New Year’s Resolutions

I know, I know. New Year’s resolutions are so overdone. Why can’t we make resolutions other times of the year. Every one talks about them. This is not a creative blog at all. Blah blah blah. I don’t care. A year ago I started this blog to give myself the voice I felt I needed at the time and it was an excellent idea that I neglected. Here’s my list for 2017:

  1. Find a new hobby- This is such a typical resolution for people to have, but I honestly feel like I need more hobbies. For the last year, biking was my hobby and not that I don’t like it anymore because I definitely still do, but I need something more. I have few things in mind and I might try them all out to figure out what I like best. We’ll see! =)
  2. Finish all of the books on my shelf- I know this is typical too, but I just got a new book for Christmas and I haven’t even read everything I own yet. I’ve been into lighter reading recently so some of the other stuff has gotten looked over. Now I want to finish it and I can, easily. Probably by summer.
  3. Do some sort of “workout” everyday- Now I’m getting really stereotypical, but honestly this shouldn’t be too hard for me. I use quotes around “workout” because I’m using the term loosely. On work days it’ll likely just be the short bike ride to and from the winery, but other days I’ll ride twenty miles and do an hour and a half of The Fitness Marshall. Right now I pretty much do something every day, but there are days when I just don’t feel like it so I do nothing. This year I’m going to do something every day unless I’m sick.
  4. Finish a writing project- I’m not talking about blogs, because obviously I’ve finished a lot of them already. I’ve started multiple fictional stories and not a one of them is finished. I want to wrap up at least one story line. The problem I have with this is that I get bored with what I’m writing and move on to something else. Another problem is that I don’t always have a full plot in mind when I start writing and just can’t figure out how I want it to end. So I want to finish one, even if it ends up being a shorter one. Who knows, maybe I’ll write a novel one day. (Yeah right. I don’t like people reading my fictional writing.)
  5. Take a solo vacation- Not only do I want to go on a vacation, I want to go alone. I discovered a travel vlog this year that has inspired me to take a trip by myself. Evan travels with friends sometimes, but he also does his own thing. He talked in one video about what he enjoys about traveling alone and one of those things was being free to do whatever he felt like that day. That’s what I want to do. This summer on family vacation I didn’t get to do one of the things I really wanted to because not enough people wanted to go. so even if its just for a long weekend, I want to get away in a city I’ve never visited and do whatever I want, when I want. If you have suggestions of a city I should visit, probably in the United States or maybe Canada because of the cost of airfare, please let me know where you think I should go! (Even though I want to travel solo, I’m not opposed to meeting up and hanging out with you for a little while in your own city!)

So that’s it! Five resolutions, some are easy tasks, and some will take more planning, but they’re all doable! Happy New Year everybody!

Here’s a vacation related photo:
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Unsent Letters

Hey friends! I know I haven’t blogged in a while, and I apologize! I’ve actually been writing other things including an extremely non creative fictional story. But hey, its something I enjoy doing so I’m gonna keep writing it! Maybe one day I’ll share some of it here, maybe not. I also recently wrote a long letter to someone that I don’t actually intend on sending. That’s what I’m here to talk about.

A little over a year ago I was encouraged by a friend to write a letter to someone with whom I’d had a falling out. I’d grown resentful of this person for causing another friendship of mine to falter. So I took the advice. I wrote a letter that I would never ever actually send. I was feeling extreme anger and said some incredibly hurtful things that I would never in a million years actually say to anyone, even my worst enemy! But the thing is, it really helped. I knew I was feeling angry and hurt, but until I wrote that letter I couldn’t pinpoint why. After writing it, I knew exactly what my feelings were, and I’d processed them in a safe way. It felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

A year later (a few weeks ago) I was dealing with some different feelings. The situation and person could not have been more different from one another. I’m not going to get into too many details, but I thought to myself, “maybe I should write a letter.” So that’s what I did. I wrote a letter. This time the letter was much friendlier. I talked about all of the good times we shared and even smiled while I wrote it, a far cry from the previous letter. In some ways, it still hurt me to write it. It felt like I was talking directly to the person I was writing to and it truly sucked, but in the end I again felt a weight lifter off my shoulders.

Why am I telling you all of this? I’m encouraging you to do the same. If there’s anyone in your life that you have a lot to say to but you can bring yourself to admit it to their face yet, write them a letter that you don’t actually send. Make sure you use pen and paper or Word, not email. That could end up bad! I’m telling you that it works, especially when you just need to externally process! If I’m being honest, I could easily publish a novel of all the unsent letters I should’ve written by now! It doesn’t have a to be a long letter; it could be just one paragraph, but if you feel like you just can’t get something out of your brain, write a letter!

