So much negativity is going on in the world and it really just doesn't seem like it will ever stop. I have a challenge for you if you wish to accept.
1. Go say hello to someone you wouldn't normally talk to.
2. Say thank you to a police officer, EMT, paramedic, nurse, doctor, firefighter, soldier, veteran or other public servant that puts your safety and life before yours.
3. Buy a coffee or a snack for a co-worker.
4. Send a thank you note to someone who made you a better person.
5. Think of someone before yourself.
6. Call a family member and tell them you love them.
7. Take an old blanket to an animal shelter.
8. Buy an extra toy at the store for a child that won't normally have Christmas.
9. Put your phone down during dinner.
10. Say I love you to someone who needs it.
As the weather gets colder, my movie choices will start to gravitate to winter romances. When it comes to winter romances, nothing can beat Frozen. Don't you try and argue with me. I know Frozen takes place in the summer and Elsa turns the kingdom into winter after she panics after her coronation. Only everyone knows that. One of the best parts of Frozen is the character of Anna. I know all of you liked "Let It Go" and Queen Elsa, but I was team Anna all of the way. I never saw another Disney Princess quite like her. She made me feel like I was being represented. I'll tell you why...
She fell into a freaking boat. Okay, Hans kinda knocked her over. She also had a little slip on telling him how dreamy he was. So relatable.
This is what I look like in the morning. Thank you for recognizing that we tend to look like monsters in the morning. We don't need those high expectations.
That feeling you get when you smell chocolate can only be described as euphoria. Anna knows this. I know this. We need to go to DeBrands.
True love is sharing a sandwich. If you find someone who eats the same kind, keep them.
One of my favorite quotes is a literary quote. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” A few years ago, I was watching the movie "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and I was struck by how real this movie was. Stephen Chbosky's book captured and the movie that followed, perfectly captured the angst and anxiety young people feel while navigating real issues for the first time.
This quote in particular struck me because I think it is something that is so true on so many levels. I relate to it because I have given an excuse like this when someone wanted to pursue a relationship with me. I have had many health hiccups over the years. Obviously, I have talked about mental illness, but I have also had issues with asthma, neuropathy, and severe migraines. Looking back, who gives a damn. No one is perfect. I know at the time, I was feeling like a burden on everyone. I had just had a ladder accident and I was having nerve issues with my feet. My migraines and neck pain were so severe that I wast hopping from neurologist to neurologist. I was 24 years old and I wasn't fun. I had to cancel plans all of the time because I was stuck in bed puking, and I just thought no one would want to deal with that. Well, the selfish part of that is that I never once thought of what someone else would want. My friends did want to be around me. I could have had a relationship. I just didn't think I deserved it.
6 years later, I believe we all accept the love we think we deserve. I think I am single because I haven't quite learned how to move past my insecurities. I think my mom doesn't believe anything my brother says because she is afraid she did something wrong. I believe that women who stay in abusive relationships stay because they think that it is their fault.
Listen to your heart and maybe you will learn something important.
If you read this title and thought this was a tutorial, just exit out. Nope. Not a tutorial.
Some things are more and more amusing as time goes on. It's amusing how many of my conservative friends turn liberal, how the most free loving ladies are the most vocal mothers, and how simple old dating became some horrible art form that you need training for.
So I haven't dated in 6 years. This is mostly by choice. I don't really have the time and I am pretty selfish with the time I do have. What I can't help but notice and hear is how much social media and even standard communication has changed. I met my last boyfriend at a party. Pretty standard for 2011. Now, people are meeting on dating sites, apps, and more.
Earlier this year, I read Modern Romance by Anziz Ansari. This book was fascinating and terrifying. The time and research put into it was remarkable. The results scared me. KNowing that the comfortable meeting someone, getting to know them, and deciding to start a relationship is gone. Everything now is fast and technical. What do us old fashioned weirdos who have been self centered for so many years do?
One humorous side effect of crossed generations and lack of experience on certain social media came one day when my two dear student workers, neither still work for me, started snap chatting pictures of each other on, well, Snap Chat. One worker was telling me about it and I was so confused. When I was that age, If you sent a picture of yourself, it would have been a sign you liked them. You would be showing off. That apparently isn't the case anymore. Now they just do it because everyone is vain. I am also old. How are us old people supposed to navigate this?!
