I’m Drowning In Other People’s Opinions

I am drowning, drowning, drowning in other people’s opinions on how I should be living my life and never realized how much I was holding on to other’s opinions or how it was affecting me until recently, like two days ago.

It all started with a podcast episode “How To Find Your Calling” by Rachel Hollis. The first ripple in my pond happened when she mentions her struggle with having a lot of anxiety and how it stemmed from trying to please everyone around her.

Everytime I hear someone struggling with anxiety issues I ask, who are you trying to please? – Rachel Hollis

Trying to live for others while being yourself IS like trying to live a double life. There are so many opinions flying around about how women should act, feel, or do in life, that it’s hard to differentiate between your own thoughts and those that’ve been learned.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I need to let my Hubs feel like he’s the man in the house and that me being a strong woman will squash his manhood. So I tried for a  to not be so “strong-willed” and it did nothing but make me resent him, even though he wasn’t the one who even said it, the first, second or third time!

He married me, he knows who I am. If he didn’t like an independent woman then he wouldn’t have married one. But I beat myself up for a bit for not being that dainty submissive lady books are written about, who gets saved and everyone protects.

If I could go back I would simply nod and smile, make no comment and not let that idea (because that’s all it is) be stuck to me. Deep down I’m proud of who I am and only I know my relationship with my husband, why would I let someone outside of it influence it? Plus, he’s only ever complimented me for my strength and independent traits.

These opinions aren’t just reserved for marriage. I feel it professionally. I recently was told, “I think you like to try new things but then get bored.”

I’ve been struggling about what I want to be doing in life and have been trying out new ways to make a difference both on and off social media, so this felt like a jab to my abilities to perform and accomplish tasks.

What I took home that night was, you’re a professional floozy, and then yes you guessed it, beat myself up about it for a while because look, look at all these women who are writing books and killing it on social who are making a difference in their follower’s lives. All I’ve done is make a 7 episode podcast I’m not sure I can continue because finding people who were homeless and want to share their story is tough, and I don’t think I want to change my topic.

Letting it consume me and beat me up is again, on me. I have control over my actions and reactions. One of my favorite lines my friend repeats to me is, “you can’t control how people act or how they react to you, you’re not responsible for their emotions or behaviors. You can only control how you act and react.” 

My small ripple quadrupled after Rachel then mentioned how hard it was for her to step down as CEO and hire her husband for the position because she felt a certain pull to be THAT woman who ran her own company and be that example for other young women, until…

Her friend asked her if she actually liked doing any of the roles required under the CEO like budgeting, scheduling, etc. Her answer was no, she’d rather write and create content because that what makes her happy. So now she’s the Creative Cheif instead.

DING DING DING.

Why am I fighting my want to write and be creative? Why don’t I just do it and stop distracting myself with all the other things? Every year I tell myself I’m going to start my word count. Every month I tell myself I want to build my own business, freelance, build my following and grow an email list but have no real plan on how to do it, so I end up getting frazzled and reminding myself that old saying I heard so many years ago about “nobody makes a living by writing” or my favorite “you’re not THAT kind of creative.”

So I drown my wants to write the stuff I want to write and create the content I want to create because of comments from others, how ridiculous, I mean really!

I’ve completely forgotten about the fun part and ps: I already DO make a living out of creating content. I do all the writing for Marconi Automotive Museum, hello!

Basically, if you’re struggling with anxiety…who are you trying to please? Are you living for yourself, or trying to make everyone else around you happy?

Me trying to please everyone and live up to their expectations based off conversations they probably didn’t mean to have such a deep effect on me is true madness. Yeah? Man, I hope someone resonated with this, otherwise, I am crazypants.

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear. (2)

Ps: there’s a part two to this story. The real big mic drop came after Rachel begun to speak about this one moment from attending a Tony Robbins growth conference where he asks which parent did you crave love from the most, and who did you have to be in order to get that person’s attention? I’ll catch you guys next week…

Come be my friend on Instagram. I’m hilarious.

I Didn’t Have To Worry About You

Letting this one out of limbo, too. I was afraid any of my family reading would take this too personal, or misinterpret it in a harmful way so I kept it in the draft pile.

But that damn This Is Us episode really hit me in the feels, and I don’t want those emotions to hide because what if some of you haven’t seen the episode and this makes you feel some sort of comfort, too?

