Tell Your Story

17 Oct

One of the blogs that I follow on the regular had up a great quote yesterday and it completely sums up my feelings on why I blog…

 

Toni Morrison said, “The function of freedom is to free someone else,” and if you are no longer wracked or in bondage to a person or a way of life, tell your story. Risk freeing someone else. Not everyone will be glad you did. Members of your family and other critics may wish you had kept your secrets. Oh, well, what are you going to do? Get it all down.”

-Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

 

Amen.
 

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The Writing Process

16 Oct

Starting this blog has made me really question my own writing process as well as that of others. It’s been much more difficult than I imagined!

I knew writing a blog wouldn’t necessarily be easy, but I truly had no idea how much it would challenge me. And this is only the beginning! I look at all of the blogs I read on a daily basis and wonder how they manage to pull it off. And what keeps people reading?

I’ve always done better with a deadline. I don’t consider this procrastination of course because I will work on something right away. However, it doesn’t truly start to come together until that deadline is pushing me to get words on paper. This makes for interesting writing when you’re doing a blog so the deadline is, perhaps, every single day. I’ve also always been better at writing in big blocks of time. It takes me awhile to really get the creative juices flowing so sitting down when I only have 30 minutes, or even an hour, has never produced much for me. Again, this creates an interesting process when I’m writing blogs that are dated and timely. I’m going to share a little secret… many times I write several blogs at once, even if the day has already passed. It feels better to get that off my chest. It felt like a dirty little secret there for a while. But I recently came to the conclusion that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just the way I work. I can still write things as if they are just getting ready to happen or just happened. I have the ability to bring myself back to that time and space and really capture the moment. It might not be ideal, but somehow I make it work.

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Weiner Dog Races

15 Oct

Yep. You read that right. That’s not a misprint.

Today was Oktoberfest at a local restaurant and every year they have Weiner dog races as part of the celebration. Buddy and I have yet to make it to this glorious event so we decided that this was the year he would make he debut in the racing circuit. I equally anticipated him winning the event and just sitting there licking his rear end.

He did not disappoint.

oktoberfest weiner dog

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For the Love of Football

13 Oct

I had a meeting with my final project advisor for my master’s and he was giving me some advice on what he would like to hear about from me. He mentioned my love of sports, and particularly football because we’ve had various discussions about football before. I asked what he meant since I didn’t really know what more there is to say. Football is awesome. Period.

He asked me, “What kind of fan are you?”

“What?”

He added, “Well are you a woman fan or a male fan”?

My immediate response, without even thinking was, “I don’t wear skirts to a football game”.

“So you’re a male fan then,” he replied.

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It’s Just a Game

9 Oct

Yesterday I went to Blacksburg with my mom and dad for another Virginia Tech football game. If you pay attention to college football at all then by now you know we were in an unbelievable fight against Miami. It’s all over ESPN. It was the kind of game that makes me love college football. It was the type of game that I’m sure is making me go prematurely grey.

My Hokies were looking pretty good at the half with a 21-7 lead. Then the second half happened and we found ourselves down 35-31 with only 2:52 remaining. Now here’s the one thing you need to know about Hokie football – we have no offense. We haven’t had a serious offense for years. We have great players. We have talent. But when they get on that field something happens… well I should say nothing happens. That’s been our Achilles heel for years.

So here we are, about to take the field, with very little time left. My dad and I don’t do well in these situations. He was skeptical about us pulling it out due to our disastrous loss last week (23-3 against Clemson. OUCH). I’m biting my nails and praying to the football gods and my mom is discussing alternative transportation options for herself because she doesn’t want to be in the car with us for 3.5 hours if we lose this game. About that time she looks over at me and says, “we should remember it’s just a game”. WHAT?!

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It’s Not So Bad

5 Oct

I’ve talked before about needing perspective. That was just one example of a moment in time where I needed a bit of perspective to bring me back to earth.

On a normal day, I’m a pretty grateful person. Optimism is my usual cup of tea. I don’t get incredibly bent out of shape over the “little things” in life. But every now and then life throws a curveball and takes me off the pleasant path I have planned for myself. And it pisses me off.

The universe normally has great timing and sends me perspective right when I need it the most.

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Appreciation

3 Oct

This week is Employee Appreciation Week at work. Every October our Human Resources department works extra hard to bring the rest of us various events and ways of saying thank you.

The ironic thing about the week though is who’s doing the appreciating. The “top dog” actually isn’t around much this week. HR is working extra hard and there are many supervisors who dislike having to allow their employees to take part in various events of the week. I guess they’re just too focused on the work that has to get done to allow their employees a free breakfast or lunch. To this I have to say… seriously?!?! It’s the one week a year that employees get a little extra attention and instead of saying thank you, some actually lay on the guilt. So the week really ends up being coworkers appreciating coworkers, rather than supervisors appreciating employees. This is such a shame. Shouldn’t it be both?

