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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

A Life Story – Addiction

In Opinion/Personal, Personal on May 30, 2015 at 3:26 pm

I still have pictures of us in diapers, laying together in the floor of my mother’s apartment, right across the hall from her parents’ apartment.  Most of my childhood memories include her.  Our mother’s were best friends.  We were raised together.  We fought like sisters, and although we weren’t truly related by blood, we came to call each other cousins.  It was easier to explain due to our shared last names and the fact that we literally grew up together.  By middle school, we had formed our own separate groups of friends, and still like sisters, we reached a point where despite knowing we loved each other, we argued more than anything.  By high school, we had outgrown that stage and became close once again.  We planned classes together.  We were together all summer break long.  There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t talk.

Her parents split up.  Her mom left.  Her dad was devastated.  I can remember staying the night at her house one weekend and having to take care of her father as he drank his feelings away.  Then a wedge came in.  A wedge that I viewed as a nuisance, a problem, inevitable trouble.  She viewed him as perfection.  We had both had other boyfriends throughout our years, but this one was different.  I had a terrible feeling about this one.

I knew his habits.  Everybody did.  Then I came back home from college to visit for a weekend and ran into her at a store.  We hadn’t talked in a little while.  I almost didn’t recognize her.  She was frail, bony, her cheeks were sunk in, her pupils were completely blown out.  I knew.  She had allowed his habits into her life like never before.

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I am on an island.

In Opinion/Personal, Personal on November 10, 2014 at 11:41 pm

I am on an island.  Not literally, though a vacation would be so nice.  More so theoretically, maybe emotionally, but definitely socially.

I put my relationship first.  For us to have a better future, certain sacrifices needed to be made.  We needed more money.  We needed more space.  We took a bigger house for cheap, which sounds awesome.  For the most part, it is.  But I sacrificed living in the city I’d always wanted to live in to move to a small, druggie youth infested town full of my boyfriend’s old baggage from growing up here.  Granted, it is only a 35-45 minute drive from our old place.  But that 45 minutes may as well be an impassible canyon with me on one side, every friend I have on the other, and a gaping hole full of work and conflicting schedules and an utter disinterest in driving the twisting country roads between the two.

It doesn’t help that my boyfriend works constantly.  Not by his choice, and not with overwhelming enjoyment, but his job keeps him away around 13-14 hours a day usually 6 days a week and he’s on a complete opposite schedule than I am.  When I wake up to start me work day, he’s just barely made it home, eaten, and crawled into bed.

So I developed a new routine.  I wake up.  I work.  Two to three times a week I make the drive into the city for work, meetings or turning in paperwork at my main office.  I generally try to be home by around 1 so I can have lunch and not have to spend way too much money on crap food at a drive-thru.  That also allows me to get about 10 minutes in with my boyfriend as he frantically showers, eats, and gathers all his things to head off to the factory.  I make some quick food (instant noodles or pizza rolls, a microwave breakfast sandwich if we’re feeling fancy) and pack his lunch (always a water, an Ale-8, a sandwich baggie of snacks such as veggies or chips, and some varied combination of bread, cheese, meat, sauce, and banana peppers) while he’s in the shower, then collect all his things (lunch box, walkie talkie, keys, work badge, pen, etc) and place them in a nice pile by the coffee table.  Sometimes he has enough time to sit at the dining table with me and eat before he leaves, but most of the time he throws it in a plastic bowl and takes it with him to eat while he’s rushing to work.  Then I finish my work day, alternating between paperwork/emails/phone calls and doing household chores.  I do the dishes, sometimes twice (we don’t currently have a dishwasher), I sweep and mop to clean up the wreckage of a chew-crazy chiweenie demolishing stuffed animals and an enormous macaw that enjoys throwing peanut shells all over the living room floor.  I do a load of laundry almost daily.  I do the shopping, quick trips between the big grocery trips for things such as milk or bread that you tend to run out of quickly.  I make dinner, putting the leftovers in the fridge for Boyfriend.  I watch Netflix.  Lots of Netflix (because we also don’t have cable right now) and I have scarily in depth conversations with both my dog and my bird.  On Fridays or Saturdays, I sometimes make a late trip to the city to take Boyfriend some lunch around 8 pm.  We sit in my car and eat and chat for about 20 minutes before he has to return to work and I make the 45 minute drive back to the house for more Netflix with our pets.

Boyfriend tells me I should “make friends.”  He’s got a lot of old friends in town that are pretty decent people (which is an accomplishment in this town) and he thinks we’d hit it off perfectly.  The only problem with that is that you have to meet someone first to be able to hit it off, and to meet someone you don’t know you have to be introduced, which is basically impossible since Boyfriend and I only get around 8 hours on Sundays together when we’re both home and awake.  I also have that very typical thought of “everyone is mid to late 20’s.  They already have their group of friends and will have no interest in forming a new group.”  I know that isn’t entirely true, but there is truth in the statement.  I have my regular group of friends that I always do everything with.  I have made different friends and have a few stragglers that are sort of part of that group but sort of like a group of their own, but I mostly stick with my close group as I imagine most people do.  However, my close group of friends is currently going in a million different directions.  Married, newlyweds, engaged, buying houses, moving to bigger cities even further away, new jobs, promotions, planning weddings.  The list goes on.

