Saturday, October 16, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

Upon our return to IL last month, Michael and I started talking about our wishes to move back to the Midwest.  We said, hey - let's save money, quit our jobs, move across the country, find a new place to live, new jobs, new childcare, and all that fun stuff.  YAY!

As much as we would love to come back...I don't know if that is possible right now.  Yeah, we're putting job feelers out right now, but when there are 200 people applying for one position, what is the likelihood of getting said position?

On top of all of that, let's be honest.  We both have great paying jobs - Michael loves his, and I at least like the people I work with.  So it doesn't challenge me in the least - big deal.  They are paying me money to do things that are easy to me.  About a million people in this city would gladly take over for me, so I need to be thankful for what I have.  We love our daycare, and we have some great friends.

Our biggest thing is that we miss our family so, so much - which is why we seem to have this same conversation every time we go home.  The grass is always greener on the other side.  Ok, say we move - yeah, we are closer to home, but why take a chance of getting a job that pays less, or that we are less happy in?  What about the stress of moving across the country again, only this time with a 7 month old and a dog?

On the other hand, if we stay, we need to get a house.  The housing market is great to buy right now, but not to sell.  What if we don't stay for more than 2 years?  Do we still leave, and try to sell?  What about trying to rent it out via a management company?  But won't EVERYONE be trying to do that?  However, we need to get a house because  I am not going to continue paying $1050 in rent for a two bedroom apartment when we could get a three bedroom two bath 1400 square foot house for $90,000 in a good part of town.  I'm just not going to do it.

We are confused on where to go next.  On one hand, we leave, spend a ton of money that we've saved up to buy a house to move, get lower paying jobs, but live closer to home.  On the other hand, stay in a city that is sinking faster than the Titantic, but have the money to put down on a dirt cheap (but good) starter house, while being away from family.  Plus, both of our jobs seem pretty darn secure at the moment.

So, the next few months will be telling.  Our lease ends next August - at that time, we are either moving back to the Midwest, or buying a house and settling down here for a few more years.  We'll be looking for a house in Nevada, and jobs in the Midwest - all at the same time.  Either way we go, it's a gamble.

Being an adult sucks.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Distortion of Our Past

With the wide range of suicides happening in our country due to bullying, I began to think about the past.

No matter what clique you were in during high school, chances are there was another clique you looked at and said "hey, I want to be like them", "omg, they dress hideously", "so and so has 'issues'", etc.  Looking back at my high school days, here are the "cliques" I remember running around - and the weird thing is, with only 99 kids in my graduating class, lots of kids were in multiple cliques.  I don't know if that was the norm everywhere else, but it was for my school.

There were the guy jocks, who thought they were the shit.  They walked around with their football jerseys on, and worked on intimidating those around them.

There were the girl jocks, who, although they seemed nice, they would talk about your horrible performance at the track meet when they thought you weren't looking.

There were the band geeks, who learned that changing on the same bus with members of the opposite sex could be fun.

There were the musical geeks, who ended up just messing around back stage and in the audience during practices.  Many of these students believed their shit didn't stink, and they were often talking about others and how they "didn't deserve that part".

There were the brainy kids, who had their heads in books all of the time, and didn't care about what was going on around them.

There were the nerdy guys, who practically peed their pants when a girl they liked came anywhere near them.

There were the nerdy girls, who tried to find love no matter where it was.

Then you have the posers, the dreamers, the ones with "issues", the teasers, the bullies, and every other stereotype out there.

I have now been out of high school for almost 9 years, and I've realized how absolutely distorted our pasts are.  We all had this warped idea that everyone fit into a mold, and would stay the same until they were 104.

I'll be honest - if you know me, you know that I had some "issues" in high school.  Yep, I was one of those people.  I attempted suicide, cut myself, and wished that I was a "cool kid".  I tried so hard to be liked, to fit in, and to be what other people wanted me to be.  These "issues" were ridiculed, pointed out, and used against me, even by parents of fellow students.  Although I had a diagnosable and treatable illness, the misconceptions of that illness followed me everywhere.  It made it hard for me to go to school, or to even function in my small town - the same town that I loved up until then.

Even though I myself was ridiculed, I also ridiculed other people.  I was not immune to the viciousness that circulates high schools.  I remember distinctly teasing students who were different than myself.  I remember teasing a girl who obviously hadn't washed her hair in multiple days.  For someone  who was teased, I certainly teased others with as much furor as those who teased me.  It was a vicious cycle.

After graduation, I peaced out - I never wanted to go back to that town.  There, everyone knew I had "issues".  I started college, and realized that I indeed was "ok".  People liked me for who I was, and I didn't have to change myself for other people.  I grew up.  I still couldn't go back to my hometown without having a panic attack (thanks, Post Traumatic Stress!), but I was getting there.  I kept thinking, "HA, I bet some people didn't even get OUT of that town!".  I refused to go to my 5 year reunion, thinking that it was just going to be a re-hash of gossip, whispers, and teasing.

Fast forward some years.  The monster that is Facebook arrived in 2004(ish), and it exploded.  First, I was friends with only college friends, then Michael's college friends, then I got a friend invite from someone from HS.

As time has gone on, I've been able to not only see myself grow, but those I stereotyped?  I've seen them grow and thrive as adults as well.  Many have families, husbands, careers, dogs, cats, deaths, divorces, and family scandals.  Some have found God, some have found pot, and some have become political activists.  Some have gone to war, others to college, and some started their own business.   Those people that I thought were the most beautiful or the nicest are actually not all that pretty or not all that nice.  Some of the nerdy ones are the most successful; some of the most popular are doing great things for less fortunate populations; some of the meanest are actually now fighting for the little guy.

