The Plot Thickens - Dana Chirps

Whew! So many unexpected happenings (like that positive spin?!) have occurred in the last couple of weeks. 

Originally, I was going to be moving to Bermuda with Brett on February 4th. He ended up having to start his 30 day rotation (that means he is working 30 days in a row) practically right after moving me out of my place in Fort Lauderdale. We also weren't expecting that he'd be doing full (30 day) rotations, but that seems to be the case. We'll miss spending Valentine's Day together (not a huge deal to either of us). But we're also going to miss spending our anniversary together which is a bummer in my book. I wasn't looking to do anything remotely extravagant, but I was hoping to cheers to a great year with a beach picnic. We might miss his birthday (March 1), but we aren't not sure yet. He doesn't care about missing his birthday, but I'm a big believer that birthdays are meant to be celebrated! This experience definitely has given me an even higher level of respect for military couples who are regularly apart (a lot more than we are, and often under much more dangerous circumstances).

We're also getting the hang of the time zone difference - he's a pilot and flies to places like London, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. I don't have as many distractions as he does (he's getting the hang of a new job and gets to explore when he lands for longer periods of time - as he should), so I think he is having an easier time adjusting than me - but we are both trying to truck through it.

I also had to decide if I wanted to still move to Bermuda on February 4th, and get there by myself. I decided not to since I wouldn't have a means of transportation, and a lot of places aren't on Google Maps. Plus it would give me a chance to spend a lot of time with my family, and visit some close friends - something I haven't gotten to do without a massive sense of being rushed in years. 

It's a very good thing that I ended up choosing to stick tight at my parent's place in VA while Brett finishes his rotation because the apartment we had signed a lease for very unexpectedly fell through. So we are on the hunt again! Although I was eager to get to Bermuda, I can't help but think this is one of those "everything happens for a reason" moments. And excitedly, we are finding some pretty fantastic alternatives. 

And then there's work. I don't really talk specifics about work on my blog. But I will say that although I started off optimistic, I have a feeling my gears are going to be shifting aggressively quite soon. But more on that later.

Ok, enough about the less than ideal happenings. Here are some of the positives that have occurred in the past few weeks:

  • Getting to spend significant amounts of time with my family, and dog!
  • Seeing friends, and their munchkins. My God, my friends have made some cool little babies.
  • To keep myself fit (and sane) during this month I signed up for 30 classes for $30 at Burn Boot Camp Short Pump. I go with one of my life long best friends, Emily, but have also made some new friends there! It's a warm and inviting bunch varying in skill levels. The workout is 45 minutes - each day has a different focus. It's a blast, and a solid sweat sesh. FYI to local mom's in the area - they provide free childcare during several of their class times. 
  • Although Brett and I haven't signed a new lease just yet, I feel very confident that we are going to come out on top of this situation. I'm really excited to see where we end up!
  • So we are missing a bunch of holidays together, but we aren't missing my birthday or cancer-free day, which is nice.
  • I've done an amazing job not shopping. Ok, fine. So I went shopping once. And I bought stuff only because they were amazing deals (we're talking a $16 bikini, people!). But I've been practicing self restraint like nobody's business. Packing those 3 measly suitcases of belongings is just around the corner. 
  • It's been so refreshing to experience the general friendliness of Richmond. It's cool to see people going out of their way to help other people.

All for now!

 

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Some Realness - Dana Chirps

my escape from it all - fresh air. this is about 1.5 miles south of me on fort lauderdale beach.

The last few months have been completely, and utterly insane. Throughout this period of time, I randomly had a few people message me saying something to the effect of, "girl, it looks like you're living the life!" They were going strictly off of my social media. I found myself wanting to tell each of them (and sometimes doing so) that yes, things are good, but there's plenty of stress and struggle behind that very same Instagram account. As a part of the rebrand of this blog that I did back in August, I mentally vowed to myself that I would be a little more transparent on my blog - even if it meant it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. So, here it goes...

From about the end of October to the new year, my life was a total SHIT SHOW. Below is a list of some of what was on my plate. I might not have the timeframe totally accurate, and some of these are out of order. It was such a blur. I was on survival mode. I have only (very recently) begun to catch my breath. 

