$100 Wiper Blades

Here is the short story of $100 wipers.

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I tell a male friend today, that I need new wipers. I also jokingly mention that these types of moments are the ONLY times lately that I don’t like being single. (As a side note the other times on the list are when my back itches or when I have already taken my bra off and need something from the store.)

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Said friend makes fun of me and says “wow as strong, independent and feisty as you are, I would think wipers couldn’t defeat you”  Well….when you put it that way…..

I buy wipers, $54 wipers (not sure when I even bought wipers last, but that would’ve bought a great pair of shoes!!). I refuse assistance in installing them. Because, have you met me? I’m tough. And resourceful. And S T U B B O R N. Soooo the quickest way to get me to do something is to tell me that I can’t.

I kill it on installing them myself. Psh, that wasn’t hard at all…..or so I thought
Since I’m in such a car care mood, I go to the fancy new automated car wash (and believe me, it is FANCY). I am making a lot of trips to Little Rock with this brain tumor fight and want to be sure my car is going to take care of me.

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Turns out, the only thing I killed in wiper installation, was the wipers themselves. Didn’t lock them apparently. They flew off in the car wash. 🤦🏼‍♀️

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Back to the store I go. I buy new wipers….another $54……..because I know if I wait til tomorrow, Mother Nature will send a monsoon my way (because her and I are not the best of friends). I did not, however, go back to the same parts store. I went to the one down the road. I’m way too proud to admit defeat. They don’t have my size in stock (sounds like m trips toVictoria’s Secret). I end up back where I started. Where the sweet guy who originally helped me simply says “I knew a girl like you once. She sure was a firecracker. But she sure took the long way around more often than she should have”

When did auto parts guys also become psychologists?

I happily let the gentleman install the new wipers for me.

Moral of the story: Don’t be stubborn and always trying to prove a point. Sometimes there isn’t even a point to prove. All that would’ve come out of me actually doing the wipers correctly, would’ve been a post on Facebook. I think any of my Facebook friends will tell you that’s the last thing anyone needs…another random post from Alicia.
Ask for help. Don’t always feed your weaknesses. There are people to fill in the gaps. Be resourceful enough to use them, so you have more time to be good at what you’re good at.

Tell your friends to suck it, if you need to. And take your extra $50 and treat yourself 😝

P.S. I now also know that wipers are much cheaper at Walmart 🙄

Fanfare Wear

How do you wear your fanfare?  I don’t have too much of a life lesson or wisdom spin on this post, it will be filed in the Fancy Fashion bucket.  But, I couldn’t resist seeing a little bit of a lesson while I was gathering the outfits to show you.  We always see a variety of levels of fanship (yes, it’s a word, even if I just made it up) at games.  My personal faves are the ones that go so out loud that it cannot be denied their passion for the team.  You know, the shirtless dudes with paint. The ladies who scream their team from head to toe.  They put their whole self into showing up and playing the part that their team needs them to play.  The fan.  The supporter.  The people that show up and say, today, I believe in this team.
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See where I’m going with this?  How do you show up when your team needs you?  How much of yourself do you put out there, to show a friend “I believe in you and will shout for you, at the top of my lungs, from any bleacher”…….just something to think about. I can definitely say I have had to think about it more than ever.  Since I drafted this post (and planned to post it a month ago), my nephew has been diagnosed with brain cancer and had two brain surgeries!  To say he has needed his team, would be the understatement of the century!  And of course, as my actual post below was pointed against, we decked out in game attire (and have worn these shirts out already)!  More to come on that journey later!
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ANYWAY….on to the clothes!
I’ll be honest, this area of life is a struggle for me!  I’m not sure when it happened, but football game attire got taken up about 437 notches.  I see girls in high heels and dresses and wonder how in the world they do it.  Even at my “spryest” age, I don’t think I could’ve done it.  To each, their own.  I’m not judging. I just prefer to be more functional and comfortable if I’m going to be out on uneven tailgating ground and climbing hills all day (and indulging in things that may alter my depth perception).
Football season in Arkansas is deceiving (and I’m not just talking about how our team lures you in, then breaks your heart with losses).  Football as a whole symbolizes fall, cooler weather, etc.  Nope, not in Arkansas.  The first few games are set in temperatures that rival Satan’s playground.  I will never forget the 2014 season when I passed out from heat.  Hard to watch men throw around footballs and chase each other when every crevice of your body could double as an irrigation pipeline for rice fields. Just hook me up to a spicket and watch your plants grow. SO. MUCH. SWEAT.
So, began the hunt for clothes that accomplished all my football fan needs.  I needed to find stuff that says “I’m here for the team but I’m gonna need some pizazz and not to die while wearing it.”
We’ll start with a piece that could not be passed up.  I love humor.  I love old school rap.  I love red.  So, when A Little Southern Charm sent me these shirts, I couldn’t wait to start matchmaking them with my closet!  The front is plain and simple (which I like).  The back……it takes it up a notch and will have the beat of No Diggity in your head for the whole season!
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I had been wanting to try the DIY trick of making your own v-neck t-shirt that I have seen these days.  I usually have a knack for screwing up anything DIY, but this could not have been more easy.  All you do is cut a V (I drew mine with chalk first) and cut around the collar. voila! You just took your tshirts up a notch.  I’m hot on your tails, sorority girls with dresses and heels!
It works perfectly with jeans and my fun MK loafers……
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Life hack:  cut the seam off the bottom of the shirt first
AND, remember to actually pack the “non altered” t-shirt so that you can photograph it for it’s place in your blog 😛 and people can see exactly what the “real shirt” looks like, before you try to be a Pinterest queen!
Check out A Little Southern Charm Boutique to grab your shirt!
Next up – The basics
This shirt definitely achieves the comfort.  I don’t know what it is about adding a little criss cross up top, but I always feel like it is a huge help in making it look like I tried harder than I did.  If you’re looking for a quick look for an “after gameday” brunch, and let’s say you may be too tired to do anything with your hair…….this shirt is perfect with a hat.
I found this at Game Day Couture and was pleasantly surprised by how fast it shipped and arrived!  I do wish it was a weeeee bit longer 😃
P.S. they have an off the shoulder top that is to die for.  It took all I had not to order it (but I am trying to dial back that obsession)
The Vest
Also from Gameday Couture, this soft vest is too comfy for words.  I love it with jeans, but I couldn’t resist trying it with boots and leggings.  I love that too and will spend the weeks leading up to season, convincing myself that it’s not too short to wear with said leggings and that I will rock it.  I will not let worry of others judgement stop me!
Get it here

