Saturday, April 30, 2011

choosing to accept

it's really neat to me when i think about something and then i find myself pointed to words, or thoughts that really resonate with mine.

i am loving all the things i'm reading lately. everything talks about letting go. about releasing all of the things in our lives that are holding us back. that within the last 2 years, more people than we can count have been through life changing events. divorce, death, loss of job, loss of house, relocation, etc.

all of these things that we could see as "bad" if we chose too.

i definitely don't choose to see the hardships in my life that way. i don't think losing my job was bad. i knew at the time that getting fired was what needed to happen to get me out of there. that no matter how abused i felt, i was never going to leave on my own (without another job to go to). so until i either found a new job, or got fired- i wasn't leaving.. even though i KNEW i needed to get the fuck out of there. i was (and AM) thankful for being released from that prison.

and this house... everything that is going on with it. in my opinion, it's just the next step... the next thing that needs to be released.. i don't see potentially losing this house as something bad happening to me either. it's stressful. it sucks. but it's ok.

i think that things happen for a reason. i think that when we're not supposed to be somewhere anymore, forces out of our control help get us moving- in whatever way possible. usually, dramatically.

i read this the other day and it spoke to me. it made me rethink everything. it brought my peace of mind. and maybe you'll like it too. :)


"Accept that you are being worked over into something utterly new that has never existed before. If there is a push for you to release something, release it. Fighting it, only slows it down and causes suffering."

"...Drop all "ideas" as to what you should do, who you should be, what work you should seek, what future you should have. The objective is to simply let go of all ideas, all aspirations, all desires. Let go of all impulses to control your life. Have courage to do what you've never done before."

"When we have nothing, there is nothing to hold us back."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

my (current) house- by the numbers

just to further depress myself.. or make myself feel even shittier than i already do- i wanted to write down just what we'll be losing when we lose our house... in dollar signs.

can someone point out to me the clear space and time when the american dream of home ownership turned to anything but? i honestly think that i can remember when it happened. when everything changed and got totally screwed up. it truly wasn't that long ago.

*deep breath* here goes:

i took $15,000 out of my retirement fund to put down on the house.
"a sure thing" everyone said. "a home is a sound investment, the best investment you can make!" i love that bank people and realtors make you unrealistic promises and guarantees. "in 5 years, you'll MAKE money on this house! it will be worth more than you paid for it and you'll both be making more money in your jobs." quite the crystal ball you guys had. hope you aren't continuing to say those things to people.

dear bitterness and hurting heart- stop distracting me.

okay..

$25,000 down on the house (15k of that from my retirement)

$15,000 worth of structural work UNDERNEATH the home. the cement posts were rotted and buried in water. they all to be replaced before we even moved in. we were initially told this would cost $5000 and that the bank would cover it.

$2000 for new carpet in the bedrooms only$$ for ceiling fans in 4 bedrooms (none of the rooms had any lights built in, so i figured this was the easiest and best way to have light and air in each room)

$$ for endless amounts of paint. i repainted the entire house (after taking down walls upon walls of 30 year old wallpaper)
boyfriend repainted the ceiling throughout the house (but not before he scrapped off the popcorn from every inch).
i also repainted all of the bedroom, closet & bathroom doors, as well as the cabinets in the hallway & bathroom.

$$ for appliances- fridge, exhaust fan, washer & dryer

$$ for furniture- couch, dining room table & chairs, shelving units, stands, etc

$$ for new hardware- all door handles & hinges and kitchen cabinet handles

$$ for sod, pipes & machine equipment rentals- tore up the decaying and rotting hot tub & deck in the back yard and planted grass throughout. also did french drains so the area would drain properly and not flood like it was.
also tore up the front yard and planted grass

$1500 for front entrance- stone & rock walkway

$$ replaced front door, garage entrance to house door & new locks for each

$$ blinds & window coverings on 30 year old windows we couldn't afford to replace just yet (thank the freaking goddess).. in our vain attempt to keep the heat/cool air in/out of the house


and the absolute MOST IMPORTANT factor of all:
$$$$$$$$$ all of our time. doing everything ourselves. weekend after weekend of work, work, work on the house. updating, fixing, making it look decent. hours upon hours that we can never get back.


