What Is Life

Almost a month ago, I spent my last night in Omaha.

Most of my things were moved already, and all that remained were a few odds and ends, and my furniture.

The morning of the big move, I was seriously anxious. What was going to go wrong? What was going to get broken? What if this happens? What if that happens? I was also very emotional, even though I tried my hardest not to be.

My parents showed up to say goodbye; mom was a bit weepy and, of course, my dad says the things I always need to hear: I am worthy, I deserve everything I want, I can do anything I want to do, and I am loved. So, there went the tears. My brother showed up a bit later and stayed with me until just before I hit the road. He helped calm me down and let me know on his way out how well the moving truck was being packed. Phew.

The drive up here went by quickly and slowly at the same time. I got caught in five o’clock traffic just two miles from my exit and I was absolutely livid. I just wanted to be there!

That evening, and the week after, are a total blur of unpacking, buying shelving units and other fun IKEA things, building said things, hanging photos, organizing the kitchen, organizing the closets, etc. Oh, and sleeping poorly because one huge window in our bedroom was missing blinds. Waking with the sun every morning, regardless of when I went to sleep the night before, was aggravating as hell. And didn’t really restore me for a new day of work.

By the next week, we were already looking at puppies to adopt. I got Andrew caught up in the search and essentially all of our texts consisted of puppy photos all day. We knew we wanted a bigger dog and we wanted to adopt a rescue. In looking at the adoption process, I got discouraged. An application, an interview, references, a meeting, a home visit?! Jesus Christ, are we adopting a child? Applying for a government job? I had no idea it was so thorough and difficult. I understood and completely support the method behind the madness, but for those of us normal, decent human beings who aren’t going to chain the dog up outside 24/7… ugh.

We ended up applying for a dog that we totally fell in love with and then got denied because another couple was ahead of us in the process. Then we applied for a couple more and the same thing happened. At this point, I’m going, Jesus Christ, I’d almost rather pay double to just get one from a pet shop. But instead, we applied for a few more.

Finally (I say, finally; it was probably like, within a couple days), we got invited to go meet one of the puppies. He was adorable and cuddly and I think Andrew was pretty goddamn set on him. We fell asleep that night discussing ridiculous names, such as: Sterling The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers versus The University of Iowa Hawkeyes… [last name].

We communicated to the foster mom and the lady from the shelter that we indeed wanted this little pup… and then we never heard anything from the shelter.

Then, in true things-happen-for-a-reason fashion, the day I was bitching about the lack of communication and consideration, I got a call from another foster mom about another puppy we’d applied for. Apparently the people who wanted her were having trouble coming up with the adoption fee (red flag, much?), so if we want her, she’s ours.

I think this was a Wednesday. We set up a meeting for Friday, we filmed a home video (in lieu of a home visit) Thursday, we drove an hour to meet her Friday, and that night, we brought her home.

Meet Olive Adventure (and insert heart-eyes emoji):
Olive Adventure

She’s a (now) nine-week old Shepherd Mix. We aren’t sure what she’s mixed with, but we’re pretty sure that it’s a wirehair of some kind. She’s a joy and a laugh and a little shit and a snuggler and a whiner and so sociable and sweet. She’s super outgoing; she’ll go up to anyone and any dog. She wants to play with everyone. She doesn’t like being hot and will whine (kinda like me) and she has recently started fording the stream in the park across the street.
Olive in the stream

Andrew and I are now ‘daddy’ and ‘mommy’ and we’re just totally in love. (Cue: ‘awww’)

We’ve had her a week and a half now and, well, she’s exhausting. ‘Daddy’ is at work five days a week, so ‘mommy’ has to do the most potty breaks and cleaning up accidents and trying to get her to stop biting or chewing on absolutely everything. Not to mention, she’s up with Andrew when he gets up for work (somewhere in the neighborhood of 6am). So yeah, I’m getting a spa afternoon on Thursday lol

Adding to the frustration, I’m getting paranoid about my dwindling savings, so I’ve resumed the job hunt… again. I’m being fairly goddamn picky because I just am, but I want it to be within walking distance (which isn’t a huge ask, seeing as we’re downtown), part-time so I can be home with bb most of the time, and not a receptionist or food service job. Actually, what I’d really like to do is some writing from home. If only I could get myself to finish that ‘novel’ I started.

