More Secrets…

I’m loving the response from my FOBS post. Guess what? Elephant Journal has agreed to publish it! Yeey me!

And in continuing on this journey of full disclosure and openness & to celebrate International Women’s Day, I want to share something very near and dear to my heart to me.

rumi-1

Did you guys know I write poetry?

In fact, last year my poems were published in a book! (seriously!)

So I would like to share with you all a little bit of the mini Rumi in me:)

Holding on to Letting Go

The Search

The Fire of Life

These are the last few poems I’ve writter for this awesome movement of women writing spiritual poetry. I have a ton of others ones that have yet to see the light of day.

What’s your secret talent?

Let me know!

 

Choose strength…Choose love.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jwaydan through a conscious connection online. She is amazing and this post of hers will hopefully allow you to finally… once and for all…. knock fear out of your life!

The Happiness blog

There are periods during our lives that dismantle, demolish and tear apart any sense of identity we previously held. These periods challenge our greater characteristics and qualities to transpire. But we are given a choice, for at times when we experience conflict, loss, heartbreak or soul shattering events, it can either diminish us and result is us clinging to the lower vibration elements of the human psyche and life, or it will allow us to increase our strength, love and faith to overcome this period of immense struggle. There are choices we make during these challenging periods. They are choices we may not be able to make immediately but we define during this phase of our existence, who we want to become for the rest of our lives.

When we chose to overcome these hurdles and move towards that which resonates with our soul, we will be faced with two…

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I suffer from F.O.B.S {& more confessions…}

I’ve procrastinated for over 2 weeks deliberating whether or not to write this article. Alas, here I am.

This is going to be a tad different from other posts. I’m going to get more personal and intimate with you. More open, more honest.

Am I a positive person? Hell yes.

Am I spiritual? I am constantly practicing spirituality.

Am I kind? The older I get, the kinder I get.

Am I good? As good as I want to be on a good day.

Am I perfect? No freaking way.

I am human after all.

Could I be better? Yes.

Could I be happier? Indeed.

Could I be more stable in my emotions? Absolutely!

Could I achieve great things? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What’s stopping me?

That is what we’re going to talk about today…

You see, I think that ever since childhood I’ve suffered from this particular syndrome.

I call it the F.O.B.S, i.e:

THE FEAR OF BEING SEEN

 

Just by hearing this, you can probably relate. Maybe it made you smile or shy away. Either way, I know I’m not alone in this.

The Fear of Being Seen Syndrome has plagued me my whole life.

Imagine that you are the sole owner of the biggest, brightest, clearest and finest diamond in the entire world. What do you do? Wear it around your neck everywhere you go? Or keep it somewhere hidden where you know it will be safe?

Now imagine, that diamond… is you. You are this beautiful, one of a kind gem. You’re priceless. So what do you do? Do you put yourself out there, lay your truth bare, stand naked in Times Square to show off your radiance? No… you hide it. You keep it safe. You protect it. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself…

our-deepest-fear-is-not-that-we-are-inadequate-our-deepest-fear-is-that-we-are-powerful-beyond-measure

All these years, it’s what I told myself. I was SO AFRAID of being seen. Of someone discovering the REAL me. Of being recognized for who I really am. Of being noticed for my kindness, my thoughts, my words, my deeds, and most importantly…. My heart.

Yet, at the same time, I was DYING for someone to see beyond what I would show. Like some magic stare from some magical person could break through all the falsities and just see… me. If it happened like that, I would know that I was safe.

Ultimately, it was a fear of being hurt, rejected, judged, criticized, also a fear or raising the bar of expectations (for others and myself), a fear of not being able to go backwards, a fear of not recognizing myself, of losing the relationship I had with me. A fear of being inadequate, of not feeling like enough….. Basically, the entire dictionary of fears!

No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake these fears off my shoulders. I collected all my insecurities like jewelry and decorated myself with them.

For years I felt heavy. Unaware of the invisible weight I was carrying around with me. (not to mention the additional physical weight of top of that!)

It took me YEARS and I mean that literally to gain some perspective, some self-love and self-respect.

To love myself, want myself and choose myself the way I wanted others to.

It took me decades to value and appreciate my strengths, my talents, my gifts, my AWESOMENESS!

