Three Good Things

Today was a bad day…is how the post could have gone but instead it’s been a good day. Well, let me back you up to the part of the day when it was a bad one.

I didn’t wake up having a bad day, in fact, it started great. But on my drive to work, I encountered every idiotic driver on the road. It’s a wonder that I didn’t get in an accident today.

On my way to work I was almost hit by 3 different cars and run off the road by an 18 wheeler who decided to jump into my lane right before I passed him. My drive to work is about 28 mins. That’s a lot of close calls and a lot of honking.

I started to get mad about it, feeling like everyone around me on the road was an idiot and out to smash into my cute little Honda. But then I remembered something my mommy used to ask me when I was a little girl, tell me three good things that happened to you today?

I was by no means an overdramatic child who thought that every single day I had no friends, everyone hated me, they all loved my brother more, and my life was a Greek tragedy waiting to happen…okay you got me I was an overdramatic child. My parents have stories for days on that topic.

Being an overdramatic child I thought every single thing was the end of the world. Every day was a bad day, every day was a day waiting for something to happen so I could say yep another bad day and keep on proving why my life sucked.

My momma wasn’t gonna have any of it. She was determined to make me see that everyday could be a good day. The secret she clued me in on, and the one I’m about to give you for free is that it’s all about your attitude. And more specifically how you choose to think about the day.

She explained to me that there is a lot in this world that we cannot change and a lot we have no control over. But the one thing we do have control over is ourselves. At the end of the day we cannot control how others treated us but how we reacted and treated others. She taught me that I can take a bad day and find at least three good things in it.

While on my drive to work and coming up on the moment a man gunned it almost turning into my driver side door I thought of my three good things.

1. Somehow I had managed to put all my pillows in a circle around me and curl up into a ball feeling completely warm and safe when I woke up, best sleep ever.

2. Maybe it was a dream, maybe it was real life but I heard my mom tell me I love you before she headed to work.

3. I took the most amazing shower when I woke up and felt so relaxed.

Today is my Friday. Today I could have been on edge and irritable because I had a bad drive to work. Today could have been a bad day. I could have found that everyone I encountered at work was irritating me, I could have let the negativity consume me.

But with a little bit of thought and the power of positive thinking, I made today a good day. What are your three things that made today a good one?

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pictured: me in the baskets and my mom holding my brother in the chair

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Cow Tipping Creamery is this adorable gourmet food truck in Carrolton, they also have a Frisco and Austin location. It was this time last year that I got a question from my aunt, did I want to go for a walk with her to get ice cream. I mean I love ice cream and I like walks so putting the two together sounded great. Until she told me the catch, it would be 2.9 miles down and 2.9 miles back. I was given a choice do I walk for ice cream or stay at home?

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As you can tell I wasn’t too happy about it. But none the less I was up for the challenge, 3 miles isn’t really that far…let me stop my self right here. 3 miles really is that far. If anyone ever tells you walking 3 miles for ice cream is a piece of cake they are wrong.

While you are on the 3 mile trek all your mouth can think about is how that cold delicious ice cream taste is not present, your limbs will feel weak and you will try to remember the last time you tasted ice cream, eventually your brain will start to forget and it will cause your legs to start to panic, your body will randomly think about bolting forward into a dead sprint just to crawl up to that food truck and say with the little strength you have left, ice cream?

At least mentally that’s how it felt. But it all turned out okay and we ended up very happy! Birthday cake ice cream and all!

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In the end what I learned was that sometimes you have to put in a lot of work to get a little sweet treat. Because at the end of the day smiling with the ones you love is worth walking 6 miles.

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Talking About Trees

Let me start off by apologizing to my grandmother, she has asked me over and over again not to write about the stuff she says. And trust me I could fill a book with the crazy stuff she has said and done. But none the less I think she will find that I am writing about her because I admire the way in which she sees the world.

Through my grandmother’s eyes, I have been able to look at the trees. The same trees I have been looking at since I first glanced at one. The difference now is that I am aware that they are trees. You are probably reading this and thinking ‘Nichole trees have always looked like trees.’

