living with intention

Last week I had a mini breakdown.

And by mini breakdown, I mean that I pretty much freaked the heck out from Thursday am to Friday night. This happened last month too, and while I very much wish I could pin it on PMS or something of the sort, I just can’t (although there was a full moon- just saying). I’m the type of person who likes to understand why things happen. I believe that there is a “reason” for everything, and it honestly makes me feel so much more comfortable and calm to know how things are related. For example, if I don’t take my vitamins or I start eating food with a lot of whey, my joints will begin to really hurt. So, when I feel like my world is crashing down, I like to understand why I feel like that.

The problem is… that there are no problems. I’m very, very fortunate to be as happy as I am in my life.

I am head over heels in love with my boyfriend and his son.  I love every single moment of our lives together, and cherish every single step we take towards our future, like buying a house with Mr.O or reading stories and bedtime kisses with Wolverine. Even more than that, I couldn’t ever thank Mr. O enough for the support he gives me in times like this. He is nonjudgemental and loving and kind. More importantly, he doesn’t make things easier for me (which drives me a bit crazy, but this might be the most important aspect). When I am sad, I want to immediate relief. I want Mr. O to play Prince Charming and have him swoop in and make everything better. But he won’t. This is what I’m grateful for. He is smart enough to understand that I need to fix my own emotions; he can support and encourage me; he can hug and kiss and hold me, but I am the only one who can change my life. This is what makes my heart flip and flop for him. He probably hurts to see me sad, but he doesn’t bandage over the sadness, he lets me experience it and move past it. He makes me feel confident enough to know he won’t leave me, and he firmly reminds me that I am absolutely not “crazy” when I claim that something is really wrong with me. This true love.

I am a student in the greatest creative writing graduate program ever. I am working with a kick ass, incredible mentor this semester and am very proud of my critical project I’ve created this semester (Side note: today is the last day to submit to The Story Behind the Status, so if you’re interested, get a move on!) I will be graduating in less than 8 months, and I’m kinda bummed about it. I wish I could get my MFA, but stay in the program forever (and not have to pay for it). Thank goodness for our Alumni Association!

I have some pretty amazing friends and family. I’m lucky to have people around me who support me and usually do not question my decisions, etc. It is nice to know you have people in your corner. I’m so glad to have friends that I can pick up with easily even if we haven’t spoken in a while. I went out last Friday night (which is what helped kick me out of my melt down) for my best friend’s birthday, and was able to spend time with a handful of other friends who mean so much to me. Plus, I had a FANTASTIC margarita.

I work for a great company in a job that I’m good at.
I changed jobs the month after I started graduate school I went from working in the HR field for 8+ years to a medical software company where I would be training clients. There was a pretty major pay increase and I love to teach, so I thought it would be perfect. There were a lot of people who didn’t think this was the best decision, and I do understand why. I needed to devote my brain to school, and by changing careers, I couldn’t give school the attention it needed. It felt like I went to school during the day (for work) and then came home and went right to school (for school). There was a LOT to learn in my company before I could start training clients, and by the time I got home, I felt mentally EXHAUSTED. The company is great, and the friends I made there are great, but it isn’t where I needed to be in my life right now.
However, I know now that going to work there was one of the best things that ever happened to me. In my time there, I completely paid off my credit card debt, and I met the man I will spend the rest of my life with.
But, I needed a change. So my “fairy godmother” (aka my current boss- who also happened to be my old HR boss) contacted me one day in May and presented a golden opportunity- a job that was the next city over from my house (meaning a daily commute of about 30-40 minutes total instead of the 3 hours daily at the medical software company), with a salary that I was very pleased with, a job that I’d be creating from the ground up and best of all, in a field where I KNEW MY STUFF. Did/do I have a lot to learn here? Absolutely! I’m actually working soley in one area of human resources that I was never involved in before, but I GET it. That is the amazing thing. I understand it all, and the things I need to learn, well I absorb them easily. It isn’t my dream job. I want to be standing in front of a college classroom challenging them to WRITE! But for now… it is exactly what I need. I feel safe and secure here. I love having my “fairy godmother” for a boss. She teaches me, pushes me, trusts me and is a really great friend too. Do things get hectic here? Every Single Day. Does it work for me right now? You betcha!

So why the meltdowns? Actually, why the multiple meltdowns? I had one last week, one in the end of September and then again a week later in the beginning of October, and umm, I think I had one in June. Why?

