30 Day Writing Challenge–Final day!

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Well today is day 30. And it’s the 30th….which means there’s only one more day left in the month, so I suppose it’s the perfect day to talk about highs and lows for the month. I always like to start with the negative and progress to the positive, so here goes…

Lows:

I’m really freaking broke. I’m used to it, but man does it suck. May/June is always the worst time of year for me and money, so I’m just stewing in the broke-ness.

I missed the Memorial Day parade with my grandma for the first time in years. There’s some feuding going on in my family so we haven’t talked much, and since she never asked about it, I kind of forgot and scheduled myself for volunteering at the Humane Society. At least I did something good instead though, right?

Our union contract passed at work, and it really sucks. I didn’t vote for it, but that doesn’t matter now…

It hadn’t rained in Florida for 6 months, until we showed up. Storm on beach day…it was still fun but I wish I could have done some ocean kayaking!

Highs:

I went on vacation to Florida again! Hopefully next time will be for good.

I really haven’t had to work much, which has been nice.

I did a lot of volunteering this month.

I’ve lost a bit more weight, even though I’ve kinda been slacking off on the calorie counting and working out thing. Still doing it, just not being as strict with myself, but sometimes a little break is good.

How was your May????

*~*MR*~*

WTF is dating?

So I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and realized I have never been on a “real date.” I’ve been in 2 long-term (5+ years) relationships and a handful of less serious ones, but I’ve never once been on an actual “date.” Sure, I’ve gone to movies, gone to dinners, ect. but that’s not what I’m talking about here. When I talk about a “real date” I mean when you meet someone that you’ve never met before, you hit it off, they ask you out (or you ask them), they pick you up, you have your date, and then you go home. Maybe if you’re lucky, they ask for a second date, and things go from there.

Most of my relationships have sprouted from friendships. I already knew the person, we were already hanging out, and then at some point we just decided that we wouldn’t have sex with anyone else. With JT and I, it all started with me trying to have another one night stand (I was going through a little “hoe phase” at the time…). He wasn’t picking up on my signals but we were having fun at his “cousin’s weekend” (I was invited by his sister because we were friends before I met JT). I think the fact that he didn’t want to sleep with me intrigued me a little bit, so I kept trying to find excuses to hang out with him. He didn’t have a car, so I kept offering to pick him up when his sister and I were hanging out and she wanted him to come too. After our nights were over, I’d drop him off, but it would be late so I’d just ask him if it was cool if I stayed. And I did….for 4 months straight. Sleeping in the same bed but never touching, not even a kiss. We denied we were dating for the longest time, but eventually it was pretty obvious we didn’t care about anyone else.

Other relationships I was in usually involved us meeting somewhere, or doing stuff with groups of friends. My other long term relationship started online and we were young so we didn’t really go out on actual dates, we mostly just did a lot of sneaking around behind my parents’ backs.

Looking at the dating world today, I know I have no desire at all to try to date in order to find a long term relationship, and honestly the idea of dating someone I’ve never met before is a little daunting. I’ve always said that if things don’t work out for me and JT, I honestly think I’m done as far as long term relationships go. First dates always seem a little awkward, but then I’ve seen some that really go off quite well.

It sucks because I have no desire to actually leave JT, I love him. The problem is that I’m kind of bummed that I never had a chance to go on a “real date.” I miss the spontaneity of meeting someone and hitting it off. That moment where you realize you have something in common with a person. That first-kiss spark. I guess I took some of those moments for granted when I had them.

Maybe I’m just being a spoiled little brat. I should be glad, I’m lucky. I have a man who loves me and we get along well. But here I am thinking about how fun it could be to just have a fling. It’s so stupid. I’d never act on it, because that would be stupid and against everything I believe in, it just sucks because it also weighs on my mind sometimes. I don’t know where this came from or why, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I don’t like getting too content. I don’t like being in one place for too long. I need to learn to suck it up. I should appreciate what I have while I have it.

30 Day Writing Challenge–Day 29

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Phew. Only one more day to go, then I can get back to blogging about random topics again. Not that I don’t love writing challenges, I do, hence the reason I chose this one, but after a while, I start to get bored of structure, ya know?

Let’s see…goals for the next 30 days, which pretty much means the month of June. I’m working a lot so unfortunately I’m not going to have time to do a lot, but here’s what I’m hoping for.

