No Really, I’m Fine.

It’s been a hot minute, hasn’t it? I haven’t written since August and before that it was April. 20-16 must have been the year of writers block or something. I’ve had my fair share of Twitter rants and wonderings so I’m still in the game. I think I struggle most with what the purpose of this blog is supposed to be, if any. Does it need a purpose? Probably not. But since when do I do something for no reason? Never.

At it’s core, I just want to leave my stamp in the world. Years from now when memories fade or when my children, niece and grandchildren want to know more about me or how I was or how I felt or thought or dreamt or lived.. I want them to have something to refer to coming from me. Not some folklore story (like I even have any haha!) where moments were altered because the game of telephone was never that good of a game to begin with. I want someone, somewhere to be able to break all my ramblings down and be like “..she was something else. She thought differently, she understood life on a different level than others.” Something I’ve been trying to figure out for all of 27 years and I still really can never find anyone like me. Not that I really want to, I suppose. I like being me. (On the inside. The outside is another issue, self-esteem related obviously.) But it would be nice to have a “me” in my life if that makes any sense.

Of course, not everything and everyone has or will be in this blog. That’s the funny thing and maybe that’s why I have an issue with continuing this writing rambling. What’s the point if it’s only full of half of the story? I learned my lesson years ago from airing out my dirty laundry on this blog. A time in my life when I was reaching out for something, just needing to get things off my chest and be heard but the people that actually read my posts were the very ones I didn’t want to read them. No one really ever gave a shit or tried to understand what was going on in my life in those very moments of need. Lectures have never solved problems. Such is life and I lived.

Since then, I’ve had times that have come and passed without even a blink on this blog. Feelings of self-doubt and hatred. Body issues, moral dilemmas, pure livid wtf moments.. Pain, joy, death. And feelings of nothing. I’ve spent hours binge watching my favorite shows over and over. Reading stories and blogs on purpose with the intent to either cry or laugh, however I feel like feeling that day. I feel it all, just like everyone else, but I just don’t feel like there is a legit way to share anymore. You always run the risk of a co-worker or boss or friend seeing what you’ve written and they immediately jump. Instantaneously pass some kind of weird judgement as if they really really know you when all it was was a blip in your day that you just needed to write about. No biggie.

I’ve wanted to tell you so much but in a world of over-sharing, I just can’t. Any story that I have ever told or will ever tell will always be carefully arranged. It’s time to read between the lines.

Too-ta-loo.

Year 2: The Hub, Boston.

Well! I’m so excited to finally say this…we’re going to Boston! I think we’re about 89% certain that it’s this year’s destination. Last year, my mom and I embarked on our inaugural mother-daughter vacation. We drove down to Madison and Chicago and then back up and around through Holland, Mackinaw City, Ashland, and Duluth.

It was so much fun and such an amazing experience. Not only did I get to spend quality time with my mom but we did things that neither of us had ever done. And most importantly, we started our journey of traveling. A dream we’ve both dreamt of for so long.

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Why Boston?
Well, we decided that now’s a better time than never to fly on an airplane. Something neither of us have ever done. My two reservations for never traveling via flight are my physical size and not knowing the process. One of which is probably a dumb reason. I feel like there are so many restrictions when flying and I never really have all the answers. I’m a super-planner. I need to know everything and when it’s not readily available, I have a mini-panic attack. What can we pack? What can’t we? Is luggage extra? What’s a carry-on? How much is that? What if I don’t fit in the seat? Do I have to buy two seats? What if the seat belt extender still isn’t big enough? Can I have a nail-clipper in my purse? What if my luggage is lost? Ect. Ridiculous, I know. But I’ve never been anywhere. Seriously.

Although last years trip was so worth while and totally amazing, we did do a lot of driving. Like 1800+ miles of driving. We’d be totally up for another long drive but we have been playing around with flying for awhile. It may cost more, transportation wise, but we wouldn’t have to be in a vehicle not experiencing the world for such a long duration.

After asking a few friends questions, doing a little research, and calling a couple of airlines – we decided amongst advice from our peers that a nonstop flight would be best for newbies like us. Fargo and Grand Forks don’t have a lot of destinations to choose from for a summer trip and we really want to go big or go home. So, why not look at MSP? There are a handful of nonstop destinations departing from MSP. One of the reasons we decided on Boston is because realistically, we know our spouses have no desire to ever tour the east coast/New England area. (Yet anyway.)

