A Day In Nature

   This Sunday was spent in nature and it was honestly so nice. A friend and I left around 9 headed for northern Indiana to Turkey Run State Park. The drive isn’t long but it is all at the same time. Which was nice, it gave us time to talk about anything and everything. We complained about ignorant people, swapped work stories, and whatever else popped into our heads. It was a nice way to distract ourselves as we drove through Indiana countryside and small towns.

      Finally, we reach Turkey Run Park. We pay our fee, receive our maps, and make our way in to park. A quick swing by the bathrooms and a spray of sunscreen later and we are on our way. We hit a couple of false starts before heading in the same direction as several other groups of hikers. Down 70 stairs (as a small child later informed us) to the suspension bridge and our adventure was started. 

    We found trail three and started off. Trail three is set in an old riverbed and involves climbing of all sorts. There were several families there with small children and I was absolutely amazed by their abilities to keep up. They climbed over rocks and logs more than half their height. Plunged through water that reached up almost to their waists. And yet nothing deterred them, none of them slowed or lost their way. While we two almost 25 year old adults picked less harrowing paths or jokingly complained about the water in our shoes. 

   The path split several times but we continued on our way that would take us to the more rugged parts. We climbed up small waterfall after small waterfall. Up natural steps worn in the wall with footholds just big enough for us to step. Next came a sign declaring we were close to the Punch Bowl.

    The Punch Bowl was a small waterfall that fell into a shallow pool. There was a small cave offset to the right side that the family we had followed wandered in to. A photographer sat off on a stone bench nearby snapping pictures while we turned around to continue on the trail. Down the riverbed we went. Through the mud and across the rocks we wove a path that others had carved before us. Occasionally we stopped to take pictures of the beautiful sights surrounding us.

    Onward we went. We finally reached some stairs that carved a path upward at the end of the river. So up we went and went and went. At the top we paused to catch our breath and drink some water. Afterwards we continued on and found more stairs. Some wooden, some stone mostly they were the most taxing part of the hike. After what felt like a constant up and down battle we reached the ladder part of the hike. My friend bravely climbed down the ladder and I took the small path carved in the side of the hill. Both of us took our time and it was slow going. By the end we both were covered in mud and decided it would be better to take trail five instead of attempting the other ladders.

      Trail five was less intense than trail three except for one small factor. The 140 steps. Don’t get me wrong stairs don’t bother me but by the time we reached the 140 we’d already climbed up and down several sets. Not to mention the river bed we had previously climbed through. So by the time the 140 came up we both were a bit less than thrilled, me more so than her. Yet we persisted. We paused a little over half way at a bench and took a water break. Two guys coming from the top smiled and jokingly said, “Its easier going down”. We laughed and agreed easily. They asked if we were headed for trail nine which quickly denied and said we were heading for five. Off they went on their way and up we went on ours. Now I’m not gonna lie at the top I definitely felt like doing the Rocky happy dance, or at least sing some Eye of the Tiger. 

     Trail five wound through the woods and was a gentle slope downward the whole way. We followed the path knowing eventually we’d hit trail three again. Which would ultimately lead to the bridge and back to the car. Except it didn’t. We were close. We could see the river but we had just ended up at the Ice Box which is where the ladders we avoided led to. We searched for a path a bit frustrated that we had miscalculated exactly where we were. Finally, a galnce upward revealed the path we needed and up we went.

      This part of five led us up and down for a bit until we reached non-stair path. The view of the river was now constant and we finally hit back on trail three again.  The end was so close we could taste. The sightings of chipmunks briefly disteacted us but soon we were back on our way. A brief stop for my friend to stretch and loosen up some before the final bit of trail. Now the bridge was in sight and we were slowly regaining speed. Our trek was over and we were tired and happy.

   Once back in the cool car we were on our way back home. Both a little tired, not really talking. Suddenly the hunger set in and we stopped by a McDonald’s for a quick bite to eat. Energy mildly regained we were back to talkative and the ride home went by quickly. All in all it was a fun day that didn’t involve technology or us lazing about or getting food or drinking. It was a nice break from what had become the norm for us when we hang out. Although next time we hang out I did promise her it was gonna be nice and lazy. 

