Tag Archives: Authentic self. true self. being your authentic self

Falling to Pieces: Excerpt from Memoir

 

This is an excerpt from my Memoir

Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me

It seems a long time time ago I felt like this. Life has changed several times. Life is changing now as I live day to day. Sometimes moments have these feeling but mindfulness and the changes I have been through help pull me back into the beauty of life. All I have to do is look out over the ocean to remember that life has its waves and flow and eventually the sea will be calm again.

Falling to Pieces

The outlook is shadowy and indistinct. I feel empty and non-existent. Nothing makes any sense and answers are lost in the distant fog. I have been wandering aimlessly for years unable to regain any focus. This confusion is unsettling. Inadequacy and doubt like vertigo distorts my balance. I fearfully wander in a vast and empty, yet deeply emotional wilderness.

As I wrestle with the darkness, a rush of panic rips a hole in my heart. I struggle to catch my breath as I drown in the depths of emotions that are rising and falling, like storm waves of a violent hurricane crashing against a rocky shoreline. An immobilizing lack of confidence and fear has forced me into a junction of significant change.

I find myself in a place where I have lost my sense of identity, questioning the structure and the rules of the world and my faith in God. I am standing in a time of uncertainty with negative thoughts, fears, and judgments escalating all the voices in my head.

My life is falling apart. I am watching my life fall away, piece by piece. I have even helped pack it up and send it on its way. I am about to become an empty nester. My daughters, Nikki, Sam, and Monica are going off to begin their own lives as young adults. It should be exciting to watch my girls all flying off to begin their lives full of new discoveries and adventures.                                                                        

Yet I am overwhelmed with fear. Panic racing through my body and mind. I am falling into an abyss. The only thing that has mattered in my life, my daughters, are now leaving me. The lifeline that held me together, my reason to go through each day is abandoning me. Being their mother has been my focus, the central core of my day-to-day life. I have been nothing but a stay at home mom for seventeen years.

Now I can get back into real life, go out into the real world. Time to get a real job and take care of myself. I dread real life and the real world. I explore job opportunities. Every resume I send out and every response I receive to my queries makes me nauseous. As I get closer and closer to landing a position that would take me back into the ‘real world’ – I get so sick to my stomach that I am throwing up.

I don’t want to live in this so-called ‘real world’ or live the way I am expected to live it. I have never felt comfortable in that world of corporate life and material things. I know that if I take one step in that direction, I will once again fill my life from a place of doing what I am expected to do, and doing what I think I should be doing. I will only be trying to please other people. I will be making choices and decisions based on circumstances and social expectations.

Most of my life I have built around a false sense-of-self or no-self. It was built from outside circumstances, events, expectations, and demands. If I stay here and rebuild my life from this empty shell, I will just reconstruct another false self and false life. I know exactly where this road will take me. I know that I will live in a void of emptiness inside. This thought scares the hell out of me.

I don’t want to continue living this way.  I have been trying to play the part I have created for myself and the part others expected of me. My whole life has become a play in which I have been pretending day after day. I have been a character in the play but have felt like I was in the audience watching my life rather than being a part of it. I fear I am being sucked into the direction of expectations and the responsible path. If I go that path, I will step into a world I don’t like and don’t want to be in anymore.

I know that this person I have been-have become-is a cover, a hard shell around my heart that I created. I fashioned myself from a core that was broken, pushed down and controlled when I was young. From that point on I hid who I really was. I hid in shame of who I was. I have lived my life with a deep-rooted belief that I am not good enough. Who I am inside is not acceptable in the outside world. I believed I had to become who I was expected to be. I never felt comfortable in that shell.

Yet the pull to get sucked into living a facade is strong. I am at my weakest moment. I have always tried to fit in, to make myself into someone who would be liked and accepted. Yet I have never felt accepted. Even the false creations of myself who were fashioned to be the person others wanted me to be, were not accepted. I have felt rejected and abandoned then and now.

This is the theme of my life, trying to please everyone and pleasing no one in the process. It runs through every choice, every decision I have ever made. Because of these deep-rooted feelings I have isolated myself from life, others and myself. Everything within me is telling me this is the moment to break free but can I? The conflict of following the ‘right path’ and following my soul is paralyzing me. All I can feel is fear and panic.