Like I am a GREAT listener (seriously, ask anybody), If you’re my friend you know you can always count on me, I’m a giving lover, I’m a challenging daughter (in a  good way hahaha, I love you Ma & Pa), I’m a grateful traveler, a pretty rad teacher. However, there are things I want to try that push me outside of that attractive comfort zone so I keep procrastinating because secretly I am terrified of trying new things (yup). For example, my friends tell me I have a really nice voice and I’ve got a knack for storytelling. I actually love to tell stories. However, making videos or starting a podcast intimidates me. (plus im not as technologically savvy as I seem…. You see what happened right there? Another limiting belief… * mental delete*)

These are things that I push through, little by little, piece by piece, day by day, until the puzzle is complete.

fabulous

I KNOW I have so much more to offer, to give away, to learn, to see, to be. Sometimes during my meditations I feel this power surge through me, begging me to be released. How? Where? Into what? These are the current questions that plague me.

How do I reach a state of full expression? Without limitations or restrictions?

How do I let myself show, completely, unapologetically, openly, strongly, and wholeheartedly?

How do I let go of my fear of being more that what I thought I was capable of?

How do I fall into all this gorgeous glory?

Gosh, does it really belong to me?

YES!!!! Because IT IS ME!

So, I guess, my advice to you after all these years of searching and hurting and growing and breaking and learning is the following:

Life is a story and you are the main character. You can choose to be the hero, the villain or the victim.

But ultimately, it’s your choice. You can hold so many titles. Play so many characters. Just choose the one that fits you best.

Every day I choose to be the hero. The warrior. The kindness agent. The dream maker. The philosopher. The gardener. The healer. The photographer. The artist. The musician. The nomad. The label breaker. The seamstress. The butterfly. The leaf. The sun rays. The treasure. The diamond. The student. The guest. The star. The instrument. The raindrop. The feather. The cloud. The ocean. The rock. The scientist. The lotus. The dragon. The swan. The passenger. The key. The pearl. The projector. The blank page. The entire damn Saga.

You are a soul. You are Concentrated Energy. Know this. Know the light that you hold. The power within.

Know your worth. Discover you’re limitless. Admire yourself.

You are everything you have ever searched for

You are Love

You are Peace

You are Happiness

You are Truth

You are Beauty

You are Bliss

Know this

Feel this

Be this

And allow yourself to shine through

All the fears and BS around you

Just…

Be.

Dear Reader,

I beg of you…

Remember your divinity.

 

{this article was mad scary to write so please be gentle with your comments. My big, open, heart would appreciate it. Thanks}

,

I’ll Never be enough…

Have you EVER said this to yourself?

I’ll never be…

good enough

smart enough

pretty enough

thin enough

just… not enough.

I wish I could say I don’t have these thoughts about myself anymore, but every now and then they pop up to remind me of the limiting beliefs I used to hold as true.

Now I know just a little better…

Now I know that no matter what or when, I am ALWAYS enough.

It’s not even something I need to be, it is something I am inherently.

It’s my fears, my self-doubts, my poor self-esteem that keep me from seeing me for all that I am and for appreciating myself just as I am.

self love

Doesn’t it hurt?

When you’re unkind to yourself?

Don’t you start to feel even worse?

Negative attracts negative. It’s a downward spiral from there. I know this feeling. I’ve seen myself fall down the ladder so many times. Gosh.

But you want to know the beautiful part? The really satisfying part? The empowering moment? It’s that split second. That instant where you make a decision to say NO to the self-loathing and YES to the self-loving. It’s getting up from your knees to make a stand again. It’s facing… everything. Including yourself. It’s the star of courage you earn, and the scar of gold etched onto your heart that makes it bearable.

YOU, my dear, are special. You probably already know that, maybe you’re sick of hearing it but I am telling you what I think about YOU and i know for a fact that…

YOU ARE SO SPECIAL!

You are one of a kind. No one on this planet can replace you. You have a unique gift for the world that only you can share. You are an explosive miracle!

Don’t believe me? Listen here to Jim Carrey…

So my dear, beautiful, kindred brother or sister, you beautiful soul… I urge you today to make the right choice.

No matter the problem or situation… Choose LOVE!

