Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Expert Everything: How to Be the Best Bridesmaid Ever

It's wedding season!  Now that one of my besties is getting married, I decided to compile a list of "how not to screw this up" for both myself and all other curious, good-Intentioned attendees.  Enjoy. 

Don't get pregnant
I did this once, it didn't end well (the bridesmaid thing; the baby came out perfectly).  So either keep your legs closed for the entire two year engagement or keep your IUD in... Either way, no one wants a baby yielding hormonal head case as a wedding attendee.  Prevent it.    

Know your role
If you're the slut, be the slut.  Don't pretend you believe in monogamy just because your bff is getting married, she chose you because of who you are.  Slut on. 

Pretend you're nice
You're not nice, we all know this, but you need to pretend you are for at least 6 hours.  Dance with the sketchy great uncle when he asks for your hand, eat the entree even if the food is cold because the bride made you take 13,725 photos two hours prior, smile through the horrendously long ceremony that feels more like a eulogy to your sanity, and refrain from punching the annoying bridesmaid in the throat even if she does talk about her coach purses and laser hair removal experience all night in the most ridiculous kardashian voice you've ever heard.    

Be a chameleon 
Learn to adapt to your scenario.  Rage hard at the bachelorette party, put dirty two dollar bills into a man's sweaty banana hammock, take four more tequila shots than you intended, puke in the back seat of the cab. Then wake up the next morning and drink tea and enjoy a delicious cucumber sandwich with all of the women from the bride's church growing up.  Adapt. Be supportive. 

Don't get more drunk than the bride 
She may need you to hold her hair back if things get too emotional, stressful, or bulimic.  But really, no one wants to carry you to your room or help you find your underwear in the pool.  Keep it semi-classy, you dirty slut.  

Keep quiet
No one wants to eat fish at a wedding, the groomsman smells like salami, the dress is giving you a rash... No one cares.  Always agree with whatever the bride decides.  

You always love the groom
This means all the time.  Even if his jokes are dumb, he has no fashion sense, or he acts like a total toolbag, you love him.  Unless you catch the groom cheating, stealing, or physically harming someone, just stop. 

The bride is always right
Even though you need to love the groom, remember that the bride is who you're supporting.  If she loves the groom, you love the groom.  If the groom is being the douche you know he is and the bride is upset about it, so are you.  Relieve yourself of any emotions you may own and take on the emotions of the bride.  I mean, you owe her, after all. 

Show up to shit
I don't know how else to say it. Be there. Don't just plan on coming to the wedding, come to all five bridal showers, make it to the dress fittings, assist with finding a venue/band/florist, whatever. Don't be useless. 

Don't sleep with important people
We've established that you're slut, so it's likely that you'll sleep with someone at the wedding.  That's fine, but just make sure it's neither the groom (boooo, you whore) or the bride's father.  These are the two most important people in the bride's life, so don't fuck around.  Everyone else is fair game.

Have a blast 
You're not only there to help said bride avoid making the most terrible mistake of her life, you're also there to make sure she has fun.  So make the most of it.  Because your friend will only get married once. Or twice.  Or three times if she's really lucky.  

The most important rules for being a groomsman:
Show up.
Don't die. 

What do you think? What are your top tips for surviving wedding season? 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Beautiful Scars. Beautiful Heart

I’m going to share sometime with you.  Something deeply personal that has shaped my entire being.  It has shaped the way I view myself, how I interact with others, as well as my personal goals in life.  I don’t know why I feel like I need to share this. Maybe someone out there needs to read this?  Maybe there’s another woman or man who had similar experiences or can relate that really needs a virtual hand to hold.  Idk.  All I know is, shit’s about to get real.

I’m packing.  Over the next several weeks, I will be slowly moving and taking the next step in my relationship and adulthood.  While looking through some things, I came across a photo of myself in high school.  The moment I saw it, I started crying.  Not because I’m sad today, but because it brought back so much emotion.  So many lies.  Betrayal.  Confusion.  It brought me back to a painful time that I had no idea, until recently, changed me forever.

I was 12 the first time an older male took it a step too far.  Terrified, I remember pushing him away and running for dear life, barefoot, through town and to a friend’s house, where I stayed for a week without word to my mother.  As any good parent does, my mother cast that stone far away and we never spoke of it again.  Aside from the 3 of us, no one else ever knew what happened, which is exactly how we all wanted it.

I was 16 when it happened again.  This time, it was much more public.  A trusted advisor made a very strategic move which resulted in my punching him in the face.  Stunned, he backed away and did not pursue his intent further.  Somehow I managed to avoid the inevitable, which I count 100% to an angel looking down, but I could not let it go.  Fearing the same fate for others after me, I decided to come forward.  And so did 3 others.  He was removed from his position and I never saw him again.  Even to this day, the thought of him makes me sick to my stomach.  His final words to me still echo in my mind… “I’m sorry.”  He knew he had done wrong, but I couldn’t bare the thought of someone else feeling the same isolation and angst.  I can still hear his cigarette voice, taste the smell of his breath, and even when my eyes are closed, I still see those eyes. 

When someone steps too far, no matter the degree of betrayal, it is so debilitating.  The emotions it stirs go beyond humiliation.  It is anger, fear, loathe, confusion, mixed with self-blame and helplessness.  Everyone reacts in different ways.  Some bury it, some carry it, some wear it, some hide it… but it never goes away.  It takes a portion of your heart and a bit of your soul and replaces the innocent childhood memories of picking apples and riding horses with darkness and treachery.   