This was the morning after I watched it, so some of my thoughts are sporadic and choppy. Who doesn’t love a good, raw, blog post?


Man, who needs therapy when This Is Us seems to be hitting the nail on the head so accurately? I’m currently catching up on Season 2 and finally made it to episode 11, and WOWZA did the family therapy session tear my ass a new one! #allthetears #criedlikeababy

For those of you who don’t know: Kevin is in court-ordered rehab and when the family comes to visit, they are all asked to join him in a family therapy session. The audience knows how much emotional turmoil the family has faced with Jack’s death and at this point, we’re all holding our breath waiting to see what will be revealed.

And BAM,  Kevin begs Rebecca (his Mom) to admit she loved her other kids more and after a lot of commotion between all three kids and Rebecca, she (Mom) yells, “they were easier to love and didn’t recoil when I touched them!”

Later, Kevin and Rebecca have a one-on-one where she explains he was always the strong one, the brave one, and she thought there was no need to worry about him, but that now she can see she was wrong.

Cue ugly crying and hyperventilating. 

This hit a little to close to home for me because I think there is a good chance I held my mom accountable all these years for not “caring enough” about me while growing up. Most of her attention went to my other two siblings, and it left me feeling like I wasn’t a part of the group. Which for the record, is really weird to see written down. 

Rebecca’s line, “you were always the brave one, the strong one and always okay. I didn’t have to worry about you,” translated to, “you’ve always had a good head on your shoulders,” which is what my mom would say about me.

Where’s Oprah, I just had my ah-ha moment.

 

It’s not over because the fat lady hasn’t sung, and there’s still one more moment that went too deep…

Kevin is expressing his truth towards his mother when Randall steps in and says he’s “had enough,” and loudly defends his mom against Kevin’s accusations. Randall continues to scold Kevin for his behavior, proclaims they had a great childhood and will not tolerate another defamatory word being thrown towards their Mom.

Naturally, Kevin shuts down and the rest of the session goes to hell in a handbasket.

But then, Randall’s apology afterward is fireeeeeee. “I’ve been wearing glasses my whole life and this is how I see it,” he begins, “every kid sees their childhood through a different lens, and I didn’t come here to crap all over yours.”

Holly hell. How do they know?!

My siblings and I aren’t the closest, we love each other from a distance because that’s what we’re all comfortable with, I think. And I’ve always questioned the reality I remember growing up because I know they wouldn’t necessarily agree with all aspects of how I felt as a kid.

…we all see our childhood through a different lens…


Listen, everybody has a baggage they carry from their own upbringing, to claim you don’t is only doing yourself a disservice. For the most part, I have unpacked mine.

Some wounds were easier to bandage than others. There’s no need to cry over spilled milk or continue to hold a grudge because they should’ve done it differently. We’re all doing our best.

RamblinRandol - (2)

 

 

 

Dear Diary May 1997 III

Rediscovering my twenty year younger heart again has been slightly embarrassing yet fulfilling at the same time. Who knew I was such a talkative little tyke. 

And my, was my heart filled with such love. I wrote down everything and everyone I cared about to ensure I would never forget. 

I’m not editing any of the contents or reading the entires beforehand. That way we can share in the wonder together. 

Here is May 1997 III.


May 25, 1997
Today I went to Applebee's to visit Dad. 
I love my Daddy very much. 
Love Shannon

May 21, 1997
Mrs. Sattora is the Best techer in the whole wind world!
Love Shannon

May 23, 1997
I love my family But
I have fun with them very much
They are the Best parents in the whole wind world!
Love Shannon

May 23, 1997
I Love You

May 23, 1997
On May 21, 1997 I told Alissa that I put I Love
Neil. she was being a berat.
But we are Best friends
now. 

May 25, 1997
I <3 u
Love Shannon

May 26, 1997
you are fun!

IMG_0393.JPG

[Dear Diary] Thank goodness Alissa and I made up after she was being a berat! It’s a shame my bounce back rate isn’t as quick these days.

Has anyone else caught my consistent capitalization of Best? I actually think it’s pretty hilarious. My younger self put a high emphasis on the word. It must’ve had some type of superiority before the word friend.

I also assume I tattled on myself to Alissa about my crush and she teased me. Luckily, I have no recollection of this spat between my former Best friend and happy to report, it did not stop me from crushing on Neil.

It’s also safe to say I was trying to write brat, but also highly probable I was trying to write it the way I was saying it, i.e. beeeeeerat!

