out of sorts.

Daytona Beach

{I know I owe you a big ass trip report and I promise I will get to it eventually. I finally got the photos uploaded to flickr so it’s just a matter of time.}

It’s the end of July already and the temps finally feel like summer in Chicago. Things have been weird since I got back from Florida and the beach. I miss the rental car I was driving, even though it was a boring old Ford Focus. My Hyundai is a 2002 and has none of the newfangled things that the newer cars have as default, so driving the Focus was a lot of fun! And people in Florida are reasonable. The rainstorms come in, people slow down and put in their hazards. (I heard it was the law?) If I need to get over, people actually let me over. I don’t feel like I have to be so aggressive and angry when I’m driving there. I don’t have to be aggressive at all. The only time I hit bad traffic, the entire time I was in Florida, was getting through downtown Orlando. It was smooth sailing other than the rainstorms, where everyone slowed down and drove like sensible people.

It’s hard being back here where driving and parking is a major chore. People on the road are jerks to the max, every man out for himself, being reckless and using their phones. Doing stupid crap like blocking an entire street so they can get a sandwich. Like, seriously? And the traffic lights. The muther effing non-synced traffic lights. Took me 20 minutes to get to work this morning. My office is 1.7 miles from my apartment. I probably could have walked there faster. People don’t wait their turns at stop signs. It’s like a game of chicken. A friend of mine got in a bad wreck recently because of some chick on her phone. Come on. You don’t need to be talking on the phone or texting while driving, people. It can wait.

I’m very happy about the temps being warm. It finally feels like summer here. I’m working for a new client now and it’s been good. I had to go into the office for some on-boarding which was fine. The office is nice and the people there are friendly. It has an agile workspace, which means you can move seats as long as the one you want isn’t taken. I was sitting in a seat by the window but it was way too cold, so I moved to a slightly less cold seat. Now I’m in the office two days a week and working from home the rest. I have a company-owned laptop and I have to sign in through a VPN to access their network. It reminds me a bit of working at Nationwide, except not as political. But that might be because I’m a contractor and not a full time employee even though I’m working full time hours. I like it. :)

On the days I work from home, I open the curtains and the window so I can get flooded with natural sunlight. I also turn off the AC when Adam’s still at the coffee shop because otherwise I get too cold.

My body is getting more and more intolerant to the cold! It’s to the point where 80F is too chilly for me if I’m not in the sun. I need a light hoodie in 80F weather! What is wrong with me? :(

Tomorrow Aidan’s best friend comes to stay with us for a few days. I’m excited for Aidan. I’ve met him and his family and they’re all cool people. Saturday we’re heading to La Grange because Anderson’s Bookshop is opening a new location there. Adam got invited to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony and there will be other authors there as well. You know how I love authors.

I had hibachi food for the first time in years on Monday. Except now it’s called teppenyaki style? I am not sure when that changed but I don’t mind the new term because IT IS STILL DELICIOUS and I’m craving some right now in fact.

When I was in Florida with Aidan, things just seemed so easy. The only time he got on my nerves was the day he begged me to leave Magic Kingdom before I didn’t want to go. But I think deep down I did, because a storm was rolling in and I was exhausted. I was being stubborn because it was my last day there and well, that’s always a sad time. Other than that, it was an easy time. We got along really well, knew when to give each other space, had good conversations, and got to relax and have fun together.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures from our trip:

MK_OUTERHLEFT_7354070651

Yes! We had a really good time. When I was done with the Disney leg of the trip, I was exhausted and ready for the next adventure. But now, the stirrings have come again and I wish I was back at Disney World. But maybe not until fall. And I want Aidan with me again.

But now, it’s regular life. Things don’t feel quite as easy. Working. Writing. Revising. Video games. Reading. Too much time on the computer/iPhone/iPad. Working a lot which is a blessing and I am not complaining. Trying to make myself go to more barre classes. It’s challenging now because of timing. I miss yoga. I went to The Dailey Method for the first time yesterday in a long time. It was good. I’d missed it. I’ve been sneaking back to yoga as well. I want to do more. I need to do more. Some of the clothes I could fit before vacation are uncomfortable on me now and I’m not okay with that.

There is good. So I’m not sure why I’m feeling so… weird. Actually I know exactly why. But I don’t feel safe enough to write it here. So I keep it inside. Or I vent to people I trust deeply because they’re the only ones who will listen and not shrug me off or tell me to get over it or try to outdo me. Or I retweet a few people who say what I’m thinking and feeling but only the mild versions because I don’t want to be harassed by trolls. Not that I have that big of a reach or anything anyway. Every other day I see something, not even in the news because they won’t report on those things, but through social media that knocks my feeling of self-worth down a billion notches. I second guess everything. I second guess my very existence.