But what I think our eyes fail to see sometimes are the things we see all the time. Drive down the road and try to count every tree you see, you won’t be able to. Trees are everywhere. Our eyes simply glance over them and look at the exciting billboards, other divers, or shops along our path.

But that’s not how my grandmother’s eye’s work. Her eyes notice every little detail of them. Get in a car with her and I bet she will exclaim about how beautiful the trees are. She will go on to tell about how wonderful it is to have the color green in our lives. And when the leaves start to change she thinks its the most beautiful thing in the world, its as if her eyes see every shade of red and yellow as the leaves change.

As I get older I have started to see trees through her eyes. I notice how some have flowers that bloom and others stay green all year. I notice how some trees grow so tall and wide you feel like a giant under them. And I notice how others fight to stay upright when a strong Texas storm rolls through.

I know I probably only see a tenth of the beauty she does, but that small percent shows me that there is beauty even in the things my eyes so easily pass over. Thank you grandmother for showing my eyes such a beautiful wonder.

Would You Say Yes?

Do you ever have those days that come around, that when you think back to a year ago how different your life is? How in such a short time, as in 365 days, your life was turned upside down and forever changed.

Do you know that feeling you get when one day forever changes you, and that day feels like the actual start of your life? That every day before that one was a day you lived not as aware, all those days before this one blur the rest and the present seems like the only thing in focus. That a year is, in reality, such a short amount of time and when it passes you look back and yet, you can’t fully comprehend how much things have really changed.

Have you ever had a day that changed your world so much you look back and wonder how did I exist before today?

***

One year ago today my life changed. And it was for the better. As I prepare for 2018, I realize that 2017 has been a crazy one. Full of sharp turns, new experiences, and feeling a hole in my life start to be filled.

Last December 29th my mom called the whole family into the kitchen and the Facebook message she read changed our entire lives. From that moment there was no going back, ever.

The baby she had given up for adoption, had contacted her. I was no longer the oldest. I was no longer the only girl. My identity changed drastically.

I guess fate didn’t think we had had enough surprises for one day and decided to plop my mom’s long lost biological fathers side of the family back into the tree. Needless to say, it was not only a great but emotionally crazy day for us all.

***

If I told you that today would be the day your life would change dramatically, but that it would be a crazy wild ride that would change how you see the world and the people in your world, would you say yes?

I did. I wouldn’t change the last year, ups and downs, for anything in the world. My heart feels healed and more complete even if sometimes I feel like I have no idea how steep the roller coaster hill I’m coming up on is. I’ve got my old and my new family members to help me out along the ride.

I Have A Feeling

I have a feeling

That all the way

Up in those white

Fluffy clouds

You are dancing

With joy.

 

Looking upon

Your four children,

Knowing they all

Found a way

To be in

The same space.

 

I have a feeling

You are beyond

Happy that she found

Her brothers.

 

At last they have

Their big sister

To watch out

For them,

And to watch out

For her.

 

I have a feeling

That you have

Watched her

All these years.

 

Doted on her

From above.

Watched her children

grow up.

 

I have a feeling

That you couldn’t

Stop grinning

Ear to ear

When she fits

In perfectly.

 

You could see

The siblings bonding

In a way that you

Wish you could

Be part of.

 

I have a feeling

That you are

Up in heaven

Looking down on

Your daughter.

 

A smile relaxes

On your face.

Finally, she made

It home.

 

A poem I wrote for my mom in May 2017.

Please Don’t Ever Get Old

In the small waiting room of the primary care physician, I couldn’t help but notice all the different kinds of people. A father with his son, a woman who was probably in her late 40’s, a man around his 60’s, a quite elderly woman and her daughter, and me. I sat down in a chair feeling out of place.

The room was quiet while each of us waited for our names to be called. Randomly soft sounds of talking could be heard. I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between the quite elderly woman and her daughter. The quite elderly woman sat in a wheelchair, the kind that you have permanently, she said to her daughter that she wanted ice cream. Both women positioned close together, the daughter leaned in and asked her mother do you want ice cream? We can go get some afterward, and I almost broke down in tears.

