Thursday, February 10, 2011

Online Dating

eharmony has their free conversation period through Feb. 28th. I decided now is the time to try the online dating thing. Unfortunately, the "free" period is too good to be true. I created a profile before reading the fine print (lessoned learned!). I can only communicate with the guys through answering and asking 5 predefined questions and sharing my must haves and must not haves. I cannot even see the pictures the guy posts. I really wanted to see if I liked online dating before committing to it. It is so expensive to try for a few months and not know if you will really like it. Now I have to decide if I want to commit to this. I am not sure if I really want to get involved in a relationship...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul

I made chicken noodle soup for the first time. Well... it is more like chicken, veggies, noodles and a little bit of broth. I followed the recipe and even added extra liquid. I am not sure why I ended up with practically no broth. It still tastes yummy and is going to serve its purpose. It is going to be a cold week and soup sounded comforting.

For the past week, the news has been broadcasting warnings for a winter storm to start tomorrow. Where I grew up, 12-18 inches of snow was not that uncommon. We have at least one storm a year. My parents are preparing for their second one this winter. They have salt trucks out already and snow plows with 3 blades. I am a bit worried about how the snow is going to be removed around here. This area has issues with clearing only a couple of inches. Maybe I will stay home the next couple of days...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This year...

This year is all about me. I need to fix myself so it must be all about me. Last year I started visiting a dark place I have not been in a long time. I felt alone and that I could not depend on the people I used to. Friendships were lost and I stopped trying to keep in contact with people. I spent the first 7 months growing deeper into a depression. My life became work because it was the only constant in my life. The only place where I felt alive and needed. I took this to the extreme and buried myself in work because it was easy to do and provided me with a sense of worth. I took on more and more at work and made it my life. I thought about it constantly and did not let go of it at the end of the day. It was easy to do with the long hours and long commute. I also had my laptop every moment of the day. I even went shopping carrying a laptop in my bag, brought it home with me when I went to visit my parents, took training materials on vacation with me, etc... I worked over the weekend. I complained to anyone who would listen about how much work I had to do. I blamed work for the way I felt when in reality I was just in a tough place in life. I moved back to Toledo because I did not know where else to go and I wanted to be closer to my BG friends. I wanted the closeness I had with the grad students. What I found out is that things change. People leave and going back to Toledo was not the same. I felt alone because I was no longer part of the BG crowd and hearing the stories was not as fun as being part of them. I buried myself in work so I never made friends who lived in Toledo and never went out with people at work because of the commute. I found myself spending a lot of weekends alone. When I did go out with people, it was like I was watching a show on TV. I was there but I was not part of it.

I hit my first low point when a guy I was dating gave up on me. It's not how he put it, but it is how I view it. I don't blame him. I wasn't capable of being in a relationship. The night we talked, I went to BG and got drunk... and I mean drunk. I was not capable of taking care of myself that night. I am pretty sure that was the drunkest I have ever been. I wanted to relive my BG life and wanted to crash college parties. I felt alive again because the alcohol and crazy night life covered up everthing I was feeling. (As a side note, I think I know how some people become alcoholics.)

After I recovered from that night, I started to realize that I needed to change my life. Change is not easy and I decided that it would be easiest to start over again. My first attempt was to get a job in Toledo to cut out the commute. When I could not find a job closer to where I lived, I looked at places where I really could start over again. New job, new city, and new friends. Finding a job in the tough economy was harder than finding one out of college. I sunk deeper into my depression and stopped doing the few remaining things I enjoyed. I decided to get away from work and took a vacation. It was on this solitaire vacation that I realized I was looking at everything the wrong way. It was not my job that was making me miserable. It was myself. I returned from my vacation and started to make changes in my life. It was not easy. Change is not easy no matter how much you want it.

