Writing Challenge: Day 30

One thing you’re excited for 

One thing I am excited about is the upcoming new year. I am planning on making 2 major changes in my life: retiring from the military and getting a new career in my field or more in line with my degree.

I finally started taking my decision to leave the military about 4 years ago, a short while after I moved to Atlanta. It didn’t make sense to leave with 16 years under my belt so I though I might as well stick it out. Now that the time is quickly approaching, I am feeling anxious and nervous about it, because my career isn’t exactly where I thought it would be my now (it’s my own fault so I’m not looking to blame anyone) and I really just need to focus on that and the military is just a distraction for me. I am tired of using the military as a crutch not to push harder for what I want. I tend to use the military as my “fall back” career, knowing full and dog on well that I would never volunteer to go on active duty if I ever lost my job. I am too comfortable with the military and I personally feel like if I’m too comfortable, it means that I’m not trying, and if I’m not trying, I’m not growing, and if I’m not growing, I’m not succeeding. This, I have a HUGE problem with.

I have to step out of my comfort zone. I’ve given all I can to the military and I am mentally and physically done (I remember having this same disconnected feeling before I broke up with my ex, its insane). I still remember when I joined how nervous I was and I always wondered if I made the right decision, and why I stayed for so long. Knowing what I know now I would do it again, but I would do so many things differently.

I am excited to end one chapter of my life and start a new one. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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Writing Challenge: Day 14

Your life in 7 years

This should be fun.

In seven years it will be 2025 and I will be well into my 40’s. I don’t know if I will still be living in Georgia because Lorenzo is the kind of guy who will take an opportunity in another state if he needed to. He also mentions every now and then how he would like to live in San Diego and now New York, because my job is there. None of that is written in stone, but he has been asking me lately where I want to live next.

I want to be working in my field, you know, giving this Master’s Degree a test drive. And I most definitely want have at least written a book by then or have at least started on one. I have a friend who asks me why haven’t I started my own business yet. I think its because I haven’t found that product or service that I’m passionate about selling just yet, so if I do discover what that is then I’m sure I’ll pursue it.

I want to have had traveled more, especially internationally. I have  laundry list of places I want to see but it always depends on where I am with my career. I am going to be retired from the Army by then, I mean it this time. Lorenzo will be out of the Marine Corps. as well.

I really don’t see children in our future but I’m hoping to get some more education under my belt, with either another degree or a certification of some sort within my field. My nieces will be older an I would love to be able to put money aside for them for college if they decide to go. I’m hoping that one of my siblings gives me a nephew by then.

I’m very optimistic about the future.

Writing Challenge: Day 6

Someone who fascinates you and why

I’m not sure how to answer this.

You know how when you are young people ask you who your hero is, or to name someone you look up to and most people will usually be able name at least one person? I could never do that, at least not honestly. I would always make something up, or just pick a random person who people were familiar with even though I knew in my heart of hearts that it really didn’t matter to me.

I’ve never had a hero. I’ve had crushes, but never a hero so its hard for me to think of someone who “fascinates” me. People have always been human to me, even those who have done amazing things still make human mistakes in my eyes, so I try not to get my hopes up on them because they could still find a way to disappoint you. I could say that I am fascinated by some personality traits that people have. For example, the first person that came to mind when I read this was Lorenzo. Mostly because lately he is the one that I spend the most time with so I get to really see his personality and his habits.

I really admire his thought process and his patience. He is a business minded critical thinker. He doesn’t do anything without thinking it almost completely through before making a move. This type of thinking requires a great deal of patience, a personality trait that I struggle with regularly. He tries to help me to see things from a different perspective, sometimes I’m right and sometimes he is.

One thing that he doesn’t do is keep score or hold things over my head. That’s something that we discussed earlier in our relationship that we continually practice. Having great communication skills is amazing but you also have to makes sure to implement those skills when the time comes.

So I guess you can say that the person who fascinates me at the moment is my husband. Mostly because he exhibits qualities that I hope to have for myself one day.

What Am I Doing With My Life?

Just a recap, Lorenzo and I bought our first home last year, and since we moved from an apartment to a house, we’ve increased the number of rooms we had to furnish. Even now, a year later, I sometimes take a moment or two to get rid of things we no longer need or use. While going through my things, I found my mothers obituary in one of the boxes. I took it out so that I could get a new frame for it.

