My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

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Well hey, guys!

What’s shaking?

How are thangs?

What’s new and good?

I feel like it’s been forever and a day since we’ve chatted! Probably because it has. Granted most of that is my fault. Okay, all of that is my fault. Life has been super crazy applesauce lately, but the best kind of super crazy applesauce (think chunky with a hint of cinnamon). My blog has fallen by the wayside as a result, and it’s high time that I changed that. Since it has been a hot minute since we’ve chatted, I decided we should make like Mike Myers ala Linda Richman and cawwfee tawwk it out, catch up on all things life.

Grab your favorite cup ‘o joe, a few package of Oreos and a comfy seat. It’s Cawwfee Tawwk time!

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I am LOVING my job. Like, unbelievably, positively, still-can’t-wrap-my-head-around-the-fact-that-I-got-so-lucky love. Sometimes things happen in your life when you least expect them, when you most need them. This is perfect example, y’all. I wake up everyday excited to go into the office, almost annoyingly so. I can confidently say that I’ve never experienced that before. It’s weird and strange and beautiful all at the same time. I get to do something different everyday, working with people who inspire me, push me, and make me snort laugh on the regular. I really couldn’t ask for more, and am excited to see where this new and exciting journey takes me next.

For anyone who is going through a career change, or is struggling to find that ‘dream’ job, hang in there. I’ve been in your shoes on more than one occasion, and while it does suck in the moment, it does get better. I promise. Hold onto that hope, fight like hell and don’t ever, ever diminish those dreams of yours. Go after them full force.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that it is coming up on my four year moversary. Four years since I decided to take one giant leap of faith, pack up my little Bug and drive across the country. Four years that I have called Colorado home. Four years that have given me endless adventures, joy, tacos, laughter, tacos, fun, tacos, incredibly amazing friendships and did I mention tacos? I am continually falling more and more in love with this beautiful state, for the countless moments that take my breath away, and for that I will truly and forever be grateful.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I am still very much single and ready to Pringle. And I’ve finally come to the realization that that’s okay. You hear that, grandma?! It’s okay!! As a late-twenty-something, almost thirty-something adulting adult, there is this sort of stigma and pressure, a pressure to have an SO, settle down, get married and start a family with a bunch of kiddos. Like, yesterday. Do I want that? Absolutely, I do! But do I think that there is a set time that this all should take place? A deadline that has to be met? Not in the slightest. I’m incredibly excited for all of this happen, and am looking forward to when I find that person, my person, who wants to do all of these things with me, a person who matches my crazy awesomeness. But in the meantime, I am okay. Okay with being single. Okay with waiting for that reach for the stars, laugh until it hurts, best friend and partner-in-crime kind of love. Whenever that may happen. And you should be too.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that life as of late has been, in general, pretty kickass. Sure, there have been some ups and downs, some bumps in the road (including one that completely destroyed by car’s oil pan–and bank account) and some unexpected twists and turns.  It’s those very things however, the challenges and struggles and moments of questioning that, as cliche as it sounds (and it’s very, very cliche), make you stronger, wiser and ready to tackle anything. They are also the things that make you appreciate the good, the great, the wonderful–everything that makes your soul smile with abandon.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that there is so much to look forward to (for me, it’s a long list full of road trips, family/friend visits, half-marathons, baseball games, summer nights spent with great friends, hikes, camping trips, and the biggest butter burger and frozen custard you can imagine from bae aka Culver’s I’m planning on picking up for din-din tonight—among other things), so much to hope for, some much to believe in. Sometimes the little things–grabbing beers with a friend, summer nights spent at the ballpark, a good book, belly laugh and a hug from someone you love–these little things actually mean the world. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses of work, the worries and problems clouding our minds that we forget to take in every minute, every second of these little blessings.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you (in my best Linda Richman voice) to do something this week that you’ve been putting off, something that you’ve been afraid of, something that excites you, something that you will thank me for later.

In the form of tacos, preferably.

QOTD: What would you tell me if we were having coffee today?

Be the voice

 

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Hey guys!

First of all, I want to apologize for my extreme lack of postage lately. Life has been the capital of Busy-town, and my blogging has fallen by the wayside as a result. I will for surely update you all on what’s been going on (the good, the great and the best) soon, but today I wanted to talk about something a little bit more on the serious side.

