Friday, September 30, 2011

Things I Have Learned This Week

It's time for me to recount the things I have learned this week.

1. I am resilient. I have always said it, but now I TRULY know it. Give me 24 hours, and I can shake just about anything off.

2. I gave Birmingham a good try. I worked hard. I played hard. I met some amazing people. I have a fabulous apartment. It is what it is. Thanks for the good times.

3. Making really big decisions does not come easily to me. But once I figure out what I want to do, I make a plan, and I do it.

4. I have an amazing support system waiting for me back home. Friends, family, and familiar places. Who says I can't go home?

5. This is just another stop on this journey of life. I know 100% this is not where I am settling, it's just shelter from the storm.

6. I will wait for this unemployment storm to pass, weather out the hard times, and move forward. There is a reason for all of this, and I am excited to see what's on the other side of this door.

7. I have a good support system here in Birmingham. Several people have offered up an extra bed if I want to come back and start again. That was very nice of them.

8. That living with an obsessively organized person has made it super easy to pack. This may be exactly what I needed to learn from him.

9. That I do love my egyptian, no matter what. I do. I hope we can reconcile. But, I am prepared to accept the consequences of my actions.

10. I am going into "protect and care for me" mode. It's a nice feeling.

11. It warms my heart to know that my best friend from home and my father will be here to stand by my side when all of this moving goes down.

12. I confirmed the movers. I confirmed the Uhaul pick up. I am having a "going away" party. I have something planned every single day until I leave. I think I have enough boxes. I guess that's it!

13. I found a $75 gift certificate to Ross Bridge's spa (my Zumba instructor gave me for my birthday.) I need to schedule a service! I think a massage might be needed!

14. I need to stop by Aveda and stock up on my products. Not sure what is available back home.

15. This is silly - but I get to go to my old gyno. I totally preferred him!

16. Looking at all of my stuff in boxes, I have more than enough.

17. I am so proud of the community I have built - right here on my little blog. I truly love you guys, is that silly? Is that pathetic?

18. Coffee is totally sustaining me through these hard times.

19. That God is truly guiding my steps, and I am trusting 'HIM' in this entire journey.

20. This too shall pass.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Suitcase = Dresser Drawer

I am getting very creative in coming up with ways to house my clothing while I live on some one's couch. My parent's home is over flowing, unfortunately, so there is very little room at the inn.

My sister and her daughter are living in one room, the other room is literally packed to the ceiling with junk, and then there is my parent's room. Granted my mom has been retired since January, she has yet to actually accomplish cleaning out the 3rd bedroom. It is an unofficial storage room.

I get a couch. Yep. With NO storage, NO closet, and very little privacy. Fine, I am grateful for a spot to lay my head at night. But I will have to live my life, and unfortunately, there is no room for me. I am trying to decide what to take with me, and what to store. I am clothes & product whore freak, so I need my things.

For one thing, I have several suitcases, because I used to travel quite a bit - road trips, etc. So I am using my small "carry on" bag as my new underwear drawer. Seriously! My "divider" I use in my "pantie drawer" fits perfectly inside the suitcase, in turn, it will work as my underwear drawer. I suppose I can stack my suitcases on top of each other, and fold my clothes accordingly. I need to check on the price of a clothing/rolling rack. Perhaps they could carve a little space SOMEWHERE for me to hang my "more expensive" dresses. Then there is the issue of shoes. I am thinking I need to invest in one big basket, and just dump them in that, and put them - somewhere.

As for my "beauty" products - I am think I will use my little three drawer/plastic thingy that rolls, and put it next to the door to the bathroom. I can store all of my hair stuff/and other essentials in it. THEN - bring my over toilet cabinet and use it over their guest toilet. *sigh*

I do have a couple of books I want to bring with me - that raises another question. How? Where?
I suppose, I could put some of the stuff in storage, and come back and figure out what I can use.

The difference with the family and me - I am waaaay more organized. Not perfect, but I do like some order. There is a 5 year old. Which equals curious little hands....

Lord have mercy.

Temporary. Right?

Not to mention how BAD my back is going to feel on a couch. Oh lord...

I can do this.

It's temporary.

It's temporary.

It's temporary.

Just until I can get some more savings and another GREAT job. 

As for my personal life.. sheesh... who has time to worry about that?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

:-(

Sooo..

