Another Year of Awesome!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my beloved blog, Smashing Through Life!

It's a snake in a party fez!

It’s a snake in a party fez!

First off, welcome back Vincent the Viper, who proudly celebrated last year’s blog birthday with me while wearing a more traditional party hat. This year, Vincent is sporting a decidedly flamboyant party fez instead and I think he looks fabulous. During more lackadaisical times, my friend The Magpie and I entertained the notion of starting a business manufacturing and selling one-of-a-kind hats for fake snakes, but then real life got a lot more interesting in a hurry and we’ve since shelved that idea for the time being. Maybe we’ll come back to it again, when we’ve got some decent seed money pulled together. But anyways, that’s not what we’re here for today.


That’s why we’re here. Keep yourself on point, girl.

A lot can happen in a year, and I’m not saying that to be cliché. A lot really did happen to me in this past year. Some good, some bad, and some ugly too. I made some stunning 3-pointers, but I also spent a lot of time warming the bench, too. I genuinely enjoy looking back over a specific period of time and reflecting on the things that have happened in my life. It’s good for me, and it motivates me to keep reaching ever higher. I believe that my personal and professional development should never reach a plateau; I won’t let that happen. Not while I’m at the helm. If I’m learning and challenging myself on a consistent basis, then I’m growing and becoming a better me all the time. There is always room for improvement, and I’ve got an insatiable hunger for more. I’m always so eager to keep forging ahead, so it helps to look back once in a while. I need to make sure that I’m cutting the right path. That I’m living the life I’ve always wanted.

This blog’s mission, initially, was to act as an outlet for my frustrations and disappointments. It was an exercise in perpetual positivity. It was a place of refuge, an altar of optimism at which I could worship when I needed it the most. I was in a very dark place when it began, and this blog was my lifeline. It was a connection to the trademark brightness within, the brightness I’ve always been known for, but which was dimming more and more every day at an alarming rate. But it has since evolved, the aim has shifted. I don’t need to search for the positives in my life quite so desperately anymore because I’m surrounded by them.

This blog is continually evolving, just like me, and I couldn’t be happier with the progress we’ve made together so far. It’s a place where I can chronicle my life, my adventures, and my many dreams in the most positive terms possible.

So, what have I done this year that’s so whoop-de-fucking-doo great, you ask? I’ll tell you!

Smash’s Top 5 Awesomes This Year

1.) I went on the vacation of a lifetime

I've never been this happy to be awake at 6:30am in my life

I’ve never been this happy to be awake at 6:30am in my life

D and I dropped everything and went on our first ever vacation together. And we made it memorable as hell by saving up the extra bucks and flying the extra miles to get ourselves a slice of Hawaii. It was unreal! The food, the adventures, the beach, the ocean, the people, the sites. We loved every minute of it. Going all out for our first trip together was definitely the right call.

2.) I Got Engaged (and set the date, too!)

 An old shot, from about 5 years ago

An old shot, from about 5 years ago. Super Retro Disco Party, obviously.

D and I have been together a long time. We’re coming up on eight years this summer, if you can believe it. I loved him from the first moment I drunkenly gazed into his sweet blue eyes, and there was never any doubt. But there was never any rush to get to the paperwork either, and he caught me completely unawares when he proposed during our aforementioned vacation. I tease him sometimes about being totally devoid of emotion, but he really surprised me that time. I don’t even question this decision at all. We go together.

3.) I Won Shitfest 2013: Fall

I fuckin' love this trophy!

I fuckin’ love this trophy!

Some of you will remember my graceful acceptance of the award from this wonderful post that our dear friend, The IPC, allowed me to share with you on his site. I don’t write a movie blog, but I love movies so I read a lot of movie blogs. And I love the movie blogging community that I’ve stumbled into on WordPress. I loved reading the posts that were entered in the first Shitfest, and when a fall fest was announced I knew I had to get involved this time. I knew a shitty movie that I could write about. A real fucking shitty movie. I just wanted to have some fun, and it proved to be an experience that I will cherish forever. I’ve got the trophy to prove it.

4.) I Started a New Blog

The Kingdom

I miss writing essays. I miss feeling scholarly. I long for my undergrad, on rainy days mostly. So I decided to start a blog to review the works of Stephen King, to sort of keep in touch with that part of myself that so loved turning in assignments. I’m just hanging out over there, doing book reports basically. But it’s a fun hobby, and I enjoy it. I’m not rolling out the reviews quite as quickly as when I first started the blog, but I am still trucking along and reviews get posted at least once a month. It’s a way for me to explore other facets of my writing, too, and that’s important to me.

