Hello from the Other Side

Adele’s album dropped at a perfect time.

She was in hiding for 5 years, but pop! She’s back with an amazing, heart-wrenchingly beautiful song that hit me like a ton of bricks.

It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry…

Everything has been going really well lately. I mentioned a few posts ago I picked up a serving job at a place near my apartment, but I really wasn’t digging it, so I quit and applied somewhere else. (Total server move.) I love the new place. The people are friendly, helpful and they’ve made me feel really welcome. The tips are rollin’ in and the busy season is picking up, so I’ll be sitting on fat stacks in no time.

Earlier this month, a friend who works at the same company I do, suggested me for a really cool job posting.  I applied and got an interview, which doesn’t really happen unless you know someone, so the fact that I got a chance to interview made me ecstatic. I answered interview questions in the shower, in the car, at my desk, in my sleep and I’d have to say a time I’ve been faced with a difficult decision was when I snagged my tights on the way to the interview and had to turn them so they faced the inside of my leg instead of the outside. Oh, sorry. I got caught up in interview stuff.

Anyway, I had two interviews and they were intense. It felt like in college when I’d study super hard for a test and walk in with the confidence of 10,000 super models, take the test and then I’d walk out and think, “Huh. Well. That could go either way.”

It went the way I didn’t want it to go.

I didn’t get the job and I was upset. I wondered what I said wrong. I wondered what the other person did right. I wondered if I wasn’t professional enough. I wondered if I should have said my only flaw at work is that I work too hard. I wondered if maybe they saw the snag in my tights and thought that I couldn’t even dress myself, so how in the world could I be capable of handling myself in this new position?

As I do, I wallowed for a bit and then bounced back. I went to my serving job and had a great night. As I was walking out, my manager told me, “Hey. You’re doing a great job! We were kind of testing you tonight and you did awesome. Keep it up.” Then he gave me a thumbs up.

I went in my car and cried. It was a nice reassurance that even though I didn’t get the position, I still had two jobs and one made me feel really great, even if just for a moment.

There’s such a difference between us and a million miles…

Well, I guess I was due for bad news, because everything has been going seemingly well. Eerily well.

I got a text from one of my good girlfriends saying that she was going to send me a picture and didn’t want me to get upset.

You know when you know bad news is coming and your face gets hot and you feel it in your tummy and you feel like you’re upside down for like just a second?

That feeling swept over me, and I just text, “Is he engaged?”

She said, “Yes.”

I said, “Don’t show me.”

Here’s the thing, while I don’t want to be with him at all and I have no feelings for him, I just don’t care about him.

I don’t wish him well and I don’t wish anything on him because he’s just such a damper on everything.

I was sad for a little bit just because I thought about the things we’d say to each other and how it feels like everyone around me is getting engaged and I just had a keg over the weekend, but then I thought to myself, “I am so much better off.”

Breaking up with him has been the best. If I was still with him, I wouldn’t have done so many things. I probably wouldn’t have gone on a solo trip to Los Angeles, where I met someone who reminded me what it was like to have butterflies. I wouldn’t have gone on dates with a guy from Tinder who got me asking questions about bee keeping. I wouldn’t have rekindled with an old flame and he wouldn’t have twirled me around the dance floor, making me feel really, really liked again and making me the heart eye emoji.

These guys have been better. While they were short lived, they gave me a spark and I took something positive away from each one.

Besides meeting great guys, I have had great experiences with kick-ass people.

I moved home right after school when I was down and out and during that time, I formed such a special bond with my parents. My old roommate was and is the best. She’s helped me through everything. My brother, who used to beat the ever living shit out of me, is my go-to guy for everything. I never thought we’d have the bond we do now. My friend who moved from Iowa to podunk Indiana for a dude had his heart broken and we’ve commiserated and have been closer than ever. Stand up? Who woulda thought. I have one of the best girlfriends through that. How? Comedians are all a little damaged, but we’re thick as thieves. My best friend from fifth grade softball and I are tight as ever. My old middle school friend who’s moved all over is more in my life now than she ever was. Work has brought amazing coworkers who are more friends than anything and always offer sage advice and big smiles.

So even though I didn’t get the job and I didn’t get engaged, I’m still standing and I’m happier than ever.

But it don’t matter, it clearly

Doesn’t tear you apart anymore.

XO

Hannah Things

Well, I’m 27.

Goodbye, youth! Goodbye, even number!

Hello, boring age. Hello, odd number.

27, man. It sounds so old. It sounds so blah.  It sounds so official. I guess it’s because I never thought of myself being 27.  When I was a teenager, I thought about what my life would be like when I turned 25 and I had it all figured out. I was going to be living in Chicago and writing and definitely in a long term relationship with a dapper dude with an amazing sweater collection who could quote Chris Farley and take me out for fancy dinners with bottles of wine.

