I’m so full of steak

Life has been pretty busy lately since my friend gave me her bad news last week. She loved the flowers.

Things are going well over here. I am in week 5 of my Kayla workouts and I am seeing changes, which is great. When I did this routine last  year, I got to the end of week 7 before going to Bonnaroo and then Hawaii, which is around the time I fell off. That means I have 3 weeks to get myself to where I was last time we hit week 7, or even better.

So, to help things along, I am working out 5 days a week. I do Kayla 3x a week and cardio at least twice a week when not doing Kayla. I would like to workout 6x a week, but 5 is my goal for now. I am also, this week, eating mainly only protein. It’s a quick way to drop some bloating and get myself away from carbs. I did however eat too much last night… my steak for dinner was way too big and I’m like still full. I’m definitely not going to lose weight if I gorge myself on red meat.. but it was delicious.

Lastly, I am not drinking alcohol until Brendan’s birthday. That would be a 12 day hiatus, which will be the longest I’ve gone in awhile. I want to see how I physically change w/o booze. My face will thin further and I won’t be bloated. I think I’ll get to bed early and wake up earlier (I’m still waiting on that), and I’ll save money. But all of that is secondary to how it’ll help my progress.

Truly I wanted to be alcohol free for all of April, but I drank on Easter and last Friday because Mark came home and we went out. My friend was like, “Ché! What about BK’s birthday???” And she’s right – I want to go out that night. So we’ll stick to 12 days, break for Brendan, and then jump back on.

My plan is to also weigh myself on Brendan’s birthday and see where I’m at…. I have a goal in  mind and I also am horrified of weighing myself, so all of that fear and terror combined will hopefully keep me on track.

Also, I am not smoking. I really think I’m going to die of lung cancer. I smoked for soo long. I literally can not smoke anymore because I feel like I am choosing to die and I really don’t want to die! I am going to get a physical sometime this year and hopefully they will tell me if I’m dying or not.

So Britt and I are extending our lease through the end of June. We didn’t know we could do that, and as Mark put it, it’s a blessing.

1) Brittany and Eric want to move into a one-bedroom in our complex, but nothing is available until July 1st. With a May 31st move-out date, the two weren’t sure what to do. Britt desperately didn’t want to rent a storage unit, transport everything out of the apt, move into my Mom’s house and then move everything back a month later. What a hassle that would be.

2) Mark is working, and will be working until late May. His plan was to leave Hawaii the week we were moving, but that meant he would be running around like a crazy person trying to pack, help me pack and move everything in. We still need to get a couch and other furniture, and we haven’t even had an opportunity to walk through anywhere. Plus I’ve been searching for a while and haven’t found anything I love.

By moving our date back a month, Mark will be home and able to look at apartments with me, pick out furniture and pack everything up without also needing to run back and forth to work for weeks at a time. It’s just been too much to juggle. Britt can stay in the apartment for another month and then move everything two buildings over, which is a lot easier. It’s the perfect solution.

So I’ve stopped looking at apartments for now, which I’m grateful for! I’ll start again in May. Also, this means by the time we have our lease signed in June, I’ll know if I’m getting a raise and a bonus, so I’ll be able to better budget and plan for everything we need to buy.

We have a Bwood family reunion Memorial Day weekend in Maryland. Mark’s coming!! Hopefully, anyway. I’m excited. He really loves me and I love him. I am seriously on cloud 9 with him lately. I just don’t know how we got so lucky. Truly blessed by this person.

Also, his resume is made and the job search is on. I am so glad to hear he is happy to leave and ready to move on. This has been a long time coming. I had a mini melt down on Easter, and I told him everything I was feeling. He responded so amazingly well. Now, we are creating a plan and moving forward and I think there is a lot of good coming our way.

I have plans this weekend but I have already decided to cancel all of them.

Happy Wednesday


Magnetic, immediate, lust

I am stuck here, for an unknown amount of time, and I have worked myself to the point of having just a moment to stop and think. Today was incredibly busy, which I am always a fan of – busy is good. Time flies, and you feel accomplished. But, now I have a few seconds as I wait on something.

You know what I find most interesting; that instant connection you sometimes have with people that is undeniable. I’m talking like a severe attraction to them that you cannot explain. I think its completely biological; these people don’t have to be the most good looking, or the smartest, they may not dress the way you want or even live the type of life you’re after, but you can’t help the sparks that fly. It’s always obvious with these people – you stand really close, you touch, you swarm them whenever they’re around- and they you.

