Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Day Six

What animal would you love to have as a pet?

I’m pretty unoriginal here, as I’d have to go with cats and dogs.  I’m currently living with my boyfriend’s two dogs and my cat, all of which I consider to be “our animals.”  It’s been interesting, to say the least, merging our animals into the same household.  The current set up involved a baby gate at the top of our stairs, so the cat has free range of the second floor while the dogs can roam the main floor.  We have brought the dogs up a few times so they could all see one another – the canines are totally fine, well behaved, calm mannered, and really just interested in, “who the fuck is this furry thing living upstairs WHERE WE USED TO BE ALLOWED?!”  It’s the cat that cops an attitude, hissing and growling when a dog gets too close to him.  Thankfully no one has swiped at paw at anyone else, which was my biggest fear.

For about 98% of my life, I’ve always lived with animals.  When I was born my parents had a cat, a white shorthair with the smudge of grey on her forehead, which they had gotten shortly after getting married seven years prior.  She lasted until I was eleven years old, passing away at the old age of eighteen.  The following Christmas my parents orchestrated the best Santa Clause gift EVER, in that of our beloved golden retriever, Casey.  They arranged for our neighbors to set up the kennel by our decorated tree while our family was at my paternal grandfather’s house celebrating Christmas Eve.  When we got home late that night my six-year old sister and I were greeting by a happy, squirmy puppy.  Thinking about it now, I have no idea how my parents held it together – what a great thing to be able to witness, two little girls meeting a puppy they didn’t know they were getting, that was “brought by Santa.”  Casey was such a blessing to our family, and brought us endless joy and laughs throughout the years.  She was a rock of support to my Dad after my parents divorced, as they both continued to live in the house we had all shared together.  When he met the woman that is now his wife, Casey took to her immediately and was a constant companion to them both in her final years.  Thanks to my Dad’s compassionate care she almost made it to thirteen years old – she died peacefully in our family home and all five of us were able to be with her.  I still think about her all the time, she was an incredible animal and I’m thankful I had her to grow up with.

After the divorce brought about a change in everyone’s living arrangements, we had some cats join the family.  I inherited my high school sweetheart’s cat, Frisky, who lived with us for only a few years before having to be put down due to complications with diabetes.  My sister adopted a black cat from the local humane society that she named Adrian, after the TV show Monk – Adrian was another incredible animal that everyone loved fiercely.  One day I came up with a funny voice to make him talk that mimicked the Stuart character from Mad TV; everyone loved it so much I continued to do it up until his passing last December. 

When I first moved out on my own in 2008 I lived in an animal-less apartment with a roommate.  After that arrangement disintegrated before the lease was up, and I was left in a very, very deep valley of depression, I made it a priority to get myself another animal.  I adopted a cat from the local humane society, a grey tiger striped shorthair that I named after one of my favorite poets.  He was a total flop cat that just wanted to sleep and snuggle on you at any given time.  A few months after I adopted him I began dating someone that was not only allergic to cats, but also very heavily asthmatic.  We tried living together with the kitty for over a year, but eventually this person told me that they just couldn’t continue to do so any longer.  As much as it pained me to make the decision, I ultimately decided that it was more important for me to work on my human relationship, instead of prioritizing my cat over it.  I found my kitty a foster home that was initially supposed to be temporary, but it ended up being permanent as the years went by.  The asthmatic and I eventually broke up and moved out of our shared apartment, and by then enough time had gone by that I didn’t have the heart to ask for my cat back, knowing that the foster parent had to have developed a bond with my cat.  So I opted to adopt another humane society cat, the one that lives with me today, who we affectionately call Scotty Mo.  He had been at the shelter for almost four months, which is one of the reasons I picked him over every other cat.  It didn’t take him long to warm up to me and he has been a wonderful companion over the past year and a half.  Hopefully one day he will be coexisting peacefully with my boyfriend’s two dogs on all floors of the home we all share.

Why did I go into such detail about the cats and dogs I’ve had?  Probably because I’ve learned that, for me, animals are not only incredibly important in my life, they are VITAL.  I know I’m not the only person that has had their dark moments comforted by the wag of a tail or a gentle lick on the face.  Animals are such special creatures, and the bonds we form with the ones we bring into our homes are unlike anything we can experience in our human relationships.  For me, the best part about coming home each day are the kisses I get from my guy and our fur babies.

What band/musician is most important to you?

The band that is most important to me is, hands down, the Beatles.  The musician that is most important to me is Ani Difranco.

So many people love the Beatles and cite them as favorites, and rightfully so.  My parents both loved the Beatles.  The first songs I remember hearing were “Twist and Shout” and “Help!”  I really wish I could think of more to say on this subject, because my love for this band runs very deep and has been constant throughout my life, but truthfully I’m falling short on my words.  Perhaps it’s due to having been binge writing off and on for the whole day.  Or maybe it’s just writers block.  Just believe me when I say that the Beatles are important to me. 

