Tag Archives: expectation

Thanksgiving Writing Retreat

1 Dec

This year for Thanksgiving, I decided to get drunk in the woods. This brings to mind two types of stories. The first is a tale of self-discovery and acceptance of all my shortcomings from which I return to the life I had with a little less baggage and wiser than when I left. The second is a horror film where I am murdered in an abandoned camp ground rented out by black-market organ dealers.

Thankfully the second plot was not the story of my weekend. However, I don’t see any Hollywood tycoons banging on my door for the film rights to what actually happened either. Media taints our perception of reality, we know this. I wasn’t expecting much, but at the same time I was expecting something, it is human nature when you are raised in the 20th century.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we?

I rented a cabin somewhere in Arizona I had never been called Lyman Lake. Simple, cheap, and out in the middle of nowhere (aka away from humans…I am slowly morphing into a hermit). The Friday after Thanksgiving I drove my hung over ass, my dog, and my high hopes five hours through several different forms of precipitation to a lake hidden in the mountains of Northern Arizona.

What I expected:

  • Monumental progress on my romance novel
  • Finishing the book I have been reading for months now
  • Plenty of hiking with Kali, my dog, so she got all the nature she doesn’t get at home
  • A blazing fire both nights over which I would cook bratwursts and foil packets of potatoes like I had seen on Pinterest

What actually happened:

  • I wrote about 3000 words, which isn’t even half of a novella
  • Still have 300 pages shy of the end of the book I have been reading (although I did make progress, I think I just read slower than I think)
  • One hike, just one, on the first day. It was about a mile and I had to stop several times to just breath.
  • No fire. Not one. I ate bagels and carrot sticks the whole time.

It sounds disappointing, but even though the weekend didn’t meet my expectations, I loved every second of it. I got a lot more writing done than I would have at home. I have been trying for months to make progress on this idea of a book, and I actually feel good about the direction the story it taking now. I spent a solid four hours just reading. I never let myself do that at home. There is always something to clean or errands to run or Netflix to catch up on. I was out in nature. Maybe I was’t stomping through it with my hiking boots, but I saw petroglyphs and actual stars splattered across the sky in all their unadulterated glory. Kali got to run and play and sniff new things, which for a dog is a big deal. She saw snow for the first time and realized it was cold, very cold. I swear those big brown eyes looked at me and thanked me for living in Phoenix. We walked more than any weekend in the last couple of months and that is progress. I even did about two minutes of yoga because the crappy cabin mattress made my 32 year old back ache like the dickens.

I can’t spin the food with a positive light though. I’m still mad I forgot a lighter and the brats I brought sat in the cooler the whole time. At least I ate my veggies though!

What I wasn’t expecting was the complete lack of pressure and the calming quiet of the mountains. I was more at peace than I could have even imagined I would be. There was zero cell service or wifi and that level of disconnection gave me permission to take my time with everything I chose to do. There were hours and hours to fill so whatever idea of a schedule I had come up with was thrown out the window. There were no messages or social media to check so I barely even looked at my phone which meant I didn’t have any idea what time it was unless I intentionally looked for it. I can’t even tell you how freeing that felt.

Am I going to run off to the woods to live off the land? No, clearly I am not built for that. Did I have any personal growth opportunities that will make me a better person? No, absolutely not, but it was nice realizing I could sit in silence and not literally go crazy. Am I going to be one of those people that deletes all the apps on their phone other than contacts and maps? FUCK no. I need to stalk people to know I am not the worst human that has ever existed and make sure my exes aren’t happy than me. Maybe one day I’ll work up to a weekly social media detox…one day.

What I will do is try to take more trips with just a book and my dog…and my laptop, I’m not an animal. And a bottle of vodka, that shit really gets the creative juices flowing. I will try to make time to do the things I actually enjoy and not just what I have to do to survive. I will take Kali on more walks.

I will continue to be the person I am, but maybe I will also manage to sometimes be the person I found in the mountains.

I will remember I don’t hate the snow as much as I think, it is nice in small doses.

