Posts Tagged ‘Home’

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.

Starting Fresh

In Opinion/Personal, Personal, Random on August 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I posted several months ago about the changes I was about to undergo in my life.  Since that post, more has changed, the path has changed, and lots has happened.

First and foremost, my lease at my apartment was ending in June.  The plan was to find a bigger place to rent and move my younger cousin in with me, as she needed a place to go and somewhere to finish high school.  First disaster: the only bigger place in a good school district that was within our estimated price range (accounting for increase in utilities, food, gas, etc when taking in a teenager put our rent prices in a much lower range) was not in a desirable location, nor was it a very desirable apartment.  It was old and unflattering and I wouldn’t want to walk the parking lot alone at night, let alone have a teenage girl in that environment.  I continued endlessly to search, but to no avail.  In the end, I had to break the bad news to my family that I wasn’t going to be able to support my cousin and other plans needed to be made for her.  I was heart broken.

But I picked myself back up.  It was the beginning of June now.  I only had a couple of weeks to find a new place.  But without moving my cousin in, I didn’t have to focus on getting a cheap place with 2 bedrooms.  I could just get a 1 bedroom that offered more space than the one I was currently in (which, at 450 sq. ft. was basically a studio apartment with a wall thrown in to attempt to make it look like a home and much too small for my things, let alone mine and my boyfriend’s things).  So I began my search again.  My boyfriend and I went to many apartment complexes all over town.  There were many that were very pretty, very nice, very safe, very perfect.  Until we found out that they did not offer washer/dryer hook ups, or they didn’t have any availability until after we needed to be moved already, or basically any other random fact or event that could possibly be presented to prevent us from being able to lease a new place.

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Dream Chronicles – Home Invasion

In Personal on July 24, 2014 at 11:07 am

                        A History In Review                                     A Lover’s Quarrel

I fell asleep for a nap on my couch.  I was napping lightly, so I was somewhat aware of my surroundings and my eyes would occasionally open for a second before drifting off again.  I think that’s why this dream seemed so creepy to me, because due to my in and out of consciousness, I was fairly confused about what had been real and what wasn’t.

In my dream, it was the same scenario as real life.  I had dozed off on my couch.  I could hear someone moving about in the kitchen, going into the bathroom, coming back out and rummaging through the kitchen again.  My eyes groggily pulled open for a second.  I knew it was too early in the day for my boyfriend to be getting ready for work, but I thought maybe he had just woken up a little early and hadn’t been able to fall back asleep.  Before I could look around the room or search for the noise of the rummaging, I had dozed off again.  What I’m assuming was a few minutes later, I heard more rummaging around.  I could hear and feel the presence of someone walking behind the couch and across the living room toward the patio door.  The door was opened, and again I thought my boyfriend had just woken up early and was checking the weather outside.  I tried very hard to open my eyes but my eyelids were heavy and my vision was blurry when I finally managed it, which made them close immediately again.  I desperately tried to fully wake up, my eyes fluttering, so I could talk to my boyfriend, and through this fluttery blurry vision I recall a shadowy hand waving in front of my face.  Although I saw no details, I felt that it was my boyfriend trying to be quiet so not to wake me, but testing to see how asleep I was or if he would wake me up.  I knew I hadn’t heard the patio door close again and I began to get paranoid, thinking that my dog was going to run out.  This was enough motivation for me to keep my eyes open long enough so not to immediately fall back asleep.

I looked over to the patio door, ready to ask my boyfriend why he wasn’t still in bed and to make sure that our dog was safe in the house, but there was no one there.  The patio door was shut like normal.  My dog was lying next to me on the couch.  I looked into the kitchen, everything was as I had left it after I had lunch.  The bathroom light was off and the door was open.  I could hear my boyfriend’s fan humming on in the bedroom, which he required to be able to sleep.  There was a half second in which I thought he had still gotten up and just hadn’t turned his fan off, but I saw him sleeping soundly when I peeked through the door.  I had a moment of panic in which I thought someone else had been in my house and I did a quick once over the apartment again, but nothing seemed out of order.  I finally calmed myself, realizing that this was just one of those weird, realistic, sort of asleep dream/hallucination things.  I still climbed into bed with my boyfriend, though.  Despite knowing it was a dream, I felt like being next to him would make me safer.

What Is Family?

