A New Milestone

 

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On Monday, we received the phone call we have been anxiously awaiting since the beginning of June.

Mark, Leanne- Hi! You can put the voodoo doll of me away because you have finally been approved for your mortgage!”Our Advisor.

We have reached a new milestone in our marriage; we are officially homeowners. 

We went into contract back at the end of April, and for the last few weeks we have been dealing with the mortgage company. Some mistakes were made causing the whole process to be backlogged. Plus, add in my unconventional job (a.k.a- I live a lot of my life outside of the books ::cough cough:: if you know what I mean ::cough:: ::cough::) and it’s been a long nightmare for us and the processor. Let’s be honest, as much as it annoyed us, I can only imagine how time consuming our little mortgage was for them, so I think it’s save to say we’re all relieved we won’t be e-mailing each other as much anymore.

There is so much that goes into buying a house from inspections, the mortgage, insurance, title changes, taxes, surveys; it’s a whirlwind of paperwork and when it’s your first time buying anything this large, it’s all just so overwhelming. 

Our ranch on a lot of land (almost an acre, which, on Long Island, a.k.a. the home of the first suburb, is A LOT) may need some landscaping, but, it’s ours. We fought tooth and nail through a lot of turmoil, and it’s ours. The beautiful hardwood floors, the brand new kitchen, the extensive finished basement, the lights in the closet. ACTUALLY HAVING A CLOSET. It’s all ours. Soon, I’ll be able to wake up and get out of bed on a side of the bed! Not haphazardly climb to the edge of the bed and precariously step over a sleeping dog and somehow balance my way into the bathroom!

I sit and daydream about what it’ll be like to live there. To have an office (that I’m definitely painting a rich, midnight blue), where I can write and keep my drafts and my books. Oh, all my books! I imagine what it will be like to sit in our kitchen, or watch movies in our basement together. I envision friends visiting, and actually being able to sleep over. I also am so proud we are now able to give Emmett the yard he deserves. Moosh has already been to the house numerous times

Last night we sat together on the counters of our apartment and looked around what we built together in two years. Our apartment may be small, but, it was our home through so many life events. It was where we stayed up until 2 a.m. editing my book together ( I couldn’t type because of my carpal tunnel so Mark typed it while I sat next to him.) It’s where we spent our first Christmas together. It was our home that taught us about compromise, communication, and every day we were able to spend together there, we learned more about one another. Most importantly, it was our home that taught us that we could afford a home of our own.

Here’s to a new adventure together. I can’t wait to make this house a home with you, babe.

 

(he reads this blogs all the time, so shush your judgement) 

 

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Do What You Love

 

 

I was sixteen years old when the movie “Little Miss Sunshine” was released. I had just lost my grandpa, sat mostly in my journals trying to figure out why the world was so unfair, and didn’t interact much with anyone. My grandpa was such an integral part of my childhood, and, it took me a long time to forgive the universe for taking him away from me when I was still young. It’s funny how hindsight works, right? He was sickly, every month he had to go to a hospital for a “detox” from all of his pills, could barely breath on his own… but, at sixteen, I only saw how the world affected me. Teenagers have been compared to having the mindset of a psychopath, and, I’m glad to say I’ve grown out of that single minded thought process. (or, at least we’re trying to- I’m sure we all have our days) 

Anyway, back to the point of this post…

I watched “Little Miss Sunshine” one day when I was home alone. I sat on our couch eating baby carrots with my childhood dog (honestly, life hasn’t changed that much. Except now I sit with my 80lb lab savagely putting his nose into my baby carrot bag like he’s still tied to a pole in NYC like how they found him). I watched the movie with little reaction to it overall. Yes, Alan Arkin steals the movie with his snark, but, remember- I was a self indulgent sixteen year old; not much stirred a reaction from me. It wasn’t until the end of the movie that something struck a nerve, and it was this line in particular:

“You do what you love, and fuck the rest.” 

Having spent my life very conventionally, this line seemed radical to me. To this day, it is a mantra that echoes in the back of mind. This line forged an idea in my brain that I could do what I loved; I just had to discover what that was. At this point, I had been writing regularly (I have all the journals to prove it!), had shown interest in “picture taking”, and had just joined Facebook- where notes was becoming all the rage. In so many ways, this line snapped me out of my funk, and it encouraged me to find something to love, and to just do it.

Remember that hindsight I mentioned? In hindsight, watching that movie on that lonely afternoon became a pivotal turning point for me and my life. Funny how that works, right?

As I sit here now, listening to my mother in law sing pieces of music to my husband (she retired this year and is giving Mark 30 years worth of music), I realize just how true that line still is. For 30 years, my mom in law did what she loved- through the politics of the education system, through the difficult parents, through the horrible students that she might have crossed paths with. No obstacle stopped her from singing, and, teaching children the beauty and importance of music in their lives.

This week has been another turning point for me (I mean, hell, I wrote on here three times!) and, I hope this renewed energy continues.

Happy Weekend, and remember- do what you love.

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The One Word I Didn’t Know Was Missing

 

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I briefly covered my ennui over the last month- the feeling of being in a straight jacket, to be exact- in yesterday’s post. To be honest, I felt that post was one of the most transparent I had ever been on this blog. I wish I could divulge into my life as freely as some people do- but, with this not being a journal, nor my full time job (yet), I do have to keep a few things off the interwebz. (I.E.- I can’t bitch about my boss… not that I would… since my boss is my dad and I love my dad) 

I spent a lot of time (at 3 a.m.) over the last month trying to settle this feeling of discontent. It wasn’t necessarily affiliated with anything, so it made deciphering what my heart was trying say more and more complicated. There’s this funny misconception about happiness that we have: feeling unsettled or discontent is not indicative that I am unhappy. The two terms are not mutually exclusive. You can be overall happy, but still desire growth in your life.

Therein was what my heart craved- growth. 

I realized it one day while journaling- the theme of my entries were repetitive, always discussing this need for creativity or this yearning to learn something new. Entries were fragmented- like my thoughts. I considered throwing out my journal and just starting new- but, I realized that’s not how life works, so I painted a new meaning on the front of the moleskin, turned the page, and wrote what the painting meant:

Window into my soul

the roads that i’ll go,

tears that will flow,

oh, how we’ll grow. 

A poem, of sorts. I had never written poetry before, and I would be lying if I said I paid attention during those parts of the creative writing curriculum. But, for the last few months on Instagram I have been following Nikita Gill, and her work has stirred this interest in poetry I never knew existed.

And, so, I have enrolled in an online course for poetry, have purchased a few new books, and have been indulging in this new found creative outlet. It’s an outlet of growth- allowing me to learn and step outside of my comfort zone. Even better, an outlet where I can be as descriptive as I want to be. An outlet that won’t consume me like my short stories (so many short stories that just piss me off because I have to do things to characters that make me mad), and an outlet that I believe I can tie into my photography.

Most importantly, it’s an outlet that let my heart sing. Since starting about a week ago, I have been sleeping more soundly, I have been writing (even my short stories) more freely, I have been more focused at work, more focused on my workouts, and have been generating ideas for writing without hesitation or blockages. A week might not seem like a long time, but one consistent week leads to more, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.

 

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