I have been really suckyI mean really, really (like really 1,000 times over) sucky at adulting lately. And more specifically, writing. In the past year-and-a-half I have written four blog posts. Four. Quite frankly…I’ve just been so busy.
A tad over a year ago I went from being a random no-title worker to learning how to take on a training position to training full time and quite a bit of back-to-back classes full of new co-workers. Non-work wise, I’ve been a Sunday School teacher for 2-ish years now, and recently we have started Kingdom Kids (children’s church), so let’s just say my schedule is full-to-the-brim, but I am SO EXCITED to see what’s in store for this year! So here’s to 2019a new year that will hopefully be filled with new pieces of writing.
I’m currently at one of our other resort properties out-of-state doing some training work. It has been quite an adventure already, and I’ve not even been here a day yet. Some of the down time I will have will be spent writing, considering I won’t have much side chores to do. Hmm, perhaps a fictatious story of some sorts.
I haven’t forgotten about my blog, it’s always in the back of my mind. A few people have told me how they missed my writting…so here I am. Attempting to be a better adult and better writer…after all, if I’m striving to be an author one day, then I need to do the one thing that authors dowrite.
So let’s raise our coffee mugs up and make a toast to a “New Year’s Resolution” of more writing. Because I need to spend more time doing one of the many things I love and not fretting about work too much. Cheers!
If I were to say to you, “jambo rafikis,” it would translate to “hello friends.” And that’s how I want to greet you all tonight, err morning technically. But still the sun hasn’t risen, so I would still say tonight. Confession: I’ve been slacking a lot these past few months. Not just in life, but writing in general. I haven’t been taking the time to press on and write blogs on a consistent basis…In fact I think the last blog I posted was part of my trip to Puerto Rico…confirmed, yes. My last post was part 3, and I still have one or two more posts to go to finish that story. Ugh!
I’m sooo frustrated at times. With life. So I apologize on the inconvenience of not spreading what I feel I do best: writing. I apologize I’ve been…distant essentially.
I’ve been trying to get things organized at my churchfrom planning and helping with Sunday School to helping out with the media department. We’ve been doing some cool things, and our New Year’s Resolution is trying to get our kiddos on board with learning their memory verses. Because it’s important to put the word in their hearts. I’ve recently suggested to our Pastor we should start a YouTube page, and trying to get some research into that and organizing it in one document.
Not only am I part of the church life, but I also have my personal job. A job that has been requiring a lot of extra time lately because it’s one of our brief peak seasons. A job that has been a fair amount of the stress I am dealing with. See, another co-worker and I have been trying to get our training program more organized and get other mentors (the people that sit next to newbies as they take calls) on the same page as to keeping our training consistent. It’s been a lot of work. And now I’ve recently taken up the challenge of being a mentor and teaching someone how to handle calls for conventions/groups. I love challenges, they’re part of what makes me grow. I’m loving the opportunity to grow with my company. But I’m also sad as well because of work. I’ve befriended many people throughout my time there. And honestly so many people I’ve grown fond of have since left. After my three closest friends left within a couple of weeks from each other back in May, I branched out to two guys: *Brandon and *Jay. And they both decided to move on within two weeks of each other in December. So I ducked away from everyone. I’m hesitant to grow close to anyone for fear that maybe it’s just me driving these people away.
Of course, I recently lost my dad due to natural causes. And I’ve been really missing him lately. I just had a conversation with my friend *Luke, where I was sharing a story about when my mom, brother and I were cleaning out my dad’s apartment. So my dad had put the toilet cleaner out in the kitchen where he kept a lot of his chemicals, and my mom had to bring her own dish soap to clean the dishes and the kitchen area. Well the next day when she began cleaning the bathroom she found his dish soap…in the bathroom! I laughed telling this story to Luke. He smiled and said it was neat that I could understand my dad and why he sometimes did the things he did. My dad may not have been in my life when I was a kid, but he really allowed me to see how he did care about me later on in life. He was always the kindest and most generous man I’ve known. And I strive to find myself a man with those same qualities.
Some days, I really feel like giving up.
Some days I feel so inadequate to be doing what I’m doing. I don’t feel good enough to be a Sunday School teacher. I feel lousy that I’m not doing as much for God as I probably could be. Should I be planning a missions trip? I’m scared. Yet I’m constantly reminded that I’m still worthy.
