It Ain’t All Rainbows and Butterflies

The move happened. I left the hometown and set off for an adventure to try out this life with the man of my dreams.

In my last post, Bring It On Bloomington, Indiana, I wrote how I’m following my heart. And how I’m processing this extreme happiness and sadness all at the same time.

Which is weird and hard as hell.

Everyone is saying how much fun we’re going to have and how this city is amazing, which is all very true. I don’t doubt any of that one bit.

Now, I’ve literally only been here one night. So yes, this could be a little premature. But I did not truly understand how homesick I would be until last night.

I couldn’t fall asleep (naturally), so of course, you know, I have to keep Kris up with me. Because if I can’t sleep, he can’t sleep. Sucker.

My stomach was just aching and aching. Originally, I thought it was just acid reflex, because I’m getting old. So I’m thinking I’m going to get sick. Nope. I lay there wondering why the hell do I feel sick, I mean I had a damn salad for dinner. Which would be my luck, being sick after eating a salad. People wonder why I stick to ice cream.

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And of course, by this time Kris is just snoring louder than you can imagine. Poor guy.

So I head to the bathroom. Maybe if I make myself get sick, I’ll feel better. Because that’s how it works when I’m hungover, so why not?

All of a sudden I think about calling my mom and instantly start balling. I mean I sat on the floor in the bathroom for nearly 15 minutes crying before I woke the snoring monster. God love him.

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Because he’s the most awesome human ever, he comes in, sits on the floor with me and just holds me.

This was weird. (Not the him being awesome part).

I knew I was homesick, but it’s still weird that I’m crying like this, yet I’m so excited to be here with him. The emotions!!!!

Then I remembered a conversation I’d been having with my good friend Emmy, who too, moved away (like across the world) to be with her man. She’s the only one who told me how this was really going to be; how sad I was going to be.

It’s weird, because no one tells you the reality of how things are or might be. I think in some ways they try, but no one tells you you’re going to be sitting on the floor in the middle of the night crying because you’re 26 years old and miss your mommy.

Maybe it’s because we don’t really know how it’s going to go. It could all be rainbows and butterflies, but nine times out of 10, it’s not.

Life is never what we expect. It never happens the way we think it will. And it definitely will never all be rainbows and butterflies.

But, as my peeps at Shine Text reminded me yesterday:

Life is beautifully uncertain.

For every 15 minute ugly face cry sesh, there will be 100 more amazing moments.

It ain’t all rainbows and butterflies, but there will sure as hell be a pot of gold at the end.

 

Cheers,

Laine

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Bring It On Bloomington, Indiana

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I’ve literally sat here and attempted to write this blog post for over 1 hour. I’m not kidding. My stomach aches trying to do it. I type a couple sentences, then backspace. I type a line or two, then backspace. There’s no great way to get this all out, to put it in to words.

So bear with me.

More than once here on Cheers, Laine, I have told everyone how I believe in fate, and I believe in following your heart. It sounds all fine and dandy until you actually do it.

I have been in a long distance relationship for nearly two years. He’s the best. You first met him (Kris) in my post, Momma Knows Best, But You Don’t Have To Listen to Her. Then you read my sappy post, I Can Live Without You, where I basically tell him I can, but don’t want to.

And during this whole time, we’ve loved from a distance, knowing well that one of us would eventually make the move.

And that day has come.

I know what you’re thinking, miss “Go Fort Wayne,” “I’m never leaving,” is a hypocrite. How can she promote a city and be as involved as she is, then just up and leave?

I thought that too, at first. How can I leave a place where I’ve put my heart and soul in to it? How can I leave this place where all my family and friends are? How can I leave this place that made me who I am? Believe me, all the doubt and questions and thinking has gone through my head over and over and over again.

Then I remember I love him more than all of that.

I believe in following your heart. I believe in giving it a shot because it may change your life. And shit, if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out (mom, save me a spot on the couch). But at least I’m trying. At least I’m saying I gave it a go, and really put myself out there.

Now, do I think I owe anyone any type of explanation? No. Maybe I’m writing this to make myself feel better. I don’t know. I just know that leaving my hometown, leaving this place I’ve worked so hard to make a name for myself in, is what I want to do.

I chatted with a friend today about moving, telling her I’m leaving everything I know and everything I’ve worked for behind. And you know what she told me?

“But you are going to a new awesome place with an awesome person and you definitely worked for those things too.”

She is so right. (Thanks, Lauren).