I hope this was all coherent! I’m not proofreading tonight. I’ll write a better blog in the future, but for now I’m gonna go write another letter because I just convinced myself that I need to!

Why I Hate Facebook

I didn’t even want to join Facebook in the first place! I remember when I first created my account way back in 2006 when you still needed an invite to join. One of my friends sent me an invite and I told her, “Why should I make a profile? I have a MySpace!” Well I eventually figured why not and created an account. As more and more of my friends joined, I grew to like it more. It was easier than Myspace, and didn’t have all of those annoying themes! In the last ten years though, I’ve begun to hate it more and more.

It seems as if everyone I know is on Facebook. My friends, co-workers, and family all have Facebook accounts. Sure, its nice to be so connected to people all the time. It’s easy to share photos, funny videos, and good life moments, but what’s also easy to share is the bad moments in life. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to ask for prayer from your friends when you’re having a rough time, and I know that Facebook is a great way to ask for mass prayer because everyone you know has it, but maybe its better to do so in private.

As you may or may not know, my Grandma passed away last week. In the last few months her health was deteriorating and just the week before we’d had to move her into a nursing home. What does this have to do with Facebook? Well, I happened to be in California for a friend’s wedding that weekend and was flying home the Sunday my Grandma passed away. My flight had been delayed an hour so to kill time I decided to scroll through my news feed. As I was scrolling, I came across a few posts that indicated my Grandma was doing poorly. I knew her health had been declining so it wasn’t much of a surprise, but after reading some comments, I came to the conclusion that she had died. I immediately got up from my seat, walked to the bathroom and had a good cry by myself in the stall. I knew my mom was waiting until I got back to St. Louis to tell me. When I finally landed in St. Louis one and a half hours late, my dad picked me up and told me the news.

It wasn’t until the next day when talking to my mom that I found out I had cried prematurely. I had read those Facebook posts and comments about an hour before my Grandma actually passed away. If people could just keep things to themselves, I never would have had to cry at LAX alone in a bathroom stall. That is one of many reasons why I hate Facebook. It makes people think that we always have to share everything with everyone just because we can, but some things are meant to be private.

Facebook has made people in general both more and less personal at the same time. On one side, we’re more personal in the way that we share every little detail with practically everyone we know! I’m sorry, but that random classmate from high school that you’re only friends with because you feel bad deleting them does not need to know what you ate that day! Some things are definitely worth sharing, I get that. I often share my good news on social media, but it has made us less personal at the same time. When we share news on Facebook, good or bad, that’s it. We don’t share it in person, over the phone or Skype, or even text! Sharing news with friends and family personally connects people. It creates more of a bond. I can personally say that I feel much closer to those people who call or text me personally with news than the people I only receive it from via social media. Facebook is disconnecting people from each other.

This is obviously all my opinion, you don’t have to agree, and I know I’m somewhat of a hypocrite. If I hate it so much, why don’t I just delete my account? It’s the only way I keep in touch with some of my distant friends and family. I’ve considered it before, but then I worry that if I do, I’ll lose touch with a lot of people. I know, if I lose touch with them they weren’t really my good friends to begin with, blah blah blah, but isn’t that part of the point I’m making here? Without Facebook, I’m not connected to people. If you’re reading this and we’re friends, don’t feel bad asking for my phone number or Skype name because I’d much rather text or call you than Facebook you! I miss the age of  deep personal relationships rather than superficial ones.

When the Timing Just Isn’t Right…….Ever.

First of all, hey all! I got a new computer so I’m able to blog again! =)

I’ve been thinking a lot about timing recently. Not too long ago I posted a Facebook status that prompted my friends to like it and in return I’d answer a few questions about them. The questions were as follows:
“How did we meet?”
“What was my first impression of you?”
“What do I like about you?”
and finally, “What is my favourite memory of you?”
It got me really thinking about the past. About how some relationships, both platonic and romantic, would have been had the timing just been different. Right. Questions came to my mind like, “what if I hadn’t moved?” and “what if I hadn’t listened to what that particular friend told me?” These questions brought up this idea that if the timing had just been right, everything would have worked out.

