Tag Archives: anniversary

A Decade in Review

In early 2010 I made the decision that I was tired of/done with living in Louisville (and also sick of the cold weather) and was ready for a change.  At first I thought the smartest option for me was to move to Ohio to be closer to my friends and to the guy I was madly in love with (who didn’t feel the same – but who also didn’t have the decency to tell me that). 

It wasn’t until after a trip to Tampa for Spring Break in 2010 (and the realization that things in Ohio probably weren’t going to go as smoothly as I thought) that I began seriously looking southward as an option for relocation.  The only city where I knew anyone at all was Tampa (even if the only person I knew was my ex-husband who I, conveniently, get along with very well) and, since I am not independently wealthy and because it was in the middle of a recession when finding work was next to near impossible unless you lived in the location, Tampa was where I set my sights.

So I started saving every spare penny in Louisville – I didn’t do much except work and save (and play World of Warcraft), started researching what I could DO there (I decided I’d try to get a teaching certificate), and figuring out how much money I’d need.  By September, I was ready.  I put in two weeks notice at the job I was working at in Kentucky, weathered the storm of dissenters – one, in particular, who asked, “Well… what happens if you don’t like it there but you get stuck?”  (My reply: “I can think of worse places to be stuck.”)  And on October 6, I boarded THE plane that would change my life.

Oh, I won’t lie and say I didn’t have second thoughts when I was sitting in the Birmingham airport on a layover – especially when I ran into a client from the place I’d just stopped working for back in Kentucky.  It was as if Louisville was making one, last, desperate attempt to keep me there. 

But I kept going, I boarded the second plane, and when I finally flew over Tampa at night, saw the city scape and the bridge lights that were accented by the twinkling dots of boats in the water, I got excited.  I’d sat near the front so I could be one of the first people off the plane (which worked), walked to the little train things that take you from the concourse to the common areas of the airport, and called my parents to tell them I’d made it (and to wish my dad a happy birthday – admittedly, leaving Kentucky on his birthday was probably not the best thing I could’ve done). 

I hit the ground running… found a job in a month, then another job a couple of weeks later that was a better fit for me than the job I’d found (and it had benefits too – the first one didn’t).   That was a huge deal, see, because in Louisville – in the interim between my last semester of grad school and the job I’d gotten, it had taken eight months to find anything.  To even get one job offer.  In Florida I found two in a very short period of time. 

Anyway, I started that job on December 1… as a receptionist for a small software company.  I figured it’d be a good holdover until I could take the test for the certification and then get a classroom.  Florida had other plans.  Within a week of working there, their Technical Trainer quit and I was offered her job at a higher pay than what I was getting as the receptionist.  I took it, again figuring it would only be temporary, but discovered that it was something I enjoyed and was good at.  I am not (or at least wasn’t then) very adept at software and computers – but it turned out that my layman knowledge served me well when I started to train other people.  I didn’t use technical terms, I could talk to them as one novice to another.  It worked… and I was very successful.

My coworkers, too, became close friends – and drinking buddies, since we were allowed to drink in the office.  The owners gave us wine and beer, and introduced us to Cake vodka (Three Olives, please, not the rip off other stuff).  We started a WoW guild, spent afternoons and evenings (and weekends) shooting the shit, and I’d never been happier (and sometimes drunker) in my life.  In 2012, a little piece of software that our developers coded got picked up by a much larger company and 11 of us were transferred with that software to the company.  I got the biggest bonus of my life, severance pay, and a 40% salary boost.  And I still got to work with my best friends – who were now, at this point, more like family.

I built a big network for modeling – and did a ton of it here.  My best work came from photographers I found (or who found me) in Tampa.  Work I helped produce here has been award winning, and one of the photos has even been internationally published. 

Dating-wise?  Well… it was entertaining.  Most of that is documented here.  I won’t reiterate it all… you can read it if you’re so inclined.  But let’s just say I never found “Prince Charming” – or if I did he was more of a “Prince Charming/Florida Man” combination, which I guess is expected – I got a lot of stories out of it anyway.

