Archive for life lessons
Last you read about life (and love), I was pretty down in the dumps. Not by choice, but more by circumstance. Circumstances haven’t really changed, but then I remembered my Great Aunt Alberta and what she told me when she was about 80.
Be with the ones you love & that love you. And if they don’t love you, then FUCK ‘EM!
I’ll never forget the moment she told me that. I think my eyes popped out of my head, but I also remember that whatever I did, I needed to write that down so I wouldn’t forget it. I knew it would come in handy, like it did recently. So while I still find myself frustrated with dating and lonely at times (on a grander scheme), I also know that I have to be patient and I need to put myself first 100% of the time.
So what changed? I let go, as much as I could. I may not be able to ever let go of insecurities until I’m in a relationship where there is no reason to feel insecure, but I let go of people not loving me and people not wanting to make time for me. Right before my mom came, I felt calm. I haven’t felt that calm in a very long time (or at least since I’ve been single).
With my 31st birthday in 2 days, I’m really focused on doing more for me instead of trying to fix me for someone else. Do the things that I love more. Pay less attention to the things I loathe. It’s a struggle for sure, but at least I feel like I’m on a better path.
I’m more focused on things like planning a vacation with my mom (just us!) or traveling again with friends and by myself. Pinching pennies but still planning great adventures (you can do both, right?). There are definitely times I feel inadequate, but it’s my life. I’m going to live it how I want. Spending my time with the ones I love and those that love me back.
Fuck the rest. (Thanks Great Aunt Alberta)
At the recommendation of a friend, I’ve been reading Tiny Beautiful Things, the Dear Sugar compilation, by Cheryl Strayed (the same author as Wild).
While all the letters and responses she shares are vastly different, there is one underlying theme (at least in my opinion)…loving yourself. Whether you’re learning to appreciate who you are, pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, believing you’re worth it, etc. – the single message that shines through is that we’re all somebody.
In one letter, a man who is disfigured from a disease, writes that he feels ugly and worries he’ll never experience true love. He even asks Sugar if he should give up. She writes to him that we are all here to do the best we can “and every last one of us can do better than give up.”
I loved these words especially since the man described his outward appearance as I sometimes feel about my insides: ugly and scarred. And the more I thought about it, the angrier I got about my dating experiences, those in the far distant past and even those more recent. I’ve learned in the past 2 years that I struggle with trust, immensely. I still default to trusting people implicitly, but now instead of being potentially blindsided, I move quickly from trust to distrust.
And to be honest, it really pisses me off. I hate that I don’t trust people anymore because it’s so cliche. Women being distrustful of men. It’s every Lifetime movie. It’s every advice column topic. It’s just terribly cliche. The more I think about my actions and the crazy I feel deep inside boils my blood. Primarily, because I didn’t get here by myself. I didn’t wake up one day and say to myself, men are lying pigs. No. I had a lot of help.
And I hate it. I hate that I’m that stereotypical crazy woman at times, even if I’ve successfully hidden it from a guy, I feel it on the inside. I hate how it tears me up. How I feed into and sacrifice who I am. I hate even more that I seem to be the one who feels it all, when I wasn’t the one who misstepped. It feels like I’m punished for my trust and for opening myself up; whereas, counterparts have been rewarded for their indiscretions. I know many people probably feel that way, but a lot of my friends are quick to admit that I’ve had a rough go at dating and at finding love. But it seems there is no solution or real advice other than don’t give up. Take my time in between the pain, but don’t give up.
And so I don’t. But I’m tired and I want to trust all people again. I want that crazy, stupid love where you’re caught smiling for no reason. I want butterflies. I want to trust, truly. To share who I am at the deepest level and for that other person to really care. I want my heart to burn like a wildfire and I want to be wanted.
But a lot of days, it feels so impossibly hard. To trust. To love. To even believe it’s out there, just waiting for me. </3
I know, I know – I’m early. I’ve also been a little absent as of late. I hate that I keep promising I’ll be more active and yet can’t find the time – so I decided to kick off my 2015 goals a little early to help me really define what was important and what needed to be cut. Spoiler alert: the blog made the ‘important’ list. Woot.
I think I struggled a lot in 2014 because my goals weren’t measurable and while that was definitely a conscious decision, it was one that left me frustrated. So this year, I’m going back to my measurable goals and I’m excited to admit, I’m ready for that accountability again. I’m going to wait until January to review my 2014 goals as I’ll be knocking off a few things very soon, but I know I fell short in some areas. Instead of beating myself up, I’ve just decided to look ahead. So here’s 2015, admittedly, I’m starting in 2014.
- Reach goal weight (165) – that is and isn’t an arbitrary number. It’s there to give me a number to work towards, but it’s also there as motivation.
