Blog Anxious

Falling

It was a Monday. My dad was calm, it was his third time doing this after all, watching the Seahawks versus the Raiders on the hospital television. Not long after midnight I became an official member of the Bailey family.

I had finally done it. I had conquered the rusty brown monkey bars in my backyard that had taunted me for eight years. It was a cool July evening, my father splitting his time between playing catch with my brother and watching me, giddy with the feeling of accomplishment. My mother peeked through the kitchen window periodically, puttering from one task to another, busy as usual. The window cracked open and I heard my mother’s voice, time to pick my sister up from a birthday party at the mini golf place. My hands red and blistering, I just had to cross that great obstacle one more time as if to really prove that I could do it despite my father’s plea to “come now”. And this time my tiny little fingers slipped, landing me on the hard dirt below, a metal pole poking through found my right elbow. When the crying did not stop after moose tracks ice cream or endless hugs from my dad, my mother finally caved. First thing tomorrow morning a visit to the hospital was in order. Barricaded by giant pillows, the night was restless, the first of many when a dark purple cast encompassed my whole arm for the next six weeks.

Continue reading “Falling”

Swim Poem Blog

Swimmer

The faded blue podium stood

highlighted by generators awaiting

my wrinkled toes. The splashing of water.

Indistinct cheering. My name sounded

from a man’s scratchy megaphone. Echoed by

my family’s praises, I walked from the mushy grass

to the warn wooden platform. Standing steady

 

as chlorine dripped

from my damp hair an added weight was secured

around my neck. My body felt heavy,

my mouth dry. The enticing aroma of popcorn

like that from the movies, made me long for

the fast food feast that awaited me once

 

the pictures subsided. Wrapped

in my favorite blue hoodie, the long drive

was sure to bring visions of first place.

Travel Blog

You can’t fly like a bird…

…But you can pretend you are a bird or an airplane racing through the playground chasing your friends. You can jump from bench to bench or fly from the slide to the swings over the treacherous lava below. You can’t soar in the clouds, but you can float there as you escape the confines of the classroom to imagine dragons or castles or having magical powers. Your heart can rise and never touch the ground lifted by the look in those sweet brown eyes and giddy smile that you hope always looks your way. You can’t drift among the stars but you can float on your back in the ocean with the sun beating on your face and your eyes closed forgetting about everything around you. You may not be able to fly like a bird, but you can dream that you are.

Despair

Scream

What?! What is it? I could feel the scream rising inside me. Boiling up to the surface as she looked me up and down once more. My calm exterior was shaken and the scream kept coming. It caught in my throat. As she said nothing and walked away, I swallowed it. Forcing down the anger that had been welling up inside of me for so long. My screams needed to come out. They needed to be released. Night after night, only my pillow knew my despair.

Participation Trophies

Participation Trophies

Why is it that the baby boomers criticize the millennials for believing we can be anything we want? They point at the participation trophies and blame them for my generation’s “selfishness.” They laugh at our dreams and roll their eyes at our aspirations to travel. Our own parents now frustrated with our pursuit of happiness.

But that is just it…. They are our parents. The same people who are criticizing us are the ones who raised us. They were the ones who led us to believe that anything is possible. And they were the ones who handed out those participation trophies. When they told us we can be anything, they meant doctors, lawyers, or any of those “acceptable” jobs. What they didn’t understand was how much the world was changing. How much technology was overhauling our workdays and how connected the world was becoming. There were possibilities now available to us that older generations could never even fathom.  As millennials we grew up with this change happening before our very eyes and became eager to be a part of it, only now to be disappointing our parents.

Australia Graffiti

Trump in Australia

Like most of the world, Australia does not like Trump. It seems that at least part of the United States is blind to the what the rest of the world knows instinctively. As an American is Australia, I was relieved to be escaping the political turmoil in the United States right now. One of the best things about being abroad was not having to see Trump’s name in the news every day. Unfortunately, there is no full escape from American politics no matter where you may be, but it was a nice vacation most days.

Of course, when I was adventuring around Australia, I did happen to stumble upon some anti-Trump rhetoric. It was refreshing to be in a country where whenever Trump was mentioned, it was not immediately followed by “Make America Great Again!” My first exposure was the morning news. Some mention of another outrageous thing Trump has said, a monotonous norm unfortunately. But there was no defense of his actions. Just a quick comment on his stupidity, and they moved on just as quickly as they started. There were a few more similar instances other mornings throughout my time there.

Apart from the news, an obvious Trump outlet, one of my first weeks in Australia, I stumbled upon a flyer with the President of the United States as the main topic. In a country halfway across the world, about as far as you can get from the United States, its citizens were preparing for an anti-Trump rally. The other Americans and I laughed at the sight.

Numerous times I heard conversations nearby of people discussing Trump’s bad behavior or at least alluding to their displeasure for his actions. Even my mentor seemed to be trying to hold back her bitterness toward my American president. It seems that all the way opposite the globe, Trump was a constant topic of conversation.

Even the international people in my program seemed to think our leader was a buffoon. Although they all came from different backgrounds and countries, they all seemed to agree on at least that. One Japanese girl asked me point blank the first week if I had voted for Trump. She then proceeded to talk about her distaste for the man and how she missed Obama. Another intern from the Philippines explained to me and the other Americans about how frequently the United States and Trump were in the news when he was back home.