I hired the movers. I will confirm their time tomorrow.

I rented a Uhaul. I will confirm the pick up time tomorrow.

I bought more packing tape.

And chocolate.

Storage unit reserved.

Final Coffee Talk with a dear friend on Monday.

Lunch with my Zumba instructor on Tuesday.

Goodbye dinner with my closest BHAM friends Tuesday night.

My dad and my best friend are driving up Wednesday night.

Hopefully will be in Macon by 4pm on Thursday.

*sigh*

The egyptian is not coming.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Strange Things are afoot

Unfortunately, I have to make a very big decision. One that will change the course of everything.

I don't typically request something like this - but I need your prayers. Prayers for me to make the right decision.

Thank you,

Nicole

Nicole's Choice

I wanted to share just a few more movies with you. As you know, I have been watching quite a few movies on Netflix during my 2 months of unemployment. My less imaginative and adventurous friends always complain about there being nothing on Netflix. Or that they have seen them all.

Au contraire.

I want to list about 20, if you will indulge me, of some I enjoyed. I think you will like them. If I can find a trailer, I will add it.

Now... let's get down to business...

Some randoms, you can find on Instant Play, to enjoy!

(No particular order)

1. It's almost October.. looking for a Horror film? I ACTUALLY enjoyed this one  - Day of the Dead.


2. I also enjoyed (sort of post apocalyptic) Carriers.


3. Boot Camp. Now, this one is sort of cheesy, but it's important to understand the premise. It is based around the controversial 'tough love' boot camps for kids. Put in that perspective.... kind of interesting. Something I might like to write about some time...


4. On The Outs - Fascinating movie about life in a rough neighborhood. I really enjoyed this one. I highly recommend it.


5. Far From Heaven - a GREAT movie based on the 1950s and the secret lives and social norms of that time. Really good stuff.


6. Beneath the Dark - Okay.. another low budget, but surprisingly good.


7. Dirty Filthy Love - I could not find a movie trailer to embed for this one, but it is a British film that is about OCD (but it's more of a dark comedy.) EXCELLENT movie. HIGHLY recommend it. Here is a link to see the trailer.

8. Entre Nos - is a movie that will break your heart and help you understand the immigration issue a little better. It is a foreign film (subtitles) - you MUST see. Brilliant.


9. Empire - Another good one. Deals with money and drug dealers.. and how it works. Good story.. moves fast.. loved it.


10. Jaffa - Israeli movie - EXCELLENT. In english subtitles - deals with the mix of cultures.. "Coming of Age" and the issues between Arabs and Jews. Excellent.



11. Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi - Great Israeli movie.. another coming of age, and FABULOUS story line. In english subtitles.. Hilarious in some parts.


12. Slam - WOW. Beautiful prose... amazing story line... Moving.. A must see.


13. The Experiment - Looking for something a little "off wall" - THIS is the psychological thriller for you!


14. Eye for an Eye - Every parent's worst nightmare, but very interesting.


15. Beyond Borders - yes, it's a little more mainstream - but oh soooo good.
If you have a passion for human rights and a passion for travel - THIS IS THE MOVIE FOR YOU.


16. Dangerous Beauty - Take a raunchy historical romance novel, jazz it up, and BOOM - you have yourself an excellent movie!


17. Children of Invention - AMAZING movie. It is something that scares me for immigrants.. how they get taken advantage of.. and well.. you will see.


18. Mugbe and The White African - OMG. The best documentary I have ever seen. It will break your heart and shake your core. WATCH IT>


19. 50 Dead Men Walking - Amazing movie that shows the whole I.R.A. situation. It's heart breaking and based on a true story.


20. Loss of the Teardrop Diamond - Based on the legendary Tennesse Williams play, this is an excellent story. Good look into old money in the South.
You will love it!


If you watch one - tell me what you think!

Busy as a Bee

I woke up this morning, well rested - but groggy. I took a Percagesic (sp) last night to help me sleep. It's just an OTC pain reliever, but it does make me sleepy. I slept beautifully! Second night in the row with some very vivid dreams.

I realized, as I sat here with my morning coffee (eyes still blurry, so I warn, the typing may be a little bad,) thinking of everything I have to do this week. Then the list started getting bigger and bigger.

