Monday, July 19, 2010

Down the Road

I've had no choice but to think about the future this past weekend. Saturday and Sunday were so hectic, getting ready for my nephew's fourth birthday party on Sunday afternoon followed by my brother's wedding a few hours later. I was so caught up in the moment, trying to make sure everything was perfect, but my mind could not stop focusing on the real reason we were all getting together, which was to watch my brother and, now his wife, exchange vows promising their love and commitment to each other now and forever.

I bawled practically the entire ceremony. I know I looked ridiculous, standing there as a bridesmaid, with tears streaming down my face. However, I've realized that I wasn't just crying over the fact that my oldest brother is the first of us siblings to "tie the knot," and I know that is how it should be but, for four years of my life, I thought I would be the first. Don't get me wrong, I am so happy that it wasn't me walking down the aisle with my daddy, and I am so, unbelievably ecstatic for my brother and his wife (still trying to get used to saying that). But, while I was standing there, listening to them proclaim their love for each other, and repeating those vows about staying together through richer and poorer, sickness and health, and listening to my cousin read 1 Corinthians 13, which we all know what that passage says, I couldn't help but completely lose it. And listening to a family friend beautifully sing "When I fall in love" was just icing on the cake.

Down the road the sun is shining, in every cloud there's a silver lining. Just keep holding on. And every heartache makes you stronger, but it won't be much longer. You'll find love, you'll find peace, and the you you're meant to be. I know right now that's not the way you feel, but one day you will.
-Lady Antebellum

There's no way I would have made it through the ceremony without singing these lyrics in my head. I had this song on repeat in my mind, reminding me that down the road, I will get my chance at being a bride and I will find that everlasting love in a man who will love me unconditionally, forever. But, until that day comes, it will still be hard on me. I'm still working on figuring out who I am as a person, and what I want in a significant other, and I plan on meeting a lot of wrong's before ever meeting the right man for me.

I am still dealing with the fact that my closest friends are in happy relationships and I am now second best, when I used to be top priority. It's still very difficult for me to accept it, and I'm really working on trying to be the best friend possible when they need me. But, a phone call, or text to check up on me and see how I am doing regularly would be very nice, and would reassure me that they still care. I suppose for now, I am getting my wish to be alone and have time for myself. Mainly because the majority of my friends are so caught up with their boyfriends or girlfriends and I feel like fifth wheel, so to say.

However, I know for an absolute fact that one day, very soon, I will see that sun shining again, and all the pain, hurt, disappointment and frustration will go away. All these stages I'm going through are just there to make me a stronger and better person for myself, ultimately, but also for my family, friends, God and my future husband.

This post is dedicated to my brother, Bryan and my beautiful sister-in-law, Mandy. You two are the essence of true love and I can't wait to watch you two grow into a beautiful family with Christopher and soon-to-be Zachary! I am so excited to gain another nephew in a few weeks and I hope I can be the best aunt and sister to all of you. I love you all more than you know! Congratulations!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Today is the most dreaded day of all for true baseball fans. The worst Wednesday known to mankind... the day after the All-Star game, and not a single major league game will be played.

On this awful Wednesday, I have an off-day of my own, with no work. And, personally, I am not feeling the greatest, so having today to rest is probably a good thing. But, I'm going to take this extra time to recap on my thoughts of the first half of the season and what I expect for the second half.

The Red Sox, despite a multitude of injuries, went into the All-Star Break with a 51-37 record. We are 5 games back from the first place Yankees and 3 games back from the Rays who are holding the Wild Card spot. I'm not really worried about what Theo has up his sleeve for the trade deadline. What I am concerned for is getting my boys off the DL and back onto the field. With Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Varit
ek, Victor Martinez, Josh Beckett, Jeremy Hermida, Manny Delcarmen and Mike Lowell sitting on the DL, our starting line-up is really starting to hurt. I mean, no offense to Darnell McDonald, Daniel Nava, Bill Hall, etc. because they have done a great job contributing to our success this year, but it's depressing when I see our line-up and I barely recognize any of the guys playing. Although, I am getting to know them a little too well for my liking.

