Take what you want and leave the rest.
I just went to an al-anon meeting and feel all sorts of loose and light and balanced and hopeful and quite emotional. I don't mind he emotional part, I think it's part of the package with al-anon. I was so moved by my experience that I called my mom and dad to just say hello because I was actually in a good mood. I can't remember the last time I called them when I was in a good mood. Probably in 2008. Maybe. I even had the nerve to ask my mom if she ever went to al-anon when my brother was alive. She said she went to one meeting, but she was in too much denial and pain from the situation that she wasn't ready for it. I wasn't surprised. I think she could really benefit from it today, but that's up to her to decide.

I'm so grateful for being in a place where I am able to accept this program into my life. It helps me relate better to Eric and be less critical and controlling about what he's doing and feeling (I was HORRIBLE with that).  It's teaching me to 'detach with love' and allow Eric to do what he needs to do and be ok with it. It allows me to take care of myself and what I need. That's something that was completely left in the dark for a long time. I feel that with this program and going to the meetings that I'm rediscovering who I am and I'm learning more about who I am at the same time. I'm getting a sense for what my boundaries are and I'm actually ok with those boundaries. I'm gaining perspective on what I went through growing up that I don't think I ever would have been able to see without the program. I still would have been stuck in my negative thinking and wondering 'why she said this' or 'he did that' or 'why does she have to act that way'. I wouldn't have been able to realize that my parents did the best that they could and I can't continue to blame them for the way that I react and feel about things that happen to me. The way I react and feel is up to me. No one else. It's amazing. Truly amazing. I never would have thought that I would be involved in a spiritual program. I totally buy everything it teaches me because I believe it's all so fucking true. I don't have to worry about everything so much. I don't have to go to every fight I'm invited to. I can say no. I have a choice. I have a voice. It's fucking great.

I spoke in my meeting tonight about serenity and how it's a completely new concept to me. I mentioned my family life growing up as well and talked about my brother. It's funny how I never really though of him as an alcoholic or an addict growing up, but as I look back and remember him and his behavior, I know that's what he was. I'm not sure if my mom sort of overreacted to his drinking and drugging.....and I'll never be able to know one way or the other.....but he was a sick person. I always thought that Eric was the first addict to come into my life. But I was wrong. Tom was. I grew up with one and didn't even know it because my mom protected me from all the chaos and kept me on the outside of all the problems in the home. The old me would sit here and feel sorry for myself and be angry and resentful at my mom for making me feel the way I did all those years. The new me realizes that all of those feelings and events are in the past. They're done. There's nothing I can do to change them. The new me knows that all I have is today. A small block of 24 hours that are mine. The new me is only wondering what she's going to do with today. I don't do that all the time...I'm new to all the concepts and I'm trying to retrain my brain....but I'm remembering that today is all that I have more often than I was before and I'm grateful as hell for that. It helps me keep ahold of my serenity. I don't want anything to jeopardize that.

Good-bye 2009 you bitch
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before? Stopped working for the Papettis

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't make any resolutions last year. None for this year yet. There might be some coming soon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Not that I'm aware of, no.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, although Jason Muzzey's mom passed away, but I wasn't close to her, just him. That made me sad.

5. What countries did you visit? None

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? My sense of balance and health would be nice. That feeling is completely gone right now.

7. What date(s) from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 13. My last day at the Papettis

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I achieved nothing in 2009. It was a really terrible year for me.

9. What was your biggest failure? I don't think I truly failed at anything, I just couldn't figure out how to make things work and I have to start moving forward.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I had strep throat in February.

11. What was the best thing you bought? No idea.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My mother's.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My own.

14. Where did most of your money go? To paying bills. That's where all of it goes every single month.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? I got a tiny bit excited for Pumpkn Fest.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? Something from the Wicked soundtrack

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: i. Happier or sadder? Sadder  ii. Thinner or fatter? Hahahaha, what do you think? iii. Richer or poorer? Poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? I wish  had made better decisions.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Crying and worrying

20. How will you be spending Christmas? I spent Christmas in NH with my parents.

21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve? I spent New Year's Ever at home with Eric.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009? Not so much. 

