When I think of 2017 there are a plethora of moments which come to my mind. It’s been a year, like most, of ups and downs and immense growth. I wanted to share some of my moments in which I’m grateful for this year.
So, grab a snack and some water and prepare yourself for a little story in the life of Measha aka Espy Girl – year 2017. I’m hoping you smile, laugh, maybe catch a tear falling down your cheek. Please share some of your moments with me as well! <3
Happy Holidays, wishing you all a New Year full of happiness, love, personal growth, and health!
The first moment in which I’m grateful for, started off at the beginning of 2017. My first trip with my boyfriend, Kyle, to Arizona was in January. What a wonderful way to start off the new year! Away from the Midwest cold, within warm sunshine, beautiful scenery, and a taste of desert life. The botanical gardens was one of my favorite stops.
Driving up to the red rocks was absolutely B-E-AUTIFUL! Kyle is afraid of heights, so we got into a bit of a tiff when I wanted to hike all over for the gorgeous views. My bad. I just couldn’t help myself. I can get kind of pushy. In my opinion the northern part of Arizona is definitely more exciting than Phoenix, which is where we had stayed. There’s more nature and scenery to view and Phoenix is absolutely gigantic!
Our Airbnb hosts were fabulous too. They had two dogs, three cats, a lizard, I think, and snake. (We didn’t get to hang with the reptiles) I highly suggest Airbnb when traveling, it gives you a chance to meet people from the area, a cheaper accommodation, and makes you feel at home while being away from home.
After our trip, towards the end of the month I adopted Scrappy, a chunky orange and white cat, 8 years of age. Adopted him from my landlord surprisingly, when technically I wasn’t supposed to have pets. She let me have a cat for my anxiety (note from my doctor) which I had already had (Vixen), but didn’t tell her. Then offered me her kitty as she had gotten a smaller home and was watching her daughters cats? I still don’t quite understand the thought process behind getting rid of him, but he’s been a nice and needy addition to the family.
One of my best friends, Richy, moved back to town from Los Angeles before venturing off again. He’s been our room mate since summer began. It’s been great catching up (when he’s not working), talking about life goals, games, travel, and our obsession with social media/marketing life. He is a very determined and strong individual. It’s so great to have him in my life!
As you may be able to tell from number three, I’m living with another person as well, and… that would be my boyfriend! We moved in together after a year and a couple months of dating. Neither of us has ever lived with a significant other before. It’s pretty exciting! And also not that exciting all at once.
I think living with Kyle (my boyfriend) and another guy has been pretty great compared to five girls (fun fact: I lived in a sorority house in college). I definitely loved the ladies I lived with, but we could all get on each others nerves with house chores quite often. Kyle and I are pretty tidy people for the most part, and Richy, well he usually spends most of his time in his room. It’s a perfect combination!
This year I ended what some might consider or label a “toxic” friendship. I’m not sure I would say toxic or not, but I know afterwards made me feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I had been friends with this person for many, many years. We both have very different and intense personalities. I often felt horribly stressed by this and would bring it up in conversation a lot with Kyle.
It felt like a super bad break up moment, but released built up anxiety and emotional problems I was feeling for far too long. We are friendly in passing, I hope to converse one day, but I don’t think we’ll ever be that close anymore. I’m realizing this is part of growing up, being strong, and doing what is best for yourself.
I successfully completed a year long AmeriCorps term! It was tough, as the position didn’t always feel as fulfilling as I’d liked. I learned a lot about Eau Claire’s homeless population, mental and physical disabilities, recruiting volunteers, and how to find my own things to keep me busy and productive. Now I have an award stipend of over $5,000 to go back to school anytime within the next seven years! I just need to figure out what exactly would be the best investment for me education wise. It’s a tough choice, especially since I’m not really using my first degree at all… (Graphic Design).
As I’m writing this list, I am questioning who would ever read this, it’ll probably be a few thousand word count long! (Looking at the complete product, now 2,949) I just keep rambling for each point. In fact this list isn’t even half over year. I have 17 things written down to ramble about.
Let’s see, I’m forgetting what my next point is supposed to be and it’s right in front of me.
Ah! How funny! IT’S THAT I STARTED WRITING!