For one thing, tonight is the interview. Okay.. I'll tell you where it is - it's at Macy's. Yep. But it's in the cosmetic department for one of their counters. I'm not sure which one. I did do a stint with Clinique when I first moved to Birmingham, while I waited for a job in my field. This could be another stint. I actually enjoy doing make overs on people, and I enjoy cosmetics. It's fun. It's creative, and honestly, I'm pretty good at it. No - the money is no where near what I used to make, but it might be enough to make ends meet, just no more fancy smancy dinners/traveling/clothes etc.

Hey, I always said I would never be too proud to do something else. I'm not. I figured, if I do get this little job, then I need to concentrate on my writing. Like - for real - writing. I need to get serious and work on something big. I need to brain storm what that is, and how that works.. but hell, who am I kidding? It's time to do SOMETHING.

Since I have moved to Birmingham, I had joined a writing group, I have met a publisher and an editor, and I know most of the people in the magazine scene here. Not to forget, Southern Progress is based here. Don't know how they are? Ever read Southern Living? Coastal Living? Magazines like that? Yep.

*sigh*

I can do this.

Also this week... procrastination has caused another issue for me. I have to go downtown and get my car tag. DMV blech. Makes me sad to stand in line for a couple of hours. I'm not joking... it takes forever. I think I will go tomorrow. Here, your tag is issued according to your last name. My maiden name starts with a T, so... September it is.

Another thing, this Saturday should be super busy. I want to visit Fiesta, it's a LARGE event celebrating Latino culture. One of my friends here in town is the organizer of the event, sooo.. I need to stop by there. Also, the office manager at my former blood sucking employer is retiring. She is having her retirement party this Saturday. Guess it's time to face the music. But I want to see her. She was a wonderful person... I just hope I don't run into too many people I don't want to see. Luckily, I believe my friend (who has also left the AHA) will be attending. She and I need to coordinate!

Still no word on the Macon job. To be honest, I find it odd. They called me back so fast once they got my resume. I went to a very long interview. They called me back almost immediately, and I had another interview. I even got word it went really well and they really liked me. But crickets ever since. WTH? It's just odd. Not even a "we went in a different direction" stock letter or email. I spent a lot of money traveling back and forth.. so I am disappointed I have not heard anything. Honestly, though it would require uprooting the egyptian and I, the position would be great for me.

Here we go into another week! I hope every one has a great one..

One more thing...

In the spirit of Nicole's Choice.. I have watched a few movies you might be interested in:

1. Student Services. This is a french film, and it's very "dark" in nature. Do not watch this one when the kiddos are around. It's quite sad, it exposes the dark side of affording an education. Apparently in France 45,000 students will resort to prostitution of some kind to pay for school per year.



2. Ballet Shoes. This one is for the kiddos, and I watched it. Was very sweet. I actually read the book when I was very young. It was cute to see it come to life.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good Memories

I read a quote today that asked the question, "What if you woke up with only the things you thanked God for yesterday." Wow.

That sort of put things into perspective.

I thought for fun ( really more so for my family and I ) - I would share a few good memories here.

I created a slide show of some good times... something for me to refer to, when times get a little crazy..


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Surprise

This morning when I woke up, I was unaware that the day would turn into a surprise road trip. Nothing too crazy, just a simple day trip up to Cullman, Alabama with my friend Shannon.

But that's what happened! I hope you enjoy the "snap shots" of our day!

Shannon picked me up in her Jeep - Top off - and through the North Central Alabama countryside we went!























Things I Have Learned This Week

You thought I forgot? Yeah... I actually did. I have been so caught up in my personal funk of a crisis - between interviews and traveling and stressing, who has time to analyze their week?

Well... starting now.. I'm back.

Okay, without any further ado...

Things I have learned this week:

1. Yeah, I like big books. I feel like a smarty pants when I read them.

2. I don't trust anyone. EEk - I know... or maybe I should say, I will keep people at arm's distance. Yeah... that's better.

3. My love of God is strengthening during this trial in my life.

4. That if you drink Pumpkin Spice latte, and eat ice cream, and don't exercise - you WILL gain weight.

5. I am a natural promoter.

6. I could live off potatoes.

7. I can breathe better now, knowing I have a final plan - if my whole world falls apart, I found at least 3 places to reside until I get back on my feet.

