Road Rage

traffic-stop-sign
if this pic doesn’t make you chuckle, then i can’t help you. photo courtesty of: http://www.roadtrafficsigns.com/

I rarely get road rage (anymore). I don’t drive much; I’m sure that helps. Yesterday, I

came to a 4-way stop, just before a car across from me.

I started to go. So did she.

I stopped so she wouldn’t hit me. She stopped.

I started to go again. So did she.

I stopped so she wouldn’t hit me. She did too.

I started to go again. So did she.

I didn’t stop – neither did she.

I freakin’ LOST it on her.

“BI***! It’s my FU**IN TURN!!!”

I was so mad she couldn’t figure out a simple 4-way stop.
Stress can really change a person.
Stress affects everyone in different ways. For me, I become suspicious of everyone and assume ill will. My shoulders tense and raise up to my ears. I eat comfort food. I drag like I haven’t slept in weeks. Sometimes I skip my period. I gain weight. I can’t concentrate on anything other than my stress. Every little thing annoys me. And apparently, I road rage.

Like said in my last post, it’s ok to feel feelings, but what matters is how you react to them. How does stress affect you? Acknowledging the changes helps me realize when I’m stressed, and take time to decompress. Any good decompressing tips? I apparently need them…

My dream job turned into a nightmare

“Oh but you love your job!”
It’s right, I was one of the few people who LOVED what I was doing. Getting up and going into work wasn’t a problem for me, for two years straight.

My boss was a dream mentor, constantly encouraging and challenging me so that I was able to discover and grow in my talents. My coworkers were reliable, smart and genuinely good people.

My day to day routine was challenging, creative and never dull.

I was running marketing for 17 locations of a growing pizza chain. Strategizing menu items and content to reach our target audience was Monday morning, photographing and taste testing the items was Wednesday afternoon, meeting with a new potential vendor was Friday for coffee – you get the idea…

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I felt grateful to love my job and grateful to work with such wonderful people.

One day, everything changed. My boss, whom I loved, let me in on her upcoming retirement, and my new leadership. A bittersweet announcement. More growth for me, and losing my day to day interaction with one of my favorite people.

I took the positive perspective and went on the proactive. I set up meetings with my new leadership to get on the same page going forward, I over-communicated as requested and stayed on top of my game – a new boss means proving your worth again. Slowly, over the course of a few months, I was put on the defense.

Constantly, I was reiterating and justifying processes that were already approved and proved to be effective; and constantly I was validating my timelines and expectations. Constantly, I was asking for goals to ensure what I was working for in marketing would help meet the business goals as a whole. Constantly, I was berated and talked down to. Previously, I’d never cried at work.

The day I marched into a meeting with my new leadership and said, “Do you want me to be successful in this role?” was the last day of cry-free work. The reply was, “I think you’re smart and talented, and you obviously know the business thoroughly, but I just don’t think you’re doing a good job.” I lost it. Like WTF, dude!??

My dream job had turned into a nightmare.

That job I loved, I now felt NO purpose for. And, as an ENFP, I NEED purpose. Any other ENFPs in the house??

I felt so betrayed by the job I loved and career I was making for myself. My coworkers had become my family and work was life; it was devastating. I know, it sounds like I’m being dramatic, but my whole world and happiness for the past two years had revolved around loving my job, so it really felt like the world was ending.

Thankfully, I had just secured a contract position (Which allowed me to directly approach my leadership – and call him out on his B.S.). I told him I was done.

My mentor then told me that of all the employees who have threatened to leave him, I’m the only one who has ever had the balls to actually leave.

To me, the realization that happiness with a job can change because of one person, or one action, or one day, is a relief. It’s ok to have a bad moment, and it’s ok to move on when you realize you’re not in the right place anymore. It’s ok to just live your life from day to day – your end goal, and your way of getting to it don’t have to be set in stone. Part of being human is being flexible, feeling emotions, and making decisions. You may not like the decision you make, but it’s ok. You can make a change. We’re so lucky to be human and be able to change our situations as needed.