I’ve had this connection with several people and it’s just absolutely impossible to ignore. When I was young, I would pursue these people – just for whatever. To hang out, make out, or what have you. But… what happens after you are settled in. Settled down with the last person you’re ever going to sleep with, or be with. The individuals with that biological, magnetic pull will still pass through your life. I think that’s when it’s decision making time; do not go out of your way to see them, talk to them. Don’t be alone with them. Don’t talk with them a lot or feed into that strange, unexplainable desire.

That’s why cheating is so easy. Of course, you don’t cheat with anyone- but if you find another of your chemistry soulmates, and you happen to be in close quarters with them often for whatever reason.. well that’s when things get dicey. That’s when good people fall to bad choices, and hearts are broken, and lust breaks up things you spent years building. I don’t think these spark-wielding people really are who we should be with, because there are tons of them. You will settle down with one person whom attracted you, and then you will go through life and meet more. And the fact is maybe you could have had a life with a few of these people… maybe you would even fallen in love and lived your life out with them. But, you don’t get to live a bunch of long, full and different lives with a bunch of long-term, different lovers. Or at least, I don’t.  I think spreading your heart and your life out amongst too many people harms some major and important parts of you.

What you do, is nod- maybe think “gee what would that have been like…”, then you smile because it’s always nice to feel wanted by someone new…. and then you go back to your partner, and you remember all the millions of reasons why you did choose that person. Why you stopped chasing the fireworks and decided to invest longterm in this one, big-eyed person who made your heart beat a million miles a minute.

I wonder what creates that immediate and undeniable attraction. I do wish we could pursue every single one of them, just for the thrill. But that’s how you hurt like everyone, and I think life is just as much about jumping at opportunities as it is restraining yourself. Otherwise, you’re just kind of a selfish asshole. Don’t be an asshole.

LESSON: Don’t be an asshole.

Like walking from the shallow side of the pool toward the end

Yesterday, I had dinner with two former colleagues. The things they told me really solidified my decision to leave that company. I mean, it was weird leaving and even scary, but I know more than ever that the decision was the right one. I know a lot of people who need to make similar decisions, and they just don’t realize yet how RIGHT those decisions are. I’m talking mgmt. promising things to employees with zero plans to ever make good on their word, simply to keep workers doing jobs they dislike. I’m talking promises of green cards that encourage new hires to leave long and successful careers, only to fire them once it comes time to start the paperwork. I’m talking not allowing employees in the US on work visas to go for promotions or other positions, simply because they know the employee can’t quit without risking deportation. Really terrible.

But even though all that is kind of extreme, I think anyone who is unhappy more than  happy at work needs to leave. I just can’t explain it enough how stupid and bad of a mistake it is not to find new work. Not to look. Not to realize you deserve a lot better, simply in regard to your happiness and self-respect. But, enough of that.

I am going to go for a walk on the boardwalk when I get home. I haven’t been to the beach in so incredibly long! I am having a hard time reconciling moving during the summer. But I hate my commute. But I’m scared of moving somewhere I won’t love. But fear is not a reason to stand still.

Mark- I am not going to do this forever. I told him yesterday, I can’t do this. He needs to make a change. Absolutely needs to. It’s just not feasible- if he doesn’t start really getting serious about changing careers, I can’t foresee moving in with him in June. And if we don’t move in together in June, it means we’re moving on. I love him to  death, it’s not him- and I could spend my life with him on the road this often- but I don’t want to. I don’t want to be alone this much. I don’t want to have a separate life completely from him. I just don’t want this. And if he isn’t going to stand up and make the right changes, regardless of his own fears, then we won’t work anyway. So that’s where I am. And I hope he doesn’t disappoint me.

Valentine’s Day 2015

This year, V-day was on a Saturday.

Mark was in my bed Thursday night when I came home, which was a nice surprise.

On Friday, we decided to go to a NYC Karaoke bar for a friend’s 31st birthday. It was one of those places where you are in a room with only your group, and a TV, and surround sound, and three mics. There are couches and disco lights and no one else can see you- and you go singing madly into the night with green lights dancing on your shirt and overpriced booze dripping off your chin.

We decided to miss our train and slept at a friends’ apartment in Hoboken.

On Saturday, Valentine’s Day, we were up by 10. We were on the train from Seacaucus by 11:15. We  were in Matawan by noon. We went to Jersey Mike’s and were home by 1:00.