“Tomorrow’s life is too late. Live today.” -Marcus Valerius Martialis

So, we’re in the very early stages of planning this trip. We’re going to head east early to mid August of this year. Tourist information and travel brochures have been ordered! I’ve reached out to a few more people asking about their experience on sites like Expedia and Trivago. To anyone reading this that has been to Boston and the surrounding area, I’d love to hear what the best things to do are. The must-see’s, the go-to’s. Best modes of transportation, coolest unknowns. Are you overweight? We’d love to hear what your take on sizes, seats, seat belts are when flying. To anyone, what has your experience been with airfare and hotel packages on popular travel sites?

Thank you for reading and I can’t wait to start yet another year of sightseeing and living out my dreams!

To read about our 2015 trip, click here!

I’m 26 Now, You Know

This is about a month delayed but it’s actually given me a hot minute to reflect. In case you couldn’t tell, the theme as of late is reflection.

I’ve officially entered the scary pre-midlife crisis of the late-20’s. Welp! A crossroads where excuses of immaturity aren’t accepted anymore and you are either married with kids or still chasing your hangovers at the bar every night.

I am neither.

I’m happily chillin’ with my cat Frank by my side, boyfriend watching the History Channel in the other room and the dishwasher just clicked off. Silence. I’m a homebody that looks forward to PJ’s and TV at the end of a day.

I’ve felt “stuck” for quite some time. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. I think that I (we) have just been chasing so many meaningless things for so long that life passed by quicker than we expected.

At 26, I don’t have anything to show for my life. Really. In a non-pity party matter of speaking. I don’t have anything. I haven’t traveled the ocean blue. Well, except for my first big trip ever this year but that’s all part of what this next year will bring. I don’t have a family of my own yet or a ring on my finger. I don’t have a home or new furniture. I don’t have the successful weightloss story I thought I’d have by now. My job is just fine but it’s not what I’d always dreamt about.

But this is different than posts past. Remember, it’s about reflection. I’m content where I am. Too many years too late maybe, but I’ve finally accepted the past and the present. I’m okay with where my life is at. My health is something that I’ll have to continually work towards. Babies will come when it’s their and our time. A proposal will come when it’s right. Jobs, income, finances, homes, they’ll sort themselves out and I’m finally okay with it.

I didn’t have a light bulb moment. I was just tired of dwelling on the past. Thinking of all these “mistakes” I’d made in my short adult life. Going to college instead of making memories with my senior class, putting up with Channing’s shit, ditching friends, moving and moving and moving again, quitting and accepting jobs. For so long, I wondered “what if?” And honestly, I always will. I’m always going to be wondering “what if” but I’ve come to terms with the paths I’ve taken.

If everything hadn’t happened exactly as it had over the course of the last 26 years, I might not be as close as I am with my mom. I might not know a love as deep as the one I have. I might not be as accomplished as I am in my position at work or heck, I might not have developed the work ethic that I have. If the negatives that I worry about so much hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be who I am.

Who am I? I’m bright and thoughtful. I listen and I care. I am trustworthy and opinionated. I’m a realist and a tweeting millennial. I’m not interested in going out or having tons of friends. I know that I’m smarter than half the people that spent $35K on college. I’m a cat mom, a paperback book reader, a board game lover and a Minnesotan North Dakotan. I’m me and I’m okay with that.

I know that all of the things I want in my life will happen. The worst part about being the kind of person that makes a plan to make a plan is not being able to make a plan for life. Life happens the way it wants to happen, you can’t force it.

My Life In Segments: The Last 7 Years

I don’t know what it is, maybe it was turning another year older but lately I’ve been reflecting on the last 7 years. I dwell a lot on the past and I’ve never really put it down on paper. I’m hoping that this will help me move on from things that have been holding me down. Accept the paths I’ve gone down and focus on the present and future rather than on things that I cannot change.

So, why the last 7 years? Well, it seems like I break my life up into segments. I think everyone does. Within each segment are more segments but the biggest segments from my life starting with the earliest are as follows:

Kindergarten: For some reason I don’t have memories from before Kindergarten. I remember getting in trouble kissing a boy and I remember reading time in Mrs. Guy’s class. Kindergarten through early elementary is the first segment of my life.

4th – 6th Grade: I’d been teased starting in 2nd grade. Well, that’s the first time I remember anyway. Grades 4-6 were the worst. Those were the years I faced the biggest, meanest assholes of my entire life. Those are the people who I’ve honestly never forgiven and it’s the part of me that I hate the most because every time I see them on FB or in person, I want to see their faces smashed into the cement. Even after all these years, I can’t get over it.

