Sunday, January 29, 2012

I feel like I'm at the very tippy top of a rollercoaster. I have that pit in my stomach feeling, my hands are gripping tight, and my mind is thinking "am I sure I want to do this?"

I'm moving out of my parents house next weekend. I'm nervous. It doesn't matter that they are 10 minutes away. It's not the fact that I'm getting away from them, and I don't anticipate being "homesick". No, that's not what makes me nervous. What makes me nervous is that I am officially growing up. I have, of course, lived on my own before, but not where I was supporting myself. Not where I was going to work a 9-5 job every day. This is really it.

I've always lived my life in stages, always known what was coming next. I felt safer that way. That's why the time period when I did not have a job was the hardest for me. It was the first time in my life without a plan. And now, although I'm steady in my job, my mind has already gone to the "what if's". What if I run out of money? What if my roommate can't stand me? What if, what if. It goes on and on. I guess I'm a little insecure. For the past year and 1/2 my parents have been supporting me financially and making the household decisions. Now it will be up to me and Susie. I'll be outside of my comfort zone. And that, my friends, terrifies me.

I'm going to turn this blog the other way and list the things I am looking forward too:

-Getting to know Susie better. She's always been a friend to the family, and I know what a great friend she is to my sister, so I am excited to learn more about her and get to know her better.
-Budgeting. I am going to be watching my money very carefully. But one thing I am actually looking forward to is getting back to the "simple living" model that I lived during my year of Mercy Volunteer Corps. Now I'm not saying I want to eat black beans and rice every night for dinner, but I am excited to take aspects of what I learned and put them back into action.
-Having people over for dinner parties. I am excited to cook for myself again and invite a friend over once in a while to enjoy it with me.
-Being so close to Martha. Martha is one of my absolute most favorite people in the entire world and I am ecstatic that I am 3 streets away from her. She gives me awesome advice and is someone I look up to as a successful businesswoman, and more importantly, kick ass mom.

So, wish me luck over these next few weeks as I work out all the details and settle in to my new home. Say some prayers that I stay calm...and don't be surprised if I don't have much interaction with the real world until mid February :)

Love you all! I apologize for the ups and downs of this post. My emotions are out of whack.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

everybody seems so famous

My mom gave her 2nd graders this story prompt

"Tell about a famous person you would like to invite to your huouse for a week. I would invite..."

Here are my favorites. I kept some spelling errors in on purpose.

"Ke$ha. I like Ke$he because she wears a lot of glitter. She is a good dancer and she looks like me. She would arrive in a limo. She would give me a makeover. We would make up a song. I think we would name the song "Cool TO Be You". IT would be so awesome. Ke$ha would sleep on my couch in my bedroom. We would put glitter on each other every day. Ka$ha would leave in her tour bus and that is my story".

"Justin Bieber. I would invite him because I like him. I know all of his songs by heart. My favorite is "Baby". I like it because it is a very great song. When he would walk in the door, I'd almost pass out. That's how much I like him! Oh, I forgot to tell you, he would arrive in a black limo. We would sing together. Every day we would sing and play ball in the basement. Then after two weeks he'd have to go back to his house. PS I had a great time with JB."

"Taylor Swift. Ding dong the door bell would ring. It would be Taylor Swift. She arrived in a black limo. She would say "Hello, your mom invited me for 1 week!". I'd say "Mom, you really mean it? Excuse me,Taylor.". I would ask "Mom, how much did this cost?". She answered "All of my love for you". "A party for me? You are the best!" At the party, she would sing Sparks Fly. She would give me a gift. It would be a stage with a disco ball. Before I knew it, it would be Sunday and she would have to leave. She would write me a note. The end"

"Manti Teo. He is my favorite player on the Notre Dame football team. He would park his Notre Dame limo in our driveway. He would walk in and as soon as I saw his face I would run and give him a hug. Then we would go outside and play snow football (I would tell him to go easy on me!). Then we would go and drink some hot cocoa (he would want some extra marshmallows!) The next day we would eat eggs for breakfast. Then we would ride his limo to Notre Dame. We would both go in the locker room before we had to play Boston College. I would play defense and we'd win 160-2. After the game, he would go back to his dorm and unpack. Ps He would let me keep his limo."

