I Do Matter

I work from home on Wednesdays…it gives me a midweek break in terms of the commute and the distractions at the office. Normally once the flurry of the first 30 minutes of The Today Show goes by I flip the tv to repeats of sitcoms past…I like the background noise of it.

But today I was digging in deep on several projects, preparing for a conference call and didn’t change the channel. Carson Daily interviewed Jennifer Anniston and the often talked about why she doesn’t have kids came up. Then I noticed this evening Tamron Hall had written about it as well. And it reminded me of some comments made to me a few months ago.

I was told by a much younger, greener professional that I didn’t really matter. I got a salary and I was single so no pressures….for he had pressures. He has a house, a spouse and next year a child to add to his list of pressures. It was as if he truly believed that being single meant no responsibilities, no pressures and I assume the opportunity to treat each night as if it was a kegger.

For those of you that know me, you will understand that that went over about as well as someone telling an addict their problems end once they drop the bottle. Why yes, little boy, my life is so fucking easy. No ones life is easy, we all have challenges and issues and pressures that we have to deal with in life.

I am a family of one…I have to provide a roof over my head, food for myself and maintain my car, health and every other normal responsibility. I chose to adopt a cat almost 15 years ago, I must provide him food, shelter and healthcare. If I have a health emergency or even just get sick, it’s all on me. Taking vacations out of the country are a challenge because it is just me, so those are considered extravagant vacations in my book, plus I am just getting used to traveling on my own.

No, I don’t have a spouse nor do I have children, did I want them? Yes, very much so but as of right now, it hasn’t happened and I have to accept it. I have made horrible choices when it comes to men, trusting and giving chances to those who never deserved a second chance yet got many chances from me. I have treated some very nice men like crap, going into something I shouldn’t have, getting scared or just being dumb. I regret hurting those guys and hope that one day, they will forgive me.

I had one very special man in my life who loved me so much that he set me free thinking it was for the best. His way of protecting me. I’ll have a conversation with him when I see him again in heaven.

So while I don’t have a spouse, house or children to call my own, I still matter. I’m Aunt Amy to so many of my friends kids, love them with all my being and some days I think, maybe just maybe I still might get all that I would like to experience.

I read my newsfeed on Facebook and yes, I get twinges of jealousy when engagements happen or babies arrive but I also am happy for them. I also watch as others complain so much about their lot in life when really they are blessed but are so bogged down they can’t see the forest for the trees.

But what I really want to say is there are some people that just don’t find their other half or their bodies fail them when it comes to wanting a child but they matter. They have the same concerns and challenges that those families go through. They matter because they are human, they live and breath the same air you do, they feel the same heartbreaks.

I didn’t go to college to get my Mrs. Degree, I went to find myself. Along the way I took a few wrong turns but I’ve learned from it all. And I matter. I’m not a weirdo, a freak or there is something innately wrong with me because I am single and childless. I just didn’t find that path and that’s okay. Because I still care, I still love and I still have all those responsibilities that every single person has in life.

So back off arrogant little boys and girls who pass judgement on those who don’t fit in your cookie cutter world. I am me and I matter. I just went about it differently than you.

The One Where I Talk About My Summer

I have had a busy summer, one filled with a move, trips and doing things I didn’t think I would ever do. . . I also struggled with writing. Actually, I have struggled with that for over a year. But I have been thinking about Chandler a lot lately and the one thing he constantly said to me was “tell me a story.” So between dealing with a relationship ending, learning what I thought to be real wasn’t, the stress of work and fighting anxiety, I let this outlet fall by the wayside.

I finally left the apartment complex, the one that I have called home for way too long at the beginning of summer. Bird was, as usual, the perfect sister by coming up here to help me with the chaos. I am proud to say that I managed to get the majority of it packed before Bird and her girls arrived. It was a long weekend, filled with anxiety about the Wookster’s ability to go with the flow, traipsing back and forth from the old and new place with clothes, shoes and well, more clothes and shoes as well as trying to offer up a little bit of fun for the girls. With the fabulous help of Henson Moving (I love the friends I met in college, they are still right there when you need them) I got everything thrown into the new place by Sunday.

