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Archive for the ‘reality’ Category

Lean In – Diane Von Furstenberg and Rachel Zoe

Rachel-Zoe-Diane-Von-Furstenberg-0908

I totally love Rachel Zoe and Diane Von Furstenberg. I live in Diane’s dresses and have similar taste to Rachel. I’m finally starting my own thing and almost done with graduate school. Hopefully, I can do it all as chic and wisely as these ladies.

Lent, Redemption and Paul Williams.

It’s that time of year when people give up Diet Coke for Jesus. Whatever floats your boat.

For me, Lent reminds me of giving unto others, the good that can come when you trust in the Lord and that everyone loves a good redemption story.

The other day me and B watched a documentary about the songwriter and actor Paul Williams. He was extremely famous and if you were a child of the 1970s (as B was) you knew exactly who Paul Williams was or is. Personally, I just like sappy songs from the back in the day. Give me a good B-side and some nostalgia and I’m good to go.

This is the trailer for the documentary.

Paul wrote all the songs. The famous ones that tug at your heart.

I cried when this song played. It reminded me of so many things that I don’t normally think about.

So, so famous. But I still don’t like Babs.

And then this one. Oh, Paul.

(Fun fact: this song was originally used in a bank commercial.)

The story of Paul is one you’ve heard before. He had everything. Money, fame, women and still wasn’t happy. Cocaine and booze didn’t work either. Paul has been sober for many years and is still out there entertaining fans.

The point of this post and tying it in to Lent is that I truly believe God forgives your sins. People ask me (because of my story) a lot about “when does it get better” and “when do you feel normal again.” It gets better when you forgive yourself. God is always on your side. God has already forgiven you. You have to let go and move on. You have to make the decision to take control of your life and move forward. You have to find the new path and the new life. You have to be okay with you.

Lent 2012 really brought this home to me. It really helped me move forward and be grateful for all the blessings that have been been given to me since I hit rock bottom on a Fat Tuesday night in 2009.

The last few scenes of the Paul Williams documentary make that point. Paul doesn’t look back. He keeps moving forward and is happier now than ever.

The documentary was very moving for me and B. It was so well made and really shows a profile of person you just don’t see every day.

In My Opinion – Priorities

I’m guilty of making fun of people who craft.
I’m guilty of eating to much butter and drinking to many cocktails. Then blaming my weight gain on my schedule when it was my own laziness and poor choices that got me there.
I’m guilty of snark.
I’m guilty of judging others life choices.
I’m guilty of jealousy. This only lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction of myself.

I’m guilty of a multitude of sins that are only negative and only hurt me in the long run.

I’m not perfect and I fall down everyday.

But I’ll tell you this. The minute I started putting holding myself accountable for my own stuff, being happy for others, and focusing on my health was the minute that everything started getting better.

It was the minute my priorities changed. And it was when I started to be able to deal with the stress of everyday life so much easier. And somehow I got all crafty. Weird.

My life choices are mine and your life choices are yours. Period. The end.

*I reserve the right to judge unmatched clothes on personal style blogs*

Lent, Gratitude

I already tweeted about this last week but today starts Lent and I haven’t posted in about two weeks. I’m adding something to my life this year rather than giving something up. I decided to specifically show gratitude or do something thoughtful for at least one person a day for the 40 days of Lent.

I have struggled with being grateful and happy which I’m sure you know. I struggle with this journey that I’m on and realizing that my time table is not other people’s time table or even Christ’s time table for me. I struggle with not reliving the past to much and playing the game of Why Me? I struggle with not comparing myself or being to hard on myself in general. I have to work really hard to keep Christ in my mind on a daily basis and not forget that I’m not alone. I NEVER WANT TO BE BITTER. Bitter makes you ugly inside and out and no one wants that to happen. I want to really move forward from the past with this process and not talk about it anymore except anecdotally and with fondness. Nothing more or less.

I’m trying to focus on the good, the positive and how Christ has saved me. He saved me by dying for me on the cross. He saved me three years a go when this journey started. He has given me strength to keep going and make the hard decisions. Things keep slowly but surely working out and I know its not necessarily because of me.

