A*North*Star

searching for a guide through life

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it’s been a long time. i shouldn’t have left you….

…and now that i’m here, i’m staring at my computer screen not sure what I should write about. oy vey..

i should be filling out job apps or doing my cover letter or gathering good clips to send out but i continuously self-sabotage. i’ve gone from “can’t stand this job” to “i’m kinda used to this now” and that’s dangerous. it’s dangerous because i know it’s not where i want to be. i’m not growing. i’m not making enough money to pay my bills independently. i’m not excited or proud about my work. the negative moods of my coworkers are toxic. and the list goes on.

i need a plan. so i’m not trapped in the hum drum of the simple day to day. i don’t want to look up five years later still in this same spot all because i just let life move forward instead of consciously living life.

it’s gonna be one tough cookie to be real though. cuz the shit i need to make happen in my life is big time. and though i can turn coal into diamonds if tasked by someone else, going hard for my own dreams, wishes, desires has often been a challenge for me.

 it’s officially been a year now since we’ve moved to this landlocked metropolis — and it still doesn’t feel like home to me. i’m still not used to it and i still don’t like it. i gotta get over that though. cuz it’s not beneficial to keep hopping around the southeast. homeboy detests moving. though i do kinda wish we lived in florida. i miss his fam a bunch. you’d think i was a banks. my heart is also aching for the mississippi gulf coast and nola. and those little wheels in my head keep turning when i read up on how va beach is such a great place to raise a family. i do miss my home by the sea.

but i’m here now. might as well make the best of it. while i continue plotting and planning…. hehehe

After A While

-Veronica A. Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. 
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure, you really are strong, you really do have worth.
And you learn,
And you learn,
With every goodbye, you learn.

 

I killed somebody today. Several somebodies in fact. I’m trying to learn to play videos games with Justin. He likes those shooter games, which really aren’t my thing at all. Video games in general aren’t my thing. But I’m making an effort because it’s something he loves. And he likes when I try to play with him. So I’m learning slowly but surely and today was the first time ever that I killed one of the bad guys. cool

Relationships are work. I know they say love isn’t supposed to be hard, but boy, it can be challenging at times. This is not … what I thought or hoped it would be. It’s hard to admit that, because I know some would think or say that maybe this relationship wasn’t meant to be. That I should leave and pursue a union that fulfills all that I want out of love and partnership. I’ve thought about it. But … the hard times do not make me love Justin less. I will love that man for eternity. I know because I’ve fallen in love before … and I know it just doesn’t go away.

So four months until our sixth anniversary. Will we be getting married?? I truly have no idea. I’ve told myself once or twice that would be the deadline. If we didn’t tie the knot by then I wasn’t going to worry about it anymore. That I’d somehow get the marriage goal out of my head. Yeah right. My whole mindset about marriage is sooo complicated though. I’m an old-fashioned traditionalist that wants the perfect, loving marriage to build the basis of our family but I live in an alternate reality. I’m not the perfect wife; he isn’t the perfect husband. We have a child out of wedlock who is his and not mine for all intents and purposes. And who will be a decade older than any children we might biologically have together. But who I love and admire and dream for. In fact, I’m pretty much enamored with his whole family. Which makes it hard for me to consider not legally becoming part of the clan. I think his mother noticed a bit of the difficulties I go through with him when they were in town last month staying with us and she said something to me before they left, something along the lines of if things don’t work out with him, don’t forget about them as my family. And I told her I never would.

Family, love, relationships, marriage — they’re not always simple or one-noted. At least in my experience they aren’t. But they’re also everything to me. I think I’ve lost parts of myself in the pursuit to be part of the whole. I’ve also lost part of myself to fear and to the challenge to live up to invisible expectations and to the pressure to be a responsible adult. I’m not exactly sure how to become more of me, but I can feel she’s still in there somewhere and that’s encouraging.

I’m growing, changing, learning. Becoming my own woman. Man, is it some journey.

So much to say … ugh!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
-Jeremiah 29:11

 

The swelling has finally gone down in my knuckles but now I have a void of eyelashes on about half of my upper right eyelid. Cracking my knuckles and pulling out my eyelashes are nervous ticks for me, I suppose. I never really analyzed why they come on, but if I were to guess I’d say stress. Stress is a natural part of my daily diet. In fact, I can’t picture the reality of a stress-free life. But there are times when it overwhelms. Times like now. Times that occur more often than I’d like to admit.

