Friday, June 29, 2012

Half full

J. Crew shirt (outlet) | Gap skirt (outlet) | c/o Ruche belt | Blowfish flats

Growing pains

posted by BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives on Flickr
This weekend, my boyfriend and I are traveling up to Pennsylvania to visit my family for a few days. My little nephew has grown so much since the last time I saw him in January that I just couldn't stay away for much longer. My boyfriend has already met my brother and sister in law, but he has not met my nephew, grandma, or mother yet. I wanted him to meet my grandma because she's the sweetest thing and means a lot to me, so I told her about our visit and she invited us over for dinner one of the nights we are in town. I would have rather liked to avoid him meeting my mother, but it sounds like my grandma invited my mother over for dinner as well. I haven't had the heart to tell my grandma about the real state of affairs between my mother and me, so she didn't think it was unusual to invite her too.

If my mother's awful treatment of me and odd idiosyncrasies weren't enough to cause me to not want her to meet my boyfriend, her hypercritical tendencies are enough to bump me over the edge. My mother absolutely hated my ex-fiance even though she hardly knew him- she only met him twice. The basis for her dislike was founded on him reaching across the table for the butter the one time we had dinner together and his knowledge of guitars. I kid you not. My mother also doesn't seem to like my awesome sister in law for no good reason other than she married my brother and "took" him away from her. My mother does not like the thought of our family growing. She's perfectly content spending all of her time with a family that she visits as a social worker instead of her own biological family (that deserves a post all on its own!), but when it comes down to her own children finding partners, she turns her nose up and refuses to accept anyone for any reason. I think she feels threatened by adding more people to the family as there's a greater potential for her secret to be shared with these presumably disapproving strangers.

My boyfriend is a great person and as a person, he has flaws, just like everyone else. I don't want to have to deal with her snarling next Christmas while she talks to me about him and how he didn't cut his food properly at dinner or some other completely ridiculous judgement. I'd much rather she never meet him and can irrationally dislike him as much as she pleases from afar.

How did your hoarding parent react to meeting your past and or current significant other(s)? Do you think they feel threatened and that's what causes them to react in negative ways?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A for effort

Matix c/o HauteLook dress as shirt | Old Navy skirt (outlet) | Simple shoes

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Free and clear

by msaari via Flickr
When I graduated from college, I was in need of a new car. Big Blue, the 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera that I had inherited from my late uncle, was on its last legs. A few of my family members generously contributed graduation gifts to the new car fund and I picked out a used car for myself, but I was still a way off from being able to cover the cost of the car.

Since I had just graduated, I did not have a job nor had any leads for one. I figured that the odds of me getting a car loan were pretty slim since I currently had no income. Even if I did get cleared for a loan, I didn't feel comfortable signing myself up for a monthly bill that I did not know if I could actually afford once I did get some kind of a job.

Enter my unwaveringly sweet grandma. She offered to give me a loan for the remainder of the cost of the car. No minimum monthly payment needed, no interest, and I could take as long as I needed to repay her. It felt like a dream come true.

Once I secured some income, I began to pay back my grandma in fits and starts. Despite the relaxed agreement between my grandma and me, I began to feel incredibly guilty for owing her so much money. If I had to miss a month or even more because other financial obligations crept up, I felt like I was letting her doubt and being irresponsible. The dream arrangement was beginning to feel more like a nightmare.

I had and still very much have student loans from both undergrad and grad school that were and are accruing interest, but I decided that paying back my grandma was more important than sending extra payments to my student loans. Sallie Mae is a company. My grandmother is a person. I treasure my relationship with her far more than the money I would of used to pay interest on student loans. Two years ago, I decided that no matter what, I would send her a check every month for at least $200. If I had to dip into savings, I had to dip into savings. If I had to sell unused and unwanted possessions, I had to sell them. Any extra money I got went to the debt I owed my grandma. My large tax return that would have looked nice in my savings account or shaved off of my student loans went straight to my grandma.

Last week, I wrote my last car payment check to my grandmother. Because I moved in with my dad temporarily until my next job is secured, I was able to send her much more than $200 these last few months. I am so glad that my grandma trusted me enough to lend me thousands of dollars, but I'm even more glad that the debt has been paid back in full. Now my debt elimination plan is focused solely on those pesky student loans.