When I began my weight loss journey 3 years ago, I began to reflect on my life.  Someone had said that no one becomes obese simply because they like food… there’s a reason behind it.  It wasn’t until then that I started to conjure up the reasoning behind my obesity.  By the time I was 17, I weighed over 200 lbs.  By the time I was 22, I had ballooned up to 230 lbs.  I started thinking back and realized that my weight gain started after my second incident.  In a year, I gained 50 lbs.  FIFTY.  FIVE. ZERO.  I had given up.  I felt that if I could guard myself somehow, I could prevent this from happening again in the future.  I wore my weight like a shield… guarding not only my heart but my entire being.  I knew, subconsciously, that someone of my emotional intensity could not take a third incident, so I did whatever I had to do to prevent that from happening.  I thought if I made myself less desirable to everyone that they would leave me alone.  And I was right. 

What 16-year-old me did not realize was that it was never me at all.  It was a cruel coincidence that something like this happened more than once.  It was not grand design or my overly beautiful nature that caused this kind of attraction… it was a sick and demented view of someone else.  When I started to realize that I no longer needed to place the blame on myself, I was finally able to heal from the inside out.  Like ice melting in the warm sun, the fat fell off of me.  It was slow, of course, but I learned quickly that I had been doing it wrong all those years. 

My weight battles started long before I was 16, but they got out of control from that point forward.  I felt I had to be a certain way in order to be beautiful.  I had to be small, but none of me was small.  I had big feet, a big head, and a big body to round it all out.  But I was wrong.  The older I get, the more I realize the reality behind beauty.  It’s never just the way someone looks, it’s how they present themselves, how they treat others, it’s their laugh and their smile, the lines at the corner of their eyes, the lives they’ve touched, and the scars on their hearts. 

This message is twofold.  If you are battling a weight problem or an addiction of some kind (it’s a similar experience… call me crazy, but life has taught me this truth), in order to truly work your way out, you need to find the source of the problem.  It’s never solely because you like food… because food isn’t that good.  There’s a reason, and if you can identify it and address it, you are taking the first step toward overcoming it.  I’m a long way from being where I want to be, but this realization has brought me that much closer and I know it will for you too.

Secondly and more importantly… if someone has hurt you or betrayed you, it’s okay to be angry.  It’s okay to want bad things to happen to that person.  It’s alright to be afraid.  But know that you’re not alone.  1 in 6 adults had a similar experience by the time they were 18… so you’re really not alone at all.  Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting or accepting, it means closure and allowing yourself to move on.  And you deserve to move on.  You’re beautiful.  Your scars are beautiful.  Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.  And if they do, punch them in the face.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Being a New Mom Sucks

You’ve heard me say it before: I love being a mom.  But that wasn’t always the case.  Per my previous post, the labor went well.  Who am I kidding, labor was pretty much as awesome as labor can be.  I enjoyed the whole process.  It was beautiful.  Just the fact that Pat and I created this person was unbelievable enough, let alone seeing how handsome he was, even at the first glance.  He was perfect.  Labor went perfect.  Our hospital stay was perfect.  And then we went home…
The first night home was a nightmare.  Ridley’s whole body started shaking shortly after bringing him home.  It was the kind of shake you would do if someone scared you…except Ridley wasn’t scared.  Well, I say that, but he did just experience a pretty traumatic experience two days prior, so maybe he was?  Anyway… it happened enough that we brought him to the ER (the same day we left the hospital).  We found out that he just had an underdeveloped central nervous system and needed some time to adjust.      Everything was fine.  Of course it was.  THANK GOD it was, but I felt like an idiot for worrying.  Little did I know, worrying is all I would do for several weeks.
We brought him home once again.  He slept great in the car, but the moment he got home, he decided sleep really wasn’t his thing.  Our first night home, neither Ridley nor I slept at all.  We were adjusting to one another.  Although we were “one” we didn’t know each other at all.  It was like taking a stranger into your home (only much much cuter) and attempting to figure out what they want but you have no idea what they’re trying to tell you.  It was horrible. 
Almost instantly, the depression set in.  Being sleep deprived is one thing, but being depressed is another.  By day 2, I started to doubt if I had made the right decision in having a baby.  I felt trapped and alone.  No one would understand me, how could they?  Everyone expected me to be overjoyed with my new bundle but I wasn’t.  I was terrified.  He scared me the hell out of me.  But I hid it, or at least I tried to. 
I didn’t eat the first week he was home.  I had no appetite.  I tried to stay hydrated, because I was breastfeeding, but even water seemed senseless to me.  I’m a horrible mother, I decided.  How could a mother not like her child?  I loved him, don’t get me wrong, but I did not like him.  Let me correct myself… it wasn’t him I didn’t like, it was being a mom that I didn’t like.  Poor babe had no choice.  I actually felt bad for him that he had me as a mom.  I was certain that anyone else in the world would have been a better mother to that baby than me.  Every time he cried, a fearful sensation would signal through my body.  I had no idea what to do with him…and neither him with I. 
Friends would call, text, or email to come visit but I told them no… I didn’t want anyone to see me in this condition.  I didn’t want anyone to see me not loving my baby.  I knew they’d be able to tell.
On the other side of the coin, friends I expected to hear from completely vanished from my life, which was when the depression got even worse.  What had I done?  My life was over.  I knew when I got pregnant that things would change.  I would change.  Friendships would change.  But I had no idea just how much.  I couldn’t do anything.  I couldn’t leave the room without my kid (I quickly learned its okay to leave your baby in a separate room for a short period of time).  At one point, I was trying to fix myself something to eat and the baby started crying uncontrollably.  I tried to finish, but he wouldn’t stop.  I threw my food away angrily and just left the room.  While my baby screamed in the other room, I just cried with my face in my pillow.  I couldn’t even get 2 minutes to do what I needed to do.  It was then that I realized that life as I knew it was over.    
I couldn’t leave the house without anxiety taking over.  When he was three weeks old, Pat and I met a group of friends for Pat’s birthday.  I was out for all of one hour before I called my mom in tears.  All the times I had complained about not having any time to myself and the first moment I get a break away, I have separation anxiety.  Go figure. 
Within the first several weeks, not a day went by that I didn’t cry at least once.  Sometimes, I’d just cry for no reason.  Poor Pat.  I know I was irritating, but I honestly could not control myself.
Although I felt horrible… I do not want you to think I neglected my baby.  I cared for him, bathed, changed, fed, soothed, played… I did it all… just sometimes I did it sadly as I mourned the loss of my former life.   
Ridley is 10 weeks old now and I can safely say that my depression has lifted.  When did it happen?  I have no clue.  Things just started to slowly fall into place.  Ridley and I started to get to know each other.  We started sleeping more and established a routine, which made life seem slightly more real.  Just as his personality started to develop, mine changed as well.  My priorities changed.  I no longer felt left out or jealous when I’d facebook creep the crap out of my friends.  Ridley became my best friend and there was no one in the world I’d rather spend my time with (and still isn’t).