I experienced something a few days ago, something that had never happened to me before, something that is still sitting pretty heavy on my heart, my mind and everything in between. Wednesday night as I walking to my car after work, I was assaulted by an older gentleman. I still cringe slightly when I hear the word assault because in my mind, what actually happened doesn’t warrant that extreme of a title. There are many, many people out there who have gone through far worse, and I honestly am just grateful that wasn’t the case for me.

The details of my story aren’t really what’s important–I was stopped by an older gentleman on a bike who claimed he was someone else, someone whom most people in and around my place of work know of and trust. The man made crude and sexual remarks towards me, grabbed my arm and tried to pull me towards him, preventing me from continuing to my car. I was able to get away without being physically harmed, only a bit shaken and a hell of a lot confused.

I remember getting into my car just moments after it had happened, trying to process the events that occurred mere minutes before. I know that I felt uncomfortable and more than a little creeped out, but I didn’t feel like it was a big deal. I didn’t get hurt. I’ve had strange people say strange things to me before and didn’t think anything of it. There was no reason to harbor on it or mention it to anyone, right?

Wrong.

Oh so very wrong.

It’s funny how your brain tries to protect itself when it feels threatened. It starts to rationalize the what’s, the why’s and the how’s. It creates scenarios, some of which may not even have happened, in order to calm the worries and fears. It wasn’t until I went into work the next day, when I saw the man again as I was walking into my office building, and saw the way he looked at me that I began to get this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. My instincts–which are usually always spot on—well, they finally got their act together and helped persuade me to tell someone what had happened the night before. At this point, I still thought it wasn’t that big of a deal, and I hadn’t the slightest of clue as to the events that would unfold next.

I walked down to our safety department where I gave a statement and filed an official police report. It was a bit like watching a movie from above; I’ve seen this happen on Law & Order too many times to count, I’ve read about and listened to reports via the news about incidents just like this happening all of the time. Happening all of the time, just not to me. I have never felt like I had a reason to be afraid. Not in the slightest bit. Maybe that was just me being naive, but the fact that I was never fearful of doing something as simple as walking outside by myself at 5 o’clock in the afternoon gave me a sort of solace.

Over the course of the rest of the day, more and more people slowly started coming forward, expressing their own encounters with this man, how he had made them uncomfortable, scared, nervous. They gave personal accounts of witnessing him become enraged with anger, yelling and screaming and potentially putting the lives of the people around him, and himself, in danger.

My “not that big of a deal” had turned into quite the deal.

The truth is, the truth that I didn’t allow myself to believe, was that it was a big deal all along.

Every 107 seconds, an American is assaulted, including that of sexual and physical variety. Should it be that way? Absolutely not! Is there any one thing or person or reason to blame? Again, that’s a hard no. One of the things that was really brought to the forefront of my mind during all of this was that terrible things like this can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. It was just an ordinary late-afternoon on a Wednesday. I was in what I had thought was a very safe place (a place I still is very safe). And things like this just don’t happen to me.

It’s incredibley sad.

But that’s just the world we live in right now.

Do I have hope that this will all change? Of course I do. I have to have that hope. I think we all do.

But I also have to be realistic. And until things start to change, we all have to be aware of the potential risks. I’m not talking about living in a continuous state of fear, not at all. In fact, I refuse to live my life on fear’s terms. What I am saying is to acknowledge that danger is an equal opportunist. Be smart. Know your surroundings, who you are with and always, always report anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, uneasy or unsure.

If I hadn’t spoken up and told someone, the ending of this story could have ended in a whole other way. Perhaps the dozens of other people were also brave enough to stand up and share their stories following me wouldn’t have. Perhaps this man would have continued to hurt others. And perhaps this man wouldn’t have gotten the help he so deeply needs.

Sometimes all it takes is one person. One person start a conversation, to build an awareness, to stand up and be the voice that so desperately needs to be heard.

You should never be ashamed, or scared, or worry that you will become a burden to others.

Each and every story matters.

I am happy to report that the man in question was arrested last night. My hope is that he does get the help he needs, and will not be able to hurt anyone ever again.

If you are a victim of assault, I encourage you to talk about it with someone.  Find somebody.  If it is recent/ongoing, call the police.  If it is something in your past, then find a counselor or call a hotline like the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE.

You don’t have to go through this alone. You shouldn’t go through this alone.

 

 

I’ll Stand By You

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As a little kid, I quickly earned the title of Playground Defender – which I get totally makes me sound like a mini Buffy, but if you’re imagining some bouncer-to-be or heavy weight champ, I’m gonna stop you right there. I was puny, y’all. I was tall and gangly with sticks for legs and blunt, uneven bangs (thank you mom for that one) that always clung together in a sweaty, hot mess. Nothing about me screamed, “Oofta, better watch out for that one!”

