Tuesday, July 11, 2017

St. Joseph

Last week was the 4th of July and my birthday. Since our office was closed Monday and Tuesday, I decided to take the whole week off. I don't think I've ever taken Monday through Friday off before.

Monday, I went to Firekeepers casino with my mom and step-dad. I had never been gambling before. We played the penny slots. Took me a bit to get into it, but I found this game that I really liked. I had fun.  I couldn't afford to do it often though. I lost roughly $60.

Tuesday, I went to the gym and watched the fireworks with the family.

Wednesday, I went to the water park in Marion with my mom, niece, and her boyfriend. We had dinner at Wings, Etc. that night. It was a fun day.

My goal for my vacation was to be in the sun and around water as much as possible. I wanted to go to the beach and listen to the water. After asking around, I decided on St. Joseph, MI. It was about a 2.5 hour drive. I got there Thursday around 12:30. I went straight to the beach at Tiscornia Park. I found that this beach was less popular than Silver Beach. Plus, it had a view of a lighthouse. The water was super warm. I ended up sitting in the water and reading my book.




I got hungry, so I packed my stuff up and went to Sch's Grill & Bar. Of course, I had to get the fish tacos. They were good - not great, but good. 


After I ate, I walked around St. Joseph. There are little gift shops. I stopped in at Kilwin's and got chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I then drove back over to Tiscornia Park and stopped at West Basin Marina to walk around and look at the boats. 


I then drove back up to the beach so I could walk down to the lighthouse. Nothing better than feeling like you're right in the middle of the lake with nothing around you. 


I decided to sit in the shade and read my book for a little bit. There were some people that walked around, but otherwise, it was fairly quiet. I read and watched the boats fly by. 

I was loving St. Joseph so much, I didn't want to leave. I got on Facebook and went to nearby places and found a few hotels nearby. One had horrible reviews. I found a bed & breakfast that had great reviews. I walked back to my car and drove to the bed & breakfast. I went inside and asked if they had a room.  They had one room left and I took it! I paid, went to my room, and immediately took a shower. Thankfully, they had shampoo and body wash in the shower and they both smelled amazing! I put my dress back on and went down to the patio, with my book, and this view. Could you just die? 


Here's a picture of the patio I was sitting on. I felt like I was just hanging out at a friend's house. There were two couples sitting out there and they were both really nice. 


Another view of the Inn.


And....the beginning of the sunset. It was breathtaking. No amount of pictures could capture this view (even though I tried). 




I watched the sunset, went back up to the patio, read some more, and then went to my room. 

The next morning, I went downstairs for breakfast and back to this view. Could you imagine waking up to this every morning? 


St. Joseph was seriously one of the coolest places I've ever been. It was absolutely beautiful.  I will be going back and soon! 

Oh, the inn was called South Cliff Inn. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hope is out of my reach

I can't believe I haven't put anyone on blast for over a year and a half! I love documenting these stories because I seriously could not make them up.

Sunday, I went to a charity golf event. I had a blast. I met a lot of people and unbeknownst to me, a lot of people I went to high school with. A few Facebook friend requests were exchanged with some of the people from the event.  

Yesterday, I got an email from one of the guys. He sent me a message on Facebook and we went back and forth and then things started to get a little flirtatious. Naturally, being the stalker that I am, I had already checked out his Facebook and it said he was single. After realizing that he had several kids (all very young and clearly all related) and was a few years younger than me, I found it odd that he was single. After looking through pictures on Facebook, I figured out who the mom is to his children. I clicked on her profile and both her profile picture and cover picture are of their family (him included). Her relationship status was either blocked, or empty because it didn't say anything. We ended up exchanging numbers in the meantime and started texting. I finally hinted around to his relationship status. He told me that him and the girl live together, love their children very much, and they were the best of friends. I asked if he was married and he said "No, ma'am." I asked him if his children's mom read our text messages if she would be upset. He said, "She's a woman. So, yes." Whether she's a woman or not, that was the only answer I needed. Don't get me wrong, I had no intention of pursuing it further even IF they are really just friends.  Their cohabitation is just not something I want to insert myself into.  The fact that both of her pictures on Facebook are of their family confirmed she's still invested in this relationship. Needless to say, I stopped texting him and deleted the thread on my phone.

I had dinner last night with a girlfriend and told her the story. I said, part of me wants to put a status update on Facebook telling people that online dating hasn't worked for me, I don't go out much, but I'm looking for a single guy and does anyone know of someone. She has a boyfriend, but all of his friends are married. She texted a girlfriend of hers who knows a lot of people and her response was that she knew a few single guys, but wouldn't set me up with them. She texted another girlfriend and she had the same response.

It's hard to have hope when things like this happen.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Depression, Anxiety, and Power

Depression can be hard to talk about and most definitely embarrassing. I guess for me, I don't want people to have this misconception about me if I tell them I am depressed. I imagine people thinking I'm a wind up doll in one of those anti-depressant commercials. HA!


I'm big on inspirational quotes and have had my fair share of "ah ha" moments. The ones I struggle with most, are the quotes that read similar to this one... 