We have tons of positives from the first half of the season which gives me hope for the second half. But, we have some pen issues that we need to get straightened out.

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I am really starting to love Daniel Bard (1.90 ERA). I mean, he is the ultimate set-up guy and I think will be a huge contributor to our bullpen in the future. Buchholz (currently on the DL, 10-4, 2.45 ERA) and Jon Lester (11-3, 2.78 ERA) have proven their roles as starting pitchers and, in my opinion, will be our two best starters as we enter the second half of the season. However, Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-3, 4.56 ERA), John Lackey (9-5, 4.78 ERA) and Tim Wakefield (3-7, 5.22 ERA) have been more or less disasters and I'm not really sure what to think about them. I guess, as Forest Gump would say, they are "like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." Also, our lack of bullpen is really hurting us. Hideki Okajima (6.00 ERA) and Ramon Ramirez (4.79 ERA) aren't really two guys we can depend on in times of need. And our closer, Jonathan Papelbon (3.50 ERA), even with 20 saves on the season, is not as dominant as we need him to be.

David Ortiz, Big Papi, "Jose" Ortiz, or 2010 Home-Run Derby Champ, has had a complete turnaround from the beginning of the season and is really helping our offense with 17 HRs and 54 RBIs on the season. But, can I PLEASE talk about should-have-been All-Star, Kevin Youkilis, who was completely snubbed of that title. With a .297 batting average, 55 RBIs and 17 HRs, and the fact that he's one of the few that has stayed healthy this season (despite the brief ankle injury), is an absolute, defined bad-ass. Adrian Beltre (.341 AVG), regardless of the defensive errors, has greatly added to the teams offensive success and Marco Scutaro (.285 AVG) is also playing well. I can't wait for my main boy, Pedey, to come back and start this "Laser Show" again. Those pinstripes and Rays really need to watch their backs, cause we're going to come back stronger than ever!

I have complete faith in our boys to get healthy and start playing again. I think that we will continue to win games and as long as we can get through this tough start to the second half of the season, we will be fine. I believe that we have stayed contenders in this race, even through these difficult times, and have a great chance to win that pennant, no matter what everyone else might think.

**I have to let you all know, on August 27th me and my daddy will be heading to Tampa Bay for a father/daughter baseball weekend to watch the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. We have booked our flight, hotel and most importantly purchased our tickets for the 3-game series. On Friday and Sunday games, we will be sitting by the visiting dugout and on Saturday, we will be near the visiting bullpen. I had absolutely everything to do with those seating arrangements. There is no doubt that I will be the only girl my age that is headed to the beach for a weekend and not spend any time on the actual beach. We will be at the Trop as soon as the gates open for BP and I will stay till the last out is made, if not longer! No worries, there will be a blog post for that trip along with tons of pictures! ---Best Dad Award goes to, MIKE DOLL---

I will always be behind my boys, no matter the circumstances. I also completely believe that Red Sox Nation is the greatest fan base of all time, in any sport, and with our faith, hope and love for our team, we will get it done! :)

Go Red Sox!!


Friday, July 9, 2010

In Loving Memory...

I am in the midst of a bittersweet time.

My wonderful, beautiful, amazing grandparents are visiting for three weeks. I feel so fortunate to have been given this extra time to spend with them.

I have been brought back to a time of pure happiness. A year of my life that I probably took for granted while I had it, but nevertheless, was one of the happiest years of my life. My Grandma Doll moved from New Mexico to Georgia to live with my family. Unfortunately, it got to the point where she needed more assistance than we could give her, so we had to send her back to New Mexico to stay in a hospice facility.

After losing my Grandpa Doll when I was in 8th grade, I really treasured the time I was given to spend with her because I never got that extra time with him. I really wish I would have been able to get to know him better, but I was so young, and he lived so far away, that it never really occurred to me the importance of calling to talk to him, or visiting him.