Love Shannon

My how time flies. Do you remember your first scuff with a friend? What was it over and where did it happen? Let me know in the comment section!

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Unemployment Diaries: California Edition Part VIII

My interview with the Marconi Automotive Museum was scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday. After the fiasco on Wednesday with a previous company, I was hopeful I couldn’t have two wonky interviews in a row. Plus, my family is filled with gear heads. Wouldn’t that be perfect?

My Hubs is attending UTI (an automotive school) and is currently in the top percentage of his class. And to brag a little because I’m super proud and excited for him, he’s been receiving offers from top manufacturers to attend their additional training courses after he gradates. Ironically, a majority are located in Southern California.

My father-in-law eats, breathes and dreams about rebuilding old American muscle cars, and has an ’07 Shelby getting a facelift in his garage as we speak. Him and my Hubs spent some time rebuilding a Chevy Impala when the Hubby was in high school. Not to mention, my FIL’s garage is what man dreams are made of …

My pops has always had a love for motorcycles. He wasn’t ever a fan of the sporty bikes, but enjoyed the classics that are meant for cruisin’. And his father, my grandfather, had a hobby of rebuilding cars when my pops was a kid.

Almost to good to be true, right?

I didn’t want to jinx it and get my hopes too high. I’m a believer of the jinx, and partially because I’ve been a Buffalo Bills fan for the entirety of my life, rightfully so, the Bills have annually managed to break my heart.

I arrived to the interview an hour early. I was able to drive my in-laws ’06 Mustang and I think the beaut gave me an extra pep in my step and shot of confidence. The front of the building was all glass and after 10-15 minutes I realized I didn’t want to look like a creeper. So I went in 40 minutes early. No such thing as being too early, right?

I told the receptionist I was here for an interview and that I was much too early because traffic wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. She offered to let me walk around the museum and would have my interviewer, Missy, come get me when I was ready.

The warehouse is huge and it’s filled with fast rare cars. Mr. Marconi was definitely a fan of the Lamborghinis. I had checked out its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress pages. And I felt like I got a good understanding of what the company was about; No weird California laws prohibited its openness (see previous post about wonky interview).

The company was everything I hoped I could land after graduation. It’s a nonprofit that gives its proceeds to a hearty amount of charities for children. The space is used as a venue to host events such as: weddings, birthdays, office Christmas parties, etc. And the job description was almost a mirror image of my resume.

Is this real life?

Many people will warn you throughout the higher education path that you’ll most likely not land a position in your desired field, because it’s difficult and companies are looking for somebody with more than entry level experience. This common conversation pushed myself to gain as much real world experience as I could before I’d walk across a stage (for the last time) and receive my diploma.

I was determined to land a job I would enjoy. This doesn’t mean I was arrogant to jobs I wasn’t too thrilled about. I applied to as many communication, writing and planning jobs I came across, because ultimately my goal was to get out of the food industry. I promised myself I wouldn’t work another Thanksgiving this year, and I had a few months to meet my deadline upon graduating.

I anxiously awaited for my interview to begin as I strolled through the impressive warehouse. I started to get a bit too excited and began imagining all the possibilities I could do if hired as the marketing coordinator. And before I could get way to excited, my interview began.

After an hour and a half of speaking with the Marconi ladies, I was asked to come back the following Monday for an additional interview. And yes, it was hard not to leap for joy into their arms and jump up and down with them in unison. Thankfully, I understand that would be awkward and probably a tad bit unprofessional.

I felt at ease during the conversation. It felt like I was catching up with two friends whom I hadn’t seen in some time. I didn’t have to search for the answers to their questions, I just knew them. And I wasn’t anxious, fidgety or afraid of saying the wrong thing. I couldn’t imagine it going any better.

I could hardly wait to tell my husband and family how well it went. As soon as I left on the train a few Mondays ago, I hoped I would be able to call the Hubs and scream I got a job and we’re officially moving to California, pack your bags!

Earlier that morning, before my interview, my FIL stopped at the bottom of the stairs (my bedroom / Hubs former bedroom is at the top of the stairs) and said a silent prayer for me to have a wonderful interview and to have all the right words.

My MIL anxiously waited for 1 o’clock to strike before bowing her head at her desk and prayed for the exact same thing.

Call it coincidence, karma or divine intervention; I had the best interview of my life. Now, I just need to make it through the weekend.

