growing up

Is this real life? Not at all…

It’s been three weeks since I moved to a new city, a new state, a “new” job, and a new way of life. A more independent way of life. A “big girl” life where bills visit my mailbox, the apartment doesn’t stay clean on it’s own (thank you, Mom!), and the outside world is suddenly on my doorstep, ready or not.

Three weeks since I started this new chapter of my life, starring myself & Jayders. Three weeks since I paid for my first month’s rent + down payments + pet fees. And in two days, rent will be due again. Hello life.

I’ve learned some things about myself since moving away from my family, my friends, my hometown, and everything familiar & comfortable to me. I guess that happens when you step out of your comfort zone, but then I can’t say for sure that what I was living in WAS my so-called “comfort zone.” It seems so natural to say that your hometown is where your heart is, where you know the street names, streetlights, and places where the cops sit to catch speeders, where your old high school friends acquaintances return to settle down with families & careers. I remember an incident in my freshman year, during a history class. Some students were having a discussion about moving away and how they couldn’t wait to get away from that small, crappy, boring town. A guy suddenly spoke up louder than the rest: “Why wouldn’t you want to stay? You know where everything is….” etc. etc. I remember my internal reaction to this statement being, “He doesn’t get it.” Even though at that point in my life I had no confidence in myself and was pretty convinced I wouldn’t want to move anywhere else because of my fear of the unknown. But that’s what my gut told me.

While I only have a short three weeks between my “old” life and the life I’m living right now, I think I can say with a high degree of confidence that I’ve changed, grown into a different person. Β I can’t imagine going back to living the way I was in Iowa. By that I think I mean living under the expectations [real or perceived only by myself & yes that is a trick statement], the pressure [again, same], the questioning [not necessarily bad, but irritating after a while], the drama [mostly family stuff]. It might sound cliche to say that I needed to get away from my hometown because it held (holds?) too much ‘bad’ history for me, personally. Or maybe saying that I felt stifled there, among everybody and everything, is a better way to put it. I don’t know. All I know and am slowly starting to understand is that being away from home, away from anything and everything I know, has taken a huge weight off my shoulders. I feel more free to be myself and listen to my own wants, needs, & gut instincts without worrying about what others think, what my parents would expect, what I *should* be doing.

So. Here are some things I’ve learned, realized, been struck stupid by, since moving away from home:

  • You really can get another sandwich [or stuffed kong] out of a supposedly empty peanut butter jar (sorry for all the times I discarded the “empty” PB jar, Dad!)
  • I really don’t need/care to have a t.v. This might seem obvious to those who knew me well but I figured that I’d be some what put off by not having a t.v. around, just because there has always been one around… yes, faulty logic, but still.
  • I’m more independent than I thought. By that I mean independent is something I am. I think it was covered and hidden by all my insecurities and fears throughout the years. I never really believed in myself or had confidence in my abilities, always relying on someone else to back me up or take the lead. But now that I’ve grown and realized that “It’s all in what you believe” I have had a mass adjustment to my thinking (perhapsΒ thisΒ might show that a bit). That could be an entire blog post in itself – including the subheading of “No one is coming/No one cares.”
  • One person generates more dishes than I thought. I have been trying to keep up with making homemade dinners (versus just frozen entrees, mac n cheese, etc.) so that adds to it.
  • Jayde has shown – so far – the marks of an exemplary apartment dog. She’s adjusted better than I had ever hoped!
  • My learning of street names & locations of certain destinations has proceeded much faster than I thought it would I can make it to work and back without using my GPS. I know what (most) streets turn into what (most) other streets. I know the rough layout of both main streets on both ‘sides’ of town. Next thing on my list is learning the relations between various streets, where they intersect, etc. so I can find the best/fastest routes to get where I’m going.
  • I have trust issues. I knew at home that I didn’t trust many people and mostly kept to myself and my family and friends. But perhaps it’s because I’m in a new city surrounded by exactly zero people I know that it has shown its true colors. I’m not just distrustful of people; I’m almost downright defensive. I’m very cautious and I always watch my back when I’m out with Jayde Β (both in daylight and at night). For some reason, I’m very suspicious of people. For instance: “Why is that guy looking at me? He said hi?! What’s he saying hi for? He’s got to have an ulterior motive….” Perhaps I sound a bit paranoid, but I don’t feel paranoid, or feel as if anybody is “out to get me.” I’m just very suspicious and pretty much keep to myself.

That’s all I have for that list for now. Perhaps I’ll add more later. Anyway I have a paper that has to be done and some readings to get started on. Hopefully next time I’ll have pictures for y’all. πŸ™‚

Peace&Pawprints

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Now taking donations of winning lottery tickets

At this very moment I am sitting on my couch in my living room (it feels so nice to say that!) with a bottle of h2o beside me and a good book. My stomach is full of the (failed) fried chicken, green beans, and sweet potato fries I made for dinner tonight. My sweatpants are cozy and comfortable. Behind me an incoming storm blows ominous breaths through my window, creating a melody of Mother Nature’s mood & manmade window blinds. A flash flood warning just beeped on my phone. Good thing I have nowhere to be the rest of tonight or tomorrow except my cozy apartment (I guess I *should* go to the bank tomorrow but…. we’ll see :P)

stormysky

I finally went [back] to work yesterday. The restaurant that is my home yet is so unfamiliar to me right now. The job duties were fine; I could reel off the menu items, procedures, sidework and whathaveyou without blinking an eye. My new co-workers, on the other hand, will take a while to get used to. Right now I do not associate them with the restaurant that is so familiar. I kept looking for all my old employees, as if I was back home. This restaurant is much busier than my old one though and I can tell that I have some learning to do about endurance. Same goes for Jayde while I am working later hours.

I absolutely love coming home to Jayde. She usually greets me with a yawn & stretch followed by a body wiggle and circle tail wags. She rubs against me like a cat, back and forth, and happily leaps into my arms if I invite her up. Her bright eyes stare up at me, waiting for me to feed her, take her out, pick up a toy, grab the leash. She holds no resentment for being in her kennel for such a long period of time. How many humans can you say that about? πŸ™‚

Today I woke up to Jayde’s very faint whine. According to her, I had slept in much too long. It was 8am, which is around the normal time we’ve been getting out of bed since we moved (2 whole weeks already! wow!). After feeding her breakfast and getting dressed, we went outside for the morning potty break (Jayde’s, not mine ;P). I brought her chuck-it and my book, in case she wanted to play. The morning was absolutely gorgeous and we both enjoyed soaking up the cool morning air.

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After we came back in, I started two loads of laundry then set to work cleaning. Someone once told me that when I got my own place I would take pride in keeping it clean and smelling good. This said person also told me that cleaning would help me relax. Now, while I do take pride in keeping my apartment clean, I can’t find the enjoyment in cleaning. I wish it would do itself. But it is satisfying knowing that once I sweep up all the hair, dirt, sand, and unknown particles in my kitchen it is no longer there. Same goes for vacuuming. One dog sure does drag in a ton of sand and dirt. Seeing the vacuum full of all the dirty stuff amazes me that it came out of my carpet in a week. Too bad the scrubbing part doesn’t have a satisfying after effect. xD

I finished one book today, and started another. Then Jayde and I went for a walk. With the squirrels we encountered, it was an adventure in itself! One squirrel got up the tree all right, then promptly lost it’s footing and nearly fell on my head. Another squirrel (a black one, something I’d never seen before) boldly came down the tree while we were eight feet away and took off for another tree. Jayde was rarin’ to go. She stalks the trees before we get within a hundred feet of them, just in case there is a squirrel hiding in the upraised roots.

black squirrel

squirrelview

Later in the afternoon we walked to the office to get our mail. It’s always exciting to get letters and packages. I was excited when my modem came. And my blank checks came today. Anything from the UPS man is exciting I think. xD That being said, you can guess my excitement at seeing a bubble-wrapped package from AmbernessΒ in my mail box! What was inside was a plethora of goodies. The fruit snacks, the much needed chocolate bars (eeeeee!), the gum, and the Target bag made me smile. But it was the letter and the gift card that brought tears to my eyes. I’m not sure what I did to deserve such a good friend but today I feel blessed beyond measure. ❀ With her gift I was able to stock up on the necessities of milk, bread, and peanut butter, something I was holding off on doing until I was sure of my incoming money flow. So thank you, Amber, for brightening my day and helping me breath a little easier. πŸ™‚

dogparkevening

I am soaking up the free time I have with Jayde and with my books right now. I’m not sure how much free time I’ll have once class starts and I start working more hours. Jayde and I also visited an agility class which we hope to become involved in once I get the extra money. The people I’ve met so far have been so nice and their methods are exactly what I use, so I am extremely excited about that. I have the urge to get knowledge, share opinions, have long talks about dogs and training and puppies with likeminded folk. I want to meet more people, more dogs.

All in good time, right? All in good time. πŸ™‚

Peace&Pawprints

Hallelulah I’m connected to the outside world again!

Jayde and I are settling in nicely to our new apartment. Together we’ve been exploring the city just a little bit. Compared to my hometown, this city is huge so it’s going to take a while to get used to the difference in traffic and number of people. We’ve found some awesome hiking trails and picnic spots, as well as a particularly popular tourist spot that every.single.person. mentioned to me before I moved.

JaydeCO-1

While we haven’t quite settled into a set daily routine yet (I’m sure that’ll happen once class starts and once I’m settled into my work schedule), we do manage to go for at least one walk a day, as well as fit in at least one chuck-it session a day, and we’ve been working on lots of tricks, old and new. We’ve found a few training clubs that I’m hoping to join once I get some money flow going. Classes for agility, at the very least, for Jayde’s mental stimulation and interaction time with fellow dog lovers, and perhaps a canine freestyle class. I also found a couple groups on meetup.com that consist of dog owners and lovers Β in my area who meet every week or every once in a while for a walk or a dinner or some other get-together. Our first encounter with one will be this Sunday, and I am very excited to see how it goes. πŸ™‚ And of course, we I found a vet that I believe is satisfactory. ;P

queenJayde

morningcoffee

jaydeindogpark

GotG2

GotG1

GotG3

Jayde at vet

I am excited to begin working/making money (always a stress point, unfortunately) so that I can do a few things:

  • Begin saving
  • Explore the coffee shops, cafes, shops, & restaurants that appear to be endless in this city
  • Settle into a routine and schedule
  • Get enrolled in an agility (& maybe a canine freestyle) class with Jayde
  • Get photos printed & buy frames to hang them in
  • Get the last few necessities that I need for my apartment (like a floor fan)

Another thing to look forward to is class, which begins next Monday. I have a virtual orientation on Thursday to attend. It is exciting because it is something I am looking forward to studying, yet it is nerve wracking as I take on the demands of class once again. Wish me luck! πŸ™‚

me and Jayde

I will admit, I am writing this through a bout of insomnia that has hit me the past couple of nights. Tonight This morning I woke up at 4:30 and could not get to sleep. So I pulled out my computer. Perhaps getting all of this out will help. I have been meaning to blog since Monday but couldn’t get the right words to flow. From here on out, I’d like to post about mine and Jayde’s adventures and explorations at least twice a week. It is going to take a change in perspective as well as a change in the silly expectations I hold for myself of this blog, i.e. in-depth, thought provoking, or otherwise interesting and exciting posts. I’ve been finding that simple posts by fellow bloggers have sometimes been the most enjoyable. And of course I need to adjust my perspective and realize that my life can be exciting if I look at it with the right attitude. πŸ˜‰

CO beautydog park creek

Peace&Pawprints

 

It’s that ‘C’ word again

Change.

I’ve never been good with change. I like routine, certainty, knowing the next steps, the next stages. Change scares me because there is never any certainty. You don’t know what’s going to happen, even if you think you do. You just have to keep walking, see what happens, and deal with it as it comes. Sounds like life to me.

I’m not good at thinking on my feet. I’m much better at thinking things through before acting on anything. (I think that comes from my fear of being wrong/doing the wrong thing.) And even when I do think things through, if I do not know *exactly* what’s going to happen, I always expect the worse scenario.

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Today I put the deposit down for an apartment. In a big city. Far far far away from home. An apartment that will be mine and Jayde’s home for the next 10 months at least. A city where I do not know anyone, have no support system. A city that I am not familiar with at all. Just me and my dog. While I am excited for a new adventure, I am nervous and scared in equal amount. I’ve never been good with meeting new people or trying new things. I’ve always been one to sit back and watch before doing or saying anything. And at this point in time, all I can think about is everything that could go wrong.

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Talking to my co-workers, I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement that’s made me feel a tad bit better. The city I’m moving to is very dog friendly and has lots of dog parks. I’m hoping this means I will have a better chance of meeting some like-minded (read: dog crazii) people, as that is going to be my go-to. Jayde is going to be my rock, because in the new city, I’m going to have no one else (at least at first). Being in a new area also means new scenery and lots more photos! I am really excited to get Jayde in front of some scenic backgrounds. πŸ™‚ At this point, I have to keep in mind the positive aspects of this new adventure and try not to worry about things so much.

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There is one thing that’s been weighing on my mind for a couple weeks now.Β The Ashhole, as some of you might know, is my closest & best friend. I’ve never moved before. I’ve lived in the same house my entire life. I never had to change schools. I’ve never had to leave loved ones behind. And while it is “natural” to leave your parents at some point in your life – to move out, become more independent and responsible for yourself and your actions, try your hand out in the real world – it never crossed my mind that I’d be moving away from my best friend someday. Friends are supposed to always be there. Sure, we can talk over text and Skype. We can visit on holidays and birthdays. We can keep in contact over social media. But it doesn’t seem like it’d be the same thing. Or maybe that’s my fear. No, I know that’s my fear. I’ve pushed it to the back of my mind, where it nigs and nags at my thoughts.

So I’ve been spending as much time as possible with Ashley. Amazing she hasn’t gotten tired of me yet. πŸ™‚

Peace.