Tuesday, December 30, 2014

F You 2014

"Free at last, free at last... thank God almighty... I am free at last..."

At least that is what I assume I will be saying on New Year's Day. 

And yes.. it can't get here fast enough.

All together now...


Mamma Mia... it was terrible. I think I have sugar coated it enough for the masses. I am sooooooo glad it is closing out quite nicely. I have nothing but immense possibility!

I have spent the past four days incredibly sick. Worst. Stomach. Virus. Ever. I sort of isolated myself from friends and family and decided to just suffer through it. Here I sit, taking a lunch break at work, and waiting for the hours to past until I head out! Today is a good one, since I will be driving southward to visit my beau. We are staying at his cabin tonight and getting up and heading to his beach house in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow. 

Much needed. 

I want to decompress. I want to get away. I want to just be. 

My hope is to ring in the New Year with a new attitude and pray, for God's sake, that 2015 goes a little easier on me. 

I have nothing but possibility to ahead.

I wish each of you who actually read my blog a very Happy New Year! Next year... I'll share more. 

I promise. ;-)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Glad Tidings This Christmas Morn'

This Christmas morning, I would like to wish each and every one of you, regardless of whether you celebrate this holy holiday or not, a peaceful and joyous day!

This Christmas has been extremely therapeutic for me. I spent last night alone, by choice. Sure, I could have stayed at parent's home, or gone to my sister's home, or driven down to my guy's home, or even high tailed it with my roomie to visit with her family, but instead I chose to spend my very first Christmas Eve night alone. 

It was magical.

I enjoyed sipping iced tea (yeah, it's warmish here. I actually have the a/c on today.) I sat in a darkened living room with only the glow of the Christmas tree to light the way. ;-) I baked a wonderful cinnamon coffee cake, ate a few dill pickles, and watched a wonderful documentary called, "Maidentrip." Very inspiring movie, and I highly recommend it. 

 The movie sort of reawakened an idea that I believe I may have lost somewhere in the past few months. 

That idea? Do what you want... for they will criticize you anyway. 

I think, in this time I have sat alone, I have figured something out for myself. Something I have always held true, but sort of forgot along the way - I will never be happy until I learn to make myself happy. 

There are so many things I want to do, I want to experience, and I could care less about. I'm tired of trying to drink the koolaid and make things work so that I can get what I need. (Be it personal or professional.) I just want to do what is right, what is needed, and what I would like to see. 

With all of that being said, this Christmas I am making a commitment to myself to do more of what I need.  I will live according to the way I see fit, and honestly, who cares what anyone else thinks. 

Yes, I've always been this way.. but something got lost. I think I surrounded myself around people who are living for the limelight... and this.. this is definitely not what I want.   

For me, I want to make sure that people who genuinely want to be in my life know that they are extremely important to me. I want to make my small little world, that tiny bubble I live in, a beautiful and safe place for others to visit. Maybe I can keep my mind straight and just throw away all of the rest. 

What do you hope for this Christmas day? Not material things... but for your life?

I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Airing of the Grievances - Happy Festivus!

Set the scene:
Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way. 

Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll? 

Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born … a Festivus for the rest of us! 

Cosmo Kramer: That must've been some kind of doll. 

Frank Costanza: She was.

Finally, a holiday that works well with snarky remarks and glaring realism. The holiday of Festivus is upon us and I have soooooo much to share. 

1. I had such great hopes for 2014. I had a wonderful New Year's Eve, I forgave those who needed forgiving, I kept as positive an attitude as possible... but.... 

2. I had a cold throughout January and February. I was completely miserable and had massive fundraisers I had to work on at my old museum. I went through rounds of sinuses/cold/antibiotic and a variety of other meds. Finally it took a shot... in my bum.. that hurt like hell... to cure me. 

3. I had a wonderful birthday party in Savannah, only to be over shadowed by my boyfriend breaking up with me on my birthday. Awesome!

4. My job that I loved was cut to part time. Only to be completely eliminated. (after I worked sooo damn hard for sooo long.)

5. I had to scramble to find freelance work. (Humbling to say the least.

6. Unrequited love. 

7. Gym drop out.

8. Pottery failure.

9. Sick cat that has cost me a fortune.

10. Finally, the fact that I was told by a friend that most people think I am angry and they don't get my humor.

Uh.. yeah... wonder why? 

Happy Festivus! Anyone want to go at it now? ;-)

PS - Though now I am happily employed and in a very healthy relationship... 2014 can bite me. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Version of Sugar Plums...

Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Each year, I get a little giddy about the New Year. I've always been one that sort of relished change (if it was my own doing,) and anytime there is a opportunity for a fresh start, I typically get super excited about it. 

