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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bucket List Revived

It has been a long time since I last blogged. I got away from the blog as the holidays started to settle in due to feeling so down and losing all motivation in doing things for myself. I realized this blog is a major lifeline for me. Writing has a way of making me feel so much better and putting it out there adds something to special to the writing. So with the new year approaching I felt like there is no better time to get back into the Break-up Bucket List. 2011 was full of a lot of disappointment and heartache. I am not making resolutions for 2012, this time they are promises to myself and I will achieve them. There are so many things I want to do and I am feeling revived and like now is the time. 
Thank you all for following and supporting me through this journey. I can't wait to check few more things of the list this upcoming year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mother Earth News Fair

This past weekend I attended the Mother Earth News Fair. For those who don’t know Mother Earth News is a magazine that is intended for those who want to live more organically and be more in tune with nature. The Fair was held at the Seven Springs Resort which is located in Southwest Pennsylvania. The resort is gigantic and beautiful, it is set in the mountains and the colors of fall surrounded us.
I went to the festival with my 2 best friends and my cousin. We all just split up and concentrated on the seminars we wanted.  We came a little later then we expected for I missed the first seminar I went to and the beekeeping seminar was way too crowded for me to be able to focus on the speaker. So I spent the first part of the morning walking around to the vendors.  We met a woman who made goat’s milk soap and I bought a delicious bar of Blackberry French Vanilla Soap from her. There were tons of soap vendors at the fair and it was hard to not want to buy all the scrumptious smelling goodies. What I liked about Dream Thyme Farm is that she talked with us about the fair and she had a conversation with my cousin about her lyme disease. She promised to send out good vibes to her for the day. Everyone we met there was so nice and lovely.  
The first full seminar I attended was Baking Bread in Five Minutes a Day. They taught us how to store bread in the refrigerator and be able to cook it whenever you needed. The hosts were funny and made me want to bake bread as much as possibly. Clarissa bought the book so we are having a bread date soon. The next seminar was ‘Eating Organic on a Dime’ and it focused on how to make your food last longer and what to invest in when buying organic. I learned a lot from the speaker and took about 4 pages of notes. My friends thought I was a nerd for taking notes but I found the entire weekend so informative.  Then I went to Cleanse and Detox then proceeded to spend the rest of the day browsing the exhibits around the convention center. While we were perusing the exhibits, we found a sauna booth. The guys at the sauna talked Clarissa and I into jumping inside. We stayed at their booth for probably 15 – 20 minutes, basking in the glorious warmth.  Then we spent a lot of time at the booth for the Vita-mix, which is this amazing blender. I swear if I was rich I would have both of those things in my home.
The next day I started the day off with a ride on the sky lift over Seven Springs. I was a little nervous at first but the view was amazing. You could see over everything and it felt so relaxing. The guy on the lift let us go around a couple times before we decide to jump off and find the rest of our party. Then I attended two of the best seminars of the weekend.
If any of you have ever watched Food, Inc., you would know Joel Saltin. He is the organic farmer who spoke against the big food industry. His speech was so inspiring and he got the audience excited about his message. He said something about a lot of people looking at organic eaters as elitist, hell I used to think organic buys were snobs, but the real elitists is the country trying to hold us down from having food choices.  It really changed my views on eating organic. I definitely recommend that everyone watch the movie he is in, look him up online or read one of his books. I don’t think you will be disappointed. After his speech, Clarissa and I went to his booth and professed our love or well at least our admiration for what he does. He was even kind enough to pose for a picture with us!

Then we listen to Ed Begley, Jr speak on How to Live Simply so Others can Simply Live. He really made becoming a greener person not feel so overwhelming. He said do what you can within your means. Basically just do something to help our environment and slowly things will happen where you can do more. Later in the day while walking around, we ran into him at the exhibits and we had to get our picture with him. Although, he seemed a little Hollywood when we asked (maybe because we didn't buy his product) but seriously I had to get a picture with anyone who was on Roseanne and in Christopher Guest movies!

