Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day of College

In honor of all you "youngsters" going back to school, I am reminded of my first day of college. The time in my life that was supposed to be like Van Wilder or Legally Blonde...outrageous and extremely fun!! I lived on campus and was ready to meet new people! Although, I had a fabulous time in college and would go back any day...there were some days that ranked pretty low on my "fun meter."

My first day of school started out early...around 9am. I sat in history class and scanned my schedule to make sure I would have enough time to make it to my second class. Unfortunately, I didn't know the names of the buildings and racked my brain to try and remember where the building was that my Psych class would be in. Class was over and I found the first person who looked like they knew where they were and asked him where I needed to go. The sarcastic look on his face was unmistakable. He pointed his finger to the new building on top of the hill. It was the building furthest away and had no sidewalk...you know what that meant...I had to walk to my next class in the grass in my cute "first day of school" shoes. I only had a few minutes to get to class so I started walking.

I passed all civilization and began trucking up the grassy hill that was covered in dew from the night before. Keeping the building in sight and reminding myself that "I can do it" got me halfway up the hill. There was no one else walking through the grass as I noticed most people driving...stupid freshman...why didn't I drive!?! I took a few more steps and then I heard "tick, tick, tick..." Not the sound of a clock, but the sound of a dozen sprinklers automatically turning on for their morning routine! Now picture this...a confused 18-year-old, carrying every book I owned, dressed to a 'T' and standing alone in the middle of a field...drenched...now crying...

I decided it was best to skip class that morning and head back to my dorm. My roommates could not stop laughing and dabbled in my misery until lunch. Needless to say I dropped that class and signed up for something more reasonable...an online class!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Ice Cream Truck

During one's childhood and years of innocence, I think there are many incidents that are forever embedded into our lives. Those stories that are humorous and yet very telling as we grow older...this is mine.

A few years ago, we were at the beach with my family enjoying the typical "beach stuff." You know...turkey sandwiches, cousins, occasional showers, new bathing suits...and ice cream. Not just ice cream at the local store, but the exciting ice cream truck. The distant, and oh so recognizable tune played in the distance when I turned to my mom and expressed how much I remember ice cream trucks when I was little. I loved them! I loved them more (for some reason) during our annual beach trips...and although I was in my teens that year...I was going to get an ice cream!

She laughed at my statement and asked me if I remembered what she used to tell us about the ice cream trucks when we were little. By "we" I mean my me, my brother and sister...all three years apart and all equally excited about 'beach' ice cream. I told her that I didn't remember anything specific, but she continued to tell me the story.

The ice cream truck would drive by our beach house on numerous occasions during our vacation and, having three kids that wanted ice cream each time the truck passed, she had to figure out some way to stop the 'spending sprees.' Instead of just saying "no" or telling us "maybe next time..." she told us that the ice cream man was out of ice cream when he played his music.

Yes...you read that correctly..."The ice cream man has no ice cream when he plays his music."

Can you believe that? Not only were we tricked (for years) into believing that someone would play such loud music without having a product to sell...but we were the kids chasing a silent ice cream truck! I remember at times thinking how foolish my cousins were when they begged my aunt for money every time that truck drove by playing music...

...if only they knew...he had no ice cream for sale!! Brilliant...ha!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Simply Paying it Forward

During my morning routine of drinking coffee and feeding the pets, I overheard a news story that caught my attention. It simply caught my attention because it was not about Michael Jackson, the war, health care, politics and so on...

The story was about a woman who found two very expensive and beautiful rings while she was out one night in Palm Beach. Instead of letting them go unclaimed at a police auction, she contacted the local news with the hope of finding their owner. She knew someone would be looking for them and knew that they were extremely important in someone's life. Fortunately, the owner saw the news story and claimed the rings...with great appreciation. The woman who found the rings said she just wanted to reassure someone that there were still good people in this world...

Now, this is the kind of story that makes me think...and question myself. What would I have done if I found two diamond rings one night? Would I have returned them? Would I have thought to contact the local media? If you've seen the movie Pay It Forward then you will have a better understanding of where I'm going with my thoughts...if not, you must watch it! After the news story was over, I thought about whether or not I've done something in my life lately to reassure another person that there are still good people. Now, I'm not complimenting myself, saying I'm a saint or anywhere near perfect...but just one helpful interaction with someone in need can go a long way. So here is my good deed.