Dream on, dumb Hannah. Dream on.

Here’s what 27 looks like for me: living on my own in a cute Grand Ave apartment with a job that is okay, doing stand-up comedy and loving it, eating Papa John’s in my bed, and the only dude I see consistently is my fat cat Opie.

And that’s alright.

I’m in a good spot, and I’m trying to make it better. I was in such a funk before my birthday about turning 27. I just didn’t want to do it. I wanted to skip to 28 because I hear that’s where the fun starts. My friends who are 28 seem to love it and people are older than 28 say it was a good age. But 27? It just seems like a drag.

I eventually got excited for my birthday and had a blast. Bopped around with my girlfriends in flower crowns and had like 9 boots at Hessen Haus. I had so much fun and felt so loved. I cried happy tears and couldn’t believe all the sweet birthday wishes sent my way. It was a great day! But the age still got me. Fn 27, man.

Going into my 27th year, I made a list of 27 things that I wanted to do within my birthday month to add a pep in my step about this dumb age I was so hung up on.

I won’t bore you with all of them, but here are a few I actually did before I turned the big ole 2-7:

1) Make my bed everyday

I like this one because it holds me accountable and even if my room is full of laundry baskets of clean clothes I haven’t put away, it looks like my room is cleaner than it is.

8) Read another book besides the book club book

The book club has been one of my favorite things lately! I love chattin’ with the chicks over the books we choose, and I don’t know what it is about reading a book, but lately I’m like, “Yeah, I’m reading a book. You ever heard of it? Books? Yeah. I do that.” Because honestly, getting me to sit down and read without being an A-hole on my iPhone is quite the accomplishment. I read The Longest Ride, (okay, it was an audiobook, BUT I LISTENED TO IT THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH!) And say what you want about Nicholas Sparks, (we get it, strong woman with a sparky attitude and a rich upbringing meets a dude who’s rough and tumble and they fall in love against all odds) but this one was different! It was good. Don’t judge.

9) Buy some fancy candles

I did this! I love it! There’s something about having a nice candle to spruce up the apartment. I light them when I take my weekly baths and I have them on when I’m dinking around the apartment. Just adds a nice little flare and it’s like, “Okay, am I a little like Lauren Conrad with this? Kind of?” Not close, but it adds a nice feminine touch.

11) Try eating a melon, an olive, a piece of licorice and drink some Dr. Pepper

All of these are disgusting to me. And before you ask, yes, all melons. Is cantaloupe a melon? Yes. I hate them. Well. I tried an olive. It was still disgusting. Like I just ate a ton of ocean water and leaves. I also tried some Dr. Pepper. Blech. Still gross. Maybe I couldn’t handle all 23 flavors, but I still made a face. Maybe my pallet will change next year and I’ll suddenly love it, but until then, no thank you.

12) Use a nail clipper like an adult

Guess what? I stopped biting my nails! I’ve been biting them since I could chew and they never looked gross and nubby, but it’s a yucky habit. I just stopped doing it! I don’t have tricks. I even painted them but then they chipped and my friends said they look trashy and I need to either remove the polish or paint them again. Sheesh. Message received. Polish off.

20) Take a bath and don’t cry this time unless they’re happy tears and Jewel isn’t allowed to play

So as it turns out, Jewel is my go to gal when I feel blue. I remember when I’d sing Foolish Games on the playground while wearing overalls. I totally thought I could relate, but I didn’t relate until I actually felt real feelings for someone. Last month I had a little cry fest in the bath with Jewel and I said, “No more!”  Jewel’s on the shelf. She’s allowed out once a month. She can’t come in the bathtub with me. The bath is where I go to relax and put on a good face mask from Lush and shrink my pores. The bath is not for tears because oh my god can you imagine if I dropped my iPad in it and it electrocuted me and they found me listening to Jewel with my cats and all of these candles lit and my Rachel Ray body alone and naked in the cold water? It would be the saddest episode of Law and Order: SVU. The only guy they could call to see if I had a boyfriend would be the Papa John’s delivery guy because I didn’t answer the door and he was the last text. Bye Jewel!

21)          Forgive people, apologize and say thank you

I am known to hold grudges. I am known to be that girl who will take things to heart and remember and really dislike people for one small thing. It’s not an ideal trait and I wanna kick the habit. I had a list of people in my head I needed to forgive. Some of them, I didn’t want to directly contact, because they didn’t know that I had this weird disdain for them, so I just wrote it all down in letters to them. I wrote down everything I thought and read it once, then tossed them. I forgave them. Maybe that doesn’t sound real, but it was real enough for me. And I also apologized. I apologized for how I treated them when I was angry at them or mean thoughts I thought about them when they were just going about their day, having no idea I was mad. It felt better. I only actually sent one out to someone and it was more of a thank you. They had a huge part of me and then let me go, but I wanted to let them know there were no hard feelings. It took a lot to write, but the feeling I got after I sent it was wonderful. They wrote back with a heartwarming response and I just felt complete.

