Category Archives: Lifestyle

I’m Back

I never quite felt like blogging was my world, so imagine my surprise when I realized that I missed it. It’s been two years since my last dip in the blog-pool, but here I am, swirling my toes in the water. The trouble is, I still can’t narrow my focus. I have too many interests and too many opinions to blog about just one topic so I’ve decided to continue blogging about what’s on my mind in the hopes of finding many circles and continuing many conversations. My problem? After two years, where do you start?

I asked twitter what to discuss in the first blog of my grand return. My boyfriend jokingly responded with “how amazing life is with your amazing boyfriend.” While that was a joke, I do feel that I should briefly address where I am now (and he does play a major role).

My last post was written during a time of my deepest depression. In truth, all of my posts were written with a slate-grey cloud hovering overhead, however the last one was brought to you during my spiral into rock bottom. The guilt I carried with me the last time I shared my personal life with you was so heavy that I hated myself, but today, my mental state is the best it has ever been, and dare I say, I’m actually happy. In the last 2 years, I have learned to accept myself as-is, curbed my depression, and allowed myself the freedom to step away from being a caregiver. Combined, those things have allowed me to meet a great man, move away from the things that were holding me back, and start a new career.

Last we spoke, grandpa was in the hospital and I felt that it was every bit my fault. Today, grandpa is alive and well at age 97, living in a very nice nursing home and getting the qualified care that he deserves. I am living with my amazing boyfriend 135 miles away and feeling completely at home. There was some guilt when I first moved, but I’ve overcome that now and I still visit, get updates, and video chat. I am living my life in the way I was meant to and I absolutely believe that grandpa would be proud. (I know it sounds like I’m referring to him here as if he is no longer with us, but he isn’t aware enough to understand or retain new information that we tell him.)

Two years ago, I would have never imagined that upon leaving Ball State, I would temp at an international publishing house, then leave Indiana and become a long-term temp for one of Forbes top 5 most desirable companies, but that is where this path has brought me. As it turns out, that “useless” creative writing degree isn’t so useless. I now work as a technical writer, I enjoy my job, and I’ve discovered through it that I am capable of learning things I thought to be outside my wheelhouse. That in and of itself is a constant blessing, but it also pays the bills.

So here I am, in a new state, with a new mindset, on a new career path, living with my self-proclaimed amazing boyfriend (he kind of is), and ready to get back to the thing that got me through those dark years. It is time to renew my devotion to writing and learn with, and from all of you. Nothing is off limits, so tell me, what’s next?

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The Sentimental Ramblings of a Graduate

Warning: I try to keep this blog as far away from the diary side as possible, but tonight I am going to take a brief moment for myself and reflect on the last six years.

Why? In less than 10 hours I will graduate from Ball State University and that means something around here.

I realize that graduating from college is becoming standard, not to suggest that it should be impressive, but it is still a big deal for me. My parents did not attend college, nor my brother or any of my grandparents, so the possibility of going never seemed real to me. I grew up saying that I would go to college, but I said it because everyone else did; I never truly believed it. Even if I tried, I wouldn’t be able to afford it. Finding out about all the financial aid I could get was mind-boggling, and at first, I thought it was a gimmick.

Six years later, five in school and a year off, I’m graduating with a BA in English. As a creative writing major, I knew my job prospects were slim, but after taking care of my grandfather and not working a “real job” for three and half years, it didn’t even seem important anymore. Imagine my suprise when I was hired by a national company to work as a tech support web chat agent just yesterday. Adding to my resume, I will be working as a social media tutor at the Midwest Writer’s Workshop at the end of the week. These things have made me realize that the last six years, though trying and tiring, are going to pay off.

Re-entering the workforce in a professional setting helped make this notion “click.” I may feel 90, but I’m just now nearing 25; it’s time to start living the life I expected to have. I can’t wait for it, I have to go out and create it, and that is what I’m going to do. This is where I say thank you to the people who’ve supported me and given me that extra push every time I needed it. To my friends, my family, and a few key professors, thank you for investing your time in me. You are all very much appreciated.

-Mo.

Revelation Black Out: Going Off The Grid

Let’s start with the back story. My house is undergoing chaos. The bathroom is being remodeled in an effort to make this place handicap accessible for my grandpa and because we just put a new roof on last fall, we’re having the trees that are hanging over the house cut down or trimmed–there are quite a few.

cut trees

In the midst of this chaos, the tree trimmers cut the phone line rather than taking it down while they worked. This left us without a home phone for a three days. That’s really no big deal since we do live in Cell Society, but it also left us without internet for three days. OH THE HORROR, right? (While I have a data plan on my phone and therefore access to the internet, I  rarely use it off WiFi so that I don’t exceed my limit.) As we went back into the dark ages of an internet-less life, we slipped further back into Little House land as the contractors had to turn off the power for a while to run electrical wires to various places.

 

OK, so why did I tell you this? Because it WASN’T horrifying! It was closer to glorious and it made me realize a few things.

  1. People read ALL the time! “They” say no one reads anymore, but in the digital age, there is no shortage of text to read, the problem is that it’s mostly trash. (Text messages, our Facebook and Twitter feeds, poorly written “news” articles, pointless blogs [not mine, of course], celebrity gossip rags, etc.)
  2. Constant “connection” is disconnecting us! With no internet and no electricity, I found myself sitting on the front porch. I saw an old classmate from high school heading to her parent’s house a few doors down. We spoke briefly and it was awkward. This is odd because we frequently communicate through Facebook.
    We’re forgetting how to live in reality. In the virtual world, you have time to formulate a response to everything or just pretend we didn’t see a post/message. The real world isn’t like that. You can’t pause for twenty minutes when someone sends you a message or phone a friend to ask how to respond; it’s rapid fire.
  3. We NEED to take a break! While everyone was telling me how they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves without internet and asking me how I hadn’t snapped, I realized it was good for me. Even with all the hammering, drilling, and sawing going on around me, my seemingly life-long headache faded because I wasn’t staring at a screen for countless hours each day, and I was actually interacting with people in person. It may sound strange since this period was a mere three days, but it was a noticeably different.
  4. It’s good for the environment and your wallet! Have you guys heard of Earth Hour? (Every year on a specific day, you unplug and go dark for an hour to conserve energy and show your support for environmental concerns) Can you imagine how much energy we would conserve if we went dark for a few hours each week? Or offline for one day each week? (Think about it, no need for cell phone and/or laptop chargers.) Another silver lining, my electric bill will be cheaper this month.

Honestly, realizing how much I use/rely on the the internet, something I’ve only had for the second half of my life, makes me long for the first half. When I catch myself “multitasking” in the form of reading Facebook and Twitter, texting, and watching a movie, I want to slap myself. The reason we have no attention span is because of all this so-called multitasking. We’re not taking in the majority of the information we receive. I don’t care how good you think you are at it, you’re missing something. You just don’t know what you don’t know.

This is the junk I'm talking about. It's mildly funny at first glance, but think about it. It's not funny, it's just some kid working hard at being lazy. (Contradictory?)
This is the junk I’m talking about. It’s mildly funny at first glance, but think about it. It’s not funny, it’s just some kid working hard at being lazy. (Contradictory?)

For real? Remember when playing outside looked more like this

sprinkler play

Now tell me, who looks like they’re having more fun?

When we hang out with people, we check our phones. When we go out to dinner, we check our phones. (Rude!) When we’re with our friends, we comment on their online posts while sitting right next to them. When we’re watching movies, we’re on our phones. We’ve forgotten how to relax, and here in the land of the stressed, it’s time we remember.

I’m sure I sound like an old bitty, but I’m not recommending we abandon the internet and head off to a cabin in the woods until we shrivel up and vanish. I’m pro-internet. (After all, I am blogging about this) I like sharing funny pictures and randomly stupid things, but I also like taking time for myself for the sake of my sanity. It’s healthy and I recommend it. Remember when we were happy little kids in the sandbox? You never saw this sandbox status

I’m just saying that it wouldn’t be too hard to get back to that once a week or a few hours a day, call it a mental break.

So what did I do during my blackout? I read two books, hand-wrote, played Montana Solitaire, and went outside. It was enjoyable; it was even productive.