Shy as can be, that was me

I’ve been described by people who they think know me from when I was in grade school, college, and when I was being homeschooled as sheltered and super shy. They tend to make the assumption that being homeschooled I was absolutely sheltered and being in college I might have been shy because I was very quiet in the classroom. What they didn’t know was that as I was homeschooled I volunteered for so many places, went to England, and did ‘field trips’ all the time which led me to an airplane flying all over the place. I was quiet in my classes because I wanted to hear what the teachers were saying, and I was pretty much an honor roll student in college.

I will admit I am probably a mixture of an introvert and an extrovert. I’d much rather be quiet and watch people interact to understand them rather than flapping my gums and listening to myself talk. My clients rarely discovered anything about my personal life, even if they had been seeing me for 3-4 years. I preferred if they wanted to talk listening to what was going on in their lives and can get uncomfortable with someone purposefully trying to pry into mine.

I absolutely love dancing and will do it at anytime, anywhere, even if people are staring at me. I know whenever I’ve tried to go dancing with friends they practically have to be drunk and I am sober and kicking it whenever I hear a good beat. Public speaking is something I get a kick out of. It’s thrilling when I prepare for it and I’m ready to deliver my heart is racing like I’m getting ready to jump a fence with my horse. I get a sense of accomplishment I can’t quite describe when I speak in front of a bunch of people and I do a great job at it. The last time I did that was with people I knew and I made my very own massage class, which went so well that I was definitely super pumped about it.

I also did two poetry readings at a poetry slam where they were encouraged to boo the readers off the stage. I heard someone hiss when I was speaking, I lost my train of thought and paused, and then kept on with the poem I memorized for it. That was such an empowering experience to keep on with my poem even after someone hissed at me and then the claps I heard after I was done just made it that much sweeter.

I don’t make friends easily, I don’t keep friends generally and I don’t let them into what’s going on in my life unless if I feel the time is right. This isn’t to say I’m not nice to people, I am more than welcoming but letting someone into my heart is really hard. I’m maybe not shy, but I certainly am guarded.

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Happiness smells like…. bacon

My picture at the Poe Museum

Being a massage therapist will put you in some weird and awkwardly strange situations. How so? Well, you might be asked about your past, or if you are dealing with an aroma class, you may just be asked what happiness smells like to you… no lie. Other people in the class may have gawked, and played with their pens, and stared off into the deep looking for some meaningful scent connection but I knew it. And, I will probably always use this as my answer even though the teacher either thinks I’m really funny or a total jackass.

Teacher: “Yes, you raised your hand. What does happiness smell like?”

Me: “Bacon, happiness totally smells like bacon.”

And there’s a few snickers, and a few people laugh, even I crack up a little trying to keep a totally straight face so the teacher doesn’t think I am one of those trouble makers. Immediately they are compelled to ask, “But… why bacon?” And, in the teacher’s head she is probably thinking ohmygod this girl is totally screwing with me and now I just opened the floor up to her. And the real reason is actually kind of personal so I do screw around with her and say that bacon is one of those smells like coffee that just smells amazing.

The truth is, the reason why bacon smells like happiness is because my mother, who never cooks, would make bacon for us. It was when we had her father in the house and a pretty dark time in our family, so the smell of bacon and it cooking brought us together and was one of those happy moments. My brother hadn’t moved out yet, and I felt closer with my brother than I had ever felt in my life. We stopped bickering so much as brother and sister and were comrades.

When I think of bacon I think of her cooking, me and my brother running into the kitchen and trying to steal all of it for ourselves. I think of laughter and goofing around, my mom at the pan expertly not burning them to crisps and making grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches with soup… tomato soup, of course. It was one of those things you could smile on, which was hard to find in two years of darkness we were in as a family, and that I was in as an individual too. It reminded me of simpler times and when things were so much easier.

Even your mother may have Olympic dreams

A picture I took at the botanic gardens

One of my favorite stories my mom has told me is when she was a kid she wanted to be an Olympic figure skater. This always makes me smile and crack up because when she first told me this I asked her, “Wow, so you were really good at skating, huh?” And she would always tell me that she could barely skate, she wasn’t any good at it at all. But, in her head, as a kid, she just really wanted to do this. She wanted to be in the Olympics and compete as a figure skater and it reminds me that even your mom was a little kid and she had big dreams like you did when you were little.

