The end.


Well friends, I think this will be my last post for a while. When I started blogging several months ago, I was rebuilding myself, and questioning a lot of things in my life. Some people referred to my blog as “therapy sessions,” and being “brutally honest.” Thanks to all who cared enough to follow along.

Writing this has become more of a chore now, and I haven’t really written anything I’ve really loved for some time. I figured I will just quit while I’m a head and begin focusing my energy elsewhere.

I will probably hide this shortly after January, so savor the posts while you still have time.

In light of the upcoming celebration of 2012 ending, here is my cliche “look back” at my ups (lord knows I wouldn’t put my downs on here):

January

  • It is standard for our office to celebrate the holidays after they pass. We generally have all our venues rented for other businesses during this time. Last January was no exception. We also had a nice night out at Barrymore’s after…. …
  • I made my first-ever venture to Avoca for the annual duck races. With a couple coolers and lawn-chairs in tow, our group claimed our spot front and center for the show. I also saw random ticket guy here. He’s so random!
  • We were just beginning to meet with our agency for the website redesign. One of the biggest projects I’ve tackled at my job.

February

  • Nina’s birthday! I don’t remember a ton about this after we got to her house (Funions?), but I do remember how terrible I felt at Lauren’s bridal shower the next day.
  • I took part in my first experience hiring someone for a full-time position.
  • The big snowstorm that hit was pretty fun! I really think I like shoveling snow.

March

  • Officially hired for my additional part-time job. Not sure if this was really a high, but it did keep me under control on the weekends.
  • Lauren had her bachlorette party in downtown Omaha. Shenanigans included street corner musicians, rallying puking, dancing on fire bars, and rooftop to the rooftop party. “I’m going to be Mrs. Murrrurrerrrerr!”
  • Went to the Slowdown with Nina to watch G. Love! So many jokes from that night I can’t even start. “I’m just glad I didn’t have to lick his hand!” “Bitchin’ Harmonica.”
  • Mike & Lauren’s wedding was beautiful, and I’m so happy I was able to help. I was sick this weekend, so once I got back to the hotel, I slept in the bathtub because I couldn’t stop coughing and didn’t want to wake everyone up. I woke up to Todd coming in. So much about that weekend makes me reflect on how much has changed since March!

April

This was the month from hell. NOTHING good happened. Maybe DOOMSDAY, but the ups from that night were outweighed by the downs. I guess all the stress led to me running between 5 and 7 miles every day, which I was pretty proud of. When people asked what my motivation was, my response – “It’s the only thing I have control over and that makes sense right now.”I did stay with one of my best friends for two weeks. Roomie run!!

Oh, and this was the month Jack locked himself in the bathroom at Jenny’s, which is pretty funny looking back.

As I posted on 4/22 “Some day, I will look back and just have to laugh.” That day is today!

May

  • CANADA roadtrip! Complete with naps in parks, Canadian hockey, nearly getting kicked out of customs, Free Shit Trucks, and the Black Keys! We went to the “World-Famous” (count it?) Palamino, and survived! “Are you from the states? Are you 18?”
  • Finally got to go see a Fiddle Championship. We got there a little late, but know how to make anytime fun. 🙂
  • I also finished 5th in a MarioKart64 tournament out of 24!

June

  • Went to my first Testicle Festival. I don’t think the regulars liked us playing horse races.
  • I was relieved of my weekend job. AND I didn’t get fired!
  • Went to State College for the Big Ten Alumni Relations Institute Conference. I got to see my sister, if only for a night.
  • Attended the wedding of one of my few high school friends I still talk to. Was good to see him with his match!
  • Never thought I would ever see Boyz II Men in concert, but I did in June!

July

  • As part of my transition in 2012, I was refinancing my house to have only myself as the owner. My good friend Zach moved in, which eased so many of my worries about affording everything.
  • Finally launched the website, though this didn’t mean my crazy hours ended for a while.
  • Went to Kansas City for a girls weekend with Jenny. Remember we had to stop about every 30 minutes on the drive home?
  • I joined Match.com, which was a big step for me to put myself back out into the dating world.
  • Went tubing down the Niobrara with Ashley. Definitely could have been better conditions (under 100 degrees and without a giant fire approaching), but still very fun!
  • Went to my first horse races in Lincoln. Though, I didn’t win anything.

August

  • The beginning of the “DRAGON”! I can’t believe we started that 3 months ago!
  • Czech Days. I love weird things like this, so I’m very glad I went. I don’t know what else to say, other than I don’t know if I will ever go again! One of those weekends you are happy only happens once a year.
  • Saw one of my favorite bands for the second time in Omaha – Trampled by Turtles. Had a wonderful conversation with Suz on the way home.
  • First concert at the Pinewood Bowl – Mumford and Sons with Nina and Jenny. “I’m down.” “Don’t get up until she honks three times!”
  • I started my map project, which tracks every road I’ve been on. It looks great in my office, too!

