Who Am I?

Who Am I?

I am many things to many people.

I am a daughter, born to two of the most wonderful parents a girl could ever ask for. They always make me feel loved and special. If I find half of the happiness and love they have in each other after all these years, I will consider myself a very lucky woman.

I am a sister, to a younger brother who could not be more opposite to me if he tried. Yet, finally, we have found common ground in the birth of his son. We have learned to love and respect each other again after years of family problems and his issues with addiction.

I am a girlfriend, to a man who came into my life when I least expected it. He has stood by me, and I have stood by him through good times and bad. He loves me for who I am. He takes care of me in so many ways and my heart swells when he is in the room.

I am an aunt to the most precious, beautiful boy God could ever bless a family with. He came into all of our live like an angel from heaven, right at the point when it seemed my family had fractured beyond repair, riddled and beaten down by the pain and codependence of addiction.

I am a niece, cousin, friend, student, and employee as well.

But I am also more than these roles that I play in my life.

I am a good listener
I am compassionate
I am friendly
I am funny
I am smart
I am caring
I am a lover
I am a fighter

After everything I have endured in my life, above all, I am grateful and happy to be in this place, enjoying my journey and becoming a better person.


Work Sucks!

Something happened at work this week that really bothered me. I work for a very small company and it is pretty much a given that everyone else will know your business long before you do. I had known for some time that one of our E.I’s (engineering intern) was not performing well, and had pretty much bungled a MAJOR report we were preparing for an energy conservation firm. But I also knew that he is a genuinely nice guy, with a young daughter and wife to support. His performance wasn’t great but he was thrown into this report with very little guidance from our senior staff. He had never put together a report like this before and was really up a creek without a paddle before he even started.

So fast forward to this week, when my boss is in Canada compensating for his non-existent pair of you-know-what’s by hunting for a moose. The head of which he plans to mount in the middle of the office lobby, where I sit every day. Yeah, seriously…

The office manager calls me into the office to tell me to be on alert because our boss, Mr. Small Cojones, left it to her to fire this guy while he was on vacation. Now, mind you, our office “manager” operates in a strictly marketing/admin capacity. She does the books. She has no supervisory position over this man she is about to fire and he has never, once, had to answer to her for anything. Now she has been appointed the one to deliver the fatal blow.

I was stunned. My respect level plummeted to about zero. I just nodded my head dumbly as she made excuses for why she had to do it. “Bossman wants this guy gone before the new hire starts on Monday, but he wanted this guy to finish his work on the bungled report before he let him go.” Really, I am thinking, the report that basically sealed his fate? The boss wants him to FINISH it first and then fire him?

So on Friday afternoon she calls the unsuspecting E.I. into her office and shuts the door. He comes out five minutes later half smiling. She comes out looking like she’s about to lose her lunch and excuses herself to go outside, no doubt to ponder the ridiculous-ness of the whole scenario and her role in it. He comes down about 15 minutes later and says goodbye, smiling. I think it almost would have been easier if he has acted pissed. But he was so SWEET! I started to tear up as I told him to take care of himself and good luck. He said things happen and he would be okay. We said our goodbyes and he left.

I am left to wonder about this place where I work, and the people I work with/for. Yes, maybe the man did deserve to be fired for his performance but it just seemed like it was handled so BADLY! Work, work, work him and then let him go as soon as he turns in the report? And the boss couldn’t even do it himself? I don’t know. Maybe I am wrong, or too sensitive, but the whole thing just seemed messed up. I just keep thanking God that I am going to school and this is not my career. But in this economy, quitting based on principle is not really an option. Still, I felt ashamed to have known and not been able to do or say SOMETHING!

But the last I heard, the Boss was leaving Canada today, and he didn’t catch his moose. This was his second trip. First one was a dud as well.

Karma is a bitch, don’t ya know!

Just Sayin!

Just have to brag…my blogger friend Lamb featured one of my posts on her blog this weekend! Check it out!

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And be sure to check out her blog while you are there! She is super cool and you could lose yourself for hours reading her funny takes on life and love.


The Life of a “Non-Traditional” Student

I have rarely, if ever, taken the “traditional” route with anything in my life. School, work, relationships…I have never conformed to what a young woman is “expected” to do. I have had several jobs, in a variety of fields, trying to find out what I want to be when I grow up. I just turned 30 in March, and have been with my significant other for almost 10 years, but we haven’t married or had children yet. And did I mention he is 14 years older than me? I am pretty much okay with the direction my life has taken so far. I consider all of my experiences lessons I can share with others and use to help people when I become a therapist (yes I figured out what I want to be). But of all of my decisions, and my life’s unexpected twists and turns, my decisions regarding my education have been the hardest for me to reconcile.

School has always been a unique psychological trigger for me. I was born with congenital birth defects that affected my facial features. I had surgery for it in 8th grade but it left a permanent scar on my heart and soul. I was made fun of quite a bit in school and despite being book smart and always getting good grades, school was always a little more than I could deal with. Given the fact that high school is just as much a social experiment as it is an academic one, my misery was compounded exponentially. I had very few friends. I didn’t go to my prom. I went to Homecoming once or twice but never had a “date”. I had serious attendance issues, mainly because I didn’t want to face other kids and the possibility of being hurt. I played sick a lot, and when I was older, I would skip school – taking the bus to the mall all day or hiding out at the public library. I badgered my parents, begged, pleaded, cried, went to counseling, and finally got my GED the year I was supposed to graduate with my class, 1998. I got one question wrong on the GED test. It was a joke. I was the “smart one” in the family. All I ever heard growing up was how smart and talented I was and how I could be anything I wanted to be. If I had stuck it out in high school I probably would have ended up with a full ride to some prestigious college somewhere. So even though I got what I wanted, I pretty much felt like a failure. I had let my parents and the rest of my family down. All those high expectations everyone had for me…down the drain. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t face the pain and torment I was expecting in those classrooms.