  1. Finish my Jukai reading. That’s 3 1/2 books. Totally do-able.
  2. Finalize plans for my birthday, including 2 Spose shows and a trip to Chi-town.
  3. Get my house organized and get rid of excess crap.
  4. Sell some of the excess crap I find around the house.
  5. Get my car in for service.
  6. Get my cats their shots.
  7. Spend time outside.
  8. Keep my Humane Society volunteer hours up.
  9. Plan some fun “date nights” with JT.
  10. Get some of my coding CEUs up to date.

And that’s pretty much it. I think 10 goals for a month is plenty. Especially in a month that’s already so busy. June is never a good month for me when it comes to time and money. The checks always seem to be spaced out funny so  I don’t have extra cash, and I always work a ton because people start taking more vacation time. Ultimately that works out, because I’m able to catch up on the bills, but it kind of sucks for a few weeks. Pretty excited for what’s to come though, once August rolls around, I’ll be looking for jobs DOWN SOUTH!!! Pretty excited for that if nothing else.

*~*MR*~*

 

30 Day Writing Challenge–Day 28

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I try not to do a whole lot of looking back, because the truth is you can’t go back, so there isn’t much sense. There are a few things that I do miss though, and I think we all miss something from time to time.

I miss some of the things I used to do, like going to Goth Night on Wednesdays. Sure I could still go if I wanted, it still exists, but the people aren’t the same, and even if they were, I’m not. I miss the shenanigans we would get into and the fun we would have, but now it just wouldn’t be the same. There was a reason I quit going.

I miss having more time for friends. Now with so many responsibilities and a more important job, and bills, it’s hard to hang out with people. And people have changed, so my amount of friends has dwindled. I love my close friends, but if they are busy, there aren’t many options. We have such different lives and schedules that its really hard to coordinate now.

I don’t really miss much of my past, because really my life is better now than it’s ever been. But I do miss having the options I had before that I didn’t choose. Sometimes I wish I could have gone back and done college right. I would have joined a sorority maybe, and went to parties and events and met some college friends. Instead I was clinging to a boyfriend I thought I’d marry some day, and he left me for bad friends and heroin after college. If I would have known that, or seen it coming, I like to think I would have done things differently. I had a lot of good times with him and a lot of good times overall, but it didn’t set me up well for my future.

I guess I just miss having the future before me like you do when you’re in your late teens/early 20s. You don’t really realize what you have then. You have this open door to make decisions for your life and you can really do some amazing things. You still have opportunities when you get older, but it manifests in a different way. Its so unfair that we don’t have the ability to see what we are doing until later. At the same time, it’s pretty exhilarating. I try not to “miss” it because I can’t get it back, but I think at some time, we all say “what if?”

*~*MR*~*

30 Day Writing Challenge–Day 27

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I feel like I have been working on this challenge forever! I didn’t do 30 days consistently because of my schedule, so I guess that’s why it’s been so drawn out. But it sure has been a fun ride!

A problem I’ve had that’s really been brought to the forefront lately is that I have no damn clue how to express myself anymore. I used to fancy myself a writer and somehow that all dropped off. I found myself unable to say what I meant anymore. It all sounded cartoon-like and basic. Nothing really captured how I was feeling at the moment, and honestly I’m not sure if I knew (or know) what I’m feeling at the moment.

When I started dabbling in Buddhism, it really brought a lot to light about creativity and made me want to start trying again. Even though the desire has been there, I still feel some kind of block. Occasionally I am able to capture the essence of what I’m trying to say, but those moments are fleeting.

I’ve begun to attribute some of it to laziness. I guess part of me doesn’t feel like my audience is large enough for it to matter (which is bullshit, because even if it is just for me, I should be able to express myself). Part of it is a physical problem of my eyes and head hurting so I have to stop thinking and looking so hard. Never in my life have I needed naps like I do lately. I don’t think the swing shifts help at all. Some of it is just because I’ve tried so hard for so long not to feel. My feelings had been invalidated by so many people for so long, I guess I just decided to retreat from them and try to pretend like they aren’t there. I’ve gotten really good at it. So good, in fact, that more often than not I don’t feel anything particular about anything that happens. I don’t really get overwhelmingly happy or sad anymore because I don’t see the use in it. Being sad doesn’t fix anything and being happy usually ends up being a letdown. “Feelings are bullshit” has pretty much been my motto since the age of 21 or so.