25)          Stop talking to dudes with girlfriends

Uhhh. Yeah. This one has put me in pickles. Lately, this has kind of blind-sided me, but it happened and I’m not exactly proud of it. I spent a lot of time and energy on someone who wouldn’t give it 100% back to me. I don’t know if it was an ego stroke, but I indulged and gave in and it was very unfair of me. I felt weary about it at the time, but I still liked him. And he said he liked me.  You know who he also said he liked? His girlfriend. He wasn’t going to leave her, no matter what he said. He wasn’t going to come right to me and honestly, I didn’t want him to. I didn’t know what I wanted. I still felt like I had the upper hand and I felt like the biggest hypocrite. I’m not sure if I was so messed up from my last serious relationship that I felt like I needed to feel better than another girl or what, but it only ended up with me being alone. It’s not cool and I’m not proud of it, but it happened. And I wrote an awesome joke about it. So I guess I came out with something?

27)          Just be better

This one is something I want to take with me throughout my year. Everything I do, I want to do well and I want to do it with pride. I want to do things on my own. I want to improve every single day. I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror and think, “Oh, that’s who you wanna be today? Cool, Hannah.” I want to have a zest and a zing to my everyday life and I want to be able to share things I’m proud of instead of having to hide things or have to shamefully say. I want to grab life by the balls and run and come out on top. I’m excited and I have a good vibe feeling about 27.

There were other things on my list, but these were the ones I wanted to focus on. A lot of them are small, but they make me feel better because I acknowledge them and I want to work on things. I mean, I know I’m perfect, (obviously, you just read all that) but I suppose I could tweak some aspects of my life. 🙂

Cheers to 27! May it bring happiness, laughs, a nice dude and good vibes.

If the Hannah Dated

Well, look where we are. I guess I’m on schedule for updating the blog once a month. 🙂

This past month has definitely been one for the books. Lotsa rollercoasters and ups and downs and lessons learned along the way.

I started a book club with one of my girlfriends who’s a high school teacher in the area and I’ve known her since I was in high school when I’d visit my friend at Iowa. We go way back and have an affinity for reading a good book, girlfriends and wine, so I mean, it just made sense to start up a book club! We scoured book club lists, best seller lists, just a ton of lists and created a book list of about 35 books with all different genres. (Even a WTF category! LOL SO SILLY) to my surprise, the first book our club chose was, If the Buddha Dated.

I saw this book on a number of lists and blogs and it grabbed my attention because it seemed to be insightful and a book that a lot of people my age could relate to. What’s cool about it is, the author, Charlotte Kasl, follows Buddhism, Quaker practice, and Reiki healing, so she’s been down many paths and doesn’t seem to show a bias towards any one. She comes from a place of experience and has a lot of wisdom.  The book club consists of women from all different stages in life.  Some are married, some are engaged, some are dating and some (me) are single AF, so it was cool to me that this was the book we all chose.

It’s not a dating manual and it’s not really a self-help book, more of a book of mindful progression.  In order to begin a successful relationship with anyone, you really need to know how you are as a person and what you can bring to any relationship.

I dove right into it and was really excited.

Now, to preface, I had tried to write a number of blog posts beforehand because I was kind of down in the dumps about a dude and I wanted to find some way to tie it all in. I couldn’t, though because it seemed like all of my ideas were half-baked until I read this book.

Then it all clicked.

Buddha, dude. Buddha got to me. Like for real.

Lately when it has come to dating and being in a “relationship,” I have been trying to make things happen and have had a tendency to force it, and then it all crumbles for me. It crumbles because I try so hard to make something work that just won’t. I try to make it work because that’s what I think should happen and that’s what I see others doing, and it just ain’t gonna happen. But I haven’t been wanting to accept it.

So Buddha’s all like, “We need to remember desperation is different from delighting in the idea of having someone to walk beside us. When we are extremely needy or want someone to fill up our empty life, we will tend to push people away. Even then, needy people do find partners, although it is usually someone insecure or troubled.”

Whoa, right?

I have been struggling for months about trying to make things work with people who just won’t work, but then the results have just been meh. I’ve had a really, really hard time with just letting things be and letting things happen on their own and Buddha’s like, “Hannah, what are you doing? Slow down. Things will happen how they happen and when they happen. Just go with it. You wanna be that girl? You want to be the one who just wants someone?” I haven’t wanted to just sit still and let the world flow around me. I haven’t just been able to just hang. A couple of you are reading this and you’re like, “Oh my god, Hannah. I have told you that in different words, but you’re just listening to it ‘cause it’s in a book! Ugh.” And I know. I know. 🙂 You’re right. There. Ya happy?

