Tuesday, September 6, 2011


If you happen to stumble onto this blog, please head over to my new blog address.


All of my old entries have been moved over as well. Hope to see you all there.

(Especially whoever has been reading this thing from German. Who ARE you?)

Friday, August 26, 2011

my sister

There's a woman in my life who understands me better than I understand myself. She's gone through so many of the same things that I have. She feels the same way I do and thinks the same thoughts. The older we get, the more alike we become and what emerges from this is a wonderful, amazing, breathtaking bond that cannot be replaced.

Some people have sisters to share their lives with. But I don't. I have my cousin, Christina. Less than a year older and truly the sister I was meant to have in this life. She's been there since the very, very beginning and I know she'll be there until the last second.

It might not seem like much, but to us our relationship is the world. We come from a... non-traditional family. There wasn't always stability. Hell, sometimes we had to look pretty damn hard to find happiness under all the resentment and bitterness and arguing. (I'm ashamed to admit that even we fell victim to it a time or two. maybe three. okay four times.) But throughout everything, we've always been able to lean on each other.

There is no one in the world I admire more than Chrissy. At the age of 15 she was diagnosed with a tumor and little did any of us know how that would go on to nearly ruin her life. After countless (seriously, I think she's had around 20) surgeries and tests and procedures, she keeps smiling. I've never met anyone who handles what God has dealt them with such class, grace and optimism. Sometimes when I want to bitch about a little thing in life, I remember what she's gone through and what she still continues to endure every single day. Suddenly my life doesn't seem so bad.

I don't always tell people how I feel. I'm known for being closed off and guarded. Maybe this is my way of letting her know that I love her more than I'll ever be able to say. Maybe this is how I'm telling her how proud I am of her. Even now she's faced with more medical issues and she still laughs, smiles and jokes like the world is the happiest place ever.

I think she got that from our grandfather.

So, Chrissy, this is me telling you that you amaze me. Having you in my life makes me a better person. You constantly support me, you appreciate me and more than anything you love me. There is no one I respect more and no one I'd rather have by my side until I become a crazy old woman like Gramma. (Well, not that crazy. Maybe Nannie crazy.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

ohio is dumb and other random thoughts.

Ohio serves no purpose. It keeps me from my friend Traci and I don't like that. It's also ugly and boring and.. stuff. So, yeah. Ohio is dumb.

I am ridiculously excited about school this year. Mostly because it means I got new school supplies. Pens, pencils, binders, oh my! Blame it on working in an office for eleven billion years, but I'm a whore for office supplies.

Since seeing Jekyll & Hyde a few weeks back I've been listening to the soundtrack over and over and over and over again. I'm in love. This hasn't happened since I fell in love with RENT.

Yesterday would've been my Poppo's 89th birthday. I had vodka to celebrate. It was delicious.

I don't like change unless it's small and I can control it. Like my hair. Which I change constantly. If you look through my facebook profile pictures you can see how often I change my hair. A friend asked me what my natural hair color was and, honestly, I have no idea. I'm going to say dark blonde because that's what I think it is. Probably. So anyway, I decided to dye it brown. But then because I have a lot of hair and it was way too light to start, I have to dye it again. So you'll get a picture some other time.

My office is nearly done. By this weekend it should be ready to go. This thrills me. No longer will Ron Weasley be guarding my fireplace.. I mean Floo. Yes, Floo. Pictures will go home once we have it totally done and I've actually hung up pictures and made it look awesome.

I really, really want some ice cream. Mmmmm.

the adult student

Today is my first day of school.

Yup. I'm 28 years old and I'm still in school. Not because I'm perusing a graduate degree, but because I'm working to earn my Bachelor's degree. At twenty-eight. At a community college. Yeah.

I have mixed feelings about being in school right now. On one hand, I'm very proud of myself for going back. I love learning. I love being in school and soaking up all the knowledge I can. It doesn't matter than I'm pushing thirty or that the people in my classes are fresh out of high school. On the other hand, I feel like the random old person who doesn't belong. And that part sucks.

I'll be honest. I left my first school because I didn't want to have a long distance relationship with Greg. It might not have been the best decision for my career, but I still think it was the right decision for myself. And now that I have a happy marriage, it's time to work on the other parts of my life. Life doesn't have to follow a certain line. You can do whatever you want whenever you want to do it.

