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Miss Independence (Day)

Apparently 28 is the age when just your solo presence isn’t appreciated at your family cookout. I should have brought a pasta salad. 

The last time I didn’t attend a family event, my love life was discussed. My grandma apparently loves telling the story about the guy that I had been seeing who moved to Asia and married someone else. It’s a classic.

This time, I was elated that my youngest sister was introducing her boyfriend to the family so maybe the focus wouldn’t be on my love life, or lack there of.

It started off well. My other sister heard my great aunt exclaim that my sister had brought a good-looking man with her! But once all the introductions were made, the attention turned back to me as one of my uncles asked “Where’s your boyfriend?” After I remarked that I didn’t have one, he said it’s probably for the best. He told me they just want your money. My thoughts at this point were, “Good thing, I’m not rolling in the riches” and “Yes! Finally someone on my side.”

He may have been the only one. My cousin brought by a baby girl that she was babysitting and I decided I wanted to hold her. Kids love me. All was well until she was sitting on my lap and she starting with her little baby poots. Mind you, I was wearing white jeans, which I never do because I’m a magnet for a mess. So I begin to pass the baby back to my cousin when she asks if I want to change her diaper.

“I’ve done my time of wiping butts.” My aunt who is sitting next to my cousin asks what I mean. I explain how I started babysitting when I was 14 and I have a 4 and a half year old niece; I’ve done my time. I mean I’m not especially eager to jump up and wipe any butts of anyone who you know, isn’t related to me or my responsibility. “One day you’ll have some babies and a husband.” Hmm…debatable. I told her I would have a really nice fish. (They wipe their own butts!). Apparently getting a fish equals denying my family the pleasure of seeing my babies, you know the ones that don’t exist yet.

Anyway we’d prepped my sister’s boyfriend for our family so I couldn’t wait until we sat down at the table   You know, all 24 of us. I opted to sit down by the older folks; I felt like it would result in the best stories. It definitely didn’t disappoint. My other uncle (I have 6) asked where my guest was. I told him it was my sister, after all I did ride with her. But she’s family she can’t be a guest. So I tried to claim her boyfriend as my guest since he rode with us too but apparently it’s one guest to a person. I had to let him know I didn’t have a guest.  “Why not? Is he working?” My response, “I don’t know who he is but he better be working.” This girls got standards for her imaginary boyfriend.

Then my uncle asks if I’ve heard from my cousin (his son) and I mention that I didn’t even know he was at the beach until his roommate told me. My grandma’s ears perk up when she hears my cousin’s roommate’s name.  “Y’all have a thing?” “No Granny. We do not have a thing. That would be kind of awkward for his girlfriend.”

Then my uncle and grandma grill me about why I didn’t invite him. Apparently him being with his girlfriend is not a good excuse because according to my grandma I could have invited her too. My uncle said if I invited him, he’d be there with me and not be wherever he was with his girlfriend. We are desperate enough about my having a guest that we are stealing them from other people. 

After an uncomfortable conversation about how my grandma had bathed in Epsom salt and how she told her boyfriend (yes, my grandma has a boyfriend) to feel how soft her skin is, the topic of conversation thankfully turned to dessert.  My grandma’s boyfriend asked my sister if she had made apple dumplings and then my grandma asked my sister’s boyfriend if he’d ever tried them. “Yes ma’am, that’s how she got me.” The thought that I should learn to cook quickly slipped into my head and out of my mouth before I had a chance to think about the consequences. “Well there’s your problem,” says my grandma. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” says my great aunt. I order take out like a champ is what they don’t know.

As the night was winding down and after my aunt made a point to tell my sister what a nice guy her boyfriend was, I begin saying my goodbyes! “Maybe next time you can bring your guest,” says my uncle. I tell him I’ll have to find one first. We’re going to the beach at the end of this month and he tells me they’ll be plenty of prospects down there. Family vacation is going to be interesting. 

Long Story Short: My grandma accidentally put blue cheese in the cole slaw instead of mayonnaise, the custard in the homemade ice cream was burnt, but still the biggest disappointment of the family cookout was that Tiffany did not bring a guest. 