The Lent season has significance for me because I watched my Dad finally die during it and Ash Wednesday is my drug free anniversary. Lots of changes in this time seem to occur. Not sure why its like that or if it happens for others in that same way. On the positive I’ve now been drug free for three years and my alcoholic ways are behind me. I think this will be the last time I mention any of that on this blog as well. It took a lot to get here but I’m here.

I decided two nights a go I was going to get up yesterday and run 10 miles. My training for a half marathon is sporadic at best. But I ran those 10.5 miles very easily. I could have finished the rest of the half marathon if I wanted too. First, time I’ve run that distance in my life. I feel like running is changing me and for the better. Like I can see an even bigger picture than I could see before. Running is something I used to refuse to do years a go. I can’t was always the response. Now its I can and I’m actually fast when I want to be. I’m 33 and suddenly I’m an athlete of sorts.

I’m beyond grateful for this. I’m so grateful that I can run after last summer’s events and physical problems. I’m so grateful that its becoming easier. I’m grateful that my best thinking and planning comes when I’m running. I’m grateful that I’m achieving something that is personal and means something and that no one ever thought I would. I’m grateful that I can run 8:30 minute miles if I want too. That I can sprint at under an 8 minute mile pace. I’m grateful for what running has done for my mind.

I’m not some amazing runner nor do I want to enter races and place or whatever. I just want to be left alone on a treadmill with my headphones and my electronica music. Its the one time I want to be alone.

Running is something I’m personally grateful for. My first act of gratitude I actually did yesterday. My friend had asked me to make my macaroni and cheese for her family. I bought the ingredients and made it. Of course, there is enough for an army but who cares it fresh macaroni and cheese!

I’m not going to do 40 posts about gratitude. That would be weird. Just letting you know a little bit more about me and what I’m trying to work on during this significant time of year. AND how I’m really going to try to not speak about the past anymore. It’s done.

Slow Motion.

I have a lot going on and then I have nothing going on. I’m in a hold pattern of sorts. It’s kind of like getting one of those people movers at the airport. But then not walking. Just standing there and being slowly carried forward. Patience is not my strong suit so this is hard. Then not feeling like a massive failure is hard as well. I’m not a quitter and this year has been rough. AGAIN. But I have faith in the Lord and myself. I’ve made it this far so I will make it to the end.

Here is a couple of things that are in motion but slowly progressing.

I’ve lost 17 lbs. I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I’m now heading into the low part of my weight bracket for Weight Watchers. I was in the high part. I feel a lot better. I look better. I’m finally overcoming my food issues, addictions, and living the healthy lifestyle that I have wanted to for a very long time. My lifestyle is rather strict now. But decaf, non-fat, no whip mocha’s still make their appearances. I’m doing a lot better about not eating dairy. I don’t have an allergy but it makes me feel rather bad and messes with my insides something wicked so its best to just let it go. And the less I eat it, the less I crave it so that tells me something. I ate one bowl of my macaroni and cheese I posted earlier. The rest went to family. Anyway, I have 9 lbs to go. Slowly, but surely.

I almost never drink anymore. This is huge. Booze was such a big part of my life for so many years. Now I never even crave it. It just gives me a headache. So, peace out to booze too.

My creaky bones are getting so much better. This is huge. I ordered these custom shoe inserts thru my chiropractor after we discussed trying to get me where I wasn’t in his office every single week. The inserts make it possible for me to run again. I haven’t been able to run in over 2 years. The inserts help with my completely fallen arches. As you know everything in your body is connected. So with fallen arches, scoliosis, a hip problem I was born with it’s been rough and it is getting better.

I read a lot of running blogs and would just sit there feeling bad about myself and jealous. I truly believe the saying “running is better than therapy”. Being able to get that endorphin rush again really does it for me. It makes me happy and I feel like I have accomplished something and am getting healthier by the day. I have to do yoga and exercise from the chiro almost everyday. It keeps everything stretched and also works on strength. My hip is such a problem and the sun salutes help so much. This is a continuing process. And once again, slowly but surely. (Being a turtle is annoying.)

I’m finishing my first semester of B-school. I’m so ready for it to be over. Actually I’m ready for the whole thing to be over. I want my piece of paper. Many of my fellow students feel the same way. Just a means to an end.

I have to go back to work full time. I’m working on a couple of options. I interviewed with a company that I told, hell no. No idea why I even applied. But I’m in the process with two different options but I don’t want to jinx anything. And once again, slowly but surely…,

Gah, patience is a bitch. It’s my lifelong lesson to learn. But it will work out. I will achieve my goals.

