Here’s a list of things I learned about myself, kind of. 

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This is the time of year for my annual “things I’m grateful for” post. If any of you have actually been following my journey this year it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you when I say I haven’t been looking forward to this post. I have had a tough year. I’m not going to relive it for you, because I already did that in a previous post. I was concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to find things to be all that thankful for. But then I did some thinking and it occurred to me that I should probably remove my head from my ass and truly focus up. Well, I did just that and I came up with a few things to thank my very lucky stars for.

 First and foremost, my family. I think everyone would agree with me when I say it’s been a growing year and we’re all doing the very best we can. A very special shoutout goes to my parents for being the most supportive and loving people anyone could hope to meet. They make me crazy because I am them and they are me. But they offered all of the love and none of the judgment when I told them I was moving back home. Which is the perfect segue into my next Thing. I have had many roofs over my head this year and I honestly don’t know what I would have done without those who took in not only me, but my beautiful, anxiety-ridden dog. We are an emotional duo and it’s not always easy to deal with us so even though Penny doesn’t always know how to show it, she is very grateful as well. There’s something that we’re told all our lives and I never truly understood it until I lived it recently, and it’s that you never really know who your true friends are until your life is spinning completely out of control. The people who show up to help stop the spinning are the people you want to keep around. I saw this play out in front of my own eyes several times this year and it sucked. It was great to see who  cares but it truly sucked to find out who just did not give a fuck. 

Ok, enough about other people, let’s focus on some Personal Growth! I was having a difficult time thinking back on everything because hey, it’s hard to remind yourself of crappy things that happened to you, but then it hit me. Somewhere in the last twelve (eh maybe like sixteen) months, I found a little bit more of myself. For the first time, I have a clear idea of my career goals and I am actually working towards them. I have people and a person that I love more than I thought I ever could, and even when that person made me realize that I can be pretty selfish sometimes, like crazy selfish, I still loved them. That’s a big thing to be thankful for. It’s because of this person that I’ve come to realize how forgiving and resilient I can be. These are words that I have never used to describe myself. Ever. I’ve been pushed and pulled in so many directions that I sometimes feel like a piece of Laffy Taffy. But not the banana kind, the good kind. Basically, I’ve done a complete 180. I used to be afraid of telling people how I felt, whether it was good or bad, but now I can’t shut up about it. So if I like you, you’ll know. If I love you, you definitely know. And if I can’t stand you, you’ll never know because I am a WONDERFUL ACTRESS, so joke’s on you!

Look, I’m not going to gush about my glamorous life anymore. I’m just going to leave you with this picture of what I’m most thankful for. 


Just look at that side eye. 

Also thankful for this budding friendship.

The end. 

I’m nice because I’m scared.

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For about as long as I can remember, I’ve been the “nice” one of my girlfriends. I don’t say this to brag, if anything it’s actually a little sad. I’ve never been one to talk politics, mostly because for a large portion of my life I did not understand how anything would affect me. And being a straight, white, American, woman who lived in nice neighborhoods and went to nice schools, that thought process wasn’t totally incorrect. I’m lucky. I have parents who love me, wonderful friends, a roof over my head, and a chubby dog with an attitude problem. I’ll say it again, I’m lucky. I’m lucky because I have strong women in my life who have taught me why being strong is important.

I have felt the effects of the results of this election on a much deeper level than I had anticipated. I think it’s because I had a little more faith in our country and my gender specifically. I’ve been asked several times in the last day why I’m taking this loss so personally. I’m not a Muslim, person of color, or a member of the LGBTQ community. I cannot compare myself or my experiences to those of the members of those communities. I can however, share my experiences and hopefully shed some light on the situation for you.

