I. Hate. Moving.
More specifically I hate physically packing and moving. I actually really enjoy unpacking and getting settled in a new place, but the whole packing and schlepping of things leading up to it? Ugh. Hate it. I like things a certain way, but it would take epically longer to pack everything to my OCD standards. So some things are sort of organized, but the rest of it is just shoved into boxes and bags and I have no idea where about 90% of my stuff is. Hate. It. Seriously, I've been so tired and stressed lately that I feel like I sound like Gollum when I talk about it......
But for real......I hate moving. After running through the list, I've figured out that I've moved 21 times in the past decade. Don't believe me? Check this out:
1) Fall 2006 -- Moved into freshman dorm
2) Summer 2007 -- Moved out of dorm and back home
3) Fall 2007 -- Moved into sophomore dorm
4) Summer 2008 -- Moved out of dorm and back home
6) Summer 2009 -- Moved out of apartment and back home
7) 1 week later -- Moved into friend's house for the remainder of summer
8) Late August 2009 -- Move back home
9) Fall 2009 -- Moved to NYC for internship
10) Winter 2009 -- Moved back home
11) Winter 2009 -- Moved into off-campus apartment with friends
12) Summer 2010 -- Moved back home
13) Summer 2010 -- Moved into friend's house
14) December 2010 -- Moved into Clintonville townhouse
15) March 2013 -- Moved in with Will (Campus apartment)
16) Summer 2013 -- Moved into Millersport apartment temporarily
17) August 2013 -- Moved to Nashville
18) August 2014 -- Moved back into Millersport apartment
19) August 2015 -- Moved into Worthington condo
20) June 2016 -- Moved out of Worthington condo (currently in limbo with family)
21) SOON -- Move to condo in Laguna Vista
Some of you may not consider the moves in and out of dorms "real moves," but I do. It's amazing what you can cram into those small spaces............I still had to pack and schlep each time, so therefore it was a "move."
That list was fascinating, wasn't it?
Regardless.................since the place we're moving into is already furnished, we've taken this opportunity to purge. We've been hanging on to SO many things we don't use, don't need, or have kept for reasons we can't even remember. Papers, old clothes, knick knacks, certain kitchen things I never use...........just things that waste space.
We have had a giant box of miscellaneous cords for probably 3 years. To my knowledge we haven't used any of the cords in that box for the entirety of those 3 years. We have like 5 coax cables.......why??? We haven't had cable in like 4 years. There are old apple cords that don't fit any of the devices we have...........and so many freaking AV cables that we will never use, it's ridiculous. We've just schlepped the box from apartment to apartment -- from Columbus to Millersport, to Nashville, back to Millersport, and back to Columbus. USELESS. I have absolutely no idea why we've kept even half of what's in there.
So we've donated as many things as possible, and sold things and thrown out the rest. We still have a decent amount of stuff, but it feels really good to "lighten the load," so to speak. It's forced me to be really honest with myself about what I actually use and what I've been holding onto for no good reason. It's been freeing.
I think life is kind of like that in general. Sometimes we hold onto things (and people) for no good reason. I'm not advocating that you purposefully burn bridges or tell everyone to go screw themselves.........but some things and people are toxic, and it's not healthy to hang onto them. Sort of like that saying, "The hardest thing in life is learning which bridge to cross and which to burn."
I'm happy, and my path in life -- although kind of squirrelly -- is the path I was supposed to take............but that doesn't mean that I haven't picked up clutter along the way. There is physical clutter in my life, but also emotional and mental clutter. Sometimes spring cleaning needs to go beyond our homes and physical belongings. I'm ready to burn down some stuff in my life and start fresh. And I don't mean that I'm going to leave with middle fingers raised -- it's not like that. I just need to lighten the load in many ways and free myself from not only the burdens others have placed on me, but those ones I've placed on myself.
So even though I hate packing and moving, this is the perfect time to not only purge the physical clutter in my life, but start to let go of the toxic things in my life that have been holding me back. We're not even done moving yet and I already feel a little lighter. It's freeing. Texas here we come.
So we're moving to Texas. It's a huge move, but it's really exciting. There's still a lot to do -- packing, cleaning, etc. -- but more importantly people to see and love on before we leave.
Our wonderful friends threw us a going away party this past weekend, and some of my favorite people showed up. It was a really great night. It reminded me of how many amazing people I know, how supportive and loving they are, and how lucky I am to have them in my life.
This move is bittersweet. It's an exciting adventure that leads to a beautiful coastal town, but I'm leaving behind the city I love -- Columbus. It's a chance to meet new people and have new experiences, but I'm leaving behind the people and experiences I've grown to love so deeply. It's a place with no winter, but I'm leaving behind..............okay that part I'm not sad about. You can keep winter. Eff winter.
