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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 15

Day 15: Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it

This one's easy. Music, hands down.

Plebe year at the Naval Academy, we weren't allowed to have music. No stereo, no walkman, no mp3s (they searched our computers), no clock radio... NOTHING. Getting caught with music got you written up, or got you "Extra Military Instruction," which was usually some torturous event filled with physical training, standing in uncomfortable positions with a rifle for long periods of time, or nameless other silly games. 

Most of us didn't make it the whole year without. We found ways to hide the files on our computers, or we found upperclass teammates/friends who would let us hang out in their rooms and/or hide our stuff. We went to concerts on the weekends. We sang in choirs. We found ways. 

There were some people who were somehow not so bothered by the lack of music. Me? I can barely make it through the day in my office, where we can't bring anything electronic. 

Never again will I even attempt to go any longer than absolutely necessary without music. No, thanks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 14

So, let's just pretend that there aren't a ton of days in between my last post and today... long story short, I got called on a last minute work trip to California, where I proceeded to get sick, then came back to approximately 6 hours to prepare a brief for our Agency Director. Yeah, its been busy!! But I'm back. And gonna get back on this...

Day 14: A hero that has let you down. (letter)

Dear She-Ra,

Finding out that you are not, in fact, a real person really killed me. I spent so many hours of so many days wanting to be you. I wanted to be blond, and dress like you, and have a flying horse to ride whenever I wanted, and to take down the bad guys. I wanted a brother like He-Man.  I wanted to live in a castle, and be a princess in real life.

All of a sudden, all those hopes and dreams came crashing down. What do you mean cartoons aren't real? What do you mean there's no such thing as a flying horse? What do you mean there are no superheros in real life?? Way to crush a little girl's dreams.

Now that your show is out on DVD, and there's been press about your "anniversary", all of these feelings have been brought to the forefront again. It hurts, She-Ra. It really hurts.

NO love from me,

OK, that's silly, I know. But in all seriousness, I have a lot of people I look up to, but I can't really think of a hero that's ever failed me. I'm sure there are some. But there's not one that truly sticks out in my mind. So, I had a little fun with this one. And hey, what little kid ISN'T crushed when they find out their favorite superhero isn't real??

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 13

Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)

Dear Ingram Hill, Matt Nathanson, Sister Hazel, Better Than Ezra, Jewel, Sara Bareilles, Anna Nalick, Florez, Aslyn, Tristan Prettyman, and I'm sure more that I am forgetting,

In my life, there have been many tough days. Listening to your music and absorbing your lyrics have helped me through days in many ways - sometimes, just rolling down the windows, and turning it up; sometimes, your lyrics have inspired me to write my own; and sometimes, I've just gotten the reminder that I needed to remind me that it can always be worse, and it really will be OK.

Music has always been a gigantic part of my life, and you, in particular, have continued to write music that I can relate to. Without you and the songs that you have been kind enough to share with the world, I might not have been able to get through those days in quite the same shape that I did. My mental health may not have survived the breakups, the lost friendships, the frustration at sea, the loneliness, and the dealings with a-holes.  Through the years, you've always been there for me. Thanks for that.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 12

Day 12: Something you never get compliments on
Oh man... I have no idea. I don't keep track of the things people DON'T compliment me on. Wouldn't that be a bit of a sad way to live?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 11

Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on
My shoes!! Thanks to my best friend, I got into shoes a few years back. Over the years I've built a bit of a collection, and since I got out of the Navy and have worked in office environments that require conservativish dress, my shoes have been a great way to express myself.  And they're fun! I never wear the same pair of shoes twice in one week, and rarely do I wear the same pair more often than every 2 or 3, and even those are just the simplest pairs. Plus, no matter what, shoes always fit :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 10

Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know
I did a pretty good job about 4 years ago of removing some of the drama from my life. But there are still a few that I haven't completely let go of yet. One in particular is someone that I wasn't friends with for all that long - or, at least, I've been hanging on for much longer than we were friends to begin with.  This person kept me around as a friend for as long as he did because it was convenient for him. But as soon as it wasn't, he was gone. Yet I still find myself asking our mutual friends about him, or wondering about him. It was only a couple of months ago that I finally deleted his email address from my gmail for good. I hang on to friendships, if you can call them that, far too long, primarily because friends have always been so important to me. That often means they're one sided. So I'm working on it. But I'm not totally there yet.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 9

Day 9: Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted.

