Tag Archives: Life

Change in Location

There have been few opportunities where I can change my life for the better.  One was going to DC, then having some amazing people who were great and supportive of my life and my career.  Another was meeting Ray.  I know I talk about Ray a lot but she’s pretty freaking special to me.

Then, just when life feels like it is going to break you, the Universe (or whatever external divinity you believe in) reminds you that good (and even great) things are out there.  You just have to be brave enough to take them.

Currently, I’m typing this on my laptop at a table 3,000 miles from home.  I’m still coming down off the high of even being given this opportunity.  I thought it wasn’t real up until I got told there was an action in the system for it.  Still didn’t believe it was real as I was driving out this way.  It probably won’t hit me that this is really happening to me until I get to work tomorrow and get settled.

Every missed opportunity from before…  I want to say has led to this moment.  It hasn’t though.  I screwed up on an interview years ago for almost the exact position in a different location.  Then there was Portland.  I had my hopes up and everything, only to have it land in my face 24 hours later with two words:  Not selected.  I kicked myself a lot for those, but I wouldn’t change the way all that happened.

Life is good and things are awesome.  And someone was willing to take the chance on me to allow me to the chance to work in the field.

All because I put my name in the hat to do something different.

Listening to:  Down with the Sickness by Disturbd

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and Lirael by Garth Nix (Tim Curry is an awesome narrator!)

Quote of the Day:  “The most important thing is this: to be able at any moment – to sacrifice what you are, for what you will become!” ― Eric Thomas


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Filed under Advice Column, Bucket List, Vacations/Travel


Tomorrow is my paperwork based one year anniversary at my job, even though I actually started two weeks later.  I’m not sure why I’m mentioning this other than I wonder sometimes what would have happened if I had stayed in my other position.

I had to ask Ray for a topic this morning because I couldn’t think of anything to write about.  I was going to write about setting goals but that didn’t flow as well as her topic is.  Her question was, “What have you gained and lost by taking chances?”

Gained?  A lot.  Lost?  Maybe some of my sanity.

My chances or risks have been pretty successful for the most part.  The last few months have been rough, with both of us questioning things, but for the most part, things have been good.  The biggest chance I took:  Coming to D.C. for Job Corps.

You never really think about one decision changing the course of your life.  I’ve screwed up a lot in the last 12 ½ years, but that one decision rolled in with a whole lot of others.  Taking the train home, starting a conversation with someone who is still in my life, people who have come and gone, all of that leading to one major chance that further changed my life:  Meeting Ray.

I’ve said this before, but it bears a lot of repeating.  Writing about the people you love is easy, even if it gets a little bit tedious to others.

I hadn’t wanted to go to that party, and I was pretty pushy.  She didn’t want to have much to do with me, and after looking at old pictures, I wouldn’t have wanted to have much to do with me either.  But we took a chance, and we’re still taking chances on each other.  There are days I wonder how I got so lucky.  I love that woman like there is no tomorrow.

And there are days I wonder if we made the right choice, if I’m missing out of something by being with her and settling down.  I get that from my dad, the not-quite-settling-down part of him that made him never stay long in one place.  I’m like my dad in some ways, but the choices I’ve made make us different people.  My dad wasn’t ever really afraid to take chances on his dreams, even if the family unit suffered.

My dream might be easier without people there; I’d love to travel more.  I’d love to do the European Tour as a solo traveler, just once.  But there is one thing that I noticed during Orlando, walking towards Ray with food in one hand after making her walk through Epcot.  Traveling the world may be more expensive with two people, but the experiences that those people share are priceless.  You never know how priceless without taking a chance on a future with that person.

Had I not taken that one chance, I wouldn’t have everything that I have in my life today.  Life may suck somedays, but the only wish I have was that I would have met her sooner and saved both of us some heartache and life lessons.

Listening to:  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Reading:  They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Quote of the Day:  “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” ― John F. Kennedy

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Just because you can…

…Doesn’t mean you should.

I’ve referring to borrowing books, not something tragic, like opening my mouth to someone who doesn’t need to know what’s really going on and just dropping all my emotional baggage onto them.

No, I’m talking about borrowing audiobooks and books fitting the reader’s state of mind.

A couple weeks ago, I borrowed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert from Overdrive.  I put it on my TBR and everything, hoping to get to it.  I haven’t.  In 11 days, I haven’t picked it and up and now that I can, I don’t want to.  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, same thing.  I also have a few physical books that I want to read but I’m just not in the mood to read them.

Eat Pray Love I have read a few times over the years.  I’m not in a truly dark place in my life now, but I think I want to make notes in my copy of the book so I’m holding off on that one until next year.  The Girl on the Train may also wait, since I own a copy of that book too.

