Beautiful Chaos – A Year of Growth

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since my last blog post.  Life has been kind of crazy – both good and bad – especially with the Holidays.  I am so ready to say ‘see you later!’ to 2016.  Overall, 2016 was a very difficult year for me.  I’ve lost people that I love.  I’ve received horrible news on more than one occasion.  I experienced panic attacks, and overwhelming sadness.  I began to doubt myself about things I once felt extremely confident in.  I felt like one bad thing was happening after the other, and I began to feel defeated.  And honestly, I felt somewhat sorry for myself.  I had never truly experienced genuine hardships in the past.  At least, nothing compared to the past six months.  I didn’t know how to handle my emotions.  I became annoyed with myself when I couldn’t just “get over” it.  I grew frustrated when my anxiety began to rear it’s ugly head – wasn’t I past all of this?

What I did not realize six months ago, though, was that my feelings were normal.  When something bad happens, of course you’re going to feel sad.  I’m  so sensitive, and extremely empathetic.  I like to be able to fix things and make people feel better, so when I was unable to do that for my loved ones, it upset me.  My anxiety was also normal (which I think I actually knew, deep down), I just did not want to deal with it.  I was very hard on myself during this time, and looking back now, I wish that I gave myself a break.

Before I go any further, I do want to say that this year was not entirely awful.  I had some huge moments this year – good ones.  For one, I moved in with Saul, in May.  (I had basically been living there since February, but May we made it official.)  I absolutely love living with Saul – what’s better than having a sleepover every night with your best friend?  Saul turned 30 this year, so for his birthday (and Jordan’s) we traveled to Punta Cana for a week.  It was so amazing.  I had never been anywhere tropical, nor I had ever stayed at an All-Inclusive Resort.  I had such a wonderful time.  I had fun nights out with my girlfriends,too.  (Like the night I owed Jena $60 for taking a Lyft from her house in Lynnfield back to West Roxbury.)  Jessi’s Bachelorette Weekend was such a blast – definitely one of my favorite memories of 2016.  I also had my ten year high school reunion (I feel so old!) and I had a really good time going out that night as well.  I saw friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, and it was so nice to reconnect with them.  My bond with my loved ones grew stronger, too.  So no, not everything was bad.  But that’s how life goes, right?

I feel like this year was a year of growth for me.  I do feel like I’ve “grown up” a lot.  I am a year older (hello, 28!), and though I’ve clearly been an “adult” for awhile, it didn’t always feel that way.  I think in the past six months alone, I’ve grown tremendously.  And when I look back to five years ago, I can clearly see how far I have come.  I am no longer the same girl that I was at 23, 25, or even 27.  I’m maturing and growing everyday, and understanding myself better along the way.  And for that, I’m glad, and thankful.

Although I’ve learned a lot, I’m still learning.  When I started writing this blog post, I was actually going to title it “AN EYE FOR AN EYE WILL ONLY MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD BLIND”, and it was going to be about kindness. (My brain had other ideas when I began typing, clearly.)  I do want to talk about kindness though, and a lesson that I learned recently.

kind

I will not name names, or go into great detail, but recently, I received a “gift” from someone that I found to be really offensive.  It was a self-help book (which I didn’t really realize until later) , and it basically talks about not taking things personally, etc.  (Kind of ironic how personally I took it, LOL.)  If I had received this gift from my Mom, or someone else really close to me, I don’t think I would have taken it so personally.  But to get this book from someone who is not close to me – it actually seemed like a dig, to be honest.  Why is she giving me this?  I wondered.  It made me think something was wrong with my character.  At first, I brushed it off.  But a week later, when I was in Barnes and Noble, casually browsing every aisle, I came across the book, in the self-help section.  I immediately became infuriated – who was she to give me a self-help book!? I was so mad.  What I decided to do, I’m not proud of now.  At the time, I didn’t really think anything of it.  When this person’s birthday rolled around, I gave them a book, too.  It was a book about being kind.  And I actually thought it was a good idea, until I saw the look on their face when they opened it.  And I felt horrible. It was at that very moment that I realized – “getting even” did not make me feel any better.  Yes, I felt bad about myself when I received my gift.  But making that person feel bad, too – well, that just made me feel terrible.  I told Saul the story right after it happened, and how giving that book didn’t make me feel any better.  “Well, I could have told you that,” he said.  I asked him why, and he replied, “Because you’re a nice person, Erica.  Doing something like that is not in your nature.”  And he is absolutely right.

From now on, I will always choose kindness.  Getting revenge is not who I am, and neither is being catty or petty.  I will take the high road, always.  Kindness is always the best answer, even if at the time, you don’t think so.  I don’t want to feel bad about myself, nor do I want to hurt anyone’s feelings – even if they’ve hurt mine.  Like Ghandi says, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind”- and he’s correct.

I probably won’t post anything else in 2016, so I guess this is a farewell blog post.  Farewell to a year filled with loss, love, heartbreak, laughter, change, growth, confusion, happiness – a year filled with a billion different emotions.