23. How many one-night stands? zero

24. What was your favorite TV program? SYTYCD, Lost, Sons of Anarchy

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I don't hate anyone really. Just estranged.

26. What was the best book you read? Eat, Pray, Love and Under the Dome (I'm still reading that one, but I started it in 2009)

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Lady GaGa.....I know I know

28. What did you want and get? A new phone.

29. What did you want and not get? Financial security.

30. What was your favorite film of this year? Inglorious Basterds, Julie and Julia 

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Went to opening day at Fenway with Eric. I turned 29.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If I could have known then what I know now.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? Hmmmmm...I had a brief stint wearing officey clothes...but that didn't last long....and now that I'm a slave to Harrow's and work 50 hours a week, I stick with jeans, sneakers and a flour and gravy covered Harrow's t-shirt. And I can't forget my fabulous black and red Harrow's hat.

34. What kept you sane? Linda Schiller and my kitties.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I discovered that I love Lady GaGa. Does that count?

36. What political issue stirred you the most? I so totally don't care.

37. Who did you miss? Myself. I've lost a lot of me.

38. Who was the best new person you met? Allysa

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. Be true to yourself I guess

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: "You've got me wondering why I like it rough."

Annie are you ok? Are you ok Annie?
It's now midnight.
Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died yesterday.
It's weird to think that someone I was a fan of my whole life is dead.
I've loved Michael Jackson since I was like 4. I'm entering that age group.
RIP Michael. You were a Smooth Criminal indeed.

I Swallowed a Bug
Oooo boy am I unemployed. I made it through my last week of working for the Papettis without completely losing my mind. It was really hard, which is what I expected. Shoo and I couldn't decide if we should cook for my last night or go out, so we did both. We cooked steak tips and grilled asparagus and these AMAZING potatoes that have sour cream, cheese, cream of chicken soup and crunchy buttery corn flakes as a crust on Thursday night. It was ridiculously yummy and sad. She decided to give me my going away gift on Thursday night because Friday (my last official day) would have been too hard. My gift was a necklace. It has all four kids birthstones on it with their names inscribed on the back of a silver disk. I was speechless and deeply touched. It's such a thoughful and meaningful gesture. She and I cried and hugged and I was so happy and the kids all wanted to see it and talk about it and it was just SO nice of her. I still can't get over it.

On my last day we went to the Cheesecake Factory for my last dinner. It was a lot of fun. The kids were a lot more clingy to me than normal, but no one acted ot of was crying. Shoo and I were the ones who had a touch of the Doom and Gloom. I was so anxious, you know? Just the anticipation and the dread of having to end what has been one of my best life experiences was almost too much to take. But we all made it through and I stayed later than I normally would. Shoo and I had a tearful good-bye and I thanked her for everything that she and Mike did for me and said that i couldn't have asked for a better family to work for and that I loved them all so much and that I would see them again really soon. It was so hard to walk out of their garage that night. But I did my best to keep my chin up and I hopped in my car. I rolled the window down and shouted that I loved them and I left. Sobbing down the road.

I got home that night and Eric was waiting for me outside in the parking lot to greet me. He gave me a big hug and we headed inside where I found a lovely bouquet of flowers and a beautiful card. The card itself had a really nice message, but the one that Eric himself wrote was even better. He told me that he was proud of me for following my heart (something I'm struggling with right now, but I know it was the right decision) and doing what I felt was right. He said that he admired me for being able to do things that he couldn't imagine ever doing (i.e. going to California to be in a relationship and then moving back east when I knew it wasn't working, etc.) and that he was excited for the future. And then he busted out a bottle of champs and champs glasses and we had a toast to the future. It was SO sweet and completely unexpected. It was flabbergasted. Shocked and really touched. He spent a lot of time on it and it's just so comforting to know that he's supportive of my decision. It's going to be tough because of the money, but he's behind me 100%. He's growing up and I love him. A lot.

This not working thing kind of stinks. I have plenty of down time which is something I felt I rarely had while being a nanny. But it's been a week now and it's starting to get old. I apply to about 6 jobs a day. I applied to a staffing aganecy, but so far they haven't called with any temping opportunities annnnd I had an interview today at a dealership for part-time office work and I have another interview on Thursday to work part-time at a place called Massage Envy in which I would be doing some membership sales and reception. It would basically be like Lady of America except more money and comissions. So it's something I totally know how to do.