Ribbons and Bows
I. LOVE. THIS. SHIRT.  There really isn’t much to say past that.  It sparkles.  It has ribbon to fancy up the sleeves.  It was made for me.  That’s all.

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It lives here if you want to grab your own.

Accessories
You cannot deny these are perfect for any Razorback game!
Found these gems at Logo-N-Stitch
There ya have it!  All set for the first few football games!  The anticipation of hanging out with our newly established tailgate group (and to reconnect with all my regular faves) is almost ore than I can stand!  WPS!!!!
Winter looks to come……they just couldn’t be done right now because it’s hotter than the pits of hell here.  😛

Fancy’s Swimsuit Edition…..Wearing Whatever the Flip I want……..

I typed. Retyped. Started a new draft, with new thoughts. Went back to the old draft. I made sure I covered all the past things that got me here (mean high school girls, chocolate gravy for breakfast as a little girl, hysterectomy at a very young age).  And all that just took up too many words and seemed to STILL miss the one main point of this post, all together.

All I really need to say is this….I have fallen in in love with my body. And with that said, I have some killer swimsuits this season that need their moment.  So please allow me to introduce you to some great swimsuits for those of us with a little oomph and extra! 🙂  Of course, they come with a few paragraphs of life lesson, which I hope you won’t mind!  Frankly, I just do not care about how uncomfortable you are with how fantastic I feel about myself, nor do I care to suffer through an Arkansas summer more covered than necessary (I HATE THE HEAT)!

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It makes zero sense to be this in love with a body that needs so much improvement. But I truly love it. I actually don’t want it to look too much differently than it does now. I mean that. I have come a LONG WAY in ceasing to compare myself with other bodies.  It feels SO GOOD to look at a pic of another woman and think “she is so pretty” or “I love that outfit” versus the other horrible comparisons I would do, or even worse, trying to find someone that I thought looked bigger and worse than me so that I would feel better about what I currently looked like. I am so ashamed to admit that I did that.

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I want this body to be healthier. I don’t want gravity to take over. I need the fine lines and wrinkles to simmer down.  However, this poor body has carried me through some terrible times. It has had the worst neglect and too many “I’ll start tomorrow”, to count. It has been beaten and spit on. In it’s current state, literally every day that I wake up, it has to decide to fight against an illness I like to pretend I don’t have. Lately, walking at all is more of an accomplishment than I have shared with most of my people.

 

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It could’ve failed me long ago. It could’ve put out a completely different reflection, based on what I have put in it over time. But it hasn’t (thankfully!!). So, I owe it a bit more credit than I have given it in the past. PLUS, I decorate it pretty well on most days!

I know how much work it took, to only take way too long to get here.  The last thing I want is to contribute to any other little girl or woman watching me attack myself and thinking it’s ok.  I try to be especially careful of what I say about myself when I am in front of my nieces or friend’s kids (or on first dates, for the matter).  It’s VERY important to me that I do all that i can to influence them to value themselves, just the way they are. It is my passion that every girl feel good about and love herself.  I mean that with every fiber in this newly loved body!

So when I walked out of my room in my swimsuit and my nieces said “Oh Auntie Ricia, I love that suit.  You look so so pretty!!!”, and when they were the ones who pushed for me to “put it on your Instagram” …..I figured today was just as good as any to do the swimsuit showoff I have wanted to do for so long.  I want them to see me loving my body and being ok with whomever may see it.

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I had been waiting for the perfect situation (makeup, hair, tan, someone to help me snap the pics, perfect weather, not bloated….miracle major weight loss, bla bla and so on)…when all I really needed were a couple of 8 year olds saying “put your hand on your hip and smile bigger”.  I wanted to even hire someone with mad photoshop skills to do a little smoke and mirrors.  But, that would defeat the purpose of the lesson, right?  Hold please, I need to pause and take another deep breath.  I cannot believe I’m doing this.

 

 ANYWAY……the process was pretty hilarious and has made for an awesome memory for them.  We got caught in a storm while we were at the pool, doing the initial shoot.  We powered through and then made a mad dash back to my apartment, completely drenched (see “after pic directly below)! Even though most of those pics were ruined and we had to call reinforcements in for help, the littles learned a lot about dancing in the rain and finding the good in not ideal situations.  They went from being a bit scared of the storm, to getting back upstairs and saying “THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN, AUNTIE RICIA”!!!  Mission accomplished!!!

