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

 

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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.

I Hate People

So over the weekend, Lorenzo met some of his friends at a bar for drinks. He was scheduled to do his reserve training this weekend and a few of the guys wanted to get together Friday night. I am not sure where he was but he called me on Saturday to come switch cars with him. I was going to go by his unit to say hello because I had to go on base anyway, but it was unusual for him to want to switch cars. Apparently some assholes were going around breaking into people’s cars and they got his and a few others. They broke his window on the driver side and stole his wallet and some cologne (I’m not sure what kind of weirdo would steal someone’s cologne, but whatever).

I kind of yelled at Lorenzo for leaving his wallet in his car because I never understood why he does that in the first place.  I felt bad afterwards and apologized, but I remember saying that to him a long time ago. My fear was someone stealing the car with all his information, so not only would they have our car but then they would know where we lived as well. Fortunately, his drivers license wasn’t in the wallet but his military ID, and credit cards were. There was A LOT of activity almost immediately after it happened. He called in to report everything, but we were still seeing them using our debit card trying to shop online Sunday night.

Even though I know that this could’ve happened to anyone and even thought I’m happy no one was hurt, it still makes me angry that people do things like this. Its just such a low-life thing to do. People get up everyday and go to work for their money, and they work hard to save and buy the things that they need and want and it really burns my grits that there are others out there who think they can just take whatever they want without consequence. That’s why I hate when people I know who don’t work as hard as we do will just request things (usually money) with the assumption “You got it”. As if I don’t have bills to pay, or needs and goals of my own. And it’s usually from a person who doesn’t even put in half the effort that you do into their own jobs (if they even have one) or are too busy spending their own money on the wrong things. Now, this does not include those that are truly in need. Everyone falls on hard times every now and again, which is understandable, and I don’t have a problem helping others who genuinely need it, but there are some others….whew…I just can’t.

Lorenzo is such an inspiration to me because he always handles things really well. For him, this is a learning lesson and an extreme inconvenience. He’ll be getting a rental this week while his car is getting repaired and his credit card company has been great with refunding his money and getting him a new card. He just has to follow up with everything and continue to monitor his accounts.

Let this be a lesson. Don’t leave your wallet in the car… or at least have your credit card companies on speed dial on your phone.

It’s Official

“Lorenzo! Lorenzo! Can you come here please?”

He walks into our bedroom and asks me what’s wrong.

I started sniffling, and poked my bottom lip out.

“I have to show you something.” I said in the whiniest voice I could muster.

“What?”

“I’m getting old.”

I point to the two grey hairs and look up and him with my fake tears.

“Oh baby those been there! I told you that a long time ago.”

Still whining, “There was only one and now there’s two! They’re multiplying because I plucked it!”

He pulled me close and kissed my forehead.

“I still love you.”

Why does he have to be so comforting when I’m trying to be annoying ?  He assured me that you can’t even see them while reminding me that he told me this already.

But I guess its official now, my age is finally catching up with me. I’ve secretly prided myself on the fact that I look almost a decade younger than I actually am, but now it’s only a matter of time before this bastard and more of his friends start to show up telling the rest of the world my little secret. I know for some people, an early onset of grey hair is hereditary (I have a cousin who has been grey since high school, his nickname was “Grandpa”). So it technically shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but for me it is. My Dad is in his mid-50’s and hardly has any grey hair.

covering-grey-hair

I know he is going to have a field day when he see this.

Seeing the Finish Line

Finish LineImage credit 

Guys….guys…guys. I’m almost done with school. This week is going to end week 10 of 11 for my last class in my MBA program. I can’t celebrate just yet, I still have another paper to write, and a final, plus I have 3 days of military training this weekend, so I’ll have to do it all when I get home.

My graduation isn’t scheduled until October, but Lorenzo is already planning things for us to do to relax and spend time together. I feel like I have been almost ignoring him for the past year and a half. I’ve literally had to tell him one day not to plan anything for us to do without speaking with me first because there was always too much for me to do. So I know he is just as excited as I am.

Its been 5 years since I started my MBA program. After a really bad Economics class I took a semester off, which later turned into 3 semesters because I was spending my time looking for another job. I went back, and then took another semester off because Lorenzo and I had to move and were buying our house at the same time. I even took a break from my blog last year, so I really didn’t get to document any of it. Now here I am, about 10 days away from being completely finished. It makes me so happy because I knew that the time would pass anyway, and I’m glad that I stuck with it and had the determination to finish.

We’re not going to talk about my GPA right now because this class has been sketchy for me. I’m sure it will take a hit, but I am preparing myself to deal with that. Its not like they are going to put it on my the degree anyway…so….

But, its not like this is the end for me, there is still lots more for me to work towards, the first being a job that is more in line with my degree, certifications, and retiring from the military next year. So I’m still going to be a busy lady– just without homework.

Why its Time to Retire… A Letter to my Future Self.

March 3rd marked the 19 year anniversary of when I joined the military. Just the paperwork portion of it, I didn’t actually go to basic training until a few months later. Every year on that anniversary I usually post a picture on Facebook or something and every year someone whom I’ve served with will jump in and encourage me to stay in longer.

I’m so sick of that.

Of course it happened again this year, and I think that no one believes me because I’ve been saying I wanted to get out for years and I kept re-enlisting. Once I hit the 14 year mark, I knew that I would stay long enough just to get my retirement. I figured if I completed 20 years, I can leave with no regrets because I did enough to finish and if I stayed in any longer than that it would be purely because I wanted to.

But I know me. I know that I will second guess myself half to death and end up staying out of fear (fear of what? I have no clue) and re-enlist again and ending up miserable. So I’m going to write a letter to my future self to remind me of this feeling I’m having right now and I’m going to put a reminder in my phone to check it also.

Dear Pat,

Enough is enough. Twenty years of your life is enough. You’ve been saying for years that you are tired of doing this, and you mean it. You have nothing left to give. The only way I can justify staying is if you’ve found another job that is relevant to your civilian career (which I doubt you’ll do in less than a year). Your back hurts, your knees are getting worse, you never really liked doing push-ups, you HATE running, and the food is terrible. Don’t be afraid to let go, don’t be afraid of the unknown. You have other things you want to do with your life so its time to move on.  You’d be doing a disservice to anyone you’d have to lead or mentor because you know your heart isn’t in it (and lets be real, you don’t even like half the people you work with anyway). You want your weekends back. You want to be able to plan a trip that’s not around their schedule. You actually want to travel to cool places, not middle-of-nowhere Arkansas. You can make extra money doing other things that won’t have you end up in the hospital because you threw your back out again, or because your asthma started acting up. You shouldn’t feel this way about your job. Don’t let anyone else convince you that you need to stay because they chose to stay. There was a time when you loved it, but I think that time has passed and now your heart is pulling your towards something else. If you decide to stay longer than planned stay because you want tostay because you’re happy, not because you feel like you don’t have any other options.  CREATE other options.

Love, Pat

Time to create some options…