Halfway There! I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 10

True story.

I was driving home from work one day a few weeks back and I usually decide between taking the back roads or the highway. I take 3 different interstates to get home; 422 to 271 to 8. On average, 422 never has traffic no matter what time of day I drive it. 8 usually has no traffic as well. Sandwiched in between the 2 is 271 that almost always has traffic in the morning and at 5pm. The only time I can expect no traffic is around holidays or if kids are out of school. All of sudden the highways are free, open roads and I can drive like a normal human (maybe speed a little, ssshh).

This particular day, I took a chance to drive the highway. Usually I like to check google maps to see if there are a bunch of red lines but I figured I’d left early enough that I’ll probably bypass it. It was a warm day, for Ohio anyway, and I had my sunroof shade open and I think I was listening to whatever was on the radio that day. I come upon the exit to 271 and instant stop. Traffic was at a standstill. So I did a little bit of maneuverability to shimmy up to the closest exit. I always keep other routes in the back of my head in case I’m trying to be somewhere fast. I’m okay with sacrificing open highway for traffic lights as long as I’m moving. Sitting in a hot car in the summer, in traffic, is the worst.

I get off the highway and onto this side road that turns into 8 eventually. This road starts as a bunch of schools, then groceries and once you cross the bridge it turns into an industrial parkway. There’s a place on the left that just has giant piles of pulverized concrete or sand with this tiny little gas station and then you have a bunch of different warehouses up an down both sides before it turns into the casino way.

I get to the point where the old Arhaus warehouse used to be and there’s stand still traffic again. At first I didn’t think anything of it. There is a stoplight ahead so I figure traffic will start moving soon as it turns green. Well the light turns green and the cars in my lane are still sitting. Then I notice cars on the other side are stopping as well. Automatic thought is car accident right? Which means I’ll be stuck a little longer. Well, the cars across the divide start moving and the cars to my right start moving as well but my lane isn’t moving at all. I begin to feel the symptoms of annoyance come forward because I just want to go home after my long day at work.

An opening appears for me to move around the line of cars that are stopped and get into the moving right lane. I take the chance and slowly crawl forward. I’m ready to continue my drive but I’m also curious to see what caused the backup. I get close to SUV that’s essentially parked and saw the most unexpected thing…

A skunk!! A very big skunk!! If I could have snapped a picture with my eyes, I would have! The skunk is basically pacing in circles. It was so unbelievable, I burst out laughing. My annoyance instantly evaporated. I quickly glanced around my surroundings wondering where the hell this huge skunk came from. This is basically an industrial wasteland. No forest or any sign of nature in the immediate distance yet here is this poor skunk. You can tell people, including myself, wanted to help somehow but at the same time not. That’s just one smell you do not want to take to work the next day. I continued my drive home thinking to myself that I hope the little (big) guy finds his way home. I also thanked Mr. Big Skunk for putting a smile on my face.

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I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 9

I went into this post thinking I knew what I was going to write. Then I went back and reread my inspiration email and realized I must have read something completely different. The post today is supposed to talk about what you do when you’re not writing. For anyone who’s read my posts so far, you already know. I read when I’m not writing or working or any number of adulting activities. Today I’d rather talk about a friend who has triggered me to write today and ironically enough it has to deal with the daily prompt. If you ever need daily inspiration, that’s a great place to start; writing a prompt around a word.

So I have this friend. I want to say I use the term friend loosely because half the time I never know where we stand. You know how you have those people you consider friends and then you have the ones that are more acquaintances than anything? This friend falls somewhere in between. He started as my boss. Hired me at my first job out of college way back in 2011 when I had been unemployed for 4 months. I remember thinking he was such a nice person; always upbeat and happy. I worked this job for about 8 months and then I got an internship so I went away for  months. When I came back, I was back in the unemployed boat. I was unemployed for about month when my friend reached out to me again through Facebook and offered to cancel all his interviews if I would come work for him again. So I did. He ended up transferring to a different location and I didn’t think too much of it again.

