True love has a habit of coming back.

Relationships are tough. Especially when you have anxiety. My anxiety manifests itself in different ways. Sometimes it impacts me physically and other times my mood sours. I get short and temperamental not because I’m mad at you but because my mind is racing and I’m feeling awful physically and you just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Add that behavior to months of not telling your spouse how you really feel about a few things and you get a disaster. Let’s just say today I didn’t bite my tongue and what I should’ve said to him in a productive manner didn’t come out as planned. I also said what I needed to say with intent to hurt since I had been hurting for a while now. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

So after a day of dealing with me he tells me he’s leaving the house for a little bit. I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of what I was dishing today.

I’m very self aware and self-less, and I need to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is like that. I’ve been with my husband since we were 17 years old. We have both changed so much over the past 13 years. We’ve both taken each other for granted in different ways. Our love language is different. We think differently. We ARE different. Period.

My intent is never to hurt. But sometimes the truth hurts and you have to be honest with yourself and your partner when something isn’t right. Years ago we went to marriage counseling and learned how to communicate effectively. It changed our marriage for the better. It’s funny how over time you forget the lessons you’ve learned and find yourself slipping back into your old ways.

I think we argue about the same things all couples argue about. Relationships are a series of hills and valleys, but one thing I know for sure: even though I’ve hated him all day when he left the house I missed him. I missed him so much my chest physically hurt. And that tells me everything I need to know. 💛

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Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.

I have so many thoughts today. What I’m about to write will be really random (and just a few of them). I just feel like I need to get some stuff off my chest. After all, this is pretty much my online diary.

Thought #1: For most of my life I’ve felt alone. Alone in the sense that I don’t share or agree with the same beliefs, ideals and actions of most of those closest to me. One thing that I think we can all agree on is the fact that we’re all really passionate. This often results in conflict, distance or the “elephant in the room” effect where being together is just awkward. We are all pretty different; the only thing uniting us is blood and/or marriage. I think we can agree that we all care about and love each other to some extent. But that love isn’t enough to unite us. Instead we remain divided and some choose to take sides. This makes me really sad. It also triggers some self reflection. Here’s what I know:

  • I am selfless. There have been so many situations in my life where I’ve been able to set aside hurt feelings and differences for the greater good of something or someone else. Even if it results in further heartache for me. There isn’t much I wouldn’t do for the people I love, whether they realize it or not.
  • I’ve always been the bigger person. Sometimes this is exhausting. Apologizing even when you know you’re right. Reaching out to end an awkward silence. Struggling to stay silent on a controversial topic with a loved one because you value the relationship more than trying to convince them that they’re wrong. Supporting someone’s beliefs even if they differ from your own.
  • I always come from a good place. Sometimes I don’t tell you what you want to hear, but what I think you need to hear because I care about you and I think you may be headed down a wrong path. Typically my delivery gets me in trouble (I tend to be kind of blunt). I never say or do anything with the intent of hurting anyone’s feelings. I only say to others what I would hope they would say to me if necessary. I value honesty and facts.
  • I have a lot of empathy. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t let the same people hurt me over and over because I wouldn’t feel bad for them. However, we are all responsible for ourselves and our actions. Empathy is not always reciprocated (in my case, rarely). There comes a time when you have to come to terms with the way people are and protect yourself; despite understanding why they may be the way they are. We are all the way we are due to circumstance but we all can choose to be the people we want to be. I’m living proof of that.

Thought #2: My (new) boss of 8 months just tendered his resignation. Although he’s been my boss, I’ve been doing his job for the past year and a half at a pay grade 2 levels lower than him. He quit because he couldn’t handle the stress and demands of the job. Even though I was doing his job prior to him starting at my company, I wasn’t considered for the position due to “lack of experience” also known as age. Despite the fact that during my performance reviews I’ve always exceeded expectations (which I should be, seeing as how I’m a grade 11 doing a grade 13 job). The man they hired to do the job had 30 years of experience opposed to my 10, and he failed to meet one deliverable in 8 months. I’ve met all deliverables. So here is the dilemma: once they realized they hired a dud to do the job, they began to think that maybe I should’ve been given the opportunity. Now that he’s given his resignation, rumor has it I’ll be offered the job.

But not at a grade 13, a grade 12. Not 8 months ago, but now. Not before they hired a retirement aged man to do the job instead of 30 year old female me. This isn’t a job I love doing. It’s a job that allows me the ability to travel and live my life a certain way. So if I do get “promoted” to a 12, I’ll continue to do what I’ve been doing. But I’m extremely jaded. I’ll never forget what this company did to me. And I’ll continue to look for a new job.

