I’m in Miami, Babe [sic]

I’m still in the learning process with this WordPress Blog and finally figured out how to turn the „like“ button for each post back on. Yeih!  I get a little lost sometimes. Thanks for hanging in there! :)

During my Florida experience, my center has been the Orlando area with Daytona being my sunrise spot. I had the chance to drive over to Clearwater, Tampa, and Sarasota. All have incredibly beautiful beaches and accommodating warm Gulf Coast water. But a remark pops into my head that I actually hate… “I could never live here”. It’s what I said about Spain right before I moved to Madrid. It’s what I said about Los Angeles when we had a layover there some 20 years ago… I’ve lived in LA for several years. I’m not sure if I ever said it about Orlando when we went to Disney World around the same time (maybe 22 years ago), but I’m sure I must have… it’s a thing. Careful what you wish for!

Daytona Beach

When I visited Miami years ago with my parents, we stayed at the Hyatt Hotel where I befriended the barkeeper and had a crush on the bellhop. I think I was 12, but just as curious as I am now… I’ve just learned to pick my battles since then ;). I wanted to see the city again… just one more time. Even if it’s just to make sure I’m not missing anything. Talk about FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)!

The drive from Orlando to Miami is about 4-5 hours, depending on traffic. After a breakfast stop in Fort Lauderdale, we proceeded to Miami and booked a hotel on South Beach. Fort Lauderdale itself is cute. I didn’t remember it like that – I went there with my parents in 2013, we had lunch and just looked around for a while. This time, I was closer to the beach and it’s a very harmonious, unproblematic city.

OJ in FL
Fort Lauderdale Ocean Front

Miami is crazy. I can’t handle Miami, but I was only there for two days this time and we drove around a lot. I like to visit filming locations (movies or TV shows) – it’s my way of exploring new places and the first thing I look for. I also prefer to walk or bike, but for cities like Los Angeles or Miami, you need more time to plan those exploration days without a car, with only public transportation.

Hotel :)

Miami has a very different vibe than the West Coast. The weather feels more humid even than in Orlando, but it was quite the opposite (at least according to my phone data). Florida is just very humid in general. Period. People keep saying that and I want to say I appreciate it because it’s much nicer to breathe and better for your hair and skin. Yeah, no. I thought I could handle it, turns out, I can’t. Or I don’t like to.

Miami beach is beautiful, but crowded. I particularly liked the colorful lighthouses – they stand out. Ocean Drive is alive and bustling.

Ocean Drive

Downtown Miami is busy, hectic. The Hyatt has changed a lot. My mom said it hasn’t changed at all… Funny how you remember things differently. There were no bellhops this time. The inside lobby has changed completely. At least from my memory.

Hyatt

A friend once told me “Miami is good to live in when you’re done”… meaning when you’re either retired or have a lot of money to spend and don’t need to bother anymore. Or not as much. Ideally, both fall within the same time span. Although two days wasn’t much, I got a little bit of a feel for the area and I have to agree. I could see myself living in South Florida much later in life. Or travelling back and forth between “here” and there, “here” being a relative option.

South Beach

I’m glad that I got to see the city again. I visited Miami’s hot and not so hot spots and discovered for myself that I’m not missing anything; that it is not for me right now. At this point in my life. I needed that.

Three in One or “A Whole Lot Of Nothing”

I finally had my keyboard fixed. So now I get all excited that I don’t have to copy-paste the “-“ or the “6” or one of the other 10 keys that had decided to go on strike. Highlight of my day.

These are the last days of my cross-country travel adventure and it’s raining cats and dogs. I left the Amarillo hotel before sunrise to avoid the rush hour traffic, but the lack of sunlight and increase in liquid downpour didn’t make this leg any more relaxing than the last one.

The motto for the remaining days shall be “a whole lot of nothing”.

Whole lotta rain

My next stop would be a small town outside of Dallas where I checked into my hotel before meeting up with a friend whom I went to High School with. It was fun seeing each other again after 17 years… 17 years!!

Can you tell I was exhausted? :D

I didn’t leave as early as planned on the next day, but as usual managed to check the car, get a spot of breakfast and mentally prepare for the road to Mississippi. As with the leg before, this one turned out to be a whole lot of nothing. I took my friend’s advice and filled up the gas tank right before leaving Texas. Everyone had advised me not to stop on the way at all if possible. So I limited my own liquid intake and drove the speed limit.

