Posted in Advice

Memorial Day, Let Us Not Forget Why We Celebrate

We all know, memorial day is a day we look forward to each year. It’s the kick off to summer. The day in which we’re allowed to wear white. The first long weekend of the summer which means everyone is headed to the beach.

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But we should really take the time to remember why we are celebrating this day. We’re honoring the men and women who gave their lives serving our country in the line of duty. This is for the men and women gone too soon. The cries of the widows and widowers, their children growing up without their parent. The fact that these heroes aren’t around to see the milestones of their legacies, that’s what we’re honoring on this day. To remember while we get to drink beer, spend time with our families and friends, go to the beach, and enjoy the day off, there are many who are coming to see their loved ones at their final resting place; sharing the stories of their lives which have changed since they’ve been gone.

Flags In Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetary on May 24, 2012

So take today and enjoy, but remember to take a moment for our fallen heroes.

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Posted in Advice

Love Changes you as you get older, without you even seeing it

Somehow we’re adults and trying to figure out this world called life. How and when did that happen? It’s funny too when I sit back and look at the life I’ve lived thus far and how much farther I have to go, I realize how much I’ve learned about myself without even trying.

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Love changes us. It starts off with such a pure and sweet outlook of love, life, and people. But as we age we see the way people will hurt you, betray you, lie to you, and leave you. It makes us colder and jaded without us even realizing. We go through the motions, but do we truly let ourselves be vulnerable to someone again after we get hurt the first time? We let ourselves believe in the fairy tales, we all dream of the romance where we meet someone and it just clicks perfectly. We know without a second thought they are our soulmate. They complete us in every way we never knew we were missing, but what a load of malarky. It’s not that simple. First because the only person who can make us complete is ourselves. We make or break our lives, yes, it does add to have someone who creates a world with you, together you build toward something bigger than ourselves, but we can just as easily find happiness with transitory people because the expectation is that they won’t remain, so we enjoy them while we can for however fleeting the time is.

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After our first heartbreak we understand what it means to lose a part of ourselves. And from then on out, we’re a little more guarded and mistrustful. But the biggest betrayal is always the one we never see coming. It’s the one that blinds us to anyone else for a long time. The one where your heart hurts thinking of them again and the tears fall again. You don’t realize that you’ve changed until it’s a few relationships down the road and you catch yourself with one foot out the door already because you’re keeping your heart safe. You’re keeping yourself from getting attached. You’re preventing yourself from giving your heart to someone else to smash it, but it’s keeping you from finding your happiness. Happiness with another is an extension of your own happiness. Nothing defines you, except what you allow to define you.

There comes a point in our lives in which we look at this life we’ve created and realize there are changes to be made. Maybe it’s the scene we’re in, maybe it’s the people that surround us, but something has to change. We can’t stay in the same place forever, thinking we can get something from a place that doesn’t love us back. So sometimes, it comes down to self-love and realizing that you need to make a decision to find happiness in a place that shines back on you.

Posted in Advice

Introspective Evaluation

There comes a time to reflect on how your life has started to change. Whether or not it’s dictated by circumstances of your own doing. Not everyone wants to look within and see their growth or lack of growth, they don’t always want to be the ones who have to face reality and see their decisions weren’t the most beneficial for their lives.

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As someone who can see the changes I’ve experienced with a little more perspective with each passing year, I value my time to look back and reflect on what I’ve learned. With the close of each relationship and the time to get to know myself again, I see how each person has changed me; whether in a big way or hardly any noticeable way, I’ve been changed. As they say in Wicked: “I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn and we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them and we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true, but I know I’m who I am today because of you.” It’s so true on so many levels because we aren’t the same person we are when we started out however long ago, and we’re certainly not going to be the same in 6 months, a year, 5 years, ten years from now!

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I’ll look back on this ending with nothing but happiness. The joy and elation I experienced from one person, reminded me of the adventures to come in my life. The highs were high, but I know with the right person, all the highs will be high, and even the lows will still have high parts. I can’t fault either of us, because we both knew it wasn’t going to last. There were aspects of each of us which would eventually be the reason this relationship would crumble anyway, so why prolong the inevitable?

