2015- A Year in Review

Yes, there's a gif of Tom Hardy saying Happy New Year. The internet is great.

Yes, there's a gif of Tom Hardy saying Happy New Year. The internet is great.

            2015 was a roller coaster of emotions for me. Let’s break it down into categories: family, friends, myself, and writing.


            My family is large on my mother’s side. I’ve watched my Mom lose a lot of family members but this year was an especially difficult one. My mom lost her cousin, Mary Catherine but Mary wasn’t JUST my mom’s cousin. She was my mom’s best friend and second sister. I’m in awe of my mother the majority of the time. I went with her to the hospital to see Mary several times, I watched this woman who I’ve known my entire life, deteriorate in front of me. The last time I watched something like this I was 13 going on 14 and it was my Grandpop. I hope I don’t have to see it again for a very long time. Mom stayed strong, as she always does. If I have one ounce of her strength, I’ll be eternally grateful.

            My padre gave me a great gift this year. He paid the adoption fee for my kitten, River, after I found out I had to shell out $600 for a security deposit to my apartment complex just to have her. I’m so appreciative for what he did because coming home to River every day is the highlight of my life.

            My big brother. Four and a half years apart and it shows most of the time. I don’t think he really knows how much I admire his life. Although, we don’t’ talk often, I know he’s always there if I need him and vice versa. He proved that this year when I called him out of the blue, hysterically crying and begging him to promise me something. He did promise me. He’s a great big brother.


            Oh my friends. They’re the best. I always loved the saying “friends are the family you create for yourself” or however it goes. My friends are all super different from one another but equally odd and I think that’s why we fit together. One of my best friends moved home this year and we’re all so happy to have him back in Philly. My friends have spent a lot of time trying to figure their lives out and I think they all made significant progress this year. While none of us are completely put together (far from it), and we’re not all on the same path or going the same speed, we’re all heading in the right direction.


            Hmmm, what to say here…well 2015, I can’t say I’m sorry to see you go. I dealt with death this year which always hits me hard. I think about death more than I think the average person does. I think about it at the most random times and for long periods of time. I try to move past it with humor and sarcasm and I do a pretty good job most of the time.

            Love life. Oh my love life, or lack thereof. Actually that’s not true. I fell in and out of love this year. Slowly, quietly and without anyone really knowing. ß My favorite way of doing anything and everything.

            I moved into my new apartment this year which I love. I bought my very first set of living room furniture and I’m slowly getting rid of all my hand-me-downs. Next, I’ll be purchasing my own kitchen set then possibly a new bedroom set until my entire apartment finally feels like me.

           My River came into my life. When I adopted River, so many people said to me, “I didn’t know you were a cat person” but it wasn’t about being a cat or dog or bird or turtle person. It was about a feeling I had when River was placed into my arms. I wanted her to stay there forever. It’s been two months (tomorrow) of living with her and I love her more and more every day.

            I lost almost 20 pounds this year and gained severe happiness. Partly because of the weight loss and partly because I’m becoming older and more comfortable in my life as a whole. I’m okay with the fact that when I talk about Doctor Who most people don’t care or understand. I’m okay with the fact that I’m never going to be super thin; my body just isn’t built for it. I’m okay with the fact that I’m always going to hate my arms. I’m still going to work on losing weight because it makes me happy to see a smaller number on the scale but I’m not going to let myself become obsessed with it or consumed by it. I’m going to enjoy my life while slowly (and it is a slow process) trying to regain control of my body.

            Being in an embarrassing situation is one of my least favorite aspects of life. I try to avoid being embarrassed at all costs. Even in school, I wouldn’t answer a question unless I was 100% sure of the answer because I didn’t want to be wrong and look stupid. To this day, I avoid guessing at anything because I don’t want to be wrong then be ridiculed. Whether people ridicule me or not, I always feel like they are (whole other issue). In 2015, I was embarrassed a LOT. Sometimes I couldn’t take it. Sometimes I tried to laugh it off and calm down the redness I knew was covering my already rosy cheeks. I tried really hard to not let the embarrassing situations ruin my night. In 2016, I’ll try a little harder.

            My writing. I made major progress this year with my writing. This website is one huge step forward. I don’t update it as much as I should which I’ll try to do more of in the future. I sent my writing to two of my previous teachers who are published authors (Eric Smith and Liz Moore- check out their books). They both gave me helpful and positive feedback on my work which is greatly appreciated and made me keep going instead of losing all hope in this difficult part of my life. I’m only making one new year’s resolution this year. Just one. Any others I think of will just be things to keep in mind as I go through the year.