it sucks to think that we're going to lose this house (or short sale, but either way- it will no longer be ours) and in essence, we will be losing everything we've put into it. all of our time. all of our hard work. all of our efforts. and a shitload of money.

just kissing it all goodbye.


thanks for nothing.


all of that and we'll walk away with nothing to show for it, except a completely fucked up credit score.

it just doesn't seem right.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

we're going to stop paying our mortgage

i feel awful. the other week, i was sick to my stomach just THINKING about foreclosing.


on one hand, i need to be free of this house that weighs me down. it's like a fucking anchor in the sea of life, and if i do not cut free from it, it will literally pull me under the waves and laugh as i drown.


this house is killing me.


i can sit here and tell you that i never should have done it. never should have bought it, but none of that matters. doesn't matter what i should have done, or could have done... the point is, i did buy the house. and now i need to unbuy it. that would be cool- an unbuy option. money back guarantee. someone invent that. tomorrow.


anyway.. when i think about being free from this burden (and trust me when i tell you that my shoulders carry the weight of this burden and they are only so strong), it feels good. i am certain that at some point, i will feel immense relief from being out from under this. at some point.


because when i think about NOT paying my mortgage anymore... you know, willingly and knowingly NOT paying my mortgage anymore...well, that makes me want to throw up. it makes me feel horrible. like everything inside me gets twisted up like a fork twisting spaghetti.


i think it's because that's not the kind of person i am. i don't just NOT pay for things. i don't skip on my credit card bills, or car payments, or any payments. i pay for my shit. and i pay it on time. hence the shining gold star credit rating i currently have.. and will soon lose. because i am choosing to save myself, instead of drown.

i think i just want it out there that this decision, no matter how right it is for me, and how much sense it makes financially... has been one of the toughest decisions i've ever had to make. and even though i know that getting out from under this house will be the best thing for our family, the actual process of DOING that (instead of just thinking about it) is so unbelievably hard.


it is one thing to talk about what we should do. it is another to actually start doing it.

you all know that we've tried to work with the bank. apparently having a mortgage that is 61% of our current gross monthly income is perfectly acceptable and not worthy of a loan modification. last week i read more things than i can even understand about short sales, home loan mods, what crooks the banks are, foreclosure, credit scores, etc. it all boils down to the simple fact that the banks make more money foreclosing on your home, than they do working with you to modify your loan, or accomodating a short sale. i know that doesn't seem like it makes any sense, but it's the truth. THE BANKS MAKE MORE MONEY IF THEY FORECLOSE ON YOUR HOME. hence, they don't give a shit if that's exactly what happens to you.

so we've decided that come next month, we will no longer be making our mortgage payments. the thing is, we're making them now- but it's at the cost of our property taxes and home owners insurance. if we were get either of those bills in the next month or so, we'd have NO money to pay them. i'd like to think that once we stop paying, the bank will work with us, but i've read far too many horror stories online to know that it's more than likely, not the case. they make more money if we foreclose, remember?

i don't know what's going to happen, but i'm sure it won't be pretty. this totally sucks.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

when did i become a passenger in my own life?

sometimes i sit and wonder how the hell my life has gotten to the point it's currently at.

but mostly, i wonder why the fuck i can't get out of it? why can't i seem to change any part of it?

i feel like i'm up against this brick wall- fighting, scratching, clawing, punching.. doing anything i can to break through it. and on the other side are these ridiculously muscular animated thugs- who keep piling on more and more cement so that the wall can NEVER come down. but see, i have no idea they're there.. piling on more cement. but they know i'm trying to get through. and everytime they hear me fighting, they laugh.

at me.

because in their minds, my fight is pathetic. my strength is weak. they know that unless THEY allow me get through the wall, it's never going to happen. i fight, kick, scream, do everything i can to move one of the bricks... even if it's just in the slightest. but they're always there- making sure that exact thing doesn't happen.

and so i sit here... wondering... how did i get to a place where i'm currently unemployed, can barely get any interviews, will probably foreclose on my first house soon, living up in northern california with no end in sight, feeling completely unsuccessful when i should be anything BUT.. ???? not really how did all of this happen, but moreso why won't any of it end?

when did i become the passenger in the car driving my life?

