Thankful Thursday 17 March 2022

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am thankful for the Luck o’ the Irish, as well as a loving boyfriend. I told him I needed a social media break because I felt overwhelmed and depressed, he’s been checking up on me, as well as expressing his love of me. Awww. Thank you, Tommy.

I’m also thankful for the Writing.com community, for ruwth, Tina, Lilli, Jody, and Joy. I’m thankful for friends and family. What are you grateful for today?

Pho Cali | 13 March 2022

After the skate park and Reading Terminal Market to pick up some groceries, I decided to go to China Town. I love Pho Cali; I find Vietnamese food is easier for Celiacs than Chinese food. However, newer Chinese and Japanese restaurants are getting better about gluten-free options.

Pho Cali knows me well, they knew what I wanted – shrimp summer roll with the gluten-free pink fish sauce, and pho ga (chicken pho).

It was a delicious meal for a chilly March day, after a snowy Saturday. I can’t wait to go back!

Philadelphia Museum of Art and Paine’s Park | 13 March 2022

Tommy’s mom left for Ireland on Sunday, so we didn’t get together this weekend. On Sunday, I decided to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I renewed my Art Museum membership after a year since 2020 was a lost year, 2021 was half of one. I didn’t want to renew in 2021, just in case. 2022 seems a bit safer and I thought it could be good for dates.

The Art Museum upgraded and expanded. I was amazed at all the work that had been done. The bottom levels weren’t recognizable and of course I had to take tons of photos.

I loved the photography exhibits and I got lost in the exhibits for an hour and a half. I took tons of photos and many of the displays gave me some ideas for shoots I’d like to do. I want to borrow dad’s Olympus SLR camera, but some film, and shoot at the skate park.

This was a beautiful exhibit. When I was taking photos of the books about grief (I’d like to read them and wanted the pictures for the titles), a woman liked my idea and started taking photos too. We started talking about grief and I mentioned that I was writing a memoir/creative non fiction about a project that started because of grief. Intrigued, she wanted to hear more about the Happiness Box Project and I told her. I told her the writing of this book has been an exercise and a half, but I take my time. She loved the idea. She told me about her project, the Solstice Project. She writes a negative thought or event down, then burns it. I liked her idea too. Felt really great to talk and share today.

After, I went to the skate park and I met these two gals. I didn’t have my skateboard, but they gave me some pointers, tips, and advice. I overthink. I’m super grateful and they let me take photos. Same with the bikers. It was fun at the skate park on Sunday. I also met Theo, who is visiting from France. He is taking a skate tour of the US.

I’m going to go back next Sunday, with my skateboard, pads and helmet, and see if I meet others who can show me how to skateboard.

Thankful Thursday 10 March 2022

Ah, March! March is the month of crazy weather and Mother Nature has not disappointed yet. Sunday was 70, Monday was 74, Tuesday dropped to 39, Wednesday we had snow, today was 52, tomorrow will be 40, and Saturday will be rainy/snowy. It sure is hard to plan what to wear and what to do.

Anyway, I’m grateful that spring is coming soon and we turn the clocks ahead this weekend. I won’t be walking home in the dark anymore! Woohoo! I’m always grateful for that.

I’m also grateful for my library job. This week was library workers appreciation week and last night Ms. Laura gave me a nice pin. They also ordered me a gluten-free salad from Panera, my favourite kind too! I’m verklempt and I’m thankful that they recognized the workers.

I’m also grateful for my full-time job and the people I work with there as well. I’m also thankful for friends, family, and Tommy.

What are you grateful for today?

West Chester Adventures | 5 March 2022

On Saturday I decided to take a trek to West Chester. Tommy and I talked about visiting when it gets nicer; I told him I would give him a little tour of old haunts. He loves Fairman’s skate shop and is interested in seeing where I hung out during college.

I hadn’t been to West Chester since my first tattoo in May 2019. I knew the town changed, especially since COVID, and I decided since last weekend Tommy had a family function to attend that I would go explore West Chester. I needed to see what changed and what was still there before I give my boyfriend a tour of my old college town.

The first thing I noticed that changed. I was sad to see this sign. Was my favourite place during college…

I decided to go to Everhart Park. I wanted to go to the playground and I also wanted to take photos. I spent a lot of time at Everhart Park after my rape; swinging and listening to music provided a temporary relief.

While I’ve had a few happy moments since then, mostly the Turks Head Music Festival, I had a happy occasion to celebrate currently. I have a boyfriend now, he’s the love of my life and I’m the love of his life. I never thought I’d be comfortable being in a relationship, especially a committed one full of love and trust. I had to celebrate and I took some beautiful photos of the bracelet my love gave me on my favourite red bench.

I also decided to take some cell phone photos of the bracelet and the bench.

