From October-December 2015 I started my new journey by going to school to become an Amtrak Conductor. As an Assistant Conductor our responsibilities are only part of the long list of responsibilities the conductors have. Many people believe Conductors are the person that operates the train in the locomotive, but that’s actually the Engineer. Conductors are the trainmen that work inside the train, making sure everyone is being safe and smart. Training to become a train conductor was not easy. While in school I was not myself. I had to deal with being in an atmosphere that I had never been in before. It was intense and full of knowledge. Graduation couldn’t have come fast enough for me in Delaware. I made it through and now I’m in an amazing career!
In September 2015 Lisa and I went to the Baltimore Comic Con for the first time. It was fun and exciting. Lisa dressed as Hermione Granger and I was Ginny Weasley /Bellatrix Lastrange from Harry Potter. BCC was just like the New York Comic Con just not as big and not as many people. Lisa had a blast. She insisted on going although she had surgery on both tendons. Here are some of our favorite characters there.
Every year on August 18th, I turn another year older. This year I turn 30 and although everyone says I’m young and have my whole life ahead of me, I can’t help but preview the past. Every year I try to do something new, outside of the norm and adventurous. There are also the traditional events such as Comic Con in New York City and Easter with my family in New Jersey. Speaking of New York City, I’m still in love and in awe of the view of New York. It can be on ground level or up high from a building, the view still takes my breath away. It never gets old for me. 30 years and I have accomplished very little, in 2004 I graduated High School, in 2008 I finished my contract with the Marine Corps, in 2014 I graduated college, so what now? At 30 I feel I should already have a career, a home, a car and a happy life for me and my daughter. I feel incomplete and unhappy. When I was in the Corps I loved being instructor staff, this year during camp I was as happy as a clam. I slept from 10pm to 6am, got the girls ready with the help of the other counsellors, we all went to exercise, eat, enjoy a day full of activities, eat, more activities, dinner, one last activity with the entire camp then off to bed. It was a positive and healthy change from the overnight shift I did 40 hours or more a week. If only I could make a career out of camp week. Well let’s see what the next 30 years will bring for this hardworking Leo.
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In 1996 I was a camper in the New Jersey National Guard Youth Camp for the first time. Three years later I was a “Purple Person” (aka Foxtrot). Three years after that and I was a Junior Counselor. Then I became a Marine. I visited camp when I could but my orders had me away for a while. Then I came back and was a Senior Counselor for three years. I had to miss more years because my daughter, Lisa, wasn’t old enough to attend as a camper. Finally this year Lisa started as a camper and I returned as a Senior Counselor! It was well worth it! I saw some familiar faces and I had the pleasure of meeting some new ones.
The experience throughout the years at camp changes but the joy of being there never fades!
This year I was the Senior Counselor for Bravo Company! Those 27 children, 5 Junior Counselors and 4 Senior Counselors became my family and in the words of Mr. Cole, “my children” for the entire week. They made me laugh, smile, cry and motivated! I’m proud of every single one of them. I’m also proud of my daughter, she was well behaved and enjoyed her first year. She already wants to go back.
More photos and writing to come…
For months now I have fallen “behind” on my postings here on my site. Life usually gets in the way for many but I don’t consider life as something that is in the way. Life is life, it isn’t going to change, improve or go anywhere if we don’t take the steps in the direction of positive change and choices.
Currently I’m going through a divorce, a move and a hard time with getting myself back on my feet. I continue to start my day with a smile and optimistic personality because it is not going to improve or help me to become depressed, negative or constantly unhappy. There are times that I have a “slow” day, however; those days aren’t going to define me.
I guess what is really on my mind is the world I didn’t realize I was living in. The words that come out of peoples’ mouths no longer shock me. Here’s what happened: One day (June 2014) my ex-husband suddenly asked me for a divorce, he tried to explain to me that I didn’t do anything wrong, that it wasn’t me, I’m a wonderful woman and wife and he loves me. He said he just wanted to be alone and didn’t want to hold me back. For 6 months I tried to reconcile, “fix” and suggest ways to make it work but it didn’t. I even suggested all forms of counseling, he continued to stay on the path he decided alone. I moved out, started the divorce process with him and am ready to move on with my life. It’s been 10 months. When people ask me the ridiculous questions or make even more ridiculous comments I do my best to answer it without an attitude or ignore them completely. Here’s what I’ve heard and how I feel about it.
