Saying Goodbye

Bobby and I turned in our keys yesterday. We are finally moved out of our first little house that we shared. We no longer have to deal with crazy neighbors that hiss at our dog or throw possible poisoned bread in the backyard. But we also can no longer walk to the movie theater or to the mall to get energy drinks.

I’m not working anymore, but Bobby’s last day is Friday. Next week we say goodbye (and good riddance) to living in the South. We say goodbye to overly religious racists making up too much of the population around us. We say goodbye to people who use our Creator as an excuse for their prejudiced actions. We say goodbye to unwalkable city planning and drivers who want cyclist commuters to die simply because they’re on a bike. We say goodbye to not earning a livable wage. We say goodbye to so many things.
But we also say goodbye to good music. We say goodbye to the history of modern recording. We say goodbye to seeing zoo lions without going to a zoo whenever we want. We say goodbye to good friends. We say goodbye to cheap rent. We say goodbye to so many things.

I am so excited to say hello again. I’m excited to go home and be home and feel home. I’m excited to breath fresh air and for the shade to be cooler than the sun. I’m excited to be out of the humidity.
I’m excited to adventure again. And I’m more than excited to start somewhere new with my favorite human.

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It’s Cool To Be an Alcoholic

When did it become a normal thing to fetishize drinking tons of alcohol?

I noticed a while ago that a lot of shirts for sale have sayings on them like, “Rosé all day” “Coffee and wine, feelin’ fine” “Relationship Status: Wine”

I saw a girl wearing a wine sloganed sweater at the gym...
image from Target.com

I counted 11 different wine sloganed shirts on Target’s website alone.
I used to love wine. I still like it. I’m drinking a glass right now. But most of these shirts are probably being bought by underage teens. Kids who will grow up thinking day drinking is normal. And again, there’s nothing wrong with day drinking on its own, but when it becomes the norm, then how do you even know what a day without alcohol is like? How do you drive?

I’ve had far more fun sober days than non-sober days. Maybe I’m just getting old. Because I’m not that conservative. I’m just over people who know nothing about wine fetishizing it. Because I’m almost positive that the people who buy these shirts probably spend $25 on five bottles of cheap wine rather than on one bottle of good wine.

Maybe I’m just annoyed. I just don’t think it’s that cool to be an alcoholic.

What I Read: March 2019

Image from Amazon.com

A Lily in the Light was a book I got from Amazon First Reads. It’s about a little sister that disappears and the family that is left behind. The main character, Esme, was 11 when her four-year-old sister disappeared. Esme was a promising ballerina, and her parents became depressed and almost unable to cope, so her ballet teacher offered to take her in. Esme auditions to go to a private boarding school for dancers and wins a full ride scholarship. The book then fast forwards to when Esme is 19, dancing in Paris. They found a girl that could be her missing sister, and she’s alive.
This book was better than I expected. It did a really great job of showing someone grappling with guilt over such a great loss. It highlights Esme’s depression and her reasons behind different actions. I’m definitely glad I chose it.

Image from Goodreads.com

This is another book I got from Book of the Month. They have really been able to deliver in their selections and I definitely recommend trying it out if you’ve been curious.
The story follows Hen, an artist, and her husband right after they move into a new house in the suburbs. Hen is bipolar and has a history of episodes where she becomes obsessed with different murder cases. Her last episode came right after their neighbor on their old street was murdered. It was made to look like a robbery, but the victim’s fencing trophy was also stolen. The killer was never caught.
Hen’s new next door neighbors invite them over for dinner and she sees a fencing trophy just like the missing one sitting on the neighbor’s mantel. Hen then becomes convinced that her neighbor is a serial killer, but with her previous history, who would believe her accusations?
This book had so many twists and turns and I loved every minute of it. The author perfectly captured what it’s like to suffer from mental illness. I especially loved the twist at the end. I won’t spoil it though.