            This year, my new year’s resolution is to finish a piece of writing. I tend to start things, get halfway through or more than halfway through then I get distracted or I have another idea and I start on something else. I’m the worst with finishing something I write. However, I’m always better when I have a deadline. 2016 is my deadline to finish something I’ve been working on sporadically for a while now.

            All in all, 2015 wasn’t half bad. I’m happy with who and where I am in my life. Here’s to 2016 being even more exciting and productive J





            Inevitably, we all reach an age when the holiday season isn’t always the happiest occasion. Hearing this from me might be especially shocking because Christmas and the holiday season are my favorite parts of the year.

            Eventually, we start to lose people and Christmas songs bring tears to our eyes for different reasons. The first Christmas without someone you love is always the hardest. Sometimes it doesn’t get easier but sometimes enough time passes where the music reminds of you the good times again.

            I’ve experienced a fair amount of death in my life starting from the age of 13. Then I look at my parents and the amount of family and friends they’ve lost over the years. One after another, over and over again. Holidays are hard because it feels as if the sadness will consume you. You think to yourself, will I ever feel the kind of holiday cheer everyone else seems obsessed with?

            Here’s what I know from watching my family and my friends over the years having to deal with death and the holidays:

            Look to the children. Never in my life would I say children are the answer to any problem except this one. If you’re feeling sad, if you’re feeling lonely, if you’re depressed: go outside, go to a mall or to a Christmas Village and look at the smiles on all the kids’ faces. Look how incredibly thrilled they are with what’s happening. How excited, how unafraid, how free they are surrounded by holiday decorations and toys and Santa and snow. Their faces, their happiness, it’s contagious and you will be affected. Kids don’t know bitterness; kids don’t know the type of loneliness the rest of us can become accustomed to in life. All they know is how wonderful this time of year is to them. Trust me, they can remind you of what it feels like to be filled to the brink with joy.

            I’m twenty six years old and I still act as if I’m 7 when it comes to this time of year. I love snow. I love driving around the neighborhoods and looking at all the decorations. It’s my dream to one day go see the big Christmas tree in New York. I love shopping, wrapping, and giving gifts. Baking cookies with my mom is one of my favorite past times. Yes, I sometimes feel sad because I remember all the people I’ve lost, but luckily I still feel very childlike around this time of year and I can tap into those feelings and help pull myself out of any darkness.

            Never, ever forget all those we’ve lost around this time of year. Remember them fully, with love, and if you need to cry about it then by all means, let it out. All I’m suggesting is when you’re done, remind yourself as to why you used to love this time of year. Look at your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, friends’ kids, whoever and reconnect with the holiday spirit. When you’re pissed off you have to clean snow off your car, remember how happy you used to be when you were a kid and you had a snow day. When someone is rude to you in a store, remind yourself that maybe this time of year is especially hard for them and forgive them.

            This time of year is short, though it may not seem it sometimes, it is. And you never know if you and everyone you love will see this time of year again. So why not try to make it the best time of year for yourself and everyone around you?

            Be kind. Be childlike. Enjoy every second of the holiday season. And most importantly…

            If you’re having a hard time just do one thing: Remember.

            Remember those you’ve lost. Remember your past holidays with them. Remember how much you used to love it. Remember, you are not alone.

            Remember, this time of year is special, magical.

            Let the magic of it overwhelm you.

Have a great holiday season, everyone.



Confessions of a Single 25 Year Old Woman

Note: I wrote this when I was 23 but I've gone over it again and updated it a bit. Whether these are still my confessions or not doesn't make them any less important. 23 year old me poured her heart out and I'm sure she wants me to share (or she's cursing me off, whatever).

Usually when I write for my blog, I try to write about something everyone can relate to in some way and I write about situations my friends are in. But today, it’s going to be about me and my feelings as of late. Maybe someone will be able to relate to it but that’s not what I’m focusing on. Sometimes, when I don’t write for a while, my head just gets filled and my emotions run really high and it feels like if I don’t write it down soon my head will explode.

Here’s a little background, like I said before, all of my friends (with the exception of 4 guys and 1 girl) are in relationships. They are all dating, engaged, married, or practically married. I’m happy for all of them, nervous for some, and envy very few of them. It’s never been a goal of mine to get married and have children; in fact it’s a conventional 1950s lifestyle that I’ve rebelled against for years and years. For some reason, the thought of marriage and being a mother makes me anxious and almost physically ill. Even the idea of spending the rest of my life attached to another person boggles my mind.

When I think about what I want out of life there are only a few things I desire: to write, to travel, to take care of my family, and to live comfortably. Most of the time, when I think about myself being older, it’s only me in the picture. I never needed anyone else. And if we were to go into the psychological reasons behind this thinking it would probably be because I’ve always been severely independent. My whole life I’ve felt like no one could hear me or no one would listen (besides some family) and yet I talk nonstop. I’m a chatterbox. My Grandpop used to pick me up from school if I had a half day and he would take me to Burger King and then we would go home. He would tell my Mom, “School must be torture for her. She doesn’t stop talking from the second I pick her up.” But you know what? He listened to me.

