State of unfairs

This world is insane right now.

Riots, looting, protests.

Rage, hate, disrespect.

I could voice my opinion about all of this but I don’t have enough energy to put my thoughts about it to paper anymore.  These last two weeks have drained Hugo and I physically, as we worked twelve hour shifts non-stop and without any time off to breath.  Since late May, just as we all began to emerge from the COVID-19 cocoon, our country erupted into a nightmare and it sucked any remaining life out of my body.

I have lost faith in a lot of things recently, the most important of which is people.  Humans, mainly the Americans you see torching police cars, running out of a burglarized Foot Locker with arm-loads of stolen sneakers, or proudly marching with a nonsense sign high above their masked heads, are ignorant and misled regarding the entire dialogue.  But, like I said, I don’t have enough energy to fight or defend the truth.  Not everything has to be about race – in fact, if we took race out of the picture, all that would be left in the majority of these recent shooting incidents would be a criminal being contacted by police, the individual not cooperating with simple requests, the subsequent fight between the police and suspect, followed ultimately by a shooting.  None of us should comment on these tense, rapidly evolving, dynamic situations, particularly when we weren’t there, don’t have all the facts and know nothing about it.

Part of me wants to run away, with my dearest Hugo of course, and the other part wants to fight, for what is right.  The will to stand up to bullshit is in my O+ blood.  My spirit is riddled with the need to convince the commoners of the real story, but in this unfortunate scenario, no one will come out as a winner.

My small circle of Hugo, the pups, and I are stressed.  As the perimeter of my circle expands, I can see the fear and uncertainty these times bring to my parents, both of whom have been barricaded at their country farm for months, watching American cities, once crippled with coronavirus deaths, now set ablaze by unemployed, college-aged antagonists.  Look even further and spot the turmoil in our government and infrastructure, the pandemic we are still very much experiencing, and the ongoing climate crisis our planet is embroiled in, all of which our own president doubts.  It is overwhelming and I feel suffocated with negativity, as I’m sure many people do.  I want out, of this country at times and of the year 2020 as a whole.  I want change too, but not the type everyone is screaming about on the 5 o’clock news.  For the record, all cops are not bastards and I am sickened by the idea of anyone being evil enough to feel that way.  Imagine if recklessly bold and inflammatory generalizations like that were made about any other group in the world – it is wrong in so many ways and very hurtful to all of the wonderful police officers and their families I know.

Zooming the lens for a moment back to my circle, the only way for me to mentally survive to see the remainder of my weekend and beyond is to focus on the good that still exists.  A lot of these problems cannot be changed by me so it isn’t worth stressing over them.  Trying to offer the fair opinion about how there are problematic employees, ‘bad apples’ if you will, in every field of work, would fall on deaf ears, unwilling to even entertain a two-sided conversation.  I won’t alter the minds of the sheep-like masses – even a pipeline of truth shoved into their Twitter-obsessed souls wouldn’t rework their closed minds, as they see and believe only that which fits the dialogue they want.  I also won’t impact major governmental decisions, most of which are fueled by corrupt and self-serving politicians.  Come to think of it, I am really not involved with any of this on any level.  That makes me mildly relieved but also disappointed because I am stuck living in a world where all of these major, major issues are happening and I can’t do a god damn thing about it.

I can, however, hug my Hugo a little bit harder when he comes into bed just after midnight tonight, another thankless shift behind him, serving the people on the news who just don’t care.  Makes me sad and still a little bit scared of where we are going and when it will stop.  I find balance in my husband and an incredible amount of strength, which I have learned to siphon off him.  He is the calming force in my life, as the world rages loud right outside of our windows.  Through him I have learned to just shut the curtains and focus on all the good inside our loving home.

I did it

Months of studying are now behind me because I passed my real estate license exam this past Monday!  I was going to immediately post with excitement of my feat but I got sidetracked, whisked away to an overnight work conference, and now my week has finally settled down into the weekend, where I have a moment to process it.  So excited at my future prospects and proud of myself at the same time, for once again identifying a dream, taking the necessary steps to succeed, and finishing what I set out to do.

