2018

Hopeful Highlights for 2018

I’m starting school (again) in mid-January. I’m starting a Master’s program at ASU. I’m currently registered for 2 classes – one is online and the other is an evening class. I feel anxious. When I was last in school, the kids were still taking notes with pen and paper. Do they still do it this way? I don’t think I want to type my notes. I used to handwrite during lecture and type later. It helped me study. As it is, I’m planning to take my laptop with me and decide when I get there – when I get to the class. I have not attended an academic class in quite a while, folks. I got past my concern about my age before I applied. That was a significant hurdle for me. It’s going to be an adventure, folks.

I desperately want to write more this year. I hope the blog will be updated more regularly, and I hope I can provide more thoughtful, meaningful content. I am always hopeful for a larger audience and more feedback, both positive and constructive criticism. I have considered limiting my writing to certain topics. I have considered not writing as much personal content. However, at this time, that is what I know best. I feel that personal content is what I am most able to make creative and meaningful and maybe even entertaining. Considering I am going back to school, I may provide content about the adventure of returning to school as a 30-something who has been working FT for several years; the adventure of creating a home office; content about what I’m studying/researching. I just hope to write more and share more.

I hope to read more. I kept a list of all the books I finished during 2017, and while I do not know how many are on the list because I am currently in North Carolina and the list is in Texas (and it’s not complete because I finished a book after arriving in NC), I know I did not read enough. I keep telling Todd and whoever is within earshot that I did read It (Stephen King) this year and clocking in at 1,200 (approximate) pages, it should count as more than one book. In the end, I will only count it as one book – one huge accomplishment of a book. I will keep my list honest. In 2018, it will be a longer list.

I’m holding out for international travel in 2018. We have some plans made. Todd has made plans. I have just consistently reminded him that I will go almost anywhere, which has been not at all helpful to the planning. We have reservations for lodging, tickets to a symphony concert and tickets for a Lars von Trier play that will likely not be performed in English. The current plan is to visit Sweden and Denmark in the same trip.
I got a passport in 2015 with the possibility of visiting Canada during our PNW trip that December. We didn’t visit Canada. My passport is coming up on 3 years of age without having been used. I hope 2018 is the year I leave the country.

Todd and I are engaged. I don’t know who of the readership knows and who doesn’t. We’re not ones to make a big scene. This is something that occurred in 2017, but we’ll likely get married during 2018. Again, we’re not ones to make a big scene.

I would like to get to Ohio during 2018. I have not been there since Oct. 2016. There is a lot going on up there, and I avoided it during 2017. A lot of that avoidance was about self-care, and it still is. Additionally, with everything else I have going on that generally equates to building a life, a trip to Ohio isn’t affordable or even realistic. I feel a little guilty about admitting that, but it’s true. I live in Texas. It’s not cheap or easy to get to Ohio. Similarly, it’s not cheap or easy for my loved ones to travel to Texas from Ohio. Life is hard. It’s good (like, so good), but it’s not easy. Today, it’s my understanding that my loved ones are well and in good places (both figuratively and literally). This knowledge goes a long way.

I am planning to buy a planner for 2018. Last night, while waiting for midnight, I browsed online and wrote a brief blog entry about my experience with planners (an entry not likely to be shared). You can imagine that this experience has not been good because I am not an organized person. I don’t recall keeping a planner since I was in college – not my last stint at grad. school, but college. After writing this entry to this point, I feel more interested in having and keeping a planner. It seems like 2018 is going to be a busy year. I’m not making a resolution to get more organized because resolutions are too much pressure for me. I think I will try the planner route again. I will be open-minded and realistic. I will use the experience to exercise kindness toward myself, if nothing else.

