts who have inspired me, not all has to do with weightloss stuff, but just life in general and inspiration in different areas. Please check them out. There’s so many cool people I’ve found in the blogosphere, and because some of them are doing this for their career (which I hope to be someday, soon) visiting their pages and such helps support their livelihood, and I’m ALL about supporting small businesses/self-employed peeps.

Ben Does Life Video Journey – The Do Life Movement started from Ben’s journey. He was in Denver Sunday and that’s how I ended up doing my first 5K.  Pretty awesome. And really, that’s what it’s about, doing life. I want to lose 180 pounds, and get out of debt, and have positive people in my circle, and do the job I love to do, all because I believe life should be lived loudly, however that translates for you. We should be our best selves, not what others expect us to be, not what we settle for being, not stuck because we’re afraid to move, but extraordinary, because life is short, and we should soak it all up while we can.

This is What it Looks Like – A 26 part (short posts, easy reads) series on love. Jasmine Myers of Eat Move Write lets us in on her journey of discovering love, for the man who would eventually become her husband and, ultimately, for herself. It’s beautiful. Truly. Our ability to love anybody else only truly comes after we’ve fallen in love with ourselves.

Jasmine’s Top Posts – (More from Eat Move Write) All pretty awesome. In fact, you really should just go to her page and use her drop down menu to go back in time and read everything she has written, and then start following her regularly. She’s taking a short pause from her blog, so you have time to catch up. She’s pretty awesome. I find it to be a beautiful thing when your spirit connects to another’s even when you’ve not met that person. I know that not everyone connects with the same people, but I think some of you definitely will.

Running is for Crazy People – A Guest Blog at Healthy Tipping Point talking about what her “tipping point” was. Everybody has a moment where they decide that enough is enough and kick it into gear. This was hers. And I enjoyed the read.

30 Lessons My Parents Didn’t Teach Me – Just a freaking awesome post that E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y should read. Seriously.

Dear Mom, I would give it all back – Warning. It made me cry. Post from Jen, founder of Prior Fat Girl, who lost her mom during her journey, on the day of her 2 year anniversary of healthiness, when she planned on celebrating her 100 lbs lost.  Another one, My mom is dead talks a little more about her journey after losing her mom, with coming to the point of learning how to live without her mom, and realizing it was something she had to do. People wonder how you survive something like that, loss of a young parent, a spouse, or a child. The answer is this, you just do. You wake up, get out of bed, and put one foot in front of the other.

Rachel Wilkerson’s Fourth Rule – Thou Shalt Own It. I truly believe this. Do not every apologize for who you are. That is living a life that is authentic, and that is the greatest gift we can give others, our authentic selves. That doesn’t mean being a jerk for no reason and treating others poorly. It means accepting who you are and not apologizing if you don’t fit a perfect mold that someone else has created for you. Rachel is definitely someone I enjoy reading. She puts it out there. Doesn’t apologize, and makes me laugh, A LOT.  Check out her top posts and her recipes.

Okay, I hope that has given you enough to tide over for awhile. Link us to a favorite post(s) you’ve read recently. Or a favorite blogger. I’m always looking for new people to follow, to be inspired by, to laugh with.

And I promise I will be back with more posts of my own soon. I have a lot of ideas floating around, just need to organize them.  I have a list of “to be written” posts.


Written by No More Tomorrows

July 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Strength in All Things

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I have doubted myself and what I can accomplish and get through for a long time. I have thought I was weak for a long time. I still do. I think about losing 180 pounds and it seems like such a big task, something I am not strong enough for.

And then I remember what I survived.

“To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling

This is…

How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive”

Natalie Grant – “Held”


I was single, unmarried, working part time and struggling to pay my own bills and put food in my own mouth, let alone two mouths. He was a product of lust, not love, something I never planned to have happen. It wasn’t my dream. It wasn’t ideal. But from the moment I found out that this life lived inside of me, he is all I wanted. I knew I would struggle, that we wouldn’t have an easy life, but all that mattered was this baby. I knew that no matter what happened from then on out, he would always come first, and I would make whatever sacrifice necessary to provide him the best life I could. I also believed that his father would do his best also, and that although we wouldn’t raise him together, that we would both do our best to raise him well. I’ve come to find out I was right about that. Sometimes that makes the pain that much worse, to know there are so many children whose parents spend more time fighting each other than loving their children, and then to know my son would have had all the love in the world from two parents, that although they didn’t love each other, respected each other and would have provided a peaceful and respectful atmosphere for him to grow up in.