I got into a car accident 9 days ago. This is my second auto incident in less than six months. The traffic here is just one of the many reasons I hate this metro area. I was at fault – for both accidents. But this one wasn’t just a minor fender bender. I wrecked my car. Not totaled, but it hasn’t been driven since … just sitting in our little carport as a painful reminder. The airbags deployed and cracked the windshield, blew up in my face. Replaying that part over in my head feels so unreal. The scariest parts were the seconds right before impact – when you know there’s nothing you can do to avoid the crash – and then the sound of the metal hitting metal.

Luckily no one was hurt. But financially, there’s the ticket and the cost of damages to my vehicle — because I pay so much for everything else, I didn’t want to add collision coverage to my insurance package. I haven’t even had the proper time to take care of everything. I was right back to work the next day and every day since (with the exception of weekends) not only because of the fact that my job doesn’t give me paid time off (not even sick days) but also because the twins lost their job earlier that week.

It’d be one thing if they were let go because of something out of their control. But … I feel like they were at fault for this setback. Maybe the final straw that broke the camel’s back in the eyes of their employer was something they think to be beyond their control but they really could have handled things differently. They did not take it seriously. They did not fight for the opportunity to work there or to get their jobs back. It can be hard to get a job in this economy and yet they didn’t care. I don’t like my job either but I damn sure don’t take the fact I’m employed lightly. So now I’m the only one in my household working while two 32 (almost 33) year old men stay at home sleeping all day and then staying up all night blasting music, playing video games, watching tv, smoking and drinking. I live in a frat house with bachelors — and one of them is the man I’m supposedly engaged to.

I’m aware relationships have their ups and downs. Whenever we’re going through a rough patch, I remind myself that this is just a phase, just one season to get through. I keep the bigger picture in mind of how much I love him. But I’d be holding back if I didn’t say that often I feel like it shouldn’t be this hard. Sure, we can’t control outside forces, but I feel like what we can control is how we treat each other, how we communicate, our actions, our priorities. Lately I’ve been looking internally to see how I can improve myself as a future wife. Be more trusting, give him the space he asked for, try to take an interest in his interests, do more around the house. But how I perceive some of his actions and priorities have been a disappointment to me. It’s been a struggle and that’s before the other incidents piled on top of things.

Lately I feel like God has been giving me clear messages about the path I’m supposed to follow. I’m to run towards writing and family. Each path has its difficulties. I am a writer by profession. Writing has literally been the way I’ve earned my living for the past three years. I have a degree in journalism and that’s the field in which I’m employed – and I hate it. Now there are definitely some good takeaways, don’t get me wrong. I get to talk to a lot of interesting people and learn a little about a lot. I consistently meet and beat challenges I wouldn’t have otherwise. But I have just been miserable and unfulfilled with each journalism job I’ve had – from interning to being on staff at publications to even freelancing. In fact, the job I was the most happy with in over 10 years of being on somebody’s payroll has been waitressing in a movie theater. ::Sigh::

I wake up and go to bed thinking about ideas for novels I want to write — that’s even what I daydream about throughout the day. I feel like writing books is perhaps what I was put on earth to do. But I haven’t given myself the opportunity. I’m too preoccupied with other people’s dreams and expectations of me.

On the family side — I moved to Georgia to be closer to family and I’m still questioning this decision. I feel down in the dumps when the cousin who basically recruited me here can’t make any time to spend with me. I’ve become closer to my younger cousin in the last few weeks, but it’s challenging finding a balance in being a role model and a friend. Plus she, like most of us, has been down on her luck financially and I want to be able to treat her when we go out but at the same time I know I can’t afford that. I want to be on her side when she vents her struggles to me, but at the same time I know she might need the tough love, that she might need to make some choices that feel hard for her now but may be better for her in the long run. My issues with Justin have cut into my Sunday quality time with the grandparents routine because sometimes I’m so stirred up with stress and emotion that I can’t seem to stay over there feigning to be perfectly ok. Some weeks I can’t even bring myself to go over there at all, and I know it disappoints them. There’s 3 grandkids who grew up here and 4 more of us that moved here in the last year or two and out of the 7, I’m the only one they actually rely on to see regularly, because I make it my effort to be consistent.