7th – 9th Grade: These were some of the best years with some of the best people I’d ever known.

9th Grade: I moved. This was hard for many reasons and 10th grade is a blur.

11th – 12th Grade: 11th was probably the best year of my life. Honestly. I know that sounds lame. High school? I had great friends, I met so many people, I had so much fun and did so many things. I loved it and I loved me. 12th grade, I enrolled in college so I was at NCTC instead of H.S. with my classmates. It was different but it was okay. I have regrets about my choice but at the same time, I had a lot of fun and met new people.

7/11/2008: The day I met Channing. This is the last big segment so far. I don’t think I’ll have another segment until I have a child.


With all that being said..back to reflection on the last 7 years. I’ve never fully reflected on this before but I think it’s time. Like I said, there are a lot of mini-segments in between and there isn’t enough room in the internet for me to write down everything that I’m thinking. This is an overview, I think. Here it goes..

My relationship has defined my entire adult life. Because of the choices I made and the paths I’ve taken, I’m not who I thought I’d ever be or where I thought I’d ever be.

Before I met Channing, I loved the world. I had dreams and aspirations to travel, to get out of here. I didn’t know what I was doing or what I was going to do next. I didn’t know if I was going to continue school or what I wanted to be when I grew up but I was open and outgoing. I was carefree and had friends.

But it all ended within a couple of years after our relationship began. This is going to sound like a song cliché but I’m a lover. I’m a lover and a forgiver. I’m not a fighter and I’m not mean. When I entered our relationship, my heart was wide open. I loved harder and deeper than I’ll ever love again. I loved him more ignorantly and careless as I am even capable of loving him or anyone else now.

Thinking about it, a lot of the pain that cycloned in our relationship was due to his depression and upbringing mixed with my insistence on making him better. Over the course of 4 years, he broke my heart. Slow enough for me to stay but fast enough that I couldn’t leave.

But, eventually I did. Honestly, I didn’t have a choice. My mom and brother moved me out. I was an emotional wreck leading up to and after that day and didn’t understand what was happening in my life. I was broken. Looking back at it over the years, it was the best thing that ever happened in our relationship.

After a few months of back and forth, we did get back together. I don’t know if we ever really broke up but we were back together. Things had changed, he had changed. It wasn’t easy, it’s never been easy. But once we got back together, parts of the old him were gone which was good. If the old him would have stayed, there would be no us.

That was a little over 3 years ago now. The year and a half following us getting back together was heart-crushingly painful for him. There were some things that happened during the lowest moments of his life that were irreversible.

We celebrated 7 years together in July of this year. Each year has gotten better. We love each other on a mutual standing. We listen and communicate, we argue, we cry and we laugh. Our life together isn’t toxic like it once was and I am proud of that but because of the last 7 years, my life and outlook on life has changed.

I know it would have changed regardless but I can’t help but wonder who I would have been if I wouldn’t have met him at the fair that day. Would my heart have been hurt so badly? Would I have ever grown a backbone? How would I view the world? Would I have loved so deeply and fought so hard? Would I have found someone else, gotten married, had children, and bought a house?

I think that’s why I always ask those questions because my life was so planned out before I met him and for so long, I put him 100% before myself. I love Channing. Looking at everything that has happened good and bad; I’m glad that he was the constant in my life. I’m glad that I’m not damaged goods and had to go through all these ups, downs, and starting overs with someone else. I’m glad that all of the memories from the last 7 years have him in them and we can walk down memory lane together.

We have a rare story. Most people would have stayed gone. Most people would have left long before. Most people wouldn’t have and honestly, shouldn’t have fought for “love.” But for some reason we did and it was worth it.

I guess I don’t know how to say what I intended on saying in this post. I want to clarify for anyone other than my mom reading this. (Because she knows most of the story.) The turmoil and stress and life we lived then wasn’t and didn’t have to do with physical abuse. I fully believe that it takes two to tango but I think a lot of our early years together had to do with me wanting to help him. To fix him. To make him feel loved when he didn’t want it. I fought so long because I could see what he was capable of being. I could see that he was a great person, a great man, a great companion. He just couldn’t see it himself. He endured a different life than I had. A life that, in my opinion, didn’t always have open and loving arms like I was raised with. Again, he never hurt me but mentally, emotionally, my heart was taped together for a long long time.