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Snowstorm Jonas

2016 has certainly started quite interestingly. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary to ring the new year in but still within its first 24 days its had its adventures. Until 2 days ago, I would have said that going to Nashville, Tennessee was the most exciting thing that has happened thus far. (Don’t worry, you’ll hear more about that later!)

But that was before Jonas. Who’s Jonas, you ask? Well unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you’ve heard of Jonas. And if you have been living under a rock, it’s probably covered with inches (or maybe feet, depending on where said rock is) of snow.

That’s right. We’ve only made it 3 weeks in 2016 and we’ve been hit with our first major snowstorm/blizzard. The snow started on falling on Friday at about 10 AM here in Richmond, almost bringing with it an anxiety attack on how I was going to get home from work (you know my feelings on snow) and didn’t stop falling until late Saturday evening. I measured at last 8 inches at some places in my backyard, where my car seems to be stranded for quite some time, but there were definitely places in the Richmond/Central Virginia area that got more than a foot of snow. NBC 12 News is reporting 12-14 inches for my neighborhood.

The inches of snow aren’t the only numbers from this storm I’ve been tracking. Since Friday when I got home from work, I’ve only consumed 2 bottles of wine and watched approximately 20 episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Living alone and only having left the house once in two days, I have a severe case of cabin fever and I am in desperate need of human interaction.

For those of you have that were lucky enough to miss out on Jonas or want to see it from my perspective, please enjoy these photos.

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Long Story Short: 2016 started with a major snowstorm. I’m looking forward to warmer weather.

Looking Back: The 2015 Edition

It’s funny the difference a year can make. At this time last year, I was preparing to go out of town with my roommates to Charleston, South Carolina to ring in the New Year. I was still in the midst of falling madly for an Army boy who had recently moved 8,000 miles away that I messaged every day. I still wasn’t quite sure how I felt about my job; it had been a rough year.

2015 started with me spending a couple of days in Charleston and I made my way back home. I started college again for the first time in 5 years. In March, my stepsister moved to Kentucky and a week later I flew out to see her and conquered navigating an airport alone for the first time. It didn’t help that it had snowed 20 inches in Kentucky and my trip got completely rerouted but I did get to spend two days in Hartford, Connecticut, a location I would never have toured otherwise.

I ran my 4th Monument Avenue 10K and inched closed to my sub-60 min 10K goal.  My best friend gave birth to an adorable baby girl, that I love with all my heart. I celebrated my 27th birthday in a low key manner, with dinner with the family and a Richmond Squirrels game with two close friends. I had my heart broken. I watched my sister graduate from college.

I spent my Friday nights at the race track with old friends, reminiscent of my childhood. I spent warm summer days at the river. I tried to be casual. I did the whole Tinder thing and after a month and a half, I deleted it. I moved out of my apartment with 3 roommates and moved into my own one bedroom place. I spent numerous work days working in our Winchester and Harrisonburg offices. I took a road trip to Philadelphia with my youngest sister to see my dad and venture around the city. We watched Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and I took my sister to her first Major League Baseball game.

I had a reunion with my college roommates. I did the annual fantasy football draft weekend. I went to Orlando for work and walked around Downtown Disney. I started my second semester of my certificate program. I started dating someone new. I bought a couch! I attended my 9th consecutive JMU Homecoming and got to experience College Game Day coming to campus.

My niece turned 4 years old. I went through what may be my most mature breakup ever. I ran my second half marathon and beat my personal record by 17 minutes. I attended two more JMU home football games, saw JMU become co-CAA champions and go to playoffs. I got a promotion at work that comes with a raise. I made new work friends. I spent the holidays with my amazing family.

I looked back on 2015. While there was no shortage of tears and sadness this year, there was also an abundance of good times and lessons learned. I can’t believe all of the above and more happened in just one year’s time. I’m going to miss 2015 but I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds.

Long Story Short: I was extremely blessed in 2015. Can’t wait for 2016! I hope you’ll stick around to see what the next chapter holds!