And finally, saving the biggest for last…

5.) I Got Promoted

Always the consummate professional, jumping on the bed in my suite during a work trip 3 years ago

Always the consummate professional, that’s me jumping on the bed in my suite during a work trip 3 years ago

I’ve been waiting for this a long time. It was an exciting, albeit painful journey at times, but I’m finally moving in the direction that I want to go. I had never realized how deeply ambitious I was until I joined the workforce. Procrastination and indifference were my MO whenever I pondered that almighty “What are you going to do when you grow up?” question that seems to haunt us from birth. But once I started carving out my own way in the world, I found myself immediately hooked on ambition. It’s a heady device, man. I made the choice to significantly alter my career path a couple of years ago, and it’s all starting to come together now. The sky really is the limit, and I thoroughly enjoy reaching for it with all of my might. I’ve got plans and ideas aplenty, and I’m going to make a splash in a big way. Greatness abounds, when you’re willing to work hard for it. I love how it feels to earn my living, and being rewarded professionally for my efforts feels divine.

I’m not kidding around, you guys. I truly am kicking the shit out of life every day. And I hope to continue doing so, right here on this bizarre little blog of mine, for a long while yet.

Here’s to yet another year of awesome. Cheers!

My Year of Awesome!

Happy Birthday to my beloved blog Smashing Through Life!


Fake snakes for everyone!

That’s right, as of February 5th, I have officially been writing this blog for one full year. Wow, time really flies when you resolve to change your life. And change my life this year I did…

When I started this blog a year ago, I had no idea how tremendously my life was going to change. This time last year, my heart was breaking. A little piece of it, every day. I was doing a job that I was talented at, but had no upward motion. The place was a mismanaged zoo. Half of our team pulling way more than their weight because they gave a shit. The other half, careless slackers who preferred sleeping their way to the top, you know, instead of earning it like decent folk. So many secrets. So much political drama. It was like trying to swim through wet concrete. Every single goddamn day.

Working long hours. Loooong hours. And then going home and working more. Thinking, dreaming, breathing, crying, bleeding work. Some nights, I couldn’t even speak properly when I got home. My mind, a snarling and tangled mess.

It was even worse after The Magpie left. Nothing good ever happening. Always coming into work and cleaning up after others. Always having to take the lead, and bear the burden of responsibility for the whole department. Always struggling and stressing in silence. No appreciation. No promotion in sight. Even though the carrot was perpetually being dangled in front of me, my heart always knew it was never really going to drop.

I know how exploitation feels. And I will never let myself feel that way again.

So much pressure. To impress, to succeed, to make a difference. The weight of the world was slowly crushing me to death, one work day at a time. I had no time to think, to breathe, to be me anymore.

Outwardly, unless you know me really goddamn well, my strife was imperceptible. I carried it around with me, but I didn’t advertise it. That’s not my way. I’m not the forthcoming type when it comes to my problems, my pain.

If I didn’t find a way to release some of the tension in my soul, I was going to rupture something. That’s why I started the blog. I needed something, just for me. Something I could enjoy. A way to express my frustrations. A vehicle, an outlet. A way to remedy myself. A soothing salve for my aching heart.

I needed some fucking positivity in my life.

I know this all sounds so dramatic. “Surely this post is rife with hyperbole”, you exclaim to yourself. Throwing your hands up in the air with mock incredulity. But it isn’t. What I described was my reality. It was a dramatic time in my life. I was drenched in unwanted drama. And I just wanted to have fun again.

I started writing. Writing always used to feel so good. I wrote a novel once. The summer between seventh and eighth grade. That was another tumultuous time in my life. Moving to a new town, starting over at a new school in the fall. So I took to writing, to make myself feel better. I wrote on a really old PC that had Windows 95 on it. We didn’t have disks though, and that computer did not live long or prosper. Solitaire, mahjong, and my novel. These were the only things that even warranted turning the computer on. It was terrible though, the novel. So it wasn’t much of a shame when the computer crapped out and it was lost forever. I didn’t cry or anything. I just let it go. Someday, I’ll write another one I promised myself.

And with that same need, that same desire to make myself feel better, I took to writing again. Writing the blog. Weekly diatribes about the best thing that had happened that week. The arbitrary things that brightened my life. My weapons of positivity, which were wielded with gusto, on my quest to reclaim my formerly awesome self. That rad girl I used to be, before I joined the ranks of the workforce, my Holy Grail.

And it worked! Wondrously. The more I wrote, the better I felt. Every week, a little more tension melted away. I felt a little bit lighter everyday. And my heart stopped breaking. Writing mended it. Eventually, I felt empowered enough to leave that shitball job. Who needs the bullshit anyways? Certainly not me!

New job, new apartment, new city, new lease on life. And it all started with my blog.

I get up, and I kick the shit out of life every day. Right in the nuts! My life is my own again, and it is awesome.

To those of you who’ve been with me for this journey so far, thank you. Thank you for reading, for commenting, and for letting me be myself. I write for me, but I love sharing it with you.

Happy 1st Birthday Smashing Through Life

Happy 1st Birthday Smashing Through Life

Here’s to another year of awesome!