The trip showed me on how little changes we make in our lives have a impact on our over all life. The weekend was amazing. There is so much I could write on everything I learned at the Mother Earth News Fair but I know this post is already lengthy. If any of you have the opportunity to go to one of their fairs, you should definitely take it. I know that I will be back next year!

Links you should check out from the fair:
Bon Ami (Awesome Dish Soap
Dream Thyme Farm
Crazy Sauna
Yummy Pumpkin Soap
Local Hot Pepper Products and More!
Penn Forest Cemetery (write more about this later)
Mother Earth News
Inside Storey

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sometimes it Lasts in Love and Sometimes it Hurts Instead

I started blogging for two main reasons to get over a bad break-up and to discover the self I had inside that I let go. The past few months I have been covering up the hurt I feel with adventures and new challenges. People tend to forget how much heartache hurts unless they are feeling it. I had a lot of friends say to me, “I feel like you two broke up a long time ago.” When in my head I could probably count day the day, hour and minutes if I had to. It has only been a few months since DB and I went our separate ways. A lot of people would be on to the next significant other right now, hell DB probably has a new girlfriend but that is just his style. My heart moves in slow motion when it comes to love. It took me two weeks to say “I Love You” back to DB after the first time he said it.
The pain of losing someone you truly love intensifies when you are let down in other ways. I recently received some disappointing news that left me feeling rejected. During the hurt of this ordeal I could only think about how I longed to call DB. I wanted to ask him how he could stop loving someone so quickly, how he could let me be in so much pain and let him know  I feel like I have to completely start over.
At this point in my life I feel like I never want to love again. The pain and agony that is there after someone leaves you, makes the beauty of love feel like an ugly scar.  I have always had a cage around my heart, letting people see the possibility of letting them in but always keeping it locked. DB somehow managed a way to get that key and I trusted with him with everything that I had.
The last couple weeks have seemed hard, maybe because my stress level is up or maybe because I no longer have that male companion to talk to at night. I feel like my sadness is a burden on my friends. I also know that they really can tell when the smile is fake and I am breaking down inside. I was worried about writing so honestly about how I was feeling. I am scared people would look at me as weak or crazy. It is hard to realize others have probably felt the way you do, at some point in their life. I am not sad everyday but when it comes I just feel like I am stuck in this black hole. I wish so hard to be happy like everyone I see. I do know that my happiness is not with DB, he didn’t take it when he left. It is just in the shadows and I need to find a way to let that sunshine clear away those shadows.
I am ending the blog a different way this time. I am going to leave everyone with a song. When the Adele album first came out I listened to this song on repeat and sang it so loudly in the car. It reminded me of an old friend whom I wished all the best in the world for even though there were some feelings there with both of us. Now when I hear the song, it is a whole new wave of emotion. I can feel the pain in Adele’s voice and it matches the pain my heart. The other day while driving the song brought me to tears and let myself cry as I drove home. I hope this song awakens emotions in some of you as it does for me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

