Archive | December, 2014

Year End Reflections

28 Dec

Reflections #Pinterest

 10 Highlights…

  1. Going to San Diego in August.

Not only was this my first time in California, putting my toes in the Pacific waters, but it was also a long needed roomie/bestie trip with LP. We had a total blast for four days and enjoyed some sun, sand, and shenanigans.

  1. Mom and Dad coming to visit in April.

So many things happened during the two weeks they were here. I failed at hosting my first holiday (see below), they met Michigan for the first time (only the second time they have met a significant other), and we went on a four day road trip to see Sedona, The Grand Canyon, and Vegas (their first, and probably last, time).

  1. Speaking of Michigan (the man), he was a huge part of my year as well.

All of his visits were definitely highlights and something that made this year bearable at times. From him coming in March when we went to a Cubs game and the Renaissance Fair, to spending out first holiday together over Thanksgiving, every one was special and left me wanting more. We also celebrated ONE WHOLE YEAR together in October, which still blows my mind.

  1. My visit to Michigan (the state) in January also falls under the highlights category.

Not only did I get to Michigan(theman)’s home and meet his family, but I got to check off a whole new state from places to see before I die.

  1. Rogers and The Viking’s Wedding.

This June occasion was momentous for a few reasons. First, two of my dear friends tied the knot and even asked me to be a part of their beautiful day. Second, I got to go on a mini road trip with Michigan including a ferry ride across Lake Michigan (this Michigan thing is getting very confusing, note to self, consider new nic name…other note to self, no nic names after places anymore). Third, I checked off two more states with a visit to Madison, Wisconsin for the wedding and Chicago, Illinois on the way home. Fourth, Chicago!

  1. Anytime I get to go to Vegas is always on my list.

This year I had the pleasure of going twice! The first time was in March when TOGA and gang went for a week. I drove up for a night and although not as amazing as I had hoped, still mention-worthy. The second was for my 27th birthday. I got to share a long weekend with friends and have a roller coaster of a time with all the ups and downs you have to expect when Vegas is part of the equation.

  1. I am grouping together two outings for number seven because the bonding element they have was that I was able to share them with The Viking and Rogers:

*Monument Tour in August (Seeing Paramore is always epic and seeing Fall Out Boy along with them….there are no words!)

*Arizona Cardinals v. Detroit Lions in November (Football, friends, stadium full of screaming fans….what is here no to love)

  1. I am devoting number 8 to two anniversaries that fell in the last year.

The first was one year in Arizona in March and the second was one year at The New Foundation in May. This has been the most intense adventure of my life so far, but every step has been worth it. Mistakes included, I have become a better person, and even though my job is not he best, it is a stepping stone to higher goals (one which I very soon hope to step off of).

  1. The Biggest Loser competition I orchestrated at work in June/July (and almost won).

A lot more commitment running the show than I thought, but definitely a fun time for my crazy organized side. It was a close race and I am proud to say I worked hard to push myself to be better.

  1. Last but not least, although it may seem minor, I got contacts again for the first time since high school which has allowed me to have much more comfort while riding my bike to work and going to yoga.

**I would like to make honorable mention of two other events, which did not quite make the top ten, but none-the-less are worth mentioning.

Saint Patrick’s Day – An eventful day after which I could not look at Thai Curry the same way again.

Home for Christmas – The only reason I am suspecting this did not bump one of the other contenders above is because as I am writing this list, it has not yet happened.

10 Disappointments…

(In no particular order)

  1. My second DUI.

Between the horrific jail experience, the financial insecurity, the hassle of having an interlock in my car, and the enormous time commitment this has required, it trumps any other failure I have had this year.

  1. Not getting the job as AYSF.

Liz recommended me, I felt more than qualified, but due to my license issue, it was not meant to be.

  1. Missing Riot Fest in Denver with Anarchy.

Such an amazing opportunity wasted again because of the DUI fallout (seeing a pattern yet?). Then to see pictures and hear stories when Anarchy got back, ugh!

  1. Not seeing the Patriots when they came to play the Chargers in San Diego.

No money, no ticket, and LP is in the habit of ditching me anyway.

  1. The fallout with TOGA.

He got into a relationship, I don’t understand, we haven’t talked since. I realize his is probably an unhealthy reaction on my part, but I am not ready to come to terms with it yet.

  1. Decline in relationship with LP.

Although I expect tensions to ease when we are no longer roommates, there are definite differences to our friendship, which are not all entirely fixable.

  1. Being unable to fly back East for an entire year.

And in the process missing out on some pretty big life events friends have been experiencing. Feeling homesick is not a fun feeling.

  1. Misusing a lot of my time.

Whether it was due to laziness, depression, exhaustion, etc. I was not the best at making use of my time wisely.

  1. Easter Dinner.

I wanted Easter to be this impressive affair where I cooked for my family and my boyfriend and everyone was impressed with my hosting skills. I left myself no time and we went out to dinner instead.

  1. Continuing to be church-less.

It is a need I have been feeling I need to fill again, but between work and social anxiety, it hasn’t happened yet.

3 Game Changers…

  1. DUI

I am sure you can see the pattern above. It had affected every aspect of my life.

  1. Switching to IOP

It has been a fun and skill-building experience, bringing me closer to a co-worker and providing me with a little more freedom at work.