Some things I learned, being a new mom:
Breastfeeding is WAY harder than it looks.  Newborns feed on average 8-12 times a day.  When you are breastfeeding, that means that the only one that can feed him is you.  And if your child is an extremely slow eater, like Ridley, that may mean spending approximately half your day feeding.  HALF OF YOUR DAY/NIGHT sitting on the couch/chair/bed with a baby stuck to your boob.  Talk about exhausting.  And if you don’t make enough milk at first, you have a SCREAMING hungry irritable baby for several days while your milk supply comes up to meet your baby’s needs.  I wish someone had told me how challenging it would be.  Actually… I don’t.  Because if I had known, I never would have done it.  But flash forward to 10 weeks later and I actually enjoy it.  It’s not awkward or uncomfortable any more.  I don’t find it inconvenient at all either.  I actually love it.  I love Ridley’s face when he’s eating.  I love how excited he gets when he knows he’s gonna get some “booby time” as we like to call it.  I’m so so so SO glad we stuck with it… but it definitely is tough work, so new/expecting mamas be warned.
It gets better.  One of the best things anyone ever said to me those first weeks were those words.  And its true.  The first 6 weeks are by far the hardest.  It’s almost unexplainable.  This is due largely to the baby’s stomach being so tiny that frequent feedings are necessary when they are first born.  But as they get bigger, so do their stomachs and the feeding times grow further apart, minute by minute.  Each minute is valuable.  That means time for a hot shower, or intimate moments spent with your partner.  It may seem so far away in the beginning, but it does get better… if you let it. 
They grow up fast.  You don’t realize it, because its so gradual, but they grow up so fast.  You won’t remember the day, but you’ll realize later on that they no longer need neck support, they aren’t afraid of bathtime anymore, they outgrow the onesie you brought them home in.  One day, you’re bringing them home from the hospital and the next, they’re crawling.  I haven’t gotten to that stage yet, but I know it’s coming and I’m already sad about it.         
The hormones don’t go away once the baby is born.  Your body is literally torn inside out… it needs time to heal. 
It’s okay to have postpartum depression.  No one talks about it.  It’s like everyone feels like they should be instantly bonded with their child and know exactly what they want.  But that’s not always the case.  It’s normal to feel sad, isolated, and scared.  It’s natural.  It’s a MAJOR change in your life… it’s not like moving to a new city or changing jobs… this is another human being.  A child.  Your child.  They need you.  So, if you are experiencing PPD, seek a professional if it gets to the point where you are unable to care for your child.  Have no shame in seeking guidance of some sort, whether it’s a counselor, doctor, minister, or even a friend who has experienced it before you… talking about it often makes you feel less alone, which helps to jump-start the healing process.  Just like your body needs several weeks to heal, so do your emotions.  But know that as normal as PPD is, it is not normal to neglect your baby.  Even if you don’t like being a mother at first (like me), learn to love them unconditionally.  There will come a time when you look into their eyes and you cannot imagine your life any other way.  The motherly instinct that is often spoken of does come about…eventually… but it may take some time. 
Your support system will change you.  My sister gave birth to my beautiful niece 4 and a half months prior to my having Ridley.  Before I knew I was pregnant, my sister and I were at odds.  We had experienced a rough couple of years where neither of us understood one another.  We loved each other but we did not like each other very much.  When Sarah got pregnant, she moved back to Maine from California, where she had been living for almost a year.  Although she was only an hour and a half away, we didn’t really rekindle our sisterly bond until I found out I was pregnant.  With the impending birth of our children, all other senseless drama melted away.  We grew up and grew together.  Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  She was a MAJOR support for me.  She helped me overcome my PPD and helped me realize that being sad is okay.  Without her, I know things would have gone much differently.  But she wasn’t the only support system I had.  Pat, my fiancé was incredible.  He dealt with so much in such a short period of time, I feel so blessed that he even wanted to stay with me.  My mother was another huge help.  Always coming to visit, even when I didn’t want anyone around.  She helped out with things around the house when I couldn’t and made me feel beautiful when I know I was a mess.  My mama friends, Kristine, Sarah, Ashley, Heather, Vanessa, Denise, and my facebook mama mafia… always offering advice and guidance.  Cassandra and Monica: two wonderful women who love Ridley and visit as often as possible.  There are more, but I’m too crazy to remember at the moment. I apologize.  Not to mention Pat’s family who travel hundreds of miles just to spend time with our little family and friends who haven’t given up on us.  All of these people have made a tremendous difference in my life and as crazy as I am, I try to thank them as often as possible so they know just how much I appreciate their efforts.  The old saying is true…you find out who your friends are. 

