A Challenge For Myself

I’ve been MIA for so long it’s hard to know where to even begin again. The best way is to say that I miss writing whenever I leave it behind. Everyone has crazy lives and mine is no different, but I want to make a better attempt at taking time for the things I love.  I saw a post somewhere that talked about if something is important to you, why wouldn’t you do it every single day? Reading that resonated with me. My ideal career involves writing, yet I can hardly sit down at my computer to write a single rambling post about my boring life once a week.

So, as an exercise, I want to challenge myself to write every single day for at least one month. Some of that might be reflected on my blog, while some things may be more personal reflections in my journal if I don’t have the time to formally write out an entire published post. I have found a lot of journaling prompts online that I want to use as inspiration, in addition to my lists of ideas I’ve come up with in the past about potential topics. As my schedule normalizes, I truly do want to make more of an effort to use this space as I go through life.

Some things I’m sure I’ll write about in the coming days I think about a lot are topics like “What do you want to be remembered for?” and “Where do you see yourself in the future?” I hope to search deep within myself and discover some direction and share it here. Whether any of the things I write about stick with me through my adult life, I’d love to keep them as a record of how I felt at this point in my life. I hope you stick around to join me for that.

This is just a placeholder or short reminder that I’m here. I haven’t forgotten about my passion for writing, but I have let it fall to the side and haven’t made it a priority recently. I want that to change. I’m taking a lot of energy and putting it into my personal development (both physically and mentally) and I’m very happy with the direction my life is headed. I’m very excited to update this blog and start publishing content with some depth and purpose. IMG_2730.JPG

If You Had the Chance to Change Your Fate (The Five Year Plan)


I posted this photo on my instagram with the caption explaining that I’m trying to formulate The Plan. The dreaded/welcomed Five Year Plan is one of those things people always ask about in one way or another; where do you see yourself in five years

The truth is, I don’t know. I thought by the time I was 23 I would have more things figured out and taken care of. There was a mental timeline I thought I’d be further along than I am. I never wrote down any of those things, but I want to start now. 

Sometime in the upcoming days/weeks/months I want to set up a Vision Board of sorts. On it, I want my Plan to be posted up to be a daily reminder of the goals I have set for myself. My list of priorities and inspiration need to be somewhere I can always go to when I’m discouraged or off track. 

Life is so uncertain and I know that all too well. However, there are many things I can take charge of and control. I’m using my time to decide what I want out of my life and figure out how to make those things happen within my ideal timeline. I need to be open to flexibility as fate takes me down her own path, but I’m the best guide I have for now. 

Pursuing Photography 

More than anything I am a writer (good or bad), but I wanted to share this photo. It’s a simple iPhone 6 picture taken from the backseat of a Kilimanjaro Safari’s truck with an instagram filter on it. But I love it. 

It’s pictures like this that remind me to get out with my DSLR camera and pursue photography as a hobby. I want my photos to accompany my writing, as well as stand alone. 

I may never be an artist or a musician; hell, I may never become any kind of writer or photographer. Even if nothing ever comes of these hobbies, they make me feel good. These hobbies allow me to express myself and see things differently. They help me learn and notice the finer details. 

This weekend I’m going out with my friend, Caitlin, with this in mind. We’re going out with our cameras and we’re going to capture the world around us.  I’ve been wanting to do this for so long and I can’t wait to share the photos I take. 

Grateful and Healing

Today I’m grateful that, even though I’m working two weeks straight with no time for rest, I’m able to sit and read at work. And that the team brought in donuts

 The last week has been off for me; I ran around working and entertaining an out of town friend and totally forgot about myself. I didn’t make my own mental and physical health a priority, so I ate junk park food and forgot about my meditation. Waking up for work was a challenge because I didn’t have my positive solace first thing in the morning. 

Yesterday on my break I found a 15-minute meditation podcast to get me through the rest of my afternoon and it did wonders. This morning I woke up and grounded myself before I even turned on my lights or went to the bathroom. 

Mediation has become a necessity for me in the mornings. It sets my day off right and gives me a clearer view on what I want to accomplish for myself. 