Dear daters out there, write a manual for those of us who may start to date again in the next 5-10 years when Netflix runs out of good shows.
Trying to be productive with a cat around is like trying to was your car while driving through a swarm of flies. It just isn't possible. Most people say they love cats because they leave you alone. What ct was that? Mine are constantly in my business. Whether it is Amber who thinks it is adorable to curl up like a baby into my arm or Jacob who just wants to stare into my eyes, these cats are always in my business and wasting my time.
For the record, I do appreciate the breaks most of the time. Who wouldn't want to look at these faces?! Even as I write this and they are shockingly sitting not on top of me, I am tempted to pet them. I know not to do this. This will make them wake up and climb on my lap.
Competition is fierce for us. Amber has even taken to sitting on pizza and fighting for cuddle space with Jake. World, if I am slow at blogging, it is because these two are asking for love.
About a month ago, my best friend texted me at like 10:30 pm asking how far the Target on Thomas Road was. Well it is about the same distance as any other Target in town since we have an interstate and I live in a weird place. She asked if I would be bothered if I would stop and pick up a unicorn for Annelise. All she had to do is say was, "bitch you're going to Target to get me a unicorn." I didn't need a formal ask. Well the next day, I left work trying to make a laugh out of it. I was like, okay bye, I have to go pick up a unicorn! That unicorn had to spend a few weeks residing in my trunk before it made it to its rightful owner.
Amanda and I were going to run the Vineyard Trail at Two EE's together, but for some reason she couldn't this year. I signed up and didn't but that is a different post entirely. I have been working crazy hours at work getting ready for this event. I was needing to work really late and I really needed to get my apartment treated for fleas. I hadn't done this in a long time. Two cats seriously need a clean space. Since I needed them to be gone, I took them to my mom's house for a vacation. She would babysit them and I could meet up with Amanda and trade off the unicorn.
I was so excited when she pulled up around 8:30 am with two chipper young ladies with her. Kensley, my buddy, I have already started prepping for an arranged marriage with my nephew. Luckily, he was visiting too. Nathan was so excited to see her. They brought out a calmness in each other that I can't explain. Nathan showed her everything. His toys, his books, his bow-staff, his mom's car. He was just ready to impress. I accept this pairing. Little Annelise also came with. I have not interacted as much with her as I have Kensley. Kensley and I get each other, but Annelise is just so normal that I assumed I didn't need to work at it. Well now that she is older, she is just super precious. We always had a good time when she was a bitty baby. She was a damn good baby. Now she is just a sweet 3 year old that I have missed so much time with. I am a workaholic and a complete busybody. I only see Nathan a lot because he Face-times me and comes to visit me. I typically only see sweet Daphne over holidays and Cal on holidays or when he has a sleepover with Grandma Betty and Grandpa Charlie.
One day, I will slow down, whether by choice or by force. I hope before that happens, these kids won't be grown up and married with kids of their own. I want to be there for the big things. I want to help teach them and give advice.
Animals are amazing. Everyday, I feel more and more blessed to have two amazing creatures to spend my life with. In the past, I have had multiple animals, all cats, who have made life a little more bearable. Through the depression, anxiety, and traditional illness, it is nice to know that someone loves me unconditionally.
Jacob is a special breed of cat. I don't mean he is an expensive, rare animal. He is a flame point Siamese. These cats have the absolute best temperament. He is my second cat of the breed. Jake and Jack have both been the most loving, compassionate, and loyal creatures to have walked the planter. Both boys have guarded me while I've been sick. Recently, Jake guarded even guarded the bathroom door for 6 hours while I threw up and slept in the bathroom during a horrible migraine.
Amber and Snickers, both tortoise shells, have been the comedic break in my life. Both highly affectionate felines, they live life on their own terms. Most of these terms involve food. I remember Snickers was a big fan of nacho cheese doritos, but Amber, she likes just about everything. Amber likes to wake up at 5:oo am smacking my face because she wants fed. She is perfectly content sitting in a separate room for hours, just as her predecessor did. Also similar, when she wants that attention, watch out buddy, because you have been downgraded.