I've been toying with some ideas for 2015. I thought I might share some of them with you. But before I do, I happen to have a personal disclamier:

I, Nicole Thurston, realize that I make lots of plans that never come to fruition. However, if it is something I am passionate about, I will eventually get around to it. 

Now that we got that nonsense out of the way, I can focus on some ideas I have. For one, more writing. But not just any writing, something to be published, if nothing else for my eyes alone. I thought about pulling some of my drafts from here and developing some of the stories about life, love, and loss. I've spent the last year researching more ways to make a little money on my stories. For one, I'm writing for a local magazine, and was recently asked to write for a local newspaper. I'm making a little on the side there. I've been grant writing, but honestly, that is a slow type of hell that kills your soul. I subscribed to Poets & Writers last year and it is chock full of great ideas to submit essays and short stories. Who knows? Maybe I could win a buck or two. 

I finally took that pottery class this year, and yeah.. I'm glad that is out of my system. What I have come to realize is that I adore pottery, but it is a lot harder than it looks. Not my thing. However, how long have I toyed with a mix media idea or photography? Perhaps there will be an opportunity to find the perfect class for me. I've also wanted to take this two year course in photography since before 2000, and maybe... just maybe the opportunity may arise.

I need to move my body some more, and increase the healthy eating habits I have tried to adopt over the years. Though I have gotten better, I have a looooong way to go.

I'm glad I finally did the whole ballroom dance class. That turned out to be an excellent choice for me. Apparently dance is definitely where my talent lies... not with visual art. lol

I also need to work on my spirituality a little more. I have completely fallen off the wagon. I need to drawl closer to God. None of this is anything without that. 

I have a new relationship I want to grow and strengthen. I have an incredible guy who has chosen to spend his time with me. Sometimes I have to pinch myself, because it is going so well and he seems like a genuinely good man. So much incredible potential here. I want to see where this goes and do my best to be a great partner for him.

2015 is going to be full of surprises. Any year with the number 5 in it is always a lucky year for me - "5" is my lucky/favorite number. Three numbers in particular are always lucky for me: 5, 10, and 15. THIS is my year. I own that. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Looking for the Christmas Spirit

Roy L. Smith once said, "He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree." 

I'm ashamed to admit that the Christmas spirit has not completely entered my heart this year. 

Maybe it's all of the changes I had to endure for the 500th time, or maybe even trying to process all of the good I am experiencing now... I am just finding it incredibly difficult to get into the season this year.

I forced myself to put up a Christmas tree. Holidays are incredibly important to me, and I knew if I did not put one up, any shred of hope of even finding the Christmas spirit would be completely lost in 2014. 

Maybe it is because I might have gone to church twice this entire year. The girl who used to show up every Sunday for mass, and go to a weekly bible study, AND used to be a youth group leader, AND used to be in the Ladies Auxiliary for the Knights of Columbus has fallen off the band wagon. The church that once welcomed me with open arms does not seem as a friendly place once married and divorced twice. I'm Catholic. They don't play when it comes to keeping your promises to God.

Maybe I felt like the world sort of moved against me this year. Just when things were slowly coming together financially, as well as personally, the universe tossed me around a bit more and made me question my whole purpose... again. 

Maybe the lack of emotional support in my personal life did what I have been working so hard to avoid - make me feel nothing. Coldness.. and walls. 

Maybe I'm not so naive to believe everything works out in the end, and maybe.. just maybe.. the birth of Christ and all that it is associated with was not resonating the way it should. 

Last year, I felt it. I got it. Read it HERE.  But a lot can happen in a year.. a whole lot. I watched as everything I had built began to crumble... again. Then.. in grand happenstance, it turned right back around. As it always does. That little roller coaster called life.

I have so much to be grateful for, and please know I am. I just want that emotional connection to the season that I felt not too long ago.

Perhaps some how the Christmas spirit will sneak back in.. perhaps I will feel what I need to feel, and some day.. some way.. I'll get it.. like I did 12 months ago.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Starting Over

How often do you stop to reevaluate where you are going? 
I try to do a temperature check on my life from time to time, and writing helps me figure out where I am and where I want to go.

I never intended to move back home... ever. 

I often think my father sharing his stories of life overseas sort of opened my eyes to a whole big, wide world out there. I read a lot of books growing up. I watched a lot of movies and documentaries. I knew in high school, if given even half the chance I would move away, even to another country, just to live a new life. 

As soon as I got a chance to leave, I did. I loved it. I wasn't planning on staying there even, I wanted to keep going - that was part of the attraction to the egyptian. I wanted to be with someone not attached to any particular city, and was willing to go anywhere and just take a chance. 