And finally in my last few days in Australia, I was walking to meet my friends for taco Tuesday when I stumbled upon the graffiti at the top of this post. Melbourne is known for its street art, and it was not the first time I had seen something related to Trump; this one was just so unique. In my weeks there, I had seen images in an alleyway of Trump’s face and his signature combover outlined by a big red circle and a line across it. I had seen the same general theme elsewhere only as paper wrapped around a chainlink fence to form the image. One Saturday in Hoosier Lane, Melbourne’s most famous graffiti laneway, I had even found some street art questioning the size of Trump’s… member.

I can only recall one time in Australia when Trump was associated with something positive. My friends and I were riding the tram back to our accommodation when a man must have noticed that some of us had an American accent. He starting speaking to one of us in particular about how “Trump is the best thing to happen to the States.” As we reached our stop and hopped off the bus eagerly, I could have sworn I heard him say something about “Making America Great Again.” If I had not known any better, I would have thought we were in the heart of Alabama.

Now that I am back in the States, Trump has unfortunately once again become a constant presence in my everyday life. A heated argument almost always follows as Americans both defend and chastise him. Well, my brief respite down under was nice while it lasted.

 

Types of Divorce

awkward, anxious & wandering

Never published but still written… this article was not reviewed by a lawyer and should not be considered legal advice.

Types of Divorce

Divorce is a time of emotional turmoil. Finances. The kids. The house. The dog. There are so many issues to work through and decisions to be made. Can you and your spouse agree? There are multiple types of divorce. Where does yours fall?

Simple Dissolution of Marriage or Simple Divorce

Divorces in Florida can either be classified as a simple dissolution of marriage or a regular dissolution of marriage. As the name suggests, a simple divorce is less complicated but has certain requirements. There may not be any minor children in the marriage or any currently on the way. Each spouse must complete a financial affidavit and property settlement agreement. Finally both parties must attend the final hearing as petitioners before going on their merry way, or rather unmarried way.

 

Regular Dissolution of Marriage

In a regular dissolution of marriage, the spouse asking for the divorce is the petitioner and the one served is the respondent. From here your divorce can fall into one of two separate categories.

Continue reading “Types of Divorce”

Hire a Lawyer

Why do I need a lawyer?

Never published but still written… this article was not reviewed by a lawyer and should not be considered legal advice.

Why do I need a lawyer?

You’re an intelligent human being. Your case should be resolved quickly. You don’t need a lawyer. While you may think you can rock the courtroom on your own, there are many aspects you have probably not considered.

Trying to represent yourself can be tricky and overwhelming. You may have to navigate through an intricate web of city, state, and national laws that are always changing. Attorneys spend years in both law school and practice, familiarizing themselves with this material. They know how to handle legal documents properly, get evidence throw out (if possible), find experts to speak on your behalf, interpret the fine print, and get the best settlement. Don’t forget about all the mumbo jumbo legal terms: deposition, arraignment, stipulation, chattel. The list continues. If you choose to represent yourself in court, you will be held to the same standard as a licensed attorney.

Resolving your case without a lawyer can also be stressful especially if the stakes are high. After all of your research, sometimes you may even damage your case without realizing it or make a mistake that could hurt you later on. Cases involving large lawsuits, serious accidents, a messy divorce, or criminal charges can have harsh repercussions if not handled properly. No lawyer could mean hefty fines, a huge loss in assets, and even jail time.

Continue reading “Why do I need a lawyer?”

Legal Blog

What to Expect After you Hire a Lawyer

Never published but still written… this article was not reviewed by a lawyer and should not be considered legal advice.

What to Expect After you Hire a Lawyer

Maybe you are getting a divorce. Maybe you are accused of a crime. Whatever the circumstances, you hired a lawyer. Below are a few answers to some more common questions when it comes to working with an attorney.

 

How long will my case last and what will it cost me?

Every case is different. It is almost impossible for an attorney to predict the exact cost and duration of a case. Although your lawyer may have a general idea, cases can drag on for many reasons. For example, the opposing side may not be on the same page.

 

Nothing big has happened yet. Where is my money going?

Attorneys are paid for their time, knowledge, expertise, and advice. Whether attorneys are drafting a letter or preparing for trial, what matters is their time. Copious amounts of research go into everything your attorney does. If you have not heard from your lawyer recently, it does not mean work isn’t being completed. Before cases may even get to trial, a lot of time is spent preparing and researching to ensure the best outcome for your case.

 

How and how often should I communicate with my lawyer?

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Gray Divorce

Gray Divorce

Never published but still written… this article was not reviewed by a lawyer and should not be considered legal advice.

What is a gray divorce?

A gray divorce is when couples over the age of 50 get a divorce. Gray divorces can take place with couples who have be married once for many years or couples who are on their second or third marriage. This trend of divorcing at an older age has seen a great increase in more recent years. A study by Susan L. Brown and I-Fen Lin found that the divorce rate for couples over 50 actually doubled between 1990 and 2010. This means that 1 in 4 divorces are now gray divorces.

Why the growing trend of gray divorces

There are multiple reasons for this growing trend. Second marriages (or third or fourth marriages…) are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. For those people still on their first marriage, increased longevity of life could mean another 30 years in your unhappy marriage. Often times these couples simply fall out of love and grow apart. There is also no longer a need to “stay together for the kids” as the children are usually now full grown.

Some people point to the baby boomers for the increase… Continue reading “Gray Divorce”