My mom has always made comment that you can’t fix a person. She’s been saying this long before I even knew what love is. I think I was in denial that this is what I was trying to do for so long but she was absolutely right. The only reason, I think, that we are okay, that we moved on, that we are together, that Channing is a great man today is because he wanted to change himself. He wanted a better future than past and he was willing to allow himself that gift.

I’ve wanted to log this down for a long time but never knew how. Re-reading through it, I didn’t get to say what I wanted to say because I don’t have words for it. The last 7 years were sad and I pray that my future children never have to put up with what I did. I forced myself to be stronger than I knew I was capable of and allowed myself to be unloved as a side effect. Even with that being said, I’m so thankful and grateful for who I have as my partner and in my future. Channing is the worst and greatest thing that has ever happened to me. And I, of course, am the best thing that ever happened to him. 🙂

I’m sure you’re not, but if you are, I love you and am very proud of who you have become as a man, as a partner, as an uncle. You are capable of moving mountains, your dreams matter, and I am so happy to know that you will be by my side no matter what the next path or curve or day brings.

It’s been 36 days..

Woah? It’s been a quick minute, huh? The last time I made my way to posting something was …. October 28th. Really? It’s December now. Where’d the best month of the year go?

A lot has happened. Well actually, not really. I live a blandish life so nothing really has happened. More of a reflection on things has happened if that makes sense. For the first time in seriously 2 or 3 months, I have no plans this weekend and it’s staying that way. I plan to catch up on my favorite TV shows, pick up a book, and get in some good ol’ fashioned writing. I do have to make 11 dozen cookies for a goodie exchange that I shouldn’t have agreed to but I shouldn’t have to leave my apartment all weekend. I’m. Staying. Put.

Some stuff that has gone down over the last 36 days are listed below. I have a few things up my sleeve that I’ll save for another post sometime over the weekend..

KevinBirthday
I turned 26 on the 9th of November. Welp! Have a I really entered my late-20’s? I’m not ready for this. I’ll dive into some 26 and the year to come stuff in another post but my birthday was okay. I took the day off from work to do some adult things like grocery shopping, scoping out Christmas gifts for my family, and hitting up the doctor for a checkup. 26 is going to be good.

New Job
Hold your horses. I’m still with the same company I’ve been with for the last few years but I switched positions again. A good again. I was stressed out and frustrated for a number of reasons in the position that I had held. Luckily, I was offered a great opportunity and accepted my newest position. Some ignorant folk think of it as a demotion but I think of it as a “I don’t have to be in your negative energy filled space anymore.” Win-win for me.

girltimeGirlTime Getaways
After my mom and I had attended this, I fully intended on writing a big long post about it but time has passed and now I don’t feel like it. Our experience with GirlTime Getaways was kind of a bummer. We got to do a lot of things and it was all inclusive. Overall, the money that we spent was probably financially worth it as it included snacks, souvenirs, lunch, hotel, and transportation. But the time wasn’t worth the money for me. I believe they squeezed in 12-15 stops in less than 48 hours…it wasn’t relaxing at all and far from enjoyable. Some of the stops were interesting, some a waste of time, and some just plain frustrating. Add 40 or so drunk obnoxious women to the mix? Uh, no.

2nd Job
Something I’ll dig into a little further in this post but I acquired a 2nd job that begins in January. I needed to do this for a few different reasons. I’m excited to earn some extra money for a few months next year. I hope to make a friend or two along the way. That’d be coo.

Proximity Salon
I recently paired up with my aunt to help promote her business and bring in more locals to Halstad. I volunteered to help where I could to get my foot in the door more in the terms of the marketing world. The struggles we face are finances. There is no room for advertising right now so it’s all good ol’ fashioned word of mouth and Facebook. I’m both excited and exhausted thinking about it. I really want to see her business flourish but I should have thought about it more before I offered to take on such a big commitment. With a new job, a 2nd job, Christmas, personal life, and everything else; I don’t feel like I have much time to really devote to it. I think I’ve made it clear that I’ll do what I can as this is being done in my free time and free of charge. It’s hard for clients to remember that though.