But in all seriousness, I will miss so many things and so many people. I'll always be an Ohioan at heart and will look forward to my visits back home -- even if I have to brave the winter weather that will seem even MORE unbearable than it was before. It's totally worth it.
This is gonna get a little sappy, so bear with me....................
To my co-workers: When I had all but given up on my job search, you took a chance on me and my confusing resume. You helped me build and expand my skill set, shared your knowledge and wisdom, and made work fun. You accepted me with my sailor mouth, bare feet in the office, and my tendency to overshare. I will genuinely miss you.
To my neighbors: Thanks for welcoming us to the community and making us feel like we were truly at home. You could've ignored us, but instead you took us in, drank with us, fed us, shared stories with us, and treated us as family. We won't soon forget your warmth and hospitality.
To my praise-band family: We've been through a lot in the past 5-6 years, but I know I always have a place I can call home if you're there. Thank you for inviting me to make beautiful music with you this past month. I know that our reunion was short lived, but nothing can replace it. The musical chemistry that exists on that stage is beyond compare. The joy I get out of watching each and every one of you speak through your instruments is incredible. You are amazing musicians, people, and friends. I've missed you before, and I'll miss you again.
To my friends: There are no words to describe just how much I will miss you. You've helped me through every major (and not so major) event since I was 18. We've failed together, we've succeeded together, and we've learned together. We've laughed a lot, we've cried a lot, we've drank a lot (a lot..........), and we've become adults together. You're the family that found me in midst of all the chaos and claimed me as one of your own. And thank God you did -- I'd be lost without you. You can expect many epic phone calls in the future, because I will miss the hell out of you and your faces.
To my family: This is hard. It's REALLY hard. I know that you're worried, and that your concern comes from a good place, but everything is going to be okay. I'm going to be okay. The fact that I'm moving doesn't mean that I don't love you to the moon and back, or that I won't miss you like crazy, or that I won't think about you every day. But now more than ever I need your love and support. And most of all, I need you to just be happy for me. I'm happy, so be happy for me, and know that I love you with all of my heart. Nothing will ever change that.
It's been real Columbus. I'm sure we'll meet again someday. After all, this is home.
But looks at these pictures, dude..............there's a beach........like right there. Just sayin'..........
When do you know that you're making the right decision? It's not like the heavens open up and some ethereal voice confirms that you are in deed making the right decision. So how do you know? In a way.............you don't.
I think the real test is to be able to look back at a decision you made...........and even if you could change it, you wouldn't. Not that I think I've done everything "perfectly" in my life so far (I certainly haven't), but as far as most big things go I really can't see myself having made different choices. I think this quote sums it up pretty well:
My choice in college
Sure I could've gone elsewhere and spent less money..................but the music instructors I worked closely with were amazing. They helped me find the things that truly speak to me as a person and a musician. Obviously there are incredible instructors elsewhere, but it seemed as though these particular people were tailored to me. We just fit.
I met my best friends during college. And to this day they still are. Some of us don't see each other as often as others, but I love them all dearly. They are some of the most amazing people I know and they have helped me through some incredibly tough times. And as my best friend and I have found out, our relationship transcends distance. We always pick up right where we left off -- every time -- even if that means a 6 hour phone call that goes until 5am.
Moving to Tennessee
Did I leave promptly after I finished my MBA? You bet your sweet patootie I did. But regardless of Nashville not being the right fit for me, I wouldn't change my decision to go there. The plan was never to move there permanently anyway. The sole purpose was always the MBA at that particular school, and then we'd see if we liked it and what opportunities arose. It just so happens that we didn't like it and there really wasn't anything to keep us there. So we moved back. But I met some awesome people throughout my MBA program.............I had new experiences in an unfamiliar place............and most importantly, I got to go to freakin' South Africa!!!!!
Okay, well actually the MOST important thing was that Will and I learned how to be each other's support system. It was definitely hard to be away from friends and family, but we figured out that if we have each other we can do anything. He's my person. That experience made us even stronger than we already were, and it turns out that we're pretty awesome together...........
Obviously there have been many other life decisions beyond those two, but those are the ones that always stick out to me. I think it's because they both are centered on bettering myself, new experiences, and connecting with people.
The moral of the story
It's so important to get outside of your bubble and live life, but in order to do that you have to GO do it. That can mean different things for different people. Some people will never move out of their hometown, and that's fine! If that's where your heart is and that's where your experiences are.....great! Some people will do the exact opposite -- live like nomads and never set down roots, because there's just too much to see and do. That's also awesome!
Whatever your definition of living life to the fullest is...............go do that, because life is too short not to. Our lives shouldn't be defined solely by our careers and our possessions -- that's an incredibly .limited view on what a "successful life" actually is. But it really depends on how you define success and how you let others define your success for you. Success can be finding real love in this crazy world full of distractions. Success can be living comfortably enough to afford your passions/hobbies. Success can be having a family. Success can be finding wonderful friends. Success can be SO many different things..............but no one should be allowed to define your success for you. So don't let them.