As always… this post is as scattered as my thoughts.  I can’t even apologize for it…that’s my personality, I suppose.  But thanks for reading!  I’m hoping my future posts will be more candid, as they used to be now that most of the heavy stuff is out of the way. 
Happy Monday amigos! One week left of maternity leave then you can hear me bitch about going back to work…. Ughhhhh.
 In the meantime, meet my handsome, happy little man: Ridley Joseph Lord. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oh Baby...

I was due February 14th, and by the time my 39th week appointment came around, I was ready to have this baby.  At this appointment, I found out I was 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced… which means I wasn’t the only one ready… little baby Lord was positioned and ready to go.  “Any day now” they said…which is what they said at the previous appointment, but I still waited.    
Everyone thinks its clever or cute to ask “You haven’t had that baby yet?” at least once daily for the last several weeks of a woman’s pregnancy, but let me tell you… it’s friggin annoying.  Never EVER again will I even ask a woman about when she’s due, because the due date is almost never accurate.  Instead, I will ask her how she’s feeling, inquire about the nursery, and ask about her post-pregnancy plans…because at that moment, in the final weeks, no one wants to talk about how they haven’t had the baby yet, but rather focus on the positive and exciting things that are to come… because let’s face it, if it were up to us, we’d have the birth planned out exactly as we want it at the exact time we want it if we could.
Friday, February 15th came and still no baby.  I went to work as usual because I was feeling great, aside from getting irritated with everyone and everything that crossed my path.  Logged in and out without a single contraction, although I tried to force them upon myself. 
When a woman is past her due date, she will do almost anything to get the child out of her.  I got a lot of advice… go for a walk, bounce on a yoga ball, eat spicy food, nipple stimulation, have sex, drink castor oil… oh, they just kept coming!  I tried lots of things, but obviously nothing worked because little baby was not going to come until HE was ready, no matter what I tried. 
When I left work that day at 4:30, I went to meet up with Pat, his best friend Ethan, his sister Amy, and mother Jan at the local bar and grill (which is also the place Pat and I met a year and a half earlier).  The moment I stepped through the door around 5:00, I peed myself.  Not a lot, just a little bit, but enough that I had to run to the bathroom pretty fast.  To be honest, the pee didn’t bother me… having a baby bounce on your bladder for several months, little moments of peeing yourself become the norm, as fabulous as that sounds.  So, I sat down to have dinner anyway.  I wasn’t about to let a little pee delay me from feeding my fat pregnant self.
At about 5:30, I stood up to introduce Pat to one of my good friends whom he had not met yet when I peed myself AGAIN, but this time it was a little more than before.  I ran to the bathroom again and realized the possibility I had been fighting in my mind… it wasn’t pee… my water broke.
Only about 10% have their water break.  Me, being the obsessive compulsive knowledge-seeker I am, I knew this based on reading numerous books, forums, and blogs.  Based on these statistics, I figured I’d be in the 90% so I didn’t have to worry about my water breaking, especially in a public place.  Well, I was wrong. 
I revealed the fact that I “thought” my water broke to Patticakes and his family, which excited them to no end.  Everyone wanted me to go to the hospital, but I decided not to.  Not because I didn’t think I was in labor, but because I’m stubborn and didn’t want to just sit around a hospital for two days.  I would go to the hospital when I was good and ready…which wasn’t then. 
Instead, we all went back to my apartment.  I sat on a towel as I watched the family and friends play the wii.  We laughed and talked for a couple hours before everyone dispersed around 9:00 PM.  At 9:30, Pat and I went to bed.  Not long after I laid down, I had the most intense pain I had ever felt.  It didn’t last very long, so I just hung out in bed a while longer.  When it happened again, only more intense a second time, I decided to use the bathroom.  It was when I discovered I was discharging blood that I decided to call the hospital to let them know we were on our way. 
When we got to the hospital, we were the only ones there so we got VIP treatment.  They tested me and my water had in fact broke.  I was 6 cm dilated and 95% effaced.  With contractions about 4 minutes apart, I was glad I got there when I did. 
After about 4 hours of labor, I opted for the epidural, which was recommended by my OB.  He mentioned that it would help me sleep which would help me to have more energy when I pushed later on.  Pushing for a first time mom averages between 2 to 4 hours, which makes sense why my doctor mentioned that sleep would be important.
There are mixed views about the epidural.  Some women are 100% pro-epi because it really helps to dilute the pain, whereas others are against it due to the risks it possesses: risk of a longer birth/delivery, higher risk of cesarean, headaches, shivering, nausea, backache, etc. Whatever the stance a woman may have on this form of anesthesia, its best to know that every situation is different and therefore, whether a woman chooses to have an epidural or not is completely up to them. 
Frankly, I don’t really care what you think of me for using an epidural because it helped TREMENDOUSLY.  Four months prior, I watched my sister recover from one of the most difficult deliveries I had ever heard of.  Her first words upon seeing me after her delivery were “take the epidural.”  Both she and my mother had to have cesareans, which was the number one thing I was hoping to avoid.  And because of my sister’s traumatic experience, I hoped and prayed for an easier effort.  Luckily, my prayers paid off.
Prior to the epidural, I labored in style.  Although I was in pain, it wasn’t all that bad.  Don’t get me wrong, it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt, but it wasn’t nearly as awful as everyone made it sound like it would be.  I breathed through them and patiently anticipated the next.  I walked around and danced with Pat in the hospital room in an effort to bring the baby down further. 
After the epidural set in, I was confined to the bed.  With an epidural, you pretty much lose feeling in the lower half of your body.  Although contractions continue moving forward, you can’t feel them… at least, that’s the intension.  It was the weirdest thing and at times, I felt as though I was paralyzed because I would try to move my leg, but it wouldn’t move.  I had to think about it long and hard yet it would still not move.  SOOO weird!  I even went so far as to pinch and slap my own thigh, but I could feel nothing.  Again…very very VERY weird. 
Instead of freaking out about the possibility of paralysis, I attempted to sleep, but was unsuccessful.  I slept maybe an hour and a half when the labor pains returned.  I called the nurse who checked me and found that I was fully dilated and effaced and she would begin prepping me to push.  When she came back in a half an hour later, the baby’s head was visible so she encouraged me to push.  They brought in a mirror so I could see him as he descended.  With my partner and my mother by my side, I began to push.  After only 3 pushes, we stopped to call the doctor in.  Ten minutes after my OB arrived, little Ridley was born. 
It all happened so fast.  Only 10 minutes of pushing and I was holding my slimy little nugget in my arms.  He was so beautiful, I couldn’t stop kissing him.  The whole process was beautiful.  I loved my support system.  My nurse was spectacular and I secretly want her to deliver my next child as well.  I loved the mirror and watching him come out (some may find that weird, but its truly beautiful).  I loved it all.  It was a perfect delivery and I would not have changed a thing. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Other Side Of the Story

