All posts by Carrie Ann

About Carrie Ann

I enjoy theatre, reading, writing, films, music; surpassing these of course, is my family. Describing myself is not my strong-suit. I will need to complete a few drafts before I post anything definitive on here and there is no time for that! Anything you wanna know? Just read. My latest writings deal in my new sobriety.

Clear Intentions

 

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There is a healer in one of my groups who never fails to pull cards that resonate with me. This is the same woman who pulled the card I posted before. I am sure trying to attract what I want. On a friend’s suggestion, I began a Manifestation 100 two weeks ago and have had a fitful time keeping up and playing the game. I hope to hit that hard in the coming weeks now that school is out for summer.

I have now gone from being the top candidate for a position to not getting the job TWICE in a couple weeks’ time. My intention is off, I know it, I just don’t know how to fix it! It’s complicated! We want to move and to find a good neighborhood and a comfortable school environment for me where I am appreciated and valued and not overlooked. Our home is for sale because we got that initial offer. Our open house was last weekend. Love this house but it’s time to leave. Have applications in here locally for leadership positions, also in Denver, Colorado and Austin, Texas area.

“Gotta get clear about this.”

Those were my thoughts last week after I got the call that the principal recommended another candidate. This is the same school where I had been the number one candidate on Tuesday but that a last minute internal candidate applied and, well, I was not the one recommended fro the job. Turns out the high school position opened up in the same area and so my name will be passed along for that.

During my time away from writing (two weeks), I have also spent a bit of time on a Facebook group for empaths. I ordered a book from a woman in the UK and when it arrived, it came with some special bonus materials.

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist was included. This happens to be one of my newest favorite books. I read it about four or five years ago but I have checked it out from the library and had not been able to mark it as my own. I look forward to re-reading it from this place along my path. And having read Warrior of the Light.

Additionally, it came with a card:

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I know this is why these positions have not fallen within my grasp. They are not the ones meant for me. I know I need to get clear.

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5/27

This is why I have not written in a while. Couple the intensity of these situations with also interviewing in my own district and finishing out one of the most stressful school years on my record…and I am TIRED. I decide to lay low and not push against the world.

 

I interviewed in my own district, for what it is worth. It’s been an interesting experience. I’m gaining confidence through every interview, no matter it has been (here, Colorado and Austin) and I am able to imagine a life in many different places. I have been afforded the time to think through this and make a solid decision as things come to me. I am grateful for the clarity that abstaining from drinking has given me. I have permission to explore my feelings again.

 

Just Wednesday night I got an email from that same principal saying that it might be a long shot, but that there is an English position in his middle school and he wondered if I might be interested in applying.

I took this opportunity to apply immediately and also to locate the high school position and apply for that one as well. I am still not certain why no one has contacted me in regards to the high school theatre position I applied for when I applied for the middle school job, BUT – CLEARLY this district has many positions for which I am qualified. It is a lovely location – near my parents and my brother and in a quaint town that’s just over “too small.”

The Colorado River runs through it. Are you listening to the words coming out of my fingers here? There are at least two yoga studios in the town. Haha! It just all seems pretty cool to explore…

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“Killing me softly”

So there I was in the Colonial Pantry gas station & convenience store at the corner of Green and Illinois Avenue. It was the convenient store that I would walk to alone in the middle of the night to get cigarettes. I really didn’t drink a ridiculous amount back then, so rarely alcohol. This store was located right by the apartments where I learned how to lay tile and also learned about rape. It was also across the street from where I had my first crushing break up of my college career and both of those moments were pretty pivotal in every. single. thing that ever I experienced after that…

AND THAT’S HOW STORIES GO for sexual assault survivors just so you know. Out of nowhere I just got to run down those memory files again…

So there I was in the Colonial Pantry buying cigarettes. I cannot afford my usual hard pack of Camel Lights so I buy Doral 100s – little bit more smoke per pack.