Fast forward two and a half years and he’s working for a different company and, at that time, I was looking for a full time job. I was tired of working multiple part time jobs 50+ hours a week. I wanted a regular schedule. He offered me a full time position at the new company he’s working at and, again, I accepted. We’ve developed a pattern at this point. We made a great team so it was only natural that where he went, I followed because I automatically knew it would be a great working relationship. Everything I ever learned about being a manager, good and bad, I learned from him.

Series of events later and he and I are no longer working together. I left the job for various reasons. Unfortunately, one of those reasons was him. It’s amazing how power can change a person. I decided he no longer had my best interests at heart, as my friend, and it showed. Anybody that knows me, knows that I try really hard to fix a friendship if I feel its worthy enough. I didn’t want to leave the job on a rocky note so I met with my friend and we had a heart to heart about the events that led up to my decision to not only better my life for my long term goals but also so that we could stay friends. I cared about him a lot and it didn’t sit right to have a job come between us.

Fast forward to today and we still talk on occasion. His life though is not so great. He’s almost what you call a people pleaser. He tries very hard to make everyone happy without any regards to himself and his true feelings. Needless to say, I’ve seen it burn some bridges in his life. It also doesn’t help that his health is steadily declining. The most recent scenario in his life involves him saving his brother from losing his house by moving in and paying his mortgage for him. The time has come where my friend feels that his brother should sell him the house. Naturally, that makes the most sense especially since his brother’s credit score has been prospering because of him. The house gets reviewed and a price put upon it. The brother is not satisfied and demands more money… from his own flesh and blood…. who’s saved him all this time…. Family mean nothing?

I had a lot of things to say about this. I won’t go into detail but you can imagine where my thoughts went. One of my main points was he should move and get his own house and wash his hands of this ridiculousness. He’s torn because even though he agrees with me he still feels he should help even though he literally can’t afford it. Instead of letting his brother accept defeat, they sit in this limbo where he’s still paying this mortgage and his brother isn’t budging on his terms.

I just don’t understand. Sometimes the best way to get to a better outcome is to accept defeat. There’s that phrase that failure is not an option but sometimes it’s the only option. I believe my friend needs to evaluate his life and focus on the things that matter the most; specifically his health. He’s letting other people’s words, emotions and actions drive his decisions and they usually don’t end up in his favor along with working himself to death. His coping mechanism for problems is to bury himself in work instead of face them head on.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. I don’t know.

 

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 8

Dear person driving in front of me,

I get it. I do. We both have places to be. I’m trying to go to work and you’re trying to go wherever. That doesn’t matter to me. What does matter is how often you are hitting your brakes. I just don’t understand. I can see the road ahead of you for miles. What are you braking for??? You have to understand. I drive manual transmission and I have to shift gears to accommodate your unbelievable driving skills. I promise it’s driving me crazy.

You know what? It’s okay. There are two lanes now. I’ll just get over in this lane and go around you. See my turn signal? I’m just going to ease to the right in the passing lane since you’re​ riding the fast lane.

What are you doing? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! You’re swerving into my lane. Fantastic. You know my car was trying to tell your car something, right? I guess your turn signal is broken. That’s fine. I’ll just slam on my brakes just for you. Asshole. You don’t know it but right now I’m wishing I was Cyclops and could shoot laser fire out of my eyes and blow your car out of my way.

I just want to get to work with minimal headache. If you could go the speed limit that would be amazing. No? Not something you’re interested in? That’s fine. There’s an exit coming up. I’ll take a different route.

Of course you’re going this way too. I can’t get away from you! What are the fucking odds?

Oh! Your turn signal does work! Thank God. Hurry up and turn so I can continue my drive.

Yes! I’m free!!! The road is open! No one in front of me! I’ll be on time!

No! Don’t do it! Don’t you fucking turn in front of me! Fuck! Here we go again…

Sincerely,

The driver behind you having road rage inside her car

(Day 8’s email. Write a letter)

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 7

Let’s talk about Twitter.