I think the only thing I truly regret was allowing other people to tell me what I should or shouldn't study. I have (finally) settled on Elementary Education in spite of people telling me it's a bad idea or that I won't make money or find a job. You know what? Shush. Shush your mouth right now. Because when someone says they are going back to school you should be nothing but encouraging and supportive. It doesn't matter if they are 18, 28 or 58.

Happy First Day of School!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The First Man

He was a giant of a man. Tall, like all the Hoagland men, but it was so much more than that. His personality filled up the room and to this day I've never met someone who could make my world light up like he did. And although I miss him (every single day) I know that the lessons he taught me will carry through for the rest of my life.

Laugh. Laugh when life is falling apart and you're certain that tomorrow everything will end. Laugh at yourself, at the world and you'll find a way to get through it all. Even when he was sick I can remember him making jokes. He wanted to hear us laugh. Maybe it was to make us feel better, but I think it helped him as well. Laughter heals and there was never a shortage of laughter. He was one of the few people who could reduce my mother to tears.

Eat. Food is meant to be enjoyed. Food is meant to be shared with family around a table. Orange Roughy brings me back to that kitchen table, trading food with my cousin when we didn't like something he had made. Eat without worrying about the calories or how much you weigh. Life isn't about a scale or what size pants you wear.

Learn. It is never too late to learn something new. It doesn't matter the subject or if it will benefit you. Learn because you want to understand. Learn because you crave knowledge. But never stop reading, asking, learning or striving to be more. You'll do a disservice to yourself if you don't pick up a book and uncover something new.

Love. Love the people in your life with your whole heart. Families won't always get along and sometimes you want to strangle them, but never stop loving. The very, very last time I spoke to my Poppo I was holding my cousin Chrissy's hand as we stood next to his hospital bed. Even though it pained him, Poppo made sure to tell us that we were loved. I know that this lesson has had the biggest impact of them all. Our family is.. complicated. We're all different and when we lost Poppo, things started to fall apart. But he is why I struggle to make things right and keep loving.

Tomorrow would have been my grandfather's 89th birthday. It pains me that he isn't here to celebrate with his family. A family that now include great-grandchildren and spouses and grandchildren who are now old enough to enjoy a drink with him. I miss him more than I can possibly explain. But I won't cry. I'm going to laugh today. I'm going to learn and I'm going to eat. But most of all, I'm going to love. And I owe it all to one giant of a man who taught me how to be the person I am today.

I love you, Poppo. I miss you and I wish you were still here with us. Knowing that you're in Valhalla with the rest of the Hoaglands drinking vodka and playing cribbage makes me smile. You are, and will always be, the first man in my life and the best.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

play dateless

When you reach a certain age, most people are married and either have families or are working on having them. So when you don't fit into that mold, it can be stressful and sometimes painful. As a very good friend of mine said, a big part of friendship is what you have in common. And that's very, very true. Friendships are fluid and they evolve as the people in them evolve. So when I looked around and realized that I was surrounded by mothers, it made me stop and think for a moment. Where, exactly, do I fit in with all of these people?

My friends are wonderful people. They don't judge me for not having a child and (I think) they understand why I'm not a mother. But no matter how wonderful and understanding they are, there will always be a divide between us. It can be frustrating when I'm one of the few people on my side of the line. Mothers have a way to bond with each other, whether it be stories about their children or discussions on parenting. Those of us without children can't understand exactly what they are talking about and sometimes (a lot of times) that's thrown back at us in a negative way.

But just like my "mommy friends" want to be close to other mothers due to what they have in common, I want friends without children who can understand the world I live in. It's a world free of play dates and park visits and worrying about diapers. And you know what? That's okay. I'm not missing a part of the world because I don't have children. I'm not better or worse than the people who are parents. I'm not lucky or unlucky, missing out, empty or any of those adjectives you might apply to me. I am happy with my life and it bothers me immensely when I am pitied or prayed for or anything else.

Another close friend of mine pointed out that in a religion (and perhaps society) where children are considered a blessing, it's hard not to feel as though you've done something wrong when you don't have any. The pressure to be a mother is overwhelming. When you enter into your late 20s and early 30s, you can actually see how separated you are from your friends who have children.

