We are the people our parents warned us about.

We are the people our parents warned us about. – Jimmy Buffett 

Have you ever had a week that made you question every choice you’ve ever made? It has been one hell of a week here, and I think i may be on the verge of going nuts. This is the kind of stuff they don’t prepare you for in college. Sure, I had to take Religion 300, but not introduction to changing your air filter?? I’ve spent the week listening to my sister complain about finals, and watching numerous posts about finals week.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’d do anything to go back to that! I know it’s crazy, but no one tells you just how hard a 9-5 really will be after college. You don’t get to nap between classes anymore, or just skip because you don’t feel like going. The real world doesn’t work that way, and …

Oh my God. I just quoted my Dad. Without even realizing it.

The truth is that growing up is tough stuff. Being an adult is even tougher. I know I’m probably supposed to have a gem of wisdom about this, but I really don’t today. I apologize if this isn’t the most uplifting post, but I try to keep it real.

Some days are just shitty. Some weeks are just shitty.

It’s been one of those weeks. So just know that if you’re in the same boat I am today, I’ll be raising my bottle (i mean glass) of wine to you.

Cheers to Adulthood!

-C

The Turkey-pacolypse: Thanksgiving 2014

Hello campers,

I’m sorry for the amount of time it took for me to write this all, but I just woke up from my wine and leftover food coma that I’ve been in for the week. I hope everyone’s Thanksgivings were great! In case you were interested, this is how my first Thanksgiving away from home went:

Actually, everything turned out awesome! Surprising, because usually everything I touch breaks or bursts into flames, but thankfully I have found a lady who is pretty much Martha Freaking Stewart. We started prepping everything the Monday before Thanksgiving, and we found this to be incredibly helpful. As I found, you will have way more things to do on the actual Thanksgiving day, so anything you can prep before hand helps. Here’s what we prepped in advance:

Place settings- I was informed that Chinet and China were not the same thing.

Place settings- I was informed that Chinet and China were not the same thing.

Finally got to use my Fancy place mats!

Finally got to use my Fancy place mats!

 

We also decided to put the food out onto the bar of our kitchen, because our kitchen is tiny, and there was no way we are all going to get in there to stuff our faces. We used a chalkboard runner, which is AWESOME because you get to draw and write all over it! It made for a really easy and creative way to display all the food. Doesn’t hurt that it was also 10 bucks!

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Because wine is important, and should always be clearly marked

Because wine is important, and should always be clearly marked

My AMAZING sangria!

My AMAZING sangria!

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The chalkboard paper ended up working great, and was ridiculously easy to do. For anyone who isn’t very crafty (me) it is an easy way to spice up the table!

Yeah, yeah, yeah….but how did the turkey look?

Well, after about five hours of worrying and googling everything turkey related, I would say it turned out pretty awesome. The reason is probably because I had nothing to do with the turkey, except making it dance on the counter top. The lady was not impressed. But here it is!

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I’m not a turkey expert, but that’s a good looking turkey!

 

To say the least, after a combination of turkey, sangria, and everything else, I was in a catatonic state to say the least. But the day itself was relaxing and full of time to think about what the holiday is really about. It’s about having someone that loves you enough not to kill you for dressing up the turkey. It’s for the Dad who doesn’t mind 40,000 phone calls about what on earth giblets are, or if there are illegal substances smuggled into a sketchy bag inside of the turkey (no worries, they weren’t!). I think that it’s so easy to get wrapped up in work and school, that it’s important to have a day to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I’m so happy I got to spend Thanksgiving with the person I love, and that we’ll have many more to celebrate.

 

What I'm really thankful for (PS, the lady is on the right, if you can't tell!)

What I’m really thankful for (PS, the lady is on the right, if you can’t tell!)

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Also thankful for this.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and had a great holiday! On the next episode of The Hot Mess Express…..

THE KITCHEN REDEMPTION, or the kitchen cabinets get re painted.

