Drink Responsibly?

I often worry that I may be an alcoholic. Dependency runs in my family and I was raised with the knowledge that addiction wouldn’t be out of the question, due to my families history. I never felt like I was addicted to anything, nor do I REALLY believe that I am an alcoholic, but occasionally I wake up after a night of drinking and cringe.
It’s the cringe that worries me. I have never done anything truly bad while drinking other than start the occasional fight with my husband for no reason, but it’s been a very long time since I have done that.
When we lived in Charleston, there were extended periods of time when I would go out and drink days in a row. After a lot of those nights I would go home and vent to my husband about all the little things that annoy me and a fight would begin. He never held it against me the next day, but I always felt awful about it.
Ever since moving to Chicago I haven’t had a single night like that. This led me to reflect upon reasons for more responsible drinking in Chicago, and all I can come up with is that I am way less bored in Chicago. In Charleston, Chase worked a schedule that kept him at work for over fifteen hours a day and I was alone most of the time. I felt alone most of the time and anxious about the amount of time we actually spent together. In Chicago, we both go to work early and are both home together for dinner every night. We both have groups of friends here that we spend time with and go out with on occasion, as well, which is something neither of us had in Charleston.
The amount that I drink has dramatically decreased since I have moved from Charleston, but once in a while I will still drink too much. I wake up with a miserable hungover, I can’t remember conversations that I had with the people that I went out with, I have specific memories of thoughts when I knew should stop drinking but continued to, because I like to be the life of the party. That being said, I have never missed work, lost friends, done anything illegal, or really done anything life ruining while drunk, I’m just starting to realize that it’s not so cool to be 28 and wasted in public and miserable the next day.

I love a good cocktail and really enjoy a nice cold beer. I like the social aspect of drinking on a patio on a warm summers day. I don’t want to stop drinking all together, but I really want to get myself to a place where I can recognize that I enjoyed my cocktail or my cold beer and then I can stop. I don’t always have to drink to get buzzed and that’s okay.

For the next month I would like to try to drink water only, and then reintroduce drinking as treat and not as a necessity. We have a wedding that we are going home for next month and those are usually triggers for me, I love the open bar and I love dancing with all the people I haven’t seen in a long time. In that setting I am not the only one who is very drunk, but it is okay for me to not be that drunk, too. I need to learn. I also have plans to spend time with my group of childhood friends, which also turns into an out until last call kind of night, which is fun, but that doesn’t mean I need to be stumbling home.

In conclusion, I am aware that I may have an issue with alcohol consumption and I am making it my goal to go home to this wedding and spending time with old friends without getting trashed. And having made this goal a thing that I can look back at as a reminder of how bad I feel when this happens, hopefully it’ll keep me honest. If not, it will be time to completely reevaluate my relationship with alcohol.

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Making it about ME

This past year, I spent a majority of my time just getting by. In fact, I have spent most of my adult life just getting by. 2016 was a wonderful year. I moved to Chicago with my husband and we are living life and embracing this new experience. However, we have faced the reality that Chicago is expensive and perhaps we don’t make enough money to support our desire to live here. He has a job that he loves which makes his wage worth it, regardless. I have a job that I kind of like which makes my wage less worth it. I have more potential and I know it, I am terribly afraid of branching out and failing, though. I always have been.

He has been pursuing his passion of cooking for years now it is his dream to open a restaurant of his own one day and this is a dream that I stand behind. I, however, have no idea how to pursue my own dreams. I am currently a barista, which is fun but is by no means my dream job. I have had opportunities within the company that I work for to move up, but because of my lack of desire to stay with the company FOREVER (even though it has been six years already) I have turned them down. I have searched for other jobs or career paths, but I have no idea what that looks like. I don’t know what I want to do.

It was brought to my attention during a visit home in 2016 that everyone in my family and in his family think I am great for dropping everything and following my husband in pursuit of his dreams. They think it is incredibly supportive and brave. I love to support him and admire the moves he makes everyday, but it hit me hard that I DON’T DO ANYTHING FOR MYSELF. Next time I go home I want my family and friends to praise the things I am doing to better myself. I never imagined that I’d get lost in what someone else was doing.