“Sweet home Alabama”

The biggest mistake I made was booking a Red Roof Inn in Mississippi. Apparently everyone knew not to pick this one… I didn’t pay attention. It was a god forsaken motel in a god forsaken town surrounded by a whole lot of nothing. The lady who checked me in handed me the key to a room that was furthest away from the main building… Not what I had been looking for at all.

As I inspected the room which reeked of cigarette smoke and mold, a car (the only other car anywhere near this establishment) drove by and the young male passenger eyed little ol’ me standing by my car… I already pictured myself hacked to pieces in that little shed next to the motel.

Chair of doom

I requested another room and received one closer to the main building, but the night was as restless as the first one. There were other people staying at this motel, but it was creepy beyond all get-out. And that’s exactly what I did, earlier than expected.

This also resulted in my earlier arrival in Orlando, which was a relief. I was fresh out of energy, adventurous zing and will to drive. I was greeted by the typical Florida hanging moss trees and incredible humidity (even in December) and I loved it. That night’s sleep was deep and I unpacked the next day. Strange to think of all these details shortly before packing everything up again. Such is life… What a trip!

Lots of cranes around here

 

Road Trip Part V

The Way to Amarillo…

… Was a challenge. The morning in Albuquerque was similar to the one in Flagstaff, minus the snow and nose bleeds. Breakfast was meh coffee and I was not up for another cup of instant oats, so… Starbucks.

I only had one stop scheduled on the way to Amarillo and that was Cadillac Ranch. Like the day before, the rental had other plans. This time, the maintenance sign alerted me to the fact that the oil had not been changed in a while. Thanks again, Hertz. Not like I didn’t emphasize enough that I’m a woman travelling alone across the country and need my freakin’ rental car checked so that it doesn’t break down in the middle of nowhere. Plus, what am I going to tell my mother?!

The still photo is from a video I recorded and my last sentence was literally “I wish I could’ve enjoyed this nothingness a little more”. Hilarious – I hadn’t seen it since the journey and I was visibly pissed.

After several phone calls on the way to the next big city (which in fact was Amarillo… there is not much else between the two cities), a Hertz service guy told me to visit their service center in Amarillo and they will change the oil for me. The other option was to exchange the entire car at the nearest airport. Right… And losing at least another two hours in which I would’ve had to move my stuff from one car to another… Not happening.

Clouds and a whole lot of nothing

Needles to say, my mood had gone from adventurously determined to sour and impatient. Although the Hertz center in Amarillo was very accommodating. It only took them an hour to change the oil with the line of people that was already there.

The clouds over Cadillac Ranch added to the overall gloomy mood I was in. It is literally ten Cadillacs stuck in the ground and spray painted. On another day, I would’ve appreciated this art installation more, but I’d just had it.

Cadillac Ranch
Cadillac Ranch Close up

Thankfully, it wasn’t a long drive (barely five hours, almost seven with the oil change inconvenience). I decided to call it a day, fill up the tank (the car’s and mine) and get to my hotel. A hotel in a building with actual hallways and doors inside (as opposed to doors leading directly to the outside… you know what I mean). The Indian gentleman who checked me in asked if I was hungry and offered a yogurt from the kitchen fridge. Very kind man and reassuring end to such a day.

Three travel days to go. I’m dreading the weather. And I don’t want to drive anymore. It’s creepy and boring. And I’ve seen enough. It’s December 2nd.

Tree outside the hotel

Road Trip Part IV

Banana in the Tailpipe

At some point, you know every note to the Intro. You know which characters appear when. You know the exact mood, timing and intention. A favorite movie has so much responsibility. It’s there to comfort you when you feel confused, defeated, uncomfortable. It’s also there to keep you company and cut through the silence of your living space.