I always thought my mom thought she would be in the Olympics to compete as a horseback rider but it’s just the figure skating that she wanted. Personally, I wanted to be in the Olympics with my horse to compete in jumping. We couldn’t seem to figure out dressage and jumping was just so exciting.

Plus, it didn’t hurt that my horse loved jumping. She lived for it, we’d head towards a jump and my heart would be racing and she just ran at it like she could crush the jump. You could feel her excitement, you could hardly hold her back as she headed for a jump! Every other horse I ever rode you would have to push them towards it, wait to see if they would stop at the last second and back out, but she always headed toward it like she couldn’t wait to do it. And I couldn’t wait to jump over the fences, the adrenaline was amazing, and our combined excitement was like bliss. My horse was a great jumper, so much more agile than any horse I’ve been on and she even jumped high obstacles with the same zeal as little tiny poles on the ground.

I loved it, I loved it even more with my horse because she took so much joy in it too. Out of so many years of riding and jumping I’d never met any other horse like in her in my life. She was a bull-head, with so much personality and quirks that she always kept me on my toes. She was a brat and dangerous as a little filly, rearing over me, and refusing to stand still for me to mount her. My mom refused to ride her until she calmed down later because she was so dangerous as a young horse. There is my mother, grandmother, and my grandfather were all horseback riders so I’d think my mom would want to be in the Olympics as a rider.

Of course, as a kid, I’m not sure if my mother enjoyed jumping as much as I did. I get a kick out of adrenaline rushes and I swear to you there is nothing more of an adrenaline rush then cantering your horse to a jump and soaring through the air with them. It’s amazing, and even more breathtaking when the animal underneath you is just as pumped to do it.

When me and my horse would compete in jumping she would be even more excited. She got a kick out of people looking at her, she even liked the camera and would even pose when you took pictures of her. You could even tell that my horse enjoyed the competition, she’d get so nervous and so anxious she’d be ready to burst and I swear I could just hear her thinking, “Oh, yeah, just try to beat that. I am hot stuff!” 

I knew logically I could never get to the Olympics, but in my dreams me and my horse made it and we were kicking butt and taking names.

Weigh to kill my love handles!

So, as you may or may not know, when I’m unemployed I become a fitness nut and exercise almost every day of the week. Now, being put in a new state, with friends and family far away, makes me even crazier about working out that I change into a fitness freak. It’s like the only thing I can control is my body (and just cross my fingers with search results of jobs) so I go into overdrive to mold myself into something else. Plus, with my job if you stop massaging I’m sure you lose all of that endurance for it because it’s super strenuous so I’m trying to build it back up with working out.

Wii fit loves to yell at me, and I yell right back

Another plus, working out is seriously addicting once you get into it and helps me get rid of excess stress. Punching at the air randomly as I follow Wii Fit rhythm boxing makes me feel quite a bit better even if my punches aren’t connecting with anything. The Wii Fit seems less cruel than when I normally work out on it, though it still dings dinner bells when I get weighed and tells me in a cutesy voice, “You’re overweight!” Plus, my Wii character goes from super skinny stick to this huge balloon and my stomach will not be contained by its virtual shirt.

It also yells at me for being shaky with yoga and strength moves that make me balance on one foot and if I wasn’t shaky I’d probably be a robot.

Come to think of it, no, Wii fit has not changed one damn bit and it still gets bitchy with me on certain days and likes to bring up that it thinks that I am a loyal dog, like a golden retriever. Seriously, it says really weird stuff but since I’ve hurt my toe playing baseball I haven’t been able to swim like I love, or work on machines like the elliptical. I even came across this new machine like an elliptical which is basically like a medieval form of torture brought to the 20th century. Even though it is probably a torture device and they put cameras in the workout room probably to watch me sweat myself to death I did kind of like it. It was in a strange, masochist way I did enjoy the machine torture device.

And, even though I only have the Wii Fit and it’s annoying voice to yell at me now I am losing weight. I’m down to a weight range I haven’t seen since I was eighteen years old… and I didn’t get down to that weight the healthy way. I stopped eating, was seriously depressed, and wound up losing 30-40 lbs within about a month or two. I am trying to be more healthy, watching what I’m eating, but I’m not trying to stop eating completely. I’m trying out fruits I’ve never tried before in my life, and eating them every day. I’m eating apples that aren’t prepackaged and cut up for me, and I’m even cooking for myself.