While telling my mom the good news immediately afterward on the phone on my drive home from the test center, I realized out loud that I have accomplished a lot in the past two years.  From early 2018 until now I have tackled three large items one by one.  First, I promoted to the next rank of supervisor with my current employer in Los Angeles, which I wish I could divulge but unfortunately can’t due to confidentiality I have self-imposed to keep my identity to myself.  Second, I finally finished my bachelor’s degree, becoming a college graduate at the ripe young age of 34.  And third, now I am a licensed California Real Estate Salesperson who can buy or sell your property (and my own, which might be just as exciting to me, as Hugo and I aim to purchase our own beachfront property in the near future).

It feels good to write about my hard work and it feels even better to have those most important and valuable to me tell me repeatedly how proud they are of me.  While I didn’t do it specifically for Hugo and my parents, I also sort of did.  I have always worked hard in life because I want to, because as an adult, I know no other way, and because I expect and respect nothing less from myself and those around me.  But mainly, I do it so I can share my successes with those who have always held me up when I needed it.  From a child crawling, walking, running, and wanting to fly, to being young woman finding her way in life, my parents have always supported me beyond 100%.  And to my magical husband, who took over for the second half of my journey, holding me up when I feel weak, or knocked down, or nervous to go on at times.  Because of those who have loved me in the best way, I hope to share all my happiness and the good rewards these hard jobs bring, with them, almost as a way of saying I love you and thank you for loving me – I hope you know, I couldn’t do any of it without you ♥

Oldie but goodie

As I sit here watching Dumb & Dumber, one of my absolute favorite movies ever, I realize two things are true.  This cult classic is an oldie but goodie and so is Hugo.  After nearly sixteen years together, this man is my cult classic.  I provide his cult following and he is the classic example of a loving human being with a kind, beautiful heart.  He is enjoying a new video game for a few minutes before we watch tonight’s new episode of Saturday Night Live (another one of my all-time loves).

I find it funny when people say they don’t enjoy SNL.  Right now I happen to work with several people who claim the humor on the show doesn’t appeal to them, which I really can’t understand.  When they say such riot-inciting nonsense, I find it difficult to believe they aren’t a little stupid because they just don’t understand the jokes, skit dialogue and overall concepts.  Maybe that is just because I have grown up with the show, watching the early 90s seasons with my father.  We basked in the glory of Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and Will Ferrell, as they all started their careers there.  As the years went on, I watched the likes of Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig develop strong and hysterical female characters.  Now, Hugo and I religiously watch every season, enjoying some more than others, but always appreciating the history and nostalgia associated with Lorne Michaels’ baby.

So tonight, I will enjoy a night of smiling and laughing, alongside my best friend.  Can’t ask for a better Saturday night ♥

I am on fire

So mad right now.

Starting to get mad about allowing work issues to get me this mad.  Getting even more mad about being mad this late at night, on the eve of the start of my weekend.

All I can say is that I am thankful I will not be at work for the upcoming four days (three of the days are my regular days off while the additional day is my gratis ‘work from home’ day).  If I had to go in tomorrow, I might just drive right past the hell hole and never look back.  Instead, I will enjoy coffee with Hugo and hugs by my dream team, comprised of a kick-ass husband and two pooches to boot.

So, here we go and before we do, might I add that I had a feeling it would go down like this.  Just last night, as I sat at home anticipating an uncomfortable confrontation between the members of my work team the following morning, I told Hugo how I felt like it wouldn’t go well.  I hate to say it but I fucking nailed that one.  Something inside of me knew my partners and I had issues that had begun to simmer months ago.  Those very issues were now boiling over and someone was about to be burned.

As 7:30 am rolled around this morning, five male coworkers, one female coworker and I took our seats in our conference room and shut the door.  Our objective – discuss a couple matters that affect all of us, such as recent changes to carpooling with our communal work vehicles, schedule changes and the needs of our organization, and a variety of other relatively small, yet critical, tasks.  Right out of the gate, it went bad.