My inspiration for today is supposed to come from specific Twitter posts. I’ll get to that eventually but first I want to talk about how I got into Twitter.

Back in the day, MySpace was the social media option of choice. I had MySpace. I didn’t use it very often because back in those days everyone was all about chat rooms (remember AIM?!). MySpace was this awesome piece of the internet that you could make as creative as you wanted. If you wanted a glitter page there was a theme for that. If you wanted the site to change every time you refreshed, there was a theme for that too. You could even set your favorite song to play when someone visited your site! It was kind of a blog, but not really. Everybody had these super long profile biographies that went into detail about every little thing in their life. So if you were perusing to try a pick up someone, chances are their MySpace profile told you everything you needed to know. From what I remember, there wasn’t really a type of news feed or status update type of system to see other people’s stuff. You had to physically go view(creep) and individual’s page every time.

Then around my college years, Facebook came along. If I remember correctly, you had to have an invitation to join Facebook first. At first I wasn’t interested. I was content with my Myspace and it worked well enough. But then I kept hearing about how “sophisticated” and “clean” Facebook was in comparison to MySpace. Naturally, as time went on, and all my friends migrated to Facebook, so did I. I remember Facebook being a basic platform that didn’t have ads or sponsored pages and you just talked and shared with friends and family. As popularity of the platform grew, so did everything else; friends of friends, ads, messenger, etc. I still use Facebook today, mostly for family but unfortunately its a lot of browsing through the bullshit and reading everyone’s political opinions but not commenting because they’re your friends.

Enter Twitter! Oh Twitter. Just as before, I didn’t want to get into another social platform. I thought Twitter was dumb because I didn’t understand hashtags and 140 characters was not enough to say anything. My husband took the plunge first and then told me I had to join because Twitter was the best. I started to notice that a lot of my favorites tweeted a lot more than they shared statuses on Facebook. I even realized that half the things that appeared on Twitter, didn’t appear on Facebook at all so I ended up missing out great information; and by great information I mean book giveaways and live Q&As. So I took the plunge.

I now have two Twitter accounts. My personal one and the one for this blog. I absolutely love Twitter. I follow my favorite authors and a couple of them actually follow me back! I don’t have to wade through garbage to see good content. As you can see from the pictures, I follow a variety of different things that interest me. Its nice because I don’t have to worry about the negativity which is the main reason why I’ve been staying away from Facebook. I see what I want to see. Things that make me happy or encourage me to explore more. I don’t have to see the videos of angry people who are pissed about one thing or another and vandalizing properties. I don’t have to see the thousands of people dying from whatever label society has put on them to deem them dangerous. I don’t have to see the arrogance of the people who feel their opinions are superior to all. On Twitter, I just don’t get all of that. I get to see what my authors are up to, what’s going to be released on Netflix (s?) from US to Ireland and whats new in the Android world. I get to see releases for books, music, movies and TV shows. I get to see reviews from some of the best eateries and exotic locations of the world I want to add to my bucket list! Majority of my followers on Twitter aren’t people I’m related to and it’s glorious!

I don’t actually have an inspired Twitter post to start writing from and none of the ones in the email really got me thinking about writing. However, the simple act of talking about Twitter seemed to do the trick don’t you think?

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 6

Where do you write?

….asks my inspiration email. Currently, I am writing from my sofa. The room I’m in is addition off of our little cape. When were were house hunting we didn’t want a cape but we came across this one and fell in love. All the houses on our street, and really in this whole neighborhood, look the same. Little cookie cutter houses built by WWII soldiers so they had something to do and places to live. Ours is slightly different because of the addition. The room is an ugly beige color that I want to paint over but that my husband likes (😩). It’s really neat because it has these wooden beams going across the ceiling with storm window blocks lining each side of the beams. My cats like to chase the rainbow lights and shadows that appear on the  a walls when it’s sunny out. The previous owners also installed a little, vintage wood burning stove on one side of the room.