  • At the end of September my mom had to cancel her trip to visit me here in Fort Lauderdale because her father, my Papa, had made an unexpected bad turn in his health. It was weeks before he actually passed. I took some very last minute trips up north to be near family, and then to attend his funeral (he passed away October 20th). The loss of my Papa was devastating for my whole family, but I do feel as though we (especially my cousins) have become closer. However, the post you saw on my Instagram was me apple picking. 
  • At my Papa's funeral, I learned that my Aunt/Godmother (dad's side) had been moved to hospice due to her lung cancer caused from years of smoking. Another last minute trip up north was made with the intention of "visiting" her... but unexpectedly, that very same visit turned into saying goodbye. It was agony, but I'm glad I got to see her one more time. It was also the first time in five years my immediate family was all together in the same room, which was special despite the circumstances.
  • Around the timeframe my Aunt passed away (Dec 7), my Uncle -her husband- was diagnosed with lung cancer. But Uncle is tough as nails, has a ton of support, and is doing his part to beat this thing because he has motorcycle rides he wants to get to.
  • Somewhere in the midst of this... my boyfriend, Brett, was talking about a possibility for a job that would require us both to move out of the country, and move quickly. Ultimately, he got the offer and accepted it. This was very exciting, and I was (and am) elated for this opportunity for him, but in came the stress of moving.
  • I had to negotiate and fight the terms of my lease. Originally, I was told that I could not go month-to-month because that was against the terms of the lease. That would have meant I either would have had to move my stuff into a storage unit and find a place to live for a couple months (K, I'll forever owe you for even entertaining the idea of letting me crash on your couch), or I would have been asked to pay for an entire year's worth of rent for a unit that I wouldn't be living in for "breaking the terms." Thank God I read the fine print (pro tip, ya'll), and was confident enough to fight back. I was able to get my lease extended, short-term, and in a month-to-month format. I'm pretty sure there was a beach picture on Instagram. 
  • Knowing that this move was becoming a strong possibility, I knew it would be a lot cheaper/easier for me to sell my furniture and belongings instead of moving them. Cue the rodeo that is Facebook Marketplace. But thank the dear sweet Lord for aligning me with a few people, (one in particular - CS!) that became the new and rightful owners of the possessions that I was parting with. I feel like I could write a book titled "Sisterhood of the Traveling Couch." But using my ironing board, and long board as a dinner table has officially gotten old. lol.
  • Let's add job searching/interviewing for a rewarding and remote marketing position I could do in another country while already being more than busy with the actual job I was currently employed at... that was probably a crab legs for dinner Instagram post. 
  • And then actually giving notice... that was more emotional than I was expecting. Thankfully it ended up working out just fine. I was asked to fly back to Fort Lauderdale after Xmas/New Years to work just one day, which I thought was odd... but it ended up saving me about $175 (despite cost of ticket I paid for) because I didn't have to pay out of pocket for insurance for January anymore, so I shrugged it off and didn't mind it, despite the added hassle. This corresponded with a bestie selfie on Instagram during the flight back to FLL.
  • And just to make things a little more interesting, I was coordinating (and arguing with insurance), and then had that well-overdue surgery on my vocal chords on December 22nd, a $2000 procedure (after insurance). Christmas decorations post on Instagram for sure!
  • In order to wrap up my work projects in a way that put my boss and coworkers in a good position, and to give me enough time to heal from vocal chord surgery, I had to negotiate my start date for my new job. It was a conversation that started with massive anxiety ("what if I lose this opportunity?!" "what if I can't get my voice fixed!?"), but ended in relief. My new boss could not have been any more understanding and willing to work with me. Brunch pic on Instagram.

Did I mention all this took place during the holidays? The most wonderful time of the year, eh? I had reached a point where I felt like my brain was going to split in half, was mentally and physically exhausted, and suddenly found myself quite empathetic towards Britney Spears' 2007 meltdown. I'm not one to wish time or days away, but by the end of December 2016, I was definitely looking forward to a fresh start with a new year. 

Once I got to the first week of January, I felt like I had finally made it over the hump. Yes, my heart still aches intensely when I think about the losses my family has had, but it no longer feels as raw as it did. My Uncle is kicking ass, and putting cancer in its place. I have successfully sold all the big pieces in my apartment, and I'm donating what doesn't fit in my car when I move this weekend. My lease in Fort Lauderdale worked out, Brett found us a place to move into, and we successfully tag teamed to get his condo in Portsmouth rented out. Vocal chord surgery (and recovery) is already a thing of the past. I started my new job, and so far I'm really enjoying both the job and the team. I'm sleeping better (you can literally see the difference on my FitBit), I feel lighter (but am eating more), and no longer have any negative thoughts or stress lurking in the back of my mind. Life is good.

I really hope this post doesn't come across as "woe is me." I truly think my life is freaking AWESOME, and consider myself to be someone with a positive outlook. But when somebody younger than me had reached out to me and said my life seemed "perfect," it made me want to write this post to shed some more light into what was occurring in my life "behind the scenes." To compare your life to someone else's without knowing the whole story is a dangerous game, and I did not want to contribute to that.

Despite what social media profiles project - nobody's life is perfect, certainly not mine. Know there is almost always more to the story. 

 

 

 

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.