8. Burt's Bee's Chap Stick called Red Dahlia is beautiful. Even on days I don't put make up on, it makes me feel better.

9. That being unemployed sucks. Sucks soooo bad. Sick of the emotional roller coaster. So sick of it that I am refusing to give into the BS anymore.

10. I should not be allowed to grocery shop when stressed out.

11. Giving the egyptian space is the best thing right now for our marriage.

12. Many of my friends really do care about, and that's nice.

13. That a 100$ gift card to Walmart (though I hate the place) - from Mom (thanks) - goes really fast.

14. That laundry detergent and other major cleaning aids like that are entirely over priced. (Never noticed until I became broke.) ;-)

15. That the book - "Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Your Marriage" - is a book most couples (regardless of what you believe) should read.

16. That the sounds that husband makes in the living room or kitchen, while I am trying to sleep - drive me crazy. But somehow, the tv on and the fan on in the bedroom soothes me right to sleep.

17. This pearl nail polish on my nails looks ridiculous

18. That maybe I should not have asked my hair stylist to cut my bangs this short. They are just not laying right... (swoopy bangs)

19. I need new shoes.

20. IT'S FALL - AND THAT MEANS MY MOOD WILL BE BETTER!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tranquility

I am popping back by my blog, because something wonderful is taking place.

I think I found my balance ~ finally.

You know how they say, you have to hit bottom in order to rise even further? Well, last night, yet another great fear enveloped me. After facing that fear head on, I tell you this today - some miracles have taken place.

No, I am not employed. But other great things are happening.

I have found a bit of inspiration. I spent the morning answering emails, FB messages and the like. Nothing life changing there. But I did come across a wonderful article that reminded me of all of the good stuff that is in store on this first day of Fall. It was titled, "Nine Reasons to Love a Healthy Fall." I don't know what it was about this little list, but it sort of put things in perspective.

Following that, I was blessed to watch such an adorable video. Don't laugh - it was a BBC montage of baby animals in the wild. I can't help it, it melted my heart. I watched it several times. Sort of put me in a good mood.

Then I went on to watch a quick movie. One of the suggestions was some little "unknown" called "The Encounter." It was low budget, but the message, phenomenal. Only an hour and a half, and I recommend, if you need a little inspiration, give it a go.




If you have read "The Shack," it might remind you a little of that "chance encounter."

After that really sweet movie, I obviously was drawn to reading more of my book, "Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Your Marriage," and again got amazing advice.

Then, following lunch, I decided to lay in my sun room with the fan on, grab my little eye mask, and listen to a beautiful meditation on one of my Itunes podcast.

Can I just say it?

Miracle cure - all of the above.

I'm in a better place, and I thought I should share that. Or document it for myself. Or whatever.

Need a fix? Try that combo and see how you feel!

Re~ Organizing My Brain

Late last night, I got really excited (or maybe I should say hopeful) over a few new job listings on Career builder. Several Marketing/Promotions, or Marketing/Communications positions have recently popped up. One or two at some really interesting places. THAT's something, right?

It's Friday, and like the thunder and rain that washed away all of the yuck of the world, I feel like some of my anxiety went with it down the gutters of Birmingham. I am going to embrace my weekend, and try my best to keep the negative at bay. Which means - I may or may not engage in conversation. ;-)

I am not sure if I mentioned, but I am reading a new book and I have to say, it is helping - A LOT. It's called, "Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Your Marriage" by Lee Strobel. He's the guy that wrote "The Case for Christ." Basically he is a journalist/atheist that turned author/Christian. Great writer, excellent story teller, and this book in particular is fascinating. It's not awash with too much Christian Propaganda, but straight forward, and insightful. I plan to share with you guys what I have learned. I think at the root of what is happening in my home goes back to our different social norms. Cultural clashes if you will. The biggest clash of all - our religious "rules."

Something else I plan to do - Homemade Blueberry Cobbler. Yes, I keep baking stuff. It's what I do when I am stressed. Oh how I pine for the days when women were worshiped for their full figures. hahahaa..

Coffee is done. My eyes are only 1/2 open... and it's time to move on.

Have a beautiful day. I'll try to lay low, and rebuild!

Refined

Polished - that's how I am beginning to feel.
 ;-)  I had a really big disappointment,  and one answer left to go. But by the sound of crickets, I am beginning to lose hope on that one also.