Share yourself with the Universe. Be that ocean in a drop.

self lveo

 

Choose YOU. Because you are so worth it!

lovemyself

 

______________________________________________________

02/02 UPDATE: Don’t you just love SERENDIPITY? One day after my post, a brilliant article was posted on Elephant Journal. The subject matter was:

5 Truths to Remember when you Feel like you are Not Enough

Also, this amazing photo showed up on my feed:

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The Universe is conspiring lovely one. Feel it. Breathe it. Use it. Share it.

 

Happy 2016!

jar

I started my jar this morning. I call it the “Gratitude and Wishes Jar”

I plan to write down one thing a day that I’m grateful for and all my hopes and dreams for this year.

This morning I realized… I have so much to be grateful for.

I have my health, my sanity, my family, my friends, my job which I love, a roof over my head, food in the fridge. I have a lot of qualities I don’t give myself enough credit for but I also have a bunch of beautiful people who are there to remind me.  I have a lot! What more could I ask for? To be truthful, nothing. I want nothing more than to continue on this journey called life. To continue to walk with myself, to learn more, to grow more, to see more, to experience more, to love more, to breathe more. Another year of more of all this that I’ve been living.

For some reason, I have this notion that my life has been radically transformed during the past few years. As if the sum of my life experiences has somehow altered me on a genetic or biological level.

I find myself to be more kind, more loving, more generous, more intuitive, more patient, more graceful, more benevolent, more decisive, more confident, more honest, more trusting, more flexible, more peaceful, more joyous, more beautiful, more EVERYTHING than I’ve ever been in my life….

 

I posted this on Facebook today:

Some of you might not know this, but once upon a time I was a very shy person. I was afraid of sharing my thoughts and feelings with the world because I feared they could be rejected. I feared I could be rejected.. and in some way, by thinking that way I created that reality for myself. I was an outcast for a big part of my life. Today, not sharing my heart with others feels like drowning. Not letting them know how much I love them every second of every day is not an option. (some people are actually sick of it already haha) but I am so grateful for my bold, beating heart that feels so damn much for so many people. I am so grateful for this year because this is the year that I learned about courage, authenticity, loss, discovery, connection, transformation, detachment, freedom and most of all.. Love. To my friends and family, you beautiful people… thank you for being with me (near or far).. teaching me, pushing me, encouraging me, scolding me… loving me. Thank you so damn much 2015. I wish you all a 2016 full of love, love, love, some peace and joy too, and most of all… I look forward to the memories and experiences I hope to share with you. Happy New Year!

 

The response was somewhat overwhelming. I received messages from people I haven’t spoken to in years telling me how amazing and awesome I am, my primary school teacher even wrote to me saying she knew that shy side, but that I’ve always had a big and kind heart.

 

So maybe… I’ve always been this way? Maybe I’m now realizing it. Maybe this is what we call “Awakening”. Who knows?:)

They are a lot of things I’m not sure of. In fact, there are very few things I believe with 100% certainty. Full conviction. It is these 3 things:

 

  1. I am a being of Love

 

loveHuman beings have an immeasurable capacity for compassion, for kindness, for gratitude, for love! Love knows no boundaries, no barriers, no race, no gender, no color… when love comes knocking, open the door!

 

  1. The stars, the trees, the leaves, the breeze, the sea, everything without is within me. I am connected to an Eternal Source of Unlimited Energy

divine

  1. I am here in this life to be happy. To experience love and beauty and truth and peace. In order to step into my own authenticity, in order to be me and claim my beautiful life, I need courage.

courage

 

  1. There is a flow to the entire Universe. There is order in the Chaos.

 

This is a post I wrote Jan 1, 2015:

Oh my god, is it really over? 2014, you were amazing on so many levels. You were a roller coaster ride the whole time and I’d like to emphasize that I survived. Thank you for pushing me past my limits, for testing new waters, for challenging… well pretty much everything. Thank you for bringing change, both temporary and permanent. Thank you for bringing opportunity. For bringing wisdom, joy, creativity, love and friendship. Thank you for reminding me of the value of family. I’m glad we do that every year. Thank you for my family of friends. Thank you for the books, the movies, the moments, the intimate conversations, the aleatory souls, the random chance encounters, the late nights, the early mornings, the sunsets, the meditations, the silence, those infinite moments where I took a deep breathe. Thank you for courage, for patience, for freedom, for truth. For everything, thank you. Sending my love to all my family and friends, may 2015 be a time of intense joy, fulfillment and togetherness. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

 

As you can see, there is some conducive string attaching 2014 to 2015 and I hope to 2016. I believe it is because I am aligned with my Truth more and more in time and therefore the path that I’m on automatically winds to fit where I am. I believe life is a beautiful and intrinsic dance and we all just need to let loose, take off our shoes and shake the hell out of it!