I see loss on my news feeds too often. And it gets me to thinking about my own mortality. And I think I’m not ready for my time on Earth to end, and I worry that I’m wasting the time I have. I’m realizing there are things I will never experience in this lifetime. Some of them I’m OK with letting go. Others, I am already grieving for. Sometimes I don’t even know what I want in this lifetime and other times, it seems as clear as day. I just want to leave a legacy.

I downloaded this graphic from someone’s tumblr the other day. Trying to make myself believe it but honestly, it’s getting harder and harder. {I have GOT to stop reading the comments. They help NO ONE and end up making me feel even more horrible about myself.}

allowed

Because I feel like those messages are only meant for “certain” people, and I’m not in that group. I doubt people like me are who these graphic makers have in mind when they make them. I doubt almost everyone’s intentions and am finding it hard to trust anyone deep down. On the surface, all is well. I’m sunshine and roses hooray! Inside, my mind is spinning a million miles an hour, wondering if the people who smile in my face would turn their backs if I said the things I really feel and think about so many things in this world. It’s happened before. I’m used to being the one left behind, chosen against, ignored.

But on the bright side, there are those who have stuck around, and those are the ones I should be embracing with all my heart because they know my shadows and love me in spite of them. So. Times like this are the times I always learn who my true friends are.

I don’t even know what *this* time is…except we have a Blue Moon coming up, we’re in the throes of Venus retrograde, AND Saturn’s in retrograde (but not for much longer) and that’s throwing cosmic energy all over the place and it’s affecting me big time this week. I suspect my depression is trying to flare up as well. Like I need that right now. I really don’t. But sadly, despite what many people think about depression, it’s not like I can control when it hits. I can just try to take my medicine, eat better, exercise, and …self-care self-care self-care. SO MANY FEELINGS and I’m getting overwhelmed by all of them. Maybe it’s time for bed. I think it’s time for bed.

Till next time.

currently.

Current view. #beach #vacation #jekyllisland #jekyll #ocean

reading.
THE ONE by Kiera Cass

watching.
I finally watched TANGLED for the first time. Does that count? Other than that, not much.

loving.
My new bags!

listening to.
Rivka
Kodak to Graph
Annelise Collete
Sia
Foxes
Alina Baraz, Galimatias

wearing.
jeans
tee-shirts
yoga pants
flips flops
rompers
sneakers
hoodies

enjoying.
reading all the things
writing

eating.
whatever

looking forward to.
now that the trip is over, not much, not yet

time to sit back and unwind.

Flowering tree! ???????????? #spring #Chicago #tree #flowers

Finally! Seems that June took ages to get here! And when it arrived, it brought temps that felt more like November 1 than June 1, but it’s finally warming up, at least for a couple of days. See-saw summer weather: Chicago’s M.O.

this weeks weather

Today is Aidan’s last day of school, then this weekend, he’s off to the National Jr. Youth Leadership Conference. He arrives in Chicago on June 13, and June 15, we take off for a long vacation, just the two of us. I’m so looking forward to it. Disney World, the beach, good times.

Aww yiss. #disneyworld #disney #magicband #yay
yay!!

Apparently, Aidan is now measuring at 5’1″…which just happens to be MY HEIGHT. My son is my height now. His feet are already bigger than mine, but now he’s on track to be taller than I am before long too. I mean, I knew it was coming but it’s still crazy. I hope he doesn’t act too stubborn when it comes to taking pictures when we’re on vacation. I need photographic proof of this height thing.

upload
this was from april this year.
he was one inch shorter than me here.

A few weekends ago, I went to see a show at Second City. I enjoyed it. The show was called “#dateme” and was based on a girl’s experiences with some dating site. OK Cupid I think it’s called? Anyway, they had this picture-taking thing set up outside the theater so I took advantage:

#dateme #thesecondcity #Chicago

I also got to meet Sarah Dessen again, and she was a lovely as ever. I remember, 11 years ago, when I discovered her books and fell in love with her writing. And I used to wish so hard I’d get to meet her. And now, this is the what…fourth or fifth time I got to meet her?

This author. ???? @sdessen #author #booksigning #Naperville #inspiration

Speaking of authors, Meg Cabot is back with *two* new princess books, and I was lucky enough to meet her as well:

Me and Meg Cabot. She's amazing. ???? #author #megcabot #Chicago #Naperville #booksigning

Honestly, if I ever leave Chicago, Anderson’s Bookshop will be one of the top five things I’ll miss.

