Category Archives: More About Me

A Tail of Two Dogs

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Things around here have been pretty intense lately. As if my life doesn’t have enough other facets right now, the dogs are becoming one of the biggest and most frustrating experiences in my current world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those people who clearly does their research before jumping into something as big as getting a puppy, but it’s exactly like having a child of your own. You never realize just how much you’re getting into, even with all of the research and discussions you have with experienced people. Sharing the frustration with T has been a blessing, but I worry that the stress will just keep building. 

Zoey is great. I’m not going to complain about her. It’s just so hard to keep up with the constant needs that she has. With only one of us at home most of the day, that person gets to be the sucker who is stuck babysitting every minute of every hour. If we take our eyes off of her for even a second, she’s into something or making a mess. 

We went to the vet last week and even asked him about whether there was any problem with the amount of water she has been drinking each day. At one point, we calculated it to be well over 56 ounces in a few hours. He says we are fine though, so we just keep letting her drink.

Unfortunately, that means potty time is all the time. She has really been struggling to not go to the bathroom in the house. Which is why this post is SO important! Today, as of me writing this post, Zoey has only had one accident in the house. That’s much different from the 8ish times she goes in the house every other day since we got her about a week ago. 

As proud of her as I am for this feat, I also got pretty upset with the pups today. I took the risk of letting them alone for just a few minutes while I finished gluing some cards together. The dogs have never had too much trouble getting along before, though each one is willing to put the other in their place as needed. But they’ve never really attacked each other, bit each other, etc. So I thought they would be fine. I left them together in a secured area with plenty of toys and distractions to keep them busy (in a good way). A few minutes later, I hear Jas’ snarls and Zoey starts to cry. By the time I got to them, there were little drips of blood on the floor. I picked Zoey up immediately, which led me to have drips of blood all over my arms. And the weird thing is I still have not found out where that blood came from. I checked her all over (and then checked him just to be sure), but could not find any open wounds of any kind. As a puppy mom, I’ve never had this happen before, even with Jasper and my sister’s dog. I was completely unprepared and started blaming myself for leaving them be for a few minutes. Then you know what I realized? This experience is exactly like having a human baby. Every parent thinks they’re going to do their best to be absolutely perfect and treat their baby like it’s the most fragile and precious thing in the whole world. But we’ve all heard the stories of the moms who have multiple kids and by the second or third one, the kids are allowed to play in the mud and eat food off the floor. I guess it’s not that we lower our standards, but that we understand the reality of children. They struggle to listen, they struggle to learn, and as much as we try to do the best for them, we sometimes don’t succeed.  

As I sit here writing, it’s nap time in puppy world. One dog is laying at my feet and the other is perched on the back of the couch by my head. I’m not sure how long they will sleep or how good or bad this day will turn out to be, but I thank God for giving me these tiny breaks and the small improvements that I have been seeing today. I love these dogs so much and I want them to be both safe and happy. Hopefully this is just a small sign that our lives are starting to settle down a bit and we can get back to having some relaxing moments together as a family.

~B

2017 Means What?!?!

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There are so many things going on in my life right now, I just had to write. The story for tonight is mostly inspired by one small, funny incident that occurred today (that had started in Fall 2016), but I feel like an update is in order.

This year is already turning out to be so ridiculously good, yet crazy, that I cannot seem to keep track of the events. Here’s the breakdown so far:

  • At the end of January, I decided to leave my teaching job for something a little less permanent. I went through the motions of exploring other career options, but landed back at teaching almost immediately. It must truly be in my blood; the thought of not helping kids like I love just haunted me for a few days. The next thing I knew, I became a substitute teacher for 3 different districts or companies. Now I can work easily every day of the week during the school year and have a pretty good pick of where and who I teach. It’s been just the stress relief that I need to rejuvenate myself in my career. It may be possible that I actually go back to my own classroom one day!
  • I spent all of February applying for/looking for jobs and trying to manage my money. Since that’s such a snooze, let’s just skip to March…
  • In March, I started to find my faith again. By teaching in a religious school, I found the motivation to reconnect with my faith. It surely hasn’t been easy. First of all, let me say that I never stopped praying, but I had not been to church in so long that I couldn’t remember the person who officiated there! As part of the Catholic school system, I am asked to participate as fully as possible in my faith. So, I started going back to church. And what makes me most sad is how politics and business get in the way of even things like religion and my praying. Due to these things, church can be so UNCOMFORTABLE! And it’s really a shame, because it’s one of the best ways for me to keep a special connection with my dad and grandma, as we are the ones who meet up at church every Sunday. I’ll be honest: I’m struggling majorly with the church right now, but at least I am back to praying and thinking in a more religious manner now than I was at this time last year.
  • Also in March, my sister, mom, and I took a girl’s vacation to the beach. It was FREEZING, but it was fun. That would also be the moment in time when my life really started to change. See, this is the first time I’ve been away from T since I moved in with him last year. It was awkward to not be together. Apparently, he felt the same. When we returned from our awesome vacation, he told me that he was going to get me a ring but didn’t know which one to get. We ended up shopping for engagement rings over the next few weeks, and then waiting what felt like years to actually get the custom order in! Even though I didn’t get a on-your-knee romantic proposal, I’ve come to realize that our memories of this time together are even more special than some big surprise. Let’s face it, T doesn’t really do the whole surprise thing anyway, and I would probably have just cried.
  • In April, we found out that the litter of puppies we were waiting on had been born. They were ready by the end of the month, so we spent weeks preparing for the arrival of our new little girl. Her name is Zoey, and she is the biggest handful ever! Never in my life, even while babysitting, did I ever feel so much like the mother of an infant before. I guess that’s because I’ve never had such a small puppy to care for in my life. Thankfully, T and I are working together to share our frustrations and excitements as she grows. Within this first week and a half, she has managed to learn many things. Things like: how to climb onto the couch, how to bite big brother’s tail, how to test our patience with going potty in the house (though we know this is not totally her fault), and how to destroy any stick or blade of grass in sight. Luckily, we both love her so much that it only makes us tired by the end of the day.
  • Now that it’s May, I’m in full swing doggy, summer, and wedding mode. We are getting married in just over 100 days! I only have 4 days left of work this school year, and we are watching a third dog for the next week and a half or so! (I’d really appreciate prayers for my sanity if you don’t mind.)
    • Our wedding is mostly all DIY. It’s going to be very small and very simple, yet nothing I’ve attempted to do for it so far has been simple at all!
      • My parents have been great at helping with the decorations and reception, but it took me almost a month just to find a pastor and make sure I could reserve the church for our special day.
      • I managed to get a dress pretty simply, but I had to order it on the first day I shopped for dresses since we are getting married pretty quickly.
      • As of today, our DIY invites are almost done (and are exactly what I wanted!) but they have even had their ups and downs. From a badly running computer program, to hand cutting numerous circles and shapes, to buying the wrong size envelopes and hot glue sticks. I PRAY so hard that nothing else causes too many hiccups. Yet, we have a long way to go. So mostly, I’m just praying that by the time August rolls around, T is not so frustrated with me and my wedding to-dos that he is still willing to put up with me long enough to meet me at the altar…

That’s it. Sorry I wrote in bullets and made this very short. The dogs are running around making messes and trouble as I write, so this is the best I could do for now!

Oh, by the way, the story I intended to write about in the first place…

Today I learned a lesson about relationships that I hadn’t yet learned before. For months, I have been teasing T about being careless with his car keys, his tools, and many other belongings. Since I have known him, I cannot tell you how many times he has run a battery dead by leaving the car lights on, or how often he complains because he cannot find his key to run to the store. A few months back (possibly 6 or more), T officially lost his car key. It’s one of those expensive German things that cannot be cut or bought anywhere besides the dealer or it messes up the car and its engine. Anyway, he had to resort to the spare because neither of us could find it after hours and hours of searching. Today, as I reached in my purse to find a pen, I was poked with some long pole-like object. It was the end of his car key. Needless to say, I feel really bad and totally regret all of the teasing that I did. He is more than happy to pay me back by laughing at my stupid mistake, but we also never even thought to look in my bag before! I guess I’m learning that it really does take the both of us to keep a house and lifestyle going that is similar to what we were both use to at our other homes. And even then, sometimes it’s not enough to feel those mountains (or even just those mole hills) that have been popping up in life lately. But like I said before, hopefully he will continue to be willing to put up with all of it for the sake of having me in his life. I’m not quite sure that I’m so worth it, but I know for a fact that he is.

 

~B

Everything Falls Into Place… Or Out of It

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It’s funny how things happen in life. Whether you believe in God or not, there’s something about events in life that make you question coincidences and fate. At least I can’t imagine not thinking about fate myself.

Just a month ago, I was a full-time working teacher who barely had any time to devote to my family or my faith. It was sad really, how much time I spent devoted to my job and my students. I loved making a difference, but I never realized just how much of me I gave to something that gave nothing back. I didn’t mind being selfless for a while, but recently I’ve come to realize that when you least expect it, your family will need you the most.

I just started substituting again this past week. First, let me just say I am absolutely in love with being able to work in a school setting with kids who are appreciative of my time and talents. Yet the minute the school day is over, I’m able to come home and enjoy my family and my free time. It’s almost like the best of both worlds.

This has also been the opportunity that has allowed me to face my religion again. I’ve actually had time to go to church lately, and I’ve been praying every day as I help students in a Catholic school. I may not be Catholic myself, but our religions are not so different that I can’t say some of the prayers along with the kids. And thank God I have been.

Because last night, well yesterday afternoon, I realized just how much I need God in my life. I will never shove my beliefs down someone else’s throat, but I do not understand how I could make it through some of the things in my life without feeling like there is a higher power leading me in the right direction and helping to challenge me to make me stronger.