I'm getting to the point in my life where I'm realizing I'll never be able to please everyone. Normally that would drive me crazy, but I feel like I'm starting to let go of it.......slowly, but surely. So my life decisions are probably not the decisions you would have made -- we're different, we think differently, and we have different priorities in life. Of course we wouldn't make the same decisions! And that's okay. My definition of success may be drastically different than yours, but that doesn't matter. As long as you're happy, it really doesn't matter. So go be happy. I know I'm going to.
I'm gonna keep this short y'all. I am, how you say..........le tired.
Some days I lose my give-a-damn, and today is one of those days. Nothing is wrong -- I'm just exhausted. It's been a crazy few months, and things are about to get crazier. Like WAY crazier.
You know what sounds good right now? Canceling all obligations and plans. A nap. A big bottle of bourbon. A vacation. Another big bottle of bourbon. And probably another nap.
Well maybe not all plans, but the ones I don't feel like following through on. You know............."those plans." John Mulaney puts it best when he says that "in terms of like, instant relief, canceling plans is like heroin." SO true.
But all of those things sound good -- in that order.
I just feel like I need to hit the reset button -- power cycle or something. It's really hard to truly relax when you're a planner and your brain is constantly creating lists. I see them in my sleep sometimes.........it's not cool. My brain has been on overdrive lately and I think it's really close to going on strike. I feel you buddy............I feel you..............
So this is short, and probably seems like a fairly pointless blog post.........because it is. I just need a week off from my "oh so important" blog.
Besides.........you'll all survive one week without my psychobabble. You probably won't even miss me. I'm okay with that. I'm an adult. I don't need you to like me!!!
The insecure part of me desperately wants you to like me, but I'm ignoring her right now. She's dumb.
I digress. Until next week kiddos. Jamie out.
After many nights of very little sleep I decided to crash early last Thursday. I fell asleep around 10pm, which was WONDERFUL. My body woke me up at 4am, mostly because of this parental instinct that I seem to have with Mozzie (the new puppy), which was okay. I figured that Mozzie had been by himself for long enough, so I brought him upstairs to continue to sleep with us in our bed. I was definitely tired enough to go back to sleep -- apparently so was Mozzie -- but my brain decided it was time to regale me with stories of every awkward moment I've ever had. Some of it was recent, but some of it was from years ago, because why not? My brain is an a-hole.
I know I'm not the only person that does this, but I will never understand why I dwell on these awkward moments so much -- and for so long after the fact. Trust me, I would LOVE to forget about these things, or at least move on and not care, but for some reason my brain won't let me.
So at 4am it will randomly poke me and say, "Hey, remember that one time you completely blanked on the words to "You Can Always Count on Me" from City of Angels..............in front of several hundred people..............and jibberish came flying out of your mouth for like a solid minute? Yeah. That was super awkward."
Keep in mind that this was like 12 years ago. Really, brain? REALLY???
"I mean..........that was super embarrassing. You really bombed that one. Remember how terrible that felt? That really sucked."
I know! I remember, unfortunately. Thanks for bringing it up!!! Jerk................
As I've gotten older I've gained more confidence, but I also feel like I've somehow gotten more awkward at the same time. Moments such as forgetting the words to that song, while still super awkward (and apparently scarring), were a long time ago when I was in high school. All high schoolers are awkward to a certain extent, so that's normal. But I have definitely had way more awkward moments as an adult, and I tend to remember all of them. Yay........................
Not hearing what people say
Sometimes I smile and nod, because I'm deaf and can't hear/understand what someone is saying -- but it turns out that what they're telling me is a) not something to smile about, b) not something I should be nodding to, and/or c) they think I'm an idiot, or now hate me, or both.
Too many years of being in front of drummers at gigs -- I really need to invest in a good pair of ear plugs..............
Being a broken record
When autopilot kicks in and I say, "Hey, how are you?," and they say, "Fine, how are you?," and I say, "Good, thanks, how are you?" Then they either have to be polite and pretend I'm not an idiot by answering me twice, or they look at me funny and I want to disappear.
I managed to combine #1 and #2 about a month ago. This person and I greeted each other, but the greetings kind of overlapped, and she apparently had answered me -- but again, I'm deaf -- so I asked her again so I didn't seem rude. She looked at me really funny and slowly said, "I'm good.....................thanks...................." Then it dawned on me that she had already answered and I looked really dumb. I quickly walked to another area of the party. This wall looks interesting......................