 

It’s time now to look into myself and decide what’s important to my life. What matters to me, and what will help me live and love the life I end up living. I don’t want to limit myself for anyone else, if anything, I want someone to push me to do what scares me, the inspire me to be great, and to accept that my quirks are just the way I live my life. I decided to download bumble again just for fun, and it’s funny, I have yet to find anyone who’s sparked my interest or even slightly intrigued me. Perhaps it’s because my heart just isn’t into it, but I think it’s just I don’t really want anyone for now. I want to be free and do me, and yes I will admit loneliness does creep in at times, but really now is the time for me to live my life and rock my life the way I want.

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Anyway, I guess that’s enough introspection for today.

Posted in Advice

Pup-Date

Lucky has arrived and is settling in! He’s gotten to know Bodie and they’ve been playing non-stop.

As a cute little Portuguese Water Dog, Lucky is an energetic and lively little man, but now that’s he’s passed out at my feet, I can really enjoy him.

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I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities to get to supplement my time out of the office with my favorites, dogs of all shapes and sizes! Will keep y’all updated on the cuteness overload this weekend!

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Becoming besties after a few hours! (PC; NJES)
Posted in Advice

Puppy Pa-Looza

Now that it’s time to start thinking for my future, what brings me happiness and joy? Any and all animals!

I joined Rover recently and am just now getting my first two clients. As someone who’s raised pups from babyhood all the way to adulthood, dog walked, dog sat, cat sat, horse sat, dog trained, horse trained, among other accomplishments, I figured I’d start my business up again, after a long hiatus of learning how to “adult”. (Well that’s overrated), but I really lost my sense of self when I stopped seeing puppies and animals all the time. Nothing beats seeing happy dogs and I love being the one who makes their day!

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Passed out after a day of fun, that’s the best sense of accomplishment for me! We walk an average of 6 miles a day, plus the play time sessions after work and before bed! It’s always an adventure at my house!

Posted in Advice

Throwing Out Big Words… Mortgage, APR, Taxes, Insurance….

How do you navigate the world of adulting?

Most students would benefit from understanding what responsibilities fall to you once you start working. Basic knowledge we take for granted from our parents. I’m still figuring a lot of this out, but luckily google is really handy and keeps me up to speed (kinda).

 

By far the hardest, but easiest thing I’ve learned so far, is taxes. While it has it’s confusing parts, nothing says you’re an adult than filing and sending them off. It’s a lot more confusing with multiple W-2’s and whatnot, but still with TurboTax (shoutout to them) they make it pretty user friendly.

 

I’m learning about credit cards and the APR that is applied to them, but hell if I know much beyond that.

 

Insurance; jesus it’s all levels and types and just so confusing.

But I’ll write more on that next time…. My brain hurts.

Posted in Advice

Doubts, Fears, Insecurity, The Works of the Devil

These pit you to fail. But sometimes they’re your gut telling you this isn’t right or meant to be. Perhaps it’s this generation, where romance and wooing have fallen out of favor to quick and easy hook-ups. Perhaps it’s just the fact that we understand life isn’t as neat as we had thought when we were just children. No one prepared us for the doubts of how much someone else cares. No one prepped us for the fear of caring too much or not caring enough. No one told us that insecurity can doom a relationship, and no one told us how hard a relationship really is.

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Sometimes we just need to step back and be objective. Live and let learn, but also keep moving. As I’ve said to my mom a fair amount lately, if I want until I’m ready to make a change, I’ll never make a move. Sometimes I just need a leap of faith that I’ll be okay even if I’m not ready for it all at once. Our priorities change, and suddenly one day we look at ourselves in the mirror and wonder how we ever got to where we are now. How did things become this way, and how do we make changes for ourselves. We’re all going to experience fear, fear of the unknown, the changing, the new, the old, the past, and the future. We can’t but help feel helpless and in uncharted waters.

