Saying Farewell to Dot

“Dot is going to outlive me.”

That’s the comment I’ve been making to people every time someone would react to her age. “Wow, 16. She doesn’t look it!”

And she doesn’t.

I first met Dot a couple of years ago when I met my best friend and her dad. Dot was his cat.

When I came back from my road trip this past fall, after my best friend (and Dot’s) dad had passed away, she became a fixation in our apartment and my life. When she ran away from our apartment, in a neighborhood she wasn’t familiar with, my heart stopped. I couldn’t do anything but worry about her for those two days. I ran around our neighborhood. I tweeted. I prepared fliers, ready to plaster them all over town. It was then that I realized she became a part of my heart. When she came back to us, I could breathe again.

So, when I moved into my own apartment in December, she came home with me.

If I stayed out all night at a friend’s, Dot would be there to greet me when I walked in through the door in the morning. When I sit at my desk to write, Dot is right there, keeping my wrists warm. When I get home from a trip, Dot is there to tell me everything that had happened when I was gone.

Her health, for the most part, has been solid. Except for the throwing up. I thought it was because her hair was long and she was giving herself too many hairballs. The throwing up kind of stopped for a bit after she got groomed. And then it began. So did the pooping out of the litter box. Watching her throw up and seeing tears form around her eyes from the force tore me apart every time.

A couple of months ago, a tumor appeared in her ear.

She kept losing weight.

“She’ll be fine,” I kept telling myself.

The other night, I woke up to her throwing up – twice. And then again in the morning.

In my gut, I knew it was time.

It’s the hardest decision I’ve made in my entire life. I could be selfish. I could put her under anesthesia to have the tumor removed, put her on meds so that she’s by my side for another few months. Maybe it’d just be weeks.

But I’m not the one throwing up. I’m not the one who’s sick. I’m not the one who can’t communicate my discomfort and pain.

So I made the call.

Tonight is my last night with Dot. Tomorrow morning, my sweet girl will go to sleep and finally get some rest.

Saturday morning, when I wake up, my apartment will be silent. There won’t be a paw on my lips, trying to get me to wake up.

Anyone who’s owned an animal knows the unconditional love that they have for their humans. Yes, cats are fickle animals, but deep in my heart, I believe that Dot has always been an introvert like me. Her love filled up my heart, and on my loneliest days, just having her near me helped.

My sweet girl lived a long, full life. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been a part of that life, even if it was just for a few months.

From the Archives: Bring on the Rain

(I originally wrote this post back in 2009.)

Dear Mother Earth,

I know we forget to appreciate you, a lot. We neglect the beautiful things about you, we forget to take care of you and the fact that we are guests in your home seem to slip our minds a lot. There are a lot of amazing things that you give us…but my favorite? Read more From the Archives: Bring on the Rain

Just A Spoonful of Nutella

I can’t even tell you how many times I logged into my blog, re-read my old posts, looked at the drafts and then just closed the tab. Because life has been overwhelming, both good and bad, and I didn’t know where to begin.

I promised myself I would never apologize for dealing with life the way I do.

I’m not perfect. I make a lot of bad decisions in the way I choose to deal with things. Sometimes I get hurt. Sometimes I hurt people around me. Sometimes, I apologize for being human when I shouldn’t have to.

Sometimes, I’m human.

Go figure, huh?

But I do miss writing. I miss connecting with you guys. I miss reading blogs and seeing what’s going on in your lives, interacting and connecting in increments that are longer than 140 character snapshots flying by as I take quick breathers.

I’ve been blogging in some way for over a decade now. Blogging helped me get through my first couple of years of college, when I felt stuck as the rest of the world was moving on. Blogging helped me grow up, connect and be friends with people around the country (and the world). Blogging helped me find my voice.

With that voice, I wrote. And writing…well, writing helped me chase down and catch some of my dreams. (Also, if you could do me a huge favor and give my new Writer page a ‘Like’ on FB, I would really really appreciate it.)

The first 6 months of my move to Seattle were tumultuous.  You can read a bit more about that Leap of Faith and what went wrong over at Sweatpants & Coffee. (Oh and you should really check us out. Because S&C is one of the families that helped me get through the last year.)

Everything started turning around in June. I got an offer for a job that would challenge me and take me to the next level. I always said that I would go back to an office for the right job, as long as it would propel me forward in my career. I still have my business and freelance clients, and I have big plans for where my business is going in 2014. The creativity and the ambition never dies down, folks. Sometimes, life just blows out my tires and slows me down enough to avoid destroying everything I’ve built so far. I’ll tell you more about the job later, but let’s just say when I wake up with anxiety and going to the office calms me down, that’s a beautiful thing.