Finances
frankMoney, honey or lack there of it. Channing and I have had a few set backs over the last year. Many of which are our own fault. Over the last 12 months, we’ve moved twice. That means 2 U-Haul charges, 2 rent deposits, 2 first month’s rents. That also means new out of state license plates and new drivers licenses. We also had a traumatic experience with our dearest kitty Frankie that caused us to fork out nearly $700 that we didn’t have. We’ve gone home a lot more than usual. Now Christmas is almost here. I planned on being “cheap” spending $250 max on my family, friends, co-workers but now that I’m nearly done I’ve racked up over $430 worth of gifts under that tree. I’ll be buying the ham for Christmas and bringing things for the rest of the meal. I’ll also be hosting a baby shower in January for my brother and his girlfriend which we all know is going to cost a pretty penny. I know it’s life and I know everyone struggles but I need a financial break. How are we supposed to live our lives to the fullest if every penny earned is spent on things that don’t bring us joy?

ThanksgivingThanksgiving
Turkey Day was nice. This was the first year that it was just our immediate family. No uncles, aunts or cousins. It was peaceful. I love them dearly but it was nice not to get into one of those political, we disagree because of religious reasons, arguments. Or whatever. Someone always gets offended. This year, for the most part I think, was pretty low-key and enjoyable.

Well, if you made it through, thanks. I just wanted to highlight a few things over the last month or so. We didn’t do anything for Halloween. Christmas decorations are up. I’m still working on my health. I’ve been a lot more positive over the last few weeks (another post) and I’m pretty excited for what the next month and year brings.

Morning Mediation

The last few weeks and maybe even the last month or two; I’ve been feeling awfully sluggish and very negative towards myself and others. A couple of weeks ago my mom mentioned a book she’d been reading: The Secret

I believe it focuses on getting what you want in life. If you say you want something or say you’re going to get something; it’ll happen. Think along the lines of “I will get lose weight.” “I will find the good in things.” “I will buy a house.” “I will be happy.”

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I took her advice and have been using it as a form of meditation each morning this week. I’ve been going into our spare room which is clean and quiet. Channing is busy getting ready for work and I’m free from the Franks needy meows. I just take 2-5 minutes and sit there (or lay on the floor) and close my eyes.  A few deep breaths in and out, and tell myself that I’m going to have a good day. I’m going to get healthy to both feel good and to have children one day, I’m going to be kind, and I’m going to get my finances in order so that I can buy the house of my dreams in the next couple of years.

I think of it as an informal prayer. I pray often and usually at night or on my way to work but this is something a little different. More like an affirmation to myself. To tell myself that “I got this!”

Obviously, this is new for me and everything that I will do or will achieve comes with me actually taking the steps to achieve those things. I know they aren’t going to happen just like that. I need to work towards the things I want. But taking just a few minutes in the morning to remind myself of the things I want makes my day just a bit brighter. I want to keep my needs/wants at the top of my priority list.

So, thanks mom. 🙂

Hello – Adele

I’ve been on repeat a lot lately in case you haven’t noticed. Both in my blog and in my ears. Today’s ballad is Adele’s new single “Hello.” She dropped it today. It’s the first single off of her new album out on November 20th. I already know I’ll love this one just as much as her past albums. Give it a listen.

When I was 7, I wanted to be 8. When I was 8, I wanted to be 12. When I turned 12, I just wanted to be 18. Then after that I stopped wanting to be older. Now I’m ticking 16-24 boxes just to see if I can blag it! I feel like I’ve spent my whole life so far wishing it all away. Always wishing I was older, wishing I was somewhere else, wishing I could remember and I wishing I could forget too. Wishing I hadn’t ruined so many good things because I was scared or bored. Wishing I wasn’t so matter of fact all the time. Wishing I’d gotten to know my great grandmother more, and wishing I didn’t know myself so well, because it means I always know what’s going to happen in the end. Wishing I hadn’t cut my hair off, wishing I was 5’7”. Wishing I’d waited and wishing I’d hurried up as well.

My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one, I would call it a make-up record. I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did. But I haven’t got time to hold on to the crumbs of my past like I used to. What’s done is done. Turning 25 was a turning point for me, slap bang in the middle of my 20s. Teetering on the edge of being an old adolescent and a fully-fledged adult, I made the decision to go into becoming who I’m going to be forever without a removal van full of my old junk. I miss everything about my past, the good and the bad, but only because it won’t come back. When I was in it, I wanted out! So typical. I’m on about being a teenager, sitting around and chatting sh— and not caring about the future because it didn’t matter like it does now. The ability to be flippant about everything and there be no consequences Even following and breaking rules… is better than making the rules.

25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realizing. And I’m sorry it took so long, but you know, life happened.

Love, Adele