As sad as I am to leave my home, I am so excited. I keep telling people it’s this extreme sadness and extreme happiness all at once. Those are not easy emotions to process at the same time.

I am about to leave a city I love for a man I love more. And that is how I want to live my life, by choosing love.

There will always be another Fort Wayne out there for me to jump in and make an impact. But I won’t always have this opportunity to go and follow my heart.

So, what the hell?!? Kris and I have never lived in the same city before while dating. Why not live in the same city, live in the same apartment, and while we’re at it, let’s work together.

Bring it on Bloomington, Indiana.

Bring it on Cook Pharmica.

Laine is headed your way! (Kris, brace yourself).

But Fort Wayne, never forget… You will always have my heart.

 

Cheers,

Laine

Take Back Control

Over the past eight months I’ve struggled with this whole idea of not having control over my own life: people making choices for me. But I also preach this mantra:

What’s meant to be will be.

I honestly do believe that. I even have it tattooed on my foot (in Portuguese) and touched on it in one of my posts over a year ago: 3 Ideas That Will Change The Way You View Life.

But am I being hypocritical by saying “what’s meant to be will be” and also being a little pissed because I feel like I have no control over my life?

A friend of mine and I were chatting about this idea of me not having control over my life. He disagreed and said I do have control. I disagreed with him and said I don’t. (I swear we actually had a productive conversation).

His logic was once something happens to me, I have a choice on how I react to it. No one is making me do anything or choosing something for me.

Shit happens to each of us every single day. How we react to it is our choice.

So no, I’m not exactly being hypocritical.

But let’s look back at those two sentences.

Shit happens to each of us every single day. How we react to it is our choice.

The first sentence: shit happens to each of us every single day, refers to this whole mantra of “what’s meant to be will be.” We can’t control certain things. People die. People lose their jobs. Etc. Those things are out of our control and they are what they are.

The second sentence: how we react to it is our choice, refers to us having control of what we do afterwards. When someone dies, how do we honor them and move on? When you lose your job, how do you handle yourself afterwards? Etc.

Once we accept the things we cannot change (what’s meant to be) and use them to our benefit, we take back that control we so desire. Basically, it’s all in our head– or, it’s all in my head. It’s both. It’s both acceptance and control.

I’ve had control since the get-go, but got lost in the first part– the mantra I’ve held on to for over four years. I forgot that in the end everything happens for a reason. No, we don’t understand it at first; we may never understand it. And it could take quite awhile to actually accept it. But accepting it will change your life. Accepting what we can’t control, then taking back control in our reaction is how we gain true power.

It’s definitely not easy. I’m still working on accepting multiple things in my life. But I have faith that they’ll all work themselves out in the end.

Besides, we’re much happier people when we look at the bright side than when we play the victim. Which one will you choose?

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

The Debt Ball and Chain

I originally got on here to type up a post about something totally different. I just so happened to glance over at my “Drafts” section where an unpublished post sat, titled:

I’m Broke and I Love It.

I chuckled to say the least when I read that title. 1. Because that’s funny. I mean do you actually like being broke? 2. Because there was nothing in the contents of the post, just the title. So that’s a little ironic. And 3. I’ve just started getting serious about money, and semi freaking out.

So I wouldn’t say, “I love it,” hence me changing the title.

Long story short I’ve come to the realization that being broke sucks. Having debt sucks. Having to live like a monk so that you can pay off those debts also sucks.

So what the eff am I going to do about it?

We all have debt. Especially us young stupid folk that decided to go to college to get an education so that one day we could have this dream job with this dream house with this dream life where money was not an issue.

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Right… Let’s be real. Money blows. And whoever invented it, blows.

But enough of my unproductive rant…

There are 100 different ways we could all tackle our debt. Live like a monk and pay it off sooner. Say screw it, and pay the minimum for the rest of your life and be in debt forever. Or be strategic about this damn thing and try to have your cake and eat it too.

And to be quite honest, I struggle with this daily.

But thanks to my friend Natalie (and Dave Ramsey), I’ve been inspired to really take this shitty thing called debt, grab it by the horns, and fight it.

I recently went on vacation with Kris and this was my first attempt at truly sticking to a budget. To put this in perspective, I’ve never followed a budget in my life. I’m not kidding. Because mommy and daddy would always be there for me if I ever really needed money. So why would I have needed to follow one?

Bullshit.

I’m a grown ass adult and don’t need to rely on my parents to take care of me. At some point, I needed to take responsibility and make better choices. And so I did.

