Letting Go of the Hunt

It’s not for the faint of heart.
The fact that we all fight so hard to find This Thing Called “Love”
while still believing it’s a hoax,
or a figment of the imagination.
It’s just a better thought for me
to give up on the hunt.
Letting go of the idea that long ago betrayed while consuming me.
This game of love we partake in
has no mercy.
It’s a brutal Battle Ground
And it’s not for the faint of heart.
-natal galvan

068-2   Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Muse: Angie M. Location: Venice Beach, CA

Solo Baring

When you’re single, life can be a total adventure. Whether you’re newly single or have been alone for quite some time now, the fact of the matter is, you’re far more open to crazy things happening to you than those locked down by love. I mean, think about it. When you’re single you just simply tend to invite more excitement into your life due to the fact that… Well.. you’re single. Maybe you’re trying to make more friends or maybe you’re really looking to meet that special person… again. Either way, when situations arise, you’re all over it because the possibilities of something coming out of it are endless. When you’re there’s no one you have to take into consideration. No one you have to ask “permission”. As a single, you pretty much make your decision right then and there and more often than not, a single person will be down for anything. Hell, what better way to meet people than to dive head first into an adventure, no?

Sometimes it’s our friends that allow opportunity for adventure. Or maybe it’s our family and fellow co-workers who provide us with a good situation to mix and mingle. I find that when I look at all the adventures I have found myself in in the past, the motivating factor was usually boredom. Boredom can be a great motivator for many things. For singles, boredom could even be borderline dangerous.

Just in the last few weeks have I started going out and about solo. Don’t get me wrong. I was always Ok with going to the mall, dinner, or a movie by myself. I like me and I don’t mind having to be my own company. What I was never used to do was going out to the bar and having a few cocktails by myself. I not only felt like it heightened the probability of something bad happening to me but I felt that it would just feel weird. Guys? They do it all the time but you never really see ladies out at the bar by themselves. It’s just weird. What lead to my change of heart? Boredom with a splash of loneliness. After much contemplation I made my move. Armed with a notebook, pen, cell phone (obviously), earphones, a book, and my dog I was ready to plunge into the world of what I like to call “solo baring.” I had a backpack just full of crap all of it meant to keep me busy. Now looking back on it, I must have looked ridiculous during those first couple outings. To me I felt like I was carrying a gigantic  hiker backpack so it would have been interesting to see me through the eyes of others. I can only imagine what they could have been thinking. “Did she bring her entire house with her?” Or “What doesn’t she have in that backpack?” But secretly, that is something I have always battled with, caring about what other people could be thinking.

I’ve gone out now a few times by myself. I wouldn’t call me an expert or anything but I’m no longer bringing my entire bedroom with me when I go out. At the most I listen to my music and I mean I always have my notebook with me. Inspiration lingers everywhere and the last thing I want to do is miss out on the opportunity to write it down. The fact that I usually have my dog with me has been amazing. My little buddy gets plenty of attention and because of her I have actually began to meet people. There’s a saying out there, “In order to see change, change must happen.” and it couldn’t be more true. It took a visit from my sister and a dear friend of mine to make me realize the error of my ways. There was a point where I was ready to leave this town and quick (if only legal troubles weren’t lingering over my head) even though this was my dream. I have always said that one day I would live on the beach. I would work as little as possible and write like it was nobody’s business. Well, my dream is being lived out. I live on the beach. I work enough to pay for living expenses and have a little extra for whatever I want to do with it and writing has again been my main priority. So why was I ready to ditch this place?? In my mind, I felt like what good was living the dream if you had no one to share it with? Be it with a boyfriend, lover, friends, anyone, to experience life and to share it with those around you is important for happiness. In my opinion it heightens the experience. Here I was living the dream but it was just my dog and I building these memories. I wanted more.

In listening to the conversation of my visitors I really became aware of how my loneliness and unsatisfaction was self created. I wasn’t doing my part in truly trying to go out and meet people. Now thinking back I think it was mainly because I just wasn’t really ready to put myself out there and connect with people again. Within the last year I had been burned by many I believed would be in my life forever. I had been stopping myself from connecting with anyone else. Maybe I just wasn’t ready to connect until now.

