THANK YOU

This is a wee bit delayed, as most of these posts will be considering I can’t keep track of my mind anymore. Thanksgiving 2013 occurred. Actually, it was almost three weeks ago. Where does the time go? Seriously, somebody keeps hitting fast forward.

Every year, we do Thanksgiving big. It’s become bigger than Christmas. And by big I mean, well BIG. Like go big or go home, that’s definitely my family’s motto. We started going big around 11, 12, maybe even 13 years ago. I’ve lost track. We had over 30 people once again and more food and drinks than I care to mention. We celebrate with my mom’s side of the family. Most of them we don’t get to see too often throughout the year, so it’s a big deal when we are together. I feel as though each year, as I get progressively older, holidays mean a little more to me. I get sappier. I feel like I’m perpetually on my period (sorry male readers). If I cry this much over things at 26, I can’t imagine what I’ll be like when Im 36, 46, 56….okay now I’m just getting ahead of myself. *sob*sob*sniff*sniff. But really, I found myself sitting silent a few times through the night, which is rare, especially around the particular group I was dining with. And considering the amount of wine I was consuming. I swear that stuff is like a truth serum. The older I get it’s one glass and I’m on my ass. But anyway this post is not about my lack of tolerance.

I looked around at all my cousins, most of whom are younger than me. They looked so grown up. They also looked handsome/pretty. And I thought to myself thank God I don’t come from an ugly family. HA, just kidding. But really we’re ridiculously good looking.

But again, in all seriousness, I looked at each face and every person looked so grateful to be there. They honestly looked like they didn’t want to be anywhere else except in that room surrounded by people they love. Each year we go around the room and every person says what they are thankful for. And I’m telling the truth when I say every person takes their time and searches their heart. There is never the cliche “I’m just thankful for my family.” Everyone says why they are thankful for their family and how everyone in the room has touched their lives. It’s a big sap fest and it’s really nice. Then we gorge ourselves on food and drink till our pants feel tight.

I had a really good time as I always do, but this year did feel different. Every year feels different, but this year in particular. We didn’t have it at our house first of all, we ate out at a restaurant which was fun because we didn’t have to cook. I am open to change, but sometimes I fear it, like it’s a giant 8 legged spider with huge fangs hurdling towards me to eat me whole, um weird sorry. I guess everyone fears change a little bit. This year we didn’t have certain people who typically attend, which was a little sad, and the weekend didn’t seem to last as long as it used to. People have to go home early and continue on with their lives. It’s bittersweet to see it change this way, but it’s also nice to see that everyone has their own lives. Everyone is making something of themselves, but they also always make sure to make time to quit the hustle and bustle for at least two days. And for those who couldn’t join us we can only hope that next year we will be reunited.

I hope everyone else had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and has a good rest of the holiday. And if you didn’t or you’re feeling down, if you have at least one person in your life who means something to you, call them, spend time with them. That’s what this season is all about. And that really seems to be what my posts are all about.

I know I’m getting more sentimental as time goes on. I used to be the never serious person, now I’m waking up every day thinking I’m having a life epiphany. It could just be indigestion because of the cupcakes and chocolate milk I eat right before bed, but I’ll go with epiphany. I set out for this blog to be funny, at least what I find funny. If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at, am I right? I feel like I’m in some quarter life sappy crisis. And lucky you readers, you can join me!

Oh right and a big thank you to everyone in my life. Literally, everyone. Like every single person I have ever come in contact with. If we’ve known each other ten seconds or ten years. Thanks. We all affect one another whether we know it or not. Hope this blog affects you!….in a positive way of course. Although, if it’s negative at least it’s an effect. I hope I’m using affect/effect the right way. That’d be embarrassing. Well, it seems I’m rambling now. So I’m just gonna go.

I can see clearly now

Hello my follower(s). I have returned. So sorry for my absence, life became a little bit of a whirlwind. I am here now to share about that whirlwind, obviously.