A few weeks ago, I had just left the gas station and was on my way home when I came to the intersection a few blocks from my house. The car in front of me had it's flashers on. I saw a worried older woman looking out the window and I sat there for a minute to see if she was going to move...but she didn't. I hung my head out the window and asked her if she needed any help. She had her cell phone on her ear and replied with a frantic "yes, please...no one is answering their phones..." She said she ran out of gas and that her car had been giving her trouble lately. I could relate...

After a short discussion, I reassured her that I would be back in less than five minutes with a gas can. I pulled up to my house only to remember that my brother had my gas can and he couldn't bring it to me at the moment. Thankfully, my neighbor was outside and he offered his gas can along with the gas that was left. I quickly thanked him and ran back to the car. On the way back to the intersection, I couldn't understand why she SO frantic. I've ran out of gas before and I was embarrassed, frustrated and (probably) late somewhere...but not frantic.

When I pulled up next to her I saw what caused her to be upset. Her back seat was loaded with young children...not to mention that day was extremely hot and humid. She said that she had her grandchildren and thought she could make it to the gas station...I smiled at her and told her I would give her the rest of the gas in the can. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to start her car so she handed some cash to her oldest grandson in the car and told him to ride with me. I looked at her like she just asked me to adopt him..ha! "No, really....I can go by myself and come back with more gas...you don't have to send him with me." My main concern was that she would worry or have the most horrible thoughts go through her head. I mean, she had no idea who I was or what my intentions were...not that I would do anything crazy...it's just the way the world is now.

So, he climbed in the passenger side, buckled up, and gripped the door handle for dear life. I could sense that he was nervous so I started somewhat of a conversation. I asked him if he went to school around here, what grade he was in, what sports he played, how many siblings he had and if he was having a fun summer. You know...the conversations you have with kids you don't know. Every time he answered me was "Yes ma'am or No ma'am." I looked at him and said..."You are so polite, but you're making me feel old!!" He cracked a smile and started talking a little more...making the short ride less uncomfortable.

We got back to the car, emptied the gas into her tank and exchanged a few passing words. As I was putting the cap back on I told her what a polite grandson she had and that I hoped she had a better Saturday afternoon. Before I could turn around to get in my car, she grabbed my hand and thanked me...genuinely. Not some empty appreciation. I told her that I did it because I would hope someone would do that for me, my sister, or mom if they needed help and that I was more than happy to know that they could be on their way. She tried to offer me money and asked if she owed me anything. I denied the money and just told her to help someone else in need at some time. She smiled and her grandchildren all chimed in with sweet little "thank you's" from the back seat.

As I drove home, I smiled and said a prayer...thanking God that he had given me an opportunity to help someone else. I also thanked him for allowing me the ability to do something outside of my routine that made me feel good, kind and appreciated.

I challenge everyone to step outside of your comfort zone and help someone else...pay it forward.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dedicated to the Ten of You...

This is for Mama Kat's Workshop and is sincerely dedicated to ten people who I would like to say a few things to. I hope you enjoy!

My Love :) I can't thank you enough for how much you love me. We have already been through a lot. Starting at how badly you wanted to be with me during such a difficult time to where we are now. You have been happy when I'm sad, been patient when I'm irritable, and been confident when I see no reason. We have begun a new chapter in our life and I'm so happy to see where we go from here...together. I love you.

My B.F.F. We have had some awkward times since the 3rd grade, but the longer we know each other...the more I'm thankful for you. We are on different paths in our lives but I think our friendship is such a great balance...for the both of us! I have had so much fun with you and I admire you for all the hardships you've faced recently. I am always here for you!

My Parents. I am so thankful for the things you have given me and the things you have not. I am thankful that I've learned how to support myself and not rely on anyone completely. I can honestly say that I am self-sufficient person. I admire how many long hours you've both worked to make sure we were all provided for. The only thing I can think of that I wish was different is that the desire and drive you have for #3 to succeed was equally dispersed among #1 and #2.

NO NAME. You have been written off as a person to me a long time ago; so therefore I have no connection to you...except for the fact that by knowing you, you made me a much more unhappy person. I regret ever being introduced to you and find it humorous that you have (once again) surrounded yourself with the puppets you enjoy controlling. You have done me a favor. I have a clean conscious and sleep so much better at night not having to deal with you anymore. Enjoy your unhappy, lonely, and misguided life.

My A.D.D. Neighbor: Clean your yard!! Geez...finish one project before you start on another. Paint the rest of your house and please stop making your own tools out of junk yard creations. Ugh, such an eye sore!!

Creepy Old Men: Please see below...

VW Salesman: Thank you...thank you....thank you for not approving me to get my Jetta. I was heartbroken, but God works in mysterious ways!! Thank you!!!