September

  • G. Love part duex. Not nearly as fun as the first time, but we did manage to steal booze.
  • I took my friend to her first Husker game. Tailgating in general was really fun this year, even if we did have to take naps a couple times. “If we haven’t heard from them yet, they are either drunk, or sleeping.”
  • Lindsey’s wedding festivities were in full-swing. Even though her bachlorette party didn’t go as most assumed, things worked out for the best!

October

  • Went to Columbus, OH for work to cheer on the Huskers. One of the things that helps me keep my sanity in the fall.
  • One of my best friends got married, and I was part of the wedding. I also helped her gather and prep that weekend, which means a lot that I was able to be there for her. I remember the first conversations we had about them getting married, so many years ago!

November

  • Nina and I decided to drive the southeast. Probably one of the best roadtrips I have ever taken! We made the majority of our stops to roadside attractions. It makes your soul happy to see so many weird things that were setup “just because.” New Orleans was also wonderful.
  • Fakesgiving, as expected!
  • Survived the annual bus trip/traveling tailgate which much less embarrassment that last year. At least until we got back downtown.
  • I voted, for the first time in my life. Go a head, judge. I have my reasons.
  • I was able to finally get out to see my grandpa and relatives in Davenport, IA. It has been almost two years since I’d made that drive! My brother and his wife announced they are pregnant, so in 2013 I will be an aunt.

December

  • Eliminated all the green rooms in my house. Hopefully i will be able to paint the downstairs bathroom and eliminate all the blue-grey rooms too!
  • Today (12/14), which is one of the most highly anticipated days of 2012 for me!
  • Celebrated being at my job for three years. I am approaching this being the longest job I’ve held!
  • I’m looking forward to seeing my brother, sister, and theirs this holiday season. I honestly would be ecstatic for another giant snowstorm to hit on Christmas (let’s just hope everyone gets into town before).
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December 21, 2012 is the end.


Can’t stop listening to this today.

For almost a year now, most of us have been looking toward Dec. 21 with caution, though I doubt most people believe the world will really end.

I think people like to believe, as it unites strangers. Now a days, faith in something other than religion is almost impossible. No, the world won’t explode, but that day everyone will think twice about “what if.”

To me, this day so near the end of 2012 is a snapshot of how so much of my year was spent: throwing cation out the window and indulging in what I wanted to. YOLO, Carpe Diem, Live Like You’re Dying, whatever the phrase, that was my mentality.

In another view, life without consequences.

December has been daunting this year. I am anxious for it to come, only because I am anxious for it to be over. December 2011 left so many bad and distinct memories: the nights in New York, saying “goodbye” at the Amtrak station, going through the motions during Christmas, spending most of New Year’s night locking myself away in a bathroom.

After December, so much of the details were lost as hollowed myself as a person. I remember major things, but the timeline, the effects, the general progression is unclear. I don’t really want to remember. The unforgettable good memories are just colorful pieces that occasionally reveal themselves from the grey spiral shit show of things that were wrong.

I guess I’ve come to the conclusion, that all these coincidences lately are just a sign I’m on the right path. I’ve applied meaning to life again. Things that happen aren’t just isolated instances, that happen for no reason. I saw “The Life of Pi” over the weekend, and one of the few lines that stood out were, “Does it have to mean anything?”

It can if you want it to. Back then, I didn’t want it to.

After Doomsday (coincidentally exactly 8 months prior to Dec. 13 – the last big milestone of 2012), concerned friends asked me repeatedly, “Are you sure you’re okay?” Some recommended talking to police. All I could do was shrug. There was no point. There was no greater meaning in my mind, other than things happen. Looking back, I let things that happened that night of lesser importance, overshadow the things that happened to me. I didn’t mind, at the time.

One of my Tarot cards was Death; as my reader put it, the falsely “most feared” card. He told me, death doesn’t always mean a physical person dying. It can also mean the end of a period of time, or a personality.

December 2012 is the death of the person I was in 2012. I spent a year, running and hiding, being selfish, and living without consequences.

I started REALLY blogging on June 22 (6 months prior to the day AFTER the end of the world). I was marking that as the start of rebuilding myself. I feel like by the end of 2012, I will be there. Will I keep blogging after that? I will just have to wait to see.

I want to leave 2012 as I entered: alone. There is no better way in my mind for me to give 2012 the finger than to gracefully take a bow, in the same position I was brought into it in, but so much stronger.