I’ll write more about my frickin awesome vacation in a later post, but for now, all you need to know is that I went over my budget. Yep. Shocking. BUT, I was less than $75 over. To some, that may not seem like an accomplishment, but for someone who’s never stuck to a budget in their life, this is a huge win! I’d also like to say that I can’t take full credit for this. If Kris would not have been with me on this vacation, I’m sure I wouldn’t have stuck with it, or have even thought about it.

The important thing to know here is that whatever age you are, you can still get out of debt. You just need a realistic plan. But most importantly, you need a support system.

If it wasn’t for my friend introducing Dave Ramsey’s Smart Dollar class to me, I would have never began thinking about my money. If it wasn’t for other friends who are also taking this class and going through similar debt situations, then it would easily be something I could forget about. And if it wasn’t for Kris who supports me wholeheartedly (and who’s been pushing for this budget thing since we started dating) then I wouldn’t be able to implement what I’ve been learning.

Support systems are so important in our lives. They bring positive energy to everything we do. And when it comes to debt, a support system who believes in you and can keep you on track for a better future, is worth more than any amount of money.

Now, I’m not suggesting I know it all (or anything for that matter) about money and debt. However, I would say that you don’t have to be broke. With a little time and mindset change, you could be on your way to financial freedom! For real, though.

Stop pulling this poor me (like I was), get your shit together, and do something about it.

 

Cheers,

Laine

 

 

 

 

Forward is Forward

A little over a month ago I got a personal trainer. She was great. We worked out 3x a week and I was eating decently healthy. I slept better, I woke up sooner feeling more refreshed, and I had so much more energy.

Personal training ended, and it was time to decide to buy-in for more or try it out on my own. I decided I was going to give it a whirl on my own (and also save money).

We all know what happened next…

Eating

I couldn’t help it.

And because of my lack of self-control in the eating department, we then ran in to this…

Lounging

Yep. Eating all the unhealthy food in sight and lying around doing nothing.

So for the last two weeks, I’ve been eating like crap and not exercising. (Sorry if you read this, Sabrina.)

But isn’t that how it normally goes?

One tries to make a change. Does it for a little bit. Then it fades away.

Or is this just me?

I’m 100% certain this will happen another 8,372x to me over the course of the next year or so. But I’ve made a promise to myself to keep trying.

Your speed doesn’t matter, forward is forward.

I am always looking for ways to be a better me. And eating healthy and exercising are by far two of the most influential things I can do to be a better me.

So, in the end, it’s okay to take a bunch of steps forward and a couple of steps back. We are human. As long as you’re always trying to take steps forward. Even if it’s slow. Even if it means you’re going to take one for the team and eat some cookie dough ice cream. Tomorrow we’ll do better. (Or at least that’s what I tell myself).

Rome was not built-in a day people.

And yes, Laine, now it’s time to go home and throw away the two quarts of ice cream, and the box of Cheez-Its, and the potato chips, and the frozen pizza.

Baby steps… Baby steps…

 

Cheers, Laine

New Year New You Is BS


How many times towards the end of the year have you heard the phrase “New year new you”? I’ve heard it from friends, family, and seen it all over the Internet.

To be honest, I think it’s a bunch of bull.

I don’t want to be a new me. I want to be a better me.

At the end of every year I evaluate how it went. If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll quickly realize other years (with the exception of 2015) haven’t gone so hot. And by not so hot, I mean hot mess. Judge me.

But I’ve never wanted to change who I was. Never.

Did I want to get my shit together? Yes.

Did I want to improve my relationships with people? Yes.

Did I want to be a better mentor? Yes.

Did I want to grow as a professional? Yes.

With each of these I’ve wanted to be BETTER. I’ve wanted to learn from my experiences and build off of them to create NEW memories in the upcoming year.

So here’s my challenge to you in 2016…

Look deep within your soul and look for what needs improvement. Be realistic, but push yourself. Find something you want to be better at. It can be something as simple as not interrupting people while they speak, or pack your lunch 3x a week. To each their own.

But please promise me that in 2016 you’ll strive to be better. This world only has one of you, and we don’t want a new one, we want to help you be a better one.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Laine

Growing Old Not Up

  
Today, I turned 26. Officially in my late 20’s. Womp womp.

I typically make it VERY public that it’s my birthday week (or month) and want all the attention on me. Shocking. 

As I’ve gotten older, that’s faded away a little bit. However, I still always tried to go out and be the Laine I was the year before because who really wants to get older, ya know. 

But then it hit me…

It’s okay to get older. 