There’s an interesting shift that’s happened lately due to our economic situation in America. Suddenly it seems that instead of supervisors saying thank you, it’s the employees who are saying “thank you for allowing me to work.” Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of “I’m just thankful I have a job.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. People should be thankful for the opportunity to work, especially when so many others are struggling so badly. But does this excuse supervisors from saying “thanks?” I think not!

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Forever, Kind of

2 Oct

I got to thinking more about my tattoos after writing my post yesterday. When I was going to get the first one I was telling my neighbor about it and he said, “yeah that will be good and you can always get it removed if you don’t like it.” Huh?!

Funny how in that moment this sentiment reminded me of marriage. Yes I’m comparing tattoos and marriage.

I didn’t go into marriage thinking if I didn’t like it I could get rid of it. I certainly didn’t get a tattoo thinking if I didn’t like I could get rid of it. But the truth is, we’ve created ways to get rid of these things that we don’t like or want in our lives any longer. Interestingly enough I hear tattoo removal is more painful than getting the tattoo in the first place. Funny how divorce is also more painful than the marriage in the first place. As it should be.

His comment made me wonder though – how many people go into these things because they know there is a way out? I’ve heard and read stories from people who claim they knew they weren’t marrying the right person, but they did it anyway. I don’t know any of these people personally, however, and it truly boggles my mind. None of my friends who have been through divorce felt this way. They all went into it truly believing that it was forever. And so did I. Same goes for the tattoos. I purposively got them in places that won’t embarrass me in 60 years… if I’m still around. My skin may get wrinkly and old but these tattoos should stay in tact for the most part.

Are some people really so spontaneous or crazy that they don’t think of these things ahead of time? Is this why we’ve had to create ways to get out of these forever situations that we put ourselves in? It’s my fault I was married. I made that decision. It’s my fault I’m divorced. I also made that decision. And it’s my fault I have ink on my skin that’s permanent. Let’s all take some responsibility here.

I’m torn on this topic. On the one hand, I really, truly needed a divorce. On the other hand, I don’t think we should all be so flippant about decisions in our lives that are meant to be forever. If you change your mind, fine. But there’s a reason these decisions are difficult to reverse. And they should be. Changing your mind shouldn’t be something we consider as we’re walking down an aisle or as we’re sitting down on a table with a needle nearby.

Forever love,
Amy

Still I Rise

1 Oct

Today I got my second tattoo! I got my first one in June when I was turning 30. This one I got days after signing my divorce papers. I went 30 years without getting any tattoos and then within 5 months, I now have 2. 🙂

My first one is an exact replica of Buddy’s paw print on my foot. And yes, it hurt like hell. I don’t advise getting a tattoo on the foot. Especially one that has a lot of shading. Anyway, I got it in June when I was turning 30, which was a difficult birthday for me. I just wasn’t where I thought I’d be in life at age 30. I wanted to do something to mark the occasion and I’ve thought about this tattoo for a long time. Bud’s paw on my foot means we are always walking together through life. I’ve talked about the connection I have with my dog before and this was just another way to express it. Long after he’s gone, I’ll have another way to remember the ways he touched my life. I’ve also recently explored more of a vegetarian lifestyle and I like to be reminded of the compassion I have towards not only Buddy, but towards all animals.

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Aftermath

30 Sep

Yesterday I signed the official papers to end my marriage. Then I went and had copious amounts of margaritas with some friends.

Were we celebrating? Commiserating? I’m not sure.

What I do know is that I have some great friends and an amazing support system. I had a moment during dinner where I was just so humbled to have such wonderful people in my life. Over the past 13 months, they’ve allowed me to just be me with no worries about how I appeared to them. It was okay to be a crazy person. They got it. They allowed me to be fine one minute and go through an entire box of Kleenex the next. They allowed me to express love for my husband and then rip him to shreds, all in one breath. They have truly been invaluable. Good girlfriends are a necessity for any woman, but the woman going through a divorce will truly find a new level of appreciation for these gals.

As I reflect on yesterday, my ex is signing his part of the papers today. I don’t believe he is happy or at peace with what is happening, but he’s doing it anyway. Perhaps, this is his final way of trying to show his love for me. It’s been an emotional day for the both of us. My heart aches for him. Despite it all, I don’t enjoy seeing him in pain. I know this is extremely painful for him. I pray that he will eventually be able to find peace and move on. The compassion I have towards him often surprises those around me. Why would I want to see him suffer? I once pledged my love to him til death do us part. I meant it. It may not be in the traditional sense, but I still mean it.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” -Dalai Lama

Love and compassion,
Amy