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. 🙂

Shit from Shineola

Jesus, I hate packing.

I swear I am incapable of packing lightly. I’ve filled up three suitcases and have yet to pack my bras and shoes. I believe those are necessary items.

I keep thinking, “three months is a long time!” and also, less helpfully, “three months isn’t that long.” These conflicting ideas are obviously causing a problem.

I will have access to laundry, yes; which means I don’t have to pack as much since I’ll be able to clean what I dirty. That being said… I hate laundry, and I want as many options as possible. 

I don’t want to HAVE to buy a bunch of stuff when I get there. That’s why I’m bringing as much as I can. I don’t want to get there and be like, crap, I don’t have a black cami to go under this blouse, or something.

I probably don’t need as many pants as I’ve packed… This is so obnoxious.

I also have this fear of not being able to corral all of my bags at Heathrow. Of course, I’d get a trolley, but it’ll sure be a pain in the ass. I hope Heathrow isn’t packed at 730am on a Wednesday…

It’s too bad that Boston is already being overshadowed. I’ve never been there, nor has the rest of my family, and yet I can’t really care. Luckily, my professor moved the due dates of our final assignments: the online discussion post is due Saturday (so I can do it on the way to Boston, really), and the final paper is due Tuesday (my folks will have left and I won’t have much else to do). What I should do is get everything done tomorrow/Friday before I go so I don’t have to worry about it. 

Sigh. We’ll see.

I’m already so focused on my first night in London that all of these preceding events are stressing me out. 

Dial it back.

Task at hand.

Reassess packing situation.

The Beginning of My Three-Month Weekend

One week. That’s all I’ve got. A week from today, I’ll be flying to Boston.

I guess that means I’ve got to start getting my shit together. 

Had my last day of work yesterday. It was a stressful day up until about 230 and then it calmed down enough for me to feel the gravity of what I was doing. I can’t adequately describe the cognitive dissonance I’m feeling walking away from such a wonderful place. 

Then, I can’t lie, I think about not working for three months. Good cure for that cognitive dissonance.

Today, I’ve got to do laundry. Probably start packing.

I’ve got my passport and my Oyster card. I need to exchange money, make sure one or both of my parents have the ability to deposit money into my bank account, or whatever; I need to get a laptop case. You know, probably just way more shit than I can even think about right now. 

I’ll just stick to laundry.

Every time I try to write in this damn thing lately, my mind goes foggy. I’ve been entirely preoccupied as of late.

And I guess my dad is on his way with my chaise and bookshelf from my office, as well as the suitcase I’m going to borrow from him. 

Laundry it is.

 

Already/Only Tuesday

The week is going quickly/slowly.

Three days of work left… before the week of preparation begins.

This weekend, I will be cleaning my apartment and my car, and then hopefully starting to pack at least one of my suitcases. And my jewelry case. And my makeup case. I started to think about all of the little things that I know I will forget or overlook: nail polish, for one. It’s a bit like packing for college.

I think I might leave as many toiletries as I can and then just buy them once I get there. It will save me precious cargo weight as well as room. Plus, there is a Tesco right down the way and then a Sainsbury’s down the other way.

Will I bring movies with me? Books? I’ll need some textbooks. I should almost have those shipped now. I wonder how long that takes. I need a traveling case for my MacBook. I need to check my blowdryer and flat-iron to see what voltage they use. I need some adapters. Shit.

I’m so glad I made sure to give myself a week of no work before I go. I’m sure it still won’t feel like enough time, but it will at least give me more peace of mind than had I only given myself a couple days to throw everything together. I am the epitome of a procrastinator, but that was not going to happen with an adventure like this.

And what an adventure it will be.

It’s funny because I have never had a desire to get to know my neighbors in my dorm or the two diffrent apartments I’ve lived in, and yet I’m incredibly excited to meet the people on my street in London. I want to be one of those people who leave the stoop and by the time I get to the corner, I’ve been greeted by most people outside. I’m going to be talking to people everywhere I go. I do that here, but it’s something about London that just makes me want to meet everyone.

At the very least, this is going to be an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. It can also go many other ways – but I won’t get into my hopes and dreams right now.

 

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering: Eric Clapton recorded “After Midnight” in 1970 and then again in 1988 for a beer commercial.

I got through to the DJ to answer the question and said “Layla”… I’ve never been so wrong.

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.

 

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