Always a Polly’s Girl

There’s something about living in a small town. There is even more to be said about working at the local watering hole. You become attached to the people you work with and the patrons who walk through the door every single day. They become family.

You fight like family and you love like family. 

This reigns especially true at a little place called Polly’s Variety.

I grew up right next door to the owner, Lisa. And once I turned 18 and needed a job she took me under her wing as an ice cream girl at the little ice cream shop she owned next door. Soon enough I was a cashier in the main store and spent over two years there learning everything I could. During this time Lisa became my second mother and her own mother became a great presence in my life. Polly, Lisa’s mother, and the store’s namesake taught me tips and tricks on working the cash register and speaking to the customers like she once did when she ran the store with her late husband, John. I admired her spunk constantly. Never once did she act her age, age was just a number in Polly’s book and she was as sassy and fun as ever.

Eventually, I had to make the hard decision to leave the store and I moved away for a few years for school. I returned when my own mother passed away and Lisa was a tremendous amount of support in mourning and life in general. Through a financial rough patch she once again took me under her wing and I was back working at Polly’s Variety. This time was even more special than the last. Being older I came to appreciate the people who I spent my working hours with each day. This time around I worked the early morning shift and spent much more time with Polly. She brought in donuts every week and called every single morning to make sure we didn’t need anything at the farmer’s market. When she walked into the store she greeted customers with hugs, speaking french fluently to some. We always wondered if she was talking shit about us.

I spent one more year at Polly’s Variety before leaving once again to pursue my current job. When Polly found out I was moving on from the store she gave me a big hug and her well wishes. It has always been sad leaving Lisa, Polly and the women I worked with day after day. However, I guess I just assumed I would see Polly again. I am sad to say that wasn’t the case.

Hearing of her passing shook our small town. We all truly thought this spitfire of a woman would live forever. I knew missing her funeral was not an option. So this past Sunday I reunited with fellow Polly’s girls, store patrons and several family and friends to not only mourn but celebrate Polly. The place was packed, we all knew it would be.

The service was perfect, light-hearted and true to Polly. We all laughed and cried together as he spoke of Polly’s life. A few things will stay with me forever. One description of this wonderful woman was something like this. “On one hand she was a loving caring woman, and on the other she was Polly”. We laughed about her driving and the time she locked herself IN her car. Which I had the pleasure of witnessing. I thought about her need to remind me to fill the decaf pot, seeing as she drank a whole pot herself. The way she made sure the donuts were wrapped perfectly and placed in the basket she picked out on the counter. Especially how she always had her nails done for whatever holiday was coming up and loved to show them off. And I cried, laughed and nodded as he said “the girls at the store loved her and feared her”. 

It was perfect. And it was Polly. 

We spent the remainder of the afternoon reminiscing. I sat with four of my fellow Polly’s girls and we talked about working at the store. How regardless of everything, that store shaped us into the people and workers we are today. We are an elite group, us Polly’s girls. People walked past our table exclaiming how great it was to see us together. And it truly was. We joked with the customers we have known for years and hugged and cried with those we grew up with. Though it was a sad way to reunite, it was a nice one. Polly did and still does bring us together. Without her, Lisa, our customers and that store we would not be who we are. For that, I am forever grateful.

Because once a Polly’s girl, always a Polly’s girl.

Don’t Let Yourself be an Oversight

via Daily Prompt: Oversight

Daily prompts make me want to be inspirational. Which means, in turn, they are doing their job by prompting and inspiring me to write.

We are nearing the end of January. The first month in 2017 and with resolutions weighing heavy on all of our minds I begin to feel apprehensive about my accomplishments and failures. I attempted the Whole30 program once again. I made it three weeks and started to fall off the bandwagon. If you don’t know what the Whole30 is, it basically consists of cutting out dairy, alcohol, grains, legumes, and added sugars to detox and form you into reaching “food freedom” and a healthier lifestyle. I love the idea…my sugar dragon does not.

Though 99% of the dinners that I have made in past month have been completely compliant I have had a snack attack (or two) that has had me grabbing for a piece of chocolate. After some time where I was just downright disappointed in myself, I realized that it was okay. You can have a bite of chocolate as long as you don’t make a habit out of it. Which is what I tend to do. Indulge within reason. I have to continuously remind myself of this.

With this being said I am transitioning out of my Whole30 journey and into a 90/10 lifestyle change. I think this will suit me better. I am nearing the highest weight that I was a few years ago and I am so determined to not set a new record. I want to feel good about myself and my body but will not achieve this goal through snacking on the couch and feeling sorry about myself.

