Thursday, November 14, 2013

On overcoming fear and anxiety


There are legitimately only a handful of things that truly freak me the fuck out.

They include:
-Getting kidnapped
-My dog getting murdered
-The thought of my niece making poor life decisions
-Zombie clowns

But the one thing that shakes me to my core in the worst way possible is the thought of having to live the rest of my life without Husband in it.

He is one of those guys who has a very different view on life. His job forced him to see things from a different perspective. He is unable to stop and smell the flowers, like I can. I guess once you see things, do things, have certain experiences- your whole mindset about the world changes. That is pretty much him in a nutshell. He's gone a lot- for work. And when he's home the lack of heart pounding every day activities leaves him unsatisfied. When your body and your mind is constantly working with high levels of adrenalin for an extended period of time, it makes sense that you wouldn't be able to just sit and be still... and be happy. Comfort is uncomfortable to him. He is an adrenalin junkie.

His hobbies include things that make me squirm. I'm not a pansy by any means, but I don't get my jollies off on the side of a mountain, 8 pitches up, with nothing but sheer vertical rock below me.
A couple of days ago, Husband and two of his friends set out to do a day climb about an hour and half northwest. I was excited for him. It is a pretty difficult route, 9 pitches total. Nothing they couldn't handle because they are motivated, smart, but most of all experienced. The morning of his climb, the wind was insane down here in the flats. It sort of tipped me off that their climb would be more challenging today. But again, they are smart- after the 3 hour hike just to get to the base of the rock the weather could change and the wind could die down. Nothing to worry about. 

It wasn't until 7pm when they missed their check in time. Still, for me- I wasn't worried. I just figured they had a rough day, they're having dinner and few a beers. Then 10pm rolls around and the other wife called me. She wasn't too worried either, just mildly concerned. It wasn't like her husband to not call after a climb let alone 3 hours later. So, for the first time ever in my life I called a guy in ten minute increments for two hours straight. Side note, I did not like this.

At midnight, and after zero contact with any of them; that's when I started to panic. I've dealt with situations like this and I know not to freak out and that the best way to handle it is to keep a calm, positive head. 12:01, Kimber calls me- she's not as calm as I am... not even close. So, we made the executive decision for me to head over to her house so that we can go over the location information and to call in a search party. Fucken great. 42.9 seconds after I've got real pants on and I'm sitting in my car- fighting back the urge to vomit... Kimber calls. They made contact. Knowing that Husband was going to call soon we got off the phone with each other immediately. Husband calls, and his words verbatim "I'm so sorry. Everyone is alive. We're on our way home now."
I sat in my car for ten minutes. Speechless. Numb.

Husband is my best friend, my absolute favorite person in the entire world. He makes me laugh, he makes smile, he keeps me safe and loves me like no other. He enhances my life in so many ways and as cliche as it may sound- my life on this earth without him in it just doesn't make any sense to me. He exemplifies everything strong and brave, smart and courageous, chivalrous and romantic. Husband is the epitome of my idea of perfection.

The next day, we sat together and just talked about what happened. As difficult as it was for me to listen to, I can only imagine how much harder it was for him to have to tell it.  There was nothing that could stop the tears streaming down my face. His fear was real. The tears were not sadness, but of relief and gratitude that I got to hear the story from his mouth- two feet away from me.

Being prepared and understanding how to deal with fear and anxiety is easier said than done. I've lived through many close calls and it never gets easier. I doubt it ever will. The fear doesn't lose intensity just because your brain demands you stay calm. I know I came off as calloused and unconcerned to Kimber but what she fails to see is that I'm just as afraid of losing the man I love as she is. But the outward emotion makes no difference in the reality of the situation, in my mind. My tears won't bring them back down the mountain faster. My panic and stress doesn't shield them from the nearly freezing temperatures. Me sobbing on the phone doesn't bring the feeling back into his hands and feet any faster. All it does it make him feel worse and I won't ever put that added weight on him.