"Eminem. I'd invited him because I like his songs. I'd see him in a car. I'd learn all his songs with his help. He'd sleep on the floor. We would eat cereal and milk. I'd tell him how Mrs. Carolin doesn't like him and why! I'd get him a microphone. The last song he would sing to me is "Not Afraid". Then he go home."

"Taio Cruz. He sings Dynamite. I LOVE his music I think he sings "Break Your Heart". I would sing with him all night. He would sleep in my bed and I would sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor. Taio would get to my house by limo (if possible). We would go to Leo's Coney Island. Taio would get in a disguise, so no one would recognize him. We would talk about making him a new song. Maybe I could play drums or tambourine or something."

"Taylor Swift. I'd invited her because I like her songs. I have 60 something pictures. Taylor would arrive by an airplane. I would sing with her. She would sleep on my couch. She would eat cheesecake. We would take about her songs. I would be very, very sad that she had to leave. But I sucked it up."

"Lady Gaga because I like her songs. She will come in a black sparkly glittery limo. I will sing songs with her like "Born This Way" and "Poker Face". She will sleep in my brother's room because his bed is bigger and his room is the biggest. We will feed her whatever she wants and whenever she wants it. Lady Gaga has blond hair and blue eyes. She also has a meat dress. The next day she will leave we will miss her the end".

"Oprah because I really like her talk show. Oprah would arrive in a limo. We would play Bingo 14 times. Then, we would draw a little. We would watch her talk show then I would get to see her set. It would be so much fun! Oparh would sleep in my room. When Oprah had to leave I'd hang my head. She would say "I'll be back".

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

words, words, words

I mentioned in my last blog how bothered I have been by people casually saying things like "Shoot me now" or "I'm gonna kill someone". I never really realized how often I hear them until recently. And now I cringe every time I do.

I've always believed that words are powerful, but this is the first time I can remember feeling physically ill because of someones choice of words. It's hit me just how much words matter. How we never really know what we say can affect someone else. Words can hurt. I think we need to be a little more conscious of that. I'm not saying we should spend every second worrying about our words and how they will affect others, because then we'd all be mute. But I do think we should be more aware of it. Choose them wisely. Take a deep breath and count to 10 before you speak. Think, "is this going to hurt someone? could this potentially hurt someone?". Sometimes it amazes me how fast words can get twisted. Rumors spread like wildfire all because someone changed a word or two in a statement they heard. It's sickening, really.

Words can also heal, though. If they are so powerful that they can tear someone apart, then they are also just as powerful to pick someone back up. We shouldn't be afraid to speak up and say "Hey, I care about you and your feelings". I am lucky that I work in a place where I see positive words shared between strangers every day. A volunteer will call in after meeting their patient for the first time, so excited that they were able to hear a story or that they could offer some comfort. It's a beautiful thing, our ability to touch one another through words.

So be careful. Choose your words wisely. Speak up, but speak carefully.

PS...Speaking of words, I just wrote this in about 4 seconds. Hope you like it.

hey, here we are again

hey, fancy meeting you again

I should warn you I'm not

the way I was back then

But before you run, baby you should know

I'm so much better than that

I'm not afraid like I was back then

You loved me then, I know

And I just shut you out

But I'm ready, yes I'm ready

I don't know what you've heard about me

Maybe that I went a little crazy

Maybe that I made new friends and left

others behind. but what they don't know

Is I'm so much better than that

I'm not afraid like I was back then

Afraid of loving me, afraid to be free

But I'm ready, yes I'm ready

And I'm so, so happy

That we're meeting here again

Friday, January 20, 2012

how are you doing?

Gonna be totally honest: Susan's death has thrown me for a complete loop. I have lost many, many people in my life. Grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles, a cousin gone too soon. But I have never felt like this after a death. I have never had this much struggle.