When I left Florida (for a very short time) in 2014, I can only claim that I was out of my mind.  I thought that what I’d built here could be rebuilt somewhere else.  I’m not going to talk about what did (and didn’t) happen there, except to say that no matter how much I tried to uproot it, my heart stayed in Florida.  My success did, too, because I did not find anything anywhere close to as awesome as what I had built in Tampa.  Within two years, I had to come home.  (And this is why I don’t really count the time that I spent in Louisville again as separate from the ten years I’m claiming in this post – home is where your heart is, and my heart was never there.)

So I came back, hoping to get it all back.  To see if the magic could work a second time.  It did.  I didn’t exactly get to go “home” again, but I found a job I liked and got several promotions and raises, got the lead in a play (a two-person play, no less, that dealt with some very complicated subjects) and my photo was in the Tampa Bay Times.  

And when the job I got that brought me home went to shit, I found something even better with the same sense of community I had at the place I worked when I first got here in 2010…  and I’m doing Tech Training again (and a lot of writing – I can actually say I write professionally now). It’s my niche. It combines writing with performance, it’s something I like, and I am really, REALLY good at it. 

And so now, here I sit.  “Stuck” in Florida, thanks to the pandemic (and I still stand by my original statement that there are worse places to be stuck), in an apartment that sits above (I like to say on top of) a tree – so I finally have accomplished my dream of having a treehouse.  Working my pretty sweet job with a promotion on the cusp (whenever HR gets their shit together – also delayed due to the pandemic).  Sitting in my home office, surrounded by my ever-expanding Star Wars toy collection.  Modeling on weekends when I want to, but because I am no longer broke, accepting only the jobs I want (rather than the jobs I have to take).  A master of improvisation, working on novels, ever-honing my writing (and gaming) abilities.  Just generally enjoying life (even though most of life, at least what life looked like back in December and before, doesn’t look the same anymore). 

It’s been a good decade.  Moving here was a risk, but one that has paid off in very high dividends, and I have no regrets (except maybe that I ever left it to begin with – temporarily or not).  I’m happy here.  I’m satisfied with my decision.  And while I may leave sometimes to go visit other people and places, I feel more at home here than I have ever felt anywhere else.

Circa 1978. Best find I’ve gotten at a toy show so far – their joints are still tight and uncracked, and R2 still has his Death Star plans.

The Difference A Year Can Make

Almost a decade ago, I met a photographer in a coffee shop to talk about a magazine he was starting up in the Louisville area.  We became friends but lost contact when I got married.

Eight and a half years after we met, we reconnected and shared our first kiss in the parking lot of the hotel I’d rented for the weekend.  Two days after that, we decided we couldn’t keep our pants on around each other anymore, had really awesome sex, and I extended my trip by a day so we could have more time together.

We lived in two different states, and neither of us thought (or planned) for things to go anywhere beyond that weekend, except maybe a rendezvous when I visited Kentucky for the holidays.

Boy were we wrong.

Six months after our first kiss, I moved back to Kentucky and in with him, and we made things Facebook official.

A full year after that first kiss and nine and a half years after we first met, we are on our way to New Orleans – for both business and a vacation.

Life is pretty good.

Six Months: Sex, Boobs, and Barbecue

It’s not often that I can say that I’ve been seeing the same guy, exclusively, for six months.  And it’s even rarer for me to say that I am still HAPPILY seeing the same guy after six months of exclusive dating.  This is a milestone that I have now met.

Although we made things “Facebook Official” on the drive up to Louisville from Tampa (with all my worldly belongings in tow), Ormsby and I had been seeing each several months before that… and we agreed to make the “official” exclusivity date August 2, 2014.

Now this six month thing, while it may seem minor to some of you, is a big deal to us.  For Ormsby, because six months is generally when his previous relationships began going sour.  For me, because any relationship I’ve had that lasted longer than six months already WAS sour, and continued to BE sour, and I continued to stay due to my predilection for masochism and dedication where dedication was unwarranted.  For him, six months usually signaled an impending breakup.  For me, six months was simply another day – not worth celebrating, yet celebrated because that’s just what one “did.”

Not anymore.  I don’t know what’s happened – I don’t know if I’ve finally grown up, gotten a brain, or just gotten lucky in the relationship department (I mean, because seriously, after everything I’ve been through, a little bit of luck is LONG, LONG overdue). But we are now six months in, things aren’t showing any signs of stopping or souring, and I’m uproariously happy.

