Overanalyzing crazy brain

I’m having a bad day today. By “bad,” I mean intensely worrisome. This is what’s on my mind.

Does everyone come to the point in their relationships where you think if you just ask the right questions, address certain topics, and answer them/discuss accordingly, that you will then somehow know how well the rest of the relationship will turn out? You know. . . How the dynamics between partners will mesh and work out. . . How compromises and personal decisions will solidify success. . . . I’m looking for the sign that lets you KNOW things will work out and be okay. Alas, I don’t think there is a documented way to KNOW. What is that test if there is one?

I’m at that spot. Not that anything is wrong with my relationship with N (as far as I am concerned it’s the greatest and most successful of all relationships of all time), but we’ve been together a while and that length of time starts begging of more serious talk. Maybe this phase of a relationship is more difficult and taxing for me as an individual. I’m troubled–unjustly so. Maybe?

Yes, I’m uneasy or shaken in my confidence of having a good thing going. I think it’s just the uncertainty of the thing to me. Being the type A-ish person that I am, I like plans and certainties. . . like some things in science and equations in Algebra–where things work out according to specific rules. I’m plenty used to taking care of me but now there’s another person in the mix. Can I handle taking care of two?

After all this thinking and worrying and fretting today over things that you can’t control, the realization hit me. What really determines the success of any relationship are the decisions that two people make to be together. It’s that both have to respect/love enough and be dedicated enough to create a successful thing. That’s really what it is.

Thanks for listening. I feel better.

2011: A Year in Review

My last post was from June. . . 2011. Oops. It’s now 2012. Where did the time go? Well, you know what they say. Time flies when you are having fun. And I think I have been having fun.

2011 turned out to be one of the best years of my life. (That’s amazing to me especially because 2010 was probably the worst year of my life.) It began with an e-mail from a stranger who became a friend, and then became so much more. There was no looking back. 2011 was filled with activities and fun with him and with many other friends. There was hiking and backpacking all spring and summer. Lots of yummy food was cooked and new recipes tried. I made new friends. I sailed ships. I climbed rocks. I knitted. I read books. I read blogs. I sewed. I came. I saw. Oh wait. . . .

Skillet Pizza!

Truly, 2011 was a year of new discoveries for myself. I have grown and learned how to be emotional. N helped me with this. I was raised in a family that loved, I guess, but we didn’t show it to each other. N showed me that I can break out of that “nurture” mold to adopt my own philosophy of emotion. I can break that familial mold. It’s so important to say what you feel and to express those feelings often–I mean love or displeasure. Everything. Otherwise, you’ll go crazy if you never say what you think and speak your mind. I don’t say to do this without the appropriate filters, but with tact and only when necessary. Because sometimes it is better to do as your Mom always said and not say anything if you don’t have anything nice to say.

2011 was a year that presented love to me. I don’t mean what you’ve heard people say that you thought was love. I mean true knock you down, feel it physically in your chest love. It is wonderful! It means knowing someone is really there for you. You know they will drop everything for you. It means you give up yourself to be what they need. It means learning how to be selfless.

Also, this year held an awesome vacation. Each year does. This years taste of vacation was a roadtrip to Maine. In late September, N and I packed up my sweet car and headed to Maine. Our first night was a quick stop in Connecticut on the way up for sleep and breakfast. Finishing up the rest of the drive we arrived at our first destination–Acadia National Park.

Acadia N.P. from the Beachcroft Trail

We camped for three days there and hiked and enjoyed the marvelous weather and sea air. Starting south our next stop was the town of Camden, ME to board the Schooner Mary Day. We sailed alongside the crew and other passengers for 4 days out into the Atlantic ocean. The experience was priceless. We worked, we lazed about, we ate food prepared from a wood-fired stove. I’ll never forget the sound of the water lapping on the side of the boat when I’m laying in the dark in my cabin. I’ll also never forget the bioluminescence that I saw in the water.

A misty morning for the Mary Day

Amazing! You only hear of such things and then you see it and you are speechless. After deboarding, we drove down through Boston and Plymouth to Cape Cod. We camped at Nickerson State Park and biked the rail trail up to the National Seashore. Such beauty! On our way home we stopped for a quick camp in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Do you think it’s over? Nope! One night at home and we packed up again to head to Jonesborough, TN for The National Storytelling Festival. It was such a joy for me to share that with N. I knew he would love it. Mmmm. Vacations. Such things are what I live for.

A new niece! Sweet!

This year also bore the birth of my Niece, M. She is beautiful! It is true that I love her in a way that I can love no other child. I wish I could be with her more. She is such a happy child. She laughs more than she cries and she has dimples. How can you resist that?

Holidays were new because of M and N. Thanksgiving was spent with both of them at my parents’ house. It was a lovely day. Christmas was different this year but it still worked. I was with N at his mother’s place and I had family Christmas at my brother’s home. The differences were good and I think they were a nice change for everyone.