I feel like I’m not great at my job. I feel like I actually really suck. Numbers don’t mean anything, yet I still compare myself to everyone else I work with. I’m pushing myself way to hard, and then punishing myself even harder for failing, drawing me to the conclusion that if I just push myself even harder I won’t fail. You get the picture, I’m kinda going in a circle. Yet, even on some of my worst days at work, my boss walks in with a smirk and a joke to tell, or one of my favorite supervisors happens to be working and I’m reminded, again, that it’s going to be a good day.
Honestly, life isn’t always easy, but you still gotta fight it. And that’s what I’m doing. So bear with me, it IS my goal to get back to writing consistently…again. I cannot and will not stop writing, as long as I have the ability to do so.
She hugged me and told me, “This isn’t your career. I want to read your book one day.” Shaking and not trying to cry, I whispered, “Okay.” We embraced for a few moments longer, before letting go, and heading towards our cars to go our separate ways.
Peggy is one of my best friends, and the reason why I have the job I have. About a month ago, she told me she was possibly moving to a city almost two hours away, and she wanted to run the thought by me. Instinctively I wanted to tell her no because I didn’t want to lose my best friend at work. After thinking about it for bit, while taking phone calls, I realized it would be best for her to take on this new adventure. I was excited for her and this opportunity. I knew this is exactly what she wanted and needed at this moment in her life.
See a couple months ago, her long term relationship suddenly ended and the happiness that once was an aura around her was now clouded with hurt and frustration. I didn’t want her to suffer from the same pain I took on two years ago. I wanted her to be happy. And when my ex and I decided to go our separate ways, it really helped me personally to be far away from him during that time that my world was shattered and hurt. They say time heals, but I also think distance helps. I didn’t have to worry about that awkwardness if I ran into him at the store, or that disappointment of seeing him on another date at a restaurant.
When Peggy hugged me on our last day at work together, a great pain of sadness hit me. I didn’t want May to end. I didn’t want to go into this summer without her by my side at work, because she was my rock at work. She calmed me when a guest would get me upset. She played mom when I got wound up from drinking energy drinks. She stopped me from quitting when I felt so frustrated with things. I realized I no longer will have those amazing talks after work, discussing whatever happened at work, or laughing at those silly questions we get asked.
As I head into work tomorrow, it probably won’t hit me that she’s officially gone. It probably won’t hit me until Monday, in the middle of my shift, when I’ll probably get a frustrating call, and I’ll look at the empty chair beside me. In the end though, I know we’ll see each other again, and we’ll pick up right where we left, as if time had stopped while we were separated.
It’s never goodbye, Peggy, but always see you later.
A few days ago I went hiking with one of my good friends Luke* at a local state park. It was quite breathtaking. Literally. With my face all red, my legs aching with every “one more step,” my heart pounding so fast it felt like it was about to jump out of my chest, we both made it to the top. And it was probably one of the most spectacular views.
It wasn’t my first time hiking at this state park, but it was the first time I made it all the way to the top and around. I’ve gone with a few of my other friends before and at one point I even took my dog (he enjoyed it quite a bit). The start itself was pretty decent. By this point I knew the beginning part quite well. Those nook and crannies. Those particularly slippery rocks. The part where the steps were significantly high. But as I took it one step closer towards the top, I repeatedly joked with Luke, “Just leave me here to die. You carry on without me.” And he always replied, “No. I won’t leave you here to die.” A little less than halfway, our first real breather stop, he took my backpack and carried it the rest of the way. He is in far better shape than I am, and he knew the path ahead much better than I did. That breather spot had a fantastic view, and I could only imagine the view up ahead.
As we continued on, and I yearned to just stop and turn around to head back down because I was tired, I kept yearning to make it to the top to see that spectacular view. At one point, I lost my footing and fell on my knee. It has a tiny scratch there. Throughout the trek I kept telling myself, “One more step,” until at last, half hour later, we made it to the top. The view…well let’s just say it was ‘on point’ as teenagers say nowadays.
As I stand there marveling at the tiny parking lot below me, and the lake that looked just as grand as it does at the bottom, thunder rumbled across the sky and water began to sprinkle down. At this point it was a horizontal walk for a bit. There were flowers and trees everywhere on top. I knew there were trees everywhere, but for whatever reason I had it in my head that it was going to be really rocky and hardly any vegetation up there. It’s amazing how I picture something in my head and I’m proven wrong but in a beautiful way.
