Back from the dead (my laptop, that is)

I’m not really quite sure how to describe the past few months of my life. Certainly there have been a lot of ups and downs. Overwhelming whirlwinds. A roller coaster of emotions, experiences, and everything else. You get the gist. Since I last blogged, I:

  • Turned 24. Made my boyfriend take me to Navy Pier, friends came out to celebrate, family took me to Joe’s Crab Shack like I requested. It was a good birthday overall. (Do I sound spoiled and like a princess there? Oh dear…)
  • Had a lot of things happen at work. Not sure how to phrase them, but August and September were crazy months at the office. I was in and out for a variety of reasons, projects piled on like crazy, and the stress became so overwhelming in the weeks before my Eurotrip. At a tradeshow in Chicago literally the week before I flew out, the AC adapter for my laptop frizzed out. My laptop became unusable since it’s nearly four years old and the battery has degenerated into a piece of shit. In fact, today was the day a new adapter arrived and I’m actually typing on my computer for the first time in a month (in fact, it’s largely a reason why I hadn’t blogged since August). I had waited until coming back from my trip to order a new one, since what would have been the point to order it and have it arrive when I wasn’t even home?
  • Speaking of, I went on a Eurotrip. In the grand scheme of things, it was an amazing time. However, I will admit that every day was a struggle. There were a few days that I felt extremely low. So much so, I had a profound breakdown at the airport in Casablanca, Morocco. Couldn’t stop crying for about a good 12 hours. But no, I can not say that it was a terrible experience. It was something I’m glad I did in the end. After all, how often do you get photo opps like this one?

    A neat view of the Eiffel Tower

    I will have to go into detail about my two weeks traveling through Europe another time. You’re probably wondering what the hell was wrong with me and why was I crying for 12 hours at the airport. Actually, I’m still wondering that too.

  • Came home from Europe to find a life full of…nothing. No friends, no plans, no real activity. Just a boyfriend who works undesirable hours because of his job (police officer) and therefore have been unable to hang out with him as much as I would like. I think this is the bullet that is making me feel rather low again. As much as I love (yikes, I just said that out loud here) my man, a girl needs girl friends. And right now I am feeling rather lacking of such things. I can’t be venting mundane womanly items to him all the time. That’s just cruel.

London calling

In less than 24 hours, I will (hopefully, if there aren’t any pesky delays) be on a plane headed for London. All by myself.

I will venture onto the Tube and head to my hostel. All by myself.

I will wander around the city, look for food, do touristy things. All by myself.

My parents don’t really know this. I have a good friend who lives in England, but as she is a busy flight attendant I’m not sure she’d have time to come see me. So all in all, I will be by myself. I’m scared, terrified, excited, and so ready at the same time.

Some people understand and are excited for me. Some people don’t get it. Who knows.

But as is my nature, I have less than 24 hours to go until lift off. I’m barely packed, my hair is wet, and I am not as prepared as I’d like to be.

Fuck alla that. I’m going to bed!

Signs I am getting old

I went on a Groupon-searching spree tonight. I never had much interest in the site until recently, and today I went digging for…facial and massage services. I know, it’s not that big a deal, but as someone who’d always prided herself on NOT needing “that fancy crap” I’m slowly eating my words now. I haven’t bought any Groupons yet, but there’s a couple of nice $35 deals I have my eyes on that I will likely buy come Friday. I’m trying really hard to keep my body in better shape and condition (not just fitness-wise, but healthy-wise mentally and physically and all that jazz), so I’ll just have to suck it up and start going to these things like a normal grown woman should.

Other signs I’m getting old? Well today I started really planning out my London trip—namely, looking for places to stay. I found a nice chain of hostels and have been debating between staying in the more “party” hostel or the quieter female-only one. Oh, what the heck, I’m not really debating because I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with female-only hostel. It just sounds safer, and since I will likely be sojourning solo, safer sounds a lot better than more fun. Scary thing is, I know the me from 2.5 years ago would be like, “What are you THINKIN’?!” and the present me just wants to flick her off. I don’t want to end up like those girls in Taken-esque movies!