I like to talk about personal finance in conjunction with hoarding and living with a hoarder because they are so often intertwined. My mother is the cheapest person I have ever met. And I'm not mistaking the term "cheap" for "frugal." I am a money conscious person with many frugal tendencies. My mother is just out and out cheap. Her cheapness has not always been out of necessity; rather, it is yet another symptom of her hoarding. I like to highlight my experiences with personal finance because money issues were commonly at the forefront of living with my mother. I no doubt learned a good number of money saving tips and tricks from her, but my handling of money is often very different from what I observed living with my mother.

A taste of fall

American Apparel Oxford shirt dress as shirt | Dex c/o HauteLook dress | c/o Ruche belt | Blowfish flats

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Peachy keen

J. Crew floral headband | Target shirt | Old Navy skirt (outlet) | Simple flats

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Yipes, stripes!

Little Yellow Button striped shirt (thrifted) | Gap corduroy skirt | Rocket Dog flats

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pony up

J. Crew tunic (outlet) | Target tank | Target headband | Ralph Lauren skirt (thrifted) | c/o Ruche belt | Blowfish flats

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Legs

Matix c/o HauteLook dress | c/o Ruche belt | Rocket Dog flats

A very happy non-iversary to me

by JuditK via Flickr
3 years ago today, I was supposed to tie the knot. Instead, 6 months before, I gave my engagement ring back to my fiance and moved out of our apartment.

I've made passing references to my ex-fiance on this blog and I figured, what better day than today to address this skeleton in my closet?

The most common question I get when I divulge this bit of information is, "Why did you break it off?" My ex was not a bad person. He treated me well. He was creative, intelligent, kind, and devoted to me. We rarely fought. We had some swell times together.

As the wedding day got closer and closer; however, I didn't feel like I was making the right decision. Truth be told, I should have paid better attention to that feeling on our first date and especially on the day he proposed. There was a voice that told me no on both of those days, but I ignored it. I continued to ignore it until I made some less than wise decisions and couldn't continue to pretend like everything was okay.

Growing up in the environment that I did, I was always searching for an escape. I wanted to grow up fast so that I could finally leave. I was never happy with the present and pushed, fought tooth and nail, for the future to come now now now. This drive continued to direct me through college and into adulthood despite leaving behind the squalor. I graduated college in 3 years because I wanted to tackle the next big thing. Truth be told, I'm still running irrationally. I worked full time and went to school full time so I could get my masters as fast as possible and start my career already. The difference is, I'm not running blindly anymore.

I realized that I ran head first into a relationship with a man that I wasn't attracted to so that I could check that off my list and keep on running. If I started a home of my own, then I could erase the home that I came from, right? I could get on with it and be "normal." In reality, I felt incredibly, incredibly old. Honeymooners are supposed to be full of romance. I was struggling to reciprocate a kiss. I was settling for a man who loved me whom I didn't romantically love back. I couldn't do that to me. I couldn't do that to him. We both deserved better.

I made the difficult, right decision and ended the relationship. I vowed to live my young life as a young person and to not settle anymore. Life is not a race. No amount of running will free me from my past anyway.

So today I'm raising a glass in honor of my decision to continue to grow and respect the youth in my veins.

Cheers! Prost! Na zdravĂ­!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Two for one

Dex c/o HauteLook dress as skirt | grey American Eagle t-shirt | Rocket Dog shoes

Well, I tried to post via Blogger mobile last night and I don't think it really worked, so here are two outfits in one post for you! I have Mondays off and it was full of chores, errands, and seeing the boyfriend's family. I dressed accordingly.

