Monday, February 15, 2010

I Survived Valentine's Day (with a smile on my face)


While watching the movie, Valentine's Day, starring tons of celebrities, I thought I saw myself as one of the characters. There is one character played by Jessica Biel. She is a work-a-holic who literally lives in her office. (She has a futon and an exercise ball and a treadmill). She is closest to her Blackberry. She throws an Anti-Valentine's Day party every year at an Indian restaurant. As sad and pathetic as that is, I kind of saw my future looking like that. I could totally live in my office. If I ever get an Iphone or Blackberry I will probably be addicted to it. I own an exercise ball, all I need is a treadmill. haha

Despite these negative feelings I decided to "love hard and love fully regardless of my relationship status." (Which is stone cold single). I went to Mass, visited the Sisters in the Infirmary to wish them a Happy Valentine's Day, ate lunch and cheesecake, went home and facebook messaged all my friends, wishing them a happy Valentine's Day and telling them how much I loved them. I went out and bought presents for people (birthday, Valentine's Day...etc). I got cornered by one of those shiny nail people at the mall. I almost bought a St. Patrick's Day flask but decided against it. I talked to some of my best friends on the phone for long periods of time. I then went home, sorted through my belongings, and ate dinner with the community.

I topped the night off by going to Hollywood Tavern, a bar down the street from where I live, by myself. I thought it was fitting, being so happy, upbeat and positive during Valentine's Day to go to a bar alone. So I did. It was awesome. The bartender introduced me to the locals and before you know it I had made three friends (who were two to three times my age but whatever). One of the guys said to me, "Hey Mary Anna...you've found your 'Cheers' bar!" He was right. The atmosphere was so friendly that I have to go back and hang with my new friends. I had a Valentine named Steve who likes to fist bump and Johnny who prefers to "potato" (one fist on top of the other). I left laughing at myself for going to the bar alone. I had two Rolling Rocks because I wanted to switch up on this 'special' ordinary day. Usually I'm a Miller/Miller Lite girl.

I came home, showered, and crawled into bed. This was after I read a few pages from my LOVE book. (A small and fun book that has love stories, poems and quotes). I also gave Connie and Stephen IPOD shaped Valentine's made out of Sweetheart boxes and Reeses Mini Cups.

I was sappy. I was happy. I was not bitter or resentful. I loved hard and loved fully. I might still be single but at least my positive attitude got me through the hard day. Yes, I wanted to be an idiot and tell the guy I like how I feel but I chose not to. I rememberd all the times that did not work to my advantage (all of them) and kept my mouth shut. What will be will be. I plan to love hard and love fully everyday, regardless of the holiday. It is really the only way to live.

Until next time...

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Tornado Inside of Me



First let me start this post by saying "no, I am not depressed right now and my life has not fallen to shit." I'm serious. Life is decent and I'm in an ok mood right now. The dark and scary tornado picture is sort of what is going on inside of me right now. Or at least inside of my head. As you can see, the tornado doesn't actually touch ground. It kind of just hovers above the Earth.


So why the dramatic photo? Well, I'm all mixed up inside. I'm plagued by nostalgia which makes me miss certain people and certain places. I feel like I'm on the brink of some sort of creative outpouring. This brinkish feeling is easy to describe. I feel like I'm about to burst with some great writing or creative idea to make the world a better place. I'm going to EXPLODE with thoughts, passions, love, hate, life what have you. The only problem is that I also feel like a stopped up drain or a geyser that can't burst. Brink or no brink, I find I can't explode with expression. Something is blocking that explosion and I have no idea what it is.


In addition to the feeling of needed to burst with creative expression I feel tired. Yes, despite being on edge I also feel weary. I know I need to recharge and re-evaluate certain aspects of my life. I'm always creating "new beginnings" for myself. This is when I feel I'm back on track and start living my life in a positive way. Right now I'm in a rut. I do not have the energy or motivation to get the daily mundane tasks done. I haven't been to the gym in a week and a half (this is due in part to the snow). I think I'm eating healthy but I'm not sure. I made a list of things I had accomplished so far this year and a list of things I need to accomplish. So, in theory, i should be working on accomplishing those things, right? Nope. I would rather rest, do mindless tasks, listen to music and be nostalgic and stopped up.


I suppose I'm out of sorts. Singles Awareness Day is coming up and I'm bound to be bitter. However, I know that no one I live with wants to put up with me feeling sorry for myself because I don't have a Valentine. So I know I have to strive to not let Vday bother me. I have to continue to think what other people want to hear and censor my thoughts/feelings that they don't want to hear. Does that make sense? I don't think so either.


So I'm sort of unsettled but I'm not sad or depressed. I'm just in tumult. I'm lacking energy and the key that unlocks that door of creative outburst. For all I know, it could be pent up emotions that need to explode in the form of laughter that makes your stomach hurt or tears that give you a headache. Maybe there is nothing creative about the blockage at all.
Cryptic yes. However I found this exercise helpful.
Until next time....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow, Stomach Viruses and Seeking Future Employment

Snow: Holy crap we have a lot of snow. Philadelphia got 28 inches! AND we're about to get hit by two storm systems which are converging into ONE. It is SNOWAGEDDON for real. The streets are decent but they are not as good as they could be. We're expected to get another foot or so dumped on us. I was talking to a guy on the bus yesterday and he said this is the most snow Philadelphia has seen since the mid 90s. Yeah..it kind of figures that we get a large amount of snow the year I move here. I don't mind, really. It is just funny because on my orientation day at work I asked my boss how I was to get to work when it snowed. I asked her this on a 90 degree summer day in August....Snow was on my mind even back then. So bottom line, we have tons of snow and we're getting more and more and more of it. Perfect storm snow style.

Stomach Viruses: There was/is a deathly plague infecting Philadelphia residents and those of surrounding areas. At least this is what I heard. I had some stomach issues last week but I didn't think much of it. Then Thursday night came where I had stabbing, crippling pain in my side. I thought I was going to be paying a trip to the hospital. (The whole time I thought "I will not go to the hospital without my sweatpants!) Anyway, turns out it wasn't a life threatening illness or infection. It just felt that way. I was cursed with the evil stomach virus from hell. My system was washed out completely. I lost 5lbs in the process. I was out of commission all weekend and even took off work on Friday. I am pleased to report that I can now digest solid food that is not bananas, rice, apples or toast. And I'm 5lbs lighter. Whoot! Sadly some of my co-workers were slammed by the virus too.

Seeking Future Employment: Hahahaha. I know I always say I'm going to focus on the present and not worry about the future but I'm compulsive when it comes to the future. I'm still seeking future employment. I continue to look at apartment complexes which I can afford, figure out the cost of living in Philly suburbs, and try to conceive a life plan. I'm kind of jealous that a journalism job has opened in Maryland which I am qualified for. I may be veering off the journalism path but I am still sticking to writing. I have decided I am going to commit myself to writing a book. I'm not sure what book yet. I want to write a book on stories of the homeless but after a nice debate with my dad I started to question my original intentions. He thinks I should start the autobiography I've been bragging about writing someday. His twist was "Never a Dull Moment: The First 23 years." True, if I were to write my autobiography it would have to be in volumes. However, how do I convince a publisher to publish a book about my life? I'm interesting, but am I interesting enough for the general public to give a crap about me? My dad also suggested I use my flare for drama to explore fiction writing. Thing is, I never finish what I start and I question my talent when it comes to fiction. Oh, I was talking about future employment. Yes, the life goal is to write/publish books. However I am a realist and I know that I can't eat and live on that alone. So I'm exploring local social work opportunities. I love what I do now but will I love it in another setting? Could I feasibly survive in Philly?

I had always dreamed of being the metropolitan business woman at the bar with a martini. I'd have some swanky apartment that overlooked the city and I'd own a Boxer dog. I'd have great girlfriends, I'd love my job, I'd have a continued opportunity to advance my career and my life would pretty much mirror the metropolitan woman books I've read my whole life.

However, I threw those dreams away when I decided to seek something MORE. I could have been a cop in Williamsburg. I could have eventually landed a journalism gig. While yes, law enforcement isn't a selfish profession...I wanted to do it to advance to the FBI. Journalism is a selfish profession. After reflection I wanted a career that served others, that would allow me to find God in my work, that wasn't totally selfish and that had a small impact in our big big world. So I work for free and I live with nuns and I have no clue what to do when July comes. How do you change the world though writing? It has been done but I can't figure out how to do it myself. So I could change the world through social work and write on the side. But how do I do that?

I want to be a writer, a mother, a social worker and a world changer. Ever since I was little I have felt compelled to break though the ordinary to become extraordinary. However this extraordinary endeavors can't be for my own gain. It must be done for humanity.

So I sit here on the brink of creativity, feeling like a butterfly about to bust out of my cocoon. Yet I have nowhere to fly yet and no concrete goals. :) There is more hashing out and obsessing to do!

Until next time....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh Happy Day


To the quick observer, it would appear that I go through extreme highs and extreme lows on a regular basis. This may or may not be true. I refuse to investigate the observation further. Needless to say, this week (so far) is a high. It isn't an extreme high, but it is high enough. Today is a happy day.
First of all, Puxatony Phil saw his shadow. This isn't the best news in the world. Six more weeks of winter kind of makes me want to cry. That is because I'm such a summer baby. I'm literally wearing open toe high heels today IN THE DEAD OF WINTER. I'm doing this because I can pretend it is summer in my mind AND because black does not go with navy blue. My skirt is navy blue and all my closed toed shoes are black. Therefore, I'm minimizing the blackness of my shoes by wearing strappy heels (that are comfortable) just not practical for the weather.
Today I'm headed to St. Joe's University to meet the volunteers for the service learning project. Basically students from SJU get credit for doing a service project for a semester. I went last time with my partner in crime, but she is out on medical leave now so its just me. I hope I don't screw it up. Talk about the opportunity to be a young professional. I also have to network with local providers so I can make connections regarding supplies. (Last time I scored a bunch of school supplies).
After this meet and greet I have to teach my emotions class. We're still working on teamwork and team building. This week I'm making them draw for partners and then in teams of two build a bridge with the materials I provide for them. The catch is that each team gets a bag of different materials. The lesson is sometimes you have to work with what you have and with someone you wouldn't necessarily choose to work with. My kids are kids but hopefully they understand the lesson. The materials are pipe cleaners, cups, cardboard, straws, paper clips, foil and other various odds and ends. I'm excited to see what they come up with (pending them getting into the activity).
I'm cooking for the community on Weds. We're having pancakes both chocolate chip and plain, scrambled eggs and sausage. For our activity we're doing a sort of show and tell. Everyone is picking two items that mean a lot to them and they will share with the community the special-ness of each item. Even though we've lived together for over 4 months, we still don't know each other as well as we'd like to think. Hopefully it goes well.
So it is looking like a good week. Singles Awareness Day (Valentine's Day) is coming up. Fortunately it is on a Sunday so I shouldn't be too bitter. Although I am tempted to wear black and watch "My Bloody Valentine." haha
This past weekend was a lot of fun. Friday night I went out with Stephen to his friend's house party. His Jr. roommate from Notre Dame just moved back to Philly. So he had this sweet party. Fun fact: Stephen and I went to the WRONG party first. We heard a party next door to the house we were supposed to go to. Some people shouted from a car that we should go to 142, that is where the party is at. So we listened to them.
We opened the door and was greeted by at least 60 or 70 already drunk high schoolers and college freshman. They were clearly younger than us. Everyone was wearing white t-shirts because it was a highlighter party. Stephen and I walked from one end of the house to the other and up the stairs and back down. We could find no sign of his friend. So I asked a few drunk people if they knew where Tony was. Yeah...no one had a clue. That was when Stephen and I realized we crashed the wrong party. So we left, went next door, and was greeted by Tony's brother. This house was much nicer. They had two big screen tvs in the living room and a table that looked like a counter at the liquor store. The atmosphere was chill and we had a good time. At one point I was promoting a drink I invented called the "Starburst." It has lemonade, sprite, sour apple pucker and strawberry rum in it. A few people asked me to make it for them. I remember proclaiming I was a bartender in training.
Saturday night we went to the Mother house and played cards with some of the Sisters. That was a lot of fun and a good way to spend a Saturday night. Sunday I cleaned my room from top to bottom, did my community cleaning duties, and then went shopping for a bit. I scored a $5 dress, and two $7 shirts. Got to love Marshalls.
In my next post, I'll elaborate on a situation that happened to me yesterday. It was...interesting. So for now, life is good. I'm getting back to the normal swing of things. The only hard part is I keep wanting to call my grandmother and then I realize I can't. I think this will go on for quite some time. I have been wearing the jewelry she left me. I guess she is always with me. :)
Until next time....

Sick September A Recap

After an fantastic month of August where all the stars were aligned and life seemed damn near perfect, I entered the month of September with...