I don’t always write from here. Majority of the time I write at work; thanks to the WordPress app making it easy. Of all the posts I’ve written so far, maybe 3 of them were in this room. The bulk of my time in this room is spent, you guessed it, reading. And my laptop sits in here as well so there’s usually background internet noise.

Now, it would be great if someone inspired me to conquer that of which I keep purposely distracting myself from doing; cleaning. This room, and the whole house really needs some straightening up. I wish I had a clone that could do all the adulting things for me so I can just sit in this room and do what I prefer to do.

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 5

Today’s blog post is brought to you by a quote meme and written (typed? texted?) from my cellphone.

I browse social media regularly and I follow a lot of book loving sites. There’s one that posts memes on an daily (hourly) basis. So I came across this meme that says:

 

Read the books that make you happy even if they’re not classics or academic novels that won awards.

 

This got me thinking about my personal book reading preferences now in comparison to what I would read before. Romance novels used to be this taboo. It was that white elephant in the room that no one wanted to talk about. Whenever someone asked your book genre preferences it was always safe to say scif-fi or thrillers or fantasy. If you said romance people would instantly think of the Fabio covers and say you read those “trashy novels”.

Now it seems that you’re the weird one if you don’t read romance. It’s like the book reading world has suddenly embraced all things romance. Here I am thinking everybody is late to the party. I personally think that Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey can’t hold a candle to a whole host of romance novels by amazing authors. I hate how these are now the basis for a good romance story. Read a good Judith McNaught historical romance or a Sandra Brown thriller or hell a good Anne Rice paranormal to see how it should really be done.

I have my opinions, obviously, and I certainly never want to cause drama. I love that people are embracing little things like romance novels more and more and, like the quote says, aren’t ashamed to say hell yeah I love these books and you should too!

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 3

Today’s inspiration is brought to you by single word posts. The goal here is to take one word and turn it into a post. The email provided a list of words to choose from and it definitely got me thinking.

I’m going to take it back to senior year of high school. The year was pretty decent. Made a lot of good friends but they were a grade or two lower than me. I spent most of my time in the Zoology classroom taking care of the myriad of reptiles and amphibians. Now my teacher is asking me if I’m going to college. Well, for me it’s not like I had much choice. My mother made it very clear what would happen if I didn’t go to college. At the time, I was excited. I flunked the ACTs but I did pass the SATs. I didn’t want to go to the local college because that’s where the whole graduating class was going and I needed new faces. I was too chicken shit to move to a different state or even to go an hour away so I ended up being about 45 minute drive from home. Far enough that I knew my mom wouldn’t come visit me every second but close enough to visit. I worked two jobs and went to school full time, changed my major once in there and graduated.

Now I’m living the dream! I have a fancy piece of paper that tells the world I’m intelligent! I can do everything I dreamed of doing!

Wrong. You know why it was so wrong? Because everything they tell you is just not true. You see you get these job coaches that tell you about your resume and how it should look and how effective your education will be when applying into the unknown adult world of jobs. I was originally a Biology major. That pretty much narrows my job choices down to zookeeper, plant and animal behavior, animal nutrition, naturalist. So I’m like hell yeah! I’ll get to be a zookeeper! This is great! School is expensive but you know what it doesn’t matter because when I graduate I’ll be set forever! Yeah, no. You can’t imagine how hard it is to become a zookeeper. Literally the best way to get into a zoo is to know someone who knows someone higher up who can whisper into their superior’s ear about how awesome you are and to give you chance. Or, the alternative, work for free for 5 years and get a passing chance at having your application looked at. You’re telling me I struggled for 4 years of my life, spent massive amounts of money (95k if you were curious), volunteered for 2 years and I still can’t get my pinky toe in the door. What do I have to show for it now? Lots of debt. Thank you education. You are a real winner.

