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.

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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. 🙂

Mental Progress.

The old me would have binge ate all day today. But the new me has easily stuck to the healthy food that I purposely brought to work to eat. I won’t go into any kind of detail about why but today was a very eventful and stressful day.

As you may or may not know, I made a very serious choice on June 7th and that choice was to get healthy or to die. I’ve been doing very well since then. A couple of bumps like with any choice to get healthy but I’m officially down 22.6 pounds and counting. I hope to hit 25 by my next weigh in.

Before choosing to fight my obesity, I’d eat. I’d eat when I was bored, I’d eat when I was watching TV and I’d eat when I was stressed from a busy day at work or a fight with my boyfriend. I’d eat because Taco Johns was on the way to the grocery store and I’d eat because someone brought food today at the office. My religion was food above all. Above everything.

And really, it still is. The only difference between then and now is that I can control it. When I’m stressed or bored or angry or nothing…I don’t think about eating. Don’t get me wrong, it still happens sometimes. Weekends are the toughest. But I’ve gained some self-control.

3 months ago if I had a morning like today, I would have went to Hardees for lunch and then stopped at Holiday before my break was over to get a pop and a candy bar. After the afternoon I’ve had, I would have hit up McDonald’s on the way home and stuff my face before getting out of the parking to have supper with my boyfriend an hour later. Which also involved eating out about 75% of the time.

So what am I going to do to deal with today’s stress levels? I’m going to go for a long walk tonight. I wish I could go now actually. My energy is pumping and I want to be moving. I want to sweat out the annoyances and responsibilities of the day rather than hold them in by giving my heart a reason to clock out once it hits a pool of grease.

I’m no where near perfect in my choices or my physique. Imagining my goal is too hard to do at this point because it’s so far away but after a day like today, I’ve really been able to see just how far I really have come. I don’t always see progress in the mirror or even on the scale but noticing progress of the mind is one of the best signs of a positive journey that I’ve gotten to experience this far.

I know you hear this all the time by anyone that’s ever lost weight in the history of fat people but seriously, if I can make serious progress..so can you. You’re worth it.

Selfie Or Helpie?

I’ve noticed a phenomenon on Facebook feeds around the area. This has been happening for about a year now but more recently more and more people have followed suit. The topic at hand here – is pre and post workout pictures being blasted all over social media.

I feel indifferent about this. On one hand, I get it. So many “inspirational leaders” are showing off their goods because they want you to jump on the bandwagon. To get healthy and fit. They are proud of themselves and are bound and determined to show you, your mother, brother, teacher, and co-workers that they can do the same.

I’m new to the workout and eating right world. And when I say new, I mean old. I’ve been trying to get into the swing of things since I was in 4th grade when I was put on my first “diet.” However, over the last 7 or so weeks, I started something new and I’m currently down 17.6 pounds and making progress. Go me!! But I’m nowhere near the “show my stomach on Facebook” progress though. That’ll never happen.

Getting a little side-tracked here. But I get it. I get that a good 10 of you on Facebook are Beachbody coaches. Your job is to help and encourage others to do the same as you, try as hard as you, look as good as you. It’s motivating. Sometimes.

But other times, it’s annoying. You’re flat stomach still looks the same as it looked yesterday and the day before. It even looks the same as the day you started. I don’t really think this has to do with “jealously” of the thin and famous. It’s more along the lines of wanting to see someone that has actually gone through a transformation struggle. Not someone that has always been an athlete, or slim built, or naturally born with metabolism.

Just an observation I guess. I do follow most of the people, not for the results but for the encouraging words. Most of them post a picture of their fabulous physique but they also talk about the struggle of making yourself workout and making yourself eat right and making yourself choose life rather than death.

I guess sometimes I just don’t know if they are actually “helping” people because they want to and that’s what drives them or if they are just excited to take a selfie and show off. Every. Single. Day. Considering that we live in a primarily narcissistic world, it’s hard to tell the difference.