I just feel so close and yet so, so far.

Early 30′s Female Quandries that you have already heard

My friend came to pick me up yesterday to go the doctor because I am still in to much pain to drive. Very grateful for that. On the ride home she looks at me and says, “I can’t take it anymore. Every time I see a baby I flip out.”

I tried to turn my head, but had stay looking forward. “Why, R? You don’t actually flip out, right?”

“No, I don’t actually flip out. But I want a family. I want kids. I am tired of being single. How many more weddings do I have to to go to where I wonder why is she with him? How many more baby showers do I have to go too?”

My friend is the typical, pretty, successful, homeowner, Mercedes-driving 32 year old that has put her entire effort into her job and her church. She has dated A LOT of people. Had the opportunity to marry one or two of them. She definitely has a bit of a Cinderella complex. This situation is nothing new. I think what makes it worse for R is that she could give 27 Dresses a run for its money.

I said, “Well, if you want to get married you can get married. But think of it this way plenty of these people are not going to last. You saved yourself a starter marriage.”

She laughed.

I mean, no one wants a starter marriage. I certainly did not.

R has met my boyfriend. I told her what our other friend said about him when she saw him on the news.

“He looks and talks just like your Dad. It’s uncanny.”

Um, ok. That creeps me out.

But I have a response. My dad was a wonderful person and if I am lucky enough to marry a man who is similar to him the next time.
If I have daddy issues now so be it.

I repeated all of the to R and she laughed. R has a bit of a Christian complex. Lots of regrets about the past that she won’t let go of so now she dates 40 year old virgins who drink Shirley Temple’s. That is not healthy either.

“R, just get a guy with decent job, loves God and his mom, will have a few cocktails and is not a 40 year old virgin. That is NOT HARD TO FIND.”

True, Leslie. Very true.

It’s hard for me as well. As I watch all my friends have babies, I have had to take the view of these are my nieces. I get to buy them Tiffany banks and Madame Alexander dolls. And one day, when they are fully potty trained, I will be more than happy to babysit them. I just think you have to find a way to make these situations your own. They are not ideal, but I have bigger things to deal with like my hated job than worry about the fact that I don’t have the kids I want. Lord, what if I did have a kid and I was single. Yuck. Not for me. Total nightmare. And that is when I am reminded that things could be so much worse.

Patience is a virtue that R and myself have to pray for on a daily basis.

And for me being grateful for what I do have. Finding a way to ALWAYS AND CONTINUALLY move forward.

It’s so hard to not compare yourself and feel jealous of what others have. To not wonder, why is that not me, what have I done woring? Frustrating is the least of it. Seeing the facts and not being negatives.

My bff told me awhile back when I was crying to her about something (who knows what) “but Leslie, no matter what has happened you have always pushed forward and made the best of it.” It was nice to hear someone give me a bit of validation. I am grateful for her support.

And things change within the blink of an eye. My bff is married with a baby in under a year. All her dreams came true.

I said that to R. She said I know.

And then I hobbled into my condo building under my ridiculous Louis Vuitton umbrella.

Changes in my family. It just keeps coming.

I think my mother is going to get remarried. I want her to be happy. She deserves it. No one needs to spend the rest of their life alone. After all she is only 55 years old. She could live another 30 years if not more. Might as well get laid.

My mother is special though. She was only with one person in her entire life. My father. They were together from 15 and 17 respectively. Till the day he died. When he died she thought about suicide. She was not sure she could go on. Almost 2 years to the day of his death she was diagnosed with a tumor that filled most of her abdomen. A neuroendocrine tumor. This usually means “you have cancer” and “you are going to die.” But after 10 hours of surgery, 10 days in the hospital and 2 samples sent to the Mayo Clinic the 12+ pound tumor was ruled benign. She felt that there was a reason for her to go on. So my pretty, little, petite Mom decided to get on with life.

It went like this. My sister signed her up for eHarmony. Mom went on some dates and corresponded with some people. Only one seemed to take. It seems he is in love with her. She says she cares a lot for him. I feel that there is more to it. I feel that she probably loves him too. They are in Indiana now meeting his family. On Thursday she is taking him to North Carolina to meet her parents. Her father was my father’s best friend. The guy is coming to Thanksgiving. I have never met him. My sister has. I have no feeling about him except that I am glad he has a good job. I trust my mother’s judgement.