You know what they need in colleges now? They need that person who will be brutally honest. That coach you go to and say, “hell yeah, when I graduate I’ll be swimming with sea turtles and dolphins and caring for elephants!” And then that coach would look you in the face and just bust out laughing; gut wrenching, tears streaming, spit shooting out from their face, laughing. And then set you straight. They’ll say, “Hey! that’s great except that won’t happen. You’ll probably work fast food or retail the first few years out of college, and then you’ll find a job that you can be passionate enough about that’ll keep you afloat in this world!” Then follow up with, “Here’s what you really need to do…”

Now I’m not saying this is what happens to everyone or that you all should feel this way or that. I don’t necessarily regret going to college because I did make quite a few connections that I still keep in contact with today or have helped me better my living situation. If I had to go back, I would definitely pick a community college instead of a private college and I would pick a more logical major. In a perfect world, we could all fake it til we make it. I heard this saying from my realtor. I asked her how she was so successful at her job. She said she jumped in and learned as much as possible and came up with her own strategies along the way until she became very good at what she does. That is living the dream. You apply for a job and are considered based off your willingness to learn and then you get a fantastic teacher who teaches you everything they know. That, in my opinion, is the best way to get a real world education.

What’s your opinion about education?

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 2

Today’s inspiration prompt requires me to write a list. I have a choice in which list I choose to write about but they are so simple, I’m choosing to write a list for all of them.

Things I Like:

  • Books. Books are my life. I love to read. I feel like an addict going through withdrawal when I don’t have something to read. I honestly believe it keeps me sane and I lose a lot of sleep because of reading but I can sleep when I’m dead right?
  • Food. I am a foodie. There is a short list, on one hand, of foods I won’t eat. Exploring new-to-me restaurants is great fun. My favorite eats: sushi, ramen, anything in pasta form (alfredo, spaghetti, ravioli etc) and Chinese food
  • My pets. I have two cats and a painted turtle. I used to hate cats. I had a roommate back in college who had devil spawn cats. They would constantly destroy things and howl at the moon. I vowed never to have cats. But then one day a friend presented a box of stray cats to me and Milliardo was the only one sleeping in the box and right when I was going to walk away he opened his eyes and looked at me and I was sold. The turtle has been around for 10 years and counting and we decided Milliardo needed a more mellow friend so that’s where Isabel came into the picture.
  • Netflix et al. I love watching television shows. I gravitate mostly towards historical pieces (Vikings, Downton Abbey, Spartacus..) and drama shows (Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless, Scandal..) but I’m open to anything. I’ll even watch documentaries here and there. HUGE Marvel fan and DC (sometimes when they’re good). My husband and I go and see all the Marvel films as well as the Marvel adaptation shows on Netflix.
  • Music. I looooove listening to music. Some of my favorite artists include Ed Sheeran, Lindsey Stirling, Pentatonix, Beyonce, Josh Groban, Evanescence.. I am all over the board. I make it a point to watch the Grammys every year for the performances.

Things I’ve Learned:

  • Lately I’ve learned that I would make a wonderful psychiatrist. I have been dishing out a lot of advice to my friends lately and I’ve learned that it’s actually pretty good advice. I’ve been told that I have the type of mindset that tries to analyze a situation from different angles in order to understand the whole picture. I like to think up different possibilities or motives for why people act or say the things they say before instantly judging. Now I can’t say that it applies to all situations (ask my husband) because I do like to be right but I’m also not afraid to admit when I’m wrong.
  • I’ve learned I have the capacity to learn new things even if at first I didn’t believe in myself. I’ve started a whole new career path that has absolutely nothing to do with what I thought my dream job would be but in the month and a half that I’ve been here I’ve been told I am doing a really good job. I’m proud of myself and it only encourages me to continue to push harder and become the best at what I do.

Thing I Wish:

  • I wish I could get paid to read. I know I keep saying it, but I love to read and that’s my dream job.
  • I wish snowstorm Stella would take a hike. I don’t mind snow but I am so tired of the up and down extremes. I live in Ohio and it can literally go from 70 degrees one day to 20 degrees the next. Its exhausting.
  • I wish I had enough money to buy a Tesla. That car is so sexy!