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I think it’s funny how this whole life thing is working out. I’m aware of the bad decisions that got me in this physical state and I long to be healthier. I had no idea how hard the mental road to reverse lifestyle and upbringing would be. I get SO FRUSTRATED that now my body just can’t cooperate that easily to just get healthier.  I am angry at an illness that provides hurdles and still struggle with the looks I get from people when I try to explain (you know that look of “if you would just lose some weight you would……be this or that).  But even in this state. I’m also the happiest I have ever been. I love how kind life is back to you , when you try to work alongside it versus fighting it or going your own road.

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The scale may not show it, but in many ways I have shed weight. The weight of toxic people (and more of that is in the works). The weight of trying to please others. The weight of saying yes all the time. The weight of worrying myself sick about what others might think or how they spin their side of a story (it’s really none of my business what people think or say of me). That alone has probably shed thousands of pounds 😛.  I am consciously trying to be kinder and speak love and encouragement to others.  I am declaring that I absolutely refuse, from this moment forward, to make one woman feel better, by tearing another down (i.e. Oh his new girlfriend is way uglier than you).

This week, my nieces showed me that they genuinely think I am beautiful. So I guess I should let myself believe it too. As a matter of fact, I have no intentions of hanging out with anyone who doesn’t see me the way they do, anymore! I hope when they are older, they come across this rambling and know what a cool day this turned out to be!

I’m promising myself that I will believe in this post.  I will not worry or let my mind wonder to a place where there are screenshots and memes made and conversations behind my back!  I will try my best not to worry about a few that I know would never say anything to my face, but will definitely not agree that I should be this comfortable being this fat, much less putting it all on the internet.  I’m not going to give in to worrying about how much better I would look if I actually had knees 🙂 (for the record, I never really have, even at my smallest).

I hope that if you’ve read this far and browsed the included pics, that you see joy and that you feel inspired to be just a little nicer to yourself when you sport your next swimsuit.  And lastly, I hope that if you came across this and use it to shame, belittle, or talk about “did you see what Alicia had the nerve to post of herself….that girl is too big to be wearing a two piece”…..that you have a few days of explosive diarrhea! :p

I will be forever thankful for three little girls who made me feel like the prettiest girl in the world (and a few friends who go out of their way to make me feel that way often!)!

The end (for now).

P.s.

I wore the two piece the rest of the day, while we played and enjoyed some sunshine. It felt so fire!! Look at this look! It screams comfortable and relaxed!!!

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Swimsuit Info/Links:

Red two piece

Black/White Wrap

Black w/ aztec-ish trim

Gingham top

Black and White Strapless and RWB Paisley: Walmart (two years ago, no longer available) – but here is a link to their great swimsuit options from this season 

I’m cooler than you on Father’s Day…..