 

I wish every single one of you kindred spirits from the bottom of my heart a very wonderful and beautiful 2016. Full of LOVE! Peace, Happiness, Beauty, Growth, Transformation, Discovery, Re-Discovery, Encounters, Magic, Flores, Laughter, Eye gazing, hugs and absolute Bliss!

Thank you for being in my life. You are part of my journey, my existence, my growth, my transformation. This year, I hope to do the same for you.

With immense gratitude and love,

12470707_10156367951380114_1904717416_o

Dolly

Wake Up, Speak Up. {The Pain of Healing}

Life.

There are billions of metaphors about life.

Life is like a roller-coaster, like a tree, like a balloon, like a ship, like a winter coat, like a pet, like a Madonna song, like a mountain, like a river, like a bird and so on and so forth.

Today, life is like a war. You go in with an ideal, hoping to fight for something, praying you get it on your way out.

Usually, death is an uncertainty. We live in blissful ignorance about our expiration date. I don’t know if I have 5 hours, 5 days or 50 years left.

Some of us do know. It’s just the kind of hand we’ve been dealt. There are still incurable diseases out there. Huntington’s disease, Coronary Artery disease, COPD, Cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc. These diseases are death sentences.

Then there is something more subtle at play. An area I believe we don’t spend enough attention focusing on: Mental Illnesses. This includes anxiety disorders, eating disorders, bipolar disorder and depression. Diseases like this can cause the victim to take their own life.

According to a report by PBS, More than 54 million (or nearly one in five) Americans have a mental disorder in any given year. The risk of suicide makes untreated manic-depressive illness more fatal than heart disease and some forms of cancer.

I guess you don’t really take notice of certain things until they hit home for you.

On the 12 of March, 2015 one of my best friends tried to commit suicide. After 10 days of being in the ICU with burns covering 90% of her body, she passed away.

lety

My full of life, happy go lucky, dancing, dreaming, valedictorian, kick ass doctor friend chose to end her life.

Why? An acute postpartum depression that went unnoticed, among other things.

She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in October. Add depression on to a preexisting struggle with OCD. You get a recipe for suicide.

For years she’s been struggling with OCD. I don’t think I ever understood the gravity of her problem. She always seemed to have it all together. When she told me she wanted to become a doctor after having studied two years of civil engineering I laughed because I knew that she would be terrific at it. When she told me she was taking flamenco and reiki classes because she didn’t plan to be a doctor forever I nodded and kept telling her “if there’s anyone capable of doing anything, it’s you”. I truly believed that. Lety was one of those people that inspired you. Her lightness and enthusiasm reminded you what being human was all about. She was someone you’d look up to. Today, I rummage through all the memories we built over the 17 years that I knew her. We went to high school together. She was always voted most pretty, most intelligent, most likable, most likely to succeed. There was no one in that school that didn’t love her. She had a soul that would shine right out of her eyes.

But she was secretly at war. At war with her mind. I know what it’s like, I’m always fighting to stay in control of my mind so I know what it’s like to be dragged down the rabbit hole against your will.

These last few months when she told me what was going on, I tried to help her. I shared any and every kind of knowledge I had with her. From Buddhist spiritual practices to Hindu rituals. From self-help to consciousness books. The power of our thoughts create our reality, our perception dictates what we see as true. I believe this. I tried to help her to see that. I tried every day for four months. Last month, for five days, I stopped. I took a break. She wasn’t budging. I needed to recharge. I dropped the ball. And now she’s dead. Now I will never get a chance to speak to her again.

And I have to say, it’s the most excruciating pain I’ve ever experienced.

I haven’t been taking her death as gracefully as I should, knowing all I know.