So, this year, I hope to make it year dedicated to myself. I need to do things out of my comfort zone, say yes to the promotions, take time to do things I enjoy, make decisions that aren’t solely dependent on how I think my husband will respond to them, etc.

I hope that by this time next year I can look back on the previous year and reflect on the things i did to better by myself. via Daily Prompt: Year

Year

A.

 

 

          Angie rushed into Mrs. Smith’s kitchen, warm rag in hand, and knelt on the floor beside Mrs. Smith. There were strawberry and matcha smoothie remnants being smashed into her expensive fur rug. For fuck’s sake why does this idiot woman have a fur rug in her kitchen? Angie thought to herself as she scrubbed. She had to simultaneous work the chunks of smoothie out of the carpet while keeping it from knotting at the same time.

Mrs. Smith tapped her fingers on her marble countertop, as if to let Angie know she was growing impatient. “Por Favor, An-hell-ica, can’t you go any faster?” She scrolled through her cell phone has she let out a bored sigh. Angie could go faster if Mrs. Smith would move out of the way, but since she was standing on the stain without any intention of budging, it was becoming a harder task than it should have been. God forbid Angie ask that she move, she would lose half a days pay for “talking back.”

Angie’s little thrill for the day would be cleaning Mrs. Smith’s rug with warm water, she demanded that she read the label on the rug when she first purchased it to guarantee that Angie would never fuck it up. The first instruction is to never use hot water. It also instructs that it be rinsed a few times with cold water and that if detergent must be used, make it a mild shampoo. That being noted, Angie decided to use a diluted bleach to clean it. Mrs. Smith would never bend over and read the fur rug label to know the difference. As a plus, Mrs. Smith hated the scent of bleach, which would also count as one of Angie’s little thrills.

Angie would go home each day and share her “little thrills” with her twin sister, Andrea. It all started when Angie was sick one day and convinced her sister to take her place. “I promise, “ she begged her sister, “she will never know! Just nod your head and smile at everything she says.”

“You never say anything to her all day?” Andrea asked in disbelief.

“No, she is convinced that my English is poor. The few times I have spoken to her she has let me know that it is not my place to correct her. So I find that the smile and nod approach is best suited for the work relationship.” Angie shrugged the lowly feelings of being condescended everyday off with a swig of orange juice.

“She sounds ridiculous, but I guess I will do it. If this blows up and you lose your job I am not responsible for this.” With that, Andrea changed into her sisters work uniform, a set of black scrubs, and headed out.

Angie always considered that her first thrill. She loved knowing that she got one over on her boss. Andrea had nothing exciting to report on when she got home and didn’t find that Mrs. Smith was as terrible as Angie had described, but Angie knew that if she had gone back for a second day, she would know the truth.

Angie rose from the kitchen floor to get her bleach mixture from the laundry room. Mrs. Smith was so wrapped up in her Instagram feed to even notice that Angie wasn’t scurrying at her feet anymore. While Angie slowly made her way to cleaning supplies, she noticed the exposed pantry that she was instructed to keep dust free and stocked. This was more of a joke, because she had fake food on display. She had a large wire basket on the top shelf filled with pastries, plastic pastries, of course. Mrs. Smith hadn’t touched a pastry since she was a child. The shelf below the pastry display had fruits, beautiful, bright, vibrant fruit. To glance once one would believe them to be real, but to glance twice would make it obvious that it was fake, no fruit looks that perfect. The bottom shelf contained specialty pastas and celebrity brand sauces, which would really lead one to believe that she cooked. Below was a minibar. It was a rose gold cart that matched her cream and gold-specked marble countertops. She had all of her alcohol poured into elegant crystal decanters with a marble ice bin and glass shaker that both had gold accents. The pantry presentation really tied the whole kitchen together. Despite the ridiculous fur rug under her island Mrs. Smith really had a beautiful kitchen. Angie shook off the compliment, Mrs. Smith didn’t design an inch of that kitchen, she didn’t even pay attention when the paperwork was presented to her. She just hired the best and the most expensive to impress her husband, but let them hold the reigns. Little did she know, her husband didn’t give a shit about anything that she did.