 So…I write. Paper has to listen to me, it has no other choice. As I was saying, I never pictured myself with anyone else before…except Leonardo DiCaprio, he might the only guy to change my mind. But now, with all my friends paired up, a quote from Sex and the City keeps popping into my head (stay with me, guys). It was Carrie Bradshaw’s 35th birthday and she wasn’t seeing anyone at the time. She was sitting in the café with her three best friends and she said, “I’m lonely. The loneliness is palpable.” I never thought of myself as being lonely. I LOVE living on my own. I love coming home to absolute and complete silence. I love having control of my TV all the time and being able to decorate and rearrange things at will without having to ask anyone if it’s okay. Not to say, living alone is perfect. Night still freaks me out from time to time. But other than that, living on my own is awesome.

 Where does the loneliness come in, you ask? Well when I go out with my friends and I become the third, fifth, or seventh wheel, that’s where it comes in. I love my friends, they know I love them and I would do anything for each and every one of them. But even when I’m in a room filled with them, I still feel utterly alone because at the end of the day, when they all go home, they have someone to talk to, someone to listen to them. I’m probably not painting my friends in a nice light which isn’t my intention. I know there are people I can go to talk to and they listen but none of them really get it because they all have someone. No one really gets the loneliness because none of them are alone. I’m not saying if I had a boyfriend it would solve all these problems, I’m not naïve enough to believe that load of bull. What I’m saying is, I miss when my friends were just my friends and not my friends plus *insert name here*.

 Sure, sometimes I can pull them away from their boyfriends for a night but there’s usually one that wants their significant other to come. I don’t know why, they generally just sit there and say nothing like a block of wood. (I’m aware I’m probably insulting people here but I’m telling the truth).  However, a lot of the time, they never go anywhere without their boyfriends or girlfriends. Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of their significant others, they’re good guys and gals and I enjoy hanging out with them but I miss my friends. I miss when everyone was single at the same time and nothing else mattered. Our twenties are supposed to be fun, right? Staying out all night, drinking, or just having a good time with your friends? Gotta tell ya, those times are rare these days. Now it’s trying to schedule time with your friends between everyone’s jobs or trying to get them to leave the confines of their homes for a few hours on the weekend.

I guess one of the upsides of having a significant other is someone is obligated to listen to you. No one is obligated to listen to me. And I’m not saying this to throw a pity party for myself; I hate people that do that shit. I’m saying it because this is how I actually feel. I feel sad sometimes when my friends tell me all the things they’re doing with their boyfriends or girlfriends. Because it’s the stuff we all used to do together. This is me really nostalgic for when times were easier and life wasn’t complicated and no one was engaged or married or in seriously committed relationships. I understand things change and people grow up, I just didn’t expect it to come this early in life. Truthfully, I don’t believe I’m ready for it.

 This is the part I think most of you have been waiting for in this whole entry. Do I wish I had a boyfriend? Occasionally. If I were to have a boyfriend, I would more or less like him to be part time. Which probably sounds horrible but it’s the honest to god truth, I hate clingy people, I hate people that have to text someone 24 hours a day because trust me, you have NOTHING interesting to say ALL DAY LONG, neither do I. I would hate someone being in my apartment all the time. I’m not a romantic person, I don’t like roses or candles or any of that junk. Romance in my book is you shutting up for two hours so we can watch a movie then AFTERWARDS discuss it. Does it frustrate me that I can’t find a boyfriend? Of course it does, I’m a woman, it’s something we spend more time thinking about than we admit. Even me, the person who thinks relationships are awkward and weird and pointless 75% of the time, occasionally wants a boyfriend. You know, at 15 years old, I thought by 25 someone would love me, someone has to by then right? Well no, that didn’t happen. Here’s the part where it becomes a little intense:

 Growing up, I never had a lot of self-confidence in the way I look. Bullied through high school didn’t help either. I’ve always had a pretty good sense of myself though. I knew I wanted to be a writer at an early age, I knew movies would always be my second love behind writing; I know I’m sarcastic, and I can be harsh sometimes. But I also know that I’m a really good listener and pretty good therapist when my friends need one. My best friend used to call me Oprah for god sake. So I always just assumed once I became comfortable with how I look then everything would fall into place. But when you have gorgeous friends and cousins who look like models, it’s hard to be happy with how you look. “When will my reflection show who I am inside?” Perfect lyric for this paragraph from the movie Mulan.