I feel like I know what I want to say, and I understand certain concepts very deeply, but I don’t know how to express that understanding to someone else. I feel like others are so caught up in their own problems, many of which they are only making harder for themselves, that they don’t want to fix it. People live for drama, so instead of sharing their feelings and working things out, they find ways to keep themselves stuck. It started with a few people and trickled down to the rest of us, and now those of us who have no interest in being there struggle to find a way out. It’s hard to be happy in this world when you share your happiness only to be met by “Well it must be nice” or “How can you be happy about that? You’re just going to ruin your life” or “What if it doesn’t work out?” Well guess what…Life doesn’t always work out, but it shouldn’t stop any of us from living it to the fullest. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll deal with it. I’m not asking you or anyone else to deal with it for me. I. Will. Deal. With. It. Head on, without apology. I don’t need people to take pity on me when something doesn’t work out. I just need them to help me cultivate my strength. That takes zero effort.

So often everyone wants to meddle in the lives of others instead of simply sharing in it. It is stifling creativity. People are so afraid to show their true selves because they don’t want to deal with the aftermath of others. I feel like at some point this all has to come full circle and eventually we will all have to support each other because the world will be falling down around us. It’s already there, look at all of the suicides lately. This is a relatively new issue. I mean people have committed suicide for years, but the numbers lately are staggering. Not to mention it seems to be people that no one would have guessed. People who have “everything”, fame, fortune, loving families, money, ect. It’s obvious that those things aren’t what matters, yet those are the things so many people are clinging to in this day and age.

We should be able to express ourselves freely and accept the feedback we receive as well. Surely putting our feelings out there in a creative way is setting ourselves up to hear things we don’t want to hear. The key is knowing how to filter those things. We need to know how to filter ourselves and how to filter others. Constructive criticism can be great, but we need to know where the line is. You can say “that style of sweater isn’t my favorite” without saying “that sweater makes you look like a fat slob”. You can have either of those comments directed at you and choose how to take them as well. Some people would take the first comment very personally, but it is just a reflection of their own mind. Why are you wearing the sweater? Because you like it, or to impress someone else? If you like it, wear it. Not everyone will like it. If you’re upset because someone doesn’t like it, maybe you need to reevaluate your own motives. As for the second comment, again, do you like the sweater? Do you think it makes you look like a fat slob? If not, then you need to look at the source. Does this person’s opinion matter? Why are they telling you this? Maybe it’s jealousy, or maybe they just don’t like it and don’t know how or when to keep their mouth shut. Either way, it’s not about you. And if you do think it makes you look like a fat slob, why did you put it on in the first place? People aren’t obligated to like you and you aren’t obligated to bow down to them either. You need to be comfortable in your own presence.

It seems like I got a little off topic there, but in reality I didn’t. It’s this kind of comfort in ourselves that leads to our expression of creativity. If we are comfortable with ourselves outside of the feelings of others, we can express fully and not care what others think, but at the same time, we can be sensitive to others and not say things simply to be hurtful. Just because you can say and do whatever you want doesn’t mean that’s the right thing to do. It’s important to understand your own motivations. You may not understand the motivations of others, but that’s why you can’t take what other people say too seriously. Listen to others, but form your own opinion. What are we so afraid of?

I’ve been trying to practice getting out of my comfort zone in order to widen it. I’ve been trying to dive deep into my own motivations and why certain things tend to bother me. I’ve been trying to throw off my fears of what others might think, because the truth is, they don’t control me, I do. In time, I feel that my creativity might make its way back. I can feel bits and pieces of it coming back from time to time, and that spark might be just what it needs. I feel like a lot of good people have had their light snuffed out as they have joined the masses, and I refuse to let my light be dimmed. We all have something to give in this life, and it stems from our creativity, however that is presented. We can all do a better job of putting ourselves out there, and we can start by letting others know that it’s ok for them to put their own selves out there. We can’t do this alone, only together.