Angie became lightheaded for a second while she mixed the bleach and water together. Her intention was to use just a touch of bleach, but the aroma was so overwhelming she knew she had used too much. Oh well, she thought to herself.

“An-hell-ica! Where did you go? I hope you don’t think this carpet is clean. Vamonos!” She snapped her fingers. Angie bit her tongue and rolled her eyes in private before going back into the kitchen. Listening to Mrs. Smith yell incorrect commands at her in Spanish made her cringe.

“I’m sorry ma’am, I was just getting carpet cleaner for the rug, the strawberry isn’t coming out.” Angie smiled while she said it, because she knew that Mrs. Smith despised being called ‘ma’am.’ Almost as much as Angie hated being called ‘An-hell-ica.’

“Your English is poor, you don’t have to speak to me and if you must address do not call me ‘ma’am’.” And with that, she stomped her kitten heels straight out of the kitchen.

Angie could add calling her ma’am onto her list of little thrills. Three was a lot for one day, she felt like she might be taking advantage of a good thing.

There was a knock at the door, which meant Angie had to abandon the rug temporarily to answer it. Mrs. Smith was likely to be sitting on the couch near it, but why would she move when she paid Angie to move for her?

“Could you move any slower?” She barked at Angie as she moved towards the door. Her guest continued to knock, as if no one could hear her, over and over. Angie couldn’t vocalize that she heard the guest without being out of line and Mrs. Smith would never raise her voice to a guest, just to the help.

When Angie answered the door she discovered Mrs. Smith’s friend, Jen. Jen grunted at the sight of Angie, “took you long enough.” She pushed passed her while handing off her coat for Angie to take care of. “There isn’t anything in the pockets, so don’t check.” She blew a bubble with her gum and sat beside Mrs. Smith on the couch while they both laughed together at Angie’s expense.

You do this for your son, Angie reminded herself. Angie was a third generation United States citizen. It infuriated her that these women read her name and saw her darker skin and dark hair and assumed she didn’t speak English. It enraged her that she was assumed to be a crook. Her mom created a business of cleaning houses and raised her five children by herself off of the empire she created. Angie was proud to be a part of that. It wasn’t permanent by any means, but it helped keep her child fed while she went to college. She grew up watching her mom work hard while maintaining a loving home and she wanted her son to see her do the same. Lately, it’s been harder to keep in good spirits while at home. It had started to take a toll on Angie mentally to be treated like this day in and day out without having the backbone to stand up for herself.

Slight satisfaction took over while she spread the bleach solution over the stained rug. She could already see the fur negatively reacting to the treatment, it began to shed and fray.

“I can smell the bleach from here! Gross! Open a window, now! I told you I don’t like it when you use bleach.” Mrs. Smith yelled into the kitchen. After that she said to Jen, “if only she understood half the shit I said, we wouldn’t have this problem all of the time.” She grunted in annoyance then addressed Angie again, “Angie, we are waiting in here for our drinks. What is taking you so long, I feel like I shouldn’t even have to ask.”

“Coming right up.” Angie shook her head, what she would really like to do is mix that bleach right into her afternoon cocktail. When did she let Mrs. Smith turn her into her servant instead of the house cleaner?

Along with the list of little thrills that Angie kept, she also had a list of little murders. She would sometimes imagine subtle ways to take Mrs. Smith out, but the scene always played out with her getting caught. The best-case scenario for a clean get away would be water resistant lubricant of some kind on her shower floor; she would slip, hit her head, and die instantly. The police would never know she didn’t innocently slip from soap build up. At the very worst Angie could get herself out of it by claiming she didn’t know the cleaner she had used was water resistant. But in the end, Angie could never handle the idea of living with that on her conscience.