Stay tuned. It could get ugly.

-C

 

This is the Weekend Report!

Like the Lion King, except I think it was “The Morning Report”. Get it? No? Too obscure? Okay, moving on:

First off, to those Monday-Friday worker bees (like me), congrats! You made it through the work week! If you’re like me, you spend Saturday reveling in the fact that you’re not working but around 4 PM on Sunday will sink into a state of dread knowing you will be back at work the next day.

Anyways, being that this is the weekend before the big Turkey Day, there are a lot of things we have to do. For one, we must actually obtain the Turkey we plan to feast on. This was news to me, seeing that I always had Thanksgiving at home, I was under the impression that the Turkey just appeared. Wrong, as usual Celeste. On top of going frozen turkey-hunting, I’ll also be hunting down the sangria supplies as well, cause that sangria ain’t gonna make itself!

The other big item the lady and I are tackling are doing some upgrades to the kitchen. Since i have severe trust issues after the experience of renovating the condo, we will be doing these ourselves. So, thank God they’re only minor. We’ll be adding back splash to the kitchen, as well as painting the bottom cabinets gray. I’m addicted to HGTV and two tone kitchen cabinets always look good in those giant kitchens! Of course, if the Property Brothers want to stop by and take care of that I wouldn’t mind either. In case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I’ll put some pictures here, as well as pictures of the actual event in the next post. This should be interesting……

Ohhh….Ahhhhh. Except this kitchen is 3 times the size of mine.

Happiness, and Weird Ways of Finding It

I think happiness is a tricky emotion, and I have struggled with it for a long time. The holidays always are a time for me to review the year and everything that has happened. It also serves as an emotional checkpoint for me. I think this checkpoint for me is the most important to date because I finally feel comfortable with myself, and most importantly, happy!

I think happiness is something that evolves as we  evolve. I think that the things that made me happy years ago don’t really do so now. I can remember when getting good grades made me happy (those were the days!) and now, getting a paycheck makes me very happy. But most importantly, I feel comfortable with who I am, and that makes me happiest of all.

For a long time, I struggled with what it meant to be happy. I struggled with being a person that made others happy, but not myself. False

Me, hugging Dennis the Dog. Because why not? Also, Dennis was not having it.

Me, hugging Dennis the Dog. Because why not? Also, Dennis was not having it.

happiness is a very real thing, but unfortunately its results just aren’t that satisfying. For a long time, I thought that maybe I just wasn’t meant to be happy. I struggled with coming out and depression, and in my mind, I thought that happiness was just something other people found. It took a lot of bumps in the road for me to realize, that ultimately, I was my own road bump. I used my identity and my depression as crutches to avoid trying to  be happy. I think I was scared of being happy, and to this day I really don’t understand why. But I took the first step and I reached out, and asked for help. I began to doing research, and finding out gay role models and following their stories. YouTube was a huge outlet for me, and I still follow many LGBT accounts like Kaelyn and Lucy and What Wegan Did Next. I’ve never met these people but they showed me that it’s possible to be yourself and be happy. I’ve linked their YouTube pages here as well, so if you’re interested I highly recommend their videos! I’ve often toyed with the idea of one day starting my own YouTube channel, so i’d certainly be interested if anyone has any thoughts on that.

Wow, I just completely strayed from the point I was trying to make. Back to Business!

I think that for me, I had to be brave to be happy. I had to have a lot of uncomfortable talks, lose some friends, and eventually gain a lot more. I had to learn to be proud of who I am, and my mother has always said that once you’ve gotten yourself together, the right person will come a long. And she did! If you had told me that 5 years ago, I would’ve said HELL NAH! If you told me I would be writing about this five years ago, I would’ve said HELL NAH! But I did, and I think if it’s something you’re struggling with, you can too. Sometimes, you have to bet on yourself, and take a risk.

As always, I appreciate the feedback and everyone who visits the blog! Thank you!

And also,  HAPPY FRIDAY!