Since I began going out, I have gotten myself into adventures that have cost me in one way or another. For one thing I have been spending a little more money. Do you know how hard it is for me to say no to having another drink? It’s pretty hard. Usually it’s friends that’ll have to be like “Noooo you don’t want another one…” When you’re out solo baring you have no one keeping that close eye on you. I never want to go home. I always want to stay for another one. It’s not hard for a server/bartender to “talk” me into getting another drink. But it’s not just the cost of money, but the cost of items that has left me in awe. In the last two weeks I have lost, a pair of sneakers, a pair of jeans, a sock, two pairs of earrings, an entire box of untouched chicken strips, a half order of wings, my cell phone, and 3 bobby pins. How did I lose all this stuff?? Well, being drunk was definitely a key participant in my moment of absent mindedness. When you’re out alone and a bit tipsy, you have no one to remind you to grab things off the table like that to-go box of food with your cell phone sitting right on top of it. You have no one reminding you to grab your jeans and shoes right after that moment of craziness that hit you right before you decided to go for a quick dip in the sea under the night sky. Let me add, that all of these things… are dangerous. A female, out and about at night, tipsy, and alone? I know I have exposed myself to quite a bit of danger. Not smart. But by doing so, life has gotten a wee bit more exciting. What is it that people say? “Take a walk on the wild side?” This island has proven just that and instead of feeling upset that I have lost so many of my “things”, I feel happy because what I’ve gained is worth so much more. I’ve met people, some of them I can tell will be good friends, at least for a little while, and wasn’t that the entire goal?? Making friends? I’ve also witnessed the most beautiful sunsets and have even motivated myself to rise early enough to catch the sunrise routinely now. I enjoy breathing in the salty sea air and to feel the sand between my toes is a daily must now.

Life is good. I no longer feel the urgent need to move away. I’ve got a little more exploring to do. I’ve got a few more adventures that I want to get into. For now, I’m just excited to be living out this dream of mine while also in the process of meeting new folks and creating new dreams. The life of a single can be a little tricky but once you find that motivation and a plan that works for you… everything else just simply falls right into place.

So from one single to another, I say to you.. put yourself out there, no matter how “weird” you may think it’ll feel. Take that walk on the wild side one baby step at a time.

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: Prawn Broker, Fort Myers, FL

 

A Blessing in Your Absence

Two nights ago I decided against staying home. Recently, my social life has been somewhat non-existent and for good reason. Ever since getting myself into some legal trouble a few months ago, I’ve been trying to lay low, more so because I legally have to than out of me wanting to. I broke the rules that were imposed on me due to sheer boredom. I mean you cannot expect a 29 year old, single, female to be OK with just sitting at home every single night for the next 10 months.  What you can expect is for her to go stir crazy.

I get home from running errands and after much debating on whether or not to stay home, I decided that I could at least go out and have me a beer along with some dinner. Living out on the beach I am blessed to have everything at arms reach. I don’t have to drive ANYWHERE so I walk out my apartment, earphones in, and head to one of my favorite places, The Salty Crab. They’ve got a wonderful happy hour from 11-7 everyday, live music, and pretty good food compared to many of the other places you find in this tourist trap of a town. Four songs and a mile later I make it to my destination. I order my beer right away, Summer Shandy which they have on draft, one of my favorites, and within a few mins of getting my beer I place an order for boneless chicken wings dressed in a sesame ginger sauce.

The band that is playing is on break so I pop my headphones in. A few songs later I’m finished my beer, still no wings in sight. I order myself a second beer and within mins one of my favorite servers that works there, J, shows up at the bar. He’s off and wondered in to have a drink. He sits right down next to me and BAM just like that I have a drinking buddy, uh ohh. Well… might as well make the most of this right? Before you know it, we’re each finished with our round of beers and order a next round. This time J decides to add a shot into the mix, “Wanna do a shot with me Nattie?” Although I am not a big shot taker, I decide to go along with the flow. This is the first time J and I have a drink together so why not!? Beers ordered, shots poured, and still no wings in sight, this night is turning out to be something I was totally not expecting, but those kind of nights are usually the most fun. So I don’t fight it.