I always said that I was committing suicide slowly and I just made a connection to that with the alcohol and of course the cigarettes and the short-lived drug use. I did, in essence, kill myself and I suppose that’s where this rebirth comes from – this  phoenix rising from the ashes. I was on fire and instead of tending it, I poured ethanol on it. I included a link there to some research about the links between alcohol and cancer. here’s another one.

I lost two of the most special women in my life to cancers identified as connected to alcohol: liver and breast. It is literally on my to-do list to get my ferritin levels re-checked since quitting my habit. I cannot lie and say that fairly heightened levels was a final factor in my big quit, though it certainly resonated.

Back to the original story – I saw a story on Instagram about how people are using social media to help others with their mental health struggles. That’s what I have been trying to do my entire teaching career and for the last 20 years with trying to get this book I wrote called, Something from Nothing published.

For the longest time in my life, one got published with publishers. Then there were companies that would charge you THOUSANDS of dollars. And then there was Amazon.

CLEARLY I need a little marketing help. I always knew I was on to something and OF COURSE, I was before my time.

I may have to hire a real editor since my current person is coming up on two years pissing around with it. If she can’t find some passion for it, then – someone else!!

I think if I could get a timeline for when it might actually be finished, I would know how much to share with others in social media. But also there is the whole I have to have a certain persona as a teacher and is it okay for me to share the kinds of things that I would need to share. So I have this huge struggle with my own identity while I’m trying to be my own person. It is just a cluster $u@*.

So I have chosen to live and am on day 136. I honestly have to look that up every time. I bet there’s an app for that (wink wink). Doesn’t matter though because I won’t use it…I just don’t worry so much on counting the days as I count the moments where I’m catching up for so much lost time and just drinking every single feeling in and through me instead of drinking to cover me.

In case you’re curious, I don’t link my personal writing website or name to this website because I am open about that aspect of myself at this time, as much as possible, given my conservative profession, but I am not “out” about the rebirth, where the girl who was damaged by all that decided to walk back to herself. You know, to get the more she always wanted!

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A recap and another job offer?

After that fiasco that was putting our house on the market and then losing the job before even reporting to work, we doubled down efforts to apply in the other districts. A lot of the positions that were available are no longer open. I am continuing to work the few avenues still open to me, but it does feel a little dried up compared to how it felt a month ago…

I attended the other job fair on Monday and many places in the Austin area that were at the Fair had recently hired administration or theatre teachers. I felt like I had a strong lead with Austin ISD (and they are the ones who have called me for an interview before and a very large district for tons of options!) and I sent a follow-up email on Wednesday and have not heard anything back yet.

The synchronicity was really strong! I pulled up next to a work truck of that district’s on the way to the fair and then while thinking about it on the way back, I looked up at the street address was 111. When I sent a cover letter two days letter (after ALLLLLLL the ones…), the districts address is 1111. Crazy stuff. Don’t understand it all, but I am sure trying to listen.

I did secure a Skype interview at an outlying district for a middle school video position that interests me. The location is not what I thought I wanted, but it actually sounds kind of nice to step out of the rat race a little…I don’t know. What I do know is that the day after the interview, the principal’s secretary asked me to fill out the official application and that the principal left me a voicemail today to check in and left his cell phone number.

I suspect that he’ll get back to me soon and that I should contact him via the cell if he does not. Who wants to go into a weekend wondering…

 

 

Poof!

And the job offer imploded. Just like that.

I have lots to say about it already…I’m about six hours into the realization of this inconvenient truth…but I just don’t have the time.

I have recon to do – starting with an email to that vice principal from the best district in the area. I let him I know I had an offer but that I wanted to explore their district. I’m sure it didn’t entice him. And now I need to make sure he knows I’m still interested in their positions.

I am many levels of unhappy about this.

I get that it wasn’t “the one.” And, while I am not going to let it discourage me, it is a setback, to be sure. I now have to take the energy to save face to try and court the best district by telling them I didn’t sign the contract.