I had plans, and dreams, and hopes. I dreamt the biggest dreams for him, and for my life also. All of a sudden I realized I needed to be the best mom he could have. I made goals to be healthy, to finish school, to get a good job that could provide for him and be stable. I planned. I dreamt. I hoped.

And on the afternoon of Wednesday November 5, 2008, around 1:30 in the afternoon, they were murdered. And I felt like I died right along with them.  I heard the words that no woman ever wants to hear.

There’s no heartbeat.

I didn’t need to hear the words, at least not really. Maybe I needed them just so that what I already saw was real, but I saw the ultrasound, I saw my son not moving. I heard the silence. Over the 40 weeks I had gotten used to what his beating heart looked like on screen. I had learned the difference between the swooshing of the ultrasound or heart monitor and his heartbeat. I knew what I was seeing when I looked at the ultrasound screen and didn’t see the movement that looked like the flickering of a light. He was gone.

Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you? Been hit in the gut?  It was like that, only not. It was a million times worse. It’s something I can’t really describe to you in a way you’d understand unless it’s happened to you, and if it hasn’t, I pray it never does.  My world stopped. I remember bringing my hands to my face to try not to scream as tears built up and spilled over. I held my breath and cried quietly, my body shaking, gasping to breathe, but trying not to make noise. I had two doctors in with me, they handed me Kleenex. I held my hands and the Kleenex over my face. (Even in a moment like that I was still worried about being seen doing the ugly cry. I really hate crying in front of people.)

I’m so sorry. Carrie I’m sorry.

They just kept repeating it. I guess even doctors, who I’m sure have seen it happen before, don’t know what to say in a moment like that. I remember watching Dr. Montgomery on Grey’s Anatomy breaking down when she had to tell a couple that their baby was dead. As critical as I can often be of doctors and the medical field in general, they do have hearts, and no matter how many times you deliver bad news, I can’t imagine it’s ever easy.

They asked me who they could call and I couldn’t even focus enough to answer. They said that Stacy was listed as the person to call in my file and I nodded when they asked if that’s who I wanted to call. They both left and I got off the table to get my purse and get my phone. My legs shook and I sat in the chair. As if on autopilot I started making phone calls. I called my boss at the time, who was a friend also. She sent someone to be with me since she couldn’t. Stacy also showed up.

My mind raced. It was like I was in a daze, but the thoughts still came.  What do I do now? What do I do with the baby stuff? How do I deal with this?  I need to breathe.  But how?

November 7 I met my beautiful son, and just as quickly as I finally got to say hello, I had to say goodbye. It is the hardest thing that I have ever lived through. It is a road I travel every day, a little bit further, a little bit easier. I have learned to live in a world where my son never got to. I have survived what would probably be every parent’s greatest fear. I am strong.

So why do I forget that so often?

Written by No More Tomorrows

July 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Posted in Baby Loss, Fear, Grief, Stories


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My heart’s beating pounding out of my chest, sitting in my jeep, fiddling with the radio, checking my makeup, chewing gum, looking at my phone, smoothing my clothes…

Mind racing…

I should have worn something more loose, that doesn’t hug my body. My hair is starting to get flat. What if this is a joke and he’s setting me up to be embarrassed and isn’t really going to show up. What if I get mugged sitting here in this sketchy area in the dark waiting. What if he’s parked on the other side of the building and we’re both just waiting. 

*Checks phone*

He said he’d be here in 15 minutes. It’s been SIXTEEN minutes. He’s not showing. What kind of car does he drive? He said, but seriously, what do I know about cars? He said small. There’s a small one. Is that him. ohmygodimgonnahurl

He pulls up and I look in the car to make sure it really is him, at least from what I can tell from his pictures, and that I don’t step out of the car and stand there like an idiot as a stranger gets out and wonders what this freak is doing getting out of her car to stand there and stare at him.

Yup, it’s him.