There’s this remorse, this guilt that eats at me. I didn’t take her suicide talk seriously. I’ve always seen her as a logical and strong woman. I never thought anything like this would happen to her.

Which is why I’m writing today. After the incident, several people around me came forward to let me know that i’m not alone. I was shocked to find out that there were so many people that had suffered similar situations and they only realized the gravity of the issue after it was too late.

self harm

Today, I want to encourage you, whoever is reading, to speak up.

Mental illness is a disease of the mind. We lose sovereignty over the organ that makes us who we are.

If you suspect or know someone suffering from a mental illness, do something about it. Do something as if they had a cut and they were bleeding out right in front of you.

The absence of physical symptoms makes it hard sometimes to recognize or understand the pain that a victim of mental illness suffers but believe me, they are very much suffering.

If you are someone who is struggling with a mental illness, speak up. Tell someone. Seek help. You’d be surprised at the love, support and understanding you can find from a stranger. It is not too late for you because you are still alive and you can make the choice to stay that way.

And finally, if you have lost someone to an illness and are grieving like me, then, let it out. Take your time to make your peace. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t tell yourself its okay when its not.

A lot of people have been giving me unsolicited advice. Advice like “it’s a part of life, it will pass, time will heal” I’m not saying its wrong, its just something I’m not ready to hear right now. The death of my friend has shook me down to my core.

Poetry is my current outlet for getting out all my pent up emotions. The advice I got stirred a rage in me I had to get out.

She knows me. I’m not one to reply with a fine, thanks.

She knows I am a hurricane that shakes the honest awake.

When i’m not okay, i’m not fucking okay.

And it’s okay to not be fucking okay.

Its okay to say you’re not fucking okay.

“A little bit.” I say. “Im worn out.”

“Why?” she asks.

It’s hard to say.

“Just how I feel” I reply.

“It’ll pass” she asserts.

It’ll pass.

Let me tell you about a few things that will pass.

An airplane passes the Atlantic to arrive in Europe, Troy is always frightened it will fall out of the sky.

Easter passes every year, Maria is scared she won’t get enough chocolates.

Children worry about passing their exams.

My mother prays she lives to pass 80.

There are few things that when they pass you can get over without much distress.

Missing an appointment, being misunderstood, not having a cent to your name.

However, they are other things that we must respect,

And we must understand, even if we don’t.

Things that we cannot take lightly.

My best friend is dead.

She died.

She took her life.

That is not light.

There is nothing light in my life right now.

Only heavy.

So please, dear God, allow me to be worn out and worn down.

Allow me to speak it.

To share it.

And recognize my scars.

Let them be for the time being.

For I also know that time will play a tune

And eventually make it all alright again.

But don’t minimize this pain,

This howling grief inside my bones.

It is the only companion I have.

The only truth I hold.

I pray for a world, for a future where a broken heart is treated just as gently as a broken arm.

Where we don’t need bravery to stand up and say to someone else “I’m not okay”

A future where our health plan includes mental sick days.

None of us are really, truly okay. We’re all just trying our best.

Falling down and getting back up again.

Let’s be more compassionate.

More honest.

More open.

You never know, you could save a life that way. It could be your own.

The Secret to Second Chances

And if you were to ask me
After all that we’ve been through
Still believe in magic
Oh yes I do
Of course I do

Allow me to share a story.

Girl meets girl.

They talked for hours on end. Laughter, secrets, hopes and dreams were shared.

There was this closeness. This familiarity. This complicity.

Like they’ve known each other forever.

They were high on each other, they were accomplices exploring each others universes,

sharing optimism and revered glances.

Their language was kindness, trust and truth.

It was glorified sexy on all fronts.

Some might even dare call it Love.

–  –  –

Then something happened. A darkness crept in.

It began to stain their sacred space. Things that were not meant were said.

Lies became the new truth.

At that time, it was hard to figure out what was happening. You could only stand by the shore watching everything as it crumbled.

In the silence, in the loneliness, the truth revealed itself to her: Fear.

Fear was the monster eating her alive. It was a hungry beast preying on her weaknesses and faults. It broke them apart.

In the sadness, in the regret, another truth revealed itself: “I never wanted this to end.”