Being an emotional eater with a strong sweet tooth can get in the way of this. However, I need to dedicate more of my life to conscious eating and that 90/10 habitual lifestyle to accomplish the body dreams.

The whole point of this rambling session is to say that whatever your healthy new year intentions are, stick to them! It is a struggle but your mind, body, and soul deserve the very best.

Though it can be easy to wrap yourself up in your family’s needs, work, school or whatever it is that is taking up your time. Don’t let yourself be an oversight.

Invitation to be Creative

via Daily Prompt: Invitation

Some days these one-word prompts enlighten me instantly, others I pass by because I have no clue what to say. My intention today is to try harder, dig deeper into the creative vortex I don’t visit nearly enough.

To some, creativity comes naturally. I am so jealous of those people. They can just pick up a paint brush or a pencil and wonderful creations happen. I envy that. I think too much, analyze every bit of what I am saying or doing. Wondering if it comes across well enough.

I do not allow myself the freedom to be unapologetically myself without analyzing if people will like what I look like or what I have to say. Am I bringing anything wonderful to the table? My insecurities would say probably not. This attitude will get me nowhere.

As I become older I become brave. To write these thoughts for people, such as yourself, to read. To lay my perceptions out in the open and to be okay with if people like it or not. It starts becoming more about releasing that creativity inside of me then what the outcome will be once I do so.

So with this prompt we have been given today, remind yourself that it is an invitation to be creative. And to unapologetically be yourself.

My 2017 Book Resolution & Reading Challenges

As I have harped on this before, we all have the same “lose weight get fit!” resolution as we start out the New Year. While I think wanting to improve physical health is extremely important, I am not about to let my mind get a pass!

For the past couple days, my friend Mallory and I have pondered books and she came up with the brilliant idea to create a book club amongst our girlfriends. You know, drink wine and chat about the most recent chapter kind of stuff. I am game.

This got me thinking. I only really read one genre! I can’t preach expanding our minds if I am not doing it myself.

I am a huge fan of true crime podcasts and psychological mysteries, things that leave me guessing. (I will most likely write a post about my most recent audiobook endeavors). I have dipped my toes into self-help books, celebrity autobiographies, and romance novels. All of which I lose interest in before the end. I, however, have read the Twilight series, Fifty Shades and Hunger Games as teen novels of the sorts seem to be a guilty pleasure.

Regardless, let’s get to the point. I want to broaden my horizons. So I took to my peers and the internet to find the latest reading challenges.

2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

The Daily Positive Book Challenge

POPSUGAR and the Daily Positive released two pretty good reading challenges that I found on Pinterest. Most challenges you find are going to be fairly similar, though each one may have a couple diamond in the rough options that separate them from the rest. POPSUGAR’s list features unique challenges such as “a book with a red spine” and “a steampunk novel” which made me smirk as I read it. Their list also includes an audiobook, which is 90% of my book indulging so that should be no problem! The Daily Positive lists its own interesting options such as “a play” and a book about finances which I thought were both really creative ideas. I did find a couple more challenges that were off the beaten path as well.

Gilmore Girls Revival Reading Challenge

2017 Books Becoming Movies

If you are into more pop culture type genres these might be for you. Of course, once I found Bustle’s Gilmore Girls Challenge I HAD to put it in the blog. This one only specifies a handful of books from the revival series (if you haven’t seen it yet you best be logging into Netflix right this second). However, I bet there is a list out there of all the books Rory and Lorelei mention throughout the whole seven seasons. Which is a mountain I may never climb, but it’s cool to think about! I also listed a blog post I found of books that are coming out in theaters in 2017. I definitely prefer to read the book before seeing the movie because it makes it that much more authentic so it is neat to see a prepared list if you’re up for the challenge this year.

Challenge or not I plan to indulge myself in books this year. These just give me a better outline to veer away from the genre I have become to know so well. If there are any amazing challenges out there that I am missing please let me know!

Happy Reading!

Youths and Being 25

I am 25. I am 25 gearing up for 26. But more like 25 going on 60. Not to say there is anything wrong with being 60, except for the lack of understanding of the up and coming fads and slang. Which I have come to the realization that is the realm I am entering.

I have officially started speeding towards the realm of having absolutely no clue what teenagers are talking about. It started off with bae and then “lit”. Which I slowly grew to understand. However, now we are barreling towards things such as “rain drop, drop top” and “#triggered” and my understanding is steadily disappearing.

