You Learn

I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone

I recommend walking around naked in your living room

Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)

It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)

Wait until the dust settles

You live you learn

You love you learn

You cry you learn

You lose you learn

You bleed you learn

You scream you learn

– Alanis Morissette


There was a story told often in our house about a little blonde-haired girl sitting in her car seat, pointing, and wailing, “But I on go to da big city! Big city, Mom-maaa! Big city!”

The “big city” could have been anywhere. It could have been the buildings of Winston-Salem, or a Chevy dealership in Charleston, or maybe even a strip mall off the side of the interstate. It didn’t make a difference to her – bright lights translated to big city for this tiny backseat driver. And once the lights of said town were successfully out of reach… the alligator tears came.

Growing up, Momma and Dad would tease me, “I on go to da big city, Momma!” I wrote a book in high school (hold your balls, it was just an English project) and dedicated it to my mother. The dedication read, “For Momma. Love, your little girl who’s just trying to get to the big city.” Now, this phrase from my toddlerhood – “I on go to da big city!” – loops through my mind all day, every day.

I hear it every morning on my way to work when I get off 163, come up over the hill on Ash, and see Point Loma off in the distance. It echos through my mind as I’m walking around Little Italy on my lunch break, or when I look out of my eighteenth floor office window, or in the afternoons when I’m sitting in I-5 traffic at dusk. I see palm trees, and lights, and tall buildings. I feel an ocean breeze. I smell good food and salty air. And I hear, “I on go to da big city, Momma!”

It’s funny how life comes full circle. How can a toddler know better what she wants out of life than her adult counterpart? It floors me that just six months ago I was living a completely different life. Looking back, I epitomized the American Dream. Not in a #startedfromthebottomnowwehere sorta way, a more subtle, #shesgonnamakeitinherdaddysworld kind of American Dream. I had made a good life for myself. I was proud of who I was, what I had, and the choices I had made. But I was painfully unhappy. So, I decided to stop that life – the life I had spent years building – and start a totally new one.

Less than six months later, I can proudly announce, I have done it again. American Dream Girl 2.0: The newer, more fabulous, less you/more me version comes complete with a parking pass and in-unit washer and dryer. Yes, yes, my friends! It’s done. The very last item on my California Adventure checklist has been crossed off…

Sonny and I have a home of our own (… again)!

Granted, it is a 500 square foot studio apartment, that I may or may not have to sell my lady-bits on the corner to afford… but it’s a home, nonetheless!

We, umm, move (?) on Saturday!

I use the term “move” loosely because, well, I would think that my significantly paired down wardrobe and shoe stash hardly qualifies this change in address as a “move.” Actually, it will probably take only one trip – in the Acura – to complete my relocation. I will be sleeping on an air mattress for the next week-ish until my bed is delivered. And in the meantime, you can find me eating peanut butter sandwiches, reading a lot of books, and counting up all my quarters until I have enough side cash saved to buy a TV.

I know. You’re most likely thinking, “Maybe you should have considered your sleeping arrangements, potential dining options, and means of entertainment before you decided to get an apartment on a random Thursday?” And you’re probably right. I should have. Buuuuut you know me – buying houses on Tuesdays, quitting my life and moving across the country, walking the dogs off-leash – I don’t exactly have a track record for doing things by the book, now do I? Anywho, it’ll all work out, it always does.

So, back to my super cute downtown apartment! I have so many things to consider now, like:

  • How does one decorate an apartment the size of a hotel room?
  • How do I buy bottles of water now? Am I really gonna have to lug those bastards through the streets of downtown?
  • Shit. Should I buy one of those homeless people carts?
  • Can you buy a Homeless People cart? Me thinks not. (Note: I will be living on top of a grocery store. Like, literally can take an elevator down to the produce section.)
  • Is 1.5 miles truly worth the drive to work? Maybe I can just walk…
  • A bike. Might wanna consider buying a bike and riding it to work instead.
  • Check that – roller skates. I will roller skate to and from work.
  • How close is the nearest McDonalds?

City living will obviously vary a bit from what I’m used to. Howevs, I am so very excited to be trying something new. Plus, it will force me to walk more. And what does walking equal? Skinny. Ballas, I’m gonna be so fucking skinny. (Kidding!)

(… actually, I’m very serious.)

As you could imagine, the upcoming move has required me to make significant edits to my Christmas list. I do not plan on bringing anything from the Vacation Home out to Cali. Why? Because I’m starting over, duh. Plus, Bubs and Brittany might be sad if I Grinched “their” house when I come home for the holidays. Not to mention, I’m sure it would break their sweet little hearts if I forced them to part with all of the Mommy+Sonny photos still hanging on the walls of my former abode. So, here’s the quick and dirty on the Naughty and Nice front:

  • TV
  • Pots and pans
  • Dishes
  • Flatware
  • Cups
  • Crock-Pot (I’ll be damned if I don’t have to ask for one of these fuckers every. friggin’. year.)
  • These really cute black Toms wedges that Kristen let me borrow the other night… size 8.5, thanks. (What? I may have a whole new life but I haven’t lost my mind. It wouldn’t be a Christmas list without a pair of shoes. Also, they are Toms [Which, I know. Totally out of character.], people. #savethefeets)

The theme so far is: minimalist. Not frat house chic, of course. Just the essentials. I’ve done the three bedroom/two bath, top to bottom decorating bit. I have all of the stuffs. And I will be reunited with all of said stuffs eventually. Meaning, I don’t need a shit ton of chachkies, or thingamabobs, or whosits and whatsits. I just need a trashcan, a towel or four, and a fucking cookie sheet for the occasional chicken nugget baking extravaganza.

With that being said – and because I am such a picky little bitch – gift cards travel nicely. I thank you in advance. Hugs!

I am so very excited about finally getting settled into my own space in SanD. It works out perfectly since Danny comes home next week (woo!), plus, I will have such a fun project to start on when I get back from Christmas break!

Honestly, I could not think of a better way to close out 2015. Picking up the keys to this apartment on Thursday means so much to me. Just the other day I read through the first post I made this year – FTF: New Years and Newer Perspectives. I could not be more proud of myself. Twelve months ago, I made a resolution and I kept it.

I made a promise to myself that I would work on me – my happiness, my well-being, my heart, mind, and body. I have made a conscious effort. I have made hard decisions, life-altering changes, and truly uprooted my entire being to get to where I am today. Twelve months ago, I could have never imagined this is where that resolution would take me…

But I must admit, I could not be more pleased, more excited, or more fucking happy with the end result.






On a slightly less related/more preachy note: If you take anything from my blog – like, the entire GD website – I hope you leave with this… it takes one choice.

That’s all.

Twelve months ago, I refused to spend another moment of my life unhappy – with anything.

Sure, that “small” declaration led me to heartbreak, times of uncertainty, lots of sleepless nights, and a total life transformation… but it doesn’t have to be that way for everyone. Maybe you are unhappy with your appearance or a certain friendship. Maybe it is your relationship with your spouse, your career, and your living situation. Or maybe it’s just something as insignificant as your morning routine. Who knows? My point is, you can read back through the 25 posts from my 2015 (gah, I really was a huge slacker) – that’s all, just the last 25 entries – and see proof enough of how powerful making one right choice can truly be.

So, while you’re out there wandering through this world and thinking, “Is it worth it?” Keep in mind, I made one promise. Only one small decision. I woke up one day, decided to take just one tiny step in the right fucking direction and look what happened…

This life is entirely too short, too unpredictable, too sweet, and too goddamn precious for anyone to live a moment of it unsatisfied.

Nut up, Ballas.



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