Image from Amazon.com

I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out because I had heard good things about it. I had been reading a lot of murder and dark stories, so I decided to try something else. I picked it up at the local library and almost didn’t put it down. It reminded me why I want to be a therapist. It reminded me why I want to help people tell their stories.
The story is about Greer Kadetsky and her discovery of feminism. She is sucked in by Faith Frank in college and wants nothing more than to change lives for the better in the name of feminism. The book also tells the story from the point of view of several different characters.
There is so much growth and change in each character. It was so realistic. I should go to the library more often.

Do What You Like

I spend far too much time thinking about writing and then never following through. I still have the mind of a writer, but my actions would say otherwise. I have started some cool things, but I haven’t decided what to do with them yet, so they’re still just sitting there.

Remember being a kid and having hobbies and interests, some of which matched those around you, and some of which were your own? For example, a lot of little girls love horses, but not all do. Some little girls loved dinosaurs. Some girls still do. Kids play with dolls and hotwheels and beanie babies and make up pretend worlds. Kids collect things.
But then we come to a point when the opinions of our peers matter more. For some, that’s middle school. For some that is high school. If a person has an interest that is not popular and maybe too nerdy, they get made fun of. And of a lot of people stop liking things because their friends tell them it is lame.
So I’m gonna say this: It’s not lame.

When you reach your twenties, loving Disney is cool again. Having quirky decor is trendy, like having trinkets and lamps shaped like your favorite animal. I think a lot of us would be a lot happier if we didn’t let our peers make us feel bad about our nerdy designs.

Recently, my boyfriend and I started embracing our nerdiness again. He had been talking about buy pokemon decks with a friend of ours so they could battle. But we’re moving and there has been a lot going on everywhere, so they hadn’t done it yet. One day I came home and told Bobby I would be willing to go buy decks with him and play. And we have been sucked in completely.
Did you know there are huge tournaments where people can win money? Just through strategy? It’s so crazy and weird. But we’re having fun.
Because we both liked pokemon as kids. But everyone reaches that age where things become not cool anymore, even if they don’t lose interest. I wish we had held onto that interest.

Do what you like. Do things that make you happy, even if they’re nerdy or weird or unpopular. Happiness should trump all.

Books I read in February 2019

February was filled with new distractions, so I only read three books, but I’m still reaching my goal to read more this year.

These are the books I read last month:

Image from Amazon.com

In January I wrote a post about Marie Kondo’s show Tidying Up on Netflix. I mentioned that I had wanted to read her book for a while. My dad saw that post and bought me the book. I have a pretty cool dad.

I liked this book and found it to be a helpful resource. What is difficult for me right now in the organizing my house category is that it is hard to find motivation when I know I am about to pack up my house and move across the country. I have been effective in going through my clothes and books and have gotten rid of them. I plan to use everything I learned in our next destination. I’m trying to feel positive, but it’s hard to feel that way right now. I’m still a lazy human.

Image from Goodreads.com

This was my book of the month pick.
I really enjoyed this book. The main character’s sister was murdered and her case was never solved. She always suspected that her sister’s boyfriend was to blame, and when she returns home to take care of her mother she discovers that he’s a nurse at her mother’s cancer facility. She starts searching for truth, starting with the boyfriend, and finds out so many things surrounding the case that she never would have known.
I keep reading books with a lot of mystery and murder in them. I get sucked in so easily, and I sometimes wonder how this is affecting my mental health, but it’s also hard to care. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries surrounding families and murders.

Image from Amazon.com

This is another book that I got from amazon first reads. I’m always apprehensive to read books I get from first reads, because it seems like the majority of my choices have been duds or have just been really hard to get through. I don’t really like reading boring books.
Luckily, this book was awesome. It’s from the perspective of Katie, whose father was arrested six years before after being convicted of statutory rape. Katie’s then best friend was the accuser, and Katie never believed her father was guilty. The book starts off right before her father is released from prison and is filled with flashbacks from the summer the crime was supposedly committed. Katie finally starts to discover different things about the case that she had been kept in the dark about as a teenager.
This book has such a good plot and shows so much character development. Katie begins to understand why she does the things she does and reacts in certain ways. It was really interesting from a counseling perspective. Definitely glad I chose this book.