 My soul has been crying out for years. I have done what I can to pacify it. The thought of continuing to live with this emptiness inside is unbearable to my soul. I don’t want to do that anymore. It has become too painful. The truth of the matter is that I have wanted to run away from my life for years. I have wanted to get out and get away but responsibilities and obligations have kept me trapped. Fear has kept me from doing anything about it. If I stay here, I will drown in the sacrifice of myself. I’ve already given myself away but sacrificing myself knowing full well what will happen to my soul is suicide.

It is time to do some deep soul searching to go within. It seems scary to turn inside when it was in turning inside myself that forced me to live outside myself. How could doing the very thing that sent me into this empty chasm of a person be the solution and answer to becoming my true self? As confusing as this seems I am being drawn into this idea that this is the way out.

Discover Yourself through Discovering the World

Sitting here in homeport watching the sunrise over the ocean on a cold winter day, I dream of cruising in the warm Caribbean sunshine. I live in Paradise. I dive the dream of living at the ocean. I am blessed beyond anything I would have believed 10 years ago. And yet I dream bigger dreams now.

My dad instilled the love of ships and sea in my. The beach became my sanctuary when I couldn’t get out on the sea. It lets me imagine and see the possibilities that are out there beyond the horizon of my everyday life.

I have wanderlust. I long to see distant shores. To discover beaches in every port. More than that I long to see other places, to have new experiences, to meet new people. In learning and exploring the world and what others know and live I develop more of who I am. I open doors within my self that I never knew existed.

I become more of who I am. I step more and more into who I am. I am more understanding of others, and of myself. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone, to stretch myself, to be comfortable with the unfamiliar and unknown, to conquer fears, to discover what I am capable of, and who I can be. I become more of who I am.

Travel is the ultimate mindfulness pursuit. It makes me become present in my surroundings, with what I am doing, experiencing and what I see and hear around me. When you are out of your eliminate, out of your everyday routine you become more aware, more alert to your surroundings, more present to your experiences. It happens almost naturally if you let it.

Travel is transformational. Travel shifts my perspective. It shows me not only possibilities of life but it connects me with myself and with others.

When I travel with someone it allows me to experience them in new ways. To develop a closer bond, to appreciate our differences and share our experiences. It teaches us how to be together and respect each other’s space and time.

Travel is an inner and outer journey. It is in discovering other cultures, other places, other people and the world-even the world right outside your door- that you discover yourself in the process.

 

Storms of Life

It has been a long time since I have posted anything. I had made a resolution once before to post every month but life gets in the way. Once I finished my memoir I spent time resting, then enjoying the summer life on the island.

Finishing a major project that had been years in the making was amazing. It made me not want to take on any major project anytime soon. I took on teaching some personal development classes. Mostly I reacquainted myself with the beach, the ocean, my friends and my community.

My sister and I were overdue for a Sisters Travel Adventure. Even planning that became a logistical adventure in and of itself. Finally we decided on a cruise to Cuba.

The cruise itself was wonderful. Experiencing Cuba amazing!  I spent a great deal of it following in Hemingway’s footsteps. The writer in me couldn’t resist. In doing so I was able to experience Cuban culture and experience the openness of the people. I discovered that they had a love affair with Hemingway way beyond my interest in seeing the places he spent his time writing and drinking! (That’s another blog in and of itself that I still haven’t taken the time to write)

And while on that cruise my life began to take a turn I didn’t see coming. As we explored Cozumel, I heard rumblings of a major hurricane heading for the east coast- the Carolina’s to be exact. The next day on the ship I heard people talking anxiously about this hurricane.

I met people who lived around me concerned about getting home and what they would do when they got there. I still wasn’t concerned but I was alert. Then I met a women who lived not far from where I lived, she had talked to family back home and she was  very alarmed about what they had told her.

I finally tuned in – when I am on a trip I unplug from my phone, the news etc. I watched the news and saw this massive storm heading straight for where I lived. So I went from vacation to evacuation.

The month of September just went by. It seemed forever before I was able to return home. And when I did life was off kilter as every one tried to pick up the pieces.I was lucky as the damage in my life was contained and manageable but it shook me up.

It sent me looking for my next step-my next project. I craved a new direction. So in the midst of clean up I made a decision to step into a new direction with my career.

