Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What's Going On?

There's something you should know about me. I am fiercely opinionated and 99% of the time I lack the ability to keep that to myself. Over the past 8 or so years of blogging I've expressed my thoughts on the state of the country, particularly related to same-sex marriage, a few different times.

I have always been a hyper-emotional and sensitive person. I can't tell you how many times I've been told that I don't have a poker face by my friends, family, and partners.. hell, even my boss told me once that he can read my emotions like a book.

Another thing you should know is I was raised in a very open-minded household and spent grades 4 through 12 in a culturally diverse school. I was exposed to a variety of cultures from around the world and looking back, I don't think I fully understood how much that helped to shape the outspoken and empathetic person I've become.

Even in elementary school I never viewed my peers as weird or less-than because we were "different." I had black friends, Indian friends, Jewish friends.. it never mattered to me. Maybe some of that can be attributed to childhood innocence, but I realize now that some children may be robbed of that due to the hateful rhetoric being slung around our country on a daily basis.

I'm not naive - I know this kind of "talk" isn't new. What continues to baffle me is how prevalent it has become. When did it become ok to call someone a "snowflake" just because they sympathize with a viewpoint that is different than yours? Or to call someone a disgusting racial slur just because they have a different skin color than you and hold a different opinion about something? I read on Monday that a fire chief in Pittsburgh resigned because of backlash he received after calling the Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, a man of color, a "no good n----r," because the team chose to protest the national anthem (oh trust me, I'll touch on this soon). He went on to say that he's "not the racist the media is portraying" him to be and that his social media post was made out of "frustration and anger." Excuse my language here, but yeah fucking right. If your knee-jerk reaction is to call someone a racial slur instead of an asshole or something similar when you're angry.... You're a racist. My only hope is that one day your shriveled cold heart learns what understanding and acceptance mean.

Here's the thing. I am ALL FOR agreeing to disagree - it's one of the great things about the first amendment and our ability as Americans to express our opinions. I used to think that opportunity was something we took for granted.. now, unfortunately, it's being taken advantage of. 

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

I am linking a few of my previous similar blogs if you're curious.
Election 2012
Marriage Equality
Sorority Videos

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Month 1 in the Mitten

Exactly one month ago, Mike, Charlie, and I rolled into Michigan in our 20 foot U-Haul with my Escape on the back ready (mostly) for an entirely new adventure.

For those who don't know, Mike decided to go back to the University of Michigan to get his MBA. I've known for over a year that I'd be leaving Dallas, but the reality of leaving home and the weeks leading up to our move were.. overwhelming. Until we moved into our house last week I'd only been to Ann Arbor three times, so calling this new chapter in my life a leap of faith would be putting it lightly. Mike went to undergrad here, so it's like a homecoming of sorts for him and he is beyond excited for football season. As for me? I'm grateful to have a career that allows me to work remotely and a family that (finally) encouraged me to embrace this new chapter and jump in with both feet.

I'm not going to lie, it's scary moving away from your comfort zone. My family and friends have always been my greatest support system, and I've leaned on them for damn near everything. I love surrounding myself with people, so moving to a place where I don't know anyone is terrifying. I know that learning to rely on myself more will be a challenge, but it's one I've needed to tackle for a long time. I'm nearly 26, so it's about time I gained some independence..

The past month has felt like a weird vacation of sorts. We were lucky enough to stay with Mike's parents for a few weeks until we were able to move into our house. There's something about living out of suitcases that makes everything feel temporary. Not to mention we took a trip to Chicago for Lollapalooza and Mike was gone most days for orientation. Now that we're finally moved in I am chomping at the bit to make this house feel like home. I know I'm driving Mike crazy, but something as simple as changing a paint color I hate (the entire house is baby blue....) puts me in the mindset that this is actually permanent. Well... as permanent as a two-year MBA program can be.

I saw a quote the other day that has really stuck with me, and I'm really hoping that it continues to bring me some semblance of peace while I adjust to living in a new state, learn to make friends (how to people even do that these days?!) and embrace this entire experience.

"If you are depressed, you're living in the past. If you're anxious, you're living in the future. If you are at peace, you're living in the present."

As someone who is almost always anxious, peace and balance is something I strive for. I'll be honest, living in the present is not something I'm good at. I'm constantly worrying, wondering what if, and trying to make detailed plans when it's entirely unnecessary. I know I'll have days where I doubt my decision to move and miss home like hell, but thankfully I haven't had one of those days yet. Will that day ever come? Absolutely, but wondering when that day will be is only keeping me from embracing the now.

So for now I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm embracing the chaos, every new experience, and trying to make a home for us. Tonight's adventure includes a gallon of paint named alpaca and a whole lot of patience. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

ABC + Get to Know Me

Nothing makes me want to blog quite like life changes. Self-fueled therapy by essentially word vomiting across my own corner of the internet has worked in the past, so hey, why not give it the good ol' 57th try!