Specifically I went out on a whim and decided I wanted to contribute writing to Eau Claire’s local entertainment, culture, art magazine: Volume One. Anyone can contribute really, at least I think. I had a chill interview kind of thing and now they just email me article options every couple weeks. I get to pick n’ choose, then go out and interview amazing people around the city! This is what inspired me to start Espy Girl. I absolutely LOVE interviewing people about their passions and how they got to where they are. <3
Number five was about losing a friendship, but add three to that and we have number eight! I made about three (see what I’m doing here with these numbers? without even realizing as I type) new friends this year. I’m super pumped about it too! These lovely ladies from my AmeriCorps term have become good friends of mine, Shayne and Kaitlyn. We’ve been having weekly bingo nights at a local restaurant – lately we haven’t been able to attend due to our work schedules, but we try to get together for games and such from time to time. 🙂
Another lovely lady (Mandy), whom was already a part of my life via social media, moved back to Eau Claire with her husband (Brody), son and puppy! They were nestled in Virginia Beach for quite a while. Brody is actually really close friends with my boyfriend! What a coincidence.
2017 is the year of board games for Kyle and I. I’ve discovered that I LOVE them! We really enjoy strategy style board games and actually I think in the past month or so we’ve purchased and/or received around 7 new games! IT’S SO ADDICTING! Kyle should be receiving one from his mom for our late Christmas celebrations this week too. This is one of the only things Kyle and I equally enjoy and get excited about. 😛
Our newest board games are:
Zombicide – Black Plague
Small World – Original
Scythe + expansion
Ticket To Ride – Original
Dead Of Winter
If you love board games, we are automatically best friends! What are your favorite board games you’ve played in 2017?
Have you ever bartended a festival?
Summer 2017 I bartended Eaux Claires festival in the VIP area. It was fun and extremely exhausting! The best part though, was we were able to leave early at the end of the super long 10-12 days and watch a couple of the last acts. I got to see Chance The Rapper AND get paid to be there. Dream job is to be paid to book shows or like just attend them.
Maybe I could be a concert critic and just attend concerts to review them afterwards! 😀
WARNING: This one might be a tear jerker or make you frustrated.
I attended a concert with my dad, one on one. My dad has been diagnosed having Parkinson’s Disease for the past 6+ years. This year has been full of ups and downs with his PD. Since his medication was up’d around May, it has caused him to be a completely different person half of the time. This makes it really hard to understand him, converse with him, and realize that he is changing from this disease. It not only messes with a person’s muscles, speech, movement, balance, but it starts with the brain and not producing enough dopamine. In addition to all of the movement ailments he is developing dementia from the disease.
It’s been hard to not feel frustrated with him and understand where he’s coming from or that he doesn’t realize he’s doing certain things, or talking too much in order to care for himself properly etc. My dad has always been a stubborn man, wants that independence and doesn’t want to feel like he’s giving that up.
Well, back to the concert. We saw ‘Hiss Golden Messenger’ at The Lismore Hotel with Justin Vernon as a guest musician in the performance. My dad’s goal was to see Justin perform before he cannot go to a show anymore due to his PD.
There were some negative parts of the experience as staff did not treat us very well in providing a chair – in case he were not able to keep balance any longer. I complained afterwards for him and received an apology and promise message on Facebook from the Front Desk Manager, stating she’d give us tickets to another event and a room stay. However, when asking to have that promise fulfilled my responses were completely ignored. It was quite sad and horrible service for seniors and people with disabilities.
Buttttttt, that’s another story and not a part I was grateful for, perhaps I’ll touch on it in a later post and my thoughts in regards to it.
The short moment we stuck around (until standing was difficult for him) was one of the best moment we’ve had in a long while. My dad and I don’t bond that much. Music is one of the things we are able to bond over. I enjoyed chatting with him, laughing, having a beer, and watching some beautiful music. I think he really did as well, besides the service mishap. It felt great, and still does as I’m thinking back on it, to bond with him like that. I often get worked up over what people are thinking, or how his personality is different on his medication, that I take moments like this for granted at times. I’m really hoping and looking forward to any other shows we can attend together in the new year of 2018. <3 Hold your parents close and treasure moments you have with them.
One of my best friends and Alpha Phi sorority sister, Jenna, got married in September! I am incredibly happy for her and Brock! I remember when they first started dating in college and the years leading up to now. They’re an inspiring couple for sure! I love her passion for yoga and travel. It was amazing to see them say ‘I do’. 🙂
This one is kind of bittersweet. The bar I worked at, House of Rock, closed down in July. It was one of the best places around here to attend a show. Best sound system, best stage, fun atmosphere, great musicians. Shutting down this 17+ year venue put a huge damper on the music scene. Many artists grew up on that stage.