I’ve also resumed the fitness journey. Buzzfeed posted that circuit workout a couple weeks ago and I’m on the third week today. You’re supposed to up the weight each week; I started with 10lb dumbbells. Because the tiny rec in my building didn’t have 12s, I had to go straight to 15s… And to be consistent, I need to use 20s tonight. I’m a tad nervous I won’t be able to do it all, because I also have to up the reps by two. I don’t know how much physical change I’ll see in two more weeks, and I haven’t weighed myself because fuck the scale, but who knows. I’ll prob just keep going with it and eventually be curling 50s LOL

Anyway, I love Saint Paul. I keep saying it’s like Omaha and London had a baby because it really does feel like home and the city I adore. Our apartment is brilliantly located a block from the train and ten meters from the park, a few blocks from the river and a half-mile from Starbucks (win). There are a bunch of microbreweries and awesome restaurants within walking distance and anything else is on the trainline. I probably came up here with 6100 miles on my car, and I noticed the odometer read 6171 today. So, about seventy miles in almost a month? Not fucking bad.

The only driving I do now is to the chiropractor, which is still only about seven miles away. It’s a different technique than I was getting in Omaha, but apparently, this is the next step in my treatment that makes the most sense. Here’s to hoping I get back to 100% after a couple months of this. I got really emotional when I had my consultation with the new bonebreak. It just dredges up all of the accident memories and memories of all the pain. It’s almost been a year and I’m still dealing with everything. Thank God for Andrew, seriously. What a loving, caring, thoughtful support system I have. I’m embarrassingly lucky to have him. And my family, holy shit.

Tell me, what is my life without your love? Tell me, who am I without you by my side?

When You Walk Through My Door, You’ll Be Home

When I moved into this apartment, I planned on being here for quite a while. I spent a lot of time applying for over 300 jobs outside of the Midwest and finally accepted the fact that I just wasn’t going anywhere at the moment. Hence, starting Far From Everything Films, LLC with Jennifer, and basing it out of Nebraska.

When I had spent two and half years being single, I planned on being that way for quite a while. I mean, I didn’t have a job-job, I don’t like bar-hopping, I’m anti-social; where the hell was I going to meet somebody? Hence, downloading Tinder.

When I started talking to Andrew, I really just knew that was it.

When he told me he may be transferred to Minnesota, I knew I wanted to go with him.

When he officially got the job and asked me if I wanted to move when my lease was up, I said, ‘yes.’

Today, we officially signed the lease. So, by the end of May, I will have become a Minnesota resident. 🙂

I’m a Bear

I just realized, with great glee, that I’ve essentially been hibernating for the past six months. If only I’d been feeding off of my body’s fat stores instead of continuously (and overly) replenishing them.

It’s getting to be about that time where I regret being a slug, but then, there’s really no point in that. It’s all I’ve wanted to do since getting my first job ten years ago.

I do have quite the motivation to lose about eight pounds this month, however: ComiCon in Sydney, Australia. I’ll be cosplaying a Midwesterner.

What I’m really excited about, though, is seeing my Aussie twins. It’s funny – I think it was even before this con came up, I was thinking about saying goodbye to the both of them at Paddington Station and just wishing the tube train was empty so I could cry afterward with minimal-to-no stares. Interesting how quickly and naturally we became friends – both in a country that was not our own, both there for different reasons, but both there for essentially the same duration. No coincidence that we met on my first night at the same ‘event.’

Actually, that’s what I’d like to tell Mr Cumberbatch, if ever the opportunity arises: Thank you for allowing complete strangers and mostly complete amateurs to be involved in a project that meant so much to you. If you hadn’t, I never would have met Jen, which means I never would have met Janine, which means I never would have met Geny or Shannon or any of the other gals. My London trip as a whole would have been a totally different experience and not one I’d care to think about, to be honest.

*shudder* Ugh. Yeah. Wow, I never even dared to go there until just now. What would it have been like had I not done Little Favour that first night. Or maybe I did, but wasn’t in the wrong right area, causing Jen to ask me, “are you here for Little Favour?” There’s just so much I never would have done or wouldn’t have gotten to do. I didn’t plan on knowing anyone over there, but as per, my plan is not the one in play.

So, I am ready to begin the waking process. Something Jen said, while we were discussing my potential trip across the Pacific, really stuck with me: something like, ‘I think it’ll cheer you up more than you know.’ Until she said that, I didn’t think I needed cheering up. I didn’t really think I was down. I knew I was apprehensive about air travel, I was discouraged about not finding a job, I found a great house and couldn’t buy it because I don’t have a job, I’m sick of my neighbors, blah blah blah blah. But, when she said that to me, it all seemed to click.