She hated that she had become this person. Her last client was an elderly woman named Lenore. Angie’s mother had taken care of her home first and they had such a great relationship that her mom claimed it was almost like hanging out with her own mother. Angie’s mom became ill and was no longer able to clean Lenore’s home and that is when Angie decided to join her mom’s business. She used to go play in Lenore’s home growing up while her mom cleaned she always treated Angie like family and it felt natural to return the favor.

A few years after she had taken on Lenore as a client, Angie’s mom had passed and Lenore had become a surrogate mother to her. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Angie became a care taker for her, she would clean house, prepare her meals, sit with her, and help her take care of her grandchildren so that she could still see them when her children had to work. Lenore’s family trusted Angie and loved her as if she were part of the family.

This went on for a couple more years, Lenore continued to decline and Angie continued to stay by her side, they formed a mother-daughter bond that she couldn’t explain. Lenore was there with her for through her pregnancy and even got to hold her son before she passed. The day Lenore died was hard for Angie. She had already lost her real mother and to lose a mother who had taken her in by choice was just as hard. Angie had hoped to stay on with Lenore’s family, but her daughter unfortunately didn’t need any help. She could tell that when they let her go it was hard for them. They sat around with a bottle (or four) of wine and let their children play together while sharing stories about Lenore. It was bittersweet, she was thankful the experience and the second family she had gained, but was devastated to let it all go. They had stayed in touch for a few months, but after that drifted apart.

The separation from Lenore’s family led her right into the doorway of Mrs. Smith’s grand mansion. It was very different from Lenore’s modest, ranch-style, family home. Mrs. Smith’s home was cold and pristine. It required more attention to detail, like under the microscope type of detail, than Lenore’s did. It made Angie uncomfortable. Lenore was unable to clean for herself and needed the help and the companionship and Mrs. Smith was jobless and miserable and refused to do the cleaning herself.

The first week at her house, Angie believed that Mrs. Smith’s hard exterior would be broken down and they would connect. She would realize that Angie spoke perfect English and that friendly conversation was all she needed once in a while to make her less miserable. She would overhear Mrs. Smith begging her husband to come home sometimes and often found her crying in secluded parts of the house. Angie had attempted to show compassion and tried to be there for her, but that was only ever received with hostility. The first time Mrs. Smith yelled at her using Spanglish she new they would never click, not even enough to receive a smile from her upon entering her home.

As Angie mixed their drinks she realized how miserable she truly was. In almost an instant her satisfaction in ruining Mrs. Smith’s rug and her fantasy of murder had turned into shame. This wasn’t who she wanted to be. She had done this job for a woman who loved and respected her for years before this and knew that she could find respect in another home again. She didn’t need to subject herself to this abuse to be a good mom to her son.

A good role model would have self-respect and walk away from a situation that demeaned her. She wanted her son to know that he never had to be treated like that and she wanted herself feel proud again.

She took her apron off confidently and lifted their drinks into her hands. She walked into her living room and set them on her crystal coasters, of course. With a polite smile Angie said to her, “Mrs. Smith, I quit. I don’t deserve to be treated like this anymore. One day I hope you will find happiness, you’re going to die young of misery. I also need you to know that I have lived in this country my whole life. I speak perfect English. You should be embarrassed of yourself.” Angie smiled, gathered her belongings from the closet and left. She really wanted to yell ‘fuck you’ right into her face, but knew that would only feel good for a second. She also wanted to tell her that when she goes to Pilates three times a week her friend Jen comes over to keep her husband company, but she also knew that wouldn’t make her feel good long term.

The most gratifying thing for her in that moment was the sound of the front door closing behind her and knowing she would never have to be on the other side of it again. She couldn’t wait to go home and hold her son.