Thought #3: I am stronger than my fears. For those of you that don’t know, I have generalized anxiety disorder. There are certain triggers that give me anxiety but I also generally have anxiety all the time for reasons I can’t explain. In terms of triggers, leaving the house and air planes give me a lot of anxiety. Despite that, I travel via air plane at least once a year and leave the house for days if not weeks at a time. I have a fear of public speaking and confrontation, and despite that I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and possibly take on more of that if I happen to get promoted as anticipated (because although I’m doing more than my current boss now, if I get promoted they’ll expect even more out of me). I do my best to not let my mental illness define me. Those of you who struggle know how hard that is. For those of you who don’t, try to have some empathy and just imagine.

Thought #4: I just got back from 5 days of vacation in the Bahamas. It was great to get away. Unfortunately, due to the anxiety described in thought #3 above, I stress ate while we were there and gained back 6 of the 8 lbs I lost before we left! It took me 2 months of eating healthy and hours of working out to lose 8 lbs and in 5 days and 4 nights I managed to gain 6 lbs back. Damn it!!!!!

Thought #5: The Walking Dead returns tonight and since I just returned from vacation and tomorrow is Monday, I need something to look forward to. Anything that distracts me from reality is great.

And those are some of my current thoughts. Overall my soul feels heavy today. But it’s 50 degrees out and the sun is trying to shine through the clouds. It’s up to me to try and make it a great day. ☀️

The gender pay gap makes my abdominal pain worse.

Day 3 of what is either the stomach flu or food poisoning. I have the worst pain in my abdomen but I think the fever finally broke. I haven’t been this sick in a long time. I’ve been up all night tossing and turning trying to ease the stomach pain and get comfortable. Naturally when I can’t sleep, I turn to the internet and/or watch mindless television.

Often after work I come home, make dinner and watch the news (30 going on 50, I know). Then after depending on my mood I’ll watch a few minutes of E! News to keep up on my pop culture. I was caught off guard during last night’s episode when Catt Sadler (one of the hosts who has been there forever) announced she was leaving the network. They bid her farewell but didn’t offer any insight into why she was leaving after 12 years. So naturally at 230am I find myself on her blog to see if maybe she was announcing her next career move and when I read her post I was shocked.

She’s leaving the E! Network because her co-host, Jason Kennedy makes double her salary and has for years. When she found out and asked for a raise she was repeatedly denied, and therefore gave her notice to take a stand against the gender pay gap.

Now, I know many women who are underpaid compared to their male counterparts. Change doesn’t happen when you remain silent and I applaud Catt for doing what she did, especially being a single Mom to 2 boys. I can’t imagine how nerve wracking this decision was for her but she’s talented and will find work elsewhere I’m sure.

What’s even more disappointing is that a network like E! wasn’t willing to close the pay gap for her. I would have thought that a network dedicated to pop culture may have been a little more progressive, especially considering what has been going on in the news lately. It’s a shame.

So I think I’m going to change up my nightly routine after work now. E! will have one less viewer, and I will get my mindless pop culture fix elsewhere.

I applaud the women who are brave enough to stand up for what they believe in. Equal pay should be expected and shouldn’t be treated as a favor or a luxury. Women work just as hard if not harder.

On that note, I’m going to try to fall back asleep and ignore the horrible stomach pain that I have. 😫

Perspective

This time of year is always pretty depressing for me. I currently don’t have a relationship with my Father or my Mother. My seasonal depression starts to kick in and I start stressing about those 10-15 lbs that I would like to lose by Spring. I start questioning my job and whether or not I’m really happy or content.

2 days ago I got into my first car accident. I got caught up at work and left an hour and a half later than I should have. I was side swiped at 60 mph on the thruway by a car full of men who didn’t speak English. After they hit me they tried to flee but traffic was backed up and when they realized there was nowhere that they could go they finally pulled over.

We were blocking the left lane of a 3 way highway during a high traffic time. I immediately went into panic mode and began to have a horrible anxiety attack. 3 of the men got out of the car and started circling my vehicle. The other tried to communicate with me but he knew no English and I didn’t know any Chinese. Once we stopped I called the police. The Officer was so good with me considering I was hyperventilating and convulsing uncontrollably. My glove box popped open when I was hit, it was dark and I couldn’t find my registration or insurance card. When I finally did find the documents I was shaking so bad I dropped them several times. The Officer was so patient and kind to me. After talking with us both (or attempting to talk with them) he indicated that it was clear by the damage that the accident was the other driver’s fault. He wrote them a ticket, gave me the accident report and we all were able to drive away at that point.