it's as though i'm in a "view only" seat. i can no longer make the decisions. i can no longer decide where we're turning or what direction we're heading...

it's literally as though what i want and what i strive for no longer has any relevance. none of it matters. because i'm no longer making my reality... well... real.

and i wonder if this is some sick sort of lesson i'm supposed to be learning about letting go.. giving up control.. trusting that things will work out when and how they're supposed too... but really? how can you ask someone to give up complete and total control in their own life? because that's how i feel.

powerless.

it's been over a year of me fighting for change. fighting to make a difference in my own life. reaching for the things i truly want, only to have them kept out of reach. putting myself out there time and time again, only to have it all thrown back in my face. or completely ignored. not sure which is worse.

the bottom line is- if i'm not driving the car of my life... who the hell is? and how can i kick them the fuck out and get back in the driver's seat?


edited to add... just want to make sure y'all know that i'm not depressed, i'm not sad, i'm not in a bad way- i'm just simply trying to point out how it feels to be me right now. just matter of factly. i simply feel like i have no say what goes on in my life right now. like no matter what i try to accomplish or achieve, it's 100% out of my control, and not working for me. the end. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

pausing

in memory of columbine. a day i'll never forget.


it's seared into my memory as if i knew every single person there that day (i didn't). i remember working out at work with meg at the gym, watching the kids running from their school with their arms up and their shirts off. we didn't have the volume up, so we didn't know what the hell they were doing. me, being the utter and complete smart ass i am all the time, made fun of the boys with no shirts on. i think i remember saying things to meg like "let's all take our shirts off while we run towards the tv cameras. we'll be so sexy."



we both laughed of course. because we had no idea what the fuck was really going on. we had no clue that the boys without their shirts had taken them off to try and stop the bleeding from their teacher... who lay in a classroom with them, dying.


i became obsessed with columbine. i wanted to read everything.. hear everything.. know about every victim.. how they died.. where in the school they died.. sick shit, right?



but i couldn't get enough.


i was absolutely horrified at what had happened. and in all honesty, i think that tragedy is helped solidify my absolute hatred (and probably fear) of guns and what people can do to other people with them.


so today- 4/20/2011- 12 years later. i still think about that day. how i felt. how i still feel. and everyones whose live changed in those moments.

Monday, April 18, 2011

am i not good enough?

i love blogher.com i truly do. i love the community that has been built from the ground up, and how it brings everyone together and believes in supporting one another. i love what the ladies did to create and grow this incredible site.

but i do have a question- because i feel like most people aren't talked about. most bloggers aren't known, etc. and i need and want the support of my community right now. can't we support the bloggers/authors who self publish their books? i feel like we support, shout out, blog post each other to death, publicize, etc any blogger who is LUCKY enough to get a publishing agent and deal. but what about the bloggers who didn't get an agent to bite? what about the bloggers who still wanted to publish their story because they believed in it, and loved it, and wanted it out there for public consumption?

is my book not good enough because i published it myself? isn't there room for everyone to get the same kind of help? i always thought so. and so i'm asking you guys- can self published authors get the same kind of respect, and shout outs as the other ones?

just because my book wasn't picked up by some big wig agency, doesn't mean it isn't worthy of your attention or time. if we are supporting the women who do what they can to achieve their goals, see their dreams a reality, try to make a living doing what they enjoy doing- then i want to be included in that.

you know? it just feels like the same bloggers, all the time, getting all the attention, all the perks, all the publicity, etc. that is great for them and i'm happy for them and want to SUPPORT them- but i want to be supported as well and i just don't see it.

prove me wrong.

Friday, April 15, 2011

my book is coming!

well, not today. or tomorrow. but everyday, it's one day closer to publication!

sure, it's SELF publication, but i'm totally okay with that. (at least that's what i tell myself daily)

i have to remind myself that self publishing doesn't mean that i failed at becoming a traditionally published author (although, um, yeah- that's kind of exactly what it means)... so maybe i just need to remind myself that it's OK that i'm not a traditionally published author. :)

i get to have more control over my characters, my stories, my release dates for my books. i get to make more money than i would being traditionally published (not much mind you, but still, in the grand scheme of things.. more)

i also get to do everything on my timeline. which in all honesty, i sort of prefer. i hate being told what to do. but we all know that already, don't we?