Today, on my 26th birthday, I slept in, stayed in my pajamas all day, watched tv, saw a movie, and had a grilled cheese for dinner. I didn’t go out (hence me writing this post while in bed). I didn’t party. I did take a shower, which I’m still surprised I got that done. 

And as I didn’t do what “party Laine” would have done, I realized I am getting older, but that doesn’t mean I have to grow up. 

You see there’s this fine line between growing older and growing up. 

Growing older means I start to look different. Or I may not be able to do things at 50 that I was able to do at 30. Or I start becoming better with my finances (eventually). 

And growing up means I potentially stop doing things that make me laugh. Or I turn down adventures to save money. Or I decide to not dance in the rain. 

Growing older versus growing up can mean a lot of different things to different people, but what we all need to realize is that we should never grow up. Never stop taking chances. Never turn down something that you’ll enjoy. Spend money on that trip you’ve always wanted to take, because if not now, when? 

Growing up is no way to live your life to its fullest potential. You can get older and wiser and make better choices for you and your family, but you shouldn’t grow up and stop being you.

We were each put on this earth to share ourselves with everyone we come in contact with. And you can’t do that if you are “growing up”. 

So grow old. Let that number get higher. But you damn well better have a good time while you’re doing it. 

Cheers,

Laine 

PS I dedicate this post to my amazing man who was the absolute best to me on my birthday and is every other day as well. He doesn’t know it, but he always reminds me to never grow up. And it’s because of him that I enjoy life so much. I love you Kris. 

I Don’t Believe In God

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I was born and raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school from age 3 to 18. My entire family is Catholic, we’ve all had the sacraments, and some of my family goes to church on Sunday.

Not me though.

I think my mom and dad sent me to a Catholic school mainly for the education. Neither one of them go to church (except on the big holidays like Christmas and Easter, but that doesn’t really count), and they don’t make me go either. We aren’t a practicing Catholic kind of family.

In school we were taught to believe in God, the Virgin Mary, and the Bible, along with many other ideologies.

But I don’t.

I’m still not sure exactly what I believe in.

I do think there is a higher being. It might be God. It might be the Universe. I think prayer can make miracles happen. I think positive energy can make good things happen. I think there is a good constantly fighting off a bad.

Whatever you believe in, you probably believe something along the lines of what I just said. But I’m not here to challenge your beliefs or to try to push my beliefs on you. (You’re the one choosing to read this blog post, remember?)

I am here to say that for those of you (us) who have questioned or challenged thoughts and beliefs, that is great! Not every person is going to believe in the same things. Hell, some of us may just have an idea of what we kind of think, but who the hell really knows?

No matter what you believe to be true, we are all on the same journey. Good shit happens; bad shit happens; and everything in between happens. And I’d like to think I’m enjoying this journey of discovery, whether that’s talking to a friend who’s a devote Christian, or a friend who believes yoga and meditation will solve all their problems. Each are interesting beliefs and I want to learn more.

If you are already strong in your beliefs, congratulations, that is a huge feat! If you’re not, enjoy it, and take it all in.

At the end of the day I’m still trying to figure out what kind of higher being I believe in, or if it’s even necessary to “choose” one.

Life can be crazy, but I think as long as you have positivity of some kind throughout your journey, you’ll be a-okay.

 

Now, how’s that for a serious blog post?

 

Cheers,

Laine

5 Steps to a Happier Life

 

I am no life coach. Nor do I have all the answers. I do, however, like to think that I have some life experience, and that I have made a lot of strides on this journey towards happiness.

Like I said, these 5 steps are not the end all be all and there’s no scientific formula behind them. These are purely “Laine’s” 5 steps to a happier life.

It worked for me. Maybe it could work for you too.