(I’ll get back to funny soon – there are some GREAT dating stories in store)
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I am cooler!  And I’ll tell you why in just a sec (and it’s not just because of how cute I was as a baby – look at that face!).  First, I have to say Happy Father’s day to all the dads, moms who play dad, men who stand in the gap, and to the men who chose to be dads when they didn’t have to be!!  Your role is more important than ever…..and I’m lucky to have had the best and know some of the best!  I am also lucky to have some pretty great faux dads that have taken me in as their own (especially the latest guy – my mom’s fiance, who has done nothing short of making sure my mom and me and my sisters are taken care of!! Love you, Joel!)
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I’ve never been able to sit still and find a way to write all the encompasses my dad.  Or, I should say that I’ve never felt like I could do it justice.  He really deserves a book.  I’m not just saying that as a proud daughter, who thinks her dad was the greatest.  I mean, he really deserves a book.  He is the survivor of a terrible incident (as in survivor out of 9 people that these monsters killed – while being handcuffed to a dead guy and stuffed in the trunk of a car – where he was trapped fro 6 hours in June, in Arkansas…..sooooo yeah, that’s a story worth telling).  A book is on my bucket list to complete, but for now, I blame life in general and a ridiculous amount of fear for not having done it yet.
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Although the above tid bit is enough to put him leaps and bounds ahead on the list of great guys, that’s not why makes me cooler than you on Father’s Day.  I could argue that these throw back pics included should definitely put me at the top of cool, but that’s not it either.
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You see, what makes me just a TINY bit cooler than you today (unless you’re my friend Aaron, I’m not as cool as him) is that I get this day as a reminder that I was chosen.  I’m gonna take it up a notch and even say that I was hand picked.  My dad came along after I was already born.  I was part of the package of loving my mom and I was VERY young when he showed up.  Thankfully, too young to know that the “real” one had basically abandoned his opportunity to raise this legend!  And thankfully, too young to have that pre-established hesitation for someone coming into the picture (even though the above shows me less than happy, in general. haha).
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I’m more than proof that DNA isn’t the sole factor of making a child.  My dad chose me.  I think that’s what has always made me a little cool 🙂  He didn’t have to be my dad, but he made the conscious decision to.  And he did so, fiercely.  There was never a difference.  Not one time.  If anything, he was harder on me.  I am more like him than I would’ve ever thought possible – and I’m ok with that 🙂  (even the stubborn).  He and my pop were two of the most important men in my life and I will never be the same without them – but I’m proud to be who I am because of their influence!
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Some guys don’t get to choose.  Some are told they are going to be a dad and enter into the role out of obligation.  Some know they want to be a dad and follow the process of “first comes love, then comes marriage……”.  Any way that you become a dad and step up to the role is great.  I in no way want to disregard that. I just simply want to recognize that  (and am a little partial to this method) my dad chose me.  To make a deliberate choice to fill a role, an often thankless role and to fill the role with your whole heart – THAT makes you one heck of a guy!
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One of my favorite stories is told by my aunt, after my dad passed.  She tells about the first day my dad had duty alone with me.  She says that he came to my grandma’s with me in tow, in matching denim overalls.  She goes on to always make sure I know that on that day, she had never seen my dad look more proud.  She talks about how he entered the house, carrying me, and was beaming.  My dad had been through a lot by then.  He had a lot of reasons to not be a happy person.  And, if you knew him, you knew that he definitely had his grumpy and closed off side.  A side I fought him on through much of my teenage years (because of course I was dramatic and wanted to always talk about my feelings lol – oh his eye rolls will forever be stuck in my head).  But to hear her tell about how on that day, he had a glow………GOODNESS it makes my heart tingle EVERY TIME I recount it!
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My dad expected a lot from me.  My dad was strict.  My dad was one of the best math teachers to ever live. MY DAD WAS A FIGHTER (polio, shot and left for dead, heart attack on the day of my grandpa’s funeral, and a cancer journey).  You will be hard pressed to find someone that was as tough as him.  And he NEVER complained.  He might have gotten grumpier at times, but he just never complained.  He wouldn’t ever let me cry for very long without expecting me to pick myself up and keep moving.  He wasn’t a “hugger” or emotionally available guy. I can still remember the first time he truly said “I love you”.  It was a big deal.  He HATED that I was a procrastinator.  We spent most of my teen years fighting.  He didn’t “save” me from a lot of mistakes, because he knew that I was the type that just had to learn on my own – but also believed in me enough to know I was smart enough to eventually figure it out (even if I took longer than he cared for, to do so).  I’m sure we could all say we gave our parents a run for their money.  BUT HE CHOSE TO STAY.  He chose me.  And I know that he was proud.  He told me so, before he died, in a very emotional voicemail, that I would sell my soul to the devil to still have.
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I can’t stop smiling and I have erased how many extra times I have typed it already.  HE CHOSE ME.  And I didn’t appreciate it enough, of course, until it was too late, and he was gone forever.  But, like I typed above, he always knew I would “get it” eventually.  So, I’m sure he is wondering around in heaven, not a bit surprised that I took way too long to “get it” about him.
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I could sit on the front porch all day, with a glass of cold sweet tea and tell story, after story about him.  His story gives me breath and life….and it’s REALLY COOL that when I seem to be missing him the most, the big guy sends someone my way to listen to me ramble about what an incredible story (or 3) my dad had.  He is one of three major examples that contribute to me being set apart (I don’t say that to brag – because if anything, I’m a little ashamed that I haven’t made the most of what is so clear about those examples).
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I don’t know why it took me until the eve of this Father’s Day to realize the whole chosen thing.  I wish it would’ve “clicked” while he was still alive, so that I could write him a cheesy card that he would just roll his eyes at and throw away (he was a man of few words – I was a child of too many words lol).  Maybe he would’ve kept it – he did keep this amazing wood burning art I did for him :P.  He wouldn’t have sat and let me brag too much about him though, he wasn’t that kind of guy.
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I’m pretty lucky that I was chosen.  I’m pretty proud at how many people also saw how awesome he was, and I will never tire of hearing people talk about him (they still do, to this day – which is testament enough to his impact).  It’s pretty hard to justify letting anyone tear you down or make you believe in yourself less, when you had someone choose to fill one of the biggest roles in your life.  I had someone pick me!  And I will do my best to remember that before I cry to a friend (like I may/may not have done last week) when some stupid guy doesn’t pick me.
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Thanks for letting me type out loud and process what is normally a rough reminder day.  If you read all the words, thanks for letting me proudly share about my awesome dad.  If your dad is still here, hug him or call him, but do not let him go unappreciated on this day.  Dad’s are such important people!

Raw and Uncut…ex-boyfriends,triggers and hurts…..

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I wasn’t going to say anything.  I knew what was happening and I knew how I was trying to handle it was not going to work.  But, I let too much “noise” get in my head and tell me that nobody wants to hear it. Or, that it’s been long enough that I should be over it.  Or, the worst one, the voice of my ex boyfriend, immediately following the events, who kept saying “you’re too obsessed about it – you just have to get over it”……….

So, as per usual, I filled myself with temporary distractions.  So many distractions actually, that I ran myself in the complete opposite direction, straight into pure exhaustion.  In doing that, I seemed to forget one little detail……exhaustion is one of the two biggest enemies of my chronic condition.  And thanks to all that madness, here I sit………my body in total rebellion and if I’m being ridiculously raw, my heart sutures, a little busted.

And the only way I know how to feel better, is to write.  You see, no matter what you personally think of my words (or of me, for that matter), I don’t write them for you (or maybe this time, I actually do).  I write them because out of all the things I don’t like about myself, and out of all ways I question what the heck I am wondering around this planet for, typing words is the only thing I’m sure of.  It’s the only thing that boosts me into dealing with whatever I need to (yes, even if it’s a funny dating story).  And more than that, it’s the only thing that I KNOW is meant for something bigger than me.  I know if it’s taking me to such an uncomfortable place to write/type them, then it’s also meant for someone else to read.  Even if it’s just one person.  I think it’s even more cool that my job is to write it and release it.  It’s not for me to know where it lands from there.  

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Sorry, I digress.  I came here to admit and face today.  Not to over explain myself. So, Hi, my name is Alicia and I’m hurting.  I’m also angry.  I want to be in a different place and I’m not and I know it won’t go away until I tell you about it.  Why the universe puts me in these positions to open myself up to so much, I’m not sure….but I’m definitely gonna address it when I get in front of the big guy :p!

