Mandy 101

I’m too tired to write today.  I hate that.  But long ago, after I had a featured blogger article show up on Xanga, I got over 200 subscribers in one day.  (For the record, I still don’t have that many readers today.)  I wrote a Mandy 101 to kind of introduce my readers to who they were following.  This is it.

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My name is Amanda, but I have gone by Mandy my entire life.  Amanda is sort of like a sweater that I like, but doesn’t really fit me.  I put it on for a little while, but eventually I take it off again because it chafes in some places.  I am twenty-three years old, and my birthday is in June.  I’m the youngest of three, with two older brothers.  My childhood experience is one I would wish upon anyone.  We didn’t have lots of things;  we had lots of love, lots of fun, and lots of our parents’ time.

I grew up in Canada as a “usual girl.”  I have never been the popular type, and I started out as a rough tom-boy (which thankfully didn’t last!)  And while I’m the kind of girl that doesn’t make lots of friends easily, I make friends that last through just about all of it.  My best friend, Crystal, shared a crib with me when we were babies.  Even now, we fight… but we also laugh, and cry, and can’t live without each other.

I was married at 19 to my ‘sweetheart’.  I moved to the states to be with him, and to go to school.  I’m going to pass quickly and easily over this part, because there isn’t much to say.  While I was finishing my last few months of school, (we were separated by a few hours drive) he told me that he didn’t want to be “married” anymore, because he had come to enjoy the single life.  I found out much later that he had actually found someone else.  We are now divorced.

I don’t say it quickly because it is still painful, or because I can’t stand to talk about it.  It is just sad.  Things went wrong, but I also believe we are pushed in directions that are painful to us because we need to grow.  I still love my -in laws very much.  Dee will always be one of my closest friends and always my sister.

I now live in North Carolina with my boyfriend Brock, working as an Ultrasound Tech.  We’ve been together just over eleven months, and will celebrate our first anniversary next month.  This is where it becomes difficult.  I have enjoyed happiness beyond anything I had ever known, joy beyond imagining, love without bounds since Brock and I found each other.  Why the lonely post then?  I miss my past.  I miss my mom.  I miss my dad, and my brothers, and my niece.  I miss Lianne, and my cousins.  I miss my grandma.  I miss Crystal and Daisy!  I even miss being picked on all of the time by ALL of them.  (I’m an easy target.)  At the end of the day, the love I have for Brock, and the life we are creating together is more than worth all of it.  And he as told me many times that he would gladly move back to Canada with me if that’s what I wanted.

Together, we have a puppy named Flint, a kitten named Wash, a house, two cars, two jobs, and lots of fun.  I read a quote in one of the comments from earlier that said, (paraphrased) “If you have days when you are blue, then by design, you should also have days that are the brightest of yellow.”   Brock is my bright yellow.  He’s my rock, my friend, my cinnamon swirl toast in the mornings.  He’s a wonderful man.

This needs to draw to a close.  I love to do Ballet, but haven’t found a studio in North Carolina.  I love to read books (David Eddings, Dave Duncan, Dennis L. McKeirnan, James Patterson, J.D Robb!)  I enjoy watching movies (Try Amelie if you’re up to it) and listening to music.  Maroon 5 has been my earbug lately.  I like to be active, Brock and I work out every day at 5am.  I love my job, my patients, my co-workers.

And I love to write.  So here we are.

Ancient History: Just Me

Here’s another Xanga blog from back in the day.

I find it incredibly interesting to see how far I’ve come, how much I’ve changed.  When I go back and read my writing, I am usually pleasantly surprised.  I usually enjoy my own work far more than I remember liking it when I wrote it.  However, the difference between that Mandy and “me” is immense.  More than what can be put into just a few words.

It’s nice to have a little proof that I’m still growing, still changing, and still getting better.

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Xanga – 7/28/2007

I’m going to share with you one of my biggest fears.

I have generally found in life that the more I get to know someone, the less I like them.  The people I meet and like more and more every day are few and far between.  However, my fear is not that I wont find people that I like, or that I will always begin to dislike them the more learn about them.

My fear is entirely self-centered.  I am a little ashamed to admit that, but it’s true.  There is something about “me” that seems to attract people off the bat – I’m bright and friendly, I’m upbeat and sweet.  I can come across as smart, and funny (I’ve been told these things…)  but for some reason, whatever spark people seem to see in me that make them like me so much on first meeting… it fades.

I find myself not wanting to allow people to think highly of me.  I find myself trying to convince people that I’m not everything that they seem to think I am.  I find myself on the verge of yelling, screaming, shouting that I am just me. I am just me.

I know this comes from the hidden fear that if someone expects very highly of me, I can do nothing but let them down.  But I look inside myself, I look in the mirror, I examine my daily interactions, and I do not find myself to be worthy.  I do not deem myself fit.  There is always a part of me that disagrees when I am given a truly wonderful compliment.  I am just me.