This one's easy. Re-read Day 3.  I miss that friendship every single day.


Yup, I turned 30 this weekend. The big 3-0. My little sister had been waiting for this for years - I'm now officially twice her age. Thrilling, isn't it?

I remember when my Mom turned 30 (I have a very young mom) because she had a really hard time with it. We took that and used it - we decorated the house and yard with over the hill signs. We put a huge sheet poster on the overpass in the small town where we lived at the time. We had a black cake, and everything was over the hill.

I, on the other hand, am not so troubled by 30. I'm not where I thought I would be 10 years ago, but who ever is? And besides, these days, 30 is the new 20. Nowhere near halfway done with life!! I'm happy, I'm healthy, I have a great job, I have friends and family who love me, and I'm in a healthy, productive relationship with a man I love very much.

Of course, none of that stopped my sister (with, I'm sure, much egging on from my Mom) from going all out.

There were decorations for me too

There are actually 4 or 5 of the black ones

Yeah... she had a good time. But it was fun, either way. My Aunt is an amazing cook, and made sushi and cashew chicken for dinner. YUM! And yay for leftovers for lunch! We also celebrated my Dad's birthday (which is today), and my Uncle being home on Rest and Relaxation from his one year State Department assignment in Afghanistan.

On my actual birthday, Molly, Matt and I went over to National Harbor for some margaritas and guacamole, which turned into appetizers (to include guac), one round of margaritas, and tequila flights. Who knew tequila had so many flavor options?? Its like wine! It was quite tasty, although I'm definitely glad I ate first!! We took the water taxi over, got to watch the sunset, and had a nice, chill evening.

Matt and I on the water taxi

Sunset at National Harbor
 It was a great weekend, and I couldn't imagine a better way to end my 20s and start what I keep hearing is the best decade!

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 8

Day 8:  Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like s**t. (I like to keep it family friendlier around these parts!)

In 10 years in the military, I met several people who could fit that bill. I was having a hard time deciding between two in particular, so I think I'll say its a tie. 

The first was one of my Plebe Summer squad leaders, the one from the 2nd half of the summer. It was his job, at that point, to make my life miserable, and I could live with that. He was a little more of what we called a "flamer" (not at all referring to homosexuality - at USNA getting "flamed" was getting yelled at) than most of his classmates. He was the one we all avoided.  He told me I would never graduate from HIS school. He went out of his way to find things wrong with me. However, when, at the end of Plebe year, most of his classmates came around, shook all of our hands, and stopped playing the game, this particular guy continued to be a raging a-hole for the next year until he graduated.  Now, if I ever see him at a football game or other USNA function, I will make sure that he knows that I did, in fact, graduate from HIS school, and turn and walk the other way.

The other person was the Commanding Officer of my 2nd ship.  He made life hell for a lot of people, I wasn't special by any means. His mood could change with the snap of a finger, and he didn't care who was around when it happened.  For me personally, though, the worst of it was when my boss reorganized our division and the CO didn't know it. He thought I was slacking off, and took it out on me passive-agressively, all of this happening at the same time that I found out that my next set of orders had been pulled and we were trying to figure out where I was headed next, with my detailer pushing me to try to leave early. He finally went postal on me one day, which was the first time I realized that he did not know about the reorganization. He never apologized, and while he didn't screw me over on paper, I count the day I detached from his command among the happiest days of my life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth Days 5, 6, and 7

Still in the single digits and I already fail. Oops! Its catchup day today. (It's also my birthday - 30 on 10/10/10!)  Luckily these are much easier questions!!

Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life
I hope to someday travel around the world. I've been to a lot of places, but there are a ton more that I want to explore. If only money wasn't an issue....

Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do
I know, I know, this sounds morbid. But I hope that I never, ever have to bury my own child.  Its hard enough losing those that are older, that are supposed to go before you. But I do not ever want to have to experience the feeling of outliving my own child.
Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for
My family, friends, and Matt. I mean, not like I ever felt like my life WASN'T worth living. But I think that's the point. I've had amazing people around me always, even in the crappiest of conditions. So I'm a happy girl!

