Month: April 2016

Adventures in going out: Week 9

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faire

This week starts the beginning of three months of adventuring for me… Which in itself is a huge milestone for me. Never thought this would be a reality that I am in. Yet… Here I am.

This week I would go to a little Renaissance faire down in Smithville Village, in Absecon NJ. This adventure would not be a solo adventure I would go with my brother, his wife, and his kids. There was a small amount of anxiety the day before about it. I am not really sure why. It was nothing serious, or even long lasting. Perhaps normal jitters. I guess I am not used to “normal” when it comes to this. So regular anxiety that we all have, no matter who we are, to someone like me, used to be a full blown thing. So I have not fully differentiated the two in my mind yet. It was short lived, and I am happy to report it did not impair me or limit me in any, shape, or form. Usually these thoughts would make me want to back out and cancel. But I did not let them consume me, or take over me, or cause me to run away.

After getting there, it was a nice day out, and I was fine the hour car ride, and being there. Even the drive home. Makes me wonder what the anxiety/fear is with regards to these things? Is it the fear of the unknown? Not knowing what could happen? Is that how the fight or flight mechanics of the body work? Just for me, it’s always been just flight. It is good to be healing and moving forward like this. To be able to be out, and about with family. Instead of not doing family events, or spending time with family. Things are certainly changing for the better. And I am happy for it. For the first time in my life. I am actually happy. Genuinely happy. I look forward to the future for once. It is bright and big things are and will continue to happen and come my way.

While I did have my camera with me there was not much to take pictures of there. So I do not really have pictures to share. And the ones I did take the iso was not set proper for being outdoors, when I was messing with the camera the other day. Tomorrow I go out again, for a whole weekend of being out and about. I go to Lego Brick Fest in PA. I love Lego and have a few sets myself. So will look forward to seeing this event. Which will also be with my brother and his family. The hard part doing this.. Is not spending a ton of money on Lego pieces..

Can’t promise that one.

lego_ghost

Adventures in going out: Week 8

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batsto_mansion

This week marks the 8th week of going out and about. Which means I have been doing this for two months now. That in itself is a huge milestone for me and a big accomplishment. Something I never though I would ever accomplish or do. This is all new territory for me. Literally and metaphorically.

Even though this day  was raining this morning some, I did not let that deter me from going out. This week I would go out and visit Batsto Village in Hammonton, NJ. There was a nice trail out there through the village. Where you could walk around and look at the old mill, and workers homes from back in the day. Many of the places were open and you could look around. I snagged a good amount of pictures there. Viewing history. I am glad that I did buy that new camera. It has been put to good use. I was surprised that there were many people out there checking it out, the rain did not stop them either.

batsto_rules

Life sure seemed pretty miserable back then. I mean look at all those village rules. What exactly is unnecessary talking, or noise of any sort? Like is belching an unnecessary noise, what about farting? What if I had beans and a Taco for lunch and I can’t help myself? I must know the answers to these questions. 2.00 a month rent for a home. Man, oh man. That must have been nice. I can’t even buy a pack of gum for that amount of money.

buggy

I am kind of digging this buggy. It looks really quaint and a fun way to get around town. Well until you are up wind of the horse and the horse breaks wind on you. Would that also be an unnecessary noise, or are horse exempt from such Tom Foolery? Two farts jokes in one blog post. I really am breaking all types of records with myself in life. I’ve accomplished so much. And now it’s all going into the toilet.

It was a nice little trip and visit, and of course on my way home it cleared up and stopped raining. Always how it is.

Adventures in Going Out: Week 7

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oceancity

 

My crazy adventures of going out continue. I say crazy because I never in my life ever thought this would EVER be possible. Yet, here I am. Next week will be two months of doing this. Straight. That in itself is a milestone for me. I did not have any place in particular to go to this week. So I just randomly picked some place. To think such a notion to be spontaneous like that would have in the past made me ill to my stomach. Just to think about it. Yet today, I was able to do it. And it was fun.

Today  I chose Ocean City, NJ, as my spot to visit. It was an extra thirty minute drive to avoid tolls. I did not mind. I actually enjoyed the drive. I know. I can’t believe I am typing it. It was a relaxing and peaceful drive there. It was nice and scenic taking the back roads. The weather was nice for the most part. Once I got close to the beach it was pretty chilly. I am glad that I grabbed my Batman sweatshirt to wear. Even with my hoodie up, it was cold. People were loving it though. I am one who loves the cold myself, but not as much as those that were laughing it up on the beach, or just wearing a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt. More power to them. I was cold at times.