This last week I totally fell off the wagon. But I planned out my workouts for next week, and am re-committing to my health in all aspects. (Yes I know I just said I was grateful for the donut. Let me treat myself.) I brought fruit, carrots, and hummus for my lunch to fuel my body, and I jump started my day with meditation to fuel my mind. Although I don’t get to have a day off this weekend, I’m looking at the overtime as a blessing and am happy to have it. 

I’m grateful for a library card and the fact that I live three stoplights away from my library. Reading brings me so much comfort and I’m happy to be able to escape into the pages. 

And of course I’m grateful for the donuts. Not even because they’re sweet and tasty. More than that, I’m thankful for the gesture of bringing them in on a long day of overtime. 

The sunrise this morning was beautiful. The weather walking into work was incredible. It’s much too pretty outside to be cooped up indoors, but I’m grateful to be able to take it all in briefly first thing today. 


My Small Return to Facebook

Back in July, I ended my relationship with Facebook. It was causing me to feel a lot of negativity that I didn’t need in my life. While I still have an “active” profile, I no longer have anyone on my friends list and only use the website for a few Facebook groups and to maintain my photo albums. All of my online interactions have been on other social media sites and this blog. I’m here to make a quick post that I am more or less returning to Facebook, though in a slightly different way.

I have made an Orlando is Calling Blog Facebook page as another space to share my blog posts, photography, and other things I would like to share. My reasons for using Facebook are a few things. One reason being I know it’s much easier for people to keep up with things if they’re on their newsfeed, so having my posts show up may bring more people to my blog. A second reason, and really the most major, is that I have a goal for my blog.

I’ve always loved writing. It’s been a passion of mine for as long as I could write. Within the next two years I want to be making money with my writing. It’s a somewhat long-term goal, but I know a strong social media presence will only aid me in succeeding in my dream. I don’t need to be able to make a living off of my writing, that’s a goal for another day. For now, I just plan on starting off with chump change. In order to even begin that process, I need to continue writing and gain an audience.

For now Orlando is Calling is just a personal blog about my life. I share my feelings and my interests with you in order to express myself. Even though my posts are mostly about myself, I do consciously try to add in interactions and open-ended questions to bring a sense of inclusion to whoever may be reading. I want to encourage and inspire my audience by using my own life as an example. When I make mistakes or go through a difficult/strange situation, I want to share that and maybe someone will have a similar story to tell.

This doesn’t mean all of my opinions or stories are “right,” but it doesn’t make them any less true or real for me, and I hope my readers can understand that and accept me for my personal truth. I’m changing myself a lot this year; I’ve already made many great strides mentally to rid myself of heaviness and negativity and I still have a ways to go, but I want to share that with you through my blog and social media accounts. I will continue to make mistakes and say things I shouldn’t, but I also hope that I can inspire you as I find more light and positivity and grow within myself.

Please excuse the emptiness of my page, but I encourage you to find “Orlando is Calling Blog” on Facebook and give it a “Like” so my posts show up on your newsfeed.  I hope you join me in discovering whatever my purpose is and in achieving my goals.

Goodbye Sixteen, Hello Seventeen, Hello Love (Time to Grow, Time to Go)

2016 was by far the worst year of my life. During the last year I hit rock bottom with my mental health and my stress and anxiety levels were at an all-time high. Not only did the year suck massively on a personal level, but it was also miserable on a global level. I’ve never been so happy to see a year end to start fresh.

At the very beginning of the year, my boyfriend and I broke up which left me completely distraught. I was already in a bad place emotionally and that heartbreak just made everything worse. Although that wasn’t the only reason for my downfall, it most definitely did not help. As painful as my year was, I’m very grateful that I finally did something for myself and sought medical help. For me, 2016 was a year of intense pain, but it also began a time of healing when I finally went to get the help I needed. That is a long-term journey that is still a work in progress, but at least it’s progressing.

The monstrosity of “ick” that was 2016 is not all about me and my problems. Every year comes with its own tragedies, but last year had so many events that hit very close to home. Through the many celebrity deaths that hit the world on a personal, nostalgic level as well as the violence around the world (not to mention the insane election), 2016 was all-around a horrendous year for everyone.