As I read it, I felt despondent. The longest paragraph in the obituary was listing the family members she left behind. The part about her life and what she’s accomplished was only 2-3 sentences. I showed it to Lorenzo and said, “This is why I work so hard, I don’t want my longest paragraph to be a list of family members.” Now before I go any further, I want to preface by saying that there is nothing wrong with someone who chooses family over a career. I know some women don’t see themselves having a life beyond motherhood and they know this about themselves at a young age. My mother felt this way. The only thing she wanted to do with her life was to have children, but this has never been MY path.

I’ve always admired career-driven women who’s lists of accomplishments seemed endless and had wanted a list for myself. The problem I had was that I didn’t know what I wanted to, and even now, I still don’t know. Some people have a natural talent or passion that they feel they can turn into a career, but I don’t have one of those. For example, Lorenzo is a very talented artist so he went to college to learn how to design video games (that’s not what he does now, but he can still write the programming for it, he only does it in a different industry). There are things that I like to play around with, such as writing, photography, makeup, and fashion, but I’ve never pinpointed just one and felt a need to pursue it full time.

I also like to travel; I enjoy going to different places that I’ve seen on television growing up and used to daydream about traveling the world. Joining the Army has allowed me to do a little bit of that, but honestly, Arkansas and Iraq were never on my “buck list of places to visit.” Fortunately, I married a man who shares my love of travel, new foods, and hard work. He challenges me, makes me question myself and my goals. The most frustrating things he asks me is, “What do you want to do?”.

You know what my problem is? I like to experiment too much, and I don’t stick with one thing. I enjoy touching on many different subjects, so it sometimes keeps me from focusing on one and pushing towards it. I’m not sure what I’m afraid of because it’s not like I CAN’T succeed, but sometimes I fear that I WON’T. I need to figure out how to get over that.

Parents Just Don’t Understand

I will never understand why when parents get to be a certain age they start to become the hardheaded teenagers they regretted us being at that time. I’m not referring to all parents, just the ones who don’t always make the wisest decisions. Lorenzo’s mother is a widow, and my father remarried about a year before my mother passed (but they had been broken up for about ten years before that, so it wasn’t a big deal). I’m not as close to my dad as Lorenzo is to his mother but I think that we have a good relationship.

Lorenzo and I have different approaches with our parents when they do things that tend to make life a little… complicated. Lorenzo tends to be very calm, serious, and asks a lot of questions to try to get his mother to think about the logic of the things she wants to do. I tend to be very direct, and sometimes harsh with my dad, almost to the point of bullying. I even throw his lectures to me as a child back in his face every chance I get (#petty). He knows what my siblings and I tell him to do is for his own good, he just insists on being stubborn and difficult. Lorenzo’s mom is the same way, very stubborn to the point that she sometimes makes things harder for herself. I’m not sure if she doesn’t want to listen to her children or if she just doesn’t want to listen to anyone. I have a theory that some people need to feel like something is their idea in order to want to do it. So if that is true, then I see where Lorenzo gets it from (he wouldn’t take my advice about some things until he felt like he came up with it on his own. I don’t think he realized it until I brought it to his attention).

 
I am learning to be more like Lorenzo with my dad, calmer when I talk to him about his health. He really doesn’t need me nagging him about it; he already has a wife (just kidding!). I’m just saying I don’t want to stress him out even more or make him feel like he can’t talk to me about it without me yelling at him or saying “I told you so.” I wish that some parents would let their kids help them out with things, especially if you know their intentions are good. Just because we are the (adult) children, doesn’t mean we don’t know what we are talking about; for example, Lorenzo is very business minded and very smart, but yet his mom will sometimes make essential business decisions and will refuse his help. He doesn’t argue with her or anything like that, but I get frustrated for him. My father would have me AND my sisters on his ass, and we really don’t sugarcoat things with him. Maybe I just don’t have the patience to dance around certain topics or maybe I’m just feisty as hell like my mother, who knows, but the point is, I care.

 
I don’t want to see my dad or Lorenzo’s mom go through any unnecessary health problems or financial issues if we can help mitigate or prevent it, but it’s hard when people put you in a tough position and you only want to help. While I don’t tell Lorenzo how to handle his relationship with his mom and vice versa, I wish that we could get them to see “the big picture” even though the fear is that they won’t get it until its too late.

 
People love to say “You have to have kids so you’ll have someone to take care of you when you’re old.” I disagree with that statement for two reasons. First, who’s to say the kid won’t be a complete f**k up as an adult, who can barely take care of themselves let alone you (don’t act like you don’t know someone like this) and second, what’s the point of it if you have kids who can help, but you refuse to let them? Why are parents so annoying sometimes?

