Sometimes the broken road is still the best path to the destination – HaliPawz

Six years ago today, I went on a first date. I don’t remember the details of the date but it must have went ok because there was a second and third. It led to a short relationship. This was a rough time for me in general.  It was the first date I had gone on since my dad passed away in January of the same year. His first name was the same as my dad’s. He was so different from anyone I had ever dated. I took all this as a sign. Maybe I needed something, someone, different than those I had dated in the past.

William truly was different than anyone I had ever dated in so many ways. He was younger than me, a lot younger. He attacked life in such a unique way. He was tall, thin, and did not look like anyone I had ever dated either. He made me happy. So happy that I invited him to go to Michigan with me for a family wedding. While there were some fun moments in Michigan including showing him Lake Huron & Lake Michigan, there were also some difficult moments. Between his nerves of meeting my entire family at one time, my emotional state of still dealing with my loss, we ending up arguing more than we should and didn’t handle them well. The drive back to Missouri was not a fun one and, while we tried, we eventually parted ways. One positive discussion that came out of our trip back was he convinced me to take a chance and take the muzzle off of Zipper. He said I had to remove the muzzle or find a new home for Bella.  He made me realize it wasn’t fair to either of them living the way they were.  They both deserved better.  I appreciated his bluntness and perspective on the situation.

We stayed in contact off and on over the years.  I always had a soft spot for him. He moved to the east coast. One day, out of the blue, he called and asked if I was home. I was. He stopped by. We talked, we laughed, Bella loved on him. I reminded him of the role he played on Bella & Zipper living together, usually peacefully.

He loved the east coast and invited me to come out to visit him. I wanted to but life got in the way. Honestly, I probably got in the way. There was a part of me, I’m sure, who thought “why go? Is there really a future?” Some of it was just the timing in general.  I was at a new job and time away wasn’t easy.

Before I could really make it happen, he moved again. This time to Florida. No matter how much of a soft spot I had, there was no way I could be with someone who doesn’t want roots and I made assumptions, such as, he doesn’t want roots, he’ll always be moving, etc.  Someone who can just pick up and move on a whim. I could never do it. Between the dogs, the horse….my love of boxes of stuff and my hatred of moving….I did not understand his choices at the time and didn’t see myself being a part of it.

So why am I sharing this story?

Back in March I went to Florida for a family trip. I was supposed to join up with my mom, along with other family members, to watch my niece Breanna march with her high school band at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. The trip did not go as planned in many ways, more on that in another post, but I found myself with some free time in Florida without family. As I posted pictures on social media, I learned a friend from Kansas City was also at Disney with his son so I hung out with them a little but William also reached out to me. Not going to lie….because of the way we communicated and his, no, to be fair, our past, I did not put a lot of stock in our conversations. He told me he was going to be in Orlando the second day of my trip and maybe we could see each other. I said sure. We did not see each other. I chalked it up to typical way things went with us.

We continued to talk while I was there. He said he was going to try to come see me after work the night I was going to be at Universal Studios. I said sure…..and if I was being honest…..never expected to see him. Pitbull was doing a concert there the evening I was going to be there. I knew none of my family members would not want to stay for it so I planned on staying and then just catching an Uber back to the resort. There was a Mardi Gras parade before the concert so I was looking forward to a fun evening.

While we were all at dinner, William confirmed he was on his way up. Even then, because I misunderstood something he had said to me, I did not believe I would see him. I know, I know….I sound so negative but I have always been open about my belief that relationships and me don’t mix so I don’t put a lot of faith in things working out when it comes to anything to do with relationship stuff.

I’m standing along the parade route and he messaged me asking me where I was. I saw him in the crowd headed towards me and smiled. His presence always makes me smile. His high energy hasn’t changed. His exuberance for life can be exhausting sometimes but some things changed that night. The parade was fun. The Pitbull concert was amazing, he is such a great performer, especially with his passion for Florida, but that’s not what changed. It was sitting in William’s car, waiting for the traffic to clear out so we could head back to the resort.

Mardi Gras Parade float at Universal Studios Florida

We talked. I mean we really talked. He’s in sales and he’s great at what he does, but because he’s great at it, he sometimes goes into “sales speak”. For the first time, I shared with him how difficult it is to talk to him when he does it but it wasn’t in annoyance, it was in communication. Even the drive back to the resort was filled with great communication. We talked better than we ever had. We stopped the surface chit chat and really talked. I gained a new appreciation and understanding for who he is, for how he is sometimes.