Laughing out loud when it's silent
I do this one a lot........................Remembering something funny and laughing -- out loud -- and of course it's dead silent when I do. Then I look like someone who hears voices, and apparently thinks those voices are hysterical. I also will laugh at something, and then after the moment has passed, decide that it's still really funny and laugh some more. It's not a subtle laugh either -- it's a burst of laughter that startles people. That always gets me some interesting looks as well. I did that one over the weekend. I'm so awkward........
Dancing to avoid running into people
We've all experienced the awkward "changing of lanes" that we have to do to avoid colliding with someone while walking. I'm a courteous person, so I try to move to accommodate that person, but if they're also a courteous person, we end up dancing for a ridiculous amount of time.
There is a particular woman where I work that this happens with at least once a week. I'm not exaggerating in the least. There must be some sort of magnetic force that pulls at us, making us almost collide on a regular basis. It's always as we're coming around a corner or going opposite directions through the same door. I have almost knocked that poor woman down so many times...............and I'm running out of things to say! It's generally awkward laughter and some terrible attempt to crack a joke. I don't think she thinks I'm funny...................
Responding to people with nonsense
This is the one I dwell on the most.................Saying something that you DESPERATELY wish you could go back in time and change. Or maybe go back in time and punch yourself right in the freakin' face -- preferably in the mouth so you can't speak. I'm not necessarily talking about saying something mean to someone and wishing you could take it back -- I mean, that sucks too -- but I'm talking about normal conversational stuff. Like wishing you had chosen words that made sense, or words that didn't make you sound like you didn't understand the English language -- even though you've been speaking it for decades..........and it's the ONLY language you know how to speak. After the fact I'll think to myself, "Of all the things you could have said........why that? Were you drunk? No, you weren't -- so what the hell???"
Person: "Hi Jamie. How are you?"
Me: "I like blueberries!!!"
Person: "Okay then......................"
Me: "My hair hurts."
I do and say SO many other awkward things, but my brain isn't allowing me to remember them now that I'm actually purposefully trying to recall the moments. Such an a-hole.
The older I get, the more ammo my brain has to fire at me, because each year I "collect" more awkward memories -- some make for really great stories though. Like this one..............
That one time I embarrassed myself during a funeral in a Catholic church..............
Will's family is Catholic, so when Will's grandfather passed away a few years ago, the service was held in a Catholic church -- naturally. I had actually never attended a Catholic service before, so it was all very new to me -- I grew up Methodist. Will told me that it would mean a lot to his grandmother if I took part in communion (Eucharist). I've always been told that that's a no-no. If you're not Catholic, you don't participate in Eucharist. I respected that, so I told him that I wasn't allowed. He kept trying to convince me, and I said, " Your grandma knows I'm not Catholic -- this is a bad idea." I was also convinced that the priest would be able to sense that I wasn't Catholic and I would be in trouble or something. I don't know -- I'm neurotic sometimes. Eventually he talked me into it, and I followed him towards the line.
I was watching everyone very carefully to make sure I did everything right when it was my turn. I saw a few people open their mouths and have the priest place the wafer on their tongue, but for the most part everyone was taking the wafer from the priest and doing it themselves. I wanted to do the latter -- having him feed me seemed really weird. Will went first -- he took the wafer from the priest, put it in his mouth and moved on. I tried to take the wafer from the priest, and he pulled back. I tried again and he pulled back further. It was like he was playing keep-away with the freaking wafer. So even though I REALLY didn't want to do this, I leaned forward and opened my mouth, because he clearly wasn't going to let me take it. He looked at me like I was crazy and very reluctantly fed me the wafer. I had no idea what that was about, and I could feel my face starting to turn red, but I moved on anyway.
I watched Will physically take the wine chalice from the lady and drink from it, so I tried to do the same. SHE FOUGHT ME!!!!! We tugged back and forth on the wine chalice for a bit, and then I awkwardly got close enough so that I could steal a sip, and then ran away.
I got back to the pew and the conversation with Will went like this...............
Me: "I will KILL you!!! That was the most awkward thing I've ever done. I did everything like you and they fought me the entire time!!!"
Will: "Well did you say 'amen' beforehand?"
I'm sure the look on my face made Will think I was actually going to strangle him with my bare hands.
Me: "You......didn't........tell me.........to say........'amen'..............." (All spoken through gritted teeth)
"I grew up Methodist! There is no 'magic word' you have to say. They just give you the thing and say their spiel, and you eat or drink it. I told you they'd know I wasn't Catholic!!!"
Now I think it's funny, but I definitely didn't at the time. I was so mad at him...................
Regardless, I'm awkward............you're awkward..............we're all awkward in our own ways. I guess it's part of what not only makes us unique, but also makes it so that we can relate to each other. Plus, what we see as awkward in ourselves is not always what other people see. I've lost count of how many times people have commented on my confidence, and I'm thinking, "Who, me?," and turning around like they may be talking to someone behind me. So maybe I'm not as awkward as I think I am. Or maybe I am. Meh. At least I have some good stories to tell over drinks.