Thanks for reading! It feels so good to get this story off my chest.

Chickpeas

Tonight, I made roasted chickpeas. Out of a can. Yea, so what, right?
Well, the point is, now I’m finally inspired to write. You’ve probably noticed a lack of action on this site, and I’m so so sorry.

The thing is, I wrote about all my travels when I wasn’t doing too much – and now, I’m crazy busy and really content with how things are going, the things I’ve overcome and the things I’ve accomplished – so I just haven’t been making time for one of the things I love most. Heck, I just picked up a book for the first time in forever a few weeks ago. And I’ve read 3 since then. Why don’t I read more often!?

I’ve decided to now… going forward…. rebrand this site so that it’s a little more all-encompassing. So that when I get inspired to tell you about how I totally F-ed up an interview, or brag on an amazing Buddha bowl I made… I can do that without throwing off the whole travel theme of this site.

I hope that’s ok to my readership! I promise there will be travel as well. (I have SO much to catch you up on travel-wise.) Like heyy… Gena and I took an amazing trip to Sweden and Denmark a few months ago…

 

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and the BF took me down to Austin so I could meet some of his family…

21322731_10103253085078564_284413909_nSo basically I have a lot to catch you guys up on. Thanks in advance for your patience as I reorganize and re-brand SWFtraveler!

Back to the chickpeas. Roasted chickpeas are in everything these days, it seems. They’re supposed to be healthy I think. But they’ve always intimidated me. So the best way to get rid of your fears is to conquer them, right?

So here’s what I did… and the results…
Take 1 can chickpeas
Pat them dry with paper towels
Put them in a bowl
Dress with olive oil (I used sesame seed oil, because it’s my favorite)
Salt and Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Salt
Put on baking pan
Bake for 30-40 min at 450 degrees
I set my timer for 30 min….
When I pulled the chickpeas out… all of the ones around the edges of the pan were burnt – I felt like such a failure!!!
BUT – the ones in the middle are perfectly crunchy with a nice kick to them – SCORE.
Totally making these again. And not baking them for 30 min.

Have you made roasted chickpeas before?
Tips?

SO glad we could catch up tonight. Let’s do it again soon, ok?

 

A Euro Trip, in limited texts to home

I’ve been hearing that it’s easy to get a SIM card for your smart phone when you’re abroad and stay just in touch with home as you would … well, at home.

When I went to Europe, backpacking with A in 2010, we didn’t have SIM cards. Hell, I didn’t have a smart phone. Staying in touch abroad seemed impossible to me. Until A bought an international text plan.

The plan was small. A package of 30 texts, that we decided to split to update our parents along the way. And so, here they are. Saved by my mama for 6 years so far – here to share with you, the world.  (I pulled these off of her flip phone!)

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Without further ado…

May 19, 12:48 am

we are in madrid! the flight was long and we are about to take a bus into the city, but we did it! love you!

May 20, 12:19 am

woo! go bombers! we are off to a bumpy start, but I already have tons of good stories 🙂 on our way to barcelona, love you tons

May 21, 3:45 pm

I’m in Rome! We are planning on meeting Brie tonight and we sailed across the Med sea last night! I love you! Glad all is well!

May 22, 1:06 pm

we saw sooo much of Rome today and found a cheaper place to stay! we are meeting lots of nice people. hope all is well!

May 25, 9:51 am

just wanted to let you know we are in Greece! almost to Athens… I love you so so so much 🙂

May 26, 3:54 am

hey! just wanted to tell you to have a good day! I’m going to try to call you at 6 if you’re going to be home and I’ve been emailing you! love you!

May 27, 10:36 am

we are on our way to Bari and then Venice! check your email 🙂 I love you!

May 28, 8:41 am

I have been on a train for 4 hours already today! we should be in bologna soon and then Venice is close… the moon was great last night from the Ionian

May 28, 8:41 am

sea 🙂 love you and happy Friday!