For starters, the saddest thing I have to say is that whether Hilary won or not, the damage from the hate that Trump spews has already been done. The world was already a scary place and his hatred and bigotry has made it a real horror show. As I said earlier, I’ve always been the nice one. The one who flirts and is easily charmed by men. The one who accepts a drink from a guy and then secretly pours it down the bathroom sink because she doesn’t want to cause a scene by turning him down. The one who will just make a weird face and sneakily dance away from a guy who’s getting too close on the dance floor, rather than tell him to back off. Please don’t get me wrong, I have some wonderful men in my life. But we’re not talking about the men I know, we’re talking about the men I don’t. As a woman, I live my daily life with a certain level of fear in me. I have to consider the worst possible scenario in every situation. I have to park my car under a light in the mall parking lot and then pray to God that no one snuck into my backseat while I was at dinner even though I locked my car six times. I’m scared to walk my dog at night. I allow my ass to get grabbed by a stranger and laugh it off because that stranger is bigger and stronger than me and if I protested he could easily overpower me, and hey, it’s just my ass, right? I live in a world where Brock Turners and Donald Trumps can do whatever they want to me and have no consequence bestowed upon them. It’s because of this fact that I’m nice. I’m compliant. I’m laid back. I’ve been telling myself for years that it was safer to be nice than to be strong. It shouldn’t be this way. I shouldn’t have to be scared to walk my dog down the street at 7:30 on a Tuesday night- but I am. I shouldn’t have to worry about if the man I love won’t come home one day because somebody didn’t like the color of his skin- but I do. I do worry. I worry about the people I love every day. And since America voted for hate, I get to keep worrying and I get to keep living scared.

So what do we do? I don’t know. I want to say we fight for what’s right but we just did that and what’s right didn’t win. So I’m doing the only thing I know how to do, which is to wake up in the morning and do the best I can for myself, for the people I love, and for humankind in general.

This Saturday I will be proudly patrolling the sidewalk at a local women’s clinic to help protect those who choose to exercise their right to proper healthcare while they still can. What will you do?

I’m not happy and it’s all my fault.

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Let’s just jump right in, shall we?

A year and a half ago, I was working out every day, adhering to a very strict diet, and living a life that I loved. Today, things are not the same. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a tough year. I’ve moved three times, got a breakup dog, had my breakup dog run away after only four days, then had her return to me just when I was in the middle of asking God why everyone I love leaves me. I made the rash decision to quit my job of three years; a decision I still question to this day, my sister got really sick, and I can’t even talk about the 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle that is my romantic life. I’ve made life altering decisions time and time again this year and I’ve only been able to stick to the finite things. I decided to adopt a rescue dog and then I did it. I decided to find a new job and then I did it. Having to move was a stressful and shitty situation but I did choose where I moved to and I will say that I’m very happy with where I live and who I live with. I highly recommend having a roommate who hang pictures of Batman singing karaoke.

As my seven followers may have noticed, I have been absent for about six months. That is how long it has been since I’ve written anything of substance at all. I am ashamed of this. While we’re on the subject of things we’re ashamed of, I’m also going to say that I haven’t worked out consistently since November. I miss it. I miss it all. I miss writing stories of idiots who take too long to fall in love with the perfect person. I miss defending that writing because hey, romance is nothing to be scoffed at and I think we deserve better than 50 Shades of Garbage. I miss taking pictures of my swollen knuckles, rubbed raw from the wraps that are supposed to protect them during an hour of beating the shit out of a heavy bag. I. Miss. These. Things.

But I’m tired. I come home every day, promising myself that I’ll stick to the time slot I’ve put aside for writing, promising myself I’ll go for that run, but I don’t do it. My mom and I have been walking about 2.5 miles a couple times a week together and that’s a start but it’s not enough. I miss feeling strong and I miss it being an actual possibility that I could defend myself in a fight if the opportunity were available.

But I’m tired. I don’t know how to fix it. I’ve read so many articles and gotten advice on getting started and I’ve tried to go back to my old routine but I just can’t seem to get it together. Returning to your workout routine is like hanging out with an ex for the first time. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and you’re afraid everyone is looking at you and thinking you’re such a loser because you don’t know if you’re doing anything right anymore. This metaphor made more sense in my head but the point is I feel like it was easier when I started working out two years ago rather than now. You would think it would be the other way around because I know the progress I made so I know what I’m capable of and what the possibilities are. I don’t know if I’m scared or if I’m just being lazy or if it’s a combination of those things but I need to know how to get off my ass and do the things that I once loved and wish to love again.

names I was called this week

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In the span of 48 hours, I was called an “uppity chicken” and a “stuck up bitch” by two different men.