In Awards, Opinion, Opinion/Personal, Personal on June 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Not long ago, I got into a discussion with a friend about the term “family.”  My friend is in college and was telling me about one of her classes in which they discuss controversial topics and the idea of “traditional verses non-traditional” was one of these topics.  Her view-point was surprising to me as she explained what her response in her class had been.  When she was a child, she thought that all families were the same.  All families had a mother and a father and that was it.  I searched my brain, but could never remember a time in which I also thought that all families were the same as mine.  But I quickly realized that was because I saw it every day.  I was raised by my mother alone, and most of my friends were being raised by both parents – the “traditional” family – so I always knew that there were different kinds of families.  Until I reached college, I had never heard the terms “traditional” or “non-traditional.”  I had never given it a second thought and my initial reaction to these terms was somewhat biting.  Being labeled a “non-traditional family” seemed almost like being excluded from some prestigious group, like any time that term was said, the say-er had an automatic distasteful tone.

I remember being in a family studies class probably more than 5 years ago.  I was never the type to draw attention to myself.  I took my notes and bided my time until class was over, making mental notes of points that the conversation brought up so I could use them later during open answer tests.  But on this one day, I knew I had to speak up.  My stomach was in knots and my brain kept saying “What the hell are you doing?!” But I raised my hand.  I demanded the attention of all my classmates to respond to a woman’s statement that children from non-traditional families are cheated out of a real family, that non-traditional families are detrimental to the development of a child.  My response was simple: “I disagree 100%.  I was raised by a single mother.  My father played no part in my upbringing, and I have no doubt that I am a better person because of that.  I was never cheated.  I never felt that I missed opportunities or missed out on a part of my life because of that.  If it wasn’t for the way my mother raised me independently, I could possibly not even be here now.  I understand that studies often show that children of single parent homes are more susceptible to learning problems, to lower socio-economic status, etc., but this is not always the case.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way and I disagree with generalized statements such as that.”  Needless to say, the woman tried to eat her words, obviously flustered in thinking she had offended me.

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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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Pinterest Me compared to Real Me

In Random on February 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm

There is no person alive in the world today that doesn’t know about Pinterest.  It’s just not possible.  There are few that know of its existance but choose not to participate.  I was one of them for a short time.  But then I gave in.  I couldn’t help it.  I got sucked in and immediately became one of those mindless Pinteresters, aimlessly scrolling through pins, repinning like mad. Then, as everyone else did or will do at some point, I realized that this was just a fantasy world.  I didn’t have time to somehow hand craft a string of lantern lights out of toilet paper, and if I did I didn’t have anywhere to use them.  But they looked cool, so whatever, right?  I decided to go through my Pinterest boards and see how much of this was actually something I would do or if I was just fooling myself.  Then I decided to share it with all of you, because why not?  I’ve broken it down into different categories: Read the rest of this entry »

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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Returning Empty Handed

In Personal, Random on October 31, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I know, I know – I’m a horrible blog-mother.  Call BPS (blog protective services, that is) and report me for abandonment.  I’ve disappeared, leaving my poor little blog to fend for itself without proper nourishment and even worse…I’ve returned empty-handed.  It wouldn’t be as bad if I had come back to my little space on the web with something big, something juicy, something important, something for readers to take in, chew on for a while, think about.  Like in the movies when the dad returns to his wife and daughter after being on a business trip for two weeks and has some amazing foreign special edition porcelain doll for his little girl to add to her collection to make up for his time away.  But I haven’t done that, which is all just as well since that porcelain doll is normally also always making up for Dad’s secret second family.  I did not leave this blog to carry on a secret blog on a different blogging site.  I just ran out of, well, everything.

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Yes, I Have A Working Toilet

In Personal, Work Related on September 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

I complain. A lot. I think it’s in my blood. My mother’s a complainer, my grandmother, and probably her mother, as well. I like to think that even as complainers, we are also very thankful people. Generally, we are. I appreciate what I have, such as my job.

My job, which I give a brief description of in my “who, me?”, has put me through some of the most stressful periods of time in my life thus far. With deadlines looming – or passing much too quickly – and mountains of paperwork. With days upon days of meeting after meeting. With 12 hour days and no time for lunch. It definitely takes the right mindset to not completely lose it. But then again, it takes the right personality to get into this field to begin with. Read the rest of this entry »

Singing Heart

Poems by Karem Barratt


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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