 However, within the past few years, I’ve started to care less about what other people think of me. I’m 25, I write, I’ve worked as an editor and a technical writer and I do a damn good job, I’m self-sufficient and I’m a pretty good person. And you know what? I like the way I look. I like that I have breasts and hips and an ass. Are they slightly bigger than average? Damn straight and guess what? I’m proud of it. Are there still parts of my body I’m not comfortable with? Of course, everyone has those and it’s something everyone has to come to terms with eventually. My point is this, you know that saying, “You have to love yourself before others can love you”? I call bullshit. Here’s why: I really do love who I am in my life right now. I have my life together and I’m finally, FINALLY, comfortable when I look in the mirror. So uh…where exactly is the love?

 I’ve come to believe everything having to do with love and relationships is completely random and up to fate. It has nothing to do with where you are in your life or if you love yourself or not. It’s a day to day random occurrence that no one has any control over, ever. And I believe if every single girl thinks of it in those terms, then it’s a little easier to get through the day without beating herself up. Personally, I’m hoping to meet mine in Ireland, he’ll be rich, with a thick accent and we’ll live happily ever after. See that? That’s a joke because this post was really hard for me to write and I need the jokes like I need oxygen. There you go, folks. That was more of me than I have ever put out here before. Cherish it, ignore it, scoff or laugh at it, but do me a favor? Just listen when other people speak. It means a lot to them. 


Quick Note: I wrote this a while back but it still rings true for me.

I used to have a really hard time being honest with people. Usually it was white lies I would tell but then as I became a teenager the lies became bigger. I would tell them for a few different reasons. The number one reason I would lie is because I wanted to make my life sound way more interesting than it actually is. I could never tell the lies to people like Chrissy or Kait because I’m too close to them and they would know. But to people at Huberts, to "friends" I didn’t see very often, they would get complete and utter lies and fabricated stories. Anything to make me sound like I was a normal teenager.

I didn’t want to be the nerd. I didn’t want to be the girl who stayed in every weekend. I didn’t want to be the bookworm or the freak who’s obsessed with movies and television. The loser. The loner. The freak with no friends. But that’s who I was to the girls at Huberts for two years before I started lying to them. Stupid made up stories just to get them off my back. To get them to stop making fun of me. To get them to shut the fuck up.

When my Mom was diagnosed, I stopped lying. My life, our lives, were no longer boring. I didn’t need to lie because my life now had “excitement” or “interest” whatever you want to call it. So I turned to honesty. Brutal honesty some would call it. I stopped caring what other people thought of how I lived my life. I preferred to go to the movies on prom night because I hated the people at Huberts and I didn’t want to spend any more time with them than I had to and I was damn proud to tell people. I preferred to read than drink from a keg in the woods and that’s okay. I preferred to sit and talk to my family for hours on end then sit in a basement and get high and that’s okay. It took me a long time to realize that.

I’m very honest when I tell someone how I feel about a situation or a person. Sometimes people get really mad at me. Some people won’t talk to me for days afterwards. Some people admire it. Some people act like they admire it but secretly hate me for it. I don’t let negative people stay in my life anymore. People call me harsh. People call me a bitch. People call me unforgiving. Honestly? I don’t give a shit. I rather not have someone constantly poison my mind with their horrible negative comments. It’s easier for me to cut people off. Sometimes I get upset about it. Most of the time, I get over it fairly quickly. 

 The person I have the hardest time being honest with is myself. Which sounds cliché but it’s true. I lie to myself all the time. Tell myself I’m okay, tell myself I can deal with certain situations, tell myself I don’t care as much as I do about someone. Sometimes they’re lies, other times they’re partial truths. I’ll play out different situations in my head over and over again, making sure I’ve planned out every conclusion to an occurrence possible. Half the time I don’t use any of them because I’ll be too scared to go into the situation in the first place. Or I won’t use them because it’s a made up situation. You see, I never really stopped lying in a way. I used to tell other people made up situations, made up stories. Now it’s something I’ve created in my head, a story, a scene, really. A scene I wrote, starred in, and directed. A scene to make my life seem more interesting in my own head. A scene to placate my boring reality. Sometimes I’ll go entire days where I’ll live in those scenes. Act them out over and over again. Mostly in my car when I’m driving, I’ll rewrite them, I’ll act them out in my head, rewrite, act it out, no, not perfect yet. Another rewrite, act it out. Still not right. Another rewrite. Act it out. Perfect. Finally. Next scene.

Probably seems utterly insane to normal people but I’ve always wanted my life to be like a movie. So if I have to live two lives, one in reality, and one in my head where things are easier, more fun, and interesting then that’s what I’ll do. That’s what I have to do for my own sanity. Be honest in reality, lie to myself in my imagination. It’s my normal and that’s okay.