day 6, five.

One of my favorite blogging “traditions” is the Friday Five.  It is a group of five questions that usually have a theme. I found this week’s questions on LiveJournal.

  1. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I have in the past and nothing has really come of them so now I make a list of goals which are a bit more measurable and keeps me motivated.  I also keep my list in a little notebook I carry with me so I can jot down idea or progress I make towards them.
  2. Are you expecting any big life changes this year? (new job, buying a house, etc.) Besides graduating from college, I will hopefully find a new full-time job before the year is over.  While I will miss the flexibility of my part-time schedule, my budget will welcome a full-time paycheck again.
  3. What are you most looking forward to this year? Graduation
  4. What are you least looking forward to this year? Job hunting – it is such a stressful process. I used to feel like people would ignore my resume despite my experience because I didn’t have a college degree now I will have one on there and will have to flush out what other things need improvement.  I also hate dealing with recruiters because I know the majority of them are cold calling to keep their numbers up. *ugh* Thankfully I won’t be job hunting from a place of desperation but still the process of pick me, pick me for the job stresses me out.
  5. Is there anything you want to try this year that you haven’t tried before? (Could be a new food, new hobby, or anything.) I want to focus on writing a series of short stories.  It’s one of those things I always say I want to do but now with graduation happening in a few months, I will have time to dedicate to this.  This break between semesters has shown me just how bored I am without school work – so a writing project will keep me busy.

day 5, tempted.

The message alert popped up one morning – you have a new message request from Inappropriate Ex-Boyfriend’s Online Alias.

A few months before this message request, I logged into my old email account and saw a message from him that had “Hello” as the subject line.  I felt sick to my stomach until I opened it and saw it was spam.  A deep sense of relief instantly took over.

Back to this message request that was really from him.

Is this guy serious? Does he not remember our last exchange?

At the same time, curiosity is tugging away whispering open it, open it. What’s the worst thing that can happen?

I think back to the last time I heard from him – it was during the MySpace days (about eight years ago) where he had to go through almost 800 profiles that matched information for women in my age range, ethnicity, and city, because I didn’t use my first and last name on my profile.  That was enough crazy in itself and should have been a giant red flag but when I heard from him I was not put off, I accepted him as a friend (after double checking that there wasn’t anything super personal like my son’s name or picture on my profile).

At first the messages were us catching up with one another.  He told me about his girlfriend of a few  years and some video game console she bought him. I told him about my nephews which he remembered as babies. Then talk moved on to few of the shows we used to watch together,  what we were currently watching, and music we were listening to.

It was the equivalent of having small talk with a co-worker you really don’t like but have to seem social with at a work function where the big bosses are watching you.

I was at work and called into an impromptu staff meeting.  MySpace was blocked on the network, so I could only use my Blackberry to respond but clearly I could’t do that during a meeting.  I was away from my desk for about 20 minutes and when I returned, he had (mis)taken my “silence” to a question about a tv show as a fuck you and unleashed a tirade that reminded me of why it didn’t work out (spoiler alert: he was verbally abusive, immature and super insecure and I grew tired of the drama).

The gist of his tirade boiled down to how I was trying to manipulate him by not responding to his message.  I was clearly still mad about our relationship (note: we had been broken up about 9 years at that point in time) and how I was still a fucking bitch that needed to take the stick out my ass.

Tell me how you really feel Inappropriate Ex-Boyfriend.

I sat there blinking really hard at what I was reading. I didn’t know whether to laugh or delete my profile. Was this guy really serious?  Why, yes he was and this would be the last time he would get to unleash at me like that.

I went to reply to his message to thank him for reminding me why we couldn’t stay friends when I realized the sucker had blocked me. I decided to delete my profile but had to wait it out so he wouldn’t know it was a direct response to his shenanigans.  I added a reminder to the calendar to delete the profile in a year. (Trust me, I did not forget.)

Five years before the Myspace exchange, he emailed me to wish me a happy birthday.  I thanked him for the birthday greetings and we exchanged a few short emails just asking how our respective families were – nothing super personal or intimate when he sent a last message do me a favor, don’t email me like nothing happened – this isn’t good for my mental health.  I need to stay away from you. Don’t contact me again.

I’m pretty sure HE emailed me first because it was MY birthday – this was what I get for entertaining his foolishness I thought at the time.

I went back to looking at messenger and once I was able to log on using the web, I saw his message: just wanted to say hi and happy holidays. if that’s you…

Yes it is me. After all there is literally one other profile with the same first and last name as mine. I refused to fall for the bait with him.

His message has sat unacknowledged for almost 400 days and counting.

Sometimes all you need to know is that the curiosity you may be tempted to indulge in is not anywhere close to value of keeping the peace in your life.

Keep Pandora’s box closed!

(Today’s daily writing prompt: tempted)

day 4, crossing.

146 days from now I will finally be crossing off a goal from the list of things I have always wanted to do  – graduate from college.

Granted it’s almost 20 years from the time I was “supposed” to do it but isn’t the point of life to do things your own way?  It wasn’t a choice to take “this long” to get it done, but on some level, I know I appreciate it even more than I would have in 1998.