Farewell to 2016, a year of beautiful chaos.

 

 

 

xo

Vacation Recap

As you know,  I was off this past week from work.  I had such a nice, relaxing, fun week.  It was exactly what I needed.  Rest, relaxation, sun, and some adventure.  I couldn’t have asked for a better week!

 

North Conway

Saul & I went to North Conway on Monday, and stayed over for the night.  I know I mentioned this, and I also mentioned how we were staying at Merrill Farm Inn, which I thought looked “cute & cozy” after reading Google reviews.  For anyone considering a trip to North Conway, do not stay there!!  There was nothing cute and cozy about it.  It was super creepy, actually.  It was an old barn, and I’m pretty sure it was haunted.  When we checked in, the guy at the desk hands us over our key to room 223, and says, “There is something I need to tell you about this room.”  I looked at Saul, my eyes wide.  I honestly thought he was going to tell me someone was murdered in that room.  He didn’t.  But he did tell us that Room 223 had no windows, and if we wanted a room with windows it would be a hassle because they didn’t have any more rooms with king sized beds.  Um, really?  When I booked this room, do you think I would choose a windowless room?  If we were staying any more than one night, I would have demanded a new room, a discount, or I would have gone elsewhere.  But since we were only there for the night, I sucked it up.  The room bugged me out immediately.  I seriously felt like I was at the Hotel Cortez in American Horror Story.  I pictured hands coming up out of the bed at any given moment. Of course, Saul thought I was being dramatic, as usual.  But, I knew he felt the same way when we got back from dinner that night.  When we had arrived, it was like a ghost town.  When we got home from dinner, around 10:30 PM, there were lots of cars in the parking lot.  “I’m glad more people are here,” I said to Saul.  “It’s less creepy.”  Saul agreed, so I know he felt the same way.

Besides staying in a Haunted Barn though, I had a lot of fun in North Conway.  We went to Horsefeather’s for lunch, and then walked around and went to some of the little shops in the center.  I love those stores, they always have the cutest little trinkets.  Penny Lane’s Boutique is my favorite, they have everything.  Sister Crows Native American is also a really cool store.  They had very pretty home made dream catchers.  (I was too cheap to buy one, seeing that they one I loved was $26.  I’d rather make my own.)  But they had a lot of unique stuff, it was interesting.  For dinner, we went to Vito Marcello’s, which was amazing.  It’s a really cute restaurant, and they have wonderful Italian food.  They also make a fantastic espresso martini.

I did not go on the Conway Scenic Railroad, like I had thought I wanted to.  After being in the car for three hours, the last thing I wanted to do was hop on a train for another two hours.  I also did not really research my surroundings that well before we got there.  I had no idea that the White Mountain attraction area, where I had wanted to go, was an entire hour away from where I was staying.  So we decided against that, too.  We did do some exploring, though.  I’m not really a nature girl, but I will admit that it was very pretty.  Would I go back to North Conway?  Definitely in the winter.  I had a blast at Adventure Suites.  But for the summer, I would not.  I like Maine better!  I still had a fun time with Saully, though.

Nantasket Beach

I love Nantasket Beach.  Saul and I went on Wednesday.  Neither of us wanted to drive far, so Nantasket is perfect, because it’s only about 45 minutes away.  We tanned/swam all day.  I got burnt of course.  But it was really nice and relaxing.  I love the ocean.  I just feel so calm and serene when I’m there.

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.”
E.E. Cummings, 100 Selected Poems

 

 

Ogunquit Beach, Maine

I went to visit Patty in Ogunquit on Friday with Jena and Amaritta, which was a blast.  I hadn’t seen Patty in a while, so it was so nice to see her!  I missed her.  (Patty is Jena’s mom, FYI.)  I also met Patty’s boyfriend, JJ, which was really nice as well!  I got to see the motel they run, and it’s adorable.  Her house is adorable, too.  Patty and Jena need to start an interior decorating business together, they do such an amazing job!  We had brunch at Splash, and it was really relaxing sipping a Mimosa while overlooking the beach/ocean.  Jena got a Bloody Mary to cure her hangover, and Amaritta was “Tanned Girl Wasted” off of her spiked iced coffee.  (LOL, inside joke.) I really had such a great time.  It was the perfect beach day.  I love being with my girlfriends, we always have fun being so silly together.  I cannot wait to go back!

Splash

Now my vacation is slowly, but surely, coming to an end.  I’m not ready!  I want one more week.  I know I have to get back to reality though.  And I don’t think I could afford another week off – I spend way too much when I have so much free time on my hands.  In between my travels I obviously went shopping.  I always buy the most useless stuff at Target.  I browsed the Square One Mall one day (gross, I know), but I did get three dresses for $50, which is a steal.  And I can wear two of them to work/in the fall, so I’m okay with that purchase, it was worth it.  I’m also excited to get back to Weight Watchers.  This was a bad week eating wise, and I’m so ready to restart my healthy eating!  I also missed Kirsten so much! It was so weird not seeing her for a week! I can’t wait to catch up.

Hope you all had a lovely week! 

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