|August 6, 2014||Filled under City Living, Living the Dream|
Change is one of those things that never comes one thing at a time. It arrives in massives waves of intense, life-altering events. And the past few weeks have been no exception.
I’ve known for a while that I wasn’t happy at work – a mix of frustration and the realization that I’ve done as much as I’m motivated to do there. I knew it was time to move on. So when I was offered a new opportunity doing similar work in a completely different industry, I accepted and immediately put in my two-weeks notice.
But it was with a heavy heart that I did so because it was this job that really jump-started my life here in the city. I met some of the most amazing people who changed my life for the better. And it propelled me to finally get an apartment and move into the city where I’ve been living the last four months and loving it. Yet, I know it’s the right move and it actually worked out for the best because one of our interns was able to replace me, essentially launching a career in her field of interest. Hooray! I always love a good silver lining.
But with new opportunity, there is always more change on the way.
I’m also leaving the apartment I’ve been in for the past four months for something new (and above ground!) While a basement apartment was an ideal location for the summer, I’m excited to start building a home in a row house with a porch, patio and space for a garden. And a den! With a desk! And a reading chair! weeeeeee! Plus, I think being able to see the sun during the short winter days will be huge.
I’ll be eternally grateful for the girls who welcomed me into their home here, but I’m also excited for my second home in the city.
Of course…this means a lot of packing….ugh. You’d think I’d be better at this moving thing by now, but no.
It’s a good time to start downsizing and really purging the things I don’t need. For example, I have four pairs of sweatpants…and five pairs of soccer shorts. I wear exactly two of those sweat pants and play soccer exactly once a week. I think it’s time to cut back, don’t you?
Yet, in the spirit of the rule of three, there is one final change headed my way as well. I can’t say much about it because it’s someone else’s private business, but essentially a very good friend of mine is moving away in three months and it breaks my heart.
Everything I’ve grown to know about the city in the last year is changing: my job, my home, my friends.
It’s hard. Exciting — but difficult.
The past few weeks have been some of the most stressful moments of my life thus far, not because anything is bad — all of these changes are good — but because change is scary, especially when it’s all at once and you have no idea what your life will be like once it happens.
But change is always happening and that’s just how things go. And watch, once things do actually calm down, I’ll be complaining that I’m bored and need a change. Go figure.
|July 20, 2014||Filled under Uncategorized|
I did something tonight that I’m not proud of. In fact, I’m actually pretty disgusted with myself and ashamed that I behaved the way that I did.
I recognized someone that I used to not get along with in high school, said mean things about her behind her back and then was absolutely lovely and pleasant to her face when she recognized me and came over to say hello.
I acted like a grade-A bitch.
And I feel terrible.
I don’t like to think of myself as someone who would do that, be so stereotypically catty.
Sure, I can come up with a million excuses why:
- We have a long history of not really getting along.
- I still hold a grudge against the entire activity that we knew each other through, not because of her, but because of a variety of bad circumstances.
- And there has been some pretty strong negativity in my life recently that I think it’s affecting me more than I thought.
But at the end of the day, these excuses don’t make up for my absolutely abhorrent behavior. I know I am better than this.
And the fact that I still hold a grudge against her and the whole activity that we were a part of is pretty pathetic. I’m 25 years old. Holding on to any hatred is only poisoning me, not making me better.
I want to be better than that. And I can be — I will be. Because no one deserves to be treated so poorly, and what’s more, it reflects extremely poorly on me.
In terms of the present negativity in my life, I can’t let that get me down. I can’t take the easy way out and just say negative things or complain or rant all the time. That’s the low road. Sure, sometimes you need to blow off steam, but it’s important to fill your life with more positivity. Find the good in people and in situations because when you only see the negative, you become toxic. I’ve been around people like that and it really hurts your world. It takes you to a dark place and you struggle to see the good when all you hear is the bad. I don’t want to be that or be around that.
And the first step is being better myself.
Normally, I would just feel terrible about this and hold it in until eventually something else takes over my thoughts. But I needed to get this out. I needed to call myself out on this because this isn’t something that should just be let go.
I am better than this. We are all better than this. And I’m not letting myself off the hook.
All these months, I’ve been working on being a better person, better to myself and to others, and this was a massive step back. Maybe I can’t make it right with her, but I can definitely make it right going forward.
|July 18, 2014||Filled under Living the Dream|
|July 16, 2014||Filled under Caffeine Roundup|
|July 14, 2014||Filled under Living the Dream, Rant|
I think we all want to be better people, or rather, be the best versions of ourselves. And part of finding that personal awareness is acknowledging our shortcomings.
I admit, I’m not very patient when it comes to learning new things. I want to master new skills immediately and get frustrated when they don’t click right away. My re-learning Spanish is a great example of this. I know the basics so I want to jump right into the more challenging tasks, but then I get in over my head and am much more likely to give up and quit for a while.
But I’m actively trying to start from the beginning and work my way up, because I know it won’t happen over night. I’m trying to be better.
This, of course, is only one of many entries on my list of things about myself I’d like to improve.
And the first step to making these changes is acknowledging that they need to happen. But at what point do we see something as needing to change versus acknowledging that it’s something we need to accept about ourselves?
My personal opinion is that accepting something about ourselves that we don’t like is being lazy. While we may never rid ourselves of a less-then-desirable trait, simply choosing not to try and improve even a little is giving up before you even get started.
What it boils down to is this: Acknowledgement is the first step toward making a change, but acknowledgment on it’s own is not enough.