so i'm currently working on designing a high resolution cover for print, getting some final editing done by a friend, and then i can format it into paperback and e-book forms!

i am super excited to release the book and have it out there! unless y'all hate it and tell me how overly, ridiculously crappy it is- cause then i'll probably cry.

nah, not really. i'll suck it up and tell myself that you're all just love haters and then i'll go completely psychotic and make it that it's all your fault, not mine. that's how i cope.

brilliant.

anyway- that's what is going on with my book! i'm excited that there is some movement and i'm working towards a goal. self publishing is hard because you do everything yourself. and if you don't have the money to spend on hiring professional editors, designers, layout artists, etc.. (and most of us DON'T have the money to pay for those things) then you're stuck doing it all yourself. and while it's an awesome learning experience, it can also be super overwhelming. but i'm hopingn that means it will be THAT much more rewarding in the end! :)

have you seen my writer website? www.j-sterling.com check it out! let me know what you think about it. and join my facebook page for my books if you want. i think it would be awesome if you did, but what the hell do i know?!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

what happens when we foreclose?

we finally heard from bank of america yesterday in regards to our year long battle to get accepted into the trial home modification program (due to me losing my job, hence the primary income at the time.

they said NO. even though our mortgage is currently 61% of our monthly gross income.

they also encouraged us to continue paying our mortgage on time and if we think that we might have problems doing that in the future, we should call a specific number.

go fuck yourselves b of a. no, seriously. GO.FUCK.YOURSELVES.

the whole point with TRYING to get our loan modified, was so that we wouldn't have to stop paying. was so that you would help us. even though you have it noted, that defaulting on our loan is immanent.

i don't know how you sleep at night, people who run and are in charge of this program, and at this point, i honestly don't give a shit. i'm passed caring and trying to make this work. i'm passed being beyond stressed out because we have to make this ridiculous house payment.

no more.

so now my question is... when i stop paying on the house and let it get foreclosed on.... what REALLY happens to my credit?

i want to know what the reality is if i let this happen? how will i be impacted? how screwed up will i be, if i default on my home loan, but stay current with everything else?

how long will things be screwed up, or is there some sort of understanding in regards to people whose credit is messed up solely due to losing their home? you know, since it's happened to so many people in the past few years?

i really want/need to know.. so if you know anyone who got foreclosed on, or if you walked away from your house- can you please tell me how it impacted your credit, your ability to get new things, your life?

and thanks. :)

Friday, April 08, 2011

shredding, again

why do i do this to myself?!

remember the last 2 times i shredded, i got HUGE? i do. but clearly, i've put that out of my mind.

i am shredding again. but this time, i'm not doing it every single day. i'm doing it 3-4 times a week and i'm super counting calories. i'm on day 6, and so far.. so good! i actually don't think i'm getting bigger this time!!!!!! *knocks on wood*

why was i the only one whose thighs and ass grew doing this excercise?!?? for reals, cause i measured!

what i do love about this workout is that i sweat more in 20 minutes doing this thing, than i do after an hour on the treadmill. and i feel sore all the time. i love that. i will love this workout even more if i lose a few inches and get toned up. then i'll believe all you shredheads, that it actually worked! :)

are you guys working out in anticipation of summer?! or are you dreading it?

Monday, April 04, 2011

am i the only one who names my cars?!?

so.. we got a new car this past weekend. you see, sam (my jeep).. well he was 11 years old. and he had 238,000 miles on him. and while i loved sam with all of my heart, he was starting to potentially fall apart. there was some serious coolant issue and it was blowing coolant into the car while i would drive- all of a sudden i would see plumes of white smoky stuff blowing at my face... and well, that was coolant. i'm sure that's not healthy.

so when we were looking at cars and talking about leases vs buying and stuff.. i told the guy at the dealership that i get really attached to my cars. that i fall in love with them. and it's true. i can honestly tell you that i care about my cars. and i can also tell you, that the insane part of me, thinks that my cars care about me back. lol no really. i take care of my car, and it takes care of me. we have a relationship. we look out for each other. my car CARES about my safety.

holy shit. i am totally fucking batshit crazy, aren't i?