Person A: “I’m sorry to hear that, divorce is not fun…. why did you want a divorce?” Me: What makes you think it was my choice? Why do you assume I wanted this?
Person B: “Oh no..which one of you cheated?” Me: Why do you assume one of us cheated? I don’t know if he cheated but infidelity isn’t always the reason for divorce.
Person C: “Don’t you want to fix it? Stay married?” Me: (Exaggerated) Noooooo, not at all, I wanted this to happen to me, it’s a wonderful experience! DUH!! I can’t control what he does, how he feels and I can’t force him to stay married to me. Not all broken things have a glue to fix it.
Person D & E: “Now that you’re single, you and I can go out!” “Want to be my friend with benefits?” Me: WOW! You don’t know me at all! No I will not go out with you or be your friend with benefits. I’m just getting over someone, he wasn’t my friend with benefits, my boyfriend or fiance, he was my HUSBAND, someone who I vowed to dedicate my life to. I’m sorry, not sorry, that I don’t want to jump into bed or a relationship with someone else. Get over yourself.
Person F: “What did you do to make him ask for a divorce?” Me: Oh, that’s right, I forgot it’s my fault. I worked, graduated college, cooked, cleaned, organized our home, shopped for groceries, shopped for necessities, bought birthday/Christmas/holiday gifts and necessities for both of our families, I canceled plans or didn’t make plans with my friends so he didn’t come home to an empty home, I put him before myself, I changed and canceled plans so him and I can do things together, I was readily available for him 24/7 intimately, and that’s just the half of the things I did “to him.” I can see now what I did to make him want a divorce.
Person G: “Just get over him, don’t worry about him and move on with your own life.” Me: Oh, is my time of pain and healing not fast enough for you?
Those are just a few examples, and of course a few of them would say this is me being bitter. I’m not bitter, but I’m sure if the person calling me bitter went through anything negative or painful in their lives, they will be the first person to be negative, depressed and very bitter. I’m simply expressing myself in a healthy and opinionated manner.
I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I am happy. How did this happen? I accepted the inevitable and created a new plan for my future. One that involves a change of scenary for my home and my job/career. I am doing what I want to do to create a better life for my daughter and myself. That has always been priority number one but I lost sight of that when I remarried. Now that I’m divorced, I can get back on track and give my daughter what she deserves and what I deserve, a life for her and myself that involves more time spent together and more of my involvement. This will also open new doors for this blog and my websites. I hope you all continue with me on this journey known as my life.
This year tickets to Comic Con sold out within the first hour…. after the system crashed, 3-day, 4-day, Friday and Saturday tickets were sold out on day one. So I bought a Thursday Ticket and Sunday ticket. I missed so much on Friday, and Saturday but I still enjoyed myself.
On Thursday I went alone and met my friends there, then I left to pick up my sister and took her there. On Sunday I took Lisa and her friend, Za. (Lisa’s voice over link: http://nickatnycc.com/item/1003/). There were so many Cosplayers and people there. It was great. I even got to spend time with my God-Sons. Here is our experiences in photographs:
September 14, 2014 I graduated the University of Phoenix, Jersey City Campus, NJ with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. The worst part is when others claim that online degrees “don’t count”, “aren’t real degrees”, “are easier to get”, “are easier to cheat on”, or “anyone can get one.” Here I thought the fact that I worked hard, went to campus classes, did my own homework, exams and finals and dedicated hours to my degree was why I earned my degree. If it’s so easy, why don’t they have one? I worked hard and kept a high grade point average to remain an honor student. Taking five week courses are harder then the same class given in three months. Now I’m a college graduate and the next step is to continue my education and earn my Master’s degree and beyond. Here is my experience in photographs…