Most people don’t have the time or desire to drive 45 minutes out of their way to come to a small place with nothing to do just to sit at my house.  I have nothing to offer to people.  No tv, the best nightlife is a sports bar that rarely sees above 20 people at a time unless there is live music.  There’s not even a coffee shop, unless it’s so well hidden that I’ve yet to see it.  And for me, the thought of driving to the city, especially if I’ve already been there and back for work that day, and then driving back to my empty house after dark is so unappealing that it just seems easier to never leave my house at all.  So that’s exactly what I did for probably a month.  I stayed at my house.  I made excuses.  Money is still tight from remodeling and house repairs, so at least that was always a legitimate reason to not participate in plans.  But it started to get to me.  I became emotional and easily agitated.  I felt like I was losing my mind.  I felt like I was all on my own, on my own lonely little island.

Boyfriend says “Go out.”  He assured me that if I went out or made plans with friends while he was working, he would never be upset.  He didn’t like the idea of me sitting at home alone all the time.  By this point, though, I didn’t even want to be around other people.  I didn’t want to leave my little bubble.  I just wanted to wallow there.  But he encouraged me to get out, and so I did.  I made plans with friends, going to get coffee or chatting around a fire pit in their backyard for 2 hours.  I was still able to have my weekend lunch at 8 pm Boyfriend, and got to see my friends afterwards.  The drive did suck, and it was a bit of a let down when I got back home to be alone again, but I was glad I had done it. It still doesn’t happen as often as it used to when we all lived 10 minutes away from each other, but it’s better than nothing at all.  I realized I just needed to figure out a good balance.

And I also realized something else by forcing myself back out of my shell and out of my funk.  I knew from the time I was 14 that I would live in this city.  At 21, I graduated college and moved straight there.  I loved it. Fast forward 5 years and I’m completely jaded without even realizing it.  I didn’t see the beauty I had seen at 14 and 21 anymore.  All I saw was traffic jams, loud noises – sirens, police, ambulances, people in general, nonstop everything all the time.  But driving into the city at 7:30, just as it’s starting to get dark and all the street lights are popping on, all the headlights are switching on, all the stores signs are lighting up, I felt that long lost familiar twinge, that child-like amazement at how beautiful the busy streets were and wondering where all these people were making their way to, what big plans they all had in store for their night.  Moving out of my dream town actually gave me the opportunity to appreciate it again, and this time in a better way I think.  I’m close enough to enjoy it when I want, but I can leave when it starts to become too much for me again.  And it also allowed me to appreciate my new town a little more.  I think I’ve heard 3 sirens in the whole 3 months I’ve been living here.   I can see the stars from my back porch.  Hell, I have a back porch, and a back yard, with a fence!  And I get to share it all with Boyfriend.  Yes, he’s working most of the time, but the fact that he has the ambition to and drive to work and make good money, the fact that he apologizes for working so hard because he “wants us to have nice things”, that makes it all worth it.  “We have a house now,” he tells me.  “Me and you.”  And even without the new found or regained appreciation for the town and the city, that statement alone would make it all worth it.

I am on an island, sort of.  And I am happy.

Nugget #60: English are hard…

In Cleverness, Funny, Quotes on May 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm

“I’m living bicariously of you.”

Nugget #58: The Great Debate

In Cleverness, Funny, Quotes on February 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Who are we? A philosophical question many people mull over in their lives. Here’s the absolute un-philosophical attempt to answer between two friends…

1: “We’re yuppies.”
2: “I don’t think you know what that word means.”
1: “Yeah. It means a person who does what they love in life and… does… yuppie stuff.”
2: “No. Yuppies are upper class stuck up people. We are not upper class. We are not really cultured.”
1: “Bikers think cultured people are yuppies.”
2: “We aren’t cultured.”
1: “Then no, I don’t know what yuppie means.”

My Valentine’s Day Love Story to Music

In Opinion/Personal, Personal, Random on February 14, 2014 at 8:26 am

I think I’ve finally figured out my love for music.  Despite bring completely oblivious to the technical side, knowing any real musical terms, or having any knowledge whatsoever on how to play any kind of instrument, I have still always felt very drawn to and moved by music.

There is that girly side of me that hears a song and says, ” oh my god, that’s EXACTLY how I feel right now!” There’s also the side of me that enjoys the pure creativity of it.  As a writer and (recently dabbling) painter, it’s very easy even without any real knowledge to appreciate another’s form of expression and that’s a very important thing for the artistic community, no matter what your craft is.  And a good play on words or an intellectual and beautiful flow of words that reads or sounds so elegant and pretty on paper or on the tongue set to a melody? I’m a sucker…

But what really sparks my love for music is the ability it has to remind me of who I am, that magical moment during the first few seconds of a song that somehow transports me to another time and place that I may not have even thought about in years.