Five years ago this last week, at around 4:30 in the morning, I sent an email to my core tribe of friends, telling them that I was in serious danger and needed help.  I asked them not to contact me until I could escape and make contact with them.  I admitted that I hadn’t been truthful with them about what was going on in my life.  I confessed that I was terrified of what would happen to me.  For a few seconds, I questioned whether I was being too dramatic in what I was saying.  I couldn’t use my phone, and I wasn’t even sure if any of them would check their email.  Then, he woke up.  And it all started again.  Nope, definitely wasn’t dramatic in my email.  To this day, I firmly believe that if he hadn’t have passed back out from being so drunk, that he would have followed through on his promise to kill me.  And that was the start of a living hell on earth.  

My deliverance from abuse was nothing short of carefully orchestrated moments and miracles.  Period.  It just was.  I wish I could tell you more.  But I can’t.  Even after five years, I am yet to be able to sit down and write it all out or tell the story in any translatable format.  For someone like me, that is so foreign.  I’m a story teller after all.  Yet, it never fails that people come across my path and the story (or the parts that are needed to) come up.  I share and exhale.  And then I swell with gratefulness.  I struggle with why I’m not supposed to share the “cool” parts of the story with the masses.  But, I have to trust that it’s to come where it’s supposed to.  

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Let me bring the point of this a little more together and wrangle it in.

  1.  It still hurts.  It hurts differently.  But, it still hurts.  I’m not sure that it will ever go away.  And that’s ok.  I’m not where I was.  And healing doesn’t always mean it all goes away.  Being tough doesn’t shield you from the sneakiness of the triggers.  Those little brats show up out of nowhere.  I’m more than thankful to be equipped with the right tools and right people to help me through them.  There is no shame in the admittance of the triggers, the asking for help or the sitting and simply feeling them.  
  2. I shouldn’t have ignored the triggers this last week.  I knew it was coming.  This anniversary and a few other dates ALWAYS trigger something.  Thankfully, it’s smaller triggers, like simple unsettled feelings and a general uncomfortable feeling.  I start sleeping less EVERY SINGLE YEAR during this time (the thief comes in the night, right?).  And I try to ignore it.  Because, according to others, I should be over it already.  And EVERY SINGLE YEAR, I end up here.  Completely drained.  Mark these words though, it will be the last year that the ignoring happens.  Next year, it’s a tropical vacation of poolside sitting and feeling it all.  Raw.
  3. The physical scars and abuse went away.  The mental mountain has been way harder to climb.  I’m SO PROUD of all the work I have done and the network I have had to get over “him”.  You know what lingers the most?  The first person I dated after.  The one I said “ok” to and opened myself up to.  The one who I knew before, the safe one, who pursued me.  The one that I gave ALL the trust I had left to.  The one I trusted with my completely shattered heart and damaged self.  Yeah, that one hurt the most.  Because he was the one who couldn’t deal with the Alicia that I was.  I know it’s not completely his fault.  I wasn’t in a place that I should’ve been dating at all.  And I said that multiple times.  But he still worked to gain my trust.  And I gave it to him.  And when I let myself love and be completely me, even the broken parts – he couldn’t handle it.  And in what I’m sure he thought was just tough love and brutal honesty, his words and actions (or serious lack there of) completely ruined me.  They were the “nail in the coffin”.  And what maybe would’ve been another year of work and healing to be past the abuse, has now lingered a very long five years.  And that’s all ok.  Because no matter what story he tells himself or others, or how happy he is in his own moving on, he served his purpose in my journey.  
  4. I’m still grateful.

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LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW…….

  1.  If you are in an abusive situation, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get out.  PLEASE ask for help.
  2. If you are dealing with anything traumatic – feel it.  No matter how big or small the situation seems, if it is impacting you – then it’s real. If you feel it, it’s real.  And you NEED to feel it.  I can remember SO MANY days of checking the clock and thinking “ok, I just made it through an hour.” and I would take a deep breath and try to make it through the next.  That is as literal and truthful as can be.  Hour by hour.  I couldn’t even make it through a day.  I had to take it hour by hour.  And it wasn’t until I acknowledged and owned that feeling, for that time, that I could even think about how to make it through a day.  

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3.  If you are a friend of someone in that situation or of someone who has escaped….WATCH YOUR WORDS.  Watch your judgement.  Period.  It’s not about you.  It’s not up to you to decide how they heal or how long it takes.  If you can’t play the role, then don’t.  That’s ok, too.  But you do not accept the role and get to dictate how the victim deals.  You just don’t.  I’m sorry.  I know it’s seems so easy to help and for them to see how they should just be ok.  They are out, they are safe, so they’re good?  Nope.  Not how it works.  And if you can’t step outside of yourself and choose to love unconditionally – then you DO NOT deserve the person in the first place.  You just don’t.  Because your judgement and impatience is doing more damage than being thrown up against a wall will EVER DO.  

4.  If you come into a person’s life long after the event, consider yourself a sacred part of their life.  You probably won’t understand, why five years later, on a Monday night, they are texting asking for random prayer.  You might not understand why they seemed fine a few days ago and then all of the sudden just seem cranky, and puffy, and tired and stupid sensitive.  Just hold on for a minute and love them anyway.  The hardest thing I have ever had to do is let people like me and know what the past few years have held for me.  And at the same time, the easiest thing for me to do is to cut you right on out if you screw with what little trust and heart I have left.

5.  Let me make this clear one more time.  You DO NOT get to tell someone that how you made them feel isn’t valid.  You just don’t.  You don’t have to agree with how they feel.  You can think whatever you want.  But, if you truly love them or are truly their friend, you HAVE to acknowledge that their feeling is just as valid as yours.  Read this again: YOU DO NOT GET TO DECIDE HOW SOMEONE FEELS OR HEALS.  

ok.  