I made a promise to myself today.  A promise never to be defeated.  In the past, I've notoriously allowed myself to fall into darker days when things didn't go the way I needed them to go.  I felt trapped, scared, alone.  I would get lost in that feeling.  We've all had that feeling.... the one here you're desperate, sad, and uncertain.  No one understands you because they aren't you, they haven't lived your life, they haven't cried your tears, nor have they experienced the kind of loss you have.  No one knows you like you do.  And in our desperate times, we start to believe that no one knows us like the dark side of ourselves.  We start to believe that it's in our darkness that the true light of our souls shines through.  It's when we're the most honest.  It's when we're the most vulnerable.  It's when we're truly ourselves.

Bullshit.  Yep, I'm calling bullshit on that one... I can, because I wrote it, but also because I've felt it.  It's a lie.  You don't learn more about yourself when your lonely, you learn more about yourself when you decide what to do with that loneliness.  THAT'S when character is built.  THAT'S when you decide what kind of life you'll live.  THAT'S when you decide your fate.  Don't believe me?  Fortunately, you don't have to, but your decision to read on is a test of character.  It proves that you're really smart, or nosey.  Perhaps both?  Ah well, who am I to judge?  HAHA jk'ing, friends.  But really... what we decide to do for ourselves with various situations determines what kind of lives we'll lead.

We all knew someone growing up that came from a broken home.  He was the kid that ended up getting into trouble.  When you read his name in the paper for a DUI or a drug bust, you weren't surprised.  Oh, he came from a rough home... He had a tough upbringing... He doesn't know any better.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.  Stop it, don't make excuses.  Yes, he probably had a tough life.  Perhaps his view of love, parenting, and respect vary from those around him, but that is no friggin reason for him and others like him to be expected to become a ragtag of rejects and losers.  Let me tell you why.

At 9-years-old, I made a decision about my character that some adults could never do.  I took the most difficult situation and turned it into an opportunity to rise above.  Standing in the ashes of my father's selfish decision to destroy the lives of others is the moment I decided to live for myself and not for his conviction.  I could have become a victim.  I was just a child, my innocence lost forever.  I was forced into a position of making adult choices when I was barely even a child.  Instead of wearing the victim title, I rose above the ashes, above the demise, and above the path my life was expected to take.

It wasn't easy for anyone.  We each dealt with it in our own ways... some turned to alcohol, others turned to drugs, but I turned to writing.  Instead of falling on my face, I chose to look up and move on.  I'm not saying I'm a superhero or better than the story the preceded mine, however, I just read on facebook all the time about how people make themselves victims based on what someone else did to them and it's so disheartening.  If trouble happens in your life that is beyond your control, it's not your fault.  The fault is only yours when the jury chimes in on the way you reacted to it.  You don't have to be happy or react right away, but don't fake it either, because faking it only harms you more because you're lying to everyone, including yourself.  Be honest with yourself, allow yourself to truly feel the emotion you're struggling with, then move on.  Don't let it take over your life or that will be the only emotion you'll ever understand.

I feel like I'm counseling.  I'm not trying to, I swear.  I guess I'm passionate about it because I'm so sick of hearing it.  It's deafening.  AHHHHH.

That being said... I made a determination for myself yesterday.  No more defeat.  Don't get me wrong, I'll still fail, very gracefully, I'm sure, but I won't let it defeat me.  Lately, I have been failing at this concept.  I've let circumstances destroy me.  Much of me feels trapped.  Not like I did in an unsuccessful marriage, but more like a mouse feels with its tail stuck in a trap.  I got myself into this because of choices I had made (eating cheese, obvi), so now I have to either sit here until someone lets me out or chew my tail off... And to be honest, I'm just not THAT hungry...

If you don't know what I'm referencing, we're obviously not that great of friends.... but anyway... I'm pregnant.  On June 11th, 2012, I sat on the floor and cried for hours.  I couldn't believe it.  The crying lasted for nearly 2 months....and let me tell you, these were not happy tears.  I was devastated.  I did this to myself (figuratively, not literally, you sickos).  I'd been extremely responsible with my boyfriend up until that point.  It was one moment.  ONE NIGHT.  ONE TIME.  Mama always told me that once is all it took, but no one ever thinks it will happen to them.  Well frig, people, it does.