It occurred to me that while some of you readers may be brand new here, some of you may remember college blogger Madison. If you read my last post, then you know that quite a bit has changed since my former blogging days. More than that, my life has changed even more in the past 10 days. But my cross-country move (my inner dialogue just said "holy shit, this is real") really deserves it's own post.

In an effort to give you a peek into my jumbled mind, I thought I'd share a little about myself in the form of ABC's.

So without further ado...

Age - 25, almost 26.

Biggest Fear - Failing in general is a big one, but I've failed pretty hard and I'm still breathing... One thing I'm scared of is dying young and not getting to experience life with a family that I've created. I'm also irrationally scared of clowns and being trapped in an elevator..

Charlie - My perfect bagel dog. I am convinced that I somehow gave birth to him because our mannerisms are pretty identical and we could both sleep 16 hours straight without a second thought. I cry when I have to leave him for the weekend. #separationanxiety

Drink - Water, tea (hot or iced), cinnamon dolce latte, sauvignon blanc or malbec, anything vodka.

Exercise - Spinning. I honestly love it so much that I spent my last 3 months in Dallas working a second job at Zyn22. I've always laughed at people who claimed that exercise changed their life (not in a weight loss/health kind of way), but my mind is clearer and my attitude is better when I am spending more time in the gym.

Food - Any and everything. Chipotle, sushi, and anything Italian will always be favorites. Greek food, a good filet, and key lime pie are close seconds. I love to cook but hate following recipes and have a tendency to add my own flair. I've considered sharing a few of my favorite recipes but I'm terrible with measurements. If you can follow along with a little of this and a little of that then I should be able to make it work.

Guilty Pleasure - Wine, haha. Reece's cups, social media, Ink Master on Spike TV.

Hobbies - reading (I've read quite a few good books over the past year, so look for a post of my favorites coming soon), cycling, cooking, fantasy football, hoarding (just kidding.... but I am not the most organized human), music, and TV. Oh, and cuddling with Charlie.

Instruments - I'm not what anyone would call musically gifted. My step-dad attempted to teach me to play guitar in 8th grade but that was short lived. I had a thing for the video game Rock Band in high school, but I was pretty terrible at that too..

Job - I am a business development manager for a business plan development company, but I do so much. I help develop ideas for clients and turn those ideas into a plan that they can then use to make their idea a reality. I have learned so much about so many different industries and there is nothing I love more than making my clients happy.

Kids - I love them. I've made jokes for years that I'll probably have an army because I'm an only child and want a huge family. BUT, ask me how I feel after my first haha.

Love - The life I'm creating and the people I surround myself with + Charlie.

Music - I love music. I could have just as much fun at a country concert as I could at a rock show or a rave. Some of my all time favorites that I could never get sick of are U2, Coldplay, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Marvin Gaye, Kenny Chesney, Pearl Jam, Above & Beyond, Kaskade, Dillon Francis. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Tritonal, Alesso, Ed Sheeran, Glass Animals, and old Lenny Kravitz.

Nickname - It depends on who you ask. My mom has called me boog/boogie since I was little, and I choose to believe it was because I was a fantastic dancer and not a snot-nosed child... Mads caught on in high school, but very few people have ever called me Maddie.

One Wish - To be mentally and emotionally at peace with the life I have chosen. I would love to be free of self-doubt and second guesses, but hey, I'm human.

Phobias - Being trapped in a small space, or any space really. I'm the person always looking for the exit when I'm in a new place because I want to be aware of my escape route. This is probably why I don't like flying...

Quote - "So it goes."

Right or Left - Right-handed but left-leaning when it comes to politics (note to self- bring back my OP ED posts)

Season of Choice - Anything but winter. Ironic considering I just moved to the arctic tundra. I mean Michigan..

Thanksgiving - because who doesn't love a holiday dedicated to food, football, and wine?

Unknown Fact - I got second place in a karaoke contest when I was in 5th grade!

Vacation Destination - I will always say Greece because I loved it so much.. But I'd really like to visit the west coast. I'd love to spend a few days in San Francisco and Napa then drive down the coast and go to Malibu Wine Safari (animals and wine, hello - that's the dream), and then DisneyLand. Anyone care to fund this dream trip?

Worst Habit - Ugh, I'm such a procrastinator. Part of me thinks it's because I work best under pressure, but the other part of me knows I'm very easily distracted..

X-rays - One time I drunkenly fell out of a cab in London.. then I proceeded to spend the next 6 days walking with an ankle the size of a softball (and wearing heels!!) because I'm as stubborn as they come. Thankfully nothing was broken, but the ligaments were all over stretched and I had to wear a walking book for 5 weeks.

Young Living - Yes, I am one of those "oily" people. Eventually I'll get around to a post on why I love my oils so much, but seriously, they're amazing.

Zodiac - I'm a libra, but as far as how that pertains to my ~*personality*~ and what not... I don't really buy into that.