The year my Grandma Doll lived with us was difficult, but I wouldn't have changed it for the world. I spent so much time getting to know her, listening to stories about her life and ultimately learning about my Grandpa vicariously through her. We used to go to lunch regularly, I used to take her shopping or we would go get our nails done. For an entire year, I got to know the Grandma that I always loved, but never really knew. It was so sad when we had to send her back to New Mexico, but we knew it was for the best. She needed too much care and it was more than we could possibly give her at home. I wasn't sure I would ever see her again, so that goodbye was very hard on me.

December of 2008, we received a phone call saying that she wasn't doing well, and if we wanted to see her one last time, we should probably fly to New Mexico as soon as possible. My parents, my brother, Mark, and I flew there a few days later and spent 10 days visiting her in the hospice facility. There were scares pretty much every single day that she wouldn't make it through the night so we spent the majority of our time with her. There was a point where my whole family was around her bed and we were just waiting on her to take her last breath. But, to everyone's dismay, she woke up, asked for a coke and started making jokes. After the 10 days were up, and we had to fly home, we went to see her one last time before we went to the airport. This time, however, I knew was the last time I would ever see her and it was the the hardest goodbye I've ever had to give. But, there was some relief to it as well, because I was actually given the opportunity to say goodbye, which so many people aren't able to get. I was able to tell her how much I loved her and got to hear her say those words to me as well.

Three months later, on March 25, 2009, we received a phone call saying that she passed away. I miss her every day and I think about her nonstop. I wear a bracelet every single day in memory of her and there's not a moment that goes by that I don't cherish that time I was given to get to know her.

Now, I am so blessed to have been given this time with my mom's parents. I am so busy with school and work that I'm not getting to see them as much as I'd like. However, even getting to see them every day and the fact that I get to say good morning to them every morning and good night before bed and be in their presence is enough in itself to be eternally grateful for these three weeks. I hope that this isn't the last time I get to see them. I know they will never be able to come to Georgia again, but I have faith that I will be able to visit them in New Mexico.

What I've learned from the different relationships I've had with my grandparents isn't something I could learn anywhere else. I know my Grandpa Doll loved me, even though we didn't get to show it as much, and I know my Grandma Doll was very grateful for the time she was able to spend with us. And now that my Grandma and Grandpa Purcella are visiting is just reassuring to me that my idea of having a close relationship with family is incredibly important. Never forget to tell someone that you love them and never, ever forget to say your goodbyes. Not everyone is given these opportunities, so if you are lucky enough to, cherish it and don't hold anything back.

This post is for my Grandma and Grandpa Purcella-- I'm so grateful and happy that you guys are here. I love you both and I am looking forward to spending this time with you.

And this is also in loving memory of my Grandma and Grandpa Doll-- I love you both and miss you more than you could ever imagine. I know you two are having a blast up there and I can't wait to see you again someday.

With love,

Monday, July 5, 2010

Oh, the Mac

On Friday, July 9, 2010, I will "celebrate" working a year at Taco Mac. Yes, a year. It sometimes feels as if I've been there for a few weeks, and that this year has flown by, and other times I feel like I've been there for a century, or way too long for my own good.

For those of you who don't know, Taco Mac is a sports bar/restaurant that has many different locations in the greater-Atlanta area. It is known for its huge selection of draft and bottled beers, and of course, the buffalo wings.

Last July, I had just come back from a vacation to Florida with my mom and my boyfriend, at the time. I had been unemployed for about six months and my parents were nagging me to get a job. There is a Taco Mac located within a mile from where I live, so I decided that would be a great place to work. It's close, it seemed like a fun atmosphere, I would make good money AND be able to watch baseball on the big screens. It couldn't get much more perfect than that
, right?

Well, I was right... and wrong.

I can't even begin to explain, in limited time and space, how my life has changed in this past year, but I'll do my best to keep it somewhat short.