Between Bird, her girls and Stace, my kitchen and liquor were all released from their boxes and put in their proper place. . . I got the tvs setup (because seriously, I was going a bit crazy with anticipation to actually have Directv) and did a few runs to Lowes. I also ordered my grill, planned to have a garage door opener installed and tried to talk Wook off the ledge. He wasn’t happy with me. Boxes are a norm for him, getting in the car is also a norm but between everyone running in and out, boxes galore and a routine that had been shot to shit, he was coming unglued.

I haven’t hung my pictures or finished a few things that need to be done but overall, the place is put together enough to have company over. Wook has transitioned fairly well giving me a scare about a month after we got settled in. .. I was a mess, crying and worrying about what would happen. He had a virus and with some shots and a very, umm, protective eye on him, he is on the mend. His doctor has also noted on his chart to never put him in a cage. Even when he felt really bad, he let them know his disapproval of being placed in something that he felt was beneath him.

As I have gotten older, I have found that I have set limitations for myself. Some probably make sense, others are purely from the anxiety I deal with on a regular basis. I challenged myself to run a 5K and then asked a friend to join me. Once she stopped laughing at me, she said she would think about it. I wanted to do the run so I could say I did a 5K, it was for St Jude’s and it was an opportunity to wear a tutu. I completed the Bacon Chase in Chicago in June with said laughing friend in tow. I also got to eat bacon while running and then have a boat of bacon after. .. I enjoyed myself.

I also got to visit Chicago for the first time and spend time with some friends who moved up there a few years ago. I loved it and there were plenty of times when I thought about Chandler and his beloved Chicago. I walked by Wrigley Field a million times, visited the Bean and saw most of downtown. I was beat between all the walking and the race but it was so much fun. And of course, I put the city on my list of places I want to move to and let’s face it. . . the requirements are simple: big city, public transportation, professional sports and a great vibe. The plus to Chicago for this NYC girl is that it is on Central time. I don’t think I can live on Eastern time again.

Why yes, I traipsed all over Chicago in my tutu, ears and pig tail. . .

Why yes, I traipsed all over Chicago in my tutu, ears and pig tail. . .

The bloody mary was watered down but it worked as well as the bacon. . .

The bloody mary was watered down but it worked as well as the bacon. . .

Because you have to take a picture when you go to The Bean

Because you have to take a picture when you go to The Bean

Next up was a work trip to Boston. . . my travels normally confine me to the southeast, so this was an out of the norm trip for me but I was ready, willing and excited about eating all kinds of seafood. I got to take a tour of Fenway Park, roamed all over the downtown/water area and even got to walk onto the field at Fenway. Sadly, I didn’t really get to hear that great Boston accent but it was a super quick trip.

I stayed at The Lenox, just a block away from the Boston Marathon finish line

I stayed at The Lenox, just a block away from the Boston Marathon finish line

Panoramic view with a selfie thrown in

Panoramic view with a selfie thrown in

Cocktails go a long way when it comes to me and baseball.

Cocktails go a long way when it comes to me and baseball.

While the Royals were warming up, I got a tour of Fenway and got to take a gander at the field and the Green Monster.

While the Royals were warming up, I got a tour of Fenway and got to take a gander at the field and the Green Monster.

And then. . . then I went back to where I grew-up and did two things that I have never done before. . . I rafted down the Ocoee River and I did the zip line course with Ocoee Outdoors. As I had to explain to what seemed like all the whole universe, no I have never been down the river before and no, I don’t really know why it took me this long to do it. It was always something I wanted to do but just never got around to it. Now the zip line thing, that was a completely different story. I am scared of heights and realized that my anxious little self wasn’t so fearless a few years ago after a bad experience on the swing along bridge at Rock City. So in a moment of insanity I agreed to do the activity, not really understanding what I had just agreed to. But in the end, I learned that going first instead of waiting for a few people to take the line meant that my anxiety didn’t have time to build and by the end I was having a blast and wanted to do it all again.