Running: Mind over Matter

Last year at about this time, I made my mind up for to run my first half marathon. 13.1 miles; just so I could say I’d done it. My friend told me afterwards, “I guess you’ll be running the full marathon next year.”

Trust me, I had no want to run 26.2 miles. Heck, I hardly wanted to ever run 13.1 miles…you know, ever again.

But I’m a glutton for punishment and I found myself signing up for the half marathon yet again.

And guess what! I beat last year’s time by 17 minutes and 3 seconds! And I feel so accomplished! Again, I accomplished this feat without training (I’m an athletic anomaly)!

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So of course, I’ve already starting planning out my next couple of races and goals and I’ve been completed bitten by the racing bug. Because that’s what I like: the racing but not the training.

Which got me to thinking, why do I like running? I’m not an athlete (or you know, naturally athletic)…no matter how hard I try to be. Though if there are cute clothes and accessories required, I’ll try anything once.

And I don’t do that training thing. Why train and be in pain for several weeks (or even months) leading up to the race, when you can just be in pain that one day?

I think it’s the fact that I feel like I’m accomplishing the impossible. I’m doing what no one (not even myself) thinks I can do and I love that feeling of accomplishment.

Once in high school, the track coach saw me and said to a girl on the team, “Who’s that girl? She looks like a runner.” To which the girl responded, “That’s Tiffany. I’ve known her all her life and she’s not athletic.”

So it took me a couple of years after that until I actually became a runner…but better late than never. Get excited about all the races and goals I’ve got planned for next year. There will probably be a lot for you to hear about!

Long Story Short: I ran 13.1 miles for the second time and I was better at it than last year. Looking forward to my next race!

Fall

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. – John Lennon

Somehow it seems as if I just blinked and it’s November already. I started out the summer in a very dark place. I decided the only way to make it better was to make a list of things to accomplish to make this summer better than the last. I had it all planned out. You know how plans turn out. They don’t.  I didn’t end up getting very many things on that list done. Also there were some bumps in the road I wasn’t expecting. Things tend to get worse before they get better.

But before I knew it, it was fall. And what do you know, things started to fall into place.

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I’m finally getting settled into my new apartment – I bought a couch! Also as always there are new characters with whom I’m waiting to see how things go. Work is going exceptionally well. And fall is my favorite season because it means football, friends and family. I’m hoping that I’ll have a lot to share with you over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Long Story Short: Sometimes things go differently than what you have planned but you always end up where you’re supposed to be. 

I’m Not a Bad Luck Charm…

I’m an adventure token!

But really, consider that your fair warning if you ever decide to travel with me. What can I say? What can go wrong always seems to go wrong.

For instance a couple of weekends ago, I was planning the most spectacular weekend reunion with my favorite college roommates when on my way home from work Friday my car starts making a noise in which it sounds like it’s going to explode any moment. I get home and decide to take things into my own hands, since none of the people who I thought would be good at cars were answering my texts. I carefully lift the hood of my car and walk around it in my jeans and high heels (it was Casual Friday at work) until I finally find out that the heat shield underneath my car is loose and that’s where all the noise is coming from. When I figure out that my car wasn’t going to explode, I drove it like that for a whole week and half and basically got used to the sound. Hmm…I kind of miss it.

Or there was the mess of my first Spring Break in 5 years where I planned to fly to Louisville and ended up stuck in Hartford, Connecticut for TWO DAYS. So what? I made the best of it and I eventually made it to Louisville. And my trip home was seamless.

I’m used to it. Which is why I handled my newest misadventure with style and grace. I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference for work in Orlando, Florida. I’m finally comfortable flying alone but was happy to have the company of a coworker. We had layover in Atlanta on the way down, which was about an hour and a half long. We had just enough time to make it to our second flight on the way to Orlando. We weren’t so lucky coming home…

Our flight was set to leave Orlando at 7:39 p.m., we had a 47 minute layover in Atlanta (not our choice — work didn’t give us many flight options to work with) and we were supposed to arrive in Richmond at 11:39 p.m. Not ideal but I was looking forward to getting home to my bed. It was storming in Orlando as I’m told it does on most summer afternoons. That’s when they delay our first flight. Then they switch the gate we are leaving out of. I’m starting to freak out because our already 47-minute layover is getting shorter and shorter.