The hike down wasn’t as literally breathtaking as the climb up, just figuratively. The rocks, which had been carved and moved by glaciers in years past, were so beautiful with their shades of red and brown and even a touch of black here and there. The formations were extraordinary. At one point, I saw these really smoothly indentations that looked like the outline of a giant’s butt. I would have taken more pictures, had it not been sprinkling and my battery wasn’t low. Every step down, I’d whisper inside my head, “just one more step…you can do this.” My friend was a trooper in going at a slower pace than he probably would have liked, but he kept making sure I wasn’t going to fall and giving me pointers about where to step based on rock-slipperiness (is that a word?).
After we finally made it down, we continued on. He showed me these indentations in the ground, and when we walked down them, the lower temperature difference immediately wrapped around my ankles. “This would be a grand place to sit and read in the summer time.” He just nodded his head. And at one point, because the rain made the ground rather soft and muddy, I ended up falling down. I shrugged it off like it was nothing, but I was so embarrassed. I don’t even know why.
It’s amazing how this hike resembles so much in my life. In the past few weeks I’ve been on such an emotional roller coaster. An unexplainable emotional roller coaster. My manager at work, though he never asked outright what was wrong but always hinted that he understood, described me as melancholy. The word rolled off his tongue like a ball down a hill. I was baffled that I was noticeably ‘not myself,’ because usually I hide any feeling other than happy deep inside me. In the past few weeks I tripped over a stumbling block. More than once I cried in front of my manager, apologizing, him handing me a tissue and talking me through it, making his typical sarcastic jokes to make me laugh.
In the end, despite how hard it was, and how sore I am now, it was wonderfully worth it, and I couldn’t help but be relieved to overcome something so trivial. In the end, it was just “one more step…one more step” until at last I made it to the top and eventually down again. Just like how the Jordin Sparks song goes, “Just take one step at a time, there’s no need to rush, it’s like learning to fly, or falling in love…it’s gonna happen, when it’s supposed to happen, and we find the reasons why, one step at a time.”
If you press on, on step at a time of course, you’ll eventually be able to climb over your mountain. But don’t give up because you’re tired, weary, and red-faced.
“Hey, head to the training room.” I hear my manager say to me and a few others. “This will be interesting,” I think. So I head over to the room. For the next half hour or so we go over some numbers and look at the top three employees. Then we were handed a piece of paper with our stats on them, and…well let’s just say I’m not as high as I wish I could be, and I felt super frustrated. Not with my manager, or my job. But with myself. My chest got heavy. I couldn’t breathe normally, only in short breaths. I had to fight back tears. “Don’t let these numbers discourage you,” I heard my manager say, but it sounded muffled as I slowly began to feel the sinking motion of me being pulled underneath the current of discouragement. I felt frustrated with myself because I knew I could be better and that although I thought I was improving fairly drastically, the numbers showed me I barely was.
I’ve been really hard on myself the past few months on my stats. I’ve really pushed myself to lower the amount of “wrap up” time (this is how much time I spend after I take a phone call doing notes and such). I’ve also really worked on making the length of my call as short as possible, and tried to learn the secrets of the top employees on making more reservations. We all have our good days and bad days. I mostly have good days, but the past week I’ve really been having a difficult time. I’ve recently found out a few of my friends from work (okay the only ones I really hang out with outside of work) are moving on to better places. I’m a little off because of it, not because I’m not happy for them, I am, but because of selfish reasons. I don’t know what I’m going to do now at work or even after work for that matter. I feel like I just want to find my own little cubicle in the corner away from everyone so I can avoid them, but I can’t do that, that’s just silly. In due time, I”m sure I’ll learn how to branch out and make new friends at work.
About a month or so ago, I started “dieting.” And by dieting, I mean I started watching my carb intake. I wanted to cut carbs completely out, but realized maybe I shouldn’t eat as much, ya know just kind of watch what I’m eating. All fine and dandy, and I have a good friend who is actually doing the same thing. When we’ve gone out to eat, if one of us wants to not eat something without carbs (or low carbs) then the other will follow. Which is nice and motivational. We’ve also planned times of walking around after work playing our games. Granted, he’s more motivated than I am to actually work out on top of it (once it gets warmer I’ll start walking more outside…I don’t like gyms). I don’t know how much or if I’ve lost weight, because I’m not doing it for weight, I’m doing it for inches.