It was about 20 mins after J got there that another bartender from a few bars down also shows up for a drink. It’s a small town, we all know each other, so instead of drinking alone, he too joins us. Our group is getting bigger. At this point I had forgotten that I had even ordered food. It should not have taken as long as it did. To fry up some chicken and toss it sauce, it shouldn’t take more than a few mins but it took way longer than that. By the time my food came out, I was feeling my buzz and didn’t want to kill it, so I asked for it to be made to-go. Let’s keep this party going shall we?

Having my food made to-go was my second big mistake of the night, the first being me accepting that shot. On this particular day, I hadn’t eaten much. I am one of those drinkers that if I decide to drink on an empty stomach, I will be paying for it the next day. With the amount to drink I had had up to this point, I should have torn those chicken strips up. But I didn’t. Instead, I felt guilty for eating in front of people who hadn’t ordered anything and not wanting to be rude, decided I’d eat my food later that night after I got home.

As the night went on, so did the drinking. We took our mini party elsewhere. We headed to a bar that was a bit cheaper and that stayed open a little later. Another round of beers and shots materialized but by this point the shots didn’t even phase me. Or so I thought.

That night for me are now moments lived through snapshots. I remember breaking the seal and having to go to the bathroom often. I vaguely remember cashing out. I don’t remember my walk home, or even getting home. Next thing  knew, I woke up in my room, still fully clothed from the night before. Every light in my apartment was on, making it seem like it was mid-day vs. 8am, the time it truly was. I was disoriented, I’ll even go as far as saying that I was still drunk. I reached for my phone, which I normally keep on my nightstand, but it wasn’t there. Annoyed at the fact that I would have to actually get up and go looking for my phone, I laid my head back down, and within a fews mins I was fast asleep. When I woke up again, I was ready to go looking for my phone. I rummaged through my purse and nothing. I went into the kitchen and nothing. I looked in the bathroom, again, nothing. Another thing I had noticed was that my to-go chicken strips were nowhere to be found. And then that’s when it hit me…… I had left my phone sitting right on top of my to-go box at the bar. I must have left it there when I cashed my bill out the night before. I must have totally forgotten to grab it before leaving. I immediately washed my face, brushed my teeth, and headed back to the bar, in search of my phone.

“Sorry ma’m. I don’t see it here. If you want you can come back later and talk to the girl that was working last night but I can assure you if she had found it, it would be back here.” said the guy that was bar tending now. I know he believed that. He seemed sincere. But I knew better. In today’s world, if someone finds a smart phone, you’re lucky if you get it back. Especially at the bar I was at. The clientele here weren’t the most trusting of folks. I left the bar defeated. I knew my phone was a goner. Funny thing is, I wasn’t as bummed about it as I thought I would be. The only thing that upset me was that I had recently taken pictures from my sister’s visit with that phone. In all honesty, all of the pictures on my phone I cherished. That was definitely the hardest part of coming to grips with having to get another one.

Long story short, I went to Verizon and filed a claim. I paid my deductible and walked out knowing that another phone was on the way and that I would be receiving it the next day (now today). It has now been a full 24hrs since I last had my phone and let me just say that I thought this was going to be much harder than what it actually has been.

I feel refreshed. I feel liberated. I feel like I was stuck in this weird relationship with my phone and now there are no chains attached. Now, I’m not one to constantly be on my phone. I hear it from my friends all the time of how it always takes me so long to reply to a text or how I never answer a phone call. I always took a little pride in that just for the simple fact that for me that meant that I was living more in the moment than living through my phone like so many others. With that said, I have come to realize how dependent I have become on that little piece of technology. Thank the Universe that this happened on a day off of work because otherwise I would have had to run out and get me an alarm clock to get up for work in the morning. But even for non-important things, I found myself reaching for my phone every 15mins. Whether it was to text my sister, or to take a video of my dog doing something funny, or to record something for Snapchat, I literally would physically go to grab for my phone without even thinking. First thing I did this morning, I reached for my phone before even fully getting my head off the pillow to check to see the time. With each time that I came to the realization of what I was doing, a second of disgust would wash over me for the fact that I couldn’t believe how conditioned even I had been. I couldn’t imagine this happening to someone who was a full cell phone addict. How could they survive? I mean there are times that I would reach for my phone and once I realized I didn’t have it, I would almost feel a moment of relief. I literally had no obligations to my phone and that was a great feeling. Funny how something so tiny like a cell phone can thoughtlessly impose on your life.

