How We Are Shaped

It's official. I am really and legally Rebecca Youkstetter now. I spent last week at the Social Security office, at the DMV (twice), at the bank, etc. Men have it so easy. They don't change anything, but women - oh it's a process! I am glad to finally be Becky Youksetter, I really am. Seth joked that it feels great "no longer being married to another man's wife." It's not that I wanted to stay Becky Rhead, but it was just a hassle to change my name. I figured I would wait until I moved to another state so I could kill two birds with one stone - change all my address info and name at the same time.

Now I welcome a life of "Youkstetter, not YORKstetter. It's German. No, that isn't how you spell it. Yes, it is a funny name."

I just drove home from Salt Lake. I was alone and obviously had many many hours to think. Changing my name in a way erased the legal trail of my marriage to Jason. People that meet me now will never know that I was previously married. When contemplating whether or not I should get a divorce I was always so worried about being labeled a divorced person. I worried that people would think of me differently, or that I would somehow fall to a lesser version of myself in the eyes of my friends and acquaintences. I am sure I did to some people, at least initially, but it seems like a whole lifetime ago that Jason and I were married.

I know that this blog is all about my life as a "youkstetter" but part of being me comes with this big snapshot of my past. A lot of who I am currently comes from my relationship with Jason.
One of my favorite musicals is "Wicked". While driving home tonight I started to cry during the song "For Good". Here are some of the lyrics...

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led to those who help us most to grow
If we let them, and we help them in return.
Now I don't know if I believe that's true.
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you.

Who can say if i've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed, for good.

I promptly choked up (I blame the PMS). People used to ask me, and still ask me often, if I regret that I married Jason. I always reply the same way, "Not at all." That was part of my life, no matter how hard it was. I am forever a changed woman because of what I went through in that relationship. I look back on it now and think it is absolutely crazy that I thought getting married at 21 years old was a good idea. I had no idea who I was at that age. Hell, I am still trying to figure out who I am. What I learned through my first marriage, and the amount of growth I experienced because of it I will forever be grateful for. I will always appreciate how Jason changed me. I will always care about Jason. I think it would be wrong not to always care for him, and wish the best for him and his life.

Each and every person in my life has truly shaped me. We can blame some of our quirks on our genetics but I know that I am assertive because of my father, and a caretaker because of my mother. I know that I have a sense of humor because of Wally and a love for chocolate because of Terrie. I know that I am an activist because of my brother Fer and compassionate because of my uncle Rick. I know that I am OCD because of my sister, and goofy because of my brother Eric. I know that I am opinionated because of my friends and open minded because of my grandfather. I know that I am passionate because of Seth. The list could go on and on and on. Each and every one of you has played a part in shaping me.

Everything in my life is indeed perfect. No matter how many tough times I have I know that those times, those circumstances and those people have changed and shaped me into who I am today.

I can't help but wonder how I shape others...hopefully for good.

My Valentine

Dear Sessie -

It's been nearly 6 months since we tied the knot. It's hard to imagine my life without you in it. I love being married to you. I love dreaming of our future together. I have loved building a home with you (finally!). I love that you are so opinionated about which drawer the tongs are in and that you hate the garbage cans NOT being under the sink. I love hearing the garage door open and knowing you will finally be around at night. I love cooking with you. I love having you teach me to cook- even if I get mad. I love falling asleep with you in a full spoon position and that I can actually sleep comfortably with you like that. I love how you wake me up to kisses and back tickles and full on conversations - even if it is at 5:30 am and not nearly time for me to wake up. I love exploring Boise with you, and having you tease me when I insist on driving and always take the wrong turns. I love that we finally both have money and can buy ridiculously large TVs. I love you for insisting I don't need to wear makeup, even though I don't listen to you. I love you for your high pitched laugh. I love you for your rock ballad singing and I love us for always making up stupid songs. I love your 2 minute messages and that you always say "Hey honey this is Seth" when you leave those messages (as if I don't know your voice after 5 years).

Mainly I love you for being so kind, and so loving. I love you for having more faith in me than I have in myself. I love us for making it through many tough times, and coming out stronger in the end. I love knowing we will have adorable Retardo Montalban children someday and I love how incredibly bright the future is for us.

You are my favorite person and I love you madly!

Love - me

My Life As An Unemployed Girl

Week two of living in Boise is starting to wrap up. I think it finally feels real that I don't live in Salt Lake anymore. Boise is already feeling like home. However, life is weird. "Why?" you ask? Because I have no job. I am officially unemployed. Last week I worked remotely for Make-A-Wish, but not this week. Nope, this week I have been flying solo. I have never been unemployed. Well, not since my freshman year of college at USU. I tried to find a job in Logan but no luck. Not since 1999 though have I not had a job. Everyone keeps telling me to "enjoy" the time off. I guess I am? Kind of. I do well when I am busy. Right now....not so busy.