Can I just say now, after alllllll that rambling, that numbers do not define who you are. Let me repeat it, because I need constant reassurance and I’m sure many of you do too, NUMBERS DO NOT DEFINE YOU OR YOUR WORTH! Those numbers I was given at work don’t make me a bad employee, they just show that I need to work really hard to improve myself. Which yes, it will be super hard, yes I’ll probably cry…a lot! But everyone has to hit rock bottom before they can swim towards the top. Now I’m not saying I’ll ever be top dog, I know the top three people and they are really good at their job and one of them has been with the company for years. But my goal is to improve, and that’s pretty good.
That number on the scale or the inch around my waist doesn’t define whether I’m a good or bad person. People always associate larger numbers as unhealthy, and smaller numbers as healthy. I know many, many men and women who are deemed “perfect body size” and they are actually quite unhealthy. Like not only underweight unhealthy, but also in what and how they eat. I also know several folks who are “apple shaped” and are actually extremely healthy, in fact I know one woman who is larger and actually does yoga and is very flexible. It’s tiring to hear that one’s health status is defined by the size of their shirt or pants or skirt. It’s tiring to hear and see everywhere in the media that a woman should be the “perfect” size with their size zero and 32C cup.
NUMBERS DON’T DEFINE WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON. So don’t be discouraged by that number on the scale. Be encouraged by who you want to beno matter what size. Don’t be like me and get easily discouraged when you’re given stats on how “well you are performing your job,” but be encouraged that you for one have a job, and two that you’re growing at your own pace. Goodnesss, sometimes I feel so hypocritical because it’s easier for me to encourage others and tear myself down in the process. In the end, none of us are perfect. So why not be imperfectly perfect?
It was spring of 2014 when I sat at a McDonald’s table. My laptop buzzing loudly, my fries on my tray with a half eaten McChicken, I stared hard at my laptop screen with my word document of a paper that was barely started. It was a research paper I was writing, something that wasn’t uncommon for me as a college English Major. I remember the time so vividly because when I first walked in with my backpack slung on my right shoulder I noticed an elderly couple sitting at a table immediately to my left. They were drinking coffee and talking to each other like best friends. No one else was sitting inside, but drive-thru buzzed with car upon car. “I need another Big Mac for that order.” I could hear the manager shout to the kitchen as he was preparing the bag of food for the car at the window. I slowly approached the counter where the girl smiled and asked me what I wanted. I gave her my order and then nestled myself into a booth by an outlet. Pulling out my laptop and my notebook that had sloppily written notes on several pages. My laptop groaned as I turned it on. My order number was called and I grabbed my food. Then I set out to work.
I was about a half hour into writing my paper when I heard the elderly man go up and ask for more coffee (I was fairly close to the counter as that’s where the booths were, kiddie-corner from the ordering counter). His wife stood nearby not to far from my booth, and when the husband walked back to her he gave her her cup and they proceeded to go out the second door (one would have to walk past my booth to go out this door). I was watching them as they were shuffling their way out, and the husband looked at my laptop and to me and smiled. I smiled back.
“So you working on school work?”
“Yes sir. I’m working on a research paper for a class.”
“Ah. Wow, you must be a hardworker.”
I was curious as to how he could make that conclusion by only seeing me working on my laptop. “Well, my mom and dad tell me hard work will pay off in the end.”
“Where do you go to school?”
“At UW-Green Bay.”
“Ahh, okay. I know a professor there. His name is ___” (I can’t remember the name as it wasn’t a professor I was familiar with)
“Oh, I’ve never had them as a professor. I study English.”
By this point him and his wife had maneuvered their way to my table.
“Do you want to become a teacher.”
“No actually. I like editing and writing, so I’d do something with that.”