I was introduced to Ani Difranco when I was fifteen – a friend of my mother’s gave me her “Not A Pretty Girl” album for my birthday and I quickly became obsessed with it.  Throughout my high school years I hoarded as much of her music as I could, mostly on burned CD’s before mp3’s took over and everything became digital.  She continues to write and record music and put it all out into the world through her independent label, Righteous Babe Records.  I’ve seen her perform live a handful of times, and through my work I was able to meet and shake her hand back in 2009, one of the best days of my life.  Her music has healed me in more ways than I can say.  I don’t have favorites of her songs, I have relationships with them – certain ones will always remind me of specific people, relationships, or moments in my life.  I want “Swan Dive” played at my funeral.  The human example she has set for me, for everyone, has helped me grow and increase my emotional strength over my lifetime.  Putting on Ani Difranco’s music is like putting salve on a wound, it comforts me and brings me back to a feeling of being whole, being capable, and feeling so grateful for it all.


Day Five

Your definition of love

Considering another person before myself – how will my words or actions make them feel?  Taking into account what they need to be happy – what can I do to make sure they know they are loved and valued?  Prioritizing their health and happiness, not necessarily before my own but rather in conjunction with my own needs – is there anything within my capabilities that will help this person, or take care of them if they’re in need?

I feel like I’ve learned a lot about love over the past ten years in particular.  During this time I’ve had several relationships, friendships and intimate ones, dissolve for numerous reasons.  Some were petty, some were self-inflicted, some it was just what was meant to be.  Each ending, though painful, has helped round out my understanding of what it means to love another person. And that the ONLY thing I have any kind of control over is how I treat others and how I let them know how I feel about them.

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be kind.  Always.”

Do you collect anything?

I’ve had various collections over my life.  I used to collect the popular “Got milk?” ads you’d find in magazines – I’d tear them out and I kept them in a binder filled with those plastic sheet protectors.  I even entered the collection in a county fair at one point and won a ribbon for it, haha.  I’m sure it's still around somewhere, as I’m a sentimental pack rat that can’t throw anything out, but I haven’t seen it in years.

There was also a time where I collected anything that had the Playboy logo on it.  I had a neon bar sign, a folding chair, various pieces of clothing, shot glasses, jewelry, you name it – if it had that damn bunny on it, I had to have it.  On my eighteenth birthday this included getting a pink one tattooed on my stomach – ten years later I can only roll my eyes at myself, but I don’t exactly regret getting it; it’s on a place that’s easy to cover, people rarely see it, and if anything it’s my own little reminder of being young and dumb.

These days I collect bottle caps, for craft projects I have yet to embark on.  I collect pennies, because they remind me of my maternal grandmother and bring me comfort.  Purses, shoes, and t-shirts that reflect something I like or find interesting.  Anything that has to do with Michigan, stickers, jewelry, or art prints.

Five places you want to visit

1.       Amsterdam – if I could pick anywhere to go right now, it’d be Amsterdam.  I want to visit the Vincent Van Gogh museum; Van Gogh is an artist that is very near and dear to me – I have his signature tattooed on the back of my neck.  There are other things that draw me to this place, the cannabis cafes being another obvious one, but the biggest reason is for Van Gogh. 

2.       Italy – I’m lucky enough to have been to Italy once before.  When I was fifteen I went on a nine day tour with my high school orchestra.  We visited Siena, Rome, Florence, and Venice; we played a few concerts, did our touristy-Americans thing, and ate ALL THE FOOD.  It was a fun trip for a kid that hadn’t spent much time outside of Michigan beforehand.  But, it came with certain downsides, being a chaperoned school trip and all.  I’d love to go back again as an adult, especially with my guy (who is Italian on his mother’s side).

3.       Cancun, Mexico – pretty generic and stereotypical, I know, but I have it on the list because it’s a touristy beach location that I would love to go to someday.  The thought of those beautiful beaches, the crashing waves, and an all-inclusive resort sounds like heaven to me.  That kind of scenery is what I’m daydreaming about while hunched over my desk at work.

4.       Seattle – to include some stateside locations, I would love to see Seattle someday.  I’m a city girl at my heart so any big metropolis will make me feel happy and at home, but Seattle has intrigue for some specific reasons.  One, I’m a huge Grey’s Anatomy fan, and even though Seattle isn’t a major player in the series in the way NYC was in Sex and the City, I’d still love to see it for myself.  Two, a friend of a friend moved to Seattle a couple years ago and I’ve always loved the updates she posts on social media; she clearly loves living there and seeing the area through her posts has totally increased my desire to visit one day.

5.       California – I’ve never seen the Pacific ocean, so that’s reason enough.  I have a few family members that are Bay area residents, I would LOVE to be able to visit them on their stomping grounds.  Also, my boyfriend and I are fairly big fans of the current stand-up comedy and podcast scene, most of which is based in the LA area.  I’ve mentioned to him before that a vacation to Cali that just consisted of us hitting up various comedy clubs and live podcasts recordings sounds like the best thing ever.  Hopefully one day soon!


Day Four

What you ate today

Well, let me start out by saying that I spent most of Labor Day weekend at an outdoor arts, music, and food street fair, so I was indulging on a lot of things that I don’t typically eat.  But it was all so delicious and it only comes around once a year, I was totally okay with allowing my taste buds to dictate what went in my mouth.  I’ll just run an extra day this week to offset any leftover guilt I feel.