I already feel better, even in the midst of busted sutures, that unfortunately have left me more vulnerable than I care for……. and even in the midst of a lot of things piling on (of my own doing, for trying to be tough and hide feelings) and a to do list still a mile long.  Writing with all those feelings seeping out of me is the best therapy (accompanied by a great playlist).  You can think that is dramatic if you want to.  Maybe it is.  Maybe I just feel that hard.  And maybe I’m done apologizing for that.  I will never fully heal if I don’t shut those other voices of doubt and judgement out.  To be honest, it’s probably those things that have kept me from healing, way more than the abuse memories have.  

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And in it’s own twisted way, and with all those rambling words above, it’s actually beautiful how something so awful keeps coming up at all.  Because each time it does, as painful as it is, I can’t deny how much I have learned. I mean it when I say that it truly is a beautiful story. It seems like it keeps coming up so that I don’t forget that I have climbed a damn big mountain 🙂  These pics were from my first beach trip, ever in my life, which happened to come not long after my escape (one of those cool parts I reference).  Just digging those out again and including them here makes me reflect on how surrounded I was.  The things that happened were amazing.  

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I am stronger.  I KNOW that I have shared it with those that needed to hear it for whatever reason.  I am wiser.  I am more intentional.  I am protected from ever going through that again.  I found out that as much as my core and heart can be shattered, that it can also be rebuilt (sometimes even better than before).  

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Released and now I can rest.  I look forward to a good night’s sleep.  Thanks for reading.

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Dungeons and Douchebags: The Wackelors of The Bachelorette

Well, COMPLETELY against my will, and apparently for the single purpose of getting my blog juices going again, I watched The Bachelorette premiere tonight.  I didn’t necessarily mean to.  But, some of my family, inclusive of twenty-somethings are here for the night and convinced me to put it on.  My 22 year old was just as annoyed as me and I can honestly say that I don’t know if I have been more proud of her! :p  In theory, I would continue to watch the season and keep writing.  In reality, I’ll consider it a success if I finish the premiere.  

First, I need to apologize to anyone who thought I was smarter than this.  I know you’re disappointed in my choices.  But, I have to appeal to all the people.  I am lover of all (except those few that did me dirty :p jk jk – kinda).  So, as much as I love my investigative shows and documentaries, I have to venture out to see what the rest of the world is up to! 😛

Anyway – let’s get started.  I only came in a few before Lucas entered and already can’t remember half of their names.  So, tonight’s commentary is a bit scattered and will focus on the things that stuck out the most to me.  

Let’s begin with the dummy (no, not the human guys – although there are already a few dummies fo sho).  That stupid puppet has more game than my last 5 dates.  I wish I were lying.  

The Bachelorette herself:

I can guarantee you she has already eliminated more than half of these dudes, in her mind, within the first 10 minutes.  She is not impressed by some of you fools.  She seems smart, but all brain cells can be altered with 31 yay-whos in a room trying to get your attention.  

I like to think I could get along with her, because she cannot hide how she feels, on her face – and anyone who knows me, knows I can’t either.  I’m hoping this is our common bond that helps me survive this episode.

When she says “I feel like the luckiest girl in the world”, I couldn’t help but think – OF COURSE YOU DO!  You have 31 dudes at your disposal and nobody is calling you a slut for talking to all of them at once!  You also are getting to juggle 31 somewhat normal-isn dudes who will be on their best behavior.  You’re not in Tinder anymore Dorothy.  Congratulations. 

Now to the boys: again, I came in late and I am overwhelmed, so some of them just get nicknames.

In general, guys do not sit around and talk like this and analyze, do they??  I mean, I know most of it is for the show

Kenny, the wrestler –  I don’t hate you.  Don’t let me down.

Lucas – it should be obvious all the things I have to say about him.  But, for the sake of warning the rest of Americans who haven’t had the pleasure yet, I’ll throw it out there.  DO NOT talk about your testicles through a megaphone on national television.  And stop shaking your face.  Nobody even understands your existence yet, except for the fact that every season has to have the one crazy.  HOWEVER, I do owe Lucas a Thank You!  I almost forgot that I hadn’t blogged about my last dating story that is one of the top three of all time!  You’ll have to stay tuned for that to understand how Lucas reminded me of it. 

Attorneys – I get it.  You put them on there because she is one, and the ones you chose are handsome. One is proud of himself (Josiah) and one can’t get his eyes or head at a normal level. But, I think we can all agree that attorneys are a direct spawn of the snake in the Garden of Eden. (sorry to all attorneys out there and please answer my call if I ever need you)

Vacuum dude – I like your approach.  Any woman who says a man with a vacuum isn’t hot, is lying.  But, you’re trying too hard running that dang thing while she is trying to talk.  My hope is that you have more to offer than this. 

Tickle Monster (as in he legit lists this as his job) – I can’t hate you.  At least you are calling it a job versus the 4,236 guys I have come across that say “consultant”, which really means they are unemployed.  But show me one person who isn’t annoying after the first 3 seconds of tickling someone (keep it clean!). 

Male Model – “I would be so devastated if I didn’t get a rose. Yeah, I don’t know what I would do”.  Yes, you’re right.  Your life would be over.  How would you ever walk out of there and find a woman?  I get it.  Must be horrible, with that deep voice and chiseled jaw line. 

Marine – Asian guy – you win, simply because I love marines…..and Asians.  You. Are. Adorable.  You are one of my top 3.

Penguin guy – nope.  Not giving you more than this space.  You are a copy cat, and a terrible one at that.  There is no other costume entrance like shark girl from last season.  Stop tryin.

