Insomnia and 24 Hour Diners

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I don’t know if you can actually call it insomnia. I went to bed too early and woke up too soon. I slept well, so I am up. Not much is open this time of morning. I had to drive 8 miles down the highway to find this little place. Actually, I Yelped. I did not drive around aimlessly, that’s not even a thing anymore. 

I have to be honest this is one of my favorite parts of traveling. I love finding these little places. Usually the food is just okay, but I generally have a great time drinking coffee and reading a book over my solitary breakfast. 

Tip: you usually can’t go wrong with an omelet. Always get a glass of water with your coffee, and hope they are willing to make you a fresh pot. 

Life is an adventure. You have to get away from the hotel from time to time. 

Rebellion

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We were just girls. Girls who thought we knew better than all the adults who came before us. We made decisions based on our limited experience and we thought we were invincible. Except we were not invincible and the slightest hint of trouble made our shaky foundation crumble beneath our feet. It was all the end of the world. Our life as we knew it was over. We were certain we would never survive the calamity currently victimizing us. Funny, I only remember a few of those tragedies now.

I always knew music was the path of revolution. Everclear sang about absent fathers. Alanis spoke of boyfriends who had betrayed us. Jewel spoke of the heartache we most identified with. The Violent Femmes reminded us of our permanent record. Live, Candlebox, and Nirvana. So many talented voices managed to explain our angst so much better than we ever would.

Now my music is playing in restaurants at four in the afternoon. No one bats an eye when Alanis talks about blow jobs in the theater. Ben Folds talking about abortion is just not shocking anymore.

When did my revolution and rebellion cease to be shocking?

Perhaps the real answer is our rebellion was not so unique. Our parents and grandparents had their voices too. Maybe it is just normal adolescent development to assume the world is inherently against you and no one will ever know as much or understand as much as you.

We were brilliant. We thought we had the answers to all of humanity’s problems. We drank coffee and smoked cigarettes while pontificating the solutions for the problems of the world. If only someone would listen to us. We were never going to be like the generation before us. We were special.

Now I am approaching middle age. I know more now than ever how little I know about the world. Sometimes I wish I could rebel just a little again. I wish I knew half as much with the certainty I possessed as a teenager. I wish I had anthems the same way I did as a kid.

Niagra Falls

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Niagra Falls was just a short detour on my way to Chicago. I did what I always do. I parked and ran over to the spectacle, oohed and ahhed with everyone else, took a few selfies (for proof I am actually interesting,) and got back on the road. 

I don’t have all day to experience the wonders of the world. 

Finding Diners

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Cooking. Ugh. It’s one of my least favorite things to do. I hate it. I don’t enjoy the fruits of my labor. I do not even like eating the concoction I have created. It is a nightmare.

Living far from home has left me a little hungry. They don’t even have real Mexican food up here, forget about the abomination of Tex-Mex, which I love. I mean seriously love.

There is no United to get a breakfast burrito. They have Taco Bell but I cannot handle that nonsense. So, I have to rely on finding comfort food in other breakfast dishes. I have found three diners I like up here.

One has an omelette I like. They put onions in the potatoes and they remind me of my Mamaw’s. The omelette I get has spinach, mushrooms, and cheese. It is a great breakfast. The diner is comfortable and the servers are always nice and attentive.

The next diner is where I go when I want eggs, bacon, toast, and the let me get one pancake and one slice of french toast instead of making me choose. It’s funny I prefer eating with other people who like to order one of those since all I really want is a bite. Usually my eggs are runny and perfect, exactly the way I like them.

The third diner is a greek place. I get eggs Benedict and lamb there. I have no idea why. I did not even know I liked lamb.

I am going to start branching out more on my days off. I am making a decision to be a little more adventurous in my dining habits. I tried to pretend I was going to cook more and it only lasted about two weeks. I hate cooking.

P.S. I should probably go visit Gym but my knee has been sore for several weeks. I am not sure if I am just using that as an excuse so I am making a commitment to go this week when I am not working. Wish me luck.

Vacation. All I Ever Wanted

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Hanging out with my favorite guy in The Big Apple. Having a blast. 

I want to talk about the 9/11 memorial. It is hauntingly beautiful. It was hard to keep my composure as I relived the fear and horror of my country under attack. 

My son was still a toddler, and he has no idea what the world was like before. We went from being a sheltered nation to a nation on the same level as the rest of the world. We are not immune. 

  Watching my son viewing the world from the top of The Freedom Tower, I realized I have a responsibility to do every thing in my power to make this world better for him. I don’t believe I can change the whole world however I can be kinder and more responsible to those around me. Just think, what if we all made that promise? What if we made it our mission in life to be kind? To help others? To be inclusive instead of exclusive? 

I want the world to be a gentle place for my boy. I know that sounds naive and simple. I just think it would be nice. 