On Friday, September 4th I made scrambled eggs and turkey bacon for my guy and I, which is fairly typical of our weekend breakfasts as it is.  After that and before lunchtime I snacked on leftover veggies and ranch dip from the football food spread.  I think lunch was a turkey and cheese flat bread sandwich and a handful of crackers.  Our dinner that night came from a BBQ food stand – we each had two pulled pork sliders and we split sides of baked beans and coleslaw.  It was heavenly.  And after that we poured a ton of beer into our bellies.  I’m not a big drinker and even though I do love beer, I’ve been known to get sick when I drink on a stomach that doesn’t have enough food in it.  Thankfully, because of all the wonderful food options at our disposal, I didn’t have any stomach issues flare up and I was able to enjoy a beer buzz that enhanced my fun rather than dampening it.

The meaning behind your blog name

Write Now Damnit.  Because I need to, much more often than I have been.  The name came to me a long time ago, at another time in my life where I was considering starting a blog (but didn’t because of fear and made up excuses).  The fact that it was available when I made this blog was a sign I took from the universe being, “yep, you REALLY need to do this.  Get back up on that horse, lady, you CAN be a writer again, you CAN do this, right now, damnit!!”

Day four is short and sweet.  Day five is on its way...


Day Three

(Sheesh, I'm really not off to a great start with keeping up on this challenge on a daily basis.  Believe me when I say I've been mentally beating myself up over this for the past few days.  In my defense, it was Labor Day weekend and all four days of the holiday weekend were spent with friends and family at an outdoor arts, music, and food festival in my city.  I had the absolute best time with everyone, especially my guy, and I know that opting to miss out on certain things to stay at home and write would've bummed me out.  So, I'll just go crazy and post for days three through eight today.

Also, I want to mention that the writing prompt lists I've been going by, the ones I found through Pinterest, well...  Let's just say that they could have a little more intellectual depth than they do.  I've also noticed a lot of repeats - I've gotten the prompt "what do you wear to bed" three different times, and that's still not something I want to bother writing about - it's be short and boring and wouldn't be helpful to me in the way I want this thirty day challenge to be.  So there may be some days where I use fewer prompts than others - I always want to have at least two, so that's the minimum I'm setting for myself.)

What kind of person attracts you?

I’m assuming this question was written to imply what attracts you to the people you’re attracted to, as in dating or intimate relationships.  My partner and I met through an online dating site, which means we made profiles detailing exactly what we were looking for in someone to date.  When he found my profile our compatibility rating was ranked at 83%, which makes sense because he is the epitome of what I find most attractive in another human being:

He is kind, generous, compassionate, and protective of the people he loves.  He is hilariously funny and can make jokes out of just about anything.  He is insightful, thoughtful, and considerate of how his words and actions affect other people.  He is calm and steady and can stand in the face of chaos with a cool attitude knowing everything will be fine or work itself out (a trait I SO WISH I HAD).  He’s always able to help me see “the big picture” when I come to him with whatever problem I’m having, and comfort me with logic and thought-provoking conversation that always brings me “back down to earth.”  He is incredibly handsome; I love his chiseled facial features, his kind eyes and the way they look while he’s laughing.  He’s tall and warm and I feel loved and protected when I’m nestled under the crook of his arm.  He’s just the best.

What is inside your purse?

Oh jeeze.  Well, let me start out with admitting that I am THAT GIRL when it comes to purses: I’m very picky and slightly snobby when it comes to the purses I carry.  Since hitting my twenties and being introduced to the wonderful world of Coach, I pretty much haven’t looked back since.  I don’t buy purses nearly as often as I used to when I carried Target bags, because the designer ones cost a fucking arm and a leg.  BUT, they hold up for the long haul, which is why I’m okay with paying a three digit total for a new bag once a year or so.  By rotating bags based on the season, meticulously caring for them and storing them properly when I’m not using them, I know that my collection will last for decades – hopefully long enough that I can eventually share them with my kids.

Onto what I actually carry in them…

1.       Wallet – for the longest time I carried the kind of wallet that resembles a brick.  Everything was stuffed into it, cards, cash, receipts, reward/punch cards, business cards, etc.  Last Christmas my Mom gifted me an armored wallet, one that protects your cards from scanners that can grab your personal info off of credit cards or hotel keys (eek! That freaked me out to find out!  I always keep and destroy those card keys after staying at a hotel now).  It forced me to cut down on the cards I carry, which needed to be done.  It didn’t take me long to get used to it, and now I can’t imagine using anything else.  Here’s a link to one on Amazon – the one I have is Starry Night, but if I ever need to replace it I’m thinking this one:


2.       Wristlet cash/coin purse – with switching to a card-only wallet I needed someplace to put cash and coins, even though I very rarely carry cash on me (a habit I need to break).  I have a teal colored Coach wristlet that serves this purpose, and it also holds the key card to my office building – I’m able to easily swipe the whole wristlet without taking it out for access to my workplace.