There was a bouquet of tulips waiting for me.

We were in bed by 2:00.

We slept all day. There is NOTHING more miraculous than the feeling of finally being in your bed, after a day of running around, while hung over. It’s like- We have been adventuring all morning and afternoon to get to this exact point.. and now we’re here, and we’re never leaving.

We were up by 5 or 6, because we were starving. We ordered 10th Ave. We were so excited about 10th Ave. We ate it until we could burst. Then, we were back in bed. We slept until the morning.

This was our 4th Valentines Day, and it was perfect. We were supposed to go to New Brunswick to watch a friend play music but, there was nothing peeling me off that couch.

I am including this picture of last year’s Valentine’s dinner. I made a roasted chicken- I cooked it all day- it was delicious. This was a really good dinner, better than enchiladas and Adobe wings (but barely), and I want to remember it.

roasted chicken dinner homemade

I got a flat tire on Monday on the way to work, and had to pay $330.00 for repairs. This pushes me back a little budget/saving wise, but it’s okay. It was nice at least not needing to charge the repairs.

I worked from home Monday and Tuesday, and have been working from home so much lately due to the weather, that my diet is not as pristine as it should be. This week, I made a super protein and veggie packed “Chicken Enchilada” soup for lunches, and have been eating turkey burgers (sans bun, with mushroom, hot sauce and low-fat ranch dabs) for dinner. It’s been fine- the soup is only okay in my mind (it’s not the same without all those creams and cheeses)… but I also ate like potato chips and shit. But it’s Wednesday, so 3 more days of clean eating and I should feel lighter than ever. My pants already fit better.

Now I need to prepare to talk about our user’s social media usage and create a newsletter. This job is getting better, and I’m getting really interested in the marketing aspects. So I should go do some work.

A Lesson

Yesterday was my one year anniversary. You don’t know the expectations I had for yesterday.

I wrote a poem about our last year, and placed it on the first page of a scrapbook I built for Mark. The scrapbook contained milestones of our relationship, broken down by the months. At the end of the scrapbook was a card I wrote for him. A very long card.

Then I purchased a new pair of RayBans for him to replace his scratched pair. And I bought a new dress.

It was Fathers’ Day, so we both had to do our own Fathers’ Day things. I went to my Dad’s at 11 and when I came home around 2, he was just getting ready to head to his Dad’s. Before he left, Mark gave me a card. One of the nicest cards… no, the nicest card he has ever given me. He wrote things he has never said. It was and still is incredibly sweet and romantic. Then I gave him the scrapbook and my card. He was taken aback. He said, “I didn’t expect this… but I should have.”

Mark left for his Dad’s around 4. He came back by 6.

I have been having stomach pains every day for the last week. At first only at night, and in my lower back.. and then gradually they began to worsen. The pains would be gone by morning. On Friday the pain came during the day.  And on Saturday it came early and I had trouble getting the pain to stop. We were googling remedies and didn’t know whether I had kidney stones or cancer or if I was just crying over trapped gas.

On Sunday, as soon as Mark left, the pain started again. By the time Mark returned, I was rotatingbetween  pacing back and forth and sitting in my bed with my butt in the air. At one point Mark was standing behind me, his arms around my waste, jumping me up and down. It seemed movement helped ease the pain, but only momentarily.

It was like going into labor. I was breathing heavily, cramping and sitting in strange positions. By 8:30, I was face down on my bed crying.

Mark never left my side. He sat beside me and rubbed my back for hours. He massaged my neck, and told me not to be sad over our anniversary. We would redo it next week. “What’s important is you right now.”

Eventually we realized we weren’t going to dinner and he ordered Chinese. I tried a few bites and then went back to my bed.

Around 11, I started to feel better. We were going to sleep and something I had noticed earlier was now obviously official; he hadn’t gotten me flowers. He hadn’t gotten me jewlery or made reservations. He got me a card.

I was hurt.

I wondered for a while what to say… and then I realized, I spent the day crying in bed because I had gas. And he took care of me. He made concotions that were supposed to make you feel better, he rubbed my back, he swayed me back and forth when I curled into a ball, he didn’t make fun of me when I ran to the bathroom, he wiped my tears, he hugged me, and at times he simply sat beside me.

His anniversary was spoiled too, but he didn’t seem to mind.

I had to wonder, what type of person am I? Will you be taken care of all day for one of the most painful and embarassing conditions you’ve ever experienced, only to whine about not getting presents? I wasn’t sure why I was being taught this lesson, I’m still not, but I received it loud and clear.