Mothers, I know how happy you are to have children and I love you for that. But please, please, remember that my own desire to be around people in my situation doesn't mean I love you less. It simply means that occasionally, I need to be around people who are on my side of the line.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ten years

If you had told me that when I was 18 years old I was going to meet the man I'd be with forever I would've not only laughed at you, but I would have run screaming. I did not want to be serious with anyone. The only person I'd ever been serious with was my high school boyfriend and that was far from a healthy relationship.

And yet, ten years later there is a man sleeping on my sofa after working all day who wakes up just enough to tell me that he loves me before falling back asleep.

I love him, too.

You will never hear me say that my marriage or relationship is perfect. It isn't. Oh lord, it is the furthest thing from perfect imaginable. But it's good and that's all I need. It's good and happy and full of laughter. Nine days out of ten he's my best friend in the world. Even on that one day when I want to shake him and kick him in the knee I'm still glad I married the jerk.

My husband is my opposite. When I am UP and MOVING and LOUD he is calm and relaxed and quiet. I want to tell the entire world what I think of them and he's okay with only talking to a few close friends and family. I want to see things and learn things and explore and in that he is my equal. He challenges me to think, but more importantly he's taught me how to feel. He's taught me how to love unconditionally. I never struggled with pushing myself. I'm okay with learning something new and I live for understanding a new concept. But emotions? Deep, powerful emotions that leave me vulnerable and exposed? I would rather chew my own arm off.

Except he makes me feel those things. And it's for that reason alone I'm still with him. Because no matter how hard it is or how much I want to shank him on some days when he's sitting on the computer and ignoring me entirely.. I remember that he wakes up just to tell me that he loves me.

And I love him, too.

limitations and lack of purpose

My surgery was exactly one week ago. And it's been just shy of a month since the fall. I'll admit it. I've been cranky, bitchy, snarky and annoying since this all happened. It isn't because of the pain. Yes, the pain sucked, but I can deal with it. The reason behind all of my frustrations is so much bigger than pain.

I have limits. Big, huge, glaring and annoying limits that have impacted my life.

I'm not going to pretend that this is some life changing event and that I understand what it means to be truly injured. This is just a knee injury and it will heal. But aside from breaking my arm when I was a kid, this is the first time I've been limited in what I can and cannot do. For someone who doesn't like asking for help ever, this is a challenge that I'm not handling very well.

When I want a glass of water I have to pull myself up, crutch over to the sink and balance on one crutch while getting a glass down and then shuffle back to the sofa and attempt not to spill anything. Making food is so time consuming and difficult that I bought a box of pop tarts because I can totally manage to open those. I'm eating them cold though. The toaster is far. And while I am dying to go outside and visit with friends and enjoy summer, the exhaustion I feel from going to therapy is so overwhelming that all I can do is relax.

My days consist of sitting on my sofa, browsing the internet, reading, watching bad television and talking to my cat. Four months ago my life revolved around work and I had to make time for all those other things. I've spent the last ten plus years working. I've always been busy. I've always been that person who was hard to see because I had too much going on.

The change in my employment status coupled with the change in my physical ability has been jarring. There are moments of happiness and love, but it's very hard to see them when I feel so sullen and downtrodden. The world seems to be going out of its way to find new and inventive ways of kicking me down just a little further. I'm still determined to tell the universe to fuck off and that I'll get past all of this, but until I manage to get to the other side I'm going to be cranky, bitchy, snarky and annoying.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

being home again

Ever since my surgery on Tuesday I have been staying with my parents. I moved out of their house when I left for college and only came back for a few months when I was 19, so I've pretty much been gone for the last decade or so. In fact, this is the most time I've spent with them since I move into my first apartment way back in 2002. The circumstances of being back home weren't great. I'm having a lot of trouble getting around and it's 100 degrees outside. But despite the reasons behind me being here, I can honestly say it feels so good to be home again.

My dad is the single most amazing man I've ever met in my life. For all of the teasing (and tormenting, kidding, nagging, belittling and bothering) he's been doing he has also been taking the best care of me. Every single day I've been here has come with the most delicious meals. Seriously. Spaghetti, fresh eggs and bacon and bread, grilled chicken, more eggs, more fresh bread, meatloaf and then today? Eggs, toast, bacon, grilled chicken, corn and salad, homemade pizza. Seriously. It's okay to be jealous because he's been fantastic.

