Of bad life choices and what we learn from them

In keeping with the theme of sharing my story in hopes that it will somehow help my faithful readers, here’s my latest story.

On March 23, I was arrested for DUI. I spent 7 hours in jail, had my license suspended, & generally had the shit scared out of me. Those 7 hours in jail were the most terrifying hours of my life to date, no exaggeration. Fortunately, I found an attorney very quickly and she advised me of how to proceed while I waited for my day in court. I made it clear I didn’t want to go to trial, I wanted to settle. Over the past 2 months, I’ve gone to DUI school, been evaluated by a drug & alcohol counselor, taken alcohol & drug education classes, been to AA meetings, started 40 hours of community service, and found out who my friends are. I saw just how amazing my friends and family really are. Near and far, I got hugs, words of support, and cards that brought tears to my eyes. I’m one damn lucky girl to have these people in my life. I also got to see who I could cut out of my life and not miss. Fortunately, that was only one person. Everyone else showed me they’re more than worth it and they thought I was worth it, too.

I had my final day in court yesterday and got everything officially resolved. I have to go to a MADD victim impact panel, but that was the only thing I wasn’t previously aware of. I have until November to complete my community service, but my goal is to wrap those up by the end of the summer. I’ll have a limited driving permit until about that time, too. It means I can drive to work, school, doctor’s appointments, treatment sessions, and other necessary trips. My fines ended up being twice what I thought they were going to be, but I’m allowed to pay that in installments. I’m required to report for probation for 6 months, so I’ll grace the good officer with my presence once a month and give him a check. Once I’ve completed everything and 6 months is up, I’ll be put on non-reporting for the last 6 months. I haven’t gotten a final word on if I have to attend AA meetings, but I’m hoping to speak to the counselor who evaluated me and get those taken off. I have a private therapist. I go to other group therapy sessions. It’s long since been determined that alcohol is a symptom, not the problem. All told, I’ll have the heavy lifting done by August and everything done right before Christmas.

So, what did we learn from all this? I learned that I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I thought I was. I learned that I can navigate a stressful, traumatic, terrifying situation gracefully and like an adult. I learned that I can laugh about it because that’s a way better coping mechanism than drinking. I learned that of all the jurisdictions to get arrested for DUI, I was in one of the best. I learned that I am not, in fact, cut out for a life of crime. I learned to never take my bed for granted ever again. I learned that no matter where they are, the people who love me are 100% behind me. I learned that it’s time to treat the real problem instead of continuing to ignore the symptoms. What’s the real problem, you ask? Well, that’s another story for another time.

I hope that something in here was of use to you. It’s never a waste if someone can benefit from my experiences. I will never find myself in this situation again. But I am patenting the DUI Diet. I’ve lost 13 pounds in 9 weeks without even trying. Though I don’t think I’ll repeat it. No, once was enough, thank you.

XOXO!

Of band geeks and Jesus freaks

Sorry I’ve been AWOL dear readers. I was on vacation in Orlando last weekend and spent most of this week catching up on what I missed while I was out of town. We may now return to regularly scheduled blogging. Furry Cuteness Friday will return next week.

I haven’t taken a legitimate vacation in 5 years. I went to Vegas with my BFF in 2008 and that’s the last time I went somewhere for the sake of going somewhere. Every trip since then has been to visit a friend who also happens to live in a cool city. The boyfriend got a ridiculously good deal on a hotel room for 3 nights, so we jumped at the chance to go. We saw Blue Man Group, did Universal for 2 days, and saw a Medieval Times esque dinner show with horses. We were staying right across the street from Downtown Disney, but never went to any of their parks. Universal was quite enough. I’ve decided The Hulk is my new favorite traditional roller coaster. I’m a big fan of the suspended ones and this was the first seated one I’d been on in a while that I really enjoyed. Though I’m definitely not as resilient as I used to be. The pain of having my head banged around lasted a lot longer than it did when I was a kid. Funny how that works.

Another short week at work thanks to being on vacation and the Memorial Day holiday. I figured out a way to solve my boredom problem at work. For those who don’t know, I work in financial services. I fell into it after college when my dad’s assistant quit right before he started cancer treatments (don’t worry, he’s officially in remission this year :D), got my licenses, and bounced around a few firms before landing where I am now. I love my boss, my coworker, the culture of the company, and my paycheck, but I always finish my work quickly. Currently, I have all the licenses that make sense for me. There’s a designation on par with a PhD called a Chartered Financial Analyst. It’s a series of 3 tests over 3 years, but once you have it, you can name your price in the industry. It’s got a reputation for being hard, but studying would give me something to do during the day. I’ve batted around the idea of getting an advance degree since I am good at what I do. This seemed to be the best choice. I’ve ordered the study materials and I’ll take the first level test on December 7 (how auspicious). I’ve passed every other test I’ve taken on the first try and I’m confident I can do it again. I’ve been warned that I’ll cuss it out, throw the book across the room, and generally hate it for parts of the process, but it’s worth it. My brain needs the stimulation.

Speaking of stimulation, since I’m awake before 8a on a weekend (I’ve come to accept that’s just my reality for a while), I think I’ll go out for a walk, make a green smoothie in my NutriBullet (I love this thing. It’s awesome!), and wait for my dad to finish up his run so we can go play with cute, fluffy kittens and call it volunteering.

XOXO!