You can’t use the acknowledgment of a flaw as an excuse for that flaw.
I mean, we’ve all done it. A year ago, I frequently acknowledged the fact that I did not like cities. They are crowded, loud and full of crime. And I often used that as an excuse not to venture outside of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t visit friends. I wouldn’t run errands for work. I actively avoided anything to do in or around cities. Instead of trying to push myself, to try and improve, I just accepted this part of myself and had no intentions of changing. I thought that simply because I had acknowledged this shortcoming, it was enough to justify my never going into the city.
But that was me being lazy. I didn’t want to change even though I was clearly capable of doing so because once I actually went out of my comfort zone and got into the city, my life drastically improved. I’m disappointed that I was so complacent in my lack of desire to improve myself that it kept me from a lot of interesting and new experiences. (But not anymore!)
This is why I get especially frustrated when anyone uses a phrase like, “that’s just who I am” to excuse bad behavior or a lack of interest in trying new things. The fact is, if who you are is someone who treats others poorly, then the person you are needs to change.
Never hide behind your flaws. Accept the responsibility to change. Acknowledge them and try to be better. That’s what makes us human and awesome. Because we are not the same people forever. We make mistakes and we learn from them. We are always improving. We are dynamic and capable of so much more.
Don’t be lazy, be better.
|July 11, 2014||Filled under City Living, Living the Dream|
Sometimes there are a million things I want to talk about and can’t. Either they are about work or about people in my personal life who would rather be left off this kind of public space or are about things that just need to stay private. But these things have been a significant portion of my life recently and it has made it very difficult to share what’s going on for me. (Also, let’s be real, I’m kind of lazy.)
But with lots of living (on and off the page) comes a ton of realizations. And while getting to these moments of self-actualization and realization are not always easy, when you finally get there, it feels good to reflect and know that you’ve learned something new.
Here’s a big one: The day is not wasted if it starts after 3pm. I used to think that if I slept in till noon and didn’t really get moving until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, the day was completely wasted. I would tell myself that it was silly to take on any additional plans or try to fit anything in because I was already too far behind to get started. This is so very false! If you have a great night the night before and have to sleep in till noon or later to make sure you are well-rested, then that’s okay! But it doesn’t mean that the rest of your days is a complete wash.
I went kayaking last weekend and didn’t actually get out of the house until about 3:30pm. To me, this was a major activity that usually requires planning. But in this instance, it was just an off-handed comment that we decided sounded awesome and just went for it. It was spontaneous and we were only out for about an hour and a half, but it was an absolute blast. (I have the blisters to prove it!)
This goes for more than just weekends. It’s about maximizing the time you have. A weekday can be more than just work. Evenings can be filled with activities and plans. Just because they start after 6pm doesn’t mean they will ruin the next day. If we’re just working each day, getting through to get home to our beds and dreaming of weekends, then it’s putting waaay too much pressure on to maximizing weekends. And then if we’re sleeping till noon and feeling as though we’ve wasted our weekends too….it can be downright depressing.
So make the most of your day, no matter when it starts! Some of the best times are the ones that weren’t planned for anyway.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
What time you usually start your day?
What kinds of activities do you have after work during the week?
What are your plans for the weekend?
|June 25, 2014||Filled under Uncategorized|
How long can you sit and focus your attention on one thing? In an age of glorified multitasking and over-stimulation, being able to focus on one thing seems to get harder and harder to do. This video from CollegeHumor sums this idea up nicely.
Can you sit for 3 minutes and do nothing except watch this video? I dare you.
|June 11, 2014||Filled under City Living, Living the Dream|
Growing up, I was always a daydreamer. I was never present at any given moment. In class, on the bus, or just out for a walk, I was off on an adventure in my own head. This was a personal point of pride for a long time. At any moment, no matter how dull, no matter how lonely, I was on an adventure in my own imagination.
But I’ve been listening to a number of TED talks recently, learning more about what makes us happy and content with our lives, and I’m realizing…maybe this method of escape isn’t doing me as much good as I thought.
You see, there’s this little thing called mindfulness that I’ve been hearing a lot about. It’s the concept of being present in the moment. Feeling the air against your skin. Smelling the roses, quite literally. Noticing the small sensations of the moment and taking stock of what is happening to you right then. Being utterly present.
This plays heavily into meditation and deep breathing exercises. It’s about quieting your thoughts and stopping yourself from falling back into your thoughts for comfort, or discomfort. For some reason, our brains don’t like to just sit quietly. We actually have to work at it.
I admit, I’m still early on in my research, but I wanted to mention this because frankly, it’s been on my mind quite a bit. It’s hard to feel content in the moment when there is so much going on. Your mind desperately wants to wander to the big and little things eating away at you every day. The more you think, the more you get in your own head, psych yourself out and frankly, the more overwhelmed you become.
But when it comes down to it, if in that moment everything is okay and you can recognize that, then you can feel a moment of peace.
I tried yoga in the park last week and it occurred to me while doing some sort of warrior pose in the grass, listening to the weekly drum circle at Meridian Hill Park, feeling the warm breeze against my skin, that there was no other place in the world I wanted to be than right there in that moment. I was hungover as hell, but I made it to the park and despite the headache that still lingered, I was so content in that moment – I cling to it — that moment of mindfulness.
I think I’d like to find it again, and often.
What’s your favorite thing to daydream about?
Have you ever tried meditation? What did you think?