I sit here knowing that in a few hours I will have a phone again. I do look forward to having limitless contact with the ones I love but I don’t care to have to set it up like I once did. I don’t look forward to having to upload apps and customize my settings. Right now that seems like a lot of energy being placed into something that shouldn’t have that much importance but either way it will get done. Things for me have changed though. If people thought I was detached from my phone before, I can’t imagine what they’ll think now. I love this freedom. Losing my phone was not losing my life but instead it gave it back. I had almost forgotten what life was like before cell phones and with this incident, it has brought those fond memories back. The times of not having to see how many likes you got on a particular post, or checking to see if someone read your message and if so did they respond? The times of actually having to play a radio to listen to music or look at an actual clock to see the time. The moments of life that you have to fully live and absorb because now there is no way of capturing it unless you have a real camera handy. The conversations one must have with the company you’re with due to having no distractions….

I have always related to what’s classic. I have always admired “back in the day” when things were a bit more personal. For instance, I still read real books. I have always wanted a type writer (no real writer should be without one) and I still go out and buy Cd’s. I write letters to friends and tend to always want to play some sort of board game when company is over as opposed to just turning on a Tv. Cell phones have taken so much away from humanity and people don’t even realize. Just take a look at our socializing skills alone and we see how much cell phones have robbed us from even being able to interact with those around us.

Initially I was going to blame myself and the alcohol for aiding in the loss of my phone and all of its contents. But instead of assigning blame, I’ll simply show a bit of gratitude. For it is always a good thing when life hands you an eye opening moment, when you’re given a chance to really appreciate, the way life truly is.

Finding in the Land of Lost

When I first moved away from home, I didn’t just choose to move out of town, or even just a state away. No. I moved 1,300 miles away from everything and anyone I had ever known. Back then I was really tired of the same old life I had lived for 20 years. I was ready to start fresh and I did. I moved from Jersey to Florida and built myself quite an amazing little life. In between then and now I did managed to slip away to California for exactly a year in search of something I still seem to be trying to find. After a major fail I headed back to my home town and not too long after that did I land right back here. Today I live on the beach. It’s a dream I always wanted and it’s one that I accidentally (not accidentally because I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason) made real.

A few weeks ago I had a bit of a melt down. I literally woke up one day and was sick of living here. It was as if my soul was trying to find “it” again, whatever that was. I woke up feeling as though I was tired of this area and its lack of things to do as well as its age group. With its 45 and up year old crowds bombarding every square inch of this town, most of them a shade of leathery red, with pickled organs, and too much time on their hands. Any time I had tried to go out to meet people my age I was sadly disappointed. I was having people come out and visit me in a couple weeks and thank god for that, but the let downs had been so often here that I had sworn after my guests left, I would be done with the going out and trying to mingle. I would focus on saving my money and by next year head the hell out. Where to? My plan hadn’t gone that far but I had a few ideas in mind. Pennsylvania? Texas? Possibly back to California?

In the week before everyone was to arrive, I of course, ran around this town buying everything I could to prepare. I bought things that were needed, food, water, an inflatable mattress…. and I got things that maybe we’d just want, a deck of cards, Simon, beach toys. The entire time I was out and about I was consumed with thoughts about why this place didn’t suit me. I had tons of reasons to want to leave and all my mind kept doing was juggling each one of those reasons around in my mind over and over again. I had been racking my brain with the millions of possibilities and the weighing of all of my options that the night before my guests got here, I made sure to make it a point to not think about any of that while they were here.

