For a little over a year now there's been a shift in my psyche. A shift that I'd encourage everyone to adapt into their lives as well. And that shift is that if I'm unhappy with a situation then I do everything within my power to distance myself from it.
2016 has already been a pretty less than shiny year so far, but some of the reasons why it's been shit have been my fault completely. It won't be that way any longer.
While I resist the urge to form a protective bubble around our incredible family and refuse to ever leave the house again (as of right now it's Monday and I haven't left since Friday, save for going to Sonic a few times) I am thinking about things in our lives that shape us.
Relationships. Jobs. Whether we decide to eat that fifth cookie from the package or not, therefore expanding our waist lines just a teensy bit more. All of these things make us who we are.
Have you guys ever watched "The Middle"? If not I highly recommend it.
My favorite person on "The Middle" is Sue Heck.
This is Sue Heck. Eternal optimist, feminist, hard worker, and bad ass bitch who takes shit from no one.
Sue Heck should be everyone's hero. She declared last year to be, and I quote, "the year of Sue". The year when everything would go her way, even if she had to force its hand. The year when life dealt her blow after blow and she never gave up.
Okay, Sue. Teach me. This will be the year of Scout.
First step? Turn in resignation to focus more on my family and writing. If something else comes along that requires less stress and time out of my life when I'm not actually at work? Well, I'll cross that bridge if we come to it.
Next step? State budget cuts, bullies, and priority shifting means we're considering bringing the kids back home to learn in the next school year. This is the year when I will become more organized.
This is the year when I will say, "I love you but no, I don't want to go do that thing tonight."
This is the year when someone will ask, "How are you?" and I will actually do my best to answer sincerely, honestly, and with a little less cynicism.
This is the year when I will take longer showers, watch awful TV without feeling like I need to apologize for it, buy the super fuzzy warm socks that won't break our budget because they're less than 5 dollars, and feel a little less ridiculous when I do my idiotic Yoda impression just to make my kids laugh.
Goodbye, 2015, you were a good year. Goodbye, The Hours. You were a fun project, but now it's on to the next one.
This year I'll be tackling the 10 on 10 challenge. And I use the word challenge because it's going to be a bit of an undertaking for me...between kids, writing, life, and work. But I'm gonna give it my all, dammit.
The idea is to take 10 pictures throughout one entire day, then share those pictures with all of you on the 10th of every month. The best thing about the project is that it will be shared across multiple blogs via a blog roll, so be sure to follow my link, then their link, so on and so forth. I can't wait to see everyone's days unfold.
I have the extreme pleasure of linking you to the wonderful Staci Lee Kennelly's 10 on 10 here:
I scrolled past a video on Facebook today that stated it would teach me how to master the leg break wedgie move with a hula hoop. This seems like something you all should know, that such a move exists and is out in the world for you to learn then wow your co-workers with.
My finger nails are entirely too long. After tearing apart the house last night looking for clippers I came to the conclusion that one of two things happened. 1. They fell out of my bag in Kansas City, lost forever. 2. Someone in my house used them and didn't put them back where they belong. Typing right now is torturous. I might scream. The most curious thing is that the fingernails on my left hand grow at three times the rate that the ones on my right do.
Missing just one day ONE DAY of work meant that I walked back into a library this morning that had obviously experienced the real life "Goosebumps" movie. Stine's monsters came tearing through here, causing panic and chaos, and leaving stacks of books scattered everywhere with no indication as to which ones had been checked back in or which ones needed to just be shelved, despite my signs guiding others on where to place such books. Nightmare fuel.
One of my students wrote me two narrative essays in the last week. The first was on her hate for primates, the second on her distaste for other people's loud chewing and other annoying habits. Checking into adopting her.
Daniel Smith and Sufjan Steven's cover of Daniel Johnston's "Worried Shoes" is the greatest cover ever performed. Of this I am sure and will fight anyone to the death who says otherwise.
Speaking of Sufjan, nearly the entire first draft of my stupid book was written to Carrie and Lowell played on repeat. Should it get published some day I'm hoping he'll realize it and delight me with a private performance of the entire album. In his underwear.
Cory's mom wanted to know if I wanted to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal with her. I don't. I just want to eat pizza and not move for five days please and thank you.
I sat next to the most eclectic mix of people during my recent trips on a plane. I hate flying but I love airports. I'm thinking about visiting there to just sit and watch people walk past me, trying to decipher where they're going and why. Will this get me arrested? To some people's eyes (probably TSA's) I look racially ambiguous. Maybe not be the best plan....
I took pictures of a model last weekend who later told someone he couldn't remember my name but that I was a "nice lady". Said model was higher than Willie Nelson on fucking 4/20. Also, I don't think I deserved the words "nice" and "lady" since I'm under the age of 50.
Before getting in my car this morning I took several selfies. Don't be embarrassed of anything you guys do today.
"I can't decide whether I wanna cut my bags or let them grow out."-something I said last night, and also millions of other women across the globe every damn day.