Every Blessing Comes with a set of Curses

7 May

You know the saying. Hindsight is 20/20. That’s all well and good except that most days I wish I could see the future as well as I can see the past. Not even the details, just the vague outline. But that’s what its all about right? Not knowing. Jumping into the abyss day after day and hoping you come out the other side with no major injuries. I mean, in reality, sometimes even the past takes some time to come into focus. It could be months, years, even decades before it all makes sense.

This is starting to sound decidedly negative-y which was not my intention in the least. I guess I’m just feeling reflective…or something.

Really I wanted to share some big news. As of this week, I am officially employed! (Jumps up and down in a very cheerleader type fashion) Not almost employed like before when I got all excited, but for real employed and starting on Monday. Clearly I have mixed feelings about it. It would be out of the norm for me to just simply be satisfied, let’s be honest. I am thankful to have a job again, something to do with my days, and an actual income. I am excited to start catching up on bills and start the arduous process of rebuilding my savings account. I am ecstatic to stop being anxious about failing in this great endeavor and having to return home with my head hung in shame. Seriously, probably would have become a hermit if that had happened for at least 6 months.

However, I can’t help but not be as excited as I could be. Reality did not meet expectation in the end and part of me is severely disappointed. I feel like I’m taking a huge step back. I guess starting over means starting from scratch, but I was kind of hoping I could start everything else over and still maintain the progress I had built in my career path. Perhaps that was too much to ask for.

The job is in a residential facility for teen coping with mental health and substance abuse. I’ve done this before so I know I can do it again, but I left originally for a reason. Its a lot of stress, a shit schedule, and the pay cut is significant. It IS in my field so its going to pay off in the end, but the question is how long the waiting will take.

I put a six month time stamp on it. I will work my ass off and focus on the positive until then. After I put in the time (and get financially stable again) then I can kick it into high gear and find something I actually want and can feel passionate about again. Not to say that I’ll entirely stop looking for six months or that if something works out that is better for me then I won’t take it, I just refuse to stress over it until then.

In other news, TOGA is all done fixing the bitch whore and soon she will be sold and a little extra cash will be coming my way.

In other boy news, add another one to the list. LP and I have been getting to know our new downstairs neighbors. There’s three guys, all single, but one of them, Jack-of-all-trades, and I have been spending a lot of time together. It started a couple weeks ago. LP had been out, I was partying with people at the complex, when she came home there were more people that came with her…one of those nights. As the night quieted down, LP, one of the Parasites, and I were outside on our porch-esque area having a conversation when we heard the guys downstairs. LP being LP said something and one thing lead to another before we were all outside their apartment making introductions and chatting. Jack is a talker to say the least and has some pretty amazing stories to tell and if you have caught on about LP much, she can get pretty social herself. Personally I was commenting where I had an input, but mostly just enjoying the atmosphere.

The one thing I do remember talking about was my situation which at the time was still jobless and getting short on the financial side. Jack has a few projects he’s working on and said in a mostly off-hand way that he might be able to help me out. It was a nice thing to say, but I didn’t put much stock into it, I mean I had JUST met him. However, a few days later, there he was outside his apartment again when I came home in the afternoon from some distraction, and asked me if I had a second to talk. We went into his apartment, he told me about this project he’s been working on, and details about how I could get involved. Since then, I’ve been helping out where I can, less for the money, more because his personality makes it so hard to say no. Jack is very open and make you feel comfortable just by how he holds himself. Sometimes we hang out and work on something for his business, sometimes we just hang out, but I always lose track of time. I’m not getting all girly here, just stating facts.

Regardless of what happens with Jack, or with the job, or anything else that is in the development stages, I finally feel a bit more at peace and that is a nice feeling. The temperature is on the rise and so am I. New adventures await.

PS Happy Cinco de Mayo…meant to stick that story in here, but got a little carried away. Suffice it to say, it did not go as expected…aka I was convinced I could stay sober then ended up in bed (FULLY CLOTHED!) with two guys.