When I breakdown, I feel like my world is crashing around me. I know that it isn’t. I mean, I’m rational enough to understand that things are great, but then acknowledging that makes me feel even more nuts. If things are great, then what the F U C K is wrong? Am I crazy? Like legitimately, I mean that. Is something wrong with me? My thoughts are like a carousel and I obsess and I freak out and imagine all the bad things that could happen and then I imagine how I would feel if they would happen and then I think about all that is wrong with the world and then I think about how nuts I am being and then I think about how much I don’t like myself sometimes and then I just cry.

and cry…

and cry…

and do some more crying.

Mr. O made a very valuable point on Friday. When I get in freak out mode like that and cry like a nutjob, it is as if I’m a little kid who is inconsolable. You know when kids start to cry for whatever reason (they don’t want to eat their dinner, someone said something mean to them on the playground, it is bathtime, etc) and then they can’t stop crying. And the crying gets louder and the breathing gets all crazy and they get themselves to the point where they could almost throw up? Yeah, that is what happens to me. I was so interested when he said that. He is SO correct! Let me tell you one thing about Mr. O… he gets me to THINK sometimes. That is EXACTLY what I do. I get to the point where I am absolutely inconsolable, and because of this, even if I pull myself out of a crying fit, the sadness will linger for a good couple days.

Now, the freak out at the end of September was justified. I understand why I cried like a maniac. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the one in October was probably the remaining emotions from the September freak out. But I do not understand my freak outs last week and in June.

Do you think I’m being nuts writing an extremely long blog post about four crying incidents? Because if I didn’t make this clear enough, these incidents didn’t FEEL like temporary moments of sadness. They FELT like the end of my world as I knew it. Dramatic? Yes. But was that how it felt? Yes. I am extremely uncomfortable feeling like this (I’m also extremely uncomfortable with the amount of adverbs in this post). A few years ago I had a period of pretty severe depression that lasted almost a year I’d say. Obviously depression is unexplainable, and just happens. But it feels horrible and scary (actually terrifying is a better word) and unending. So, for the record, I never, ever, ever want to feel like that again, and take my mental health very seriously. These four mini breakdowns felt like that depression. And THAT is what terrifies me.

I don’t want to scare you guys. I feel remarkably better. I feel safe and normal. But I do feel cautious. Was it a mini bout of depression? I don’t know. Probably not. It was probably just an overwhelming moment. While my life is truly blessed, I do have a lot of stress. All of the blessings I noted above can be overwhelming. I’ve got deadlines for school and projects I’m behind with at work. I’ve got houses to look at and disappointments when my favorites go off the market. I’ve got friends I don’t see, things I don’t do.

It all adds up.

And then I usually break down.

Why the hell am I writing all of this? Who knows. I guess I just want to be real. I can’t do everything. I can’t be everything. I’ve got to take everything one day at a time. I just want you to know that this is who I am. I wrote a post a week or so inspired by Ashley of all the things I don’t do. I’m not Wonderwoman. To me, my life is perfect…it is everything I could have ever wanted. But that doesn’t mean I can’t get overwhelmed at times. Because I do.

I wish I could sum this up better– present you all with the key to managing life, paint a pretty picture– but I can’t. If there is anything that I have learned this whole year is that our life MUST be defined by ourselves. Am I crazy? Not by my standards. Am I happy? Yes, by my standards. Is my life where I want it to be? By my standards, you betcha. I’m still going to have tough days here and there. I won’t always understand why. But it’s a part of life I need to accept, acknowledge and experience. And once I learn how to do that…. I will feel better.

Oh, and side note. I want to thank you. My blog followers always amaze me. You guys are some of the most supportive, caring individuals. You too make my life better every day. I couldn’t do it without you.

Bring on the blonde jokes

I bet you thought i was going to forget to post today. If I didnt have a WordPress app on my iphone, I probably would have.
Remember that time i told you guys I was going to dye my hair brown? Well I did and I guess for a whole week now i have officially been a brunette.
i’m honestly not sure how I feel yet. For the first few days I thought it looked like I was wearing a wig. I have been blonde my entire life, so this was quite the adjustment. Opinions?
History has been made. 20111108-230525.jpg

20111108-230548.jpg

my anniversary

Yesterday was a very special day. A day that is all my own. Yes, I still texted two of my closest friends to say “Wake up, Wake up, Wake up… it’s the first of the month.” It is our tradition. And yes, Mr. O did wake me up by singing it too. I’m a very lucky little lady.

Anyway, November 1st is the day I quit smoking four whole years ago. Did I ever think I’d make it to year four without one drag of a cigarette? Nope. My last cigarette ended at 10:41am on Thursday, November 1, 2011. I remember that moment very clearly. I gave my boss my lighters (I wanted to keep my cigarettes, and I did. They’re still packed away in a memory box. Weird, why haven’t I gotten rid of them yet?) and I went outside to sit in my car and smoke my last cigarette. It was raining. And that, my friends, was that. No more smoking.

Have I missed it? Yes, I have. But fortunately, the past two-three years have been relatively easy. Smoking bothers me now. I don’t like it. I don’t like to be around it. I still love cigarettes in a weird and twisted way, but I’m glad it is no longer part of my life.

So, cheers to me. I’m very proud of myself.

this is how i know there is something wrong with me

I can admit my faults, and folks, there is definitely something wrong with me.

I’m a big fan of NaBloPoMo… I’ve attempted it about I don’t know, maybe 6 or 7 times. Unfortunately, I’ve never successfully completed the beast. NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month. The idea behind it is to post once a day every single day in the month. November is the “official” month, but people do it every month.

I’m also a fan of NaNoWriMo. That stands for National Novel Writing Month. Last year was the first year I attempted it… and when I say that I attempted it, what I really mean is that I worked hard at it for about a total of 8 days (at most). The idea is similar; you spend 30 days writing a novel. It averages out to about 50,000 words, which is about 1,667 a day.

Have you got the hint as to why there is something majorly wrong with me?
I’m going to attempt them both.

You read that correctly. It is sick, I know, I know. But here is the thing… Actually completing a NaBloPoMo is on my new list of 101 in 1001 goals. So why not at least attempt it in the first full month? And as for NaNoWriMo? Yeah, that is a wild undertaking… Well, I’m going to be upfront about the fact that I am not attempting to write a novel. I am going for the 50,000 words, but 1) it will be all nonfiction and 2) there is a pretty major chance those words will be in essays. I’m pushing myself this month, because my thesis is due in approximately 7 months, and I know that I’m not as prepared as I would like to be. I’m not there yet, and even if I write a horrible 50,000 word draft, I will still be better off than I am right now.

Am I crazy? Absolutely.

But here goes nothing…

been a while…

Hello friends!

So very sorry that it has been so long since I’ve posted on here. Life crept up on me in September and I am still trying to catch up with everything. Last week I announced my graduate school project, The Story Behind the Status,  and I’m glad to say that the reception has been really good. I’ve got a lot of questions and comments about the project. I still need to work on the website a little and post some links, but I’m happy to announce that so far, everything is working out.

So my first 101 in 1001 challenge is officially over. I finished it on 10/1/11. One of my goals was to complete a new 101 goals list, which I am currently working on. My plan was to start challenge #2 on 10/10/11 with a completion date of 7/7/14, but unless I can finish the list by the end of the day, I might have to find a new date to begin.

What I really need to do tonight is organize my life. I have so many things to do. Between work, school and my personal life, I feel as if I have this ridiculous, scary, insurmountable to-do list. It gets worse though, because I don’t actually have all these items written down, which is paramount for me. If it is not written down, then it doesn’t get done. Unfortunately, that is kind of a life motto for me. I survive with the help of lists. If I don’t have them, then it is as my brain/body assumes I have nothing to do.

Both my birthday and Mr. O’s birthday was in September. I promise to share all the juicy details soon, which include batting cages, sickness, waffles and pho.

Also since I’ve last written, I vacationed in Vermont and New Hampshire. Both vacations were short trips, but I think they both deserve their own post. Plus, I take fun photos.

This was the first year I didn’t plan or do floral design for any weddings. I was a bridesmaid in one wedding this year, and a guest at another wedding (both of which were amazing weddings), but I didn’t make any weddings (or special events) happen. I’m not really sure how I feel about this. Part of me feels a little refreshed and relaxed. In the past few years between being in weddings and planning/designing weddings (or both), I got really burnt out. My love for all things event related never went away, but it just took a lot out of me. I do miss it; I enjoy being involved with important moment in people’s lives. Times like this though, I need to realize that I can’t be everywhere, and I can’t do everything. My focus needs to be on school, my relationship, friends and family and work. Everything else that I can fit in to my life is just an added bonus.

Speaking about focusing on school, I will be graduating (hopefully) in 9 months. I’m going to call this new phase my thesis pregnancy. I have 9 months (well technically less, because I need to submit my thesis probably a month or more before graduation) to complete a creative thesis for school. I’m writing a memoir of linked essays. I still don’t understand how I will have a book completed in 9 months, but I’m going to stop worrying about it and start working on it. I do have the freedom to take an extra semester to study, but ideally I want to graduate with my class, and I want to start teaching at the college level. So, I hope you’ll be here for my throughout my thesis gestation period, because I am going to need all the support I can get.

Also, tomorrow I will be posting the next installment of my Defining Moments guest blogging series. You’re not going to want to miss this one!

the life of a (dog)mom

Last night my dog threw up on me. Yes, like literally puked on my sleeping body.

Fenway had been whining a little, but I just ignored it. (Yup, I am that dog mom). The whining wasn’t getting her anywhere, so she tiptoed over to my face and nudged my neck with her wet little nose. Just as I was about to open my eyes, I heard her gag. It was too late for me.

I tried to roll over, but my tired body didn’t respond in time. All of a sudden, my ear and neck were covered in a hot, slimy substance.

Fenway puke.

My poor little pup.

Note: Chunky puke feels quite creepy in your ear.

just thinking…

  • So last week I wrote about a horrible man, whom I thought was a pretty evil character. Mr. O was kind enough to send me this article about an even more horrible human being, so I figured I would share it with you.
  • My MFA Big Brother Phil has put me to shame. When he first started blogging, he asked me if I had any suggestions. My advice was: Write often. Who cares if you think that you have nothing to say, just say anything…eventually you’ll have a lot to say. Well, folks. At this point, Phil’s blog has evolved into what I’d like to call a Rock Star Blog. He’s posting pretty much every day, and people get upset with him when he doesn’t say anything. I think I have to take some of my own advice.
  • Two nights ago I had three wonderful humans come to my house for a writing group. We’re called the Masshole Writers, and I’m so grateful to be part of such a rad team. When we get together we chow down; this time we had a Chinese and Lebanese food buffet. Then we settle into workshop mode and go over each other’s submissions. There are two fiction writers, a poet, and me- the nonfiction writer. It is refreshing to workshop with writers out of your own genre.
  • Woah, I don’t think I made a super amazing announcement on my blog yet! (What the hell is wrong with me?) Porochista Khakpour will be my new faculty mentor for this semester. (Cue the parade and confetti and balloons!) I am F-ing PUMPED, folks. I’ve always admired Porochista, but assumed that because she was hired as a faculty member for the fiction genre, I wouldn’t get the chance to have her as a mentor. Well, this is just another lesson that nothing is impossible. I’m fortunate to be in my 3rd semester now for graduate school, and we spend the majority of the next few months working on a “project.” I needed a spunky, funny, enthusiastic teacher to advise me this semester and Porochista is my gal. I’ll give you details about the project in a future post, because I might even need your help!
  • Mr. O and I want to go on a mini vacation in September, but our choices are very limited. Both of our birthdays are next month, which also happens to be Hurricane Season. So cancel almost all southern states and Caribbean locations. Any suggestions?
  • On Friday, I’ll be attending my last wedding of 2011. I am pretty excited because I have a dark purple dress I have been DYING to wear somewhere. One of my close friends from high school is getting married to a fabulous guy. I’ve heard this is going to be a good time. Can’t wait to find out.

weekly findings

Here are some things that I really liked this week:

One of my greatest, most awesome friends has made her return to blogging, and let me tell you, this is something you definititely want to check out. Michaela is hialrious, intelligent and fantastic. This will make blogging history, folks.

Pinterest. Yup. Anything that has to do with it.

The Pittsburg Steelers coach Ray Horton sold his Mercedes to a cook at the sports complex for $20 before leaving to coach for the Arizona Cardinals. via

Here are some things I didn’t really like at all this week:

This sign a man put up on his front door telling his neighbor to die. Since this story was originally published, this man has tried to apologize many times, but I still think its extremely sad to see such hatred like this. via