Physical book wise, last night, I had a book picked out and was going to start it after reading a few graphic novels.  Something happened between me reading them and the other book.  When I went to go pick it up, I couldn’t crack the cover, metaphorically speaking.  I just wasn’t interested in it at that point.

I wanted dark.  I didn’t want light and fluffy.  I wanted dark reading.  I had quite a few books that fit that bill.  Thankfully, the one I picked up, I haven’t really wanted to put down but had to so I could get work done.

Whether my book choices are trying to help me gear up for the last quarter of my NaNoWriMo novel or not, I’m starting to be very particular about the books I start and those I don’t.

All books are meant to be read from a place of love because all books carry something for the reader.  The string of Meh books I’ve had lately, I’ve come to understand I don’t have to finish the books I don’t connect with because there are books, like You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day or History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, that deserve more of my attention.  I took things from those books (go get it because you’ve got this!  And being said after someone dies is okay; the destructive behavior afterwards, no so much) where the Meh books just sort of where a “What not to write” warning.

Longer post than I meant it to be, but I have to do this with real life, too.  Being stuck where I am not happy isn’t good for me or those around me.  Writing for NaNoWriMo helped me pull out some tools and I’m ready to get back on the saddle and finish other books outside of just the book this month, starting with Shadow.

Happy Friday folks.

Listening to:  Little Ones by Highly Suspect.  It’s not been on repeat all day today so that’s a plus.

Reading:  The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.  Holy *&^%.  I’m not far into it, but it makes me want to grab a warm beverage and a blanket and curl up somewhere so I can just devour the rest of it.

Quote of the Day:  “Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people… but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” ― Steve Maraboli

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Filed under Advice Column, Books/Classes, Writing

Managing Expectations

I had a few things happen to me personally over the weekend.  They weren’t bad things just annoyances that are still hitting me today.  When I came in this morning for work, I was talking to a friend about them, and about something else too.  I forget the exact words, but we ended up talking about managing expectations.

See, I have expectations for things in my life.  When things don’t meet those expectations, I get upset.  Normal human reaction, especially for someone with control issues.  Here’s how all this came up though.

My expectations for this weekend:

  • Make between $300 and $500 this weekend ridesharing.
  • Finish at least one book that I was reading/listening too.
  • Walk seven/eight miles.
  • Pick up the remaining things needed for vacation.
  • Post two videos: One wrap-up video and one book tag video

One… One thing out of those actually happened.  The others were partly done or not done at all.

My expectations for life:  That people are open enough that my lifestyle shouldn’t bother them.

I’m gay.  I get that there are people out there that don’t like gay people, aren’t okay with, etc.  I hadn’t really met any of those people.  I’ve met people that don’t agree with my choice to not have children (at one point I did, but now I have three.  I’m good.).  I’ve met people who make comments about my day job and how I couldn’t make it in the private sector.  I’ve met people who wouldn’t even say “Hi” to me because of my size.  I’ve met people that I didn’t feel comfortable telling I was gay to while they are stuck in a car with me.  So my expectation I guess had become that more people than not are okay with my lifestyle.

Yeah, no.

I was talking about my son going to Marines this past week to a couple from NC.  When I got asked if I was a nervous wreck, I said, “No, but his mom is.”  *Confused looks*  “But you said ‘your son?’” “Yes, my wife has three boys, so that makes them mine too.”  *Subject change*

Needless to say it was awkward after that confession.  I did it to myself by being proud of my relationship and our son.  I stopped talking so much after that trip and just drove.

I’m waiting to hear back from my application for Amazon Flex so I can give up rideshare driving.  Between that instance and people abusing the system (UberPool and Lyft line are for two people per trip.  Please stop trying to get away with 3 or more people.  Please order the right vehicle for your party, too.  OMG, the horror stories people…horror stories–See this upcoming Wednesday’s post).  I liked the money but I’m over the people.

Sigh.  Come on Sunday!

Listening to:  Human by Raggin Bone Man

Reading:  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Quote of the Day:  “There’s a certain grace in accepting what your life is and embracing all the good things that have been – but there’s still an expectation of good things to come. Not necessarily what you expected.” ― Emmylou Harris

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Filed under Advice Column, Driving

August Goals

Happy August!

I did not do much goal related this past month.  Mostly, July was spent focusing on us moving and making enough money to move.  I was actually surprised at how much did read, watched and drove around.  There is something to be said for not worrying about school right now.

July happenings:

  • Miles reached: 645.17 (274.83 miles to Lothlorien.)
  • Weight lost: 8 lbs (Down to 266.8 from 274.8 on 7/1)
  • Books read: 10
  • Blog Posts: 7
  • Vlog Posts:  10
  • Participate in BookTubeAThon, a week long tribute to reading and books.

August’s goals are fairly straight forward.