Anyway, I didn't tell anyone for a long while.  I could barely process it myself, let alone attempt to process it with others.  It wasn't until I saw my little tiny fetus move during my 11 week ultrasound that I believed it to be true.   Once my belief set in, shortly thereafter came toleration of this life change.  After toleration came like and after like came love.  My little tadpole baby totally changed my outlook on life.  He helped me to think beyond the right here and think about how beautiful life can be.  My little man rescued me.  He found me in my trap and showed some compassion toward my poor, little, weak soul and decided that I deserved more. He's the one that set me free... Contrary to what I believed to be truth at the time.

That was 27 weeks ago and I started to lose sight of that.  I let a career change that felt empty get the best of me and allowed the progressive weight gain associated with pregnancy depress me.  Although I had an incredible fiancé (oh, ps..... he proposed and I said yes. side note) I stopped allowing him to make me happy.  I just got down on myself, man.  But not anymore.  I can't promise it will last forever (just ask me how optimistic I am when little man is here and I'm averaging 3 hours of sleep a night...) but I can say that this decision will change all ways in which I deal with situations in relation to this pregnancy/birth from here on out.  I think I'm on the right path again... as I refuse to let negative circumstances, people, or mistakes destroy my outlook on life.  Instead, I choose to make the most of them.... or in my case, allow those changes to make the most of me.

Fortunately for me, I have an incredible support team, which I know not every one has. As previously mentioned, I have a kind, sweet, caring fiancé who truly has brought the most incredible joy to my life. I've got one of the best families a girl could ask for. And I have super supportive friends. Now I just need to show that appreciation a little more clearly.

OH and the record, my tail is just fine...it's just a little meatier than it was before.  Until next time.... CHOW.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's Been A While...

Why do girls hate each other?
Hey, this is a serious question.  Why do girls hate each other?  It doesn’t make sense.  I’ve thought long and hard about this and I can’t come up with a logical answer.  Here are a few thoughts based on experience:
Ignorance: Just simply not knowing about another female.  Girls do it all the time.  We all do it... we snap judge based on false pretenses.  We all think we know where another girl is coming from just simply based on seeing her.  Wrong.  Looks are 100% deceiving.  And those that say “What you see is what you get” are lying.  Or retarded.  Perhaps both.  Because if that was a genuine true statement, I’d be a confident, hilarious, independent Native American lady.  Although all those things are true, that’s not all I am.  I’m honest, yet scared.  I’ve tasted the blood of another’s sword.  (That’s a metaphor, folks.)  I get lonely sometimes and allow myself to be vulnerable.  But above all else, I’m a survivor.  We all have our stories, I’m sure if you knew my REAL story, your perception of me may change... actually, I guarantee it.  But that’s for another post... in a far far away land.  ANYWAY... we all have our stories.  We all have our secrets and our experiences that have molded us to be who we are.  Making assumptions about someone’s motivations based on a loose understanding of who they are with no foundation of knowledge of their intent is absolutely stupid.  Grow up.  
Jealousy: Perhaps the biggest reason why a female would hate on another female.  Jealousy itself is not an emotion.  Jealousy is driven by other emotions and can creep up for a variety of reasons, but the biggest reason is fear.  Afraid of what a girl could do that may jeopardize a particular set of circumstances for another.  Examples include fear that she will come after your man (sounds like you need to have a little more trust in YOUR man, ladies... and if the girl comes after your boy, punch her out, don’t get jealous. What a waste.)  Or, perhaps you’re an attention whore who fears she’ll lose having everyone else’s attention.   Sounds pretty greedy to me.  
All of you outspoken women need to stand up. Quit being bitches.  Seriously.  Just because you’re a beautiful, smart, independent woman does NOT mean you’re superior to other ladies or should feel threatened by those with similar qualities to you.  Get together. Join forces.  Stop the hate.  It’s ridiculous.  It’s for this exact reason that we haven’t had a woman president.... well, maybe not the only reason, but goddamnit, it has something to do with it, I just know it.   
I’ve said my piece.  Now on to more exciting matters... 
Interested facts or thoughts I’ve had recently! (Oh shush, you’re reading this because you’re curious or you love/hate me... so, why would you expect anything else?)
I can’t stand women that judge what others are wearing.  ...Who friggin cares what you’re wearing? Just be yourself.  Some of us can’t help if we’re fabulous.  What? I’m serious.  
I’ve lived in 6 towns/cities in 7 years.
Carnies smell like patchouli and bratwurst.
Denzel Washington is the perfect man.
I’m a Mac fan.  Microsoft.... booooooo.
I didn’t like high school.  Mostly because a guy I went to school with made it a living hell for me.  He has since apologized.
At the same time, I was Prom Princess.  So, apparently I well liked, except by him.  Asshole.  
No one can ever figure out my nationality.  I’m racially ambiguous.  I’ve been asked if I was Brazilian, Mexican, Colombian, Mulatto, Eastern Indian, Greek, and Italian.  Others just think I’m tan.
I’m a proud member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Motahkmikuk at Peter Dana Point.  
I have a zero racism policy.  
Although I’m Native American, my navigation skills are lacking.  I had to use my GPS to get to work in Belfast, ME for an entire month.  I work one mile away.  Yeah, it’s THAT bad.
I’m 100% aware that my above two statements contradict one another.  
I used to be straight edge.  Up until 2011, I could count the amount of drinks I had on one hand.  I was still fun though ;)
I suck at bowling.  But one time, I scored a 189.  
I’ve been told I’m a classy redneck.  I love to wear high heels and slinky black dresses, but I also love to four wheel with my family and get a little dirty.
I don’t own a TV and haven’t in years.
It’s almost impossible for me to watch a movie in one sitting.  It takes a lot to hold my attention.  
A skirt with a sweatshirt?  Really?  That doesn’t make logical sense.
This post has been a month in the making, which is why its so alllllll over the place.  Anyway, May 11th marked exactly one year since I moved back to Maine.  It was also the same day I moved away in 2009 and it marked the day my sister and her husband moved back to Maine.  It’s been a big year.... a beautiful year.  I’m 25 now.  Scary, I know.  But I really feel like I’m starting to make sense of myself.  I’m learning where my priorities lie.  I used to chase dollars and find any way to one-up others, no matter what it cost.  I wouldn’t go back to that life if you paid me (no pun intended).  Through it all, I have learned who my true friends are.  When I was in my darkest moments, you came through.... opened your hearts to me.  You laughed and cried with me.  You redirected your life for me.  You know who you are.  Those horrible yet wonderful nights hugging and crying in the streets, making pierogies at 2 am, cats riding off into the sunset, high heels in the snow, swapping shoes, highligher shirts, bocci balls, pumpkin park, jammin to the early 90s, so many photos, makin it wink, twerk, babies everywhere, PAY PAY, Drake, dance partners, sleepovers, mt everest, diva walks, and most importantly... those long walks and long talks.  
I’ve made mistakes.  HUGE mistakes... but somehow, through it all I managed to find some of the most remarkable people that ever exploded onto this planet.  When I changed my life...when I changed my lifestyle, those from my previous life questioned my decisions.  They asked if the kind of people I chose to associate myself with were the right kind of people to surround myself with during my transition phase from the “J” life to the single life.  Well... it’s 100% safe for me to say I didn’t choose these people, they chose me.  And I am the luckiest girl on earth because of it.  From my fabulous roomies to my gorgeous bestie, Asian best boy friend and amazing, handsome boyfriend whom I adore.  I love you all... and I don’t say that lightly.  Thanks for not giving up on me <3