Fast forward through a year-long stint away at college (yes you CAN get accepted to a four year school with a GED. I was shocked!) and several failed attempts at community college. What was wrong with me? I was given the gift of intelligence but couldn’t pull myself together enough to make it in college either? I shut down. Took a waitressing job. Met my boyfriend and just lived…but always in the back of my head was this nagging voice that said I COULD do it if I really wanted to. If I found the right school, figured out what I really wanted. I began to re-evaluate and decided I really wanted to be a mental health counselor. Well, that requires an education. So I found the Program for Experienced Learners at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL.

Eckerd College

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It is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am taking human development classes with like minded adults and for the first time in my life, school is not a place to be feared or dreaded. It is a fun, interactive experience. I had forgotten how exciting it is to see the A at the top of your test or paper. I started my junior year this fall and it has FLOWN by! I am even planning (GASP!) more school – getting my masters’ when I finish at Eckerd next year. And I have received several scholarships! Just this week I got a letter awarding my $5000 for an essay I wrote about my life experiences.

I used to have this recurring dream. In it, I was reassuring my parents that I was going to class to finish my high school diploma, even though I had already gotten my GED. I guess it could be interpreted several ways. But when I found my calling, and found Eckerd, I stopped having those dreams. I have made my family proud and most importantly, I have made myself proud. I just had to figure out that life is a journey, not a destination, and just because you don’t know where you’re going doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride!

…And Then I Panicked

My right eye fluttered open and I began to slowly take in my surroundings in a drug induced haze. I heard shuffling and beeping all around me. My left eye wouldn’t open but out of the corner of my right I kept catching glimpses of blue racing back and forth. Occasionally a mass of blue would approach me and speak but I was only vaguely aware of what they were saying. I turned my head slightly and saw my spousal equivalent hovering in the corner. He had written Billy Loves Sarah in big letters on the white board facing my bed. I couldn’t summon the words to speak to him, to tell him I loved him too. I just laid there and started taking a physical and mental inventory. I reached with my right hand and felt around on my chest. There were wires coming from everywhere, including one that I was pretty sure was coming out of my neck. I had already noticed that my left eye wouldn’t open but at the time it didn’t seem too alarming. As my hand made its way up my face and toward my hairline I began to feel stubble… AND THEN I PANICKED! They shaved my head! The doctor told me he wouldn’t; that they could use an old incision. And yet I kept feeling around and I had no hair on top of my head. I felt a tube jutting out of my scalp but that didn’t even bother me. As I ran my hand over my head, panic turned to horror as I realized, um, they forgot to shave half of it off! So not only was I a hideous mess with tubes and lines in every orifice, but they had only shaved half of my hair, leaving me looking like Bozo the Clown. Really? They couldn’t have just finished the job while they were up there?

It was a full week before I could go home and have Billy shave the rest off for me. It was a full year before I had a full head of hair again. But it has been two years and counting since my last chronic, debilitating migraine and despite the hair thing…I have to say I am pretty damn lucky!

Me and SO - 1 month post op - Felt a bit like a deranged elf!

With hair...and a new outlook on life!

Writing Prompt by Mama Kat!

Ahhh Honeycrisp!

How I have missed thee! I thought I would share my first Honeycrisp apple of the season with you. If you haven’t had one…DO IT! They are fantastic 🙂

Apple to die for...

Battling the Baby Blues…How to Cope?

In November of 2009, a most wonderful thing happened in my family. My adorable nephew John III (we call him Jack) was born! Now I had been around babies and children before. I did my share of teenage babysitting and I have plenty of friends who have taken the parenthood plunge. But I had the unique opportunity to be at the hospital when Jack was born. An hour after he was born I was one of the first people to hold him while his dad was out making the requisite good news calls and the nurses were tending to his mommy. I fell in love. I couldn’t believe that this little life in my arms was a member of my family, my godson, my nephew. He was (and still is) perfect. It was at that moment that my biological clock began to keep time in the back of my head…

My little buddy at 7 months

My boyfriend and I have never seriously considered having children. We are both adult students with full-time jobs and we enjoy having the freedom to pick up at a moment’s notice and go away for the weekend. But having a baby so close to us and seeing how beautiful the relationship is between Jack and his parents has caused us to seriously reconsider our position. But how do you know if it’s the right time? My boyfriend thinks we should both finish school. My head says yes but my heart is aching to hold my own child in my arms. I was at a local restaurant the other night having dinner and struck up a conversation with a woman who was out with her newborn granddaughter. What a tiny angelic little creature! On the drive home I had to explain to my boyfriend why I was in tears over a baby I didn’t even know.

So how do you know when the time is right? For every one person who says you should have all your ducks in a row before trying for a family, there is another who says you will never REALLY be ready and you should just go for it. I keep fighting the urge but I am starting to wonder why I am fighting at all? This instinct runs so deep…I would love to know how some of you have fought (or given in) to this force of nature. What are your thoughts? Any advice? I would love to hear from you…

Light, love, and positive thoughts!

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