Monday, December 14, 2009

I Think I Need Cesar Millan

Lately I have been trying to take more control when it comes to my dogs.  They are two sweet and loving pitbulls - a ten month old male, and a seven month old female.  The problem is that they can be very rowdy.  They get very excited when people come around, usually by running and jumping and grabbing at your clothes and tugging on them.  Several of my outfits have sustained holes because of this.  Most of the time they are too excited to listen to any of your commands.  I say "sit" about ten times before either of them actually sits for me.  And going on walks?  That's another thing.  They bark at other dogs and zig zag around you until the leash is wrapped around your body. 

The other day I decided to take them on a short walk since it had been raining.  I had been watching The Dog Whisperer and wanted to see if I could make some progress with them.  The beginning of the walk was a little rocky, with them pulling me and barking at other dogs behind their fences, but I kept going hoping I could get them to calm down.  Everything was okay until we approached a house with another pitbull barking at them.  They began barking and running toward the house.  I was battling it out with two strong and willing pitbulls.  Who do you think would win?  Nothing was going to stop them from getting closer; and it certainly wouldn't be me, a 5'1", 105 pound girl.  My feet were slipping on the wet ground.  I pulled and pulled until one of them ripped my arm across my body.  I let go of the leash in pain.  By this time I was in the driveway, having fallen on my ass.  The other then trampled over me and ran until I let her go too.  And there I was, lying drenched and in pain in this strangers driveway, as my dogs barked, not looking back to see if I was okay.  Luckily for me there was no one on the street.  I couldn't help but lay there and laugh as I wondered what the hell happened.  I picked myself up and managed to get them away from the fence.  Somehow, we made it home...I don't think I will be taking both of them on a walk by myself again.

Help me Cesar!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Another Year Older

In ten days from now, I turn 22 years old.  As I get older, I see that I need to improve upon my self-discipline and self-image.  I struggle with self-discipline the most.  Everyday I sleep in until the last minute and jump out of bed to get ready and rush out the door so I can get to work at a decent time.  I arrive at 10:30, when what I really want to do is start at 9:30.  Another issue is procrastination.  I postpone the more annoying or time consuming activities until I have forgotten about them.  "Eh, I'll do it later" has been my attitude since elementary school (amazingly I was a straight A student).  And the one thing that really bothers me; not finishing what I start.  Too many times have I begun a project that captures my attention, only to get frustrated in all the hard work and abandon it.

The second area I need improvement in is self-image.  I guess I still have a hard time seeing myself as a capable adult.  I still live with my parents and I almost don't picture myself as being on my own (it's expensive living in California!).  I remember feeling this way as a teenager...I couldn't visualize myself driving my own car or having a job; but I did it.  I'm also fearful of not being good enough in what I want to do.  I am a photographer at a portrait studio and even though my customers like my work, I still wonder if I am talented enough have my own studio.

Time to do more "soul searching" I guess.  I know I'll be fine; I just need some reassurance.  

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Final Dose of Poison - November 10, 5:30pm

It's been approximately 55 hours since I last had a cigarette.  I have been smoking for about 2 years and said I was going to quit once or twice before.  This time I didn't consciously decide to go without;  I just ran out of cigarettes and don't have any money.  Neither does my boyfriend.  But I got to thinking that maybe I should just continue to be smoke-free.  After all, I could practically feel my heart beating out of my chest from just walking up a flight of stairs.  I guess that's what happens when you smoke close to half a pack a day.  

My boyfriend started smoking when we were 18.  He gradually started doing it more often and I hated him for it.  I thought it was stupid and disgusting.  The smell on his clothes repelled me.  The fact that his bandmates are smokers didn't help either.  That just encouraged him to do it more. Despite this, I became curious and started puffing here and there.  I deemed my boyfriend as hypocritical, and ignored his advice not to start.  My first few whole cigarettes made me feel lightheaded and drained.  Not long after, I was smoking more than one a day...and up to 8 or 9 a day.    I guess I got caught up in thinking that maybe I looked like a bad ass.  It was something to do when bored, driving, or hanging out with friends.  I remember one time my dad asked if I was afraid of cancer.  My reply: "Not yet."  

Eventually I found myself thinking "What am I doing??  Why am I doing this??"  Like I said, I thought about quitting, but I wasn't ready.  It was more of a mental addiction than a physcial one.  