Sam arrived on a Thursday and my sister the very next day. The entire time of their stay I had such an amazing time, almost as if I were the one on vacation. I had gotten to see more of my town while they were here than I had done the entire three months of me living here. Not a day of their visit went by that it wasn’t mentioned how lucky I was to have been able to find this place and I mean, it was perfect.  I had everything I needed within the couple miles radius of where I lived. Bars, restaurants, grocery stores, the library, the bank, everything was down the road from me. Even the beach lay a few steps away from my front door. Each day of their stay had been a beautiful day full of cloudless skies and warm calm waters, drinking nights followed by blissful mornings and then blessed beach days. Even though I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to be thinking about why I didn’t want to live here anymore, I couldn’t help it because now instead of thinking why I shouldn’t stay here.. I began to think why I should stay here.

Sometimes it takes an outsider’s perspective to really make you realize something that should be otherwise blatantly obvious. Where I live, it’s pretty much paradise. I live on a nice little island not too far from town. The sun shines here 95% of the time. This is an area where you don’t need to worry much about your neighbors, a town where everyone greets each other without a second guess. I am fortunate enough to have a job where I can work just a couple days a week and afford to pay my bills and still have a little cash left over to spend on some fun or maybe just save. I am blessed with having enough free time at the moment that I can work on the things I love to do instead of constantly having to dedicate time to the things I have to do. That in itself is a big deal. Why had I woken up one day fed up and ready to move from this place? I had been given a great opportunity, a way of life so many others would die to live, why want to give that all up? I found my answer the moment I said bye to my friend and my sister at the airport today.

After having almost an entire week of company, surrounded by people who knew and loved me, I came to realize what it really meant when people say, “Home is where your heart is.” I have everything here except one of the most important key elements to a happy life. What I am missing are my loved ones. Whether it be family or friends, everyone needs to be surrounded by loved ones. It’s truly what makes the difference in life. You can have almost everything in the world, but if you don’t have who to share any of that with, what good is it? Yet, you may have hardly a thing, but if you’re surrounded by loved ones, you’re truly a rich individual. I had everything I had always wished for, except that right now I didn’t have a close circle of loved ones to share any of this with. Since moving here I’ve had no one to really go out and make memories with. These last few days allowed me to see why it was I had been so fed up. It was because I was bored of making memories alone.

With the countless times I was told how lucky I was to be living where I am, it made me see that I need to not only count my blessings and show the universe how grateful I am for all that it has conspired to give to me, but I need to also learn to be patient for all the things that I want that are still on their way. Yes, at the moment I may not have a circle of friends here, nor do I have a significant other to distract me from what it is I’m missing…but I’ve only been here (this time around) for only about 2 years, I need to give it time for it won’t be like this forever. Nothing in life is permanent and that includes life stages. Just as that can be a really ominous thought, it can also be a very freeing and comforting thought as well. I guess what I’m saying is, in time, I will make friends. I will meet people whom I’ll come to love dearly and I can then make this feel more like my home. In time I will be able to call, if not this place, then someplace, home. Until then, I must not look at the negatives, the draw backs, the ‘what is lacking’ of the current state, but instead appreciate all the wonderful things that has already been given, the beauty of life that is all around you.  It is easy to get lost in the negatives of life. It’s easy to let your mind get carried away in everything that you may not be happy with. What isn’t easy is taking control of your state of mind and embracing the happiness that is already staring at you dead in the eyes. Happiness is a state of mind and if you can take control of your thoughts, you can take control of your happiness. Once I started to realize that it wasn’t so much the environment I was unhappy with and that it was more the lack of bonding with others, that I began to think about life here on the island just a little differently.

Will I live here forever? Who knows! If an opportunity came knocking, of course I’m taking it, but am I looking to move away tomorrow? No. What I do know is that in order to see change, change must happen. So it seems I’ve got a a little bit of changing in my routine to do, that’s if I want to start to really try to socialize in hopes of making friends. For now though, I’m taking time to stop and actually smell the flowers along the way. I’m enjoying the gifts that life has all around me for me to enjoy. Slowly I feel like I’m beginning to  find “it”, whatever that is, in this land I for now call Lost.