So, at the end of this entry I am sitting in a ridiculously beautiful 3-story house in the Beech Mountain region of North Carolina with my partner and many members of his family, which will soon be my family as well. There is snow on the ground and the trees; snow like I have not seen in years. Picture perfect snow. Ever since we arrived here on 12.27.17, I have been overwhelmed by questioning, “How did I get here?” To be fair, I asked myself this exact same question throughout 2017 – in good times and in not-so-good times.

No clever title today.

I do not trust myself enough. I’m also too hard on myself, but I guess that is true of most people. I am constantly trying to find the group into which I fit.

I have been lusting after a tshirt that has an image of Albert Fish on it with the text, “Full of Grace.” Now, you have options: you can Google “Albert Fish” and “Grace” and thank me later (hint: you’re not likely to thank me later), or you can contact me via Facebook, Twitter (@commonmaggie), Instagram (commonmaggie) or leave a comment here for me to ask, “Hey, what does that shirt mean?” So, I have had my eye on this shirt for months. A few things are stopping me: I don’t need another tshirt; I shouldn’t spend money on something I don’t need; I’m not sure how often I’d wear it. I mean, it’s an Albert Fish tshirt. If you Googled what I instructed you to Google, you know it’s inappropriate. Also, is this shirt ME?

I am simultaneously lusting after a sweater blazer – among other items – from JCrew. It is my favorite clothing brand. I cannot help myself.

What group is that? The group of women who cannot pass up a good serial killer pun tshirt but who want to wear a JCrew cardigan over the serial killer tshirt (I have a great emerald green cardigan that I want to wear over ev-er-y-thing). While actively thinking about this, I have told myself that if it is just me – which is unlikely – that’s okay. If there are only 4 of us in the world, that’s okay, too. If there are thousands, and they all live in Scandinavia while I live in Texas, it’s still okay. I like to think I will get to “the others” some day. But, if it’s just me or if I never meet others, it is okay.

As cheesy as it is, I often give myself pep talks about being myself. Some days, I do it more than once. Other days, being myself and owning it come so easily. I am not 100% sure of every single thing. I probably never will be. But I know myself better and better all the time.

I can tell you what I like: serial killers, preppy clothes, expensive purses, Converse, blankets, disturbing stories, horror movies, mysteries, silly socks, puppies, bookstores, music stores, comedies, puns, crossword puzzles, books, cardigans, boots, hats, my Honda Fit, the color green, my glasses, ice cream, Italian food, brunch, art, skylines, the tall green trees of my homeland and the unbelievably wide sky of west Texas, rainy days at home, soft fabrics, wandering around with Todd, road trips, holding babies (Yes, I like holding babies, especially the part when I hand the baby to someone else), watching football, swearing, writing, working out, sleeping in, yoga, warm weather, the beach, the mountains, the Pacific Northwest, people watching, the smell of books, shuffling cards, scarves, hoodies, reading about surreal horror films I may never get to watch because they exist in such a small space, trying to understand what “surreal” means, finding a new author to love, being an Introvert, telling people I’m an Introvert, poetry, playing games, finding one more thing to love about San Angelo, getting dressed up, the physical act and physical sensation of writing, fresh notebooks, Ramona, movie lists (ie The 50 Scariest Movies of All Time), never having had to stop listening to an episode of The Last Podcast on The Left (I want all the gold stars!), fundraising for MS research, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, vampire lore, learning about sex offenders, being assertive, helping someone “come around,” things that could likely be described as “fucked up,” surprise flowers, desperately trying to find an NFL team to support (how long ago did Peyton Manning retire, and I still have no clue), buying things from school fundraisers, and on and on and on. The list may never end.

For some balance, here are some things I don’t like: butterflies, the color pink, Metallica, science fiction movies, boxing, lima beans, beer, the NY Yankees, Alabama football, peep-toe shoes, face tattoos, chevron pattern, deciding that every person who has committed a crime is a bad person, elitism, being interrupted, mansplaining, being treated like I can’t handle things, eating meat off of the bone, spicy food, the idea that addiction isn’t a disease, people who argue that sexual contact with children should be permitted if the child consents (a child cannot consent), people who wear dark clothing while jogging around Santa Rita in the dark, not being able to read all of the books at once, not having a window in my office, how difficult it is to find shirts for work that are stylish but not low cut, and on and on and on.