Aspiring Drummer – every season needs the emotional one.  You win.  Quit cryin, it’s only the first session.

Chiropractor – you had me at “I could get free adjustments for the rest of my life” – but when you went for a kiss on the first night…..and went so hard that she couldn’t breathe AND for so long….I was out on you.  However, if she boots you and you’re just looking for something to do, I’m usually free on any day that ends with Y. 

WAIT – WHAT??? As I’m typing that last line, that’s who she steals to give the first impression rose to?  Ok, girl.  I see what tone you’re going to set here.  S M D H 

Ok, now I’m done.  If I were there, I would be right in the middle of the ego fest inside and wondering what the heck just happened.  PLUS, the way he kisses just makes me uncomfortable.  It gives me the same reflex as hearing the word moist. (acckkkk, I can’t even type that without gagging).  

Ah, there is Cry Baby Magee.  The one that gets kicked off that cries.  You talked to her for probably a total of 3 minutes and got let go, and now you’re crying because you brought lots of outfits you won’t get to wear.  No.  Boy puh-lease.  Welcome to every girl who has ever been stood up.  Imagine all the wasted outfits out there.  YOu ain’t the first.  You won’t be the last.  Pssshhhh.

Here’s what we do.  This show has been around long enough.  It’s time to switch it up.  You bring in a fat girl (ack hmmm).  You bring in all these guys.  As they get out of the limo, they are clearly shocked.  They aren’t used to someone not looking like a model, what kind of trickery is this?  They go into the main house and homegirl hears them talking about her.  She is so distraught that she runs away.  BUT, secretly, she is going away to fat camp.  She gets a naughty body to the point that she is unrecognizable.  They bring the guys back and say “sorry we trick you, we have a different bachelorette now”.  Enter, “new girl”, who is really old girl.  Their mouths start watering.  And in another twist, she automatically cuts the ones who talked about her and lets the actual nice ones that would’ve given her a chance, stay.  

Call me Hollywood, I’m here for you.  

Freeing Fridays: Walking in the Rain

I think I may be the only person who was genuinely excited about the storms today.  I finally got to wear my new, glittered rain boots, so rain didn’t bother me at all!  I never got to do much in the rain as a kid.  If we had rain boots, I don’t really remember them, but I can bet that my mom was not having us messing in mud puddles.  I had no idea what I was missing!  It was the most fun I have had in the last couple (of very challenging ) weeks! I would love to share some encouragement with you on this rainy day.  Because you can make fun of the cheesy revelations all you want, but I have no shame in fighting through this crazy world with rainy day revelations!

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Anyway!  See my video rambles today while I willingly stood out in the rain (and had a fantastic dance party to HARD LOVE by Needtobreathe).  I was actually so in love with my little break that I didn’t even take time to remember to care what I looked like or what angle things were being done at……..and that might be the most freeing thing of it all!

 

And check out these great rain boots!

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Crying Over Cracked Eggs

I have been a pretty tough and optimistic cookie lately. You know the old “power through, I am tough, it could be worse” method…I have even kept my mouth relatively shut vs confrontation (shocking, I know). But, when I just pulled into my parking lot after a long week already, I discovered my eggs, that I just bought, were broken. I needed them to make a dish for someone who had surgery. I was trying to do good. Yet, here I sit. The eggs did it. They sent me over the edge. I don’t even want to walk up the stairs to my apartment. So here I sit, in my car. Turning my music up, taking a deep breath and writing 5 good things that happened today and 5 things I am thankful for, on a crumpled napkin. Oh, and writing this terribly formatted blog while it’s fresh on my mind.


I refuse to cave into misery from an undesirable day (or couple of weeks for that matter). I just can’t. I am too tired to do that anymore. I am only interested in forward movement, solutions and goodness as end results. I can’t do what I used to in going inside, eating something terrible and zombie-ing out on the couch, pouting about how bad things suck.
I’m not typing to be a guru, inspirational, cheesy or declare that I am on a higher platform than another (because if bad food and wine and tv is what you need after a terrible day, then you do you, boo). I’m not publishing it for the secret stalkers to interpret as “Alicia is so negative” or “oh look, Alicia is falling apart and can’t handle rough times” or “Alicia is being dramatic”.
I’m typing it out loud because I need to read it for myself. And I know that there is someone out there who might need to read it too. And if there are a hundred bad things about me, there is at least one good thing in that I have usually been decent with words. I’m typing it to be transparent in the fact that I have a ton of good days and stories and outfits to share, but I am also human (despite my capes and glitter accessories).
It’s ok to have a bad day. It’s ok to say or type it out loud. It’s ok to cry over cracked eggs. But now that this song I was blaring is over and my car did the auto shut-off (and I am realizing its freezing with no jacket)…..it’s time for me to move along. And you can bet I am. I actually needed this to force me into other action in an effort to do something about current situations.
You can acknowledge the bad out loud and you can even feel it however you need to. You just can’t stay there.
Here’s to cracked eggs and hoping my recipe tastes good with wine as a substitute 😝😝😝😝😝. I already feel better!!!

Stop Saying 2016 Was Bad

Yep. I typed it. Out loud. And I will give you all a few minutes to delete me out of fury before we move on to other sentences.

I’ll start by saying that I fully recognize some REALLY crappy things happened on 2016. Good people died. Politics made us rethink what the living heck is actually happening here. Personally, I went through another set of “I really like him” moments, only to be disappointed. I found myself in other situations I never thought I would be in and I watched my gran die.

But, it wasn’t the worst year ever. It wasn’t worse than the year(s) millions of Jews were sent to their demise. It wasn’t the year that we lost 4,000 people from planes crashing into buildings. Once again, not discounting terrible things that did happen this year (so don’t start typing your hate letters just yet).

