Still I Rise

One of my very favorite innovators and one of my favorite of her writings. I thought I would share with all of you. This was always something that helped me get through a tough day. May you all rise!

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Still I Rise

Maya Angelou, 19282014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

May this beautiful soul Rest In Peace.


XOXO, 

Undefeated Me!
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Best Lupus Blogs of 2015!

I am humbled to announce that Undefeateddiva.com has made healthine.com list for Best Lupus Blogs for the second year in a row.

When I initially started writing I did it to help people to not feel alone in their journey. I quickly realized I wanted to not only help but INSPIRE. I have had the most beautiful journey since. Thank you to healthline.com for seeing this and helping my vision come true by giving me a bigger platform to reach.

Check out the list here Best Lupus Blogs 2015

With love and humility,

Undefeated Diva

  

Beauty in truth…

There is beauty in truth, even if it’s painful. Those who lie, twist life so that it looks tasty to the lazy, brilliant to the ignorant, and powerful to the weak. But lies ponly strengthen our defects. They don’t teach anything, help anything, fix anything or cure anything. Nor do they develop one’s character, one’s mind, one’s heart or one’s soul.

José N. Harris


This could not be more true, today and everyday. This is a lesson I learn time and time again but as of late I have been drowning in the theory. The opening sentence in this spoke to me in a way that moves the soul, “There is beauty in truth, even if it’s painful.” I could not ask for a more beautiful life but it has come with some painful truths. The new journey I am on has brought with it some of thee happiest and most bittersweet moments in my life to date. To be honest with myself, the last several years has been derived of a series of decisions made both easy and some of the most difficult and gut wrenching. There is nothing more difficult then making a decision that not only effects you but that of your child. Decisions that are not small in magnitude, but life altering and will change the course of his life forever. In the end, I had no choice but to face the truth. To face that it would be painful and ever sobering. My decisions were not for the faint of heart. I stand a little stronger today and in those moments when I feel weakest I look at thee most beautiful little face and find my strength. 

So here is to the truth and to the painful beauty that often follows those truths.

Love, Laughter, and Happiness

XOXO,

Undefeated Diva

Getting to know the new me…

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.

I have searched for the eject button on the recent path of my journey, to no avail. In the years since my diagnosis I have done what I always do, plow through, head held high, never looking back. As of late that methodology has not been as comforting. Life’s lemons are still sitting on my porch waiting to be made into it’s potent beverage. I have stared at them not quite understanding what to do with them, as my normal kick ass, straight forward approach has had me coming up drained and in the same place. Stagnant and drained are pretty substantial words to describe my current state of being. I have pondered and scoured for an answer to the “why” and it wasn’t until several days ago that I found the answer.

Let me be clear, my friendship with my chronic illnesses is nothing new. We are several years in and I thought that I had gotten a nice hold on them. What I wasn’t ready to admit to myself or the world around me was that, I no longer knew who I saw in the mirror. She looked familiar, she sounded familiar, but all in all not the same person. Really, it should have come as no surprise to me but it surly was. As I was in my beautiful world of deep cleaning and ridiculously loud music this week, the answer to the why was so very clear.

I no longer knew myself.

For someone that knew who she was and where she was going in life at a ridiculously young age this was a catastrophic blow. It all made sense though. The feeling of being lost and alone even when I was surrounded by the people that loved me most. The feeling of unease and uncertainty when I had the best support system someone could ask for. It all made perfect sense. When all you know is this semblance of a person that handles life with a vigorous fire that can never be snuffed, then you find yourself confused and depleted from life’s lemonade, you can’t help but feel shaken down. Right now, in my life I am getting a shake down. One day I woke up and I was in another body that had unimaginable pains, unclear thoughts from what could only be described as a foggy state, and a back bone that no longer stood straight. Who was this person? How did this happen?

Getting diagnosed wasn’t the hard part, reacquainting myself… well, with myself has been the most excruciating experience. Trying to do this while living life on life’s terms, well now your asking for too much. Having to work, be a wife, a daughter, and fuck it a productive member of society… All the while trying to understand what happened to you… Now that’s a damn epic mission. Nevertheless, I realized it and all of the missing pieces came together. I hadn’t realized that it was going to be a grieving process or even a process period. The vibrant woman was now a slower moving version of who she used to be. A more jaded and fatigued version of who she used to be. The woman that looks back at me in the mirror is tired, depleted, and honestly a little angry… Not the old me that was the fire spitting free spirit with endless energy. Can I place all of the blame on chronic illnesses? Well sure I can but that’s not who I am. I take responsibility for my actions and my part in the situation. I could have done more about my illnesses. I could have done some more soul searching. In the end, I won’t look back at what I could have done, to me thats a waste of perfectly good brain cells that I should preserve for days that the brain fog sets in.