At a Loss

Part of my blog is not only doing things I have never done before but also meeting my long term goals. One of my long term goals is to lose weight and become a healthier person all around.
About a month before DB and I broke up, he and I joined Weight Watchers online. They have an awesome app for your phone or Ipod and it makes tracking your food easy to do.  I tried Weight Watchers once before while in college but it was hard with buffet lines and junk food being everywhere I looked. So this time we were going to get serious. Now mind you, DB always told me, he and I were going to get healthier but when he came down he was always too tired to walk or go to the gym. Then we would eat out all the time and it is hard to say no something bad when the person across from you has it.  Now I am not blaming DB but he definitely did not help.
The week after our break-up I barely ate. I couldn’t keep anything down; everything just looked and tasted awful. Finally I started to get an appetite back and decided to really get serious about losing weight. I was already having success with the program but knew I could step it up a little. So I ate more organically, counting points and made a point to get my veggies in. I cut out so much red meat also.
After a month or so I lost about 15 pounds then I got stuck on a plateau. I was already going to Zumba twice a week then I realized I barely tracked my points on weekends. So I got more determined on my goal, ate better, added biking and hiking to my workout regiment and finally a few more pounds fell off.
The other day I went to my doctor and since my last appointment I had lost 20 pounds! I was ecstatic. I know this is a small loss on the big scale of weight I would like to lose but I am proving to myself I can do it. Usually I lose some weight then gain it all back but I feel like something is different this time. I really hope the weight continues to leave my body and I hope that I become happier with myself.
I guess secretly or not so secretly I hope I can rub it in his face too. I know how immature I sound but hey, we all need one of those “this is what you lost moments.”  I know it will be a year or two before I reach that goal though and by then I won’t even care what he thinks about me. Hopefully by that point I only care about what I think of myself.

Monday, August 15, 2011

"The soul is healed by being with children."

Well it finally happened, something I have been dreading. My little cousin finally asked me where DB went. I knew this would come. I am glad it was later than expected. If she would have asked me a month ago I would have been a wreck so I am so glad a 4 years old concept of time is skewed so she didn’t realize he hasn’t been around in a long time.
The conversation went something like this.
“Is ‘DB’ going to go?”
“Lilly, ‘DB’ and I broke up.”
“Oh, what do you mean?”
“He broke my heart.”
“He was really mean to me. But don’t worry maybe I will find another sweeter boy.”
“Oh well, there are a lot of boys around here, some of them are strangers….” Then she was distracted by conversations on the tub that Santa was going to bring me.
I adore my little cousin. She is probably one of my top favorite people in the entire world. Although she brought up something that was a sore subject for me but in two seconds she made me laugh with her reactions. Kids can do that make you forget about all the pain you are in. 
That is probably why I love spending time with her so much. When you are around a 4 year old you do not think about how will you ever love again or all the hurt you are feeling inside. You are focused on what is going on right now, whether that is being a “girl-hunter” or an “Autumn fairy”. That is why when you are feeling down you should visit the nearest kid you know. You are sucked into their world of make believe and for the moment is much better than the reality you are living.

That is one thing that bugs me about the break up with DB, I rarely let a boyfriend meet my family. It takes a lot for me to let someone into that part of my life. It makes things easier, a clean break if things don’t last. I truly thought DB and I were going to last, he quickly became a part of my family after meeting them. Lilly would play with him, my other cousins would ask him for advice; my mom would get him things for no reason so in the end I wasn’t the only one who was attached to DB.
I am relieved Lilly wasn’t upset that DB wouldn’t be coming around anymore. I feel like Lilly gets it though, she understands how hard it is to let someone in and trust them. It took me what feels like forever to get the place that Lilly and I are at. She isn’t one of those kids who love strangers and will worship anyone she meets. You’ve got to earn her affection and trust and that is how I am when it comes to being in a relationship. I don’t open my heart for just anyone. I don’t jump from relationship to relationship. I over analyze my every move in the love game. It will probably be a long time before I trust again but for the mean time I will pass my time with the ones I love most, my family and best friends.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Wisconsin Wedding