I really did begin this entry focusing on my lack of feeling like I belong in a group. In a way, I have found “my people,” but they aren’t my people in that I can say I am a certain type of person and they are the same type of persons. I don’t think there’s anything concise I can say about myself that would give a person an idea of who I am. I don’t have a category, like goth, that would right away tell someone what to expect from me. I don’t identify as a feminist (see previous entry) or a yankee. I’m not a Texan. I’m not a buckeye (2-4-6-8 who gives a shit about Ohio State?), and I’m not an athlete. I don’t identify with a certain religion, at this time. I didn’t go to a big, well-known college (it I’m not an Aggie). I’m not an English teacher. I’m not a Steelers fan.

So, where does one belong if her first heroes were Daria Morgandorfer, Sylvia Plath and Elizabeth Wurtzel? I wrote high school research papers about the Manson family and euthanasia (I support the Right to Die movement). The only moderately decent stories I’ve ever written were “horror” stories, but I’ve written some poetry that wasn’t total trash (probably 98.5% trash). I want to spend the rest of my life working with and researching sex offenders and sex offender treatment. I love to watch Bob’s Burgers. Hannibal Lecter is my favorite fictional character and I love the Harry Potter series. Reading The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor changed my life. As did The Handmaid’s Tale and Anatomy of Motive.

When we were in California, the same day we visited The Huntington, we also visited The Museum of Death (LA), and I really enjoyed both. Both were important to me on that trip. On a different day, we made a quick stop outside of Jim Henson Studios so I could see the Kermit the Frog statue. Then we went to Amoeba Music where I almost bought a Texas Chain Saw Massacre tshirt (wish I had). None of this seems to add up to anything logical.

Maybe all of this rambling is a lesson, for myself, in not being able to put anyone into a group; not being able to have any expectation of anyone based upon a group with which a person may choose to identify. It would be nice to come away from this topic having lost the feeling that I should fit in a group, because the reality is that nobody does.

Enough already.

10.22.17

When I feel or think that I’m not *this* enough, I don’t know if my feeling or thought is realistic.

In LA, Todd wanted to buy me a “Feminist AF” shirt. It was a great shirt. I liked it. It was kind of him to want to buy that for me. He thought it suited me. I turned it down because I worry that I’m not feminist enough. I don’t even know who gets to make that decision.

Can we say that I know a lot about serial killers if I sometimes forget where John Wayne Gacy lived? Or if I don’t know many details about Henry Lee Lucas? I’ve only just recently decided I want to learn more about Carl Panzram. What about forgetting the number of victims for a given serial killer? I am almost never sure of the number of victims. I gotta say: it’s similar to my interest in music. I have favorites. I have preferences. I know more about Jeffrey Dahmer than I do Richard Ramirez. If Ed Kemper still wrote to people, I would get a PO Box and write to him. True story.

Maybe I’m not enough of a horror nerd because I haven’t seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2? I feel indifferent about seeing it. The Exorcist is scary, but it doesn’t scare me that much. I can watch it without problems. I found the book to be scarier. Pet Sematary, on the other hand, equally scary book and movie. We don’t need to discuss how many times I’ve watched Hannibal or Silence of The Lambs, but maybe I need to watch Hannibal Rising a few (okay, several) more times to even out that my viewing of the Lecter movies? Todd and I were recently discussing the Saw franchise and I had to admit that while I fondly remember the 2nd one, I think I only watched it one time. I like horror movies, but that’s not the only genre of movie I like. I’m never going to have watched all of the horror movies. I don’t want to do that. I want to see the comedies, too, and serial killer documentaries and documentaries about the opioid crisis, sex offenders, folklore and cults. I also enjoy a good tear-jerker and some classics.