  • Reach 750+ miles.
  • Lose at least 10 lbs.
  • 12 blog posts.
  • Finish reading 10 more books.
  • Spend 2 hours 3x a week this month.
  • Build emergency fund back up.
  • Upload 14 vlogs.
  • Sign up/Upgrade Baltimore Half to Baltimoron (5k plus Half).
  • Buy Yule Ball tickets for December 15th.
  • Participate in Read-a-Thin and Tome Topple.

Hopefully, we will know where we are moving to soon.  This whole house process is really, really frustrating ways.  Make sure you have several thousands of dollars saved up.  We thought we had enough but turns out we were wrong.  Hence why I didn’t mark anything off my list this month.  Better luck next time, huh?

Listening to:  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.  Book is super cute right now.

Reading:  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Quote of the Day: “Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.” ― Napoleon Hill

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Filed under 1001 Days, Goals


I haven’t done a question day in a while.  With everything else going on, but not much too really talk about yet, I figured it would be a good idea since there are still 90 more to go.

Thanks to Google’s Random number generator, today’s number is “49”.

Question #49:  When you think of “home,” what, specifically, do you think of?

This question is pretty appropriate because we are looking for a house to settle into.  We’ve been living in an apartment for the last couple years.  I’ll spare you the rant about home buying and the American dream.

I’ve never been a white picket fence type of person.  Sure, it would be nice to have some roots, but when you don’t really grow up with them (we moved a lot when I was growing up), putting down roots is scary to me, even if it’s just a house.

That’s not answer the question yet but just a bit of background on why this question is sort of hard to answer.  Of course, if it were easy, these questions wouldn’t exist to make you think about your life and the experiences and people who’ve passed through.

So home… Home is a place where my family is.  Not just the family I’ve married into, but my biological family.  Sure, I don’t see them as much as I should; someday I’m going to regret that.

Home is where things should be less stressful and serves as an escape from the stress of the day.  Lately, our stress has been at home because of us trying to make sure we are set for our next move.  There’s a few other stressors there too (funds mostly because I haven’t been Ubering in almost a month and things are tight).

Home is the arms of the people who can make the day fade away and can make anything feel possible.

Home is where the people in your heart are.  It’s where you get the answers to the hardest questions you never got to ask while they were around.

Home isn’t always about shelter, it’s about love and respect and trust and knowing there are people who love you enough to be there to help you pick up the broken pieces when you are failing at adulting and at life in general.

Home… is home.

What does home mean to you?

Happy Friday!

Listening to:  Amazon Music

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” — Maya Angelou

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Filed under 1001 Days, Questions

Changes and Letting Go

Yesterday was an off day with many of my emotions tied to my weight loss, or lack thereof.  In December, I had weight loss surgery.  I went from brushing up against 400 lbs (highest weight was 396)  maybe nine months ago to flirting with 300 lbs (I was at [enter weight] this morning).  For me, this was difficult to swallow.

It’s been almost fourteen years since I weighed this much.  Fourteen years, I went to Mountaineer Challenge Academy and lost about 70 lbs, getting down under 250 lbs.  I was excited, and I liked how I looked.  It didn’t last, though.  I went to college at 16 and being away from home with no real authority figure there, I binged and did some idiotic stuff.  After two weeks, I went back home, back to my baggie clothes that didn’t fit anymore, went to work and went back to high school.  I tried out for the track team but not having a drill sergeant in your face barking at you to run is different.  I didn’t run and therefore didn’t stay after the first practice.  I gained all the weight back I had lost and stayed the fattest kid in my class.

As an adult, I got down to 322 by walking and doing cross-fit.  Stuff is hard but doing it with other people made it worth it.  After a few months, I stopped.  And like clockwork, within a few years, I was back up to 396.  It hurt that I had let myself get there far gone again, but it was no one’s issue but my own.

The other day, I made a comment on my Facebook about being scared because this is the smallest I’ve been weight wise in a very long time.  I’m scared because this is unknown territory right now.  I’m training for a half marathon, and I want to run it, not fast but at least a good bit of it.  I’m procrastinating on the training though because… I’m scared I’m going to break the treadmill.  I know that is just an excuse but to me, that’s a legit excuse.  It’s cold up here right now, even though tomorrow is going to be in the 70’s.  I have a seven-mile walk/run tomorrow before I go to Pottercon with a friend of mine.

I mentioned all of this to Ray yesterday, and we went shopping for smaller clothes for me.  Granted it was just Walmart but I haven’t been able to wear Wal-mart pants and jeans in a few years.  We got one pair of jeans for me.  I wanted to try on a 24 just for giggles since I can put on the 26’s without unbuttoning them.

Now to clean out our room and donate what we are never going to wear again before we got shopping at Torrid Sunday.

Happy Friday folks.

Listening to:  Back to Chubby’s Past Diets Part 1.

Reading:  Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Quote of the Day:  “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” ― Sheryl Sandberg

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Filed under Advice Column, Weightloss