One of my major things on my bucket lists was to travel more. So when my friend Connie asked me to be in her wedding in Wisconsin I could not say no. (I also couldn’t say no to one of my best friends since college). I rode out with fellow bridesmaid Gina and her two friends, Danny and Jess. The ride out wasn’t so bad, I drove out to Cleveland where we stayed with their friend Mike and his girlfriend.  That morning I was so nervous to be staying with people that I didn’t know but it turned out great. I knew Gina but everyone else was new to me. They all made sure to make me feel included and were really nice.
We finally made it to Wisconsin, where we celebrated with Connie and Jason at their bachelorette/bachelor party. It was a cute little bar with a mix of hipsters and your everyday worker. The night was spent reminiscing the past, plans about the future, meeting some creepers and lots of dancing.  A lot of my time was spent with Jen, Connie’s sister and my friend. It was so good to see her and made me realize I should try to see my Philly friends more often since they are only 4 hours away.
The next few days were filled with wedding details and trying to help Connie finish those last minute bridal things. I didn't get to see much of Madison but I did get to see a few of those places that locals love, like Lazy Janes, which had amazing scones and the nicest cashier.
Finally it was the big day on Saturday and we were all so excited for Connie and Jason. The day was so beautiful, a little hot but that wouldn't stop the fun and dancing. I felt honored that Jason and Connie asked me to be a part of their wedding.
Connie looked beautiful in her dress. Surprisingly I didn’t get as emotional as I thought I would have. Although during the rehearsal dinner I got a little weepy when they placed “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young, as memories of my ex and the song we shared came over me. But the joy in Connie and Jason’s eyes helped me hold back those tears and could only be happy for my friend.

I am not going to lie and say being at a wedding was easy because it definitely had it moments. I would think about the life DB and I said we would share and how things quickly came crashing down. I also watched the couples that had been married for years, months or just dating, thinking that I will never have that again. But that is what this process is about is me making sure I am happy. I shouldn’t think that no one will ever love me again. I should be confident with who I am, I think that attitude holds me back from a lot I want to do and who I want to talk to.  I am finally taking a course of action to create a better self-image and hopefully someday those feelings will subside. The bride and groom also helped me realize that it might not be over for me. Connie and Jason looked so happy and the love could be felt all over Madison. I am so joyful for my friend and her new husband. I know they will share a lifetime of love, happiness and adventures together.

Overall the trip was wonderful. I made new friends, ate at a ‘Triple D’ joint, bought tons of Wisconsin cheese and attended a beautiful wedding.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tiger Wood Y'all, It's All Good Ya'll

The past few years I really have been wanting to go to a driving range. I personally think playing a round of 18 holes would be super boring and I am not good with things that require patience but there is something about just hitting some golf balls that seemed fun.

Friday night Brian, Clarissa, Mike and I all went to a nearby town to a driving range. I was super excited since I have been wanting to do this for awhile. Clarissa and I split 2 large buckets and we went out on the range. I totally thought I was going to rock at it, well not so much. It took me until I was almost at the bottom of the bucket to get the hang of it but now I am totally addicted. There is something calming about it. I feel like I could put all my problems in that little ball and then just smash them into the air.

After the driving range we followed up with some mini-golf at Hoopla’s, one of those family fun zone places. Usually I am amazing at miniature golf but I was not on my “A” game that night. I think I still had driving in my head because I kept hitting the ball so hard it flew out of bounds. It was still a really good time even though I came in last place.

It is a truly good feeling that people are being so supportive of my goals and being there for me when I need it. It is funny how when you are dumped you can feel even more loved then when you had a significant other. I am starting to feel so liberated and I am really taking advantage of this independence. I am so happy I am actually doing the things that I want to do and I feel like these smalls steps are just the beginning.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dreams of loneliness like a heartbeat drives you mad