Well, that’s all I’ve got to say. Yay for 2011!

This Tuesday Belonged to Me

I got up when I wanted to. I ate what I wanted to. I went to the mountains like I wanted to. I didn’t have to answer to the man today!

Yesterday when I got to work, the first thing I asked my co-workers was, “do you have a problem with me taking a day off tomorrow?” I didn’t hear any objections so I filled out the paperwork and that was that. It’s the time of year for the flame azaleas to start their blooming up on Gregory and Andrews Bald in the Smoky Mountains. I saw them last year and I semi-vowed to not miss it ever again. It’s so beautiful!

My new fellow, N, and I planned to hike the Gregory Bald trail up to Gregory Bald today to see if the flowers had begun their show or if it would be another week before peak blossom time. I wish I could say that today went as planned. We didn’t make it up there at all. It didn’t help that we got a late start. When we drove out to the primitive one-way road that leads to the trailhead, we saw a couple of cars coming back out the wrong way. They said they had to turn around because the road was impassable. Sad day. Word on the street was that Parsons Branch Rd. looked like a washboard and if you bottomed-out, you might not be able to get any traction to get your car back out and home again. We did not risk doing that. I pouted. Yep.

It stinks when you make plans for something and then you are prevented from doing it. It wouldn’t be such a big deal but I had taken a day off of work, I had checked with two sources to make sure the road was open and passable and, doggone it, the flowers could be blooming right now! We had to turn around and head on out. We’ll have to reschedule for Sunday.

On the other hand, I had yummy pancakes and huevos rancheros for dinner. I had a chat with a far away friend, as well. Now, I am comfy on my couch without the tired legs that would have accompanied me home from the hike. N is still here and we have laughed a lot today.

Today will have to be counted as a success. Tomorrow. . . that’s another story. It’ll be back to the grind. Ugh. But. . . the weekend is now upon us. Hiking here I come!

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

No work today! While I should probably be remembering those men and women who have helped to shape our country, mostly I am happy that there is no work today. And since there’s no work, by no choice of my own, this means that I will not sleep in and get extra rest (which I need) but will wake up early–very frustrating. So here I am sitting on the couch pondering what I will do today. It’s good self reflection time.

Lately, I’ve been wondering why in the world I can’t meet up with my friend T. I try to plan some time to chat but in my forgetful age and/or busy schedule, something happens and we don’t get to catch up. I’m sorry T. I love you very much and will try harder.

Also, I’ve been contemplating this new relationship that I have. I mentioned in a few posts previous to this that I have met someone very  nice with which to share my time. Things are going well. I’m happy. . . he seems to be happy. It’s quite amazing to me. I did not expect this relationship. It just happened. I’ll say it again. I am amazed! We come from two absolutely opposite backgrounds. I mean 180° different. (but some friendships from opposite directions are the best ones, aren’t they, T?) It keeps things interesting, for sure, and you have to be super adaptable.  Right now the differences aren’t causing any problems. I am curious to see if we can maintain the peaceful quality of the relationship, when it comes to these differences, for the long term. I am going to work very hard to do that and I know he has already made great effort. He seems to be of the same mindset.

Wow. When I started this post this morning, I had so much to say. Now that it’s early evening, I seem to have forgotten everything I was reflecting on today.  :)

Oh wait. I’ve got one. As of late, I find myself not included in the girls activities with my friends from church. I find this incredibly frustrating because I fear they think that now I am seeing someone, I am unavailable for any other activities. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Sure. I’m going to hang out with my fella plenty. If you want to do something with me or have a gathering planned, ask me. I’ll come. He’ll have to wait. I see him plenty and we are both in our early 30′s. We are well established in our own lives and spending time with other human beings, a.k.a. friends, doesn’t stop when you start dating, people. Sheesh. I’m not that kind of girl who disappears off the face of the planet because she’s got a boyfriend. Ridiculous.

Last, but not least, I really think I might be finding myself growing as a person. These past several months I have placed myself in new and “uncomfortable” situations. I have survived each and every one. Guess what! I think some of them are actually fun. Just this weekend, I allowed myself to be around new people backpacking into the woods for a night. Having only been out like this once or twice, I’m not an expert at this backpacking thing and I was naturally anxious about the weekend. I just had to keep telling myself that once you are out there you’ll be fine. I was right! Hmm. Sometimes I am right. That feels good.

Anyone else reflecting today?

A New Arrival

This weekend I went to visit my new niece. She’s been in this world a week and I have been dying to make the drive and go see her. I wish I could have been there to see her sooner but this was my first chance.