Time to take care of me

Speak my mind and be heard.

I spend a decent amount of my time doing things for others. Frankly I love it. But I’ve also reached that overextended point and time. September flew by. A vacation ended and it was right back to work. Plus the planning of a bridal shower. Fast forward to October and it’s Halloween everything and more work. Now it’s November 7th and I already feel like I’m a month behind.  All I’m trying to do is plan a very tiny baby sprinkle. Nothing big, nothing complicated. Just easy. Yet my anxiety and need to make everything the best have kicked into overdrive. 

   After Christmas I am going to be all about me. I am going to finally fix my room. Finish unpacking, since we’ve lived here for two years, and hang up the rest of my frames. Clean my room too. Because it continues to look like a tornado went off in there. Buy furniture that makes sense for my age/needs. And a mattress. An actual queen sized mattress. These are the biggest needs I have.

   Second, I’m going to need to take care of me. Take more time out to do what I want. To not feel guilty when I buy myself soemthing. Yet also save money and feel wise about it. For once I just need to take time out for me. I need to be selfish. Say no when I don’t want to do something with out that guilty feeling later. Speak my mind and be heard. Because I deserve this.

Halloween Time

This is my favorite time of year.

This is my favorite time of year. Hands down. Everything from candy corn and caramel apples to haunted houses and decorations. I love it all. Not to mention all the scary movies that you can watch are always on. If I could I’d celebrate it more than once a year. 

    Since I’ve got the next several days off I plan on decorating my house. I’m going a bit more all out this year. Bigger is better after all. Ordered more spiderwebs. Got more bones and tombstones to help flesh out our “graveyard”. Now I just need more spiders and goods to further make everything spooky. I am so ready to make my house haunted and spookified. 

     The next step is to make my costume in preparations for our annual Halloween “party”. I am actually pretty excited about this year’s costume. I’ve decided to be Mabel from Gravity Falls this year. In her light-up Mabel sweater. Last year’s costume was a bit time consuming so I figured this year’s should be a bit easier. I’m hoping that at least a few people get it. Not many people I know watch the show so I’m a bit worried about it. Otherwise I’m really looking forward to it.

    And I think my next favorite thing for this year is going to be baking. As soon as October hits I get the baking bug like no other. So I’m planning on making witch brew brownies, tombstone cupcakes, a cookie haunted house, and so much more. Everyone is going to be so tired of all my baking that they’ll never what a baked goo ever again. 

(Sorry this is a few days late.)

October Vibes

“I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers…”

    October is always and will always be my favorite month. It is full of fresh starts, good vibes, and fun times all around. No shock that Halloween is my favorite holiday to boot. I may be a summer baby but my soul belongs to fall. Despite my hatred of cold weather I love brisk fall mornings where the sun starts to rise and shine through gorgeous colored leaves.

   That’s the good thing about living in Indiana. Whether you want to or not you get to experience all four seasons. And let me tell you fall is gorgeous. It’s not rainy and miserable like spring. Not cold, bitter, and biting like winter. Nor is it sweltering like summer. Fall is the absolute perfect mix of sunshine and cool wind. The trees, bushes, and all other foliage do wondrous things turning shades of crimson, gold, and amber. Everything about fall just makes things seem better. 

     The whole month is like one big, warm hug. Giving you healing vibes and sending you warm wishes. October  sees your pain and holds you tight washing it away in slow waves of change. The weather cooling reminds you to be level-headed. Changing colors tell you it’s time to turn over a new leaf. Everything just screams at you to take care of you. To take time off to explore the changing world and watch as it dies to reveal inner beauty. True beauty.

“I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”-Anne of Green Gables 

Comfort Zone

But sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone feels like stepping off a cliff.

So my goals for this year have been all about stepping out of my comfort zone. Because frankly I am awkward, shy, and a bit rude until you know me better. Thus the process of social interaction isn’t always easy for me. So I made sure some of my bucket list items for the year were all about stepping out of that zone. Like cosplaying at a con. Going on a solo vacation. Do more solo activities. Embracing my singleness and not letting that stop me.