  1. Building a relationship with Rogers and the Viking.

They have been supportive and fun, really adding my connection to Arizona and my life here. I really believe that if there was no other reason to have moved here, they would have been more than enough to make it worth while. I will be sad when they moved back to Minnesota.

3 Things I focused on…

  1. Michigan

He is dear to my heart and I have spent a lot of time cultivating a strong, healthy relationship.

  1. Work

Not always my favorite place to be, but useful in developing skills and getting out of debt.

  1. Yoga

Being healthy is an up and down battle for me, but yoga has given me a hobby that pushes me to want to make goals and actually reach them. It fuses the body control aspect I once found so addicting in dance and the strength-building benefits I have been trying to accomplish, plus a side of meditation. Mind, body, and soul working together.

3 Things I forgot…

  1. Applying for Grad School

As I am writing this, there is still time to squeak that in under the wire, but I have my doubts. There is always next year (she said once again).

  1. Figuring out a better solution for my student loan problem.

For years now I have been battling with Salliemae just to get them to give me some small relief from the debt I have collected. After hearing about a couple different programs I may be eligible for, I have still done little more than minor research around them.

  1. Therapy.

Several times this year I felt I had hi a wall. Being in mental health I am a huge advocate for reaching out for support from professionals when life becomes too overwhelming. I still struggle to take my own advice.


I can’t say this year has been easy, nor can I say I have always been happy, but that is life. This year was more difficult than others, but out of adversity comes strength. I regret things that have happened, they will continue to affect me for years to come. However, that is not what I want to focus on as the year closes out. I want to focus on the relationships that have been built on love and acceptance. The changes that have lead my family and I to come to new understandings of one another. Big goals for the future and new roads I have been lead down. Life will never be easy, and I am thankful to have things to look back on that brought light even to he darkest of places. Here is to a year full of challenges and overcoming them.

Shame and Gifting

18 Dec

When I was in elementary school I had a birthday party. It was one of those parties you invite all the kids from your class, even though you really only wanted to invite three of them, and then parents come too for some reason or another (probably to gloat about how they are such great parents for organizing socialization for their child). I was an awkward child. Although I was aware of social norms and painfully tried to be a polite little girl, I did not always succeed at abiding by said norms or being very polite. It was time to open gifts and, as was the case at these parties (whose goal I really do believe was to make the socially awkward children even more awkward), everyone gathered around to watch me ooh and ahh at the unwrapping.
It amazes me how vividly I remember this moment. I have no idea what the gift ended up being or who it was from, but as I peeled back the fragile paper and reveled the contents I was immediately repulsed at the sight. Without a second thought I blurted out “I don’t even like [fill in the blank]!” As it turns out, the giver of said gift had only used the box from something else to encase what the actual gift ended up being. I was mortified and thoroughly scolded by my mother for my outburst.
To this day, no matter how horrid the gift, I smile and give copious amounts of thanks. However, sometimes, the gift is expensive and I know I will never use it or if I do I will do so grudgingly. I feel guilt for not informing the person they wasted their money, but shame for not being more grateful they even thought of me.
This year for Christmas Michigan sent me a Keurig coffee maker. I HATE Keurigs. The cups are wasteful, the machines are a pain in the ass to clean, and you can only make one cup at a time. What if I have guests over? What if I want to have an all night Harry Potter marathon with multiple cups of that Ethiopian blend? It is an impractical waste of space.
I stupidly Skyped with him to open the thing and he knew immediately I was under-whelmed. I blamed it on sleep deprivation from too much overtime (which was indeed a true thing) and ended the call quickly. However, it sits by my bed staring at me, the guilt and shame driving me to close to tears.
I am in turmoil. I don’t know what to do. He is supposed to be moving in with me and I can’t tell him I hate a coffeemaker? Who gives a coffeemaker as a Christmas present to their girlfriend? Why can’t he be like a normal person and just buy me the boxed book set I very clearly stated I wanted and probably would have cost less! I would have even been happy with the French Press I said I wanted to replace my old coffeemaker with. Presents are about getting people things they wouldn’t or couldn’t buy for themselves…a Keurig?
This is such a silly thing to be having such a huge existential crisis over.


12 Dec

We are human. Humans make mistakes. Some of us take responsibility for those mistakes, others do everything in their power to avoid responsibility.
Personally I don’t see the point in avoiding responsibility. It sucks, some people will judge you, you will lose some things, but in the end it is the only way to cleanse.
However, from time to time, even when you take the high road, even when you do everything in your power to be a compliant member of society, swallowing your pride and admitting your failure as a person, the world still shits on you and rubs salt into the wound. Today I crave anarchy.
Clearly today something has gone wrong, clearly I am venting, and clearly there is no where else I can do it. I have burdened those in my life enough with complaints and confusion, they may be tiring of it, or I may just be perceiving they are tired of it when truly they are not. Does it matter?
Now I am rambling.
Guilt is a hard and terrible thing. It makes the insignificant insurmountable, and weakens the strong to rubble. Shame is worse. Shame eats you from the inside out and make sink holes in your being. One day you are walking on solid ground, the next you are fifty feet under without a rope.
Maybe I should go watch some Brene Brown.

Captain’s Vlog Day 6: FREEDOM!

1 Dec