American Psycho was the first movie for which I actively felt that it kept me company. I lived in Spain at the time and didn’t trust in my ability to speak the language much or understand it sufficiently to fully participate. And frankly, it tired me out. I needed to retreat and watch a movie in a language that I was able to not only understand, but that I also tolerated emotionally. English is my second language, and I still adore it. I watched this movie over and over, a crappy burned version because at the time, there were no Netflix, Hulu, download platforms except the shady ones. It’s not a Horror movie to me anymore and I don’t even know WHY exactly this movie, but I guess it was an eeny­­­­­-meeny-miny-moe decision. It hit American Psycho.

American Beauty, certain similarities to the first one, is my other go-to. My first job, as I mentioned in earlier blog posts, was concession at a movie theater during High School. When I graduated and went on to Uni, I also decided to return to Germany. American Beauty had just been released in theaters when I returned and it was the last movie I walked (with a super cool glow stick to check sound and theater temperature) and supervised before I left. Beside it being beautifully written and geniously carried out, I always tie it to my transition into an old life that I never wanted to have again. But I made the best of it, and grew from it.

Away from the Americans, toward German comedy. Otto Waalkes is probably Germany’s most famous comedian. Like so many of his fans, I’ve watched his movies until I knew every word in my sleep. One of my good guy friends back in Germany is also a huge fan and having this in common actually keeps us going :D. Funny, but good comedy really connects. So whenever we talk or text, there is a line from Otto’s movies in there somewhere. There are entire text conversations in movie quotes only. His films helped me and provided comfort (again) when I moved back from Spain to Cologne, Germany.

I first visited LA when I was a teenager. We were there on a layover to Hawaii and I absolutely hated it. A decade later, I returned and fell in love with it. Police Academy (mostly 1-­5) provided comfort on Sundays when I had the week behind me and just wanted to be in my bubble, order Domino’s and be comforted. When I finally moved over there, after all the work and sweat and tears had paid off and everything worked out, Clueless and Beverly Hills Cop joined the favorite movie collection. Of course I had seen them several times before, but I believe you connect differently with movies for which you’ve visited or live in the filming location(s). Which is exactly what I did.

Movies are there to carry us away, to take our minds off of our worries. At least for that hour and a half. I admire the way the writers and directors, producers, and actors make something so big out of nearly nothing. All these movies have helped me time and time again. Even if they’re just playing in the background, providing comfort while you cook spaghetti for the first time in a new place.