Target flower headband | J. Crew outlet shirt | Gap striped skirt | Blowfish shoes

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Down on the farm


Scarf as headband: thrifted | T-shirt: American Eagle | Jeans: Seven 7 (thrifted)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wherein an old dress learns new tricks

Chambray shirt: Old Navy | Wrap dress as skirt: H&M | Necklace: Ruche | Shoes: Rocket Dog | Bag that shouldn't have been included in the shot: Timbuk2

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

30x30 Overview

I decided to join in on my college roommate's 30x30 wardrobe challenge currently going on at her blog, Animated Cardigan. What is 30x30, you ask? It's when you choose 30 items from your closet and only wear those 30 items over the course of 30 days. Rewearing the same items forces you to remix your clothes in ways that you may not have thought of before. It's a nice way to stretch your creativity and make use of clothing your already own, thus fighting against clutter. Kendi over at Kendi Everyday was the creator of the concept.

Everyone does 30x30 a little differently. I tried to pick a mix of items I wear all of the time and items I haven't worn in a really long time. I decided that since it's spring (unpredictable weather) and I am a librarian (hello, cliche), I did not include my cardigans in my 30x30. I almost always have a cardigan on me in case the library is particularly cold, but I do not always wear it. I'm going to plan my outfits sans cardigans, but may be forced to put one on if it's too chilly in the stacks.

Lastly, I wanted to apologize for the quality of some of the pictures. I was trying to keep two cats from escaping outside while I was taking these pictures, so the image quality suffered occasionally. Also, some of these items desperately need to be ironed, so I'll be sure to do that before I actually wear them :-).

So, without further ado:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dandelion Wine

Photo by rishibando via Flickr

"I mustn't forget, I'm alive, I know I'm alive, I mustn't forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that."
-Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Like clockwork

As soon as I talked about how positive I felt about the future in my last post, wouldn't you know it, I got into a humongous fight with my dad and have been resurfacing from that experience since.

Our argument was based on a lot of miscommunication regarding health issues, responsibilities, and expectations and lasted for days. It reached a point where I felt that the only way to resolve it was to move out. Luckily, at this proposition, my dad balked and began to see reason again. It largely seems as though things have been resolved and we're all living together harmoniously once more.

What surprised me most about this experience was how deeply it affected me. I used to argue with my mother all of the time. If I still talked to her and saw her on a regular basis, I have no doubt that I would still argue with her constantly. On the other hand, my dad and I rarely argue. I think I can count on one hand how many times we have ever argued. I grew up in a living situation that was horrible and I didn't want to be in, so how could an argument about my current living situation that caused me to not want to be there anymore plunge me into a depression?

I think the root of the problem was the fact that it was my dad who I was arguing with and it was about me living with him. I've joked in the past that if it weren't for my dad being so awesome and supportive, living with my hoarder mother would have seriously screwed me up for life. Going through the confrontation last week made me realize how true that statement is. When I felt like I couldn't talk to my dad and I felt unwelcome in his home, I felt like I had absolutely nothing. Having only one "good" parent throws the whole parental support system off kilter and causes me to rely much more on my dad. When it's not status quo with my dad, I essentially feel orphaned.

It took me most of this week to feel normal again. Now that I'm back into the swing of things, I hope like hell that my dad and I won't have to butt heads like that again for a long, long time, if ever.

If you have one hoarder parent and rely more on the other parent for emotional support, have you ever felt the way that I did when you've argued with your "good" parent?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hello again

Well folks, I graduated from library school while working full time and lived to tell the tale! Now that it is all behind me, I have more time to focus on the more neglected aspects of my life, including this blog.

A lot has changed since I last wrote. I moved out of my wonderful, glorious apartment and am living with my dad south of Richmond. I decided to take this less than ideal step because I am job hunting and I do not know where I'll be in a few months. Freedom from a lease will enable me to more easily relocate. I am still working as a library assistant and can stay on for as long as I'd like, but they do not have the money to open up a librarian position for me, so I'm looking elsewhere.

I had a phone interview with a university in Pennsylvania and am waiting to hear if they want me to come up for an in person interview. For those of you who know my hatred of Pennsylvania due to my awful childhood there, I was as surprised as you are to discover that the thought of moving back sit well with me once I got over the initial knee jerk reaction of disgust. I've also applied to a few other jobs and plan to apply to more as they cross my path.

In short, there's been a whole lot of a movin' and a shakin'. The future is wide open and lookin' pretty good. I'll be keeping you posted :-).