Traveling to Oz will help me get over my fear of being turned away at the border, unless I’m turned away at the border, it’ll get me out of Nebraska for a bit, which means it’ll get my mind out of Nebraska for a bit, I’ll get to see Jen and Janine, we’ll get to do some Sherlock stuff, I’ll see the beach, and hello, I’ll see a country I’ve never seen but one I’ve always wanted to visit.

She’s right. It will cheer me up more than I know. It’ll cheer me up even though I didn’t know I needed cheering up. I’ve been in my cozy, little cave for six months and it’s time for some fresh air.

I Got Into Oxford!

s. I got into Oxfords. I bought about four pair.

I also bought a pair of Hunter rain boots. I think my feet are ready for London.

I have ten days of work left in my twenty-five days before I go. 

People keep asking me what I’m going to do while I’m in London. The question is always posed as, “what are you going to do there?” Like, it’s unprecedented that I would go to a foreign country or that once I get there, I’ll have nothing to do. I always want to ask, what does one do while in a different place/foreign country? In fact, I have rebutted with that a couple times and the answer is the same that I give anyway: “sight-see.” Well, no shit.

The other question I’m frankly getting a bit tired of answering is “what are you going to do when you get back?” Bitch, please, I don’t even know where I’m taking my mom out for Mother’s Day; do you think I know what I’ll be doing four months from now? Of course the plan is to come back and work at Omaha Title. But then, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. So who’s to say I don’t meet someone who could use me at their London company? or I run into someone from the BBC who just has to have me? or I meet the love of my life? I mean, it sounds silly, all of it, but it could happen. So what does it matter what my plan is for when I come back? I could end up not coming back.

Plus, you’re making me think about my return to the US and I haven’t even left yet, give me a break.

Twenty-five days. Well, hell, not even twenty-five til I leave Omaha. Twenty-one days til I fly to Boston. Twenty-one days… oh my God.

Oh my God! That’s three weeks!

Oh my God. That’s three weeks.

It’s setting in, bit by bit, as you can clearly see. 

I’ve been in such a great mood this month. March and April were either shitty, stressful, or otherwise. May has just been a really decent month so far. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve worked out six out of the past ten days, or that I’ve been slowly giving up responsibilities to the guy taking my place, or the obvious – that my trip is rapidly approaching. There have actually been days where I’m in such a stupid happy mood that I just smile.

Gag me, right?

The trip isn’t real yet. I think I’ll organize some stuff this weekend. I don’t know, I just want to get started.

It might not be real until my family flies back to Omaha and leaves me in Boston for a day until my flight to London. It might not even be real until I land at Heathrow and get through customs. 

What will I do that first day? There’s a good question I haven’t yet been asked. I get in at some stupid hour like 720am. It’ll take a while to get through customs and then get through London via taxi. Maybe to the flat by 10? I’ll have all day. What will I do?

Whatever the fuck I want.

 

If Not Now, When?

It’s May 1st. Twenty-three days of work left; and a month from today, I’ll be on a plane to Boston with my folks and brother. 

It’s a bit staggering, I’ll admit.

I’ve done my dentist appointment (turns out I need new retainers, so I’ll need to get those before I go), and my doctor’s appointment. I am sure I’m up on my vaccinations. I have had a facial and set a hair appointment for the last week of May… 

I’ll sign a new lease this month, I’ll need to make a duplicate key for my folks, I’ll have to forward mail to mom. 

I’ll have a shit ton of cleaning to do in my apartment. 

Anyway, I was driving home from work today when “If Not Now, When?” by Incubus came on my iPod. I had listened to the lyrics before, but today they rang a little differently to me.

I have waited
Dined on ashes
Swung from chandeliers and climbed Everest
And none of it’s got me close to this

I’ve waited all my life
If not now, when will I?

We’ve been good
Even a blast, but
Don’t you feel like something’s missing here?
Don’t you dare

I’ve waited all my life
If not now, when will I?
Stand up and face the bright light
Don’t hide your eyes
It’s time

No umbrellas
No sunglasses
Hailing Hallelujah everyday

I’ve waited all my life
If not now, when will I?
Stand up and face the bright light
Don’t hide your eyes
It’s time

Incubus (2012). If Not Now, When?

