Maps•Charting a Course•And Moving Forward


Thursday, I did the unthinkable. The unpredictable. 

I quit. My job. 

It’s been a year in the making and…so much has changed in a year. I have a legitimate petsitting business that has taken over my schedule and my life and I love it!!! 🐶🐱🐰🐹

I went from working at the bakery 5 days…to 3 days, and then, it just didn’t make sense to be there anymore. I will miss some of the people there, but…I had to be objective about it and do what is best for me. 

Sometimes, we need to admit when things are holding us back. And if we want things to change, we have to initiate that change. So, I’d be lying if I told anyone I was sad about leaving. The time just seemed right. I didn’t want to hold them back the way I felt like it was holding me back. It was best for everyone. 

At the moment, I am currently watching a dog who has the name Avery also. 😂 That makes for some interesting posts on my petsitting page! And 4 pugs. I am just so grateful that I get to do something I love: watch and take care of animals. Other people may not understand it, but this is normal to me. Not 9-5 or even 6am-1pm, but this.

I’ve never done well working for other people. I have my own visions, my own goals, my own passions. I’m at this point in my life where I’m more willing to risk it all and just go for it. I used to be afraid of taking risks, but then after starting the antique booth and doing some other things, I’ve just come to learn that there are no rewards in life unless you take risks.

The map at the beginning of this post is actually at the house I’m staying at. I couldn’t help but study it as I was drying my hair last night. (It’s in the bathroom.) China…France…Scotland…Japan…Italy.

So many places that I want to go and want to see. I’ve been saving like crazy and trying to keep my head up. I’ll get there someday. Italy has been a country I’ve been particularly fascinated with and I want to go there on my next trip. It’s always been my dream to travel…but there have been a fair share of naysayers.

You don’t need to go to other countries, it’s dangerous!

Why would you want to go to Europe? You can’t afford it anyway.

Well, I know you want to “travel the world” and all of that, but I gave up THOSE selfish dreams a long time ago. Life is about reality. 

These are actual things that I’ve had said to me. Say you want to travel the world, and see what happens. I feel like I wouldn’t have had nearly this much opposition if I’d said I wanted to open up a casino/orphanage or rob a bank. 🙄

I’m tired of the myth that if you do what you are passionate about, than that makes you selfish.

The majority of the time, these comments have come from one person: my aunt. The same one I mentioned previously who has been sick. It’s nothing new in my life. In fact, it’s been a nearly constant thing since I was in high school. She’s always called me “naive” and “gullible” practically every day of my life. Questioned my choices, and tried her best to tear apart my self-esteem or picked apart the few things that are not going well in my life, instead of rejoicing over the things that are going right.

On the other hand, she was there for me when I went through some rough patches in my life…but now, I wonder if it wasn’t just because misery loves company. I love my aunt. But I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some resentment at how mean and cruel she has been to me in the past.

It’s not a good situation right now. My aunt and uncle can’t care for themselves and they are paranoid about everything and everyone. My mom and I went up to their house while they’ve been in Nashville to check on their cat BECAUSE THEY ASKED US TO. After they learned we’d been up there, they were mad. And I think they were only mad because my mom went up there with me.

It’s a long, convoluted story, but basically, my aunt blames my mom and her sisters for the death of her mother, my great grandmother. She says they took a bunch of her stuff without her permission and she actually had the nerve to tell my mom that she killed Granny because she gave her a milkshake while she was in the hospital. It’s ridiculous. To make it even worse, my Uncle Jimmy has a son, and Joan has forced him to ostracize him because she doesn’t like his wife. She’s convinced that they “want everything that they own”.

My aunt has always been fascinated with material things. She wants what other people have, so I guess she just believes that everyone else is the same way and wants what she has. I remember hanging out with her once and she went on a car chase to show me this expensive car that cost like $70,000 and I just HAD to see it. I remember being really confused; I wasn’t impressed by that. I’ve never been impressed by money, but to see her white-knuckling the steering wheel as if this was a do-or-die situation…was sad to me.

My aunt has made me and a cousin in charge of her estate, cutting Uncle Jimmy’s son out. So, I guess that makes us executors. I remember the day she did it. We met at a McDonald’s and I told Tim I was dreading going. For the last few years, I have dreaded hanging out with my aunt because it always becomes a session where she rags on me. This was no different. 

She asked me how things were going and I was honest. I told her I didn’t like my job at the bakery, but I loved petsitting. This was about a year ago. Instead of being happy for me about all the petsitting, she fixated on the bad stuff. I tried to change the topic and told her I’d like to write a travel blog, maybe, if I had the time. 

“Well, in order to write about travel, you would actually have to do any.” she snipped. Then, she started comparing me to some completely, unrelated country singer and why couldn’t I be successful like them?

Needless to say, I was angry. And upset. And wanted to leave. After she’d “buttered me up” with all her condescending comments and insults, she then asked me for a favor. She glazed over it, as if it wasn’t even that important. She just wanted me in charge of things if anything were to happen to her and Jimmy. I remember at the time, I was flattered…which seems stupid now. Now, I just feel manipulated.

She only put me in charge to stick it to my mom. Her sisters. And Jimmy’s son and wife. Not because she thinks I’m actually “capable” of doing a damn thing. She also made sure I knew how she feels about my mom; a technique she perfected when I was in high school, which was a prime time for her to try and drive a wedge between me and my mom, which she did.

“I just, don’t take this personally, but—I don’t trust your mom. After what she did to Granny. I trust you. I know you’ll take care of us. But your mom—she stole from Granny.”

Which isn’t true. But I just sat there and listened. I’ve always been a natural observer. Joan often mistakes this silence for compliance, that I agree with her, or my naivety. Just because someone is silent, doesn’t mean they don’t hold their own opinions. Sometimes, they just don’t see the point in wasting their breath and arguing. And I hate confrontation, anyway.

So, now I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

But if anyone thinks I’m not capable of dropping the truth on them, they are dead wrong. I will not let her disrespect me or my family anymore. I will not let her talk that way about them or manipulate me anymore. Sick or not. She needs to mend the relationships she has with everyone before it’s too late. If she thought it’d be “easy” naming me because I would go along with everything she says, she’s wrong.

I am my own person. And I make my own decisions. And I won’t be treated like this.


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