I’m also not lessening other’s interpretations of “worst”, either. If you feel it, it’s valid. Whether I agree with it or not. All I am saying is that for the majority of us, it wasn’t the worst and here’s why…..

  1. If you’re reading this, you’re still breathing. And I don’t care how awful life may be for you, if you’re breathing, that means there is a chance for it to get better.screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-33-12-pm
  2. If number one is applicable, and you really think it was the worst, then you are also in a position to affect change (and I’m pretty proud to say I have lots of friends out there who are forces to be reckoned with in this area).  If my dad were here, he would give me about 5 minutes worth of a pity party (or maybe one gripe on social media) and then he would expect me to figure out what I’m going to do next to move from where I’m at.  And sadly, I never realized how lucky I am to have had him be that way with me, til he was gone.  If you’re passionate about some of the terrible things that went on this year, use that passion to do something (besides post online) to contribute to making that terrible thing a little bit better.  screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-31-44-pm
  3. No matter how terribly you took it that celebrities died or that the election didn’t go your way, there is someone out there who had it way worse than you (insert any Aleppo photo here).  So if those two things were really the only awful things that happened to you (and I’m just as guilty as the next of jumping on some of those meme bandwagons – and I believe in the protection of Betty White) – then it still wasn’t the worst.  And before you jump on the election tirade, please refer to number two.screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-35-23-pm
  4. There is always still good.  You just have to find it.  And you have to want to seek it out more than you want to cave to the ease of jumping on the bad bandwagon.  We all know how easy it is for viewpoints to be skewed or for only certain things to be placed in front of us via tv or social media…….so if that’s too much for you, make a conscious effort to seek out the good.  I thought about making it even easier for you by placing some links here of “the good stuff” (start with the World Series documentary)….but that would defeat the whole challenge of you making yourself acknowledge good.  And a little leg work never hurt any of us.  I’ll gladly list my personal “good” from the year though, because I need to do my own reflecting of just how good I have it despite the world telling me that I don’t. How about we all get a little more purposeful in following, finding, happening upon good people and good things.  Keep following the bad too, for all I care, but if you’re going to grow at all, challenge yourself to sprinkling in a few good finds and see if over time, that doesn’t chisel away some of that bitter 2016 chip on your shoulder. If you have no desire to do anything but wallow in the misery that you have chosen to associate with, then we have nothing further to discuss, really.  🙂 screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-36-15-pm

So.  There it is.  I said it.  Since I’m used to not being the most popular for what I say, it probably won’t be a shock to me if this isn’t received well.  But, it had to be said (or typed). I appreciate a sarcastic meme, joke or calling out of things just as much as the next social media junkie.  I realize that some post in jest and truly don’t feel like this was the worst year ever.  But, there are some of you out there that are truly paralyzed in the belief that this was it, it was the most terrible year ever.  And we need you to get unparalyzed quick-like so that we can have more good! 🙂  If you truly have the belief, then I hope that you passionately commit to making sure your corner of 2017 is better than the last year.

I refuse to let 2017 be a year where my feed is filled with anger and hate and all the bad feels.  I will gladly support and encourage (and make glittery signs of support) all of those who, even though they don’t agree with me, are using their anger to fuel a fire of making a difference and taking ACTION in any part of their lives.  I’ll just be over here working on my own refinement in trying to be a better human, trying to smile more and listen more and trying to make sure that should I die tomorrow, that people know my heart only had love left.  That last part alone is going to keep me busy enough that I shouldn’t have time to worry about whether Sally voted for Hillary or Trump and if that decision means I can have coffee with her.

Love and peace!

Oh, and here are my highlights from the year!

  • Had the most perfect “faux daughter” in the form of a high school foreign exchange student (til she had to leave me in June)img_8740
  • NEW YORK CITY for my birthday/spring break!!
  • Spain!!!!!!!!!!!!! The most incredible trip of my life! Plus, I survived a near plane crash :p
  • DOLLY PARTON concert!!!! And friends who embrace my obsession for her!
  • New friends that come with neon signs of “we were meant to cross paths so that you’ll see that you need to cut that other part of your life loose”
  • Growth in my career (and getting the best boss ever) – despite saying “orgasmic” in a meeting with the president of our company :pimg_1325
  • Standing up to someone and seeing their true colors in a situation where, even though I might not be right, I didn’t allow their words to send me backwards.  I still hope to visit her in her glass house someday, but I’m also pretty proud to see personal growth (this one isn’t as glamorous for you to read as it is for me to look back on – and that’s ok).
  • Seeing my mom find true happiness and blossom into the most happy person I have seen in a long time.img_2142
  • Best World Series ever! (even if you didn’t like either team) This event alone should’ve brought you a little glimmer of hope and made you happy about life, for at least the week that it was happening!img_7194
  • Countless work travel.  Even though it was a lot of time away from home and in hotels (which oddly enough is really the only true gym time I “enjoyed” over the year), It took me out of my comfort zone and afforded me meeting some pretty cool new people, with some pretty neato stories and lives!
  • One of my very best friends moving back and settling “back home” – her open home, open arms, open ears and adventures with her cool kiddos have been the best therapy for me this year!img_6547
  • Learning that cultivating and figuring out who my “core people” are is one of the best exercises I’ve done in a while.  I’m truly loved by people and for the first time in my life I really believe that.  I shutter at the thought of how many years were spent believing in every fiber of me, that nobody truly loved me.  My happy and my smile are sacred and genuine these days!  I have some pretty awesome people to thank for that!