Highlights from My 2016


I did a lot of growing up this year. I experienced different reality checks, forced to grow, to change habits. However, I accomplished a lot in 2016 personally, when I look back because of them. I’ve been in a stand still for a long time (when trauma happens, “fight or flight” is not the only survival instinct. There is also “freeze”. That’s where I’ve been after the last few emotionally traumatic years.) But I’m unfreezing, and I can see that with each passing year; especially in 2016.

I moved forward. These are some of those highlights. ❤

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Self Public Transportation For A Semester.

I wasn’t driving when I took a math course at my community college; so I used the bus and my bike for transportation. It was a first big step I took to leave the house alone and get myself somewhere like that! It wasn’t a huge commute (would generally take a good half hour if the bus wasn’t late and I pedaled steadily) but it still meant a lot to me. I was not used to biking or the bus, so in that first week, it felt like the most difficult trip in the world. But each week it got easier. I got physically stronger from biking and mentally empowered. My MP3 player was a life saver. I even lost some weight riding that bike. The worst thing that happened? I almost got flipping RUN OVER at a big intersection (legit; in the cross walk, I got knocked to my knees in the street and the car was bearing down on top of me) and that was slightly traumatic. I won’t forget some of the most peculiar people I met waiting for my bus after class (a talkative ex-con, a friendly teenager with a Batman shirt, a drunk woman who was so proud of her daughter, a bus driver who told me I had beautiful eyes.) People told me their life stories in moments at that bus stop. It was a crazy experience for me but I’m happy I persevered through it. And with an A in math too.

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Flew the Country Twice Alone

At the end of that semester, I flew to Georgia to meet James for the first time! And just wow, flying is just an incredible experience! It was empowering to get myself through those airports on my own some, especially after all my biking practice. I flew the first time in May, the second time in December, and both were overall very smooth! I remember everyone I sat next to on each plane well, at least for both flights to GA, as they were so sweet and kind. I’ll never forget the butterflies in the pit of my stomach when I first saw all the green trees around the landing strip from the plane window and realized “I’m here. He’s here.” But now the sight of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport runway is one of my favorite sights! Outside of a few common silly fears, I actually really enjoy flying and I look forward to all the future flights ahead of me.

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I Got Myself a Job

I began paying rent this year to stay home, but my savings were very limited at the start, so a job I needed. A job I got, one that worked best for me due to location. Boy, it has been a mad adventure since getting that job: racing in when others didn’t show, learning curves one after the other, adjusting to a boss’s needs, staying out of coworker drama while still being the ear everyone wants to talk to about it, haha. But now I have my very own source of income and I’m saving up for my car. I have grown a lot as a person by learning to persevere throughout the unforeseen trials of that job. I have learned so much about life in general there. I have also built some incredible friendships with several coworkers there, and I go on late night adventures with a couple of them even! I also enjoy my repeat costumers who get so excited when they see me. I’m thankful for the consistent pay and am happy to work with so many nice people.

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I Learned to Drive

I’ve been very scared of driving for a long time. Partly because I didn’t have a longing for it like many kids. But I was also seriously terrified of the being in control of such a powerful vehicle while being among thousands of other drivers more stupid and incompetent than myself. I live in Phoenix, it’s a big city with lots of crappy drivers ok? But I studied the rules hard and took a lot of time to really practice throughout late summer and fall. Now I can say I’m fairly comfortable with driving! I’ve driven to a lot of different places in my state for practice and all of those trips were great fun! I’m a more cautious driver, but I do enjoy flying at high speeds on the freeway. The only thing I still struggle with is parking, but I’m getting better. XD It was a big deal for me to learn how to drive, but I’m glad that I’ve learned!

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I Successfully Began Long-Distance Dating My Best Friend

This took the most time, the most energy, most of the year to do, but it is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done! I couldn’t be more grateful for where we are now compared to a year ago. I remember seeing him for the first time, running to hug him and not wanting to let go the entire trip. I’m glad I choose to take my time before committing to “boyfriend/girlfriend” titles until later in the year; we were just “us” and we are still “us” even now because of it! I’m happy that I decided to be honest about myself with him, about what I felt and needed. It was amazing that at the end of the year, we could announce we were happily dating long distance, fully secure in each other and our feelings. He is my first real love, my first date, my first kiss, and I hope my first for many, many, many more things! He enriches and blesses my life so abundantly; I’m so happy that God has brought us into the security we have now, in His plan, our friendship and love for each other. ❤