3.       Zippered mini bags – I’ve got two of these that float around in my purse, both from Fossil (and my lovely Mother).  The small one holds various medical/health items – medicated lip balm, tampons, birth control pills (THANKS OBAMA!), my boyfriend’s prescription eye drops, and a variety of pills that I could potentially need when away from my home (ibuprophen, allergy, Xanax, Zofran, Pepto, and a few other OTC for “emergency situations” that I won’t detail.  I’ve had many unfortunate situations arise when away from home, so I’ve learned that I just need to always have my mini-pharmacy around me at all times.)  The larger zippered bag holds all the other small items I feel the need to carry – wet wipes I’ve stolen from restaurants, Shout! stain wipes, cough drops and gum, ear buds, extra eyebrow wax and eyeliner, hair ties and bobby pins, pens and a Sharpie marker.

4.       Checkbook – am I the only twenty-something with a checkbook?  Maybe.  Up until recently I used it regularly to pay my rent at my last apartment complex.  But now that I’ve moved the address on my checks isn’t up to date, and given that pretty much everything I pay for is now done online I will probably procrastinate with getting new ones.  But I will eventually, because old habits die hard.

5.       Fitbit charger – Because my FitBit only tells me my battery is low at really inconvenient times.  I try to stay on top of it, but occasionally I need to plug it into my work computer at my office.  Plus, it helps me to keep it in the same place, and I know that storing it in my purse will help me to not lose it.

6.       Tanning goggles – Because old habits die hard.  I don’t fake bake like I used to at seventeen, but I still do occasionally for a good dose of light therapy.  I used to work in a tanning salon and we had to turn people away if they didn’t have eyewear or didn’t want to buy a new pair from us, so I just got used to always having a set on me.  I keep a spare in my car console too.

7.       Pocket knife – I was never someone that carries a knife, but an old boyfriend of mine was and it came in handy a lot.  After we parted ways I found one of his more basic ones among my belongings; knowing it wasn’t an expensive one, I kept it for myself and I find myself using it all the time.  It always impresses nearby males when I take it out of my purse, which makes me smile.

8.       Glasses – Because I wear glasses.  And when I have them on my sunglasses are kept in the case.  I’m always wearing one or the other, unless I’m at home.

9.       Keys – Because obvious reasons.

10.   Love Letter – a fantastic card game that is one of mine and my boyfriend’s favorites.  We often play this while waiting for food to come at a restaurant, or if we get to the movie theater super early before whatever screening we’re going to see. 


Your day, in great detail

Well, given that this was a DAY THREE prompt and I’m actually writing this on DAY EIGHT, I’ll do my best to walk you through what I did on September 3, 2015.

1.       Wake up at 6:30am – I groggily pet and cuddled my cat before going downstairs to feed the dogs and let them out.  While they do their dog things out in the yard I do a little bit of work on my laptop, before going back upstairs and cleaning myself up.

2.       Leave my home at 8:45am – I kiss my working-from-home-on-Thursdays boyfriend and head out the door for my hour long commute.  Leaving after most of the rush hour traffic helps tremendously AND helps avoid my cranky side from taking over my personality for the remainder of the day.  I’m usually listening to a podcast of some kind, which helps the hour go by faster.

3.       Arrive at my office by 10:00am – it’s the last day of the work week before the long holiday weekend, so I got to work last Thursday knowing it was going to be a heavy-load day.  The little bit of work I did at home in the morning helps with easing into the workload once I get to the office – my co-workers are already aware of what I need from them and by what time, so the majority of my day is just processing the information they submit.  (I’m sure I’ll go into more detail about the work I do at some point in the blog, but today’s not that day.)

4.       Leave my office by 4:30pm – this is also in an effort to keep the commute back home on the shorter side; I’ve found that if I’m on the highway in Ann Arbor by quarter to five, I’m able to get to the metro Detroit area within forty-five-ish minutes.  HOWEVER, last Thursday was the kickoff to the Michigan football season and I knew I was coming home to a gathering of friends we had invited over to watch the game.  So, instead of immediately heading home I stopped at an Ann Arbor area grocery store for a veggie tray, cheese, crackers, and disposable plates in order to offer our guests some munchie foods.

5.       Arrive home at 6:00/6:30pm – I can’t remember what time I pulled in my driveway last Thursday, so that’s just a guess.  My boyfriend was tossing a football in the front yard with his younger brother and his best friend from childhood.  I went into the house to tidy up the kitchen and set up the food I had bought.  My boyfriend’s brother contributed chips and salsa, and we also ended up with a White Castle crave case, so we had quite the spread going on.  But beer was flowing all night though so I was thankful we ended up with more than we needed – can’t drink on an empty stomach!

6.       I don’t remember when the football game started because I am not a huge football fan, but that’s what we all did for the remainder of the evening: hang out and watch football.  I spent most of the time chatting with a friend I met through my boyfriend, which was SUCH a wonderful alternative to the game, haha.  We see each other often but it’s usually to play board games with my boyfriend and her husband (they’ve all been friends since college) so conversations are always interrupted with, “hey! Pay attention, it’s your turn!”  We of course don’t mind because we’re all huge board game nerds, but it was just so nice to have hours of uninterrupted conversation with her.

