1. It’s been a while and I have a lot to share, so we are doing an EMC explosion of words. Each number will likely be more words than a usual EMC post, consider yourself warned this will be a long read. Winter has been kicking my butt. We’re talking lifting me up, spinning me around, and dropping my on my head style. My motivation, my drive, and my cares have all flown out the window.
I don’t want to go to work, I don’t want to exercise, and I don’t want to eat well. Thankfully my discipline is still in tact so I am showing up to work, I am still exercising, and I am eating well…somedays, but man am I ready for spring. There is a reason animals hibernate in the winter months, and the older I get the better that sounds.
Humans need rest too.
2. My dear friend Sam got married last February, and she and her husband had a small ceremony with just a few close friends. The ceremony was lovely, but she wanted to have a reception the following year when Covid chaos calmed a bit more. Fast forward to this February and she had the reception.
I cannot remember the last time I put on a dress and went into public.
My favorite part of the entire evening was seeing Duncan in slacks and a tie (albeit the tie was a bit short, but we had a good laugh about it.) That was a sight I never knew I needed to see until seeing it. Insert drooling emoji. My mom and my sister are friends with the bride, and they came with us as well. My sister said Sam looked like a princess in her dress, and I would have to agree.
3. Back in January Duncan and I went to see The Whale in theaters. I have not paid to see a movie since I went to see Jojo Rabbit back in Garmisch in 2019. I don’t think spending money for a movie is typically worth the cost, however the moment I saw the trailer for The Whale I knew I would be spending my money to see this film. I nearly wrote an entire blog post about this movie because I had so many words. I cannot remember the last time I cried in a movie as hard as I cried watching The Whale.
I absolutely sobbed. I had to sit in my seat for a minute after the movie ended trying to compose myself before I could leave the room. I was also days before my period, but that’s beside the point.
The movie was hard to watch at times, and some reviews have given it flak calling it fat phobic, or grotesque. To these comments I would assume those reviewers have never personally struggled with the type of trauma that accompanies addictions. Or rather have not experienced addictions caused by trauma. The movie was raw, and painful, and while it might not be for everyone it was hands down the best movie I have seen all year.
A movie that can hit me on so many emotional cords will automatically climb to the top.
This is a movie about a broken family both collectively and individually, traumas of multiple varieties, and redemptions. It’s heavy, and it’s unbelievably sad, but I am crossing my fingers and my toes that Brendan Fraser wins the Oscar for his performance. That’s saying a lot because I normally couldn’t give two cares about those award shows. Hollywood sucks, but Brendan is amazing.
4. Moving onto something less heavy…while stuffing our faces at Sams wedding, Duncan fell in love with the bacon wrapped goat cheese stuffed dates (say that five times fast) they made. I knew we would have to recreate these someday, and then that societal pressure filled holiday known as Valentines Day rolled around. You don’t have to give me a reason to do something nice for Duncan, but I will happily take a “holiday” as an excuse to make food.
I picked up a handful of his favorite foods for a picnic style smörgåsbord. I got brie and crackers, smoked salmon, olives with garlic and jalapeño, and then I made the infamous dates. Ohhh man were they good. I also made chocolate peanut butter hearts, both of which took me far longer to make than expected. And of course, it took us all of 10 minutes to eat like pigs.
Don’t ask me how I felt the next day. Ooooph.
5. I am absolutely, positively, burned out at work. What was meant to be a transition job from Germany to America has turned into a two year and four month job with more ups and downs than my mood swings during my luteal phase. The job has been flexible, and I am working in an area I worked hard to get to, but I don’t enjoy the environment. I don’t align with the corporate values or goals, and I have reached a point where most days I struggle going to work. Maybe it’s the winter mood?
I have never shied away from talking about working jobs that fill your cup regardless of the pay, and this is no different. I have worked odd jobs all over the world in order to fulfill my need of adventure and learning new things, and I know it’s ok to close this chapter soon. I like my paychecks, and I have stayed longer than I thought because I get a decent pay, but I know I cannot stay somewhere just for the money. If only every job has similar flexibility…
Best thing I got out of my current job was meeting Duncan. He was an unexpected detour in my journey, but one I am thankful I took.
6. I turned 34 last week. A concept that boggles my mind, and has me turning inward as I do most years around this time. One because it’s winter and those are the times for us to rest more and be more present with our thoughts, and two because I am slapped in the face with the reality that I am not getting any younger. For my birthday most years I choose to do something outside. Usually that includes a hike, or traveling somewhere new, and this year was no exception.
Duncan took the day off (what a gem), and accompanied me on a Pacific Northwest adventure.
I had wanted to visit a coffee shop a handful of miles from where I live for over a year now, and what better time to do so than on a birthday. The Espresso Chalet has gained attraction for its quirky Sasquatch themed exterior, and its breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountains. I’m indifferent to the Sasquatch stuff, but I had to see the views. We had a chilly, but clear day and while the coffee was not good, the views made the trip worth it.