Is it that simple to choose to be happy even if you suffer from depression? I definitely think there are situations that I can choose to be happy about, or grateful for. On a day-to-day basis though, I struggle with the element of happiness.  No matter how many pep talks I give myself, I just can't get there. I think that goes along with finding a purpose in life which I am still searching for. Certainly, there's more to life than work and household chores. As I've gotten older and more aware of my feelings, I can appreciate those days when mentally I feel good.  Those days may be minimal, but I have them and am grateful.  

Unlike with depression, I can normally pinpoint why I am feeling anxious.  Is it preventable? I'm beginning to think that some of the time it is.  I have come to agree with this quote... 
"If you are depressed you are living in the past.  If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present." 
Having read this quote over and over, it took me a long time to realize that it is, in fact true. If I am anxious, it is because I am thinking about the future. It may be because I am dreading work, an obligation I have, or a conversation.

Depression makes me feel lethargic.  Anxiety gives me high energy. Yesterday, I had horrible anxiety. I went to the gym and hit a personal record on the stair stepper and then worked out with my trainer. I never could have done that without the added energy from the anxiety. Anxiety makes me want to push harder and sweat more so I don't have to feel anything.  As soon as I stop moving, I am fully aware of my anxiety again. While I hate feeling anxious, it can be a blessing at the gym.

I have a hard enough time keeping my mood swings in check that I have got to stop giving other people the power to dictate my mood. That power can sometimes change my mood in a mere instant. What bothers me the most is that I often give this power to people I don't care about. I struggle with this mostly at work. I do think a lot of it is my personality. Perhaps letting shit go comes with age? Maybe I've not yet found the right tools that work for me to deal? Of course, there are some days when what may have bothered me today does not bother me tomorrow. I realize I can't control other people's actions and my surroundings at all times (i.e. at work with my co-workers).What I do know is that I need to start controlling the situations that I can. I need to stop putting myself around people that I know will take that power from me.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

International Women’s Day

I did not participate in the Women's March earlier this year.  I'm not even sure Fort Wayne had a March. I would have had to take off work to travel to Chicago, or perhaps Indy. Although, I can't say I would have taken off work because the photos I saw of the March's around the Country were crazy. I love that all these women came together, but I probably would have had a panic attack.

I don't consider myself a Feminist. Yes, I believe women should have equal pay. Yes, I think women should have a say in their bodies. I just don't have a desire to participate in a March or devote my life to fighting for it.

Yesterday was International Women's Day and "A Day Without a Woman." Here's the notion:
On International Women's Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity. 
 In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women's March, we join together in making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system--while receiving lower wages and experiencing great inequities. We believe in gender justice. 
Like I said before, I'm not a Feminist and perhaps someone could enlighten me on the impact A Day Without a Woman had on our society. From my perspective, I feel like that is the exact opposite of what us women should be doing to make our point. Why not empower women to get an education and teach them to take care of themselves instead of relying a man to do it? Teach women that they can do anything they dream.

I admit I am a bit naive when it comes to equal pay. In my field, I am the majority. You do not find many men that are Paralegals or Legal Assistants. My pay is based on the firm I work for and my experience. Not to mention the city I live in.  Now if I were a lawyer or doctor I would probably run into more equal pay issues. I guess for me, I'm more concerned about the money I am making versus the money someone else is making. If I can take care of myself then why do I care what others are making? I definitely think I am underpaid compared to all of my friends who I graduated with (who are all women). However, I work for one attorney. They work for a firm with several attorneys. I can't compare apples to oranges.

I just don't agree with the message that yesterday could send to my teenage niece or my 11 year old niece.  We don't like how something is being done, so take the day off work. That's not the real world. That's not an effective solution.

I would love to hear from you if you did participate in A Day Without a Woman. What impact do you think it made?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lauren Graham a/k/a Lorelei Gilmore and all their wonderfulness

Anyone else like to write down their favorite quotes or highlight a favorite excerpt from a book? My Gratitude Journal has turned into a place where I write all of my favorite quotes. This blog has also been a source for me to keep my favorite excerpts from books. In my blog which you can read here, I quote an excerpt about depression. When I read The Secret, I made a lot of notes so that I could go back and re-read what I thought I may need reminded of in the future. 