I'm just really lonely.

Thursday is also the information session at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Coley's going with me. Yay! I'm really nervous and excited about it. Once I go to the info session I'm sending in my application and then I schedule my interview at the school and then about a week or so after that I find out if I got accepted. I'm actually doing this. I'm having a ton of doubt too, but I really think I'm doing what's best for me. I don't usually do that.

Anyways. Off to be lonely and apply to more jobs now.

My precious
Had a really bad day today. Woke up feeling aggravated and irritated, so I decided to clean. The cleaning frustrated me more beause it overwhelmed me and then it all just sort of fell apart at the seams and I crumbled into a puddle of blubbering sobbing, boogery, crying, unable to function for a while Annie. I was finally able to pick myself up, take a shower and make some cinnamon toast cupcakes which Eric said were quite yummy. I felt like I really needed to be doing something that I KNOW I'm good at for a while and it definitely helped me reach the next stage of my depression which is pretty functional.

I just let the transition and feelings of self-loathing and doubt and COMPLETE lack of self confidence get to me. I genuinely hate myself. Daily. And I know we all go through that. Sometimes I think I'll never be able to get past it. I sometimes feel that I've made this huge decision to "do what's right for me" and I want to "figure out my path" but I always feel that I'll never be able to achieve that simply because I'm me. I'm Annie. I always feel that I will never reach my candy coated fantasy dream. I am truly and honestly and enormously my own worst enemy. I really do think I suck at everything I do. It's my disease. And I've known it for way too long. Should be great ammunition for Linda this week.

Wish me luck in getting some sleep tonight.

Save the clock tower
According to my LJ homepage, I haven't updated in 23 weeks. I've had way too much going on to be able to write anything down coherently. I've been wrestling with a huge transition these past months. I've been trying to figure out what direction I want my life to take and Eric and I have been going through some intense ups and downs in our relationship and I've been trying to decide how much longer I want to be a nanny for the Papettis. Between feeling like I was going to lose Eric and not feeling like I could stand another minute at my job I felt like I was going to fucking implode on a daily basis. There's no way I could have come up with anything worthwhile to say on LJ during that time. Things have begun to slow down and look differently now that I have finally decided to make some changes in my life.

The biggest change right now is that I am in fact leaving the Papettis. I actually only have one week left with them. My last day is March 13th. *deep breath* It's going to be so hard to leave them and it's going to feel SO strange to not have some funny or ridiculous story to tell about what Grace said or what Fran did or the face that Denny made or what book Jack is reading. It's going to be SO strange to not have Shoo to not only frustrate me and aggravate me with her ways, but to not have her there to give me advice or vice versa. It's just going to feel so weird, but it's also going to be refreshing. I'm ready to shed this part of my life. I've had my fill and I absolutely don't think I have room to grow with them anymore and I just Dont. Want. To. Do. It. Anymore. I just don't. That realization was pretty devastating to me at first. How could I possibly leave them? I would have littel Grace, Denis, Fran, and Jack shaped holes cut out of my heart. I feel like they are partially MY children. I've been a huge part of their growth and development and their story. And they've done the same for me. It's definitely time to leave, but it's going to be hard. I'm gearing up for it as I'm writing this. I will of course see them again, but I will never ever ever ever again have what I have with them now. Never. I will always be a part of their lives and I will always love them, but what I have with this job, this family will never be the same.

I'm looking for part-time jobs right now. It stinks. I have to pay for my own health insurance for now, which BLOWS, but it's necessary. I wasn't happy with work anymore. I was in fact miserable and that misery was effecting things at home. Things at home haven't been great either and that was effecting how I was at work too. The past few months have been really shitty. Really draining. Really sad. But, they are getting better. Eric and I are slowly but oh so surely getting stronger and moving forward. It's going to be a long road but I love him. That's what I'm sure of. He has been really supportive through my decision to leave my job. He continues to be my shoulder to lean on now that it's actually a week away from happening. I really need someone to lean on. I'm using a lot of my brain power worrying and looking on craigslist and worrying some more and calling insurance companies and trying not to flip. I'm horrible at transitions of this size. I really am. I'm pretty fragile these days. I guess that's because it took me so long to finally decide what I needed to do and now that I'm finally doing it, I'm fucking spent. God, I suck. 