Originally I had no plans to attend the ceremony because I don’t feel a personal connection to school.  I transferred in such a large amount of credits from my previous attempts at finishing a degree that I didn’t need to attend a lot of classes in person.  Most of my credits have been completed online with the exception of four classes (two of which start in three weeks).

However, my husband, who has known me for almost 16 years and has seen the ups and downs of me trying to finish this degree, objected to me not attending the ceremony.  He emphasized letting myself have that moment and sharing it not only with our kids but my parents, especially my mom who has helped me so much along the way.

That husband – he’s absolutely right – I may not have school friends per se to enjoy all the in school celebrations that go on but I have my small tribe that has supported me and helped me while I made the sacrifices needed to finish school as an adult with two kids and a job. I want my parents to be proud of me for finishing this and I’d like to inspire my son, who one day will realize just how much I was juggling as he was growing up.  I want both him and my daughter to know they can conquer their goals – with a plan and the right support system in place.

During the first time around, I was just piecing things together and trying to check off a list of things needed to get that degree because I was living on a timeline of other people’s expectations.  I wasn’t able to enjoy the experience back then for many reasons nor did I have a vision of life after this goal.  I wasn’t organized nor prepared enough to be on my own which lead to my first college experience being what it was. The goal was just graduate from college to start real life – except I learned as time goes on real life does happen and it comes at you real fast.  This mindset was exactly why I crashed so hard after I needed to leave school before finishing my degree.

This time around, my school experience has been different –  I see my growth as a student when I connect things on a higher level within my academic field and I appreciate every good grade as an affirmation that I was more prepared to tackle school after having real life experiences. I even have a goal of attending graduate school starting next spring.

Now to just wait 146 days to enjoy that moment of walking across the stage when my name is called.

(Today’s daily writing prompt: crossing)

day 3, gone.

Won’t do no good
To hold no seance
What’s gone is gone and
You can’t bring it back around
Won’t do no good
To hold no searchlight
You can’t illuminate
What time has anchored down

-Fiona Apple, Carrion

Is there a difference between something being lost and something being gone?

On some level, being lost implies that whatever is missing could simply be misplaced and there is a possibility that it could be found again.  Being gone has a feeling of permanence to it.

I am sitting here thinking of the things that are lost that I will never get back because there is no way to find it again.  My box of journals, love letters and college photo albums will forever be lost.  Somewhere out there mementos of my younger days are just junk in someone else’s space (but most likely its in a landfill).

But what’s something that really gone that I miss?

A friendship of almost 20 years which finished fading away after I accepted that the other party was just not into being my friend anymore. I stopped being the only one calling or texting and acknowledging special occasions like birthdays and holidays.  It’s still a process to accept it being over because we had so many fun and special memories together.  But when I look back, I know I was the last one holding on from a sentimental place. I eventually backed off thinking that in this day and age of instant communication, a person who does not spend less than 60 seconds to acknowledge me, does not want me in their space for whatever reason.

For a long time I wondered if it was something about me – was I not being enough of the type of friend this person needed? Did she simply outgrow me and didn’t know how to say it without it coming across callous?  Did she even care enough to have any of these questions? Maybe my name flashing the phone was just one step above a telemarketer calling…  who knows, maybe it’s not that deep to her but  I won’t ever know.

At this place in time, it simply doesn’t matter anymore because I have accepted that this former friend now falls simply into the ghosts of my past and she is gone.

(Today’s daily writing prompt: gone)

day 2, gratitude.

I am going to have a weekly post to reflect on things (big and small) that I am grateful for.

Here is my list this week:

  • Starting off the year by having dinner at my parents house.  While I didn’t ring in the year with them (I’m scared of being on the road on New Year’s Eve), spending the first day of the new year with them was nice.  Plus eating my mom’s home cooking is always a treat.
  • Enjoying a stretch of five days off… without being pressed about school assignments that I need to get done.
  • Having all my grades come in and feeling proud of my semester GPA (3.9).
  • Restarting this blog – I originally tried to get another name but someone signed up for it in 2008 and hasn’t used it beyond the hello post.  I tried my old domain name on a whim and here it is!
  • This is Us will be back next week.  I love this show – it gives me all the feels that TV usually doesn’t do.
  • The Mariah Carey memes… that performance *cringe*  but don’t front, everyone has one MC jam they love (or used to love). That Butterfly album got a lot of play from me in the late 90s.

day 1, again.

welcome-2017

It’s a new year and it’s day 1 again for everyone and every goal they have.

These are my resolutions goals for this year:

  • Complete my degree – it’s been a long road but I am almost there.
  • Apply to graduate school.
  • Sit down for the paralegal certification exam – I have to flush out a study timeline but I’m aiming for the May 2017 exam.
  • Focus on my health and lose 60 pounds by exercising regularly.
  • Read 24 books.
  • Go to the movies once a month – even if it’s by myself.
  • Write daily – even if it’s a writing exercise in a journal.
  • Find a full-time job after graduation.
  • Get out of credit card debt (again).