Anyway, the big deal yesterday was that my boyfriend got into a motorcycle accident. And we were extremely fortunate. He has a pretty serious collarbone fracture but is totally fine besides that. He was able to actually stand up and walk away from the scene. And even the bike has fared pretty well, considering the worst damage is some mis-aligned tires and handlebars.

I wasn’t there at the time; I was on my way home from work where I had just gotten done listening to a Congolese refugee speak about the child soldiers and human rights in Africa. I was in such a good mood because the weather was so nice. And, because of that presenter, I was feeling extremely grateful and thankful for the way my life has gone thus far, for all the gifts and privileges I have had, for the ability to be so close to my amazing family. I never thought that I would be taking T to the emergency room just minutes later.

I guess the reason I am writing this is because I need to write about something today. I feel that itch in my bones that makes me realize I need to get some things down on paper or otherwise. But mostly, I don’t know how else to express my thankfulness for the people who helped him after he had crashed. I don’t know who any of the people are (besides family of course), but I do know that he was on a back road by himself and could have been much more seriously injured. The fact that multiple people stopped to help him means that there are still many, many good people in this world. And in light of how our government is acting and how people have been fighting recently, I am just so eternally grateful to anyone who chose to be a good citizen yesterday on that windy back road.

The next few weeks might not be easy for us here, but he is going to heal just fine and we will move on with our lives, this accident left as only a faint and awful memory. But thank you again to anyone who may have already forgotten it happened. Thanks to some of you, my man is okay, the bike made it home, and we are left with only a broken collarbone to deal with. Thanks also to the manufacturers of his armored jacket and his helmet. Even the ER nurse was astounded at how well he was able to move around yesterday. I know not many cyclists are quite that lucky after flipping their bikes.

I honestly will be eternally grateful to all of those who helped. From God to the nurse and the doctor to anyone we may meet over the next week as his arm gets set correctly for healing. If I ever lose him, I just don’t know what I would do. So yesterday and in upcoming days, any of you who have made an impact… I just hope you realize how you didn’t just help save his life yesterday; you helped save mine too. Thank you.

 

~B

Fall Means Plenty of Stumbles

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It seems like every time I write on here anymore it’s for a negative reason. I don’t mean it to be that way, but I have found that I am a lot happier living my busy life rather than writing about it these days. It’s only in these moments when I feel the need to come back and use my writing as a tool to help me sort out all of this unexpected.

Not even sure where to start really, so I’ll start with this: does anyone ever feel like people from the past continually try to pop back up in your life even if you consistently try to forget about them? That started happening to me about a month ago. I tried not to let it bug me but I guess the truth is that those people still have the ability to affect me, even when I don’t understand why.

Even now that nonsense continues, but at least I know I am not the only one struggling with this fight. My family doesn’t appreciate the actions of these others either, actions that I can only seem to describe as intrusions.

Work started about two weeks ago now, and I knew from the first day that I was in for some kind of new experience. I never realized until just this past week that the place I once knew is different now. And I realized that sometimes it’s not the place at all, but the people who make places feel like homes. Last year that place was a home to me,  at least in some sense of the word. But now that the family has left in numerous directions, it has been feeling more like that building is an empty barn. I am really trying to make the adjustments that this year will require of me but I know that so far I have been completely unsuccessful.

Then there’s life outside of work, which is again working through some strange plan of God’s that I doubt I ever understand. I’ve been having trouble going to church still, and I’m no longer sure it would help if I did go. But what I do know is that God has taken a lot of hope from me recently. Early last week my family learned that my aunt probably doesn’t have much longer to live. That is hard enough to deal with, particularly to someone who has too many emotions like me. But on Thursday she ended up in the ER. That makes it seem worse or maybe like death is faster approaching.

That same day one of my friends lost his battle with bladder cancer. It was some form that is really rare and wasn’t really treatable. I’m going to go see his family tomorrow night but I know my timing is already tight because of an appointment I have beforehand. Hopefully it all works out.

I think the best thing about all of this mixed up nonsense is that it gets to weasel its way into the other corners of my brain too. Who would have thought that a death or the hopelessness I am starting to feel would have such an affect on every part of me. This weekend I even threw all of my caution to the wind and took a risk in my life. I’m still not sure that it was the best choice, but I definitely don’t regret it. In fact it turned out really well. So am I growing up or simply growing careless?

I fear it may be carelessness simply because my brain has been able to run rampant recently, though I feel as if I have been trying to remain calm. Even things like my boyfriend and my family have been stress triggers. Those people haven’t done anything wrong, but my brain seems to believe that my status with them is going to change for the worse somehow and that it will be my fault. Keeping thoughts like that at bay is extremely difficult, but trying to explain them to someone else, even just to ask for help, is way harder than dealing alone sometimes. So many bad things could be inferred from any of those feelings of mine. At least I feel solid in my relationships and I know what I love and want. I just hope when everyone else hears my thoughts they will understand what I mean too and will keep in mind that as strong and smart as I am, I don’t always choose the feelings and worries that my mind chooses to give me. Trust me, I wish I did.