I have no intentions of having 2017 be anything but a great year. Although I don’t have any goals or resolutions written down, that is my plan for the week; I want to prepare this week and set myself up for success in this new year. The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that there is only one way to go from there.

My life is extremely blessed because of the people who have stuck with me. I have the most incredible live-in best friends that anyone could ask for; my dog is the greatest and has gotten my through all my emotional turmoil. My family, though they aren’t nearby, have never stopped supporting me despite the distance. As long as I have them, I’ll be unstoppable in 2017.

2017 is the year of me. I’m going to continue putting myself first, and take care of my mental and physical health. This is the year of my writing; I love the release of putting my emotions down on a page for others to read. I’m committing myself to growth and health in this new year. Within the next week I will make a complete list of goals and share them here. For now, know that I am determined to keep my head up thanks to the support and love of those who have stuck with me through a shit year and into the promise of a better one.

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Bad Tinder Date

This experience I’m going to share is so golden I can’t stop telling people about it and finally decided it just needed to go on my blog before I forget all the details through time. I hate dating so much, and situations like this reinforce that and why I am so lucky to not have every encounter end up as bad as this one did back in October.

Carter and I met on Tinder, as you do, and we began talking and texting. He seemed cool, had stretched ears and his septum pierced, and was really into tattoos. We talked about having annual passes to Busch Gardens and how we should go sometime. I love finding people who want to go to theme parks with me so I can have companionship, even if it doesn’t turn into anything romantic. Eventually we planned to go to a Disney park on Tuesday and if everything went well and we had good chemistry and liked each other, Wednesday we would go to Busch Gardens.

Well.

One night he wants to talk on the phone and eventually this dialogue happens:

Him- Are you bisexual?

Me- Nope. I’ve been asked that before, but I’m totally straight.

Him- Good.

Me- ….Okay? Why is that “good?”

Him- Because I like girls I’m with to be as straight as I am.

Me- Hm.

Him- I’ve just had really bad experiences with bisexual girls before. Bisexual people just seem to be a lot sluttier.

Me-  …..

Him- This one girl I was with was checking out another girl harder than I was and I didn’t like that.

Honestly, that conversation right there should have been a red flag. Along with the fact that he chews tobacco–excuse me, “Swedish Snus”–it really was a turn-off for anything romantic to happen. Still, at this point I’m still keeping an open mind for a theme park friend.

I like prefacing Tinder dates and hanging out with a no-pressure disclosure. I’m a big fan of approaching it as friends and seeing if there’s natural chemistry in person and see where it goes. Usually it goes pretty well, and even if it doesn’t, both parties seem chill about the mutual understanding. The same conversation had happened with Carter; I didn’t want there to be insane expectations, but we had been flirting through text to make it clear that there was at least a little bit of attraction there to see how an in-person situation went.

So Tuesday comes around. We had planned to meet at my place around 2:00 so I could drive us to Hollywood Studios and he wouldn’t have to pay for parking. I text him when I woke up that morning and heard nothing. Around 1 I text again and still hear nothing. At this point I’m pretty much not holding my breath about meeting up. Finally at 2 he texts me that he’s just finally woken up and will be at my place a little after 3. This annoyed me because I hate being kept waiting.  Again, at this point, with all the other red flags, it wasn’t a date so I didn’t get that worked up about it. I was still open to change my mind about him and give him a chance out of politeness though.

He finally shows up and I’m waiting outside my building. Just to be safe I didn’t want him to know all the details about where I lived, so I didn’t have him come to my door. Immediately I just know there’s no spark and there wouldn’t be one. Still, I want to be polite and have fun at the park.

We make lots of small talk in the car, but conversation doesn’t flow naturally like it has with other people. At the park he wants to grab food so we head that way before getting on our first ride. This portion of the “date” is pretty mild. Nothing crazy happens. We ride Toy Story Midway Mania then go wait for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I knew the guy checking our lapbars so we got to ride twice. After that we go to Tower of Terror and this is where the date goes downhill.