And my mom. Oh, my mother. To say we butt heads a lot is such an understatement. We are so similar and so different that being under the same roof was a trying time for us both. I didn't expect things to go so well with my return, but she's been wonderful. I tease my mom that she's lacking a maternal instinct, but she's found it. My mother is sixty years old and she helped me bathe and dress. Her love (after all of these years) warms my little black heart.

I'm excited about going home. I miss my crappy little house and god do I miss seeing my husband. But knowing that I could come back home and depend on my parents for awhile is such a good feeling. I'm a damn lucky kid. Even at twenty-eight years old.

Friday, July 22, 2011

therapy is dumb

Yes, the trend of me blogging while hopped up on pills continues. I'm okay with that.

Today was my first day of physical therapy. Physical therapy is a place they send you so people who are overly perky and happy can tell you what a good job you are doing and then encourage you to be stronger! better! happier!

I think it's safe to say I will not be enjoying this.

The only reason I'm going to blast through this crap is because I don't want to go to the doctor three days a week. I have things to do, people. Okay, so I'm unemployed and alone all the time, but I'd still rather sit at home and read my book than go to freaking physical therapy. There are way too many people there all up in my business and that's not something I handle well.

Because, really, could these people be any happier? It's disgusting. They were happy about the rain and the fact that I could lift my leg a few inches off of the table. These are not my people. My people would tell me that if I get my leg off the table they'd bring me a cupcake. (I'm not ready to discuss the diet I need to go on just yet. I'm still upset by it.)

I tried therapy once. Of the mental sort. I lasted two sessions because the jackass kept wanting me to talk about my feelings. I'm not okay with that. Just like I'm not okay with physical therapy. I'm Swedish and Lutheran, all right? We don't discuss problems. We just go along, do our shit and politely decline any offers from friends or family for help.

Bottom line: Therapy is dumb, but I'm going to do it so I don't have to do it any longer. Yup.

Also? I really, really want a cupcake.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

this isn't 1955

Warning: This is another blog post brought to you by Tylenol 3 and general crankiness.

I don't have kids. You all know this. I love kids. I want kids. I think kids are great and I adore them, but I don't have them. Yes, I've been married for six years and with the same man for 10 years total now, but no we don't have kids.

Guess what? That's okay. I'm okay.

If you tell me one more time that I can't understand what you're going through because I don't have children, I will kick you. If you judge me because my struggles seem less than yours due to an absence of children, I will dislike you. And if you feel sorry for me because I'm not having luck getting pregnant, I will glare at you.

I know I don't have children. But that doesn't make me less of a person. And even though you might swear up and down and left and right that you don't think I'm less of a woman because I don't have children, you're likely lying. Because I know you think things. I know those comments go through your head about "poor Katy" and "she'll understand one day."

Guess what? I'm FINE. I'm okay right now and as much as I want to have children, my world will not be less if it never happens for me. I'm going to let you all in on a little secret about the women of the world who don't have children. Are you ready?

We do not stop being happy, whole and complete women just because we are not mothers. We are still happy people. We are still able to get out of bed, feed ourselves and live a full and rich life.

So, please, for the love of all things holy.. shut up. Do not try to push what YOU think we need onto us. We'll do things at our own pace. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the summer of suck

Summer is supposed to be awesome. Sunshine. Blue skies. Friends. Cookouts. Epic stuff of epicness, right? Well, this summer has sucked. And since I'm currently blogging under the influence of pain meds, I'm going to tell you all why it sucked and why I think it sucks that it sucked.

First my unemployment took FOREVER to show up. Money is stressful. Plus I got to feel all worthless and stuff because I don't have a job and I have never not had a job since I was 15 years old. (Minus six months between CLO and CLO, but I was taking care of Greg and pretty soon was dying to go back.) So anyway. I've been cranky all summer.

Then I decide to go swimming. Mmmm swimming. That seems like a good idea, right? WRONG. I fell getting into a pool and busted my knee. Which you all know resulted in ow and ouch and then braces and crutches and surgery yesterday. And now I'm all ow and ouch and oooh and ugh and medicated. It's not fun.