Thursday, March 1, 2012

No Rainbow Without Rain

Prepare yourself, this one is slightly lengthy...
I know, I know... It’s been a good two months since I wrote anything.  To be honest, it’s your fault.  The pressure was just too much.  Haha, just kidding.  But really... I just needed a little break.  As it turns out, sharing your life with the public can cause you a little bit of scrutiny from time to time.  Who woulda thought!?  Anyway, I decided to take a rest from sharing.  Life got a little crazy and I just didn’t need everyone watching my every move again.  Not in that moment at least.
To be honest, I got a little creeped out.  I have a lot of friends.  I went to two high schools, two colleges, I’ve lived in three states, and I have 52 cousins on my mom’s side (I know, right!? Who does that?)  Facebook has been kind of essential in keeping track of everyone as well as keeping in touch with my loves.  So, my facebook friend listing is slightly extensive.  When I started this blog and decided to share it on the book, I kind of let it slip through my mind that EVERYONE would be able to read it.  And I mean EVERYONE.  My ex’s family, elementary school teachers, kids I used to mentor, and my nana.  That’s quite the mix to be reading all of the scandalous things I share.  So, I decided to tone it down, but not too much.  Don’t want to deviate too far away from the norm...that would be just awkward.  But GOD don’t I love awkward.  But yeah, people were coming up and asking about stuff I’d post on Facebook.  Like ask if I’m still going to the gym with specific people, or comment about facebook photos, or where I was spending my time.  To top it all off, some even started pointing out friends of mine from facebook, without ever meeting them.  It just got creepy.  
So, people really do love this shit.  They eat it up.  (Personally, I don’t think eating shit sounds appetizing, but whatever, it’s your deal).  So, I don‘t want to disappoint.  You look hungry.  On to the drama.
I have no idea about the last few posts.  I don’t read my stuff after it’s posted.  So, SORRYYYY if I repost stuff you already know.  Anyway... J is married.  Cool. We know this.  I guess he got married on New Year’s Eve.  The big D was September 26th, remember.  That’s three months.  Whatever.  Go ahead, get divorced twice before you’re 30.  Okay, I know... that’s not nice.  And chances are great that he’s really in love or whatever, but it just seems strange to me.  Best of luck in that.  Anyway... not only is he married...but he now lives 20 miles from me.  WTF.  REALLY? I moved back here to start over, not be reminded of past mistakes.  No, J and my relationship was not a mistake, I learned so much about myself through our relationship and we had some amazing times that I would not want to share with anyone but him, but I left him in Jersey because that is where he decided to make his life for himself.  WHY THE EFF WOULD YOU MOVE BACK HERE?!#$#@T#$%@ Oh yeah, he brought his wife.  I guess I thought he’d leave her in Jersey... that’s what he pretty much did with the last one.  ANYWAY... how do I feel about this?  It’s different.  I’m not upset.  Just confused.  There are zero opportunities here.  We left this area because he wanted to pursue his music.  I’m doubting he’s any less of a fantastic musician than he was a year ago, so why come back!?  Good luck.  
And now I’m done with that subject.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a boyfriend now.  Two months later and that still seems to be the case.  Honestly, he’s the reason I haven’t been writing.  Boyfriends take up a lot of time!  JEEEEZ.  No, no, it’s not HIS fault.  It’s mine.  I like him.  That’s why I spend time with him, I spose.  Anyway... I failed to mention that when he and I got together, I was hanging out with 4 other people.  Not “hanging out” but talking to 5 in total.  I know, total player.  Not gonna lie, it’s true.  I had to play the game a bit in order to protect myself.  Well, these other 4 guys didn’t like it too much.  Especially since they all found out I was dating P via Facebook.  Whoops.  I spose that was kind of bitchy, wasn’t it?  But I was not exclusive with anyone, did I owe anyone an explanation?  No, I don’t think so.  I stand by that.  But anyway, 2 of the 4 were not phased a bit... turns out they were playing the game as well.  That’s fine.  No tears lost there.  But the other 2... Jesus... you woulda thought I broke off an engagement or something.  Drama drama drama.  One of which... we’ll call him Rick... I feel kind of bad about.  I didn’t mean to, but I led him on.  I know I just said I played the game, but I didn’t play the game with the intensions of hurting anyone.  But as it turns out, someone always gets hurt once you get involved, whether it is emotionally, physically, sexually... doesn’t matter.  But Rick and I have worked through our differences.  I know he knows this is for the best afterall and I’m confident he will find an incredible woman who shares similar interests and who will love him for everything he is.  Unfortunately, I just wasn’t that woman.  Everything happens for a reason, S’more. It does.
On another note, I went home for Christmas... I know this is completely off topic, but whatever.  Well, we had a Christmas Eve Eve party, a “homecoming” party because its the only time all year that all of us are together.  Well, I went this year and I saw nearly everyone I went to high school with.  The majority of them I had not seen since 2005.  I’m a little different now than I was then (THANK GODDDD).  But I had a great time.  Well, when I got there, one of the first questions I received was “Are you dating a girl?”  I was like who, Monica?  HAHAHA. Anyone who knows mi amor, Mon, should love this.  Anyway... he was like “No, Cassandra.”  Uhhh...whattttt?  First of all, this boy has never met Cassandra.  Secondly... WHATTTTTT???  I was like, um, no, I like men, but thanks!  Then I was asked the same question three more times (once from someone in my family) and I just don’t get it.  Are girls no longer able to be close?  Do I spend a lot of time with Cassandra?  Of course, she’s my bestie, I should be allowed to.  So, to set the record straight, No, not a fan of the lady parts, definitely enjoy the other team a bit more.  But even if I did like the ladies, what the eff does it matter?  Cassandra?  Well, at least I’d have good taste.  Quit creepin on facebook and making snap judgements.  If you want to know something, just ask.  Don’t spread rumors just because you think its awesome you queer.  
Okay, back to a constantly avoided topic.  My bf, P.  I don’t name the ones I like, remember.  Although if we’re FB friends, you already know ol Patticakes’ name.  Damnit.  Just gave it away.  Anyway, I’m not talking about this too much.  I don’t talk about the good stuff.  But just know things are going good.  REALLLLL good ;)  Haha. Oh boyyyyyy.  But like any new relationship, you face challenges.  Within the first month, I had three previous flames/boyfriends/”friends” re-enter my life and try to “reconnect”... a couple of which have been mentioned in previous posts so you know that would be interesting.  It was a major test.  Why did they have to test me?  They all KNEW I had a boyfriend.  Slime balls.  That was your first mistake.  I’m not interested in your shenanigans... and I’m a HUGE fan of shenanigans, just not the slimy kind.  You get all sticky and then you have to shower like 15 times to get that shit out.  Ever had slime in your hair?  It’s a bitch to get out.  Not that I’d know.... uhhh... Anyway, I totally triumphed round 1 of assholes trying to eff things up.  I mean, really!?  What were you thinking?  Oh that’s right, you weren’t.  