As far as life, well, that started turning around too. Once I started coming out of the depression and began standing on my own two feet again, I could explore and experience Seattle the way I meant to when I first moved out here. I’m glad I didn’t give up on the city (and the coast, really), because it’s brought me beautiful friendship, experiences and a new perspective on life.

Most of all, it’s shown me that I can succeed out of my comfort zone.

It’s shown me that I made the right decision by betting on myself.

There’s no formula for getting through the shitstorm of your life. No right or wrong answers, because I certainly made the wrong decisions at times. You just have to appreciate the little things when you can. Sometimes it’s a beautiful sunset. Sometimes it’s a first kiss. Maybe it’s a spoonful of Nutella when you need a midnight snack. Maybe…maybe it’s just cat pictures and friends hugging you (virtually or really).  Sometimes, it’s just a nap in the middle of marathon-watching Friends.

No matter what it is, I’ve always tried to appreciate the little things, even on my darkest days.

And that’s honestly all the advice I can give about that.

Appreciate the small things, forgive yourself and don’t underestimate the power of a Buzzfeed list full of poignant GIFS, no matter how silly they may seem. Because once in a while, you just need to know that someone out there in the world understands.

So, I’m back. Sort of. We’ll see.

Because, guys, I have SO MUCH to tell you about. I mean, all the shows coming back, all the cons I’m going to, all the opinions I have, and of course, actual updates on my life. It is beautiful,  I’m blessed and I want to go back to sharing the good, the bad and sometimes, the ugly, with you.

Speaking of which…I missed you. A ton. Tell me 3 things I should know about your life in 2013. 

And go.


I Love…Fridays Is Back!

I miss writing and I miss sharing my life updates with you guys. With everything that’s been going on, and all the chaos, it’s felt like all I have to share is negative stuff.

Which is not true. There are a lot of little things that happen every day that help me appreciate my life and everything in it, even the frustrating parts of it.

So I’m bringing back I Love…Fridays! Be sure to leave what you love this week in the comments 🙂

I love…that I have finally figured out a few of the things that have been holding me back.

I love…that I am finally published. Self-published, sure, but published nonetheless.

I love…my cat. I mean, just look at her.

I love…drinking coffee out of my favorite Penguin mug.

I love…that my brother and I’ve been talking a lot more lately, and he’s turning into such an awesome man.

I love…that one of my best friends got MARRIED THIS WEEK.

I love…that another one of my best friends asked me to be in her wedding.

I love…my friends. I mean, seriously.

I love…that even though things have been wonky and delayed, the next chapter of my life is waiting for me in Seattle and I’ll be there soon.

I love…that all of my hard work paid off and I signed a monthly retainer contract with one of my major clients. Check ’em out.

I love…that I’m paying down my debt and oh, have you checked out Budget with PQ yet?

I love…friends who ask me the hard questions about my career and get me thinking about the direction and how to get there.

I love…Stefon.



I love…your comments! What do you love this week?

[Reverb10] Major Catch-up

So it seems I have not touched Reverb10 in 10 days…which means you get an awesome 10-for-1 blog 🙂

December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

The one thing that I wanted to try in 2010 was to finally self-publish my book…Everything else got in the way but I know that 2011 will be the year! (Hopefully).

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

There was a lot of healing done in 2010 and it was definitely drip-by-drip.  I would like to think that I’ve healed and grown enough that unless something hits me in an awful way in 2011, I won’t have that much healing to do.

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

Things I should’ve done this year were get a job I love, travel to the west coast & write more. I’ve found my footing and 2011 will be the year that I will do all of this & more!

(I will do the Future Self prompt by Jenny Blake in its own blog)

December 22 – Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

I finally traveled to another time zone (Texas), went to visit my bff in NC a couple of times and finally went up to NYC (and fell in love with it!) Next year, I will finally be traveling to the west coast! I’ll be going to Seattle in January & California (hopefully in the spring). Of course, there will be maaaaaaaany more trips to NYC & everywhere in between!

December 23 – New Name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)

Considering I went by ‘Jordan’ online for so long, I love my real name and wouldn’t change it for the world 🙂

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

I don’t know if there was *one moment*. The second half of my year has been filled with moments where everything clicked, and my heart felt at ease.

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you. (Author: Tracey Clark)

New York City, shot by Olga.

My future, revealed.

December 26 – Soul Food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

Beef ribs in Austin, TX. It was an experience shared with two of my best friends, during a weekend full of bonding.  Since I don’t eat pork, I’d never tried ribs before and these beef ribs were quite possibly the most amazing things I’ve ever had.

December 27 – Ordinary Joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: Brené Brown)

Spending time with my family; watching TV on the couch after a long day with the Boy; having a cup of coffee with a friend where we sit and chat for hours; walking around in the city. All of these may be ‘ordinary’ moments but they all bring me great joy.  I happen to cherish the ‘little’ things and it’s when I’m the happiest.