The main reason for leaving was because I'm unhappy, but also because I want to go to culinary school. Yay! I want to be a pastry chef. I want that to be my title you know? When I'm introduced I want them to say, "and here's our Pastry Chef, Annie LaRochelle....." I know I can do it. I am excited to learn all about it. I'm applying to Cambridge School of Culinary Arts for the fall Professional Pastry Certificate program. HA! So excited. I'm signed up for an information session on March 26th (something they recommend before you apply) so that I can get all ths shit I need for loans and scheduling, etc. Im really excited for it. I've never really had something to focus on that was only for me, you know? I went to Syracuse because I liked the school. That's about it. I wasn't excited about my major. I didn't care about studying. I didn't get into grad school because my heart wasn't in it. I only went because of the friends I had.  And then after college, I just sort of went from job to job jst floating along, not really having any goals in mind. Not having a sure direction and I feel that culinary school will give me something to work for and something to achieve that I have 100% confidence in. I KNOW in my bones that I can do it and do it well. It's nice to have that feeling. I've never known it before.

So, yeah. It's been a rough few months. I think things just might be turning around. Finally.

Pike isn't a name, it's a fish

Last night I got to hang out in Boston with Jennie, Coley, Jessica, Jess's friend from Florida Nikole and Eric. I hadn't seen Jennie in maybe two years and hadn't seen Jessica since last Christmas. Needless to say, there was much chatting and a lot of catching up to do. JohnnyP (Jennie) lives in Medford, MA now. yay! I went and saw her new place yesterday. It's really nice and she's made it really homey. She lives with her boyfriend Jon who is adorable. I'm excited that she's close to me now. Eric and I could potentially have another couple to hang out with which would be a nice change. 

Things in my life have been ok lately. I feel like the past few weeks have been a complete blur and very stressful. Work is work. I might be getting to the burnt out stage of my job. I can't tell yet, but every now and again I just find myself dying for a change. Something completely different. It might just be that it's September now and that always makes me feel nostalgic, wanting to be in school, craving to learn and have fun new school supplies (yes, I know, I'm a complete dork). It could also be that I want to do something esle - go to culinary school and become a pastry chef. Yeah! I've got that bug big-time. I don't have any kind of real plan yet, but I'm doing some reserach. There's a culinary school in Cambridge which would be the most convenient. There's also a couple of schools up in NH, but I don't know how the commute would be. I love the idea of taking classes in a kitchen. So cool. 

We are debating as to whether or not we should get a new cat. Eric says that he's ready for it and I think I am too, we just can't decide what would be best for Timlin. He seems to be doing really well without Gus, he's lost a little weight (he needed to) and he's a lot more chatty than he used to be, he's playful and just generally seems happy......when we're home. I think he might be lonely during the day when we're at work because when we get home he is ALL over us. He greets us at the door - which he never used to do - and then he'll follow us whervever we go until we finally settle down on the couch. He misses us. We'll most likely go to the MSPCA within the next couple of weeks just to see what there is to see, but knowing Eric and I and how ridiculous we are with animals, we'll definitely come home with a new addition to the family. 

We went to our final Sox game of the regular season today. It was fun. Pretty exciting game. We also got to see a game on the Green Monster a couple weeks ago. It was so great. The view from up there is incredible and there's hardly any lines for the bathroom which was a big plus. We made friends with a nice couple from Texas during that game. They were from Texas and the guy was a huge sox fan. It was their first time at Fenway, so it was cool to see their reaction to it. I love Fenway. I really really do. 

That's all for now. I'm a little distracted - the pats are actually doing alright against the Jets right now. WooHoo. 

Here are some pics from last night for your viewing entertainment:

Me, JohnnyP, Coley and Jessica


Coley and Eric

Me and my Coley

Three Yahoos

Class of '98 represent!