At the same time, there’s half my family up north that I feel like I neglect. I’ve always been closer to my dad’s side of my family than my mom’s but that doesn’t mean I love them any less. Yet I haven’t been to Jersey in two years. Meaning that’s the last time I’ve seen my other grandmother, my aunts, my cousin and his family. I’ve seen my parents, sister and brother (who live in Jersey, NYC and Philly) but only because they make the trip down south to see me. I need to get myself up there for a visit. My grandma’s health has not been so great either. She’s in a nursing home after being in a hospital and an another medical facility for weeks. I know I have to make the trip up to see her soon. I haven’t seen my godsisters and their family in what seems like forever. Haven’t been to South Jersey – where I grew up – in three years cuz my last trip up to NJ was just in North Jersey for my sister’s college graduation. My one first cousin who lives up north — I don’t even know his family. He had a baby and then got married and I met them once at Carin’s graduation party but it was brief and I have no connection to them and don’t even really try. I made a comment a while back about how I only was present at my cousin’s first wedding. My sister made it seem like I was throwing shade but in my reality they are who I knew as his family – his first wife and stepson, not his current wife and new stepson and the beautiful daughter they have together. I don’t know … families can be complicated.

Speaking of complications, my period came on today. Not to be unexpected – this is the same time of the month that I started my cycle in March. It’s just that — and I know this sound ridiculous but — I had been repeating affirmations that this time I was pregnant. And I’m not. The disappointment doesn’t sting any less each time. Lately women around me have been talking about how hard a job motherhood is. I was thinking the other day about simple things I can’t find the time or energy to do after a long day at work, and I try to convince myself to thinking maybe I should be grateful not to have children now. When my fiance was driving me back home after the car accident and I was crying about how bad of a driver I must be, the thought hit me — what if I were to have had a child in the car?? Still, who am I kidding? I want to be a mom more than anything and that’s always in my subconscious, no matter what I try to trick myself into thinking. It’s not just me getting older. I wanted to have a baby since before I started having sex. I’m crushed that there is something that seems to be complicating this process. And I think … what if my body just can’t conceive or bear a child? I know there are plenty of women with stories of fertility problems – some that ended up getting pregnant somehow and some which never have been able to conceive naturally. I know there are other options: drugs, treatments, artificial insemination, surrogacy, adoption. And I could be happy just being a stepmother to that wonderful little girl. But the stubborn chick in me craves to feel my baby inside me while experiencing the joys and pains of pregnancy. I want to nurse my baby from my breasts and be able to pick out all the physical features we share. Each month when my cycle comes, it’s like a knife has stabbed straight through my heart and that is why I’m bleeding out. For the most part I keep it to myself because no one in my life really understands that pain. Social media kills me because every time I log into Facebook, someone’s announcing their pregnancy or the birth of their baby, or they’re posting pictures of their sonogram or baby bump or their kid’s first birthday. I even feel envious of strangers when I pass someone at the grocery store who’s pregnant or carrying a baby stroller. I question my entire future if I’m not able to be a mother. I’m not one of those women who doesn’t really care much one way or the other or who thinks it’d be great to have a baby someday when the time is right. I care STRONGLY about this.

I know God has plans for me and that there is a season for everything. So with weak knuckles and bare eyelids, I will continue to pray about it ALL.

 

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.”
-Isaiah 40:31

 

Sooo… challenging weekend but still here. Still standing. Still strong.

Monday’s here already – bleh – but I won’t let those feelings get the best of me. Joel Osteen said it best this morning. It’s time to get over it.

I need to get over whatever I perceive to be holding me back and get on with making my life the way I want it to be. I know I can do it, I just have to try. And try again. And keep trying.

I’m crying as I’m writing this.

I’m having a hard time with happiness and my emotions are boiling over.

I’m lonely and dissatisfied and discouraged and annoyed and mad and just plain upset.

I know it’s all about attitude, how you perceive the challenges of your world. I should just focus on all my blessings and be all right.

But that’s just not working for me. I have a lot of blessings. And I’m incredibly grateful for the happy things in my life. But I’d be lying to myself to say focusing on the good I’ve got makes what I’m lacking not matter so much. These are my feelings and they’re real!

I hate that my relationship is not where I want it to be. I hate not having friends around to share time, thoughts and feelings with. I hate my job. I hate being overweight. I hate that I can’t get pregnant.

Will I be depressed my entire life?

 

God’s will be done. Just finished applying for a job, and I’m praying for God’s favor through the process. And if not this particular position, then something else. He knows more than anyone how much I need it!