Cliff Dwellings of Manitou Springs

Sigh-our last full day in Colorado Springs, a bit more than bittersweet, we didn’t want to leave at all. If it were possible to move all our belongings in a blink of an eye, I think we would have.

In the beginning of a trip, that first wake up means the whole adventure is in front of you, so when it ends, it feels like it came and went to quickly. As soon as you book a trip, it takes forever to get there, but when you’re on vacation, it flies by faster than the speed of light.

I’m just grateful I got to spend it with my guy and our two puppies.

After breakfast we headed into Manitou Springs to visit the cliff dwellings. These dwellings were homes to the Anasazi ( The Ancient Ones or The Ancestral Puebloans). The people of this culture lived from 1100 A.D. to 1300 A.D. in the four corners area ( Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico).

These apartment homes were carved into the side of the huge red rocks to protect themselves from invasions by intruders, so their backs were always covered, no sneak attacks from behind.

Cliff Dwellings at Manitou Springs 2015

Cliff Dwellings at Manitou Springs 2015

At the entrance of a home inside the Cliffs

At the entrance of a home inside the Cliffs

The tiny narrow hallways and low ceilings gave you the feel of what it might have been like to live in one of these homes. The stairs were just as narrow and with the sun behind us, it was very dark.

A view from the inside. It was cool on the inside and felt damp.

A view from the inside. It was cool on the inside and felt damp.

They are so cute, my three ruffs.

They are so cute, my three ruffs.

A better angle of what we were looking at and how each home connects

A better angle of what we were looking at and how each home connects

There was also a museum housed inside a Pueblo. A structure made from clay and hay, because of the cold winters Colorado has, the snow melts the clay and has to be replenished yearly. I hate mowing the grass, how spoiled are we, can you imagine?

We were also in for an unexpected treat that day, there were wolves walking around, real life BIG ones. The Hubs and I got to pet and feed them, totally insane!

I was walking up to the female when the male, Ghost, came galloping up to me, nuzzling me with this long thick snout. I’m not going to lie, for a quick second I thought this was it. “Here lies Shannon, eaten alive by a wolf.”

The handler explained people adopt these animals and try to mix them with dogs, because they think it’s “cool,” and when they become an adult, they’re too much to handle and get left in shelters, or in the present females case, tied up to a tree.

Because they end up in shelters, nobody wants to adopt them and they end up being put down, a sad fate for a wild animal. So, he takes them in and cares for them.

The wolves eat between 6 to 9 lbs of raw meat a day. So the handler brings them out to help raise money to feed and house them. They can’t be domesticated, meaning you can’t house train them. They live in a huge back yard with man-made dens, another female wolf is the pack leader. You Go Girl.

Just giving Ghost a treat, from my bare hand!

Just giving Ghost a treat, from my bare hand!

The hubby got to too!

The hubby got to too!

After the dwellings, we dropped the dogs off and went to downtown Colorado Springs and historic Colorado City. Downtown was nice, a small city with clean streets. The homes were Victorian style, where the floors probably creaked and the banisters were hand crafted wood.

Historic Colorado City is like any historic area, small trinket stores, hand dipped chocolate goodies and a grassy area for guests to sun bathe on. It’s cute, nice for tourists and people who eat lunch outside.

It was built by a few guys who had enough money to spend, pretty much the same song and dance for any town in those days.

We got back to the hotel early in the afternoon and were wiped out. All the hiking and exploring caught up with us and we were done-zo. I crawled under the sheets and dozed off for an hour, woke up to The Hunger Games on HBO and a very hungry husband.

The Hubs found a restaurant that was inside an old Boeing KC-97, him being an avid aviation junkie, especially during the WWII era, so we had to go. It didn’t dissapoint.

The building surrounding the plane offered additional seating and plenty of eye candy hanging on every inch of the walls. The menus were newspapers you could take home as souvenirs and the waiters were dressed in airline attendant fashion.

Matt checking out the cockpit

Matt checking out the cockpit

Me reading the local news, I mean looking over the menu

Me reading the local news, I mean looking over the menu

The view from outside

The view from outside

Let the record show, I Shannon, was in a plane willingly without any mild heart palpitations or panic attacks. Plus, the food was pretty good. I got an avocado burger, the Hubs got salmon pasta something or other and we split a brownie sundae.

A great way to end the day and trip, because in the morning, we had an 11 hour trek back home ahead of us.