Hiking Turned Spontaneous Drive

Last Sunday, I figured I would hike Storm King Mountain since it was on my list and I could pass by the Beacon farmers market to get the brilliant goat cheese. Turns out, on can not turn off to the trail head from the South bound side of Route 9W. I had to drive 3 miles to the next exit and I found myself at the West Point visitor center and museum… They are not actually in West Point by the way. West Point does have restrictions for going there, as they should. I figured I should check it out what I can since I am here. No regrets. I live for adventures like this.

West Point is nestled at a bend on the West bank of the Hudson river where you can not see it coming up for New York. That is what makes it such an ingenious spot to place a military academy. There is a brief history on their website if you want to know more.

Its free. The visitors center really gives you an idea about going to school there, while the museum displays objects and artifacts of the US army’s history. The basement is where you find the big guns and crafty weaponry. It was a quick side trip.

I got back on the road to get back to Storm King Mountain. Turned out to be a historically significant site. The Freedom Road, “The route traveled by the 52 American hostages from Stewart airport to West Point after their release from captivity in Iran January 25, 1981.” Honestly, I thought… It was the 1980s… Why did they not just get in a car? Turns out, they were on buses and Route 9W was part of the path they took.

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The hike was beautiful as it was the last weekend to catch a glimpse of that gorgeous Fall foliage. I also got to do some bouldering. The views were amazing. It can be a quick hike too, if you do not stop as often as I did to drop your jaw.

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Post hike I was starving and thanked my past self for hiding an RXbar in my Camelbak, but I also stopped by a farm stand for a classic NY Apple Cider donut. That and the sandwich I picked up were the perfect end to the day.

Motivation

First… sorry I did not complete the last post before it posted. It is complete now, with pictures. I probably could go into more detail, but it was a great trip and much needed!

Now to this post… I feel like I have talked about how I am self motivated person before… like early on when I wrote more about fitness. However, you also have to be motivated to move forward in life. Sometimes you just have to just do the difficult task and all the others seem so much easier.

I have an appointment tomorrow with a divorce lawyer. I needed to do this. Cohabitation post break up is not healthy. While I am looking and applying for jobs… I need a break from this. Its intense at times.

It was difficult and hurt my former partner, but it needs to be done. We both need to move forward so we can heal. The sooner the better. Also, if I move to my location of choice *hint… mountains, f*ck loads of them* then it should be easier to get interviews and get a job. I just have to be wise and spend at least 6 hours a day searching and applying for jobs. I could do it… its scary, but I could do it.

#BlessedToBeASelfMotivator

Extended Weekend in Michigan

My second post that I did not complete, but was posted… oops!

I went to University of Michigan for graduate school and therefore lived in Ann Arbor for 4 years. No regrets. I love Michigan, not just the school, but the state. It is a beautiful and unique place full of sports and gorgeous scenery 😉

I have been planning a trip back for years. I left in 2013 and my excuse for why I did not come back sooner… lame. I let someone else impact my actions, not anymore.

I landed earlier in the day and explored Detroit with my friend from High School that met up with me there. Eastern Market is amazing. Bell Isle has crazy views of Detroit and Windsor.

 

I went to Theatre Bizarre to see a friend who was preforming and enjoy a relatively crazy night out in one of my favorite cities. I have fallen for a new band, Bella’s Bartok, and may try to see a full show here in NY state before I leave.

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The view of Detroit from the Masonic temple is gorgeous…

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Day 2 was sent in Ann Arbor, taking my friend around campus and meeting up with a couple of my dear friends from graduate school. Just had to stop a Sweetwaters, Zingerman’s, Sidetrack and Busch’s… 🙂

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My last day was spent applying for a job through my cellphone… let me tell you… editing your resume and writing a cover letter and definitely be done via your mobile. Then we road tripped to Hell, MI and Frankenmuth, MI and I need to go back. Michigan has a plethora of adorable towns. Go, you will not regret it.

The day ended with my favorite sushi roll ever, the Phoenix roll at UMI sushi in Ann Arbor. The roll of my dreams the last 6 years.

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See you again soon Michigan…

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A Journey in the Northeast US

I surprised a friend last weekend that I will see again today. He was doing a bike ride with our other friend who current lives only 2 hours from me. Of course, I turned this trip into a journey. I made a couple stops before getting to Williamstown, MA for the surprise.

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I enjoy drinking herbal tea, especially when it gets chilly and because I can not have caffeine due to heart issues. Traditional Medicinals and Celestial Seasonings are my favorite brands because they make crazy delicious and nurturing teas. However, with living in the Hudson Valley now, I have been told I need to check out Harney & Son’s. It is local here, though you can find it on the shelves at Target around the nation.

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Harney & Son’s is located in Millerton, NY, adorable town. I picked up a new favorite tea cup, a couple herbal teas for myself and a gift for my friend who was so kind to let me crash the last night of the guys weekend. After my tea excursion and grabbing a chai for the road, I went for a hike at Bash Bish Falls. It was a quick one, 20 min total for me. The falls were gorgeous though and I got a great workout back up to the parking lot.