Why?  There are many reasons, but to name a few…

First?  I really love the guy.  And if that’s not the best reason for being happy and keeping him around, I don’t know what is.

Second: We talk.  Like… about stupid stuff half the time that no one else understands.  But also, when things go wrong, we talk about it.  We don’t fight about it.  It’s quite interesting how constructive those uncomfortable conversations can be when you are actually conversing and not bringing up a billion things that aren’t even relevant to the situation.  I’ll admit… I was worried when I moved in with him that it would be like the experience I had in the past – because with Mr. Ex, once we started cohabitating, we argued from the time we got up until the time we went to bed some days.  I was worried that history really would repeat itself and I’d find that it’d be the same way here.  I was wrong.  I’m glad to say I was wrong, because this is one of those times when I really didn’t want to be right.  That’s not to say we don’t have “discussions”.  We do.  But they are not knockdown, drag out fights that end with one of us saying a bunch of shit we don’t mean.  And that’s pretty awesome.

I mean I guess it helps that we kind of already “get” each other pretty well.  But where we don’t, both of us really make the effort to understand what we don’t understand.  Granted, sometimes it takes a while to get there, but I’m finding that taking the time is much, much more preferable to not really ever caring enough to take the time.

Third:  The sex is AH-MAZING.  And frequent.  Like every day, sometimes twice a day frequent.  And for someone with a high libido like me, that’s a pretty big deal.  He does a very, very good job with keeping up with me (though I think sometimes I wear him out).  But then I did also come complete with a very established, $5000 in value lingerie collection.  I’m like a brunette Barbie that bought out Victoria’s Secret.  They should seriously give me stock in that, since I own fuck tons of their stuff.  Anyway, the lingerie collection certainly helps.

Still, though, it hasn’t gotten boring.  Far from it.  I’d swear it gets better every single time we do it, and considering we really do actually do it on a daily basis (I’m not lying here), that’s saying something.  I keep thinking that one day it’s going to level out, but it hasn’t yet, and in total I’ve been fucking him since May of 2014, which is a couple of months longer than I’ve actually been dating him.

For serious… this is the most sex, and the best sex, I’ve ever had in my life.

Fourth: I don’t have to fight with him to go visit my family.  Of course, it probably helps that my sister’s German Shepherds just had the most adorable litter of puppies.  But even before that, he went with me, he’s friendly, personable, everyone likes him and my friends adore him.

So to celebrate this milestone, you might be wondering what we got each other?  Well, to make the day as special as possible, I told him I wanted him to tell me what he wanted for dinner… anything… and I’d make it.  I cook every night, of course, but usually the menu is planned by both of us.  But we were out that day, we were pretty much out of food in the kitchen, and we were hungry.  Instead of cooking, I took him to Mark’s Feed Store, which is where we ate during one of my visits over the summer.  They have barbecue there.  We ate a lot of it.

And for me?  He got me boobs.  Now.  Let me explain.  I have boobs.  I didn’t always have them.  In high school, the lack thereof was the constant distress of my life, but I didn’t want the fake shit (not that I would have been allowed to get implants anyway).  In college, after I got on the pill, I got them.  I went from like an A to a C in about a year.  It was pretty spectacular.  But still, there’s always room for improvement.

And when I say that Ormsby got me boobs, I don’t mean that he paid for implants.  I mean they fucking started to grow again.  Not a lot.  Thank god.  Because I don’t want to have to completely overhaul my bra collection again.  But they’re definitely filling out.  And it wasn’t noticeable at first, but then I started realizing that my bras were a little tighter.  And my shirts were fitting differently.  And then I asked him if he’d noticed it too, and apparently he has.  We pulled out some topless photos he’d taken of me in Florida in the late summer (not posting them, don’t ask), and confirmed it.  Crazy shit.

Not complaining.  A little more to fill out the dresses, tops, and bras is always a welcome addition.

He doesn’t know how it happened.  I certainly don’t know how it happened.  But I credit him with it, because he’s literally the only change I’ve made in my life and he plays with them a lot.  Maybe he willed it to happen or something.  I don’t know.  Still, it was a pretty nice (if unexpected) six month anniversary gift.

So we’ve hit a milestone.  I am madly in love with this guy.  He has barbecue (or had it, till he ate it all); I have boobs.  Life is good.