Insane Roots & Pro Floor – Partner Up To Drive Change!

Insane Roots is now partnering with Pro Floor to raise money for our local community & give back to our roots!

Currently we are working to raise money for  Team Brock  & Rockton School District #140.

Whether you are in need of carpet cleaning or looking for a new addition to your reading list, 15% of the proceeds from both will now go directly to charity.

Pro Floor is a family owned and operated business located in the Rockton, Illinois area, who, like Insane Roots, are striving to find ways to be the change we all wish to see in the world.

What a better way to do that, than to give back to the very community where it all began!

Our main focus will be helping the Scarpettas,  “Team Brock” reach their goal in raising the funds needed to help their son.

Brock is a sweet 12 year old boy who is battling a rare and fatal autosomal disease with no known cure or treatment; Batten Disease CLN8 variant.

But there is hope! He is participating in a new therapy called Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy that works to regenerate the cells in his body.

The expense is astronomical however, which is why they need our help.

Please visit InsaneRoots.com or ProFloor for additional details on how you can join the fight!

Partner Picture

Thank you for your support!

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Are You All In?

Does being single for too long make you more selfish? And is that wrong?

Does being in a relationship mean giving up your freedom? And shouldn’t it?

Or are all of these simply mental constructs we have learned over the years in accordance with nostalgic ideologies and values that have no place in today’s world?

I would argue that all these questions can be answered with…yes and no.

In other words, it just depends on those involved.

Before my current relationship, I had not been in a serious relationship in almost ten years.

When we first started dating, I would joke that I didn’t know what to do with him. 

But you see, I was only partly joking…

I got so comfortable with being alone or in most cases left behind that the idea of sharing my life with someone was both terrifying and exciting. Not only was I not used to factoring someone else into my decisions, but I didn’t really know what it felt like to have someone else factor me into theirs.

In most cases, in most relationships, if I am being honest with myself, I was always more of an after thought than a priority.

They hardly cared about me, let alone what I said or did. So, I just sort of floated through life with no regard for myself or understanding that it was okay to demand a certain level of respect from others.

Being with someone who genuinely cares for me as much as I do him is a bit of a shock to my programming. I have always felt like I wasn’t good enough; either I didn’t have the looks or perhaps I was just a bit too thick to be anything more than a passing fling. And I know that may sound childish, but one after another, the successive girlfriends of past lovers seemed to validate my insecurities.

And perhaps it didn’t help that my longest and most meaningful relationship prior was not one that most would consider of the ordinary variety.

We met when I was just a teenager. It was his first serious relationship and the first one in which I had ever truly felt loved. We were together for close to 9 years.

Neither one of us had any idea what we were doing, so we learned as we went. Or more accurately, we stumbled as we went really. And even in the end, we tried all we could do to make it work, because all that mattered to us is how much we loved one another.

For those of you who have been following along, you know that the man in question is the one I now fondly refer to as My Gay Husband. Ha, Ha! Clearly, we had one fatal incapability. The only solution to which was to separate and so we did.

But as painful as that was, it was the best thing for us both. We helped one another become the people we are today, confident in ourselves, in what we want and most importantly, how it feels to truly be loved.

Jealously was something, as you can imagine, we had to address very early into our relationship. The inner struggles he was dealing with in coming into himself, led us down a path of shall we say…being open.

Challenging at times, yes, but had I not experienced it, I wouldn’t know that it was something I could never be truly happy with. I learned what my values are and that what I needed from a partner was for them to be all in, full commitment and monogamy. In layman’s terms, I don’t like to share!

At the basis of it all, was that we knew that no matter what either one of us was doing or who they were doing it with, it would never diminish what we had or mean we loved one another any less. Emotionally convoluted at it’s best, it was how we stayed so solid throughout all the turmoil to come. When we came to the realization that staying together was no longer a healthy option for either of us, it was one of the hardest and greatest decisions we ever made. But even than, the above held true.

Parting ways allowed us both to align with who we were meant to be and to find new love with those better aligned with us. The dynamic has changed, but if anything, we are closer now than when we were together. He is and will always be my best friend.