So even though I just had an amazing and real time with someone from my past and there were moonbeams, he doesn’t want it now. And that’s fine. If I send him every text on how I feel and what I want, I’m just going to start an insecure relationship. So I acknowledged it. I respected what he wanted. I got a pedicure. I drank a bottle of wine in the bath tub (didn’t even bring a glass) and cried about it and then I picked myself up and moved on. I’m not going to force it and I’m not going to hang onto a feeling because I want it, even if it isn’t natural. I’m just gonna go with it.

Another thing the Buddha dude teaches us to acknowledge the stories we tell.

“The cause of troubled relationships and fears about dating, or giving oneself to love, are born in the stories we tell ourselves. We experienced a troublesome event, had an emotional response, and then we created a story to explain it or to alleviate our pain.”

Sound familiar? Kind of like your blogger who yammers on about her past relationship?

I thought a lot about this because I’m totally guilty of hanging onto the past. I hang onto what happened in my last serious relationship and I talk about it. A lot. It’s become a part of me and honestly, it’s kind of an ugly part of me. I’ve been better at not talking about it so often, but I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve told the story of how my ex cheated on me and what he’s doing now. Is he doing the same about me? I don’t honestly know, but my guess is no.

What good is that doing me? It happened. So. Acknowledge it and go. Process it in the time it takes you and move on.

Our past shouldn’t be forgotten, like many seem to think, but it should be recognized. It needs to be acknowledged and learned from and it just needs to be okay with you.

Alright. That’s all I’m writing because I could go on for days about this book. I suggest it to anyone who is in any sort of relationship. It gives you a chance to step back and think about who you were, who you are and who you want to be and who you want to be with. So many things. Hope this wasn’t too blabby. Quit reading this and go buy it on Amazon now. J

Oh, What Can You Do with a Sentimental Heart?

Well whaddaya know? It’s been over a month and I’m now updating this. I’m just going to stop making promises because clearly, I’m not stickin’ to ‘em.

Life has been pretty good to me lately.  My hair is getting longer, so soon my stupid short hair cut will be a thing of the past.  Work’s going well.  I picked up a second job at a trendy restaurant in my hood to swing some extra cash so I can hopefully have stacks to go on one of those “I’m-an-independent-woman-traveling-solo” trips. My mom is home and doing well. My dad and I are cool. I caught up with my bro and he’s doing awesome.  I’ve still got to be better about making time for friends, but other than that, things are A-O-K!

Lately, though, I’ve been lost in my own noggin. I think it comes with living alone and being on my own so often. I’ve been thinking a lot about the past and the “what ifs” of my life. Not necessarily in a sappy, sad way, but just in a thoughtful way that I haven’t done in a while.

For some reason or another, I’ve been thinking about my ex and my break up a lot. And before we delve into that, yes, I am 100% over him, but there are just little triggers that pop up and remind me of what I used to have. It’s been almost two years since the breakup, but it’s still something that I think makes up a lot of me.

I think it’s because there seems to be a lot of pressure at this age to be hitched up and finding “the one,” in every aspect. You can’t read a blog post posted by a 20something that doesn’t give dating advice or talk about why you should date someone with a man bun. I’m happy for the people who have found love and I think it’s wonderful. It’s just weird to me because at the time, I thought I had found love. I thought I had everything figured out. Then when the shit hit the fan, it went all over the room, under the couches and into other rooms and it took a long time to clean up. That is one disgusting metaphor, but if you have good reading comprehension, you’re pickin’ up what I’m throwin’ down.

After we broke up, I was devastated because I felt like he had so much of me with him and I didn’t have a whole lot left of me. We shared so many things and had so many special moments I wouldn’t take back, but I feel a little vulnerable knowing that he has those of me. He knows how I sleep, how I like my eggs, my face I make when I see a deaf baby hearing for the first time on YouTube and how I acted after I got my wisdom teeth out. He knows my innermost secrets and feelings on the world and it kinda bums me out.

I knew our relationship wasn’t sunshine and rainbows, but it really took me getting out of it to realize it. He would get mad at me because I would snuggle him in his sleep. He would play this god damn computer game and I’d fall asleep on the couch. He wouldn’t put his arm around me at an outdoor wedding when I was cold and didn’t have a jacket. He got mad when I accidentally put my contacts on his side of the contact case. He’d groan and roll his eyes about how I rolled the chip bag. He hated coming with me to parties or bars because I’d chat with people and try to include him and he’d just end up getting sloshed and yelling at me after.