Last fall, I was working an average of seventy hours a week, a few weeks I was up to almost ninety hours. We were short-staffed and I had completely opened my availability up to help out. They took full advantage of that, and used me as much as physically possible. In a way, it was good, because it kept me busy and kept my mind off of my break up with my ex boyfriend. However, on the other hand, I spent so much time there, that I would eat lunch and dinner there almost every day and I ended up gaining twenty-five pounds in a matter of nine months. I was depressed, lonely and absolutely miserable.

But, enough with all the negativity. I've had enough of that lately. I need to tell you about why this place has been a blessing to me.

I don't have time to go into great detail about everything, but I do want to talk about some of the people I've met. I understand the hostility I showe
d a few weeks ago when I was talking about all those selfish customers I serve on a daily basis. I was just angry that day. Don't get me wrong, though, I do deal with those customers regularly, but I also have the joy of meeting wonderful people too. Like Mike and Pam, who are regulars (from Boston, I might add), that I get to talk to about baseball and the Red Sox, and all my personal issues, and they are always willing to listen and give me advice. They have become like second parents to me and I look forward to seeing them walk through those doors every week! But, even random people I get to meet every day, and talk to about my future, and where I want to take my life after I leave this place. I have met so many amazing people in this short time who have truly changed my view on life and gotten me to step out of my shell and open up.

I've been through so much with my fellow co-workers. One being Jess, who is my best friend. I would have never met her if I wouldn't have started working here and I thank God every day for putting her in my life! I have learned a lot from the people I work with. I have spent so much time with them, from working with them, to hanging out with them after we get off, or going out on our day's off. I've realized, recently, that I am over it, though, and I definitely need my space. Too much time together is turning out to be unhealthy for me. But, nevertheless, I've learned so many positives and negatives to having friendships and relationships in the workplace.

So, yeah, there's been some tough times and some crazy changes in my life that I could completely blame on this job. Problems in my life that absolutely, without-a-doubt, coincide with this place and plenty of reasons to connect my times of depression with the people I'm around constantly. And I could probably talk longer about those issues than I could about the positive points, but where's the optimism? I should be completely grateful for this place. Only God knows where I would be if this job never came into my life.

Who knows how long I will work here. Who knows where I'll be in another year. But, for now, I will go to school in the mornings, work at nights and on the weekends, somehow manage to get some sleep in every now and then, and attempt a social life all while trying to keep my sanity (and fit the Red Sox in, which is extremely important, obviously). This is definitely not how I had expected my life to be like when I looked at my future a year ago. But, I guess, the uncertainty of the future is what makes this life beautiful and I would not have changed the last year for anything in the world (well, I think I could have managed without the extra twenty-five pounds).

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm just a girl...

What is loneliness?

I've been thinking and wondering a lot lately.
Am I lonely? Or is it not considered loneliness because I enjoy it?

I'm trying to justify why I like to be alone so much. I'm trying to understand why I would much rather be sitting alone at a coffee shop reading or writing, or on my couch, by myself, watching a Red Sox game instead of out partying, or doing whatever twenty year old's are supposed to do, with the rest of my "friends."

I am completely and utterly independent. That's what it comes down to. I have learned, in the last year, how happy I can be without having someone by my side all the time. I mean, for over four years of my life, I was completely smothered and dependent on somebody else. Maybe I'm too young for that right now. Maybe in a few years I'll be fine with that again. But, it just doesn't seem normal for a twenty year old to truly not enjoy going out all the time, partying and having that "college experience." I have absolutely no interest in that. Maybe I should have seen it coming. I wanted to get out of high school early because I was over the "high school experience." I've always been more mature for my age. But, what happens next? I mean, after college, I can't "get out" of the adult life. I can't move on to the next stage in life, because once I'm an adult, that's it. I'll have a husband and kids (hopefully) and a career and that's what I'll do for the rest of my life. They will be my ultimate priority and nothing else will matter. What will I do then? I mean, on the other side, I don't want to be an adult. I don't want to be settled down and have a family. I'm way too young for that. Maybe some day, but definitely not right now.