How does all this relate to the questions above?

It is the reason I’ve stayed alone for so long. The basis of why I’ve found it so difficult to be vulnerable with another person.

I think a part of me assumed that no one could ever love me as much as him, not despite my imperfections or the tragic experiences of my past, but because of them.

And as with many things, I was wrong.

It is still hard to believe, but after all that time of painfully waiting, my patience has finally paid off.

It has been a bit of a mind melt for me to say the least. I went from a place of solitude and detachment to a place of security and unconditional love. I had been hurt so many times in the past, it was hard for me accept that there wasn’t something tragic waiting around the corner. I’ve had to learn how to allow myself to be happy, to be loved again.

I made a few attempts at opening up in my long stint of being single, but each time, in there eyes, I wasn’t good enough…for them.

Some of you may remember my post a while back, Let’s Just Be Honest where I talked about how love can be blinding and the need for it crippling. Which is why it is so important to learn to love yourself above all else before you will ever be able to honestly and wholeheartedly love another.

I shared with you the two very important lessons I had learned in love, in the hopes that the hard truth would save someone else from settling or even worse, wasting their time chasing all the wrong people.

When the last two guys gave me the line about not wanting anything serious, I was too blind at the time to see that what they really meant was they didn’t want anything serious with me.

Something I later realized was the best choice they could have ever made for me and for them! They both found partners better suited for them and I found the love I had been searching for all this time.

As I said in the post, if they were to meet the right person tomorrow there would be nothing stopping them, nor you. I believed it to be true when I first wrote it, but now, I KNOW it to be true.

When we got together, regardless of our fears, we were both all in. There was no question that we wanted to be together and there was no stopping us from making that happen.

And isn’t that what love really is? To give yourself to someone fully and unconditionally, with all your heart. If either party is not in it for the long haul, what’s the point?

If you are not able to talk to your partner openly and honestly about what you are feeling, than it is only a matter of time before things begin to fall apart.

And that is how I know this is different. There is nothing I am not able to tell him, no problem we cannot face, no part of us we have to hide from one another.

We are in this together, all in and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Every day I am more and more thankful for the love, abundance and prosperity in my life. I could have never imagined what was in store for me and I couldn’t be more grateful for how it has all turned out.

 

 

The Good Ole Days

Remember the days when we didn’t carry around a tracking device with us at all times?

The time before the instant gratification of text messages and google searches. When one had to ponder their questions and research the answers, rather than merely typing them in the search bar.

When not answering the phone meant you were not home or otherwise engaged and the person on the other end simply left a message, rather than jumping to conclusions as to why you did not pick up.

I miss those days.

This device that was once intended to enhance our communication with one another causes me to want to completely disconnect instead. So, yes, there are times when I turn off my phone, for days. In fact, on most days the ringer is not even on.

Why? Because, I am sick and tired of my life being centered around this constant tether to the world. My actions at any given moment being dictated by the schedule of the person on the other end.

Every once in a while, I just want a little peace…some quiet…in a world that never seems to shut up!

And is it not our right to decide how and when we chose to have those moments?

It should be.

I worked many years at the beacon call of everyone else and in times of turmoil and discontent, I find it absolutely necessary to disconnect in order to ensure the decisions I make moving forward are my own and without influence of how others perceive them to be.

In matters of the heart, friendship, I can sometimes find myself clouded by the worry of disappointing others or the fear of how they will perceive the actions I take moving forward. And it is for that reason that in such times of reflection, I take a step back.

It takes a great deal to push me to the point where I would consider ending a friendship and few have brought me to that point. After all, we all make mistakes, misunderstandings happen and life is just too short not to try and work things out.

In the end, I think it comes down to the level of pain inflicted and whether or not it is possible to recover from. That is not a decision I take lightly.

And if so, where is the balance in the friendship moving forward? What was it before? Was this event something that has been an ongoing struggle between the two of you or are there other outlying factors at play? If it has been an ongoing point of contention, then it may be time to consider the value in salvaging it.

An otherwise rational person, does not lash out, seemingly unjustifiably without there being something else at play. If you know there to be outliers, a certain amount of give is understandable.