I see a young girl that tries to be too thin, and can’t usually find happiness with her body.  I see a woman with far to much of her father’s cynicism.  I see a daughter with far too much of her mother’s ability to worry.  I am thankful for my health, and my strong body, my able mind.  But the Mandy I know is so unsure of herself.  She walks on eggshells, waiting for the days that she ruins everything.  She has a hard time believing someone like Brock finds something so lovable in her.  She keeps waiting for the day everything it shatters like it did before.

I don’t know if this is a fault I have always held, or something that has been created within me as a result of my past.  I hope it is something of the latter, something I can overcome and rise above.  I want the “just me” to be good enough… for me.

Tee Hee!

I’ve been reading back through my old Xanga archives, trying to find something fun to post today.

What I found was this.  I remember writing it, but I don’t remember realizing how good it was!

This made me smile.

From my Xanga Archives – 12/27/2007

Umm… I wrote a mushy poem.  Why not share it?

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My love for Brock is never ending,
and it didn’t really start…
I think it’s always been there,
just hidden in my heart.

When I was just a baby,
I think I knew it even then,
I was always meant to meet him,
But had no idea when.

When I became a little girl,
his face was in my mind.
I thought he was a prince or king,
of the most impressive kind.

As a silly teenager,
all the guys I met were wrong.
I even dated some of them,
not knowing all along.

One day when I would find him,
when everything just ‘fit’,
I wouldn’t have to think about
the fact that “this is it.”

I didn’t recognize it,
I guess it wasn’t plain to see,
how much I really liked him,
how much he cared for me.

But somehow we just found ourselves
not able to say no,
not able to just walk away,
not able to let go.

This way we were attracted,
and how it nearly made me sing
…I know now that it was because
I had finally found my King.

My Job History.

Someone on Xanga started a list of all of his paying jobs.  And then another friend did it.  It made me stop to think about all of the jobs I’ve had in the past that I was actually paid for.  It was kind of fun to write them all down.  Here’s the final list.

Paying jobs:

1. Babysitting.  I was a really good babysitter.  I think I got 10 bucks per job regardless of the length, but I really didn’t do it for the money, I just really liked kids.


2. Singer/Entertainer.  I don’t really know if this one counts.  My mom used to be a lounge singer, and sometimes she would take me to work with her.  I would sing, and get paid in “Shirley Temple” drinks.  Some of my earliest and best memories.


3.  Shoveling horse manure.  I honestly got paid for this!  5 dollars for every wheelbarrow.  My “aunt” put all of the money that I’d earned into a bank account for me, and I used it to pay all of my entry fees for all of the horse shows we entered.  Somewhere, my mom still has the box of all of the ribbons I’ve earned.


4.  Nanny.  I lived with a family with two young children for several months.  I absolutely loved it.  They were a delight, and some of my fondest memories are of time spent with their mother.  I should probably look her up on facebook right now.


5.  Beer Cart Girl.  I worked at a golf course, and drove the beer cart.  I could make 50 bucks in tips in an hour.  All I had to do was laugh at their jokes, and smile pretty.  Oh yeah, and they were always right.


6.  Club house worker.  This was also at the golf course, but it was a different sort of job.  We ran the kitchen, cooked and prepared food, but also did all of the big conventions that used the golf course.  It was a LOT of work – probably the hardest job I’ve ever really had.


7.  Liquor store clerk.  It was as this point in my working career that I realized all jobs, no matter how menial seeming, have elements to them that you didn’t expect that are really a pain in the arse.  I HATED dusting alcohol bottles, and “inventory” was a pain in the butt.  I also hated that, after my first scheduled shift on a shipment day where I had everything placed and inventoried, I was subsequently scheduled on EVERY shipment day.  My dad told me afterward that I shouldn’t have done such a good job.


8.  Lounge bartender.  I couldn’t mix many drinks… but it didn’t matter.  My regulars only wanted their beers or straight up liquor.  I got off every night at 2am, and my mom and dad would walk down to meet me, help me close up, and walk home with me.  They didn’t want their 18 year old daughter walking through town by herself.  And I love them for this more than they could possibly imagine.


9.  Waitress at the hotel restaurant.  Yet another job where there was so much more to do than it seemed at first glance.  Waiting tables is a horrendously difficult job, and I have a lot of respect for really great waiters/waitresses.  I also always clean up after myself and my child at a restaurant.  I think EVERY person should have to work in the food service industry for at least a month.


10.  Data Entry.  This was what I considered my first “real” job.  I worked at a credit card distribution company.  We did a TON of data entry, but the real purpose of the job was “instant credit”.  So when you’re standing in the store, and you decide to apply for a card, and you fill all of the crap out, your application is sent to someone who looks over your credit report and decides whether or not to approve you.  It was a pretty good job.  Worked there for 2 years before I went stir crazy and quit.  Honestly, I quit.  No notice, nothing.  I just walked out one night.


