Friday, May 20, 2016

Whoa With The Woes

It started with curtains and ended with a tree (hopefully). The middle was tears…lots of tears. I bought these super cute new curtains for my living room and decided to be really ambitious and hang them one night after work. As the anchors start pulling out of the wall, bending my brand new curtain rod, I realized I probably needed help. The pulled out anchors left huge gaping holes in the wall, which will need time to dry after spackling. I’m sweating. It’s 9 o’clock at night. I’m so tired. It should be noted that these windows face the street and don’t have blinds so leaving nothing up is out of the question. Duct tape to the rescue. My do-it-myself attitude (and ego) takes a blow that I can’t even hang a curtain rod on my own. No tears yet but there was a mini-screaming meltdown.

A few nights later, I take
Duct Tape Motif--all the rage!
Oliver in the backyard for his final outing and as I reach for the knob to get back in the house it doesn’t turn. I’m fucking locked out of the house. I’ve had 3 glasses of sangria and am in my sheer-ish pajamas WITHOUT A PHONE. Thank God for nice neighbors and a very speedy (but pricey) locksmith. Bill, the locksmith, I sincerely apologize for the tears, barking dog, and slightly inappropriate choice of clothing. As I sat on the stoop waiting for him I realized that I am alone in this. I don’t have a husband or boyfriend or life partner to help bail me out of locking myself out.

It’s decided that two things are needed immediately: a knob without a push lock and blinds (custom cut, of course). The new knob is installed in 3 seconds and I’m feeling so capable. I got this homeowner shit. I painted the two walls to get the blinds and that had its own set of issues. Seriously, painters earn every dollar they charge. What a pain in my tush. It’s time to put the blinds up and of course THEY DON’T FIT. I cut my finger opening the box and installing the hardware so I’m bleeding everywhere. I haven’t showered and I’m covered in teal paint. I’m a disgusting mess so it’s the perfect time to go to Lowe’s AGAIN. I box up the blinds and start questioning if I can do anything alone. I, obviously, can’t measure. I can’t install anything without the help of a man (or equally capable female friend). What made me think I could own a house alone? I’m irritated and seconds from tears and I realize while the man is cutting my blinds AGAIN that I stink—legitimately stink.

The blinds came with their own set of issues but after a few supportive phone calls from Pappadopolous they’re installed. As I sat and admired my work of the day I realized I need to calm down with the woe-is-me mentality. Yes, it would have been nice to have someone to call when I was locked out but without breaking a window a locksmith was probably needed. Sure, it would have been nice to have someone troubleshoot when I kept hitting the header around the window and couldn’t get the blinds up. They’re currently up with one screw and a few prayers, by the way.

While getting ready for work on Wednesday morning the doorbell rang and it scared the bejeezus out of me. It was my neighbor, the one who helped me in my lockout, and she had this look of apprehension on her face. “What now?” I thought.

Neighbor, “Have you been in the backyard?”
Me: “No, why what’s up?”
Neighbor: “Let’s go take a look at the back.”
Me: “Why is it bad?”

A tree in the land behind me lost a limb and took out a portion of the fence, which isn’t mine. Whew. Silver linings all around as it could be so much worse. It’s another frustration. It’s another woe-is-me opportunity. It’s another reminder that I have to handle crap on my own.

I had a little pep talk with me, “It’s time to suck it up, buttercup. Quit crying when stuff is frustrating and seems tough and figure it out. You are not a damsel in distress and have overcome way bigger problems than having to have your blinds trimmed. Put a Band-Aid on that cut and keep it moving!”

I think I got the memo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Things Are A Changin'

Those of you who know me really well know that I HATE CHANGE. I’m a creature of habit and change stresses me the eff out. Lots of things, exciting things, are changing. As you can tell from my last post, I’m a homeowner! I’ve been at the same apartment for 7 years. I shop at the same Publix, I go to my gym, I have my zone in Gainesville that I thrive in. All of this is completely thrown off by the move. I will have a new Publix, I have to change gyms (I’m currently shopping), and I’m living in another city, technically. This move was a huge leap out of my comfort zone and I’m actually very proud of myself for taking it.

My hesitation to change got me to 291 lbs. I was “afraid” to lose weight because I would have to buy a new wardrobe (heaven forbid my size 24 orange pea coat wouldn’t fit anymore). I was so uncomfortably comfortable in my fat shell. It was part of my identity, much like my red hair, and I rationalized that it would forever define me. There was always an excuse to get me out of losing weight and the excuses multiplied as the years dragged on. It all boiled down to too much work and too much change for my psyche to handle.  I'm still so thankful for the day I decided to face my fear of change and got my booty in gear.

I’ve been in the house over a week and I’m starting to settle into the new strides of life. I have a new (and longer) commute, I’ve shopped at my new Publix twice, and I’m loving the quiet life inside my new neighborhood. I am slowly realizing that I may need to purchase a pickup truck because, well, I kinda moved to the country. My neighborhood has 2 roosters to prove it.

This week I was reminded that I am capable of change. I need to make some more changes but it's about baby steps y'all.  Get out of your comfort zone, change those bad habits, and have courage to face fears.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Home Sweet Home

 Eleven years ago, as an incredibly intimidated freshman, I moved to Gainesville. What I imagined would be a pit stop of 4 years has morphed into an experience beyond my wildest dreams. Here, in this ever-growing town, my friends became family, a part-time job became a career, and I lost and found myself countless times over. Here, clad in my orange and blue, I grew up. On Friday, I made the biggest/scariest/most exciting purchase of life. I closed on my first home. What started out as a whim became a quest to find the perfect space for Oliver and me. I did find it—tucked away just 15 miles north of the apartment I have called home for the last 7 years in the town of Alachua. I have been impatiently waiting for the last 45 days to pass so I could finally hold the keys in my hands (and of course reveal the semi-secret to all of my beloved friends/readers).

This house marks a new chapter for myself. It is step one of a journey I need to make and I need to make NOW. I have been incredibly lost over the past year and I needed something to shake up my soul. MY house is a clean slate, a fresh start, and an opportunity to stand on my own two feet. I finally have something that is mine and it’s a huge responsibility. Not only is it a very large monetary impact on my life but it feels like a huge step to being a grown up.

The thing that no one tells you as you’re growing up is that you really have control to design the life you imagine but not everything will turn out the way you plan. Yes, I always saw myself buying a home but I never dreamed it would be on my own. Society and romantic comedies have taught me that you get married, buy a house, have a few kids, drive a soccer-mom car and live happily ever after. I never pictured mowing my own lawn, being in charge of killing the spiders, and owning a caulk gun (thanks, Pappadopolous!). Instead of focusing on all the things I don’t have that I thought I would by this age I would like to focus on what I do have. I own a home, y’all! This is insane, overwhelming, incredibly scary, and extra happy!