Well............I'm 28 now. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but then again neither did 26 or 27. The last age that stuck for me was 25, and 23 before that. I'm not really sure why those ages were the ones that stuck, but for some reason they did.
I'm also just now realizing that 28 is closer to 30 than it is to 25. Oy.................Simple math dictates that -- sure -- but sometimes it takes awhile for these things to truly sink in.
28??? Seriously...............where have the last 6 years gone?
I don't consider myself a vain person.........or I'm at least less vain than your average person for sure.............so getting older in that regard doesn't really scare me at this point. I have no problem going out in public without makeup, and I wear minimal makeup to work -- just enough to attempt to cover my dark circles and make me look less anemic. My hair is crazy and does whatever the hell it wants, and I've accepted that. It's my inner hippie coming out. I aspire to "age like a fine wine," if you will............to be one of those older women that has aged gracefully, and is still beautiful and vibrant, but seemingly effortlessly so. So basically I want to be Helen Mirren. Who wouldn't? Wow.
Side note: I was tested for anemia twice when I was in high school...............by doctors in my own family. What do you expect when people from mostly German and Swedish descent breed? I am not anemic, by the way -- just pasty. Although I'm not nearly as pasty as Will. Irish wins every time when it comes to pastiness. Our poor future children..............they will have to bathe in sunscreen.
Getting older doesn't scare me as much as what getting older represents -- or at least what it represents to me. To me, getting older means that the clock is ticking as far as having children (among other things), which means that at some point in the near future I'll have tiny humans who are dependent on me. That is truly terrifying..........to me. I do want the little monsters at some point, but I've got what............maybe 5 years until I should probably get serious about that? And as I have recently discovered 5 years goes by pretty freaking fast..............
Lately I've noticed certain things about myself that affirm the fact that I'm older. Just to name a few..............
1) I preach to my younger sister about how "college is one of the best times in your life," and "enjoy it while you can -- don't waste it," and other various strings of word vomit. She's probably getting pretty tired of hearing that from me, but it's true! I loved college. You're an adult, but you don't have all of the responsibility yet. It's awesome. What is also true is that I've been out of college for 6 years, and that doesn't seem possible. She's just now starting, and I'm about to have my 10-year high school reunion. Ugh.
2) I complain about "kids and their terrible music these days." To be honest, this one I've done for a long time. But then again, I've always been an old soul and most music today really is terrible. Well, I use the term "music" loosely. It's not music if there are no instruments and you need auto-tune to sing!!!!
Grumble, grumble, grumble...............get off my lawn!!!
3) I clip coupons -- like religiously. I also get really excited if I save a lot of money with said coupons. Will is never more bored than when I attempt to regale him with tales of my expert thriftiness. I'm lame, but I am also very economical, dammit!
4) I used to be able to do shots of tequila and Jameson like a beast (separately, not together -- that's gross), but now after one (and sometimes on the first one) the old gag reflex kicks in. I'm fairly certain it's my body's way of screaming, "You are too old for this!!! Knock it off!!!"
5) I apparently react to salt differently now, and it's SUPER fun. And by fun I mean it totally blows. If I've had Chinese food, fast food, etc............anything that's loaded with sodium............my dark circles are even worse than normal (which is impressive) and I feel poofy. Oh, and sometimes my blood pressure spikes a little bit. It's awesome. And by awesome I mean the exact opposite of awesome. I even bought that weird "No Salt" stuff and use that in my cooking. So I was a 65-year-old man who smoked two packs a day in a past life, or some equivalent, and am now being punished at 28. Not cool.
That's definitely not the end of the list, but I'll stop there for now. Leave them wanting more, right? Yeah..........that's it.
I am definitely someone who has to learn from experience, so when people told me that some of those things would happen, I of course did not believe them. I'm invincible!!! Mostly I was just stupid and stubborn. I begrudgingly apologize to those of you who were right............and I'm going to begrudgingly apologize ahead of time for the other things you've told me that I am yet to learn the hard way. You bet your sweet patootie I will. That stubborn streak runs strong................
Those of you that know me well know that patootie is not my first choice of words, but I've been informed that my language is maybe a little too colorful. They're not wrong............but isn't swearing like a sailor part of my charm? (*bats eyelashes*)
Granted, not all of the changes that have come along with getting older are bad. In fact, there is more good than bad. At this point in my life I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin, which was definitely not the case when I was younger. I have more confidence in myself, which is huge for me, and I don't feel the need to seek approval from people who are a waste of my time anyway. I care much less about petty things and pointless distractions than I did when I was 23 or 25. I've come to appreciate my friends and family more and in new ways. I also feel like I'm getting better at focusing on the joys in life, as opposed to whining about every little thing that hasn't gone my way.