-C

It’s that time again….

You know what I’m talking about:

The holidays, and everything that come with them.    

With this being the week before Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think that the holiday season is upon us. For one, I have a question. How did Thanksgiving go from the Pilgrims and Indians enjoying a meal together to me stuffing myself to the brim with turkey and becoming catatonic on my couch?

I don’t know, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This Thanksgiving is going to be different, because it will be the first one that I don’t spend at home. That’s right, Celeste is throwing on her big girl pants and having her own Turkey Day. I know, what could go wrong?

The reason I’m staying in Charleston is that my lady and I are having our first Thanksgiving together. Seeing that she’ll be loading up the dogsled to head back to Maine for Christmas, this is the holiday we’ll get to be together. Also, her Dad is coming into town, so he’ll be staying with us and having Thanksgiving as well. The lady is an incredible cook, and well, I basically have to wear a bib when eating, so she’ll be handling the brunt of the cooking. However, I am preparing my own covered dish.

When I say covered, I mean uncovered. When I say dish, I mean bowl. And when I say solid, I mean liquid. Cause I’m making sangria.

Ain’t no Turkey day like a boozy Turkey  day, am I right?

I think the holidays bring up a lot of feelings, and lately I think I’m feeling a sense of nostalgia. Thanksgiving means spending time with the people who mean most to you and eating a drinking a ton…if you’re my family at least. This is the Thanksgiving I have grown up with. This is my first Thanksgiving away, and I feel like I’m finally on my own path. This is the first Thanksgiving I’ll spend with the person I want to be with forever, and we’ll be creating our own traditions. Which will mainly consist of eating and drinking a ton.

Maybe it’s not so different after all….

What kind of plans do you guys have for Thanksgiving? What kind of traditions do you have? Who has an amazing sangria recipe??

Until Later, gobble gobble gobble!

Introducing the Elephant

“When there’s an elephant in the room, introduce him”
-Randy Pausch

I love this quote and I thought it was a great way to introduce my plan for re-vamping this blog. As I said before, I’ve done a lot of growing in the past year. The biggest growth I’ve had is that I have come to terms with who I am, and become okay with it. That’s huge! It’s only taken 24 years, but that’s a start right? Anyways, here is me introducing my elephant in the room.
It happens to be rainbow colored.

It’s a rainbow elephant, because I am gay. I know, a rainbow joke? Really Celeste?! You’re trying to become a serious writer and here you are going for the obvious joke.

Yes, I went for it. Yes, I’m always going to make that joke. Yes, I am talking to myself. Moving on:

I’ve known this about myself for a long time, and for a long time i tried to suppress it. But as I also said, I’ve fallen in love with someone who’s given me the courage to be authentic and be myself. This hasn’t been an easy process, and at some point there will probably be a post on the journey in itself. But, for now, know that my goal for this blog is to talk about my journey in hopes of reaching others. It’s scary for me to reach out, but it’s even scarier to think about not reaching at all. I hope you reach back and share your thoughts with me! Part of my learning experience has been listening to others, and now I’d like to contribute mine. I’ll be talking about big influences in my life, and answering any questions that come my way.

This is also the point where you may realize that this is a blog that you don’t want to follow. That’s okay. You may also realize you don’t want to follow me. That’s okay too. Just as long as we’re talking about on social media, cause stalking ain’t cool y’all. So if that’s the case, then i wish you a happy journey to other blogs. But if you’re interested in my journey, I invite you to read my ramblings, and I’ll read yours. I can already feel a sigh of relief as I write this. Growing up in the deep south, i was always told being gay made me different, but i soon realized it made me brave. Now, I realize that being gay didn’t make me brave; i made myself brave. 

Sometimes, I try to be deep, and I fail miserably. But I promise all the time to be real.

I’ll be posting more soon, and can’t wait to hear from y’all!

-Celeste

 

The Prodigal Condo

Well, I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but….the condo is finished.