Let’s begin with the “uppity chicken” remark, shall we? I don’t know what’s crazier about this insult, the fact that it came from someone who I had for a long time considered a friend with reasonable beliefs or that it came unprompted. I say it came unprompted because during the argument that was based on a blatantly misogynistic (not to mention childish and quite frankly, pathetic) post, I had not once resorted to name calling. Had I been feeling particularly catty that day then sure, I would have thrown out some snide remarks about this guy’s uncanny resemblance to Voldemort or something to that effect. But I wasn’t, so I didn’t. What came as a shock to me was that this moron’s girlfriend was in agreement with him. Actually, this saddened more than surprised me now that I’m thinking about it. I have spoken in the past about how lucky I am to be surrounded by strong women who do not fall victim to a world where we are taught to pit women against each other and it breaks my heart that there are still women out there who would rather assume that their relationship is under attack every time someone calls an idiot out on their bullshit. The best part about the whole argument though was when my friend and I (there were actually two reasonable women involved in this) were asked if we “even boyfriend” which I’m guessing was his way of asking if we have boyfriends but I’m not fluent in the language of Pathetic Piece of Human Garbage so I guess I’ll never know for sure. Garbage didn’t explain his reasoning behind this question but it seemed pretty clear that he was assuming we were both single and therefore that was our motivation for calling him out on being a misogynistic craphole. Silly me, I didn’t realize that feminism was reserved for single, straight women.

Let’s move on.

The second altercation occurred on Monday evening. As I was getting ready to go out I got a text from a number I did not recognize so being the stable human being that I am, I asked who was texting me.  He claimed his name was Frank and that I gave him my number a while back and he was just going through his phone and cleaning out old numbers and thought he’d say hi. I in turn responded with “Oh, hi.” He then asked if I was still single and I politely said “No I’m sorry I’m no longer single so you probably shouldn’t hold onto this number.” Then I can only assume that Frank’s body was then invaded by aliens who came to earth to tear women down because he responded with “Fuck you, what the fuck? I was being nice, you know you’re probably not going to be in a relationship for much longer if you don’t stop acting like such a stuck up bitch!”

I actually have no idea how I was supposed to react to that, so I didn’t.

If someone could please explain the logic behind either of these two scenarios I would greatly appreciate it.

 

 

something to consider

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I have been posting in this format for a while now and usually around this time of year I talk about the things I have accomplished and my resolutions for the next year with the thought that if I put them in writing then I’ll be more inclined to complete those resolutions. This has literally never worked. Therefore, this year I am doing something new. Over the last six months I have been keeping a list of words. This list is meaningful to me because they are words that have been used by others to describe me and words that I have never used to describe myself out loud. I’ve decided to share them with all six of my readers because I think it’s pretty fucked up that I’ve never had the balls to use these seemingly simple words but they came so easily to those that care about me. I didn’t realize it, but I was basically waiting for other people to tell me that it was acceptable for me to think these things about myself.

Okay. Here we go.

Words I Have Literally Never Used in Reference to Myself

  • Steadfast
  • Strong (both physically and emotionally)
  • Independent
  • Smart
  • Giving
  • Loving
  • Beautiful
  • Special
  • Brave

That last one really meant something to me when I heard it because it was the only word on that list that I had never even thought about. Every other word on there has been used inside my head at one point or another but Brave was never even considered. I never thought of the girl who cries at the drop of a hat and gets nervous when she has to make a phone call to a stranger as Brave. In fact, my eyes tear up every time I hear it so I guess I still have to get used to it.