In general, I feel like I know myself much better at 28. For most of us, it takes awhile to become the "true versions" of ourselves, and I finally feel like I'm getting there. I guess it's just another part of adulting.
Meet Mozzie. Mozzie is an 8 week old pug puppy. We've had him for 3 days and I'm in love.
On Friday, Will and Jo and I took a trip to Elizabethtown, Kentucky to meet our puppies. The brother (Mozzie) and the sister (Disney) pair of pugs came home with us that night. All three of us were instantly attached.
It's truly amazing how quickly you can get attached to something. It's been 3 freaking days and I find myself struggling to leave the house. Not that I have experienced it personally, but when you have a child there is an instant bond -- it's biology. Oxytocin is released and you instantly fall in love with that child. It's a really cool thing.
I'm definitely not comparing my new found love for Mozzie to that of having a child, but I'm definitely attached.
I never feel like I get enough sleep, and I hate early mornings -- I always have. I'm not high maintenance, so I get ready pretty fast in the morning, which enables me to sleep longer. There's not much that can get me out of bed if I don't need to be up yet. Apparently when I was around 18 months old, I slept for about a day and a half after coming home from a family vacation to Disney World. My parents kept checking on me to make sure I was still breathing.
Despite my love of sleep and sleeping in, a funny thing happened the past three mornings..............I woke up way earlier than I normally would just to make sure Mozzie was okay. He may not be my child, but my maternal instinct has kicked in HARD core. It's super weird.
So why do I love this wrinkly little thing so much after only 3 days?
Well, first off, he's freaking adorable.
Look at that face!!!
Those are just a few of the reasons why I'm already attached to the little gremlin.
And actually, that's one of them. If you've ever played with a pug puppy, they seriously sound like little gremlins. Their smooshed faces make them snort like little pigs, and when they get riled up during play time they make the craziest noises. Sometimes they startle themselves with their own noises, and you can tell that they're not entirely sure where the noise came from. They look at you as if you made the noise. After a short pause, they go right back to spazzing out and making crazy noises. It's hilariously cute.
One of the main reasons why I got attached to Mozzie so quickly is because he's not just my puppy, he's our puppy (mine and Will's) -- and it means something. I realize that sounds SUPER sappy, but I don't care. Judge me all you want. We've been through a lot in the past several years, and getting a puppy has really been a bright spot for us. We've wanted one for quite some time now, but just haven't had the right schedules, the space, or the money. But things are different now, and thanks to my amazing family, Mozzie ended up being an early birthday present.
Best. Birthday. Ever.
As I talked about in an earlier post, my family recently lost Pug (Pugsley). Mozzie will never replace him, but having Mozzie definitely fills a void. And maybe it's because Mozzie is a pug dog, or maybe I'm crazy, but I swear he kind of looks like Pug. There's something about Mozzie and his personality (besides the fact that he's a pug) that reminds me of Pug. It's actually kind of comforting.
On that note, my 3-year-old niece called Jo's pug (Disney) Pugsley's sister when she first saw her. Ugh...................my heart.
This week I write to you from Portland, Oregon. I'm attending a conference for work as sort of a professional development trip. It's really cool. It's really weird. I think this is what adults do. Maybe.
It's fun to be traveling for work, especially to a place I've never been, but it's also super weird to me. It feels like such an adult thing to do. I've traveled by myself before, so that part I'm cool with. But it's definitely weird to be in an unfamiliar place with a bunch of strangers, by myself. No safety net. No one to whisper inappropriate remarks to when I find humor in something that I probably shouldn't. I guess I could still say those things to someone, but they may not appreciate it and I may have to leave as a result. Then I would spend the rest of the conference avoiding that person because they think I'm weird. They wouldn't be completely wrong........
I told Will on the way to the airport that the thing I was the most excited about was getting good sleep in a nice bed. Does that make me officially old? Probably. Or lame at least. And it also means we need a new bed. Although we wouldn't need a new bed if someone hadn't decided that they wanted to attack me like a giant flying squirrel. Ugh.
It's actually a pretty cool opportunity. I get to travel and stay in a nice hotel for free, eat for free, learn a bunch of stuff, wander around a cool city, and also have a little bit of me time. Not a bad deal. But again, it's weird because it feels so freaking adulty.
There are a lot of big things coming up that are making me realize just how much of an adult I really am now:
1) We're getting a pug puppy this coming Friday. I'm just a little excited. And by just a little I mean, I'M GETTING A FREAKING PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!
2) Will and I are coming up on our 5 year anniversary, which is crazy to me. SO much has happened in those 5 years.