I work for a hospice. I train new volunteers monthly, at least twice a month I am sitting there talking about grief. I know the terms, I know how to talk about what to expect and the different things that affect a person's grief. I know to say to every volunteer "grief is not a problem to be solved, it is simply a statement that you loved someone". But I was not prepared for this.

I have not slept well, my thoughts are consumed with thoughts of Susan and that night. A few times I have woken up with fingernail prints in the palms of my hand from clenching my fists. I don't remember a lot of details from last week. It's been tough. I haven't really known what to say when people have asked how I'm doing. The automated response is "oh, hanging in there". When really, all I want to say is "no, I'm not okay".

Earlier this week I really struggled with that, the fact that I wasn't okay. I felt like I was being selfish and then felt guilty. Lucky for me I have people to talk to about that and they helped me through it.

So how am I doing right now? Okay. I think the most frustrating thing for me is I've lost a lot of motivation. The 2nd hunger games book is in the same spot in my room where I left it that Tuesday night, I have not written in my journal since I found out, etc. I just don't care about anything as much as I did a week and a 1/2 ago. I'm trying to pick up the pieces, to remind myself that Susan would want us to move forward and keep on living. But I'm struggling. Violence has become a very real thing for me, a very disgusting thing for me. Since this tragedy, whenver I hear another story similair I want to throw up. Saying things like "I'm going to shoot someone" are no longer taken lightly. Just the other day my co worker said that to me. She said "Shoot me now", as I'm sure many of us say daily when we get frustrated. But it took a dagger at me.

I guess my point in writing this blog was to point out that we never know how things are going to work out, how things are going to affect us. But somewhere, somewhere beneath all the hurt I have to believe that there is a lesson in all of this. I have to believe that we are here to love and serve one another. To help each other heal and to be there when we break down. I have not quite figured out where my place is in this tragedy, because I am still dealing with my own emotions. But I know that no matter what, I will stick with the Hugo community, proudly. I have seen them come together and pray for one another, and now I will not leave their side. Even if I am just known as "Mrs. Carolin's daughter". I'm proud to wear that title, and I will do what I can to help others.

I know I'll be alright, and I will heal and figure out how to go on. I have my faith, my family, and my friends by my side. Thank you for that. A lot of people have helped me through this. A LOT. But I have to give a very special thank you to some of my co workers who have been absolutely incredible during this experience. Maggie who always asks how I'm doing and puts up with me whining. Tierra who can make me laugh in any situation and who understands me. Kim and Sue who let me vent, cry, talk, ramble. Sarah who will open her office door and let me sit and just let it out, who reminds me it's okay to break down, who gives me advice and just gets it. You guys have all been so awesome. Maggie and Tierra, I promise to not send whiny e-mails anymore :) <3 you!

I should stop rambling now, but it feels good to let this out. I love you all.

Monday, January 16, 2012

you are more.

Since I seem to be in the letter writing mood today...

Dear Youth Group Kids,
I know I mentioned this a few times to many of you over the course of the weekend. But I just want to say how proud I am of each of you. I have watched a lot of you grow up, strange as that may seem. And to see how strong you are, how passionate you are, and how spiritual you are, is quite a gift for me. You each have very unique talents and gifts, I encourage you to keep on sharing them with the world.

I know a lot of you are feeling pain in some way. I wish you didn't, I wish I could take it all away. But I can't. What you are experiencing now won't last forever. It will shape you, form you, mold you into the person you are supposed to be. Don't let the little things in life get to you. Enjoy life. And talk to God. He is always listening. You don't need to be in "prayer mode". Just saying thank you to Him, or "give me strength" in a moment of weakness, those are simple ways to grow and strengthen your relationship with God.

I hope you remember the things you learned over the weekend. Most importantly, I hope you remember to treat each other with kindness and respect, always. We never know what a person is feeling, just by reaching out and showing compassion will make a difference. Remember to be someones prayer.

