Wow! What a year in the books for me, and hopefully for you as well. It’s crazy to think that 2017 is coming to an end. And 2018 is getting ready to pounce on us. It feels like the year just started, and now, it’s over faster than Christmas break when you are a kid. This year had a lot of firsts for me, and I did things in 2017 that I never thought I would.
It’s been two years since I started my journey of healing my life, and changing everything. I never thought where I am today would be where I would end up. When I started this journey I was alone. Sure, I had a small selection of close friends, but it was just me. This was a journey I had to take. This was something I had to do for myself. I needed to do it. I set out to change my life. I set out to go beyond my anxiety. I set out to go beyond my depression. I set out to live my life and be more than an anxious/depressed person. I was not living up to my potential. I was not living at all. I was existing. I was going through the motions. Day in. Day out. Repeat.
You use Courage. It’s super effective!
Hello Sunday. The last day of the weekend, and the first day of the week. Sunday usually one of the worst feeling days of the week. You want to have fun this day, but you realize that Monday looms a dark shadow over it. So too much fun and the day is over and you are back to work. Sunday is the day we end up just trying to have fun but not have fun. So it usually ends up laundry day. Well it usually was for me.
Today I wanted to change up all that monotony and do something on the fly. Spur of the moment kind of thing. I had been wanting to see The secret life of pets for a little while now, and my sister had mentioned she wanted to see a movie while she was visiting, and since I was not feeling too hot yesterday I thought, why not, let’s do a movie today. Who is this guy doing something so crazy, and without a plan, and at the last minute? I don’t know this guy.. But he sounds kind of cool.
In times past I would never even have considered the idea of doing something like this. Something without a plan. Something last minute. Yet today I defied all my laws of reason I had created and decided to go out to the movies with my sister. I even ate lunch before going out. My whole life if I had to go out I would never eat. That was adding more fuel to the fire of my anxiety and that something could make me sick if I ate it. So I would not eat, and not really drink. And hope and pray that I could make it though it all. These days I am able to relax more and more before hand and go out and enjoy these things with foods/drinks in me. I actually had lunch and breakfast before. That would never have happened in the past. Thanks to going out more and more I have given myself confidence and courage with my self and doing this and that has opened more and more doors.
I went out and I had a good time. The movie was cute. It was better than I thought it would be. Of course we were last minute and now theaters have recliners and reserved seating so we had to sit within the first three rows. Seriously why do theaters even add those rows? You can barely see the screen. We had to be sneaky and sit back a row behind us in the handicap section. Which is reserved.. Shhhh, you didn’t read anything.
Most importantly I got to go out, see a movie with my sister, and create wonderful memories in the process. I believe this may actually be the first time in my entire life that I have ever done something alone with just my sister. Living with fear and anxiety had always prevented me from these types of achievements. I was missing out. I was not living. That is finally changing. I am so happy and thankful that these words are barely doing it justice.
I’m living life now. And its crazy to say it, and I would have had thunk it, that I could go out and actually enjoy being out. I never thought of my self as an outside type of person. I have always been so introverted. Going out on a Sunday, would have been so taboo. I would have made excuses to stay in. It’s the last day off. I need that down time. It’s too hot out. The grass is too green. Whatever it took. I am glad I did not. I am glad I went out. I spent time with my sister, which is rare now because she lives all many states away. I have never visited her down in her new home. I was always scared. I am getting to a place where I can. I can visit her. And so much more. All I need to do is figure out the magic spell to make it rain money.
The twentieth week of going out. Let’s just take a moment and be grateful for such an achievement. That is 5 months of going out some place different at least once a week. This is a new achievement for me. This is something I could have never thought would be possible or ever imagined myself doing it. Yet, today, was it. Today was that day.