I know they say you should never shop for an animal. I only partially shopped. Both of my cats are rescue cats. Amber was a year old at her adoption. She had just had her first litter of kittens, and she wasn't a huge fan of being around everyone in the foster home. I didn't technically pick her. She was picked for me by the person who knows me best. My mom and my sister found her and they knew she as the embodiment of Snickers. I didn't know she was mine until an email spoiled the surprise. It was a good surprise. Jake was much different. I had lost Jack about 6 months prior to FIP. I was broken. My sister and I looked at different shelters in Indiana and the surrounding states for flamepoints. They weren't the most common, but when they came in, they went fast. Suddenly we found him. We called and asked about him and they weren't sure he was ready because he was so injured. I said I didn't care. We woud do anything to care for him. He had a huge gash in his side from suddenly living a life of happy cat luxury, and then being outside and facing cats and the elements. If you knew Jake, you would know this is not his forte. Jake is allergic to flowers. His gash healed, his heart healed, and so did mine.
Jake was abused. He is still afraid of strange objects. I have learned to tell him to leave the room when I am going to change the trash or iron. Jake recovered even more with Amber. They are the loves of each others little lives.
Back to the shopping. I didn't shop for some expensive cat. I was searching to honor a memory and a life. I loved Snickers and Jack more than anyone could love a pet. I had snickers for 18 years. I was the one who said I can't see her the way she is (crippling arthritis and not grooming) and took her to be put down. You don't even want to know about the vet bills when Jack died, but rest assured, he is sitting on the highest shelf of my living room.
Love comes in many forms. I just happen to believe it walks on 4 paws.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned how my nephew was mildly obsessed with death. I, being stupid, told him my car was named after Marquis de Lafayette, because of course that is a totally badass name. Calvin was entranced and appalled. It really was strange.
Today, I received a very early call from my mother. Cal and Daphne are staying with her for the week while Lisa is in Vegas. This helped Eric so he could work normal hours. Well this call shocked me and almost sent me to the floor laughing. "Victoria, you need to FaceTime Calvin sometime today and explain to him about the bad day Lafayette had and why he was so sad." For the record, he didn't buy my save last time when I said he died from sadness when he had a premonition Justin Bieber would be born one day.
Children have incredible brains. I was lucky to remember where I hid my toys at his age. He is mourning Revolutionary war heroes. Calvin may be my hero.
It is amazing what time does to a person. A few short years ago, I had a large expansive group of friends that ranged from high school pals, to sorority sisters, to college friends, to work colleagues. I had no idea how the dynamic would change because of life. Relationships got in the way, rumors got in the way, and sometimes my schedule got it in way.
About 5 years ago, I felt like I lost everyone. I understood that my decisions to choose work and stay in Fort Wayne played a part, but my decisions to take opposing sides of fights played a huge part in these chasms between friendships. I started to like my life with limited friends, but I felt so lonely when I looked on social media and saw my old friends together without me.
A few weeks ago, something was feeling different. I started to feel like I was getting along with these people on Facebook. I had one friend post something that struck me and I replied. Apparently she had me in mind when she wrote it. Finally, this weekend I ran into an old sorority sister. Our friendship was very hot and cold sometimes at the end. We chatted like we never had any drama.
Is it true that friends really are forever? Do we just need breaks from people sometimes so we can grow? I know I have grown mentally over the past 5 years. Maybe not emotionally, but I think I always loved my friends. I would always stick up for them, but I just needed a reminded that the person I cared for still existed.
Thanks to my friends for still tolerating me after all of these years!
It's Father's Day! Everyone loves celebrating their parents on Mother's and Father's Day. It is the one time where it is just your siblings and parents and you aren't obligated to provide tons of presents.
I feel pretty lucky on Father's Day. I have long said I have the best dad in the world. He may drive me bonkers when he wants me to watch Tucker Carlson, or calls me to debate politics with me, or tells me I have arrived at the wrong address, but at the end of the day, he is still the same goofball I grew up with.
My dad and I are very similar. We are opinionated, stubborn, hardworking, and very introverted. I learned so much of my work ethic from him. He works 80 hours a week and is constantly learning.
At the same time, I have the same stupid sense of humor. Sarcasm runs deep in this family. When someone asks what we want for food, I have to fight the urge to say ice cream cones. I love how my dad still gives me 10,000 points when I do something awesome. The most special thing about my dad though, is that he is still here.
A few years ago he had a heart issue that should have killed him. We were blessed that he was proactive and paranoid. He took things seriously after that. He eats better, walks like a fiend, and is super fit now.
Well, this one is to you Charming Charlie, my favorite Chuckles, the best dad ever. Here is to many more phone debates and long walks.