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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Decisions


Every once in a while I seem to go into this "slump" sometimes it's just a lack of B12, other times I think it's just a multitude of things. Have you ever just felt confused? Like, you don't know what to think, how to act, what to say or how to be? And the only reason why you question all these things is because you feel like no matter how you react to any of the above, it's wrong? Well, you're not the only one.

I often feel "wrong" or confused. I think that's just a part of growing up...even though I don't necessarily feel like I am growing up---or, maybe I am...but you get my jist.

photo credit: pinterest
I'm in a weird transition of life right now. I'm still very much a kid, being only 20, yet I am thrown into a load of responsibility that makes me feel like I'm not just 20... and I should probably have my life all figured out. But whenever I stress out and try to plan my future or worry about it, I crumble and cry like a little kid. When I don't think about those things, I feel like people don't always take me seriously. It's a constant complex. My family raised me to act mature from a young age. That wasn't necessarily a focus, but it just sort of happened that way because I'm the youngest by 13 years in a family of 6 people over 30. 

Spending 20 years worth of time has taught me a lot about what adults think about. Finances, the news, bills and wishes. Sometimes the first three things become an obsession, to the point where I feel like I need to escape and think only about sunshine and coffee. Sometimes I am a culprit and dwell on fear of the future---instead of being excited for the future. If I hear a lot about how people struggle with money I start to believe that I too will struggle. I hear about how bills can cause debt and then I fear that I'll unconsciously fall into a perpetual pit of debt. (I don't even own a credit card, so it's kinda ridiculous for me to even worry....and I don't plan on getting a credit card. ever.)

I hear stories about couples who've fallen out of love, and I read about all the celebs who get married and divorced and see other people in between. "She lied, he cheated, love never lasts" those types of headlines stick in my mind and make me feel afraid to ever envision a "happily ever after". 

A lot goes through my mind, and I know I am not the only 20-year-old out there who experiences this.

I have the capability to see the good in things, and I could also let things go as far as fears and worries (for the most part), because I have God and He has always taught me not to worry. My family has been through a lot in their lives and I know it wasn't always easy for them. That being said, I can understand why they worry about things and talk about things I don't always understand. The thing that confuses me is...or should I say, the question I have is -- what am I going to do? I was always told to be happy no matter who or what tries to interfere. I try to live up to that as best I can, and try to make others happy too, which, occasionally doesn't turn out the way I hoped. Sometimes I think I try too hard to make people happy, and they mistake my efforts as "not taking their problems or concerns seriously". I guess I am at fault for that sometimes, but honestly, how am I supposed to know what to say or how to react to everything if I am - again - only 20 years old? 

I am technically an adult, though I am not nearly as wise or life skilled as the other adults in my family, so that often makes me feel incompetent or "too young" to understand their opinions on things; especially if I have tried to understand something but because of not seeing it at "their level" or at least how they expect me to understand it--my efforts were in vain. I have high respect for them for sure, and do my best to make them proud. But sometimes I feel like they don't always understand me. It's not that I don't think they don't try, I think perhaps it's partially my fault because I do have a tendency to come across as "vague" when I give my own thoughts or opinions. 

I understand the adult view on young people such as myself: book smart but not street smart, irresponsible, lazy, caught up in nonsense, ignorant, stubborn, disrespectful to elders. I understand this because I've witnessed it. A lot of people my age think they know more than their parents. To me, to even think that you have ANYTHING over your parents is stupid, because nobody understands the role of a parent until they become one. It's more difficult than you think. I understand this better because I nanny three kids 12 hours a day, four days a week with no pay---like a real parent! The idea of thinking you can just live life doing whatever you want and blowing all your money is fun, believe me; but suddenly reality takes place and you find yourself searching for pennies and dimes in pockets to put in a little jar in hope of buying a house one day. Or using any money you have leftover from dedicating to gas and food and important things like soap and razors (because after working 12 hours you come home looking like a disheveled creature) to get coffee just to stay awake during the day after you have depleted all your vitamins. Then you have to make dinner and usually there isn't anything in the house so you have to put on your thinking cap and think: "how can I make this work without having to spend money?" Then you leave your nannying job and come home to adults who spend their time trying to provide for young people like ourselves, so naturally you want to help them as much as you can, which means staying up late to polish the floors and dust so your mom doesn't have to worry about it, doing any leftover laundry, hearing them vent about their day (because everyone deserves to alleviate themselves from stress) even if its stuff you don't take an interest in or understand. Then by the time you're done with those things, you use the leftover time for yourself to wash, feel human again, and try to fall asleep quick so you feel rested when you wake up in a couple hours and start it all over again.  