After arriving there I saw the tail end of a Dog Parade, all puns intended. I never really been one for the beach, and walking in the sand. While I love the water, being in the water,  the beach never really did anything for me. It was quite packed on the boardwalk. While that was fun walking back and forth it seems to have a limited appeal. Unless you just want to shop in the shops. There was some mini golf and some roller coasters. Though I think you are pretty brave to go on a roller coaster that is at a boardwalk. It’s like going on one of those rides at one of those carnivals that you see at your old high school. Where it looks like it could be fun if you didn’t fly off the rails of this makeshift ride.

I walked a little bit of the beach, just to do it, but it was really cold near the water. So that was really short lived. I will say these types of things, going to the boardwalk or the beach, is probably a lot more fun if you were in the presence of good company. I see it would benefit my nicely to have a travel buddy on some of these excursions. While it is just to be out there alone, traveling with someone could be even better. While there I did get a little pamphlet for a comic con in Atlantic City in a couple of weeks that I am going to go to. Look at me, planning events a few weeks in advance. Who am I, and what did I do with the old me? I did not stay long as I had a movie ticket to see The Jungle Book. So today was a double feature kind of day. Then I celebrated with some delicious healthy fruit.

While looking for things to do I found even more things to do and next week I am thinking of visiting the Thomas Edison Museum in Edison NJ. Should be fun. And will be two months out there. Inching my way along to new heights and experiences. Look out world. I’m coming for you.

Adventures in Going Out: Week 6 – Pt. 2

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game_four_1
Devil’s Tower

This week was a huge week for me in my weekly adventures in pushing myself further and further, and working through my anxiety/panic attacks, so I can live a ‘normal’ life. Since I was off Monday, I went out on Monday, which would still qualify as my weekly adventure in going out… But I was not gonna just fall into my old ways and only go out that one time when Saturday in my normal time for going out.

So that is what I did. I decided to go out again today, for my second time. I was not sure on where I was going or how many options I was gonna have, as it was said to Snow today… Yep, that’s right. Snow in April. Is it still considered Winter weather in Spring even if it’s snow, or does it become Spring Weather?

After mulling over a couple ideas of where to go, I decided to go and see Devil’s Tower in Alpine NJ, today. It has an interesting history behind it. A plantation farmer erected it for his wife, so she could see the NY skyline. One day she went up the tower and found her husband with another one, so she threw herself off the tower. It is said that she still haunts the place. That was really what interested me in seeing it. To see if there was any ghosts there. I am interested in that type of stuff. I plan and hope to check out more types of places like that during my adventures. I am really fascinated by this kind of stuff. Who knows maybe one day I’ll go a ghost investigation with a group of paranormal investigators. That would be something. As well as something I never even considered before, or being able to do. Now that things are changing for me, all types of doors are opening for me. And I am loving every second of it.

This voyage was a big one because it was a long, long ride to it. This was about a little over 2 hours to get there. Which can seem like forever for a person that has gone through the struggles and battles of anxiety. At around over an hour or so of driving and looking at the towns I got to that point of, holy crap! This is really happening. I am so far from my home. This is real. I did not panic during that. I did not turn around, or stop. Which is a blessing compared to the past, where I would have gone mental, and wigged out. I was getting really close to NY, and at times I thought I was going to end up there. As it felt like my GPS was sending me there. Luckily I did not get into NY. It was a lovely tower to see. Sadly it is not open to see the insides, it is fenced off, with a camera, and a no trespassing sign. So all I could do was snap a few pictures. Admire my view, and be proud of getting there. Before heading back home. My legs were so tired from being in the car like that. But it was a great triumph for me, and will help me go even further with myself and my journeys. Sadly, I did not see any ghosts and this place. Though I did have that eerie feeling of being watched from the tower. But that could have been my own preconceived notions of the place being haunted and made myself feel like it was.

I returned home and got some grapes to celebrate my victory. I love me some grapes.

game_four_4

Adventures in going out: Week 6

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absecon_lighthouse01.jpg
Absecon Lighthouse

My adventures in going out for the week usually take place at the end of the week, on Saturday. This week, I changed it up a bit. Today I was off from work and decided to go out and explore on my day off. That is such a change from sitting home on my days off. That was the norm for so many years. Not living life. Not enjoying life. Just doing the motions day in and day out. It is a great, and much needed, change of pace for once. I never really thought of myself as going out when I was not working. I had become so accustomed to doing nothing all day, every day. That was who I was. Until now, when I am finally becoming so much more than I could have ever imagined. And this is only the tip of the iceberg for me.