11.  “Model” at Abercrombie and Fitch.  Hahahaha.  I folded clothes.  I worked there for the discount, and the ego boost it gave me to get hired there.  I made some good friends, but the job was pretty shallow.


12.  Claire’s.  This was actually one of my favorite jobs.  I got really good at getting out merch, handling busy times, opening and closing… but the best part was convincing little girls that they really WEREN’T too scared to get their ears pierced, and seeing how excited they were when it was all over.  It’s also the reason I have 7 earring holes in my ears.


13.  Medical Records Clerk.  I worked at one of the clinics that I was interning at during my Ultrasound clinicals.  I sat in the office for a few hours a week (usually about 4) and scanned paperwork into the digital filing system.  It was MIND NUMBING.  I probably should have started listening to audio books.


14.  Waitress.  This time, it was at Firebirds, a REAL restaurant.  I made it through 2 weeks of training, just long enough to find out that I was going to be a great waitress, and then I was hired by my first hospital as an official Ultrasonographer.


15.  Wait, back to Abercrombie.  I got another job there when I first moved to Charlotte to make some money and get clothes for cheap.  I spent every paycheck I got there… there.   Oops.


16.  Sonographer.  I worked at a small hospital as the weekender tech.  I absolutely loved my weekend peeps, and I still miss them very much.  Sally, Bill, Trina, Calvin, Hayley, Meagan, and everyone else.  I worked here for a year, but four months before my contract was up, I got a job at…


17.  Sonographer at an OB/GYN.  My door to the world of OB – and the beginning of my passion.  I worked here 5 days a week while I was working my weekend job at CMC-U.  The longest, hardest 4 months of my life.  Money is truly not worth it, people.  Having a life means something too.


18.  Sonographer at a high risk obstetric clinic.  This is it.  The pinnacle of my career.  I was hired at my dream job, as a sonographer in a high-risk obstetric clinic.  I worked at this office for a total of 8 months – the length of my pregnancy – and decided not to go back to working full time, staying home with my son instead.  I do NOT regret this decision, even though I miss working there more than words can describe.  I miss my people, my friends, my patients, my doctors… but most of all, I miss having passion for my work, and finding joy in every day.  My ultimate goal is to return to this field of work.


19.  Sonographer!  Ha.  I currently work at a busy hospital as an Ultrasound Technologist.  I work the weekend overnight shift, and a random 12 hour Wednesday DAY shift every few weeks.

Wooooooo hoo!  19 jobs.  I really think Brock needs to do this, I think he could make it past the 20 mark.

That’s What She Said – Readers!

August 25, 2004

Evidently there are people that come to my site.  About 5 a day, to be exact.

Photo 46So I decided that I would start updating it again, just because I don’t want to disappoint anyone out there.  Eventually, I’ll have my own webspace.  I want to use it to post pictures I’ve taken, instead of just writing stuff, but writing stuff is good for now.

Onwards!

School started last week.  I really like my classes and everything.  I can’t believe I still have 2 years left.  But, once it’s done, I’m done with school for a very long time.  That’s not to say that I wont go back and get my bachelors after I have children or anything, but kids come first.

YES, I am baby crazy.  Uber baby crazy. 

In other news, my right toenail is about to fall off!  I have a doctors appointment on Monday, and I’ll get him to look at it while I’m there for “other things” just to make sure that it still looks healthy.

As healthy as a toenail falling off can look.

In related news, I bought a new pair of pointe shoes.  For those of you new to theworldofMandy, I do ballet.  These pointe shoes fit much better, but I’m not sure I sewed the ribbons correctly.  Not a big deal, really.  All it means is I might have to spend ANOTHER two hours re-sewing them.  But I’ll live.

“That’s What She Said” posts are ancient history – blogs from my very first online journal.

That’s What She Said – Weblog?

April 12, 2004 –

    This whole “weblog entry” thing seems a little weird.  I mean, I joined a “diary” site, and it was a diary.  I wrote it for me, and I read it to myself.How likely is it that other people will read this if I don’t post the address?  Not very, I’m thinking.

    So today, I should study for a math test tomorrow.  And then I have to go to work.  Woooooooooo.

    I’m going to do a 10 day fast.  I think I’ve already decided on that.  Ten days instead of something sick like a month.  I’ll keep updates on how I’m doing:  I will be updating for myself, as I’m the only person reading this.

    You know, I’m sure doing something like this increases some sort of intelligence.  I’m not sure which sort.  Writing, grammar, vocabulary maybe.  I’m not sure.  But it seems like if you’re writing, and thinking about writing, you will get better at it.  I really should be writing my Control paper.  Here goes:

    Yeah, I got nothing.  We’ll just keep putting it off, then!  Yes.

    “That’s What She Said” posts are ancient history – Blogs from my very first Xanga.

    Not always proud of what they say, but oh well.