I started reading Lauren Graham's book Talking As Fast As I Can. I was SO excited to read her book. She writes like she talks. Or, at least how Lorelei talks in Gilmore Girls. The first few chapters were not as great as I hoped. I got to the chapter titled 'Before My REI Card - Some Thoughts on Being Single.' The premise of this chapter is her being single and looking up one day and realizing all of her friends were married with children. She says "You guys, who's free for dinner Saturday? Oh, absolutely no one?" (I feel ya, Lauren. Let's do dinner.) She met her now boyfriend, Peter Krause (aka her brother, Adam on Parenthood) five years earlier at an awards show where they held hands walking out on stage and not knowing what their future held. On the set of Parenthood they clicked and started dating. Here's what she has to say: 
Last week I opened the car door and one of Peter's golf balls rolled out and onto the street, and I thought, there was a time when this would have been a very big deal. Today my car not only has random golf balls in it, but also khaki-colored sun hats that resemble those worn by beekeepers, an assortment of bandanas, those sunglasses that are only meant to be used as protective eyewear during a racquet sport, and dogeared paperback books of poetry.  Now I take these items for granted. Back then, a man's golf ball rolling out of my car would have prompted frenzied calls to my girlfriends: "He left a golf ball in the car. He just left it there. What does it mean? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Should I text him about it? I SHOULD, right? He's probably looking ALL OVER FOR IT." I wish I'd enjoyed my single days more and spent my free time reading or becoming a better photographer or something, and not worried so much about the meaning of golf balls. 
Because here's the thing: I was fine on my own, and so are you. But it can be hard when you feel ready for Happy Couplehood and you seem to have missed the train. As my friend Oliver Platt used to say to me about hopes and dreams I'd share with him: "It's coming, just not on your time frame." I find this a helpful reminder in any number of ways: not only when you're hoping to meet someone, but also when you're waiting for a better job or for some relief during a bleak time.  When Peter and I held hands that night all those years ago, I had no idea we'd end up shopping at REI together one day. It might have been nice if he could have turned to me and said: "Look, tonight isn't the time, but we're going to leave here and learn a bunch of things that are going to make this work approximately five years from now--see you then!" But life doesn't often spell things out for you or give you what you want exactly when you want it, otherwise it wouldn't be called life, it would be called vending machine. 
It's hard to say exactly when it will happen, and it's true that whatever you're after may not drop down the moment you spend all your quarters, but someday soon a train is coming. In fact, it may already be on the way. You just don't know it yet.
I felt like Lauren wrote that to me personally. Love her as Lorelei Gilmore and love her even more as Lauren Graham.

I think back to when I met Joey for the first time and then when I met him the second time which is when we started dating. I have never been able to figure out if it was months or even a year between our encounters. It does however along with what Lauren said, give me hope that my journey thus far has only been setting me up for my future journey. And that gives me a little sliver of hope that things will work out just as God intended.

a little bit of this and a little bit of that

How am I supposed to be a world famous blogger, if I don't blog at least a few times a week? I'm slacking. In my world though if I'm not blogging, that probably means shit is going OK.

It's tax season which means it's time to start redecorating. I've gotten into makeup a lot more over the last few months. I blame Snapchat. I started loving lipstick because the filters would give you different colors to "try" out and I noticed I kinda look like a rock star.


My friend Jessica's beauty room that she has at her house has also given me some inspiration.

Photo cred to Jessica M. 
My new obsessions are lipsticks (matte please), blush (that you can actually see I'm wearing), and highlighter. Still not a fan of anything to do with my eyes. Mostly because my hands shake like I'm coming off a five day crack bender so it's tough for me to put on eyeliner. (Side noteI just smashed two of my fingers in the filing cabinet at work. I wasn't sure if I was going to pass out or throw up from the pain. Either way, I doubt I'll be able to master that cat eye now.)

My first remodel was to do something with my black and gold room. When I moved in almost two years ago, I had a secretary desk that was my grandma's, a toy box from when I was a kid, and an IKEA bookshelf. On more than one occasion people have asked "what is this room for?" Shit, I don't know.

Secretary desk and toy box.

Toy box and IKEA bookshelf.
I wanted to be able to utilize this room more. Naturally, I turned to Facebook and found this amazing desk/vanity for only $190! I found this cute stool for $35 (Facebook find too). I got a vanity mirror (Target), and a few knickknacks (Hobby Lobby and Target) to sit on it. I went to Hobby Lobby and got all the cute stuff to hang above it.  The room feels a bit warmer now and I can sit and do my makeup in the morning.


I had a little bit of excitement on Sunday at my house. I went to leave at about 11:50 to run to Kroger. The door to the garage was open, so I walked out in the garage to see if I could see Jamison. I came back inside and got treats out because he'll come running inside if he hears the treats. He didn't come so naturally I figured he was back in the bedroom. I ran to Kroger and came home. Jamison was not around which is not normal because he's always with me. He likes to help me do everything. I started looking around for him and couldn't find him. My thought was that he was in the garage when I left for Kroger and now he's outside. I went out back and called his name.  No Jamison. I walked around the block. I went back inside and looked in every drawer, box spring, and cabinet. I got out plates for their wet cat food because he goes crazy when it's time to eat. I had the screen door open and was rubbing the plates together so he could hear me. No Jamison. I texted my mom and she came over. She went through the house again including the stove, refrigerator, and freezer. No Jamison. We both started walking around the neighborhood calling his name and shaking bags of food and treats. No Jamison. After about 2.5-3 hours, I came inside and started cutting up potatoes for soup. I put food and water out back and on the front porch. My mom left around 3:00 I think and drove around the block before heading home. My dad and step-mom then came over and looked through the house some more. My dad even went out in the garage and looked inside my car. They left and still no Jamison. I decided to drive around the block down the main roads to make sure he had not been hit by a car. I showered and ate dinner. I kept checking the back door and front door for him. I called out his name. Shook the plates some more. At 7:00 (7 hours later), I hear scratching. I fly off the couch and go to the back door thinking he'll be standing there. Nope. I keep hearing scratching though. I open the door to the garage and this asshole comes running inside. I started crying. SO happy to see him. Then it dawned on me that he was inside my car. Not inside chilling in the front seat. But, up inside my car. Yes, the engine. Which means he was in the engine while I drove to Kroger and around the block. They say cats have nine lives. I called my mom, dad, and sister to tell them he was "home." He's lucky he's cute. Longest 7 hours ever! 





Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Purpose

Have you ever had a kid ask you the meaning of a word and you know what it means, but you just don't know how to describe it? I'm no stranger to Googling the most simplest words just so that I can see a simple, clear-cut explanation of what it means.

For instance. I'm sure we all know what purpose means. It could be defined several ways depending on the use. If used as a noun, it means the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. If used as a verb, it means have as one's intention or objective. 

What gives you purpose? What makes you roll over, turn off the alarm clock, push back the sheets, and roll out of bed? Is it your spouse? Kids? Pets? Work? School?

The purpose of going to work is to make money to pay bills and eat. What's the purpose of life though? What's the reason for which we live? Is my purpose to get up 5 days a week to go to work, be surrounded by people I don't necessarily enjoy, and do a job that I don't necessarily dislike or love? Is my purpose to clean my house every weekend and do laundry?

For a lot of people, my guess is that their purpose is their children. When your children get older and move out, do you find a new purpose?

I need to find a purpose for getting up everyday. I need to find things to look forward to in life. I need to laugh and have fun.

Again, I ask. What gives you purpose?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

No One Knows Why Love Picks Some People and Not Others

Last night, I was watching The Holiday on Lifetime. There was a preview for a new movie with Meagan Goode. In the preview they said, "no one knows why love picks some people and not others." Uh, thanks, Lifetime. If that's not the most depressing thing I've heard.

Do I think that perhaps love is not in the cards for me? Absolutely. I think it often. I don't need to hear that love will find me when it's supposed to. Or, it'll happen when I least expect it. That's shit people say to make others feel better. It's like saying "everything happens for a reason" when something shitty happens. Those words might have worked when I was in my first year or two of being single. Not when I'm in my 11th year of being single. (No. I'm not exaggerating on the 11 years.)

You know those movies where the guy and girl fall in love and then one of them dies? It's the couples that have the greatest love, or they just met after years of searching. The first movie that comes to mind is A Walk to Remember. Mandy Moore and Chad Michael Murray (no relation to me) go to high school together.  Mandy is the nerd and Chad is the popular guy. They end up falling in love all while Mandy knows she's dying of cancer. Once Chad finds out, he stays with her to the end. In fact, they end up getting married.

I have thought that once I do find the love that I have been so desperately seeking, that maybe my time will be cut short by one of us dying like Mandy and Chad's.  Until recently, it had not dawned on me that this already happened to me. No, seriously. I just had this revelation within the past month or so. I have been meaning to blog about it, but it is a bit morbid. (This is the shit that runs through my mind.)  Maybe Joey was my one love and our time was cut short because he was sick. I realize him and I were not officially boyfriend and girlfriend when he passed away. However, he was my best friend and I will always carry him in my heart.

I just pray that if God does bring love into my life again, that I can enjoy it for years to come. I feel like all this waiting may lead me to something great and I don't want it taken away.

I will say this though. Dear Lifetime: I don't accept that love does not pick everyone. You're an asshole for saying that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Over Sensitive Ass

I so wish I was one of those people that could just brush shit off. I'm very sensitive and take everything personal. Here's a great article that talks about habits of highly sensitive people. This article explains me better than I could probably explain myself.

Being emotionally reactive is definitely something I don't like about myself. I can go from 1 to 100 in an instant all while telling myself it's not that serious. Telling myself to calm down, to not take things personally, and asking why I am so sensitive does not help at all. Deep breaths, Rachel.

I like to think that I am good at reading people. I definitely don't give respect to many and I adore few. I wish I would have kept a journal over the years where I work of all the times my requests or questions went unanswered. I would and still do to this day get physically upset at my emails going unanswered. I cannot handle being ignored. I am not talking about maybe a day or two. I'm talking unanswered forever. This caused me to lose respect for some (among other reasons). What's that quote - "It's not the job that people leave, it's the management." I have worked at 5 law firms and I can honestly say that I left 2 of those law firms because of management.

I could give a million examples of shit that has gone on, but what prompted this blog was the issue of our Christmas party. Over the years, we have gone out for our Christmas party. We have also had a Christmas party here at the office. The last couple of years, I was not able to go because I worked a second job. The one year, the party started at 8:00. I got off work at 8:00 and was not going to go to a party after working 12.5 hours. Last year, the party was on a night I worked as well. I thought it was odd that an office our size (three support staff and three attorneys) never coordinated a date for the party. But, I have to say, I didn't mind having to work. Life is too short to spend an evening with people who you just don't enjoy their company.

I thought it was odd that it's the second week in December and an email has not been sent yet about the Christmas party. I thought I had heard that one of the attorneys was going out of town, so I presumed that we wouldn't be having a party. However, I thought it would be common fucking courtesy that an email be sent explaining that because this attorney was going out of town (or for whatever reason), the office was not having a Christmas party this year. Like I said before, I've been here 6 years and there's always been a party.  Well today, I got my "courtesy" email. I was told that the receptionist would be taken to lunch and it would be ideal for me to grab the phones for a half hour and listen for clients. This email was sent less than 3 hours before this lunch was going to happen. Naturally, if I wasn't able to help out, the phones would be shut off and the office locked. After 6 years, this is how the Christmas party is going to play out? Mmm. OK.