If any of you ever need to talk, or a place to get away, or want to go for a drive, I'm game. I promise you nothing you tell me will shock me. :)

I love you all. You are more.

Dear Fr. Michael,
Thank you. Thank you for all you do for this community. Thank you for being a source of guidance and inspiration for the teens in our parish. Thank you for shining so bright. Thank you for knowing what to say, for bringing words of comfort. Thank you for being strong but also showing us it's okay to be weak. Your words today were beautiful, and your interactions with the kids this weekend were graceful and comforting. You're the best. I am so glad to be working with you each Sunday night :)

I guess it's safe to say that the youth group retreat this weekend, combined with Susan's funeral today, were pretty emotionally draining. The funeral was by far the hardest hour and 20 minutes I have ever sat through in my life. When it was over I wanted to get out of there, run home, go to sleep and not go back to retreat. But I did, because I wanted to be there for the kids. And I'm so, so glad I did because even though I was feeling pain and grieving, talking with the youth group kids made me realize a lot about who I am and what I have to offer.

I feel so blessed to be a part of the St. Hugo community. I have met incredible families, children, teens, parents, teachers, etc. When a tragedy happens, I feel it hard, because I've been through a lot with these families.

I know what I'm about to write may sound strange to some people, you may not believe it, but I felt Susan today in that Church. When Fr. Mike was reading off the words her kids had used to describe her, I felt her there. I felt her smile and couldn't help but let one out myself. At that moment I said to her "We'll take care of those babies", and I swear she answered "I know you will". And we will. Because that's what we do. We care for people. And shouldn't life just happen that way? Looking out for one another, doing favors, reaching out to someone lonely. It should be a simple act.

I'm emotionally drained and rambling, but I had to get something out there tonight. I will be grieving and processing things for a long time to come. I really appreciate every one's support...but send it the kids way. There is a fund set up for them, you can read about it and donate here:

We'll all miss you Susan. May you rest in peace.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

dear laurence

Dear Laurence,
Two years ago, God brought you Home. You lived your short, 15 years on this earth and taught those who knew who how to live, how to love, how to fight. But then God needed you up in Heaven to be his special angel, to watch over us and give us clues and hints on how to live. You've been watching over us and I've felt your presence with me nearly every day.

Laurence, today more than ever I need you, I need your grace and wisdom. I am helping lead a retreat for a group of kids your age. Kids who are dealing with typical teenage stuff, and now trying to wrap their heads around a tragedy that has hit all of us very hard. I need your help. Help me to bring them guidance, and strength. Help me to know what they need and to give it to them. Help us to break down walls and boundaries and treat each other as equals.

I hope you've met Susan. I hope you found her and gave her a big hug and are holding her hand as she watches over her kids. Send us the strength we need as we grieve her loss. Send us knowledge and wisdom on how to move forward.

I miss you Laurence. I miss you every single day. I have never forgotten the things you did in your short 15 years here on earth, I have never forgotten your words or actions. Thank you for staying with me and guiding me. Your story will be told, I will finish the book and share with the world the goodness that you shared with me, with so many of us.

I'm going to Ft. Walton in April, buddy. Your daddy and little brother are coming with us. I can't wait to walk along the beach. Remember when we drove down together? And you kept asking "how many more minutes?". I'll never forget that, it's one of my fondest memories. Ft Watlon reminds me of you, more than any other place. I can't wait to talk to Joey about it, tell him about our car ride and how you insisted on drinking bug juice the whole way down. I'm going to drink it in your honor :) I'll eat an oyster for ya, too.

Your friends have kept on living your mission. Sam, Ali, all of them. They started a ONE club at school. They continue to make a difference, all because of what you taught them. Sam's off to college next year. I pray that she will find exactly who she's supposed to be. I know she will, because she has a very special angel by her side who will guide her.

We're going to celebrate Airplane Day this year in Ann Arbor. I can't wait to see your mom, your friends, and all the people who love you so dearly and to celebrate your life.

Laurence there are so many things about this world I don't understand. But I have to believe there is a reason for everything, I have to rely on my faith to get me through.