I try to live my life with an open mind and an open heart. I try not to get too wrapped up in the day to day silly complaints. Nobody can ever be completely open minded, that’s probably impossible. We all get overwhelmed and complain from time to time about the troubles we run into in our daily routines and the people we don’t or can’t agree with. We complain about commutes and getting up early, traffic and long hours at the office. It’s human nature to talk about these things and vent to each other. We do it because we all understand. Humans relate to each other through mutual experiences. We all experience hardships, embarrassing moments, happiness, distress, etc.

I started working in  a doctor’s office about two months ago. I went from living the freelance writing life…waking up around 10 am every day going to different jobs whenever I got an email….to waking up at 6am and working from 8-4. It was a change for me…someone who has never experienced full time office life. After a couple weeks, my complaints began to seep out. “I’m tired.” “I hate traffic.” “I don’t know what to wear, ugh!”

The first two weeks, I went in everyday and I ignored what was going on around me. I was consumed in my own silly world. One day, I can’t remember what day exactly, but one day it hit me during one of my long drives. It hit me that getting up early, driving through traffic, not knowing what to wear…all of that crap was so menial. I realized I’m working in an environment where people are fighting for their lives. People are coming in here to be treated for a disease, and I was worrying that a coworker would notice that I wore the same suit pants 4 days in a row or that I got up to pee a ridiculous amount of times during the day. It’s fascinating the little things that we all worry about. I worry about such unnecessary things.  I think that we often create these worries in our minds to avoid looking at what’s right in front of us, to avoid the truth. We do it to guard ourselves. I think I was blocking myself from seeing the sadness that was occurring in front of me.

After I allowed myself to see clearly, I realized it’s not all sadness. Yes, disease is a terrifying, horrible thing to experience and it’s not fair that people have to experience it. If I had the power, I would take away all the sadness and hardships in people’s lives. I’m from a big family, so I’ve seen my fair share of sad things happen. But the feeling that overpowered the sadness, I felt and saw was love and hope. Almost everyone I’ve met is smiling. They have hope in their eyes. They come in with people who love them. They put their full trust in another human being to make them well again. It’s amazing.

I feel like I’m making a difference. I know I’m simply checking them in for their appointment, or scanning their papers into a machine, but in some small way, I am taking part in serving those in need. Even giving them a smile or asking them how they are feeling can help them.

I know it sounds ridiculous that I have had such an eye opening experience after only working in this environment for two months, but I really have changed. I’ve learned a lot, not only about myself, but about how to be a better person. I’ve learned how to look outside of myself and see the bigger picture. That is an invaluable lesson, one I will take with me wherever I go.

 

God must be a man

Okay, so this is one of those posts that I didn’t plan. The first three, I spent time thinking about and made drafts before they were perfect. This is unscripted, off the top of my head. Literally, the thought that just came to me.

Women who are reading, I’m about to give up a big secret to the world about us. It’s a secret that we don’t like to divulge because we are an insecure kind and many of us don’t want to show weakness, but I’m going to reveal it:

WOMEN ARE CRAZY. 

We are insane, literally. And we are insane because of the way God made us or whatever higher power is up there creating everything. It’s not fair. Yes, I am hinting at the “terrible awful” that strikes us each month. If you are a guy reading right now, my boyfriend possibly, don’t stop, I won’t get graphic.

I’ll start with my fascination with people. I have this fascination with people….okay, that looks really weird written out. I am fascinated with how we think.  Sometimes part of me thinks I should have been a psychologist or something. I am fascinated by the way people interact with one another, how they handle situations, how they control their moods. How they fear the simplest things, like being embarrassed from an awkward situation. I love awkward situations by the way. They build character.

I am one of my own fascinations. I am completely ridiculous. I admit it. I’m nuts. And God knows my boyfriend and family know it best. My friends might not because I usually control my moods around them. I used to try and control my moods around my boyfriend, but he unfortunately knows me very well by now. Guess that means I really like him. What a trooper he is. I have heard we can be meanest to the ones we love the most.