As my coworker Jim (obviously not his real name), who was sitting directly to the right of me, began speaking on our first matter, some of our work adversaries were chomping at the bit to attack.  Just as soon as Jim finished explaining that we need to share vehicles in a more friendly and equitable fashion, Robert (also not anything even close to his name) and Stacie (you get the point) started yelling about all of the things they had pent up inside of them for the greater part of the past year on the issue.  They rudely condescended Jim, another partner and I as they pressed their point even further.

The discussion/argument/battle royal continued as time and topics passed, with my face further reddening and the divide widening among my formerly close-knit group.  They weren’t open to change, our concerns, or compromising in the least.  They wanted all of the perks and none of the teamwork involved.  They also felt as if any of the issues we were experiencing in our work environment were a direct result of Jim’s and my arrival a year ago.  To paint a better portrait of the rude dynamic of our morning meeting, during the entirety of Jim’s speaking points (which were necessary because he facilitated the meeting, unbiased, eloquent given the circumstances, and straight to the point), Stacie slouched in her chair, armed crossed at her chest, with her eyes completely shut.  Everyone in the room could feel her closed eyelids giving Jim the finger as he spoke.  It was a rude, bitchy move and, to be honest, rather embarrassing behavior for a 48-year-old professional to engage in.

My biggest take-aways from the event include the following:  First, I am not friends with several people I work with and they made that very clear based on the way they spoke to me during that meeting.  That decision is mine and mine alone because I make a very conscious choice to not engage or entertain sharing any moments in my life with those who are rude or disrespectful as well as anyone who treats me less than how I deserve to be treated.  Bottom line, I am kind so I don’t deserve to be shit on.

My second learning lesson from my awful Thursday morning was something I already knew but simply had reinforced – people are selfish jerks, a lot of which only care if and how something affects their lives.  If their world is not interrupted at all, then they are fine, but as soon as a decision, compromise or change may alter their perfect little existence, then they have zero tolerance.  The problem with these people (and sadly, there are way too many of them out there) is they are not team players because they only want to take and seldom give.  By definition, a team is founded on taking fair parts of good and bad, so that everyone gets a little of everything as we all work towards success.  In my workplace example, I happened to be giving and taking with a 90/10 split, while others reaped the rewards and always failed to compromise for the greater good.  I wasn’t the only one who was being treated less than stellar so Jim addressed it in the meeting on behalf of us. Sadly, his points fell on deaf ears, as Stacie and Robert defensively yelled and completely failed to grasp his simple point.

In the end, I am the one who is suffering from this nasty work encounter because I take my work home with me.  Case in point – I’m still sitting here bubbling over with frustration and anger.  While I am not quite on the verge of having a heart attack yet, I can see how additional years of allowing work stress to fester in my chest could ultimately lead to my demise. Hugo cautions me about it whenever I vent to him and I love him for it.  I love him even more (if that is possible) for always supporting and defending me, despite not being present or involved.  It feels so good to know my significant other trusts my opinion and believes in my heart to the point that he knows, deep in his gut, that my words are true and intentions pure.

I can’t help it but I am sensitive and I expect more from people, so when those around me disappoint or disrespect me, I take it to heart.  Thinking about it right afterwards, through lunch, all afternoon, on the drive home, as I watch TV, and later, as I begin writing this, is a typical example of how I am not only hard on myself but sad for these types of negative situations that transpire in life.  I would much rather exist in happiness and love, even if we need to have tough conversations.  Everything that occurred this morning, between the hours of 7:30-8:30 am, could have happened with mature, professional individuals discussing their issues, while maintaining composure and actively listening to their coworkers’ concerns.  When the maturity, professionalism, composure, and attempt to listen were thrown out, we all lost the opportunity to actually make progress.  And, although they don’t know it, those people lost me as a friend.  Life is too short for nonsense and bullshit – I have never engaged in any of it in my personal and professional life and I sure as fuck am not about to start now.  But regardless, I am still sad about the whole mess and I can’t wait to move on.