My point, after all this, is that our past is distorted.  We see what we want to see.  We sometimes continue to feel what we felt when we go somewhere from our past.  Thankfully, I can now go to my hometown without all the panic, but I would prefer to just avoid it.  I realize that I teased others, and feel guilty how I projected my own insecurities onto other people.  I'm not sure what happened to the girl I teased about her hair, but it left a big impact on me - but probably not as much as I made on her.  I hope that she is doing alright.

Now, almost a decade later, I am able to objectively look at my entire high school and say "I really hope they are doing well for themselves".  I realize that not going to my 5 year reunion was probably a good idea, but that it would also be good for me to go to my 10 year reunion.

As much as I still want to be bitter towards situations that happened, I remind myself that I'm a pretty changed person - and so is everyone else.  We've all had those big moments: the cringe-worthy ones; the life-changing ones; the exciting ones; the sad ones.

Everyone who bullied others were bullied by someone.  Everyone who was bullied also bullied someone.  We all had our doubts, fears, and bad moments.  We were all at the same level - just no one told us that.

As we move through the rest of our lives, we have a responsibility to pay our experiences forward - stop bullying, and be a good example to our children.  There should be no excuse for an adult to bully someone else - and we should treat our children the same.

Positive thoughts to those who have lost someone due to bullying, and to those who are still working through the scars of bullying.  I hope you can get past it soon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10 Guilty Pleasures

I was thinking the other day about embarrassing guilty pleasures that not many people know about me.  Common, we all have them, and I'm sure that we all have those guilty pleasures that would make other people think "Wha the wha?".  I have nothing else better to do today, so I am getting my list together:

10.  I will watch an America's Next Top Model Marathon no matter when it is on, or what channel it is on, or how many times I have seen it.  There is nothing like seeing a bunch of immature wanna-be-models duke it out, cry, and backstab each other.  Awesome TV.

9.  I love playing video games.  I know that I say it is to spend more time together, but I really also like playing by myself.  I needed a "me" day yesterday - and that included 7 hours of video games.  The day was needed and well deserved, which is why I am in a much better place emotionally and physically this week.  Sweet.

8.  People watching - I love it.  But usually it's for things like counting the number of mullets or the amount of people who don't dress for their body type.  I know, but really, I'm an equal opportunity judger.  And if you think "Oh my!!" and that I am a horrible person, just ask yourself this - when was the last time you judged someone?  If you say never, you are a liar.  The end.

7.  This may not be a huge secret, but I love calling people out on their bullshit.  Sometimes people are taken aback, but that's who I am.  I own it.  If I sugar coat something, it's only a little bit.  I think this is why I love being on Baby Center's Debate Team so much.  The good this is that I won't say anything on those message boards that I wouldn't say in real life.

6.  I like researching spirits, energies, auras, and astrology.  I like meditating, yoga, and all those "weird" and "wakadoo" things.  They are so complex and interesting!

5.  I'm gonna be honest - one of my favorite guilty pleasures is illegal.  No, not prostitution.  No, not murder.  Maybe MJ.  Just sayin.  Legalize that stuff, please!  Then I can do it recreationally without worrying about it showing up on a drug test.  Or that whole jail thing.  The gubberment can even tax it and get us out of debt.  Win.

4.  My blog = guilty pleasure.  (Ok, it is, but I didn't have anything to write from number 4.  So sue me.)

3.  I am obsessed with the show "Bones".  It's really kind of dumb (I mean, really, can they get together already?), but when I discovered it on Netflix, I was hooked.  The last couple weeks of pregnancy was so great because I got to lay on the couch and watch 4 seasons of "Bones".  Alas, crap like that doesn't happen anymore.

2.  I love to jam out to show tunes in the car, shower, or at home by myself and imagine myself on stage.  I know, dumb, but this stems from my childhood ways of doing the same thing.  If anyone actually saw me doing this, I would be completely mortified.  I'm sometimes hardcore about it.

And finally...

1.  Watching Lisa Lampenelli specials.  Yes, I am embarrassed to admit it, as she is indeed the "Queen of Mean", and bases all of her material on social, physical, and economical stereotypes.  Maybe that's why I think it is so funny - because I know that I shouldn't be laughing, but I am anyway.  I also know that no one is safe from her stand-up, and I know that she does what she does to highlight the idiocy of stereotypes.  At least I try to think that.  She's just.so.funny.  Some may be shocked by this - that is why I just keep it to myself!! 

Naomi Update!!

Naomi did great on the flight to home and back to Vegas!!  I was so proud of her.  We sat by a crabby lady on the way there, but Naomi got her revenge when she just stared at her without smiling for 80% of the flight.  HA.  Eat it, lady.  I'll get photos and videos of the trip up soon.

She's also sitting up on her own now, though we still put the Boppy pillow right behind her so she doesn't bump her head when she falls over.  She's eating lots of baby food these days - green beans are her favorite.  She turned 6 months a couple of weeks ago, and weighed 17.5 lbs.  This girl is growing!

Michael's long hours are starting to kick in, and I think that we are really ready for it.  We'll make it through this for sure!

And I'm out.  I should probably get back to work, yes?  Oops.