I may not be enough of a book nerd. I love to read, but I almost never read a book that was just released. Christopher Moore is my favorite author, and I still haven’t read The Serpent of Venice. I’m currently reading a book that will never see the NYT Bestseller List. Although I don’t know what they will be, it’s safe to say that the next 4 books I read haven’t made it and won’t make it to the NYT Bestseller List, but they will be what I want to read. As a side note: Noir, also by Christopher Moore, will be released 04/17/18, and I’m not likely to read it or even buy it right that minute.

I believe and feel that I am enough, as a person, but somehow, simultaneously not enough to fit into these groups (i.e., feminist, horror nerd, bookworm). I think to get myself to a point that I believe I fit in any one of these groups, I would end up being untrue to myself somewhere in the process. I would end up feeling like I’m wasting my time trying to meet what may very well be an impossible standard (not that I have a habit of setting impossible standards for myself or anything like that /s). I would likely feel resentful. I bet Nicholas Sparks makes the NYT Bestsellers List. I don’t want to read that. I don’t want something I enjoy and LOVE to become an assignment I’m trying to complete “for someone else.” For someone who isn’t paying attention, has no idea I’m doing this for him/her and doesn’t care. I’m not willing to do that.

I’m only willing to be myself – a woman who reads and watches what she wants to, what she likes. A woman who thinks it’s important for women to be treated equally to men, women should have choices and power. I enjoy watching horror movies, and I want to watch so many of them, but I also want to re-watch Psych and the Harry Potter series. I want to keep up with Bob’s Burgers, to an extent. I want to watch whatever looks interesting to me. I don’t want to read ALL of the books. I only want to read the ones that sound good to me. After I finish Motherfucking Sharks, I might get into some Camille Paglia. Who knows? I’ll never reach that looming, impossible standard I have set in my mind that will make me a real feminist, a real horror nerd, a real bookworm, but I know someday it will go away. It will be like it never existed at all.

I don’t know how to measure any of this.

Flashback Entry: 7-29-17

7.29.17

Today I participated in hardcore self-care. I took the day off from work – a sick day. I woke up with the worst headache I can ever remember having. I was briefly awake when Todd left for work. I drank some water, took some Tylenol and went back to sleep. I woke up again when Todd was home in the afternoon. I stayed in bed; texting with friends, perusing social media, checking email. In bed. I stayed in the comfort of the sheets and all of the blankets (3) for so many hours. With Todd away, I also had all the pillows. It was soul-cleansing to just be still and quiet.

I finally got out of bed around 3:30pm. Then I only did the hygiene I truly wanted to do – shower, teeth brushing, hair brushing, deodorant. No shaving of any areas. No eyebrow tweezing. No perfume. No make-up. I pulled my bangs out of my eyes, but no hair-drying. I put on jeans and one of my new favorite t-shirts. When I leave the house later, I’ll slip on some Converse. Bare minimum.

Are you wondering about me leaving the house on a day like this? I had a plan that was made in advance. With the almost-but-not-quite-gone headache, I’ll keep my plan. But you took a sick day! I don’t see any way that I could have spent 8 hours in front of 2 computer monitors. I don’t see any way that I could have done my job effectively today, even with minimal computer use.

I feel extremely lucky to have been able to spend the day in bed being still. I know it’s a luxury not everyone has. A person who has dependents can’t stay in bed. A person who doesn’t have sick time at work would struggle with the decision to take a sick day and lose pay for that day. Gratitude is a part of self-care. Today, like every day, I am so grateful. Today, like every day, I am lucky.

Sharing is caring.

Two posts in one day – craziness! And so close in time – madness!