Speaking of moving on, it may come sooner than later.  Just before midnight yesterday, my cell phone buzzed with an incoming email from the California Department of Real Estate – my application has been approved and I am clear to schedule my state exam.  So I did.  Now, tonight, as I sit here typing about all the things that upset me today, I realize that this couldn’t have come at a better time.  Onward and upward my friends ♥

Leap of faith

Something came over me today while sitting idly at work on a gloomy Thursday morning in downtown Los Angeles.  After a brief group meeting with my coworkers and supervisor regarding a couple issues on our team, I decided to pull the trigger by submitting my transfer request to actually make a move I have been contemplating over the past several months.  I realize I am constantly marinating in entrepreneurial juices and dreaming of more independence, a shorter (or non-existent) drive to work, and more personal satisfaction so today I chose to throw my name in the theoretical transfer hat.  By doing so, I am now eligible to relocate my work location to our local office, which is all of 17 minutes from Hugo’s and my humble abode.  Additional, hugely positive perks to this move for me include not having to drive on a freeway, should I choose to avoid it, being centrally located just a few short blocks from Whole Foods and other stores we frequent, and working in a more stimulating and rewarding environment.  You can’t go wrong with any of those points.

Once I announced this radical change to my closest coworkers, I received a lot of kind backlash about my decision.  As one of my dearest partners physically ripped up and destroyed my original paperwork, in a loving gesture to avoid my departure, my other friends expressed their anger at my decision and sadness about my future absence.  Not going to lie – it felt really nice to realize just how loved I am amongst my small, close-knit group.  It is pretty cool how we travel through these small circles in life, inside some of which we form true bonds and friendships with a select few special people we encounter.  I also shared my plans via text with my other friends from my prior work assignments; they shared in my excitement and reflected on the fun times we have had working together in the past.  While I sometimes grow frustrated with work in general, it is nice when these sweet moments creep in, humbly reminding me of the good that does exist in this environment.

Just prior to submitting my transfer paperwork today, I knocked on my supervisor’s office door and stepped inside.  I asked him if he had a moment to chat, to which he agreed, so I stepped forward to approach his desk.  I was nervous because of the nature of the situation.  I could feel my heart pounding heavy in my chest, neck and jaw, leading me to believe it was visible from those around me.  I pressed on because I wanted to take a moment to explain why I was about to submit this surprising piece of paperwork to this man that sat at his desk before me, respecting the fact that he deserved a short explanation rather than silence on my part.

I told him how I had been contemplating the career move for quite a while and today’s meeting made the decision for me, as he, being my supervisor, was now implementing some drastic procedural changes that negatively affected our work schedule and conditions.  Because of this, during today’s meeting, the decision was easy and essentially made for me.  Since then, Hugo has expressed how proud he is of me, for being bold by voicing my reasoning for requesting a change to my supervisor, which was no easy task.  I too am proud of myself, mainly for making this morning the last moment I dealt with being upset about things I had the ability to change – instead, I made this morning the time I made a bold move to improve my life, one less crappy, Los Angeles rush hour commute at a time.

Fear of failure

After arriving home from a morning work meeting, that ended up lasting over four hours and sucking the literal life out of me, I just flipped on my favorite local radio station, which is 88.5 FM in the greater Los Angeles area.  It is by far the best radio station Hugo and I have ever come across, throughout our life journey in several different states.  Great local shows that feature fun and progressive new music, as well as classic tribute hours devoted to the likes of the Beatles, Grateful Dead, and more.  If you trust me and click the above link, shows to check out include Americana Matinee and Saturday Morning with the Beatles.

As always, I strayed from my reason for this post with my side thoughts.  The meeting drained me to the point that I am sitting on the couch, enjoying a piece of Costa Rican mint chocolate, all while wrapped in my favorite Coyuchi wrapped in a blanket.  Mind you, it is only 2:21pm on a Tuesday but I don’t care.  After turning the radio on before, I was thankful to have tuned in at that exact moment (right around 2pm) because I got to hear the new Sea Wolf song entitled Fear of Failure.  Got me thinkin’, as these things tend to do – I no longer possess a strong fear of failure in life and I have to say, it is a very satisfying realization.

