Living Life

Buyer’s Remorse

I’m currently experiencing buyer’s remorse. It’s not the kind that I can simply return to a store to fix, like expensive shoes or a fancy dress.

So, I received my little car registration renewal in the mail; it’s nothing new. As always, I go online and renew for 2 years, thus saving me maybe $2, or something like that. The bigger savings is actually in my sanity because ain’t nobody got time to go to the DMV to conduct such a simple transaction that can take all day with someone who is less than thrilled to be sitting across from you at the counter. I navigate to the screen I need and fill out my information but, before I can continue, at the bottom of my screen it says something that basically means ‘your tags are 10 years old and falling apart, you should get new ones’. I didn’t particularly need to get new ones, in my opinion, but I decided ‘what the heck’.

Here’s where the trouble starts….

For as long as I can remember (at least 10 years) back to the beginning of my car-owning career, I’ve had but one license plate. I didn’t care that most people had to ask me what it “stood for”.  I didn’t care that, even after I explained it, some people just didn’t understand. I loved it because I tho2016-09-08-13-40-48ught it described who I was in 7 little letters – PANARQN – aka PanaRican. Although back then I wanted it to say PANARCN but, believe it or not, that was taken. It wasn’t just taken by any random Jose. Oh, no! It also happened to be a Honda Accord, like mine. How do I know, you ask?  I know because I saw it driving northbound on I-395 one day. I was so upset! I wanted to get in front of her so she could see that I had to make a serious compromise to get the plates that should have been mine. The nerve!  But I digress.

Back to the registration…

I checked to see if PANARCN was available and, no surprise, it wasn’t. So I decided to play with the configuration in every which way possible to see if I could make it work; other letters, numbers, a dash here or there, that kind of thing. I was excited at the thought of a shiny, new license plate for my less than shiny car, Theodore, who just so happens to be another Honda Accord. Seriously, I’ve come full circle for pete’s sake! That license plate should be mine! I’m very passionate about this. 😉

After investing maybe 5 minutes into the excitement of a new license plate, I finally chose one that I rationalized in my mind would make the most sense. I proceeded to pay for it and that was that, done and done.  Now, I played the waiting game for it to arrive which could take up to 30 days. I didn’t think too much about it until it finally arrived. Once I opened the package, I instantly regretted it.20160820_120355

PAN-RICN. No. No. No. Stop. I change my mind. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. It just wasn’t the same. It was like I lost a piece of me. I mean, I know PANARQN isn’t any more clear, but I wanted it back. I felt guilty for ordering it. I didn’t even care that it was shiny and new, or that it said “Virginia is for Lovers” which always reminds me of my littlest sister for some reason. I didn’t want it anymore – PERIOD – but I can’t return it. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!! *sigh*

I did what any rational adult would do, I left the license plates in the box, haphazardly lying around the house to get lost. Oh, please get lost! I was originally provided with new stickers for my old plates from the DMV to last me for another month, just in case my new license plate took the full 30 days to be delivered. I put the stickers on my old plates and totally ignored the new ones. After the entire month of July and part of August, I actually started worrying that I would lose the plates or, the more likely scenario, they would be thrown in the trash. I decided it was time to make the most of a sh*tty situation; I put the plates on my car. So this is my life for the new 2 years. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

All the while, I still haven’t paid the $75 ticket that I received for having expired tags which prompted all this madness.  When will I ever learn?

Where I am

It’s day 76. I’m leaving another successful gathering with great food and amazing friends. I’m honored. I get in my car and turn it on to the sound of “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson. My soul smiles and I begin to sing along.

As I drive, I’m reflecting on my weekend and the conversations I had with various people who crossed my path. People I haven’t seen in a while, people I am not close with, but also family and close friends. Yet, I connected with them all on some deep level about life and relationships (both friendly and intimate). Thank you. I can appreciate every moment of time I spent with each person because it contributed to my epiphany.