I love you, Laurence, so much, and carry you with me every day. Please help me this weekend as I grieve and as I help others to make it through. Please sit with Susan. If you can, take her smile and send it down to her beautiful children. Bring them comfort.

Miss you. See you one day.


Friday, January 13, 2012

rest in peace.

I honestly don't have the energy to muster up a "this is how I did" post about my week. This week sucked. Blew. Tore me apart, brought me down. There's no gentle way to put it. I did not keep up with my resolutions because that was the absolute least of my worries.

Most of you have heard by now that a very tragic event occur ed in my life this week. Someone who I admire, someone who I adore, was taken away from this world. Susan was, without a doubt, the sweetest woman I knew. Last year while I was on my job hunt, she asked me to come to her house every morning, get her kids up and ready for school and onto the bus. She cared a lot about her kids, and even though they were old enough to watch themselves, she felt better having someone there. That someone was me. I loved hanging with those kids every morning, they were sweet and never gave me any trouble. But even more than that, I loved seeing Susan's smiling face the minute I walked in the door. She was always smiling. Always. Never once did I walk in and see her without that smile. She would ask me how I was, how the job search was going, if I had any leads, and would tell me that I was on her prayer list and she hoped I would get a job soon. Before she left every morning, she had a cup of coffee made for me and would thank me- over and over- for coming over and watching the kids.

She didn't need to thank me. Susan was doing me a favor. She was giving me a reason to get up in the morning. She was showing me compassion and human kindness by keeping me in her prayers and encouraging me during my job hunt. She let me into her home and let me care for her beautiful children. I should have been thanking her. Susan showed me what it meant to be a mom. She lived her whole life for those kids.

I had just seen Susan a few weeks ago, when she picked up her oldest son from youth group, which I co-lead. There she was, smile on her face, asking me about my new job and telling me "thank you" for helping out with youth group. I once again came home and said to my mom "mrs jarrell has got to be the sweetest lady ever". Now I will never see he

Now Susan is gone, gone in a way that most of us cannot fathom or begin to grasp. Gone, and the kids are left with no parents. When my mom told me the news I crumbled. I cried. I screamed over and over "oh my god". I still cannot believe it. I still can't believe she's gone. I can't believe what those kids are going through. I can't believe the pain felt by all who knew her.

I want to say thank you for all the people who have had my back this week. Most of my coworkers have been amazing, offering to fill in where needed or just checking up on me. I'd like to particularly thank Sarah, Maggie, and Tierra for their support and lending a listening ear and open arms for a hug.

As most of you know, the youth group pulled together a prayer service on Thursday night in support of Nick. It was a beautiful ceremony. We are also going to have our youth group retreat this weekend, as planned. I imagine the kids will be very emotional. This kind of situation is difficult for anyone to understand, but teenagers especially. Please continue to pray for me, thank you.

I love and appreciate each and every one of you. Don't forget that. It's never too late to tell someone that you love them.

To Susan, I miss you, we all do, and we always will. I will never forget that smile. The world has truly lost a very special person. Your students were touched by your gentle ways, your compassion and understanding. Your kids know how much you loved them, how much you devoted your life to keeping them safe, healthy, and happy. And all of us that had the honor and blessing to know you, we thank you for coming into our lives and touching our hearts. We will take care of the kids, I promise. May you rest in sweet peace and send that smile down to us.

To my mom, who I know will yell at me for making her cry after reading this, Susan always said that you were her kids greatest teacher and biggest advocate. You led the fight to get Nick to UofD and she knows that. Susan loved you, mom, as so many other st hugo parents do. You are an incredible person who gives and gives so much of yourself to others. And I get to call you my mom. I get to nod my head when people tell me how great you are and say "yes, I know". We will get through this together mom. The St. Hugo Community has an angel among them, and her name is Mrs. Carolin.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

from undecided to now

I went into college "undecided". I was tossing around different ideas in my head- education, nursing, social work, psychology. I took general studies classes, but I didn't really have any idea what I wanted to do. I had joined a sorority in the fall of my freshmen year, and that immediately became my main focus. I spent 95% of my time at the sorority house or with my sisters. School, and my future, were put on the back burner.

