Category Archives: Just Me

Farewell, North Carolina

My year in North Carolina has been educational.

I’ve learned the grass is NOT always greener on the other side. I always wanted to leave Iowa. But that’s my home and it’s what is comfortable. I have missed the less populated smaller towns and familiar faces that I felt trapped with before. I’ve missed it. A lot.

I’ve learned that city living is definitely not for me. Especially not a big city like the Raleigh area. Too much traffic. Lines no matter where you go. A simple trip to pick up a couple items at the store can typically take up to an hour.

I have learned I don’t need help to get the bills paid. Jarrod and I can do it all on our own. I can be very resourceful if needed, even away from anyone I know. This is something I should have learned long ago. It was a welcomed lesson.

I’ve learned I can forge new professional relationships without my mom having gone there first and referring me, like I always did before. No need to hide behind her and my anxiety.

I’ve learned that I definitely HATE the cold winters. And I loved the more mild winter months. (That was the best part of the year).

I’ve learned that it is very difficult for me to make new friends. I made some online friends, but in-person friends was a whole different deal. Part of that was the pandemic, but part is that no one wants to actually meet in person anymore. They say they do, but that’s all that ever comes of it.

I’ve learned that wildlife is different 1000 miles from home. Giant wood roaches and mosquitoes, slugs, snakes, and so much more I’ve never had to deal with. Gross!

And most of all, the biggest lesson I’ve learned, is that home is where family and friends are. And they are irreplaceable, important, and essential. I’ve learned a lot, but being without many of my loved ones for a year has been miserable.

In just over a week, Jarrod, Andy, Cory, Felix and myself will all be back in Iowa. Back in the company of our families and friends, and back to all we know and now have a newfound appreciation for (except the winter, lol). This year “abroad” wasn’t what we thought it would be, but it was certainly eye opening. As much bad came of it, at least I learned lessons I never would have learned staying in Iowa.

Thanks for the wisdom, North Carolina! Farewell.

Finding The Right Loctician

I spent 12-14 hours over the course of 2 days getting my dreadlocks started back in September. He started new dreads and attached my old ones that I shaved off 3 years prior. The loctician had his shop set up outside in a tall tent with a salon chair, music and desks. I enjoyed the outdoor locale, but the whole while I was in the salon chair listening to the dude’s crazy conspiracy theories, preachy religious talk, and unsolicited life advice… regardless of how many times I tried to steer the discussion toward other things, like family, past jobs, moving from Iowa, or really anything else. I was aware of pricing prior, but I spent a LOT of money to be there and have that experience. I did not enjoy my time spent in his presence.

8 weeks in, the dreads started coming apart. I went to him for maintenance, which I knew would be needed periodically anyway. Maintenance, in his definition, is just tightening up the roots (as to where other locticians I’ve worked with do the whole dread). He charged me extra for crocheting in the loose hairs and fixing some of the separation. This process was also over the course of two days, and listening to more nonsense. This time, being mocked for wearing a mask and being bombarded for hours about political crap regarding the 2020 election I very clearly said I was against from the start of the appointment. He said that problem with the separation of my dreads shouldn’t happen again so long as I don’t use harsh hair ties.

Also I will add, this guy doesn’t bathe much or wash his hands, so my hair smelled STRONG of his body odor by the time he was done with it. A deep washing of my hair was needed after both sessions.

But anyway, my dreads are currently coming apart again, and this time they are coming apart even worse. I’ve been desperate not to go back to him. So I connected with a worldwide group on Facebook of dreadlock lovers. I found one lady in San Antonio that will help me with them, and one that travels the US that will come to me. Even if I took the more expensive route, and paid to fly to San Antonio, paid her fees to do some work to make my dreads better, and flew back, it would STILL cost me quite a bit less than what I’ve paid the local dude. The quality looks comparable. I’m grateful to have found them both.

I’m certainly not going back to him. I’m disappointed in my own vetting skills to find the right person. But at least I learned my lesson. I’m looking forward to meeting the new ladies, and seeing how great we can make the rest of my dreadlock journey. As of right now I have an appointment for the traveling loctician to come to me during the first week of March. I’ll definitely update again after my appointment. ——-

Update: March 5 – I posted a review on his Facebook and Google about my experience. If you’re interested, you can check it out for yourself – just look up Dr. Lockstar in Clayton, NC. It was much more kind than what I’ve posted here, but he became extremely upset. He started hurling insults, saying I was heartless and evil. He made threats to defame and humiliate me, trying to get me to remove or change my review. All I can say is, THANK THE UNIVERSE I found a new loctician before he showed those true colors. That will teach me to be open-minded and work with someone with a criminal past. He made me aware of his sex offender status during our first day, and I tried to look past it, even through my discomfort. The decision to look past red flags has unfortunately bitten me in the ass before, and it’s not a decision I will repeat again.

My Name Is _____

To my friends and family, and those who know me far and wide: Shauna Mae is no longer who I am.

She was a victim, a failure, an angry and sometimes selfish and insensitive person. The trauma and abuse, grief and depression, sadness and anger inside that person was wrapped up and knitted into the fabric of her very being from childhood into adulthood. Breaking out of the cycle of abuse and self-hatred took a few years. But moving out of Iowa and away from all of the reminders of that life helped to lay that person to rest. I know the name was given by my mother, to honor her mother. And while I respect that naming process, and I don’t want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings, I cannot be called by that name any longer. To me, that name is the representation of everything I have fought so hard to shed.

I have taken myself on a journey to find a name that suits me. It wasn’t an easy one to come by. I have used online nicknames for many years, but none of them were right. But then, I decided to name myself after what brings me joy. The soft sand and surf between my toes, the bright sunshine on my face, the warm breezes through my hair… What could be better than the best season of the year?

The name I’m choosing for myself: Summer Sky!

To my mom, I mean no disrespect by making this change for myself. I truly hope you can understand, knowing everything I’ve been through and overcome throughout my life. You have been there by my side through all of it, and I have the deepest respect and appreciation for that. I understand what the name means that you gave to me, and she will always be a part of me. I just feel it’s time to move on from her.

All of this being said, I am asking all of my friends and family, acquaintances old and new, to call me by the name Summer from today forward. Thank you for your respect on this matter. And thank you for being a part of my life, my growth, and my future.

Life Is Good

I haven’t had an easy life. Lots of adversity, mostly brought on by my own choices, actions, and energy. I’ve done a lot of quitting things that would have turned out good for me. I’ve been around a lot of negative people. I’ve had a lot of so-called friends that tend to root for negative occurrences in my life, and my depressed reactions. Even when things seemed to be going well for me socially, I ended up with another series of unfortunate events regarding my health. My depression took a turn for the worst, I started lashing out at those I love…. my life, from my perspective, really turned to shit.

Then we moved across the country. I hated it for a while, having brought my negative attitude with me. It wasn’t what I expected, and I wasn’t open to change. I got even more negative. Depressed. Anxious. Angry.

And then I stopped.

I was tired of being angry and frustrated. I started thinking about my kids, and how they see me. And how they deserved better from me. I started thinking about the early days in my marriage, and how in love my husband and I were with each other, and how he now deserved better from me. I started thinking about how happy I was back then, and how well I took care of myself, and how I deserved better from me, too. I started faking happiness. “Fake it ’til you make it.” And it helped.

I’ve gotten involved in a few things, giving me a sense of community, which helped dramatically. I’ve gotten more involved in my home, accepting where we are and finding joy in the little things. Who cares if we aren’t in the perfect house, in the perfect location? We are away from Iowa, like I’ve always wanted. We are in a home that is warm and safe. We have good food in our kitchen, warm clothing in our closets, working utilities and appliances, entertainment for our mandatory time spent at home during the pandemic, and the LOVE of one another. LIFE IS GOOD!

I’ve refocused my energy. I’m not concerning myself with that which is beyond my control. I’m recognizing how blessed I am. I am thankful beyond all words that I get to stay home with Felix and watch him grow and learn. That I am the one who gets to take him to all of his specialist appointments and therapies. That I am the one he knows he can trust to take care of his needs every day, rather than a child care provider. I am thankful that I can create a warm, comfortable home for my husband when he comes home from a hard day of working to support our amazing family. I am thankful for the outstanding man that he is, and how well he provides for us, not only financially, but as a loving father and husband as well. I am thankful that I am able to help Andy learn how to grow into an independent man, helping him navigate the work world and finances. I am thankful that Cory has been able to continue his education online during this pandemic, and not miss out on a year of high school. I am thankful we are only 2 hours from the ocean, 3 hours from mountains, and always in the middle of the woods. I am thankful for, and looking forward to, the variety of opportunities this new part of the country will provide for us all once things open back up and we recover from the illness that has surrounded us for so many months.

LIFE IS GOOD! And I will never take my blessings for granted again.

With all of that being said, this blog is now officially reopened, and I will post an update about once a month. I will share what new things we have been able to discover, what adventures we’ve found, and of course, updates on Felix for our family. 2021 is the start of something great… I just know it!!

Thanks for reading. xoxo