Bottom line: Husband is doing good. He's not quite back to 100% but he's already planning his next climb and that is admirable. Overcoming fear and anxiety to pursue what makes you truly happy is the only way to live your life. I applaud this man and respect his passion. "Climb mountains, fuck bitches." Husband is OAF after all.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Just another manic Monday

Today started off as just another one of those days when I'm in the weirdest mood ever. I woke up bright and early, before the sun broke the horizon. I was lying in bed, watching the remaining leaves on the trees outside get whipped right off. The winds today are madness. It's absolutely freezing cold outside. Granted, it's only 60 degrees but it feels like the 40s.

I had a pretty awesome night's rest but I just didn't feel like starting my day until about an hour ago. So, giant cup of coffee in hand and here I sit. Writing to you...

The house is quiet. Husband is on a climbing trip with a couple friends. I worry that it will be a terrible climb. If the winds are this gnarly down on the flats, I know for a fact it will be wicked fierce at a higher elevation. He said something about a 9 pitch route today. Jesus.

Anyway, I have a few things that need to get shipped back to the states for our epic return to Phoenix in a couple of weeks. So, I'll get that all squared away this afternoon.

So, this weird mood. I'm feeling more displaced than I have ever felt before. I'm stuck in this mindset of utter anxiety. I cannot shake it. I'm constantly anxious about... something. And it could be the season- it is the season of perpetual change after all. It could be the music I'm listening to... I created a chill play list for my celebratory bubble bath last night. (Go Hawks 9-1!) It consists of a lot of Beck, Cat Powers, Pickwick, and the mellowest of Audioslave that I can find. I'm sure it doesn't help my current state of blah.

Either way- today has to turn itself around if it's the only thing I do.

Um, what else can I babble on about? I bought a new purse yesterday. It's gorgeous. It's a mustard yellow leather bag from Florence. I have a tendency to be attracted to things that are just the right amount of flashy. Forgive me- but the next few paragraphs will probably sound insane. I'm not really in the mood to censor or proof read my writing today. Anyway, I like pretty things. I was quickly walking by this leather shop and I saw this bag just tucked behind another gorgeous fuchsia one. The shop keeper thought it was the bright pink bag that would go home with me given my super girly outfit and my bright white Hello Kitty quilted bag that I was clutching. To his complete surprise, I grabbed the mustard yellow one. Looked it over, inside and out... checked it out in the mirror and BAM- the bag and I were one.

He even commented on how he has never seen anything like that before. Meaning, most women that buy his bags stand there and mull it over and are indecisive about which one to get. They also completely bypass all the colored leather and go for the more 'safe' ones of black and brown. He said I shop like a man. I thanked him for that. =) I do shop like a man.

I need rain boots.

My hair is killing me. I should not have gone back to blonde this winter. It's been a hassle trying to keep up with it. I just want to throw it up in a messy bun all the time so it stays off my scarves and so it doesn't get tangled up in my jackets... I'm highly considering getting the color corrected back to my brunette state and chopping it off to my shoulders... the classic bob for winter. Sigh... I'm such a girl right now.

Oh! I started reading this blog. It's called Notes to my Future Husband. Hilarious. She's so angry and I love it. She and I would clearly be best friends. I am considering adapting her blog style as my own. It's sort of Twitter-esque though so I'm not sure if I can do that. Plus, I'm not too sure if the world is ready for my legit vulgarity. I mean, my friends who know me will get it but perhaps that's just not what this here blog is about.

Goodness- I gotta go. It's time to go to the gym. Back day! Woot!

Daily Nugget: I fucken love getting shit in the mail. Amazon and Bodybuilding.com boxes are the easiest way to turn this here frown right upside down. I don't even care what's in the Amazon box half the time. If you're going to send me stuff from Bodybuilding.com, make sure you include the free socks with purchase. Those things are the shit.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Italian charm at its finest


Tasting room for Livio Felluga
Service station 
The epitome of charmingly beautiful 
Wreckage of a wonderful afternoon


A girl walks into a bar...






Wednesday, November 6, 2013

No matter

No matter the routine, the plan, or the solid attempts at structure, the day to day life of a CrisM is so sporadic and chaotic that it is a wonder how I remember to feed my pet children... shit. I forgot to feed my pet children. Sigh...