The other day as I sit in my office chair, the high school class that took over the classroom in our office started filing out for a little outdoors breather. One of them jokingly said “bitch” to another and immediately looked towards me exclaiming “sorry!”. I quirkily replied with a “watch your language!” before realizing that he did not apologize towards me in a funny way but in the “oh crap I just swore in front of an adult” sort of way. When did I become an adult?! I have officially been viewed as an authoritative figure.

Queue the quarter-life crisis.

Maybe I should buy a motorcycle or get my belly button pierced. I should start hanging around Forever21 soaking in every bit of youth I can. Listen to youths chatting over Starbucks. Ugh youths! I have hit the realm of calling those younger than myself, youths. What is happening?!

25 is a weird place. Asking for bed sheets for Christmas instead of the latest fashion piece. Dreaming of owning a washer and dryer, bigger closet space and a dishwasher. No longer being known as the “younger generation” as I float farther and farther from my High School graduation year.

25 is still wanting to hang out with your friends and go out to the bars, but at the same time also wanting to stay in your pajamas watching Netflix. Being out until 9pm is officially insane seeing as I have work in the morning. And I have developed an actual hatred for the current rap music.

Yet, 25 is great. I am young enough where I am not expected to have my shit together. Though I am super jealous of my peers who do. I have time to figure things out and be “young” even though I feel like I am barreling towards “old”. I am unmarried and no children. I am lucky enough to still have the ability to be selfish and enjoy being 25.

Though 25 being a quarter of my life (assuming I make it to 100) is incredibly daunting. I still have a few more quarters to go. Though I am terrified that I am losing touch with the youths of today, I remember our parents felt the exact same way about us. It’s just the circle of life. And being only 25 involves so many more opportunities and adventures that lie ahead.

Overall, I guess 25 isn’t half bad.

25

My Inner Rihanna

via Daily Prompt: Shine

You know you are twenty something when you see the word “shine” and immediately start letting out your inner Rihanna. Which leads me to believe that we all have a little bit of Rihanna in our hearts. A confident, kind of naughty badass that is ready to peak out when the moment arises. Some of us let her out more than others, but regardless, she’s there.

A week into the New Year and I am still contemplating my goals and resolutions. Playing with the idea that we should stop using the word resolution, it only sets us up for the inevitable failure. How about intentions instead? I intend to work out more, I intend to cut out cheese and pasta, I intend to do all of these things that we call our New Years resolutions.

Most of all I intend to continue being me. The best me, the happiest me. What more could someone want? I don’t need diamonds, I just want to shine bright like one (see what I did there?).

So as corny and cheesy as this may sound. As you start to stress over your resolutions, remember that your inner Rihanna is in there waiting for you to bring out your potential badass.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/shine/”>Shine</a&gt;

New Year – New Goals

2017 has officially arrived and you know what the means! Resolutions galore!

Of course, this is when I tell you what mine are in hopes that you will be interested in my life goals and all that other junk.

Number one. The big one. My Optimus Prime of New Year’s resolutions. I want to write more!  I have had the dream to become a blogger for years, and every time I try I lose my dedication or get discouraged by lack of views. 2017 is the end of that negativity! I hope to not only build my profile but build a community of followers (everyone wants followers…let’s not lie to ourselves).

Number two. Because I am unoriginal and basic. Get healthy and lose the pudge. Pretty much every single person’s resolution. I am gonna make it stick this time! Right? Either way I am on my second attempt at the Whole30 program and its going…well let’s just say its going. More information to follow on how I am struggling and succeeding in the “dieting” world.

Number three. I will complete my college degree! No, not necessarily in 2017. But I have been accepted to return to school this summer. Which for some reason is scaring the crap out of me! Leaps of faith get you where you need to be, or that’s what they tell me at least.

Number four. Last but certainly not least. Progress in life and in business adventures. Super vague, I know. However, I am just ready for some change. Ready to get ahead and accomplish the things I have listed above. And to work on building a business as well. If you aren’t dying from curiosity yet please click on this link so see what I am talking about (northernpineapple.wordpress.com).

Building a business will take the other goals above which ties everything into a nice little bow of resolutions.

Overall, I am just like everyone else. I want to lose weight and be a better me. I want to follow my dreams and succeed at what I love. These desires are what make us human and a New Year revitalizes that hope within us all. So from me to you. Don’t lose that hope as the months go on. Treat every day like its the New Year and follow those resolution with everything you have. You can do it, we can do it. 

Happy New Year and Stay Tuned!

 

 

Culture: More than a Color.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/culture/”>Culture</a&gt;

via Daily Prompt: Culture

White, American Female. That is my appearance, not my culture.