There were so many things wrong with our relationship, other than the little things mentioned above, and it just took me going with my gut and getting out of it.

Now that I’m out and I’m good, it’s just taken a long time to get me whole. I’m there, dudes! I’m so whole and happy, it’s amazing. Looking back when I was struggling and going through the mess, I didn’t think I could ever be happy without him.

But I am.

I’m one resilient chick.

I think if I could tell Break-Up Hannah something, it’d be this:

Hey Dude,

Get your ass out of bed. It’s been 12 days. You’ve watched all of It’s Always Sunny. It’s over. You can’t eat any more Thai food in your bed and you can’t live off a kickboxing and vodka diet (although, ya do look smokin’ in your NYE pics with your girls). Put down that 40 and stop listening to Les Miserables with your cats.

You’re going to go through a lot. You’re going to lose your grandma, your first job, and then maybe a second, then you’ll go to LA and have a fabulous time. You’ll meet someone who treats you right. He’ll leave after a year for another girl, AND THAT IS OKAY. You’ll go on awesome dates with fun dudes. (Like one of your favorite bloggers’ brothers.) He won’t call you back, it’s fine. You’ll get over it. You’ll have a roommate who makes you a better person. You’ll get a new job that challenges you.

Then. Here, you’ll like this part.

You’re going to try standup comedy. And guess what? You’re going to do well! You’re going to make people laugh and you’re going to put in a lot of work for it. You’re going to tap into your creative side and have a mic in your hand and you’ll be silly. You’ll say the things you’ve wanted to and you’ll love it. Run with it, yo. Get it.

You might not be with your old dude, but you’ll be with you. And you’re pretty bomb without him. You’ll find out who’s important and who’s not. You’ll meet friends who lift you and give you the fuzzies. You’ll cry a lot too. You’ll feel sad at times, but you know what? You’re not in some boring-ass-white-bread relationship where you’d still fall asleep on the couch while he plays some lame computer game and probably think seriously about going to Costco on Saturdays as a couple “if you have enough time.”  Gag me, right?

You’re going to be okay. Quit reading those blogs about finding someone, because you’ve gotta find you first. You’ve got to stop comparing your life to everyone else’s and you’ve got to stop thinking that he just moved on and forgot about you, because he didn’t. You’ll move on when you’re ready. You can’t hurry the process because that’s when you’ll enter a relationship as a halfsie and not a wholesie, and that’s not cool.

You’re on the right track. Just please, get out of bed and hose yourself off. You’ve worn that shirt for 12 days and it looks painted on you.

With so much love,

Better-Off Hannah

There.

I think that would pick me up. I think it’s realizing what I’ve got now and what it’s taken to get me here really matters and makes me who I am. So I can sit and be a sap about the old Hannah and the old relationship, but at the end of the day, I am so much better off. I am so… Hannah. And it’s good.

It’s All Good, Man

I’m like hey, what’s up hellooooo.

I’m the WORST at updating this, aren’t I? I’ll keep workin’ on it. I know you’re all just dying to know my comings and goings, so here ya go.

Living on my own has been a blast! I had a housewarming party and was overwhelmed and humbled by all of my friends who came to see my new digs. Bloody Mary’s and mimosas were on deck and 90s rap was playing on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. (Trap Queen like 15 times, too). It was a great way to break in my new apartment and it took me a few days to get over my happiness high. And my hangover. (3 day hang over is a real thing, people.)

My friend Jenny gave me some sage to cleanse the place and I was so stoked to use it. I cleaned out the whole apartment, opened the windows, played some music that had harps and guitars and cleansed it with my blue sage. I gotta say, the vibes were completely different after and I’m glad I did it. Afterwards, I just felt like Stevie Nicks, all whimsical and full of good energy. I would recommend it if ya wanna get your spiritual livin’ on.

Jenny was in town from Austin and I took her out and about in my new hood and had the best time catching up. She got to come to one of my open mics and see me do that and it was fun for me to flex my cool muscle for her. We spent a lot of good time together and I was sad to see her go back home, but I think I could use a little trip down to Austin soon. 🙂

I love living on my own! It’s great. I get to do whatever I want, when I want and I don’t have to worry about being quiet or anyone else’s schedule. I do miss having someone around, though. Like I miss having someone to talk to. Not necessarily deep conversations, but I miss the useless conversations I’d have with my old roommate. The other day I came home from Aldi and I didn’t buy lemons because the ones there were subpar. I wanted to tell someone that! I just wanted to have a stupid convo about the lameness of the lemons, and my cats were totally uninterested. Now if I had my old roommate, she’d be like, “Well, what was wrong with them? Did you get some at Trader Joe’s? I saw a coupon at Fareway for 500 lemons for $4.” It would have just been a short convo, but that’s all I wanted.  Anyone else know this feeling? No? Just me?