After a ton of standing, we finally board at about 8 p.m. and leave Orlando around 8:30. It’s a bumpy flight as the weather isn’t the greatest and I’m watching on the monitor on the seat backs as we approach Atlanta. And I’m looking at my watch. It’s about 9:45 when we finally land and our flight out of Atlanta leaves at 10:05. I look back to my coworker and tell her, “Dee, there’s a good possibility we’re not making this flight.” We are then told we are flying into Concourse T instead of Concourse A, which is where we were supposed to land and our next flight takes off from.

As we wait to deplane, everyone on the plane is antsy. The pilot asks the passengers to raise their hands if they have a connecting flight within the next 30 minutes so those people can deplane first. Ninety percent of the passengers raise their hands. I ask the guy next to me if he’s familiar with the Atlanta airport and explain my situation. “What are the chances of me making my next flight?” He says, “It’s going to be tight.”

We finally get off the plane, I find my coworker, and we find the first person who appears to work at the airport. “Excuse me, where can we find Concourse A?”

Their answer (I kid you not): “Go down this hall, through the double glass doors, down the escalator, get on the train, over the river and through the woods.”

Okay so I kid a little bit but most of that was the true answer. My response: “That’s a stupid place to put a concourse.” Nonetheless we start sprinting in the direction they pointed us in, all while I am carrying my two carry-ons because I simply don’t like being without my stuff (Spoiler: This comes in handy later).

We catch our breath on the train because you can’t really make that part of the journey go any faster. Once we get off and wish the other travelers good luck, it’s go time. I’m looking for one thing: Gate A33.

We finally find the gates, which I believe we had to either go up or down an escalator to get to and I finally see the sign telling us to turn right for Gates A16-34. I start praying in the moment, please start with Gate 34. I turn the corner…

A16. That’s when we start sprinting. Again. Because you know, A33 is all the way at the end and it’s looking pretty empty down there.

We get there right at 10:05 and the door is closed. The plane has been boarded and we’ve been left in Atlanta.

It turns out our flight to Richmond left a couple of minutes early and we are 2 of about 5 people who are now stranded in Atlanta as that was the last flight to Richmond for the night. Luckily for me, getting left in airports is what I do best. We got re-booked and a (sketchy) hotel for the night and I stayed just as positive because, hey at least I now have a good story to tell.

Long Story Short: I get left in airports a lot it seems. But I find my sense of adventure every time. 

The 27 Year Old Student (The Sequel)

I’m not getting any younger. Luckily neither are the other students in my classes. I survived my first semester of VCU, in a class which was full of very young underclassman, including a freshman who had no idea what a blue book was, and I earned an A. Now I’m back for my second semester in which I finally enter classes specific to my certificate program.

Classes at VCU started on Wednesday. I spent my first official school night of the semester (the night before classes started) having Taco Tuesday (how culturally appropriate!) with Tori. As we were sitting there talking about my upcoming semester, I began to complain about how my teacher hadn’t even uploaded the syllabus onto Blackboard when I decided to check again. Guess what — she did! Guess what — es totalmente en español! Which shouldn’t be terrifying for someone who majored in Spanish and is expecting to complete a certificate program enabling her to translate and interpret between Spanish and English, but it was.

So then I do the unthinkable. I check the roster for the class. THERE ARE ONLY FIVE NAMES. I mean I’m all for my teacher knowing my name but this guarantees that there will be no “feeling off” days in class and no hiding behind the other students.

Skip to Wednesday. Despite the night before’s Blackboard findings, I’m feeling pretty confident. I park on my regular street and I make my way to the building my class is in, which thankfully is the same building as last semester because I know like 5 buildings on all of VCU campus. By the time, I walk to the building I’ve got about 10 or so minutes to find room 260. No big deal. I make my way to the second floor and see the rooms that start in the low 200s so I keep walking. Hmm…this floor seems too small to go all the way up to 260 because I’m walking past 207, 208. I consider asking a girl sitting outside of a classroom where room 260 is but I think, “Come on Tiffany, you’re 27 years old. You can find your classroom.” I get to the far end of the hall and I’m at a staircase and room 209 (or some room still in the low 200s.) Do not freak out, Tiffany. 

I make my way back to the original staircase and I see a sign that has an arrow and tells me where I can find rooms 260-264. Turns out they’re right around the corner from room 216. Duh, where else would they be? Screw rooms 217-259. Obviously they are lost.

There are 3 people sitting in the classroom when I get there, which means we’re only expecting one more. Then a man walks in and starts pulling up information on the screen in the front of the classroom. I remember from my syllabus that my professor’s first name is Marilyn which is usually a woman’s name so I’m thinking a cross between maybe it can be a man’s name too and please do no let me be in the wrong classroom. He pulls up the syllabus for a class about literary theory and I’m like oh no, this is embarrassing.

The girl next to me asks, “Is there a difference between room 0260 (which is what our syllabus said) and room 260?” and the professor tells her yes, the classrooms that start with 0 are in the basement. The girl next to me states that her previous class was in room 0216 and it was literally right next door (it was literally right next door — see above). Finally the observant boy in my class notices that literary theory syllabus says that their class is Monday/Wednesday at 5:30 and it’s only 4 PM. The man professor looks at the syllabus and realizes that he is an hour and a half early for the class he is teaching, apologizes and walks out muttering something about being an absent-minded professor.

At this point, I am relieved because now I know that I am in the correct place! I make small talk with the students who have already arrived to class and find out that one of them is also a non-degree seeking students, which means I finally have something in common with a classmate. He just graduated from UVA this past year so he’s still on the young side but I’ll take it.

Our professor finally arrives as do two other students. So we are a class of 6. She makes us introduce ourselves in Spanish which I think we are all nervous about except the two native speakers in our class. I opt to go last.

All in all, our professor seems really nice but I can tell that this class is going to be a little harder than last semester. I already know I have to miss our third class due to traveling for work so hopefully, that won’t put me too far behind. I’ve already spent two nights doing homework and I’m determined to a get an A. I hope you’ll enjoy following this next chapter of my continuing education! Vamanos!

Road Trips and Road Rage

This is going to be a rant, y’all. And I’m about to make some generalizations about a group of people so if you’re easily offended, this was your warning.

Anyone who knows me in real life knows I hate driving. Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel but I hate driving. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 19. My Driver’s Ed teacher told me that I was only good at driving forwards (or did she mean, Fords?). That was before I got a 38 on my driving test and sentenced to 20 more hours of chaperoned driving. Even now, if it’s raining too hard or snowing or the sun is shining at me the wrong way, I despise driving. Don’t get me started on night driving. My eyes don’t dilate correctly, my contacts stick to them funny, lights from other cars blind me and I’m pretty sure it’s not socially acceptable to drive down the highway with your brights on to see better…

So a couple of weeks ago, I had a couple of days off so I decided to take a trip. I needed somewhere that was within driving distance. Well my dad lives about an hour and fifteen minutes from Philadelphia and it was the week of 4th of July so it just felt appropriate that Philadelphia would be my destination. So my youngest sister and I decided to head that way.

Driving north on 95 gives me anxiety. I know the exact moment that the anxiety kicks in. (It’s in Prince William, where Potomac Mills and Ikea are.) But strangely enough on that Wednesday morning driving up, the anxiety didn’t kick in. Maybe it’s the fact that I now have an EZPass (I needed it to get back and forth from VCU during the work day) and I got to drive in the EZPass Express Lanes while the common folk drove slower with a divider between us. Drove through Maryland, Deleware and most of Pennsylvania without a problem. Maybe it was the early morning.