I snapped some of these photos to Tommy and I posted them on Instagram. Tommy was the first to love them.

I decided to continue onto the playground. Everhart Park got a fancy new playground since Christina and I visited after Wraith in May 2019!

I stayed on that swing for an hour, listening to Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Mad Season, Dr. Dre, Eminem, and so many other artists.

After an hour, I decided to continue the photoshoot. I went to the Gazeebo, then the bridge.

My phone was dying and I knew I had to go back into town to charge my phone at Starbucks. However, once I got back to town, I saw that Starbucks closed. A young man was smoking outside and I asked him if there were any local cafes that I could charge my phone. He said there was a new cafe two blocks down the street.

Le Tartine opened in May 2020. A family owned Mediterranean cafe with gluten-free options. I was going to have a late lunch/early dinner at Roots cafe, but I decided to order a Lebanese coffee with a gluten-free crepe as I charged my phone. Delicious! I definitely want to go back.

Even Gay Street changed. I was surprised how much it changed.

Yet, some things remained the same. Penn’s Table was still there, a few friends and I used to hang out there. Also, Fairman’s Skate Shop.

Ah, yes. I remember walking past Fairman’s all the time in college. The Mad Platter was a few doors down, I lived in that record shop (I cried when they closed). 10 years ago I went on a date with Mike, an 18 year old guy who was kicked out of his house (and once his roommates kicked him out, I never saw him again) and he brought me to Fairman’s. We didn’t buy anything, but it was cool to browse. Over the years, I loved window shopping.

I went in after my snack at Le Tartine. I bought new skate pants and they had women’s sizes! They fit perfectly. I also bought stickers for my deck. I decorated it on Sunday evening and plan on skating on Friday. Of course, I can’t wait to skate with my skater boy as well. ❤️🛹

I ended my day at the Roots Cafe. My favourite restaurant! Been coming here for 10 years. I remember when they were in the smaller place; Dan and Keyanna used to own the restaurant. They ran the restaurant and we became friends. Sadly, I think they sold it in 2016, but new management is awesome. My diet has changed over the years, but they have accommodated me well! I had the gluten-free turkey Rachel.

I had a great day! I loved visiting old haunts and creating new haunts. I loved creating new memories and I can’t wait to create more memories with Tommy.

Here’s how I decorated my skateboard:

I may find daisy or floral stickers too. When I take Tommy to West Chester, I want to do a photoshoot at Everhart Park and maybe we can skateboard together too. After all, Bam Margera is from West Chester and West Chester is a pretty big skate town.

Can’t wait for Spring!

Thankful Thursday 3 March 2022

I want to start this entry off with a song, a song that is heavily related to this first Thankful Thursday post of March.

I’m really thankful for my friends this week, especially with how they listened and reminded me that patience is a virtue. I’m always thankful for my friends.

I heard from Tommy! He loves me and misses me, he just needed a break. He said, “I hope I didn’t upset you too much. Sorry, babe.”

I replied, “Nah, I know you by now. I’ve also been reading about Asperger’s and know that this happens from time to time.” He felt relieved.

I’m also thankful for my jobs and my family. What are you thankful for today?

Patience is a Virtue

As I posted in my last entry, sometimes we just need to be patient and allow things to unfold on their own. On Monday, early morning, Tommy texted me that he needed a break. This isn’t uncommon with Aspies. I respected it. I was sad for a little bit.

I’m feeling better; after some thought, Tommy needs space and I need some space too. Not contacting him doesn’t show that I don’t care, it’s quite the opposite. I’m going to let him reach out to me first. In the interim, I have a life. I’m not going to take down the photos and I’m going to continue wearing the bracelet he gave me. I’m also going to stop the self-blame and remind myself that “this is not a Jessica issue.” My kindness didn’t ruin anything.

I am loved and not only by him. I’m loved by friends, family, this community, some co-workers from the library, my old jobs, and my new job. I bring light into the lives of others; I’m strong, I’m kind, I’m honest, I’m brave, and so many other positive things (as well as negative things, but I am loved regardless).

Thankful Thursday 24 February 2022

I’m really grateful for Tommy today. He has been nothing but patient with me and I love him dearly. We love each other dearly and we accept one another for who we are.

With that said, I’m going to let go of anxiety and worry. I’m going to keep present and just let life flow naturally. I found this reading today and I agree with it:

This makes sense. Just let it be and what will unfold will unfold. There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m great the way I am.

Today is my 16th anniversary on Writing.com. I’ve been there for half my life and it’s hard to believe that I joined when I was 16 years old and in 10th grade. I am thankful for the community and the friends I’ve made over the years. This site not only helped me grow into a better writer and creator, they also helped me grow into the young woman I am now.