#30DayWritingChallenge

Day 16: Post your favorite movies that you never get tired of watching

Highpoint of My Day

  • Soft bells jingling me out of my slumber at 6:30am
  • Jump-started my thyroid with some good old Levothyroxine
  • Sat on the side of the bed for half an hour (as long as one is instructed to wait after taking thyroid meds… must obey directions)
  • Popped some electrolyte gummies as quick pre­-run fuel
  • Ran according to my training plan: 10 min warm-­up jog, 4 x 1600 meters at a 7:20 min/km pace, 10 min cool-down
  • Jumped over a turtle:
  • Inhaled 5 spider webs (that’s what you get for running first thing in the morning, before the other runners can get rid of the webs)
  • Traffic jam on the way home, but rocking out (softly) to Blank and Jones on my awesome Pandora station (yes, I rock out to meditation music)
  • Much deserved and needed shower (and diffused some tea tree oil… it works wonders)
  • Wanted breakfast, but headed out en route to Sarasota to see my sister
  • Cranky because I didn’t get coffee
  • Passed the Disney balloon (which just goes up and down, but is otherwise stationary) : instant mood-boost
  • Arrived at the hotel which was very welcoming with its zen scent and pink-and-white pillowed lobby
  • Met up with my sister and brother-in-law by the pool and relaxed for a bit
  • Decided we should head over to the beach
  • Couldn’t make up our minds where to eat, but opted for a Spanish Tapas Restaurant (should’ve gotten burgers)
  • My sister and I chose a Cuban dish “Ropa Vieja” which I suggested since I had it once in Spain and absolutely loved it
  • It was extraordinarily meh (like a soggy beef stew), but the Sangria did its job… Way to go me with my choice of food
  • The waitress dropped off lots of chocolate-covered mint balls though; not sure what that deal was, but she just kept them coming
  • Loaned my sister my second pair of sunglasses since she forgot hers
  • We strolled over to Lido Beach, but didn’t have a place to change into our bathing suits
  • Already at the beach, we debated where to change
  • Turned on our heels, quickly walked back to the car and had a short discussion about an expression involving sand in a female body part, meaning “annoyed” (don’t ask… )
  • Drove a few blocks
  • My brother-in-law just changed in the car
  • The rest of us chose the bathroom of a nearby shabby-chique hotel
  • Walked over to the white sandy beach where we spent a few hours baking in the sun
  • Had a nice talk with my sister, very relaxing
  • A walk turned into a quick swim through a patch of deeper water with strong currents before we climbed onto the sandbank
  • My sister found a sand dollar and we declared her the “SSDFA”, or something like that (again… don’t ask)
  • Made our way back (first to our towels, then to the hotel)
  • Changed clothes
  • Had a glass of wine (my sister had bought and chilled it, planning for tonight… I loved that)
  • Headed to the hotel restaurant in search of burgers (finally :D)
  • We switched the fries for a garden salad to be at least half nutrition conscious
  • My sister and I ran outside at 7:20 PM to catch the sunset
  • We were too early and ran back inside
  • Burgers weren’t there yet
  • Ran back outside at 7:40
  • Caught the sunset
  • We felt chilly, probably got too much sun
  • Burgers came after almost an hour, but were worth the wait
  • Back through the scented and pink­-pillowed lobby to the elevators up to the room
  • Finished our wine, told jokes of pirates and seals and other things
  • Made sure I had my frog (I have a stuffed frog which my stepdad gave to me before I came to the US; ­ I had left it at my sister’s place when I visited her not long ago)
  • I had also left my blanket which didn’t fit into her bag
  • Decided to get a new blanket
  • Not today though
  • We said auf Wiedersehen and promised to stay in touch and see each other soon
  • Realized in the car that I forgot my sunglasses
  • It’s ok, I have my frog back and she has a few days left in the sun
  • Way back home was easy, quick, and my nose is sunburned; I always look like a drunk because if anything gets a sunburn, it’s just my nose… might as well use it, no?! ;)
  • Washed the sand off my feet
  • Caught the intro to Baywatch, then drifted off; ­too much beach
  • Dreams of white sand and Spanish Restaurant chocolate-covered mint balls

 

#30DayWritingChallenge

Day 15: Bullet point your whole day

You’re in My Bubble (INFJ)

I get satisfaction from writing to-do lists and checking them off. And I love when a plan comes together. I dislike that my feelings oftentimes get the better of me and that I have to learn to be more patient.

The first time I took the Myers-Briggs personality test, I just started working as a fitness trainer and our team had fun figuring out which category we would all fit into. Check out the website (https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types) for a thorough description of all types and take the test if you’re curious.

As INFJ, I fall in the “Diplomats” category as the “Advocate”. Sounds exciting, but really it’s just reassuring to know I’m not completely cray sometimes.

We are described as mystical idealists. Oooohh!

In today’s evaluation, I was:

75% introverted (I) (as opposed to extroverted)

74% intuitive (N)  (rather than observant)

64% feeling (F) (as opposed to thinking)

91% judging (J) (rather than prospecting)

Yes to being introvert (mainly and most of the time). However, being introvert does not mean that we’re antisocial or hate people (not more than extroverts at least). It’s more about our source of strength. After a day or a night out or being around people, I need to retreat and be alone (in my bubble). This can mean physically alone in a room or just having my earplugs in, watching a movie, reading a book while listening to music or watching reality TV and enjoying not being part of any drama.

As I spent more time learning the techniques of photography, photo editing, writing, and other creative arts, I learned a great deal about where my strengths are, but mostly, where my passions lie. I have a lot of goals and am very determined, which I used to hate, but learned to love. It’s what makes me get up in the morning and chase my figurative pot of gold.

However, one of the INFJ weaknesses is being sensitive and perfectionistic. Yes, makes you roll your eyes when you hear that at a job interview, doesn’t it? (Ditzy voice: “Umm, yea, sooo, my greatest weakness, is like, being too perfect”). UGH! What a cliché. Here’s the thing: I’ll work on a photo or a piece of writing and I’ll work on it again and again and again until it’s perfect to my standards. I will clean the house and clean after people until it’s perfect in my eyes (in view of current events). We also burn out easily. I can see how this personality can confuse, nay, piss off some people.