10431899_251373765051234_1481222331_n Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

Roaring 20’s

As I slowly close out my twenties, I can’t help but get thoughtful. I analyze the last ten years of my life and think about two things, one, how quick it all went, and two, what I’ve learned in the last decade.

I still remember the day I turned 21. I had recently moved to FL that year and barely had any friends. I spent my day working and then afterwards went out for a few drinks with my middle aged co-workers (who at this point were like family away from home) and my boyfriend at the time who, unbeknownst to me, was getting ready to leave me in less than three months. My birthday wasn’t anything crazy. Now looking back on it I feel like it was a perfect representation of how my twenties would go. I had fun, but was it a roaring good time? Neh. I’ve always heard amazing stories of kids turning 21 and mine was nowhere near as exciting. At the time, I was a little bummed out about it. I had no crazy stories to tell, nothing to truly brag about. Now looking back on it I think to myself, “You moved to a completely different state, alone, and succeeded that year. Not many people do that. You did.” But in a young mind that doesn’t count. What counts is the amount of shenanigans one can get into and live through in order to get to tell the story later. Well, at least I’d always have my 25th birthday! Right?…

My early twenties was FULL of mature bad decision making. Up until you hit your twenties, you are young and immature. You know nothing about life and therefore you constantly make bad choices, not truly knowing that you are because foresight is almost non-existent. Yet while I was growing up, I had always been told how mature I was for my age, ever since I was a little rugrat. I had to grow up quite quick once my parents divorced and so that left me with hardly a fun childhood. I was like a mini parent, always making sure to help my mom out with my little sister, even on the days I really didn’t want to. So here I am now, a true young adult, living in a state far far away from home. I was over the top responsible when it came to working, paying bills, saving money, going to school, ect. and although at the time I thought I was making great choices (because mature people always make good choices…) I was also making really really stupid ones. By the time I was 23 I had made just a handful of friends my age and began going crazy. I was finally doing things that any average kid my age was doing. It was as if I was making up for all the fun time lost. I began partying like no other. It seemed like I was finally doing what kids my age had been doing since high school. I began drinking a lot and experimenting with other “fun” substances and throughout the cloud and haze I began associating with people that weren’t really the best influences. My picks of boyfriends were even worse and although I had always been a heavy thinker, making sure I was always 5 steps ahead of the game, I got sucked into the world of living for the moment, even if that moment wasn’t one I truly wanted to be apart of. It had taken me a long time of living alone and wanting friends that got me to that place. Once I had made those friends, actual connections with people, I would do almost anything to keep them from going astray.

My early twenties were full of moments in which at the time I thought I was doing the right things, the right things for me anyways. Even though I felt like I was doing the best I could, my delivery (or lack there of) on certain matters just wasn’t great. This is why I say that this period of my life was full of “mature” bad decision making. My mentality was if no one liked what I was doing or how I was doing it, Bye Bye Felicia, out of my life you were cut out, for good. Did it have to go to that extreme? No. Absolutely not. But at the time, I felt like I was living my life and how dare you have an opinion on it.  In retrospect I see how stupid and frankly, immature that was. People are always going to have their opinion, and they’re entitled to it. All I should have done was either ignore it or talk it out. Instead, I was trying to stubbornly stand my ground. By doing that I cut out many people from my life that to this very day I still genuinely think about.

The year of my 25th birthday was the year I hit my quarter life crisis. I was tired of living in this small town of FL where nothing ever happened unless it was trouble that would find you, even if you weren’t looking for it. I had realized that I no longer wanted to be here and I had saved enough money to take a venture to any place I had truly wanted. Since a child I had always dreamed about California. It was never in regards to moving out there to become famous or anything of that nature, but I had simply always been drawn to it. The diversity of people and things to do, combined with the mountains and the yearn to want to climb them all, it called to me. That spring I took off. My sister and I had packed our cars and off we went to see what Cali would offer us.