To a 20 year old this lifestyle is almost insane. You feel like you have no time to do anything anymore except boring chores -- but it does a lot more good for you than you realize. An adult lives like this daily, we just don't see it because as young people we are too caught up in ourselves and our own needs than the needs and concerns of others. I'm sure a lot of young people who read this will feel like I have "offended" them, but you know what? People will judge you anyway. In the depths of the confusion I experience I try to make it work as best I can. I'm learning how to handle and think like an adult, though I'm not gonna worry or fear things either. I'm learning how to raise children (this is something young people don't think about or experience often until they are older) it ain't always easy and sometimes its nerve-racking, but it's usually always wonderful and fascinating.  There's a time when everyone gets afraid of something, that's what makes us human, but I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel now. Perhaps what I'm supposed to do is learn from adults and take their advice to heart, and continue to mature, but also give them a chance to feel free and young by following their example and having fun, and try to share in their conversations that I find revelatory to my (not nearly as important) daily life experiences, in hope to at least make them smile and show them that I am making an effort to see them at "their level" and take "their concerns" seriously. 

I may not know a lot about finances, paying bills, holding a steady job or planning for the future, but you can be sure as heck I'll do my best to try and figure it out. That's what adults do. They do their best. My decision is to do all of this and stay happy---even if others aren't, it's my job to keep the positivity flowing. I want to set good example for young people to give hope to adults that there will be future---a happy future. So in my times of feeling incompetent, afraid of how adults see me, or feeling incapable of making them proud because I haven't accomplished what they have accomplished at my age, I have to breathe, let go of worry, make a good effort and trust in God. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

the importance of coffee

There is probably nothing worse than horrible coffee. You could be having the worst day of your life, but a really good cup of coffee could truly be enough to turn it around. But if it's a bad cup of coffee, that's like..."end of the world" worthy to me.

I think it's really important to make good coffee in the mornings. It defines your whole day. It's not easy waking up, and you need the type of comfort that only coffee can give that assures you that life is actually good, and WORTH waking up for. If you can't MAKE coffee in the mornings, be sure to grab coffee on your way to work or wherever you're going. I recommend Dunkin Donuts. I loooove starbucks, believe me, I do, except....they can be a little pricy. Dunkin Donuts gives you excellent coffee for cheap, and it keeps you (or at least me) happy all day long! I did an experiment. The days I didn't have Dunkin in the morning (after my first cup on my way to work, that is) I was tired, cranky, and usually ready to start complaining about life and the dishes and the laundry and how the world just doesn't understand that I am not a morning person. The days I did have Dunkin I was very happy and unusually calm--even during stressful times like when the kids suddenly seem like they ate a bag of sugar and are uncontrollably hyper and getting into EVERYTHING. Cassie has witnessed this, and as my incredibly loyal friend and sister, agrees that we both need a good cup of D&D in the mornings to maintain a happy day.

So if you find mornings difficult to handle, try a medium coffee at Dunkin Donuts. No sugar, no flavors. Just do a BASIC coffee with cream, and I swear you will feel like a new person.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back in the Swing of Things

So, Cape May was a lot of fun. I got to really relax and enjoy myself, and not have to worry about waking up at 6:00am every morning. I was able to sip my coffee with family and friends, and not have to splash it into a thermos on my way out the door. It was nice. Really nice.

Getting back into the swing of things was a little tricky. The children had been playing hard and not napping during the day - I could tell. They were edgy and sassy for the whole first week I was home. I had to sit down with each one and remind them of their promises of staying happy and being polite--even when I'm not around. Then it was getting back into the cleaning system...not something every 20 year old looks forward to immediately following a totally awesome vacation, but hey--needs to be done, and I am not one who can just sit around and let it pile up! It's hard for the parents because they work all day, from 8:30 to 6:30, and by the time they get home, they just want to spend time with their kids. So, my sister Cass and I do our best to maintain the house and mind a few chores to help them out.

We've also been helping our bodies out---going sugar and gluten free for a couple weeks. So far we are on day 5 of week 1. I'd say its going great. Just from cutting out bread, sugar, carbs and dairy, I've lost 3 pounds. My goal is to lose a total of 7. So with 3 down I only have 4 more left to go! I want to get in shape, and I want to feel beautiful. For years I've been dealing with a "pooch" belly and I'm done with it! Decided enough was enough and I'm gonna get healthy. At first figuring out food was difficult, since you don't realize how much bread, sugar, gluten and dairy is incorporated in your daily food consumption. After a couple days, it got very easy, and quite enjoyable. Believe it or not, I eat more, but I am eating healthy foods. I wake up happier, feel more energetic, and really don't miss sugar or bread....Of course I have the occasional craving for pizza or pasta, but after these two weeks are up I'll be able to have a little as long as it's gluten free!