Lost Love

I wanted this post to be about my crazy road trip adventure to Missouri and back, or the cute little last minute trip Lorenzo and I took to Orlando for Labor Day but unfortunately, I don’t have good news to share. My friend’s neighbor very recently committed suicide, and as the case with any situation like this, there are feelings of hurt, sadness, and anger. Lorenzo and I knew the gentleman and his family casually. Since they were our friends’ neighbor’s, we used to visit them when they would have gatherings in their home. They were always welcoming and friendly. One of their daughters and I share the same name. Our friend said they are like second parents to her and were planning a trip to Hawaii next year for the wife’s birthday and even wanted Lorenzo and I to join them.
Lorenzo and I are giving the family their space right now but are hoping to attend any services that they have. Lorenzo and his friend were also discussing other ways to be of assistance to the family (food, mowing the lawn, monetary gifts, etc.)

This is not the first time I’ve had to deal with suicide, unfortunately. Being in the military, we have been trained to try to spot warning signs and phrases of people who may be expressing suicidal thoughts and behaviors, but honestly, of the people I know who have done this, the signs were hard to catch. Events like this will make you reevaluate how you treat the people around you. Check on your friends and family, even the ones who always seem happy. Those are the ones who may be the best at hiding if something is really bothering them.
As a person who wanted to be a therapist for a while, I am a strong advocate for getting help and not being ashamed of it. We shouldn’t make people feel bad or isolated for wanting to get help. Don’t dismiss someone who may be trying to express their feelings to you about something that is bothering them. If you don’t feel qualified to help or feel like the issue is above your mental capacity, offer or recommend professional help. Below are some links to get help. I’m hoping that someone out there will read this and maybe call or give this information to someone who may be in need. I wouldn’t want to see anyone one else go through something like this.
Take care of each other.

National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255 (24/7 service and assistance)

Suicide Prevention How to help

Suicide Prevention Resource Center Training and other resources

 

Save the Drama For Ya Mama

One thing I’ve learned to let go of in my late 20’s: DRAMA. Now don’t get me wrong, getting all the “tea” and watching people “throw shade” can be entertaining at times, which is probably why reality TV is so popular, but be that as it may, I’ve outgrown it for the most part. Meaning, I don’t mind listening to my sister go on an on about the crazy things her coworkers do now and then, but I don’t want to be directly involved if that makes any sense. I’d prefer using that juicy gossip as a storyline in a book I want to write or something.

Gossipy people tend to take things too far; they like to fill in the gaps where they do not have all the information. Then the gullible person will take that information and run with it or probably add to it, and by the time they’re done, you have this incredible, yet false, story that’s been entirely concocted from what could have easily been an completely innocent encounter. Rinse and repeat.

It’s exhausting. People who do this are exhausting.

I had to detach myself from decade-long friendship with a woman who wouldn’t let the drama go. Even as the relationship was ending and she was basically telling me what a shitty friend I was, all I could think of doing was giving her a standing ovation for her failed attempt to manipulate the situation in her favor. You can’t treat people badly and then turn around and feign sympathy when they call you out. You can’t use the “I’m going through something” excuse when you are ALWAYS going through something. As I’ve gotten older people like this have lost me because 1) you can’t turn every single situation into the Attention-Seeking Olympics and not expect people get tired of it and 2) Everyone goes through things. EVERYONE. Some of us don’t feel a compulsive need to shout it from a rooftop every 5 seconds.

I am sure many people can relate to this, but my friend’s list has gotten shorter as I’ve gotten older and I am content with the small group of friends that I have. The people I keep around me are not needy, dramatic, self-absorbed, reckless, dense, and unaccountable. But rather they are smart, funny, driven, goal-oriented, and focused.  I actually keep a small list of people with whom I choose not to get too close to:

– People who need to talk to me every day in order to feel like the relationship is “real” (I’m an introvert, too much small talk drains me; and I’m busy, don’t you have something to do? Let me miss you.)
– People who gossip all of the time, especially about other people they claim are their “friends,”
-Couples who make up to break up
-People who feel comfortable badmouthing others behind their backs but will never attempt to solve whatever issue they have with the other person directly.
-Folks who regurgitate information without having all of the facts
-Attention whores

Those are just a few turnoffs that I have. Lorenzo’s list is even longer than mine. I know it may feel like we are anti-social but we are just protecting our space. Keeping these kinds of people at a distance is good for my sanity. I’ve learned over the years that there are some people who are just not worth it.