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A relationship needs to be built on a few key elements; trust, understanding, and compassion. There are many other aspects which are needed for success, but these three stand out because without trust, there is always going to be doubt and insecurity. How do you build a relationship to stand the test of time if you can’t trust them? You have to be understanding. Understand yourself. Understand how they operate, and work around their weaknesses accordingly. Understand there is going to be miscommunication and anger at times, just as there will be laughing and love. Understanding your dynamic also is crucial, it’s going to make or break you. And compassion; above all have compassion for one another. It’s hard, to take two very unique and quirky people and expect them to meld into one cohesive unit. It’s harder than you could have ever imagined as a kid about what it takes to make a relationship work. So while it’s all too easy to place the blame on the other, sometime we need to look at ourselves as well and see how we can be better.

Posted in Advice

Living in a City; do you have what it takes?

Living in a city is costly and expensive, but depending on where you move, it can be affordable. I laugh at this now since I’ve paid essentially an arm and a leg for housing in center city.IMG_1977

When you live in a city, you have a few things to take into consideration; how much you want to pay in rent; what are dealbreakers for your place, what you want to be close to, and in general what each place offers for you, you want to consider the location to work (if that’s an option), you want to consider a lot. Is it worth the hassle? Sometimes it really is. While my place has a lot of parts that make it seem not as nice, it’s got charm and it’s perfect to me. When I looked at this place, I had to factor in a few things; close to grass/a park for the pup, close to work (no more than a 20 minute walk), parking (but that was a negotiable), a full bathroom (haven’t had a bathtub in 2 years), and not crazy expensive.

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Not to mention then the price of utilities; sometimes gas is covered, but then you have gas, electric, internet/cable, and sometimes water. On top of that, if you have a pet (like myself) often there are pet deposits- another selling point, no pet fee.

You gotta have patience for a city. Patience knowing parking is impossible. Patience knowing traffic is now a part of life. Patience knowing bills are higher,  but it’s worth the payout. Patience for the noises and unfamiliar world you’ve moved to. But also be patient with yourself. Your life has changed in so many ways. Give yourself the time to adjust. Forgive yourself and laugh. Laugh entirely too much at all the stress that was the move.

Posted in Advice

Moving Back Home Vs. Trying it Solo?

Is it always worth trying to live by yourself versus coming home, let’s see. There are advantages to both.

Moving Home PROS

  • Cheap/ no rent; can be put toward savings or rent for the future
  • Shared utilities; if your parents make you pay your share
  • Back to where you grew up (can also be a negative); it’s nice to be able to come back home sometimes

Moving Home CONS

  • Living with parents
  • No real privacy and can feel like you’ve stagnated because you’ve come back home
  • Back to where you grew up (can also be a positive); it can feel like you’re trapped all over again

Living Alone PROS

  • Total and utter privacy and freedom
  • You get to live your life how you please
  • Create your own sanctuary

Living Alone CONS

  • Can be lonely (I got a pet for that reason, and a boyfriend ;P )
  • Expensive to live alone; rent is yours alone, as are the bills – utilities and cable, etc

 

While I personally was never going to move home if I could avoid it, I think some people can benefit from moving back home for a little while. I had too much pride but also respect for myself to do it. I knew if I moved home, it would be so easy to fall back into old habits, and never really get off the ground. I also knew if I moved back, I wouldn’t ever feel that drive to be uncomfortable, and to have fear. I would always feel safe, and as the saying going, “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” Personally, I needed to get out of my comfort zone and see how I would survive. That’s how I define the success of myself. To how well I can succeed when I know I have to make it or admit failure. As an equestrian, I have deep seeded roots in not falling (read failing) and will do whatever it takes to not come outta the saddle.
Each person gets to create their own path. I’m not one to tell anyone what is right. I know my own personality to know the more someone pushes me to do something, the harder I will fight to not. Because pride. Because arrogance. Because fuck you. I’m not a puppet, I’m not a pawn. I’m my own person and if I want to walk through fire. I will. So I’ve learned. The best I can do is offer my opinion, but I won’t try to sway anyone.