Sign #3 I’m getting old: I started browsing Macys.com for bridesmaids dresses. My cousin is getting married in a year, and she put me in semi-charge. So I did my duty tonight and started browsing. I’m practically salivating at the sight of so many pretty dresses. I hope more of my friends start getting married soon because this is fun!

London calling

Wow. No idea how it is I let more than a month slip by like that. Makes me feel like November was quite exciting when in fact, it was…well, maybe it was.

Thinking about it, I was stressed out a lot in October. So I drank a lot to counter it. Not a good thing, I know, but it was always with friends at least, and during social situations. Although the time I threw up in my kitchen after a girls’ night in my basement did make me really reconsider my consumption habits. But any rate, after Halloween I was determined to A.) Stop drinking so much, and B.) Stop wasting gas and money driving to the city all the time. And it worked…for about 3.5 weeks. During that time I finally read This Is How You Lose Her and re-watched all my favorite Colin Firth movies (mainly Bridget Jones and The King’s Speech—oh, and Girl With A Pearl Earring!). I also started on NW by Zadie Smith and did some housecleaning.

Perhaps the biggest news I have to share from November is that I’m finally, actually, really going to London! (Yes, that sentence warranted some serious bolding and italicizing.) The decision was, mainly, spontaneous. I was surfing travel websites as usual and came across some decent $824 round-trip fares in March. Thought, why the heck not? So I booked. Four nights in the city I have dreamt about going to (with a passion) since high school. At the moment I’m going completely alone, since I cannot seem to find friends who have the money and desire to go with me. They either don’t have the money and want to go, or do have the money but don’t want to go. What a dilemma. But I don’t mind going alone. I’m seeing this trip as a complete and total solo adventure.

I also haven’t told my parents about this trip yet. Pretty sure my father would have a heart attack if I told him I was going to a foreign city all by myself for a few days—for fun. It was different when I flew into Manchester for work. This time…I have no plan. Hence, I kind of do want to find a traveling companion. If only to alleviate the pain of the lectures I’m sure to get once I share the news with my parents.

Only…four more months! Aahhhhhhh.

Oh how things have changed

My mood has gotten much better. Sometimes all it takes is a real good cry. It’s like when you’re hungover as hell—all you need to do is throw up and everything feels improved.

‘Course, it helps when your job decides to send you on a last-minute business trip…to England! Yep, that’s what I’m doing today. Flying out to the U.K. tonight, then coming back to Chicago on Friday. I literally found this out only a few days ago. But hey, I’m not complaining. In fact, when you consider that England is my dream destination, and that I’ve been dreaming of it since high school, this turns out to be a very happy situation indeed.

And in light of all this, one thing I’ve had to start researching is frequent flyer/miles rewards programs. This will be the third time I’m flying American Airlines this year, and the travel agent who booked me on this Manchester flight highly recommended I enroll in AAdvantage. Which I did. But it sucks because they won’t apply mileage credit for flights flown when not enrolled at the time. So those trips to Costa Rica and Miami I took earlier this year? Ineligible.

But you see…the reason why I absolutely detest these programs and why I don’t rush to join them is because they’ve just been so unreliable and unhelpful to me! Before 2010 I think I had only flown somewhere about twice in my whole life. When I studied abroad in Costa Rica two years ago, I took US Airways. I signed up for their Dividend Miles program, and now my balance of 4,694 miles is due to expire in a few days because of inactivity. So those are going to waste. Last year my family and I flew Delta Airlines to go to the Philippines. When flying home, the flight attendant handed me an enrollment form for their SkyMiles program. My mom encouraged it, and since I knew she’d gotten free tickets before just for her two previous trips to the Philippines (flying there is a shit ton of miles), I signed up. But lo and behold, they never credited my flight to the Philippines and back, and my balance there right now is only a measly 500 miles just for signing up.

Just thinking about these stupid things is making me annoyed again. OK, must stop and continue packing.