Perspective. This accident could have been A LOT worse. I may not have parents that I can call when things in my life go array, but I have a loving supportive husband that I got to come home to who comforted me as I continued to convulse for 3 more hours after the accident. Who called the insurance company and is working with them to get my car fixed. Who is there for me through thick and thin.

Do I still need to lose those 10-15 lbs? Yes. Do I love my job? No, but it pays my bills and allows my husband and I to go on vacations. Am I truly happy? Well, yes. Although I struggle with anxiety and depression, I’m alive today and my life could be so much worse.

Sometimes when we are feeling low we get a wake up call and change our perspective. Sometimes when we have a mental illness we lose sight of that perspective quicker than others. But we continue to fight the good fight and look for the positive. We continue to keep our heads up. Life is a roller coaster and I’m along for the ride.

History repeats itself.

I have a lot of opinions. I don’t typically get political, but I feel like I have to just get this off of my chest after the President’s comments at an Alabama rally this week. President Trump called on NFL team owners to fire those “SOB” players that kneel during the national anthem at football games. Here’s my take:

I am a 30 year old American white woman. I was raised by parents who are racist in a predominantly white area. I didn’t have much interaction with people of other ethnicities and as such I was ignorant and feared African Americans due to the stories I was told by my parents growing up. I have never been racist. I always treated people how they treated me, regardless of what they looked like. 

When I was 18 years old, my parents moved from Western NY to about an hour north of Atlanta, GA. I thought people in WNY were racist (ha). In this little town of Jasper, GA I experienced hate for the first time, as did my parents. We were now labeled “Yankees” by southerners who were still stuck in the civil war era. My parents owned a diner which I worked at. During my tenure there, I heard my share of insults about being a Yankee. Being new to the area and younger, I struggled to fit in and make friends. I did notice a common theme with the people who labeled me a yankee and treated me differently: they were all uneducated (I don’t believe any of them had attended high school) and they never left the small town they grew up in and went out into the world. These same people were also racist; however, most of them had never spoken to an African American in their lives. It was also the first time that I had heard about the KKK outside of history class in high school. The KKK was active in North GA and knowing that completely baffled me. Needless to say, I lasted in GA for 4 months. I was 19 years old when I moved out of my parents house and went to live in Philadelphia with my boyfriend (now husband) whom I had a long distance relationship with since I left WNY.

When I moved to Philly, I enrolled in beauty school before learning the area and really settling in. And I’m so glad that I did. 

I was the Minority in beauty school. Literally, I was 1 of 2 white girls in a beauty school with almost 100 African American women. My first day of beauty school I was petrified. My entire life I was told that African Americans were criminals, had no morals, were poverty stricken and even that they hated white people. I kept to myself thinking maybe I won’t get beat up that way. It took 10 minutes for someone to approach me. Her name was Alliah. She was so nice and made me feel so welcome. When we had our first lunch break she invited me out with some of the girls. I was the only white girl invited. Reluctantly, I said yes. And I’m so glad that I did. Not one of those girls looked at or treated me like I was not like them. After time, we all became great friends and knowing them shattered any stereotypes I grew up believeing about African Americans. Alliah invited me to her house for dinner. She didn’t live in the best area in Philly and I had no idea what her family was like. I only knew that she had a huge family. Would they treat me like she did? Do they hate white people? I started questioning it. When I got there, I was greeted with a big hug from her Mother. They sat me at the head of the table and I experienced some of the best homemade food I’d ever had. Her entire family never once treated me like I was privelged or didn’t look like them, but I began to feel it. Her brother had a good job and education, but I knew he was paid less than a white man in the same position. I knew that when they left the house and were not around other African Americans they were probably not treated the same as their white counterparts. I knew that police in their town followed them constantly and looked for any reason they could find to pull them over. I also realized that I have never experienced any of their struggles (aside from gender pay equality, which is a topic for another day), which meant that I was privileged. Spending a year of my life with those girls and some of their families changed my life and my views. I will forever be grateful for the experience that I had while I lived in Philadelphia years ago. 

