Finding Strength In A Big City

Finding Strength In A Big City

Making the Move; Physically and Mentally

Someone once told me that moving is one of the hardest experiences in a person’s life. After some quick fact checking, I learned that this is actually a gross exaggeration. A change in residence only nets 20 points on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, while the death of a spouse scores a 100. Nevertheless, moving tends to be tiresome, expensive, and tedious. I can vouch because I’ve moved eight times in eight years. Since 2009, I’ve moved between eight different residences, three different cities, and two different states. Fortunately, hindsight is 20/20, and I have eight years of hindsight to share.

From High School to College

My first move was the hardest. After graduating from high school, I left home for the big city. In New Mexico, the big city was only three hours away from my hometown, but that felt like an eternity when I was eighteen. As a self-admitted daddy's girl, the biggest challenge was losing my safety net. This isolation combined with my feelings of stress and exhaustion led me to withdraw from the few people I did know. This was around the same time that someone said “moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.”

Anyway, over the last eight years I’ve learned to plug into popular social activities instead of spending the days at home. Now, I use websites like Yelp and Groupon's Phoenix page to create a list of things to do. Since moving to Phoenix in January, I’ve hiked up Camelback Mountain with coworkers, gotten drunk at Culinary Dropout (also with coworkers), and caught Pokemon with complete strangers at a local park.

From Mountain to Desert

Relocating from Albuquerque to Phoenix wasn’t as difficult as my first move, but it still hasn’t been easy. I left Albuquerque in a hurry. I interviewed, quit my job, packed up, and moved in less than a month. As a result, I didn’t do enough research about the cost of living in Phoenix. As the fifth largest city in the nation, Phoenix’s housing costs are lower than those of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. However, Phoenix is also one of the hottest cities in the nation, and air conditioning comes at a price.

Over the summer, the electric company imposes surge pricing during the hottest part of the day. Between the hours of 12:00 and 7:00 PM, electricity costs three times more than the rest of the day. During my first June in the city, my electric bill increased by more than one hundred dollars. By July, it shot up another hundred. Don’t get me wrong. Air conditioning is worth the cost, but it would have been nice to know about surge charges before moving to “the Valley of the Sun.” Next time I decide to move to a new state, I’ll use a cost of living calculator to compare housing, utility, and health costs. I’ve also learned to look at social sites like Reddit for frank advice and recommendations.

From New Mexico to Arizona

Despite my air conditioning troubles, my move to Phoenix has been a positive experience. I love the culture of New Mexico, and I miss my family, but it’s also one of the poorest states in the country and one of the worst places to raise a child. While Phoenix’s job growth is low compared to other cities, 2016 finished up with an unemployment rate of 4.8%, the lowest since the recession. I’m a writer by trade, and I’ve had little trouble finding both freelance and employment opportunities. Though, the pay is less than I would have hoped.

Phoenix is also bigger than I imagined it would be. I visited the area before I moved, but I underestimated the traffic as well as the sheer size of the Phoenix metro area. I, personally, live in Phoenix proper, but I’ve driven for over an hour to places in the same city! My partner also made the mistake of accepting a job in a neighboring suburb. As a result, she drives for nearly 45 minutes to work and back. My advice? Find an apartment near your place of work, and take a year to explore the rest of the metro area. After you get the lay of the land, you can start looking for a forever home.

From Home to Home

It’s been six months since I moved to Phoenix, and I’m finally starting to feel at “home” in my apartment. While I still have unopened boxes, I’m starting to learn that stuff is just stuff, and homes will change as new adventures arise. A new city may not feel like home when you get there, but give it time. This time, it only took me 14 scrabble games, 210 cups of tea, and 6 seasons of Mad Men.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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It's Time To Settle The Beef, UPS Vs FedEx Edition

If you prefer DHL, you're a sociopath.


This is the clash of the titans. The dual of the century. Who better delivers your packages, UPS or FedEx. And today folks, we're going to find the truth.


Logos are everything. They create your entire brand. A good logo can make a shitty company amazing. I mean, take a look at Android. Androids are pieces of trash, but that cute little robot logo they have is awesome, how could anyone refuse to support that?

So when it comes to logos, UPS has that brown and yellow insignia. The shape of it makes it look like the police force if the police decided to use fugly colors like brown and yellow.

FedEx, on the other hand, has very optimistic colors: white, red, purple, green. There is even that little mini subliminal message in the FedEx logo with the arrow between the E and the x. Now that's a logo.


I used to be fully team UPS but then UPS lost one of my packages and I swore them off. But then a month later, FedEx lost one of my packages and I couldn't swear them both off and go to DHL because honestly, whose favorite delivery service is DHL? If you prefer DHL, please stay far away from me. So when it comes to the ability to deliver my packages, both are equally sucky.


So this one might not have a big enough sample size, but the other day a UPS driver pulled out right in front of me on the highway and it pissed me the hell off. Also, I was walking across a street and a UPS truck didn't stop for me. No, I wasn't in a crosswalk, but still, the nerve of that UPS driver. FedEx takes this one simply because while I might not have anything GOOD to say for FedEx, I also don't have anything bad to say, either.


So dogs are the ultimate judge of character, right? If a dog likes someone then that person is good to go. And when the FedEx guy comes to my door, my dog goes off the wall with excitement. She runs to the door and wags her tail when he comes. When the UPS guy comes to the door, she doesn't bat an eye. There you have it.


Overbearingly FedEx, huh. FedEx takes this one.

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