By far the scariest thing I did was the head first slide down the upside down raft in the Ocoee. It was fun but man it is a testament to waiting and anticipating, I was scared to death when I finally did it. And the most anticipated rapid, Hells Hole lied up to my expectations. I may have never been down the river before but I know that river, the rapids the stories and I have walked in it when it was practically empty during winter. I loved it and will say waiting until August is the best because it is so stinking hot and that super cold river is nice.

I think I spent most of my time backwards on all of the zip lines. . .

I think I spent most of my time backwards on all of the zip lines. . .

Me, blue helmet and can barely see because the silly thing was a bit big.

Me, blue helmet and can barely see because the silly thing was a bit big.

Cheesy paddle high five but man it was a lot of fun.

Cheesy paddle high five but man it was a lot of fun.

So that was my summer, filled with a lot of new things and challenging myself to face fears. Sometimes getting out of that comfort zone is the kick in the pants you need. Up next, doing another 5K. And who knows what else. . . I even let Stace try to set me up on a blind date, I reached out and he blew me off with the “I’m just so busy but maybe at the end up the month we can meet up for a drink after work.” My response. . . none. When a guy is actually interested in a female they will move heaven and earth to make it happen, trust me, I have had boyfriends cheat on me, all under my nose, stating just how “busy” they are so they couldn’t possibly cheat. . . umm yeah, he just wasn’t into me and that’s cool but don’t pull the douche card by saying you are booked solid for three weeks and maybe we can meet up then. Just be honest.

So the dating thing might not me on my list of things to do since I have had enough rejection to last a lifetime but I will find other things that challenge me and do them. And I am going to find my writing mojo again. Hopefully.

The one were I fight with anxiety

Seven years ago I inherited panic attacks from my father and his father…a quick trip to the ER with Stace where the beeps that kept sending my anxiety go up a few notches.

But after what felt like months, my meds kicked in and I learned how to cope. To learn how to rely on people was the toughest part, life went on and for fun I moved a couple of times because well…that is what I do.

Work became a bit much for me, the stress, the worry, the desire to move, make changes ended up being the catalyst to cycle panic attacks. Which is scary and by the time I met up with my wonderful doctor, I knew I have fallen into a rabbit hole. We knew that this could always happen but our last conversation was about how thrilled I was to be off all the meds.

Doctors orders–back on the meds and I had to do Xanax 3 times a day. I didn’t want to but I also know that the quicker I jump onto this mess and got some control the better my life would be…

While I would love to be med free, My mental health, the anxiety that can grip me to the point where I don’t want to try anything overrules those desires to be drug free. I will take the meds and strive to be the very best I can be.

I also know that for me, I want to be happy but I will not settle and if being alone makes me happy, than I am okay with that. Good family and friends is all I need….oh and my most favorite neurotic little man Wook.

I can see the light, the goodness and that I will be alright. And really, that’s the best answer to any question,

Let’s Beat This Dead Horse. . .

Well, clearly I have been busy and at times in a stupor caused by happiness but this is me and my life is not a fairy tale. Allan decided this past summer that he just missed me terribly and wanted to work things out. . .

Having been there, done that with Bubba for years, I shoulda jumped under the nearest rock in the hopes that would protect me from foolish decisions. I woulda avoided the heartache and embarrassment and I coulda actually tried to be open to a relationship with someone else but again, really? This is me and quite frankly when I am happy I can’t write. . . I mean, who wants a happy writer?

But I allowed my heart to make the decision and after getting incredibly close to his family and his kid, it all blew up in my face. And with all his hemming and hawing it brewed down to he can’t allow himself to be happy. Okay. Take your shit and leave, blocked your number, defriended you on Facebook and opted to use my brain instead of my heart. No tears just anger because while I am a big girl and can deal with getting hurt, he did this to his kid again.