But life had a sense of humor and brought me home. The trip has been an interesting transition. I found my life back into the very community I turned my back on. The funny thing, the folks who were here all along opened their arms up to me and welcomed me back. There were a bunch of new cast of characters, eager to make a name for themselves, which is always easy in a small pond. Try moving to a new state, a much bigger city and doing it? ;-) 

As I sat at a tea party last night and listened to the women go around the table introducing themselves, especially the ones who claimed to "love" our community, I noticed were not actually originally from our community. I, along with maybe one other, were the only true natives to Macon. I listened to chatter, the talk of progress, and it was refreshing. 

I am happy people have moved here and found their home. It's a good place to grow up. I know, I did it.

But I am I here for the long haul? Am I starting to itch to move on?

Obviously not any time soon (I have a fantastic new job and I want to accomplish some real goals there,) but what is next? 

I love that I have been able to live in several communities, or work in several communities and establish myself among the people who really make things happen. I could move back to Birmingham pick up right where I left off. I could move to Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile, Pensacola, Milledgeville.. any of these communities I spent a large amount of time in and just make things happen. But what else is out there for me?

I have an opportunity to grow many skills at my current job. I also have a wonderful opportunity to explore new communities down the road. I do have a new beau who lives near Columbus and Albany... which means there are always wonderful options to expand my network. 

There are ideas around exploring new areas of interests. My writing assignments from a freelance stand point keep growing. I want to continue to explore photography. I want to take some time and just be... me. 

I also want to watch my museum grow its membership, tell its story, and become a place that the next generation would like to support. 

I have some ideas... and I have a fresh start now.

As my guy and I were just discussing on the phone earlier, we are just in a "temporary" spaces. We are both rebuilding after divorce, and we have so much life ahead of us. 

Best part? It's all good. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Truth Is...

The truth is... I haven't felt like writing in months. Not really writing. I go through phases of wanting to share something that happened or something I was feeling.. then for some reason I talk myself out it. I begin a paragraph.. then shoot it to draft, never to see again. 

As I was walking up the stairs to my office this morning, I realized that I have not taken enough time for deep reflection. I'm sort of auto pilot, experiencing all of the good that God has blessed with me, yet not really soaking it in. I am incredibly lucky right now, in so many ways. However, I have let life, the hectic-ness of the world, and everything else stop me from truly taking stock of what is important. 

I find I'm tired. I always seem to be tired. I just can't get enough sleep. I assume it is because I am in the middle of a learning curve with my job, adjusting to a new relationship, and trying to re-sort what used to be. 

My life looks completely different than it did a month ago. All of the characters have begun to change - my roomie stays at her boyfriend's home more often than not, my co workers are an entirely new cast of characters, and I am getting to know a new partner and all of his family. No one's face is familiar, no one knows my weaknesses or strengths, and no one has a true connection with me..yet. It's coming, but that oh so famous transition... I'm right in the thick of it all.

Breathe. That's what I need to do more of. Just slow my breathing and slow my thought process.

I need to recognize when I have reached my brain limit. I am learning so many new things that sometimes I forget, I really can't do it all just perfect the first go around. 

I need to trust the process. I need to have faith everything is going to be okay.. and I need to embrace the good that has been brought into my life.

Soooo.. what's new with you?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lucky Girl

This year was NOT all sugar plums and fairy tales, but it was one of incredible faith, brief bouts of joy, and tremendous growth! Here we are just days away from Christmas and the New Year, and I am so grateful for how things turned out.

With that being said, enjoy my year in review video. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks

It's the most WONDERFUL time of year! 

Finally, December is here and I could not be happier! Though 2014 tried to stick it to me, it seems to be ending in grand style. 

Not only is it the month of gift giving and good cheer, it is also the month of Advent. In the Catholic Church, Advent is the time before Christmas where we prepare for the birth of Jesus. It is all about a new kind of hope and promises being kept. That's what I like about tradition - you know what to expect, and you typically keep your promises.

Unfortunately, I have not put up a Christmas tree yet, but I do believe this weekend may be the perfect time to do it. But first - I actually have to get one, and not only one for my house, but one for the Cannonball House. (It's like I have two households to attend to these days!) 

My Thanksgiving was really peaceful. I spent the afternoon with my family out at their house and indulged in all of the good stuff there. Brought my niece back home with me and had a fairly awesome time with her. The next day I went in to work, and then drove down to Preston, Georgia to see.. wait for it.. wait for it.. my boyfriend. I suppose I need to come up with a good nickname for him for the blog.. maybe in time it will reveal itself! 

We spent the weekend at a fishing cabin he and his father (and the rest of the family) built. It is situated on this picturesque little pond on their 400+ acre farm. Beautiful peace of land! We had such a relaxing weekend - we went Christmas tree shopping, saw the 3rd installation of the Hunger Games, and then had a very romantic evening in the cabin with candles, wine, the works. Life is looking pretty spectacular these days.

Work is good, personal life is good - so I guess my little pie chart of life is fairly full right now. I think I'm going to savor it... and enjoy this holiday season!


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