…But don’t let that fool you, my friends. Yeahhhh sure you betcha I was every bully’s worst nightmare. I was a Robin Hood: 2nd Grader in Tights, swooping in out of nowhere to help the poor and downtrodden. I’d appear with my tiny fists in the air as a warning, yelling to leave whoever was being picked on alone. I roamed the halls like an elementary school sheriff. No kid was going to get their Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll stolen at the lunch table, or be stuffed in a garbage can. Not on my watch!

No one really knows for sure how it started. My parents said I was always feisty and full of sass. But when my kindergarten best friend started routinely getting teased by one of the more aggressive boys in class (Bobby Stinholf I’m looking you, buddy), I wasn’t having it. I’d demand that he stop. I started off using my words, like everyone suggested. And when that didn’t work, I channeled all my miniature rage and smacked the boy with a wooden building block, leaving am impressive welt on his mean, smug face.

I still remember the ride home after that incident, worried about the reaction and punishment for my actions that was inevitable, only to have instead my mom and dad secretly sneaking me high-fives from the front seat.

People soon learned if you were going to mess with the people I loved, I was going to make them wish they didn’t. Small or not, I could pack a punch. Sure, I (thankfully) graduated past the physical–the block to the face incident was the one and only–and now, as a fully-formed adult (or at least fully-formed adult adjacent), I’m not likely to pull at your hair for being mean to my friend or other loved one. I’m not going to smack you with a library book (because that would just be book abuse) or a wooden building block (though Mr. Stinholf stopped making fun of kids after that incident sooooo….). But that doesn’t mean that protective instinct doesn’t still exist inside me. The Playground Defender, the Robin Hood is a part of me. A very real, instinctual part.

There are very few things that get my blood boiling: mean people, the Cubs, mean people, paying full price for a pair of jeans only to have them go on sale the very next day, mean people, a bag of chips that 99.9999% air and mean people.

Especially mean people who are mean to the ones I love. As weird as this may sound, I don’t like confrontation. I’ve never liked confrontation. In fact, I avoid it like the plaque. I don’t like seeing people upset, hurt or in any kind of pain. I get very uncomfortable, start sweating and break out in hives. It’s not an attractive look, guys.

But there’s something different that comes over me when the ones I love are in the line of fire. My Mike Tyson patronus comes out and is ready and willing to defend, stand up for and protect. I would literally do anything for my friends and family (okay mayyyybe not anything—my hair is epically on point today so anything having to do with wind or humidity is off the table).

To those I love (you know who you are):

I know I can’t save you from this world.

Rationally, I know that. No matter how hard I try, something out there is going to hurt. You’ll have your moments of disappointment, discouragement, when you feel like everything is stacked against you. A failed relationship, the loss of a loved one, job stress or challenges to your health. I can’t stop those things from happening. My love isn’t enough to keep you forever safe from all the things.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop wanting to try. I love you, so that means I’m going to do what I can to help you, to encourage you, to be by your side and fight with you. The Defender has your back. Even when you feel alone, I will be in the background. You just have to look in my direction. I’ll still be there. I’ll still be doing what I can to protect you.

Because that’s just what I do.

Because I love you.

Because you weaseled your damn way into my heart and there’s no turning back now.

These Moments

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Our lives are made up of a series of moments.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get to have thousands,

even millions of them.

 

There will be funny moments, sad moments,

moments you’ll want to forget.

Moments of anger, moments of passion,

moments spent deeply rooted in love.

 

There will be moments that alter you,

completely dwarf you,

moments that show you just how beautiful it is to exist.

 

You’ll even have default moments.

Moments that fall through the cracks.

Moments where you’re doing something so mundane,

you don’t even realize it is one.

 

Then there are the big moments.

Your goosebumps moments.

The moments that leave a blue hickey on your life’s neck.

These are the moments that crack you open and leave you wanting more.

These are the moments you’ll want to keep safe.

Hold on to.

 

This right here, this is a moment.

A tiny pinprick in eternity that is only yours to create.

 

Here’s to the magic you create.

 

Here’s to your moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This morning as I was walking into work, in a rush like always, I biffed it on the sidewalk. Like, hands flailing, all the four letter words spewing, coffee mug in the air biff action. I wish I could say it was because I was side-stepping a massive sink hole, or maybe that an Adam Sandler look-a-like came out of nowhere with a stick ala Big Daddy and sent me falling face forward, but no. It was all on me. See I have this thing where I sometimes fail to pick up my feet when walking. It’s a real problem, guys.