I want to share something in the hope that it will lend itself to holding me accountable. I am awful at setting goals. I once dated a guy who asked me about my 5-year plan (I was 26-27 at the time). I like to think that was the moment when I knew he and I were doomed, but I knew waaaay before that moment (I was so dumb). In processing him asking about my 5-year plan, of course I panicked thinking this is something everyone does but never mentions to me, I am doomed, I will never be successful, I’m doing everything wrong, I’m never going to grow up*, I need to make a plan, and Oh, my God, I don’t even like making plans for the upcoming weekend…. Eventually I talked to my dad about 5-year plans. He was, like, “No.” Looking back, I think my dad has always been trying to tell me to do my own thing and be my own person – whoever that is. Like, always. I just didn’t listen, which is not entirely surprising. I have come around. I don’t make 5-year plans. If you do, please tell me how and why. Also, how do you handle that pressure?

Anyway, the point of this post is to share my goals for this upcoming week. I may be able to do this, one week at a time.
See below.

Wk 1

I know you’re all wondering: Maggie, what is this enchanting paper you used to document your goals for the week? It’s a Chick-fil-A napkin I left on the coffee table yesterday. There’s no shame in my game, y’all. Try to keep up.

* I still have not grown up.

If the shorts don’t fit, you must….

When I decided to share this blog with anyone & everyone, I realized there is some element of bravery in this adventure.  There is A LOT of bravery in sharing this post.  If you suffer from an eating disorder or are a survivor of an eating disorder, this may be triggering for you.

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6.10.17

We went swimming at Tristi’s today.  I felt so excited to put on my bathing suit.  I really like my bathing suit.  I like the story of how I came to have this bathing suit.  I felt so excited to go lie in the sun and – hopefully – get some color on my skin.  I pulled on a pair of running shorts over my bathing suit.  The shorts are every bit of 2 years old.  I talked to Todd about how they used to fit loose.  They did.  I have photographic proof!  Now, they are snug around my booty and my thighs, but I like that.  That was part of our discussion – that I like having a bigger booty and bigger thighs.  By no means is it all solid muscle, but there is a fair amount of muscle.  I squat, I lunge.  I do what Coach Aubrey tells me to do and I use weight.  I feel proud of my thighs and my booty.  There is power & strength there.  The shorts are satisfyingly snug, not uncomfortably snug.

After swimming, I dried off and attempted to put the shorts back on.  Tristi commented on how she thinks they are cute.  We had been talking about trading clothes earlier because as I am getting larger, she is shrinking, so she said she will take them if I’m ever ready to get rid of them.  Then, I couldn’t pull the shorts all the way up.  I couldn’t get them over my thighs.  They made a sound like the seams were tearing.  Okay, no shorts for the short ride home.  My brain went to a place that I would have preferred it not go.  Chubby.  Heavy.  Fat. 

While walking to the truck, CARRYING MY SHORTS I COULD NOT FIT ONTO MY BODY, I thought of giving them to Tristi.  Why not?  I need to stop wearing them.  They don’t fit me because I am chubby.  I am too big.  Tristi has gotten so tiny, and I know she needs shorts.

When we got home, I got ready to shower.  Chubby.  Heavy.  Pale.  My stomach is so big.  My thighs are fat, not strong.  I am pale all over.  My stomach is gross.  My waistline is GONE.  Chubby.  Pale.  Gross.  Ugly.  Those shorts must look awful over my chubby thighs.  They are short, which means my pale legs are exposed.  Pale.  I could already tell that I didn’t get any color today.  That’s not surprising.

I must disclose that this is very difficult to write.  I work every day to love this body.  I work every day to remind myself that I am so much more than this.  When others struggle with their own body image, I remind them of these things that I’m not always good at remembering for myself.  Every body is deserving of love and care.  But this belly has to go.  These things have to get toned.