7.       11:30pm/12:00am – This is when I’m guessing I headed to bed last Thursday.  I fed my cat dinner, took off my makeup, brushed my teeth, and curled up in bed.  Maybe I read a little on my Kindle app (currently reading “Mad Men on the Couch”), but probably only for a few minutes because damn, I was tired at the end of this day.

Phew!  Day four, coming soon!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day Two

Given how much I wrote for the belated “Day One,” today’s post will be significantly shorter.  Hopefully.  You never know, I do love run-on sentences.

To start… ten likes, and ten dislikes.  Here we go:


1.       Bernie Sanders – For all the reasons. 
2.       Vinyl Records – they remind me of my Dad, who has a very impressive collection that I’ve always lusted after.
3.       Knitting – I’m not a pro by any means.  My BGF taught me to cast on and the basic knit and purl stitches more than ten years ago.  Most of my projects are scarves or square washcloths.  But damn if I don’t thoroughly enjoy myself with needles and yarn between my fingers.
4.       Board Games – holy-fucking-fun, Batman!  I had no idea the world of board gaming was as big as it is until I met my boyfriend, whose collection spans a bookcase that is taller and wider than your average bear.  As a kid I thought Life, Sorry!, Uno, and Monopoly were fun – I had no clue what was fun, apparently.  Board games are the BEST. 
5.       The radio – I think the radio has psychic capabilities, especially stations that you have a deep connection to.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been a crying mess when THE PERFECT SONG comes on the radio to soothe me. 
6.       Pennies – I believe that the random pennies I find on the ground are signs of love from my grandmother that has passed on.  You can call me crazy or roll your eyes, but I will always stop to pick up every penny I find and I will always feel better after finding one on a shitty day.
7.       Marijuana – I think it is a miracle plant.  I think it so much more good than it is bad.  I think it is the safest and healthiest alternative to most pharmaceuticals in existence.  I think the stigma against people who use it needs to end, like, yesterday.  It has enriched and improved my life in countless ways.
8.       The state of Michigan – I love where I’m from.  I love our lakes, beaches, our forests, our cities, our sports teams, and our history.  I love our beer, I love using my hand as a map, and I love being a Michigangster.
9.       Podcasts – What would I do without podcasts?  My commutes would be even harder to get through, that’s for sure.  I love anything Kevin Smith touches.  I love the Nerdist, Marc Maron’s WTF, Stuff You Should Know, Ear Biscuits, and many, many others.  Got a recommendation?  I need to know NOW.
10.   Coconut Oil – seriously, the stuff is fucking amazing, I don’t think I even need to explain why.


1.       Birds – they’ve just always freaked the shit outta me, it really doesn’t go beyond that.
2.       Bees – same with birds, but with the added fear of potentially getting stung.  Lately there have been bees hanging out in the garage where I run on a treadmill, which may have me running faster but it’s to the beat of, “pleaseleavemealone, pleaseleavemealone, PLEASELEAVEMEALONE!”
3.       Odd numbers – Not all odd numbers, anything divisible by five is okay.  But really, I prefer even.
4.       Pinched nerves – I have a knack for this happening while I’m sleeping.  Seriously, I get them constantly.  Nothing dampers a mood quite like a pinched nerve.
5.       Excuses – Especially being on the receiving end of one.
6.       Being stuck in traffic – something I need to learn to deal with, as I’m a commuter and this is just something that will always happen.  It’s also why I always have more than half a tank of gas at any given time, just in case.
7.       Bananas – the first food I discovered I disliked.  I spit back a bite my mom had offered me of hers, right into her face.  I don’t know how old I was but I know I was sitting in a high chair.
8.       Grape flavored products – It tastes like purple, not grape.  Gross.
9.       The Kardashians – I really hope an explanation isn’t needed here.
10.   Ignorance – the world’s biggest problem.


Fuck.  This is not my favorite topic.  Not because I regret it, because I don’t.  More because what I remember the person to be like is not how they are today.  They’re no longer a part of my life anymore for a variety of reasons, but the time I did spend with them absolutely made an impression on the person I am today. 

I wish I could still think of them fondly but they have become someone that I have a hard time respecting.  I don’t agree with how they treat people they claim to love, people that genuinely care for them.  I think they have squandered a lot over the years; there have been a lot of missed opportunities for greatness in their life.  I don’t know, perhaps I’m being judgmental, but this is how I feel about this person. 

Meeting them and the time we spent together brought a lot of other influential things into my life, for which I AM very grateful for.  But today, it makes my heart hurt to think about how I used to know them.


Oh, internet… if you only knew.  Two years ago, September 2013, I was in a much different place than I am right now.  I was forty pounds heavier.  I was at the tail end of a long term relationship that was long overdue for its finale.  I was unhappy with work, with school, and with the anxiety and depression that had plagued me for years.  My BGF had just moved out of state and I felt like a hole was left in her absence in my day-to-day life.

Today I am healthier, happier, and content with the direction my life has taken.  I spent over a year living by myself in my own apartment – an experience I think everyone should have at least once in their life.  My heart healed itself once again after my long-term relationship ended; when I reentered the dating world I did so as a smarter and more emotionally aware woman that was finally able to stand up and defend what I REALLY wanted out of life.  And I found someone absolutely wonderful that wants the same things out of life that I do – he has made life so much sweeter and so incredibly satisfying. 