Once at my sorority house I was talking to my friend Marisa, who was a senior. She was, I think, training me on taking over her position of director of scholarship. Director of scholarship is in charge of making sure everyone's grades are up to par, we had to maintain a certain gpa to be allowed members of the sorority. It was also the role of the director of scholarship to help the girls who were struggling by setting up study hours, helping to find tutors and extra help, and, guide them to settle on a major. Marisa was the one who guided me. She didn't mean to, really, she just said "I'm a family studies major". I asked what that meant, she said it studied family dynamics, that it could lead to counseling and family outreach positions. That sounded just fine to me. I liked helping people, I liked studying human interaction. Family studies it is!

I declared family studies as my major my sophomore year and stuck with it. I was never really happy. I liked it, sure, and I liked my professors. I liked having all my classes with the star of our football team, Louis Delmas...but I still never felt like I was doing me. It just felt like I was going through the motions. I remained very involved in my sorority until the day we closed down due to lack of money and support from alumnae. On that day, I realized I really had nothing to show for. A shut down sorority and a major I wasn't happy with.

All of that changed when I landed my internship with the Kalamazoo Child Abuse and Neglect Council. Prior to that internship, I had my heart set on becoming a child life specialist. But after learning how competitive the field was, I gave up. Luckily, KCAN swooped in when I needed it. The organization was tiny. Just two full time staff members and a board of directors backing it up. My role was, primarily, outreach. My supervisor put me in charge of some pretty large projects, and even let me create some of my own. It was the first time I had really felt needed in a job, felt like I could make a difference. Although I wasn't working directly with families dealing with abuse, I was helping to prevent it by educating the community. I loved every minute of that internship. Plus it gave me confidence, and I started volunteering at the juvenile detention center on the side, helping the female residents learn to read and write.

After graduation I had no idea where to go next. KCAN was not hiring any more staff. I figured I would land at a YWCA or something similar, creating more outreach programs. Instead I ended up doing a year of volunteer service through the Mercy Volunteer Corps, where I was placed at Cristo Rey High School. I wore a number of hats at the school, running the lunch program, peer mediation, teaching creative writing, and filling in for other teachers. If we're talking about most incredible experiences of my life, MVC was, hands down, the winner. I learned so much about myself and society that year. I learned how to push myself, how to push others.

After MVC I was once again "lost" on the job front. I searched for months before I landed a job at Boys Hope Girls Hope. I was excited to work with at risk youth again. That job ended up being a really bad experience. Organization was falling apart and all I did, and I mean literally all I did, was drive kids back and forth to school or tutoring, listening to Nicki Minaj or Trey Songz. I quit that job in January 2011.

So where did that leave me? Once again, lost. I search for jobs all across the United States at places like the Y, hospitals, schools, nonprofits, you name it, I looked. Finally, my sister told me that her husband's cousin mentioned there might be a job opening at the hospice where she worked. "Is that something you'd be interested in?" she asked me. "Probably not. But I might as well", was my response. I just never pictured myself in and administrative setting, much less a hospice. But, 9 months later, here I am, the volunteer coordinator for a hospice. I love my job, I do. I am back to doing outreach and managing programs, which is where I excelled at KCAN and Cristo Rey. Am I doing what a family studies major "should" be doing? Heck if I know. Does it matter? Probably not. I have a job, I'm fairly decent at my job, and it's giving me a whole heap of experience and networking tools. And yes, I'm happy, career wise.

So that, my friends, is my very up and down account of my field of study leading to my career. Random post, I know, but I was thinking about what led me to where I am today.

Friday, January 6, 2012

conquer, week 1.

So the first week of 2012 is over- we survived. Barely. I mean wow 2012, way to come in with a bang.