Like, actually finished. Like it has a floor now. On Friday, the miracle worker arrived at my house and when I went by after work, there it was….and there he was. He may have been covered in tattoos, but he might as well been Jesus Christ himself. It was all I could do not to have a mental breakdown in front of J.C., but I did. I cried for a lot of reasons. Mainly for the stress of everything that has happened over the last two months. And for the sheer joy of knowing that the laminate that’s been sitting in boxes for two weeks was finally on the floor. So I’ve spent the weekend actually living in my condo, and attempting to move giant furniture around. It’s been exhausting, but it finally feels like mine. Like I actually live here. And I realized something, that as awful as the renovation process has been, it was exactly what I needed. I needed a distraction, something to take away from everything that has gone wrong in the past two months. A lot changed. I’m not at all where I thought I’d be, but I think that’s a good thing. I have a full time job, I’m attempting to be a homeowner, and for the first time, I feel like an adult. Because here is what I’ve discovered, the universe is a confusing and at times infuriating. It doles out things we can’t even imagine, and expects us to take it and run with it. And like the change-phobic creatures we are, we cringe at this. We stomp our feet, and we cry and we cross our arms. Or maybe that’s just me…. Anyways, what I’ve discovered is that the universe always has a plan. Sometimes it takes a couple curve balls, and an awful looking condo, and feeling miserable for two months to realize it, but eventually you realize that it was necessary change. I was comfortable, but was I happy? No, definitely not. I think the cosmic forces out there saw that, and they dragged me kicking and screaming into a new phase of life that has shown me that you are ultimately your own hero. As Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids put it, “you are your own problem, but you’re also your own solution”. So, in honor of all this I have attached pictures of the prodigal condo so that you can see that I haven’t made all of this up and that the struggle was very much real.

Living room/kitchen

Living room/kitchen

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So there you go….proof! There are also two bedrooms, but they are currently filled with stuff and look like an episode of hoarders. It’s hard to believe that it all has actually come together. I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in the struggles and the processes of attaining the things we want that when they actually happen we don’t know what to do. I spent so much time on this condo, and now it’s here. Sometimes I find myself scratching my head and thinking…well what next? The truth is, I think the thought of not knowing what comes next is scary to everyone. I know it is to me. But I also think we don’t give ourselves credit enough for getting to where we are now. It’s okay to not know what will happen next, but it’s not okay to discredit your current journey. Whatever cosmic force that you believe in, just know that it has a plan for you, and that it’s going to work out. And trust me, I am not saying this to be all knowing…I’m saying it also so that I may believe and apply these principles. I don’t know where I’m going. I’m almost 23 (on this upcoming Friday!), single, and working my first full time job. Did I think I’d be here 3 months ago? Absolutely not. But am I glad to be here now? Absolutely. I think the divine forces that govern us have a way of throwing us the necessary curve balls to alter out paths to where there supposed to be. But we’re all going to get there, and it’s all going to be okay. So, I think today we all deserve to pat ourselves on the back and be grateful that we’re heading exactly to where we’re supposed to be.

Update

So, for my fan base (ha! jokes) here is an update on why I have been so MIA the past week or two. I’m writing this from the seven circles of condo hell. To be it delicately, shit has hit the fan. Or should I say floor in this case? From my last post, you know that only half of my living room/kitchen has flooring on it right now. The remaining part of the kitchen and dining room are a dusty, bare concrete slab.

Yeah, minimalist was not quite what I was going for with that. The other horrible discovery I have made about my kitchen floor is that it is extremely uneven, and therefore unsuitable for laying laminate on top of. Of course, my contractor said: “I can fix that”. But unlike the man from the movie Holes, he could NOT fix it. But he thought he could. Because what we do when we don’t know how to do something? We do it anyways, and hope no one calls us out on it. But floor shouldn’t be included in this rule. So, my contractor laid down what he believed would fix the floor. And Lowes came back out to install the floors. And funny thing, they couldn’t put the laminate down STILL because the floor wasn’t relevant. So my contractor said “I can fix that”. But again, unlike a la Holes, he couldn’t fix that. What he should’ve said was “I can make that even worse”. Because he laid more of the leveling product and Lowes made a third trip. And now, I can’t get a call from Lowes without getting a PTSD flashback, because surprise they still couldn’t put down the laminate.