While the music of WGTS 91.9 feeds my soul, I begin to experience an overwhelming feeling of happiness and inner peace. I realized that I am truly at peace with myself – finally! I’m at peace with not only where I am in life, but who I am. For the first time, I feel like I am where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and going where He wants me to go. My purpose? Maybe. I certainly don’t have it all together and I never will, but I know I’m on the right path.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  – Luke 19:10

I’m home. In more ways than one, I’m home. I’m in my parking spot looking at my little home and I love it. Not everyone can say that they had that moment of clarity (for lack of a better word). People seem to look for their reason for being; at least I did. Now, I can smile because I love me and where I am. I can smile because it’s actually true. I’m blessed and I’m determined to do something big with the seed that’s been planted within me.

Inside, my puppy Bishop waits with extra excitement. It’s as if he knows I’m extra happy…ooooor, he has to pee. 😉

 

 

(Photo from http://www.purposedriven.com – I read Purpose Driven Life years ago and I highly recommend it.)

Listen to me!

We all want to be heard.  Am I right?

I find myself taking the less than mature adult approach to being heard.  Even if it’s a short story, damnit I want to tell it with all the deets!  I seriously don’t know any other way of telling anything.  So when I’m interrupted every 2 seconds, I just don’t want to tell it anymore.  I throw my hands in the air and say, “oh, just forget it.”  Then, when I receive the inevitable, “sorry, please finish, tell your story,” I give the pouting response, “the story was over anyway” which is a total lie and then I have the nerve to be irritated because I really wanted to tell the story.

Image Courtesy of musiccityschoolcounselor.wordpress.com

Image Courtesy of musiccityschoolcounselor.wordpress.com

I’ve been in a few relationships where I’ve been interrupted time and time again.  Why do they torture me like this?!  I tried to analyze where I’m going wrong because I MUST be doing something wrong here, right?  Maybe it’s me.  (I just made myself laugh.)  I could very well be a poor listener, myself.  I don’t think that’s possible, but I decided to humor myself and really look deep.

I have a bit of social anxiety and I’m self conscious about my ability to hold a conversation, as it is.  I realized that, because I was always thinking, thinking, thinking of the next thing that was supposed to come out of my mouth when the other person was done talking, I can’t possibly be listening to them.  I mean seriously – God forbid I have no response!  How will I endure the possibility of the awkward silence that may or may not come when they are finished talking?  Argh!  It really takes a conscious effort on the listener’s behalf to be a good listener.  Once I put two and two together, I decided to make a change.  I’m not a big interrupter when others are talking, but I could still change how I listen to people; I could give my full attention which is basically what I want.  I want your attention.  (I’m feeling needy all of a sudden.)

No lie, it was hard at first.  My brain wanted to do what it wanted to do but, ironically, I realized that listening to what the person had to say actually made conversations flow much easier.  Mind. Blown.  With my new-found information, I really wanted to share it with everybody who ever felt the need to interrupt me.  JUST STOP AND LISTEN!  I’m a storyteller for pete’s sake.  If you can’t listen to me tell stories, we are never going to work out.  Friendship or otherwise.

Ultimately, some people are just plain selfish when they interrupt.  What they have to say is more important than what you or I have to say.  That’s all there is to it.  Makes you wonder why they stick around if they don’t care what you have to say; if your thoughts aren’t important.

(Even worse, are those who think they can finish your sentence and totally suck at it – but that’s another blog post for another day.)

Appreciating Time

As my birthday was approaching my kids were either, (a) very secretive about what they wanted to do or give me; or (b) flat out telling me what they are making me (my youngest can’t keep a secret to save her life).  As they are getting older they want to buy me things and, while I absolutely appreciate that they want to do that for me, I would rather they didn’t spend their money on me.

This is all my Papa’s fault.  😉

Growing up, I remember that my dad never wanted any gifts; not for Christmas, not his birthday and not for Father’s Day.  The way I saw it, I had a job and I wanted to get him a gift.  To me, it was almost showing appreciation for him being the best dad he could be.  A couple of times I even asked him what he wanted and he said “I don’t want anything.”  I’d still get him something but, being the man of few words that he is, it’s not like he got excited about it.  It was almost anticlimactic to watch him open the gift.  I got over it.