Today I went out somewhere new and went up to North Jersey to see The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. It was an hour and a half drive up there, with traffic and avoiding tolls, it took about 2 hours to get there. On top of that I was not feeling all that well this morning. I think one of the party goers last night had a little bug or something and ended up sharing it with me. My head was all congested, I had a headache, and my stomach was off. A year ago that would have been more than enough to give me an excuse not to go anywhere. It did not take much back then. A little sneeze, and I would have been in for the day, watching movies and playing video games. Or in this case Netflix and relaxing. Trying to finish my binging of Supernatural. I am on season 6… 5 more to go. Today I did not let this little ailments slow me down or prevent me from going out to where I wanted to go. I am on a mission to go out and see the world, and live. Finally live. Something I was so not doing. Like so many else that have dealt with anxiety and panic.
The drive up was not too bad, even though there was some traffic. And in NJ when there is traffic, you can be sitting for a while. After arriving and parking, I checked my phone to see if there was an admission to this place. As you never know. I found out. The Museum was closed. I was a tad disappointed in that. As that was the main reason I was heading up there in the first place. I was hoping to check out some of the gear the likes from this time period in history. I have been fascinated with these things all of a sudden and was hoping to get a good view at history. I did not visit the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. It is a shame, perhaps another reason to take a day trip back down there. I had got back into my car and was going to drive right on pack, after spending two hours in the car. But opted to walk around a little since I was already there. There was a few statues, and monuments to check out. Some nice scenery, and nice views to see. It has been extremely hot lately here, which made it a pain to walk around in the open. Even with sunscreen. I got a few pictures and walked around for a few before heading back home and getting something to eat.
All in all it was a great day. Another successful day out, even while not feeling all that well to begin with. I was also thinking of going to the movies with my sister while she is in town but this little bug is kicking my butt and I’m ready to just sleep for a few hours.
The Slinky edition.
This week was my biggest challenge to date and was me really pushing myself to the limits. This week I would take myself on vacation and actually go somewhere. For the longest time when I went on vacation it was always a “stay-cation.” This year was the first time in 11 years that I went on an actual vacation. And you know what? I actually liked it. I liked traveling. While it was certainly tiring it was also a lot of fun.
This year I took myself down to Virginia to visit Washington D.C. to see the Smithsonian. As I had always wanted to go there. I finally got up the courage to go out and see it. It was an incredible trip, scary at times. So much fun was had. It was different being in control of things. Deciding on what to do. Where to go. How to get there. Such as riding the Metro. Conquering the fear of that. The fear of doing this alone. I triumphed in so many ways. There was a morning where my stomach was off from what I ate the night before. Normally when that would happen, I would retreat and stay in. This time it did impact the time I left by about an hour. I was still able to go out, go out with a friend that came down to visit me, and walk around for 7 hours and walk ten miles. That would have never been possible in the past, as the old me. I am so thankful to have been able to still make it out there even when I was a little off in the morning. And be able to have a good time. Words can not express how incredible that felt.
The Smithsonian(s) were amazing. Seeing all that history over the ages. Seeing how far we have come. To see how incredibly amazing we humans are. To be able to create the wonderful and complex creations we have made since our dawn. Things that have helped us in so many ways. Such as the airplane and the car. Also sad to see how such things have been used as tools of war and destruction. There was just so much to do down there it was hard to decide where to go and what to do. So I went with the flow. Just picked a place and then went from there. I even got the pleasure of watching a guy propose to his girlfriend outside of the Jefferson Memorial… Well at least I think it was his girlfriend. May have been awkward had it not have been. She did say yes nonetheless. I would have to say the FDR Memorial was my favorite memorial there. It had a lot to it. Lots of wonderful and powerful quotes. Principles not being adhered to in this day and age. Which is a shame. Sadly I did not get to make it into the Washington Memorial. The tickets were sold out by the time I got there.