After a response of you really need to get your shit together and see a therapist, he did and then wanted to come back. . . to work on everything and pretending that what he had done shortly after Christmas hadn’t really happened.

And after making a big show of my birthday with flowers and cupcakes from my favorite NYC bakery he said he just couldn’t. . . you see, it’s him, not me. . . at least that was his line along with I’m sorry. . .

Motherf*cker, I already had enough issues with turning 40, I have equated florist flowers with guilt for years and you just took my NYC bakery and tied them to something shitty. Thanks. But then again, serves me right. I knew better, I knew that until you got yourself straightened out it wouldn’t work, my bad. But let’s drag the kid through it again and your family and all of our friends because really, in the end, it is all about you.

A friend said last month that even with all that she has been through in terms of dating, she still believed in happily ever after. After I stopped laughing, I told her that from my vantage point, that it doesn’t happen for everyone. And you know, I am okay with that, not thrilled but okay because I know I don’t need a man in my life, I would like to have one to share my life with, travel, talk about our days, etc. but in all actuality, I am fine on my own. And maybe that is where things fall apart when it comes to me and men. . . I don’t need to be saved, I don’t need a man to fix my dryer or check my tires. . . I can do all of that. I even have my own toolset now. . . thanks Allan.

I dated someone many years ago, I guess he was my first real love in college. He was super nice, kind, thoughtful and would drive through the middle of the night to get to me. I walked because I knew I had to experience more. . . more life, college, living away from my parents, finding myself. And I still feel like had I stayed and not wanted more that I would have found myself searching for more down the road. Besides Chandler, he was the only normal relationship I had. . . and in ways, I have always made choices that get in the way of me having that nice, normal life.

But don’t cry for me or feel sorry for me. . . in the end I will be okay. I love Allen and his kid (and family) but I also love me and right now, I love me more. I have been in a slump losing weight (well, if you sit on the couch and shove food in your mouth. . . ) but changing it up at the gym has kick started it, I am going to try to get out of my comfort zone in terms of being a bit more outgoing and of course I have my crazy cat to pay attention to. . . but if you want to set me up on a blind date. . . umm. . . well, I am 40 years old, dorky, still love hair metal music, rap and everything in between, am left of center, LOVE football, hockey, NYC, DC and yes, Vegas. . . I can be appropriate when it is called for, a huge foodie (hello weight gain), love to cook, am ridiculously loyal and a nurturer, a smart ass and well, I am me. . . and apparently suck at choosing men (with exception of two men).

And this is the moment when I wish I could write songs ala Taylor Swift because there are more than a few albums that could be filled with my stories.

9/11 A Remembrance

Originally posted on Stumbling Through Life:

Words will never convey how this one day changed how I now view the world. I remember it all clearly, down to how blue the sky looked the night before in Nashville when I had dinner with Bubba or how beautiful it looked that morning. I have been to the site in NYC twice since that horrible day; my thoughts, prayers, love and respect to those we lost, their families and friends in New York, DC and Shanksville, PA. 

Amy

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The One With the Buffalo Sauce

My cat happens to have more than nine lives…my furry little man has chewed through wires more times than I can remember, chewed on my fake Christmas tree and has had a thing for hot sauce or other deterrents when it comes to his need to chew on things.

The Wookster has never really been all about people food and with this tidbit in mind, I have never minded him sniffing my food. He normally sniffs for a second and then moves on. Sure, he had a thing for the water chestnuts in my five flavor chicken before but 99% of my food he has not had an interest in…until Friday night.

I was eating some buffalo chicken bites and being the sauce whore that I am; I had a side dish of sauce too. Wook decided he wanted to sniff at it, no biggie, I let him. Then I look down and see him licking it up as if it were water. I pulled it away quickly and then panicked. He jumped down and started breathing heavy. And then he puked and kept up the heavy breathing while I came close to breaking down. I was terrified that I had killed him and didn’t know what to do. I offered him milk but he wasn’t interested. After a quick visit to his litter box he finally got back to normal.