I lose the fight against my skin tone every year, and every year I feel angry and frustrated that I am allergic to something in self-tanners (and this is the only thing I am allergic to, as far as I know).  The only time I’ve gotten and kept a respectable tan is when I used a tanning bed, which I won’t do anymore.  It’s so weird that I may see someone who is pale and my mind makes up all these reasons why it is okay for that person, but not for me (it is okay for that person, but not for me = that statement, alone, is a huge problem, that it’s not okay for my skin to be the way it is).  Sometimes I can go long periods of time without giving a fuck.  Yes, I am pale.  Whatever.  What-ev-er.

I don’t want to buy bigger clothes.  I have convinced myself that buying bigger clothes means accepting my body at this size and not trying – not working – to make it better (read: smaller).  Then I might accept it getting even bigger.  How long before it’s out of control?

As I wrote, I work every day to love this body.  I have had many long stretches of time during which loving this body went very well.  Part of the reason why I love my bathing suit so much is that I spent the time and energy to work up the courage to try on bikinis and buy one.  Earlier this year, I told myself my bikini days were over.  I told myself I needed to get a one-piece bathing suit this year.  More often than not, I do the work for my self-love.  I do the work to keep it afloat.  As you can see, there are times when I slip.  My self-love isn’t as reliable as I need it to be.  I am a work in progress.

Work in progress.

I feel tired of seeing clothes I like and almost immediately thinking, “I can’t wear that.”  I don’t seem to ever really have a solid, logical reason.

I can’t wear that because my skin is pale.

I can’t wear that because my arms are too skinny.

I can’t wear that because my stomach isn’t flat.

I can’t wear that because of my age.

Etc.

When I first learned about the magic that is positive self-talk, I also learned to ask myself if I would treat my best friend the same way I am treating myself in a given situation.  Would I tell my best friend that she can’t wear something she likes because she thinks her arms are too skinny?  No.  I would tell her that she should wear whatever she likes.  To Hell with what someone else might think.  Apparently, I have created imaginary rules in my head that only apply to me, and they make me look at myself through a filter that only I am using based on these imaginary rules I created (where I got the fodder for these rules is a whole other entry).  I’m not *less than* or *less worthy* because my skin is pale, my arms are skinny, my stomach isn’t flat.  There’s no reason for me not to wear what I like.

I know that I may find clothes I like, try them on and decide I don’t like them.  That’s not really where I am with this entry.  I’m talking about that initial admiration of an outfit or piece of clothing being immediately followed by my brain making up reasons why I just cannot even try to go anywhere near it because of….see above.

I’m not sure what kind of growth this may lead to, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

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I’m researching blog topics and themes almost every day.  I love seeing the body positivity movement and reading others’ inspirational stories.  Last night, I read about how the body positivity movement doesn’t make space for thin women because thin women already have a space.  I know that’s true.

I reached out to a blogger/researcher, via Twitter, to ask her about body dysmorphia & body positivity.  That’s not to say that I suffer from or am a survivor of body dysmorphia, but I’m curious about that dynamic if we are talking about people who perceive their body a certain way that isn’t accurate, which could be a thin person perceiving his/her body as overweight; how does body positivity work in that situation?  Maybe it doesn’t?  Clearly, I need to do more leg work here.  I plan to reach out to others with my questions as I move through articles and blogs and Instagram posts.

I plan to continue to support the #bopo movement and see if I can claim a tiny place for myself there, not as a thin woman, but as a woman who struggles with body image.  That’s my personal work – being more positive about my body as the vessel that carries me and what I have to offer as a whole person, and not as what defines me as good/bad, worthy/not worthy.

I absolutely support others feeling more positive and open about their own bodies.  This life is short, and the filter through which you view yourself may be based on imaginary rules that nobody else is following because those rules are only in your head.  Wear the dress, wear the shorts, wear the low-cut shirt; dye your hair that beautiful shade of purple you have been admiring, pierce your nose, don’t shave your legs everyday, quit tweezing your eyebrows, commit to growing your hair long even when you hit that awkward phase in the growth process.  Ignore whatever aesthetic-related chore you saddle yourself with every day because you think you have to do it to please every person around you.