Duncan and I each got an Americano, but they tasted more like coffee flavored tea. Very weak – which is saying a lot coming from me because I am someone who waters down my coffee as it is. We both would come back, but would order something else. All was not lost with the crummy coffee though, our second plan for the day was to go for a hike in the area. I had wanted to see Wallace Falls for some time as well, so we threw on our wool socks and waterproof shoes and hit the trail.
The hike was about 5.5 miles, with just under 1500′ of elevation, and after the feast I’d had the day before (my birthday is the day after Valentines Day if you remember the food I made a few confessions up) I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other. I felt like the Michelin man trying to climb up a hill. The trail was beautiful and the waterfall views were gorgeous. 10/10.
I ended the evening with my first froyo in likely a decade, and a homemade gluten free chocolate cake courtesy of my mom. Needless to say I needed a few days of nothing but air to recover. My poor little autoimmune body.
7. In the summer of 2020 my dad and his family planned a Mediterranean cruise for everyone as a celebration of my younger sister graduating college. Obviously that trip did not happen because life as we knew it changed forever, but little did we know there were six cruise vouchers sitting nicely in the cruise voucher ether. For two years these vouchers sat, unbeknownst to anyone, until my step mom received a phone call at the end of last year.
We are all at different places in life, meaning a group cruise for all six of us was no longer an option. In December I was presented with: “you have a voucher and you can also use your sisters, but it has to be booked by the end of the month.” My anxiety and overwhelm went into overdrive as I realized I had to book a cruise within two weeks. My credit was significantly higher than my sisters, and while technically the credit was hers, I was given the option to transfer it to Duncan should he want to go.
After figuring out all the logistics, and getting Duncan on board with my plan, I settled on a 9 day cruise going through Greece, Turkey, Israel, and Cyprus. These are all locations I have been wanting to visit, but a few of them I would not feel comfortable traveling alone. Having Duncan with me will make me feel safer, and while I don’t love the fast paced travel a cruise offers, I think this is a perfect way to get introduced to some of these places. We are taking full day excursions on all but one port day, and I am equal parts excited and anxious. We leave in April.
While the credit did not end up covering the entirety of this trip, it certainly covered a LARGE part of it. There is no way in hell I would have booked this kind of vacation without it. My frugal blood would have been screaming and I would not be unable to fully enjoy myself. It took a lot for me to accept booking the excursions through the cruise opposed to saving money and finding a local tour, but at the end of the day I would rather pay for the peace of mind that comes with doing everything through the ship.
The last thing I need is to be left behind.
8. Duncan moved into a new apartment last week, and I am stoked because he is now significantly closer to me. We will have been dating for two years in April, and while we did entertain the idea of living together it didn’t feel like the right time yet for me. The biggest obstacle for me, which is going to sound silly, is my cat (I am also struggling to accept leaving my mom alone to take care of my autistic sister, but that is another story.) I cannot live without my cat and I wasn’t sure how it would be moving him (he is fifteen) into an apartment complex.
He has lived in a home for his entire life and all I could see was him getting out and getting lost.
Duncan has been nothing but supportive of me in all the decisions I make and all the things I do, and he understand and accepts my crazy when I sometimes take a long time to come over because I am struggling to leave my cat. I have an arguably unhealthy bond to my cat, but ever since I almost lost him in 2018 I am now obsessed with spending time with him. Especially since I left him for two years. My point in all of this is to share what Duncan got me for my birthday.
Once again, it’s not just the gift, but it’s the thought behind the gift.
I cannot deny that this mug looks moderately like a memorial to my fur child, but I absolutely adore it. Duncan said to me, “now when you have coffee at my place it’s like you are with Little.” INSERT CRYING EMOJI. While I adore that idea, I am not taking this mug to his place, it will live with me at mine so I can use it every single day until I perish. He did everything he could to find a cat clip art with a white patch, but he could not find one. Either way, this is my favorite mug for life.
I have thought about putting a blob of whiteout on his neck, not sure how that would go. Thoughts and ideas are welcomed.
9. For the first time in all of my existence I messed up on my taxes. I filed them far too early, and after they were filed I received a W2 I had completely forgotten about. My caregiving job (helping provide care for my autistic sister) switched companies at the beginning of last year, and it had slipped my mind. I filed with the W2 from the company we switched to, and then later received the W2 from the original company. I have since amended my return, and my anxiety has balanced back out.
10. A couple weeks ago I went for an amazing 5 mile run. The weather was lovely, but a bit crisp. I wore a vest because I was going to run by the water, and the wind is always brutal in that area. I tucked my keys and license in one pocket, and my phone in the other and off I went. Or so I thought.
I made the rookie mistake of putting my phone in the SAME POCKET AS MY ID.
I didn’t notice it was missing until I got home, so I drove my running route again to try and find it, but no luck. I had a gut feeling someone was going to mail it to me, but just in case I went to get a new one. I got my new ID on a Friday, and that following Monday my old ID showed up in the mail. A painful $20 lesson, but a wonderful run nonetheless.
Q: What’s your confession?