Well, like I was saying…not much time – have to figure out how to put a positive spin on this.

Glad to see their true nature now before moving my family. Who does that?

Our home went on the market Friday morning. It has shown ten times already. We’re keeping it on the market even though this job fell through.

Please send blessings and fairy dust our way while we continue our efforts to elevate our everyday existence. This just got a little scarier.

Half a World Away

Half a World Away

Go ahead, give it a click. Aurora is quite lovely.

Coincidentally (or not?, if you’ve followed my journey of signs on this blog), she happens to be my newest artist discovery. A childhood friend shared her and it appealed to me and now, I cannot stop listening.

Turns out, Aurora is also a city in Colorado where there is a job with my name on it.

Well, I hope my name is still on that job. Allow me to explain what I have been up to in these past weeks. On the 5th of April I attended the Teacher Fair of which I spoke in a previous entry. Here I connected with five or six viable districts who were in need of services I could excel at providing. I had some nice leads. As luck would have it, my offer came in a form other than what I expected, but that I have grown to love.

I have been offered the position, there is the matter of the contract remaining. So, it’s as if we are moving and getting our wish granted, but kind of  NOT, all at the same time.

So, we are digging through the boxes in the attic and purging our home of clutter and things we simply do not need anymore. We are excited about taking very little with us and starting over and buying new. Our attitude toward home furnishings has changed. We want practical and temporary – not lifetime pieces. We did that already and that beautiful cherry furniture served us well, but it is time to let it go to serve someone else.

As one can imagine, it’s been a busy and kind of stressful time lately. My current students are doing a great job reinforcing my desire to leave and I am just tired and nervous and scared and elated and re-energized – and…and…and…

ALIVE.

And thriving.
So! Here’s to making it SUCCESSFULLY through a THIRD OF A YEAR (Day 121, y’all!) without drinking! For all the craziness right now, I can trust one thing – myself. I can finally trust myself after years of second guessing. Could be age, could be new brain pathways forming in my noggin while detoxing…No matter – I can make big decisions and trust that I am leading my family, instead of being led by that saboteur, alcohol.

Cheers to new adventures!

(whatever they may be!)

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Physical changes

I don’t really know a lot about BMI and water percentages, but I got a new scale in the midst of tracking changes in my body during my first days and months of sobriety and I think I have some decent results. I decided to post here today as I currently have no shorts or jeans that I cannot pull on and take off without buttoning or unzipping. I am back to my regular size, but I feel petite yet strong.

But, that means the yoga pants I took out of the spring/summer bin are a bit big.

Body Data

I’m not sure if you can tell anything by these “before” pictures, but I can’t find the ones where I showed my big belly. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)IMG_0438IMG_0425Being good to my mind and body has been good for my soul.

 

 

 

 

Self-Care crunch

I am in a really big jumble right now. I have so many deadlines and responsibilities upon me, but mostly I want to focus on my inner journey and growth. I have so many creative ideas and juices flowing and it’s frustrating to have to set them aside when I have finally we reawakened them.

My husband and I have been on a tremendous journey the past seven years and we feel as though all of our hard work is about to break open and this change that we have put into motion is about to come to fruition and it is an exciting and scary time.

I can get overwhelmed in times like these, and I remember that I have forgotten my morning self care ritual of yoga and breath work for about two weeks now.

I had a nice morning off feeling my way around my home and the responsibilities and things that need done over this weekend and I believe that starting tomorrow morning I will be getting up and doing my yoga stretches and my morning breath work and we’ll see if this helps me to handle the forthcoming challenges and give me the energy to do all the good that I want to do.

There are deadlines for my current career as well as applications and job interviews for the next chapter in two possible locations. There are conversations with the distraught 13-year-old about not wanting to move. There’s blaming and there’s doubt and it’s muddy, but I am a Warrior of the Light and I will continue to be attentive to the signs that keep leading me along this journey.