After brushing myself off, and taking a quick glance to make sure that no one and their mother’s sister’s cat saw me and my wicked air time, I noticed that my pants were now covered in my Mocha Latte. Not only was my left leg now drenched in coffee, my life-line of caffeine was now down to mere sips.

Ugh. The Mondayest Tuesday ever.

I could’ve let this little BREWhaha (I couldn’t resist) ruin the rest of my day, but when I looked down at my leg again, I saw that the residue from the coffee spillage weirdly made the perfect Harry Potter-esque lightning bolt on my thigh. And hey, smelling like a walking Starbucks air freshener couldn’t be the worst thing in the world, right?

As I made the rest of my trek into my office, I realized that this is my mindset for almost everything. I see my glass of chocolate milk as half full, my Ray Bans are always rose-colored and that silver lining is fully present and accounted for.

I recognize the reality, and am not naive by any means, but I prefer to see and find and focus on the good. The good in people, in situations, in times where hope is low and giving up is high. Yes, I’m the weird person who has RHF (Resting Happy Face) and is actually a fan of all of those Pinteresty inspirational quotes you see all over the interwebs. I’m a firm believer that happiness is contagious, and if I can spread that ish like wild fire, you bet your coffee-stained bottoms that’s what I’m going to do, dammit!

Being eternally optimistic is kind of my MO, y’all.

Here are just some of the signs that you—like me—are an eternal optimist:

  1. You have an indestructible belief that people are good.

    You’re way more Locke than Hobbes (high school level history class anyone?!). It’s this feeling you just can’t fight, like shimmying a tiny bit when “Shake It Off” comes on. You might not always like people, because sometimes they suck, but you believe everybody has some good at the core. You gooey pile of love, you.

  2. You practice forgiveness, even when people don’t deserve it

    Don’t get me wrong, you can get angry as hell. You’re fully capable of going all Carrie Underwood and smashing in car headlights (or maybe just fantasizing about it instead because you know, legal action and all that), but you also forgive. It’s not that you don’t still hurt, but you also realize you can’t control the actions of others, and it’s easier to move forward without harboring resentment.

  3. You assume someone will return your lost belongings

    Did you leave your phone behind at the restaurant? Your ID mysteriously missing after a night out? You’re not panicked just yet. The idea that someone would steal something rarely enters your mind. People never steal. Ever. You never find your stuff again? No. It wasn’t stolen. It just…has been permanently misplaced.

  4. You think everyone has a secret optimist inside

    …not someone hiding an actual optimist in a basement somewhere, but rather you just think everyone has a soft side to them. Even those hardened individuals who love to show off their tough exterior. You know there’s more. YOU SHALL FIND IT. A Sherlock Holmes for emotion, if you will.

  5. You get ahead of yourself in relationships

    You try not to. You seriously try not to. But…it just kind of happens. You have been guilty of listening to a Spotify playlist called “Falling In Love” way too soon. Like 4 dates in soon. Oops.

  6. You always tell people to follow their dreams

    You encourage everyone to pursue their passions, no matter how cheesy and borderline nauseating it might be. You want to be an astronaut? YOU GO GET IN THAT SPACE SHIP! You want to be a world-renowned surgeon? GO CUT SOME PEOPLE UP!!!! You can do it. We believe.

  7. You’re quick to give someone a second chance

    You’re not a pushover. You’re not weak. You’re not foolish. You just are willing to give things another shot. That’s pretty beautiful, actually. YOU GO GLEN COCO! You give those chances!

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish online shopping for a new pair of leggings. Helloooo wicked awesome clearance sales. Hey! Another silver lining.:)

 

 

A Favorite Feeling

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I don’t have

a favorite moment.

I have a favorite feeling.

 

It’s no alarm clock,

tangled limbs in sheets,

curtains dancing with an open window.

 

It’s the smell of fresh coffee,

bare feet on blades of grass,

the familiar pages of a favorite novel.

 

It’s lyrics playing loud on vinyl,

skinny dipping at 2am,

conversations on

the kitchen floor

with your walls turned down.

 

It’s being held by silence,

and seen in complete and utter wholeness.

 

It’s in the

undeniable pull,

the infectious laughter and shared smiles.