Dreams, some people believe dreams are our subconscious trying to tell us things we want. Some people think nothing of dreams and should be left after you wake up.  Dreams can stay with you for hours, days and a life time.
I dream a lot more frequently then most people I know. My dreams tend to be pretty vivid and feel real. I often wake up and have to snap myself back into reality. Dreams have a way of keeping you in a place that you want to move on from.
The last week or so I have been dreaming of DB. The first vivid one my mom drove me to NY and I begged him to take me back. In my dream I was this desperate person who felt my life couldn’t go on without him. Last night I dreamt that I had to stay at his house and we were forced to talk. Then his mom wanted to kick me out and I screamed “your son cheated on me.” As far I know DB, DID NOT cheat on me but this dream made it feel so real. During the day I can force myself to not think of DB but at night the dreams take over and it is a lost cause. I wake up and have to decide if I am going to let that dream bring me down or if I am going to look on the bright side of things and leave the dream behind me. I know inside I am not desperate to have DB back in my life. I know that (even though I want an apology) I could never trust him again.
The only way to push DB out of my slumbering dreams is to focus on my real life dreams. These dreams are all the things I want to accomplish and achieve. I am happy to be starting this list and I am so grateful for the support people are giving me to get to these goals. I hope as time goes on and I reach these small achievements that I will learn to dream bigger.  The past few years my self-confidence and self-worth has plummeted to an all time low. I would get so frustrated and think that things would never work out for me. I need to make them work out for me. I definitely do not suddenly have all the confidence in the world but I know that I am the only person that can get me there. I need to start pushing myself and believing in myself. I need to see what others see.
A lot of friends told me that I was a “strong” woman but I didn’t believe. By accomplishing these dreams I hope to become the dream woman I want to be.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Becoming a Big Sister

One thing I have been saying for years I need to do is volunteer more often. A few years back I expressed interesting in joining Big Brothers and Big Sisters but it never seemed to work out. Either I didn’t follow up or the man who called me didn’t follow up. So luckily my friend Jovana works for the organization gave me an application. Usually I will wait a few days, fill out the application and then it will sit on a stack of other things that I always want to do and never seem to finish.
Today I filled out the application and put it in the mail to my friend right away. So this time tomorrow she should have my application then hopefully by the end of this month I will be a “Big Sister”. This is the start of ways I would like to help or give back to my community. Someday I would like to do some work for the S.P.C.A. but I think that might be hard because my love for all animals is so immense. I would end up with about 10 more cats then I wanted. But this is the launch of the new me. After I enter the program I will let you all know how it goes but I anticipate it will be a wonderful experience.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Beginning of the Break-Up Bucket List

Recently I went through a really bad break-up. I shouldn’t say went through, more like going through as dealing with it has seemed devastating. To give a little back ground, me and my ex (who I will refer to as DB, not the initials of his name but of what words I want to call him but I am censoring myself) dated for almost two years. During this time DB made promises of our future and marriage, things I never thought I wanted but he quickly changed my mind. So things were going great or so I thought with him and then one night it all changed. DB decided to tell me he couldn’t handle a girlfriend and school, via AIM. Yes that is right, the way you break-up with a junior high boyfriend or girlfriend, which actually happened to my best friend when we were 16. At 26 years old I was shocked. I spent the next few days in a vast black hole of self-pity. I talked to people who told me all those things you say but never want to hear. “You will move on” or “Now you can do whatever you want.” What I wanted was to lash out and just stay in bed for days. As I lied there reflecting on everything that went wrong I had an epiphany.
If I was truly happy with myself, I wouldn’t be feeling as if my world was over. So out of the fiery ashes of my relationship was born “the break-up bucket list”.
The ‘break-up bucket list’ could be defined as all the things I wanted to do while in a relationship but never got to do or things I want to do on my own before I make that kind of commitment again. I am going to spend time to work and focus on me and figure out what will bring me happiness. This bucket list isn’t going to be all crazy big things but a combination of those little things we always wanted to do but just never “find the time” and a few of those big things that make memorable experiences. So here it goes, where I start living life to the fullest and not missing out on all those things I want to do. Some of the big things I want to do are finally get my health under control, travel to Europe again and run a 5K. Some of the little things I want to do include going to a golf range, learn to kayak and go to a rifle range. These are just of the few things I want to do and each thing I accomplish and do I will write about it. 
If anyone of you want to help me achieve something on my list please let me know. If there is anything you think I should do tell me and finally if there is something YOU always wanted to do and want a partner ask me. I want to experience all life has to offer and now is the time so I hope I get tons of support from my friends and let’s get start living!