What is a typical day like in the life of me? Well, it's not that exciting. Here is a sample:

8:30 or 9:00 am - wake up. Open all 7 windows in my bedroom and cringe that once again, it is cloudy. I realize that this is winter but come on! The clouds make me think it is cold, so I make coffee and crawl back into bed.

For the next hour or two I usually play online. Check facebook, read blogs, update my message boards, check the weather (which I check more for Salt Lake still than I do for here. What?) When I say "check my email" I am lucky to have an email to respond to. This is another odd thing about being unemployed. You suddenly feel like no one cares that you exist. Except Timms - I usually have an email from her. But she knows what it is like to be in a new place and unemployed. And that is why she is my beefer.

11:00 - Go running! Yep! I am running again. Mind you, I can barely make it 4 miles without dying. I am just about 2 &1/2 months out from my half marathon so I need to get cracking! The best part of running right now, other than becoming a super hot wife (ha!) is exploring my neighborhood. Here in Boise I live in the Hyde Park neighborhood. It's cute, it is quaint, and it is quirky. Much like the Harvard/Yale area in Salt Lake. I love running and checking out all of the houses, parks, Subarus, etc.

12:00 - At this point in the day I finally shower. Tah- Dah! I know right? It's true. I shower and then find some time to eat some lunch. Because I have no friends here to eat lunch with, I choose to enjoy lunch with some of my very favorite girls: Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte & Miranda. They are so good to me, and always have fantastic stimulating conversations about men, men, and more men. It's good.It's like that episode in Season 6, when Carrie is living in France and sees 4 women having lunch together. She smiles, but it makes her sad. That's how it feels. It's good to see them, but it makes me miss my girls. Seth doesn't understand how I can watch this over and over and over again. Simply for this reason: It's comfortable to me. If I am stressed or anxious, I pop in Sex and the City and it makes me feel better.

2:00 - This is "errand" time. I try and spread out some errands so that I have a reason to get out of the house every day. Yesterday I went to the DI, Costco, Ross and Target. It took me 20 minutes prep time on my laptop to find locations, mapquest each location and create a route to get there. Lets just say I started at the DI and am happy I ended up at Target. Target as you all know holds a special place in my heart! I am getting to know my way around here though. The worst part is not knowing my directions. I don't have a little something called the Wasatch Mountains to orient myself. Dear Boise - please grow mountains - if only to help me learn North, South, East and West!
3:00 - After errands I spend time cleaning, or assembling, or decorating. Most of my house is put together. We have couches now (yeah!) and have purchased a lot of IKEA stuff. I mean - A LOT of IKEA stuff. Now don't get the idea that Seth and I are made of money. The end tables we bought were $7.99 each. Yes, as in seven dollars and ninety nine cents. I spend time doing laundry, cleaning up, re-arranging, cleaning my kitchen, etc. There is still a lot to do but it's coming along.
5:oo - Dinner time~! I love cooking in my new kitchen. Usually Seth isn't home until 6:00 or 7:00 so I have been trying to make dinner. I made enough lasagne to feed an army the other night (complete with garlic bread, a salad, and brownies). Of course, we had so much left over we had to freeze 1/2. Also, depending on the day, I may demand of Seth that we go out to dinner. Not working makes me feel cooped up very quickly. Plus Boise is so cute! I love all the restaurants downtown. One year, me, Seth, Britney, Sean and James all drove all the way to Boise just for dinner (I wish I had a pic of this on my computer!). It was a monumental and pointless vacation, but we decided at that point that we really loved Boise. This was 3 years ago maybe?

7:00 - Around this time I usually beg for Seth's help assembling furniture that is too difficult for me. We try and do a few more things around the house before I ask him to let me catch up on some of my shows. I have been watching nearly all my tv on Hulu lately. Which is fine, but man do I miss my boyfriend Tivo.

My favorite show right now is "The Bachelor". Girls I know you are watching it. WTF Vienna!? How is this happening? You look like a tranny with bad hair extensions and you have stupid little dog I want to drop kick! Here's hoping Reality Steve is lying!

10:30 - Bed time! Yep, we go to bed early now. Seth usually is up by 5:30 or 6:00 for work so he likes to go to bed early. We have started a thing with me reading Harry Potter to him every night. I like to do all the voices. I am no Jim Dale but i think I am pretty good. I hope that my kids want me to read to them....

So that's it. That's my life. For the most part I am really enjoying it. There are days though when I feel VERY depressed. Like I mentioned before, I have always considered my work as a big part of who I am. It's interesting not working and not contributing to society...

At least my house is cute - and I make lots of lasagne right?