3) Building on #2, I will have a shiny piece of jewelry on my left hand in the near future. Will and I tell each other everything, and he's not good at lying or keeping secrets. Not even a little bit. So I don't know exactly when, but I know it's happening and relatively soon. He keeps saying that he's dying to tell me his plan, and that it's SO good, but can't. Well yeah, because that would ruin the surprise, like completely. So don't do that. And also, stop talking about it since you can't actually tell me! He's adorable........
It's crazy how different my life looks and is soon going to look compared to 5 years ago. I went from dating questionable people, working several part time jobs (including waiting tables), trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do with a degree in music, and trying to find myself in general.........to meeting my soul mate, getting an MBA, getting my first "big girl job" with benefits and normal hours, and soon a puppy and a monumental moment in mine and Will's lives. I also feel like I know myself much better now.
I haven't "arrived" yet -- there's still more to experience and achieve -- but I think I'm off to a pretty good start. I may be an adult, but I'm still pretty young. Although some days I don't feel like it.......doesn't help that I work at a university where the majority of people are still babies. I do get mistaken for a student from time to time though. I will ride that train as long as possible. Oh yes.
So I'm in Portland. I'm an adult. I guess it's pretty cool.
When I was 13, five-year-old Jojo (Or Jo -- my sister) wanted a pug -- so we got a pug. Out of the entire litter, she picked the runt with a hernia. His name was Pugsley Elvis Whetstone. Dad thought it would be funny if his initials spelled "pew." We mostly ended up calling him "Pug." Super original, right?
We lost Pug just a few days ago. He was almost 15 years old, which is an incredibly long life for a pug. Sure he was practically deaf and blind by the end, but his curly tail still flopped from one side to the other, and he greeted you like you'd been away forever -- every single time. He wasn't just a dog -- he was family. That tiny dog had a huge personality. Well, he was a "small" dog, but not so tiny. That runt became a mutant pug -- taller than most pugs and about 35 pounds at one point. Big pug.
I had been telling Will for awhile that I would be a hot mess when Pug went. Not only had he been around since I was 13, but I've also never really experienced the death of someone close to me -- at least not anyone that has affected me in a huge way. I've been really lucky so far. I knew I'd be a mess, but I was totally unprepared for how hard it hit me.
Jo called me right when I woke up to get ready for work, which was a bad sign. She told me that Pug had been having seizures all through the night and that they were going to have to put him down. Another hour and a half later she called to tell me that he had passed. They were waiting in the room for the vet, and apparently he had a stroke and died in her and my mom's arms.
Ugh. My heart.................
So they didn't end up having to put him down. He just went. Just like that.
I cried openly at work. There was no controlling it. Hot mess.
Pug loved unconditionally, as dogs tend to do. Every visit was a special visit, because he was just as excited to see you whether it had been a day or a month since you'd been there. If only we could be more like Pug. And why aren't we? Because we'd look silly or people would think we're crazy? I mean, I don't think people would appreciate it if I jumped all over them every time they walked in the room, or ever...........but I think there's something to be learned from the level of excitement and affection that dogs tend to have towards us. It's completely genuine and wonderful.
Think how good you would feel if every time you came home your significant other was there, jumping up and down, saying stuff like, "It's you! You're here! I'm so glad to see you! I missed you! I love you!" The way we're programmed, you'd probably think they were nuts, drunk, high, or something to that effect. But knowing that someone is that excited to see you and loves you that much would still make you feel really good.
We get busy. We get distracted. We get stressed. We have a gigantic to-do list that is "oh so important" to get done. We come home and complain about work, or jump straight into cooking dinner or working on some other "important project" we have, instead of stopping first to greet our loved ones. I'm guilty of this, and I even consider myself to be a fairly affectionate person. But I definitely get distracted and stressed and will go straight to that sink full of dishes, while simultaneously bitching about something that happened that day.
Oh my life is so hard and awful............I have a roof over my head, clothes, food, a job, and loving friends, family and boyfriend..........................but woe is me. Mehhhhhhhh....................
I'm so dumb sometimes.
I should be more like Pug. I should go straight for a hug, a kiss, or both, instead of whatever the hell else I "need" to do so badly. After all..............aren't our loved ones and the time we have with them the most important and greatest parts of life? Those dishes do need to get done, eventually, but they don't need to be done that moment. I keep trying to reason with the OCD/neat freak in me, but sometimes she doesn't listen. Imma have to check my hoe. She can wait one freaking minute while I love on my man.
I already miss the hell out of that little dog, and it's only been a few days. Pug was around for most major events in my life so far. I don't think it's truly set in that I won't see him again. I know that there will be other dogs -- life goes on -- but Pug was Pug. Pug was awesome. Pug embodied love and affection and all the goodness in the world. I hope that I can learn to emulate even an ounce of that. The bottom line is that the world would be a much better place if we all just learned to be more like Pug.