As fun as it was the trip there was over just as fast as I got there. On my way home I even stopped at Friendly’s to get something to eat. In the past I would never have been able to eat and then drive for an hour and a half. It would have been too anxious for me. Was annoyed that they would not serve me an omelette after 11 am. I mean, seriously? Do the eggs disappear after 11 that they can not physically make me one? Or is it too much work to go to the fridge and get some? Boo on your breakfast policy, Friendly’s. After I got back into the area somewhat I decided to celebrate and get myself a new tattoo commemorating this tremendous milestone in my life. As well as pick up two movies on 3d Blu-ray. Kung Fu Panda 3 and Gods of Egypt. It was an incredible weekend and I look forward to my next vacation. Never dreamed I’d say that.
Now if only I could win the lottery I’d travel all over the world. Or I become a famous blogger who makes money off of traveling.. Crazier things could happen.
Today starts my greatest adventure to date. This week I would take myself on a vacation. A vacation going solo. Which means I have to do everything. Book the hotel. Decide where I am going. All on my own. Something I don’t normally do. Normally someone else is in charge of all that for me. It’s a different change of pace, albeit a scare change. As they say, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I will also probably take public bus, even scarier. So as to not pay for parking.
For this vacation I would decide to do something that was not too far away but also new to me. So I decided to go down to see the Smihtsonian down in D.C. I am quite the nerd. I look forward to seeing that and as many sites around there to see. There is a dome of them. Truthfully I don’t have a full plan for what all to do. As I don’t know what all I will do.
It’s taken me 18 weeks and a smaller vacation to get to this point. I am glad I stuck with it all, I am glad I took myself out that one day. I am glad I changed my eating, diet, and lifestyle to get to this place. It is very surreal being down here. It all was exciting and sounded great in my head, but to actually be here, seeing some of this stuff, is truly remarkable. I can not express it in words and I have not really seen anything yet.
My hotel is about four mins from Arlington cemetary so after driving 3.5 hours and getting to hotel room, I decided to head over there and check it out. I visited some of it. The Marine Memorial, the Iwo Jima statue. It was an impressive thing to behold and be around such history.
I look forward to the rest of my vacation.
This week is lucky number 13. Many people are afraid of that number, but as of late, it has been a great number for me. This week did not go as I had originally intended it to. I was originally going to go to the Aquarium yesterday with my brother, and his family. That fell through as both of them ended up having to work. Since I had taken off from work I decided to go out and see X-Men:Apocalypse. It was pretty good movie in its own right. I wouldn’t say it was as good as Captain America:Civil War, even though that was more like a family domestic dispute than a Civil War, but it was a great movie. I would have done it in two movies. Done another Iron Man movie, and started it in that movie, and then finished it in Captain America, instead of trying to do it all in one movie. It made the plot too rushed and weak, IMO. But I digress, mainly because I like to say digress.
Even though my goal was to take myself out one day a week I was not going to stop at just going to the movies, it’s like I’m a madman that is possessed. I took myself out and back to Red Bank Battlefield. I had visited this site back in like week one or two of this journey, but when I went, the House Museum was closed, and I wanted to check it out. Mainly because it is purported to be haunted. It was open, and I was able to take a nice little tour of the house. Sadly, I did not see or feel any spirits or ghosts. Boo! Ha ha, see what I did there? (All puns intended)
It was a nice day down by the river, and enjoying being out in the sun, and walking around. Even if I was exhausted from working out yesterday, something I don’t normally do, and running in the morning before going out today. While it was very hot out today, I do not like the heat that much, the breeze from the water and the trees felt real good. It was a lovely day. It may not have been the shore like most people do this weekend as it is Memorial Day in the US, it was still a lovely view. While out walking around this park I came across this sign and boy is it so true for the journey I am on in life today. I have struggled so long with health, anxiety, agoraphobia, and going out, that I was basically defeated by life, and was a recluse, only going out to work, and occasionally to a friends house or family. But now, I am changing everything. And it has been glorious the triumphs over the struggles and setbacks I’ve had in life to being where I am today. I would have never thought this would be possible or even that I would ever get there but I am here and I am loving every step of the journey. So much is changing for me. When I first started this journey I was so scared of this and that, I would not eat, or really drink before going out. Out of fear of what could happen. As time went on and I grew more confident and become more healthy emotionally and mentally I started to eat small meals before hand, and a little drink. Today I was able to eat breakfast and lunch, a snack, and a few glasses of water before embarking on my journey. I could not be more happy with my results and being able to do all that and still go out. I hope and wish everyone that has ever been in this spot in their life, ever been here, realize that there is hope there and it is possible to live a life of their wildest and greatest dreams. If I can do it so can you.