In relationships, we “have very low tolerance for inauthenticity”. A genuine personality and connection is something we crave and appreciate. I don’t believe anyone craves the opposite, but I think not everyone is as appalled by it as we are. It’s not like every person is an open book to us, but I would say we are more sensitive to and not as tolerant of people being inauthentic.

The career part has been the most difficult for me, maybe other INFJ’s can relate… Most profiles have a career cut out for them, and apparently, so do INFJ’s: Cold-­call sales are not part of it, as I read in the above posted link. Good thing I didn’t do as many cold calls as I said I did in my last job. I hate cold calls. But I’m still glad I had that job and it helped me find out what I like to do and what not so much. “Oftentimes the best way for Advocates to achieve [happiness at the job] is to not have to answer to others’ rules at all – to be their own boss, […].“ Figures. I’m afraid of the “stable” jobs (like working in an office for a corporation) because I don’t want to be confined. Now I’m figuring out how to create a living being my own boss. But, all in due time. I like the challenge of finding my way.

#30DayWritingChallenge

Day 14: What is your MBTI personality? And what do you love/hate about it?

Zero Degree Atoll

It was the same song over and over. There were 14 songs on that album and we must’ve listened to each one about 20 times. Approximately. Over the course of one week. It was monsoon season in the Maldives.

5 years. This was the high point… or low point… of this non-relationship-­thing we had. I had. In my head… I do that.

Surely, we all have had unreciprocated romantic relations, intentions, affairs, things, whatever you want to call it. That’s it though: those “things” are difficult to define, which should be a blazing red flag that it’s never going to be what you wished it would have been. Unless you just want a “thing”. I had never believed in anything so much as I had in him coming around and finally admitting “You’re right; I’ve been afraid of commitment, but I’m ready now and you’re the one”. I know… I have the same expression on my face right now… NOW, years later.

5 years of mostly dirty texts and good intentions. And one vacation that ended up with me in tears and him more stressed out than when we arrived. A f***ing fairy tale, I tell ya. It was still paradise. I remember when we had just set foot in our room and shared the bottle of welcome-bubbly, still in awe of the pool in front of our little bungalow, right by the ocean too. We laughed and had the greatest time. I think it was almost a whole week that we made it without the girl (i.e. me) asking for a definition (again) of what we were. I was still in college and had skipped an important exam to go. Ok, it wasn’t really important at all, but I still decided a vacation to the Maldives with the person I’d been wanting to be with for a year at that time was a definite priority. The professor allowed me a make-­up exam. He was cool like that.

I thought I would be more emotional writing about him and our time together… or not together, but I guess I’ve been over him for a while. Took me long enough. I cried way too many tears and spent way too many nights waiting for him to text or call or respond to a text. The headaches from estimating the right time and content to text…  After we had decided that at least we wouldn’t have a relationship, but rather a physical arrangement, it didn’t make it any easier. I say “we”, but in reality it was him who led the way and I followed. I started writing and inviting, he didn’t object. He started texting, I didn’t object.

Why would you have to try to make someone be interested in you? Or love you? Unless you thought there was a SLIGHT chance in hell that they might come around… That thought almost 100 percent of the time turns out to be toxic.

I must admit, I had fun with my friends, planning all the encounters and texts that would perhaps lure him back in and respond, meet up, etc. It always worked and made me hopeful. I celebrated every one of his texts, his responses. I needed those for my ego at the time. I cherished every date we had. Or non-­date. Whatever.

He tried to tell me so many times that he’s not interested, but I kept going back. Because I never believed him. God. How naïve can one person be?! I had this one friend, my best friend at the time, who kept insisting that I will end up with him. This was oil to my fire. Screw the nay-­sayers. And I always ended up in tears.

But then he texted again.

And everything started over.

The hope, the spark, the casual “ah, let’s just see where this goes”.

We couldn’t let go. Every date I’ve been on after him could never live up to what I had in mind with this guy. He was everything to me. And I believe he is the only one who ever truly broke my heart.