My Tarot Card Reading


Great band to listen to on a road trip!

Torah? Taroh? Torat? Torot? I still had to Google it to know what they are called.

Last week on my roadtrip to the south, I spent 2.5 days in New Orleans. Loved the city, and already ready to go back and explore.

One of Nina’s “I really want to” was to go to a fortune teller. New Orleans is infamous for Voodoo and lingering spirits.

The first night, we pasted a dark park that had two tables set up. We decided to take a chance and sat at the only table with a reader. He was a fairly young guy, complete with dreads and a black hat. There were incense burning, and several candles on the table. His voice was smooth and whimsical.

He invited us to put our hands on the velvet that was laid across the heated table, and explained what Tarot cards are: they are a reading of what has happened in your past, what is going on in your present, and what will come in your future. It is not destiny, just what to expect if you remain on your current path.

Handing his deck to me, I struggled to shuffle the well-worn cards once. He maintained a subtle grin on his face the entire reading , while maintaining eye contact always a little longer than made me comfortable.

My past
– I have gained the ability to look at the world and the people in it with a much larger scope than many have.
– I often am trying to help people. I see the chaos others are going through, and try to help them because of my larger view. They will only take help if they want it.
– I have gone through significant changes in my life. As he put it, “sometimes you flick a spider’s web, and it bounces back. Sometimes it only takes one point of it to break to cause the whole thing to come crashing down.” My web fell down, and I’ve recently rebuilt it.

My Present (this is already getting foggy in my mind)
– I surround myself with close friends. I feel complete.
– I am taking a break from a lot of things in my life.
– I’m spending a lot of time evaluating myself, and things around me.

My Future
– He asks me if I’m getting married soon. When I laugh and say no, he says, “well, we don’t always know what’s in store for us.” Not that I’ll be married, but in the next six months I will be with the person I will stay with.
– I will be happiest if I remind myself of what I want most. Otherwise, I will fall back into the same place I was. Repeated: Remind yourself of what you want most.

I was skeptical. I could see how most people could convince themselves they fit those cards.

Then he read Nina’s.

I won’t detail her reading, that is her story to tell. I will say, he said things that her and I had talked about on the ride down. He made exceptions for cards to fit her life before even showing us what they were.

On the walk to a bar to calm after, we both confessed there was no way we could have fit ourselves into the others reading. There were things he said to me that she had to stare at me wit “yeah, exactly” on her mind, and I did the same for her. There was one point in time when he was verbally arguing with what she was thinking in her mind. He nailed both of our readings – past and present.

I’ve said before, I love to love. I’ve tried to shift my focus to other areas of my life, but I’m best at being with someone. My reading was based almost completely on my relationships and friendships in the past and future.

So what? Is destiny controlled? Is there anything I can change based on this?

Not really. Given the last 24 hours, maybe it was a short-hand notice to remind myself of my goals.

Maybe it’s a warning to make sure I stay on the right track over the next couple months.

My last couple blogs have been about coincidences. I think I need to find a stronger word for that, because coincidences just doesn’t seem to fit any more. Regardless, I wasn’t blown away that he could read me so clearly.

There are much stronger powers at work. I’m very interested in what the next six months will bring.

I’m not dating until 2013.


“How am I going to get out of this?” “I can’t do this.” “How did this happen?” “I survived.”

Probably not the reaction you would expect when someone talks about dating.

I threw myself into the dating world once this year, and found that I’ve backed out over the last couple months. I was forcing myself to do something I thought I should be doing.

I still go out. I mingle. I flirt.

I am also very upfront about what will happen next. I’ve learned this while typing a blog in the past: “Yes, I’ll give you my number, but I probably won’t respond.” ‘Someguy’ is now the most popular last name in my phone. I won’t make any plans with them for later, I generally won’t even stay talking with that person until I leave.

They still continue. We’ll text back and forth, and suddenly I’m confused as to why I now have plans with them. I’ll make up lame excuses in my mind for why we wouldn’t work, then bail.

I know what they feel, as I used to be the person who makes excuses for other people, and convince myself they will change. I think a lot of females are drawn to guys they want to fix.

Now I am the unusual girl they want to fix. They see me as a challenge.

Who doesn’t like getting texts from people throughout the day? I’m who they think about on Sunday evenings, on their lunch breaks, on Saturday mornings.

But I run. I know what it feels like to be on the other end. To not know why this person fell off. What is the proper etiquette to tell someone, “I like that you like to talk to me, but I’m just not ready to move forward?” Is there any, other than the decency to just stop letting it drag on? I’ve used these explanations the last month, none of which have stuck: flaky, dodgy, sporadic, not dating. I even compared my dating life to a speed limit, and I max out at 12 mph.