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Next was surprising A a week early at Trail House Kitchen & Bar in North Adams, MA. He looked quite confused, but his hug was filled with all the love I needed. I miss the days in graduate school where we had deep conversations and he would test how much of a light weight I am. Needless to say, I was drunk not too far into the evening. BTW, this beer and the apple cider drink the other A concocted for me were brilliant.

 

 

We had a grand adult slumber party of games and catching up. It was exactly what I needed after a rough week. The next morning we grabbed breakfast and enjoyed the baby laughs before A had to hit the road back to Michigan. The other A, his baby and I took a trip up to the highest point in Massachusetts, Greylock. It was peak Fall foliage and breathe taking. After lunch, I made my way back down to the Hudson Valley.

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Striving to Heal in a Challenging Time

I am trying to spend as much time with friends as possible, as I have no family in the area and most of my support system lives in the Midwest. I am so lucky to have friends here. My ex does not, and it shows in how they are taking this.

People care about me and I want to make sure I return to being the human I feel they deserve to have as a comrade. I love sharing in their moments of joy, spending quality time together, and being there for them. I love them, oh so much. I set up an appointment with a therapist.

It will be a very good thing. I enjoy working on myself and I have never had the individual attention to fully do so. And with things still blowing up… I need to start with this. Then start the divorce process and I leave. I can not fully heal in this place. So leaving is a must.

I will be back to see the beautiful souls who have done what feels like everything for me the last few months, I am talking to you A. I was meant to come here to meet you. Thank you can not express how blessed I feel to have you as a friend. I love you.

I noticed I have a lot of close friends with A names… Maybe I should start believing in signs. Off to see 2 close A name friends from grad school tomorrow. I can not wait to scare the crap out of A… *sneaky grin* I have to make it back home to my A-girl too, her hugs bring me back to life. The A’s have me… and some M’s, some K’s, a L and a P. #SoCryptic #IAmLoved

Cooperstown, NY

Two weeks ago, I took a 2.5 hour drive to baseball heaven, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I love sports and hitting up all the stadiums I possibly can. Baseball is the sport I have been devoted to watching most of my life. Growing up in St. Louis, MO everyone I knew was a Cardinals fan. I also played softball for several years as a kid, among other sports.

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The trip was one night to just have to myself and I love going on adventures. The drive up was beautiful with the leaves just beginning to change and full of me singing at the top of my lungs (poorly I should say, as I am tone deaf) to my “How do you sleep?” play list. It may be the last time I enjoy listening to that.

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I arrived around 10:45 AM and parked at Doubleday Field, the claimed origin where baseball was first played. I sent out a Snapchat and Instagram post for my friends to let them know I arrived and get postcard requests. I watched some high school boys play ball while I had my first meal of the day. Luke was on first in place of who and the team was the Silver Knights instead of St. Louis. I salute you if you know what I am talking about there.

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After finishing my pretzels with cheese and RXbar, I made my way down Main St toward the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I went straight to the Hall of Fame and knew I was in a special place. Sure there were a lot of Yankees fans, but I saw many teams represented. I even found a fellow Cards fan and chatted with a man in a Detroit Tigers hat about my years of living in Michigan. I love those years and that place. He just responded, “its alright.” I also walked past Angels, Rockies, Phillies, Blue Jays, Mets, Marlins, Rays, A’s and some Hispanic teams I had not heard of.

 

As I walked through the museum, I saw the jersey Chris Carpenter pitched in during Game 7 of the 2011 World Series and the replica of the Stan “The Man” Musial’s locker. I also read quotes that resonated with me from Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron and Yogi Berra. Fun fact, my Grandpa Mayor played ball with Yogi Berra when the Dogtown neighborhood boys would play the Italians from The Hill. Lastly, the women who plowed the way for every gal to play ball, Go South Bend Blue Sox!

After 3-4 hours and another walk around the Hall of Fame, I browsed the gift shop and grabbed some postcards for myself and to send to others. Of course, most of Main St is a gift shop as well with f*ck loads of autographed memorabilia. I debated a Musial jersey, but settled for a black and white cookie instead, which I ate while people watching.

Then, I drove all of 2 blocks to my motel to check in, park the car for the rest of the trip and catch the last 2/3 of the Cardinals vs. Cubs game. I had a cocktail, salad and enormous burger for dinner at Mel’s at 22 down the street. The rest of the day was pretty low key, with a mildly stressful phone call, journal writing, giggling over how ridiculous I look with a face mask and early bedtime.

While in town the next morning, I mailed 10 postcards and felt the magic of baseball all around me. While eating a late breakfast before I left where I sat elbow to elbow in the small Cooperstown Diner with 2 local men (one in his 80s and the other in his 60s) who are both Yankees fans. We talked about our favorite baseball moments and about life.

They were the first strangers I told about my impending divorce. The older of the two gentlemen said, “a man who would treat you so poorly… a woman willing to come to this place alone because she loves the game that much… doesn’t deserve you.” The kindness those men showed me really made the trip.

Oh and I ran into some Uppers!

 

An Era of My Life Comes to a Close.

I ended my 10 year relationship with my partner.