Well, kind of…his meow was scratchy and he gave me a withering look. He was back to his old self the next day but even now I am mortified that it happened. That’s my little man and basically I tried to kill him with buffalo sauce. Oh the guilt…

The One Where I Try to Suck it Up

There are days where I could give my effort a solid C. My job is going well, it just sucks everything out of me, I am working out anywhere from five days a week to three….largely due to work which sometimes changes things up.

While I am feeling more settled in terms being alone dealing with the broken heart, there are times when I feel like the crying jag is just around the corner, I never know what will set it up. I don’t smile like I used to and sometimes I feel like it takes a huge effort. Of course as I see friends they do the head tilt thing while asking me how I am doing. Um, hanging in there.

I know my friends and family are worried and just want me to be happy…it’s just how do I do that? Working out daily really does help get the frustration out or at least takes it down a notch. In the end, I know I shut down.

I have been researching the eating clean which I think I will modify. It gives me something to do, I have been reading as well, a little of this and a little of that. And with football season just around the corner so I am hoping that that will help put things in place. I miss him but I can’t chase him and debate this. He made up his mind and cut me out.

And I believe that in life not everyone ends up with someone. It makes me sad but I guess the big man upstairs has other plans for me. I just never thought it would focus on me being alone.

The One Where I Swear I am Fine

Depression affects everyone differently. For me, it is more about trying to function on some level of normalcy while screaming at myself inside my head. At first I couldn’t even do the fake “I am fine” I would sit in silence after crying jags trying with all of my might to look much stronger, normal. Nothing made me smile or laugh, all I could do was offer up a rather lame he just left, said he thought the spark left. Oh and lots of “I’m sorries.”

Seriously hate those words. I delved deeper into depression, barely eating, finding things to occupy my time. Trying to forget what we shared. With Allan walking, I lost his sweet daughter, his family and friends. And all those plans he had made for us.

What made him walk? I haven’t a clue. The spark he mentioned at one point reminded me of those days in my youth when I thought those John Hughes movies really were close to reality. Life isn’t a fairy tale. And some days life does seem a little blah but having someone by your side to support as well as be there during the blah and the fun times is key.

While I shut down, not wanting to be near anyone Allan goes about his life as if the woman was no longer there. He flips the switch. Apparently his mom and I both agree he needs to see someone to talk about this with…

Do I still love him, yes. And I know much of you will scoff at this but let’s remember that after chandler it took me a really long time to get out there. Maybe there isn’t a guy it there for me. Maybe this lonely existence is what I need to get on with life. I am heartbroken, missing Allan who made me laugh, made me feel special, sexy and comfortable in my own skin. I loved him for his humor, his beautiful face and his kindness. Not even the sexist man on earth could turn my head because to me, Allan was all that and a bag of chips.

I force myself to eat, I go workout four times a week, read and go to work. I attempt social settings but I am not that strong right now and it is a challenge. I don’t laugh as often as a should and there are still moments where I lose it and just cry.

I saw the boy lasts Friday at the grocery store, I knew my heart was firmly planted within Allan since I immediately turned my head and picked up the pace.

My writing has taken a beating. So much I wanted to share but I also knew that it wasn’t just me anymore; that I had a few other people to contend with so I didn’t blog. Plus, when you have that wonderful person sitting next to you on the couch, the last thing you want to do is write,

So yeah, once again I have been rejected. Maybe I should change the blog name to that.

The One Where I Got a Life

You know how people, when in an argument, will say, “Get a life”? Um, yeah, I got one and have been struggling to write since my life took an unexpected, yet very happy turn. Life with Allan is fun, busy, never stop with lots of eating to break up the monotonous tone. A couple of weeks he mentioned he hadn’t seen a post of any kind and told me to get on it. Then he asked about it last week and tonight I thought he might hold my dinner hostage if I didn’t write, so finally, I am sitting down to mark this off my to do list.