The first step in that was going to TATINOF. I reached out and made “friends” with people that were also going and that like Dan and Phil as much as I do. It was new, it was different, and I was way out of my comfort zone. It was my first solo show of any kind. And I’ll admit it now, but I was worried. I was nervous and so close to chicken in out. Yet now I’m so, so glad I went. It was an awesome show. I met some awesome people who had the same likes as me. Plus I got some awesome swag.

After that success I did end up taking a step back. I chickened out of cosplaying at Gen Con this year. There will be more chances at other cons but still I wish I would have just done it. But sometimes taking that step out of your comfort zone feels like stepping off a cliff and I’m not ready for that.

Now the goal I’m aiming for next and it’s a big one, is planning a solo vacation to somewhere I’ve never been. I’m thinking the Florida keys. Or maybe New Orleans. I just want to go somewhere I’ve never been. I want to explore and be a tourist. All without having to worry about someone else or sticking to an itinerary. Yet at the same time it worries me. Being a single female doesn’t always make traveling alone easy. There are worries and fears to take into consideration. So maybe I’ll invite along a friend. There’s still time between now and the end of 2017 when I’m thinking of going. I’m just excited to get to wandering.

Any travel sugguestions?-Jel

The Folks I Call Friends

Not to mention their demons play nicely with my own.

So here lately my days have been pretty friend filled and I am beyond grateful for that. There was a long period of time where I wasn’t the best friend in the world. All because of a “friend” that maybe wasn’t the best. But I’ve been working on the recovery process and I’m feeling pretty good about these people that I’ve decided to surround myself with. Don’t get me wrong I have always been that person who can make friends easily but I also am that person with different degrees of friendships.

   There’s that level of co-worker bonding that never goes beyond the work place. I have that now with several people. I’m happy with that level I don’t want to cross the line that I crossed before. Been there, been burned, no desire to go back. We share interests and swap stories. Yet only know basic information about one another. Don’t get me wrong if there is the offer to hang out, go get drinks, or whatever I’ll be more than willing to go but I like the current levels just as much.

   Next I have what I lovingly refer to as just friends. The people that I have gotten drinks with. The people whose company I enjoy yet we don’t often see eye to eye. People who I worked with for four years of my life and occasionally still attempt to make plans with (that always fall through, I’m getting use to that disappointment). We still congratulate each other on various things, holiday and birthday wishes are still shared, but the face to face time is lacking. There’s a few of them that I am so, so happy for. And fewer who my heart cries for, because bad things seem to follow them around. But I always offer hope and love to them.

 


      Now this next group are what I call “My People”. The lot of them used to just be my girls but they’re gradually getting married off and we’ve added in their spouses and kids. Plus I’ve added a friend or two to that circle. These are the people that no matter what I never worry about how I act because I know they love me. The people that when we talk strangers probably wonder if the cops need to be called. These were the people that I ignored because I was always told your high school friends are not the friends that you’ll have for the rest of your life. Friendships were damaged. I’m not going to lie but nothing gets so broken it can’t be fixed. And trust me I’ve made a very concious effort to fix things. I text more. Make plans more. Reach out more. Offer advice more. Make my voice be heard again. Because I missed these people. I missed my people and what it was like when we had all the free time in the world. We’ve gotten older, things have changed but sometimes when the laughter is abundant and the tears free flowing I remember why I chose them. Not a one of them is flawless but those flaws are beautiful. Not to mention their demons play nicely with my own.

     This last group is one I don’t talk much about anymore. It hurts too much. Hell I wake up in tears and cold sweat from dreams that two years ago would have been glorious. Now they sour a whole day. I’m talking about ex-friends. We all have them. Sometimes they’re people who just fade away. Occasionally there’s a huge fight, a big bang and then nothing. But my worst instance definitely contains heartbreak. We parted in her words “as still friends” just not like we were before. Except she can’t even stand to hear about me from people we both know. And unliked a photo of a mutual friends child after she noticed I posted it. Don’t get me wrong I’m not bitter about this. Not anymore. I’m just sad. Sad I didn’t see her graduate. Or get her dream job. Or get married. Or any of the other millions of future plans we made. Even now though I wish her all the best. Heart broken or not I could never wish anything bad on any one I once was friends with who put me to the side because it suited them.


Hopefully this post made sense. I rambled. Part of me hopes some of you could relate. -Jel