So where do I go from here I asked myself. Well to the beach of course! So I find myself at the beach, searching for answers to questions I thought I already had the answers to. I am searching for answers and way to steer this new way of life for me. To figure out how to still be that firecracker powerhouse that is determined to teach the world all the while possessing a body that does not match the soul.

What I have come to realize in all of this is, this is normal guys. I am no different than anyone going through any struggle. It is real, it is normal, and it is going to be O.K. Now I just need to find sticky notes to help with the brain fog and some great heels!

Until Next Time.

 

XOXO,

Undefeated Diva!

Pictures

This one is an oldie originally written September 19, 2012:

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile
because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss

“You only live once, but if you do
it right, once is enough.”

― Mae West

Hello Everyone! I have missed you
guys and to be honest I am yet again overdue for a sun shining kick ass pep
talk, so I chose two quotes for todays entry. What do you think?

Life as always has been entertaining and comical to say the least. Today was extra comical, with finding out that I have several breaks in my left foot. This of course is after fracturing a rib the Friday before Labor Day. Of course none of these were achieved by trucking up mount Kilimanjaro or fighting off a sasquatch. The rib was from stretching and the foot because I rolled it while favoring my rib!

Lame, I am aware but that’s me. I have come to the decision that I will from
here on out come up with a different story every time someone asks me how I did
it.

So today’s Christinaism: How I
capture life!

Of course my Christinaism today was
yet again spun from something out of the ordinary. Today as I was throwing thee awesome internal pity party that was “whoa is me”, someone made a comment that spun my creative juices. This afternoon I was showing a co-worker pictures in my phone when they made the comment “wow you take a lot of pictures”, of course
at the time I didn’t say or think much about it. To be honest they were right I
take way to many pictures, and more recently I have thought about taking on the daunting task of going through them and deleting the ones I don’t want or need. Although every time I do that, I seem to end up with more than what I started with. Once I was in the car and the sweet silence of not being in the office consumed me, I thought about the statement again and of course I had a wonderfully intellectual conversation with myself about it. I have always been one to take tons of pictures but more recently I take pictures of EVERYTHING myself, Chris, Harley, a picture of a quote I see that I like, and even something as silly as the miles on my car. Of course I after a small self evaluation I made myself aware that I bordered slight weirdo status!

Then…… ::Light bulb:: (said in the most
despicable me voice I could muster).

The answer came to me clear as day.
I take pictures because it reminds me that I have lived! So many times I am in a situation and I have thought to myself I hope that I remember this for years to come and the second I walk away from the situation the memory fades. If I take a picture and save it, there will come a time when I will look back and rejoice in the memory.

You have all been on the ride with
me through the memory loss, the hair falling out, the hives, the hospital
visits, and lets not forget the laughs. Do you think I would honestly remember half of what I post on here? Hell I can’t remember what the hell I wore yesterday! So to me my pictures are my personal timeline of how I have lived and the amazing things this life has given me.

One thing this beautiful monster of
a diagnosis has given me is a zest and an undeniable fire to live; to live
hard, dirty, humbled, and grateful. When I am on that death bed, hopefully many years from now I want to be able to look back on my life and rejoice in the knowledge that I lived! I want to look back at the memories I am fortunate to remember, but also the memories in the thousands of pictures I have taken over my lifetime. To me pictures show truth. (Not many of you will agree with that, but it’s my blog so shush it). Take a moment to think about it though, pictures
show what someone is often trying to hide, or the beauty behind something that you may not see with the naked eye.

Pictures to me share a story of a
frozen moment in time. Have you ever smelled something in the air or heard a song that brought you back to a period in your life? Well my pictures do that for me. I won’t be defensive and say… that when I was having memory problems that it didn’t scare the shit out of me, because quite frankly it did. I never want there to come a day that I forget my life and that I have been given a second, third, and fourth chance to live it. Life is amazing if you let it be.

Of course you all know I have my days but I like to think I take those days and
grow from them, learn from them, and laugh from them. Of course I also share them with all of you, my free therapy.

So let’s see homework for my
support system. I want each of you to capture your life be it through photos,
writings, or whatever suits your fancy. Next time I speak to one of you or
maybe even hear from you I will be sure to ask you… How are you capturing your life?

So heres to healing broken bones and capturing life!

XOXO,

Still not defeated but slightly broken

Undefeated Diva