I was originally planning to tell a few tales of relationships that could have been very different had the timing been “right,” but as I tried to construct my sentences, I was having a hard time making certain people unidentifiable, and since I share this blog on Facebook, there is a chance that they could read about themselves, and I’m just not ready for that. (I know I said I started this blog so I could openly talk about whatever I want, but that’s just it. I don’t want to share certain feelings right now. Not publically at least.) Let’s just say that there were many instances, in each case, that had I thought the timing was right, I would have said or done something different. For example, at one point I was potentially going to move in with a friend who disapproved of the guy I was interested in, so I stopped talking to him. I didn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who my roommate didn’t like because it could lead to an awkward situation. So I “sisters before misters” that mister because the timing just wasn’t right. The kicker? I didn’t even end up living with her! My point? I let go of something I wanted because it was “bad timing.” (Hey look! I shared a part of one of the stories I was originally going to tell! Go me!)

So when is the timing right? To tell you the truth, I have no idea! You’re asking the wrong girl! But honestly, I don’t really think anyone knows. In movies we always see that perfect moment happen. Whether its landing a dream job or finally getting together with a crush, fictional characters seem to always find the right timing, and it makes us expect the same. We all expect everything to feel right, but to be honest, some of the best things that have ever happened to me didn’t feel “right” at the time! So why do I still try to wait for things to feel right? That’s an excellent question that I don’t have the answer to!

I’m having trouble coming up with a conclusion here, so I’m just going to say don’t try to wait for the right timing. Don’t give up on something you want because the timing just isn’t right. Its never going to feel like the “right time.” Go for it! Whatever it is, go for it! (This blog was kind of a letter of sorts to myself, sorry. But y’all probably needed to hear it too!)

 

Pink vs. Blue: Which Restroom Should I Use?

Recently there’s been a lot of controversy as to which restroom trans people should use. There are really only two sides to this argument. One being that people should use the restroom of the gender they were anatomically born as; the other being that they should use the restroom of the gender that they identify as. I’m on the third side of this argument. Yes, I meant to say third. Let me explain why.

In my opinion, there’s really no sense in having separate restrooms for males and females. With the exception of urinals in the men’s room, when you walk into a public restroom you don’t see people taking a leak out in the open. Each toilet is in its own private stall with a locking door. So why in the world do we need our own gender specific bathrooms? I’ve come up with a couple of reasons I can think of.

  1. Men don’t want to wait for women- I get it. There’s often a line for the women’s room, and men don’t have this problem. There have been many times when I’ve felt the urge to just use the men’s room so that I didn’t have to wait in a line, and I have no reservations using the men’s room if they’re the single bathrooms like what you often find at gas stations. (Single bathrooms being gender specific is just ridiculous anyway!)
    Solution: There could be urinal stalls. Women can’t use urinals anyway, so the men are set if they just have to pee, but really they could just have some patience.
  2. Sexual predators- It seems like a lot of people think that all men turn into sexual predators when they walk into a woman’s restroom. It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but apparently it’s a real concern of some people.
    Solution: A solution is not needed. The idea that this would be an issue is absurd! Do these people not realize that sexual predators exist outside of public restrooms? Do they not realize that this could happen without the mixing of genders?
  3. Women want their privacy- We all know that women go to the bathroom in groups. If you didn’t know, it’s often to gossip about men. If there are men and women in the same bathroom, us women won’t be able to gossip. Another way that women, and probably men too, like privacy is that we don’t like to take a dump with the other gender, or really anyone, around.
    Solution: Get over it!

What I’m really saying here is that if we eliminate gender specific restrooms, which serve no purpose other than segregation, then we eliminate the controversy over which bathroom trans people should use. Yes, I know it won’t happen overnight, but new establishments could, and should, adopt the idea of a co-ed restroom situation. Sure it’ll also create controversy at first, but eventually people will get over it and it’ll be the norm!

Side note: If you’re curious about my actual stance, I believe that people should use the restroom of the gender that they identify as.

It’s a Small World After All

I just wanted to make a quick post to talk about how amazed I am by this blog so far! I started this blog on February 16, 2016 purely because I wanted to openly talk about things. I tried to keep a schedule of Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, with Saturday being a day to share recipes, but lately I’ve had a lack of inspiration. I could talk more about my lack of inspiration, but that’s not my point today. My point today is that it’s a small world after all. Now you probably have the song stuck in your head. You’re welcome!