Example A: anytime I hear Journey‘s “Don’t Stop Believing” I am taken back 4-5 years to a grungy Irish pub on a busy street a little over an hour from my home with 2 of the best friends I’ve ever had.  We’ve all started our lives outside of the college world now – jobs, responsibility, marriage, kids even – and it makes it hard to stay in touch as much as we’d like. But as soon as  that very well-known bit of music begins, whether it be on the radio, a cover by a band in a bar, or a terrible karaoke rendition, I’m right back in my early 20’s with my two best ladies on each side singing our hearts out and living it up alongside at least a hundred other strangers doing the same exact thing. No care in the world, being invited to sing and shimmy on the bar top, feeling as free as we possibly ever may in our lifetimes.

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Today Is A New Day

In Opinion/Personal, Personal on May 8, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I am officially moved. I turned in the keys to my old home yesterday afternoon. Initially, I was very stressed and very worried. I was downgrading. While the people around me were moving forward to bigger and better things, I was going in the opposite direction. The new apartment is much much smaller, my furniture wouldn’t fit. I got short notice on the move, so I wasn’t prepared in the slightest. I didn’t have family nearby to help and the truck I used in past moves was my (soon-to-be) ex-father-in-law‘s. I had no idea what I was going to do.

So I called in reinforcements, and some of my reinforcements called in their own reinforcements. And finally, it’s done. Now I feel a new sense of accomplishment. I’m not moving backwards – I’m starting fresh. It’s not smaller – it’s cozier. And it’s mine, just for me. And any time I start to feel down, I will remind myself of my grandmother’s words on the phone.

“Are you eating? Are you taking care of yourself? You sound down. Don’t let this get you down. I don’t know how much you believe, but in God‘s eyes you’ve done nothing wrong. I’m so proud of you for standing up for yourself and being so strong.”

This could come across as a general statement between loved ones, but it isn’t. My grandmother has had a hard life and is one of the strongest people I will ever know. I have always thought of her in my own hard times and thought that I would never be able to become a woman like her. I always said that if I could become a fraction of the person she is, I would be able to die happy and content. For her to tell me that she’s proud of how strong I am for doing something that she wouldn’t have been able to do…it both brought me to tears and made me truly proud of myself for the first time in a long time. It’s that support – from my grandmother, my mother, my uncles, my dear friends, all offering assistance and encouragement – that really let’s me know that everything will be okay and I am headed in exactly the direction I am supposed to be going.

On memories, beginnings, lonliness, and no plans: This is not the end.

In Opinion/Personal, Personal, Random on April 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I need to be painfully honest.  Not with someone else – with myself.  I’ve tried to avoid it, because even though I already know what I need to say to myself I know it is still going to feel different once it is said.  I’ve sat down handfuls of times in an attempt to write.  To write a post, to write on a story already started, to write literally anything, and I ended up staring at my computer screen for endless minutes before getting frustrated and closing it all out.  I know it’s because my head is clouded with all these unspoken things, these things that I’ve been trying desperately to un-think.  But the truth is, these things are there.  Whether I allow myself to think about it, whether I fight in an attempt to not have to face the facts, they are there and they always will be.  So here I sit, pecking away at my keyboard because I know I need to man up and do it already.

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February Blog Challenge – Days 6-17

In Challenges, February 2013 on February 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Day 6: 10 people I’d have dinner with and the menu

This ones impossible for me, for some reason.  I would say Shakespeare (because I love his writing), Johnny Depp (because he’s nice to look at and seems very interesting in interviews), my grandmother (because she loves special times like a surprise dinner or just getting to hang out and chat with her family), Marilyn Monroe (because I absolutely adore her and she seemed to be very good with conversation, plus I’m sure she had a ridiculous amount of secrets she could share), mu uncle (just because), and the assassinated Kennedy brothers (to see how they feel about our country these days).  I would love to have dinner with someone that lived through the Holocaust.  That’s been something that has interested and astounded me since I did a research paper on it in middle school.  I know that’s only 8, but I really can’t think of anything else original or worthwhile right now.  I would say the menu could be just about any recipe of my grandmother’s because she’s an awesome cook.

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Nugget #9: Influenced By Environment

In Cleverness, Funny, Personal, Quotes on November 15, 2012 at 12:06 am

Soundbite:

“You should be corn.  Corn is sexy.”

Never take Halloween costume advice from a drunkie while overlooking a corn field.

Nugget #5: Language Arts

In Cleverness, Funny, Personal, Quotes on November 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Soundbite:

“Seductual.  It’s sexual and seductive at the same time.”

Singing Heart

Poems by Karem Barratt

*UNBREAKABLE QUEEN'S LIFE LESSONS DIARY*

Breaking Free From The Past, In Hope For A Bigger & Brighter Future

One Day at a Time

The world is a confusing place, these are just my musings on it.

The Girl

enjoying whatever life has to offer...

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