This was the point where the humanity in me shriveled up and died. This was also when I fired my contractor, threatened to inter him in my bare kitchen floor, and promptly drank a bottle of wine. But, can it get worse?

….Oh yes it can! Because what’s worse than not have a floor? Having your furniture arrive because you assumed you’d have a floor by now. Silly girl. So yes, my furniture showed up, and is now promptly stacked on the section of my condo that has floor. My stove is unhooked and sitting in my living room, and my fridge is beside it. So I have spent most of time crying and having contractor after contractor come and stare at my kitchen and scratch their heads. However, there might be light at the tunnel because my new contractor is supposed to have my floor in by Friday. Which is great, because my washer and dryer are supposed to come in on Saturday. And I’d really like to have a floor to put them on. I’m really not enjoying my only option for clothes washing being Oh Brother, where are thou style in the pond behind the condo. Hopefully the next post I write will be in a happier state of mind, and I will have crawled out of the pits of condo purgatory. Because I’m not happy at the moment, and I’m running out wine and clean clothes.

-Celeste

Condo Dust

So…good news everybody!! My condo is almost finished! YAY! Not that I don’t love living on a deserted island…

Actually, I like living out here a lot. I’m quite unsocial. And being out here allows me to talk to no one while drinking all the wine i can guzzle. It’s an introvert’s dream.

But, they finally installed my counter tops and carpets and the laminate…

Oh, wait. Because it wouldn’t be a renovation if something didn’t go horribly wrong.

This is the story of linoleum, and the dark secrets it hides.

In my tiny, glorious condo, the kitchen and utility room are covered with linoleum. Now, I have yet to see good-looking linoleum, and this does not help that case much. It’s yellow, it’s peeling, and it’s ugly. So my grown up ass decided it had to go.

But little did I know, the linoleum wouldn’t go down without a fight.

SO. When I first decided that I was going to replace the nasty linoleum with beautiful new laminate (because I’m on a budget, after all!) the man came out to measure my condo. I showed him the nasty linoleum, and even had him get down on its level, and inspect it.

“No,” he told me, “we can just lay the laminate over it”

And like a naive, 22 year old…i believed him.

So, today, the day when my condo was supposed to become livable and my little 22 year old dreams were supposed to come true…they didn’t.

I knew it was bad when my contractor even refused to tell me the news. The Cathy had to tell me that my linoleum, which suddenly became too uneven to lay laminate on, had been ripped up and under it a horrible secret.

A body? You ask? No….

Water damage. And this water damage has to be patched. And that means my laminate couldn’t be installed. So this has left me with half my condo laminated, half concrete, and a fridge and stove in my living room.

So I stood in my half finished condo today, attempting to hang shower curtains and not inhale the pounds of dust that have magically accumulated from all the renovations. And I’m not referring to regular dust, but a fine white powder dust. I’m not sure where it comes from, but every time I leave the condo, I look like I’ve just rolled around in a pound of cocaine. So I stood on my step stool (because I am as tall as a Keebler elf) trying to hang these shower curtains, and cursing the linoleum that now lay in large chucks in my living room.

“What do you want us to do with it?”

“Leave it,” I growled through my teeth, “I want it to suffer”

But I stood up there, mentally cursing everything that had gone wrong that day. And having the poise of a mini horse, I lost my balance, fell off the step stool, and landed on my ass in the middle of the bathroom. And up went a cloud of dust that resembled the mushroom cloud of Nagasaki.

So I sat on my ass in the dust, and this was when I realized something. I had been bitching all day about how things had not gone according to plan. But I had been so busy doing that, that I forgot to remember:

This is my condo. I bought this. ME.