Career Confusion

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It’s after 9PM and my boyfriend and I are both still working. Well, I guess I’m technically not working, but I haven’t stopped thinking about work since about 8AM this morning. He’s had an even longer day, and I wish I could do something more than Skype him to make up for it!

Not sure what to say about his work day, so I’ll just share details of mine…

Today was a weird day. I forgot my laptop at home for one thing, which is basically a teacher’s sin. Or something like that.. maybe committing teacher suicide? In any case, one of my family members was nice enough to drive it to work for me so that I could actually accomplish something with the remaining 8 hours of my work life for the day.

I actually got quite a few things done, but I chose to work in a coworker’s room so that I could talk to them and we could listen to the radio together. With that being said, our conversations were pretty short and terse. We were both so distracted by other things that were going on that we just weren’t focused enough on each other’s presence to pay attention to a conversation of any substance. 

At one point my coworker had started to say something that I took in a sarcastic way. No big deal, but apparently my laugh bothered her. I mean, I cannot be certain that she wasn’t teasing me right back, but she made a weird comment that has me questioning myself and my status at work now. I don’t understand how her new task of assigning classrooms to teachers should have anything to do with my status or attitude towards her. She mentioned something about me “needing to be nice” to her or I would never get a classroom. First of all, I thought she was joking. Secondly, I am now stuck wondering if people actually think I would be one of those people. 

You know the people right? The ones who would rather see you dead while they inherit your money than to see you healthy and happy without their own monetary gain. Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme, but I’m not exaggerating by much. Why would I ever treat someone differently just to get what I want.

Okay, at home I tell someone that I will do one chore for them if they do one task for me. That’s a little different though; I still do random acts of kindness at home on occasion. And even if my family understands that we are just swapping jobs and helping each other out, I wish I knew that people at work did not see me in this kind of light. I would never put others above or below anyone else just for my own gain. 

I know, I know… most people in this day and age would slit throats to get ahead in their careers, to make more money or to have more vacation days. As much as I would love to have a classroom for easy access to my supplies, a place to make my own comfort zone, and a quiet place to work during the day… I’m not going to suck up to someone to get it.

I feel it is wrong for me to be this upset about something that was said, but to clarify, she said it at least two times to me throughout the day. I still cannot tell whether she was joking and am unsure that I will ever be able to tell. So, for whatever reason, I’m praying right now that things don’t become awkward between the two of us. I know not to trust people outside of my family very much at all, but I thought that she was someone I could at least rely on a little bit. Was I wrong again? 

Misunderstandings

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I guess the thing is this: I see where Joe is coming from, but I also understand where Gina has been. If I am not directly involved in a situation, it is so easy for me to have this wide open perspective. I wonder if that’s why I sometimes struggle to get along with people.

Why am I writing about this now anyway? I still have other feelings I need to write about and get out of my mind. I guess the only reason I am even thinking about this perception now is because I saw it firsthand tonight.

I absolutely love spending time with my boyfriend and my family. I know this love and want and need stems from how I was raised by such a close knit group of parents. But what I struggle to realize sometimes is that not everyone had the amazing family that I had growing up. Not everyone actually understands what it means to be a part of a true family. So maybe my people take the crazy and the love to the extremes sometimes. They are still the ones who love me and they always will be.

I guess the thing my family doesn’t realize is that I have someone in my life who means the world to me but doesn’t fully understand my upbringing. And it seems that person also doesn’t understand why my family is the way it is.

I would like to tell everyone how it truly is… how things look from my outside perspective. Because, while I love them all, I get a little lost in between their differing beliefs sometimes. That alone is confusing to me. I can see things from so many different points of view that it’s crazy. Just the other day a friend asked  me about what kind of Lutheran I am. I honestly couldn’t answer her, because even if I had attended the same church my entire life, my beliefs are pretty scattered. I’ve had time spent in a UCC organization, but I then moved to a Lutheran church. In between that, I was a Catholic school teacher and attended all of their mass services. See what I mean by being able to understand all kinds of things? Heck, I’m even a fairly religious person who is also a scientist and mathematician; explain that one once!

The point being is that I hope I didn’t upset any of my family or T by speaking out tonight or over the past few nights. I know my attitude and personality is not always fun to get along with. In fact, I often blame my anxiety on the fact that even I cannot get along with myself. In any case, I hope that we are all mature and strong enough adults to be able to talk through things, work through other situations, and form even stronger bonds than what we already have. I’m sorry for the crap I’ve put you all through; wish I could do more to guarantee it’ll never happen again….

~Me

Not Just Another Memorial Day Post

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First, I don’t want anyone to think I am rude. I am thinking about those who we are supposed to be celebrating today for Memorial Day, however; I don’t have a whole lot to say on the event, unless you consider discussing BBQs and cookouts as an actual Memorial Day “part”. I know the holiday is about more than that, but since I don’t know many who have been in the military, I don’t have any of them to hang out with or thank today. Hence, they are in my thoughts, but this post is not about the day.