I have friends tell me it’s okay both ways. From, “If you aren’t interested in dating you need to stop responding to them, period.” To, “They are adults, they can take care of themselves.” Even, “You’re in the driver seat, so you get to make the calls.”

I’m still learning things about people. I’m learning what I do and don’t like. I’ve learned the most interesting and that have the most attractive personalities are the ones that have been hurt, felt real pain, or struggled. I’ve learned that modern technology is playing a huge role in dating. I’ve learned that the longer I continue this stage of running, the less I like dating, relationships, and my view on them. I’m learning about myself, and how much I can do. I’m learning how far I still have to go.

I don’t want someone perfect. I want someone real. I’m dragging my feet because I can. I don’t feel any urge to fill a void, there is no reason for me to rush into anything.

So, for now, I’m going to just keep on keeping on. Sometimes that’s the best I can do. I’m already counting down the weeks until 2013 when it will be a fresh start. 2012 – you’ve been a real jerk.

Things you’re not supposed to do in church.


Sunday morning. There’s a 30-60% chance of whose house I will wake up in. Though, every once in a while there is a curve ball morning and I find myself in foreign territory.

This week followed the norm as I woke up on my friends couch and I was confronted with a common dilemma. I want to go to church, but it’s obvious I’m still rocking an outfit from the night before.

Do I not go simply because I’m not fulfilling the “Sunday’s best” outfit expectation? Or, do I go because church is important to me, regardless of my knee-high boots covered in dried dirt, jeans that at one point had as little as one full cup of beer spilled on them, Nebraska jacket, ponytail and whatever makeup is still clinging on. I rarely even leave the house this sloppy.

I went for it. She gave me a ride back downtown and dropped me off at the church, I had two minutes to spare. I sat in the back, I walked quickly to and from communion.

We talked about lasting positive impacts when someone remembers us, and leaving the places we go with a lasting “good thoughts”. This is also why I’m deciding I will go on the road trip in a couple weeks. I hope we can figure out how to get to New York.

The main reason I decided to go to church was because my philosophy on what a church is for. Churches are like hospitals. Being free of sin is being “healthy”, healthy people don’t need to go to a hospital. Sinners go to church to get better. Churches heal.

However, there are other expectations in church, some of which I feel cause people to not go at all. If you want to go, there should be no reason you don’t. It’s people that drive us away. Here are a few examples of expectations:

1. Never show up late. My family struggled with this growing up. Showing up late is like saying, “I don’t care enough about God to leave my house on time.” Obviously false. Sometimes things come up. Some people just have different struggles.

2. Dress your best. I understand that wearing nice clothes implies respect. However, when it comes to religion I believe in “come as you are.” Spirituality isn’t something you do once a week that forces to put on a show and act out of your norm. Churches shouldn’t expect this either.

3. Never bring food. I live on coffee during the week. Nothing would make me happier than sitting in a beautiful building, thinking about theories of how to make myself a better person, and drinking a hot latte. But I won’t.

4. Don’t sit in the front row.I think there is a false precedent that sitting in front must imply you think you are ‘in front’ of everyone else, because no one ever sits up there. Maybe it’s because we don’t like to make eye contact with the pastor. Maybe it’s because we don’t like a hundred people staring at the back of our head for an hour.

5. Put your tithe in an envelope. That way no one can see how much you are giving. I’m not a member. I usually put in whatever small bills I have left in my purse from the night before.

6. Use the buddy system. The first couple years of college, I often wouldn’t go because I would have to go alone. People don’t like doing things without someone, though most outsiders probably don’t even notice. I don’t mind it any more, it’s just exactly who I am: A young, single female making mistakes, learning, and doing what I want to do.

Single female troubles

Thought Catalog is a great blog. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it (along with Hyperbole and a Half). TC posts blogs from a variety of bloggers in their 20 and 30s, mostly the same style as my blog.

Earlier this week, they posted a list of the top 20 reasons why being single is great. I agreed with most of them, and a lot revolved around being able to do whatever you want when you want, no questions, second-guessing, or considering others feelings.

While often it is nice to stop at whatever restaurant or pick whatever music on a whim, I’ve found that I do miss not having to make plans. It can be exhausting having to consider and decide every part of a day. Sometimes the thing that makes me happiest is coming home and having the trash taken out, because it’s just one less thing I have to think about.

A couple weeks ago was the first time I had ever mowed the yard at my house. I couldn’t figure out how to start it. No matter how hard I pulled, where I moved the lever, it wouldn’t go. All I could think about, was imagining my neighbors looking out their windows and taking pity on the poor young girl who couldn’t even turn on a simple engine.