We Have an Announcement

Back home currently has the most snow in the United States. A lot of feet of snow have fallen. Flagstaff, Arizona has a ton of snow right now also. In fact, a friend of mine that lives in Tucson posted a snowy video today too! Needless to say, I miss the snow. Alabama has no snow, but that’s no surprise.
And snow isn’t even the most important thing to me, especially in a place that I want to live.

I moved to Alabama sort of on a whim. I thought I was being called here. I thought my life was going to change and I would be put on a path that would launch me into a career I could only dream about. It’s funny how I’m usually wrong about these things. Because what I thought I was stepping into was not at all what I actually stepped into.

I had not lived here six months when my mother passed. I was reeling from her loss and found comfort in alcohol and watching stupid Netflix shows with someone who was starting to become a very good friend. It wasn’t much later that he was more than a friend and I fell in love with Bobby.
Moving to Alabama changed my life. Losing my mother changed my life. But loving Bobby has changed my life for the better.

Last year, Bobby and I took a road trip across the country because I was homesick. Along the way we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona to buy some film and get coffee at Dutch Bros. because I discovered they have one there. We had been in the city half an hour when we both decided we wanted to live there. We planned to make the move after I finished my graduate program, and I would just go through the licensing process in Arizona. I had some anxiety about the difficulty of finding someone to supervise me so I could get my license, when I would have no contacts in Arizona, but I figured it would work itself out.
But I’ve been homesick for a long time. Alabama has made me more and more miserable. I thought if I quit my job and made a change that I would be happier, but in December I only felt more depressed. I felt like I couldn’t make it. I just wanted to go home.
So I called my dad. And I called my brother. And they said that Bobby and I could move back to my childhood home for the summer to save money. So we’re leaving Alabama in May and will be in California for three months. I’m ready to go home.
Bobby and I decided that we didn’t want to wait until I finished school, especially when the licensing process in a different state might be challenging. So I’m going to finish my degree in Arizona. We’ll be moving there in August, and I am so excited.

Since I’ve been missing the snow and sick of all the rain here, I figured now would be a good time to announce that we’re leaving. Finally.

“What would Jesus do”

Said as a statement. Not a question.

I was work the other day and a man came and found me and asked for help with the patio furniture. He asked how big of a box this big wooden outdoor chair would come in. Unfortunately, the only one of those chairs that we had in stock was the display, so the box question was irrelevant.

I radioed my manager and was informed that I could not sell a display this early in the patio furniture season. Haha. Retail, am I right?
So I gave this information to the man and his wife, but I let them know that we would be getting more in the future, so they would be able to come back at a later date or order the chair online.
And the lady lost. her. mind.

“Why can’t you sell me this one?!”

“Because I can’t sell the display this early in the season. We just put it out. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t understand why you can’t sell it to me!!!”

“Her manager just told her over the radio that she can’t sell it, I heard the conversation.” (Her husband)

Then the woman starts saying, “What would Jesus do. What would Jesus do. What would Jesus do,” to herself.

And I could think was that Jesus would not lose his mind because a chair was out of stock. In fact, he was a carpenter, and he was perfect, so I’m sure he could easily make a significantly better chair. And I’m sure he could find a much better use of $230 than spending it on an outdoor chair. And if the chair was so necessary for his plan, he would probably send his disciples out and give them instructions about talking to specific people with donkeys or something and they would be sent on a wild goose chase and eventually be gifted the perfect chair.

It always blows my mind when people try to show how holy and Christian they are by mentioning Jesus in the same breath as being super rude to someone. Jesus got angry at the money changers in the temple, and he often mocked the pharisees, but other than that I’m pretty sure he wasn’t rude. He especially wasn’t rude to those he was going to buy something from. American Christianity, especially in the south, is so annoying to me sometimes.
Sure, go ahead and live your life with the WWJD motto. I have no issue with that. Except that most of those people don’t even know the answer to the WWJD question. They just know that they want to throw a toddler temper tantrum because something is out of stock. Something you would use in the spring and summer. Even though it’s February.

Her husband did come and find me and thank me for being helpful and apologized for her behavior. So at least there’s that.