Where to start? Do I snark on how Reese Witherspoon got mouthy in Atlanta and got her tush thrown in jail? Or the ever klassy Kim Kardashian and the divorce proceedings that lasted well past her marriage? Do I comment on how stupid I think the brothers in Boston were last week when they decided to take their hatred out on their adoptive country?

For now, since I have missed out on so many opportunities dealing with current events and pop culture, I will just hit the highlights in my world.

  • After Wook’s constant binging and purging a few weeks ago, I finally got brave and took him to the vet. All is good, he just likes to binge and purge (all for the low, low cost of $189)
  • At the vet everyone commented on just how pretty my baby is and what a gentle giant he is
  • Allan offered to donate him to the vet. . .
  • At the one year mark of Chandler’s passing and his birthday, Allan has managed to say something to make me smile, understanding that he was such a special part of my life
  • While telling Allan not to engage the ass at a hockey game the other week I ended up being the one mouthing off to said ass
  • Walking into Target a few weeks ago to meet Stace I came face to face with the boy, without even missing a beat, I sped up, flipped my hair into my face and kept on walking
  • I have watched many a hockey game, can even name players and understand most terminology
  • I still just go for the fights and Crispy
  • I was talked into joining a fantasy NASCAR league, I don’t know the first thing about this so called sport but really, how hard is it to turn left?
  • My team, Mullet Mafia, is currently ranked seventh
  • I watched the Masters for the first time in a million years it seems, I still prefer playing but Allan won big betting on it
  • Who knew you could bet on golf?
  • Allan is taking me to Vegas this week, my first trip, his tenth. . .
  • Vegas to Allan = Amy to NYC
  • While he is in his conference I will be lounging at the pool. . . it’s a rough life but I will take it

Life is good, I am a very lucky girl and have been spoiled to death by him. There are days where I pinch myself because if you had asked me after the October debacle that things would work out I would have laughed but I guess sometimes you have to go through a bunch of crap to get to the good stuff.

The snarky, pessimistic girl is still here but for once, I am making sure that I enjoy the good times. But I will say the best line ever uttered to a police officer goes to Reese Witherspoon. . . you may have won an Oscar sweetie, but not everyone cares or knows who you are. . . bless her heart.

I will try to post while in Vegas because I really want to document this trip and I have to collect a few slapper cards. . .

Tuesday Randomness

Hockey, hockey, a bit more hockey, throw in some basketball and a side of free agency and you can probably surmise that I have been a tad busy. So let’s get right to it. . .

  • I am digging Thrift Shop by Macklemore, great hook and dude, anyone who gives a shout out to footed pajamas is awesome
  • After hearing a rant about a neighboring county and gasp!  rental property invading the public schools, Allan reminded me that we are Westside 4 Life. . . true dat
  • Best game so far has to go to the Preds vs the Stars because who doesn’t love it when Mr. Underwood gets in a fight. . .
  • Hells Kitchen is back and I am loving it
  • I want to meet Chef Gordon Ramsey just so he can call me a donkey
  • Stu has continued his stellar record of dates disappearing after a couple times out. . .
  • I finally hit up Arnold’s Meat and Three last Friday for the first time in forever–YUM!
  • I really need some more of that
  • I also hit up Bobbie’s Dairy Dip for a malt last week
  • Tried Newk’s for the first time
  • And apparently I should weigh about a ton right now
  • 42 days and counting until Vegas, is it time to leave yet?
  • Free agency and the looming draft for the NFL is making me anxious, I need another Super Bowl for my Steelers
  • I have watched so much hockey lately that I am to the point where I am recognizing the names of the players and not for the Preds, the other teams

And now I must go to finish the rest of Hells Kitchen and then dream of another sweet win by the Preds and then possibly line of places to grab food at the next few days.