I'm curious to see how this will all affect my body after two weeks...I feel like I'm starting a whole new lifestyle!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

So Far, So Great

Well, the kids have recovered from their sickness, and the sleepover was a lot of fun. We had everyone over for fried chicken and sushi, and then continued the party after everyone had gone. We took Penny outside and captured dozens of fireflies in a jar. Charlie made really funny faces and had us laughing. We came back inside and made cookies....I watched because if I helped, I'd eat some, and I can't because I'm watching my skin. (betcha haven't heard that one before!) So I sat in the other room and spread peanut butter on ritz crackers with a little bit of marshmallow and pretended that that was really what I wanted. Not a stupid cookie that smelled like heaven on earth. Stupidcookie.

After that we made a little pizza and put the littlest littles to bed. Once they were tucked in, we made crazy videos on my laptop. Penny is so much fun--she reminds me a lot of my 6-year-old-self. I was always happy and always loved being silly and making people laugh; I'm proud this gene carried through (: 

I really feel like we have gotten closer over that last few months. I don't know what it is, but I always sensed a special bond between godparents and their godchildren. I have always felt super close to my godparents. My godfather, Kaboo, was my homeschool teacher for crying out loud! I got to spend time with him every single day. I don't get to spend as much time with my godmother, but every time I see her I feel that bond---that 'knowledge' that she understands me more than other people do. I love her with my whole heart. You all already know how I feel about Kaboo (:

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is I really feel blessed to have this opportunity in my life--I get to spend time with my goddaughter and her siblings four days a week. From the time each one was born, I always hoped I'd get a chance to get close to them, and be a part of their little lives. It's amazing, when you realize, that, dreams really do come true. 

The next dream-come-true is only 2 1/2 hours away! I get to go to Cape May with my best friend's family. I am so excited. We get to stay in the same place we did last year and I am so glad! It's beautiful in Cape May. It's so dreamy and charming! It totally makes you feel like you're in a movie. I can only imagine what adventures are in store (:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Can We Do It?

We arrive at "work" at 7:30am.

I'm exhausted. Cassie is exhausted.

I'm craving the chocolate chip cookies that Jess bought the other day, but crying on the inside because I know I can't have them. Why, you ask? Milk chocolate. Milk chocolate makes me breakout, and after several weeks of finally getting my skin under control with proper cleansers, medication and treatments, I promised my mom I wouldn't eat anything that would bring it all back...meaning, no chocolate chip cookies for Chloe. ):

My mom laughed when I asked if I could have one last night. "Sweetie! We just got your skin under control." we both laughed. She's allergic to all chocolate, so she relates. "I wish we BOTH could sit down and have chocolate together...but...we can't. And you can't because Cape May is right around the corner and you look amazing!" I nodded. Then, resting my head on her shoulder I sigh: "Why is it so hard to be beautiful?"

So, back to today. We stumble into the house. I have no makeup on. My hair is bothering me, and all I want to do is curl up on the floor and sleep. Jess fills us in on what's going on around the house since Cassie and I had off yesterday. "Charlie seems to be doing better today, but yesterday he woke up with a high fever and when I took him to the doctors, the doctor said he has strep throat. Theresa does too, and the doctor said eventually all the kids will probably get it." She kissed us goodbye and then hopped in the jeep with her husband and drove off to work. Cassie and I looked at one another.

Cassie looked pale. "S-st-strep throat?" she stuttered.
I slowly nodded as I slid to the ground, hands over my face. "Wwwwhhhyyyyyyyy."
"I am not getting this." said Cassie while she started creating a large pile of vitamins to take.
"--And we have to spend the night here on saturday." I remembered.

I texted my mom to see what else we could take so we don't get sick, and she responded:
"OH NO!!! YOU CAN'T STAY THERE SATURDAY!!! YOU CAN"T GET SICK FOR VACATION!" but then I text back and reminded her that Jess and Kevin have a wedding to go to saturday and there is no one else available to help with the kids. She texted back - LOL.

"Sorry love, I panicked! I forgot about that. Text her back and tell her you'll be there." read mom's text.

I texted back, and laughed too. Mom gave me a list of things to take to help prevent us from getting sick. Cape May feels so close, yet so far away still. We leave Sunday. I am willing to keep myself on a healthy diet to stay alert and strong. I also did research and discovered that Pisces need to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, otherwise they begin to get too caught up in their heads about things and worry. I've already been there, so I know this is true. Pisces should watch sugary foods and drinks. They also need good sources of protein and plenty of water.

I am hoping Cassie and I make it to Cape May with NO signs of strep throat or any kind of sickness. I ask you all to keep your fingers crossed, and check in to hear more of the scoop.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Honesty, Clarity, Teamwork First...Kids Second

As I sit here and drink my coffee, in the secluded little farmhouse, I contemplate my life.
I started crafting gemstone garland; I thought it would be a cute way for people to get the healing benefits of the crystals in their homes while it gives a regular wall a beachy feel! I figured I'd try and sell them...not for very much, only $12 per 2 foot tall strand. I thought perhaps it would be a good way for me to make a little extra money.