When I say that I’m cooking I do mean it, I’m making boneless skinless chicken breasts from scratch and it’s not a frozen meal. Which is pretty much amazing for me, I’ve never been able to cook and my mom never taught me when I was a kid. So, the first few times I wasn’t that great making chicken from scratch but I’ve gotten better. I still wouldn’t subject anyone but myself to chicken I cooked in case so in case I end up poisoning someone it would just be my own fault.

I will grow a green thumb… somehow

I can take good pictures of flowers, but growing them is a whole other story!

Whenever I think of plants and flowers I tend to think of my grandmother.  She is amazing with plants and can grown about anything. She grows orchids in her house and all sorts of flowers outside in her garden. One of my favorites was the moon flowers which bloomed during a full moon, or so I was told. I tried my hand at growing things because I found it was just so neat to see something grow from a sprout into a plant but I never got past the sprout stage. I killed everything green I touched, and if I didn’t kill the little seedlings, our cats would get into my room and eat the heads off my plants.

I’ve never seen a plant flower, I’ve never grown it past the small little sprout stage. Yet, my grandma had a huge garden where everything thrived and there wasn’t a dead plant in sight. Me and my grandma had our differences but I always admired her for being able to grow everything and how much pride she had in it. Plus, she’s about as bullheaded and stubborn as they come.

Currently I’m amazed that the hubby called me up a few days ago and said he was bringing home a plant. I swear this man is allergic to everything, and some days I think he might just be allergic to me too. So, with the news of him bringing home something green I was pretty pumped that we could have something in the house I could take care of. It’s a really pretty plant and we even got a cute little purple vase for it too. I try to water it, and to not over water it, but I’m afraid my black thumb may end up killing it. I noticed a leaf that was dying on it, yet besides that it isn’t drooping or turning brown. I really want some more in our house, it cheers up the space, and I like taking care of it because he is also allergic to animals and we can’t have any pets.

He doesn’t seem to have an allergic reaction to this plant and overall since we’ve moved his allergies seem to be better than they were. There were some days his allergies were so bad they were pretty much debilitating, so I find it amazing to have a plant in our apartment and he can breathe okay and it doesn’t seem to be affecting him at all. I wanted to get quite a few plants from Ikea when we went there but he said we’d see how taking care of what we have pans out and then I can be a crazy plant lady with the black thumb of death.

I’d also love to have a little critter around the apartment. I’ve always found it so calming to have a little warm body next to me on the couch and I really miss my family’s cat even though he is quite passive to everyone. He likes to randomly attack my mother but strangely seemed to like having me around so I’d go out and try to get him next to me on the couch when I had my lunch. I miss it and have always been a pet person so not having one is both strange and kind of lonely too when the hubby is out working.

100% booked all the way, baby!

For the past month it seems every single day I’ve been like 100% booked for each one of my shifts, even on the weekday. Now, I’m not complaining, mind you, because I’d rather be busy than doing stupid stuff to keep busy or rather than being sent home early.  I like being busy and massaging for my whole day, plus it’s just nice to be consistently busy so I’m not holding my breath all day waiting for the manager to say, “You can go home if you want to.”

Today was the first day I didn’t have to eat my lunch within 5-10 minutes and run back to the Spa to get my room set up again. I actually got to take my time and eat, which I definitely savored and enjoyed.

I get a break now which is helpful because my arms and my hands aren’t holding up that well to being so busy. My hands have started to ache when I’m massaging and they are cramping after I massage when I grab something. I’ve been having clients who need firm to deep pressure consistently and I’m noticing my body is screaming uncle!

Tomorrow is my glaucoma testing and we will see what they find out. I’m nervous and anxious, yet I just want to get this out-of-the-way. I will try to schedule the laser eye surgery to help with the pressure in my eyes after they do the testing.

How the hell did I end up in a Christmas flash mob?

Wow, something weird happened today. So, I went to the mall to walk around, waste some time, I didn’t go over to my folks like I normally do because my mom had a work meeting to go to so I decided to stay at the apartment. I will just have to deal with my dirty laundry and save it until next week to wash. There was something weird going on, there were lights, there were cameras, and a bunch of people with name tags walking around. All the stores and shops I wanted to get into had a ton of cable on the ground, or I was scared I might possibly get stuck in the epicenter of it all.

There was this escalator that seemed to be the start of it and this girl who kept walking around and all that. Everyone just stood by the railing and stared, and I went to it several times and didn’t see anything of interest either.

There was lights, cameras, but no action.