The sweet part of it was I was able to work the very last show. ‘The Last Call’ was a two day long show filled with legendary local musicians new and old. I’ll never forget that night. <3
I’m really good at quitting jobs that I don’t enjoy and/or feel fulfilled in. Some how I always figure out a means of income until I get hired somewhere. This sounds awful. But I strive to find the right fit for me. Why stay somewhere that makes you incredibly unhappy or stressed? That’s just not good for your health. I quit two jobs this year that didn’t feel right for me.
The yoga community on Instagram has me feeling SO welcomed, encouraged and empowered! I am by far one of the laziest yogi’s ever, but these ladies have your back! I have discovered a sense of belonging with some ladies I’ve never met via Instagram and it’s a great feeling. #yogachallenges are a new favorite thing of mine.
Kyle and I adopted the PERFECT dog!
Since we started dating, and long before that I’ve longed for a dog. Constantly scrolling through pets for sale pages on Facebook, Petfinder, and local Humane Society websites. I would tag Kyle in posts, show him photos of cute puppies and even put it on my wish list for my birthday and Christmas.
We attempted to adopt a dog named Waldo earlier in the year (May). This was a disaster. I think we jumped in too quickly and too excited. Meeting Waldo seemed good, he’d need training like most adopted dogs under 1 year of age. Seemed like the normal puppy stuff.
Then we adopted him anddddd it went downhill. Told he had food aggression, but it proved to be people aggression. Told he wouldn’t be best with children which didn’t bother us, but we had bigger problems.
He hated Kyle.
He hated us touching.
He lunged and growled at strangers.
It was a nightmare.
The first night we had him he bit Kyle. We tried private training and it just continued to get worse, and worse with more biting incidents.
After some drama of trying to re-home him ourselves and then being told we had to bring him back to the shelter we were terrified he’d be put down. Thankfully, Heather, a wonderful trainer from emBark kept us in the loop to make sure he was adopted (by his previous foster parents).
This experience turned us off from adopting dogs the rest of the year, but I still longed for one, yet was terrified of them being aggressive towards either of us.
Then, back to number fourteen where I touch on quitting jobs. I had quit my job and was looking for some place I felt passionate and where I belonged. I thought of Heather at emBark and reached out to see if she was hiring. She was not, BUT she brought up that this little (big) doggo dude, Chopper (Labrador/Bassett Hound Mix), was looking for a home. His owner had recently passed from a massive stroke.
Next think we knew, we emailed with Leslie, the person watching him, set up a time to meet, and fell in LOVE! Chopper is 6 years old, super chill, loves to nap, quiet (besides when someone is at the door and he can be whiney at times).
He loves people of all ages.
He loves children.
He loves other dogs.
He loves cats and even house bunnies!
HE IS PERFECT!
AND the complete opposite of our first dog.
I have to admit, I was still a bit nervous and worried he’d become aggressive with either of us. Waldo kind of scarred me. Chopper proved me wrong and has been an AMAZING addition to our little family. Merry Christmas to him for finding a new family and Merry Christmas to us for finding the perfect dog. He was adopted on 12/20 and is currently sleeping a few feet away from me. 🙂
As I typed this last number, Seventeen, I realized ‘what a perfect amount of things to be grateful for!’ The same number as the year! How cheesy is that! 😛
I LOVE cheesy things, not just cheese like on pizza, but romantic movies, little sayings, cute circumstances, you get the jist.
This last grateful moment of 2017, besides the many I’ve spent with my parents, boyfriend, friends, pets, is starting this blog. I may not update it as much as I should, but I’m glad I pushed myself to do it. Blogging is hard work man! I have a difficult time fully committing to things. Motivation is lacking for me at times. Having anxiety and depression can do that to a person I’ve heard.
Blogging is great though. I met some cool peeps, it makes me get out of my comfort zone to meet new people, I get to reconnect with those I haven’t in a while who are now also blogging. I can write about WHATEVER I want. Kind of like a cool journal, but for the whole world to see.
Blogging has started giving me a sense of passion, belonging, and motivation to become a better writer and person.
Thank you to everyone who reads these posts, especially if you happened to make it through this abnormally long one. I want to make sure the things are write about real, raw, maybe even relatable. I want to share and discover people’s passions with you.
What are some grateful moments you’ve had this year?