On my way out I came across this tree, with people’s initials on it. It just really irks me, I have visited a few parks and places like this, and this type of stuff is all over the place. Like why would you think it was a good thing to deface a living breathing thing, just to show your “love” to another. Why would you want someone to show their love to you by doing this to a tree? You wouldn’t want me to scratch my initials into your forehead. Profess your love by plating a tree in their name, or painting a rock. The only thing more irksome than this is smokers that flick their cigs onto the ground when they are done with them. As if they expect a maid to pop up out of the ground and pick it up for them.
OK, let me not stick up this wonderful post with such things. Moving on, all and all it was a great day. It’s not over yet as later on I am going out to Outback restaurant with my family. I have been craving some Outback Alaskan Crab legs something fierce, and then this Monday I am going out to eat with a friend of mine. I’m loving having these weekends full of exciting and fun things to do. Now if only I had the money to really travel, I would be like Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and on top of the world.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, or your weekend. Make it a great one. I am.
Wow! Let me just start off there. 12 weeks. That is 3 whole months of going out once a week. That is incredible in itself. It may not seem like it to most people, but to someone that struggled with going out it is a huge achievement. I spent my whole life avoiding going out, or finding reasons to not go out. It is something to see myself hit goals like this. It really is opening up so many doors for me.
This week I did not have anything planned to go, or anywhere in particular to go to. On top of that it was a rainy day, and was looking to rain all day. I could have just stopped right there, but I am not looking to quit now, I want to see this journey out to its end. I deserve that in life.
So I decided to do some shopping, and headed off to the Amish Market, that was 35 minutes away. Hoping to get some fruit. My mom used to love going to one of these places when I was a kid. That was were I first discovered sour path kids. A favorite of mine, even until I was full adult. I still had them quite often, until I got healthy and gave up all that junk food last summer. Wow! That was about a year ago. I’ve been so busy with my new life that time just blew right on by. They also made a delicious rotisserie chicken, that my mom used to get, and ice cream. They may not be in to all that technology, and have an iPod, but man, can they make some delicious food. Truthfully we could also do with a little less technology. We are becoming so detached from conversation with one on one people, that we now go out to dinner with someone, and stare out our smart phones instead. But you there reading this blog on your smart phone, you’re OK with me. Since I don’t eat junk food I was going to get some fruit instead. Sadly the fruit they did have, is not fruit I am allowed to eat as there is a cross allergy to it. So I walked around a little bit instead. Avoiding the huge candy section. Not even to look at it. I did not see any buggys getting hitched, or butter being churned, or even barns being raised.
After some time in there, I decided to just stretch myself out a bit, and just drive. I had no where to go, and nowhere else to be. So I just got in my car and drove for a few hours. This way, and that way. Enjoying the drive, the scenery, and the buildings I passed. Then I went to the super market to get myself some fruit that I can eat, and enjoyed three months of going out. Next month will be another huge milestone for me, as I take another vacation and go down to Virginia for the week to visit the Smithsonian. I have always wanted to go there, but was always too afraid before. Now I can go there and actually enjoy myself. I am completely stoked and excited for that one. This year is going to be action packed, and have me doing all types of stuff, things I never even dreamed of. Who knows maybe I will even meet someone and have a travel buddy to enjoy life and travel and adventure with. Anything is possible.
It was a lovely day. Next week in the USA is Memorial day, so it’s a four day weekend for me. Maybe I will go to the Aquarium, I always love it there, and have not been to this one in years. Maybe since I was a kid in elementary school. It’s also the release of the new X-Men movie. So plenty to do and see.