Even before the weekend in Cooperstown, NY, I knew I would never feel the same way again and was just a bundle of nerves about the thought of ending such a long relationship. The relationship, however, turned out to be nothing like I thought it was and my partner became a stranger to me so quickly. Things over 2019 had become so strained. Then I uncovered a 10 year old lie, which led to me learning of more lies from over the years.

This is what I have been going through.

While I have to carefully navigate the legal termination of this relationship and continue to cohabitate until I figure out a new plan for my life or at least what my life will look like for a little while. I assume it will be finding a new job that has a salary and benefits. I will move to an area I have wanted to live for a long time and where I have more of a support system.

It scares me that I was financially dependent on someone else for the past 2 years.

Finally making my decision concrete has made me feel like life can finally start moving forward for both of us. I have spent years feeling like it was my responsibility to carry the relationship and to make all the sacrifices for our future, which only made me resentful. Additionally, over the last 2 months, I felt so guilty because this human is dependent on me and I put myself in a situation where I allowed poor treatment.

It will take a lot of time and work on both our parts, but life will be good again.

Finding Clarity

While I feel like I am exiting survival mode and caring for myself better, I am constantly recognizing what I am feeling and allowing myself to just feel it. Mostly, I feel so over this bullsh*t. I am enjoying time to do things for myself (whether solo or with friends) and getting back into a workout routine so I have time to process all the thoughts. It is not just about self-care and feeling good about yourself, it is your overall mental and emotional health.

I am allowing myself the space I wanted from the moment sh*t hit the fan for me. I am taking at least 2 trips. One solo overnight trip to Cooperstown, NY (because I love sports, especially St. Louis Cardinals baseball so why not see the baseball hall of fame) and then an extended weekend in Michigan to catch up with old friends I should have visited a long *ss time ago. My excuse is merely an excuse and I should not have let that stop me from going back to Michigan.

Being around family and friends has been so healing and I need to do more of it. So I am also looking to visit my hometown and Chicago before the end of the year as well. I would also like to visit Colorado, the place I dreamed of living since 2008.

While physical space is as good as it can be for now, I am also doing everything I can to process all the thoughts. Most of my running, hiking, strength training or walking is done to thought provoking songs. Music can do a many splendid things such as clear my head, make me dance and completely express my feelings in the perfect way. Every word of a song can completely hit home.

Thank you Sam Smith for “How do you sleep?” Also, thank you to my sister for sharing Sara Bareilles “She Used To Be Mine.”

Additionally, you need those things that get you out of your head to give you a break. My mind can become exhausted at times with all the feelings, role playing scenarios, fantasies of what could be and overwhelming mental implosions. Yoga and meditation have been a daily practice for me, as well as a trips down to the city for a baseball game. I need those moments to focus on something else to gain some peace.

How do you find clarity?

Completing Old Tasks

While I am thinking about signing up for a leadership and management course and looking into some ways to freshen up my coding skills… I still have a child care training course through the red cross that I need to complete from almost 2 years ago… Oops!

My plan is to at least get started on completing it before this post goes up and to have my certificate in my hands (or more likely downloaded) by the end of the month. Then, I will enroll in the 5 month leadership and management course on Coursera. I really want to take the course, so hopefully that will motivate me to complete the child care training.

There are always so many things you would like to do, but just not enough time to do them unless you make it a priority. I signed up to take the child care course because I thought it would help me get some babysitting jobs between leaving Chicago and arriving here in New York state. I had plenty of time to do it, but clearly it did not take precedence in my life at the time. Now that I work with kids, I probably to just get it done.

Also, I know I want kids. I only questioned it because of my current turbulent situation. Time to grow more as a person and complete some old tasks.

A New Routine

In August, I started doing some physical activity I stopped doing 2 years ago. Well, my cycle is back and seems to be unaffected by working out. So I am slowly getting back into the groove, though I am not doing anything Earth shaking. I will admit, my workout routine when I started this blog was a bit much to maintain with my stress levels.

My intention now is to have a plan and try to stick to it, ff I am not feeling it who the h*ll cares. I try to do a 10 to 50 min yoga video or meditation everyday and just go for walks when I feel like it, which typically happens everyday. So here is the lose plan I am following or not:

Monday (technically its like my Sunday since I work Tuesday through Saturday)

  • Morning yoga (10 to 50 min)
  • Hiking or walking (at least an hour and weather pending)

Tuesday

  • Morning yoga (10 to 50 min)
  • Upper body strength training (5 min warm up, 20 min workout, 5 min cool down stretching)
  • Walk

Wednesday

  • Sunrise run (10 min around the neighborhood)
  • Morning yoga (10 to 50 min)
  • Walk

Thursday

  • Morning yoga (10 to 50 min)
  • Lower body strength training (5 min warm up, 20 min workout, 5 min cool down stretching)
  • Walk

Friday

  • Morning yoga (10 to 50 min)
  • Post work walk (about an hour)

Saturday

  • Sunrise run (10 min around the neighborhood)
  • Morning yoga (10 to 50 min)
  • Walk

Sunday

  • Morning Yoga (10 to 50 min)
  • Walk