#30DayWritingChallenge

Day 12: Someone who broke your heart

It’s All About Priorities

There’s a saying that goes “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need”. According to Maslow (boy, how much did we study him in Psychology class, along with the dog and the bell and the Id, the Ego and the Superego, and ended up with a bag of chips on the couch after over-analyzing our own behavior―good times!), our basic necessities have to do with everything health-related (physiology). Security, love, self-esteem and self-fulfillment are built onto that health base, and altogether represent our pyramid of necessities. In a nutshell.

When I have $ 10 mio. (since “if” introduces a possible or unreal situation or condition, I chose “when” which indicates a reference to the time of a future situation or condition that we are certain of (source), although I should be implementing it in the present tense to create the feeling of already having it… this whole envisioning thing is so complicated!), I’ll give you a break here. Alright, let’s start again: $10 mio. I’ll try to break it down (assuming I have financial planners and bankers hired and in place, ready to rumble) :

― Definitely invest to secure stability for my family (and I’d finally get to pay my parents back for everything they’ve ever invested in me… I hope 10 mio. covers that… the bill is pretty lengthy) ―let’s say for the sake of calculation, 2 mio.

― That house in the Hills (online real estate sources show some nice ones somewhere between 3-4 mio.)

―I’ll cool my SLR dream for a while, and settle for the SL (500 though! – $120,000 plus insurance, maintenance, gas)

―Flying my family and a handful of friends over (one after the other, I don’t like crowds and they don’t need to meet… they know too much) to splurge: Let’s say 10 people total, family can fly business: $20k (for flights)

―Finally treat mom & sis to that shopping spree and breakfast at the Beverly Wilshire: $10k to start out with (“Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”) Pretty Woman all the way

Where does that leave us? ………. (calculating)….. roughly $6,150,000 spent, $3,850,000 to go.

― Travel, travel, travel. I’d invest in some new lenses and gadgets and fun stuff and capture everything along the way: the Amazon Rain Forest, Tierra del Fuego, Northern Lights and Santa’s village (yes, it exists!), Cape Town, Mount Kilimanjaro, Bali, Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Fiji. Roughly. Not super luxury hotels, but I’m not going to lie (I totally wish I was the camping type, but I’m so not), I do like clean sheets. Via AirTreks, I just calculated roughly $7600-$10k for flights alone. Depending on how long I’d stay at each destination, hotel rates, food, and things I forgot, let’s say $50k.

― Good causes (because when you have money, you have to give back, no excuses): I care a lot about animal rescues and would invest accordingly. The Water Project is also a cause I would like to support. Total for good causes: Wow, that’s tough. How can you invest so much in yourself and your own experiences and not more in making sure other people are ok? We have to save the planet, g˟ddamnit (panics)! I don’t feel comfortable putting a price tag on this at all. Let’s start out with $200,000 and go from there.

― Because I don’t want to come back to an empty house and twiddle my thumbs, I’d finally launch my own company (or several), and thus create jobs along the way, generate more income, but mostly follow my passion. $500k? Is that realistic? Let’s hope so.

― That leaves $3,100,000, of which I haven’t invested anything yet (except my company), and the house also needs maintenance, I need food, and to sustain my daily life. I’m sure the bank has options to make money grow… magically… Like a wizard.

― I’d probably invest in realty to rent out as well (for steady income next to my company)

It scares me how easy it is to spend money. Basic necessities are met effortlessly when you put everything in this $10 mio. perspective, but the higher the $ amount, the higher our sense of entitlement. This is my belief. The more money you have to spend, the more you think you want and need things that you could do without. The thing is, it’s not about what you need anymore at a certain point. If you have all the money in the world, but there is no cure for a disease you may have, your necessities shift and it’s a whole different ballgame.

So here we are: going to work, on game shows, playing the lottery, taking risks, asking neighbors, investing, waiting and hoping that everything changes while nothing changes at all. In a nutshell.

What would you do with $10 mio.?

#30DayWritingChallenge

Day 10: “What would you do with $10 million?”

Back in the Groove

I just finished my second class for the day. I’ve been sticking with my Les Mills On Demand workouts since January, in an attempt to get my body back (in the shape it used to be, or a step further even). And in support of my half marathon training plan. On non-running days, I finish one or two classes. On running days, I mostly stick to running and stretching.