“Well that’s not a bad thing either. We always need writers.” And that old man smiled at me. Then without hesitation him and his wife sit down. Right there at my booth, as if I had invited them there like we were old friends. I wasn’t annoyed or scared, just kind of taken back by their willingness to want to sit down with a young person and have a conversation. Like it’s something they always do. Like there wasn’t a fifty or sixty age gap between us. For the next hour and a half we talked about many things. Science. Marriage. Food. Coffee. Politics. Religion. Cities of Wisconsin. It turns out the old man is from a city that’s probably half hour away from my house, the old woman is from Green Bay. In that short time span I learned a lot about them, and they learned quite a bit about me. I didn’t even care that it took into my writing time because it felt nice to just be able to connect with a generation outside of my own.
That story crossed my mind yesterday as I sat in a McDonald’s drinking my coffee trying to figure out some tax information. I procrastinated hard core this year in getting them done earlier (surprise…not like I don’t procrastinate everything). I was just getting the software downloaded when this old man was taking off his jacket at the table in front of me. He was alone. I smiled at him as he looked at me and he noticed my baggy grey sweatshirt I was wearing.
“Green Bay huh. You a fan of Green Bay.”
“No. I just went to school there.”
“Ah, where did you go to school?”
He then started telling me about this famous and great coach that went there–Tony Bennett. Now I don’t know exactly who that is, except that I would pass by his picture on our “Wall of fame” in MAC hallway. I knew of him. This man pulled out his smart phone and spoke into it, “Tony Bennett” so he could show me all about him. Yes, a smart phone. It was an interesting site. After talking to me about sports for some time, he introduced himself as Larry*. Turns out, this gentlemen worked at the same place as my dad does now and actually lives next door to my dad.
“Small world” I say.
And for another three hours this gentleman and I talked about a multitude of things. I learned his granddaughter committed suicide last year. I learned his ex-wife was a drinker (which is why he divorced her) and that she drank herself to death. I also learned he was an avid antics seller on eBay. At one point he thought he asked me if he was boring me to death. I told him no, but I would have to leave for work soon. He asked me where I worked and if I liked it. In the end, before we departed, he told me to stop over anytime, he loves company.
It so interesting how a simple smile can turn into a three hour conversation. The simple things in life sometimes have a way of being more important than they’re given credit for. A smile towards a stranger. A hug for a coworker. A “Hi” in passing. It all adds up to something more meaningful. It’s so cliche to say it, but it’s so true. In the end, yeah sure I might have to prep my time a bit more precariously to get stuff done, but in the end I could have made that old man’s day. And quite frankly he made mine.
So even if you feel like your insignificant (I often times feel like I am), just remember you aren’t. A coworker might have wanted to commit suicide but because you went out of your way to message them “Hey. Can’t wait to work with you today!” could really can brighten their day.
Remember to smile and carry your head up high. Because you are a rockastar. #bless
Tonight, of all nights, was the first time, in a long time, where I felt good about things, despite the sour lemons that were being squeezed in my paper cuts. You probably scoff and think, “You? Why? Your life is perfect…You have so much going good for you.” And I will roll my eyes so much at those little thoughts it’s a surprise I still have eyes in my eye sockets.
Let’s talk. Real talk. I’m not perfect. I’m far from it. So far, in fact, that I’d have to walk 500 miles or more to get there. I’m human. I can’t talk as fast as my mind works. I forget to put on deodorant more often than I should. I practice “no-shave-November” for 6 months out of the year. I can’t speak in front of crowds. I forget to pay my phone bill on timebasically every month. I laugh at inappropriate times.
I’m sure right now, at least one of my friends who goes to church with me is reading this and probably thinking I’m backsliding or that I’m letting Jesus slip out of my life. Which maybe I am, but to me I’m still holding onto him tighter than ever. I’ve been praying just as much, and sometimes more, because I know that when these thoughts get to me that that’s not His plan for me.
Anyways, so let’s bring this to today. The day where 37 lemons have been sliced and squished onto my wounds (maybe not quite 37…but definitely more than one). The day where I woke up with the thought “Oh snap. I gotta get going to go help my friend Taylor*” as I quickly fumbled off my friends couch to get changed and head out the door. My ‘faithful’ car (he’s not been faithful lately) and I were to head to jump start her car. Which we did successfully (praise God). We managed to get her car to work where we took my car to the town over to run a few errands before Taylor worked at noon. I managed to accomplish getting important matters done (like paying my phone bill and setting up a savings accountgo me for adulting!).