Oy…Now that I’m all caught up on MY blog, I have YOUR Reverb10 posts to read for the past 10 days! I’ve missed you all…See you on the flip side 🙂

[Reverb10] Lesson Learned

I learned a lot of lessons during 2010 but the most important one was about competition.

The only person worth competing with is myself.

The only way I can measure success is by defining it myself and then working to live up to and exceed my goals.

Once you start looking around and start measuring yourself against other people, you will lose sight of what’s important.

There are a lot of self-righteous people out there who will make themselves seem important by belittling you.  There are a lot of people in your field, the field you want to be in, the career you want, at your work place, in your neighborhood, in your friend circle…

Stop competing with them.

Me? Personally, I haven’t finished my B.A. yet because I gave up my scholarship and worked full-time and have been working towards finishing it for the past 5 years.  I haven’t given up, and sure, there were times I felt like crap when my friends around me started graduate school. Then I stopped measuring myself up against them and set my own goals.

What was important to me?

Once you start measuring yourself up against other people in any way, you lose yourself and who you really are. You become a shell of the person you are, shrouded in the shadows of other people.

Life isn’t a dick measuring contest.

There are people I have connected with this year who enlighten me. They are successful in their own right and instead of feeling sorry for myself, I engage them in conversation.  I soak up information so I can map out my own success, instead of trying to do exactly what they did.

Life isn’t “one-size fits all.”

That was my big lesson of 2010.

I finally stopped paying attention to other people’s lives and began setting my own goals for my own success.


Today’s prompt: Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

[Reverb10] Action & Aspirations

[My answer for Prompt 12 is simply no. Please see Prompt 9, 100 mph.]

Today’s prompt? Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, today’s prompt. Scott Belsky asks me about my aspirations and what comes next. It’s like he was reading my mind for the past week while I have been CONSUMED with my next step but couldn’t focus on it due to illness and school.

New York.

The Big Apple.

Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made of.

New York, New York.

I am currently consumed with Operation: Move to NYC in ’11.

Just like my dream to one day live on the west coast, this isn’t an overnight decision.  I talked about how it felt like home and how I’ve been wanting to live there for years. At first, it was just a thought.

“Maybe in my 30s.”

“I need a job there. It’s expensive. I have to get more security.”

Over the last 3 weeks though, something has washed over me.  This urgency and knowing feeling that there is no better time than now.  I applied to a job here and there in New York as a long-shot but then…it just hit me.

It doesn’t have to be a long shot. I’m 25 years old, about to be 26 and if not now, WHEN?

2010 has been all about taking control of my thoughts and actions. It was about owning my feelings and letting go of doubt. It was MY year to grow.

I said 2011 will be about fulfillment.

So why hold myself back?

I have a boyfriend who is so supportive that he will, depending on the situation, take a job up there with me but understands my need to do this on my own. Moving to New York is MY passion.

Moving out and getting a place in D.C. was easy. I’d already been going to school and working in the city. It was familiar and safe.

New York? New York is the challenge that will be worth it beyond belief.

So I’ve been taking action. I’ve been actively applying to jobs up there with an unrelenting passion and hope. (I know this is doubly difficult because I’m competing against all of NYC while I’m down in DC] I’m using my most powerful tool, my love of networking to make connections up there now. [So if you’re in New York and aren’t following me on Twitter, you should go do it now.]

So Scott Belsky, founder & CEO of Behance, guess what? I am turning my ideas & passions into reality. You asked the perfect question for me today. It just might be fate and maybe you could give me a tip or two to make it in New York.

New York, be ready for me in 2011. You will be my home, where I spread my wings and make my passions a reality.


Prompt: Action. When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

[Reverb10] 11 in 2011

Today’s Prompt: 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

1) 20 Pounds – 2010 was awesome but stress tends to bring a few extra pounds with it.  I have about 20 pounds that I need to lose – in a healthy way. YAY for my Kinect!

2) Clutter – Seriously. I am not a hoarder buuuuuuut I might be. As far as clothes are concerned. Of course, if it’d help if we finally got the second dresser we’ve been needing.

3) Distance – My best friends are scattered all across the country and 2011 will be the year I travel to see them. It’ll start with my Numbah 2 in January.  (That’ll also be the first time I go to the west coast!!) I will also need to visit my Blog Her 2011 roomie before August so we can be BFFs in real life. Texas will probably be on that list again. I so need a job that requires me to travel.

4) Debt – Let’s just say my credit isn’t the best that it could be and I’m really sick of having debt hanging over my head.

5) Procrastination – I mean, seriously.

Honestly, this is where the list ends.  I’m constantly growing and there may be things that come in to my life which will need to get tossed eventually.

That’s life.

And this is a bunny