Since I made my first blog post just two months and three days ago, I’ve gained eight followers. Eight followers isn’t a lot, but it is eight more than I thought I’d have! What’s more amazing than that is how far my thoughts and recipes have reached in such a short amount of time! WordPress does this cool thing where they track where your views come from, and as a lover of all things geography and maps, I absolutely love it! So I decided to write a list of all of the countries my readers have been from in the past sixty-three days. I have reached THIRTEEN countries on FIVE continents! I am seriously amazed! And just for fun, here’s a list of those countries:
1. United States- I mean, duh. It’s where I’m from after all.
2. Canada- Also no surprise. As a great man I met in Louisville, KY once said, “[Canada] isn’t even another country. It’s like a suburb.” And I have Canadian friends.
3. United Kingdom- I know people who live there. They speak English.
4. Australia- Also English-speaking. Makes sense.
5. New Zealand- I know one Kiwi. Jo, did you read my blog?!
6. Germany- Yep. I’ve got German friends. I also used to live there.
7. Denmark- Okay, so I know some Danes too.
8. Netherlands- I mean, we had a Dutch foreign exchange student in high school…
9. Poland- It’s in Europe. That’s not too crazy.
10. Indonesia- I know people of Indonesian decent. Does that count?
11. Russia- I feel like this should surprise me more than it does.
12. Colombia- What up South America?!
13. Curacao- I don’t even know where you are! =/

And because I like maps:
countries

The internet is a crazy place! When I was born twenty-six years ago, no one could probably have imagined that one day people across the world would be able to read what I wrote sitting in my house in Missouri. It’s amazing to think that I can easily reach people worldwide! Next goal: have someone in Africa read my blog!

My Greyhound Experience

A couple of weeks ago, I rode the Greyhound bus for the very first time. I’ve been on numerous planes, a few trains, and multiple different subway systems in my life, but the Greyhound was a new experience for me. Wanting to be prepared on what to expect, I perused the web reading blogs about others’ experiences riding the bus. Many people talked about how since the bus is relatively cheap compared to other transportation, the passengers can be some interesting people. They also mentioned the poor quality of bus stations, especially the bathrooms. Naturally, all of these things made me nervous about travelling alone, especially as a female, on the Greyhound, but I have to say, my experience was not all that bad.

The most uncomfortable part for me was waiting at the bus stations in between legs. Throughout my trip, I spent time at three very different stations. I would use the word station loosely to describe the stop in Joplin, MO. It’s really just a desk inside of a gas station on the outskirts of town. The waiting area is a like one of the little sheds you buy at Lowe’s with some extremely uncomfortable seats inside, along with a couple of old video games to waste your money on. Although the bathroom inside the gas station was the nicest of the three, this was my least favourite station due to not having any staff inside of the waiting area. It was quite uncomfortable. The second station I waited in was Kansas City, MO. This was an actual station, and although it’s in a rough part of town, I was the most comfortable waiting there. The station was quite busy despite it being after midnight when I arrived, making it somehow seem safer. The bathrooms weren’t spectacular, but were no worse than your typical public restroom. My final station was in Omaha, NE. When I arrived, it was dark out, and I did notice that it was also in a not so nice area, but I didn’t notice anything else until a few days later when I was leaving. The station itself wasn’t terrible, just very clearly an old building that felt dirty, especially the bathroom. Overall I’d say that yes, Greyhound stations are not the nicest of places, but all together not horrible.

Before I began my trip, I was most worried about the people. I read a lot about how a lot of drug addicts and ex-convicts use Greyhound, and was nervous to travel alone around these types of people. When I was waiting in Joplin, I did end up meeting an ex-convict who was arrested for drug possession along with two other former drug addicts and a truck driver. The truck driver was a young respectable looking man and had he not been there, I may have been really uncomfortable. I was already uneasy being the only female in the station with these four men even though two of them mentioned that finding faith in Jesus Christ helped them overcome addiction. It was actually really cool to hear the witness of these two men though. Eventually another lady showed up which helped me relax. I witnessed extreme generosity from this woman. One of the men didn’t have much, so she gave him here hoodie to keep. I also met a couple of people while boarding my bus from Kansas City to Omaha. One was a man from Texas who was on his way to visit his son in Omaha. The other was a guy about my age moving to Omaha from Atlanta for a fresh start. He was really nice, and even offered to share his snacks that his mama packed for him. My point here is that no matter the background of people, they’re just there to travel too.

Was my experience taking the bus bad? No. Am I glad I experienced bus travel? Of course! Would I choose to travel by Greyhound alone again? Probably not. With another person? Possibly. Do I recommend it? If you can’t afford a plane and the train doesn’t go where you need to go, it is a viable form of transportation as long as you’re cautious of your surroundings and open to meeting interesting people! If its more than a day’s trip, it might be worth making a vacation of it. Take a day or two in the cities where you’ll switch buses the explore if you can swing it. It could end up being like a road trip where you don’t have to drive if you take someone with you!