I am grateful for everyone who sent me a Cnote and merit badge. Thank you for all the well-wishes and I look forward to many more years on writing.com.

I’m also thankful for friends and family. What are you grateful for today?

Communication

Tommy and I talked. We agreed to talk more about certain things, especially some boundaries. I told him I love him, I’m committed to him, and I’m glad he’s on this journey with me He agreed; he is committed to me and loves me very much. He still wants to travel the world and still wants to journey with me.

I’m going to let go of my fears and just enjoy. I told him I want him to still spend time with friends, but I do want to see him at least once a week, and we need to pre-plan. He agreed. We also like the pace we are at, and he is relieved that I want him to lead. We love each other very much, we are both sincere with one another, and we are both special people. We are just going to enjoy and take it one day at a time.

New Doo

Our Verizon fiOs box died yesterday and Verizon can’t come out until after the holiday. Since I was off from my full-time job for the holiday, I worked the morning at the library. I’m at the library now, online, so it’s going to be a photo entry of my new hair.

I went to a new salon yesterday – Tantra. Supercuts messed up my hair three months ago and I wanted something closer to home. Mary was my stylist and she did an amazing job. We really connected in those two hours.

After, I spent time with Tommy. Okay, maybe I’ll get into it. I rather do it in one entry anyway.

After I got done my hair appointment, I sent Tommy a selfie of my hair. He got up at 1:30 and said he was scared and depressed. I asked him if he wanted me to come over. He said, “yes.”

I texted him after I finished eating and told him I was on my way via Lyft. He couldn’t wait to see me. I was chatting with my Lyft driver and checking messages. He was excited and once I got there and knocked on the door, he sent me a text that he couldn’t hang out today. Waited for a bus and an older guy told me that the 107 doesn’t run on Sunday. He was going to show me where the other bus runs.

Our Verizon FiOs box died and I’m without internet (I’m at the library right now) and as I was talking to the guy about going into Philly, Tom messaged me. I then heard my name and my phone ring. It was Tom. Tom caught up to me and said, “if you don’t want to be with me, tell me.”

I said, “I do. I was respecting your wishes.”

“You intimidated me!” He accused me when we were walking back to his house.

“What? I wasn’t intimidating you. I was worried about you.” He handed me a Sunny D and looked at me when I said, “I care about you and when you are depressed, too scared to come out of your room, I want to be there for you.” His face softened and we went upstairs.

I saw his mom and said, “I’m sorry if I’m intruding.”

She was confused and said, “not at all! Welcome!”

Tommy led me into his bedroom, pulled back my newly done hair and said, “I’m sorry. Mom wanted me to wake up earlier and she got on my case about my room being a mess. Your hair looks great.”

“Thank you for coming after me.”

“You think I was just going to let you go back home?” He smiled and kissed me.

We talked some more and we both agreed, we need to pre plan 2 days in advance and if one of us feels blah, we can come over.

We cuddled and talked until we went to dinner. Tommy told me, “I’m so glad we can talk and work through things.”

“We are a team and I’m here for you.”

We both agreed with something I found online – {b}you’re mine, no refunds{/b}.

After dinner, Tommy and I went to Goodwill. He bought a Playstation 2 console, I bought a jar for when my rose is dried.

We then went back to his house and played Playstation for a few hours, then switched to Call of Duty for Xbox. We talked about military history and guns, something else we have in common. He said to me last night, “I’m so glad you came. You cheered me up.”

This morning he called me and I felt a little worried. We are good. He’s just a little overwhelmed. I told him I follow his lead and I follow his pace. He was relieved.

Part of my trauma is being too much, but I don’t think it’s all about me. I know Aspies need to process things and he’s probably anxious. As a friend was saying to me this morning:

Friend:
Misinterpreting social cues that are natural to most of us, is rather typical of someone on the spectrum. So confusing to both of you, am guessing.

You sent
Yep. I learned this: sometimes when they get stressed, they take it out on someone else. His mom yelled at him before I came about his oversleeping and messiness.

Friend sent
I get it.

You sent
Friend, I’m glad he came after me and we did spend time together. I guess with my trauma, I’m so used to not being chased after.

Friend sent
So is he……he is not used to a girlfriend actually caring about him.

You sent
Yes. He told me that he’s not used to any of this.

Friend sent
He is most likely excited and scared and hopeful….just like anyone is in a new relationship.

I know sometimes I’m too much and I worried about what I did yesterday as being too much. However, it’s not always about me. He’s navigating his feelings too. Sometimes intense emotions overwhelm Aspies, but they overwhelm neurotypicals too.

My guess is, some of it probably anxiety about that. This isn’t my first rodeo with him, especially when it comes to him saying he wants to dial back. I follow his lead and it’ll be okay. The truth is, I’m just as nervous and excited as he is. We can do this together.