Ridiculously Epic…

Right and wrong are just words. What matters is what we do

Complicated: Difficult to analyze, understand, explain, etc.

I want to go back to school. I graduated from college in May of 2008, which means that this May I will have been a college graduate for 3 years. Did you get that? 3. Years.

That makes me feel old. I’ll be 25 in June. A quarter of a century old. (Side bar: I want a HUGE deal made out of my birthday this year. Start planning y’all!)

So I decided I want to go back to school, like, a year ago. The problem is threefold:

1) I have no idea what the hell I want to do with my life
2) I have no money/little faith in getting grants or scholarships/don’t want to take out more money for loans
3) The GRE scares the crap out of me

I’ve been looking at programs and fields for a year. Interior Design (exciting at first, but just not “it.”), Chef (I decided that I’d end up hating cooking if I were a chef), Anything education related (I have no desire to work in a public school, therefore education-related degrees seem pointless), the list goes on. I still have no idea what I want to do with my life, but Cleveland State’s Master’s of Applied Communication Theory & Methodology sounds absolutely awesome. I still don’t know what the hell I’d do with it, or my life, but I think I want to do it.

Plus the program offers financial assistance. Bonus.

And then there’s still the GRE. Which is terrifying. I’m a horrendous test taker, which is why I sucked so bad when I was a Psychology major – everything is test related. I knew the material, I studied, I could answer questions about it otherwise…but once I was in the classroom and that test was in front of me it was like I never even went to class. Everything just disappeared from my mind. It was terrible! Plus the GRE is ‘spensive. Apparently they are offering 50% off for taking the test between August and September, which is cool…but would hinder the enrollment of me into any program for the Fall 2011 semester.

Why does everything have to be so damn complicated?

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The Cursed Car

I broke my car. I ran into the back of an RTA minibus (one of those smaller white ones used for transporting old people). At a red light. I was literally .2 seconds from work. I mean, I didn’t intentionally plow into the back of the bus – my shoes were wet, and my foot slipped off the brake and onto the gas. Next thing I know my car looks like this:

RTA Minibus: 1 Jessi's Malibu: -175

So what do I do? I take a picture of the broken car and send it to the fam, the boyfriend, and select friends. Clearly I have my priorities straight.

Now, after all the essentials were taken care of, I drove Bus Killer (my car’s new name, compliments of Ernest) the .2 seconds to work, called my dad, and broke down into hysterics. Yes, it’s just a car. Yes, I’m OK. But I don’t really agree with the whole “You’re OK and that’s all that matters.” thing. See, I have terrible credit which means I’m not capable of getting financed for a new car (I’d need a co-signer) AND I’m super poor so just paying for the repairs out of pocket/getting a rental til my car was fixed or just junking the car and getting a new one didn’t really fit into my budget (did I mention that I only have liability on this car because it was free and I was trying to save money? Yeah…no collision, no insurance-paying-for-the-damages…)

Anywho, luckily I have the most amazing boyfriend in the entire universe. Instead of staying at home and getting ahead in his Anthropology course, he drove to my work to flatten out the hood and do what he could so that the car was easier to drive.

Much more flat...and much more ghetto with the bright orange extension cord holding the hood down.

Ernest using my old grill as his "Chevy Moustache" (pronounced "moose-tash")

He followed me back to my place, and the next morning he embarked upon Pull-A-Part with his grandpa and cousin to commandeer a hood, bumper, grill, headlights, and front end thingy (it goes behind the grill and holds the tubes/wiring for the headlights, I can’t remember what it’s actually called). This also turned into a pretty big deal because he let me drive his car, which is a gorgeous piece of machinery that he doesn’t let anyone else but his mom drive. Again; BIG deal. Luckily, Joanna (the name of his car) was safe in my hands and we had an uneventful day together. Well, 2 days actually since I took her to work on Friday too.

I feel like something is missing...

Saturday we were up super freakin early to start working on my car. In total (with a lunch/nap break) we spent about 6 hours working on the car, and got everything finished. Ernest’s step-dad helped a bunch too. Ernest also had a fever of over 101 the entire day Saturday, but is a man and therefore stubborn, so he refused to stay inside and rest and let me and step-dad work on the car. And really, I did help. I Gorilla Glue’d some plastic that broke together, bolted some…bolts, held inspection lights, moved piecesparts around, put the hood on, and the finishing touch: the license plate.

Broke a sweat on this one, y'all

But it’s done. The hood and bumper are a little off in color – but at least they’re not red, or blue, or something horrendously noticeable. The total cost? Just short of $200 for all of the parts. Labor cost me a delicious dinner of home made Chicken Picatta. And I’m sure many more delicious home made dinners in the future. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazingly generous boyfriend who sacrificed lots of time, money, effort, and time that should’ve been spent resting so he still wasn’t sick 3 days later; as well as his amazingly generous family that lent me/Ernest their garage, tools, space heaters, time, and effort as well. I’ve been feeling incredibly grateful indeed.

P.S. I have the WORST luck in the entire world with cars. Maybe this means I’m destined to live in a place that doesn’t really necessitate the use of a car in every day life…hmm…

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Why did life have to happen?

Written in 2002 by my Aunt Peggy, this is a birthday e-mail she sent to me on my 16th birthday. I printed it out and have kept it for the past 8 1/2 years, with the intention of framing or something to preserve the amazingness of this letter. I found it again tonight while I was cleaning off my bookshelf – every time I’ve read this letter since I received it in June of 2002, I’ve cried. Tonight was no exception.