I remember the cool mornings when I mounted my bike en route to the beach, movie soundtracks and a Pandora station in my ears, and leave the world be. It was just the bike and I. And the breeze. And the beach. A few time, I even made it all the way to Downtown LA. I always used the GPS and left at 6 am or earlier on a Sunday to avoid traffic. I rode my bike all the way to the Disney Concert Hall, ate my banana, and made my way back. Ice cream at the Pier by 9 am. That was my Sunday, and I enjoyed every second of it.

It was different once I took on the new job in the valley. I was able to afford my living situation and transportation there, but I was mostly stationary. You get up, drive to work, sit down in front of a computer, get up and drive back home, and by the end of the day you’re so tired, you maybe get to the store, home, dinner, sit down, bed. It was a very different change in lifestyle ― but I wanted LA so much that I didn’t care about me anymore. I loved every LA second, but I lost part of me in the process.

In January of this year, my mom was visiting my sister and her family in Maine. My sister and I had texted and I decided to make my way up there and surprise mom. Two days on the Amtrak, crossing 15 States… really? 15? Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine. Wow. I’ve crossed 15 States this year and wasn’t even truly aware until now. It was the best time and a decision I do not regret. The Amtrak was actually comfortable, even though I did not opt for a sleeper car. It had a café car with drinks and snacks; the restrooms were comfortably clean and the time passed anyway. It was good to see New England again, but most of all, my family grounded me. In those times when you’re all over the place, your family reminds you who you are, where you came from and that everything is ok. I needed that.

My sister got me back into my gym routine, and I’m pumping and combating and balancing and running almost every day. Mom kept encouraging me, as did my friends.

I have a feeling that I am where I’m supposed to be. However, the journey is far from over. I’m curious, as usual, where it (or I) bring/s me. I’m ready, and I don’t regret a thing.

 

 

#30DayWritingChallenge

Day 8: What decision/s are you glad you made?

Sleep With One Eye Open

 

I wake up in the middle of the night, staring at the ceiling and wonder if I switched off that coffee maker that I haven’t used in a few days because I opted for tea―for the nerves. I turn to my phone and remind myself not to check any emails, social media or news before a decent hour. I obey and open my music library. Enigma finally made a new album and I press play on the first song. I set all songs on repeat on my drive from California to Florida. Even the first notes remind me of that time. I was worried back then. Am now.  And it reflects on my now as the musical association doesn’t untangle my sleepless loop of thoughts. In general, I worry too much.

I cannot just sit there and do nothing. I have to keep active, even if it just means making a list and checking it off as I go along. Not making progress or the feeling of being useless irks me. At my last job, I felt completely expendable. I was always on time, always did my job, quicker and more diligently and friendlier than most of my colleagues. I wouldn’t show my displeasure or unhappiness or if I felt that a way of doing something as ordered from above does not seem efficient in my opinion. I generally take orders very well and I work until my job is done. And then some. I quit because I felt stagnant. Idle.

I’m at this party, which is unusual in itself because I don’t like crowds (which to me is more than maybe five people). Except maybe at someone’s house, with only two or three others, playing board games and tasting wine. I was never the life of any party; and if I was, I probably had an exceptional day or left my bubble for a second. I prefer to stick with the people I know, but I’m not afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger, especially when I feel that the vibes are right. Humor has always helped a great deal in those situations. I wish I was more naturally outgoing and less shy. There are so many girls in high heels at this party who just wink their fake eye lashes and contort their lips to a fake O in amazement. Or maybe they’re not fake, they’re just not shy and not introvert, like me. And that’s ok. Most of them are fake though.

Bullies annoy me. As does stupidity. Cue political situation, but I won’t. And I tend to take some things the wrong way if something doesn’t comply with my inner checklist. I may take some things too personal that were never intended to be. Classic sender-receiver-missed-message triangle, and a great deal of over-sensitivity on my part.  We learned that in Linguistics. I hated that class because everything was so methodical and didn’t make sense to me back then. It does now. I love it when a method works out, and when a plan comes together, to put it in A-Team jargon.

Practical, analytical, hard-working, cool front (hey!), witty, reliable. In a nutshell, yes, I believe I’m the poster child for the Virgo zodiac sign. I love it and I hate it. I love it more than I hate it, but I definitely must stop worrying so much and trust more. Period.

#30DayWritingChallenge

Day 7: Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality