The Las Vegas Massacre… I’m Not Okay.

My heart hurts so badly for everyone impacted by the horrific tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas last night. I can’t even begin to imagine what the victims and their families are going through. I am very blessed to not be directly impacted. So if I am not directly impacted… why am I writing this?

To be honest, I am not sure why this is hurting me so badly. I just need to get it out. Unfortunately, we see this fairly often. My first memory of a mass shooting was when I was in 5th grade and the Columbine High School Shooting occurred. I was in my freshman year of college when the Virginia Tech Shooting occurred and I was leaving an amazingly fun event for HIV Prevention when the Orlando Pulse Night Club massacre happened. All of those events happened when I was in a place that I could say “holy cow, that could have happened to me today.”

But this event did not directly impact me in any way and for some reason, I am more upset than I ever have been by news like this. I saw the news by 6 am and my heart immediately fell into my stomach. It was hard to get ready for work and drive knowing what those people were still going through. I got to work and most people hadn’t heard yet. I wasn’t going to tell them. I didn’t want to talk about it. I couldn’t without breaking down.

Everyone kept saying to go home and hug your loved ones. Well, I just moved to a new city. Away from my family and my boyfriend who I lived with. I don’t have many people here and the only “person” I was going home to was my dog. Losing my family or my boyfriend in a tragedy like that is literally my greatest fear. I wish I still lived in NY and I wish I was still going home to him. I wish I could hug him and cry and tell him how much I love him. I wish I could bury my head in his chest and thank God he’s okay and with me. But I can’t do that. I feel more alone than I ever have in my life. Again, I am blessed. I am so blessed my family and friends weren’t there. I am so blessed that even though they’re 800 miles away, they’re alive. I am blessed that I can talk to them.

But my heart still hurts. My heart hurts for the people who lost their lives and the ones who lived and had to leave the event without the people they went with. My heart hurts in fear of the world we live in. The older I get, the more these events scare me. I have so many emotions and on days like today, they’re hard to sort out.

Whether directly affects or just sad and scared like me, my sincerest condolences. If you’re hurt, angry, sad, and like me, just need to get it out. Email me. Comment below. Write your own post and share it with me. I am here to listen. Thank you for listening to me.

XO J

7 Things I didn’t Expect when I Moved 850 Miles from Home

For 29 years, I lived in the same town. I spent my entire life in the same neighborhood and when I decided to move away from home, I knew it would be hard. I left my fun job, my family, my friends, my serious live-in, handsome boyfriend, the first house I bought, and my 8 year old dog who I adopted as a puppy. I knew I would miss just about everything about home and I knew I would feel lonely in a new city. I tried to prepare for that the best I could. However, in the first two weeks in my new city of Charleston, SC, the hardest parts of the transition weren’t necessarily the ones I expected and the most exciting parts weren’t the reasons I moved.

1. The most frustrating thing I have ever experienced is constantly being lost and trying to follow a GPS. I knew I would rely on my GPS a lot, but I didn’t think about how I have fallen into a routine over the past 29 years and now, I can’t even get a damn cup of coffee to help me through the morning commute. I have to GPS my way to a Starbucks, only to accidentally pass it and not be able to turn around because I am on a one-way street.

2. Suburban Crime is a Culture Shock. Where I grew up, we occasionally had the freak suburban crime, but for the most part, the really bad crime was confined to certain areas of the city. Here, you have murders two blocks about from half million dollar homes. That is a common theme throughout the city and the suburbs, which made house hunting an added challenge.

3. I don’t know where things are in the grocery store. As if finding the grocery stores and farmer’s markets haven’t been frustrating enough, I don’t know where a damn thing is! Grocery shopping becomes an all day affair when you have no idea how to find what you need. Luckily, the gorgeous Summerville, SC Aldi came to my rescue!

4. My fitness routine has gone down the drain. I imagined moving to Charleston and jogging outside year round, paddle boarding in the marsh, and driving up to NC to hike and bike. But, what I completely neglected to remember is that it’s freaking HOT in August and there is no way I can get a decent run in without collapsing from the heat index, I don’t have a gym (yet), I sold my kayak and have no idea where to get a paddle board, and my bike is thrown on top of my couch in my storage unit. It’ll take more than 2 weeks to get back into the grove.

5. Dating to find friends is harder than dating to find a boyfriend. Since I only have one friend in Charleston, I have been making an extra large effort to try and meet new people around the city. It’s EXHAUSTING. When dating to meet a man, I would type in my criteria online as if I was shopping for shoes, and my preferred selections came up on dating sites. With friends, I have forced myself to stay out too late, drinking too much beer, and conversing with people I didn’t even necessarily like in order to try and build up a social circle. I had 5 “dates” in two weeks and met some pretty amazing people and some people I don’t care to see again.

6. For everything I miss about NY, there is something to love about SC. From weather, to restaurants, to shops and boutiques. As soon as I start to miss something from home, I discover something else that is new and exciting that I can’t get in NY.

7. I don’t want to go back. I was venting to a new friend about some struggles I was facing and I was having a really hard time being away from my boyfriend and dog. He caught me off guard when he said “If you could go home tomorrow, would you?” My immediate response was “No.” Sitting on fun bar patio, listening to live music on a Saturday night, in 85 degree weather, I felt happy. Yes, I am sad, and frustrated, and sometimes even very depressed. But overall, I am happy with my decision to have moved. I am LOVING the warm weather, and I can’t wait to get into a routine and keep exploring!

XO J

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Pineapple Lust

Who the heck is this girl? 

Welcome! My name is Justine E. Mejak aka Cool Justinee and this is my attempt and my first blog that I hope you will find some inspiration. I am a full time higher education professional and student counselor, part time Les Mills Body Flow instructor, part time Brewtender at a small brewery, and now part time blogger! I am also completely in love with the water and nothing makes me happier than spending time at the lake or ocean. I have a lot of interests and this blog is my way of diving into each of my life lusts.

What do I do? 

While working multiple jobs and trying to find time to travel, I also spend a lot of time taking care of my body both physically and mentally. Throughout my posts, I will talk about my struggles with physical health, mental health, and disordered eating. I hope to connect with others who also struggle with these issues and let you know you’re not alone! I’ll talk about what has helped me work through my issues and express my vulnerability when I am struggling.

What is love? 

Another large part of my life is my family; mostly my dog and long-time, live-in boyfriend. I’ll share posts about love lost, love found, and what I find that works in my relationship.

What’s with the pineapples? 

My favorite place in the entire world is Charleston, S.C. right next to the Pineapple fountain. The pineapple represents hospitality and friendship. I have sat next to that fountain more times than I can count throughout my lifetime and the pineapple has come to mean something very personal to me. I always keep the reminder of the message of the pineapple nearby and strive to live a “pineapple life” full of passion, love, lust, hospitality, friendship, and always remaining sweet on the inside.

Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with topic suggestions, questions, products you would like me to review, or just to say “hello!”

xo – J