bum·plum just an ordinary girl | who dreams of extraordinary things

Sometimes it’s just not meant to be

I have a bone to pick with you, J. Cole.

Two years ago, you did a college tour-type thing and performed at two venues relatively close to me. To one concert I was available to go and had friends to go with, but then alas the plan fell through. Then, inexplicably, one of those friends ended up going anyway (though not entirely her fault, sometimes still like to tease her about betrayal). Whatevs, I thought back then.

Last year, you did the Dollar and a Dream tour and came back to Chicago in June. My friend and her brother were able to secure spots in line at your secret venue, House of Blues, but because I was not physically with them at the time (having been stuck in Lincoln Park) I was unable to secure own wristband for entry. It was a traumatic day for me, to say the least (although entirety of trauma not your fault, was just mere cherry on top).

This year, I was determined to see you in concert more than ever. You were slated to come to Chicago on this day, July 21, and I even took the day off from work. But alas, the friend with whom I was to go to your Dollar and a Dream II concert with became quite ill and when spoke to her on phone this morning, she sounded rough. So again, I had to resign to the fact that I would yet again miss one of your performances.

Why, Jermaine, is fate torturing me in this manner? Am I never meant to see you perform in person, like, ever?

My life right now in five bullet points

Lists are fucking everywhere these days. Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, everywhere. They’re getting quite annoying. And headlines these days! Everything’s gotta be composed of “10 Things That Will Blow Your Mind” or something similar. I’m over it, people. Please stop posting them all over my News Feed.

Anyway, to be a complete hypocrite I’m going to compose a list of my own here. Pardon me.

  • I have no money. It’s really starting to feel like it. I don’t know how this came about. I blame my family, I blame the world, I blame myself. Bills, loans, car payments, etc. Believe me when I say I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten most of my spending under control. I don’t shop anymore. I try limiting my expenditures when I go out, ever since I blew $120 in one night at American Junkie. But alas I still feel like I’m drowning.
  • I’m getting quite obsessed with Iggy Azalea. I don’t know why she fascinates me so much. Maybe it’s the Australian thing. Her voice can get a little annoying, but I love the way she says “I hate you so much” on “Black Widow.”
  • I’m rereading Bridget Jones’s Diary for the umpteenth time, just because. One of my co-workers teasingly joked that women only read it when they’re depressed though. Huh.
  • But I’m not bored. A couple of months ago I felt like my life was in despair, empty and hollow. Now I’ve replaced it with alcohol and random shenanigans with people. Because of that, I haven’t been able to work on my list of “Life Things to Work On” (a list name I just came up with right now). Kind of feeling in despair over that, but at least I’m having fun. Over the next week I have the following: overdue reunion with my old college roommate who’s just returned from Israel, girls night out planned for in the city on Saturday, HOPEFULLY seeing J. Cole on Monday for his Dollar and a Dream 2014 tour (for ya’ll who don’t know, they’re $1 shows at an undisclosed location, first come first served…so gonna have to get with it on Monday!), actually seeing Beyoncé and Jay Z (meaning I’ve got tickets) at Soldier Field next Thursday, and then flying off to Baltimore to visit my other old college roommate. WHEW.
  • Too lazy to come up with a fifth bullet point. I’m done.

Good night.

The Five-Year Plan

I’ll never forget something an old friend said nearly four years ago while we were studying abroad in Costa Rica (has it really been that long?!). We were in Tortuguero, this lovely little town on the Caribbean coast. In fact, the “hotel” we stayed at was so isolated, we had to take little boats to get there and at night on the beach everything would look nearly pitch black because there was just NOTHING else around. Except for the massive sea turtles that would come in from the ocean to lay their eggs. But that’s another story.

Shortly after witnessing said spectacle of turtle nesting, a couple of friends and I were lounging on the beach, sitting on logs, drinking, and enjoying the night. I still remember the moon shining so brightly, you didn’t need lights or electricity around to make you feel alive. Those were the days before smartphones too, and none of us had brought any such devices to the beach that night. That’s when someone said, “Hey guys…so, like, what’s your five-year plan?”

We all stared at him in amusement. Five years? As in…the next five years? (Remember that we were broke college students spending a semester in a completely foreign country, with no desire to even look past the next five months!) “Uh, well, I’m already almost done with my five-year plan,” said one girl, who was in her fifth and final year at the university.

“Do you mean like, for life?” I said (or maybe someone else did).

“Yeah. Like, last summer before this I worked at this one hospital and they said when I come back if I want to work for them again I like, totally can,” he said. “Might go start with them after graduation.”

I remember feeling aghast at this statement. Jobs after school? I mean, yeah we go into college with the full intentions of obtaining such jobs, but who was thinking about things like that when salsa dancing was to be had, and yummy rice and beans to be eaten, and NESTING SEA TURTLES TO WATCH AND PLAY WITH. I certainly wasn’t.

But ever since then I always think of that one friend with the five-year plan whenever I have to think about my own. Does anyone else ever find five-year life plans to be useless, pointless maybe? I love them and I hate them. They always seem to change on me every single year, making the subsequent planned five years invalid and having to make room for a different set of plans. Hell, at this rate they’re changing every five months.

Before this month I had formulated a solid plan: I was going to rethink all my finances and get my money savings habits in order. I was done traveling—after all, I’d just been to Germany, France, Morocco, Spain, England, and wherever else before. I had hit off the major places on my bucket list, so there was no need to be hasty and jet off somewhere I have no intense, burning desire to go to. I was going to get back to this blogging/website business again, and build things up so they can get going properly once more. I was trying to be more active—this year I started rock climbing again and doing all sorts of exercises that the boyfriend (old manfriend? ex-person? I’ve no words to label him at the moment) had taught me. I had all these bloody plans in mind.

Sadly, admittedly, I feel they’ve all gone out the window once I got dumped. I hate to be one of those girls, one of those sappy depressing girls, but I have to admit that I feel a little thrown off. While my five-year plan certainly did not involve marriage or kids or any of those freaky grown-up things that many people on my Facebook feed appear to be engaging in a lot lately, it did kind of hinge on the idea that he would be a steady presence in my life and for that I wanted to say home, here in Chicago. And now that he no longer is such a steady presence in my life, I all of a sudden feel ungrounded, loose, and without true ambition. I honestly have no idea what to work toward right now. Nothing is coming out on top, telling me to “FOLLOW THIS PATH!!”

Is this what they call that quarter-life crisis?

Not a bad thing…or is it?

The following is a blog entry I started in mid-April…the draft’s been sitting in the queue for a while, so I thought I’d finish it before going on to the real juicy stuff you’ll soon see at the end:

So you know how in my last post I didn’t have any travel plans yet for 2014? Yeah, about a week after that I ended up booking a trip to Puerto Rico with my boyfriend and a couple of our friends. Then a month after that we set off for the commonwealth.

It was a grand ol’ time — went to the beach, rode ATVs, hiked through a rainforest, fought quite a few times Jersey Shore-style, got bit up ridiculously by who knows what kind of bugs, and made friends with a few iguanas.

Relaxing at the beach With my new iguana friend

I also completely blew through my money. After spending so much for my cousin’s wedding in January, I swore to be more frugal. Yeah, that went down the drain when I spent a week on vacation in March and also had to give my mom money for the Philippines when she had to go home a couple months ago for my grandfather’s funeral (he died late February).

The other big reason I’ve blown through my cash? Well in Puerto Rico we stayed at the Gran Meliá resort, where I had some of the best sleep of my life. It may be that my regular bed at home was just that shitty (it’s more than 20 years old, used to belong to my aunt, and was constantly giving me back pains), or the beds at the resort were just that great. But anyway, after returning home the crappy sleep I was having again seemed crappier than before. So I dragged my mom to the mall and went mattress shopping. There I made my first real big girl purchase (since my car in 2011 at least) — a full-sized “plush” mattress complete with a pillowtop!