My BGF has moved back to our home state, but it's not permanent and she's still too far away for daily visits.  But the way we've maintained our friendship over the past two years, despite the long distance and the obligations and responsibilities that come with being an adult (and in her case, a parent), has me feeling all the more grateful to know her and have her in my life.  The older I get the more often I find myself disappointed by the actions of others, which has made me unbelievably thankful for the people in my life who DO love and treat me as I feel I deserve.  She is one of those few people and the past two years have done nothing but strengthen that appreciation.

Every day I’m getting better at finding the silver lining, and at not having meltdowns over things I cannot control.  Anxiety and depression will always be something I’m fighting, but these days my arsenal is so much bigger and I feel more capable in the face of my internal demons. 


It’s Kate.  And really, there’s not much to it.  I have a long, three syllable first name that is fairly unique, you don’t hear it often.  So, my mother didn’t want me to have another long or complicated middle name.  Kate is short, sweet, and fit well with my first name, so that’s what my parents settled on.  I think they even picked it out of a baby book.

And there we go, two days in one.  Even though I’m taking this one day at a time, I’m going to hold onto hope that I finish the rest of this challenge on its intended daily basis.

Keep your fingers crossed.


Day One

I’ll be honest, I didn’t spend a lot of time searching for THE PERFECT LIST for this thirty day writing challenge.  I just did a quick Pinterest search and grabbed the first few that looked okay to me.  I suppose I could’ve made my own list if I had spent the last few days of August preparing for this, but that probably would’ve lead to a very biased list of prompts – I would’ve only written down what I want to write about, or I’d only write about what I’m comfortable sharing with the vastness of the internet.  So I’m going to stick with the results of my last-minute search, ridiculous or mundane as they might be (who knows, we’ll see).

For DAY ONE my prompts include:
1.       Write some basic things about yourself.
2.       Introduce yourself.
3.       Weird things you do when you’re alone.
4.       Put something on shuffle.  List the first ten songs and write how you feel about them.

I’ll admit, I’m actually a little excited about the music-on-shuffle one.  I’m not very techy when it comes to my music - if I’m purchasing music, it’s going to be on vinyl – so I’ll either be using a Pandora station or one of my Spotify playlists on shuffle.  Which could be mildly embarrassing – I’ve gone from Dean Martin to N.W.A. to the Grateful Dead to bad 90’s pop music from my childhood within a fifteen minute span.  We’ll see, it’ll be interesting to say the least.

Introducing myself… I want to keep this slightly vague, for numerous reasons.  I’m paranoid of judgement.  I don’t want to sound stupid.  I don’t want to include too many details on the other people in my life – they may be a big influence on who I am, but they still deserve a degree of anonymity.  There will be times where that’s unavoidable, I suppose – certain roles can only be played by one person, like my mother or father, sister, or my boyfriend.

Ugh, I’m dragging my feet already.  I am a “young professional” female in my late twenties.  I recently moved to the metro Detroit area, but I’m a lifelong Michigan resident.  When I was born my parents were living in a nearby suburb of Detroit; when my sister came along five years later we moved about forty five minutes away to what was then a village within the vicinity of Ann Arbor.  I always jokingly referred to it as a “hick town,” but time, distance, and developing a more well-rounded understanding of the area would have me telling you today that it was really a melting pot of numerous different kinds of people, country folk and city people alike.  I lived there until I was twenty years old.  I moved to Ann Arbor proper shortly after having landed a “big girl job,” where I’m still working today (but more on THAT at another time).

More on my younger self and earlier-in-life developments: as I mentioned earlier, I have one younger sister.  Having five years between us certainly contributed to many, MANY cat fights between us when we were children.  I have crystal clear memories of screaming at one another over the dumbest shit.  Sometimes we even became physically violent with one another.  It was stupid at the time, and thinking about it now makes me just want to smack my younger self. But at least it didn’t last.  Once my sister hit high school age it became so much easier to interact with her, because we were finally on a level in life where it was beyond easy to relate to one another because we were going through similar things in our personal relationships.  Today I call her one of my closest friends.  We’re not attached at the hip and we don’t talk constantly, but any time we do spend together is rich with substance, comfort, and the ability to relate and feel 100% understood by another person.  Our relationship is now one of the things I value above most everything else, and part of me knows that is only possible because of the rough and rocky road of our first 15 years together as sisters.

