You Put Your Hand Upon My Hip

Scene: Laying in bed, discussing my measurements.


Me: Well, I’m 36, on a good day, 28, 41.

Him: So….Matt D’Agostini, Carlo Colaiacovo, Jaroslav Halak?*

Me: Yep.

*All three of these guys are current Blues. Their numbers are, shockingly, 36, 28, 41.

Dust in the Wind

Today has already been an interesting day. Today, after a year and a half and over 300 different posts, I retired my hockey blog.

There are quite a few reasons I have for making this decision, many of which I won’t discuss here as I firmly believe that what happens behind closed doors needs to not make its way onto a public(ish) site. If you’re really curious, ask me. I might tell you.

The biggest reason for this, though, is simple.

Life.

Real life, MY life, the one I’m living right now, has been filling up. I have been doing what I can to take full advantage of things, to EXPERIENCE things, and I was running out of time to give my fullest devotion and effort to the blog, as much as I loved it.

A year and a half ago when my friend Mike suggested I contact the network CEO about writing for her/them, there was a lot of hesitation on my part. I knew how to write, but to write about hockey? I mean, hell, I had only been watching the sport for a year. But I went for it. There were A LOT of growing pains, a lot of time spent finding my voice and my place within not only the network, but within the Blues blogosphere as well. Some of those growing pains hurt like a motherfucker.

The thing is, back then I was struggling. I was struggling really hard with my place in life and how things were going at the time. There were a lot of really down days back then. The blog was a bit of a lifeline for me.

It gave me a sense of purpose, something to work for and towards, something to distract me from the not-so-great days. It allowed me to create a niche, however unexpected, and let me feel one of the greatest senses of belonging ever.

What I didn’t expect, though, were the benefits from such a thing. There were things like becoming a better writer and learning more about the sport of hockey in a matter of months than I ever thought possible. There was the absolute crashing face first, head over heels (further) in love with the Blues. There was an undeniable feeling of connectedness to my city. It brought me closer to friends I’d already had because I was more capable of intelligently discussing this sport.

More importantly than any of that is the people.

There have been the people I’ve had the pleasure of talking to strictly on and because of the Twitterverse and that ever so awesome #stlblues hashtag.

Some of the other writers for the network have become incredibly important parts of my life. There have been Aerys meetups and inside jokes (font bowler…heh) and one particular graphic artist who became and still is a phenomenal friend, with whom I have spent COUNTLESS hours talking to. Then of course there’s Miranda, a fellow writer, who has quickly become one of my closest friends.

But the kicker has been the other Blues fans I’ve met. The people who started as screen names on Game Time or a Twitter handle but who became the people I most wanted to spend time with before, during, and after Blues games. These people became my friends and my fellow tailgaters and road tripping compadres and my half-marathon running buddies and, in a somewhat roundabout way, my boyfriend. They became a family, of sorts. A dysfunctional, sometimes argumentative, always insane, yet incredible and supportive Blues family. There have been some awful days where only their comments and hugs have lifted me up.

I am SO LUCKY to have them.

So I suppose it’s the end of an era. I’ll still contribute to Aerys where I can, but the days of You’re My Boys, Blues are over. It’s been a great era, but it’s time to tackle the next thing life has to offer.

Here we go.

It’s Been One Week

I ran a half marathon yesterday. Today I didn’t go into work. Not because I need to recover from the race, but because I need to recover from this week.

Well, the last week and three days.

Last Friday my girl Steph flew into town. Since then my budget and liver have both taken the most severe of beatings.

Let’s recap! I can’t believe how long this is going to be.

Friday was the final Blues home game, where we celebrated Steph’s birthday and her arrival into town, met up with bunches of fun peoples, and just enjoyed the evening.

Saturday was a Blues meetup for the final game of the season, some spectacular company, an unexpected introduction to a boy, and several rounds of delicious, delicious beers.

Sunday, being Easter, I actually spent down with some of my family, who are awesome, and then there was an unexpected late night ice cream date (!!!!). Yep, a date. I’ll call him Goalie Cop, since he is both of those things.

Monday I met up with my marathon girls for beers and to watch the Cardinals game, and we sat around laughing and drinking and joking about just how poorly all of us were going to do on this race, given how much all of us had slacked off on our training.

Tuesday two of those marathon girls came lifting with me. That’s right. We actually did work out. Go figure, right? But then we had cocktails and watched Goon, and we spread the love of the movie to Goalie Cop.

Wednesday was another date night (!!!!) followed by a meet up for the first games of the NHL playoffs, which kept all of us out late. Thanks West Coast. Thanks a lot.

That’s when shit starts to get crazy.

Thursday was round one, game one for the Blues playoffs. It was the first playoff game of any kind I had ever been to, and guys? I love playoff games. So very much. After the game, the marathon girls (sans one) and I went to a bar where it was ladies’ night and successfully killed 17 martinis between the three of us. No big deal.

Friday was the Cardinals Home Opener with April, which was followed by too many Irish Carbombs at the bar after, but I got to meet Miranda (WHICH WAS AWESOME) and seriously, even though we stood in the rain for hours, it was all so worth it.

Saturday led to some traipsing around the city looking for appropriate balloons and naps, but then more tailgating and the second Blues game of the weekend.

Yes, those are tall boys.

We did great and actually went home and to bed that night. Go us, right?

Sunday we got up far too early and went out for marathoning. Steph and I realized that we had incorrectly thought the race started at 730am. Nope. 700. At least we were there on time. The race itself was ok. I ran with Steph, who was dealing with stress fracture issues, so we didn’t finish at a time I’d expected, but I’m ok with it. We spent the entire race discussing hockey and quoting Cool Runnings, which was thoroughly entertaining to those around us. Now, however, it’s time to focus on Ragnar.