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2016:

was the year I painted big parts of the house and reorganized the attic by myself. The year I really dug temporary tattoos. The year I started a music blog. The year I started Breaking Bad but didn’t get around to finishing it. The year I flew 2000 miles for my first date. The year I learned new crochet patterns (and crocheted my biggest blanket ever.) The year I got to eat Captain D’s again. The year I biked through the park at night to breathe music better. The year my kitty disappeared and never came home. 😦 The year I stopped walking the dogs. The year I choose to have my first kiss. ❤ The year I worked double-shifts. The year I bought 5 anime posters at comic-con. The year I found Home far away, then had to leave him behind twice drenched in my tears. The year Chris Pratt tweeted emojis at me for loving “Passengers”. The year I finally found Father Goose at the thrift store. The year I lost 25 pounds. The year I watched 73 anime shows beginning to end. The year I started buying dream catchers.  The year I said, “I love you”.

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2016 was a good year for me, despite all the election drama and the different trials I did experience. I learned I could overcome obstacles if I tried, that I was loved for exactly who I was, and that God was bigger than my fears. It was a good year. ❤

~Jamie

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Currently: On the Verge of Summer Vacation


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Currently listening: If There’s Time by Odesza. Slightly obsessed with this song because it starts so chill… and then suddenly it just grows into more. ❤

Currently sitting: on my computer chair at my desk, with an open suitcase behind me on my bed and lists of things to do in front of me on the desk. XD

Currently liking: that I’m about to go on the first real vacation, tomorrow, since maybe early 2013???? I don’t know, but it’s long overdue, and I’ve really wanted one after the parents divorcing/lots of stress stuff LOL. But the best part is that I get to go spend this one meeting and staying with my best friend! THE HYPE IS REAL. So yeah. Really liking that!

Currently drinking: I’m at the tail end of a cold, so, water. So much water. Gallons of water. An ocean’s worth. ok that’s exaggerating; but yeah, water. XD

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Currently reading: I’m still reading A Gathering of Shadows. Been reading it on and off while waiting for my bus rides to and from school. Loving it though, and about to really chomp into it tomorrow during the long plane ride!

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Currently writing: I’m actually about to start a new story! A mystery adventure novella set on an island, following a down-on-her-luck writer and a documentary team secretly investigating… something. I don’t know what. I will find out with my characters though. But horses on the beach and camera crews and lonely highways in forgotten forests and crime families and espionage should all be included.XD

Currently watching: Breaking Bad still; at the beginning of season four. NO SPOILERS PLEASE. XD Am slowly making my way through this classic. I was madly watching it for the first two seasons; but then season three went an odd direction so I slowed down (and then there was an episode that triggered me and I couldn’t watch it for like a month.) But it’s still a great show and I’m trying to savor it so it’s not over too fast.

Currently obsessed with: Odesza, actually! I discovered them from a long youtube mix and I just fell in love with the electronica vibe. JUST, THANK YOU GOD FOR SO MUCH DIVERSE AMAZING MUSIC TO LISTEN TO. #Music:ForeverMySoulMate

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Currently tired: of coughing. XD it’s clinging to the back of my throat with an annoying tickle and then every time I go to giggle, I cough instead. >__> Like, could you not, I’m trying to feel joy. 😉

Currently excited: THAT I’M TAKING A PLANE BY MYSELF TO GO SEE MY VERY BEST FRIEND FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME EVER. I’M SO HYPED. AJSKDLFJAKSLJFKALSJDFKASLDJKFALSJKFDJALSDFJLASJFLASJD.

Currently failing: actually, can I please take a moment to say that this semester I DID NOT FAIL BUT ACTUALLY GOT AN “A” IN MATH!?!?!?!?! LIKE WHOOP WHOOP FOR ME.

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Currently scaring myself with: flying… ok, I am a teeny bit nervous about getting through airport security and stepping on a plane, but I think that’s pretty normal. Last time I flew, I actually quite enjoyed the adrenaline rush it carried, so I’m looking forward to that again! Flying, when you don’t think of crashing, is really the best fun. XD

Currently stuck in my head: I actually had a Kpop song stuck in my head earlier but I don’t remember the name at the moment. Oh well.

Currently wishing: to have the best next week and half ever in Georgia! ❤

Currently praying: that I have two safe flights leaving and coming home and that my vacation will be smooth for everyone involved. ❤ I’m so so hyped, you guys! Pray for me tomorrow morning, I’ll be in the air!