I'm so, extremely young and I need to be taking this time to go out and enjoy life, meet new people (which I would love to do), party, make mistakes, learn from them, have no regrets or apologies and ultimately be a twenty year old college student. That's what I'm supposed to be doing right now. But, I just want to be alone. I am happiest when I am alone, with nothing but a book, or a laptop to write on.

Does this make me lonely? Loneliness can be defined as "a feeling in which people experience a strong sense of emptiness and solitude. Loneliness is often compared to feeling empty, unwanted, and unimportant. Someone who is lonely may find it hard to form strong interpersonal relationships." I just can't agree with this definition, for me anyways. Maybe I feel unwanted and unimportant at times, but I am perfectly capable of forming strong, interpersonal relationships, but I just choose not to right now. I can't seem to justify any of these feelings, whatsoever.

So, where does this leave me? What "stage" of life am I in? I'm still trying to figure that out. I'm definitely not a kid, I'm not really acting like the college student I am, and I'm obviously not ready to be an adult. I guess, as Taylor Swift would say, "I'm just a girl, trying to find a place in this world."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

W's Please!

So, I hadn't planned on writing a new post this soon, but, something has been on my mind...

The Red Sox. Shocker, huh?

I am so sick of people questioning my knowledge of my team. Ok, so I don't know absolutely everything there is to know, but really, who does? I am at least doing my part. I keep up with the players and their stats, I watch the games, I understand what's going on and I'm trying to learn about the history. Remember, I have only been a Red Sox fan for 8 years. But, to me, that doesn't matter. They are my heart-and-soul. I live for them. When they hurt, so do I. When they thrive, I do too. And really, who cares if I'm not from Boston? I am so fed up with people calling me "fake." I.AM.DONE.

So, now that I have that off my chest, I'm going to talk about what really matters. And that's what's going on with my boys.

Dustin Pedroia, coming off a remarkable 5-5, three home run, five RBI outing against Colorado, now has a fractured foot and was taken out of Friday's game against the Giants and placed on the DL. Clay Buchholz was taken out of Saturday's game due to a hyper-extended knee, and now Victor Martinez, who was removed from Sunday's game because of a broken thumb. Three injuries in three games. I'm glad we're getting the hell out of the West and headed back home. We have gone through a lot lately, and somehow, it's not fazing us. We are staying positive. And when I say "we," I mean Francona, all of RSN and most importantly, the players.

Even through all the negatives this past weekend, we can't forget that we took 2 out of 3 and completely dominated on Sunday against Lincecum. So much for the key match-up. We needed that CG from Lester (and utter domination of the Giants line-up) to give our bullpen some rest.

Who knows what the future holds for Pedey, V-Mart, Beckett, Ellsbury and all of our other hurt players. I really hope Martinez is not put on the DL and the rest of our players heal extremely quickly. But, even though we aren't where we were hoping to be, in terms of our line-up, we are making the best out of the situation we were put in. We are two games out of first, behind the Yankees (I cringe at that name), and have managed to take over the Wild Card position, knocking the Rays back a game behind us.

We have two off days this week, Monday and Thursday, which could not have come at a better time. We have some work to do. However, in between those off days, we have two games at home that are a must win against Tampa Bay. We need to expand that gap between us and continue to do so the following week when we are visiting Tropicana Field.

We need to win. That's what it comes down to. We need to keep doing what we're doing, and that is getting W's in the book. We also need to remember that we have the best record in baseball since April 20 (42-22).

We have to take the good with the bad and just do what we do best, which is play good baseball. We have the strongest, most positive team and fans I have ever seen in baseball. We will stick together and we will get it done. Our heart-and-soul is there, now we just need to keep hitting, keep getting those insurance runs and make sure our starters go 7+ innings. If we do that, those pinstripes will look pretty damn good sitting in second place.