Ok, everyone is fed now. I'm armed with my blender bottle of pre workout and ready to write.

So, today is one of those days when every single thing on my calendar needs to get done, like RIGHT NOW. And for every one thing I check off, two more gets added to the seemingly never ending list. Today is my favorite day at the gym because it's my heaviest training of the week- Legs. "Hump day Rump day!!!" Unfortunately, I have to workout here at home because all the other 900 billion things I have to accomplish today are in the complete opposite direction of my gym. Yea, sounds like a cop out but no one is more disappointed about this than I am.

After my workout, I have to quickly shower and get ready to head out. Italy is wonderful and I absolutely admire the lifestyle. Majority of the businesses around here run off of a lax operation schedule. "Hours of Operation" doesn't really exist here, it's more of a "when we feel like being open, we'll be be open, if not- come back tomorrow" which is really great and I can appreciate most days but TODAY I need everything to be open. I'm gathering a bunch of stuff to take back to the states for friends and most of the places are about an hour away in three different directions and I don't have the time or the patience to deal with 'la dolce vita' mindset of Italian shops today. And it just gets even more random since we're switching from summer to winter hours... one place that is normally open around 8am doesn't open until around 10am in the winter and other places that normally open at 3:30pm will open at 1pm, which is crazy since we do riposo here. Ugh- see my frustration?

Wish me luck that I get everything done today. Now, I have to get off here- my pre workout just kicked in and I'm flipping out. It's time to get my dead lifts on! Squats for days! Woot!

Oh, Husband and I went to this wicked awesome winery yesterday. Hopefully I'll be able to up load all the pics and post them tomorrow. God, I love Italy... It was so stinkin' cute. The place, the people, the wine, the food, everything. Perfection!

Have a great Rump Day! Talk again soon.
CrisM

Daily Nugget: The gym is like church, sure you can take inventory of the frequent worshipers and comment on their dedication but it is never ok to try to pick up a girl in the middle of service. You'll just ruin her day. Creep.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Grandma Daso

All Souls' Day. The day to remember those who have been called away from this earth. For me the one person who has been on my mind all day is my maternal grandmother. 

Most of my childhood is a blur for me because like I've mentioned in a previous post, I dumped a lot of it because it wasn't the fondest of memories for me. 

But, today, all the bits and pieces that came in flashbacks were sprinkled with my grandmother. I was very young while she was an active part of my life. I was very naive and impressionable. 

I guess you could say that she played the typical grandma role of spoiling us and letting us do whatever we wanted. Not very many flashbacks came to me today but the one that was the most vivid is what I want to share with you, in her honor. 

From what I recall, she was very much a morning person. She would wake us up by the garlicky aroma of her amazing Filipino style fried rice before the sun broke the horizon. She would tear off the sheets relentlessly and she would practically strip me naked if she didn't have enough pieces of dirty clothes to throw into the wash. She was practical after all. 

I would stumble to the kitchen and sit patiently as she served me a way too large portion for a mere 8 year old. But I loved her fried rice. She used salt instead of soy sauce like everyone else on the island does. And she doused the entire 10 cups of fried rice with garlic powder to even out the massive amount of chopped onions she insisted on including. This is where my love for garlic and onions comes from exclusively. Without a doubt. 

After breakfast and a 64oz glass of Nestle iced tea, I would be rushed to change so we could go to the Saturday flea market. These were the best Saturdays of my childhood. I would always try to hide my excitement because even at 8 I had a loud personality. And if I got too excited she wouldn't allow me to get malagkit (a sweet and sticky rice dessert) which was truly the worst punishment for me. 

We always had second breakfast at the market. It was rice, longansia, and eggs-over easy. Seriously, if she wasn't currently feeding us it was like she was failing as our guardian. This is also where my terrible relationship with food came from. 

Then, to ward off the food coma which we all knew was coming she would make us walk through all the makeshift aisles of the vendors that haphazardly filled the abandoned shipyard parking lot. I developed this fear of getting kidnapped because of this place. It was so creepy and unorganized that a kid could easily get snatched up and thrown into a van without anyone noticing because it was always bustling with people sporadically dodging through the walls of curtains separating one vendor from the next. 