Of moms, new and experienced

Because if I said “old”, there would be a lot of displeased mothers out there, including my own. 😉

Yesterday I had the pleasure of co-hosting a baby shower with my mom  for one of my oldest friends . The symmetry of having a baby shower the day before Mother’s Day wasn’t lost on us. We ate, drank, and laughed the afternoon away. There were no awkward games, just a group of us sitting together and sharing the excitement. I met most of my friends in middle or high school and part of me still has a hard time believing we’re old enough to have babies and it’s socially acceptable. A much larger part of me is thrilled to get to see the next generation. I was talking to Jo (the mother to be) last week and commented that I can’t wait until the kids are old enough for me to really mess with them. Then I added “If we still know each other in 14 years” and without missing a beat, she said “Of course we’ll still know each other in 14 years!”. Now that’s a vote of confidence I can stand behind. I have absolute faith in my friends that the next generation is going to be pretty kickass.

Naturally, this got me thinking about my relationship with my mom. Like most mothers and daughters, we had our fair share of disagreements. Though funnily enough, it happened well after the awkward teen years. As I’ve gotten older, our relationship has vastly improved. She’s one of the smartest people I know and I definitely get my love of animals from her. She’s not one to mince words, but if you’re upset, she’s always there to figure out what’s wrong. Having seen some less than happy mother/ daughter pairs, I’m glad that I get along with mine as well as I do.

Happy Mother’s Day.

XOXO!

Furry Cuteness Friday!

Once again, it’s Friday, so it’s time for your weekly dose of furry cuteness.

Enjoy!

A trio of baby otters? Yes, please!

I want one!

Best cuddle buddies ever.

Kisses!

“Who me? I wasn’t nibbling on anything!”

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. I’ll be celebrating the impending arrival of a human baby tomorrow. I’m hosting a shower for one of my oldest friends. It’s hard to believe that we’re old enough to have babies and it’s not socially questionable. Guess we had to grow up sooner or later.

XOXO!

Of shit and getting it together

I did something last week that if you’d told me 2 years ago I was going to do it, I would’ve looked at you like you were insane.

I hired a life coach. And it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Firstly, I *hate* the term life coach, but I like the concept. I like the idea of someone looking at my life and telling me where I can improve. The scary part was admitting I need the help. I need someone I can proverbially dump my life out in front of and get their take on it. I stumbled across her site through another blog I read regularly. I really related to what she posted and signed up for her newsletter. We ended up emailing back and forth for a few days and totally clicked. I would say things that she would get instantly. It was like she was in my head. We had an introductory phone call last Thursday that sealed the deal. Our first real call is this coming Thursday. I can’t wait to talk to her an length and see what she has for me. And since I know everyone is dying to know who she is, you’ll have to wait. I don’t want to share until I have a bit more than good first impressions to review. There is much that will be shared in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Clearly, what I’m doing isn’t working. I’m sick of feeling like I can’t get my shit together if my life depended on it. I’m sick of trying to figure out everything on my own. It’s time to bring in a little outside help. There’s no shame in that, no matter what the negative voice in my head says (The negative voice is named Hailey, by the way, so if I mention the name, that’s what I’m referring to). Like most people, I have zero perspective when it comes to my own life. All I know is I’m not happy with it right now, so I need to change something. A few fresh impartial third parties seem like a good place to start. Though with the cast of characters in my head on a daily basis, it’s more like impartial ninth or tenth party (metaphorically, of course. I don’t hear voices. ;)). Guess we’ll see how it goes, won’t we?

XOXO!

Of Rainy Saturdays and Fat Cats

If there’s one thing I can say about my body, it’s that I have one hell of an internal clock. It’s a blessing because my alarm on weekdays is essentially a failsafe in case I don’t wake up in time. On the other hand, I rarely can sleep past 8a on weekends. Today it’s not so bad as I have to be somewhere at 10a, but on days when I have nothing to do, it can be a bit of a bummer. So here I sit looking out at the rain and writing. And my boyfriend’s (very large) cat just darted across the room for no apparent reason. How’s your Saturday morning so far?

I’m one of those people who loves rain. I’ve always found that to be rare, especially in this part of the world. I joke that I should’ve lived in Seattle or London, somewhere it rains a lot more regularly. (Though, fun fact, Atlanta actually gets more rainfall per year than either of those two last I saw). I’m not big into outdoor activities and rain makes a nice backdrop. It’s soothing, reflective, and conducive to naps. Naps are always a good life choice.

I introduced the blog on Wednesday, so how about a little bit more about me? I’m sure I have some new readers and might as well get everyone up to speed. I love to write, though I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like any more. I love to laugh and make people laugh. I’m fiercely loyal to the people I love. I swear like a sailor and Audrey Hepburn is inspiring my style right now. I’m willing to try pretty much anything once from skydiving to weird seafood. I haven’t traveled much, but I love the idea of seeing the world and stalk the Facebook albums of my frequently traveling friends. When I was 9, I wanted to be a drag queen. My parents had a great time explaining why that wouldn’t work. I still have an affection for sequins and over the top dresses. I’m trained in ballet, jazz, and modern and I still dance recreationally. I played the flute for 9 years, but never got very good because I was only doing it since my best friend was. I’ve known my best friend for 23 years and she had her first baby, my “niece”, last August. My babies have 4 legs and tails, a pair of black cats named Chloe and Maggie. I volunteer at a no kill cat shelter and sitting in the kitten room for an hour or so will cure all my ills. I could live quite happily as a vegetarian if it weren’t for Chick-fil-a. I like to create things. I know how to knit, crochet, I’ve made my own jewelry, and I can hand sew decently. Only my boyfriend and my coworkers and boss (and even then, not all of them) call me by my given name. I’ve always had at least 2 nicknames at any given point in my life. I worked with my dad for a while and part of me would panic when he would introduce me by my real name. That’s how things roll in our house. Perhaps that shed a little light on the girl behind the keyboard.

Enjoy the weather, whatever that may be, & Happy Star Wars / Kentucky Derby day!

XOXO