But anyway, back to the unfairness of nature. This “terrible awful” simply makes me a sad person. I am the happiest of people ordinarily and am always up for anything, but damn when this sneaks up forget it. I want to cry, hit people, crawl into a hole, eat everything I see, all the cliche things they say. I turn simple situations into the most complex. I assume everyone and everything is turning against me and I have no hope in all the world. I shattered my iPhone screen over the weekend and I legitimately sat down and cried. Over a cracked iPhone! I have no reason at all to be sad about anything in the world BUT I JUST HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS AND THEY NEED TO BE HEARD.  

No, but really, it’s absurd.

My moods are swinging so much sometimes I feel like that ride at the boardwalk, ya know the swings ride? Up, down, around and around. Except my swings are zero fun. I actually never liked that ride. I ACTUALLY HATE THE WHOLE WORLD. I mean….

What is the deal? How is this right? God must be a man, because a woman would not do this to her own kind. I was a biology major for a year, I get that we need all that stuff to happen inside of us so we can make miracles that we call babies. I get that we are the only hope for the planet’s population to increase, NO PRESSURE. But really why the swings in our moods? Ain’t nobody got time fo dat. 

Woe is us, I suppose. I’m gonna go yell at someone, have a good cry, and then eat a Hershey bar. 

Until I write again, farewell planet earth. 

Party time, Excellent

All aboard the sappy train, here comes another heart warming post from yours truly.
So I had a birthday party Saturday night. My actual birthday is 7 days away if anybody wants to know, but who’s counting.

The past three years I have thrown my myself a huge birthday party. My 24th was “24 Hit the Floor,” my 25th was “25 I Will Survive,” and my 26th was “26 In My Pumped Up Kicks.” Now, I think it can seem kind of weird and a little self centered to throw yourself a huge bash. But, I’m OBSESSED WITH MYSELF GET OVER IT. No, I’m not really. I actually grappled with the idea of having one this year because I thought maybe I’m getting too old to do this, maybe it’s sort of dumb to throw this for myself. But I realized, I don’t even care about celebrating my actual birthday. Everybody has a birthday, obviously. The reason I do it is it’s an excuse to bring people together. It’s more of a celebration of friendship. There is nothing I enjoy more than making people smile. Whether it’s making them laugh from something I said, or just providing a good time for them.

It really warms my heart that people actually come to these parties. My family always says I have an eclectic group of friends and I do. I maintain friends from every era of my life: grade school, high school, college, work, etc. and they are all different people, with different interests, different professions, different backgrounds. For the past three years, people have come back for this party. The first time I threw it when I turned 24, my mindset was “I’m going to throw this awesome party. A ton of people are going to come. We’re gonna have fun, get drunk, be silly.” Typical immature way of thinking. Last year for my 25th, my mindset was a little different. I still wanted to throw a crazy party, and impress my new boyfriend, but I also wanted to bring my friends together. This year I had the same thought, bringing people together, except this year, I was touched more by it. People came this year who I haven’t seen since last year’s party and a few who I haven’t seen in a couple years who had heard how fun my parties were and they wanted to come.  I was surrounded by new friends, old friends, and family. All my brothers came. I don’t always tell them how much they mean to me, but they really mean a lot. I love hanging out with them. I still think they’re the coolest group of guys. I think people keep coming back for the same reasons I want to have the party in the first place, to be together. Like I said in my first post, life gets so busy and we can easily forget about what matters most. My mom says I have a real knack for bringing people together. I don’t know if it’s that or if people just come because it’s a fun, happy environment.

Losing touch with people who were once your best friends can happen easily. But keeping in touch and having things like this at least once a year can also be easy and is very important.  A phone call takes 2 minutes, a text message takes a second, an email, a Facebook message. Technology today makes it so easy to keep in touch verbally, but I don’t think a lot of us actually follow through to keep in touch in person. Facebook, email, etc, are the first step to keeping in touch. Setting aside time to have people over or to meet up somewhere can be so easy with a little bit of effort. I’m guilty of spewing the classic line “We should totally get together,” and then never following up on it. We’re human beings, we all do it. We can’t hide from that fact.