500 lemons for $4 would be a steal. I’m not good with numbers.

I went to Brewfest with my old roommate and we squeezed in some good QT before and it just made me feel great.  We talked like we hadn’t missed a beat and we filled each other in on everything. We text every day and if we don’t, we get concerned that the other one might have died, so sitting down and chatting was the best. We went to our favorite dive bar after and ate junk food, drank, and met some weirdo friends. Everything was perfect.

My stand up has been a ton of fun! I’m really glad I started doing it and it’s been nothing but a blast. I love writing down jokes, trying them out on my friends (you’re all my test subjects) and getting up there and doing them for a crowd. I have been in two shows now and felt really special to be asked! I’m in one towards the end of the month and I’m really excited for it.

Doing stand-up is great because my whole life, I’ve been told I was inappropriate, funny, but inappropriate, but when I have a microphone in my hand, I get to say what I want, and it’s all good. I won’t have a teacher there to call my mom and tell her that I shouldn’t tell a joke to the class, no matter how funny it was. I was always the class clown and lived off making my friends laugh, and now I’m just doing it for real! I love it.

This weekend, I had a MOTHER of a Saturday. I had a baby shower AND a wedding all in one day. I woke up at 7 (what is wrong with me?), cleaned my whole apartment (again, what is wrong with me?) went for a run, and then got a pedicure. I went to the baby shower and instantly started crying when I saw my friend. She’s an amazing friend who has the ability to make everyone feel happy when she’s around. Seeing her glow with her little belly was amazing.

There were two other friends from high school there and it was just so funny to sit around and catch up. One has been in a serious relationship for like a million years, the other has been married two years, the one who’s pregnant got married last year, and I’m single as ever.  We’re all the same age, but all at completely different stages in life, so our stories were just fun. One of them was talking about re-doing her bathroom and how painting the baseboards was the worst. I’ve seen her chug a 40 and party girl dance on a table. I had to ask, “Did you ever think you’d say that sentence?” and she’s like, “Oh no! Never in a million years.” Growing up is weird, man.

After the shower, I went and got my hair done and I loved it. I hate my haircut and all I want is long hair so I can have my messy buns. The girl did a fabulous job of not making it look like I had a mom-do and I sped home to do my makeup and headed to the wedding.

Ladies, if you’re going to an event and you need some killer threads, ya gotta do Rent the Runway. Seriously. I threw down $40 on a dress that’s retailed at $750 and it was probably one of my better investments. They send you a size up or down, so you can see which one fits better and if you pay $30, they’ll throw in some accessories. SO smart because really, if you just plan on wearing it to one event and taking pictures, there’s no point in keeping a dress. RENT it, baby.

The wedding was breathtaking! Beautiful, magical, wonderful, and a blast! I went solo and sat with some friends and my friend’s parents. We had a grand ole time. The bride looked glamourous and in love.  Everything went smooth and we danced the night away. I may or may not have requested like the last 10 songs and got everyone out on the dance floor to spank the planks. Okay, I did.

ALSO, I caught the bouquet! (Maybe the bride shot it my way, but that’s neither here nor there.)I’ve caught it 2 times before but that’s when I was with bozo, so I don’t think those count. Maybe I won’t be the next to get married, but I definitely have better vibes about this catching. 🙂

The next day, we had a family dinner to celebrate my grandpa’s 84th birthday and made him feel like the king of the castle. We had chicken, my grandma’s potato salad recipe, baked beans and some cake with his favorite ice cream. We wore party hats and it was perfect.

So. That’s whassup with me. ‘s all good, man. 🙂

The End of an Era … and the Beginning of a New One

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…

More like my crap’s not even boxed up and I’m moving things to my new apartment over the course of a weekend and I’ll slowly start to piece my new digs together.  It’s an exciting time and I’m so ready for it.

Living with my current roommate has been nothing short of a blast. We get along great. We have the best time together and we have taught each other lessons along the way. There’s nothing I would change about our year together, only that maybe we could have had a few more girl’s nights.

How many people can say that about their roommate? That they wished they spent more time together? My roommate is the girl I could be stuck in an elevator with for 9 hours and we wouldn’t strangle each other. She’s the one I love walking with and talking about how we’d spend our million dollars if we won the lottery. (I’d make a nap room in my new house, if anyone wanted to know.) She’s the one I want to watch Lifetime with all day on the couch and eat a big dumb pizza with.  She’s the one I want to drink too much wine with at a happy hour and she’s the one who taught me to think a little bit more with my noggin instead of my squishy heart. (I’d like to think I taught her a thing or two, too. 😉 )

I’m a lucky gal.

