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Seizing the Day

I’ve been watching and listening to my Newsies soundtracks lately, and its brought back a resurgence of a group of fans known as the Newsies Mailing List.  I’ve been looking back  on some of my posts from 1998-present, and it’s chockfull of memories of youth. While some of the posts I made are cringe-worthy and full of awkward adolescent babble, other posts… they were from a version of myself that was full of life. I loved Seize the Day.  It was my middle school anthem song- my fight song, as you will.  I would burst into the song and was ready to take down giants.

Looking back on my past… it makes me feel so OLD and TIRED. Where is that girl who burst into song?  Where is that girl on a mission?  My exuberance for things seems to have gotten lost, and I am grasping to get back some of that life.  I have been so bored and sluggish in a lot ways.  My life feels like Belle in the Disney animated Beauty and the Beast- you know, the scene where she is out in the fields in her desire for the adventure in that great wide somewhere, and she picks up a dandelion seed plant, and she sings, “I want so much more than they’ve got planned!”

Being an adult is hard. I’ve lost friendships, gained friendships, had broken relationships that crushed me like a bug, went through some real life experiences that have tried to flatten me.  I feel like I’m drowning in financial insecurities, yet I am embracing the joy of creating art that I love while feeling the sorrow of not being able to live off of it.  I am trapped in a world where money equals power, and it sucks. I don’t know if I can carpe diem.  But I’m not going to just tuck my tail between my legs and call it a day.  Maybe I need a new anthem song.  Maybe not Seize the Day or the Belle Reprise, but maybe a mixture of both.

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Valentine Schmalentine

So many people are obsessed with Valentine’s Day.  I am not one of those people.  In fact, I think I’ve always been a bit of a cynic when it came to the holiday.  Most of my adolescence was spent pining after fictional characters (Spot Conlon from Newsies, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Predjudice, Calvin O’Keefe from the Wrinkle in Time series…), and much of my adult life, I was very dedicated to remaining single until “The One” showed up.  While waiting for “The One,” I was still a bit of a cynic when it came to romance and hearts and flowers, and all that lah-di-dah… especially when I moved to NYC.  In fact, I once hosted an “I hate Valentine’s Day” party where we watched scary movies, where cute little couples got murdered.  When I finally did enter into a relationship as an adult, it was a torturous one.  I was super desperate for love, and set my standards way lower than I should have, and thank the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost that it ended.  It was Valentine’s Day break up, and it sucked, but then I did my research and realized that the death of that relationship was exactly what Valentine’s Day is all about.

St. Valentine was sentenced to death on February 14, sometime in 260-80 AD.  He was a Roman priest who married Christians, who were being persecuted during the time of Claudius II reign. He was captured, imprisoned, beaten, clubbed, and then beheaded.  Happy stuff right?  Well, this day was meant to honor and remember him, but like many of our modern holidays, the church decided to paganize the holiness of St. Valentine’s sacrifice. They decided to couple Valentine’s Day with the pagan holiday Lupercalia- and that sh*t was CRAZY, y’all… I’m not so sure that St. Valentine would have approved of his death being commemorated by a drunken boink-fest.  But today, Valentine’s Day is about spending money, eating too much candy, and forced romance.

Yeah, I’m not all that into Valentine’s Day, if you couldn’t tell.

Biltmore Estates

That being said, in 2012, I did have a really lovely day on this commercialized, chocolate gobbling day.  I went to Biltmore Estates with my boyfriend who would later become my husband that same year, and we looked at the pretty house, then got tipsy from tasting all of the wines, and we had a romantic little dinner as well.  It was expensive, and I’d say it was worth every penny, but he paid for it, and I didn’t.

The year after, looked very different.  We were married at the time, and we have/had a combined income.  Since we were and are doing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, ain’t nobody got time for spending dolla-dolla bills to see a pretty house and have fancy food and drinks.  We’ve been on a budget of nothing, and since I’ve not really been into Valentine’s Day, in 2013, we took a different approach.

IMG_4922I spent zero money and made a list of reasons why I loved him on a deck of cards, and he took me out to Five Guys.  Nothing says I love you like a Five Guys Bacon Cheese Burger.  This guy knows what I’m talking about.

And this year?  Well, it’s pretty low key.  We’re not going out to dinner because we’re on a strict eating plan right now, but we do plan to indulge in a little snack of home made dark chocolate covered strawberries while watching Austenland.

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries  Austenland

I suppose there’s a little bit of romance to that, but really, Valentine’s day isn’t that big of a deal, and I think we’d be much better of a society if it just didn’t exist.

For singles, it’s horrible because it’s makes you feel like you’re abnormal for not being in a relationship, as if being married or having a plus one is all there is to life.  It also causes you to make bad decisions, like hooking up with someone just so you won’t be alone.  I’m just going to let you in on a secret.  About 65% of the time, marriage is really not fun at all.  You have to put up with someone else’s personality and emotional baggage, and figure out how to live with them without killing each other or leaving each other with psychotic tendencies.  If you’re single, you’re not missing out.  There are so many couples who are miserable and wish they could be single, so consider yourself lucky.

For couples, it’s puts pressure on you to waste money and to try to recreate a fictionalized version of love.  Oh, no, if Johnny doesn’t order me two dozen roses, it means that he doesn’t love me.  For people like me, who are living on a dime and a prayer, wine, godiva, diamonds, and roses are not in the budget.  Romance is good and fine, but sometimes, you just aren’t feeling it, and when it comes right down to it, faking it ’til making it is the worst advice anyone can give you.  I am very grateful for my husband, and I do love and appreciate him, but real love isn’t all hearts and flowers.  Real love can mean working two retail jobs to pay the bills, and having zero energy most of the time, just so that you can make your rent for the month.  Real love can be taking the time away from playing video games to clean the house and do the laundry instead of expecting your spouse to do it.

In the end, Valentine’s day, is just another day.  Can we just appreciate and learn to love one another each day without this obnoxious holiday’s existence?