I’m back, and I have big things to tell! In summary, I’m a bourbon-drinking, black-cat-owning, downtown Dayton dweller with a brand new “Little Sister.”
By “back” I don’t mean back to blogging – I don’t want to be one of the many bloggers who starts every post with, “Sorry I haven’t been blogging much lately …”
I’m not sorry. Sometimes I don’t like blogging. I went through a rough time from approximately February 2014 until November … OK, December. I also moved my whole life from London to Dayton, which I thought would be super easy but was in fact quite difficult (emotionally, not logistically – I don’t have possessions.)
No possessions? No religion, too? Oh wait, John Lennon wasn’t describing me …
I’m back in the sense that I finally feel like myself again and I’m really happy with how everything in my life is going. For such a long time I was so stressed about a relationship that I became a person I didn’t even recognize – or like. I am the kind of person who is easily excited by little things, and I was no longer excited by anything for the better part of last year. I stopped feeling anything and I thought I was broken, which sounds very dramatic like Bella on Twilight.
Recently I was looking for a dentist that would be covered by my insurance and found Kim Dong-Il. Last year I wouldn’t have even smiled. But in 2015 I’m pretty much back to being the teenage boy I’ve always proudly been and giggled about it all day. Life is good now! Everything is funny again. I sometimes feel a little sad thinking about last year, but I’d say I’m 95% normal again.
I’ve also been having all kinds of fun exploring bourbon, which turns out is the PERFECT DRINK. No more breaking of seals and having to pee all night, it’s the best alcohol I’ve ever tasted, and you can sip it and not get drunk! I live near an awesome bourbon bar and I’ve learned so much in the past couple months. I’ve tried more than 40 (!) so far, and what I can say definitively is that Maker’s Mark is so average and a little sweet, but Booker’s is where it’s at. I sometimes describe Booker’s as a punch in the face. It will make your lip go numb. But it’s sooo goood. Here’s a picture from the bar’s site, but actually the picture doesn’t do it justice because you feel like you’re back in time in there. They play old-fashioned music and all the tables are bourbon barrels.
This summer I’m going on the bourbon trail in Kentucky! Last year I tried Scotch in Scotland, but I didn’t really know what was happening. In any case, I’ve tried a few and honestly I like bourbon a lot more. I can’t wait for this trip.
Since I last posted I got a wonderful job … back in November, so it’s been a while! I still miss my last job, but I got very lucky in Dayton. I have a big office all to myself, I’m the only person on my team AND it’s in healthcare, which I wanted!
As soon as I moved to Dayton I applied to be in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and last month I got a Little Sister! I don’t want to say anything about her specifically out of respect for her privacy, but it’s such a wonderful program and I feel like I’m making a difference to her and the community. We hang out on weekends, go to the gym, have dinner, play video games, and just be friends. She’s had a pretty tough life without many people to count on so she’s always super excited when I actually show up on time, every time.
I also adopted two black cats that I named Samantha Jones and Alan. Black cats have a hard time getting adopted because people think they are unlucky, but they have so much love to give! It was the saddest thing going through the shelters and seeing loads of black cats.
Alan is 8 years old. In addition to people not wanting black cats, they also want kittens or very young cats so the older ones have a rough time finding a home. Alan has more love in him than any cat I’ve ever met, and I figured even if I have him for only a few years, that’s a few years of love for us both! He basically jumped into my arms at the shelter and demanded to be held like a baby. <3
He loves to cuddle at night and loves being on his back and having his belly rubbed. His love has no boundaries – he loves everyone he meets and he gets along beautifully with other cats. He’s a model citizen!
Thus, I am thinking about applying for us to be a pet therapy team. Mostly I think it’s dogs because they’re easily trained and cats are … well, you know. But Alan is close to perfect and I think it would be so nice to take him to nursing homes so he can love on all the old people while I have a chat with them! Working with older people is something I’ve always wanted to do because I love them, but also I didn’t realize how depressing loneliness can be until I was all alone in London last summer. It was one of the hardest things to spend so much time alone, and I LIKE my alone time. I love “me” dates!! Kenny Chesney sing-a-longs can only happen when you’re alone!
But when all you have are me dates … not so fun. For the first time in my life, even Kenny’s music couldn’t make me happy.
Normally I easily meet lots of people, but London is a place where you can easily find yourself with no one. I had close friends that I loved, who loved me, and were incredibly kind to me, but I was a FRIEND. I wasn’t anyone’s significant other or family member, so that meant I spent a lot of time alone.
I am glad all of this happened though, because it gave me perspective into my own life and those of others. I was in a temporary lonely situation, and even though I knew it was temporary it was so awful. I couldn’t help thinking about some elderly people who truly have no one and often have severe limitations in making their situation better. I completely recognize that I (like most everyone I know) am a privileged, young, healthy American. It was easy for me to fix everything in my life that wasn’t working and move half way across the world, and I am ever appreciative for all of the opportunities and experiences that have afforded me such ability. But what about if you’re disabled, lacking financial resources, have no where to go, or whatever? I can’t stand the thought of a person feeling lonely, like no one cares, and being stuck in that feeling.
So that’s why I’m hoping to get Alan registered as a pet therapist and we will be a team! I hope that if I’m old and lonely some young person will bring in their adorable black kitty and have fun talking to me and hearing all of my crazy stories! And maybe bring me some fried pickles. I can’t imagine nursing homes have rockin’ food.
Because of my having no feelings I didn’t do any traveling in the later part of 2014, but this year I already went to Florida and had a blast! (I also have three Kenny Chesney concerts planned in Louisville, Dallas and Indianapolis this summer, as well as the Bourbon Trail and a couple hiking trips in Kentucky)
We stayed with my favorite cousins in Orlando and over the weekend went to Siesta Key – apparently the nation’s #1 beach! Let me tell you. Sunny beach > crunching around on Ohio ice. I went for a run on the beach one morning.
Orlando is such a cool city. One night we went out to a bar that has vintage video games and I spent an hour playing Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out with a random Puerto Rican guy I met there. That game is racist!! The second person you fight is named Piston Honda, and all he says is “Sushi! Ichiban! Kamikaze!”
Oh! I turned 30 since my last post. I thought I’d freak out, but not at all. So far 30 has been happy, positive and pretty calm! My 30s are already different from my 20s in that I have a clear direction in life career-wise, a cat(!!), great friendships, family, and a good idea of what I want in a relationship.
Now I’m hoping that some day I can get back to cooking real food and stop eating Hot Pockets. I am so. unhealthy. Not that eating Hot Pockets is bad. Everything in moderation, right? But I like … only eat Hot Pockets. And Jimmy Johns.