On top of that, our A/C is busted. And the other night our toilet broke. Because there wasn't enough shit going on, right? And we got some not so great family news that I'll be keeping to myself for now. All in all.. WHAT THE HELL, UNIVERSE? WHAT DID I DO TO PISS YOU OFF SO BADLY?

I'm annoyed. I'm pissed off that good people have crap happen to them over and over while bad people just skip through life. (By the way, if you reference Casey Anthony right now I will probably lash out horribly.) I think it's dumb and stupid and since this is my blog I can honest. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. That's how I feel right now.

Oh and I really have to pee, but I'm hooked to a machine. Think your day sucks? I am hooked to a machine.

And there's my bitchy blog post about my stupid summer of suck.

Fuck summer and everything that feels like summer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

you're like a grandma.

I had big plans this summer. I was going to go out and enjoy the weather and have a good time. And so I went swimming at my cousin's house last Thursday. That seemed like a good idea, right? And it was.

Minus the part when I fell getting into the pool and busted the hell out of my knee.

One day of pain and a doctor's visit later I discovered I had injured my cartilage. Awesome! Because there is nothing more fun than spending my days sitting on a sofa and popping vicodin. Are you jealous? You totally should be!

I don't know exactly what's wrong yet because I have to fight with insurance companies to pay for my claims. I love our health care system. Really. Really.

But there are plus sides! I get people to come visit me and I got to ride around Walmart in one of those scooters. By the way, those things are harder to manage than you'd think. They don't like to stay still and when you back up it's embarrassing. Let's all mock my pain, shall we? As Lily said today... "Aunt Katy, you're like a grandma."

Monday, June 20, 2011

run fat girl run

I am a chunky girl. I've always been on the bigger side, but now I am most certainly fat. Medically obese even. And I don't like it. But instead of doing nothing about it, I decided to get off my fat ass and move. So, today for the very first time, I did. I ran.

Want to know a secret about running?

It's dumb.

It's extra dumb when you have breasts the size of watermelons and there are bugs out trying to suck your blood while you're sweating in humidity and drizzle. I woke up this morning all jazzed up to run just to be greeted with a thunderstorm. After bitching with Erin this morning and cursing the weather gods, the rain finally stopped and I went for it.

I want to tell you how invigorated I feel. I want to tell you that it was easy and I didn't walk a few times when I was supposed to be running. I want to tell you all of these things so I don't look like such an out of shape chubster, but I won't lie. That sucked. It hurt and I sweated and swore and I was damn glad when it was over. And I didn't do the last 60 seconds of running either.

But I still did (most of) it. And I'm going to do it again the day after tomorrow. But this time with bug spray.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

healing a cynic

I'm what you would call a cynic. I generally don't believe that good things are coming or that life is peachy and lovely. I'm a firm believer in things sucking. There's a slight glimmer of hope in my reserved for very few things in this world. I hope to see the Cubs win a World Series before I die and I hope that one day my husband's eyesight comes back in his left eye. That's about it. I don't really believe in hope and I have a lot of trouble with faith as well.

Maybe if I sat down with someone and discussed all of this we'd discover the source of all my problems. But I tried therapy once and I thought it was dumb. Because I don't like talking about my emotions either. Luckily I have friends. These friends have enough love, hope and faith to make up for my doubts and cynicism. Not only do they make up for it, but they actually find ways to give me hope. They make me believe that there might be some good and love left in the world.

I think I've changed a lot over the past year or so. I'm not as angry as I use to be. Nine.. okay Seven days out of ten I can say I'm happy with my life. And there are times when I look around and I'm amazed at how lovely and bright my life has become. There have been so many good people who've come into my life in the last year. People who inspire me with their love, people who make me laugh and people who love me. I didn't know it until something came in the mail yesterday.

I love my friends. The one who sent this, the others who have told me how much they wish they could help me. The ones who have listened to me cry and rant about the struggles we're going through right now. Some of you have prayed and some of you have paid for a lunch when we've spent time together. All of it. There is no little and big. Every single thing my friends have done to help me means the world to me.