 

I’m single, so I’m not saying it means anything toward anyone. More toward Omaha. I love Omaha. If anyone has seen “Shit People From Omaha Say” on YouTube, that’s totally me: “I’ll definitely want to raise my family in Omaha.” It’s true. However, I’ve waited all my life to do something like this – I thought I might move to New York and go one of two ways, Friends or Sex and the City. Then I fell in love with London. 

You can’t help who you fall in love with. Or in this case, where. I’m just so convinced that this is where everything is going to happen for me. 

A month. Good God. 

 

I’m feeling… really great. Content. Work is leveling out, getting less stressful, I’ve got the end in sight; I’m working out and trying to eat a bit better (get in shape for all that walking I’ll be doing in London, and all of that fashion I’ll be around); I’ve spoken to the flat owner again and it just sounds more and more perfect for me; I can see myself going to shows and concerts, meeting people, relaxing in the pubs, seeing everything I want to see; I am doing better in my master’s program; everything is falling into place. 

I’m ready.

Sentiment

So a week ago, I ordered some lockets from a friend of mine at work – she is selling Living Lockets through Origami Owl (ie: best gifts ever). I started looking at one for myself and ended up buying about eight others for friends and family. They’re incredibly cool.

Living Locket

Music, film, travel, writing, coffee/tea, faith, and some accent stones.

This morning, I got to pick them up – I’m so excited to dole them out. I just thought that since I’ll be leaving for three months and I’ll be missing birthdays…

Then I get to work and the VP/my boss comes into my office all cheerfully and says, “Happy Employee Appreciation Day!” and hands me this envelope. I say thanks and he walks away. In the envelope is a little note about how even the small things we do get noticed and help us work as a cohesive unit, etc. It also includes a crisp $50 bill. I got up and followed him to the next office and said thank you through what were threatening to be tears, he gave me a hug.

My days are numbered here. They could have easily given me less or nothing and I never would have thought twice about it. They didn’t need to do that, at all.

As much as I look forward to having three months off work, and boy, do I ever, things keep happening here that make me realize how much I’ll miss this place while I’m gone. I’m getting these great business deals and meeting such wonderful people, having such a great time bullshitting with everyone and feeling amazing when I know I did a really good job on something; then getting little things like this that just aren’t little at all.

A month. That’s all I’ve got left.

Twenty-nine days until my last day of work: twenty-two days of work in that time.

Unbelievable.

Pahk the Cah

Moving right along now, this trip is.

This morning I booked the flights for my folks and brother, to and from Boston, as well as their hotel room; and I booked my flight to Boston, as well as my hotel room (which will also serve as my mom’s room since my folks are divorced. Could be awkward otherwise).

The host of my gorgeous flat called me and surprised me with an equally gorgeous Australian accent.

He sounds very nice, literally and personality-wise. He decorated the place himself, he and, who I think is, his wife will be renting another flat not far from this one. He said the area is great, super close to a lot of things, there’s a great little farmer’s market on the corner on the weekends, there aren’t any weird or bad neighbors. I like that he has been contacting me via email and now by phone since booking yesterday. He wanted to speak to me and get a feel for me, I know, and he also wanted to make sure I definitely planned on going through with the booking since it is quite a long time/a large amount of money. I totally understand his concerns – I would be the same way. I’d probably a bit over-communicative with the prospective renter just because I’d be so damn paranoid. We are complete strangers and I’ll be staying in his personal space. I’m sure he’ll be cataloguing every item in that place, just like I would, so that he’ll know right away if something is missing. I already appreciate the similarities – he’s probably a first-born. I’m feeling even better about this. “Cheers, take care, okay.”

I’m always afraid my American accent is going to sound so garish in comparison. Anyone else feel that way?

 

So yes, I’ll have quite the busy May and first week of June. I need to make a check-list: doctor appointment, dentist appointment, other important appointments, make sure my insurance stays when I take my leave from work, exchange some money, pay off store cards, pay off credit card and raise credit limit, research summer climate so I know what/what not to pack, get bigger suitcases, get a good makeup/jewelry travel case, pause Dish Network, get a laptop, maybe a new camera, potentially update phone and definitely make sure the bitch will work overseas, to name a few things.

Suddenly, it’s unreal to me that my plan is completely set in motion. I have a flight from Omaha to Boston, I have a flight from Boston to London, and I have a flat in London in which I’ll stay for three months. I’m only able to do any of it because of the incredible wisdom and forethought of my grandparents. Blessed is an understatement.

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