Growing Up, Growing Old

When I was younger I used to remember things that people used to say about being in your 30’s and 40’s- very similar to a lot of memes you see nowadays. How you don’t go out at much, your priorities become marriage and family instead of friends and partying, and they all just made it seem so dull and boring. It made me sort of dread it.

Now that I’m at that age, I get it. I understand why things change. Your priorities do change. Sometimes those friends that you used to party with are no longer around and maybe sometimes they are. Your body changes, you get tired a lot faster, injuries happen, you might find yourself suddenly allergic to things you’ve never been allergic to before… no? Just me? Okay then.

Anyway, I completed my physical fitness test this weekend. I was curious as to what my performance would be since I’ve been almost faithfully going to the gym since October. I passed, and I did well but of course-true to form- I have to critique myself on what I need to fix as opposed to being happy with what I’ve done. The test is composed of 3 events: Push ups, sit- ups and a 2-mile run. I scored 80 points in 2 events and 78 points in one event.  Now that I know where I stand, I know where I need to improve so maybe on the next test I can score 90 points in each event.

I’m going to continue to eat well, lift weights, and run more. I’ve already completed a 5K walk/run with another sergeant in my unit. We completed the Color Run in Hampton, GA on April 2nd. It was my first 5K event and I really enjoyed it. It was very family oriented and casual.

Even though I am not used to running 3 miles, this run didn’t take as long as I thought it would. My knee only bothered me a little it so I had to stop and walk for a short time but I was able to keep going. I think I’m going to start running 3 miles now- at least- to help me reach my future physical fitness test goals. I used to do this when I was deployed but…again I was a bit younger and didn’t have too many injuries. So… We’ll see.

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When Opportunity Knocks

A few of Lorenzo’s friends from college still live here in Atlanta. They all have the same degree (something fancy with computers, art, design, and programming) and only a few of them are actually working in their field today. When a few positions opened up in Albuquerque where Lorenzo used to work, he told 2 of his friends about it. One was working in retail and the other at a tattoo shop. They would have had to move to New Mexico, obviously, and Lorenzo offered to help with the transition since they haven’t been practicing in the field for a while. They both declined.

One of the major things that I’ve learned about life from Lorenzo is that he is a huge advocate of following the money. He was never a person to waste an opportunity to advance his career even if it meant that he had to pack up his bags and move more than halfway across the country (which he’s done, twice).

Just this year he made another major career move by leaving a (huge) well known organization for a smaller one that gave him more leadership responsibilities and better pay. I was opposed to this idea but I trusted his decision. He doesn’t make these types of decisions all willy nilly. There is a list- pros, cons, consequences, action plan, and contingency plan. His ability to make these types decisions and his follow through are some of  things that attracted me to him early on in our relationship. I’m not even going to get into all the people I knew who had no plan. They were content where they were with no defined goals and or plans for the future. A man with a plan is hot. 😉

I guess I said all that to say this: my old employer called me and asked me if I wanted to come back and work for the company. At first I thought they were kidding, but when I spoke to the HR rep and negotiated a salary I knew they were serious. The benefits for me is that I will get to work from home, I’ll have the same schedule as Lorenzo, I’ll have more time to focus on school and my certifications, and I’ll be making more money. An opportunity presented itself and now I that I’m in a slightly better position, I can make time to put all my other plans into place.

I don’t believe that opportunity only knocks once. I think people are presented with multiple opportunities throughout their lives, it’s just a matter of choosing to take advantage or not. There could be a multitude of things that could stop people from taking advantage of something, fear is usually at the top of that list. In the case of Lorenzo’s friends, they didn’t want to leave Atlanta, even though they would have been a part of an excellent company, working in their field, making more money, and ultimately could have transferred back to Atlanta after a year or so.

Maybe next time….I guess.

That Time I Went Home & Had a Great Weekend

This weekend went by so quickly.  A little TOO quickly for my liking.

It went by so quickly that I was already planning my next trip before my current trip was over.

My brother, Kevin came to pick me up from the airport and took me to see his new place. Then dropped me off at (my sister) Cassandra’s , so I could see her new place. Then I made my way over to the City (New York City for those who don’t live in the Tri-State Area) to see my old co-workers at Rockefeller Center. It was nice to see everyone,  I stayed with them for a few hours because I was chatting with everyone individually. Afterwards I headed back to Jersey to pick up my Dad from work.

After spending sometime with my Dad and Grandmother, I ended up back at Morgan’s (my other sister) for dinner. We were supposed to go to Hoboken for dinner, but stayed put instead…then the drinking ensued.

Fast forward to Saturday (because I hardly remember what happened after we started drinking), my friend Carmen came to take me out to brunch because she wasn’t able to make it that night. I don’t have  a picture with her, but I was just happy that I got a chance to see her. After spending the day running around getting pretty with Cassandra, it was time to head back to the City for the actually party.

I was really excited because one of my old Army friends, Rashonda was able to come out. I haven’t seen her in person since 2009 before I went to Iraq. She’d gotten out of the Army the year before so we weren’t seeing each other that often any more. When she met up with us that night there was lots of screaming, jumping up and down, hugging, and more screaming. There was one point where we paused and looked at each other and said, “You’re so beautiful!”.

UsiePat & Shonda

My other friends, Shenitha and Kay also met us there. My friend Maggie wasn’t able to make it Saturday because she sprained her ankle during a Tough Mudder Run. I did meet up with her on Sunday for brunch. I told her not to bother because she was injured, but I obviously lost that fight. She really proved to me how much she loved me with that move. I think I’ll keep her.

Kay Shenitha Maggie

The best part of this trip wasn’t even the night itself, but the company that I had. I was so excited to be around family and friends that it didn’t matter what we did just as long as we were together.

Before I came home I went to see my Dad and Grandmother again, and I was also able to spend more time with Jojo. I was happy that she was comfortable with me considering that when my brother Keith went home to visit she wouldn’t go near him for almost 2 days. All the Skyping we do must come in handy.

Me, Jojo, & Bam Bam

I can’t wait for my next trip.

Home…Again

I made it home on Friday afternoon after hitting some traffic on I-75. I came home to a super clean (and slightly redecorated) apartment that afternoon, where my husband and best friend were waiting for me. After unpacking and doing some online shopping the 3 of us went to get some dinner and drinks.

First we went to a restaurant call Polaris located at the top of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Its a revolving restaurant, like the Sundial, and what I liked about it was that it was more of a lounge as well. There were long couches and coffee tables in addition to regular dinner tables. It has a very upscale ambiance that I liked. We ordered drinks and appetizers, Vietnamese Spring Rolls and the Cheese Platter, but Lorenzo and Tia thought the dinner menu was limited so we decided to go somewhere else for dinner.

Me, Lorenzo, Tia
Me, Lorenzo, Tia

After Polaris, we went to another restaurant called Time. This restaurant was more casual and the dinner menu was a bit more extensive than Polaris. The only thing I didn’t like about this place was that the music was kind of loud so it made it hard for the 3 of us to converse. The food was prepared well. I had scallops, Tia had salmon, and Lorenzo had shrimp tacos.

Tia had to leave for a military school on Saturday morning, so Lorenzo and I stayed at home for most of the day. We wanted to go the the car and bike show at the Congress center, but my stomach was bothering me almost the entire day (it still is to be honest). But just to get out of the house we went to the Uptown Comedy Corner for the late show and then to Landmark Diner in Buckhead afterwards. To me there is nothing special about diners- I’m from New Jersey- I used to go to diners all of the time.

We’ve been going out a lot this weekend and today I get to just do my hair and get ready to go back to work tomorrow *rolls eyes*.

August is going to be a good month for me though. I’m getting to to back home to New Jersey, we are going on vacation, and my birthday is coming up. Yes, I’m almost in my mid-thirties and I still look forward to birthdays. I hope its something I never get tired of.

Book Review: Gone Girl

Warning: This post will have spoilers from the movie and the book Gone Girl. It will also have some use of the word “bitch” and I know this can seem offensive. If you’re easily or even slightly offended by that word, you should just skip this post altogether. 

While I was on my military training last month one of the Captain’s that was sharing a suite with me was reading the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Now, I’d already saw the movie a few months ago with Lorenzo when we were hanging out with some friends in Snellville. I’d never heard of the book (or the movie) at that point so the only reaction to Amy’s behavior is “bitches be crazy”. Seriously.

I usually like to read the book before I watch a movie so that I could have a full understanding of what is going on and I’m able to fill in the blanks when I have questions that the movie can’t answer. Since I had some downtime while I was away I decided to give the book a try. I needed to get in Amy’s head.

The book started off a little slow, it took a while for the book to include Amy’s fake journal and then even longer for the real Amy to surface. Now, while I wanted to punch Nick in the head throughout the entire movie for being so stupid, the book made me hate him even more. Nick wasn’t my concern though it was really Amy. She took so much time and effort and planning to set Nick up for her murder, just to turn around and go back to him in the end. It all just seemed like a whole lot of effort just to get Nick to…wait…I’m not exactly sure what she was trying to get out of him. To love her? See the error of his ways? All because you didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of getting a divorce- that would be too easy for him. Okay then, I guess.

When Nick started gathering some background info on his wife, they show a scene in the movie where an ex of Amy’s was telling him how she accused him of rape after they had consensual sex. He explained how she’d completely set him up and ruined his life. What the movie doesn’t mention is how after Amy called the police on the guy she sent him a creepy note stating something along the lines of “Next time you’ll know”. What was the guy’s crime? He started dating someone else.

There was a story of another girl that Amy went to school with when she was younger. According to Amy’s parents the girl (Hannah?? My memory is crappy) became obsessed with Amy and told Amy’s mother that she was going to kill Amy and replace her. When Nick went to finally speak with adult Hannah she told the real story of how she was new to the boarding school, Amy befriended her, and when Hannah started to become more popular than Amy, she became weird. Amy offered to dye Hannah’s hair the same color as hers and told her to play a joke on her mom by saying that she would replace Amy. Then Amy threw herself down a flight of stairs and blamed Hannah for it. When Hanna moved back home because of the embarrassment (and restraining order) she also got a note from Amy with the same creepy message that she sent the guy. Crazy bitch.

Amy liked to teach people a lesson, apparently. There was a short period of time when I wanted to feel sorry for her. She expressed her disdain for her husband by talking about women having to play the role of the “Cool Girl” in order to please a guy. While I could agree with her to an extent she turned around and started acting crazy again so I went back to hating her. While Amy was a very intelligent woman, she was very manipulative, conniving, and vengeful. She made people love her and then used them like she was a puppet master. I kind of felt that she and Nick deserved each other.

Anyway, while I think the book and the movie were definitely entertaining they are not items I would put on my top 10 list. I was just happy to be able to make time to read an actual paper book. Amy’s still a bitch though. I’m just saying.

So We Got Married…

Or just filed for the marriage licence according to Lorenzo.

Whatever…we’re married.

We went on Wednesday afternoon, because there was a short time frame that the judge was available to perform the ceremonies. I wanted to get there as early as I could because when Lorenzo went to check it out a few months ago the line to get married was very long.

He had to work that morning so he was already dressed, and I actually put on a skirt and makeup. When we arrived in the area where you had to turn in the paperwork, I found it extremely ironic that you could file for a marriage license and a pistol license in the same place. I was tempted to do both.

After we filled out the paperwork (again), we paid for the licence and went to see the judge. There was no line, just a gentleman sitting on a bench outside the office talking about how he had to go to Upstate New York for his job later on that week. We spoke with him for a few minutes before the judge came out. He seemed to be in a rush, but explained our options for exchanging our vows.

When Lorenzo told him we just wanted to make it quick, he told us to face each other (yes, right there in the hallway) and asked Lorenzo if he wanted me to be his wife. He said yes, and I was asked the same question. After Lorenzo kissed me, I heard applause from people behind us that I didn’t even know were sitting there. The judge disappeared and Lorenzo and I left and went to McCormick and Schmick’s for lunch.

After lunch we went to Northside Hospital to visit our friends who’d just had their second baby the day before. We ended up staying with them for about 3 hours before going home and watching another episode of House of Cards.

bgr.com
bgr.com

Pretty uneventful, right?

We are definitely looking forward to the Honeymoon.

August can’t get here soon enough.

More Random Thoughts

1. I am officially over Internet Explorer and Firefox. I’m pretty sure I’m behind the curve on that but what can I say? I like things that are familiar. As of late, they both have been pissing me off, so Chrome it is. Maybe I just need a new computer?

2.  It really irritates me when people cut me off when I’m trying to ask a question- especially when its work related. Please understand that I know the basics and that maybe my question extends beyond that because if it were a basic question, I would already know the answer. Duh. What’s even worse is that, in my area there is a poster that reads: The problem with communication is that we don’t listen to understand, we listen to respond. But yet, no one takes the time to actually LISTEN to questions before spitting off an answer- but then I’m told to make sure I listen to customers.

3. One thing that I’ve always wanted to do was have a book published. When you’re ten years old you pretty much have life figured out, so you know that everything you plan is going to happen EXACTLY the way you plan it, right? Yeah, okay. Anyway, I want to start writing again and this time I’m actually going to see if I can get something published…anywhere. It’ll be one more check mark on my bucket list. Wish me luck.

4. Am I still in the Army?? UGHHHHH 😦

5. I’m not really sure why I never pursued fashion as a career. Its the only thing I’m really into: clothes, shoes, hair, makeup, modeling…the whole 9. Maybe I wasn’t confident enough, or that my life’s circumstances didn’t really allow me to push towards it like I wanted to. I know I didn’t have the support system. Maybe I was looking for something more stable (read: realistic for me). I’m not sure. Is it too late? Where would I start? What would be step #1?