The girl confronted the beast head on and though she was left with some bruises, she felt less pain in her heart.

“I love you” she yelled as loud as she possibly could.

“Please forgive me, I beg you.” But no one was there to listen.

Her lover’s heart had grown as cold as winter.

But the girl insisted.

“Please. Give me another chance. I love you.” She repeated and repeated.

Finally a voice answered.

“I’m sorry, I’ve shut down in order to not get hurt again. It was very sad. It broke my soul… So I’ve shut down.

The girl felt herself wanting to shut down too to avoid feeling the pain and the guilt but without fear, this was hard for her to do.

“That’s okay.” she said quietly.

“I’ll be patient. I’ll wait for you to give me another chance.” she said retreating to lay in wait for her love.

–  –  –

They say love conquers all. I’d like to believe that false steps are included in that list.

Imagine a baseball game with only one strike to hit the ball. To get it right.

Imagine a football match made up of a single half.

Imagine our education system without makeup tests.

Imagine hating your mother for the rest of your life because she forgot to get you what you asked.

Imagine an unforgiving lover, unable to let go of the past.

When someone we love has hurt us, betrayed us or let us down it’s painstakingly difficult to offer them (or even someone else) a second chance in the fear of suffering through the same mistake twice.

However, life is made up of second chances. The universe allows it. There is room for it, for with mistakes comes growth and with growth comes change.

So why is it so hard sometimes to give the ones we love a second chance?

Did they hurt us? Yes

Do they deserve our forgiveness? Absolutely.

I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t made a mistake. To err is human. It’s a part of the process. It’s a part of life itself. So why do we find it so difficult to forgive? To move on?

Why do we hold on so desperately to the mistakes as if they were some kind of armor we needed to accumulate to pass to the next round?

This is not a game.

If you’ve ever loved with all your heart and you’ve been wronged, I’m sure you’ve felt the pain. This is the repercussion, the consequence of growing. Hurt.

Sometimes we hurt our own selves and most times we hurt others as well.

There are so many casualties caught up in the crossfire.

What do we do? How do we cope?

How can we move on?

How do we let go?

It’s funny because everyone thinks they know what needs to be done. 10 years ago I didn’t know that forgiving someone had actually nothing to do with them and everything to do with me.

I didn’t know how awful it would be when the expectations you lay on somebody just came crashing down.

I didn’t know how much I could be hurt and more importantly, how much I could hurt. It’s then that I also discovered how much I could love and be loved.

second chance

In my humble opinion, here are 3 steps you must be willing to take in order to offer a second chance:

  1.  Forgiveness

This is primordial and probably the hardest step. Without forgiveness, no matter how great the relationship may be in the present there will always be this cloud of resentment lingering over you. True forgiveness is divine. It comes when you are ready to differentiate between the person and the mistake they’ve committed. By forgiving the person you are letting go of the past, of criticism, of judgment and disappointment. It takes a compassionate and strong heart to truly bestow forgiveness.

  1. Communication

Because a level of trust was destroyed, it is important to build it up again. Some people believe that once trust is lost, it can never be regained. I adamantly deny this reasoning. It takes work and consistent effort but it is not impossible and not without merit. An open line of communication is essential when rebuilding a relationship. You can and you should share what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling on a regular basis, even if what you have to say isn’t that positive, even when In doubt, even if with a whisper or on a post it note. No matter what it is, if you’re thinking it or feeling it, it’s important.

  1. Courage

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” – Brene Brown

Here’s the tricky part. You have to be willing to open up your heart. Your whole heart.

All. Over. Again.

You need to dare. To dream. To place your bet. To take the risk of being hurt again. Yes, I said it. Take the f*cking risk. To trust your humongous, forgiving heart into the abyss. Trust what you’re feeling and hold on to it. There is no running, no hiding, no shirking. Don’t you worry for your heart is made for this. It wants to be let out. It wants to be free. It wants to be put into everything you do… because it’s you.

Second chances aren’t for everyone. They are for the bold hearted. The big hearted. The true hearted. A true second chance needs to feel a lot like the first one. It can be a beautiful thing, your relationship could transform into a much deeper and stronger one. Each situation is unique and only you know if it’s worth another chance.

Here’s to second chances, or better yet, starting over.