Tag: vacation

2018 Loading: Reflections From a Year

2018 Loading: Reflections From a Year

31 December 2017

Whoa.

This has been a hard month, where recollections from a little over a year ago continue to plague my thoughts, while some of the strangest dreams infiltrate my sleep…what little I still get.

I am still in a state of depression, and, recognizing this, I am persistent in keeping the exercise going and the writing flowing. I must.  Even on days when it’s been ridiculously cold by 7pm, and it’s too cold to walk Duke-puppy, I move around the house, do some yoga, and find more housework to do.

When I was discussing this with my therapist she offered sound advice. “Think about how far you’ve come.”  And she’s right.

I think back to where I was a year ago: in pieces, sitting in an airport in Chile, Santiago, in tears, no appetite, as my then husband was off “getting me coffee” which was the new translation for him talking to his whore. Often. Exhausting. And I’m still exhausted.

Then life ran away with a bullet train this December, and I swear God was testing me. After NaNoWriMo, I had to get my holiday baking extravaganza done, and got away for some much-needed family time. (That’s another post I’ll put up in 2018.) My brother survived a near-tragic accident and I am extremely thankful he is with us here today. Proof that our (my siblings and I) guardian angels were with him that day. I was ready to hop on a plane to NY immediately, but he didn’t want me there.

The holidays are extremely stressful and trying. Even as I suffer from depression, I use my outlets (talking to my “twin” cousin and close friends; writing; exercising) to get through some tough times. Recently, a cousin committed suicide, and nothing is more disheartening than someone who feels their life is not valuable. I ask you, my readers, to take care of yourselves, and encourage discussions around depression and even suicide. It’s important and help is always available. Life is too short, as I learned after the deaths of my parents and a brother, and we should all Carpe Diem!

I still have people tell me they are amazed by my strength; they’re not sure how I’m still on my feet because they couldn’t have survived what was done to me and in the manner it was done.  My sister and I refer to this time we call, “when shit hit the fan.”

I had to survive.  For so many reasons I had to. I have decided to write a memoir, and have begun the story’s beginning, but that book will be a product in 2019 or 2020.  In the meantime, watch for the 2018 publication of THE DOWNFALL (TBD) to read about one woman’s journey from the depths of hell, overcoming her worst fears from a marriage, and how she needed to stand her ground.  No woman, or man, should ever be treated the way I have; and I know so many do, and they feel stuck. What happens between four walls is not what everyone else sees, and I can tell you it is not pleasant. It’s heartbreaking, sad, and disrespectful.

I finished two novels and one poetry book in 2017. I will be in full edit mode in 2018, while I’m in the middle of packing. I have an expiration date of all sorts by early March. Please note that this pertains to dwelling and work. I am simply looking as 2018 as a new beginning for a new life.

While I am reflecting, I would also like to add how much I cannot express my gratitude to all my friends and family who have been with me during this tumultuous year. It really warms my heart with the outpouring of support, love, opportunities for gatherings as a distraction, and even shoulders (or ears) that I have cried on during my crumpled moments. I still am evaluating those who do not have my wellbeing in their best interest and have zero problems cutting the cord.

I have three hours left until 2018 arrives, and this princess is almost ready for the ball…after I wrap this post up for 2017. I really cannot wait for 2017 to join 2016 and go where it belongs-in the past. However, it’s not all bad and this is something I can’t forget. I had significant time with family and friends; I got the degree I’ve always wanted, and even made new friends from my newest alma mater (SNHU); I took trips to do my heart good; I was wrapped in love by my siblings and family back home and around the U.S.; my friends around the world have also stood by my side, and we have watched bridges burn, separating the “us” as they stood on the ledge with me, watching it fall as an opposing individual is on the other side still oblivious of what has happened.

And I am on vacation!!!!!  I am doing what I love to do: spend time with myself, learning more about what I want out of my next wave of life.  It’s been one hell of a ride, with so many interesting stories this storyteller has banked in memories.

Finally, I became an aunt for the tenth time! My nephew is absolutely adorable, and I got to spend “time” with him, his new mother (my sister), and her husband. It snowed on Christmas Eve day when I landed in Indiana, and snowed on Christmas night when my sister and I left the movies. She really wanted to see “The Last Jedi,” and I was up for watching it a second time (contemplating a 3rd while on vacation! Haha). His little face lights up every time I tell him he is “my golf and Disney buddy,” and this is not something I will waiver from. This kid will be well-versed in all things Disney by the time he’s 5 years old, and we take our first trip to both parks.

This belle is ready for a ball! No, I am dating yet, but I am going out to have a great night welcoming 2018 with open arms. Be safe if you are out tonight. I am doing the same (will let someone else drive me around safely).

So long 2017!  I am moving in one direction and that’s forward. New adventures await.

