Just Go Left

Happy Hour Hangout vol 2

PersonalAshtenComment

So here’s the thing: I’ve missed you guys. I’ve missed you in the way you miss friends when you’ve been too busy to catch up with them….which is funny because THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT’S HAPPENED HERE. So, HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE…..I TRIED TO WRITE A DOZEN TIMES…….AND LIFE KEPT GETTING IN THE WAY.

(Those are the lyrics Adele wanted to write, but didn’t.)

I feel bad, and I want to catch-up. It’s been too long. So, let’s pretend it’s about 5 pm and we’re meeting up here for drinks. I’ve never been, but I hear they have a pretty good Happy Hour and I’ve been itching to try it out. Let’s pretend we’re sitting in a nice corner booth, where we can hide from the general public (kinda my thing these days) and have a good conversation. We have too much to talk about to be interrupted.

**I’m only going to have one cocktail today, please don’t judge me...I’m easing back into this.**

If we were at Happy Hour….I would be drinking something that’s easy to sip on over time. Perhaps wine. As I sipped my wine I would tell you I prefer white wine over red wine and then I would pause for you to judge me. Red wine is not my favorite thing, and yes I’ve tried several types of red wine and I still strongly dislike it. Give me a Pinot Grigiot or a Sav Blanc over a Merlot anyday. Or give me Rose. I can handle a Rose. Ohh let’s go wine tasting! My sister works at a winery!

If we were at Happy Hour…...I would admit that things have been hard lately and choosing joy has been even harder. I would tell you how hard Kyle and I are working to deal with the grief of losing his brother everyday but how deep-rooted that grief feels, especially for him. I would tell you we’re doing better, that we are trying to be strong for his parents and for each other. I would tell you Kyle got laid off right after Labor Day and we struggled for awhile, financially. We’re okay now though, because he started a new job last week and he loves it. He also started his own videography business, O’Malley Reels and I’ve never seen him more passionate or focused. He’s working so hard and I’m so proud. I would tell you I’ve learned a lot about resilience since we’ve last chatted, and tell you that means I don’t always choose joy…..but I’m trying. And then I would probably apologize for being a bit of a Debbie Downer.

If we were at Happy Hour….I would tell you I’m borderline obsessed with a gym in Ventura called The Studio. I joined about a month ago, and I never thought I would enjoy getting my ass kicked so much. In fact, I love it so much I’ve started personal training with the owner, Helya, once or twice a week. It’s been good for my soul, and not just because it leaves me so tired I can’t think. I can already feel myself getting stronger, and I’m pretty proud of it. I would tell you if you ever want to take a class with me to let me know and then I would ask what your favorite work-outs are. Oh, and where I can get cute workout clothes because my priorities are straight.

If we were at Happy Hour….I would ask what you think about the blog world these days. I would admit I haven’t wanted to come back for awhile because of the way things have changed. Blogging, to me, has become less about connection and more about the sale in the last few years. I’ve always enjoyed real-life more than staged photos and I crave connection over “ten ways to get more followers”...but blogging doesn’t feel as genuine anymore. I would tell you it’s a double edged sword of sorts because the more our readership grows, the more people we are connecting with. I would ask who some of your favorite bloggers are and why, and I would tell you some of mine. I would ask if you think there can be value in blogging without a sales pitch and how to be okay if your blog doesn’t stand out among the others.

If we were at Happy Hour…..I would tell you I miss one thing about Atlanta and one thing only: FALL. It was 102 in Ventura last week. TRIPLE FREAKING DIGITS IN SEPTEMBER?! SHUT UP. I miss the leaves changing and that crispness in the air. I miss breaking out my blanket scarves and boots. I would ask if you have a favorite season and if you can believe this heat because it’s unreal and I need some fall weather STAT.

If we were at Happy Hour….I would ask if we could do this again, soon. I would say that one of the big reasons we’ve been able to get through the last few months is because of our friends and loved ones. Friends organized meals when we couldn’t think about cooking, they sent cards with words of encouragement, they called to check on us. I would thank you for taking the time to meet up with me, to have a drink with me and listen to me and for being part of my community.