Go Red Sox!
Jenn Doll

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Beauty of Words

Words are astonishing. I mean, if you think about it, where would we be without them?

Being the aspiring writer that I am, I've grown to absolutely love words, the different meanings and how they can be used to hurt, heal, help, lift-up, destroy or even mend every single being in this world. If you haven't noticed, I have used a lyric from a song, or a quote in almost every post. I do this because I like to elaborate on different sayings and words that I hear, and explain to everyone how I interpret it, and what it means to me.

Why do people love music? Some like it because of the melody, or because of the talent it takes to sing. Now, why do I love music? I love words and lyrics. I love how someone can use words to make up a song and have it apply to so many different people, in so many different ways. It's amazing to me how one lyric can have so many different meanings. Maybe that's why I despise rap music so much. I don't like to dance, so that reason to like it is gone. And the lyrics, to me, are ridiculous and absurd and ultimately don't have much importance or meaning (I don't want to offend anyone, but it's just my opinion). That's why I love country music and Dave Matthews Band. Both of which, have lyrics that are so powerful and consequential, and not to mention, the music behind it is amazing. Music helps so many people. And I like to believe it's because of the lyrics.

Have you ever noticed that, almost always, reading the book is better than the movie? Why is this? It's because, in books, people are given the ability to use their imagination to interpret the words how they want to. While, in movies, it is someone else who uses their thoughts and point-of-view to create something for everyone else to see with their eyes, instead of their mind. Your mind has a way of envisioning words, and you are able to construe what you believe is happening.

So, back to my question about where we would be without words... Think of Hitler, and how he used words to destroy and hurt. Or, how about Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, Jr., and how they used words to heal, lift-up and give hope to so many people. Where would our country be, in terms of Civil Rights, if Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't use his words, and freedom of expression and speech to move and motivate people to make a change? And Hitler, with all the terrible things he did, just by using words, to completely over-take and devastate millions of people. Who knows what our world would be like if people didn't use their power and freedom to express themselves. I have come to the conclusion that we, as a society, would have gone absolutely nowhere without them.

I have always been a person of expressing exactly how I feel, to anyone and everyone. I can't find a reason to hide my feelings inside, to keep them bottled up and not use my God-given ability to communicate. I think that is something that is very obvious to everyone who knows me, or meets me. That is one of the main reasons why I decided to start a blog. Everyone asked me why I don't just write a journal, or a diary. Well, here's why: if God gave me the ability to express, through communication, using words, all of my feelings, why in the world would I hide that? Why would I keep that from everyone when I don't really care who reads this, or what people might think of it or me? Everything that I want to say to someone, or that I might write on here, I would have no problem telling them in person. Writing gives me the ability to express myself in a way that gives me pure joy and happiness. It's an outlet for me, a way for me to use words to explain to people all the crazy thoughts that run through my mind daily.

So, there are many different ways to use words, whether its through music, speaking or, in my case, writing, to express to different people how you feel. I have a lot of work to do and, over time, my vocabulary will expand. I will become a better writer and I will continue to learn more and more. But, if I can reach out and help one, just one person, through my words and writing, and ultimately make a difference in just one person's life, that's all I could ever ask for. I don't want to change the world, although I'd love to try. I don't want to hurt, offend, or destroy anything or anyone through my use of words. All I want to do is use the skills I was given, by my wonderful God, to express how I feel, using the beauty of words, and have people respect me for and appreciate what I absolutely love to do.

Thank you, for your love and support,

This is a song by Dave Matthews Band called "The Space Between." It's just an example of a song that has so much meaning to me and how the use of words and lyrics can explain so much and release an emotion of gratitude and the ability to accept, let go and move on. Feel free to interpret it how you'd like, but to me, this song is for my Grandma Doll.

In memory of my Grandma Doll. Rest in Peace. I will love you always. -March 25, 2009-