I felt a condition on my heart. A warning saying, “Becareful what you say, and check your motivations”.

I was sad he didn’t even get me flowers, but I received a better gift.  On our anniversary, he had a gentle heart of service and empathy which I needed more than chocolate or roses.

I don’t know how he dropped the ball, but the warning on my heart told me  “Don’t be upset”  and to “Look at what you’re really receiving.”

Around 4 in the morning the pain started again. Mark had to be up at 5:30 and still spent that time holding me and rubbing my back. He even offered to call out of work and take me to the hospital, but I didn’t want to make him do that. He eventually left, very late, after rubbing my back even longer as I writhed.

I didn’t go in to work today, and seeing as this pain is now almost becoming constant, I have a doctor’s appointment with a gastroentologist at Jersey Shore today. And Mark will probably come over later. He will take care of me more. He will love me and rub my back and spend his entire bank of affection on me, which is more priceless than any bracelet and more memorable as well. And as he said, “We have a lifetime of dinners to go to”.

And he’s right.

Turkey and Swiss

on Rye bread. With mustard, crushed red pepper, basil if I have it, and lettuce.

When I was pulling my sandwich out of the plastic bag, with a side of Baked Cheddar Chips and a coke, I realized I am as average as they come. A normal person, making their lunch and bringing it to work to help save even the few dollars buying a lunch would cost. Saving my money, living really modestly, so much so that it’s habit now.

I’m staying in Belmar for another year. It’s like I’ve been awakened. I really love my roommates and appreciate my life. I want to continue like this for longer.

Hopefully my upcoming raise is enough to quit bartending.

One more summer at the beach with Mark, swimming and tanning all day.

Belmar is my home, and it’s where we fell in love. Every corner, when warmed, holds a memory. The memories keep me smiling when I go running.

I’m thinking next year it may make sense to consider buying a home, which is the thought that prompted this post.

Being able to leave my job and drive to the beach is such an amazing gift.

John and the shore and Mark and Main St. Cheesesteaks and Brittany if she chooses. BBQs and tomato plants.

And then, when this year ends, the things that are in store are incredibly exciting.

I want to spend my life like this, with you.

A few times at work a discussion on love breaks out. Anjel, Nic and I are ALWAYS involved. This time Courtney started it. She asked how I can believe in love seeing as my parent’s themselves are divorced. I explained that once you are in love you can never not believe in it. The problem is that 1) Courtney doesn’t understand how “love” and “was” can ever be in the same sentence. This doesn’t make sense to her. I can understand that. 2) Anjel and Nic have seen too many people “be in love” and then “be in love” again with a new person shortly afterward. I understand this frustration. 3) Sometimes you are never loved as hard as you love. Love takes everything in you- real love. And you fight for it. And when you say it, you mean it. Or at least that’s how it should be. If you’ve been in real love and haven’t had real love given back to you, you begin to become hardened and jaded. I also understand this.

The thing is is that love is hard. And it doesn’t always last forever. And sometimes it isn’t reciprocated properly. These are all risks you take. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And sometimes it falls apart, and you fall out of love. And sometimes after falling in love and then falling out of it the person you once fell for turns out to be someone completely different than you thought. This is also a sad risk, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I’ve said this before, but there’s a line in the movie Adaptation where Nick Cage’s brother (who I think is also Nick Cage) says that just because it wasn’t mutual doesn’t make the love he felt less valid. This is also true, and this realization changed me and got my through a really tough time at one point long ago.

It’s hard to believe in it when it’s evaded you for so long or when you’ve been severely burnt by love. But the truth is, it’s not love that’s burning you. It’s the person. And people are imperfect. How can something as pure and true as love be handled by imperfect people? It will always get somewhat tainted. It will always at some point be hard. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Will everyone end up with someone? No. Does everyone experience true love? No. Is there someone meant for everyone? I don’t know. But it’s real. And I’ve felt it. And I have fought for it. And I have put everything I had into it. And still, I am single. Yet, I am not without love. I don’t think it wasn’t real. It was very real. Even if it only lasts for a short time- that was love. And I wish I could say that even if I never experienced it again I would still believe in it and still be warmed by its memory. But I can’t say that because I don’t know if I’m that strong. I am imperfect. But I do know it’s real. And I do believe in it. And I do know I’ll find it again- somewhere, with someone.

I think once you lose your faith you lose a lot more than just that.