Grandma Daso always sent us home with tons of shit we didn't need. Cheap toys that either fell apart or straight up broke the second we opened the packaging that was held together with scotch tape. I learned quickly to gravitate towards the more quality items available at the flea market. The shoes...

I was the only 3rd grader running around the play ground in platform shoes. No shit my grandmother bought me my first pair of heels. I totally remember them too. They were a shamrock green velvet bootie with laces up the front and a 3" heel with a 1" platform. I wore those suckers everyday! I also remember feeling like a giant with them on. I would jump off the swings at full force and land on my feet like a damn champ. The thought of snapping my ankles never even crossed my mind. 

This is where my shoe obsession stems from. After my grandmother noticed that I wore those things to shit, she then started a little tradition. Every few weeks before we went to the flea market, she would make me promise to behave and if my parents reported to her that I was good, she would buy me new shoes. The fear of not getting a new pair of shoes scared me straight. I followed rules to the tee. 

One of my favorite things as an adult is rewarding myself with a new pair of shoes. Sometimes when I bring home a new pair, and as I'm adding them to my collection, memories of those days at the flea market pop into my head. I smile big time. 

Unfortunately our relationship grew cold after the divorce and I eventually moved to Japan. For reasons I don't feel like getting into today, we pretty much stopped all communication after I left home at 16. I got word of her stage 4 lung cancer and grim prognosis via a Facebook wall post. She passed away 2 months later. I didn't make it back to Guam for the funeral and I never got to say my goodbyes. 

I've made peace with my immaturity towards the whole thing. All I can say now is that I really did love her. She was very generous, too generous in my opinion. But there is so much about me that is a pure reflection of her and in that it is like she is with me all the time. 

Have a beautiful day my friends and buy the damn shoes. 
CrisM

Friday, November 1, 2013

Welcome November, we've been waiting for you...

"Our anxiety must be tempered by 
faith and patience, 
as the race to ripeness begins."

November is a time of reflecting on the year's events for me. It is a time when I like to access all the things I said I was going to do and if I haven't done it yet, this is the month that it finally all gets accomplished. All the year's projects and life adjustments are made during this time of year. I like to end the year on a good, successful note.

When the new year rolls around, I like to have a clean slate so that I am fully open to new life adventures and experiences without the weight of the previous year's failures holding me back. The best way to do that is to make sure there is nothing to weigh me down in the first place.

There is nothing more satisfying than to be somewhere amazing with the people I love, hand in hand counting down the seconds to the imminent year; knowing that I did the best I could to make the most incredible memories over the past 12 months. My life is anything but monotonous, not because I'm super interesting or anything but because I actively search for ways to fill my heart with happiness and things that make me smile.

It has been one hell of a 2013 that is without a doubt! It started with a town to town scream war in the hills of Budoia, ample adventures of me getting lost all over Italia, meeting and getting to know some rather charming people. The baking thing has been the most career satisfying part of 2013. My love for live music was nurtured and nourished aplenty during the summer. I finally got to put a big fat check mark next to one of my life bucket list goals: Cruise Tuscany on a Vespa!! The honor of being a part of a dear friend's Purple Heart ceremony... Like I said, one hell of a 2013. And my fall season has been nothing short of perfect since Husband returned home.

Husband and I are anxious as the year quickly comes to a close. There are so many great things happening for us and we are doing our very best to be as patient as possible and to remain hopeful that everything will work out as planned.

We will be stateside in just a couple of weeks and that is the most exciting thing going on for us at the moment. We constantly talk about getting to see all our dearest friends... we can't wait to be surrounded by everyone we absolutely love. Laughing and making new memories. *Sigh... It will be grande.

Now, I gots to get off this thing and get ready to go. We're fixin' on heading east to- Slovenia possibly. =) Have a wonderful Friday and good luck in your November.

Until next time, much love.
CrisM

Daily Nugget: If you can tell me where the opening quote comes from, I will send you a prize. Good luck Googling it, you will not find it there. Suckas!!!