The older I get, the more I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have people in my life who show up. I want to thank my friends, family, my boyfriend, for just being there. No matter how often I see you or in what way you are connected to me, you affect my life in such a positive way. You all mean so much to me. You’re all really good people.

Now, despite the fact that I had a mature mindset going into the party, doesn’t mean I was mature at my party. I had myself some fun within reason. I ended my night with cake all over my face.  I’ve decided, there’s no way I’m getting too old for this.

Can’t wait to turn 27.

These are my confessions: A Girl Divided

Hello once again world. I would like to share some intimate details about myself with you. So we can get to know each other a little bit more.

I, a Philadelphia native, date a boy who is from Massachusetts. This boy is an intense Boston sports fan. Now that you know that, I would like to get some things off my chest:

Because of the influence of my sports oriented significant other and the joy I experience when I watch a team win, I have started to cheer for Boston teams. There, I said it. It’s out there in the open for all to see.

I just can’t help myself.

I have never claimed to be a sports expert. I know the essentials and some facts about some of the greats. Even though I grew up with four brothers and SpotsCenter was always on the TV at almost all hours of the day, except at 4pm when Oprah was on and 5pm when Action News aired, I can’t say I know it all, although I probably should. But, I know enough to know what a good team looks like. While I always have faith in my Philly teams, no matter how tragic they are, watching a team win and go to the playoffs or championship is so exciting.

I have only seen my teams do a few exciting things:

-I was fortunate enough to see the 1993 Phillies do very well in person, but I was 5 so it’s a vague memory.

-I saw the Phillies win the World Series in 2008. That was magical.

-I saw the Sixers go to the NBA finals with the Lakers….Allen Iverson was my hero for a while. Ya know, I met his mom once? So, technically I met him. I did stand behind him before. I also watched the Sixers go to the playoffs and lose to the Celtics. That was hard.

-I watched the Eagles go to the Super Bowl and lose to none other than the Patriots.

-I rarely watch the Flyers, but I know they haven’t won a Stanley Cup since I’ve existed.

Basically, not much has happened since I’ve been on this earth.

In my experience of dating a Boston fan for almost two years now, the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, and I guess the Bruins too, are exciting teams to watch. They haven’t won any titles, but they’ve been consistently good, more consistent than my teams. I’ve gone to a few Celtics and Red Sox games, although I prefer to say they were Sixers and Phillies games. I haven’t been to a Patriots game, yet, but if this Boston boy is going to be around for a while, I’m assuming I’ll get there eventually. I don’t have much of a desire to go to a Bruins game, but I would if the opportunity arose. I even watched the Bruins when they were playing for the Stanley Cup. I still can’t believe I have done such things.

This post is not a resignation of my life as a Philadelphia fan, oh no, it is merely a confession of a girl divided. A division of interests. The desire to cheer for my home teams mixed with the desire to cheer for their rivals. Now, if the two teams play each other, obviously I will cheer for Philly. There’s nothing I like more than laughing in my boyfriend’s face when a Boston team loses, but on the other hand I do enjoy sharing in his celebration when they win.

Now, I know what you are all thinking “this girl is a fair weather fan. She only likes Philly when they win.” Yes, I know that’s on your mind. My boyfriend has called me this term before. My brothers also tease me, saying I only watch sports at all because of my boy and I knew nothing about sports before I met him. Do they realize I’ve spent my life listening to them babble? Let’s be grown ups, shall we?

But should a girl be persecuted for wanting to support her boyfriend and cheer for the teams he likes?  Of course not. That is our job as women, to support our men. Where would they be without us? Should a girl be persecuted for cheering for a team that’s good? Of course not. I still watch my teams, I cheer when they win and I call them bums when they lose, but I never stop watching….or stop buying fan apparel. They make the cutest shirts these days.

So, what’s a girl to do? Hide her excitement and be a typical, bitter, angry Philadelphia fan? Or simply enjoy sports for sports no matter the team winning?