This unemployed thing may be over. I am in the top 2 candidates for the job at the MS Society. I have a final phone interview tomorrow morning and should know by the afternoon if I got the job. If I do get it - i start work on Tuesday! Enjoying my time off may be very short lived.

A New Life

Well here we are! At long last Seth and I have made it to Boise. I apologize for my lack of blogging. Between trying to unpack, work for Make-A-Wish remotely and trying not to freak out I have been busy!

The last few weeks at home were hard. I didn't cry much about leaving my family and friends. I suppose it is because I know I will still stay in touch with all of you - and I will be down to Salt Lake a lot. I did, however, cry like a baby when I left Make-A-Wish.

I have never left a job when I wasn't ready, or wanting to leave before. I consider myself very lucky to have worked for Make-A-Wish for as long as I did. I would have stayed a long time if life would have allowed me.

A couple of nights before I left I met up with some volunteers for a goodbye dinner at the Bohemian. It was great to see everyone.

Make-A-Wish was a special place. Seth told me that my work is MAINLY who I am. I find that to be true. Make-A-Wish was not just a job, it was a large part of me. And I feel like that part of me has gone. Make-A-Wish is wonderful not only because of the mission and for the amazing work that it does for kids, but for the people. I consider MANY volunteers dear friends and consider each staff member a dear friend.

I was on the verge of tears for the last three weeks I was in the office. Christine gave me this great framed picture collage of my days at Make-A-Wish. Ah- the good times. Posing with the inflatable dolphin, road trips for Walk For Wishes, trips to New Orleans, counting thousands of ducks, happy hours, etc. That made me cry and I don't think I stopped until I left. But nothing was as sad as walking out the doors for the last time. Chriss started crying and then we all lost it. I'll miss it so much. Thanks for such a great send off you guys!

At my goodbye lunch each staff member got me a gift (something that will remind them of me). I got a jar of pickles, a Johnny Depp poster, a monster truck toy car, etc. One of my favorite gifts was a book called "Creative Cursting". You flip two different sets of words and create new cuss words. It's hilarious. Well the night before my last day there, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't stop crying. Really. I was so sad to be leaving. I was sobbing. Finally I got out of bed and got the book to show Seth. The cuss word we flipped to was "Vag Jacket". Lets just say we laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion (thanks Steel Magnolias). It was great. That book will bring hours of entertainment.

Thanks Make-A-Wish friends for always hearing cuss words and thinking of me.

Well once I was out of Make-A-Wish I had one night to pack. We were off the next morning. When we finally pulled into Boise (U-Haul towing my Jetta and me driving Seth's truck) I was giddy! I couldn't stop laughing and singing. When we pulled up to our town house I screamed! Look how cute they are!! Ours is a tan one in the front and red in the back.

I ran through our giant house with Seth in awe. We really get to live here!? Nah - must be a vacation right? Wrong - this is our house. Like actually OUR HOUSE. I feel very lucky!

I don't think it has hit me that I actually moved. But we have. And I am so happy. This doesn't mean I don't have my "freak out" moments but I am so happy. I love cooking dinner with Seth at night in our gorgeous kitchen.

I love that he is the only one I can really lean on right now. I love going downtown and working from one of the many wonderful coffee shops here. I love the kind people. I love our quirky neighborhood. I love waking up in our bedroom, on our own bed. I love taking baths in my huge tub.

I love that we have finally unpacked our wedding gifts and are using them. Seriously our dishes are so cute! I love that Seth is finally working - and that his job seems so promising (crazy inmates excluded).

I don't love unpacking though. I don't like trying to work and having to dig through boxes to find my calendar. I am over it. I don't like carrying boxes up 4 flights of stairs from the garage to our bedroom. I don't like not having a couch to sit on. I don't like that I am sitting at home almost all day and then sitting home all night. I don't like that I can't find an NPR station that isn't full of static here. I don't like that I can't find a Bed, Bath & Beyond without mapquesting it. I don't like spending $200 + on groceries to get us started. I don't like that Seth and I are both freaking out at times and we expect each other to be the strong person. I don't like that gnawing feeling I get every night around 5:30 when I start to realize that I can't drive to Mom's if I need her. I lean on Seth now - which is great. But I think he'll grow tired of me being all needy won't he?

This picture was taken 5 years ago. Seth surprised me with tickets to see Dave Matthews in Seattle. This picture was taken on our way home. We stopped in Boise for dinner and took this picture while we waited for our table. Wow, how far we have come since then. Who knew on that trip that in just over 4 years we would be married, and living in this city when we took this picture!? This picture is now hanging in our kitchen - it serves as a sort of reminder of how far we have come.

It's an adjustment for sure. I have never lived away from home. Not only do I have to adjust to a new home and a new city, but I have to find an identity for myself that isn't "nonprofit" related.

I wonder where that will lead me?