In the end, I am not loving myself if I continue to smoke.  I think this time I may quit for sure.  Wish me luck! :)        

Friday, November 6, 2009

Prosperity Update #2

About three weeks ago, my old junker Toyota experienced yet another breakdown.  This time it was the radiator.  I had been filling it with only water (which, apparently you are not supposed to do) causing a slow rusting of the cooling system.  I took it to the mechanic and was told that it would cost $600 to fix.  On top of that, there were other parts that were so old, they were bound to break any minute.  They quoted me another $600 to get those issues fixed.  So it was either borrow a car from someone else (who wanted montly payments), inconvenience everyone else to take me to work for who knows how long, or put more money into a car that was not worth saving.  I could also take the bus, but it's kinda dangerous doing that when I would be coming home after dark at times.  I decided to borrow the car that was available to me.  At least if it was for a little while, then I wouldn't be asked for money. 

Two days later, I go to check the mail at our office.  For the first time ever, we received a Penny Saver with some ads inside.  I was about to throw them away, when I felt I should take a look.  To my surprise, I found the most awesome deal on a new car.  Even though my credit was still in bad shape, I thought I would give it a try.  The deal was, that if you traded in your junker, they would credit you with $6,000 towards a NEW 2009 car.  WOW.  My car was barely worth $100 to the junk yards.  I call the dealer and they run a credit application on me over the phone.  They call me back 20 minutes later only to inform me that I need a co-signer.  Damn!  My parents could not help me.  They had been denied on co-signing loans for my sister already.  My boyfriend couldn't help me.  His credit is high, but he has little credit history.  We asked his mom, I asked my aunt and one of my grandparents, but no one qualifies.  By this time, I am frustrated and decide to quit.  The sales ends in 3 days. 

The week passes by and I am still pissed off.  If only I hadn't screwed with my credit!!  I pretty much mope around thinking "how the hell am I going to accomplish this??".  Ultimately, I felt weird trying to change my situation for the better.  I guess all I knew were my mistakes.  The middle of the week comes and there in the mail is the Penny Saver.  Even though I dismissed the idea of getting a car, I check the ads out of curiosity.  This time I find a car on sale for 50% off.  Same place.  I call and try my bf's credit app ONE MORE TIME.  She calls us back and tells us she thinks she can get us the car...all we need to do is bring our paystubs.  But...our boss doesn't give us paystubs..."Oh, I'm sorry, that's all the bank will accept for proof of income".  Did I forget to mention that I'm impulsive?  You can imagine how I was feeling after I was denied again.

So I get to the end of the road; but wait.  I have another resource.  The grandparents from my mother's side.  I didn't think it would work because they are retired and live far away.  I finally get the nerve to call and see if they would even entertain the idea of being my co-signer.  I felt bad having to ask for something like that.  Fortunately for me, they say yes.  Now it's up to the banks to see if my grandfather qualifies.  My phone rings.  I answer..."Well, he qualifies.  Just come on over and pick out a car".  I couldn't believe it.  I was getting a new car.  Another step further into adulthood.  

What if I had decided to forget about the whole idea? - feeling defeated, unworthy of something better and thinking myself as burdensome to my family?  Then I would have been stuck.  Stuck in that mindset and stuck in the same cycle of wasting money.  It is hard to change your perspective when it's been nothing but negative.  It takes work, faith and patience; especially when you have grown up in a culture where it's all about instant gratification...Once again, I take the time to reflect on how blessed and grateful I am.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Sometimes I think I live in a fantasy world.  My head is usually in the clouds, trying to find a way to communicate with Spirit or dreaming about all the things I can and want to create, but don't have the time to because I work 6 days a week.  Is that what life is all about?  Waking up to get ready for work, working for 8 hours, coming home tired, stressing over bills (and I don't even live on my own yet) and doing it all over again the next day??  Is that what it means to be an adult?  Maybe it's just my experience.  I have seen my parents struggle since I was young.  They always had a way to provide my sister and I with the best things possible, but they usually lived paycheck to paycheck.  It seemed that it took a lot of hard work and mistakes to get where they are now; and it's still difficult at times even though things have improved.  Does it have to be painstakingly difficult to acheive what you want?  Are these experiences the reason why I do not feel worthy of cultivating wealth and happiness?  I am drawn to spirituality stongly, but I often feel like I am living in two separate worlds -- between the mundane day to day life, and the exciting mystical.  How do I bring the two together?