She was beautiful. You can’t say that about many newborns but, truly, my niece is gorgeous. When I received a text message from my brother on the Friday she was born, I couldn’t believe how pretty she was. I’m not just saying that because she’s family. ;)

Personally, I don’t want children. It’s just something I am not interested in doing. I don’t think I’d be a good mother and I think I’m too selfish to be a parent. This in no way stops me from loving my friends’ children. I love them a lot and I want to see them grow up. I wasn’t sure exactly how I’d feel meeting my brother’s first child. It seems  a little strange to me to have a baby in the family. BUT, I really really love her. It’s a strange feeling. I am sad that I don’t get to see her every day. I think Skype and I will become very close friends.

rebirth

Let’s see. . . . I’ve been gone so long I couldn’t even remember how to navigate on the back side of this blog. That’s a sad thing.

I think I’ll just say that the later half of 2010 was probably one of the worst times of my whole life. I’m not going to even go into it for many reasons. I can’t express the true extent of the issue and I always have that fear that someone may find things that I have said on this blog and then that will be the end of me. I will say this. I was treated in a most horrendous way by my employer after having been (and ridiculously still am) employed by him for almost 10 loyal years. I have done nothing but a good job for him and I was repaid with a ruined work reputation and lies that were placed in my permanent employee file. Note to anyone out there: Treat your employees with respect and appreciation for the service they provide to you and to the community. Remember that they work for you voluntarily. It makes everyone happier, it reduces turn around and cost to your company, and your employees won’t stay literally physically ill thinking they have no choice to spend a majority of their day in a place they hate. There.

So, the end of 2010 was spent in a fog. I was sad and depressed and worthless. I know that I withdrew from those around me and became one extremely bitter person. Sadly, my spiritual life has also almost become a casualty. That is something that I am still struggling with recovering from. It’s hard.

My 2011 has gotten off to a much better start. I am still working for a man that I do not respect and eventually I will find what’s right for me and move on. Until then I have many other distractions that have renewed my interest in living a more seasoned life. It’s actually nice to feel “happy” again. I don’t know what this years holds for me. I only pray that I continue to maintain a zeal for things that I lost interest in in 2010. I met a very nice man who will help me with that. I also have a brand new niece that I am overjoyed about meeting (Tomorrow!) who has placed a new aspect of life at my doorstep. AND there’s lots and lots of hiking to be done!

So here I go, 2011. It’s time to meet you head-on.

i’m back. . . again.

I have to say it again. I feel like I’ve been saying it a lot lately, too. I just got back from one of the best vacations of my entire life. I’ll call it the Mid-Western Tour of 2010!! Whoa, was it great!

Here’s the trip breakdown:

17.5 hours to South Dakota by car–Delirium ensues at hour 14, but doggone it, we’re making it to South Dakota in one day’s drive.

Missouri/Iowa-ish

View a flooded Sioux Falls in Sioux City, SD. Stop over in DeSmet, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little Town on the Prairie. Oohs and Aahs at the 5 large cottonwood trees that Pa planted so long ago. Next, on our way to The Badlands, a short stop to view the world’s only Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.

Camping and waking up in The Badlands, one of the strangest and most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. Hiked for an hour. Didn’t see any prairie rattlesnakes. Boo. We did see prairie dogs. Yay! Obligatory stop at Wall Drug for a picture on the saddled jackalope. Viewed a petrified forest in the Black Hills near Rapid City, SD. Drive through Sturgis a week before the largest motorcycle rally in The States. Short stop in Deadwood to view the graves of Wild Bill  Hickok and Calamity Jane.

Badlands!

Spent the night in a hostel in Lead, SD. Beautiful drive along the Spearfish Scenic Byway. Pizza Ranch! Random D.C. Booth historical fish hatchery in Spearfish, SD. Wyoming!!!! Hike around the Devils Tower, our 1st National Monument. Camping and visit with a new friend, Cole.

Ridiculous 5:30am, 15min. pack-up to avoid being soaked by a powerful storm. Hopped in the car to swing back into South Dakota. Lantern tour down into Jewel Cave, another National Park. Custer State Park Wildlife Loop. Needles Highway. Camping in Blue Bell Campground.

Devils Tower

Iron Mountain Road to Mt. Rushmore. Crazy Horse Memorial. Hot Springs, SD and lots of mammoths. Wyoming!!!! all the way down to Estes Park, Colorado. Let’s just say there was one interesting hostel situation there. Eee. Trail Ridge Road through the Rockies. Mongolian BBQ in Denver with my pal J.

Breakfast after a nice comfy night thanks to a hospitable J. Random stop to ride a 105 year old carousel for 25 cents. That sucker was fast, too. Passing the time through half of Kansas and down into Oklahoma to stop for the night outside of Tulsa.

Rocky Mountains

Pretty green hills in the Ozarks of Arkansas. Stopped in Hot Springs to view the historical baths, stick our hands in scalding hot water bubbling forth from the ground, and fill up our water bottles with fresh mineral water straight from the earth. Short jaunt to Memphis to eat pizza at my favorite pizza place, Memphis Pizza Cafe, and spend the night with friends.

Last day of driving with some Dairy Queen to ease the frustration of being so close to home and yet still having a few more miles to go.

*******

Whew! That was a lot to see and do in just 11 short days.

I’m ready to go again!

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