Tinder Talks

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I do not even know where to start. Did you seriously just ask me if I like cuddling? What kind of question is that? I thought we were on our way to having a nice conversation about work. I was all geared up to explain more about what I do. Then, he had to ruin the whole conversation. Instant turnoff. “Do you like cuddling?” I guess this explains that service where you can hire someone to come spoon with you. Sorry buddy. I don’t give my cuddles to just anyone.

Then, the other guy… WHAT? Indubitably? Ugh. The pretentiousness of this dude is so thick I doubt I could ever get passed it. He may have been trying to be charming and cute. It is a shame he failed so miserably. He never recovered. Unmatched.

Keeping in mind, I am not looking for Prince Charming. Nope. Not at all. I just kinda want free dinner. Which is going well. I have met or have plans to meet several people. I don’t even know if I would call this dating. Perhaps it is just socializing. It is fun. Life does not have to be so serious.

I have even met a guy I really like. Tinderbabe. Ha! He just laughed when I told him his nickname. He is cute, smart, and funny. Who else do we know with those traits? We have a lot of similar tastes in movies and Netflix, so it works. I am comfortable and myself when I am with him. I feel like I have made a new friend. He even watches Downton Abbey with me. How freaking sweet is that? I am glad I swiped right on him.

If I am being honest, the only thing Tinder may be good for is an ice breaker. I am not going to pretend you can get to know someone on Tinder. For the most part, these are strange people with some interesting proclivities. There are several people looking for BDSM friends (I cannot figure out another way to word that), a dude looking for toes to suck (I failed to get a screen shot because I swiped left so fast), a guy just wanting to give massages (with no reciprocation required???), and many married looking for a third or FWB.

Some of my complaints.

  • Pics that are blurry and group pics. It is rude. Why even post a pic if you can’t tell anything about you?
  • Memes instead of pics. Again, what is the point?
  • Photos of your children. Are you using your kids to catch women? That is gross.
  • Incessant sexual innuendo. I have actually just started telling people I don’t appreciate it. Sometimes they stop and we can have a pleasant conversation. Other times, they have to get unmatched. I don’t have time to constantly redirect you. I believe I made it clear up front I am looking for people to hang out with, not a string of one night stands.
  • Married men looking for FWB. I don’t like it. I don’t care if you say your wife is cool with it. I still find it creepy.
  • Drug references. Are you not presentable at all? Why would I want to go out with you?
  • Repeatedly asking how I am and never the conversation never going anywhere. SAY SOMETHING!
  • Typing ‘U” instead of you. Are “U” that busy?
  • Only messaging me after 11:00 at night. Clear message for a booty call. No thank you.

Tinder is a quick and convenient way to meet people. Social media is strange. The common decency filter is often removed and replaced with inconsequential communication. Most of the people I communicate with are not people I would EVER date. I guess I am just as guilty as these guys are. I am using them for distraction and entertainment just as much as they claim to want to use me.

Walking through Memories

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 Looking back on the past can be dangerous. I tend to either romanticize or vilify all the characters of my personal story. People have drifted in and out of my life and I have to say they have all left a mark on who I have become. Some people left me with nothing but fond memories and we simply drifted apart. Others left me with wounds and scars, which eventually healed despite my best attempts to delay closure. I compare every situation to one of the unhappy endings, which allows me to justify my stubborn nature. I am not about to compromise on anything for anyone.

This is my mistake. I use the past as justification for continued unhealthy behavior. Sure, I have made some bad choices when it came to people, however this does not mean I am entirely incapable of maintaining a healthy and happy relationship.

When I look back on previous “relationships” (which should be in quotes because I am not going to act like I have had any great love affairs) I realize I was never actually invested in getting to know the other person, nor was I interested in finding out who I was when I was with them. I was always looking for a reason they were not THE ONE. You know which one I am talking about. I was not going to allow myself to be vulnerable until I knew it was forever. I was not going to invest anything into the relationship until I KNEW!  I was so cool, I was freezing them out.

I could go off and allow myself to feel all unworthy and unlovable, or I could be reasonable and consider my responsibility for these failed relationships. Trust me, I was not easy to deal with. On a good day I am high maintenance. If I don’t like you, I am insufferable. However, I am not broken beyond repair. I am not some unlovable freak who no one wants to be around.

So, what is the point of all this reminiscing? Should I beat myself up because I could not figure out intimacy sooner? Remember poor Bridget Jones and her stack of self-help books? That bullshit is not the way to achieve good mental health.

Personally, the path to health comes from a dedication to being honest with myself. I have never experienced a period of my life that was either completely magical or utterly dismal. Nope. Everything is a lot more moderate. I think life tends to ebb and flow through various stages of comfort. Even on my worst day, I can find something good that happened. The best days still have annoyances. The key to my happiness lies in my ability to keep things in perspective. This includes the past! 

I have no intention of spilling all my deep, dark secrets here on my blog. The details are not important. Everyone has things they are not proud of. It is imperative that I allow myself to be multifaceted and to celebrate the lessons I have learned. I have never had anyone important to me demand perfection. Nope. For the most part, the assholes were not in my inner circle. So, why would I care what they wanted from me? The people who matter have liked me for who I am, not what I should be. 