Here are my feelings. And I don’t want you to think I am being selfish or don’t want my mother to be happy because that is not it at all. I feel like my family is breaking apart and I am completely alone. That is a bit dramatic. It was drilled into my head since childhood that it was the 4 of us and we were all that mattered. Always protect the family. Always pick up the phone and return phone calls. Anything that you do effects the rest of us.

I spent years working with my Mom. Trying to keep it all together. Make sure we stayed together and helped take care of everything when Daddy died. She doesn’t pick up the phone or return text messages. She is totally MIA. She veered from the plan. And that is her prerogative. I just have not bought into it yet.

It was pointed out to me recently that I rely to much on my Mom. In some regards I agree. But as you can see from above it does come from somewhere. My response was to get defensive and spew out “I’ve done x, y and z. No one else my age can say that. I am not a child! I have taken care of a home and run a company!” But you look to your mother for all of your validation was the retort. You need to grow up and realize you are on your own. This all hard to take for someone who prides oneself on taking on challenges and meeting all goals. And realizing I really am alone. That it is not the same anymore. That she, my Mom, has moved on.

I guess my current lesson is that my family is my family and I love them. But it is just not the same. That we are not the unit we were in the past. I probably need to get a bit of therapy and deal with my sense of loss and abandonment I feel from my Father’s death and my subsequent divorce. And now these latest changes. I am sure I just need some times to get used to it. I mean who else will plan the wedding. ;)

What I Have Been Up To

* Starting to close down my family’s business. My mom does not want to do it any more. Would prefer to take her money and do something else

* Picking a new career

* Work, work, work

* The pool

* Looking for a job

* Picking and moving to a new city

* Going Out

* Getting over a total pathological liar, douchebag

* Directing day laborers where to put the material because the installer did not show

* Dealing with crazy people

* Buying hot rollers

* Going up, down and around Stone Mountain on Sunday mornings WAY EARLY

* Having the most fun I have had in years

And I can not tell you how good it was to be told that I did not seem bitter, I look better than ever and that they could see the love in my eyes.

Because it is true. I believe in true love still.

21 Positives about Me

My friend made me write down 21 positives about myself today. She made me due this because I have had a not great day and her friend did this to her when she broke off her engagement a few years ago. Some of these she wrote down because I just could not think up enough.

Some of these are totally superficial and some are serious.

Here we go.

1. I can cook.

2. I am resilient.

3. I am creative.

4. Great at crisis management.

5. Good communicator.

6. I am a loyal friend.

7. I throw GREAT parties.

8. I am funny.

9. I have a great laugh.

10. I am TOTALLY HOT! (She wrote that one.)

11. I give back to society.

12. I have beautiful eyes.

13. I am great kisser.

14. I have options.

15. I see things through.

16. I am intelligent.

17. I am socially capable.

18. I am healthy.

19. I have good hair.

20. I am adventurous.

21. I have good taste. (clothes, art, food, locatios, music, furniture, friends, books.)

J. felt I should go ahead and put the list up online and carry it around with me. She said it will help get me over “being a broken record.” I can see that. Gotta push forward.

I have some ideas and am hatching new plans. I guess, this is where this blog is going. You are getting to watch someone restart their life. No weddings, no babies.

Just press restart.

Doors Closing

There is another huge change happening in my life. Really puts a dead stop on things. Not really sure what to make of it. I just know that it is another curve ball. One of many.

It is very hard to express how I feel about all of this. Especially on a blog that was only supposed to be FUN.

Thinking I need to reassess what I want out of life.

Now there will be no one asking anything of me. No over commitment. No whining. It will all be over.

And I am ok with that.

But here I am starting over again.

At 31.

I went to see my Dad at the cemetary last week. To “make sure it was all ok”. It seems like it is. I think he would say I am doing the right thing.

But it is weird and hard and unbelievable all at the same time.

My Dad used to say “Leslie, make sure you live a life less ordinary. Don’t pick normal.” I guess, for the most part I have.

I am scared because my puzzle keeps having more pieces to put together.

But I guess the quote is true about life is 80% showing up. That is all I can do in the end.

I want to curse, but I quit. :)