The air is pretty cold, after all it’s December and I decided I should wear a very short sleeve shirt and not wear a coat because a coat would be bulky and make me look big and awkward. He steps out of the car (and I think I felt drool on my face) and says hello, gives me a hug, and we walk towards the bar.  I open the door and we walk inside and have a seat.  Since it didn’t seem like we were gonna be served anytime soon, he went up to the bar to order my drink.

I really was listening to him as we talked, but I didn’t retain much because I was too focused on admiring how freakin hot he was.  During our conversation he happened to look at his phone, apologized and said he’d missed a call from his mom and needed to call her back.  (uh oh, momma’s boy?) He then asked if I’d go outside with him while he called her.  I appreciated that a lot, because it was a nice gesture to make so that if I was having any potential feelings of He’s calling another girl!! those feelings could be put to rest.  He made the call quick, asked if everything was okay, said he was on a date (!!!!!) and got off the phone. He then apologized again and said his mom had been sick and since it was kind  of late that she had called, he wanted to be sure she was okay.

I melted.

As we stood up to walk back inside he stepped in front of me and turned his cheek towards me and tapped it with his finger. I smiled, giggled a little bit, and with butterflies fluttering away, I leaned in for the kiss just as he turned and tricked me into meeting his lips.


I smiled and he slid his hand into mine and we walked back inside, with him yelling at me for opening the door before he could get to it, of which I had now done several times. What can I say, I’ve never been woo’ed, I was used to opening doors myself.  I was capable.

Yeah, I know that’s not the point. He was wanting to be a gentleman. It was natural for him. I wasn’t letting him do what was natural to him and what was important to him.

We stood outside for awhile after I had said I needed to get home so I could sleep. After a long and cuddly goodbye I got in my car, telling him I’d let him know when I got home, and confirming that we’d plan date number 2 very soon.

As I drove towards home, my mind raced over our date and everything that was said. Smiling from ear to ear, in a way I never had before, I found myself resting on one thought…

I’m never letting that man go





Written by No More Tomorrows

June 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Posted in Relationships, Stories

An oldie from Xanga

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I used to blog at Xanga. I decided to go back to my old site and see if there was anything to pull out to add here. I’ve found a few things.

I really  should have known better than to listen to Paul and go with him that day.  When he acted like my host family’s apartment was so far, I really truly  should have known  he was confused and had no idea where I lived.  But  I didn’t listen to  my intuition.  Women!  ALWAYS listen to your intuition.  And men, find a female friend and ask her to share her intuition with you.  It could really change the world.

I had just walked to the church earlier.  It took MAYBE 10  or 15 minutes tops.  It was like 7 long big city Korean blocks and that was all.  It wasn’t far.  But after our orientation when  we were all leaving, Paul seemed concerned for  me and SWORE it was faster to take the subway.  I couldn’t imagine that was correct, but he was from that city and so I trusted him.  Of course he knew his way around the entire city of 5 million people.  Why not?

We left and began to walk to the subway.  Again, I should have known this was a problem when, by the time we reached the station, I  realized I would have been home by then, so I was pretty sure Paul was lost.  But hey what do I know, it was my 2nd day in a new city in a new country where I didn’t know the language.  Surely Paul knows better than I.  So I kept going.

He paid for my ticket and we got on the subway.  We rode two stops and he GOT OFF THE TRAIN.  It was his stop.  He told me to go one more stop and when I came out of the underground, my apartment should be easy to find from there.

Okay Paul.  I’m going to believe you.

So Paul steps off the train and suddenly I’m aware of the train full of korean eyes that are all fixed on me.  The only person other than myself who spoke english and I LET HIM GET OFF THE FREAKIN TRAIN!

I rode the one more stop and got off the subway, walked out of the underground and had NO FREAKING CLUE where I was.  I saw apartments, none of  which were mine, lots of lettering I didn’t understand, and a lot of korean people staring at me.

I thought I’d be smart.  All I had to do was get back on the train, ride it back 3 stops to where we boarded the train and then I could walk back to the church and back to my apartment.  Easy, right?

Oh, if only.

I go back down  into the station, pay for a ticket, get on the train…

Yup, going the wrong way.  I had  gone another stop in the direction I was going to begin with.  Damn.

I realized that after one stop so I got off the train, got on the other one, and rode back 4 stops.  I got off the train, walked up to the street from the underground and didn’t recognize a single thing.  I had no idea how to get back to the church.  I started walking in one direction.  Looked around,  and walked back.  I went a different direction.  I was scared to go  too far because what if I then  lost the subway station entrance?