Then after I got to the gas station, walked in without my wallet, which to my sigh of relief I just left in my car and not at the bank, I walked back to my car to start it and my heart sunk when it decided it didn’t want to start. It’s not the first time my car has done this, in fact it’s been happening quite often in the past 2 months where it will randomly just not start for me and I have to mess around with my battery cables a few times to get it to start. No such luck. Called my dad who thankfully only lives 2 minutes down the road (again praise God). We managed to roll it away from the gas pump where he pulled the cable off and discovered the soul reason my car has been having issues. I had called a co-worker to come and get me on her way in, which again praise God that she was willing to. I messaged one of my supervisors and was just kind of ranting about how I’m stuck but thankfully a co-worker was going to pick me up and noted how I just want to cry. He told me big girls don’t cry, which I threw in a short joke because I have vertical issues. He probably laughed because his wife is short.
No this isn’t where it ends. I’ve been working pretty much every day at work. Long, hard days. Overtime. And short selling myself on a 30 min break and just taking a 15 (enough time to eat and potty basically) because I know that it’s been so hectic and I feel bad. I’m tired. I don’t sleep much, because sleeping isn’t for adults apparently (haha, a funny joke that’s sadly probably true). I got to work 14 minutes late. I received my documented point sheet because I went home early sick a couple weeks ago. It was nonstop talking action from 1:14 until I punched out at 9:50. People are cranky because they’re mad we’re booked up this weekend or that our rates are “ridiculously too high” (which is understandable). And to top off the most sour lemon of all, my car, though my dad said he worked on it and got it to start every time he tried it, would not start for me after work (yes, I’m having it towed to a shop tomorrow morning T-minuus 7 hours).
But here’s where the lemons become a little sweeter. Despite the fact that I had a long day where I’m on the verge of tears throughout the day because I just want to go home and cry and binge watch some Forensic Files, despite the fact that I got screamed at multiple times by guests, despite that my life is so chaotic right now (I’m a hot mess, minus the hot part), my God is still good to me. You’re probably sitting there going “I can’t believe I just read about your boring, rotten day, and you’re gonna tell me that God is good despite the fact He allowed all that to happen to you?” Yes. Because, honestly had I not had my car break down I wouldn’t have called my dad, who I haven’t really seen or talked to in awhile. I wouldn’t have had such a long, good, much needed discussion with my good friend who went out to Denny’s with me, and drove me all the way home. I wouldn’t have had such a wonderful night, where I realized, for the umpteenth time that this is why I can’t or won’t give up on life, even though it sometimes takes a big stinky poo on me.
At Denny’s I ordered a burger but didn’t realize it would come with tomatoes on it (I do not like tomatoes eww!) and I also got seasoned fries despite that I ordered regular. I still enjoyed my fries and burger (after I picked them nasty tomatoes off). My friend Mary* made a comment about how even though I didn’t get what I ordered I still enjoyed my food and didn’t throw a fit about it, which made me smile. I realized she was right.
Life is like that. One certainly doesn’t order lemons, but on occasion they will get thrown out there. And sometimes sliced. And sometimes squeezed. And squeezed some more.Lemons are like that though. And right now, I know my life is chaotic but it will always get better. So what if I’m single, I can wait around for a bit yet for a good guy to come around (bless me if I do manage to find a guy). So what if I’m not the skinniest person, it just means I’ll work harder to lose weight. So what if I’m only 23-soon-to-be-24 and working at a job that I didn’t need a college degree for (honestly this job is a big blessing). If life ever went according to our plan it would be even more hectic. Goodness if I had my way I would haven been married awhile ago, probably to the wrong guy, and I’d have a child by now, which I’m not ready for. I’d have a job working in my degree field. I wouldn’t have met any of the friends that I have. If I had my way I probably wouldn’t be happy because a spoiled child never has enough and is never satisfied. If one always got their way they wouldn’t have to work hard to get something, which would make anything basically valueless because something “better” will always come. The mentality of “I didn’t have to earn this so who cares if it breaks.”
It’s such a cliche “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” but I like the thought of “when life gives you lemons and squirts all over your open wounds just add some sugar onto it and throw it in some sweet tea.” Because lemons don’t always have to be sour, they can be sweet too, and sometimes ya just gotta sit back, make the best of it, and enjoy.