I realize my attitude towards people at work is pretty shitty. It's warranted I feel. I've distanced myself from the others in this office due to them caring about themselves only and due to people not being mindful of others around them. You ever see those movies where a kid is bullied, but the teachers never see it? Then, in the middle of the hallway one day, the bullied snaps and hauls off and kicks the bully's ass? Of course every teacher, counselor, and even the principal see it. That's how I feel. I'm treated like shit and yet when I lose my cool (or refuse to be a team player) because as stated above, I'm highly sensitive and take shit too personally, then I look like the crazy one losing my shit.

Any tools you use for not letting things get to you? How do you cope with not being able to brush things off? Or, how are you able to brush things off? I'm open to suggestions.

Monday, December 12, 2016

To My 18 Year Old Self

I remember when International Business College came to my high school and talked about their programs in hopes to recruit students. I have no idea what drew me in to wanting to be a Paralegal. Wouldn't it be nice to go back and give your 18 year old self advice on choosing a career? My advice would be: 1. Depending on your personality, choose a career that either allows you to work with people, or that allows you to work alone. 3. Is there a demand for your job? 4. Research the average income for your job and especially within the area you'll be living.  5. Most importantly, choose something that you know you can live with every single day.

I remember back in high school (which I've recently calculated was 18 years ago), I swore I was going to move to Chicago, become a judge, and live in the condos on the lake. Along the way, I lost that ambition. Maybe reality set in and I just realized that I'd have to go to law school (I never wanted to do) which would be more student loans. Plus, the cost of living in Chicago is ridiculous not to mention the cost to live on the lake.

I know I'm not alone when I say come Sunday evening, I could break out in tears at the thought of having to go back to work on Monday. I don't know that I necessarily dislike my job, but I don't love it either. When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher.  At one time, I was obsessed with killer whales and wanted to be a marine biologist, or a trainer at Sea World. 

If I had to pick my dream job now, I would be a professional organizer or a writer. Not a book writer. I'd be a blogger or columnist for an online site. I would definitely be my own boss and have the ability to work from home. 

I know it's life and we have to work (accept for those few asshats that don't). It's just unfortunate that so much of our lives is spent doing something we don't like. In my case I struggle more with spending so much of my time with people I don't like. 

am 37 years old so I've got a good 28 years or so left to work. Unless of course, I meet a rich man and then don't have to work. 

Can I be a paralegal another 28 years?

Monday, December 5, 2016

be mindful

Almost two years ago, I discovered The Untethered Soul. This book introduced me to mindfulness. A few weeks ago, I picked up Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You From Anxiety. I'm hoping this book can help me with the meditation process. I'll keep you posted on that. The first time I tried it, I wasn't a fan.

When my mind is going a million miles a minute, I try to remind myself to mindful of what I'm thinking about and dial it back in. It doesn't always work, but sometimes it does along with taking a deep breath. I really want to work on being mindful of the present. I am always so focused on the next minute and the next day, that I don't think I am ever really present in the moment.

A while ago, I got happiness and gratitude tattooed on my arm as a reminder to be grateful everyday and that happiness is not a destination, but a journey. Over the weekend, I got an arrow tattooed on my arm with the saying "be mindful." Hopefully, this will be a great reminder for me as well.

Check it out...(Sorry for the glare. It's got a saran wrap type cover on it.)



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Free Legal Advice

I've always said the reason I started my blog is because no one would believe the stories I have about dating. Plus, I can't possibly remember them all. 


I've definitely done my fair share of online dating. None of which has ever worked out for me. I'm not on any dating sites now. Off and on, I'll get on Tinder and just see who pops up. Other than that, I've gotten away from any online dating.

Last month I was messaging this guy back and forth.  Here's our conversation (I'm the blue color and he's the gray):


I knew his comment about me being his lawyer was an attempt at flirting which you can see I didn't play in to. People seriously have no shame. Asking a complete fucking stranger who just happens to be a Paralegal how to go about filing for bankruptcy was lame.  Perhaps something happened that has put him into a position to have to file bankruptcy. i.e. divorce, medical bills. So, I do hate to jump to conclusions that he simply just can't keep his shit together. But, either way, you don't ask someone to point you in the right direction after having only spoken to them for all of two minutes. Shortly after this conversation happened, I think we moved onto how many kids each of us has. His response to me not having any was something to the effect of, "It's just not realistic to think that anyone can be in a relationship and not have kids." And, I'm done.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Back to School

Today's Google search: "dreaming about being lost in school."

Does anyone else dream about being back in school? Mine have been frequent lately. Without fail, I'm always lost. The school is ginormous and the hallways are endless with numbers that don't seem to go in sequence. The last dream I had similar to this, I was trying to find lunch with Khloe Kardashian. Last night, I couldn't find my class after leaving to go to the bathroom and I had left my backpack at my desk. There were two girls that I went to high school with in this dream. There was also a salesman that I worked with at Don Ayres in this dream. The one girl liked the boy from Don Ayres and he liked her too. But, I was certain that if she'd get out of the way, he'd like me. HA!

In my Google search I found that dreaming about being back in school is actually very common. Here's one article I found about Dream Interpretation. It said:
Dreaming Lens:  How do you feel about being back in this time period?  Are you experiencing anxiety or nostalgia for days gone by?  Are you experiencing yourself as noticed or invisible; stuck or safe?  Are you with present-day friends, or your high school circle?
Personal Focus:  The primary symbolic meaning for this image is deeply connected to your own personal experience of this period in your life.  In a general sense, high school is where most of us learned life lessons of responsibility, sexual identity as well as where we built the foundation for the directions we took as grownups.  However, the overall experience of this turbulent time varies from person to person and can range from fun and joyous to excruciatingly painful.  When you dream of high school in a dream, your unconscious is expressing emotional issues that have their root at this time in your history.
As a common dream, most people experience this related to performance anxiety.  High school represents the first time as individuals that most people are faced with a level of responsibility that is most like what we deal with in the adult world.  When our current lives spark insecurity about our readiness to face life’s tests, we may express unconscious fears by returning unprepared to this time and suffer the humiliation of being lost, not knowing the schedule, not being ready for an exam, or even finding ourselves naked.
The lessons faced in adolescence were, for some, accompanied by mistakes being cleared up for us by parents or other authority figures.  As such, this dream image could indicate an unconscious wish to have the burden of adult responsibilities magically disappear as if someone else could handle them for us.  If the dream is uncomfortable, look to present stressors that may feel burdensome in the same way you felt as a teenager.  The pressure to perform at certain levels is a major theme of the high school experience.  This may be revealing issues of performance anxiety in your current life.  Inherent in this image is the fear of facing the expectations that others may have of you.  Examine your current life for issues of this nature and you will be well on your way to an accurate interpretation.
Here's another good one about being back at school.

Stress Dream: Back at School and Can’t Find Your Class or Locker

To be fair, there are tons of variations of the back-at-school dream, so I conducted a poll on my Facebook fan page to find out which variation is the most common. Not being able to find your class or locker came in at number one. Almost all back-at-school dreams can be connected to job stress; however, the one where you can’t find your class or locker is more specifically connected to the stress of not being where you feel you should be in your career or job. Your locker is your place at school because it is designated for just you, and your class is where you need to be and show up on time. When you can't find your locker or your class in a dream, it's a good indication you are feeling uncertain of your place at work or even uncertain of your career choice. In these dreams we tend to feel the pressure of finding our locker and getting to our class before the bell rings. That’s the slippery element of time showing up in our dreams again, which suggests we feel time is running out on us in real life, and we need to get ourselves where we need to be in the career department before it’s too late.  
These could not be more spot on. While I like my job, I do not feel secure. Why? Because I have not had insurance since 2009. It is not offered where I work and is simply too expensive for me to obtain on my own. Also, I am no where near where I think I should be salary wise. I continue to look for employment, but it is really hard to find a place that offers everything I believe I am worth.

In the second article it says "In these dreams we tend to feel the pressure of finding our locker and getting to our class before the bell rings. That's the slippery element of time showing up in our dreams again, which suggests we feel time is running out on us in real life, and we need to get ourselves where we need to be in the career department before it's too late."

I don't know that I think it's too late for me to get where I need to be in my career. I almost feel like I am right where I need to be to finally start making what I am worth. However, I do find the time element true in my love life. When I think that I will be 40 in three years, it does scare me that I have not found someone to share my life with.

I will say that every article I read said that dreaming about being lost relates to having anxiety in your life. As if I needed my subconscious to tell me that.

Anyone else have reoccurring dreams and looked up their meaning?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal.

In January, I started taking boxing classes with a trainer. I have wanted to do boxing for as long as I can remember. I don't think most people took me seriously. I am the epitome of laziness. After boxing for roughly five months, I decided that I wanted to get to the gym more than just one day a week. I needed to get stronger. Now, my plan is to go to the gym every night after work. There are weeks where I go four nights and there are weeks I only go two nights. Usually, those slacker weeks are because I've started my period. Now that I have been going more, I absolutely love it. Yes, there are days I go and I really don't want to be there. One thing is for sure. You never regret going to the gym.

When I first started going, I noticed this stair stepper that I said on multiple occasions you could not pay to do. Check out this monstrosity of a machine.


I could tell when I was boxing, my arms were getting stronger from lifting weights. Now my legs clearly needed some work. Just walking on the treadmill was not cutting it. I tried a few leg machines, but a few of them killed my knee. One day, I finally decided to try the death trap/stair stepper. The first day, I told myself I would do just 5 minutes. I knew I wouldn't be able to do more than that. I was right, because I lasted 3 minutes. I was still proud of myself for trying something new. Everyday, I added a minute. I hit my goal of 10 minutes. Which by the way, is roughly 300 steps. I talked with my trainer and asked if I should increase the speed, or the minutes. She said minutes -- get to 20 minutes she said. Last week, I increased a minute each day. Since I slacked last week, I only got up to 12 minutes. Monday, I went and my plan was to do 13 minutes. For some reason, I kept going and I hit my goal of 20 minutes! I couldn't believe it. I did it again yesterday (615 steps!).


When I left the gym on Monday, I was so proud of myself and happy that I had reached what at one time I thought was an impossible goal.

Yesterday, I read this on Facebook...


While I am patting myself on the back for my accomplishments in the gym, I find comfort in reading that if I continue to set goals, it will become a source of happiness for me. My blog after all is called Happiness is not a destination, but a journey. While shopping for things such as clothes, purses, jewelry, and now my new found obsession lip stick/gloss does make me happy, it's short lived. Finding happiness in people just hasn't worked for me over the years.

My new goal is to increase my speed on the stair stepper and get back to 20 minutes.

What goals do you have?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Joey

Earlier this week I had another one of my dreams about Joey. I just went back and read through my blogs to see how often I've talked about this. I think the first post I found I was in 2011.

Yesterday, I attended a showing for a young man who lost his life to CFRD (CF Related Diabetes). I had met his dad years ago when doing the Great Strides Walk. When I got to the showing, two of the woman from the CF office in Indy were just leaving. How great of them to drive up for the showing? We got to talking and I told them I had a reoccurring dream about Joey. They said I should try to figure out what it means. I've always told myself that even though the reoccurring dream is not necessarily a happy one, at least I get to see Joey every so often in my dreams. But, the more I've been thinking about it over the last few days, the more it's been bothering me. If I haven't mentioned it before, or if you haven't read about it before, the dream is always the same concept. I somehow come to find out that Joey is alive (and I'm not sure that's even the right word). He's always very sick. He either won't answer my calls or texts and when I try to see him he blows me off. I always have this deep desire to be with him, but he doesn't want to see me. The dream never has an ending. Never. 

I have no idea what this means. The only thing I can come up with is that perhaps I feel guilty for not being there more when he got really sick. While I was reading back through my blogs, I found one titled "Sleepless in Fort Wayne." I remember writing that from my computer desk in my apartment. Joey was really sick and was on a ventilator. In that blog I ask if he wonders why I'm not there. I had always tried to be there as often as I could. I don't think I feel guilty about not being there in his final days. I was there when he passed away. But, maybe my subconscious feels differently. If I wrote that blog years ago when he was still alive, maybe deep down I do feel bad for not being there more. I honestly don't know. 

I miss him so much today it hurts. It's so hard for me to cry because I'm truly afraid if I start, I won't be able to stop. 

I went back and looked through some old photos of us tonight and I can't look him in the eyes in the pictures. It hurts too much. When I look at the pictures, I feel both happiness and sadness. There is a lot of hurt for me in those photos. I see someone who I loved deeply, but also someone who I fought with often because he would prefer to be at the club than with me. Even though Joey and I were together, a lot of times, I still felt alone. Either because he was in the hospital, or because he was out at the club. I am a different person than I was 11 years ago when Joey and I were together. I don't remember ever not wanting to be with Joey because he was sick. We fought because he wanted to be out all the time. I just hope I never ever ever made him feel like I didn't want to be with him because he was sick. I also hope he knows that I loved him then and I love him now. If he ever felt like I wasn't there for him, I'm sorry. I did the best that I knew how then. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Follow-up

This is a follow-up to the Loneliness post I wrote yesterday.  An article popped up on my Facebook timeline titled "You will find love the day you finally stop searching for it." Here's the link.  

Telling someone who has been single for over 10 years that they'll find love once they stop searching for it is like telling someone with anxiety to just calm down. In both of these cases, I can assure you that saying this does not help. Of course, in 10 years I have thought about finding love. Some days more than others as I stated yesterday in my post. There are times that I don't think about it at all. Is it exhausting and frustrating to constantly wonder if every guy I meet is the 'one?' Absolutely. I think when you've been single over 10 years and are 37 years old as I am, you can't help but wonder if he is the 'one.' That doesn't mean that I am trying on wedding dresses or picking out a ring after the first date.

Now some of the article I do agree with. I do agree that it'll happen when it's supposed and that it will be unexpected. But, isn't that the case for just about everything in life?

I already know why it didn't work out with previous guys. I think once you step back and assess the relationship, it's quite obvious. That doesn't mean that there are some guys that I hoped it would have worked out with. But, I can identify why it didn't.

I 110% agree that all this time I have been single, it's allowed me to focus on myself and grow. I guess what bothers me about some of this is that I can understand if someone was saying this to me, or I was reading this article after only having been single a few months or a year. I have been single for over 10 years. I mean how much personal development and life growth does one person need? That's why I keep saying God must not think I am done growing or learning what He is trying to teach me.

If I had to guess, God doesn't think I am done learning how to love myself and to stop being so self-critical of my thoughts and feelings. That is why I am in therapy. I struggle so much with whether or not my thoughts and feelings are normal. What is normal?

In short, I do agree with much of the article. It's just not feasible to not be looking for love when you have been single as long as I have. It's always going to be in the back of my mind. Always.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Loneliness

Friday night, I went to dinner and to the mall with my two older nieces. Afterwards, we were sitting at my house and Morgan asked me if I ever get scared staying home alone. She had stayed there a few nights while I was in California and that's why she was asking me. One of them proceeded to ask me if I ever get lonely and the other followed up saying they would get lonely being home alone all the time.

Last year I was having dinner with my friend April and her daughter before heading to see the final movie in The Hunger Games series. At dinner, April's daughter says that Katniss reminds her of me. She said, we looked a like and we both liked being by alone.