Nowadays people identify culture as the color of a person’s skin. Race being such a controversial topic in our society some have an inability to look past pigmentation.

However, culture is so much more than a color. It is traditions, rituals, gatherings and an overall connection with one another. It is was makes us beautifully interesting.

Growing up as a white, American female I felt that I did not have a culture. I did not know my heritage very well and had only heard one or two stories about my ancestors. My father’s side being from England came over on the Mayflower, landed in Massachusetts and stayed there. My mother’s side was just described as very Polish, with several “Polark” jokes I didn’t understand.

As I have grown older and into my mid 20’s my curiosity begins to peak. My mind wanders towards creating my own family. And with the idea of children of my own, I become inspired to learn more about where I have come from. So they know as well.

With a mixture of my heritage, their father’s and the revival of a few cultural traditions my future children will know who they are and where they come from.

They will know that culture is so much more than a color.

The Boys You’ll Meet: Master Manipulator

It was about three weeks since my mother had unexpectedly passed away. I had broken up with my long-term boyfriend and moved back into my parent’s basement. You could say my life was going pretty great.

My nights were filled with more facebook browsing than I would like to admit to. One night imparticular my trusty laptop pinged with a new friend request. Obviously thrilled that people wanted to be my virtual friend as my life seemed to be crumbling I rushed to reveal who my new friend is. Ironically, my new friend was an old friend.

Due to future humiliation, I will not post the real names of the boys I mention in “The Boys You’ll Meet” series that I am blessing you with today. So let’s call him Geoff. Jeff is too laid back for this piece of work I am about to uncover, so Geoff it will be.

My first thought at my new friend request was “holy crap that’s Geoff from elementary school!”, my second thought was “whoa Geoff got hot”. Obviously, I accepted.

IMMEDIATELY Geoff messages me asking how I am. At my time of need, I found this eagerness endearing. Oooh, a boy is talking to me!  We strike up a conversation and it whirlwinds into this crazily involved, for a lack of words, friendship. We quickly began talking every single day, all day long. We would text each other at work. I had an hour commute at the time and would immediately call him the second I clocked out and remain on the phone until I pulled into the driveway. At that point, I would settle in at home and hop on skype until all hours of the night. We were virtually inseparable.

I was at a very sensitive point in my life. My mother had just died, I was newly single and my life was completely jumbled to no avail. Geoff’s intense and seemingly committed interest in me gave me a light when everything was so dark. It felt like an angsty, Nicholas Sparks movie. I thought he was the one.

Spoiler alert…he was not the one.

Things started to get sour pretty quickly. And not that obvious sour, but the kind of sour where you can smell it but you can’t find where it’s coming from for the life of you. You know what I mean? Anyway, it was turning sour day by day.

He was pretty obsessed with his appearance. He knew he was hot, to say the least. We moved so quickly in conversations that we started talking about him flying me across the country (where he had moved to when we were twelve years old). I was smitten by the thought of these grand gestures, and totally naive to think that would actually happen. Things got weird when he started encouraging me to workout. I thought he was just concerned about my health and I had mentioned that I wanted to get into shape. What a good friend, looking out. Except it started to get more insulting. He began to tell me that I need to get in shape for when I come out there so I can keep up with him. Okay, fair enough. It escalated a little more when he actually started sending me his own personal workout regimen and checking in on me every day. Again, I just assumed he was being a good motivator. Then came the kicker. He told me that he wasn’t sure if I was attractive or not. His reasoning? Well, because in some of my pictures I look pretty and others I don’t. Oooh, that makes it better! (Also, we video chatted every night so he could see me filter-less and all….) Needless to say, my self-esteem was plummeting.

As I assume some women can relate. This never ended up being a dealbreaker because of the amount of attention he gave me. Regardless of his ever changing opinions with my appearance, he still wanted to talk to me and be in my life. I still felt important. A feeling we all crave.

Eventually, however, I started to get frustrated by the masqued insults. I began bringing it up to him when I felt he had said something rude or hurtful. More escalation ensues. I was wrong. And that isn’t me saying that I was wrong, that was him saying I was wrong. Every single thought and feeling that I expressed happened to be incorrect in his eyes. I got lectures as to why that was.

I took things too personally. I was too emotional. I was too serious.

There came a point where he had engraved these thoughts into my head so much that I began to believe them. I began apologizing every time I felt insulted or just not addressing it all together. He would play games and toy with guilt. Saying he couldn’t be in something like we had with a girl like me. He would end it frequently and return a day or two later. Each time expressing his sorrows and his feelings for me. Each time we would begin where we left off. The evolving door of emotional abuse.