*~*MR*~*

…And I’m back. 30 Day Writing Challenge Day 26

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I’ve never thought of myself as the type of person who has a “type”. I like all kinds of people, and I suppose it depends on their purpose in my life too. I have different standards for friends, lovers, acquaintences, ect. I’m pretty sure this prompt is talking more about people you date though. Looking back, as far as dating goes, it seems like I’m into white guys with big heads. That sounds a little funny, but if you put em all in a line-up, that’s what you’d see! I always go for a person with a great sense of humor. As far as their job or financial situation, I’m not too concerned as long as they handle their own bills and at least have a job. I tend to like guys who are at least a little bit athletic, or if not into playing sports, at least into watching them. I’m not a fan of people who are consumed by sports, but a little competitive edge is fun. I’m a Michigan fan, and it seems like a majority of guys I’ve dated have been OSU fans, which makes that rivalry fun. I definitely prefer guys who like to do things outside, don’t mind being a bit frugal, but also know how to have a good time. I like to travel (especially road trip) so he’s gotta be down for that. Otherwise it’s pretty much on an individual basis. I tend to have a thing for redheads, but I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever dated one, so I can’t really add that to my list! Really it’s about the person. If we talk and there’s a spark, I dive deeper (when I’m single at least! I’ve been out of the dating market for over 5 1/2 years now!). But really it all comes down to the spark and if I connect with the person. Some parts of dating can be fun, but overall I think the process sucks, especially now. I don’t want to have some superficial conversation where you are trying to impress me only to find out months down the road that you were lying. I just want a person who is comfortable in his own skin and not afraid to be real. I’ve struggled to become that person and I’m finally there, so I want someone who can do the same.

 

*~*MR*~*

30 Day Writing Challenge–Day 25

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There are a lot of people who fascinate me, and for a variety of reasons. I’m just going to take some time to talk about JT’s friend Terry. Terry is my age…less than 30, and yet he still seems to know literally a little bit of everything. The guy has been a chef, meat cutter, personal trainer, plays guitar quite well, and recently gave me a short story he wrote that he wanted me to read and comment on. I’m pretty excited to read the story, as good as he is at everything else, I have to imagine his writing is pretty good too! I just can’t believe that someone so young has so much talent and so much ability. I’ve always prided myself of being the type of person who does a lot and who is always trying something new, but I feel like this guy has me beat. You name it, he’s done it. He’s also a father, which is a huge job in itself. I just have a lot of respect for the guy. Even though he’s done all of these things and is quite accomplished, he is very humble and has a great sense of humor. He’s a lot of fun to be around and he’s a valuable resource since he’s done so many things. Every time JT comes home and tells me something else Terry has done, it’s hard to even be surprised anymore. I feel like if it’s there to be done, Terry has done it…and if not, he probably will! I aspire to be that kind of person and I can honestly say I’ve spent the past few years branching out and trying to accomplish more.

With that being said, in about 3 hours I’m starting a road trip to Florida. That’s 16 hours straight in a car, so that should be fun. Luckily I love driving so its not a bad experience for me, just a little exhausting. Since I’ll be in Florida for a week, I doubt I’ll find much time for blogging, so expect some updates when I return!!!

 

*~*MR*~*

30 Day Writing Challenge–Day 24

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My favorite movie is Mystic River. I always liked this movie because it gets down to the depth of human experience where our little prejudices can make a difference in the lives of so many people. It all starts with a group of childhood friends.When Dave suffers sexual abuse, it ruins his life essentially. As could be expected, he is never the same after that. He’s kind of aloof and edgy, as one might be expected to be when they are assaulted as a child. Once the boys grow up, one of them (Jimmy) has a daughter named Katie who is found murdered. Somehow Dave becomes a suspect, and one of the other friends, Sean, is the detective on the case. Of course they don’t want to believe that their friend committed such a horrible crime, but they also want to get to the bottom of the mystery as quickly as possible. With that in mind, they form a lot of ideas in their mind just because of Dave’s strange actions. Even Dave’s wife gets to a point where she doesn’t believe his innocence anymore and it causes even more trauma in Dave’s life. The movie follows along as all of these men try to sort out their own issues to deal with the problem at hand. Between the devoted love of a father, a sexual abuse victim, and their determined friend, their lives get twisted in a mess that can’t be untangled. It really shows you how people turn on one another when it seems like it will benefit them. We all really need to be more open minded and understanding about those around us because we never really know what someone is going through. One assumption can ruin or even end someone’s life, so we should be very careful before reacting.

*~*MR*~*

30 Day Writing Challenge–Day 23

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Wow…5 famous guys I find attractive. This is a hard one. I’ve never been much of a gush over celebrities kind of person…but I’ll give it a go–in no particular order…

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Gareth McGrillen. This guy is a bassist for a couple of bands, but the one I’ve known him best with is Pendulum. They are a drum and bass group out of Perth, Australia, and I’ve had the privilege of seeing him with them live. Not only that, but I caught his guitar pick, and I have it on a homemade paperclip chain choker. Ok…so that last part sounds a bit contradictory to what I said earlier about not being a gush over celebrities person…but yeah.

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Adam Levine. Damn. He looks good in just about everything he wears…or doesn’t wear (haha!). It’s not just the way he looks though, he’s constantly gushing about how wonderful his wife and his kid are, and I gotta say, there’s a lot to be said about a good looking man who has no issue letting the world know how much he loves his girl. But yeah, Behati Prinsloo is one lucky lady!

Mark-Wahlberg

Oh Mark Wahlberg. He’s just one of those guys who keeps getting better looking with age. I never really thought he was all that cute years ago, or even looking back at pics from when his career first got started, but the older he gets, the more attractive he gets. I’ll go see a movie with him in it if it means I get to stare for a while 😉

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Blake Griffin. I don’t want to sound like some bigoted jerk here, but I’ve always considered my type to be “pasty white guys”…and redheads….and some combination of the two. Blake is a redhead, but I found out not too long ago that he’s also mixed…which is totally cool, I was just surprised to find that out considering my long running pattern of men that could use a little sun every now and then! Either way, regardless of what he is or isn’t, he looks good both on and off the court. And he seems like a total goofball, which is another bonus.

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My last pick is Aaron Paul. The guy who played Jesse on Breaking Bad. I think it’s the eyes, I don’t know, but there’s something about this guy that just draws you in…even if he is cooking meth with his high school chem teacher!

Like I said, coming up with 5 was a bit of a challenge, but I can stick by all these choices. Who are your celeb crushes?

*~*MR*~*

30 Day Writing Challenge–Day 22

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How have I changed in the past 2 years. Wow…to consider this, I really have to think back to what I was even doing 2 years ago. I was working for the same company, but I didn’t have the same job. I was finishing up my associate’s degree and working toward my medical coding certification (which I’m still not using yet, yikes!). So with that being said, I got a new job that pays a lot more money. With that being the case, I cut down to part time, but with picking up everyone’s extra shifts while on vacation, I suppose I get close to full time hours (they still only charge me the full time rate for benefits! Bonus!)

I started doing a lot of volunteering. I shaved my head for childhood cancers. When I did that, somehow I faced a lot of opposition (weird, right?) but unlike I would have in the past, I didn’t let that stop me. I kept pushing that I felt it was the right thing to do, and seeing as it is my body, I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me otherwise. I adopted a new cat, because I felt like I had a lot of extra love to give. I started giving blood regularly, which I never thought I’d do because I hate needles.

I decided to get permanently sterilized, because I can’t ever think of a time in my life when I felt like having kids would ever be a good idea for me. I hated being a slave to the pill, which was wreaking havoc on my weight in its final years of use. Along with that, after surgery, I started working really hard to get some of that extra weight off, and I can proudly say I’m down 20 pounds. I have a long way to go, but it’s a start.

I started focusing a lot more on my spiritual life and found Buddhism. I now have a good solid place to be social too, which I desperately needed. The people in our sangha (community) are so welcoming and fun, I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to associate with. In focusing on spiritual life, I’ve found my way back into art and creative expression, something I’d repressed for years using the excuse that I didn’t have time. Turns out those are things you have to make time for.

I took a few trips, namely to Florida (where I’m headed back to in 5 DAYS!!!) and Portland, OR. These trips really helped me to broaden my horizons and see some things that I don’t get to see a lot around home. You may think a vacation is no big deal, but I can honestly say I learned a lot about different cultures and people being away from home. One may not think of living in the Great Lakes region as a “culture” but it turns out it is. We act differently here than people in other places do, and it’s very apparent when you venture out. I’ve tried to bring some of the lessons I’ve learned back and try to be better. People in Portland are WAAAAAAYYYYY nicer overall than they are here. I’ve been trying to be nicer as a result.

Sometimes from day to day, it seems like nothing changes, yet when you look back, even in a period as short as 2 years, a lot of things are different!

*~*MR*~*