“Dear Jessi,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I am sorry I didn’t send you anything yet but this week has been crazy. I will get it to you as soon as I can. All of Steve’s relatives were here for David’s graduation and my house has been trashed! Steve’s son Bryan put 2 new bathroom floors in for us and we’ve had to deal with that chaos as well. Bryan brought his dog which is a small terrier puppy (no bigger than a cat). She got sick and has thrown up EVERYWHERE! Tonight I have to disinfect and mop and shampoo carpets because I am grossed out. Then tomorrow Tyler is having a birthday party and RJ is having his 8th grade graduation dance…then RJ will graduate from the 8th grade on Tuesday! I am sad at all the growing up that is going on!!!!!!!

I have all these feelings about your special day. You are SIXTEEN today and I can barely believe it! I remember you so vividly as a child, born in the year that I turned SIXTEEN! You were so bright and full of happy sunshine bubbles. All your singing and playing and dancing and made me laugh. I especially remember all your dolls and how you loved the color PURPLE and how strange and different and exciting it was to have this shiny little girl in our midst. I was always the baby girl until you came along! I guess I never thought about it that way but you kind of took my place in the hierarchy. My mother remembers taking care of you after you were born and how fragile-looking you were. She said she was so happy to finally have a granddaughter. It must have been like having your mom and I all over again. But you were the ONLY granddaughter, and that is very special. You didn’t seem to mind that there were no other girls – it didn’t intimidate you at all. Sometimes it even felt to me that both you and Tim were RJ and Tyler’s older siblings. They have always adored you Jess.

You’ve always made the best of every situation, and your creativeness is outrageously evident in your school work and writing and art, and even when we just sit around and talk. You’ve always made everyone in your family feel loved and important. You are generous with your time and love and it means so much to all of us around you.

To be SIXTEEN years old means so many things to me and I am so excited for you as you enter this amazing time of your life. No longer will you be an extension of your parents!!! It is a happy time and a sad time too. When I turned 16 and realized that I could get a job and earn my own money, get my license and no longer depend on my dad for rides, it was a really big change for my life and a wonderful one, but I think it was also sad for them. You are the baby, just like me, and soon you’ll be off living you own incredibly happy life and your parents are left with the memories. 16 was also (sigh) the age of my first sexual experience. Yeah, it was a little early, I wish I would have given that more time. I think back now and all the boys I dated and/or had crushes on are a distant memory…..some of them I don’t even remember very well. You’ll feel that way too.

I am not sure I’d do it all over again Jess, but if I were in your shoes Id do a few things differently. I’d learn patience. I would know that everything comes in time and I don’t have to rush to get to where I want to be. I would not get psycho over boys. I would experience broken hearts with the understanding that it would make me a stronger person in the end. I would learn as much as I could in school because if you want to have any kind of chance in life, you have to know things. All kinds of things! I would take more chances. I would always try to look at the bright side. I would travel and see the world before I settled down with kids and a marriage. I would ask more questions and spend more time with my family because although I had zillions of friends, only one of them has maintained contact with me since high school, and my family has always been there.

I have so many things I wish I could give you. But you have to pave your own road. And you are such a beautiful, loving, smart, funny, and incredibly talented young woman, I am sure that you are going to do things that your mother and I never dreamed of. I count myself lucky to be in a world that you grace every day with your kindness and generosity.

I guess what I wanted to say is that if I had a daughter I would want her to be just like you, and I love you so very, very much.

Have the most incredible 16th birthday ever.

Aunt Peggy”

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The answer to life the universe and everything = 42

Every year for the past 3 years (at least), I have posted a “Year-In-Review” survey-type thing on my old blog – at LiveJournal. I contemplated starting that “tradition” here – but I just can’t. I’m not sure why, but I just don’t want to and feel like it’s silly and a waste of time. But here’s what I will do, I will post a blog about how much I hated 2010.

My parents got divorced in 2007, and ever since then things have just been in a rut. It’s really silly though, because nothing really majorly terrible happened in 2008, but in 2009 I lost my job. Then there was 2010 – the year that shit on Jessi. I lost my job the Monday before Christmas 2009, but had another job secured within a week. It appeared that 2010 was going to be good! In February, I got a new-to-me car that has caused me lots of problems (but was perfect for the previous owners). Then my boyfriend of 5 years broke up with me in March. In May I lost my nanny job, but started working at the Barkley. In June I spent 13 days out of town – part in Chicago and part in Vermont. July is when I met my current boyfriend, and when my ex decided that he wanted me back. I spent the next couple months trying to figure out what the hell to do. In September I had to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital for kidney stones and had a $5500 hospital bill that (thankfully) was taken care of by the hospital’s financial assistance program thingy because I didn’t have insurance, but I didn’t find that out until November. In October Ernest and I finally figured out that we should be together and made it “official.” I spent about 17 days in California at the end of October-beginning of November helping train and open the new Barkley, which meant about 15 days of working 12+ hours straight and 4 flights. I spent a week in Vermont for Christmas in December (another 2 flights, plus a 5 hour delay in Washington DC on my way home). Then I got a new job right before I went to Vermont, and had my last day at the Barkley January 2.

Sure, it doesn’t seem that bad. There were a couple big things – but there were a lot of little things too that aren’t really worth writing about because they’re mostly personal issues that I don’t feel like sharing. I guess 2010 wasn’t necessarily the “year that shit on Jessi” in hindsight, but it sure felt like it along the way.

I’m really excited about 2011. Ernest and I are amazing together and are planning on moving in together this summer when my lease is up and he graduates, plus I have a new job that is better paying and has insurance. I’m happy, and content, and although I still have no freaking clue what I want to do with my life – at least I’ve got myself into a better place. I haven’t been this happy or excited about things in a long time, and it’s kind of weird – but nice.

With that being said – it’s time to get ready for work. I feel like this post is unfinished though. Hm…

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