Oh, the struggles of a woman. I shall continue on as a girl divided and only hope that one day my Philadelphia teams will be victorious. Until then, I will cheer for both sets of teams.

Pictured below is some unfortunate evidence of my interest in Boston and on the other hand my disdain for them:

Confusion      Angry Philly Fan

I blog now.

So I’m starting to write in my blog. I’m a writer, or at least I claim to be, and I figured I should start writing a blog. It’s going to be about important things that happen in my life or social commentary or whatever I feel like writing. In time, hopefully you gracious people of planet earth will start reading my posts and I’ll get more of an idea of what you would like to read. But, for now, I shall write whatever I want to write. I guess that’s the point of a blog, right? I’ve followed and read blogs and have attempted to have my own a few times. They usually failed because I got bored of what I was writing. So bear with me and if anybody is reading…..well, enjoy.

Monday morning I walked my nephew to his first day of pre-kindergarten. I won’t lie when I say it was a bit emotional. My nephew is my oldest brother’s first son. Even though my nephew is 3 years old now, it’s sometimes still amazing to me to see my big brother with a son. When I know someone for a long time, such as family members or close friends, no matter how old we get, I forever think of them as a certain age. I see my big brother as 18/19 years old still. I don’t know why it’s that age, but in my head he’s still that young. 

We walked with my sister-in-law, her parents, my youngest brother, my mom, and my dog, Nelly. He was probably the only boy in the class who had an entourage of people leading him to school. I watched him walk as we made our way up the street. He had his little Elmo backpack on. He was so excited to be around everybody. I think we all took away some of his nervousness of going to school. As we walked, I got a little teary eyed. I felt so lucky to be able to walk my nephew to school. It’s such a simple thing. We just walked up the street, I gave him a hug, and that was it. But it was so special. I also felt kinda of old, but that’s besides the point. Walking him to school made me realize that this is what life is all about. It’s all about each other, being there for each other, whether it’s family or friends. These are the moments that we’ll never forget. 

Love is what it’s all about.

My perspective on life changed a lot when I first became an aunt three years ago. It really is life-altering. I feel like I was granted this honorable role, this super important responsibility. I have this new feeling of wanting to make him and my niece proud of me. It’s like an extra oomph to keep making good decisions and live a respectable life. I felt the same way when I became an aunt a second time. It was a little bit different though because the second time I got a niece. I am the only girl in my immediate family and the only girl on my dad’s side. It was magical when my niece was born. I feel an even bigger responsibility for her because we are the only Sprandio girls and I am her Godmother. What an honor. I used to not like my place in the family, fourth out of five. But I feel as though it’s really good for me to be in the place I am. Being able to see my nephew and niece as often as I do and being able to learn how to take care of a child is invaluable. When I was younger, I used to say I never wanted to get married or have children. I haven’t a clue why I ever said that, I guess I was a weird little girl. Let’s be real, I’m still a weird little girl. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a desire to want to raise a family and my experiences with my nephew and niece have only made me want that life more. I know I’m only 25, but sometimes I think, I’m already 25. I’m starting to think in a couple years, I’ll be ready for this step that my big brother has already taken. WEIRD. And who knows if that will happen or not….but in my current situation it could. If it isn’t in the cards for me, then I’m happy just being an aunt. 

I don’t know if my brother and sister-in-law have any idea how big of an influence they are on me and the rest of my brothers. They’re the perfect example to follow. 

I’ve been worrying a lot about what path my life is going to take, but being with my family and playing with the kids, helps me not to worry as much. I realize how much support I have around me and how I’m already doing just fine. Things will progress as they are meant to progress. I don’t know how this post went from walking my nephew to school to how I worry about my path in life. My thought process is bizarre. 

I guess the point of this post was just commenting on how important it is to enjoy the smaller moments in life, how important it is to enjoy each other. Humans get caught up in work and other responsibilities and sometimes we don’t stop to look around and make time for the people who matter most.