I’m lucky and fortunate to have had such a great roommate, but this mama gotsta spread dem wings and get to bein’ an independent chick. Yeah, the idea still kind of terrifies me because I’ll be totally on my own, but I think that’s when you learn the most about yourself.

I lived alone for a spell my last year of college. I loved having my own schedule and answering only to myself. I loved having my little morning ritual. I learned that I frequently leave things in random places thinking that I’ll pick them up later and then when I see them there, I get mad and think it was someone else, but then remember that nope, it was just me. I learned that I forget to buy paper towels a lot and will resort to using a T-Shirt. WHAT?! Don’t act like you’re better than me! I learned that I can watch an obscene amount of Netflix and not talk to anyone for hours. That’s definitely something I’ll miss about having my good ole roomie, just shootin’ the bull at our kitchen table over a cup of tea before bed. We might repeat the same stuff night after night, but hey, it’s what we do and I love it.

As I’ve been packing up my crap, (HOW DO I HAVE SO MUCH STUFF?!) I’ve tossed a ton of things that serve no purpose to me and have been cognizant about keeping things that I’ll most definitely use. I’m that girl who keeps things because “maybe I’ll use it later” and then the next time the closet cleaning comes around, I’ll still not have used it. So I tossed a lot of things for good. Deuces, weird sweater that I tried to wear at least 3 times but talked myself out of because it hit on a weird part of my body.

I have a box that I’ve had for years with letters and notes friends and family have written me. I look at it when I’m feeling sentimental or blue. There are pictures from kids I babysat with sweet notes like “u R cool” and pictures of suns with sunglasses.

In that box, I also have love letters from my ex. When we were dating, they’d make me cry because they were true and full of love. During the break up, I’d read them and I’d cry because they were bullshit and I wanted to light them on fire and I hated him. Now that I’m over it and good, I just gave a shrug and ripped ‘em up and threw ‘em away.

Just like that.

It felt so nice. It wasn’t bra-burning-liberating or anything, more like if I was tearing up expired coupons. Like expired coupons, they served me no purpose. They didn’t make me feel anything. They didn’t make me excited or happy. They didn’t make me sad or Dashboard Confessional-ish, but totally neutral.

I’m not gonna lie. I read them, laughed, then did the thumbs down and made a fart noise with my mouth before I tossed them. But still. They gone.  (Hand waving emoji.)

I’ve been reading a lot about energy (gettin’ my spiritual on, know whaddeye mean) and I think moving to a new place with a new beginning will be great. I’ll be getting rid of some bad vibes that the old apartment had and moving onto something that I can morph into my own. I’m going to take this as an opportunity to create my own space that makes me feel comfortable and I’ll know it’s only mine. I can fill it with whatever I want and I can choose the mood and environment.  Maybe before I move in, I’ll burn some sage just to get rid of the previous bad vibes. Wait, what?

It’s an older apartment building that has a lot of charm but just got redone. I’d like to take this opportunity to use a metaphor and say that my apartment is like me. (Oh, fresh.) It still has its flaws and its dings, but it’s been buffed up and ready for the next thing to come its way.

Will I miss my old apartment? Oh, absolutely. Will I feel good about Hannahfying my new one? You betcha.

The cats are super confused about what’s happening, but they’re going to have a new place too! They get their own room and I’m buying them a cat tree because my new apartment has a lot of windows for them to sit in and bask in the sun!!

Oh god.

I didn’t say that.

I mean. The cats are cool with the move, I guess.  Who knows? I don’t talk to them or ask them if they’re excited.

So I’m embracing this move and I will show you my excitement through the form of a gif.

giphy

My Mom

The past two weeks have been a roller coaster to say the least.

First, I’d like to thank all of my friends and family for being here for me. Thank you for sitting with me while I cried. Thank you for sending me text messages with sweet words of encouragement and love. Thank you for letting me cry on you and giving me squeezes when I needed it most. Thank you for going on walks with me. Thank you for sending me flowers. Thank you for trying to make me laugh when I was at the bottom. Thank you for sending Facebook messages. Thank you for just being there even if you didn’t know what to do.

It makes me so happy to know I have so many wonderful people in my life.

And I have my mom to thank for that.

Without her, I wouldn’t know how to love. My whole life, she has shown me nothing but love and happiness. She has always shown love in everything she’s done through raising a family, through music, through her friendships, through her love of my dad, and through her church. It’s these things that have shaped her and in turn, have shaped me.

Growing up, my mom bopped around and did everything for my brother and I. She’d make us our favorite cookies, she’d read to us every night, she’d go to our parent-teacher conferences (she’d ground me after mine), and she’d wake us up in the morning by rubbing our arms and coaxing us out of bed, even when we were grumpy teenagers. She did everything with love and care.