I realize this is the perception I give and thus what people see. Yes, I like my alone time and yes, I like living alone. Do I get lonely? Absolutely. But, not in the way that I need to be around people in general. I don't crave human interaction with just anyone. I can always go hang out with family. I crave the interaction with a man and not physical, but emotional.  I go through spurts where the feeling of loneliness is so consuming, exhausting, and close to debilitating. This past week has been one of those spurts. Being single is on my mind 24/7. I've heard and read all the quotes (so don't start preaching).  When you stop looking that's when it'll happen. It'll happen when it's supposed to. Blah blah blah. There are definitely times when I don't think about it at all. I can't tell you how grateful I am for those days/weeks/months. It's so refreshing.

Despite my tears and prayers, God obviously has a plan for me. I often question though if he's trying to send me a message that I'm just not picking up on. Maybe there's something he's trying to teach me and I just haven't learned yet.

I do wish I had more girlfriends to hang out with. I realize that it is probably my fault. It's hard for me to find a girlfriend that I truly enjoying hanging out with. A lot of times, if someone has a lot of drama going on in their life, I can't just let that be their drama. I allow it to become my drama and my problem. All of the girlfriends I do have, have kid(s) and boyfriends/husbands. During the school year, it's especially hard to hang out with my friends who have kids because their schedules are so full of homework and extracurricular activities.

Saturday, all I wanted to do was go to a bar, eat, and watch the Notre Dame game. So much so that I went to a local bar and did just that -- by myself. I watched the 2nd and 3rd quarter and ate a cheeseburger. Was it fun? Nope. Not at all. In fact, doing things alone only makes me feel lonelier.

I have realized over the past 4 months that I am open to dating guys that I didn't think I would be.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I can't think of a title for this blog

I've lived in Fort Wayne my whole life. My entire immediate family is here. I, myself, do not have children which would essentially make it that much easier for me to move anywhere I wanted. My best friend lives in California. My mom and step-dad wouldn't hesitant to move to Florida if it weren't for my grandma being here in a nursing home. My sister and her husband would move south, I believe to Texas. I'm not sure about my other sister or dad and step-mom. Despite always wanting to live in Chicago, I have never really thought about moving. I always tell people I couldn't move away from my family. However, most of my family wouldn't hesitate to move. Sometimes I wonder if that's just an excuse I use when in reality, I'm too scared to move. Or, perhaps too lazy. Ha! I've had people (men mostly) tell me over the years that I need to step outside my box. I need to step outside my comfort zone. Without fail, I get extremely defensive and upset during these conversations. Why? Is it because I am truly happy and content living in Fort Wayne and they just can't see it? Or, is it because somewhere deep down I know they're right. I truly do not know the answer to this question. Maybe because multiple people have said this to me, I am starting to believe them.

Someone said to me today they don't want to be on their death bed regretting the things they did not do. I don't want to be on my death bed looking back at how unhappy I was. Is that the same thing? Maybe if I stepped outside my box and comfort zone, I would surprisingly find happiness.

I need to call my therapist tomorrow.

California (9/1-9/6)

I just got back from an amazing trip to California to visit my BFFF. Lots of sunshine which is evident by my sunburn and peeling. But, so worth it!



The first day, we went straight to Yolanda's which is this amazing Mexican restaurant. Not to mention the view isn't too shabby. 



Later that evening, we went to the beach and walked in the sand and watched the sunset. The weather there is my perfection. No a.c. needed and no humidity! 






The second day we went kayaking and to the beach (I got burnt). OH EM GEE! Most amazing experience ever. Pictures nor words can explain how peaceful and beautiful it was.





We even got to see seals sunbathing! 



The third day, we had lunch at Sea Fresh. Again, the view was amazing. 


had jumbo shrimp cocktail and fish tacos. 




After lunch, we went kayaking again. The kayaks were uber uncomfortable at this place, the water was a little more rough, and the channel was super busy so we didn't stay out as long. But, still beautiful.  


After kayaking, we went to a bar and sat on the patio. I had cheesecake and Stacia had beer. Ha!


The view from the bar was of course amazing. 


That night, we went to the pier. Lots of fisherman...


...and, endless ocean. Again, pictures can't capture the beauty or the smell of the ocean. 



The fourth day, Stacia drove us to Santa Barbara to eat lunch. I had halibut tacos. These were so good. 


This was the view in Santa Barbara during lunch. 




The beach in Santa Barbara... 


After lunch we stopped and got Pinkberry. I don't even love ice cream, but Pinkberry is the most magical thing ever. 


Notre Dame was playing their first game of the season later that evening, so we went to The Yardhouse and watched the game. After sitting there for four hours, you get hungry again and order sweet potato fries. 



I know it's weird to sit in a bar and watch football on vacation, but this was actually one of my favorite things. Sitting at a bar with Stacia is what we do. We had fun and the bartenders were all super nice. 

The last day, we went back to the beach. We took a walk down the shore so I could look at the houses. 











For my last night, we went back to the pier to watch the sunset. These photos are amazing. No filters either. 








AMAZING, RIGHT? Views like this make me ask myself why I live in Indiana and not in California.

Here's a few random pictures. 



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