Hi friends! Hope you’re all doing well. I wanted to share a layout I created yesterday. I have this scrapbook I purchased eons ago, before I was ever married or had children. (It’s that old!) It’s a spiral bound scrapbook, with black pages, lots of black pages. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, because the size is a little odd at something like 14X8. But, I decided to try something new and scrapbook layouts in it.
You can see the first two pages in the book here, and the third page here. I love scrapbooking. Like my card making, my scrapbook style is clean, simple. I like the focus to be on the photos, and/or the journaling. But I love adding that special little… POP!
Here’s the layout…
Another detail shot with the rest of the products I used.
The die cut stars are from October Afternoon’s Road Map collection, and have been outlined with a Fine Liner from Letraset and sprayed with White/Silver spray from Lindy’s Stamp Gang (soon to be released).
Phew, I think that’s it!
Now, the reason behind the page. I rarely scrapbook me. It’s a scary thing to do! For some silly reason I tremble as I write this… For the last two years I’ve struggled with depression. When the doc told me I was depressed I just shrugged it off, with a yeah right type attitude. But when I received a letter in the mail that said “I am diagnosing you with severe depression” I guess that sealed the deal. Seeing it in ink. Words, right in front of me that I could look at, over and over…
I had been living in denial for so long, that I just overlooked it. I have always been so strong. The backbone in many relationships. I just refused to accept that I struggled with the big ‘D’ word. But, the shoe fit. I had been through a lot as a child, as a young adult, and now as an adult. I struggled in many areas, with my family, my husband’s family, trying to maintain friendships while being 1,000+ miles away from my friends. Everything came crashing down on me all at once, or so it seemed.
The people who are suppose to love you unconditionally, support you, guide you, teach you right from wrong, and give you a gentle shove in the right direction seemed to be teaming up against me. Although they don’t see it that way, there was a lot of interfering when and where there shouldn’t have been, I carried each of my children for nine months and spent at least 6 hours in labor. The decisions I have made for our family were mine to make. Not anyone elses. I had never been in the position where I felt inadequate. I had never felt like I wasn’t good enough, ever! I never looked to anyone for approval. And I was never so vulnerable.
Yet still today, nobody has taken the time to ask why? Why I acted in such a way. Why I did the things I did. Why I was always so defensive. It’s almost a good thing they didn’t ask, because I wouldn’t have had an answer. I didn’t realize until recently WHY I did, said, acted, etc the way I did. I realized I had been harboring certain feelings for a very long time, and I didn’t realize what the problem was until my mom said something. Then I realized I was actually reliving my childhood.
It was like the lightbulb had finally turned on!
It felt so good to finally have an answer- to be able to pinpoint the exact reason. But, at the same time… It really made me feel terrible. I made the decision to cut myself off from all family. Mine, his, hers… everyone’s family. I needed to get my mind straight and deal with the facts. I maintained a monthly newsletter to the family, about my kids- and to basically let them know we were still alive. That I hadn’t completely gone off the deep end. Otherwise, I didn’t talk to anyone. And nobody tried contacting me. (Big surprise!)
Typically I can go to sleep and sort of… forget the days events. But, everything had just cut so deep… and insult was added to injury… and things were done out of spite, and I mean, it just keeps on going… and it wasn’t getting any better. I really thought hard about ways that I could help myself move forward, from both the past and the present (which is suppose to be a gift…) With three little kids, and a mile long list of things to do, you’d think my brain would be occupied, and it was, but with all of the hurt and everything I unknowingly suppressed each night when I went to sleep.
All of the mortar that held the bricks up around me, to protect me. Gosh, carrying all that around, all the time really became a burden. My husband and kids weren’t getting the best of me. I was doing just enough to get by and I just decided enough was enough. That’s when I found the tattoo… “free yourself.” So many things in my life were pointing me in the right direction… and pointing me towards freedom, that’s when I decided to get the tattoo. Right there on my forearm!
Of course I put a lot of thought into it. What would people say, would they stare, would I be able to get a job with a tattoo on my arm… but then I realized I was doing it again. Caring too much about what other people would think or say.
My Gramma has always been my biggest supporter. She’s been my rock in so many ways and I’m so fortunate she’s still with me today! We talk everyday, for at least an hour. Through all the craziness that is life, she understands. She doesn’t let the distance between us be an excuse for not having a relationship with her Great Grandchildren. I was so tired of the excuses, forgotten birthdays, lack of phone calls, interaction, etc. all because we’re 2,000+ miles apart. Tired of the lack in communication, deleting each other from FaceBook, blocking one another… as adults we’re to lead by example. Not say we are Christian and offer our prayer for one another when our actions show, plain as day that we are not in fact behaving as Christians. I often remind myself…
and I believe it’s true. God prefers kind Atheists over hateful Christians. My Gramma reminds me everyday of the strong person I was, and the strong person I’m becoming again! She always asks: “why are you letting these people live rent free in your head Jessica Lin!” And she’s right. I cared too much. I cared too much that I was accepted into the crafting industry. That I did what all the other people were doing so I could get on the design teams for the companies I adore! I was busting my butt and getting nowhere! Same with family. I was trying so hard… so I quit. I quit focusing on everyone and everything else and have found myself. I found my style. I quit begging family to be a part of our family, and started focusing that energy ON my family. My kids don’t know any different. If they don’t know this aunt or that one… or that grandparent or this one… they aren’t missing anything. They never had it to begin with so how could they possibly yearn for something they never had? Truth is, I wanted it. I wanted my kids to have a relationship with their family, but gosh is it exhausting trying to make people care! Especially people who have no interest in me. My kids… our family.
Today I can say, I’m a different person. I’m a changed person. My head is in a better place. My heart is healing immensely, my children are fulfilled in their lives and we no longer focus on the people who haven’t taken an active interest in our children’s lives. I’m looking towards the future, and achieving my personal goals, one by one. THAT feels good. It feels so incredibly good to feel like I’m almost human again!
I love my new tattoo. I find myself just looking at it, reminding myself that the things that are behind me are there for a reason, and that there is a WHOLE BIG WORLD RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! If I’m not looking forward, I’ll miss all the wonderful opportunities that lay ahead!
Today I posted to FaceBook: “With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” ―Wayne W. Dyer. I think you know the choice I made…
If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for reading! Feels good to get it out… you know, ink to paper!