The Death of Osama Bin Ladin: A Moment in History

Yesterday Osama Bin Ladin was killed by American troops. Today Americans are celebrating.
I don’t really know how I feel about all of this. Am I happy they “caught” the mastermind behind September 11th? Yes, of course. Can I sit here with a clear conscious and celebrate a man’s murder (even if he is a bad man)? Not really.
No, not after my friend was murdered by a suicide bomber. Where was the patriotism then? We only notice the world around us when it either effects us directly or effects the country as a whole.
I don’t want to sounds as negative as I know I sound right now.  I just wish Americans put more effort into celebrating the lives of American soldiers. I wish families of soldiers who died overseas had more support and love by Americans.
So how do I feel? I don’t really know.

excuses

So, it has almost been an entire month

I’m ashamed. There is no better way to put it. I’ve been avoiding this: the post full of apologies where I try to talk my way out  apparently taking a month off. I do apologize. I’ve missed writing here. I’ve missed reading your comments. I’ve missed composing random blog posts in my head only to forget them later. I’ve missed checking my stats. I’ve missed the freedom to write whatever I feel. I miss typing sentences while I think them, not staring at a computer screen for 20 minutes trying to come up with one “perfect” sentence.

I bet you’re wondering what the hell was so important that kept me from blogging. Nothing. That’s the truth. The great thing about being a writer with a blog, is that you can write whatever you’d like whenever you’d like. There are no requirements, no word counts. I could type one word and click on the Publish button. I can write a 3 sentence post on my phone while waiting in line at the grocery store. So, because all that… I don’t believe that there are very many important things that could literally keep me from blogging.

Over the course of the month, I did have quite a few excuses as to why I couldn’t write on here though. They are:

  • I was tired, so I went to bed instead.
  • I had just finished eating Smartfood popcorn, and I needed to wash my hands.
  • The Celtics were on tv.
  • I was at Mr. O’s house, and I forgot my laptop charger at home.
  • Sometimes typing on the screen of my Droid irritates me. The buttons are weird too.
  • I got in a car accident with a drunk driver, and I needed a few days to mentally recuperate.
  • After I hit the New Post button, I stared at the screen for 5 minutes before I realized I no longer remembered what it was I had planned on writing.
  • Facebook. Enough said.
  • I’ve been really happy spending time with my guy and our friends.
  • I write think about writing so much for school.

I’ll make it up to you guys. Forgive me?

polar bear plunge 2011

I thought y’all deserved to see a few pictures from my first ever Polar Bear Plunge. Will I do it again next year…probably! Can’t believe I didn’t hate it like I thought I would. Instead I actually enjoyed it (kind of).

just in case

Things I should probably remember just in case I break another foot…

  • Do not hop in the shower. I repeat- do not hop in the shower!
  • Give up on even trying to blow-dry your hair. It isn’t going to happen. Not only will you lose your heels for a long time, but your luscious locks are going to look quite dull. Wait…now that I think about it… if you can sit while you dry your hair, you might be able to pull this off.
  • Warm fuzzy socks are a must.
  • If your foot gets freezing cold, put on a thin sock and then wrap it with an ace bandage and then put on a warm fuzzy sock.
  • You will develop the sudden need to do massive shopping, yet not be able to make your way around the store. Enlist some caring friends and provide them with a detailed list. If you don’t, then you’re guaranteed to not get what you want.
  • Just because you can feel where the bone is broken does not mean you should continue to poke and prod it. Eventually you’ll just hurt yourself.
  • Always keep it wrapped while sleeping. It hurts much less to move your foot in the wrong direction while wrapped than it does unwrapped.
  • Plan your trips up and down the stairs accordingly. You are not going to want to go up and down more than necessary.
  • Use the time you have in bed to write, because you certainly didn’t do that this time around.
  • Pretty much EVERYTHING you do has to be altered. Want to make a sandwich? Well, you better take everything out of the fridge at once so that you wont have to walk back and forth. You’re getting a ride to work? Well, make sure you don’t forget your car keys, or you will be locked out of your house. Going to the airport? Umm, how do you plan on walking, carrying your luggage and going through terminals? You get the point.

This list isn’t even a quarter of the way complete yet…

member of the club

Proof that I did the FU MFA Polar bear Plunge:

Ender’s Island- January 1, 2011!

whats my name, again?

I have stitches.

I very well might be taking out my own stitches while I’m away at school.

It will probably happen on New Year’s Eve, the day before I do the Polar Bear Plunge.

I thought about all these facts tonight, and I just realized….

I am pretty damn hardcore. Like I’m pretty much rockstar material. Damn Straight.

I’m still the Trueblood Award Winner until January 5th. I’m gonna keep acting like one until then 😉