 

It’s in a sea of stares,

finding your eyes,

saying without any hesitation,

“I choose you.”

 

For now.

For always.

“I choose you.”

 

 

 

 

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As a 29-year-old single woman I’m pretty much living in the thickest part of the modern dating/hookup culture – perfecting the art of getting the right guy to buy you Lemon Drop shots at a bar, crafting the perfect response to a text to make you seem just interested enough (but not too interested), taking the proper five seconds to adequately judge a person and determine whether or not to swipe left or right. Yep. That’s the world I live in now, and if I’m being 110% honest with you guys: I hate it with every fiber of my being.
Maybe it’s because I let insignificant events ruminate in my mind far past their welcome. Or maybe it’s because I sometimes have the tendency to react too sensitively to the people with whom I share the world with. Or maybe the modern dating scene is just horrendously f’ed up. It’s probably all three, but in the interest of, well, maintaining your interest, let’s just talk about that third observation.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been in any sort of relationship (one worth talking about anywhoozles), but when I was, it seemed that I always heard people complain about the single life pretty much on the regular. Stories from my friends, articles on the Internet, anything popular on TV, everywhere. But it wasn’t until I began to experience it for myself (and oh have I!) that I truly understood what everyone was complaining about. Everything is so damn complicated. Nobody asks you out on a date; they just ask you to “hang out” – so after you do, you can spend the next three days that you’re supposed to be ignoring them wondering exactly what it meant. Did you see a movie? Go to dinner? Make out in your car? Fly to Paris and get drunk under the Eiffel Tower? Be careful; y’all were just hanging out. This means that we’re dating, right? We’re totally dating. Or are we? I wonder what he’s thinking? Did our mutual shared respect of Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool over our mutually shared tub of popcorn and Milk Duds mean nothing to him?!

I have a simple solution for those of you who struggle with these haunting questions: ask the other person. Oh wait, you can’t. Hahahahaha. And here’s why.

We live in a world where people are afraid to feel anything genuine, or at the very least, are afraid to show it. When someone is angry with you, there’s no phone call asking to talk about it. Instead you get a passive aggressive response to a text message or a suspiciously relevant subtweet, quietly calling you out in 140 characters or less. If you like someone, you don’t tell them how you feel; rather you act interested enough for them to pick up on it, but not enough to freak them out. Don’t like it? Too bad. It’s all a big game and if you don’t play by the rules then you lose, and if you lose you end up alone and drowning in a pile of your own insecurity (and Ben & Jerry’s), wondering what you did wrong.
Don’t ask to hangout two nights in a row. If you texted first last time, you have to wait for him to text you first this time. Don’t double text. You can’t assume anything is more than casual. And you can’t talk about it either. If you’re wondering where a relationship is going and you decide to bring it up, every word you say has to be carefully chosen so as to seem okay with any response you’re given, even if you’re not. Thinking about picking up your phone to call someone? That’s crazy sauce! All modern communicado is done through text, emojis and/or GIFs. ONLY.

Everything is calculated to appear thoughtless, and it is one of the most exhausting games I’ve ever had to play–and I once had an epic 6-hour Monopoly fest! I could earn a second masters degree with the amount of time and energy it takes to determine whether or not my casual fling/hangout/quasi relationship thingamajig actually has feelings for me.

If I like someone, I want to hang out with him. It’s as simple as that. Or at least it should be. But in the dating culture to which we are enslaved, it has to be more convoluted than that. If I talk to him too much, I’m needy. If I’m always free when he asks me to hangout, I’m clingy and have no life of my own. If he takes three hours to respond to my text, and my phone is in my hand when I get his reply, I have to wait to answer so I don’t seem too eager. And I am constantly wondering why I play these stupid games.

I am so tired of living in a world where apathy is more effective in getting someone’s attention than honesty. I’m tired of the manipulative games that men and women play with one another in an effort to maintain control in a relationship that we’re not allowed to define.

So here’s my idea, friends: let’s all stop being little f’s! Respect other people enough to tell them the truth. If someone makes you happy, tell them. If someone inspires you, tell them. If you’re not interested in someone, please just for f’ing f’s sake tell them. Don’t ignore people until they disappear. It’s time we grow up and stop leaving people hanging with unanswered texts and cryptic social media posts. Everyone is human and we’re all just trying to understand one another in this messy dating world, so stop treating a relationship of any kind like it’s a challenge to complete.

Be honest with other people about how you feel, and don’t get so lost in playing the game that you forget to extend that same courtesy to yourself.

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