This dust bowl was my creation, and in the midst of all the dust, it was important to remember that and to know that eventually this would be finished. It took something going wrong in my day to make me realize all that had gone right. Weird, right? I think we all do this. I think we all get caught up in the dust that seems to settle around us. Because dust represents details, and it’s easy to get so caught up in them that you lose sight of what’s under the dust. Under the dust is actual stuff, under the dust is our lives, and under the dust is my condo. The good thing about dust is that you can wipe it away, and it’s easily changed. Details can change, and if you’re as crazy as I am, you hate this. But to my knowledge, this is how life works, and unfortunately we just have to accept that we are always going to be dusting. It’s realizing that there is stuff under the dust, and this stuff is important.

That sounded deep, and almost like I know what I’m talking about. Weird.

-Celeste

My Tattoed Angel

This is a story about redemption.

Just kidding, that did sound really epic though. This is a story about how I went to Lowes and realized that being an independent woman is a tough business. But I was a woman on a mission: tonight I was going to get all the lighting for the condo. I knew what I needed, I had my handy list in hand, and I had brought my can-do attitude. If you can’t tell, I was also jacked up on some Starbucks.

You can do this Celeste. You are an independent woman who doesn’t need anybody’s help! You have a job, you just bought a condo…. (And yes, I am aware that I’m actually talking to myself, but sometimes you need a pep talk. And I have no one to give me these pep talks. Like I said, being I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T is tough stuff)

In retrospect, I should’ve added, “has the wing-span of a t-rex” to this list.

I went into the Lowes with my can-do spirit, and grabbed myself a cart and was off to the races. Now, here is what I learned immediately:

1. the carts they give you at Lowes are impossibly small compared to the size of the boxes their products come in.

2. Lowes is a horrible place to go if you’re single.

Immediately, I noticed the hordes of couples that swarm through Lowes. It’s like a giant breeding ground of newlyweds. And they’re all nesting. Cue mocking voice that I frequently use:

“Oh honey, which faucet should we get? Should we get this one, or this other one that looks exactly the same? Oh look, a single person. Let’s be super in love all over the place”

…if you couldn’t tell, I’m a bit of a pessimist at times.

But while everyone else in Lowes was busy being in love, I was trying to bench press the four fans I needed into the cart that must’ve been made for a Barbie. But I was clinging hard to my independent woman mentality.

Nope, I don’t need any help. I am woman hear me roar-oh GOD why is this so heavy?! I had thrown my proverbial bra into the flames, but was starting to regret that decision. I was doing my best to be a strong lady,  but as strong as my intentions were, they simply overpowered my noodle-like arms.

So there I was, sweating, and grunting in the Lowes. The Lowes Gods did finally answer my prayers; however, and it was then that I heard the voice of my guardian angel.

“Do you need some help, ma’am?”

No, I love the feeling of my ribs puncturing my lungs. YES I NEED-

But when I turned around, there he was. There stood my guardian angel, 6 feet tall and covered in tattoos. But he was standing next to a flat bed cart, and to me he had wings and a halo.

I was at an impasse. Part of me wanted to stamp my feet, proclaim my independence against the tyranny of Lowes and its haven of newlyweds. But, the other part of me wanted that man to wheel all my boxes to the car with me on top of it.

Life Lesson Time: sometimes, you just need help. You can be as independent as you want, but sometimes you need a hand…and longer arms.

So I took my tattooed angel up on his offer, and he even summoned his tattooed cherubs to help me with the rest of the lighting to my car. So I walked beside the heavenly Hell’s Angels and thanked them as they loaded everything into my car. I left Lowes with a renewed sense of humility. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re dependent or needy. Maybe it makes you more independent to admit when you just need help. Either way, my tattooed angel taught me an important lesson: if you need help, ask.

Or maybe just hijack a flatbed cart when you get in the door.

-Celeste