As time passed I started to drift away from Geoff. I knew what was happening was the opposite of healthy. I started coming out of my social shell a little more. The holidays were coming up and I started visiting friends and attending parties. Geoff didn’t seem too fond of my distance. He would ask me to call him each night, regardless of where I was. Some nights I would. Other nights I would not. One night imparticular I was at my best friends house. He had called and I had not answered. She told me not to call him back. She knew what had been happening and was far from his biggest fan. In a situation of abuse, I did not listen. Instead, I ended up getting lectured on how I should answer when he called because his time was valuable and I was lucky that he was making all this time for me. Again, I was wrong.

Then one day it somehow clicked. I had just had enough. I went out with a guy I had met prior, without Geoff’s knowledge, and had a good time. Realized that not all guys treat you like that. Unfortunately, that was my only date with that guy. But it was actually quite helpful. I told Geoff I had gone out. Clearly, he was angry. He told me he couldn’t handle this anymore, that is was too toxic (well duuuuh), and he broke it off. I didn’t fight with him on it, though he was the one that was toxic and difficult, not me. The fight was over.

In the months following our separation he contacted a couple times. Basically to rub it in my face that he was living a better life without me. I expressed my congratulates and support. It was easier that way. We attempted to rekindle a friendship almost a year later. I told him I had met a new guy that we both grew up with. He was far from pleased and never contacted me again. I think he finally realized he had lost the power he once had over me.

It’s a funny thing. You don’t need to be in a serious relationship, or even in the same time zone to become a victim of verbal/emotional abuse. Nor do you have to know a person for years. Geoff and I had our “fling” for just one month. This is the only legitimate lesson Geoff taught me. Abuse comes in all shapes and sizes.

I am glad to be out of the wrenches of this toxic relationships, I realize some are not as lucky and have it much worse. I think about that frequently. How other women, and humans in general, are feeling the emotions I had once felt. I wish I could tell each and every one of them that they are better than what is happening to them. To not let these people have power of us. Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

All I can do is share my story, as minuscule as it may seem to some. Abuse is abuse. And with the help of one another, we can overcome almost anything. Especially douchey, master manipulators named Geoff.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Gilmore Girls is Still a Thing.

Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that never dies. Though they may have stopped airing episodes nine years ago the show lives on in our hearts and our Netflix queues.

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This post is written by a Gilmore obsessed, 20 something inspired woman. A fact that I am far from ashamed of. There is just something about still adoring a show that aired 16 years ago. Watching it from beginning to end four times in its time on Netflix. And being completely involved with the characters that surround Stars Hollow. Let’s just say it is the female equivalent of a Marvel obsession. (Though I know I will get a lot of hate from the Marvel-loving, feminists out there)

This may sound cheesy but to me, Gilmore Girls is no longer just a show. It has formed into a comfort blanket if you will. Something that plays in the background as I did homework and housework. A shoulder to cry on when I was feeling upset and needed to escape from my world and into another. It was and still is my safe haven.

I don’t believe that this should just be a 90’s baby thing either. I understand that all of our childhood memories are resurfacing through toys and movies. However, Gilmore Girls is more than that. It is a lesson, so to speak. A show that I will show my future daughter some day and strive to have even a minuscule part of the relationship Lorelai and Rory share. It will be a sort of reference for how to handle the obstacles in our daily lives. The main recommendations being with a lot of coffee and pop culture references, I assume.

As someone who was not raised with a loving bond with my mother and lost her mother before the chance to create that connection, I do not feel sad seeing the mother-daughter relationship that Lorelai and Rory share. I feel inspired. To be the women they are and to reach towards that goal in the future.

However, my love for this show does not end with this mother-daughter duo. I live in a small town. If you haven’t noticed by my name, it is the “Other Norway”. It is tiny and quirky and you run into at least two people you know every day. I like to think it is my version of Stars Hollow.

Gilmore Girls teaches us that the world is made up of all different kinds of characters and possible relationships. To never shy away from someone because they may be different from you. To embrace the silliness in people and love everyone for who they are. They teach us unity. And I think that in this world we live in today, in 2016, we need that kind of example to inspire us.

So with the revival only TWO days away I reflect and I get emotional. (And believe me when I say that I do not cry over movies, shows or books…ever). Because the love I have for this show spans miles. I am so excited and proud that is making a splash in our worlds once again. Especially when we need it most.