My Grandpa Lindley: I regret that I missed the opportunity to know you better. From the stories about you and the few times I did get to meet you, I can only hope to find a man as hardworking and loving as you were. You were such a Christian man and I am thankful that you were my grandfather. I love you.

My Grandma Bishop: I admire what a strong and independent woman you were...throughout your life. Living to be 99 is so amazing to me...all of the things you saw and all of the changes you experienced are incredible. You had a quiet personality but your actions spoke so loudly to me and my family. You were truely an inspiration to our entire family and I am so proud that you were our Grandma.

My Brother & Sister: I love you both tremendously and wish the best for you in the future. I know that God placed me as your older sister to be an example and I hope that I have helped you make the right decisions sometimes...you both have such independence and I admire you for that. I love you both!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What's up with the creepy old guy...?

My girlfriend that I've known since we rode the bus together in the 3rd grade invited me out to get some drinks the other night. I thought it was harmless and quickly jumped in the shower expecting a short (but fun) girl's night...seeing that it was Monday and she had to work in the morning. Anyways, when we walked in the bar around 6:00 there he was...the most cliche, textbook, definition of a creepy old guy I had seen in a long time. And yes, unfortunately, he was there to visit with us. He was a client at my friend (lets call her) Marie's bank and thought it would be nice to spend some time 'catching up' I guess. Well, little did he know that we came with no money and were just visiting the bartender who went to high school with us.

Creepy--"What ya want to drink ladies?"
Marie and I shot a quick 'gold-digging' glance at each other then placed our orders. She asked our bartending friend to make her something and I stuck with an Ultra...I wasn't in the mood to 'party like a rockstar' on a Monday evening with someone I thought should be at home enjoying the 6 o'clock news with his family.

Creepy--"So, who's your friend Marie?"
She went through the whole story about how long we've known each other and that we came to enjoy some time together. A friend of Marie's also joined us at the bar about an hour later which seemed to set the whole night off...for me anyways.
The number one annoying thing to ask over...and over...and over again is "So what was your name again??" Really...is that your game?? He continuously added different letters to my name and would smirk at me like he was Rico Suave...ugh! Then he felt the need to remind me of how great Marie is or how beautiful she is followed by a hug and a peck on her forehead.

I almost lost it...but held my mouth until I thought the time was right. She's an adult.

When the other girl (lets call her) Lori walked in, Creepy became Creepier. He sat beside her and I chatted with my high school friend behind the bar trying to avoid the obvious gestures Creepy was making to my friends. I felt my blood pressure rising when he would ask Lori or Marie what my problem was or why I wasn't smiling and having a good time. I thought it was pretty obvious and self-explanatory; therefore I continued to keep my mouth shut.

I began to lose my cool when he took his sandal off and propped it on Lori's chair, ran his fingers through her hair, stuck his face in the back of her neck and repeated to us how good she smelled. I gave him the look a woman gives a man when he has tried to dance at the coolest club in town and has failed...miserably. You know that look?

Well, I walked outside with the girls and found out that I wasn't over exaggerating anything but I was the only one who didn't work with him...my restraints were gone!! I walked back in to find him standing beside my chair. When I found some room to squeeze through, I regained my seat which was quickly followed by him leaning over me towards the bar...

Me---"Excuse me....? Why are you over here?"
Creepy---"Whoa! What's your problem?"
Me--"I hate trying to enjoy a couple drinks with girlfriends and constantly interrupted by creepy old men...ugh!" (I didn't realize how loud I was, but the majority of the bar smirked...ooopps!)
Creepy---"Creepy?!? Me?!?"
Me--"I didn't stutter...you heard me. Now please get away." (I really said that...I didn't stutter! ha!!)
Creepy--"Hunny, I have children! A son & 5yr old daughter. I am not creepy!"
Me--"Well, then I'm sure you would agree that our fathers don't like old men like you hanging all over us...just like you wouldn't appreciate someone doing that to your daughter."

He called me a couple names in the book, denied that he said them and tried to hug me on the way out. We closed our bill, took the cash on the counter and tipped our friend well.

And that's how it's done...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lincoln Park After Dark

As I stare aimlessly at the computer screen and listen to the constant sound of Payton's razor in the bathroom I am picking my brain as what to do with all my free time. It's so funny to think that the level of free time Payton and I have at this point is nerve racking! It makes me feel very unproductive and that I'm forgetting to do something really important.

But I'm not...

I definitely know that I'm going to shave my legs today and paint my toe nails...probably something along the lines of 'Lincoln Park After Dark...' the deep purple color is a great example of my emotions at this point. I'm going to shape up my eyebrows, do some laundry and step over the fighting dogs periodically. Hmmmm.....