Kill all the Things

Today is day 4 of my Whole30 adventure and my body feels great, but my attitude is shitty. I am very irritable and on the defensive. I read a lot about doing a Whole30 before I started it and thought to myself there is NO WAY I am going to want to ‘kill all the things’ by only day 4. And I was so wrong. I thought that hit in week two so when I read up on it again today everything seemed to make sense. I spent days 1-3 making fun of Chase for not being able to handle it that soon and today I am thankful that he is busy at work not to witness the monster I have become.
My day hasn’t been particularly bad. Work was slow, I enjoyed my coworkers, all our customers were in great moods, and nothing bad or annoying happened. Chase and I have to lock down a caterer for the wedding, which is exciting, but we both feel like we can’t make any decisions without our families input, because they are paying for it. Unfortunately, everyone is on a different page. We have narrowed it down to two different local eateries that do a whole pig roast which is something we would love, we just have to create menus and price it out. This wouldn’t seem like a big deal if we didn’t have pressure coming from both sides to hurry up and make a decision.
We picked a priest that we grew up with in our church to officiate and went over marriage prep guidelines with him. We were relieved to find that he would allow us to do classes online, because we only get to spend time together between the hours of 11 pm and 2 am and have a hard time with our jobs coordinating time off.
We also picked dates to go home for his sister’s graduation/cousin’s wedding and the dates we will go home for OUR WEDDING . We purchased the first set of tickets and now just have to lock down the dates with our bosses and purchase the wedding month tickets! So that’s all very exciting stuff, a lot of money involved, but exciting nonetheless.
Now back to the stress. I sent a text to the bridesmaid/grooms-maids, who are my sisters and his sisters, with a color palette and dress ideas for them to look for. I told them I was happy as long as they were within those colors. And I assumed the pictures I sent for mismatched ideas would be sufficient. His sisters (who I love) sent pretty structured and darker dresses then I was looking for. I stupidly said they were acceptable thinking to myself it has only been one hour since I sent that text, they are still looking, then I heard a few days later that it what they were getting. So, I was upset with myself for being so relaxed and agreeing to what they had sent. So I sent another text with 6 specific colors and 12 dress options I like. I have been saying “pretty, romantic, and feminine” from the start. And somehow, because I am a spineless jellyfish, I let them know they could keep the dresses in a softer tone as long as they looked for something more flowing first. I am not mad at them. I am confused that the pictures I sent don’t look like the dresses they picked, but I am mad at myself for not saying “no.” They are all going shopping together next week and it is my only hope that my mom can hold it together for me, she’s been on my side and helping me through this whole thing and I am unbelievably thankful to have her through this. Telling someone “no” shouldn’t be this hard, but on DAY 4 OF YOUR WHOLE30 it is! I want it to be over. I just want everyone to agree with me and support me… is that too much to ask?!
In other news we decided to stay in South Carolina for another year once our lease is up. I am hoping the longer we stay the more likely my whole family is to move here. A girl can dream.

Fried Green Tomatoes

I’m in the midst of one of the laziest weeks I have had in a while. It has been the absolute best. Since Thanksgiving I have felt like I’ve been non-stop so to take these past few days for myself has been much needed, more so than I thought. Anyways, I have been spending my time meal prepping, wedding planning (getting addresses is exhausting!), watching movies, and I have even worked out a bit. Amazing, I know, I can’t believe I worked out either. My arms have been sore the past two days which is exactly what I need to change to feel a little better in my wedding dress!
So, today I watched the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, it was so good. I can’t believe I have lived my whole life without seeing this movie. It was so inspiring. A movie about strong women loving and encouraging each other was what I needed. I loved watching Kathy Bates character, Evelyn, grow through her relationship with Ninny and the stories she told of Idgie and Ruth. These girls were a wild pair that did what they wanted despite how society told them to live their lives at the time and they were so happy doing it. They had big hearts and deeply cared for the people around them and it came through in Ninny’s tales. I am not going to break down the whole movie, but after finishing it I feel happy and at ease. It seems slightly silly, but after watching Evelyn grow into her own powerful woman I feel like I can conquer anything as well. I’m neither ignored by my significant other nor afraid to speak out about what’s on my mind, but If Evelyn can learn to speak her mind and get her unhappy ass to a gym to take charge, then damn it, so can I! Every time I feel lazy or down on myself I’ll just have to channel my inner Towanda. Such a funny word can take up so much meaning. Watching Kathy Bates smash into the younger woman’s car screaming “Towanda!” was one of the funniest scenes I had watched in a long time.
My lazy week will soon come to a close tonight (what? But it’s only Friday?). I start work again tomorrow at 5 am and don’t have another day off until next Friday! Wish me luck; it’s hard to stay on track with my healthy eating when I work up and down hours all over the place. Hopefully all the meal prepping I did can keep me in line for the first few days or so. By the way, what is meal prepping anyway? I made a bunch of chicken that I put in a plastic container in my fridge, along with prepped veggies and spinach. Am I doing it right?