Happy New Year to my friends and readers.

adventure-2528477_640

Advertisements
One

One

12-21 June 2017

Flying solo.  It’s not the first time, but it’s official. There’s more on that later.  However, the moment arrived on June 11, at 3:30pm when I turned in my very last assignment, turned off my computer, closed the blinds, packed up a dog and a human to spend time away on vacation (I still get separation anxiety when I board Duke).

Or, as I call it, the “escape I’ve been wanting since January.”  I was on a mission, a one week tour, and on a self-care program.  I was celebrating three milestones in life, focusing more on my birthday and graduation.  I was concerned about surviving the last three weeks of school.  I was simply trying to move forward one day at a time.  It was the hardest part of my life, but I am thankful I had the trials and tribulations because it gave me a focus.  This is something I’ve spoken of many times.

One.  It was just me.  “How many in your party?”  One.  “How many?” Just one.  Single riders inquire here.  So I did.  “Tell me about single riders.  I’m one.”  A few male cast members fought over who was going to give me a pass as a single rider on the Indiana Jones ride; the third one-upped them and gave me a pass that was even better, and more like a Fastpass.  It was my birthday, after all! They asked about my novel, that I am now calling the most anticipated read of the year.

I spent the best three days of my life at Disneyland, and completed a bucket list: physically spending my birthday at both parks in CA and FL.  I was at Walt Disney World five years ago.  Crazy how time flies!

I did my normal 14 hour marathon. I got the photo I’ve always wanted: an empty Main Street at night.  I ate a little, treated myself to a manicure/pedicure, a nice steak birthday dinner, and discovered the kids menu around the parks was better suited for my appetite.  I lost more weight.  I watched the fireworks on my birthday.  I spent time hanging out in Mickey’s house.  Sitting on the couch, at his desk, shaking my head at the kitchen, and his gardening tool house (still not for me).  It was great…and I forgot to get selfies!!!  Mickey applauded me, and Pluto gave me wet kisses.  LOL.  I want to thank the Green Army Men who taught the crowd how to clap.  I was on the bench finishing two beers before heading back over to Disneyland.  I was drinking when the Sergeant told a guest, “There isn’t any noise when your hands are open, ZZ Top action figure!”  and almost spewed the drink out. He spoke to “ZZ Top action figure” several times during their performance.  I am not afraid or ashamed to laugh out loud, and that’s exactly what I did.

I enjoyed my drinks. I found another new hangout place in California Adventure, in conjunction with the Karl Strauss beer truck.  I had a stalker. I met some new friends, and spent the remainder of my last night in the parks with them.  We met another person who was doing a one-day marathon and wanted to get in a few more rides before he had to leave.  One became three, then four for a while.  AND, there was football talk; three NFC East rivals/fans present: NY Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys.  (The season can’t come soon enough!)

I had the best time with me, myself, and I.  I was told if anyone could pull off Disney alone, that it would be me.  And I did it.  I did it all.  I would do it again. In fact, I’m itching to go back.  Disneyland is a short flight west.  I am also looking at a 2018 Walt Disney World vacation, before I say goodbye to New Mexico.

I have stories.  Then again, as a writer, don’t we always?  I spent time with my in-laws and helped a very special young woman celebrate her first major milestone graduating from high school.  I am proud of her.  She’s seizing an opportunity to pursue her dreams.  We’ll be friends for a long time, and I’m still proud to call her my niece.

If I can replicate a Carthay Manhattan (there’s still something missing), then I can do something with these lemons that are still waiting to be pulverized into the perfect drink.

I miss my patio days.  I miss writing from sun-up to sun-down.  I miss the days waking up late (because sleep still eludes me), not having to go into work because I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I couldn’t perform efficiently.  Several of my family and friends might be relieved to know the drinking has slowed down, and I’m rebuilding my bar.

There are new chapters ahead, but I can’t get to them yet until I finish writing the last ones to wrap up this journey.  I have learned a few more things about myself during the week away.

And for my thesis?  Well, I have approximately 50,000 more words to write to complete the novel, and I’m still writing.  Now, I call it work and make it a priority to write every day.  I have some back stories to insert, and a few clarifications to make.  It is an epic story, and a crossover where women’s fiction meets speculative fiction.  There is female empowerment.  There are moments of paranormal activity.

Stories, journeys, lemons, individualism, an empowered woman; a sister, a daughter, a cousin, a niece, a friend, a new friend; a stranger, a peer, a colleague, a former student…a writer.  I’m not going anywhere, and, as I mentioned, there are a few more chapters remaining here.  More importantly, there is nothing wrong with being alone.  There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.  I am far from the latter.  I encourage you to embrace being alone sometime!

Stay hydrated and cool!

Featured image: Stunning New Mexico sunset.  Below: Walt and Mickey.
Photos by Karen M. Hellinger.  2017

File Jun 21, 11 44 56 AM