Oh! And my plants need some watering and my closet needs to be reorganized. I've definitely got to start working on invitations for one of my jewelry shows coming up and I probably should push to have a couple more in between, but...

Let me tell you, sleeping in and having no responsibilities or worries is wonderful. Now don't get me wrong, I am not going to live my life off unemployment and suck it dry like the people I used to talk so poorly about...but I am going to take some time away from the overwhelming, exhausting, dishonest, unhelpful, zealous, 9 to 5ers I once thought so highly of.

It's so overrated.

My plan is (this is usually where my dad laughs) to wait on the right thing to come along. My options are open to relocate and I'm not forcing anything!! I pushed and pushed to get the job I did 3 months after graduation and I regret that I didn't have better patience.

But for now...

I'm going to shave my legs, condition my hair a little bit longer, paint my toe nails, water my plants, do some laundry, play with my dogs outside, spend time with Payton and enjoy his company. I will think of what I'm going to do tomorrow...tomorrow! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Looking Through the Circumstances

Just as I am approaching my mid-twenties and thought the worst was behind me...I entered the real world. You know...the one less understanding, less helpful and far more disappointing at times. Don't get me wrong, though, I would never want to go back to high school (unless I was starring in the sequel to 13 going on 30...) but I would love to only need a part-time job at the cafe again, not have to worry about paying the bills or making sure I had enough gas money to get me from 'point A to point b.' Man...wouldn't that be nice. Everyone seems to be so stressed out all the time and extremely concerned about "Number 1."

May I be so bold as to say that I honestly didn't think I would be stressed out or overwhelmed by the level of expectations I set for myself? Sadly, I was mistaken when I had my first anxiety attack last week. I took that as my first sign that I needed to slow down with everything and that's exactly what I did. I put my laptop away at night, I slept longer, cut my work days from 9-10hrs shifts to 6-8hrs shifts. If I was finished at work, I mingled with the front desk or the guest rather than researching extra work to do for that day. I walked away from the overwhelming gossip and judgmental people a while back which was definitely the best thing I could have done although it did lead me to this point. If I spend time with someone and the only thing there is to talk about is other people to avoid the silence, I don't need to be involved. Some may take it as an insult to walk away from that kind of lifestyle, but I did it for myself. I did it because I don't want that kind of unhappiness in my life.

The doctor diagnosed me with anxiety and mild depression...great. It seems everyone is depressed and taking some sort of medication to make them happy, but I wanted to try and change my lifestyle first...and leave the meds as my 'last resort' kinda thing. I am in the process of quitting smoking...holy cow it's a process!! I'm getting outside more and I refuse to stay cooped up in my house all day...the television is so draining! Despite all of these changes I was going to start working on, my fear of going to work each day and facing the judgment and harassment was overwhelming. I could feel the bricks on my chest in the morning and felt relieved when I put the keys in my car to go home. I think it was more fear of fear...or that I was going to have another anxiety attack. I loved what I did, but it didn't make a difference when I was so unhappy because of who I was working with.

The day after I dropped my sister off at the airport to go to college at the University of Southern California (very sad day!), I walked into work 30 minutes early and was fired before my shift even started. Not until I got to my mom's work, did I know that they fired Payton, too. It's an extremely long story, but my blog today is not about the "he-said-she-said" drama rather than the way I am adjusting.

Yes, I was sad to walk away from something I had become comfortable doing over the past 2 years and was blown away that I can be fired whenever someone feels "it's my time." But after those emotions left, I felt so happy. Happy does not even describe the overwhelming excitement I feel about starting a new chapter in my life...a new chapter with someone I adore and who is going through the same thing with me. I walked away from my desk on Friday with a clean conscience and a new outlook on life.

Payton and I went to church on Sunday and the Lord knew exactly what area of my life needed some good ol' preachin' to! The sermon was on 'A Life Worth Watching: Experiencing Joy Despite Circumstances.' I teared up during church and said a quick prayer while I stood up and filed out of the auditorium. All my life I have been looking around the circumstances and disappointments while the whole time I needed to look through them...find my joy...and leave them behind me. My joy was not found at my job nor was it found by the people I was trying to please.

This entire experience has been a blessing in disguise and everything that has happened up to this point is going to lead me somewhere great...I have no doubt as I am maintaining my joy and being the positive person despite my circumstances.

"...I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Phillipians 4:11


About Me

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I am a 20-something young woman growing up and experiencing the things my mother warned me about...love, friendship, hard work, disappointment and success.