Towanda.

I Put That Sh*t on Everything

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This here is chimichurri. I made it the other night to go over steaks for dinner and I just can’t get enough of it. I have had it before, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make. Since steak night I have used it once a day at least as either a salad dressing, with my eggs, I dipped plantain chips, and so on. If I could make yummy fresh salsas/dips/marinades like this to keep on hand all of the time life would be more simple and delicious.
I told myself that this year I was going to transform into a healthier version of myself and so far, so good. I am down four pounds and I feel good about the things I am eating. I don’t want to call myself paleo, but I will go with paleo-ish . It’s been exciting to go grocery shopping and meal plan. I feel like it’s really going to work this time around, because I have Chase on board the health train for the first time. I don’t NEED him to be healthy in order for me to be healthy, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier!
I received an e-mail from the boutique I got my wedding dress at with details for my first fitting in a couple months. One of the main points was to be your ideal weight for the first fitting or further alterations past that will continue to grow in cost. This sort of motivated me to finally get serious. Maybe I’ll actually work out tonight…?

Let’s not get too crazy.

Being an Adult is Rough.

My 2015 so far has been hectic. I started off in the best way possible. I went to the restaurant that Chase is sous at and hung out at the bar with the significant others of his work family and toasted and celebrated the New Year with them. It was great. And then the unavoidable hangover hit the morning of January 1st and it has been downhill since then. I didn’t get out of bed until 2 pm, which honestly was awesome. I made a delicious “breakfast” of hash browns, pancakes, and bacon and covered everything in syrup!
Anyways, other than my hangover breakfast I had been in kind of a funk. I wasn’t interested in friends or the things Chase was saying anymore. I had already posted a rant about my stress and my shitty apartments. I had this overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t articulate. I was irritable and I just “couldn’t even.” Aha…really though. We have a lot going on this year, our lease in Charleston is up in May, we get married in California in August, and there is a lot happening in between. We want to start a farm as I previously mentioned but neither of us have a job that allows to pay for more than an apartments rent and groceries. We are comfortable, but have a hard time saving, not to mention I have student loans to worry about.
2015 holds a year of many decisions for us, many very adult decisions we have never been faced with. It has been easy for us to get the things we want, because we haven’t thought bigger picture. Now we actually have to budget, and we have to decide where we want to settle and start a farm and how we are going to get there. We need to decide whether or not we are ready to close the Charleston chapter of our lives. Should we honeymoon after the wedding or set up a “help start our farm” fund for our gift registry? How does paying my students loans work into owning a home? There are just so many things to consider this year that I had never thought about seriously before.
It took me 10 days to figure out that I was being burdened with an incredible amount of financial stress, health stress, and stress about change. At this point, Chase was obviously struggling with how to talk to me since I was acting like a crazy person, so he was relieved when I had finally opened up to him about the things floating around in my head. We had a great talk about the things we want and how to achieve them, slowly but surely we will figure everything out together. No decisions have been made, but at least we are both on the same page.
In other news, I had made a slightly pre-New Year’s resolution to be healthier and so far so good. I kicked it off officially on the first Monday of the New Year and have lost 3 pounds this week. I haven’t added working out into my lifestyle yet, but baby steps, okay? My journey to consistently eat real food AND get Chase to eat real food is a work out enough. As I enter week 2 of #healthylifestyles I hope to work out at least twice, which sounds stupid but it would be a lot for me. Wish me luck!