We went to a wedding this weekend, and here's a picture of the sun setting on the mountains over the vineyard. It was beautiful, and the wine was tasty too!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 4

Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for
Oh man, this one is actually kind of hard!  I generally don't hold grudges, so trying to think of something I've been holding on to is really difficult.  The first thing that comes to mind is the way that someone who I thought was a very good friend basically cut me out.  After spending over a year getting to know each other, all of a sudden, poof! I sort of understand why it happened, but that didn't make me like it or be OK with it.  It also didn't help when, nearly 2 years later, there was a brief reappearance during a difficult time and then poof again.  I haven't spoken to this friend now in I think close to 3 years; I probably never will again.  But I've found, over the years, that its not necessary for the person being forgiven to know that they're being forgiven.  The peace that it brings me is enough. So, I think I'm finally ready to put aside harsh feelings and move along. Obviously the friendship wasn't what I thought, I don't need people like that in my life, and I'm doing just fine. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Brothers In Arms Buried Together

As so many kids worship pop stars and actors, I wanted to take the time to share a story of two true American heroes.

Travis Manion was one of my plebes my 2nd year at the Naval Academy. He didn't have the easiest time at USNA, but graduated and became a Marine. He was killed in 2007. His best friend and roommate, Brendan Looney, became a Navy SEAL and was killed recently. Travis had originally been buried at his family cemetery in PA, but when Brendan was killed, his parents knew that the right place for Travis to rest for eternity was next to his friend.

The following video showed on CBS News in the last couple of days, and a very similar story aired on NBC Nightly News as well. RIP together, gents. And thanks for your service.

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 3

Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for
This one took a bit of thinking about. I try not to have too many regrets in my life, but there is one that I just can't shake, and it's totally my fault. My best friend in high school came out to me about halfway through our senior year. It changed absolutely nothing as far as I was concerned - we went to prom together, and sometime during my first year and a half at the Naval Academy, even though he had begun seriously dating someone, he agreed that if I was single when it came time for my Ring Dance at the end of junior year, he would come up to Annapolis and be my date to that as well. But I screwed it up. I started dating a guy during my sophomore year that was a bit of a homophobe. We got more serious, and started talking about marriage, and he said that he would not be comfortable with a gay couple at the wedding. Of course I thought it was silly, but I made the mistake of telling my best friend. I thought nothing of it at the time. But soon, I noticed that he was not returning my calls. And when the boyfriend and I broke up a few months before the Ring Dance, and I left my friend multiple messages, I never heard back. Sometime during that summer, I finally got ahold of him - I don't remember if it was phone or email now, but he basically told me that he didn't want to be my friend anymore because he felt that it was just too one sided. I was mortified - I had never been called a bad friend before, and always been the one putting the effort into friendships that wasn't reciprocated. Even with this one!! It wasn't until several years later, I think when we became friends on Facebook, that I finally found out the real reason for our falling out. To this day, our friendship has never recovered. We're on good terms now, but we don't talk outside of the occasional Facebook comment. I get my updates on him from Facebook and our mutual friends. I'm thrilled that he is happily married (to that same man), and looking into adoption. He's going to be an amazing father. And someday, I hope, I will be able to forgive myself for hurting him so badly that it ruined our friendship.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Thirty days of Truth, Day 2

Day 2: Something you love about yourself
I am an extremely loyal person - once I've decided you're important to me, I'll do just about anything for you. I love this about myself because I see so many people in the world today who are so focused on themselves, so unwilling to do anything that doesn't specifically benefit themselves. Nobody thinks about anyone else anymore. It makes me feel good to do good things for other people, and to see someone else smile because of something I've done.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth: Day One

I've been sucking at blogging lately, and been trying to think of ways to amp it up. I came across this Thirty Days of Truth project on one of the random blogs I follow, and I think I'd like to try it out. So I should be posting something every day.

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself
I never think highly enough of myself. Whether it be body image, talent, capability, my work... just about anything, I always tend to assume that someone else is doing it better, or, at least, I'm not good enough. I've been working on it, and been trying to do a better job of giving myself the credit I deserve. Its a constant struggle, and always has been. I think a lot of people struggle with this, especially girls. I have to make a conscious effort to give myself a pat on the back every once in a while.

If you want to try it, here are the 30 days:
Day 01 -> Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 -> Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself