Learning to Live with Loss

While I generally don’t like to report bad news, I still need to be able to express what’s happening with me so that I can get it out of my head. The past two weeks will probably rank high on my “toughest things I’ve had to deal with in life” list. Losing someone is always a shock, especially when its completely unexpected no matter how it happens. I lost a friend recently, not to an accident or something tragic, but due to natural causes. Because I want to respect her family’s privacy, I won’t go into detail about her medical history.

I met her when I moved here last year; I went to a Meetup.com event for women in Atlanta at a bar somewhere in Midtown where there was going to be a live band playing. She and I started chatting, you know that usual-where are you from, what do you do, how long have you lived here stuff. We exchanged numbers and have been in touch ever since. She was originally from Queens, New York and had relocated to Atlanta about 7 years ago-completely by herself. She had friends that moved from NY to ATL, but they all ended up moving back and she decided to stay. She was single and dating, had a good job and was looking for better employment. She would always send me job openings that she found that she thought I would be a good fit for. I used to make time to have lunch with her, visit her at her house, we bought each other Christmas and Birthday Gifts. Because she was so used to living alone, I never wanted to impede too much on her space so whenever she told me she just wanted to rest or stay at home I didn’t push it.

She was so smart and funny, focused and goal oriented. She still had a New York accent so talking to her always made me feel like I was still close to home. There was no drama with her, I felt like she and I could have been friends for years.

Lorenzo and I found her in her home after I received an email from one of her friends asking me to check on her because they haven’t heard from her all week. When I thought about it, I remembered that she wasn’t responding to any of my text messages either. The worst part about finding her was having to call her mother to tell her that her daughter had passed away. She was only 34 years old.

Lorenzo and I did everything we could to help her mother and her family deal with this tragedy. Her other friends that lived here in Atlanta also came out to help as much as they could. We buried her yesterday; her mother decided to keep her here in Atlanta because she knew she loved it here. I felt relieved when I found out because at least now I can go visit her.

Knowing that life is so short, losing so many of my own family members over the years, and being in the military has made me somewhat comfortable with the concept of death. Its not something anyone wants to think about, but its something we are all going to face sooner or later so it just reinforces how we all need to be prepared for it when the time comes, whether it be by having a Will,  life insurance, etc. Having to deal with losing someone you love will be hard enough, your family shouldn’t have to deal with worrying about how to pay for the funeral or how to manage your affairs.

I know that she is in a better place now, where this is no more pain. I don’t question why this happened, I just wonder why it happened so soon. I’m going to miss her so much.

Rest in peace L.T.L.

Misery Will NOT Get Company

no-negativity

 

 

 

I would like to consider myself a pretty positive or optimistic person. I think I’m pretty easy going and laid back…for the most part.

One of the things that I was worried about when moving here was if I was going to have a hard time making (and keeping) friends. Not because I’m a horrible person, but because I really don’t have the patience to put up with crazy drama queens and their negativity; and I’ve heard a lot of not-so-great things about women in Atlanta.

I have 4 biological sisters, a step sister, 12 to 14 aunts, and about a million and a half female cousins. It is safe to say I grew up around a lot of women so I’m used to being around them. Most of my life, even though I was every shy, I’ve always managed to make friends. It wasn’t until  after joining the Army and when I started college that I started to experience how ugly some women can be.

While I was in Iraq in 2009 and  2010 I decided that I wasn’t going to have unnecessary negativity and drama in my life and that included the people that were bringing it in my life in the first place. Subsequently, that meant letting go of some people I had been friends with for almost a decade (but I’ll save the details of that story for another time).

So before I moved here I was told by people that lived here (and some that didn’t) to be very careful with the women in Atlanta, and in the South in general because a lot of them will smile in your face and try to steal your man behind your back (but I mean, you can find someone like that anywhere right?). Lorenzo was very stern about his stance on that, mostly because he knows a lot of guys who claim to be friends with each other but will talk about trying to sleep with the guys wife when he’s not around….again another story for another time.

Fortunately, I have been pleasantly surprised because the women that I’ve met since I’ve been here have been super nice people. I haven’t had any of the issues that other people have warned me about, and I’m grateful for that. I think because I’ve already dealt with so many issues from other people back home, that I’m not allowing people to get so far up in my life that their decisions effect me emotionally. While I care for the friends I have made here, I don’t get wrapped up in their lives and they don’t get too deep in mine- which I think it was makes the difference.

But do I miss being super close to females? Sure I do. Who doesn’t love girls nights out, lunch dates, dancing, movie nights, and girl talk? I just think I’ll save those nights for my family and some of my old friends from back home. I’m not put off by the idea of having female friends, I just know now what kind of craziness I’m not willing to put up with anymore….

 

I know guys never have these kinds of issues…. or do they?

 

 

 

15 Reasons Why You Should Blog

Originally posted on Fernanda's Choice:

 photo SM-closet-18_zpsa269a2f7.jpg

Photo Credits: Something Navy

1. You’ll become a better writer. At its core, writing is communication. It is about recording thoughts on paper and compelling others to agree with them. To that end, writing (just like every other form of communication that has ever existed) improves with practice. Blogging will not force you to become a better writer, it’ll just happen as you do it. And becoming a better writer holds important benefits for the rest of your life—whether you are creating a book, a presentation, a résumé, or an anniversary card for your spouse.

2. You’ll become a better thinker. Because the process of writing includes recording thoughts on paper, the blogging process encourages you to stop and think deeper. You will delve deeper into the matters of your life and the worldview that shapes them. Unfortunately, at this point, many will choose not to blog (or write at…

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The Update

writer 2-737732Hey everyone! I missed you! Have you missed me??? I hope so :) Okay so just a quick update on what I’ve been up to for the past month.

The class I’m in right now has been literally kicking my butt, but the good news is that its almost over!!!! I have one more paper to write and one more final exam and then I am D-O-N-E. I’m giddy with excitement ;) So, I’ve spend the past few weeks either doing homework, or worrying about doing homework. I was starting to feel like I wasn’t spending enough time with Lorenzo, but he has been super understanding about it because he knows how important it is to get my work done.

But, my birthday came and went. I took a few days off from work and finished up my homework and the next day Lorenzo planned out an entire day for me: I got up early, went to get my hair done, then later on in the afternoon he took me to a place called Wed Studio to get my make up done by professional make up artist Mimi Johnson, who is A-mazing. She was so sweet and nice, and she did a fantastic job. Later on that night, we met up with my brother and went to do a photo shoot. It was so much fun. I haven’t done a photo shoot in about 7 years (I’m not sure if I mentioned how I wanted to be a model for all of about a year…I did a few photo shoots with up and coming photographers but never went much further than that.) Here are some of the shots:

 

 

 

Mirror Skirt Us WEHat

 

You like??? I love them.

But anywho… with my class being over soon, I should have a little more free time until I begin my next venture. I’ll keep you posted.

12 Signs You’re Addicted To Reading

Alexandra:

I absolutely love this post. As I was reading it, I was smiling thinking, “Yup, that’s me! And that’s me too!”

Originally posted on 101 Books:

Before I start today’s post, I’ve got to give credit to Thought Catalog—who inspired me with a post on this topic a couple of weeks ago.

So I’m totally stealing the idea, without stealing any of their specific points, and hopefully we can have fun with this.

The premise is simple: How do you know if you’re addicted to reading?

Here are the signs:

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How to Deal with Stress

I hate it when I am stressed; I get migranes, I have asthma attacks more often, I subconsciously think my hair is falling out, and my body starts acting all crazy. However, on the flip side of that, if there isn’t complete chaos in my life, I feel like I’m not doing anything with myself and that I am just wasting time so I find a new project to work on. My current stressors are:

Working (weird crazy hours)
Going back to school (and taking an Economics class, no less)
Wanting to go to a different school to get a certificate in Project Managment
Finding money to pay for school
Finding another job to help pay for school
Not having the certification to get the job, to help pay for school
Not spending enough time with Lorenzo
I haven’t been working out because I’m exhausted from work, school, and the military
Oh… and my car broke down the other day and its going to cost over $1400 to get it fixed

Sigh.

I wish the post could be about how to actually deal with stress. Maybe I should look into that.

When I was in my 20’s I used to try to tackle all of issues at the same time (my “problems” seemed to occur on 3’s for some reason) and I used to run myself ragged trying to fix them all. One of my friends told me to stop stressing myself out and handle my issues one at a time so that it didn’t feel like the world was crashing down on me at once. Looking back, I realize that I was exaggerating the severity of my problems and they really weren’t all that bad- not good- but not AS horrible as I was making it seem.

Now that I’m in my 30’s, I tend to handle them a little bit better. I give a lot a credit to the fact that when I was in Iraq I promised God and myself that I would stop worrying about every little thing if I could just make it out of there alive, in one piece, and with my sanity. Since I am not one to break a promise, I’ve been living up to that. Some days are harder than others, but I always try to remind myself of that. I also noticed that I have been able to minimize some of the unnecessary stress in my life by following this path.

So, I’m just going to tackle these things one at a time. I’m going to pay to get my car fixed, and work on my class work every free minute I get. I have to make sure that I am getting some rest, and I will have to find an alternate work out schedule. I’ll worry about the Project Management school after this class is over, and I’ll work on a budget to help pay for it. The rest will fall into place.

So there is it. How I’m going to deal with my (current) stressors.

How do you guys deal with stress? I would love some new insights.

My Baby is Back

Love

I cannot even begin to describe how happy I am to have Lorenzo home. He came home from his training event 2 weeks ago on a Friday night. The next day I took him to the spa to get a massage and a facial. He was so grateful that I planned that surprise for him. He’d been sleeping on a cot for 40 days in the desert so I figured it was the least I could do for him. I took him to Natural Body Spa in Buckhead. I loved that they had a store as soon as you walked in and because its in a plaza I assumed that it would be very small but I was mistaken. Once you go in the back, towards the spa area, there are more rooms and hallways that I wouldn’t have pictured. The bathrooms are even beautifully decorated (I always tell Lorenzo when we buy a house I want our bathrooms to either look like a hotel bathroom or a spa bathroom). The staff was also very polite and professional and I think I will keep going back for my facials. That night for dinner, we went to The Palm, Lorenzo wanted to “thank me” for taking him to the spa, even though it was a birthday present.  The next day we just stayed at home, I’m not really sure Lorenzo told anyone that he was back, he just let everyone call him and then told them…I think he wanted to stay a little silent because he was scheduled to go right back to work that Monday.

The very next Friday was the 4th of July weekend. I had reserved a room at the Hampton, right off of Myrtle Beach, so Friday morning we just got up and drove out there. It actually didn’t take that long or at least it didn’t feel like it took long. We only made one stop and the next thing I know we were in South Carolina almost to his mother’s house. When we stopped to visit his mom, nephew, and brother, Lorenzo’s sister also came over with her new baby Caden. She is SO adorable! She reminded me of Jordin and how much I missed her chunky butt. What was crazy about it was that Jordin and Caden are the same size and Jojo is 3 months younger! I text my sister that she had a fat chunky baby.

Anyway, while we were at the beach we went and walked around Broadway on the Beach, did a little bit of shopping and ended up going to a Seafood Buffet place that I’d never heard of. Lorenzo was eating crab legs like it was a sport. I was just happy he wasn’t complaining while he was eating like he did when we went to Orlando back in 2012 (before I started my blog). While we were talking around we got a drawing made of us and we also got matching rings with our names on them. That all started when I asked him where the tattoo shops were and he asked me if I wanted to get a tattoo of his name on my body. He was actually serious. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Lorenzo…I can’t imagine my life without him right now, but I don’t think I want to get a tattoo of him on me… well not just yet. Maybe if it were for some occasion like our 10 year anniversary or something, but not on impulse. Besides, my mother always told me to NEVER get a man’s name tattooed on you. EVER. That’s when we found the stand with the rings, and he settled for that.

Rings Drawing

That Saturday, we went to the beach and took pictures, we also went to the outlet mall across from the hotel and did some more shopping. I got new jeans and Lorenzo got new shoes. We also bought him some shirts and some T-shirts for his nephew. We went on a quick helicopter ride above the beach for $20, and my old First Sergeant called and told us he was visiting his mom not far from our hotel. So we visited him for a little while before heading out to dinner with Lorenzo’s cousin. This time we went to a Hibachi restaurant back on that Broadway on the Beach place (again, I’m sorry, I don’t remember the name of the place); but the food was good! Lorenzo’s cousin has me thinking I want to try being a vegetarian for a while….well maybe I’ll just eat seafood. That would be another adventure for me on top of this natural hair journey I’m on.  *sigh*

Helicopter Ride MB View

Sunday, we drove back to Lorenzo’s mothers house where she had prepared lunch for us. She is just the sweetest person ever, at least to me she is :) Then we got back on the road. Again, it wasn’t that bad of a drive and I’m glad because we have to go back this weekend for a wedding. I’m planning on scoping out the area to see if we are interested in having a Myrtle Beach wedding too. Why not kill two birds with one stone? ;)

How was everyone’s 4th of July weekend? Any summer vacation plans to share?