We stood in line for quite a while, and during that time so many uncomfortable things happened. First, he points to a couple and says, “Aww look, they’re holding hands,” as if he was trying to give me a hint that he wanted to follow suit. Secondly, my body language was completely against that. I kept my distance from him and kept my hands to myself; I stood on the opposite side of the queue from him so we couldn’t accidentally touch.  Third, I wouldn’t make eye contact with him. Through our labored conversation, my eyes stayed glued on Tower because I didn’t want to look him in the eye and give him the wrong idea. Fourth and finally in the queue, he comes to my side of the wall and leans against it so there’s no avoiding physical contact. This guy had to be blind to not notice how uninterested I was at this point.

We get onto the ride and before our seat belts are even on, his arm goes around me. Now, for anyone who has never experienced Tower of Terror, it is not a cuddle ride. I don’t want to be rude and shrug him off, so instead I wait for the ride to start moving. I was seated in the first seat in the row, so with every drop of the elevator I rammed my shoulder (and his hand) into the wall of the vehicle until he finally let me go. But it was after the ride that everything exploded.

Still in the unload area and approaching the gift shop, we have this exchange:

Carter: Do you wanna be gay and hold hands?

Me: Um…I…uh…no…?

Carter: Oh, do you not like holding hands?

Me: No, I do. I just didn’t like the way you asked.

Carter: I just meant, like, it’d be funny, it’d be silly to hold hands.

Me: “Gay” was not the word to use.

Carter: Would it have been better if I’d just asked?

Me: Yes. But I still don’t want to hold hands with you.

And then, the best of the best. The climax of this horrendous date occurs in the middle of Sunset Boulevard.

Carter: So what do you think? How’s our chemistry? Do we have any?

Me: No, I don’t think so; not like that. I’m sorry.

Carter: But we haven’t even kissed yet.

Me: Yeah…No…I’m sorry. But I still want to enjoy time in the park if you want. Do you want to stay here and do another ride, or would you be more comfortable going home?

Carter: Whatever. I don’t care. Whatever you want to do.

As soon as I told him I didn’t feel the chemistry, he paled and looked like I had punched him in the stomach. I handled the situation delicately because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but they got hurt anyway. I felt so bad about rejecting him, but I didn’t want to make the day any more awkward than it already was just because I didn’t want to kiss him.

We still had another Fastpass for Star Tours, but he started walking to the park exit. He’s has no idea where he’s going, he just doesn’t want to walk with me. This is the point where I realize I still have a twenty-minute drive back to his car with him. Now he’s ten feet ahead of me and pissed. For a little while I was honestly concerned about being left alone with him in case he did something drastic. Because of this, I text my friend, Montreh, what was going on. Montreh was on her way over to my apartment to hang out with all of us, so she couldn’t wait to get there and watch this unfold.

On our way back to the car he finally breaks his silent treatment and says to me, “I think we put too much pressure on this whole ‘chemistry’ bullshit.” I apologized again and tried to cool things down until he continues with, “I just don’t get it. It wasn’t until I started online dating that I have so much trouble with girls. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t see how you can text someone and talk on the phone and everything is great and then you get together and there’s nothing there? What is that?”

I respond calmly with, “That happens sometimes, though. I have plenty of regular friends who are strictly internet friends and when we hang out in real life it isn’t the same.”

“Would you still wanna hook up sometime?” he dared to ask me, which I declined immediately.

He continued to walk to my car so far ahead of me I almost had to jog to keep up. I managed to sneak a Snapchat of his storm-off and sent it to my roommates with the caption, “When you thought this was a date and got butthurt when you were told there’s no chemistry.” to warn them of the story I was going to tell later. The drive home was worrying me because I didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being alright; we made more small talk and things seemed to calm down on his end. I continued updating Montreh at red lights, knowing she was going to arrive about the same time as we would.

During the drive, he gets a phone call from his sister asking him to come spend time with her later in the day and he agreed. When we drove up to my apartment he gets off the phone after making his plans and says to me, “Unless you wanted to hang out more…” and I said (probably too quickly) “No! I mean, my friend is on their way over.”

“Oh, is it a guy? Not that it matters.”

“No? It’s a girl.”