Things You’re Good At:

  • I’m good at helping people with their computer or phone problems. I’m pretty tech savvy and have become well versed in a lot of computer programs. I love Windows and Android the most but I dabble with other operating systems from time to time.
  • I’m good at driving stick shift
  • I’m good at making people laugh even when they don’t want to
  • I’m good at crying over fictional characters
  • I’m good at singing in the shower
  • I’m good at sleeping
  • I’m good at giving advice and recommending things
  • I’m good at social media
  • I’m good at love
  • I’m good at being honest
  • I’m good at being me

One tenth of the way into my blogging university course! See you tomorrow for Day 3.

I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 1

I got this idea in my head that I should join one of these Blogging University courses. If you haven’t heard of it, its really easy to find. There are a bunch of different courses you can sign up for ranging from basic to photography to advanced authors. Since I feel like I have the basics of writing and customizing the blog theme down ( I literally went through about 50 themes in a month before settling), I chose the everyday inspiration course. The premise of this course is for the WordPress gods to send prompts to your inbox and your job is to respond to the prompts by sitting and writing for 15-30 minutes straight without stopping. Sounds easy right?

The first prompt I received is to answer the question, “Why do you write?”

Why do I write? Normally, I don’t. I’m not a writer, I’m a reader. I spend every free moment, sometimes stolen moments at work, reading. Actually, that’s a lie. I spend about 90% of my free minutes reading and the other 10% is usually devoted to Netflix. I have a binge watching problem. Damn you, Netflix! I really love immersing myself in other people’s stories. Now I say other people’s like individuals but its a broad term for me. I have my favorite books and television shows whose worlds I can’t imagine living without and I even get upset with myself for not discovering some of these worlds sooner. I’m also a very emotional person; specifically when it comes to television. Easy crier that I am, I love inflicting emotional torture on myself. Have you ever watched Grey’s Anatomy? That is literally the most full emotional spectrum show I watch. In its increasingly far fetched drama and cheesy episodes, I am so beyond riveted it’s pitiful. I need my sad tears, angry tears, happy tears fix.

I decided to write because I love connecting. I try to be social with every person in my world because I want them to know that I care. It’s quite funny that the person I am now is not the person I was. I had a healthy dose of shy in my younger years  (I say younger years because I’m pushing 30). I wouldn’t say I was insecure, just unaware. I didn’t care too much to be social with people. I had childhood friends and it wasn’t like we moved a lot. It was more so I was just not interested. All I cared about was getting good grades in school, reading and my dog. I can’t exactly pinpoint it but at some point in my life, maybe my college years, the shy went away. It was like a switch in my head that said stop holding back, let it all hang out, be honest with the world. Either they’ll like you or they won’t and if they don’t, don’t let it bother you. So here I am. I’m brutally honest most of the time. I’m that person that says what everyone is thinking and then I take it and go beyond. It’s probably inappropriate half the time but I can’t help myself. It sounds like I don’t have restraint but I promise I do when it counts. I’ve also developed a healthy dose of care. Before I could care less. Now I probably care too much but I try very hard not to let it show unless I want it show. There’s that niggling thought in that back of your mind that you’re probably going to be used because a little of your naivety is showing but sometimes it’s worth the risk.

The basis behind this blog is so M and I can share our different days with the world. We come from different backgrounds, different lifestyles but we met through work. The very first book I shared with her was the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She had never read the Harry Potter series because her parents wouldn’t allow it. She was also raised to believe that if you had free time and you spent it reading you were not productive with your life. That is one of the most insane things I’ve ever heard but that’s just my opinion. She read and love the books and from there it continued. I would bring her another book in my collection to read, and another, and another. We still do this today. I relive my books through her! It gives me great joy when she shares her feelings with me about the characters and the world in which they live in. It inspires me to keep reading and finding more books to love for the express purpose of sharing them with her.

So this is what I got for day one. 817 words. I apologize if it reads all over the place but that’s how my brain operates (plus I’m the worst at endings).

We’ll see what Day 2’s inspiration brings.