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I love you all!

~Jamie

What I Experienced During Air Travel


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This is for my friends who will be flying soon and were interested in hearing how to survive airports and planes *whispers”Maribeth!”cough*. For those of you who are interested, here’s what I learned and how I survived my two flights. You can survive too (and if you’re not flying by yourself, then you are already better off then I was. ) 😛 I also italicized some certain things to note…

(To my readers who are not flying anytime soon–I shall be impressed if you go ahead and read this; if not, I completely understand.)

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Okay let’s cut to the chase, this will be long enough as it is. Basically, when you get into an airport, you drop your luggage off first (I dropped mine off with Southwest Airlines because that was the plane company I was taking.) You then get in line for general security. Now, you will need to check this because it might be different for different airplanes, but I was able to bring two carry on bags with me; I had a large bag that held the camera and my purse and then I had my laptop bag–two bags (they don’t like liquid going through security, so leave your liquid behind unless it’s under 2 0z or somewhere around there–again, be sure to check with what’s allowed!) All you need to get through security is a form of ID and your boarding pass/ticket (you only need the pass to board the plane). When you are finally at the head of the line, you show them your ID and boarding pass, they’ll probably check a few things off with a pen and nod you through to where you put your stuff in bins so they can go through the x-ray machine. If you have a laptop, you need to take it out of your bag and place it in a container by itself. You have to take off your shoes and jackets as well (so wear shoes that can be easily slipped on and off.) Belts, headphones and probably jewelry are suppose to go through, so, honestly, go light when you fly.

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They will then do either two things; either have you step through a metal detector or they will try to send you through one of the new X-ray machines which my family doesn’t like or approve of because they are basic violations of personal privacy. You can ask for the alternative to that one if that happens and you don’t want to be x-rayed; they will have someone pat you down instead (this only happened to me in Phoenix, and the lady was very nice about it. They had the x-ray machine taped off in Washington for some reason and I just had to step through the metal detector.) After that, you collect your stuff and you’re done with security! They usually have benches right after that if you want to sit down to get your shoes on or put your laptop back in it’s bag.

From there, you need to find your gate: mine in Washington was gate B-12. To find your gate is simple; instructions are always over your head. Just look up and go where the arrow points. They’re very clear instructions. If you’ve not flown before and if you’re by yourself, it might be a tad bit overwhelming the first time *cough-me-the-first-time-cough* but it turned out to be not so bad.

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Now, there’s a whole other system to board the plane; they basically call on ‘first class’ seating or “Group A” to come on first. Then “Group B” “Group C” ect. I was always in Group B. When your group is called and is on the screen, you get into  line. You hand the person your boarding pass as you enter that funny tunnel that leads out to the plane and you’re good. Just walk down and enter the plane! Again, planes are probably a little different, however, expect a tight fit as a general rule. If you can, put one of your bags in an overhead compartment. The other can go under the seat ahead of you. If you can, try to sit near the wings, towards the center of the plane. I jumped into seats just ahead of the emergency exits that go out onto the wing on both flights.

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If you’re flying by yourself, maybe look for someone who looks nice. On my first flight, I sat between two older friends who were flying together; they were both very nice. On my flight home, I got a middle seat between middle aged lady with a nook and a older lady who did crossword puzzles the whole time. I basically looked for people, preferably women, who looked decent. You will have to sit next to these people for a few hours at least, so keep your eyes alert as you look for a seat. Again, if you are traveling with someone, you will hopefully get to sit with them! However, be prepared non the less. ALSO, when you get on the plane, be sure to eye the safety brochure that is in the pocket in front of you, just in case of emergencies.

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When you land, you just have to wait your turn to get out of your chair and up the isle; be sure to say thank you to any flight attends who are still there because they probably brought you the pop that you enjoyed during your flight. Once you’re off the plane, just follow the sign’s arrows that say baggage claim. Find the carousal that has your luggage (they should have screens in the luggage area to find which flights are with which carousals) and grab them when you see them!

I hope my experience has benefited any of my dear friends who will be flying soon! I personally didn’t find it too hard, although it kept my blood pumping during several moments of strong alertness. I wouldn’t mind flying again! 🙂

How about you; have you ever flown before? If you are flying soon, when are you going!? I’d love to know so I can pray for you on that date specifically that you may have a smooth and safe flight! Thank you to all my friends who prayed for me on my trip; it really helped in the back of consciousness knowing people were praying for my safety!

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~Jamie