I thought this would be the end of the day. But no. Then he asks if he can use my bathroom and I wanted to die. I couldn’t be rude and say no, no matter how badly I wanted to. I was still afraid of pissing him off and didn’t want him to know which apartment was mind, just in case he got angry later from being jilted. Still, I knew my roommates were home and hoped it would help.

We go in and he starts petting the dog, the last thing I want him to do; he doesn’t need to form emotional bonds. I point him to the bathroom and mouth to my roommates STORY TIME WHEN HE LEAVES. When he comes out I don’t even bother introducing him to my roommates, because he’ll never see them again anyway, but he takes care of that himself. Finally, after standing there awkwardly I say, “Well, our friend Montreh is about to be here so…” and he exclaims, “Hah! Montreh Cheddar!” and it’s obvious that he thinks he’s the funniest person in the world after making that joke. The apartment is silent. He says, “I bet she’s gotten that her whole life.” and I dryly respond, “No, I don’t think she has,” and open the door to hint that he needs to leave.

Outside the apartment, I apologize to him.

Carter: Sorry for what?

Me: …For the whole chemistry thing?

Carter: Oh yeah. Well, do you think maybe, someday,  in the future, there could be something?

Me: ….Yeah. Maybe?

Finally I get him to leave and the second the door closes I dive into the story. Not five minutes later, Montreh comes in screaming and sends me a Snapchat she took outside. The entire day was a whirlwind and it is by far one of the most hilarious situations I have ever found myself in. I don’t wish bad dates on anyone, but they sure make for good stories.

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I’m Still With Her

I’ve never been a politically-minded person. I’ve never been interested in elections because I’ve never felt compelled to have much of an opinion. Everyone around me always had such strong opinions and were much more knowledgeable than me that I felt like I didn’t have a loud enough voice to defend my feelings when it came to the subject. To me it was more important to stay silent than to appear uneducated or to be disliked because of my political opinion.

Most of this was due to the fact that I lived at home in Texas. I was surrounded by people that I did not agree with. I was the minority when it came to a lot of progressive thinking. Not only was I living in the Bible Belt, I also hadn’t been introduced to many different ways of thinking other than Religion. I didn’t know many gay people or people of color. Although I felt in my heart that I was not like most of the people I interacted with, my own ideas about the world were still forming as I was figuring out who I was and how I wanted to think.

I would have been able to vote in the 2012 election but chose not to even register to vote. I was 18 years old and should have exercised my right to vote in my first election, but the campaign wasn’t important to me. For me, it didn’t feel like it was worth it because I knew I wasn’t educated enough at the time and didn’t want to vote and potentially throw away an important vote. I’m not proud of this, but that was what happened.

This election year I’ve never felt so compelled to make a difference. I registered to vote for the first time because I wanted Bernie Sanders so badly on the presidential ballot. Unfortunately I missed the deadline to vote in the primaries by one day. However, once Hilary got the Democratic nomination she had my full support. As a woman I could see how important it was for me to vote and show just as much determination for her as she has in this race.

I thought there was no way the election would end the way it did. I thought America was better than this. Hilary is not a perfect person. No president has been perfect. But no one has been as bad as Donald Trump. I’m astonished that he was able to run, much less win. I’m humiliated and ashamed of my country and how the vote went. I’m heartbroken that so many Americans don’t care about the lives of groups that are different. The next four years are going to be very scary for human rights. Those who voted for Trump set our country back decades and have failed us.

This election would have gone down in history either way. I just can’t believe that I woke up today to the news that I did. There’s such a heavy weight on my chest because I’m so sad at the outcome. Our country is going to be run by a rapist who brags about how he treats women and people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. This is not the America I want to live in. The America I want is the one who opened its arms to immigrants and refugees from all walks of life hoping for a better life.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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What’s New?

Hello, friends; it’s been a while.

It’s about time I give a little update to how my life has been the past few months with my lack of updating this space. While I wouldn’t say there’s been any incredible changes to my life worth individual posts, there have been quite a few shifts that I’d love to give a documented update to my blog.