We often make rash decisions and/or say things we don’t mean in the heat of an argument or while we are still feeling hurt.

But when does it cross the line of acceptable behavior, regardless of any outlier?

After all, when someone has been verbally abusing you via text to the point where you don’t even want to pick up your phone, it seems quite silly to continually open yourself up to more insults when you are still processing the ones from before.

I mean I could, but then I would most likely just get angrier and say something cruel in return. That is not productive by any means.

Therefore, until I have fully processed, cooled down and have a full understanding of how I want to move forward, I will in most cases, shut that person out until my decision has been made.

I’m not saying that is the correct thing to do by any means, but it’s the truth and it can cause the situation to build unintended momentum.

My unread message becomes fuel for another round of messages that go unread, and so on and so on, until by the time I bring myself to read them, there is an arsenal of emotion before me.

The whole time I am working through the initial altercation, the other person has had like three arguments with me that I wasn’t even present for!

I understand that it is human nature to assume the actions or intent of others, but the old saying is absolutely TRUE!

I’m not trying to poke fun at the situation by any means, I realize I could handle things differently, but when I am attacked, I close that person out almost immediately until I can try to come back to the situation rationally.

I think it may be a defense mechanism for holding it together when everything around me was falling apart. I learned over the years to compartmentalize. If there was something that seemed to big for me to handle, I simply shut it out and tackled the things I could until I was ready to take on the rest.

I guess what I am saying is that you never know what someone is going through at any given moment and unless you know for an absolute fact that they are just being a jerk, don’t assume they are.

Them not responding to you could mean they are deciding where they stand on things. Perhaps they haven’t even opened your message or listened to your voicemail. And if they haven’t, than over reacting would seem quite unnecessary, now wouldn’t it?

There is only so much a person can take before they decide it is just not healthy to stick around. Don’t give them a reason to walk away, give them space and understanding. It could be the reason they chose to stay.

New Chapter

Wow. The end of an age.
I like to think I have it all together. You know, like I have all my emotions in check…

Well this week proved me humbly wrong.

I know in my heart that every ending is a new beginning, but that doesn’t make this ending any easier.

In this life we cross paths with people who leave a lasting impression on us forever. Some, more than others, but every one of them special in their own rite.

And today, I said good-bye to just such people.

My heart breaks, not because it is truly good-bye, but rather because I am so thankful to have grown so close to them.

Over my time on this earth, I have worked many places and several times those I worked with grew to be family, but no place helped me grow in the way that SP did.

When I started, I was a little insecure and a bit unsure of the life ahead of me.

I seemed to be fighting against myself, hindering my own potential to reach for what I really wanted in life.

But a very special person saw me, not for who I was, but for who I could be. She planted a seed and continued to water it year after year until it became the person I am today.

She believed in me from the very beginning, even when I questioned myself. I am a completely different person now because of her and everyone who stood beside me over all these years.

Everything is changing now, for all of us.  And, as cheesy as it sounds, we will always have the memories of the time we shared.  I think all of our lives are richer now having met, I know mine is.

And it wasn’t just my co-workers, who helped me grow. It was our customers and partners. They have shown me what it truly feels like to be appreciated, valued, trusted and respected.

Things I now understand to be the foundation for the road ahead. A road I could not have seen 4 years ago or even 4 months ago for that matter.

Several years ago, my friend, Will, taught me something very important. When he moved to SC, he asked me to do one thing for him…

Learn to take a compliment.

As he pointed out (and he was right), every time he complimented me on anything, I always found a way to thankfully dismiss it.

That is when I realized that because I was always taught to be humble, I, for some reason took that to mean you should never acknowledge your positive attributes for fear that you will come across as bragging or being over confident.

So instead, I thankfully dismissed any reassurance I was given and as a result, I kept myself from looking any further than what was right in front of me.

My time at SP changed all that.

For once, I felt like I held a key role in a progressive company that valued it’s employees. It was an environment like none other I had ever experienced. Fun and energetic, yet laid back at the same time…if that makes sense.

I loved going to work every day and that is something I think everyone would agree is rare.