Even with her injury, she never stopped being my mom. When I was going through a tough time, I’d call her and cry and she’d listen. She’d give me words of wisdom, and if she didn’t have anything to say, she’d just be there. When I lived at home, I’d go lay in her bed and she’d stroke my hair and rub my arm, just like she did when I was little. She’d tell me everything would be okay. I would cry and tell her my problems were so trivial compared to what she’s been through and she’d say they weren’t. She’d tell me that sure, she’s been through a lot, but all I can do is keep moving forward and be positive. She never once said anything bad about her accident or the situation she was in, but just kept moving.

The music in her life was nothing but love. Every piano key she touched was filled with a plan and sent out love to everyone’s ears. Even if she fumbled and messed up, you wouldn’t know because as her fingers would dance along the piano, the sound was nothing but beautiful. She’d play any song by ear and Collin and my dad and I would spend hours asking her to play our songs and we’d dance and sing. She’d play Backstreet Boys for me, John Denver for my dad and The Beatles for my brother. Once I think Collin talked her into playing the Iowa Fight Song, which she played with heavy fingers, but she did it out of love. (Pretty sure she countered it immediately with the Nebraska Fight Song, but nonetheless, she’d play that song over and over for Collin if he asked.)

The weddings she’d play for were amazing. She loved meeting with the brides and picking out music for their special day. Every wedding was unique and she was happy to be chosen for it. People would stop her in Hy Vee and say, “Hey, you played for so and so’s wedding! It was the best music I’ve ever heard!” and she’d smile and say thanks.

She’d play for funerals, too. She played for my friends’ funerals which were more than difficult for her. I asked her how she could even do it, and she told me it was her gift. It was her way of healing. She wanted to help the families by bringing beautiful music in their darkest times. She played with love when the families needed it most.

After the funerals, she’d usually take a bath. The harder the funeral, the longer the bath. Sometimes she needed longer to soak, but it was her way of healing.

My mom and dad have something special that I honestly don’t have the words for. They knew they loved each other when they first met and my dad knew he wanted to marry her by their second date. Their marriage is filled with such love and friendship, that it makes everyone around them happy. They complement each other in every aspect and there is nothing they wouldn’t do for each other. It’s grown in ways only the two of them will understand. They’re each other’s best friends and my heart breaks over and over seeing what my dad went through the past two weeks when he thought he would lose his other half. He calls her buddy and kisses her forehead. He holds her hand and just stares at her, seeing the same woman he fell in love with 30 years ago and he is still so in love. No question, no denying. They are meant for each other and my brother and I are fortunate to have grown up with their love and partnership. Whoever I choose to be with knows he has big shoes to fill, because I am expecting him to only be half the man my dad is and I hope I can be half the woman my mom is.

It took me a long time to realize that my mom is so much cooler than me. I always knew my mom is something special, but it’s unfortunate that it took the accident to really put things into perspective for me.

When she fell, it was like a cry heard around the world. People from everywhere came forward to send their love. Through cards, phone calls, hospital visits, food delivered to the house, and everything in between, people just wanted to show they loved my mom. In some way or another, she had shown them love and helped them. It was no surprise to me that she is so loved. People just wanted to help my mom as she had helped them.

She has developed beautiful friendships with some of the most wonderful people who came forward, and had the accident not happened, I wonder if their friendships would be as strong. I know my mom is grateful for the ones she’s gotten to know so well and the ones who have been there for her.

Her church community is one that is unbreakable. She is and was, their dear organist and pianist and there has been no task too small for them to do for my mom. Anything she needs, they deliver. The prayers they’ve sent up for her are much needed in her dire time and I know without them, this journey would have been a much more difficult one for us all. While I’m not active in the church, words cannot describe how thankful I am to have the church family there for my mom.

Church was always special for us because it always made me feel happy knowing that it was my mom who was playing their music. She played for the choirs, services and anyone who wanted to perform music. The day before I left for Germany, she made an announcement to the congregation that I was leaving, and through a teary eyed speech, she told them that she’d be playing my favorite hymn. And through tears, I sang along to her playing.

She radiates such positivity despite everything she’s been through, even in the dark times that seemed to show no hope. It’s her love that’s gotten her through everything.  It’s her love that will continue to get her through everything. It’s been a very long and hard road and from here on out, it will grow harder. Now, more than ever, she needs love to power through this.

Despite all of her ailments, the only thing that has been the least damaged has been her heart.  That should come to a surprise to no one, as her heart is the biggest out of anyone’s and it is only filled with love.

Again, thank you everyone who has been here.

Thank you, Mom.

I love you.