My parents were and are wonderful people.  I specify the difference between who they used to be and who they are today because there have been very significant amounts growth and changes over time, all of which has absolutely made a difference on the person their daughter is today.  My parents were married for twenty four years before they divorced during my senior year of high school.  I am not going to go into the specifics of our family situation, but I will say that I consider their marriage a complete success, despite having had an “expiration date” – my sister and I were raised by good people, we were given everything we needed to flourish in life and we were constantly reminded of how much we were loved by them.  My parents, as individuals, rubbed off their own personalities onto us, which was good in most ways and not-so-great in others (but hey, that’s what therapy is for).  My Mom and Dad set two very different examples of what it means to be a good person because they themselves were two VERY different people.  My Dad has always leaned more to the conservative side; he’s firm, diligent, and has a very low tolerance for not living up to one’s potential.  My Mom has always been very open-minded and tolerant of just about everything; she’s a creative spirit and encouraging of all things remotely related to improving one’s self.  I recognized from a very early age just how different their personalities were, which is probably why their announcement of divorce did not exactly surprise or upset me when I was seventeen.  As a grown adult after the fact though, I find myself at times struggling with emotions I didn’t confront and deal with when their divorce was actually happening (and again! That’s what therapy is for).  They are both with new people now; my mother has been with her partner for ten years and my father just remarried this past May.  Both of these women have become a part of my family and I love them for who they are as people AND for what they mean to my parents.

As I mentioned in the initial introduction-to-this-blog blurb, I am currently happily attached in the best and most fulfilling relationship I’ve ever had in my life.  As someone that’s been actively dating since I was fifteen, believe me when I say that I have been through some shit.  I have become enamored and obsessed with people that were completely wrong for me.  I have thrown massive amounts of energy into attempting to save relationships that didn’t actually deserve what I was putting into them.  I’ve been on the receiving end of emotional manipulation and abuse; I have been treated unfairly by people that didn’t value my worth as a person.  BUT, despite the tears, hurt feelings, and repeated times I had to pick myself back up again, I have grown and my strength has increased.  I have learned the importance of trust, communication, equality, kindness, and compassion within intimate relationships.  And today, I know that I wouldn’t be able to appreciate all of the wonderful things that make up who my partner is if I hadn’t been so hurt in my past attempts at love.  At the very least I always tried, and always trying is what lead me to the man I’m with today.  We met last year through a popular dating site and the timing of how everything fell into place has had me believing from day one that this was the person I’ve been waiting to be with.  He treats me well, appreciates what makes up who I am, and reminds me in numerous ways every day that I am loved.

Okay… let’s lighten this up, shall we?


I picked one of the first playlists I made in Spotify, “Always Favorites,” which became a dumping ground of songs I loved that spanned several different eras and genres.  I scrolled down, closed my eyes, and clicked.  What started playing was “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees.  I know.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to count that as the first song, or just what started the playlist before the TRUE shuffle kicks in.  Oh well, here we go:

1.       Daydream Believer, The Monkees
2.       Love Will Keep Us Together, Captain & Tennille
3.       Ain’t No Sunshine, Bill Withers
4.       Baby I Love Your Way, Peter Frampton
5.       Across The Universe, Fiona Apple
6.       Mrs. Robinson, Simon & Garfunkel
7.       Love For A Child, Jason Mraz
8.       I Got You Babe, Sonny & Cher
9.       This Boy, James Morrison
10.   Me and Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin

Oh jeezus.  While yes, I do like all of these songs, I can’t really say there’s a lot of emotional attachment to them to bring up enough to write about.  Captain & Tennille I just liked the sound of whenever I first heard it.  The Peter Frampton song made it onto the list because, 1) Peter Frampton is awesome, but also 2) Lisa Bonet sang a cover of it in one of my favorite movies.  Love For A Child is a song that most kids from divorced parents can relate to in one way or another, though my personal experience doesn’t exactly match what Mr. Mraz describes.  If anything, the only song that hold any significance to me is the Janis Joplin one; I can’t listen to her music without being reminded of a certain old friendship that isn’t a constant in my life anymore.  Maybe more on that at another time.

So, I’m going to try again, this time with a playlist I actually have been listening to a lot lately.  “Driving Selection.”  What an original title.  I’m like everyone else on earth, I usually don’t let shuffle play out without skipping every few tracks.  But here we go anyway:

Driving Selection Playlist:

1.       Milk and Honey, Jonas and Plunkett
2.       Run Around, Blues Traveler
3.       What Are You Like, Indigo Girls
4.       Gravedigger, Dave Matthews Band
5.       Bottom of the River, Delta Rae
6.       The Jeep Song, Dresden Dolls
7.       Right Me Up, State Radio
8.       Ganja Babe, Michael Franti
9.       Knock Three Times, Tony Orlando & Dawn
10.   Castles in the Air, Don McLean

Alright, I feel like this is a slightly better reflection, I’ll give this a go:

1.       I first heard this song on the HBO Girls soundtrack playlist.  I’m a sucker for cute boys with guitars singing love songs.  Really, that’s all this particular track is for me.  I just liked the lyrics and the cadence of how they string them all together.  Good track.

2.       Every nineties kid remembers hearing this on the radio constantly.  My parents loved Blues Traveler, I remember seeing the bright green CD case out all the time.  This song makes me think of being a kid and riding in the car with my Mom.

3.       I love the Indigo Girls.  I met them several years ago when they came to play at a local Borders bookstore (RIP).  They are such wonderful people, so gracious and kind.  My first introduction to them was from someone I met through my Mom as a teenager, so their music also has the ability to instantly transport me back into my younger self.  But in a comforting way.