Maybe that isn’t completely true, because we are humans and we all have an inherent fear of true failure in life, at work or in love.  But I guess what I mean is this – I have reached a point both personally and professionally where I feel like I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  It might also have to do with the fact that I am ready to transition into a new career, so the thought of saying the wrong thing at my work meetings, pissing someone off or messing something up to the point of no redemption (which is incredibly difficult, if not nearly impossible in my government-run line of work), doesn’t frighten me in the least.  In fact, I might welcome it!  I also have a sense of comfort and confidence in my work ethic and work product, which takes a lot of the fear out of it.  I know I can do the job and I know I do it better than a lot of my counterparts, so what should I be afraid of?

Personally, I have no fear either.  Hugo and I have reached a momentous point in our marriage, which isn’t characterized by a huge moment in time where we reached “the top” or the successful equivalent.  I think we collectively understand, appreciate and respect one another better than most relationships we have ever seen and we find solace in being firmly rooted in the happy and loving nest we are in.  There is a warm sense of comfort and peace there, one that doesn’t allow for fear to creep in.

So it was a little ironic when Sea Wolf’s new song came on today because I had to take pause as I connected with the lyrics for a moment, and then quickly realized they don’t resonate with me as much as they used to.  While heavy nerves about the impending unknown used to bog me down and tangle my insides, now I notice myself not really giving a shit.  I don’t care what anyone else thinks – the only other souls on this earth that phase me are in my house right now (Hugo, Koa and Gunner) and at our family’s houses across the country.  Everyone else I can either take or leave…and between you and I, I do a lot of leaving ♥

All while watching the Golden Globes

“Who are you wearing?”

The question of the red carpet Golden Globes pre-show.  It’s all about what designer, what accessories and what arm candy.  I have to admit (just between you and I) – I happen to love awards pre-shows, quite possibly more than the actual awards shows.  In addition, I love anything on E! and Bravo (yes, Real Housewives of ANYWHERE fans, I am with you).  Sorry if your respect for me just went down a rung.  You can’t help who you love, just as you can’t help what awful reality shows you get sucked into.

The funny thing about all this is, as I was about to begin my post for the evening, I realized I have the polar opposite concept occurring on my TV screen right now.  As Ryan Seacrest interviews Dior-clad celebrities, many of whom are dipped in Harry Winston-like jewels, I was about to delve into my 3am thoughts from a recent early morning in Costa Rica.  Since Hugo and I got married in 2009, we have visited Costa Rica once, sometimes twice, a year, to visit my parents, who also fly in, or my aunt and uncle who live down there post-retirement as ex-Pats.  During our annual trip this past December, I lay awake one night, restless and thinking as I find myself from time to time.  On this particular occasion, I found myself gazing through the window shade crack, out into the full moon night sky of the Guanacaste Province.  As I did so, I thought of myself as an ant.  A single, minuscule ant, clinging to this overwhelmingly large planet, as we hurl through space and time, chasing the sun and being followed by the moon.  The ant is so small, as we all are, not only on our own planet but in the greater scope of the universe and well beyond.  I enjoy this concept and here’s why.

Life can be too much at times.  Too much good and hopefully not too often, too much bad.  Most of the time we ride somewhere comfortably in between, but even then we can feel a little suffocated by things that, quite frankly, really don’t matter.  The unnecessary stress we put on ourselves, whether it is because we are too critical or because the world isn’t always nice, can be burdensome and difficult to navigate.  We are also less important than we make ourselves out to be and no better or worse than any other creature on earth.  I am sick of watching those around me operate as if they supersede an insect on their window screen or an animal trying to cross the street through traffic.  That’s why I like to always remember that I am the ant.

Actually we are all the ants.  The clothes and jewelry don’t matter.  The silly comments don’t matter.  And the worries that seem important at the time, but easily fade after a little time has passed, really don’t matter.  What truly matters is who we are as human beings and fellow species on this planet, how we love one another and what we choose to do with our lives.  I like to remember the importance of this perspective as often as possible because it centers me and allows me to quickly prioritize my feelings about whatever is happening in my life.  If I am overwhelmed with nonsense, I remember that I am one of many ants on this giant planet, just trying to survive and thrive, and none of the chaos really matters.