You know what I have come to realize this weekend? Quite a few things actually. From staying over at my boyfriend’s house for hours and hours this weekend to going to a party for the first time in a couple of years to being outside and getting attacked by my allergies.. this has been a super eventful weekend. Here are the main things that I accomplished this weekend.

  1. Went to T’s graduation. (See previous post…)
  2. Spent a day with my mom for the first time in… forever!
  3. Spent almost 3 whole days with my boyfriend. Yay!
  4. Watched a whole bunch of people drink and act like idiots.
  5. Watched a creepy guy flirt with multiple girls at once.
  6. Watched creepy guy accidentally flirt with me while my boyfriend wasn’t around (coincidence or no?)
  7. Went to the park and took a hike around the lake with my entire family.
  8. Slept in way longer than I should have on any given day.
  9. Received my diploma in the mail (finally!)
  10. Ate at Texas Roadhouse to celebrate T’s graduation.
  11. Went to the drive-in movies and saw Tomorrowland.
  12. Gave the dog a “spa day”, including a good brushing (or three), toenail trimming, and some hair cutting… plus a bath!

I think those are the main things. But through each of those events, I have learned at least one thing. I think the biggest thing I realized is that I sometimes need some time alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love having time to spend with the four people that I love most in this world, but I am so relaxed to just be able to sit here right now and type without worrying about a schedule, timing, etc. I don’t need to be anywhere today, I don’t have any major responsibilities today, and I have no pressure on me right now whatsoever. This feeling feels… great!

Second, I have learned that it is ridiculously impossible to schedule equal (or anywhere close to equal) amounts of time with everyone that I love and who deserves my attention. I have had moments recently where I feel like I am neglecting those I love, and that feeling is awful. I mean, I’m not neglecting them, but with everything going on in my life this weekend (and right now in general), I feel like I barely get to see some people. I don’t think I’ve seen my grandma since Dad’s birthday in April… 😦

I also think it’s important for me to realize that this is my last day of freedom for quite a long time. As I glanced at my calendar this morning, I realized that I will be late home from work every day this week except for Thursday. Yay me! And what’s worse, my anxiety is on high alert because of the crazy schedule, my break in routine from this weekend, and a couple of other things. As much as I was looking forward to going to Hershey Park last week, I now wish that I didn’t have to go at all. But I know the kids (at least some of them) are relying on me to be a buffer between them and some other chaperones, so I know I have to go. It’s just too bad that it’s so late at night that I will be getting home and so horrible that I just get nervous about these things instead of excited or happy. 

Oh nerves… I think that is what really wraps up what I am feeling right now. I’m just a bundle of nerves. About work, about my schedule and routine, about people that I care for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a full blown panic attack or anything, but I just feel this underlying nagging sensation… like any minute, everything will start to seem way worse than what it is. 

I have to go now… my schedule is calling me again. Wish me luck!

~Me

Now things get sticky…

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I mean that literally… It’s starting to get hot outside very quickly, meaning it’s humid and sticky and we need to have one of those big, awesome thunderstorms that knock out the electricity and help me sleep at night. It doesn’t appear that will happen though. I even attempted to plow up the garden tonight, but the ground was so dry I only got about 1/4 inch down before I had to resort to a shovel rather than a rake or hoe. 

Though the garden isn’t done and it’s already May, many other things in my life have come to an end. My college career, my relationship with my grandfather, and the fact that I don’t say I love you to people outside of my family. (Yes, the last one sounds silly, but it’s true!)

I haven’t written in a while, so this might just seem like a huge update, but it’s important for me to get these things out of my head, at least for a while. 

I graduated from college on May. I have a Masters Degree now. And I’m not even going to use that knowledge next year at work… I was so excited, for no apparent reason. I keep trying to tell myself that a second degree is a huge accomplishment and that I didn’t necessarily want to teach Physics next year anyway, but when I compare that to my other options (Calculus or Statistics), playing around with labs and teaching kids about the real-world doesn’t seem quite so difficult. 

I’m skipping the second topic… I just realized that I’m not sure I’m ready to really talk about it. No one understands, so why bother trying to let that emotional mess out? 

As for the I love you statement, I have officially said it to my boyfriend. Which seems crazy since we’ve only been dating for about 4 months now, but this has been one of the best times of my life! And, as usual, when things are in my head, they just slip out. So one day, weeks ago, I accidentally said I love you as I was getting ready to leave my boyfriend’s place. I played it off like it was an accident, a misstep in my words, but I was starting to actually feel it. The only reason I didn’t admit it right off was because I didn’t want to scare him away. This man… he and I are so alike that it’s crazy. But we’re also just different enough that we learn new things from each other without driving ourselves crazy hanging out. It’s weird. All I know is that he has taught me what the difference is between abusive relationships and really cooperative and cohesive relationships. I never knew it before, that my ex mistreated me so badly, but I know it now. It’s funny; looking back, I don’t know how I could have missed all the ways he put me down and all of the mean things he said to me. I guess sometimes you don’t learn your life lesson until it’s basically too late to learn it in an easier way. 