4.       I’m not a DMB superfan, but I’ve always liked him and this song has been a favorite since I first heard it.  Plus, as a silly goth kid in high school I loved the morbidity of the line, “when you dig my grave, make it shallow so that I can feel the rain.”

5.       Another track that was added “just because I like it.”  My boyfriend and I went to a Delta Rae show a few months ago at a venue near our house, thanks to tickets I got for free through my work.  While I can dig their music, at the time we had more fun drinking beers from the bar and being silly together in the audience.  That’s what I think of when I hear their music now, that night with him.

6.       Haha, oh man.  I love the Dresden Dolls, I love Amanda Palmer.  One of my good lady friends from high school introduced me to their music, and this song in particular reminded me SO MUCH of a very specific ex-boyfriend, mainly because I had the same obsessive fear of seeing him out in traffic one day.  I became terrified of being anywhere near a white Impala, which is so dumb in hindsight.  Now when I hear this song I chuckle to myself and give thanks that I no longer cower in corners over that ex.

7.       Oh, State Radio.  I’m not a superfan, I don’t know all of their songs and lyrics, but anything by them reminds me of my best good friend, or my BGF as we affectionately abbreviate each other.  They’re chill, summertime music, which is the vibe my BGF always seems to exude, to just go with the flow of life.

8.       Haha!  Another song shown to me by an old friend from high school, partly because they thought I would like it, but mostly because it’s about a girl that smokes pot.  Just a good tune that reminds me of being a teenager.

9.       Gah, I just can’t get away from my oldies music guilty pleasures.  I’ve always preferred “my parent’s music,” which I think this could probably be filed under.

10.   Again.  Can’t.  Get.  Away. 

Whew.  This is already a lot for day one, and I still have day two to tackle.  And I didn’t even get to the last prompt.  Here, really quickly, weird things I do when I’m alone:

1.       Use my feet like a monkey to pick up things that have fallen onto the floor.  But everyone does this.  Right??
2.       Talk to myself.  Or the nearest living thing.  These days it’s usually one of the dogs or my cat, but at one time I used to talk to a tarantula that lived with me.  AND, I’ve talked to inanimate objects.  If I stub my toe, I’ll apologize to the table I ran into.
3.       Make my pets talk.  I used to be much more versed in this; I had separate voices for the family dog and my sister’s cat, but both of those furry loves have since passed away and it makes my heart hurt to “make them talk again.”  I will still occasionally talk for the pets in my own voice, or a generic husky version of my voice, and I’m always met with my boyfriend’s rolling eyes.  But rightfully so, I’m pretty ridiculous. 
4.       Listen to the same song on repeat for hours, sometimes days.  Have you ever listened to Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” forty seven thousand times in a row?  Don’t.
5.       If left to my own devices, I’ll eat the same thing for every meal for days on end.  I’m like a toddler in that sense.  If it wasn’t for the influence of some very key people, who knows what I’d look like these days.

Okay, there we go.  Day one.  Feels good.  I’ll be back in a bit with day two.


Starting a Thirty Day Challenge

So, this isn't technically the "first day," (even though it is) this is just going to be a little blurb about why I'm doing this.  There will be two more posts after this one, covering Day 1 of the challenge as well as Day 2, which is what today technically is, being September 2nd and all.  I had been thinking of doing this challenge for the month of September for the past couple weeks, so I only have my own procrastinating to blame on not getting this up and running yesterday.  

Last month I was following a blog written by a girl I went to middle school and high school with (well, she's a woman; we both are, it's assumed, since ten years has flown by since we last shared the hallways and classrooms of the same school.  But I still don't feel like an adult, something that is obvious given me constantly referring to grown adults as "girls and boys."  I need to get over that).  Her blog also followed a thirty day challenge format, one geared towards single women with an intention to push one's self a little out of her comfort zone and maybe gain some new experiences.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading everything she had to say, and was constantly thinking to myself, "man, I should've done something like this when I was single."  I am currently very happily attached in the best relationship I've ever been in, so I didn't lust after the single girls challenge in that particular aspect.  It had more to do with the writing prompts and assistance with digging a little deeper into how you feel about certain things going on in your life.

For a long time I identified as a writer and I wrote often.  I kept a written journal for a handful of years at the start of high school, and then again when I was 18, 19 years old.  Eventually I fell out of habit though and, shamefully, it's been years since I feel like I've written anything of substance.  I know exactly why, and I'm sure it's something I'll eventually dig into during one of these days in September.  In some ways writing is like riding a bike - clearly I've been able to at least get this out - but I am still very aware of my "rustiness."  I need to practice, I need to find my groove again, I need to exercise this voice I have.

That's what this particular blog will be, for the month of September, at least.  While I want to hold onto hope that I'll keep it going once the month is over, I'm only going to focus on the present and I what I have immediate control over.  Today I opened this new blog.  Today I did a quick Pinterest search and found several thirty day writing challenge prompts to work with.  Today I will write something to count for yesterday, and I will write something to count for today.

Tomorrow, hopefully I will remember just how much I want to accomplish this, and that it is something that is very important to me.

There was a time when my answer to everyone's question of, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" was, "a writer."  It's not too late for that to still be the case.

I have a lot of growing, and a lot of writing, left to do.