 

Well, in the meantime, I better get to bed so I can sleep a few hours and go back to my dreaded place of employment for one last day before the weekend. It sounds like a party’s going on in my living room. The boys are playing music and video games. Sigh. I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I love my little frat house. But the authentic Nicole in me just wants my husband in bed with me, no electronics, just a good old fashioned talking session. It’s been difficult for me to express my innermost feelings verbally lately. That’s often a problem, but it’s bugging the crap out of me.

Eh… buenas noches!

ahhh!! can’t do it! too addicted to Facebook! smh. and i don’t even post. just lurk reading other people’s statuses, stayed informed and updated. lol! it’s a problem.

haven’t been blogging much at all. whenever i go to write, I just don’t. whatevah

and i should be sleep right now, but … i’m blogging.

yeah, i can’t figure me out either.

i’m actually waiting to cut dude’s hair I guess, before I can go to sleep, but he’s stuck playing video games. he’s been super addicted to playing video games lately. i’m not the biggest fan. part of me hopes it’s a phase that he grows out of when he’s like 40. only 7 more years. ha!

life has been crazy consuming. i think i’m gonna try to give up one of my addictions for the month of april – facebook. i want to wean myself off so much internet use – xanga included – and focus more on real connection in my life. says the girl who’s about to apply for a job opening as a social media coordinator. sigh. catch 22. c’est la vie.

i need to find another job though, pronto. i’m not happy at my job, the commute is terrible and the pay is subpar. these are precious years of my life – i don’t want to waste them. i’m trying to find the meaning in the things i do. focus on what really matters. i need to get my health in order. being overweight/obese is so not the business. my relationship with my love is the most important aspect of my life but it can definitely stand some improvement and growth. i have so many stories swimming around in my head. i’ve got to try my chance at being a novelist. i can’t just let this slip me by.

times have been … challenging. my bank account is scary low but i’ve been trying not to let it bother me. having twin move in is an adjustment but i’m glad he is here for my baby and family time watching The Walking Dead (even though it’s over until Oct now) is a time of the week i definitely cherish. not being able to get pregnant has been a big pill to swallow. but God is merciful. we’ll continue to pray … and try. kiss

my grandmother’s been sick lately. she’s feeling better but she’s still in the hospital now. i’ve been thinking a whole lot lately about mortality. and family. i’ve never had anyone really close to me pass away. and i’ve never been good with death. i’m not ready to deal with anything of the sort.

it hasn’t all been rain clouds. i love going to church, and i’m thinking of actually joining. i love spending time with my grandparents too. my inlaws and stepdaughter are coming down sometime in april and i’m super excited about seeing them and spending time with them. wedding plans are coming together more firmly in my mind, although i’m still holding back on “officially” planning.

hmmm.. so it’s coming up on midnight and my eyes are closing. i guess it means time to recharge and start the week all over again.

 

prayers and love. 

Jumble of thoughts.

Still haven’t purchased a proper journal. So I’m still here. Half waiting for someone to tell me not to stop.

I’ve been toying around with the idea of “seriously” transitioning to a new blog that is less about the random day-to-day messiness and triumphs of my personal life but more disciplined and focused on the continual messiness and triumphs of my generation in general. It’s hard out there for a pimp and there’s probably a lot more we can learn together.

Anywho … I turned 26 this week. Have been fighting a nasty battle with bronchitis that’s netted me an estimated weight loss of 5 pounds. I’ve been off work since Tuesday, which has given me a lot of time to think and to read and to think some more. My life right now, I feel like, is just on the verge. On the edge of something big. Like wonders will happen for me in a big, fantastic way just soon enough.

I’m still struggling. Still have my battles with insecurities. My worries about money. Jealousy and trust issues. Although there’s much to be happy about, I can’t just ignore how I recently let depression and those suicidal thoughts slip in.

I’m not exactly where I want to be in my life.

But I have so much potential and blessings and joy. And I made it to 26 and I have so much more on the agenda.

My darling has given me the green light multiple times now to pursue what I think will make me happy. For me that’s writing … and starting a family. I’m afraid of all the what ifs. I’m afraid of the chances and the risks. But time is not slowing down for anybody. I say I enjoy being a grownup. It’s time for me to fully embrace the responsibility of taking charge of my life and not just letting life happen to me. It’s time to live more intentionally.

 

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