Over the course of several years I built relationships that I am beyond thankful for.

And I will never forget the conference, when one of our partners gave me a shout out that was then followed by applause and everyone looking in my direction. I remember being so embarrassed, but when I look back on it now, all I feel is joy.

No one has ever honored me like that. I mean, there I was in a room with the CEO & VP’s on stage and our partners in the audience, all clapping for me.

Talk about a humbling experience.

It was all I could do not to cry, so instead, I turned bright red! Of’course!

It was one of those moments that take your breath away.

Sure I wasn’t saving lives, but in some way I had made an impact on their lives and their businesses.

It really meant something to me. And ultimately, it changed me.

A room full of people saw in me what I could not see in myself.

And after, there was a line to see me, not because they needed something, but because they genuinely wanted to meet me.

Now the me of yesterday wouldn’t have told you that piece, for fear of seeming like I am talking myself up.

But I am damn proud of that moment. Not just for the ego sake of it all, but rather because it is the moment I found my confidence.

And had it not been for that moment, I may have remained lost and buried under the heaviness of my own self doubt.

It’s funny how something can be taken away from you, causing you to feel great agony from it’s loss. Only to bring you the very thing you lost ten fold.

My mother may have left me long ago, but I have gained more love than she could ever possibly give. All because of the choices she made.

So perhaps that is the reason  I know that this is truly the beginning of something more, the time to finally take the leap and do what I once thought was unreachable.

After all, I’ll never know if I don’t try.

Changes

I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but it has been for good reason. It is amazing how much your life can change when you learn to let go and allow things to unfold naturally.

I went through a lot of heart break this year and if you would have told me 2 months ago that I would be where I am today, I would have never believed you. So much has happened, I am not sure exactly where to begin…

When I last wrote, I was in the middle of some turmoil with a few friendships and the prospect of losing my full time job as of the first of the year. I guess I’ll start there.

In regards to the hurt caused by some of my close friends, we have talked it through and in the end I feel like I have a better understanding of what our friendships look like moving forward. The truth is (as I have said before) that you will not always mean as much to others as they do to you and that’s okay. In fact, once you realize that, it allows you the freedom to move on to big and better things…or people, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

As far as the job goes, long story short, I have been working remotely for a company based in Denver that is changing their in office policy to require employees to be present 4/5 days per week. With the option to work remotely no longer being offered and the option to move back to Denver not in the cards, I am diving back into the job market as of Jan 1st.

It’s sad & scary, as many changes are. I have worked with these folks for years and many of them are like family to me. I feel extremely confident in my current position and that has always been a comfort to me. When everything around me was falling apart, I would immerse myself in my work, because it was the one thing I knew I could master.

That having been said, it can be very time consuming and stressful, especially during commissions week when I am working 10-14 hours a day. There hasn’t been much time for me to pursue my passion for more creative projects.

So perhaps this is the best thing that could have happened. Sure, it’s scary not knowing where the money will come from next or the uncertainty of where my path may lead, but in the end I have great faith that it will all work out. After all, I’ve been in much more difficult situations than this and I’ve always been able to find a way to stand on my own two feet.

Enough about that though. Let’s get to the exciting news!

After 8 years of being single…drum roll please…

I am officially off the market!

As you know, I had basically resigned myself to the fact that perhaps I was simply meant to be a loner. I figured my refusal to settle for almost or just enough, meant that I was destined to be alone. I grew so tired of the disappointment of dating that I made the decision to stop doing it all together. Anyone I gave my heart to or felt comfortable enough to open up to, either disregarded my feelings or me all together. I was done and I was okay with it.

And from out of nowhere, came this man, who changed everything.

He was a friend from years back that I had lost touch with for more than 10 years. When he reached out to me, I  had no idea reconnecting would be the beginning of something more.

He not only checks every box on the list, but more importantly, he fell in love with the real me. You know, the girl I keep hidden behind the mask, the one I always thought just might be unlovable. And for the first time in a very long time, I am not afraid to love him back.

And so, I am thankfully embracing these changes.

These sweet, scary, beautiful changes.