Yes, she is holding my breast.


Another set of Three Yahoos

Me and Eric and I look really sleepy

The Fours baby!

I went ahead and ordered some for the table
 I've been on vacation since Lauren's wedding and I feel completely and utterly out of sorts. 

The wedding itself was phenomenal. It was such a beautiful day and Lauren and Brian got exactly what they wanted and deserved. Everyone looked gorgeous and both sides of the bridal party got along swimmingly. My speech went well and it was exactly what I wanted to say to her. I just wanted it to be from the heart to let her know just how much she really means to me and how proud I am of her and Brian. They are so great together. 
The whole wedding weekend was a complete whirlwind. I was so happy to be there and to soak up all the memories and share it all with my Lauren and all the other ladiesthat I just fucking adore (Coley, Anner, KP, Cassie, Kate, my family, Lauren's family, etc.). It's always great when things like that happen in my home town too. That place just makes me happy, makes me feel whole and I love it. Despite the happiness of the event and the joy of being home it went by really fast and I didn't get nearly enough rest. We came home on Sunday after the wedding and only had about a day before we packed up and headed out to Las Vegas. Gus wasn't feeling great before we left, so we were worried about her the whole trip which, you know, put a bit of a damper on the experience. But we managed to enjoy ourselves. We met a bartender who used to live in Brighton, MA. He was awesome and his name was Carey. 
I'm so out of it right now. I want to post pics from the trip, but I'm deep in withdrawing into myself mode right now. I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to do anything and I just feel like trash. It ain't good folks. I woke up feeling completely haggard and awful. I felt the way I used to feel before I started back at therapy (which is going really really well) and it's stayed with me all day. We even went to see baby cows at Richardson's farm. They made me happy but it didn't last. Ugh. 

I am again going to try and post more. I have lots of things to talk about and many much pictures to share. 

I hope all is well with everyone.

Bye Bye Little Boot Girl
The Boot
When I first started talking to Eric one of the things the interested me the most was that he had a cat. The way he described wanting to adopt her made me melt. He said that he was tired of coming home to an empty house. He said he wanted a heartbeat to come home. That's exactly what he had in Gus and much much more. I remember meeting her for the first time when Eric and I were first dating. She was this tiny little grey and white squawkbox. She talked more than I've ever heard any other cat talk. It was like you could have a conversation with her. She would genuinely respond. She was very friendly and came right over to twirl around my ankles, purring.
After I moved in with Eric, before we adopted Timlin, Gus would always interrupt us when we were cuddling. She would burrow between us and if she coudln't get her head through our arms a little white paw would push through the gap. As soon as we lifted our arms up all we would see was a huge pair of yellow eyes wanting to be a part of the love. And my God, she certainly was part of the love. She made us laugh all the time. From begging for cheese to stomping like a bulldog to making muffins to squawking at the door when she heard our key in the lock. She was part of our Unit and I can't believe she's gone. We had so many nicknames for her: Boot, Lady, GalPal, Gusface Killah, SquawkBox, Little Grey, Little Boot, Pumpkin Patch, Bootsy Doodle.....many many more.
Eric adopted her when she was 11 years old. They had something special those two. She needed a home and he needed a heartbeat. I loved to watch her sit on his chest and reach her little boot paw up into his beard and just sit there with him and be completely content. It was one of the best things. She never seemed like she was an elderly kitty. She was very spry. She jumped up and over stuff and got up on her hind legs to go after cheese and chased dirty tissues around and acted like an 11, 12, 13 and 14 year old kitten.
She had been sick for a few months and we had been trying to do everything we could to make her better short of major surgery and I think she had just finally reached the point where she was ready to move on. I think we did the right thing but it doesn't make having this boot-shaped hole in my heart. I'm so glad I got to have her in my life and I'm so glad that I was with her in her final moments. I miss you like crazy little lady. You made my life blessed.  I will love you forever and always. 

(no subject)
The Boot
I know it's been forever. 

Just three things.

Lauren and Anne are married. 
Eric and I just spent a week in Vegas.
We lost Gus today. I'm in disbelief. 

More when I'm better.



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