Eventually, as I matured into a “real” adult, my siblings and I would have parties and get everyone together whether it was for a special occasion or “just because” and he really enjoyed those.  If someone was missing, he’d ask where they were.  We realized that it truly made him happy to simply have us together; to BE together and enjoy our TIME together.  Today, that’s how I feel.

My oldest wants to take me to dinner and it will be very nice to spend more time with her, but a part of me doesn’t want to have a fancy dinner; I’d rather she didn’t spend her money that way.  We can have a nice dinner and enjoy each other’s company without the expensive bill at the end of the night.  I don’t want to crush her plans so I’ll make a light suggestion that we go somewhere else and see if she takes the bait.  I will appreciate whatever it is (like the manicure and PAINFUL eyebrow threading that I endured already as part of her gift to me).  Ultimately, my hope is that I instill the same appreciation for time that my dad did for me and my siblings.  We don’t “stress” about gifts like we used to because the most important part is that we all take the time out to spend together.  God blessed me with a wonderful family that I love to spend time with.  I can’t ask for anything more for my birthday.

Thank you, Papa.  🙂

Mistakes; they happen

mistake

It’s easy to look back on past actions and decisions and say, “yeah, that was a mistake I won’t repeat”.  You live and learn, right?  Some mistakes are big and some are small; some are life altering while others go unnoticed.  As I touched on in a previous post about Forgiveness, some mistakes require us to forgive even ourselves so that we can move on.  Today is the final day that I grapple with a mistake I made just over a year ago.

I know we all get that feeling deep down in the pit of our stomach when something just isn’t right.  That feeling that says, “Don’t do it – something’s fishy!”  The one that you wish the actors/actresses in horror movies would listen to so that we can save ourselves from screaming at the TV, “DON’T GO IN THERE!”

If only I would have taken heed to that feeling on October 5, 2014.

That is the day I sat in front of a car dealer and threw caution to the wind, regardless of the feelings in my stomach and what I would normally do in a situation like that.  I sat there and purchased a car that was not only completely against what I went to purchase but out of my comfortable price range.  That is the day I sat there with my then husband, whom I married barely two month earlier, and who encouraged me to purchase a nice car because “I deserved it.”  Everything I had ever spent money on up until that point in our relationship was purchased under the guarded understanding that I need to be able to afford this myself without his help because it wasn’t guaranteed.  Let’s face it, in life, nothing is guaranteed.

But I did it anyway.  I purchased Mona, my car, under the assumption that since there were now two incomes, I shouldn’t worry; besides, we were newly married.  Well, not anymore.  And you know how “they” say that you shouldn’t name something or else you’ll get attached?  Yeah, don’t do that because it goes for a car, too.  A year later and I am completely attached to my car that I shouldn’t/can’t keep.  Could I blame him for encouraging me to get a car out of my range when he already knew he wasn’t sticking around?  Yes, I could.  Yes, I want to.  Yes! Yes! YES!!

Alas, I can’t.  At the end of the day, I made that decision.  I bought it myself, under my name, using my good credit, not his, and without the approval of that ugly feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I knew it was a mistake, but I made it anyway.  Today, I forgive that mistake and search for a new-to-me car (or motorcycle *wink*wink*) to call my own….and with a kick ass name to match.  😉

Lesson Learned.  Take heed to the feelings of uneasiness!
Chances are, they’re there for a reason.

When reality strikes…or bites

Aside from yesterday, I haven’t posted anything for the public since January.  I know that the obvious reason is because I’m in a better place and happy to write in a positive, fun way again.  I still wrote during the time that I didn’t post anything; I just didn’t share any of it.  Some of the writings weren’t even complete.  It’s interesting, after all this time, to go back and read some of the things I started and never finished.  I decided to post this one in particular because even I don’t remember how it ended.  So I’d like to pretend that this is one of those “pick your ending” stories.   I had to laugh at my own disclaimer.  😉

April 6, 2015

Disclaimer: This is not one of my usual upbeat posts. Sorry y’all…

I was recently stepped on by the proverbial elephant in the room.  Luckily for me, my pride and self-dignity were only temporarily crushed and replaced with red flushed cheeks that accompany heavy embarrassment.

