Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Having a goal

Ever had one of those days where one thing really gets you down and then all of a sudden, everything you've turned the other cheek to brings on the flood-rains?  I had one of those days recently.  Don't get me wrong, it takes A LOT to get me down.  And I mean a lot.  I know that I am a very strong person because of what I have gone through in my young life.  I carry a lot around on my shoulders and always try to stay positive because what's the point of living life sad or scared?  So I figured I would share what I went through the other day, and what it took to get me back on track.  It felt important to share it for some reason, so I don't know, maybe there's someone who really needs to hear what I have to say so it can influence them in some way.  So bear with me :))  And, yes, I will get to the lions!

Many of you know that I work retail at Cherry Republic a couple days of the week.  The rest of the time I'm out painting and teaching art and working in a gallery in my favorite place (as of yet) on Earth - Elk Rapids, Michigan.  I love my days at Cherry Republic and the people I work with there.  I don't have much of a social life because I work so much, so I get much of that fulfillment in the land of cherries.  I was having an absolutely wonderful day, when I said something I shouldn't have to a customer.  We were trying to make conversation because our credit card machines were being so slow and so we asked the woman at the register what she had bought at Chico's (a clothing store) and she explained her purchase and that she probably had gone overboard.  And I remarked, "Is your husband going to say 'oohhh, what did you get now?'"  It was meant to be funny, but I knew right away that I had hit a fresh wound.  Her reply was, "He won't say anything."  I of course apologized right away and was mentally punching myself.  She didn't say anything after that as we completed her purchase.  I have to admit I started crying right there in front of her.  My grandmother and I had been talking about Grandpa quite a lot lately and it immediately made me think of him and how lonely Grandma is.  So many thoughts ran through my head, like how this woman's husband had probably passed away recently and she was trying to have a nice day to forget a little.  To make a long story short, I felt horrible.  I had to go into the back to get a hold of myself.  Thank God, I only had about a half hour left of my shift. 

When I got home, Mom was just leaving for a couple hours so I decided to take Eli (my awesome dog) on a walk.  He loves walks and going down to the beach so he can run out in the open for a while.  I also took him to the dog park so he could play with some doggie friends which he REALLY loved.  He was tuckered out by the time we got home.  But that whole walk I had time to think and brood about unresolved or fresh wounds.  First of all, the Grandpa wound was opened pretty fresh from the reminder earlier that day.  Eric being moved away from home for his first year at college.  Marian is all the way in Colorado chasing after horses and living the wild life in the mountains.  Sioned is in Alaska living on a boat for months at a time studying invertebrates and furthering her career as a biologist.  And Jess is in Florida interning at Disney World, having the time of her life (whom I can't wait to visit down there in a month).  Chris is all the way in Indiana working his butt off (although we have done really well with the long distance).  All of my very greatest friends are far away from me.  And then I have a few friends that live not two minutes from me that seem to not want anything to do with me, who don't return calls or texts or any other means to communicate.  Needless to say, my social life is at an ultimate zero right now.  I do work about 50 hours a week which takes up a huge chunk of time, but the money is needed to save save save.  So I guess you catch my point about being mopey.  I got really down on myself and was punishing myself really hard, which is VERY unlike me. 

I got home and pretty much broke when I got to talk to Chris.  He lifted me back up again; I am so thankful for him in my life, he is my rock.  But once we finished talking I broke again.  And it took my mommy to make everything bad go away.  It's funny how moms always know how to make everything better, no matter how bad things are they always know just the right thing to say.  She explained to me that I DO have friends, they are all fulfilling their dreams just like I am.  I am just doing it closer to home for the time being.  And even though we don't get to talk too often, our friendship never goes away.  She told me how important it is to have goals in life, and I happen to have a really really BIG goal approaching that I am making happen all by myself.  And life after college is hard.  So very hard.  All there is is work now (until husband and my own family happen in a few years), and working all the time is different.  It's a big adjustment.  The most important thing she said was that friends come and go.  And, yes, it hurts when ones you thought would be there for the long haul flake out.  But it's the good ones who stay and we must always ALWAYS look ahead, never behind.  Chris, Jess, Sioned, Marian, and many others will always be there, and there will be new friends in the future.  I have a few newfound friends just in the past couple weeks (coworkers at Cherry Republic).  We have fun talking in accents and giggling like children.

And then there are my plans.  My big goal.  Africa.  Lions.  And TIGERS!  Drakenstein is adopting two tigers from a zoo that is closing in the southern cape.  It's going to be exciting to not only hear lions talk at night, but be able to walk next to tigers and hear them chuff in greeting (but hopefully not sassily spray at me).  I also read something about chimps and a few other animals that will be joining the Drakenstein family.  I will be in heaven.  I'm thinking about writing a book about my time in Italy and Scotland while I am in Africa since I will have a lot of time on my hands.  I journaled and blogged my whole time in Europe and went through some serious life changes that I kind of want to write more in depth about.  Who knows, I might write a book about Africa too :))  I've also started thinking about my life after Africa.  Buying a new car (Honda all the way, people!), moving to Tennessee to keep working with big cats (MAYBE - don't panic, nothing is final).  Keep painting to raise awareness about the problem with canned hunting of big cats not only in Africa but also right here in our ever so flawed country.  My future is bright and in God's hands.  And THAT is what is in the forefront of my mind. 

TTFN (ta ta for now), Tiggers truly are wonderful things :))
p.s. This is Edina, whom I cannot wait to meet - her face is so unique

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