  1. Read. Read books that make you a better person whether that’s professionally, personally, emotionally, whatever tickles your fancy. The one book that has changed my life (no exaggeration) is You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. This woman’s take on life and how to look at things with a different perspective truly changed me. It was a turning point in my life, and actually happened to be the thing that gave me the courage to start Cheers, Laine. Thanks Jen!
  2. Own an animal. I wouldn’t say I’m an animal person. Dogs were dogs. Cats were cats. They were cute, but to have my own was not a top priority of mine. Until I fell in love with my Lucy. I talk about her a lot and how she also helped me have a happier life in my blog, The Pitbull That Saved My Life. Having a dog is a love like no other. It’s my equivalent to a mother and her child. (I do acknowledge there is a major difference between the two). Having an animal shows you what it’s like to love and be loved unconditionally. The power of a dog’s love truly can heal people.
  3. Have a work life balance. Seriously. Stop working all those hours. Or if you can’t do that, have a certain amount of time everyday where you DON’T look at your email. Growing up I watched my parents stress and stress about work. I knew I never wanted that. I didn’t want to work 12 hour days every day, but let’s be real, that happens sometimes. So make the conscience effort to clear your mind of work, even if that means an hour a day. (And no, smarty pants, sleeping does not count as clearing your mind from work).
  4. Workout. Whatever that means to you. If that means walking your dog around the block, great! If that means doing Cross Fit, well done! Whatever type of physical activity you need to do, do it. Physical activity can literally improve your life, your health, your mind, everything. We all know it ain’t easy to workout, but little progress is better than none. So keep on choppin’.
  5. Understand yourself. It is critically important that we as individuals understand ourselves. If you know what makes you tick and what makes you do what you do, then you will be able to see more clearly. You’ll know what’s important and what’s not. I’ve come to realize that I am the way I am because of how I was raised, good or bad. I’ve also come to realize that I can change the way I think and view things as I begin to better understand myself. Understanding yourself will shape how you do things.

That’s all she wrote, folks.

What steps have you taken to a happier life?

 

Cheers,

Laine

Momma Knows Best, But You Don’t Have to Listen to Her

I’ve mentioned in multiple blog posts about how 2013 and 2014 were some of the lowest points in my life. Shit happens.  And I typically tell people I was single during that entire time.

Ehhh wrong.

I actually kind of hung out with a guy at the end of 2013 for a brief time. I was lonely and our families are super connected, so they were just thrilled. Plus he drank like me and appreciated my smart ass comments.

And when I say “our families are super connected” this is what I mean…

  1. His mom has worked with both my parents for like 15 years (maybe more?). They’re BFFs
  2. My mom, dad, both of my sisters, me, his mom, and his oldest sister have at some point in time all worked at the same place
  3. My oldest sister and his middle sister currently work together
  4. He has worked for my brother-in-law

So, like I said, connected.

Well, because of that connection, of course our families are going to want us to date. Duhh. We’re the same age, tall, funny, drinkers, independent, and awesome.

My family in particular really pushed the issue. And I mean pushed. So, what the hell? I was single, wanted a drinking buddy, plus he lived out of town (perfect!), might as well. So I asked him if he wanted to hang out. And we did.

That lasted maybe 3 months. Like I said, very low points in my life. I had no business being with anyone other than myself. He was such a great guy, and I was such an asshole.

My family and I went back and forth during that entire time and even an entire year after about how I needed to get it together and talk to him, blah blah blah. Or how he and I would be perfect together, something they’d been saying for years! I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. They had no idea what I wanted or what I needed. He wasn’t it.

Fast forward a year or so later…

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Yes, that is the same guy I hung out with at the end of 2013. He is now the love of my life.

So, what the hell? What changed?

I got my shit together for starters.

No, but really. I got it together and was starting to date again. I apologized to him somewhere in the middle of 2014, and we didn’t really talk again after that (remember, he does live out of state). Until he was in town for the holidays and I asked him to go to dinner. I was just trying to clear my conscious I guess. I didn’t need to apologize again, but I wanted to be a grown up about the situation and just go to dinner as friends. Boy was I wrong.

We hung out three different times over the course of four days, and then I drove five hours to see him just two weeks later.

Yes, I was just as shocked as you. And so was he.

And the rest is history.

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We’ve known each other for probably 10 years, we’ve been together (this time) for almost a year, and I plan to spend the rest of my life with him.

So what the hell does the title of this blog even mean?

Momma Knows Best, But You Don’t Have to Listen to Her

Here’s what I’m thinking…

My family (and his) knew over a year ago that he and I would be a match made in heaven. I listened the first time around because I didn’t have my own voice. I wasn’t in a good place. I didn’t know who I was and I didn’t trust myself. So I listened to them, even though I had no business doing so. And it ended.

But this time around, I was calling the shots. I wasn’t listening to what everyone else thought I should do. I was doing things because I truly wanted to. I knew who I was, what I wanted, what I needed.

Even though my family also knew all of this, I had to figure it out on my own.

It’s important to listen to your family. They are the people that know you best. And yeah, they might be right. But it’s not their life. They aren’t the ones who are supposed to be choosing.

When you’re ready, you’re ready.

So listen to YOURSELF first, in everything you do.

 

Cheers,

Laine