Friday, December 31, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the New

2010 was an awesome year for me. It came with some challenges and I met them well. I beat even my best expectations for myself and then made some new ones that are going even better. Here is a brief recap of the last 365 days:

In January, I hired and trained my replacement at University of the Pacific. It was heart-breaking to say goodbye to all my friends and co-workers I had met over the previous 5 years, but I felt the most awesome opportunities lay ahead of me in Arizona where my husband had started working at his dream job.

In February, I made the final trek to our new home in Tucson, AZ. Though I was excited about the changes, I was scared. Would I be successful? Would I survive away from the friends and family I had been with for the last 10 years? Time would tell.

Once in Tucson, I wanted to make sure to continue my journey to better health and happiness. To do so, I joined a gym and got a new personal trainer since I had to leave my my favorite trainers behind in Stockton (Lance and Denny with CBPT).
Once everything was finally situated in Tucson, I signed up to get back to the school books! I finally have the chance to focus 100% on school and get this teaching degree DONE!

I started school and found I loved the program at University of Phoenix. Admittedly, I don't always like the fact I have to work in teams, but I at least understand the concept behind it. After moving to a bigger apartment, I finally started meeting some people who would turn out to be great friends. Seeing as making friends was one of my biggest concerns, this was a huge feat for me.

As time would go on, I would learn more of the city, learn more things to do, get involved in my community through volunteer work, meet wonderful people who offered superb opportunities, make great friends, and learn I am a much stronger person than I gave myself credit for. Even as my health issues have piled up in the last month or two, I am still holding strong with the support of those around me who love me.

To each and every one of you who had supported me at one time or another, thank you. It is because of you that I am who I am today and I can accomplish my dreams.

And what exactly are my dreams for 2011? To buy a house, to start a family, to get my rheumatoid arthritis back under control, and to blog more! But above all those dreams, I truly only have two New Year's Resolutions: Make time for what makes me happiest and say goodbye to the things that don't. May 2011 be my happiest year yet. :)


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Brothers Mario

All I have to say is I totally wanna see this movie!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Little Christmas Spirit

Whether you are Christian or not, I believe everyone can appreciate the sentiment of love, family, friends, and good nature that is supposed to come with Christmas.  For this reason, I offer you a little Christmas spirit with a video of a very talented person playing wine glasses.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On To a Better Day...And Maybe a Better Title??

It is always a challenge when things don't go quite right and external factors affect your best laid plans.  It is even more difficult when the unfortunate events involve emotions that can damage friendships you thought were strong, and make you question things you thought you knew about yourself. 

The last few days have been a time of learning for me.  If you know anything about me at all, you should know how I hate, hate, HATE drama.  You should also know how I try to avoid conflict like the plague.  Yes, I am one of those people who prefers to stick their head in the sand and wait for it to go away rather than deal with a problem head on.  You can now imagine why I had so many problems with relationships in the past. 

So when a conflict began to develop between a group I am part of, my automated response is pretend nothing is wrong.  Maybe say a couple things that wouldn't ruffle too many feathers, gloss over the situation til we get over this hump, and hope for the best going forward.  Unfortunately, this just caused things to steam, simmer, boil, then basically explode.  Way to go Alicia.  Your method of dealing with conflict is soooooooooo effective.  

Then, because of my conflict adverse nature, all the pressure was put on a good friend to solve everything.  I felt horribly bad about it, still do, because she has her own crap to deal with.  I know I should have a better backbone than I do, but unless it is through typed words, I just plain suck at dealing with confrontation.  On paper or through email, I kick ass at it.  In person or on the phone, I fold like a piece of tin foil.  Lesson one:  Just how bad I am at conflict resolution in person. 

Another thing you should know about me - stress is a HUGE bipolar trigger for me.  This whole situation caused an incredible amount of emotional stress on me.  On top of that, it is winter, my worst season of the bipolar year.  Add the drama to the winter blues I have been fighting and it results in an emotionally unstable Alicia.  I should have put up a sign on my door that says "CAUTION:  Unstable environment.  Downpours of tears and floods may occur."  This may have prevented my neighbor from getting cranky, irritated looks from me yesterday, and it may have prevented another friend from being caught off guard with tears.  Follow that with my hubby being pulled over for a registration issue that was supposed to be taken care of...yea...complete meltdown.  Lesson two:  My mask doesn't work as well when I am being overwhelmed with multiple things going wrong at once.

But then I found comfort in an unexpected place.  When I went to apologize for blubbering all over my friend, I was instead reassured I had no reason to apologize.  Life was just throwing crap at me like it does to everyone occasionally and I was just doing the best I could to deal with it.  After a long talk and a few more  tears, I was more comfortable with the situation.  I was reminded of something that I know in my head but frequently forget - if these friendships are supposed to last, we will make it through this rough patch.  If they aren't meant to last, I need to accept it and move forward because there are others out there I am missing out on by dwelling on things I can't control anymore.  Either way, there is nothing I can do at this moment.  Only time will tell.   Lesson three:  I have some really awesome people in my life.   Lesson four:  I have a really, really crappy memory...or maybe that should be Reminder One for my next post?

The important part of this though, I will survive and today is a new day...and so far, a better day too! 


Friday, December 3, 2010

Just Cruisin' Under the Surface

When I first started this blog, I had intended to share all the funny and amusing things that I come across in my life as well as promote the understanding of bipolar disorder.  The strange part is that I never seem to remember I have a blog at those points in time.  Instead, I post about being thankful for the wonderful things in life, regular events, and my various feelings and moods.  In a way, this blog has become more of a personal journal than the amusement I had planning.  Is this such a bad thing?  I don't think so.  See, this is still serving my original purpose.  I have bipolar disorder and I want to promote understanding of it.  By posting here, you get a very small glimpse into the thought processes of this bipolar mind.  Don't you feel special? 

The challenge now is spreading understanding of what is going on with me to those I interact with every day in my life.  Many of the people I spend time with here in Tucson met me when I was in a bit of a mania.  They are used to the fun, smiley, energetic, flirty, party girl.  We would go out to the bar and drink and dance and have a good old time or play poker or any number of other things.  Now I am hanging out in the slightly depressed area.  Not badly depressed, just a little bit -- like a 2 or 3 out of 10 (with 10 as the worst) -- just enough to make it so I don't want to go out and when I do, that I don't get quite as much enjoyment out of things that I normally would.  But that is the bipolar roller coaster ride and they will have to learn to love both parts of me...that is if I can take off the mask of everything is fine and stop making excuses for why I can't do something...

*hint: I'm really not as busy as I make myself out to be...

So, can you love both parts of me?