As we got closer to my dad’s house, my sister warned me that there was a bad left turn coming up. One that goes uphill and you have to turn left on to a road that has cars coming from both ways from around a curve on both sides. If that sounds scary or confusing to you, please imagine my anxiety level just from her warning.

I finally get to the turn. I’m relieved because this means I’m almost at my dad’s house but super nervous, so I decide to just take my time. I was always taught never to be in a hurry while driving. Too bad the guy behind wasn’t taught the same. As I am waiting to turn, the man in the silver SUV starts to come around the right side of me. So I’m thinking, oh good, he’s turning right. NOPE. He just wants to have a better view of the cars coming from the left (while partially blocking my view to the right) and then he yells, “What the HELL are you waiting for?” so loudly that I can hear him even though the windows of my car are up.

I finally make the turn, relieved to have survived. However Mr. SUV man is not happy so he starts following me way too closely. It was like he wanted to ride in my backseat. I considered pulling off on the side of the road and letting him go in front of me since he obviously had somewhere to be but my sister reassured me that our turn was coming up. So I just let him tailgate me until I made my turn and thanked God that he didn’t turn behind me. That was my first bad experience with Pennsylvania drivers and traffic.

And it only got worse from there. It turns out that an hour and fifteen minutes is just an exaggeration of how far my dad lives from Philly. Or else Philly just kept getting up and moving farther and farther away. Also to get to Philadelphia from my dad’s house, it’s just a series of getting on one highway after another. The Pennsylvanian drivers aren’t forgiving to out-of-state folks. Every single one of their entrance ramps to a highway pretty much went in an entire circle. Your life has hit an all time low when you’ve been passed by someone on an entrance ramp to the highway.

The thing is Pennsylvania drivers know they’re crazy drivers. First of all, there are “No Tailgating” signs on the highway. I’ve decided that’s why Pennsylvania doesn’t require license plates on the front of cars; either they would fall off from all the tailgating they do or it’d be way too easy for other drivers to report them for driving way too closely. Second, I passed a sign that said, “Aggressive Driver High Crash Area.” That one just speaks for itself…

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Source: https://lowestravels.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/wpid13786-2013-07-01-pa-1010854.jpg?w=202&h=202&crop=1

And get this, motorcyclists in Pennsylvania apparently aren’t required to wear helmets. WTH? But bicyclists have to wear helmets…

But don’t worry, all of the above was before I got into Philadelphia. Holy crap! Philadelphia is like New York City but if everyone had cars. Seriously there are too many cars on the road there. Also drivers are not friendly to pedestrians. My sister and I were waiting to cross the street at a four way stop. A lady stopped at the stop sign so I figured I’d let her go ahead and go since there was no one behind her and she looked like she was in a hurry even though technically I guess we had the right of way. God forbid you try to be nice to someone. She mouthed, “What the hell are you waiting for? (Is that the state slogan?) at us, so we politely waved and walked as she zoomed past us as soon as we were barely out of her way.

But back to the too many cars. I mean this city should have a public transportation system. Oh wait, it does: SEPTA. Too bad they should rename it SEPTIC because it’s crappy. I looked at the website several times while there and it was not user-friendly at all. I mean, I am a small town country girl from a county whose idea of public transportation is “Hey, are you going down yonder too? You got room in the bed of your truck, let me hop in,” but I have mastered the Metro in DC so public transportation is not a mystery to me. We saw the trolley cars one of the days we were there and they drive on the road behind the cars but on tracks and it was just weird.

I’m not eager to drive in Pennsylvania any time soon.

Long Story Short: Driving in Pennsylvania gives me MAJOR anxiety.

Unwanted Roommate

When living alone for the first time in your life, you are bound to have some brand new experiences. Sleeping in your house for the first time alone and knowing that you’re going to (hopefully) be the only one there all night; the first time your dry erase board falls off your refrigerator at midnight and scares you half to death; etc., etc.

Nothing beats the first time you come home and find a bug who has decided to move into your bedroom, who is of gigantic proportion.