Then, it happened. Music came on so loud that everyone kind of stopped, and those in stores ran out. Lip synching happened with the music and suddenly people were emerging from all over the place. There were people dancing and just singing and I couldn’t find a way to get out of their way. I kind of did a circle in one spot and then glued myself to the mall wall.

I was rather scared of all the dancing, singing, frolicking people.

I thought I might be trampled by them. The normal folks around me stood there just as aloof as I was. There were cameras chasing after the hoards of people who were lip synching to the Christmas song and I just didn’t want to be in it. It finished with a grand finale of the huge group of people singing choir style. One lady made eye contact with me with a what the hell is going on?? look on our faces as she exclaimed, “I’m just trying to find a way to get out of here!”

So, if you ever had something on your bucket list like being in a flash mob I just inadvertently accomplished that for you.

How old am I to you … five?

My brother seems to have this mental block against me getting older. I can’t blame him for it because I still have a mental block that he is getting older, and we both are moving on and gaining more years each year. I still remember when we were in the same house and he’d just leave messes everywhere and would never put his food away and you could tell he was snacking at night. I also remember when I’d go downstairs and catch him with the gallon of milk in his hand just drinking it out of the carton.

Well, needless to say I let him have the milk every time I knew he was doing that … which was always.

Now, here we are with him living in the city and me living with my fiancée. Both of us pretty much moved out of the nest, though my brother still hasn’t visited my new love nest with my fiancée and the apartment I’m living in. I think he’s creeped out by the thought of it especially since he still seems to think of me as a child.

Why, whenever I turn a year older he remissness about how I used to not talk, and walk, and how when I did talk that it was just babble that made absolutely no sense. He sees me as someone who can’t make it out on my own, who still is this child that hasn’t quite grown up. Yet, I have grown up, and not only that, I’m making quite grown-up decisions for myself. Like marriage, and moving, honeymoons, and having the only support system be my fiancée. My brother is very protective of me and thinks that anyone I date, or anyone I’m with romantically, isn’t good enough for me.

And, I don’t get a complex from that, because I only want the best for him. I want him to find someone who is wonderful, but not without her imperfections. Who makes him smile and that girl who hopefully they end up complimenting each other. My fiancée and I aren’t exactly the same, yet that ends up being a really good thing. The few times I lose it or I’m up in the air, he helps to bring me back down and is my support. While I’ve always known I’m an old soul, he has just this innocence about the world. He looks at things and ends up finding the good, which ends up being the opposite of me because my mom always raised me to expect the world, and people, are out to screw you or harm you in some way.

My family never verbalize how they really feel about each other. We have a mean sense of humor and take picking on each other, belittling one another, as showing ‘love’ lots of times. I’ve always been a sensitive kid, I can’t help it, so I’ve been hurt more times than I can count. It helps though for me to stay true to who I really am, even though I was raised where we say something like, “you’re a piece of shit, ha ha!” and mean it as a term of endearment.

I will say nice things when they come to me, and try to never go down to having a mean spirit. I’m going to keep on growing even though my brother, or even my mom for that matter, still think I’ve stopped growing and I’m younger than I am. Even at five years old I had a sense of the world of being like a seventeen year old, I’ve always felt older than I actually am. And even though my brother will take a long time to accept that I have found the one, my husband, and I’m in his hands, I’m going to be patient with his acceptance.

I know, in the end, that I want my brother to find the best person for him and I have a hard time accepting a girl to be the right fit. He treats his girlfriends very well and is a great partner, and every girl he’s been with has kind of used and abused him. I hate seeing that happen, and I know with my bad relationships my brother hates seeing that happen to me.

I couldn’t ask for a partner in life, and crime, than my fiancée. He is wonderful to me and I couldn’t think of anyone better to spend my life with, wherever my life may end up being. My brother may not see this for years, but that’s okay, because I know how I feel.

There is no such thing as 120%

This whole move and everything is wearing both me and the man down a lot. He’s worn and torn by work, exhausted by the time he gets home and uncertain and afraid of what is going to happen with his job. I’m worried about where we will end up, if we will have to move, and the idea of leaving the place I work because even though I may complain about it, I do love the girls I work with. We had a breakdown yesterday where he was putting it on the table of what has been stressing him at all that. One of the things he said is he remembers when I used to smile more, though lately I don’t seem to be… or at least, not as much at home.