My students have been amazing recently. While most teachers call their students their “kids”, mine are like brothers and sisters to me. I’m too young and it just seems creepy to call them my children! But I love them like children or younger siblings just the same. It’s come to the point where some of the kids can tell when I am having a bad day (not because I’m mean, but because I get quiet and withdraw from things) and they know when I need my space and when to ask me if I need to talk. They are truly one of the most amazing groups of children on this planet… (no, I haven’t met all kids in the world, but I’m telling you these kids are amazing!) 

The reason I bring them up is because they helped me get through a really hard time recently. I don’t remember which day it was exactly… probably sometime in April. I had come home from this awful day at work. My boss was moving on to a new job, my coworkers were starting to follow the boss out the door… it was just bad. I thought things honestly couldn’t get any worse (because they are practically my family and we are super close), but as soon as I stepped into the door of my house, I knew I was completely wrong.

What is that saying… when it rains it pours? Yeah, it definitely poured that day. I’m actually surprised that I don’t remember the date since it has had such a huge impact on my thoughts and feelings lately. Anyway, I sat down at the kitchen table to talk to my family about my day and to find support and love from them in any way that I could. Sure, I was being selfish. But when Dad said we needed to talk, I knew something was wrong. My nerves went on even higher alert than they already had been, and he started to talk.

My grandfather died the week before. A full week before. And no one ever told us. We found out through my dad’s family rather than my mom’s. It’s kind of pitiful really… how one group of people can hold so much hatred towards others. The decency that they have is… zero. Who puts my name in some guy’s obituary because I am a close relative but then never lets me know that he is dead in the first place? It’s nothing like walking into your workplace to have people approach you with condolences only to have no idea what they are talking about or how they know about any of this really messed up situation. But that’s what happened the next day.

Back to the kitchen for the moment though… you know what my reaction was? I just started bawling. I freaked my parents out, that’s for sure. They didn’t expect me to care. They thought I would just shrug my shoulders and move on with my life. But I can’t. I couldn’t… no, maybe I still can’t. Otherwise I wouldn’t be typing about this right now, right? 

The thing is, my grandfather wasn’t old. He wasn’t sick. He didn’t have an accident. Nope. He killed himself. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, and I don’t know who found him. All I know is that he died by his own hands. And, unfortunately for those who think I should be really empathetic and considerate of him right now, it scared me more to know how he died than to simply know that he had died. 

One thing my family never really talks about to anyone is the past. We don’t discuss how we ended up this way, how it became the four of us against the world. And maybe that’s for a good reason. No one else really seems to understand. But here is the thing… I didn’t just up and decide to hate my grandparents one day. I didn’t choose to spread rumors or tell people that my cousins called me names to my classmates and put me down in any way they could. I choose to say so now simply because I know this is anonymous and I need to get it off my chest. I have kept my past inside for way too long, and this whole death thing has brought it right back to the surface after I have worked for so many years and so hard to bury it beneath everything else in my life. 

There’s one thing I know and it is this: I know I’m not being much of a Christian when I say this, but I am okay with the fact that my grandfather is dead. That is the selfish me thinking about the man who abused my family members, the one who broke into my house, and the one who made me scared to leave my house alone even when I was of an age where I could drive myself places. The non-selfish me is thinking that I am glad he is in a better place and maybe now all of his sins have gone away and he can find some sort of peace. 

Seriously though, I am the luckiest girl in the world to know that the abusive relationships which had started generations ago in that family were not carried on by my mother or my sibling. My mother is the strongest woman I know for being able to handle all of those things. And though many people think she is crazy or really in-tune with God, I can’t fault her for even the most annoying of her habits. The amount of work and determination she put in to make a new life for herself and her family is astonishing. Sometimes I wonder what she feels about the entire situation, if she still thinks about her family like I do sometimes. Especially at times like these, I wonder how she doesn’t break down and cry or jump for joy.

How would you handle it if the man who beat you for years of your life died? Would you feel joy or remorse or simply nothing at all? I cannot tell what my mom feels since she is so good at separating that part of her life from her actual life in today’s world with her family, but I sometimes wonder how she doesn’t feel like this great boulder of burden has been taken off of her back at this death.

Rereading this now, I think I am the most awful person on the face of the planet. I cannot believe that I wrote I have this selfish feeling of relief. While that is not the dominant feeling that I am having about this entire situation, even just an inkling of good vibes feels so wrong when they are about someone else’s death. But how would you feel if you knew someone you loved dearly and someone who put in so much effort to make you have the best life ever was hurt by someone so much, so constantly for so many years? Am I a really bad person or am I just having a moment? 

I really don’t know the answer… 

And now, as I think back on the time that I spent crying, I really am starting to realize that part of me was relieved because I didn’t have to worry about him coming up behind me in some store and grabbing me like he has done before. Maybe my relief isn’t for the fact that he is dead but that I am now safe and protected no matter where I go. Does that still make the feeling bad? But even more than that, I wonder if I wasn’t crying out of confusion and an overwhelming amount of differing emotions and stress that day. To be honest, I cannot even recall if I was crying about him specifically or if I was just so overwhelmed that I couldn’t stop myself from crying.

In any case, I’m trying to get over this hurdle and am hoping that things go better from here on out. At least for a little while. Life cannot always be daisies and roses, but since it’s Spring, can we just pretend for a little while?

~Me

The 50 Me-List Questions

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A weird title for this post, I know… But I came across this blog post on another wordpress site (Thanks ercarletti.wordpress.com). It included 50 questions that you should ask yourself or others to learn more about people. I figured I would give it a try, though I admit that I have not read all of these questions yet and do not know whether I will feel like the information they are asking is too personal for me to answer here or not. I guess we’ll find out!

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

I have had quite a few nicknames over the years, none of which I will list here so that I can keep my anonymity. But I will say that I prefer it when people call me by a unique nickname or my real name. It’s no fun if people cannot spell my real name, so that’s a huge pet peeve of mine, but at the same time I don’t want people running around calling me by some nickname that they also call every other person they know! (I don’t know that this counts as an answer, but okay…)

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

All of them! Even the ones that I have already read! I am a book addict if you did not already know, and I love reading books almost every night before bed. When I don’t, I go back to a book later and realize how much I’ve missed it! (P.S. I am currently looking forward to reading a book for work’s Literature Circle, and I just bought six new books at the store today! My library is quickly running out of room, but my brain wants more!)

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I take after my father here; I normally doodle while I’m on the phone or thinking hard about something. My doodles are normally random lines and shapes put together to make some nonsense pattern. I CANNOT draw for anything, so I won’t leave you a picture or anything…

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

If I can’t sleep at night, I normally read, watch TV, or do work. I know, that last one especially sounds weird, but sometimes it works. Normally when I cannot sleep I’m not tired enough or I have too much on my mind. Nothing distracts me like needing to focus on some serious work!

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?

Probably none. When I’m alone, I often over think. When I over think, I have anxiety attacks. When I have anxiety attacks, it’s never good to be alone. I mean, I guess I could live, but it wouldn’t be pretty… for anyone involved. 

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?

I save them, particularly the old letters. I love it when someone takes that extra time to send me a hand-written letter. Nothing puts a smile on my face better than a sweet gesture like that! And I’m a little old fashioned…

7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know?

Haha. My grandpa was. Now? Hm… not sure? I don’t pay much attention to how much people “stow away” in their homes. I will say that my dad and his siblings take after their dad in a lot of ways; I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them was secretly a pack rat… or maybe more than one!

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?

1) What party?

2) Why would you go to a party alone?

3) This is the worst question so far…

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?

My sixth sense: My emotion. Nothing can beat that baby!

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Twice? Maybe three times? I’m definitely not one to stand in front of the mirror and primp and worry about my weight and all that nonsense. There are so many more important things in life!

11. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

Possibly that the tooth fairy was real… at least that’s the best I’m coming up with at this point. I mean, how can someone so small put money under my pillow while my head is on the pillow? Haha!

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Reality TV shows. Yes, a guilty pleasure. I mean, most people watch them, but you would think that I would be one of the people to realize how overrated and stupid they are. And the thing is, I do! I just find some weird joy in watching other people’s lives turn out similar to mine. Knowing other people mess up sometimes also helps, though that makes me sound like an awful person.

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

My sister… didn’t I write a post about this once?

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections?

Never. None. Nada! (I have a good reason why though!)

15. Which animals scare you most? Why?

Reptiles and insects. I am not sure why; maybe because people put so much emphasis on how weird their scales and crawly legs feel. It seems silly since most of them are barely dangerous and most of them are millions of times smaller than me, but it’s true!

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?

RUN RUN! Is this a question intended to create conflict? If so, I plead the fifth!

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?

I’m pretty sure I was told I was amazing or awesome or something like that. And that I’m a good kisser (but I don’t really believe it!) I’ve been getting a lot of compliments lately, and it makes me feel super special. I’d like to keep them in a journal just so I have them for when things change in life and I need a compliment but am receiving none.

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?

My level of anxiety and how I cannot always handle it alone, which makes me scared to live alone, etc. 

19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain.

Absolutely, though over the past few years, I have become more used to randomness. But when I know that there is a specific schedule set for any one day, it better stay that way or I’m a mess! Otherwise, some randomness can be fun sometimes. 

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain.

I don’t think so, but not many people understand my high level of emotion. I’m not very needy when it comes to material things, but I do need a lot of emotional support and understanding. 

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?

It has been a while. I like to play it safe with my health…

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why?

A whole lot of acquaintances and a few very close friends… why does this question act like you cannot have both at the same time? I know a ton of people, particularly from work, but I can count all of my closest friends on one hand!

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others?

I’m a teacher, what do you think?

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?

I get feelings of dejavu an awful lot! It’s weird! And sometimes the thing that I seem to be “repeating” is something that feels like it has already been repeated more than once. So weird…

25. What do you think about more than anything else?

My feelings and those that I love.

26. What’s something that amazes you?

The random kindness that so few people still have. But when I see it, it’s like I’m watching a miracle come alive. I guess it’s actually sad that this seems so amazing to me, but it is great!

27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why?

It depends on the situation and my mood. Sometimes I feel like I need (or want) to be babied, but other times, I just want to know the truth. I guess as long as people aren’t straight out lying to me, it doesn’t really matter all that much.

28. Where’s your favourite place to take an out-of-town guest?

The next town over! There’s not much to do or see in this one. 🙂

29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why?

Change the oil in my car or do home makeovers and other technical repairs. Sure, I can do anything that I set my mind to and I do know how to change the oil in my car, but why bother? I am in the process of bettering myself and my mechanic can always use a few extra dollars for some easy work! I don’t mind helping him out if he helps me. 🙂

30. Do you have a catchphrase?

Not that I know of… I do have habits though, little quirks that not many people do…

31. What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? What conditions cause you to dislike or, conversely, enjoy talking with them?

I enjoy talking with these people most times, but there is a thin line. I love learning about different cultures, religions, and beliefs, but I do not like it when someone tries to convert me to their way of thinking… that’s when it gets bad!

32. How and where do you prefer to study?

Everywhere and anywhere, though a quiet place is pretty darn good!

33. What position do you sleep in?

I toss and turn and roll all over… or so I’ve been told!

34. What’s your all-time favourite town or city? Why?

I have a few, but there are many more places that I have not yet been!

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?

Honestly, I’m not really sure. Physical appearance isn’t the first for sure. Probably humor, sincerity, and compassion? Idk…

36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you?

I am not sure that it has. I am the big sister, but most times I feel like she’s more mature and responsible than I am in many things in life…

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?

See above?

38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?

I wouldn’t. 

Wow… I cannot believe I just said that. I have wished for so many years that I could have people back in my life. So many people have left for such stupid reasons that it seems silly I cannot have them back. But I think I’ve found a place of peace… a place where I do not want to go back. I’m content here and I am coming to realize that I have not gotten here without going through all of the hurt and crap and obstacles that I have gotten through before.

39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

That’s a hard question! Something unique like mine is now but not so frustrating for when other people have to spell it… no one gets it right! P.S. I love my name!!!

40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not?

No; ignorance is never bliss. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, but when it comes to your original action, it’s better to have all of the facts and just know how to control your actions. If you don’t let things ruin you, they won’t.

41. What do you consider unforgivable?

Many things, though I’m not sure I can pinpoint them! It depends on my perspective of the situation, whether I am directly involved, and how much emotional stress I am currently under. I will try to forgive anyone, but it’s not always possible. One thing I know for sure: cheating is NEVER okay. EVER.

42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not?

Not all of them, but I’m working on it. I hold myself to very high standards, not because I think people without standards are less worthy or any nonsense like that, but because I want to be as successful as I can be. I find reaching for perfectionism is not the happiest thing anyone can do, but it has gotten me pretty far in my life thus far. I think that outlook on life makes it harder for me to forgive myself for things. But it will be okay sooner or later. I’ve improved in this a lot.

43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?

Very difficult. Extremely! I want to, but I just cannot. Even if some people do apologize, I cannot forgive. Or maybe I just don’t forget…

44.Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?

I would never intentionally hurt someone unless it was in self defense. And before you freak out or take this the wrong way, I’m not just talking physically. More people are abused emotionally than anything else, and those are the kinds of hurt that truly concern me. Would I be willing to die for that belief… well, I’m not honestly sure. Who can know what they would gladly die for until placed in a situation that makes them decide in a split second?

45. To what extent do you trust people? Explain.

Not very much. I am a very open person (or this blog wouldn’t exist), but I have some reservations about people because of my past. It’s funny; barely anyone I know personally even knows this site exists. My coworkers don’t really know anything about me. But my friends and family? I’d tell them everything. I guess it’s just figuring out whether they are my friends or not that is the hardest part.

46. In what area of your life are you immature?

Chores, errands… whatever you want to call them. If I had enough money to pay someone to cook and clean and do those silly tasks at the end of my long day, I’d absolutely do it. Though I know I wouldn’t learn anything from that, it truly does drive me crazy to “waste” my time doing those types of tasks. I’m not even sure why…

47. What was the best news you ever received?

My dad was still alive (long story).

48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?

Not very! If I ever lie, it’s normally due to my extreme sarcasm and is not even meant as a lie when it leaves my lips. I truly do not try to lie EVER, though I will be quiet when there is something on my mind that I know I should say but really don’t want to share.

49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first?

Question 1: About a month ago

Question 2: I’m still figuring that out (Question 3 has this same answer…)

Question 4: No.

50. When do you find yourself singing?

When am I alone? Haha.

That was pretty fun; I suggest you share with your friends and answer them together. You might learn something awesome. 😉

~Me