- Run a 10-miler. I’m starting training now with the plan that I’ll make it into the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in March/April time frame.
- Remove negative people from my life (this one is very specific, but I know better than to talk shit about crazy people on the interwebs).
- Adopt/Rescue 1 animal (cat? dog?).
- Blog 4 times per month (my goal is to make that Mondays, FYI).
- Travel to 4 new places, domestic or international (basically, 1 per quarter).
- Read 20 books
- Year 3 of the happiness project
- Pay off extraneous credit cards and close as soon as possible
- Reduce number of jobs to 1.5 (instead of 3)
- Take a new class (possibly design)
- Try Gaelic sports again (all depending on how my knee feels)
I think most of those are pretty self explanatory, except maybe #10. In case you didn’t know, when it rains it pours and while there was a time when I had barely half a job, I now have 3 (full time regular, dog daycare/pet sitting, and then the Mary Kay business I attempted this summer).
Pretty much effective immediately I’ll cease my MK biz. While I struggled with a little guilt at first because I felt like a failure, I don’t feel guilty anymore. Simply put, I didn’t enjoy it. Sales is not my forte; however, I am very pleased that I tried it, met new women, and learned some new skills. I even attribute the confidence I gained in those first few months to finally landing my job that I have now (and love!). No regrets, not a one.
As for the dog daycare/pet sitting – my goal is to reduce that to 2-3 shifts a month total (either at the daycare or pet sitting). While I do like it, I find that I hate how busy I feel and quite frankly, I feel exhausted and worn down. I’m also likely to stop my dog training observation. I don’t have the time to fully commit to attending every Monday night and I don’t feel as though I’m learning anything new. I keep repeating the same classes for observation. I want progression and movement and it’s just not happening. I do still plan to continue to learn and see what other opportunities are in the area – but I just don’t think the observations I’ve been doing this summer/fall suit me or my schedule. When I’m not learning, I get frustrated.
Speaking of learning, I really hope to take a class next year. Possibly design and see how much I love it again – see if I want to go for a certificate or maybe even explore Masters options. Getting a masters might be way beyond what I really want, but I like the thought of exploring what’s out there.
So there you have it – I’m ready for 2015 and I’m already knocking some of the more pressing goals off my list. I think it’s important to focus on the things that make me happy instead of the things that stress me out. I want to have time to relax, an opportunity to feel bored (so I can then sit down to read or think up an adventure), time to hang out with my friends and not have to consult my calendar every time, etc. What I don’t want is how I’ve felt the past few months – overwhelmed. While I’ve had tons of fun, it’s just almost been too much.
To 2015, the year I’m going to focus on ME and the year I’m going to choose joy above all else.
It’s been awhile since my last post and since then the universe has made way for some exciting new opportunities. For awhile, my life was very much submitting job applications and going on interviews and then my luck changed and I landed a new gig.
I am now a Marketing Manager for a Transportation Demand Management company based out of Arlington, VA. I don’t know much about TDM, but I do know about marketing and I’m very excited to work for a company that focuses on change in my local area.
I’ve been with the company for a whopping 2 weeks and am already out on a business trip in San Fran at a conference. Fun! Here’s a pic of me on my 3rd day of work with a new colleague who had also recently started:
It’s a welcome change and now that things have settled down a bit, I hope to get back to blogging a lot more regularly. I hate that I’ve been absent, but a lot of that came down to me being ashamed of not having my life together. But no more…yay!
Now I just need a furry friend and find a decent human being that likes the same stuff I do and we can call it a day….
Well, it’s been about 3 weeks since my last update and if you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that’s a bit unlike me. But there is a good reason and it’s filled with all sorts of awkward and cringe-worthy moments. I have been keeping busy and doing fun things (as is evidenced by my Instagram), but it’s the in-between moments that cause a great sigh.
Without further ado, I’m practically unemployed (practically = 1 day a week on the payroll). For a few days, I was really embarrassed and sad, hence no blogging. And then after I called my mom and cried a bit, I decided that I wasn’t going to be embarrassed and picked up those good old boot straps and got to work (again, no time for blogging). Namely, I started applying for jobs like crazy. Not that I haven’t been doing that since January (SINCE JANUARY?!?!), but I just increased the volume probably 3-fold.
In case you have a cushy job and your financial future is not in jeopardy, let me just tell you…it’s hard out there. CRAZY FUCKING HARD. But, I’m nothing but a bubble of positivity and I know that all of the good faith efforts I’m putting out there will come back to me in some form or fashion. In fact, I have a few interviews lined up already. So if you wouldn’t mind, cross your fingers, your toes, your legs, whatever…and send some good vibes my way?