Highlights of the race? Around mile eight and a half, running through the SLU campus, Steph and I at the same time started batting at each other. Why? Because standing on the side of the road were Blues captain David BaCkes and goalie Brian Elliott. We definitely yelled “Let’s go Blues!” at them and got in return some head nods, waves, and smiles. Being that I’ve loved BaCkes for just about forever, I swooned a bit. Running while going weak in the knees is difficult.

AND THEN. Then there was Mile Nine. The bestest mile in all the land. Not only were we floating because of having just seen two Blues, but then we got to the Darth Vader balloon, under which April, one of her friends from grad school, and Goalie Cop were standing to hand us frosty Budweisers. Yeah, we had a beer stop during our run. Best. Idea. Ever. Mile Nine was a good mile.

After the race there was the delicious lunching, the epic napping, and the staying up far too late to watch West Coast playoff hockey games.

And now here I am. Sitting at home, having done just about nothing productive (besides taking Steph to the airport). It’s noon.

I am exhausted and swooning my ass off and wondering just how much of my budget I’ve trashed this week and already missing Steph and wishing April could have stayed longer and finding myself beyond fucking hopeful about this guy. I will elaborate later as I don’t want to jinx this, but allow me to just say quickly that I don’t think this one’s going anywhere any time soon. Not if I have anything to do with it, anyway.

Phew. The upcoming week seems almost boring in comparison to the last.

Until Friday, when I head up to Chicago with April for a reunion with the girls we went to Vegas with last year.

Shit shows. I’m getting really good at them.

Life is really fucking good.

Ooohhhh Sometimes….I Get A Good Feeling

The past couple weeks have been something of a stupidly long and sometimes exhausting and pretty much ridiculous emotional roller coaster for me. Things seemed to hit the apex this weekend, and good lord I hope things calm down.

Let’s just go through my emotions in order from Friday night to today, shall we?

Content

Self-conscious

Worried that I’d put myself out there too far, that I was going to end up hurt

Sad

Hungover (Maybe not technically a feeling per se, but I sure as hell felt it)

Amused

Happy

Amorous (This is what dancing does to me)

Really, really fucking pissed

Even more furious than that

Resigned

Exhausted

Hungover again (it was one of those weekends)

Irritated

Bemused

Irritated again

Annoyed

Sick to my stomach worried

Determined

Terrified

Motivated

Nervous

Stressed

Proud

That’s a long ass fucking list, and I can guarantee that I missed some in there. Those were the highlights. And the lowlights. Those were the ones that damn near made me lose my shit on a couple coworkers for various reasons, the ones that worried my friend Miranda to the point where she stayed on Twitter with me for nearly four straight hours. They were what made it impossible to sleep, what made me cry, what made me frustrated with myself for my own damn (impossible to stop) reactions.

I know I’ve written about it before, but I have a lot of emotions at all times. I am an over-analyzer, and that tends to make those bad emotions worse, due to things like my worst-case scenario brain and second-guessing myself and wondering whether they changed their mind (really, really hoping not on that last one).

Emotions can bring me to my knees, wracked in sobs.

They can bring me to the point where I am shaking with anger, clenching my fists and my jaw to prevent myself from lashing out at someone who doesn’t (well, sometimes they do) deserve it.

They can make me strut down a hall with the confidence that not a damn thing in this world could touch my happiness at that point.

Today that’s the type of emotion I felt. That pride (and the heels I am wearing) have me walking tall.

Today I finally got through a huge presentation that went out to nearly fifty of our team’s collaborators. I organized it. I got this pulled together. I worked my ass off on getting a PowerPoint formatted, I made sure every ‘I’ was dotted and ‘T’ was crossed. I collaborated with members of my team to get this put together, and made difficult decisions and got this thing to go off without a hitch. Today I stood in front of that group that included my boss’s boss’s boss, and I felt fucking proud of myself. I am by far the youngest person on my team, and today? Today I made my name known.

Today is also the one year anniversary of the launching of Aerys (which was at the time called G9 Sports). I have poured my soul and my tears and my passion and my frustrations and many a sleepless night into building a site I could be proud of. I have worked really hard to hone my writing skills, to find and create content that wasn’t just a carbon copy of every other Blues site out there. I have learned more about the sport of hockey in the last year than I could ever have imagined. I have made more friends than I can count, built working relationships and personal relationships, and I have found a niche. I nearly had a nervous breakdown with just how much I had taken on at one point, and I learned that sometimes, you have to really know your limits. Mine came when the prospect of running a fourth site just was too much.

Not that long ago at all, I felt a bit lost. Having friends in St Louis had all but ceased to exist, my job was neither fulfilling nor challenging which kept me far from motivated to want to stay, and I felt as though I was floating in a constant state of limbo.

And then it all changed.

Right now I am proud of the life I have built. I am proud of the trials I’ve overcome, the challenges I’ve faced, the funks and depressions and miserable times I have clawed and fought and climbed my way out of. I’m proud to be in a job where my opinion is valued, where I am considered an integral part of the team, where I can let my innate skill-set take me further into my CAREER. I am proud of the hobbies I’ve undertaken, of the things I’ve been able to experience and accomplish through my writing, of the races I’ve been able to complete, of the level of physical fitness I’ve been able to achieve. I am proud to have built solid friendships with one of the most amazing groups of people I know, of just how close we’ve all gotten over the last little while, and of the potential of more to come.

The best really is yet to come.

This is a good feeling.