Furthermore... the drama has seemed to cease in my life as of late.  Only because I am not letting it occur.  It continues to find me, however.  Turns out I was involved in drama with a few girls and I didn’t even know it!  Insecurities and jealousy can really bring out the worst in people.  With that being said, I just ignored it.  Well, I did after a little while.  At first, it really really REALLY bothered me.  I’m a people pleaser.  Not only that, but I LOVE people.  I go out of my way to make others feel comfortable.  Naturally, when girls (yes, multiples... i don’t even know...don’t get me started) bring out the worst in you, you make a decision on whether or not you want to pursue it, or just walk away.  I chose to walk away.  All of the drama surrounded a couple people of whom I’ve disassociated myself from since then.  I know, you must be so proud yet so disappointed at the same time.  Such is the life.  But no worries, there’s still more life to live.    

More great, recent news!
*The roomies are engaged! YAY! So excited for them!!!! Hope you don’t kick me out.  I’m not ready to leave yet.  Please don’t make me, mom!?
*My perfect niece turned one!  WAHOO!!! And she’s walking (or wobbling, not sure which is more accurate) as well as talking.  She is wicked good at saying Hi and No.  Two of the most essential words to know as a lady.  
*My sister, Sarah, is pregnant!  AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! I’m stoked.  Being an auntie to mackie has been fantastic.  I can only imagine what kind of ball of wonder my sister will spit out on October 8th.  STOKED.  
To wrap things up, I have to say, life is going pretty great lately.  I finally feel like I’ve got my feel on the ground and my head on my shoulders again (it was touch and go for a while there).  I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people who let me make mistakes and don’t judge me when I came home crying because I got hurt.  The same people have encouraged me to move on and try new things.  
March 10th will be 1 years since J and I separated.  So much has happened in that year.  So so so much pain.  Unwanted pain.  I mean, who really wants pain, unless you’re into S&M (and if that’s the case, then let’s talk ;) ....)  but you need the pain.  It’s necessary.  Tears. Pain. Fear. Drama. Trials. Tests. Uncertainty. ...it’s all imperative, because without it, you could never possibly understand the beauty of simple, pure, old-fashioned love.   

Everyone wants happiness.
No one wants pain.
But you can’t have a rainbow
Without a little rain.
...it’s worth it.  Trust me.