I know it’s easier said than done.  I KNOW that.  Try to grasp what it will feel like to go through that first full day after you – for example – pierce your nose and nothing bad happens.  Nobody makes fun, nobody laughs, you don’t burst into flames, the ground doesn’t open up to the let the Earth swallow you whole.  It’s more likely that someone will compliment it, comment on your courage or want to hear the whole story.  Another example: not tweezing your eyebrows will be different.  Nobody will comment on your courage or even want to hear the story.  The likely scenario here is that nobody says anything.  That first day turns into the first week turns into the first month and, pretty soon, you don’t know how long you’ve had your nose pierced; you don’t know how long you’ve been letting your eyebrows grow [mostly] wild.  Nothing bad happens.  You just keep being you, keep doing what you are meant to do with an extra hole in your nostril or with fuller eyebrows.  And it all goes back to that first day – the courage you mustered to get you through that first full day feels normal.  It might even feel comfortable.  Courage is courage, friends.  The more you exercise it, the more you have stockpiled.

 

34.

“All there is in the end is death, so who cares.  Just be happy!”

Today is my 34th birthday.  I have loved my 30s so much.  My cousin turned 30 earlier this year and I was glad to find that she was looking forward to her 30s.  I have accomplished so many things during my 30s.  The most important thing, I think, is truly accepting and loving myself.  Do you realize how many doors open up with this revelation?  It’s not an arrogant, “I can do anything.”  It’s a humble, solid, “I can do anything.”  And maybe I can’t, but I can damn sure try anything that strikes me as enjoyable or beneficial.  I can finish a half-marathon.  I can go into a new place by myself.  I can ask questions.  I can speak to a large crowd.  I can be assertive.  I can openly communicate with my partner.  I can start a blog and share it with anyone who wants to read it.  I can go out in public with unwashed hair.  I can testify in a court room.  I can make small talk, even if I don’t like it.  I can switch jobs.  I can drive wherever I want to go.  I can get out my little journal and jot down whatever whenever I am called to do so.

To be fair, “truly accepting and loving myself” is absolutely a work in progress.  There are good days, there are great days and there are days when I have to consciously focus on positive self-talk and on reversing all of the negative thoughts that are attempting to overwhelm me.  On those bad days, I can be found writing out a list of positive self-talk statements, like a “newbie.”  There’s no shame in my game, folks.  I will feel proud and tell whoever will listen about whatever it is I do to live my happiest, best possible life – sometimes that’s re-reading an old list, sometimes it’s writing a new list, sometimes it’s just remembering.

Today is my 34th birthday.  I told Tristi this is the first birthday in my 30s that I have felt “weird” about.  I don’t feel old.  I don’t necessarily feel bad, but I feel like maybe I should be doing something bigger.  I can count on Tristi for a lot of things – all good things.  As usual, she came through with a great perspective.  She said, “Be happy.  That’s all that matters!….All there is in the end is death, so who cares.  Just be happy! And just like that, I was back on track with enjoying my 30s.  I am happy.  I have a genuinely great life.  The more I think about it, I’m not even sure what I should be doing is real.  I do love my job.  I do believe I am where I am for a reason.   Where in the hell did the thought come from that I should be doing something bigger?

This is me today in my 34-year-old glory; sitting on the sidewalk in front of The Latest Scoop in downtown San Angelo.  Something I hope to achieve in this blog is to be authentic.  I could have asked Todd to take the photograph from a different angle to prevent the sun being in my eyes.  I could have found a more flattering pose.  I could have chosen not to ask Todd to take my picture because I wasn’t wearing make-up, my hair wasn’t fixed, I don’t have a tan, I’m wearing an outfit that could easily pass for pajamas, blah blah blah.  This is the photograph I wanted.

 

BD Flowers

These are the super sweet surprise birthday flowers that Todd sent to me at work yesterday.  I like a good surprise.  I like Todd.  And I like my birthday.