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obligatory post about gratitude

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Over the next few days I will be lucky enough to spend some quality time with my favorite things in life (in no particular order): family, friends, pajamas, my dog, and pie. These are for the most part pretty generic things that I think most would say they are the most grateful for, and while that counts for me as well, I have to say that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and there is a whole lot more going on for me in this arena.

The last year has been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I bought a shitty car, moved out of my parents house, bought a nicer car when the shitty one kicked the bucket, cut my hair off, went back to school, and generally learned more about myself than I ever had in such a small amount of time. I couldn’t have done any of these things without those who have supported my endeavors, which leads me to my next and most important thing I’ve learned this year.

Over the last six months or so it has become very clear to me who I can count on for support and encouragement in all aspects of my life. In almost every book and article I have read about growing up and facing your fears (you know, like credit card debt and learning what a mortgage is) it is said that one of the hardest but most satisfying parts of growing up is learning who your true friends are. It’s sad  to say but every last one of those listicles was right. Now, I am incredibly lucky to say that I have always had a large support system. I mean, I was born into what makes up the majority of it for starters, and the rest just fell into place when and where I needed them. Unfortunately, I have realized that as easy as it was for those to fall into place, it was just as easy for them to fall out.

To put it bluntly, there are people in my life who are not happy with the changes I have made and the person I have grown into, even though these changes have made me the happiest I have ever been. In addition to the physical, more material changes I mentioned earlier, I have to say that I truly feel that I have become the best version of myself that I could possibly be at this point in my life. I still have so much to do and see and I know those things will have an impact on who I am still to become and I’m not just okay with that, I’m excited about it. I used to absolutely loathe change and I will admit that I do still have a difficult time with it, but it’s not something I fear anymore. I could go on about how I’m now a strong-willed, confident, and independent person and how for the first time ever I feel comfortable standing up for myself and those that need me but who wants to read about that?

 

See what I did there?
Happy Thanksgiving you bunch of beautiful tropical fish. tumblr_inline_nyb8argbha1qfb6mb_500

lunchtime circa 2005

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In September of my freshman year at East Stroudsburg University, I was eating lunch with a girl whose name might have been Tiffany and a boy whose name definitely was Tony. Tiffany was loud and she had a lot of opinions that she felt the need to share at all times. I found her annoying because this was ten years ago and I still lived in a world where I was quiet and a people pleaser. Tony was soft-spoken, funny, and cute enough I guess. His face bothered me though because his eyes were huge, like a doll, and he chewed with his mouth open which I could only assume was a side effect from being the world’s loudest mouth breather. I guess that part doesn’t really have anything to do with his face but it still bothered me.

As I dug into my turkey on white bread (I had yet to get the balls to try any of the other stations in the cafeteria), Tiffany decided it was time to have a chat with Tony about the state of his love life. She seemed pretty concerned that here we were, a month into our first semester at college, and he hadn’t hooked up with any girls yet. I mean, I hadn’t touched anyone yet either but we’re talking about TONY here. She kept nagging him and asking if he’d ever even kissed a girl a he said that there was a girl back home and I of course believed him but Tiffany did not. This was usually how our lunchtime conversations would go but today was different. Today Tiffany just wouldn’t let up. Her final words on the matter were “You know, the majority of married people met their spouses in college, usually in sophomore year, so we should start having our fun and sowing our oats now.”  I don’t know where Tiffany got all of her statistics but they seemed pretty accurate at the time.

It turned out that I didn’t take advice from Tiffany and I don’t take advice from anyone else for that matter. I’m a very stubborn person and no matter how good the advice I’m being given is, ultimately I’m going to do whatever the fuck I want. Which is why a year later, I found myself sitting in a car parked in my driveway, praying to God that my older brother did not witness my first ever handjob that was being given to a boy I had met in my Intro to Theater class at the community college. To this day I still don’t know if big bro saw anything.

It also turned out that old Tiff’ had a thing for Tony the WHOLE TIME which I guess is a good thing because I couldn’t imagine how tough it was going to be for Tony to convince someone to love him, what with that damn mouth breathing and all.