I don't get paid for babysitting; it's hard for my sister and her husband right now while they are still figuring out how to get their feet on the ground with jobs and managing bills and so forth. I'm getting to experience real life situations at such an early age. I'm learning what it feels like to have no money,  work 9 hours, (10 hours now because my sister's car died) raise three kids with my best friend, and still try and figure out my own life in the meantime.

I haven't done a comic strip in a long time. My heart aches with guilt. I have become so keyed up worrying about being a good 'pretend parent' and trying to find ways to make money, that I lost track of setting aside time to do what always came first in my life...drawing. I'd devote any free time I had during my 9 hour shift to cleaning, organizing, cooking and doing laundry. I started taking on responsibilities that weren't mine, and stressing out about things I couldn't handle or control. I even started distancing myself from my friend, and instead of being a team...we started acting like one of those "married couples who lost touch". Kids came first before anything, even ourselves, and we started arguing about the stupidest of things. It wasn't until recently both of us couldn't take it anymore. I exploded from having short nerves and lack of sleep and she fired back due to feeling misunderstood and exhaustion.

We called each other out on things that bothered us most about each other, and realized the reasons were our own faults....we weren't spending time as best friends anymore...we lost touch of how we felt about things and didn't make an effort to get each other's point of view. I assumed she didn't understand anything I was talking about, and she was confused because I'd never finish a thought. We were allowing other people's stresses come between us. This realization came to us last night. We admitted to painful truths about ourselves, faced them, and apologized. We talked about everything, and let each other talk for long periods of time. No filters. No beating around the bush. Pure honesty. We made a promise to one another to never let money, stress, kids or fears for the future ever come between us again. If we should be concerned, we work it out together. No more mind games or short nerves. Getting annoyed with each other only leaves room for worse things to happen.

We love kids very much, but they aren't our kids...and even when each of us get married one day and have kids of our own, we have to remember that kids do not rule our lives. BG always taught my mom that. Some of you may think, "no no no kids ALWAYS come first!" well, yes you love them and its nice you put them first, but the only reason those kids came into this world was because of the union between you, your spouse, and God's blessing. The power is in the parents' hands. Marriage is about the husband and wife. The Male and Female. Marriage isn't about children. Kids are like a happy bonus you get for loving each other (: but they shouldn't be you're ONLY focus. You should focus on maintaining that personal bond you have with your spouse, and remembering the reasons why you love them and why you made the decision to be with them forever. Married life can still be a fairytale if you let it. If you lose that spark between you and your special someone, you've lost hope in your fairytale. Don't lose that spark. If it starts to fade, get it back!

Now, Cassie and I are not a married couple (so don't get any wild ideas hahaha) we are sisters. We are best friends who love each other very much. We laugh because when we say we act like a married couple, we mean we can finally understand what that feels like. But we do work as a great team, and we did lose a sort of "spark" for a short time because, again, we let things interfere and we weren't handling it the way we were supposed to. But now we know, and our friendship couldn't be any stronger. We decided to let go and not worry about the things we can't control or handle,  and the things we can we do together as a team.

So, in life, sometimes when you may find yourself in a similar situation with a best friend or significant other, remember these three things:

Honesty, clarity, teamwork.

Always be honest with each other. Share your feelings. Listen to each others thoughts. If something is bothering you, talk about it. Don't keep things from each other.

Speak clearly so that the person you are talking to can understand you. Let them get on the same page so they know where you're coming from. Don't just play mental games or throw hints. A lot of people don't get hints.

Be a team. Work together in everything. Do everything! Happiness is limitless and when you have someone to experience it with, you feel complete. Don't become two strangers living under the same roof.







Thursday, July 3, 2014

Beautiful Whirlwind

Life has been a beautiful whirlwind lately.
Being 20 has already taught me so much. As a young woman, now, I'm learning a lot more about responsibility; the little ones have helped me in this learning process. I've been babysitting four days a week for just about a year now. Time flew by so quickly, though things seem a bit easier now that I have a clearer understanding of my role in the children's lives. My friend and I have accomplished a lot in 1 year. We taught Charlie how to talk and got him potty trained. We are teaching them how to say please and thank you, and how no matter what---tired or not tired--a little prince and princess MUST be happy at all times, and mustn't get mean or not want to share. They've been amazing. The only thing is they haven't really gotten the picture that they have to be this good with their parents too. Hahaha, oh well. (:

My friend and I have been teaching them about various types of minerals and gemstones; what they are and what they do. They LOVE them! I am still amazed at how my goddaughter, Penny, is able to remember and recite perfectly clear the name Labradorite.

I've been burning incense in the house and exposing them to various types of music from around the world. I want them to learn all about different cultures. I believe that it's important for them to know about those things because that was the kind of thing I was exposed to as a kid--and I loved it!