Ben Folds is a foul mouthed angel sent to us from Heaven to serenade us with his piano and make us feel sexually aroused for really no good reason at all. Also, I don't like going to shows where the crowd doesn't feel as though they can sing along at the top of their goddamned lungs. It's uncomfortable and makes it even more awkward when I'm the only person in the room screaming out song lyrics.
I saw too many women posting awful things about men on social media yesterday for National Men's Day. While I wonder if men really need their own day since they already run so much of the world I'm here to say that most of it was completely unfair. Dear Men, I love you.
Uber drivers who look like they double time as a lizard king and tell you smell nice because they're hungry should not be Uber drivers.
This has been thoughts that could've potentially Facebook status updates and/or tweets, brought to you by yours truly.
In conclusion...don't listen to everyone else, take more selfies. Post more selfies. Seeing other people's faces makes me happy, especially if you're happy when you're taking said selfies. Fuck society that says selfies are a bad thing. Take control of how you want the world to see you. Wanna Photoshop our your double chin? Do it. Beyonce does. Wanna shoot the selfies from up higher to remove ten pounds? Do it. Wanna post a picture of your shoes and the coffee your hand. Fucking do it.
When bad things happen nothing means more than having someone on your side. But this guy....
He has my back always. He never lets me down and always lifts me up.
He runs interference when bad things happen.
He makes sure I always have coffee in the house.
He's never doubted my dreams or interests.
He never once poked fun of my reading choices.
He has endured Faith and me watching countless hours of Gilmore Girls in his presence.
He keeps me safe.
He works his ass off every single night to provide for our family and didn't question me once when I gave up a good paying job because I was miserable.
He believes with his whole heart that there's nothing more important in this world than making other people happy.
While I've always prided myself in being fiercely independent I wouldn't last a second without him in my life. Today was quite possibly the worst day ever..most certainly the worst one we've had in quite some time. But he was there through it all. He took several hypothetical bullets for me and once again proved to me that I'm worth something.
I spent so many years of our relationship worrying that he would realize at one point that I wasn't worth it. That dealing with my depression, my family drama, my stubbornness, my constant doubts in every facet of life would prove to be too much. But here he is, watching my back every step of the way.
When I met him I was lost and he found me. I was so ill in so many ways and he healed me. To put it simply I was a fucking mess of a puzzle with pieces scattered everywhere and he's been spending the last 15 years putting me back together.
Relationships grow. They mature and change with the seasons of life. There's nothing better than looking someone in the eyes and thinking, "Yep, we did it all right. We're okay. It's all gonna be okay."
Tonight's cheese fest is being brought to you by....
emotionally compromised me,
leftover fried chicken,
a wish for a carton of cigarettes and bottle of whiskey,
Cory checked out a book recently that was comprised of people writing letters to themselves when they were teenagers.
My first reaction was god that sounds so depressing.
Faith will turn 11 this year. And apart from my excitement over her now being the appropriate age for receiving her Hogwarts letter I'm filled a certain amount of dread on her behalf. It's coming...the teenage years.
Has anyone ever had a truly authentic overall positive experience in relation to the ages of 13-well, adulthood? Whenever adulthood happens? Side note: I'm 34 fucking years old and still can't think of myself as an adult. I've never once made a meal plan, suck at handling money and have never owned a sensible coat.
So, I present to you my hopeful letter to teenage Vanessa.
::If I had access to any pictures of teenage Vanessa I'd insert them here::
I see you. You may feel like people don't see you, but I do. I see your confusion and your doubts and am here to reassure you that those are completely normal.
What I wish for you above all else is that you would stop being afraid. Don't be afraid to tell people no. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Don't be afraid to laugh, or dance, or be ridiculous. Don't be afraid to try new things.
And stop trying to fit everyone else's mold. You will go through a short period of loving Matchbox 20, and even though you will look back on that moment in life with great embarrassment and disappointment in 20 years I'm here to tell you that it's okay. It's also okay to wear dress pants with tennis shoes...and black with brown...and horizontal stripes because guess what...you're not fat.
You're also not stupid, ugly or doomed in any way. Don't listen to your mom's prophecies or words from her god. They'll just cripple you and lead you in the wrong path every time. Follow YOUR path.
You will find a boy. Or rather, he will find you. And he will fill every void you've ever had in your life. Listen to him, love him, and appreciate every single moment you have with him. Remember that little arguments, while healthy, are never important. You're worthy of love. Let him teach you how to love.
You will be a mother, so please quit worrying about whether or not that's in your future. It'll suck some days and be all that you'd ever thought it'd be on others. Even the days that suck will be nothing short of the greatest gift you've ever been given.
Only foster and hold onto relationships that better you as a person. The sooner you learn this the less heartache you'll experience as you grow into the person you're meant to be.
Okay. Be strong. Be awesome. Kick ass. Also, Leonardo DiCaprio won't age as well as everyone thinks he will so you can take those posters down at any time now. Relish the angst and grunge of the 90's. You'll wish you could go back to those days when you're grown and auto-tune becomes a thing.