So here I am today... dedicating 2011 to change and finding myself again. I am making new friends, finding new activities, and working normal hours again. Things are much better but there are still things I want to change in my life... such as losing the weight I managed to gain last year, continuing to meet people, email/call the people I lost touch with last year, get more involved in charity work, take better care of myself, and remember to smile every day.

January is almost over. I feel that every day I continue to make progress and gain confidence in myself again. I am looking forward to what this year brings.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lately in the news there have been a lot of acts of violent crime. Some of this is because of where I live. Unless you have been living in a bubble, you have probably also heard about the shooting in Tucson. I wonder what goes through someone's head as they are about to kill people. How do you justify it or tell yourself it is ok to take someone's life?

I work with someone who recently lost his sister and her 2 kids. The husband/father killed his family. I do not understand how someone can take the life away from something he created. How do you look your children in the eye and suffocate them with a pillow? How do you stab your wife to death? I imagine there were maritial problems or financial problems. Everyone has problems and I do not know how you can think murdering your family is the solution. It sickens me that people are that mentally unstable and believe taking a life is the only solution.

The gunman in Tucson lashed out at the world...people he did not know personally. This makes more sense to me than the husband who murdered his family. Don't get me wrong, both crimes are equally unforgiveable. It is just that I expect there to be crime in this world. I am not as shocked about hearing a gunmen attempt to murder a political figure as I am about a father suffocating his children.

My heart goes out to those who lose loved ones to any crime. It is harder to accept death of a loved one when you are not expecting it.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I consider myself to be in pretty good shape. I exercise several times a week and sometimes even more than once a day. OK... I am obsessed with working out. Yesterday, I ran 4 miles and practiced some stuff for ice skating. Today I went on the elliptical for 50 minutes and then went x-country skiing. I never thought x-country skiing would require so much energy. I am exhausted. It was a great time though! The girls I went with are planning on going up north for a longer trip. Guess I better kick up the workouts a bit...

I have another ice skating lesson tomorrow. Every time I am out on the ice, I see improvements in my skating. I cannot wait to compete in a sport that makes me feel beautiful. Most of my workouts are intense and I am sweating and breathing hard. Ice skating is the complete opposite. I am not out on the ice sweating, grunting, and breathing hard. I am out there gliding and flowing with the music.

I made two goals for 2011. The first is to compete in figure skating. The second is to run a marathon. I really need to start running more. My 4-6 mile runs are not conditioning me for a 26.2 mile run!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why not?

I have wanted to start blogging for awhile now. I have always feared that no one would want to read my blog. My life is not that exciting. Today is the day I am getting past that fear and realize the blog is for me anyways. Who cares if no one follows me!

In case you did not notice, the Valentine's Day stuff is out full force in all stores. This year it reminds me of a promise my aunt asked me to keep at Christmas. Holidays with the family tends to be more of a "Tell Carrie what is wrong with her" discussion than a celebration. My family means well, but they can be a bit brutal.

As I was leaving my cousin's house on Christmas Day, my aunt pulls me aside and says "Carrie, promise me that you will work on finding a husband this year. You need a good man in your life." I couldn't breathe. I felt like someone just punched me in the stomach. Husband? Marriage? Me? I could not open my mouth in fear that I would start hyperventilating. I just nodded and gave her a hug.

Growing up, I used to listen to my parents fighting knowing what came next: silence. My dad would stop talking to my mom. Sometimes the silence between my parents lasted a few days and sometimes a few months. The tension in the house was unbearable and I hated listening to my mom cry. I also knew that I was going to have to take care of myself because my mom would forget to.

My mom tried to move out a couple of times, but she did not know how to support herself and 2 kids on her small income. I made a promise to myself that I would always be able to support myself so that I would be able to walk away. So here I am today sitting in my very own apartment able to pay all of my bills and still have money left over for fun stuff. I found a great job and have proven to myself that I can make it on my own. I thought this would make me ready to settle down and start a family. Instead, it had the opposite effect. I enjoy being single and living my life. Why is it so hard for my family to understand this?