What it offered us was slap of reality, with a dose of breaking us down, and a lesson on humility. It took all but a year for life to really serve me up a lesson that it normally takes people up to a lifetime to learn. My quarter life crisis, like any other life crisis, was full of a lot of learning and relearning. Learning how the world worked, relearning who I really was. We lived out of our cars for longer than anyone would ever want to. We borderline starved, having to eat baby food in order to obtain the nutrients we needed for a fraction of the price of having to make a real meal. We had been so far behind on bills that eventually everything I had worked so hard for had simply slipped from my fingers and into a pool hand me downs for everyone else to enjoy. Intertwined with all this mess, you could also find people that made our situation worse. We met some really grimy people out there. People that by looking at them you would think were honest to good people. People you felt like could help you out in some way, or at least could add some light into this dark phase of my life, but instead took advantage until there was utterly nothing left.

California broke me down. I moved back to Jersey, not even FL but Jersey, with my tail between my legs. Here I had assumed relocating to California would be so easy like it had been when I had moved to FL but I was so wrong, on so many levels. Now here I was, crawling back home with the need to be around family and friends from my old life, a life I never wanted to come back to, with a need to regroup after my worse than awful travel adventure. Since then it has been years of me revamping myself, recreating from the rubble that was left behind from my adventurous travel, but not before making a few more minor mistakes (that were not so minor). I say mistakes, but in reality it is just one mistake I keep making over and over, they’re just dressed up in different costumes.

The desire to make other people happy and smile has been a quality and yet a downfall of mine throughout my entire life. I tend to put other people first, and then it’s my needs and wants that come in second. You could be family, you could be friends, or even strangers. No matter how we are connected, once we are, your happiness and well being are goals for me. People need uplifting?..DUN DUN DUN DUN! Here I was to the rescue! In my early years I always considered that to be such a good quality to have because, honestly, now a days who really does that? As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned what a hindrance it could be.How can someone place everyone else first and still think that the life they’re living is their own? Up until just recently I have done just that. I have been living the life of everyone else except my own and here I wondered why it was I was so happy (because I am always happy) yet so not happy. There was something missing and what was missing was me. I had taken myself out of my own life for so long that I had become completely lost and wasn’t sure how to find me again. I was dependent on making others happy and once those “others” had left my life for one reason or another I was left alone with not fully knowing who I was anymore or what I truly wanted.

Anyone that has read my other blogs knows what kind of trouble I have been in with the law in the last recent months. Although I am not proud of it, I can honestly say that I’m truly grateful for it happening. Many things that have happened as a result, both good and bad, one of the things I am most happy for has been for the self improvement phase of it all. I’ve obviously have had to cut my partying back some and as a result many of my friendships here in FL have suffered. As a result of that, I have had a LOT of alone time. People often say that when bad things occur it is really a blessing in disguise. I know that this was one of those times. For instance, I was sentenced to mandatory counseling and it was in that counseling that I discovered so much about myself that I honestly wouldn’t have ever learned if it wasn’t for me seeing my amazing therapist. Even as our sessions together slowly dwindle down to the last few, I cherish every second for she has really made life just a wee bit easier for me, if you can imagine that. Not being able to go out as I once often did has allowed me to have much quiet time, which in turn has helped not only my writing and my wallet, but also has given me the opportunity to dive into my self and get to know me all over again.

I have now really figured out what it is that I want to do next. There is no more idling here. There is no more of me waiting for someone to give me a purpose. I am my purpose. I’ve figured out that not everything that we think of as a “need” is a need, and that some wants should come before certain “needs”.

In just a few months I will be completely out of the awkward twenties phase and commencing my thirties. I have set goals and although I don’t have a certain time frame to accomplish them, I have goals that I have placed for myself. Coming from me, that’s huge. Not goals that mean something to other people, but goals that mean something to me. Since a kid I have always felt that my thirties were going to be better than any other phase previously lived. Fuck my high school years ( I actually feel bad for people who’s prime was hit in high school). Fuck my weird and awkward twenties. It was deep in my soul that I felt that my thirties would rock, and I still feel that way now more than ever. I look forward of what’s to come and mainly because it’ll be MY life that is finally being lived out by me.

Finally.

11236012_919972328052829_1223187122_n Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Muse: Angie M. and Natal Galvan