Despite my failure to successfully engage in this whole relationship thing, I cannot employ that excuse to avoid intimacy. Then I would be robbing myself of potential greatness. Every relationship does not have to be perfect. I can learn to be myself and enjoy someone else’s quirks. I can let them see my unique place in the world.

I can trust people until they give me a reason not to. There must be a way to protect yourself and still drop the coat of armor enough to let someone in. I am interested in seeing what that is like. I wonder if the scary ever dissipates.

I have to stop telling myself strength comes from not needing other people. The real courage comes when you allow someone to penetrate the prickly outer shell. I can only learn from the past if I am willing to venture out and be bold. Remember, this is my adventure. I don’t want to miss it all because I am too scared to take the leap.

 

Bruce. Sigh. Swoon. 

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There are not many performers I would give anything in the world to see. Liar. You are a sucker for a good show. 

This one is a big deal for me. I have loved Bruce Springsteen for as long as I can remember. When I was four years old I would belt out “I was gone in the new essay!” as loudly and passionately as Bruce sang about being born in the USA. I eventually figured out the words. I was finally “born” along with the rest of America.

The first time I heard the haunting melody of “I’m on Fire,” I knew that men had no control over their carnal desires. Not really. I was just a kid. I was wondering why a man was asking a little girl if her daddy was home. I figured she should not be talking to this dude. After all, he had bad desires. Now, as an adult… come on. Yes, please… sign me up. Now, Dammit! (he,he)

I may be one of the few people in world who genuinely loves the cheesiness of “Better than the Rest.”

Sigh. Bruce, this is gonna have to be a really long set. I have not even started on “Better Days,” “Thunder Road,” “Atlantic City,” “Brilliant Disguise,” “Secret Garden,” “Glory Days”… this list can go on forever!

I know it may seem weird for a girl to be going to a rock concert by herself but no one I love enough to share this with is anywhere near me. So, I am going to go and let myself be transported by the show.

There may or may not be much more discussion about Bruce. I may die of happiness. I am not sure yet what is going to happen. The only thing I know for sure is I am beyond excited.

Adventures in Hiking

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  Today I went on my first solo hike. In The Wilderness! Okay, let’s be real. It was actually a park behind the sporting goods store. No worries. The people that sold me my boots assured me the bears were all hibernating now. WTF? Bears? Hmmm. Can I pet one? Note to self: look for bear clues.
I would like to point out the sign says it is the wilderness, therefore it must be true. I am wearing many layers of clothing. Just in case I get lost. I don’t want to freeze to death out here in the wild.  Actually, I may be wearing too many layers. I’m feeling a little warm. How on earth am I sweating in this arctic tundra?

  Lots of pretty trees. Snow. Rocks. Really feeling like I am on a dangerous expedition. Still on the lookout for possible bear sightings.
  The trees out here must cut themselves. No sign of anyone else around to cut these nifty little logs. There may be beavers or something.

  It’s not really bright enough to need my shades. The sun barely penetrates the trees. I am both cold and overheated all at the same time. What is the magic number of layers for staying safe from the elements?
  OMG! A clue! If the Blue’s Clues theme is not running through your head now, I’m not certain we should be friends. I am pretty sure this is a bear track. I bet if I follow it, I will find a friendly bear who just wants to be friends.

  In case I forgot, this is indeed the wilderness. The bear appears to be staying on the trail. I must continue to follow these clues. Just imagine, around the next bend there could be a fuzzy creature just waiting for me to pet him! 
 Nope. He is not up there. Can bears actually climb trees? More importantly, do they?

   From civilization. Nope. My cell phone still works.

  This seems like a perfect place for a bear to hide. Let me go poke around in here.
 Just kidding. I am almost back to the car. I can’t wait to come explore again. It is so pretty and peaceful out here.

Settling In

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 I was all set to write some pitiful diatribe about how cold I am and complain about the time of sunset here. Instead, I opened Facebook and was greeted with the sad news of Alan Rickman’s death. Jareth, The Goblin King and The Sheriff of Nottingham in the same week?

I am not going to pretend I knew these men in real life. I am not going to be one of those people who acts like I suffered a loss anywhere near as horrible as their family and friends. I just want to share how my life was influenced by these artists. If we are being honest, all the kids of my generation benefitted from their presence.

I was raised to be unapologetically myself. I wore what I wanted and I never had to wonder whether or not my family found me charming and funny. Let’s be honest, they were frequently wondering where they went wrong, why I was so weird, and whether or not I would ever outgrow my radical ideas. No worries. I grew up eventually. The point is, they loved me and supported me no matter what strange idea I had.

What does this have to do with all of these characters? Well, they set the stage for people to be embraced for their individuality. I like to pretend people like my quirky personality. I like to pretend it all makes sense on some really deep level. Whatever, I just like what I like.