So the second half of this story comes down that giant bubble of positivity. It’s probably no surprise that I was struggling a little at the start of the year and I felt lost a lot of the time. I had a hard time getting the momentum going, until about 3 weeks ago. What did I do 3 weeks ago? Oh ya know…I started my own business. I know you’re confused since I just told you I was unemployed, but I have been dedicating a quarter of my time to Mary Kay. Yep, you heard me and not too much of a shocker here, but I love it. I don’t love it because it’s make-up and skin care. I love it because it has pushed me in ways I didn’t think possible.
I sell things now. That requires courage to a certain extent.
I cold call people and handle rejection like a pro.
I attend success meetings filled with positive women who encourage me every week.
I’m following a business model (A BUSINESS MODEL…say what?) and learning how to manage profit.
I’m building my network, little by little.
I’m starting a business from the ground up. That’s hard. REALLY HARD!
But these are all good things and if there’s been anything I’ve noticed in the past 3 weeks since I was reduced to 1 day a week, pinching every penny, and finding ways to source extra cash…it’s that my stress level has been reduced and that I can actually sleep through the night. I know my network is currently small and I’m at a slight disadvantage compared to most other consultants in terms of kick-starting their business, but you know what I’ve got…determination, because my back is against the wall.
Yes, I still plan to go into a full-time marketing/content development position, but I definitely want to keep Mary Kay up and running. It’s given me confidence that I knew I was lacking and it’s given me an amazing outlook.
So yes, the future is a little nerve-racking and I don’t currently participate in anything unless it’s free…but I know that the good I put into the world will come back to me.
So now that I’ve shared my awkward news, you can probably expect my regular posts to return. Weekend reviews, apartment updates, maybe even a few DIYs that I’ve had on my list for awhile. So yeah, happy Friday…here’s to the weekend and better things in the future!
I know – you’re just broken
I know – you’re just broken, you’re just broken
I don’t know much, but I know that I’m in a much better place than I was 4 months ago and I’m miles from where I was 7 months ago. I now know that I’m really lucky, that I was let go. That I was set free.
But in case no one ever told you, dating is hard. There are stories, because why wouldn’t there be…some hilarious, some filled with rejection, some just meh. And I’m learning a lot; a lot about what I really want from a partner and what I’m not willing to sacrifice…which are all truly great things, but…
There are some days, some weeks, where my heart feels so lonely that the world feels empty. I know I haven’t given up on the idea of finding a partner that believes I’m worth it and I tell myself to be patient and to stop looking and just wait, but I get scared I’ll wait for a lifetime. And then I just feel broken.
I think over the past few months, I’ve become a little superstitious. OK, maybe a lot. I even hesitated to draft this blog, let alone actually publish it. But I decided that there’s nothing wrong with sharing the definitive things that are happening in my life and maybe I’ll honor my superstitious feelings by keeping the not so definitive things secret…for now.
With that said, if you have any extra ju-ju, luck, or happy thoughts floating around…send them my way? But now, for the things that are definitely happening!
1. I’m moving into my very own place. My FIRST place that will be completely inhabited by just ME! Sure, it’s a studio and I don’t own things like a couch (yet!) but I’m really excited to set up my life again. To feel validated by stuff, crafts, and dinners for 1. Move-in date: April 11.
2. I started doing a bit of freelance writing for a travel company. A BIG travel company that shall remain nameless but likes to advise people on their trips. It’s not a lot right now, but it is a great opportunity to a.) set myself up as a freelance writer and b.) work towards those big dreams (that I never even dreamed out loud) of being a travel writer.
3. My knee is officially on the mend and I finally feel like I’m back to getting in shape. I did some jumping and lighter hops in PT this week. To celebrate, I did some research on joining a crew team here in VA. Crew sort of came about as an idea earlier this year to meet new people and get into great shape when I started doing it at the gym as an alternate workout to running. I contacted the team today and plan on starting their Novice Sweep program in June (the earliest available).
4. I’m planning my end of year trip to Ireland (for a wedding) and now hopefully somewhere new and fun in Europe. I have a few friends in Germany that I’d love to visit and I’ve never been to Prague. I plan on giving myself an extra week after my friend’s wedding. Ain’t no thang to travel by myself anymore. If anything, I enjoy it.
So yeah…things are happening. It’s funny…the fortune teller in Bangkok (and my horoscope) said that things would start to fall into place around my 30th birthday and that my luck would only build from this point on. I don’t know if I waited for this moment or if this moment was waiting for me, but I do feel things changing and there is definitely a level of excitement deep in my belly that sends all the good shivers up my spine. In the end, I suppose it really just came down to me realizing that
this MY journey, is worth the effort.