I am now back living in WNY. I am very patriotic. I love my country. I treat everyone equally. I have nothing but respect for our flag and the service members who risked and gave their lives for our freedom. I also understand why Colin Kaeprnick took a knee during the anthem during an NFL game. I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out:

Because we live in a democracy that abides by the constitution of the USA, we have the freedom of speech. African Americans spent decades fighting for freedom. They got it. Once they became free, they spent decades fighting for equality. They have yet to get that. Years of peaceful protests have got them nowhere. An NFL player takes a knee during the national anthem to bring awareness to racial injustice and now people are talking about it. NFL fans, team owners, players, non-NFL fans, and even the president of the United States. I think we can all agree that there may be better ways to highlight the issue of racial injustice than kneeling during the anthem. However, that has all been done before and yet nothing has changed. 

So what is the answer? I say we do this. White people of America need to say the following to the protesters: “We hear you. We have empathy for you. Things need to change.”. Don’t like them protesting during the national anthem? LISTEN and have conversations to make change so that they no longer feel the need to do that to get your attention; don’t feel like they need to do that to be heard. It’s easy for white people to say there isn’t an issue because we are not impacted, but it doesn’t matter what we think. We are not in their shoes and never will be so we need to look within ourselves and say wow it would suck to be treated differently because I was white and take a stand to make a change. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I am a white woman who is relentlessly patriotic. I love the USA and I realize how lucky we are to live in a country where we are free. I also realize that people are not treated equally in this country. I also realize that the current President has done nothing to condemn it. “Firing the son of a bitches” that protest is not the answer. Listening to their concerns and having empathy for people who are not like you is. If you can’t find it in you to do so, I encourage you to get out into the world and get cultured. 

All you need is love. ❤️

30

Welp, it happened. I turned 30. 

I feel like I did on the last day that I was 29. Nothing has changed. Besides my outlook on life, which changes every year.

The older I get the less I care about what others think of me. The less I feel bad about ridding toxic people from my life. The more I want to see the world. The more comfortable I get in my skin. The less I hesitate to speak my truth. The more I stand up for what I believe in. 

One thing that I know for sure is that life is short. These past 30 years went by really quick. We need to make them count. ❤️

“SAD”

I’m really depressed. I feel numb. Fatigued. On the verge of tears. Exhausted. I don’t know what to say and don’t want to talk about it. Emotionless. 

I spent all night last night having anxiety attacks staring at the clock. Finally around 5am I got out of bed and worked out for an hour, hoping to release some of the adrenaline. It didn’t help. I was just sore and anxious after.

My sister got baptized this morning. I’m not a religious person so going to church is uncomfortable for me, seeing as how I don’t know any of the songs, prayers, etc. I’m also am introvert so the small talk is torture. I know how much it meant to my sister that I be there so I went with my husband. As if that situation didn’t cause me enough anxiety, my Dad also went. My Dad and I do not have a good relationship and I had no idea how he would act towards my husband and I. I figured that he would be cordial since we were in a church celebrating my sister. Wrong. 

He acted as though we were invisible, blatently ignoring us. While he wouldn’t make eye contact with me, he disregarded my husband very rudely. Suddenly I became overrun with emotion and ran out of the church hoping no one would see me cry. After a few minutes I pulled myself back together and went inside. We didn’t sit with the rest of the family. We also didn’t attend the cookout afterwards since my Dad was going to be there and I didn’t want to risk conflict and ruin my sisters day.

I don’t even know why my Dad is mad at me anymore. Why he doesn’t want me in his life. This is the first time he’s rejected me in public. Normally he cares about perception – God forbid people know how messed up our relationship is. God forbid he is seen as the bad guy. But not this time. Usually he pretends to not be an asshole in front of people so that I look like the ass. Not this time. I don’t know why I got so emotional, I’m used to this. Just not in public. This felt like he finally threw in the towel with me. Chose to write me off permanently and wanted to make it known. 

From the time I was 14 I’ve been going through this with him. People say to me “he’s an asshole don’t let him get to you”, “he doesn’t deserve to have you in his life”, “don’t let him get you down”. I wish it was that easy, but I do care. He’s my Father. He has messed up a lot, but he’s my parent. I’m supposed to be able to call him when I have a bad day. I’m supposed to know that he will have my back when I fall. Care about my life. Be there for me when I need him. Love me unconditionally. But he doesn’t. I haven’t had a Father since I was 14 years old and it looks like I’ll never have one. That’s a hard pill to swallow. 

It’s also Sunday. The day where anxiety and depression take over every single week. I dread going to work on Mondays. I need a new job. 😔

Current events also make me depressed and anxious. North Korean threats to the USA and white supremacy rallies. I hope people realize that these white supremacy groups do not represent all white people. I’m so disappointed in humanity lately. 

I’m going to bed. 😞