These days, I’m kind of at odds. I’m restless, waiting for my vacation to get here. I should probably start packing. I got a new suitcase. Purple this time, with the 360? spinner wheels. Because the last time I went to Orlando and was lugging my luggage, the big suitcase kept flipping around. It was awkward and embarrassing! A guy had to help me on the escalator! So with this one, I shouldn’t have to deal with that. Plus my lovely pink bag was starting to rip and all that stuff. You know how it goes after the airlines batter it for a while. I got a good deal on this case, too. I went to Sears–which, I don’t even care, I love Sears–and the case I ended up getting had a regular price of $159.99. It was 50% off, so that took the price down to $79.99. I had coupons and Shop Your Way Rewards, so my total cost was just over $50. Not bad, huh?

I have new shirts and shorts and bathing suits to wear, and new shoes too. They’re not *that* new because I remembered I needed to break them in, so I’ve been doing that. All I need to do is pack everything sometime in the next ten days. Probably buy Aidan some vacation wear (his dad bought him a bunch of “nice” summer wear for his conference, but he’s not going to want to wear khaki shorts and polos at the beach, right?).

…and my mind just went blank. I guess I didn’t have much more to say. Probably the next time I update will be when I am back from vacation. So, till next time……

i am….

Climb. #spring #Chicago #flowers #nature #pink ????

I am Ronni
I wonder if I’ll be OK.
I hear music playing from my Spotify “writing” playlist
I see words on a screen. A black cat curled up on a TARDIS blanket. An open Gossip Girls book. My cellphone. Mickey Mouse. Lots of Mickey Mouse.
I want my trip with Aidan to get here!
I am impatient, dreaming, silly, tense, worrying.

I pretend I’m famous/important. At least I do in my head.
I feel unsettled today. But the medicine should be kicking in soon and that should stabilize me.
I touch Fi. He likes for me to pet his head.
I worry about my Mommy. About Fi. About money. About if Aidan will one day decide he hates me.
I cry when I’m feeling extra emotional and not strong enough to fight it.
I am in love with my grey Mickey Mouse hat.

I understand the way certain things are, and I hate that they’re that way.
I say nothing very important, these days. Just a lot of silliness really.
I dream about living in a bigger place in a warmer climate. Being a NYT-Bestseller. Never having to worry about money. Going on book tours, meeting other writers and readers. Having livery pick me up and take me places. Going on talk shows. Going to Disney World all the time. Having a flat tummy.
I try to write every day to realize at least some parts of that dream.
I hope at least two parts of that dream comes true!
I am strong.

#mantraband @mantraband #Repost #believe #shine #Chicago

Linking up with:

Greg is Weird

On April 30, 2015, my stepfather passed away.

I still haven’t fully processed it, because I can’t believe it’s real.

And sometimes I do remember it’s real, and it’s like a punch in the gut. And yet, I smile because I don’t want to make anyone else cry, even though I’m crying inside.

My mom and Greg started dating in 1995. He’d actually written her a note asking her out, so I tease her about it all the time saying he gave her a note that said “Do you like me? Check yes or no.”

Apparently, it worked. They got married in June of 2000. They eloped to Vegas, which was not even surprising, knowing them. I was so happy for them.

From the beginning, he treated me like his own. He knew the perfect gifts to give me for holidays. He and my mom flew me out to Las Vegas for my 30th birthday and paid for everything. It was crazy. He’d give me a $10 bill and tell me to get him a pop and keep the change. It was years later that I realized that was his way of giving me spending money, because while you’re gambling, beverages are free! And he was always gambling! He gave me money for the slot machines. I am not a risk-taker, so I’d win $2-3 and then quit. I was richer when I came back than I was when I landed.

I remember one Christmas, he woke my mom and me up at 3am because he was SO EXCITED for Christmas to start. And then the power went out. We opened gifts at 3am by candlelight and I was so scared the wrapping paper would catch a flame and we’d burn down the whole building.

He walked me down the aisle when I married Chris. I remember being a bit nervous to ask him. My mom said he got choked up. Then he said he’d be “honored” to do it.

He said “oinky the badoinky” instead of “poop.” He always made a sad crying noise when I had to leave Ohio and go back to Chicago or wherever.

He fed the animals that come up on their balcony. He bought entire loaves of bread for the squirrels and birds, and now they come to the door and look in, waiting. The past few days, it’s been Aidan and me feeding them. My mom will take over when we head back.

He spoiled my mom rotten. Whatever she wanted and he could get for her, he did. I could have loved him for that alone.

I never realized it, but now I know that he would have done anything for me, had I only asked. I just never had to ask.

But I guess I can’t ask him to come back.

RIP Greg. I know you’re playing the most awesome poker game and winning ALL the money! Thank you for being a dad to me and thank you for taking such good care of my mommy.

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