In this case, the elephant in the room = the fact that I just got married in August and have been separated from my husband for well over 6 months now, if not all 8, and not by my choice.  The details aren’t necessary but, needless to say, it has been a roller coaster of emotions.

So what had happened was, I attended a nice, family-friendly function.  To my surprise, my “situation” wasn’t much of a secret but I certainly didn’t attend so I could talk about it, either.  I should have guessed the gig was up when I didn’t receive the usual questions about where my husband was and how his work was going.  I attended because, although I intended on going, recent events led me to change my mind.  I really needed to get out of the house though, so I went.  I should have gone with my first instinct and stayed home in my cave.  It wasn’t bad that the subject finally came up, but it’s the reality of people asking and wanting to talk about it.

I have spent months praying and putting myself in a better place mentally to live and enjoy my daily life.  Talking about it doesn’t bring me down so much anymore because, for the most part, I speak about it in a positive way.  God has something better for me.  My husband deserves to be happy, too, even though it’s not with me.

* * *

That’s it.  I have no idea whether I was going to write about what happened, write about how everyone deserves to be happy, or write about the awesome things God has in store for me.  It was interesting reading this because i’m not in the same frame of mind as I was then, thank God.  These days, I’ll bank on the last ending because God IS awesome and he’s done so much for me already.  I am truly blessed!  🙂

Somebody

I’ve mentioned my love of Depeche Mode in previous posts and to say that I love them is probably an understatement because I know every word to every song ever made.  Just about.  😉

Last year, while planning my wedding to the Mister, we couldn’t come up with a song that we would “perform” our First Dance to.  We never had a song that was “our song”.   We love music, but we didn’t have a song that spoke to us as our own like other couples seem to have.  So we put our pee-brains together to decide what we would dance to.  Out came the iTunes to go through the lists of songs that we collectively had – and there were a lot.  We actually came up with a bunch of choices, but none of them stood out as a good one.  (The John Legend All of Me song was played out, even though it was a great wedding song that everyone used and still use as their first dance.  *vomit*)   Then I found it….

Somebody by Depeche Mode

I. LOVE. THAT. SONG!  It expressed everything that we wanted in each other.  The Mister isn’t a Depeche Mode fan, but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway and when I suggested it, he actually said that it was the perfect song.  He liked it.  And that was that.  My heart was content and I was on cloud 9 thinking about and loving the fact that I could have a Depeche Mode song in the actual program of our wedding because, let’s face it, their songs aren’t ones to dance to like that.  I jump around and wave my arms all over, but that’s about it.  😀

I was reminded of this when I was on my way home yesterday and the song came on my playlist.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve heard it.  I’ve skipped it a few times because I was broken and didn’t want to hear it.  The words, which I have so awesomely included below for your reading pleasure, are heart-crushing when I consider that they meant so much for someone I loved.  And while it originally seemed like the song would be forever ruined by the memory of our first dance as Mister and Missus, it’s not ruined at all.  I can choose to let a song that I love be ruined or allow it to remain a favorite and keep the good memories that I had at that time.  The happy memories; assuming they come along with the song, which they did yesterday and I shed a teeny, tiny tear.  Thank the Lord Almighty for putting this understanding in my heart.

So, just in case you haven’t been mesmerized by the song, I have also included the best version of it in this video below because Martin Gore is just everything.  You’re welcome! (LOL  I’m such a giddy freak when it comes to them…and I don’t care.)

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who’ll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She’ll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She will hear me out
And won’t easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she’ll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me

I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought and with every breath
Someone who’ll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don’t want to be tied
To anyone’s strings
I’m carefully trying to steer clear
Of those things
But when I’m asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I’ll get away with it