What you've all done is something I didn't think possible. You've made me a believer in hope, love, possibility and faith. All of that blackened stone around my heart is being chipped away rapidly. There's no chance I'm going to go out tomorrow and sing about how much Jesus loves me... Oh wait. Yes I am, but that's only because I'm going to VBS again. Still. You've all had a profound impact on my life and I love you. All of you. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

had myself a ball in a small town

I've never really lived anywhere but here. I might have moved around from house to apartment to trailer, but I've always been here. I've always had country roads to blast down while my music is turned up all the way. I've always had friends who live "just down the road" even if that road is 20 miles long. I've had country fairs, beaches, block parties, drive-ins, small communities and so many more things that I wouldn't have anywhere else.

Last night I went to a movie in the park. (Or the courthouse square since the park is still under construction.) We sat in the grass, talked and laughed and waited for the (free!) movie to start. People were handing out popcorn, families were mingling, kids were playing and it dawned on me how much I love my little city. The population of Valpo might make it a city but it's events like last night that make it a town. A small town filled with small town people who value what it means to have a community.

Growing up I wanted nothing more than to MOVE. AWAY. I didn't want to stay in Valpo forever because it was so small. Ten years later (oh hi, I've been out of high school for ten years) I realize that I love how small it is. I love knowing the name of the woman who owns my favorite cafe. I love being able to walk around downtown and ducking into my favorite shop to see what they have in this week. I love how comfortable it feels. My small town is changing a little, but I'm happy for it. It's evolving without losing it's charm that makes it feel like home.

I grew up in a small town.

I'm probably going to die in a small town.

That's good enough for me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Surviving Unemployment

Being unemployed sucks. I'm one of those people who like working. I enjoy having something to think about during the day. Sitting at home with the tv is dull. Honestly being unemployed is more stressful than working in a law firm and if you've ever worked in a law firm you know how hectic and stressful that is. Today I found out that after two long months of waiting for my unemployment pay to come through I have to wait an additional two weeks before I'll see any money.



So how am I surviving this? It hasn't been easy and aside from a few breakdowns (like crying on the phone with the supervisor at the unemployment office this morning) I've managed to stay happy and not do bodily harm to others. A monumental feat. Are you wondering how I pulled it off? I'll tell you.

1) Get creative. You can make a lot of meals with beans rather than meat and frozen veggies are cheap. Rice is awesome and if you mix it all together it turns out to be a meal. Spices are the cure to any cheap meal. I've made some many "skillets" while we've been poor. Also chicken legs are love. They are less than two bucks a pack and you feel like it's a real meal when you can't afford chicken breasts.

2) Wine. A glass a day keeps the murderous rage away. Feeling extra stabby? Have two glasses. And if you catch wine on sale then stock up so you're always prepared. Being unemployed suck and drinking makes things suck less. The plus side is you don't have a job anymore so you don't have to worry about going into the office hungover.

3) The Library. Free books, free movies and free music? Plus they have air conditioning for the days it's super hot outside and you don't want to pay a fortune to cool your house. Did I mention how entertaining libraries can be just for the people watching? I adore my public library system and it's gotten me through a lot of stress. (Especially when certain Librarians run awesome twitter accounts and encourage/support their patrons. Love them.)

4) Doctor Who. Shut up. If you watch Doctor Who you can't be in a bad mood. It's a fact. The Doctor always comes through in the end and the world makes sense again. And you'll giggle like a little kid because he is just so fantastic.

5) Cleaning. No, really. Do you know how much time it takes to clean? Lots. And then when it's all said and done and things are pretty you feel better. Normally I wouldn't recommend cleaning to anyone under any circumstance, but in this one (and only one) instance, it works. You'll burn off your frustration and stress and the end result will make you feel loads better.

6) Swearing. I do it daily. I'll go so far as to say that people who swear are happier than people who don't because swearing relieves stress one curse word at a time. Say it with me, friends. Fuck. Shit. Damn. See? Don't we all feel better?

7) Friends. But only the ones who are funny. If you have a friend who is always down and mopey, don't talk to them while you're unemployed. Or ever. Surround yourself with funny, smart assed, crazy people who will take your mind off your troubles. And if you have friends like my friends you're sure to laugh until you cry. And laughing makes you happy.