Luckily, the issue was resolved before it was noticed and some ‘hero’ had to step in.

Being a single female homeowner has been a lot tougher than I imagined. With my busy schedule, I have gone months without going to areas in my yard, or places in my basement. My parents had to come help me revitalize by plants because I forgot they were there and didn’t water them. It sounds odd to think I just forget about the things I own, but as long as they’ve stayed out of sight, they’ve been put of mind.

I’m grateful I have a male roommate. I’ve lived by myself for several years, and have learned the ‘tricks’ to protect myself (in addition to taking a self defense class). Keeping men’s shoes by the front door. Never going to where I store checks unless I really know the person in the room. If I’m ever followed, don’t go to your door/car, just keep going. If a cop tried to pull you over between cities, never stop until you make it to the next town. Bras are the best place for important items because I am immediately aware of any hands going near that area. Always have a cab number handy. Never answer the door if I’m alone.

I’m currently in the process of accumulating all my personal information in a safe, in case of emergency. One of my best friends has a survival bag, in case of a disaster. In it she has a copy of her passport, legal docs, food, water, tennis shoes, and other emergency items.

As part of my homeowner experience, I had a repair man in my house to work on one of my bathrooms. I was so grateful Zach happened to leave his stuff out for the man to see. I felt a lot more comfortable knowing he knew a man lived with me.

Growing up, I lived on a circle and my bedroom was on the second floor. I now live on a mildly busy street, in a ranch. My bedroom sits about 200 feet from the sidewalk. I love sleeping with my windows open, but often look twice to make sure no one is standing outside my window. I don’t have a reason for doing this, but it’s just something I have grown accustomed to.

Which sucks. I feel like I can defend myself as well if not more than anyone else. Is it just because I’m female that I have such worries? Has media sensationalized that females are attacked more often?

While in Columbus, I was mildly “harassed” a couple times for being from Nebraska. It wasn’t anything bad, but I really don’t know if me specifically has ever been the target of traveling team obscenities. I can only assume that is because I’m female that it never happened before.

So, all things considered, I’m now debating how this roles into my passion for traveling. I have taken several big trips with only one other females, but what if I want to go alone? And what if it’s not just a trip to another state, but to another part of the country, or even the world?

Can I do it alone? Is it foolish to think something bad won’t happen?

I’m naive about cancer.

Back on a TBT kick!

If you live in Nebraska you either love autumn, or love spring. No one loves winter or summer here. The fall brings excitement: football, sweaters, holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I enjoyed my first handful of candy corn last week. While extremely addictive, in my mind I can’t help compare candy corn to eating plastic. There is absolutely no health benefit, it is an unpleasant color, and the texture isn’t really like anything else.

I believe that so many of our new and undiagnosable sicknesses come from synthetics that we come in contact with and digest. BPA is an obvious one, but I include things that are created for preservatives, medicines, and cleaners. I have absolutely no explanation or reason why I feel so strongly about this, other than it’s “unnatural”.

So then, it is reasonable to say that every time I eat something like candy corn, I feel .0001% more likely to get cancer.

For a period when I was much younger, I thought for some reason that people shouldn’t be treated if they developed some sort of major sickness. I won’t go into more details, mostly because I don’t remember what I was thinking, but I will say I thought that way because I had never faced anyone with a long-term sickness. In my mind, if people who reproduced were sick, they would produce sick kids… And eventually lead to a deterioration of our society.

Seriously, what kool-aid was I drinking?

Anyway, I feel like right now I still have that lack of awareness and in ability to comprehend the entire picture when it comes to cancer. I don’t know anyone who has had to “fight” it in the way you see on TV, or had a serious conversation with a loved one of a person who had it.

My mom had skin cancer (which is a huge reason why I don’t try to tan more than 5 days per year. I blame it on being largely Irish). But it wasn’t the full-blown, crisis control, shave-my-head cancer.

I feel like I’m missing out on a large part of society because I don’t participate in walks or support causes. I know cancer is a terrible thing to happen, and would never take it or a person fighting it lightly. However, forgive my phrasing of the following, but what makes cancer so “special”?

My dad had heart heart surgery two or three years ago, and had to fight an extremely hard and challenging battle to get his body back to where it was. Is there a group for people who love people who have had heart surgery? Was his battle less important in society? Less scary? Less impacting on his family and work?

Again, I know I probably sound like an ass, but I’m just naive. There are so many illnesses that require fights and support for those recovering. Sickness happens, and so much of it is beyond our control. What am I missing?