 

Keepin’ it 100

While some of my posts are short and sweet (maybe just a quick thought or short poem), I reached 100 posts and I am proud♥  I am proud of myself for engaging in something I passionately love, writing.  And I am thankful for anyone out there reading this, anyone in this universe (or maybe another universe) that connects with my voice and the words I write.  Those same words that mold my thoughts and feelings into sentences, later paragraphs and stories of my life.  Sometimes I feel like my life is simple and uneventful but as I review my first 100 posts, I realize something – my life is wild and amazing, filled with love and adventure, and my brain is alive and well, pumping with thoughts that are chomping at the bit to be put to paper.  It feels really good to sit and write either about whatever comes to mind or about a topic I have been dwelling on for days.  It feels even better to realize you have found something in life that makes you happy and feel like yourself when you do it.  The definition of contentment, to me, is when I am both happy and relaxed as I dive deeper into a passion project such as this.

So please join me as I continue into the next one hundred posts during this 35th year of my life.  My mind is still brewing up more writing ideas, including one of my larger goals of writing either a series of short stories or a book of the three loves I know of and admire.  The first love story is that of my neighbor Pat and her husband Mark.  Mark, as you may know from my recent updates, passed away from this earth, relieved from his painful bone cancer battle.  The best of friends in every way, Mark and Pat were a beautiful couple who we enjoyed having in our lives for the past eight years as neighbors.

The second love story is that of Hugo’s grandparents, Polly and Bob.  Married for over seventy-five years, they weathered every type of storm imaginable, with both of them living into their mid-nineties (Polly is still chugging along at 95!).  As husband and wife, they traveled, raised their four children into confident, successful adults, and worked in various industries, including Bob’s time in the Navy during World War II.

The third and final love story is my fairy tale with Hugo.  In my opinion, this is the most beautiful love story of all.  We are the best of friends and he is the true puzzle piece to my life.  As I reflect on the three stories, side by side, I can see the common threads of friendship, trust, loyalty, and deep love running through them all.  Stand by for my series of love stories, coming soon to a blog near you ♥

Happy X Nature Skyglow Jumpsuit

I was so excited by my recent order that I had to share this immediately.  Kate Hudson just debuted her new brand, Happy X Nature, which is an eco-friendly fashion line that nicely compliments her other outstanding lines that I have already fallen hard for, including Fabletics (don’t even get me started on how much I love those damn leggings!).  Anyways, upon opening my shipping bag, I immediately fell in love with my new Skyglow Jumpsuit in Recycled Polyester.  My beautiful jumpsuit arrived in size 8 today and I can’t believe how well it fit.  It is almost as if it is tailored to my body and meant to be worn by yours truly.  I am ecstatic with the purchase and looking forward to wearing it at Hugo’s cousin’s wedding in July ♥

Maybe it is right in front of me

As odd as it may sound, what I have been whining about seeking, while on my quest to find my true passions and a possible career change, may be right in front of me.  Literally, it might be the keyboard I am typing on and the screen I am staring at on a daily basis as I grind away at my loving blog.  Moaning on and on to you, my loyal readers, I have continued to explain in detail about my heartfelt pursuit of self-employment, meaningful work days and something to motivate and excite me again.  Maybe, just maybe, what I have been looking for is right here.  What I am suggesting is this – maybe I am supposed to be a writer.

Let’s face it, I like to write and I am not the worst at it.  Whether you enjoy listening to me vent about my random feelings, thoughts and dreams, I really enjoy jotting it all down, packaging it up and slinging it onto the information superhighway that is my mildly trafficked site.  I have been writing for the entirety of my life and it has always originated from a place of honesty and rawness, only done whenever I felt the need and about topics that came from my inner being.  Because of this, it is one of the most enjoyable activities I have in my life and I realize how true this is, even more so now, in 2020.

While I can’t make any money off doing this (because, let’s be honest, who is going to pay me to chat about how much I love my Hugo and how much I despise all of the ignorant ridiculous things I observe every day), I intend to continue doing what my long fingers seek – type away as if I was a trained pianist, sometimes not fast enough to keep up with my racing brain’s output.  Just the fact that I came a little bit closer to realizing what makes me happy, well, that’s a pretty great thing.  And boy do I have something to say (about nine topics in my queue as of tonight) so stand by…