That has kept me out of circulation as I restructure and rearrange my thoughts, my development, my directions and my projects. I am excited about this new avenue. I am trying to interweave and blend this new project into my life.

I actually came on here to see about making changes and restructuring my website and blog(s). And instead I find myself writing to you- here. I am not sure how it is all going to come together yet, it is still a work in progress.

I am good at turning corners, in fact  I crave the adventure of change, new learning, new possibilities, new discoveries, exploring new places and meeting new people. I guess that is why I love travel so much! And it is another travel component that is the new path I am adding to my projects.

One of the Amazing things about traveling is through discovering other places, cultures and meeting new people I have discovered and uncovered so much more about myself,  who I am and who I am capable of being. Stepping out of my comfort zone, reaching out and connecting into the world has taught me more about what lies within me.

I have seen my passion of travel be reignited several years ago and wanderlust has taken me by the storm! And more that just sharing my love of travel through my series Sisters Travel Adventures- it is time to take that a step further and help you Discover the World and Yourself through this amazing world of cruising and traveling!

It is time for you to Come Along on These Amazing Cruise Adventures or to Have one of Your Own!!

So are you ready to take to the Ocean of Possibilities and Set Sail to Discover the World!

 

Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me

For a while I was putting up chapters here but then I got so entrenched in the editing process that I kind of neglected that. After several rewrites and many – many edits and a  title change my memoir is done.

It was published at the end of April and we have been doing a soft release. As I get ready to put it out into the world it is scary exciting! This is after all my life, my story, events and details.

Why would anyone want to read about me? my life?

I hope that in sharing my story other women who have been through challenges, lost their sense-of-self, felt empty or gave up on their dreams to meet the demands of others or the world will feel connected and not alone. I hope it inspires you to believe in yourself and follow your dreams at any age or stage of life.

It is never to late to become your true self and live the life you dreamed about in secret.

It has arrived. Come along and be a part of My Journey of Becoming Me!
Get it on Amazon.com
or at The Mermaid’s Purse and Sugar Island  Bakery              on Topsail Island

 

update Memoir CoverIn her Memoir, Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me, she shares her story, her life, and her journey of stepping out of life to create one. It is one of emotion, hope, perseverance, letting go and beginning again.

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. What a journey you have been and still are on. I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced in your life experiences.” Marie

 

I’d love to hear your story – send me an email at cathyt@cathyteoste.com or jump onto my facebook page

Step Deeper into Your Dreams

Today is the day I take another step into my life – deeper into the sea of dreams, desires and journey into the next adventure.

My new book, Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me is now available. update Memoir Cover

Sharing my story, my life with the world is scary exciting!

Writing being an author has been a long buried dream of mine since I was a little girl, but like I pushed aside my love of the ocean, I buried that dream because I was told it was impractical and unrealistic.

It took fifty years of my life to dig it up and resurrect it. It took almost another ten to write it and find the courage and confidence to rewrite, edit, and publish it.

After writing the rough draft, fear took hold. A friend suggested I test the waters and write a short book on my love of the ocean. That is how Dancing on the Beach came about. A collection of essays expressing deep love and connection to the wisdom of the ocean (501x800)

Rewriting my life story was a long emotional process. I would work on it, have a reader or editor look at it, think about the suggestions then finally rewrite. I went through four different versions and formats before I found the format that fit my story. In hindsight, it was the most logical choice but it took me a roundabout way to get there.

It is my way I guess, I never seem to approach anything in a linear fashion. I love jumping around here and there to see what side trips might be interesting or what I might see or discover.

When I thought about becoming a writer, I never thought about writing personal essay but it is where I found my voice. Writing my own life story wasn’t in the plans either but years ago a teacher had suggested that I write about my experience with dissociation. Years later as I was in the midst of my midlife free fall, other women I shared my story with asked me to write and share it when I arrived.

Truth is arriving at one point just sends me off to another point on the horizon I see. Life is like that. We are never meant to arrive and stay long term just for a while and then to move forward towards something more.

So I have shared my story in hopes it inspires you to free fall or jump into becoming your true self and share it with the world in whatever expression that is for you.

We live life in our experiences expressing our spirit in the present moment

Step Deeper into Your Dreams!