I think it’s safe to say that alcohol has not been a contributing factor to my success in life and now it is time to break free of those chains and take my training wheels off for good.

Perhaps when I get through the deadlines I can get focused and carve some time for adding the regular writing into the self-care mix.

Day 110

I just had an amazing growth experience in Colorado and am still reeling from the amazing positivity and energy there. I visited some people dear to me and I felt welcomed and inspired.

According to Doreen Virtue, a popular spirit healer, “1, 11, 111, and 1111 in Angel Numbers all mean: ‘”Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts are manifesting instantly into form. Focus only upon your desires and not upon your fears.”‘

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I could not bear to be inside earlier today and I had so much to do. Sometimes, even with the best plans, deadlines approach faster than expected. I took on a lot this year because I thought if I could handle the administrative licensure while working full-time last year, I could do anything. I tell you what I know for sure, and that is that sacrifices must be made to follow dreams. I am thankful I am able to do just that.

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I have had much encouragement from the universe in these past months and I am watching and listening carefully.

100 days of sobriety

I got a little off schedule with posting. I’ve been “working” on a draft for a week, but mostly, I have just been laying low. The production was a wild success and I have been getting reacquainted with reality. And having free time.

Right now I don’t quite know what to make of the time that was spent in rehearsal for three months, but I do know I am not spending it drinking. Staring at walls, maybe, but not drinking.IMG_1545

I was cleaning out the fridge this weekend (okay, so maybe more than staring at walls) and noticed that I have a little split of champagne left over in there for a guest. Before that would have been GONE the second I didn’t want to go to get wine one night.

I have been noticing the beer in there as my husband still likes to have one once a week or two, but it struck me to see see that this is Shiner CHEER, their winter holiday blend. It’s in my fridge – IN APRIL. Come to my house, I can offer you a beer!

Today marks 100 days of sobriety. Other than being kinda bored with seltzer water, I feel like I’ve got this. Now I just have to work through the awkward small talk moments on my own at social gatherings and I’ll be a pro. I am definitely not there yet, but I know with time I can do it. Practice, practice, practice.IMG_1558

Cheers! Have some bubbly with me!

90 Days

Last Sunday night I celebrated the closing night of our 4 show run of this little musical I put together. I was scared to death to do it and I wasn’t exactly sure I was going about it right, but I kept trusting the process and failed to panic and get crazed. The designers that worked on the show all worked so incredibly hard to get everything just right and it was a cute, entertaining show.

I can hold my head high in the community that I pulled it off! The children had a blast and all the parents seemed pleased and proud. The energy was amazing and cheerful.

In the midst of a very hectic time, I maintained my yoga and breath work and I continued my hobbies and self-care regimens. I did not even feel tempted to drink. It’s as if this time is just different. I’m done throwing away my one precious life.

I spent two days after my show closed staring at walls and computer screens. Well, and clouds when I could get outside, but I think that is much more positive idle time.

I just worked for ten weeks solid on a musical production with 40 children – staring into space for a couple days seems appropriate. But it’s not the kids or the show that have me this way.

It’s an individual that I had to work closely with that was not a good fit on a number of professional levels. He is concerned with his own ego and is power-hungry and it gets all over me. Unfortunately, his performance was not entirely supportive of the production and it is the truth. I have recorded my notes and I will have faith that the truth will prevail. But it was no fun having that mess all over my perfectly wonderful experience.

I celebrated 90 days without alcohol the weekend of the show – how cool is that?! I cannot express how amazed and proud I am that I pulled it off. Stepping into unknown territory without familiar coping tools. And things were mostly effortless. I felt more in control of my experience and everything remained calm, cool and collected until the very end.

I think that’s something of which to be proud. So what if no one in administration or even the teacher who has the upperclassmen came to see it. Guess they all knew it was going to be WONDERFUL.IMG_1366It was.