Earlier this year I reflected on how I've ended up doing pretty much everything I said I'd never do. I've learned not to say such things (I think), but the other factor in those things happening is that very little in life goes according to plan. I've lost count of how many times I've re-calibrated my "plan" for my life. And every single time I do this, I somehow forget that I do not have that kind of control. Life doesn't work that way. But I'm sure each time I make those plans, there is some evil karmic being thinking, "This will be fun........"
At an event I was working recently, a very sweet lady asked me if I was a student at the university I work at.
Me: "Why thank you for thinking I still look that young, but no. I did go here for my undergrad, but I graduated 6 years ago."
(6 years? Ugh. I'm just gonna pretend like that's not a thing...............)
So that lead to her asking what my degree is in and what I'm doing now, which then raised the question, "Why grants?," accompanied by a slightly puzzled look.
Good question. I'm still asking myself the same thing.
Me: "Well, you see...................(*word vomit*)..................something about music being unstable and deciding it was a good idea to get my MBA so I could have some stability, but still pursue my musical passions on the side."
Nice Lady: "Oh, that's very smart. Good for you."
Me: (Is it though? I wracked up a ton of student loan debt and am making about the same money as I did piecing together music stuff. The only difference is that I have benefits and have to get up earlier. So is it smart? Really???? Meh.......................)
Why grants? Because it's where I freaking landed, that's why. Don't get me wrong, I actually do like what I do for the most part, but it wasn't "in my plan." At this point I don't even know what my plan was...........I just know it wasn't to be working in grants at my alma mater. And let's be honest, very few people have a clear career path that actually comes to fruition. For most of us there will inevitably be pit stops along the way. And sometimes you end up miles away from where you initially set out to be, for good or for bad. That's life.
College educated Gen. Y people, like myself, struggle to find jobs that fit what they went to school for. We're either overqualified, don't have enough "experience," or the pay is insultingly low, among many other things.
Yes, I said Gen. Y. I'm not a freaking Millennial. Give me my original title back, thank you very much. People born in the 80s/early 90s versus the late 90s/2000s are a TOTALLY different group of people. We had music with actual instruments and didn't slap auto-tune on everything. We would've killed and eaten people like Nicki Minaj!!!
On second thought, eating a disease ridden (insert colorful word of choice) would not be wise. I'm fairly certain she has gonasyphaherpalaids.
Regardless, our lives start much later than that of our parents' generation. Many of us can't have kids young because we can't find jobs that make it financially possibly to support them. We can't save anything because we're living paycheck to paycheck due to student loan debt. Buying a house and taking legitimate vacations are laughable ideas right now. That's some kind of alternate universe sh*t right there. Had I planned to be doing many of those things by this point in my life? Absolutely. Apparently those things don't fall into the 10% or less of my life that goes "according to plan."
Why the generational tangent? Life is uncertain for everyone. You never know what craziness will fall out the sky and change the course of your life, for good or for bad. Unfortunately, I do think people my age are victim to even more uncertainty in life. I want future kids to be college educated, but there's part of me that's thinking, "No! Learn a trade of some sort. The world doesn't need anymore over-educated, artsy people who are all competing for the same jobs. You'll never make any money, and I really don't want you living in my basement. That's where Mommy and Daddy's music studio is. NO TOUCHING!"
I can work really hard and be awesome at what I do for a living, but nothing is guaranteed. Pay freezes happen, cutbacks happen, political decisions are made, etc. Sometimes you have to uproot your life to make things work. I have before, and chances are I'll have to again at some point. Is that a reality I'm ready to face yet? Absolutely not. Change bad!!! But if/when the time comes, I'll have to face it, regardless of how I feel about it.
There are a lot of things in my life right now that make it very difficult to plan for the future. There I go trying to plan again.........................
I think I like being under the illusion that I can at least plan certain parts of my life.
Granted, not everything is entirely out of my control, but it sure as hell feels like it sometimes. I can control my weight, and I have. I can control my musical ability by practicing and seeking out new challenges. I can control my happiness, in a way, by living each day to the fullest and surrounding myself by people I love.
What really sucks is that I am incredibly organized and am really good at planning. Like REALLY good!!! So I can't even put this skill to use for my own life, because karma will start laughing at me again and go, "Gurrrl.....ain't nobody care about your plans!"
I'm not sure why I turned karma into a sassy black woman, but it kind of seems fitting.
Gurrrl.....you right, you right. Ain't nobody care.
Bottom line is that life doesn't go according to plan. The reality is that you have to take what life gives you and try your best to kick ass in that situation, whatever it may be. It's yet another part of adulting that I'm slowing learning. I'll figure it out some day -- it just won't be according to my plan. And maybe that's okay.
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm in my 30s, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."