Wow, I can’t believe it’s been about two months since I posted anything on my blog, Liz’s Logic. I’m kind of disappointed in myself, but I had good reasons to slack. So, let me catch everyone up on the events that occurred during my hiatus from my blog.
I lost my daddy.
Yes, it’s sad and it is still a deep wound at this point, but I’m really getting through it better than I expected. My dad, Ronald Richard Otto, passed in the early morning hours of June 19th, which happened to be father’s day. I didn’t get him a card. And I, unlike my much stronger siblings, chose not to be there and watch him die. Maybe it sounds heartless, but I couldn’t see him like that any more. I want to remember the daddy who raised me until I was 14, not the shell of him that cancer was stringing along until it consumed him completely. My dad isn’t really gone as far as I’m concerned, I know for a fact he lives on in me and I see him in my 2 brothers and both of my sisters whether they see it or not. I pray they do though. Despite his flaws, which we also undoubtedly inherited and learned from, my father taught us how to be bright, critical thinkers. He encouraged us to educate ourselves, instilled in us the importance of not taking anyone’s crap, and helped us see the humor in even the darkest moments. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought of my daddy, but I don’t let it hold me back. I know he wouldn’t want that for me.
I ran off to Denver!
If it were up to me, I would have never left Colorado after the first time I visited because I fell in love with the environment and the culture it has to offer. On the 21st, yes 2 days after my dad passed, I took a road trip with my mom, my stepdad, my fiance, and my niece and nephew to Denver. My stepdad, Lewis, had a business meeting in Denver, so we decided to make a fun time of it. And we did! We spent quality time with each other and enjoyed ourselves. I got to spend time with my niece, Brooklyn, who is 9, and my nephew, Derrick, who’s 10 and I realized how much they both have grown up. It was also wonderful to spend time walking around Downtown Denver with my love, Alex, just taking in the sights and talking about life. We even did our part to help a few homeless men get a meal one night. They were so grateful that one man thanked us with a hug. It felt good to know we got to help them have a better night. While Lewis was at his meeting, my mom took Alex, Brooklyn, Derrick, and me to the Denver zoo. Although it was one of the best parts of the trip and I saw some animals I’ve always wanted to see (hippos and rhinoceroses!) and my favorites (snakes, lizards, frogs, bats, giraffes, and zebras!), I couldn’t help but wish Lexi (Alex’s 4 year old daughter) could have been there with us. Maybe someday we will bring her there with us. Aside from going to the zoo, we ate great food (Hard Rock Cafe, Paramount Cafe, and a killer complimentary breakfast each morning), checked out the souvenir shops on 16th street, and we even all tried Bubble Tea, which in my opinion was different but not bad. The texture of the “bubbles” is a little disconcerting at first, but they didn’t taste bad. It actually had a slight coffee flavor. After a quick Google I discovered that they’re tapioca pearls. I got honeydew flavor and it tasted exactly like the melon! I don’t think Alex and Lewis were very big fans though – Lewis’s face was pretty priceless!
I started a new job.
The funny part about this little change is that it really isn’t a new job! It’s the first long term job I had after I moved to River Falls and I never really wanted to leave, I just didn’t like the commute to Stillwater and the hours (Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. – 3 a.m.) were tough on me physically and mentally. It turns out I’m only a night person if I don’t have to spend that time working! But now, I’m working at the same place, Tylina Foods, except it is now located 20+ minutes closer in Hudson. And, the work is easier now and I like most of the people I work with and I’ve even worked with a handful of the people before, which makes me pretty comfortable and confident with this job. The first two weeks I hit a few bumps and had to miss a few days – the biggest of which is an ongoing issue with our vehicle, something to do with a broken piece that enables it to change gears, but it’s supposed to be an easy fix once we get the part. I am proud of how I’ve handled life’s curve balls and grateful for my supportive and supportive friends, family, and new-ish coworkers that – mostly unknowingly- helped me keep up my moral.
I’m still working on getting my driver’s license.
I know, I know! You can’t believe I’m 23 and still don’t have my license! I’d say it wasn’t for a lack of trying, but the truth is I didn’t bother trying for years. After the first time I took my test, when I was a senior in high school, I refused to drive at all for years. I wouldn’t even back a car up and move it until I was almost 22. Over this past year I’ve forced myself to get comfortable behind the wheel, because I need to and I have no legitimate reason not to. I’ve never been in any kind of car accidents or anything, I just felt anxious about the other people on the road. But my mom and a couple other people reminded me that there are far less capable people than me that drive every single day and I decided to set my mind to liberating myself by getting my license. Now, this will be the third try since May and my fourth time overall, but I scheduled this next test for my home town, so I’m fairly confident that I’ll pass this time. If I don’t I’ll laugh rather than cry, because I know I’ll try again and again until I do pass the damned test! I feel like getting my license will open my world up to new possibilities and progress towards my hopes and dreams.
My health is a roller coaster as always.
Those of you who have known me for a long time may know I’ve had health problems most of my life. I was born with RSV, which apparently screwed my immune system up for life. I manage to avoid major illnesses most of the time, and I’ve nearly conquered my migraines and I have my mental heath issues damn near in check. My current predicament is that I may have some sort of auto-immune disease, causing me to have unprovoked aches and pains and fatigue. I’ve been doing tests and x-rays since May and I am hopeful it’s something manageable, like rheumatoid arthritis, or nothing at all. Whatever the case, I am eager to get to dealing with treating it rather than waiting around for a diagnosis. Plus, it would be nice to not be sore all the time. I’m too young to feel this worn!
I have multiple stories in the works.
I want to be a published author someday, but that’s never going to happen if I leave the stories that come to me in my head. I have 4 short stories, two of which I want to turn into novels, and many poems and opinion pieces that I’m proud of – although no less shy about sharing. But eventually I will share them with you guys. Maybe an excerpt from something I know is going somewhere… I’m still deciding which I’m most confident in. I have to do a lot of rereading, rewriting, and rethinking to make sure the stories are told just right. My poem’s don’t usually get too much rigorous editing because those usually come to me in bursts and I feel it’s more authentic and meaningful to share them the way they flowed out of my pen in the first place. I clean up the spelling and cadence of all my poems, maybe change the rhyme or clarify a phrase, but I try to leave them structurally and conceptually the same. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the writing I have shared with you all and I look forward to sharing more of it.
What to watch for.
Aside from my creative writing, I also intend to explore more journalistic projects. One thing I want to do is resume my Slasher Sundays column and post monthly updates like this one. I am also brainstorming a title for a column I’d like to do where I interview up and coming artists I know and have followed. “Match up ‘n’ Catch up,” “Listen up with Liz,” or something catchy. I’m open to suggestions! And, if you believe you’re one of my wonderfully talented musician friends I’m referencing, let me know if you’re open to doing an interview. I already have a list of potential interviewees and tons of topic ideas and I’m still looking more of both!
Well, thanks again to those of you who read my blog! I’ll be moving towards the end of next month, but I will do my best to consistently write and post. In the mean time, send me questions, comments, suggestions, or topic ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below. Until next time, stay safe – it’s a wicked, wicked world out there!