I almost broke down crying in the small waiting room of the primary care physician because of the tone she took with her mother. It wasn’t harsh, but like she was talking to a four-year-old. To me it sounded condescending, of course, I have not lived even in a minute in their shoes but I got a sudden rush of sadness for the future.

All I could think about is I never want to be in that situation with my mom. This isn’t coming from some deep down selfish part of me that doesn’t want to have to take care of my mom when she gets older. Of course, I’d do anything for her, she taught me how to wipe my butt and hold a spoon. Thanks to her I’m not a social pariah.

This comes from a place of not wanting to lose my mom, lose the person she is. I don’t want to ever have to see her look like a shell of the person I knew her to be. I want my mom to always be the person who opens a special bottle of wine to drink with me just because I’m her baby girl. I want my mom to always be the person who gets on a plane with me to travel to a new city. I want my mom to always be the person who I can go to with problems and give me sharp good advice.

I don’t ever want to see my mom sitting in a chair all day not enjoying life. My mom is goofy, she is a master chair dancer with the best facial expressions. My mom is kind, always lending out a hand when a friend or family needs. My mom is graceful, she can forgive others even when I want to punch them for hurting her. My mom is strong, and you’d know it if she told you about her past.

I am a little selfish, I don’t ever want to see my mom get old. I don’t want to dress her afraid I will twist her arm wrong sliding it into a sleeve, I don’t want to help her bathe because she cant hold the weight of a shampoo bottle, I don’t want to brush her head and be afraid of touching her scalp rough. I want my mommy to always be the active, beautiful, loving lady she is now. Spending the whole day trecking around Universal with me. Drinking our way through wineries. Laughing at movies together. Being my scuba buddy. Traveling to see hockey games….

So please mommy don’t ever get old.

Fleeing Irma

It was only a few days ago that I wrote a post about preparing for my first hurricane. A LOT has happened since then, I feel like I was preparing for Irma at least a month ago.

It all started last Friday, I was supposed to go in for work at noon when my cousin came home and told me I should gas up now since everywhere was running out. I left and went to a gas station a town over since we had none. I had texted my boss to let her know I would be late. She told me not to bother coming in, it was really dead. Unusual for a normal Friday.

I still needed to go pick up my check so I went in just to grab it. I decided that I would talk to my boss. She cut me for the whole weekend and told me that it was iffy if I would work the next weekend. I was already leaving at the beginning of October to move back to Texas. She told me that the hurricane had put Ginnie out of season and it was okay if I wanted to leave early.

I went home not knowing what to do. Should I stay even though I won’t have any work. Should I go and risk the possibility of horrible road conditions. I had no idea what I should do. So I asked those closest to me what to do, should I stay or should I go? The consensus was come home to Texas.

I decided that I would just pack one box, the next thing I knew half my room was packed. I felt so clearheaded. Everything was pushing me towards Texas. Things had completely fallen into place. I packed up my belongings in about an hour and a half.

I set out on the road. My car loaded with my stuff, a full tank of gas, and an uncertain road trip plan. I was making decisions about three minutes in advance. Uncertain if I could find gas on the way I drove in the hot Florida sun without my air condition on to conserve gas.

The drive was about fourteen-ish hours away. Luckily for me I have some really good friends in Tuscaloosa Alabama. One of them works for the Bama football team. He told me if I could get in early enough he would get me a ticket to the game with his wife. I arrived in Tuscaloosa at midnight. The next day I went and saw the Roll Tide Roll. I got to catch up with friends, and then drive the last part of the way home on Sunday morning.

I’ve been meaning to write this since I got home Sunday night, which was less than forty-eight hours ago (but feels like weeks ago). But I have been so freaking tired. I had mono in college and all I wanted to do was sleep for days, that’s how I feel right now. I have no idea how people drive such long distance by them self. It was hell. My whole body felt like it was seizing up. My legs started to cramp and all I wanted to do was go thirty over the speed limit.

But I made it. I made it back home to Texas and I’m here to stay for a little while. I have no idea what I am going to do, where I am going to go. I have some plans, things I want to do. Being an adult is hard and sucks. I’ll just keep making decisions three minutes, three days, three months, three whatever in advance.