When I come home from work I generally overextend myself with what I do. I know physically I should be transitioning to my elbows more with massage, and I tend to push myself all day and try to bring as much positive energy to the plate. No matter what’s going on mentally or physically with me I will not give you an idea what’s happening, and refuse to show it.

I just have to remember to bring that same energy back home to him, but generally that is not the way it works out. I crash, and my walls I’ve had in place come tumbling down, and finally there is that moment to breathe. To be tired, to be hungry, and I don’t have to try to push myself past what I’m feeling. We had a class today all of us had to take at work and it was very interesting, and I found it very helpful. The teacher said something in it that I kind of needed to hear, though I will still push myself past my own limitations.

You can’t give 110%-120%, you can only give 100% of yourself. Once you start performing past that 100% and consistently do that you will breakdown. It’s impossible to keep stable. I think that it is what me and the man are going through lately. He is definitely pushing himself past 100% all the time, and I keep pushing past my own goals and what I demand of myself. It’s what you do when you’re a control freak too, trying to give more than the 100%.

It’s frustrating because I don’t know how to help. With him there’s nothing I can do besides support him and his decision and go with it. He said something last night, as we were sitting across from each other which stuck me. He said, “You didn’t ask to be dragged into this crap.” Referring to his job, the possible move, not knowing where we are going to be, and if I will have to look for another job and give up where I work and more.

And, I just kind of laughed, and said it didn’t matter if I didn’t ask to be a part of it. I was a part of his life, and he was a part of mine, and whatever crap we had to face we’d do it together. That is what relationships are for, through the triumphs, and through the worst of times, you look to each other for strength through your times of darkness and light. It’s just right now this is one of those worst of times, and it breaks my heart because he can’t even get excited about his favorite holiday. I’m supposed to be the Scrooge of this relationship, yet here I am, with pretty much all of my shopping done and the stuff I don’t have done I have a plan. He and I don’t even know if we will be able to see his family for Christmas. If we will be at another place by then, moved far away.

He’s so worried about me, and I’m so worried about him, so we end up worrying ourselves to death. It’s hard to let go, and to try to tell yourself it isn’t for you to control.

Don’t assume I don’t have an education

I had a client yesterday who was a rare find for me to come across in my career… he was a talker. Now, I don’t mind talking, but pretty much 99.9% of my clients don’t like to talk during the treatment. Those who are in the .1% can talk about a wide range of things, yet you can group them into a couple of groups and they will fall into that.

Group A- I want to ask about your personal life

Group B- I want to talk about what’s going wrong in my life

Group C- I want to talk randomly about everything

I’d say a lot of my talkers want to talk about themselves, or if they are one who keeps on questioning about my own life, I will try to make the conversation be more about them. I don’t even like talking about my personal life to my co-workers, let alone a stranger I just met. The worst is when they get you to talk about your personal life and then start judging you. This drives me nuts, I just can’t stand people judging me especially when they absolutely don’t know me.

My guy yesterday was a definite talker. I haven’t come across a talker in a while, and with guys I find I’m not as much at ease talking to them as I am with my women clients. I’ve had some guy talkers have their conversations go into some weird places and it can make me uncomfortable. This is even rarer than coming across someone who wants to talk, but it’s happened before.

So, we were talking and he was a Group A. Wanted to know everything about me and this profession. How many hours I needed for massage school, if I went to massage school, if I needed liability insurance, how many different massage techniques are out there, what are the differences between chiropractic massage and massage in a spa, can massage be covered by health insurance. Whatever you can think of to ask me about massage he probably asked me. Clients in general might be a little bit curious, and he was definitely way past just a couple of questions about my career.

Then, he made an assumption I hadn’t heard before. “So, you went straight from High School into Massage School.”

I corrected his assumption, I let him know that I was in both college and massage school at the same time. Not only was I doing both of these at the same time (while juggling being in massage school full time, basically 5 days a week at 8 hours a day) I finished both massage school and college at the same time, in the same month. He then asked me why I didn’t continue with college and finish my Bachelor’s. I told him the truth, I just didn’t want to be bogged down by $30,000 or more in debt with a degree I may, or may not, be able to use. While I’ve been using my massage degree and license since I finished school.

Everyone who comes across me in this career think that this is just something I’m doing until I can’t do it anymore. I know this is the route I am taking even if I don’t want to admit it. Massage is physically demanding and tough on my body. It’s just that in the end the love I have for this career makes it worth the physical exertion I put myself through, which is true especially on the weekends.