First of all, work has been absolutely insane. I've been working on stuff until 10:30 every night, trying to get my ducks in a row. I get to work by 8, and am constantly busy. Whether it's on the road for meetings or running around the office getting stuff together, I'm nonstop. It's not always like this, it kind of comes and goes. I compare it to a game of jenga. Once it's quiet and steady, something jerks it and the whole thing falls apart. Next week will also be busy, but I won't be on the road quite as much. I just need a vacation. I know we kind of just had one with our Christmas and New Years, but I only had the Monday's after each holiday off, and even then I was running around. My back and shoulders ache from stress. I need a few days to just chill. But that won't be happening, since I work this Saturday, next Saturday, and I'm moving out. C'monnnn February! Bring some peace, please! I think I'm going to make a rule of no longer working on Saturday's. I can't get burned out.

So, as far as my resolutions, I've actually been doing pretty well.

Writing: I have been writing every day in my journal. So glad I'm back to doing that. Actually last night I stayed up until 1 am reading my journals from 09-10. I can't wait to one day give those to my children so they can read about my year with the Mercy Volunteer Corps. Anyways, here are some excerpts from stuff I wrote this week:

Sometimes I still think of you
I keep it a secret inside my heart
IF they knew they'd call me crazy
What they don't know is
How crazy I was for you
They don't know the promises you made me
They don't know you held on too long
And they sure don't know
No they don't know
That I haven't been the same
Since you said no
To us
I still think of what we could have been
You were almost the Noah to my Allie
But now the only notebook
Is the one where I write to you
The letters that you'll never read
They don't know the promises you made me
They don't know you held on too long
And they sure don't know
No they don't know
That I haven't been the same
Since you said no
To us
That summer was good to us
16 months went by and winter destroyed us
It wasn't the cold that took my breath away
It was the broken promises
The distance
And it all fell apart
When you said no to us

One of these days I'll have it all together
One of these days I won't worry
Yeah things are gonna be fine
One of these days
I'll push through the fear
Life will treat me kindly
I'll be in a better place
Oh one of these days

Diet/Exercise: I'd give myself a B. I've been wrting down what I eat on (highly recommend it, I think they have an app for you iphone people- it's super easy to use and breaks it down for you). But I haven't been exercising other than talking my dog for a walk around the block. I have to make a decision on gyms...whether I will stay with my Y with the amazing equipment and classes, or move to the Y closer to my new house that's not as up to date facility wise. Hope to decide next week.

Reading: I started two novels between Christmas/New Years that I really could not get into. So, I caved, and I started Hunger Games. Um, thank you to the million people who forced me into it, because holy cow! It's so addicting, and interesting, and fresh! I can't get enough of it. I'm just about halfway through and anticipate being finished by tomorrow night. So good!

Breaking Shyness: Well this week has kind of forced me to do that, and I'm really excited about it. I have really shown that I can be a leader if I push myself hard enough. Outside of the workplace, I did have an experience at Best Buy. I know that sounds crazy. But just hear me out for a second. Part of my social anxiety really hits at stores/restaurants. Because I hate talking to strangers I don't like talking to sales associates or waiters, etc. I hate looking them in the eye and I get totally nervous. I get a headache and my hands clam up, really fast. Well, I had to go to Best Buy to get a new laptop. I knew going in this wasn't just a grab it and go deal, I'd have to talk to the associates. So I did. I asked a few questions and explained what I was looking for to the sales guy, Justin. When I settled on a computer, we learned they didn't have any of that kind in stock. He said I could have the display one. That seemed fine to me. He went to ring me up and we kept talking-not just about the computer. I learned that he's been at Best Buy for five years, he's twenty days older than me, and in six months he'll be out of Best Buy and hopefully at a "real" job in IT. He learned that I work for a hospice, that I'll be out of my parents house soon. Now I realize this all just seems like casual conversation to all of you, but for me, it was a major win.

He also told me that because I was such a nice customer he was going to give me $50 off the computer. He also gave me a three year antivirus program for the price of the two years. So, I learned my lesson- talk, be nice :-D

By the way, my focus word for 2012 is conquer. Let's go. Let's do this thing.