May 29, 2:29 pm

have fun and enjoy yourself this memorial day! we are trying to get to Munich without too much luck! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂 love you tons

May 30, 1:31 am

it’s just the silly train stations! we made it to Munich and are going to a concentration camp today… all is well! I love you!

May 31, 1:26 am

oh so funny! have you seen beerfest? we drank in a beer hall last night and it was so fun! on our way to amsterdam, hope your memorial day isn’t as rainy

June 1, 3:29 pm

I’m at the Eiffel tower and we are about to go up! hope your Monday was great!

June 2, 5:16 am

we are on our way from Lille France to London! what time is my dentist appointment on the 8th? love you!

June 4, 7:23 am

hi mom! happy Friday to you! London is great but Im ready to be home, I emailed you this morning 🙂 I love you tons!

Unfortunately, we don’t have the texts mom was sending, but I think it’s safe to say I love my mama and she needed to check her email more often! How do you stay in touch with loved ones when you’re away? 

 

 

nassau, bahamas

Alone in Nassau

Otherwise known as “that one time I tried to buy drugs in a foreign country.”

NassauA group of five girls and myself took a Bahamian cruise for spring break. After we spent the morning soaking up alcohol, sunshine and saltwater jet-skiing above the clear blue water in an inlet just outside of Nassau, we decided to head over to Senor Frogs for some food and beverages.

Unfortunately, when you get a group of girls with strong personalities together, which my friends will not deny that they have, people can get annoyed and hurtful things can be said.

One thing led to another and I ended up drunkenly shopping down the main strip of Nassau alone. I don’t consider myself to be particularly brave, but with as much liquor as I had had, I was feeling pretty comfortable with myself and needed to gather some souvenirs for my sister anyway. Although I tend to be a postcard collector, if I can get a product that is native or genuine to the area, I will!

nassau, bahamas

I entered the first shop I came too. The shops were touristy, with shirts with frogs and sharks and beaches on them. Sayings like “Someone who loves me went to Nassau and got me this shirt.” While those can be adorably corny sometimes, I wanted something better for my sister.

I checked out the overpriced swimsuits and cover-ups – designed for people who forgot their swimsuit (or lost theirs?) on their trip or something like that. What’s that? In the back of the shop was a bar, with a lone bartender in front of 3 empty barstools. I can buy a drink while I shop!? What a concept! Brilliant!

Nassau, Bahamas

I got a hurricane and checked with my bartender that it was, indeed, ok for me to walk from shop to shop with this beverage. He assured me.

I sauntered into the next shop, similar items: hats, t-shirts, sunglasses, magnets, etc. I finished my drink and purchased another at the back of this store. My pattern continued as I wandered further and further away from the “tourist-zone.” Eventually, I found a few local shops; an estate sale store and a couple local-looking boutiques. I stumbled into one of the boutiques. The dresses, hats and shoes in this store were not meant to be discovered by tourists like myself.

Digging through the racks with my hurricane in hand, I found the perfect beaded sandals for my little sister. They were gorgeous in my mind, and I knew she would love them!

I paid for my purchase and moved along through the streets, navigating my way back toward the boat when a man stopped me in the street. “Hey, you wanna buy some weed?”

nassau, bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas
“Wait on this corner, I’ll be right back.”

My good mood was persistent, and I thought, “heck, when in Nassau!” I told him yes, and he asked how much. (At this point I was lost. I was not familiar with the terminology.) I ended up asking him how much I could get with $20. He said he’d be right back, I handed him my money and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.nassau, bahamas, cruise

 

I’m an idiot. He wasn’t coming back. So much for serendipitous me! I knew I’d been had. I gathered what dignity I had left and headed back toward the boat. The girls would love this story.

Hey, could’ve been worse. At least I succeeded in soaking in as many hurricanes as I possibly could and had found the perfect gift.

Nassau, Bahamas, girl friends, beach

Nassau, Bahamas, sunset

Thanks for reading! Until next time, adios, ciao, sayonara, good-bye!

Published March 2015.