8) Ranting. Are you the person who hates complaining about their problems? Get over it. Call up someone and talk their ear off until you're out of breath. Go over every stupid, little and dumb thing that's preventing you from finding a job. Don't censor yourself and savor each hate filled, cynic and anger covered word that falls from your lips. Keeping it all bottled up inside is just going to make you gain weight. Yup. Words are heavy and if you keep them in you'll get fatter. So you'll really be unemployed, angry and fatter. And you won't be able to buy new pants because you have no money.

9) Accept help. This is the hardest thing for me personally. I'm a proud person. I don't even like that I need to be on unemployment let alone accept help from family and friends. No one wants to look like a failure. But think about it. When your friends and family are struggling, do you think they are failures? If you answered yes to that question then you are an asshole. We'd probably get along really well. Still, take help from people. It'll make you feel better because it is one less thing to worry about and it will make them feel better because they can stop fretting and worrying and offering to shove food down your throat every ten minutes, MICHELLE. (I kid. I love you.)

10) Laugh. Laugh at the fact that you've been working for six, ten or twenty years and you're buying ramen like a college kid. Laugh at the fact that you still wake up at 5:30 in the morning when all you're going to do that day is fold towels and watch Maury. Laugh because things suck so much and you've got nothing else to do. Laugh that you have a college degree and you're considering applying at McDonalds, but find out that you're over qualified to make french fries. Laugh when your student loan officer calls and informs you that you need to make a payment for the loan that got you the degree that makes you over qualified to cook the french fries you can't even afford.

Being out of work sucks. It does. I hate it and I know other people hate it too. But it could be worse. No really. It could be loads and loads worse than it is. On the days when you're at you're lowest and feel like you can't keep going just list off all of the things you do have. And if you don't have shit left, well then you're good and fucked so sit back and enjoy the show as the world falls apart. You can always pick up the pieces later.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

sounds of summer

blue skies, smiling at me.
nothing but blue skies, do I see.

I spent a few hours at the beach with Shelli today. It was more than wonderful.

Relaxing. Free. Warm. Joyful. Perfect.

The night before had been tough. I was upset for various reasons and I wanted to stay curled up in my house all day and sulk. But then Shelli suggested we go to the beach and it was the best idea ever. Because what could be better than soaking up the sunshine and laughing about seagulls with your best friend? Nothing. It wasn't a fancy day. But it was just what I needed.

I needed the sunshine.

I needed the sound of the waves slapping against the sand.

But more than anything I needed those precious hours where I didn't think about bills, finding a job, family, friends, housework, school or the three-hundred-and-eight other things that circle around in my head every day.

Today was just what I needed.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

being an outcast in a blended family

When you have a big family you want to assume that you'll have lots of friends and everyone will be close and happy and laugh at holidays and blah blah blah. That's what I though too when I finally got a big family. I was really wrong. And even though I'm 28 now, I still feel the hurt that comes with being an outcast.

Between my mom's tiny family, my dad's huge family and my inlaws, I have a lot of people in my life. But the thing is? I don't see many of them. Not because they live far away. In fact nearly every person in my family lives no more than thirty minutes away. I can pop by and see them whenever I'd like. But I don't. I don't seek them out, I don't go to a lot of family functions and there is one very big, very sad and very dumb reason for that.

I don't fit in.

I'm not exactly odd. (Okay, I am a bit.) I'm not mean (much), I don't dislike everyone (not everyone) I meet and I can relax and have a good time with people. Really. My friends have seen it happen. But when I'm with my family I still feel like the shy eight-year-old girl who wasn't always a part of the family. My relationship with half of my family stopped developing when I was around fourteen years old and I don't think it's ever going to progress beyond that.

It upsets me sometimes. I want them to see how much fun I can be and I want to have a close relationship with my cousins. Hell, it's all over facebook and I see it every time I log in. But instead I'm alone with my small family and friends. And then I have an amazing day with my cousin, Chrissy, or I laugh until I cry with my adopted family and I remember.. I have a brilliant family.

There are people in my heart I haven't known very long. Some who came into my life and my home on the first day I met them. Some who have been there from my birth, some who I met on a bleacher in gym class and some (a lot of you) who I found at the most random times in my life. And all of those people are really my family. So maybe I'm not an outcast in my family.

Maybe I just fit into my own blended family. And that's where I belong.