The last post I made here was an announcement that I was leaving Facebook. Two and a half months later and I haven’t regretted that decision once. Getting rid of that one pressure and stressor has made my life so much better and healthier. I still use other kinds of social media to keep in touch with friends, but it’s honestly been the best time for me to not have Facebook and I haven’t missed it once. Maybe someday I’ll go back, but I don’t have plans to right now.

I’ve been making great strides in my mental health since my last posts as well. As I progress I may make a full post detailing my changes there, but just know that I’m in a much better place mentally and emotionally than I have been in the last year. After a mental breakdown at work and a talk with my leaders, I was able to get the medical help I’ve been avoiding and it’s done wonders for me so far. I do think someday I want to go to therapy as a regular thing, because I think it’s extremely important to talk things through with a professional even if it’s just every day troubles. Mental health is something people don’t like discussing, but I think we should.

As far as my emotional state goes for relationships, I’m still all over the place. I’m still not healed from my breakup and I don’t know if it’s really possible to completely be okay after the kind of heartbreak I suffered losing Jay. To be honest, I will never fully forgive myself for causing our relationship to end. But I have made a 180 and have been at least allowing myself to try and have fun. No one will ever be Jay and I would drop everything to be with him again if he asked, but I’m not going to sit around and feel lonely even though I still miss him every day.

My work life is phenomenal. I’ve found my place again and I couldn’t be happier when it comes to where I’m at in my Disney career. I’m still growing and learning and I’ve found a location where I’m loved and supported and feel at home with everyone I’m around. Hopefully within the next year I’ll have made great strides in doing what I want with the company and achieving my goals with the help of the fabulous leadership team I work with.

Things are looking up for me. This year still isn’t anything like I expected or wanted it to be, but at least things have gotten to be a little bit brighter in the second half of the year. Hopefully the next year brings me lots of good news and growth in my life. There’s still a lot I’m working on and hope to achieve within my personal life and my professional life. I hope to update this more often with my journey. Thanks for joining me.

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Good Night, and Good Luck (A Post About Saying Goodbye to Facebook)

I made a post a few months back in which I discussed cutting back on my Facebook usage. For me, the site has become a very negative space. It has been an overwhelming conglomerate of ads and events and group messages and political opinions and all around not a place I felt at home in anymore.

Having a Facebook made every interaction feel like an obligation. I had an obligation to accept every friend request of every friend of a friend I met this one time and will never see again. I had an obligation to wish every person I never talk to a happy birthday. I had an obligation to post things that would be widely accepted amongst the varied groups on my timeline. So often I found myself sharing a post for one group, while it alienated another. Facebook, for me, became a place where I was not allowed to fully be myself.

The obligation to add everyone I had ever met fed this feeling. When you have conservative friends from high school that you went to church with and liberal friends from your current life, there’s not much you can post to please everyone. So often I purged my friends’ list to get rid of people I no longer shared a common interest or opinion with that I realized there aren’t many people I want that close to me.

My blog is mine and mine alone. No one is being forced to read it because they scrolled through at midnight. If you’re here, you want to be. This is my place where I can speak openly and freely and not be censored by people who do not agree with me and want to start an argument. My Twitter is for my stream-of-conciousness thought process. It may not always be right, and I’ve said a lot of things that turned out to be big mistakes, but it’s my way of putting my feelings out into the world without feeling hurt if no one responds. Facebook is all about “likes,” and not getting the response you want or need is an awful feeling. My Instagram, Twitter, Blog, and Snapchat, are for me to express myself. I don’t need responses or attention on those accounts. I did on Facebook.

My Facebook is still “active” because I have seven years worth of photos on there. Some of those photos are nowhere else but my Facebook or they’re more easily accessible there. Not to mention I still want to be able to access my shift exchanges for work and other groups on there. But as far as my friends go, I have deleted everyone. My settings (should be) changed as well. Maybe some day I will feel differently and can go back and add the friends I really want to keep in contact with. For now, however, I have my other accounts and my number to text with, and that’s all I need.

I love social media. It’s a major passion of mine and I’m very involved in it, but with all of the things I’m going through right now, Facebook just isn’t the place for me. I hope the distance allows me to write on here more to keep an updated account of my progress through life. 13567469_10208562718818478_6215295354668456589_n