yes, yes i am.

anyway, when i left sam at the dealership, i cried. and i'm still a little sad. i LOVED my jeep. i loved my sam. he was a good car. and i miss him. i have a lot of memories in that car. i think i would have kept him forever if i could have. holy crap, i'm going to cry again. pathetic.

moving on... you want to know what the first thing was that my mom and all my friends asked me when i told them we got a new car?

does it have a name yet?

hahah.. clearly, i'm easy to read.

so this is ole bessie. yes, ole. bessie's a subaru legend. and a 6 speed stick. and tomorrow, she gets her windows tinted. she's shy like that. Ole bessie


do you name your cars or am i the only completely insane one around these parts?

Friday, April 01, 2011

trying to lose weight by summer?

cause really, isn't that a huge topic of conversation on a daily basis between women (and yeah, some of you guys too)? i feel like i'm constantly battling these "last 10 pounds"... and with summer coming up- and the fact that i like to get tan and wear shorts... well..

yeah.

so my girlfriend from high school, kim... she's been trying to get me to try this weight loss stuff she's been doing. and let me tell you, she's crazy skinny lately. she blames her new diet plan. i blame crack. :)

she insists that it's fabulous and even though i honestly only feel like i have 6 pounds that i want to lose, i still want it gone! (because i'm 6 pounds heavier than i was last summer.. and let me tell you that those 6 pounds have all camped out in my ass and upper thighs) i know 6 pounds isn't much.. but it is a lot when it all resides within one area of my body. 6 pounds BE GONE!

so she offered to send me 3 days worth of product for me to try out! and well, i'm not one to turn down shit that could help me look even hotter than i already do, so i said YES! then she almost made my cry when she ran down the laundry list of items she'd be sending me. (i mean, i was super overwhelmed in the same way i got overwhelmed the first time i started using a 3 step face wash system for my face at night... I HAVE TO USE THREE STEPS?! IN ORDER?! OH MY GAWD, I'LL NEVER GET IT RIGHT!!!) but then when i got everything in the mail, it all made way more sense. :) and even though she sent me a little bit of everything, i only used what i would use if i had bought it myself. basically, the main componant is the shakes that you drink for either 2 meals a day, or 1. i was totally on board. i mean, that's soooo slim fast-ish to me, and i loved slim fast, so i'm down with shakes for meals. ha


anyway, this stuff is called body with vi.. maybe you've heard of it? seems pretty popular lately.. i did a twitter search and it's all over that thing! so, i did 2 shakes a day, for 3 days. one for breakfast and one for lunch. the shakes come in a pouch that is one flavor (sweet cream) and it smells like vanilla frosting when you open it. *swoon* i put the first one in orange juice for breakfast and it was surprisingly good (i was honestly scared with my first sip)! i really, really liked it. but since i couldn't get past the whole vanilla frosting smell (and i feel like frosting belongs in milk & not juice) i bought some non-fat milk and used that for my lunch shake. EVEN better!!! it really was super yummy. reminds me a lot of vanilla slim fast shakes, which i LOVE! but with this stuff, you can put it in pretty much anything. soy products, yogurt, fruit and ice and then blend it.... i stuck with the milk for the 3 days. cause it was so dang good.


she also sent me these energy flavor packet things you can put in your water. i fell in love with that stuff. they were so good and i loved how i felt after. i totally noticed a difference. plus, it's fun to feel like you're drinking something OTHER than water for once. i'm such a freaking water whore, but it does get boring.


did i lose any weight in 3 days, you're probably wondering? i didn't. but in all honesty, my body takes longer than a mere 3 days to lose anything. i plan on ordering a set of the shakes because in the summer- i lose my appetite and i struggle with what to eat for lunch almost everyday. i'm not always very hungry, but i know i need to eat and nothing ever sounds good. the shakes will be easy, quick, yummy and filling. i think they'll be perfect. and then if they help me lose weight, EVEN BETTER!!!


so yeah. if you've tried body with vi, i'd love to hear about how it was for you. and if you haven't, but you're intrigued.. check out my girlfriends website here. you can email her and ask her any questions. she's super knowledgeable and helpful. and if you order, i hope you'll help her out and order from her. you can ask me anything too. but you already know that. :)