Moving on.

If all I have is the possibility of something completely different, for waaaaaaaaay less money and clout, then so be it. I suppose I should concentrate on something I want to do. REALLY want to do....


Like....

Write.

Okay. Now what? I need a plan. Perhaps I was meant to just write for me. Not for a corporation or a news services, maybe just sharing my ideas.

But how does that work... and how do I get started?

I am also interested in Photography. Perhaps I could develop that more. Maybe my dear friend, Laura, will allow me to "apprentice" with her - and she could teach me a thing or two. I could build a portfolio and move the hell on.

Or.... I could FINALLY take that Life Coaching certification class I have always been fascinated with. (I know, yeah right... what is this LOSER going to do with THAT?!) But that's just it! I could learn everything I need to know, in order to strategize MY life, and in turn, share that with others. Maybe through my blog - OR WRITING - or whatever. In the meantime...

Make some money and pay some bills.

Okay.. okay.. kind of like the starving artist thing. I GOT IT.

See? Resilience strikes again. Not to mention, this is what a person with too many thoughts does when she is bored and wide awake - I think and I write. I write, while I think. It's a dangerous combination. Good thing I don't drink anymore. You guys would be in for one hell of a ride!

Okay... now.. now...

I need to check out some books from the library, figure out what's next, and just accept the fact that health insurance and a decent income is a thing of the past. Fine.

It was good while it lasted.

It's just math, right?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tic Toc.. Tic Toc... still no word.

I'm okay.... today. A little tired.

I stayed up fairly late, completely by accident. I went to bed, originally around 12:30am, then re awoke at 2am... and stayed up until 3:30am.

Only to awake to the sound of my phone vibrating around 7:30am. (Eh hem,... Tamika. ;-) )

Luckily she did call, my alarm did not go off, and I had to meet a friend for coffee!
Coffee talk for almost 3 hours, followed by grocery shopping... and home.

I am exhausted. It's 5pm. No calls. No nothing.

That's okay, I have a back up interview Monday morning, right? If that doesn't work.. I guess start making plans to move.

Yep.

Where?

Dunno.

When?

Dunno.

It's okay. I'm just trying to take care of me. :-)

Hope you are taking care of you..

Now to nap...
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I wonder...

I wonder... what October holds. September is always my worst month of any given year, no big surprise, nothing has happened for me. Can you believe I have been unemployed since July 29th?? That's almost two months. 60 days. 8 weeks.. WOW. WTH?

I think I need to find one of these fortune tellers and ask the age old question - "What's in my future?" Will it be a job here in Birmingham? Building my life with my new friends, and various opportunities...

Will I head home - surrounding myself with all of my old friends and family?

Will I patch things up with my significant other, or will he take flight?

Will I pull myself out of the financial hole that is looming around the corner (so far, so good... believe it or not.)

What's up?

The truth of the matter is, it's not for me to know yet. Simple as that.
For the absolute first time in my entire life, I have truly turned it over to God. Sure, I feel some little twinge of anxiety... but like all massive transitional times in my life, there is a glorious adventure right around the corner.

As for my personal life - it is what it is. I actually got some of the best advice this weekend, while driving out to the country, my friend said to me, "You are giving the whole situation too much energy. You need to take care of YOU." She's not the first one to tell me that, I do need to take care of me.

I have wasted almost two months. I could have been cultivating my spirit, instead I sort of did it 1/2 a$$.. which I am notorious of. One day I am focused and ready to roll, the next day - I sort of fizzle out.



I think I put so much effort into the job search and booking interviews within the first month, now I am just riding out the wave of contact. God willing, I get SOME sort of answer... and soon.

September Saturday Surprise

Manicures at Ladie's Day Out at Hoover Public Library
Fashion conversation
Morgan Creek Vineyard
Lots and Lots of Grapes... it smelled delicious...

Having a little picnic at the Vineyard...
Does it get more picnic-y? BBQ sandwich, Sweet tea, baked beans and a cookie!

video














Where the wine is.. well.. wined.. ;-)


A Lucy Look-A -Like contest!






Tragic City Rollers  - Birmingham's Roller Derby - was BAD A$$


I need to come up with a Roller Derby name!!

video




My Tragic City Stamp!


Half Time Show...

video


These girls were tough!!

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