WHY hadn’t I left crumbs or something to mark where I had come from?!

More staring.  More signs I couldn’t read.   More of people who DIDN’T SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE AS ME. It was also getting dark  and more chilly than it had been previously when Paul and I were walking to the station. And I had a heavy backpack that I was toting around.

I go back down into the station and luckily had my host sister’s phone number.  Now, has anybody ever tried to talk on a payphone?  It cuts you off after just a few minutes.  I couldn’t figure out how  much I was supposed to put in the machine so  I just start shoving coins into the machine until i got a dial tone. I dialed the number. Well, my host sister’s english was barely conversational and I was trying to explain to her that I was lost, and trying to tell her  where I was by reading signs I couldn’t understand so she could try and tell me how to get home.  Then the freaking payphone operator in freaking korean freaking mumbles something and the phone cuts me off.


I sat down, on the floor, in the corner, closed my eyes, and tried not to cry.  I didn’t want some well meaning person to see me and try to help when there was  no way we could communicate with each other.  WHY hadn’t I invested in a korean dictionary.  WHY?!

I  put my big girl panties on, got up and was determined to not have to sleep in the subway station tonight.  So I trudge over to the underground map and start reading.  Under the korean writing, it did have the  phonetic spelling of the different stops in american alphabet.  Suddenly, I see something I recognize.  WAHOO!!!  That’s the beach I live by!  That’s GOT to be close!  I counted the stops from where I  was, got back on the train and travelled to that stop.  I got out of the underground, convinced I was  going to see my apartment, and the beautiful beach, and the stuff that  I was familiar with as being near my apt.  I KNEW I’d be home shortly.


I didn’t see my apartment.   I didn’t see the shopping  center.  I didn’t see the mountains or the freaking beach.  All I saw were big buildings full of restaurants and businesses.  BUT I saw English.  In big bold letters came my salvation…


I nearly ran to  it.  Once I got inside this nice little korean man looked up  and smiled at me.

“English?”  I asked.

He said nothing but gave a gesture that said “just a  bit” but really meant “probably knows how to say hello and that’s all”

I showed him  the address I  had written on the piece of paper of where I lived and asked how far.

“very long way”


I held my hand up to  my ear like I was  holding a phone receiver, hoping that it wasn’t somehow translating into a korean gesture for something offensive, and said “telephone”.

He smiled nicely and handed me the phone.  I dialed renee again.  She answered and sounded  in a panic.  Yes I’m sure she was panic-ing.  Here she and her mother were supposed to be putting me up for the month and keeping me liking korea, and on day two i get lost.  I would be panicked too.  I asked her to speak to the man so he could tell her where I was and they could figure out how to get me home.  They spoke for awhile and then hung up.


So the nice korean man escorted me outside, hailed a taxi, put me in it, rambled something in korean (I translated it as probably something about the stupid american girl being lost and needing to  go home, so charge her double and give me half….or something like that) and away we went.

We pulled up to my apartment.  YAY!  I paid him and went upstairs.  The elevator doors opened to one of my host brothers standing there smiling.  Oh bless his heart.  I’ve never been  so happy to see a face I recognized, even if  he didn’t speak english, at least I knew I was HOME!  He walked me to the apartment and the whole family was home.  My host sister hugged me and then we had a great laugh about my getting lost.

I knew Paul would feel bad about it, so I didn’t want him  to find out, but I HAD to tell the rest of my team the story, so I sort of told them when he wasn’t around the next day.  However, we all went shopping for teaching supplies the next day at the shopping center next to my apartment and, not thinking about it, I pointed out my apartment and said that’s where I lived.

Paul stopped, looked confused and looked at me.

“Carrie….what do you mean you live there?………. THAT’S where you live?”…….  And then  it’s like he remembered yesterday…


I told him the story and we laughed about it.  I  teased him about it for several months after that.

I survived.  And now it’s a funny story to tell. A lot of times big things happen to us, and when we’re in the midst of them they seem huge, but all it takes is to just use your smarts to figure a way out. Most things, once out of the predicament, end up being something we can joke about later, that it taught us a lesson and made us a better person.

Written by No More Tomorrows

April 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

Posted in Fear, Stories