It was a real impulse buy by my standards; I totally went into the store not knowing what the heck to look for or what my budget was. With discounts and everything the mattress came to around $850 that I am now paying off monthly. How has it been so far? Well the first couple of nights were magical. I slept like a baby and woke up not feeling sore at all! Moreover, I was able to actually jump out of bed like a normal human being instead of wallowing around with my face in the pillows hitting snooze after snooze. But alas, a month has now passed and I’m back to my lazy ways where it takes one-plus hour for me to get out of bed in the mornings. Perhaps I’m doomed that way.

Now for the real news. Why is it big important stuff? Well because as I previously mentioned, the grand vacation I took to Puerto Rico a couple months ago was with someone I called my boyfriend. And well, now, he’s not anymore. Yes that’s right ladies and gentleman — I got dumped. My heart broken. Whatever you call it. Not to get all emotional here, but since it’s been only one week since said dumping, my mind is still in a bit of a shamble. I guess you can say I really am growing up. Now I’ve got my first real grown-up breakup under my belt. Not sure it’s one of those things I’m proud of. But that is the numero uno cosa on my mind today.

Cheers. =\

Bonjour, nouvelle année

It’s week 4 of 2014 and I came to the realization recently that this is the first year in a while that I do not already have vacation plans set. Last year when 2013 started I had a flight to London firmly booked and plans in motion for the Eurotrip I did last fall. In 2012, my girl friends and I were set to go to Costa Rica. In 2011, well, I was just fresh off studying abroad so I didn’t necessarily have plans per se going into the year, but I ended up going to the Philippines for half a month in the summer so that was something. But nope, this year I have nothing. (Mind you, a long time ago I set the goal of going to Brazil for the World Cup this summer. Alas, I fear I do not have the funds nor the traveling companions to do so, so I’ve unfortunately let the plan go.) Strangely enough, I feel completely fine about it. It’s kind of a relief to go into a year with nothing major planned. No trips, no weddings to stand up in, nothing. I feel I’m free to spend my money now however which way I want to (which I guess means thinking of more spontaneous trips to go on! LOL). Or, rather, I can now take the time to rein my spending in and really figure out what to do with my big-girl money, because it’s been three years since graduating college and I should probably slow down on the “I’m young wild and free” mentality. Right?

So what have I been doing with my time? For one thing, I’ve been slowly putting up grown up decor around my room to make it seem less like a 12-year-old’s (my boyfriend had been making fun of me for having a poster of the Seven Dwarfs from the Disney movie hanging on my wall). I’ve now got a couple of souvenir prints of Barcelona and Paris up, and a calendar from Paris also hanging. Funny how much in love with Paris I am now, and how much I don’t really admit it to people. Everyone knows me as the Anglophile and that London is sometimes my favorite city in the whole world (it alternates with Chicago, of course). And everyone knows that Anglophiles are not into the romantic French thing like most girls are. For most of my life London was my ideal city, not Paris. I did not like French food, pop culture, the language, the history. And then I went there and secretly fell madly, deeply in love. It just truly is a magical city! I loved London and all last year, it was exactly what I thought it would be, but man oh man Paris just felt more alive when I was there. I blame this wholeheartedly on the fact that the Seine > the Thames. That has to be it.

I’ve also been catching up on my reading. Finally started on Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and I’m loving it so far. It’s really the first book I’ve read that truly intersects the multiple facets of race and immigration. It’s not just about black people and white people. There’s black Americans and blacks from the Caribbean and the “authentic” Africans. And it’s not just about immigrants in America. I love how it offers a comparison of immigrating to America versus to the U.K. All that good stuff.

Man, I should probably stop gushing and just finish reading the book.

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