I entered my bedroom after having dinner with some friends, ready to go to bed, when something caught my eye. What is that on the carpet? Is it a piece of fuzz?, I think to myself. However with a closer look, I recoil in fear!

That “piece of carpet” is ALIVE. Oh, and it kinda looks like a spider.  How is this going to go down? As if it can get any worse, not only does it look like a spider, it also jumps.

Frantically I text like 6 people, “There’s a huge bug in my room.” I contemplate texting my ex-coworker who lives 5 doors down. He’s probably asleep, I think to myself.  Also I’m not sure how his girlfriend would feel about that.

But in my mind, the best way to get rid of a bug is to have someone else kill it.

Think, Tiffany, think. What did Mom say about bug spray she left in the kitchen to kill ants?

I go to the kitchen to retrieve the bug spray, only then realizing that the sprayer needs to be assembled. I quickly run back to my bedroom and check to see if bug is still in the same position.

It is. Lucky me.

Why hasn’t anyone texted me back yet?!

After reading the directions several times, I finally figure out this sprayer contraption.  I bring the bug spray back into the bedroom and take my stance. It’s not spraying. I then realize the sprayer isn’t turned “on.” I turn it “on” and do some practice sprays into the bathroom sink.

I’m ready.

Oh but I wasn’t. One spray in and my nemesis jumps under my bed.

“Stop jumping!” I yell out loud, hoping my next door neighbor doesn’t hear me and think I’m a weirdo.

Now it’s out of sight. I’m standing in my bedroom with a big jug of bug spray and my iPhone flashlight on. I finally spot him again. *Spray, spray, spray* He’s jumping away some more. “Die! Why won’t you die?!” I say, half yelling, half very close to tears.

“This is why I don’t live alone!” I text in a group chat to my friends. “It won’t die!” I text to my other friends. No response. Just crickets…cave crickets to be exact.

I consider if it’s possible to sleep in any other room of my apartment. I don’t have a couch but that mushroom chair could possibly be comfortable, right?!

Several “spray and wait” sequences and 15 minutes later, sweet victory is mine.

Except it’s been an hour since this all went down, I keep checking to make sure it’s dead and I’m still too afraid to sleep.

Long Story Short: Living on your own is nice until there’s a bug.

Plot Twist

This one is going to get deep, folks.

I turned 27 a couple of weeks ago. No biggie. I’m not one of those people that freaks out about getting older. 26 was an amazing year in my life. But I was really looking forward to 27. It just seems like one of those ages where you really have your stuff together and I was looking forward to that feeling. I was planning where I was going to spend the next couple of years and I thought I’d met someone who’d be a character in this story for a long time to come.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes the pages you’ve already written in your mind are torn out before you even get the chance to live them. And sometimes the person you want to be with, meets someone else.

The last two weeks have been rough. But in the midst of heartbreak I’ve found out who my friends are. I’m trying to learn to be okay again. It comes and goes, and hits you in waves and when you least expect it.

Part of me has no regrets. I really learned a lot in the last year. You know that feeling when you know you’re a better person for having known someone. That’s how I feel. I’d give anything for things to not have turned out the way they did but he really did teach me a lot about myself and pushed me to do things I never thought I could do. For the first time I really opened myself to another person and to the possibilities that life could bring. For that I am forever grateful to him.

On the other hand, the other part of me is angry and sad. I’m not happy with the way things ended. There’s not much I can do to change that. 

So bear with me friends as I sort through these feelings. I never was one to let go of things easily. As the weather gets warmer, my mind so easily wanders back to the memories of last summer. I can’t help it; I can feel him everywhere I go. 

But life is bringing some pretty big changes my way soon and I can’t wait to share them with you. I’ve got so many plans to somehow make this summer even better than last year’s and so many goals I want to accomplish to keep making myself a better person. 

So Long Story Short: This is just a plot twist in the story of my life and I’m looking forward to what the next chapter holds.

Tiffany

Welcome! I'm Tiffany. I'm a 27 year old country girl in the River City. I'm a proud JMU grad and a young professional. Thanks for reading Long Story Short!

November 2017
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