This week’s trip took my to Absecon, NJ, to their Lighthouse. This was an impromptu trip. I had no destination in mind. Just that I wanted to go out somewhere. To not sit around wasting life. When you live with anxiety the idea of spontaneous and impromptu are some of the scariest words in the dictionary. Nor are they part of our vocabulary.  Today I made them fun words and something I wish to keep in my vocabulary.

absecon_lighthouse04
up, up, and away.

It was a nice little day trip out to Absecon. The weather was nice. It was extremely windy at the top of the lighthouse. So much so that it was able to move me all over the place. Had their had not been a guard rail, I would have easily gone off the side. It was a nice little climb, 220 steps. The tallest Lighthouse in NJ, and the Third largest in the country… Or so the card the light keeper gave me at the top of the light house claimed. It was a lovely view at top. Much like where life is taking me now. To the top. Finally. I was surprised when the light keeper said they get 100 or so visitors a day during peek days. 50 or so on their slower days. I could believe it because there was probably 5 more people arriving at the top as I was walking back down.

On my way down I picked up some brochures and a book on the local things to do and see around there. This spring/summer, for the first time ever, is going to be the busiest and most fun summer/spring I have ever had. I am looking forward to it and for the first time ever I can not wait.

I plan to keep the momentum going for this week and continue out again on Saturday. Here’s to fun times.

absecon_lighthouse02
I’m on top of the world now.

Adventures in going out: Week 5

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buzz
To infinity and beyond

Today was my fifth outing in pushing myself to new places and pushing my limits. This outing I had been wanting to go to for a while, and had been excited about going here. This week I went to the Franklin Institute. After seeing they had an exhibit on Egypt I just had to get out there. I have always been fascinated with Egypt so I wanted, no needed, to check it out. Then they added a Pixar exhibit, and I was in salivating over the idea of going there.

This outing however would really test me. All of the times I had gone out in the past five weeks, I had journeyed alone. It is always easier that way. This time would be different. This time I would go out with my brother, his wife, and their kids. A nice little family outing. To most people, that is nothing. For someone who struggled with anxiety and panic attacks all of their life, it can be a nightmare. I will be honest and say that such an idea did make me feel a little anxious. But I must and will reiterate that it was just “a little.” In years past a day like today would not be a little anxious. I would feel so much anxiety, so much panic, that I would spend multiple trips in the bathroom. Either using the bathroom, or throwing up. One or the other. This was so normal for me that any time I had to be somewhere or do something, I always had to make sure I had an hour and a half before I had to leave to give myself enough time to be ready to go through my rituals. So to be at this place within myself where it was just small little jitters is a blessing that words can not describe how good that felt to me. To not be back and forth in the bathroom, over and over, or to be throwing up repeatedly. To just have little jitters, that I would just move on from, was/is huge.

incredible
I will never blink

To not be stressed, to not be anxious the whole time before, to not get up multiple times the night before thinking about the day coming up, was so incredible. Much like Mr. Incredible. See what I did there? I was able to go there, and be fine the whole time. We were out there for about 5 hours. And I enjoyed the whole trip, and was not spending it looking at my watch and hoping to get home to where it was safe for me. I was able to enjoy myself. With my family. So many family outings have I missed over the years because of anxiety/panic. This was a great change. I look forward to many more trips while I continue my weekly journeys. There are many more places I want and hope to visit in the upcoming year.

I enjoyed the Pixar exhibit, I love Pixar. Have enjoyed just about all their movies. Not a fan of Cars, and still can not sit through Cars 2, and they are going to make a 3rd one. Surprisingly they did not have any statues of Cars there. True story I once as a teen had dreams of working for Pixar, sadly, my parents said there was no money/future in art. And discouraged it. While I do draw/paint from time to time. I never spent the time doing what I love. Drawing.

The Egypt exhibit was a let down for me. It was very small, and did not have much. Still cool to see, would have liked to have gotten like a small Anubis statue, or something, but did not see any for sale. Boo! Afterwards I rewarded myself and my success with a new video game. I find that it is very important to reward yourself during your successes… Or perhaps I just like free stuff.

After this trip, I was still feeling good, and still wanted to go out. Whoa! Right? That is huge. But couldn’t really think of anywhere to go so just drove around for a little bit, and stopped in a giant Walmart 45 mins away. That is always an experience. Anxiety or not.

The one thing this outing showed me, was that I could go out for 5 hours with my family, than it is very possible to be able to go out with someone that I was dating. Which can open doors to a future relationship. As the life I was living was very hard on relationships and caused a few to end, terribly. Life is whimsical. It really is.

egypt
row, row, row your boat.