He stayed in Orlando and we spent some time at Disney Springs the next morning. It was nice just spending time with him with no schedule or agenda. I knew we didn’t have a lot of time because he had some things to do before heading back home but we enjoyed the time we did have.

Here it is, May 29th and things have changed between us. We are still talking. We have decided to see where things could go between us. We both have changed so much in the last 6 years but what hasn’t changed is the feelings we both have for each other. When we talk or spend time together, he makes me feel like I am the most important thing to him. There are a lot of things stacked against us. Our schedules are hectic, he works long days so communication is often short or via text. We are long distances away from each other, which isn’t easy, but we both are committed to trying.

Who knows what the future brings. When I mentioned to him our 6 year anniversary from our first date (no clue why I had the date saved on my calendar all these years) was coming up, he said “6 years ago, I was still figuring life out”. I laughed. I’m 44 and still figuring life out. The road to today has been filled with twists, turns, potholes, even complete roadblocks….but the destination, while still not completely clear, seems worth the journey.

Happy Anniversary William, lets hope the next 6 years isn’t as broken!

 

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Internet Safety Tutorial #1 – Facebook Giveaways – HaliPawz

It happens to the best of us. We get overwhelmed with everything on social media and we miss those dreaded problem sites. Those moments a friend or family member shares or likes a posting on Facebook from companies that are just using it to spam their friends! I recently was talking to a couple of family members about when to click and when not to and they had no clue about some of the basic tell-tale signs so I thought I would take the time to help educate everyone. Will this stop all of the SPAM? No, not at all. Will it help? YES!!!! Please do some due diligence before you start clicking and liking pages on Facebook. This first tutorial is focused on those amazing giveaways that everyone wants to win.

Here are a couple of steps to keep you and your friends from getting hacked or SPAM.

Step 1. LOOK at the offer. I mean, REALLY look at the offer. If it seems like it is an amazing offer that a company has NEVER given away before…..chances are, it’s going to be easy to spot the tell-tale signs of a fake. You should already be on alert that there may be a problem with it.

Facebook giveaway

Facebook giveaway

Step 2. Click on the business name that is attached to the item being shared. It should take you to their business page or group page. This is where a lot of information is found. Do not go by the number of “likes” a business has because many people are duped. They believe that if their friend shared it, it must be reputable. NOT TRUE!!!! Once you are on that page, take a look at it. Is it a company you are familiar with? For the sake of this blog, I am using a giveaway that was posted for Southwest Airline. They are a large company that many people are familiar with. The first thing to look for is the spelling of the business. The actual spelling is Southwest Airlines (notice the s is missing from Airlines). Large corporations aren’t going to spell their business name wrong. The next thing to look for with a large corporation is a blue and white check mark after their name. That check mark means Facebook (and twitter) have done the work for you and verified that it is the legitimate company. I have included some samples for you to see the difference. Those two things right there will have you stopping the “share” before more people are affected.

Let’s talk about the smaller companies….the ones that Facebook hasn’t deemed big enough to verify. The first thing you want to look at is when was their Facebook page started? How many other posts are on the page? If that particular give-away is their ONLY post (even if it’s multiple times) then it probably isn’t a valid company. For example, I saw a couple of friends share a Camaro give-away from a smaller company. When I went to that site, the only posts were about that give-away and nothing else. The page had just been started in 2014. Chances are, a company that just entered into the world of social media doesn’t have the capital to give-away a $20,000+ prize. You can find all of their posts if you scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “More posts”. Most companies doing a large give-away have been on Facebook for a few years.

Step 3. If you have done the following steps and you still aren’t sure if it the real thing…..go into the search box of Facebook and type in the company that you believe is doing the give-away. Find the one that has the verification mark next to it and go to their page. If there is no mention of the give-away, then it isn’t happening!

Verified and non Verified Southwest Airlines Companies

Verified and non Verified Southwest Airlines Companies

Another one that is shared a lot is Walt Disney Corporation. Here is an example of all of their verified entities and the fake ones

Verified Walt Disney Corp

Verified Walt Disney Corp

Step 4. IGNORE THE TEMPTATION TO SHARE BAD GIVEAWAYS!!!!! It’s that simple. You will help cut down on the dangerous SPAM emails that you and your friends receive that could potentially give your computer a virus or allow someone to hack into your Facebook to get detailed information on you.

The BAD company

The BAD company

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Just taking a few extra seconds and paying attention to some small details will help keep your Facebook perusal safe and fun!

Thanks everyone!