Thoughts & Feels

Grit & Grace

I’ve been in this really good mental place lately and I hope it sticks around for a while after the ever present anger, confusion, and sadness of the last six months. It’s been a nice break. I feel more like me. Back to appreciating the small magic in mundane moments. I don’t know where my life is going or what changes the next few months will bring, but right now I’m feeling really grateful for the moment I’m in, even the less than ideal parts.

The boyfriend situation continues to be complicated, but I think this time apart right now is important. It’s just a feeling, but I think it will impact us in some big way down the road, whether we end up together or ultimately decide to let each other go. It’s hard going from living together and everything being awesome to only seeing each other once in a while. The ache is real. But I’m trying to put my trust in the universe.

The job is…weird. I’ve come a long way in 2.5 years. I am so, so grateful for some of the opportunities I’ve had and the relationships I’ve built, but there are days when I hate what I’m doing, hate being there, can’t see the worth in what we’re doing. I’m sure that’s just a reality of working as an adult, but I can’t help but wonder if I could do something more worthwhile with my life. And working 8:30-5, five days a week is never going to feel normal. My heart and my brain rebel against such strict structure. But, like most worthwhile things in life, it comes down to the people and I have a whole team of people that I love and respect and have grown with in some mildly dysfunctional ways.

110 Proof is doing better than I ever thought it would and I have my dad to thank for the latest opportunity that fell into my lap. I am editing a book, maybe several even, for a student he had over 20 years ago. This was my long-term goal. Editing a book was the dream. And now it’s my reality! Sometimes the world really does give you what you need.

I’ve been feeling strong. Physically. Mentally. Feeling very in tune with myself. This is often best reflected in my clothing choices during the week. I just love when an outfit perfectly expresses who I am or want to be on any given day. There is a small power in that and in the confidence it brings. This is me. Take note. And from my experience, people do take note.

I just ordered Mark Manson’s book, The subtle art of not giving a f*ck, a deck of tarot cards, and a vintage blouse from Australia. I’m trying to commit to taking a trip, but I hate planning ahead and I can’t decide if I want to do Utah/California, Ireland, or let my friends talk me into splurging on getting to Thailand. Right now I’m in that delicious stage where anything is possible. As I said earlier, who knows what the next few months will bring?

I rode a roller coaster to work today…

An emotional roller coaster that is. My iPod had me laughing and crying during my 20 minute drive. With the music on shuffle (and a few skips for good measure) here was this morning’s playlist:

Significance: This song was introduced to me by my old neighbors and best friends growing up. They moved to Texas a while ago, but the song never fails to remind me of our friendship and impromptu living room/basement/garage/backyard concerts.
Mood: Pleasantly nostalgic
Significance: I probably haven’t listened to this song since high school and man, is it emo. I found the lyrics to be particularly tickling this morning. “Please understand this isn’t just goodbye, this is I can’t stand you.”
Mood: Subdued hilarity
Significance: I just think this song is cute.
Mood: Happy
Significance: This song brings me right back to sophomore year cross country with some of the best people I’ve ever known having some of the best, most ridiculous times I’ve ever had.
Mood: Decidedly gangster
Significance: Queue the tears. Ugh. I sang this song at my high school graduation and it never fails to tug on the ol’ heartstrings. It always feels relevant and for some reason it hit me especially hard this morning, in the best way.
Mood: Poignant
Significance: Ed, thanks for leveling out my emotions this morning. This helped me pull myself together. Plus, I just love this song.
Mood: Grateful and spunky

This past weekend…

I was at a rooftop bar with my friend. While we were waiting to order our drinks, this girl started chatting us up.

She had come from Fredonia to meet up for drinks with some guy who was currently at a wedding. I don’t have the details, but my hunch is that they hadn’t met before. Probably an online dating or tinder kind of situation.

We were discussing how neither one of us knew enough about wine to know what we were ordering so she got a cocktail while I admitted I had done some research before hand so I could pick something I’d hopefully want to drink (which, mission accomplished).

But after we got our drinks and were heading to sit down, under my breath I asked my friend if I should ask the girl to join us and she said no. Now, I asked because I knew it would make my friend uncomfortable because she’s shy around new people. But days later, I feel bad that I didn’t. That girl stood at the bar by herself for over an hour.

Missed opportunity to be kind and potentially make a new friend. Plus, I wonder how her date went. I hope it was worth the drive.

I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older that I’m less open to new people. It used to be the most natural thing in the world to start a conversation and be inclusive towards others. But now it feels like too much work.

What if we have nothing to talk about after ten minutes and it’s awkward? Maybe she’s happy chilling at the bar by herself and wants to be left alone. But I could have at least extended the offer to include her.

So, I’d like to send an apology out into the void for not being as friendly as I could have been and I hope that I choose to be more open the next time an opportunity like that arises.

The year of perspective

Here we are, three weeks into 2017 and I’ve already learned a pretty major lesson. Or, perhaps had a change in perspective is more accurate.

This isn’t particularly mind blowing and it’s certainly not a new concept, but it’s one that I have always struggled with.

Finish what you start. Who cares how long it takes? 

It’s that ending question that finally unlocked something in my mind. How many things have I decided not to attempt because I thought it would take too long? How many half-finished projects are cluttering my life?

So what if it takes years to build a business? What does it matter that it’ll take months to save enough money for that trip? This is my one and only life and if I want it bad enough I just have to get after it.

I do believe that not everything we choose to start deserves to be finished, but it’s no longer acceptable for that to be my default. It’s a matter of defining priorities, something I admittedly struggle with.

This concept can be applied to so many areas of my life. Whether it be committing to finishing 3 sets @ 30 reps while exercising, completing a new craft project, or getting my proofreading business off the ground. Who cares how long it takes?

This is my life after all. No one can live it for me and I damn well want to get the most out of life that I can. I will not be another person that just accepts the status quo of “this is as good as it gets.”

No. I’m just getting started.

 

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

I read something recently, that claimed that we primarily make decisions out of fear. It’s interesting to think about and I believe it’s true more often than not.

I went to college to continue my education and for fear of being stuck in a minimum wage job forever.

I continued on to grad school largely out of fear of not getting a good job or being a competitive employee.

I accepted my current job out of fear that no one else would hire me.

I’m still here because I got comfortable and fear moving somewhere new and not being compensated as well.

I just terminated my relationship with the guy I’m deeply in love with, out of fear of failure and an unwillingness to compromise from both of us—and the hope that with time, things may work out in the future.

How funny that fear should have such a massive role in my life. Of course it’s not the only thing at work in these scenarios, but it’s a little embarrassing to admit how large a role it plays. But, fear can be useful and I think it’s often coupled by the hope of something better. I’m going to work on shifting the lens of my fear to be a more positive force.

Instead of fearing change, I can fear a sheltered life. Instead of fearing failure, I can fear missing out on success and growth opportunities.

There was a year in my life, my freshman year of college, where I felt truly alive, unstoppable—fearless. It was the first time where everyday brought something new, fresh, exciting, challenging and my soul was on fire in the best way possible. I was obnoxiously happy. Everything was thrilling. I was so goddamn alive I could feel the energy vibrating off of me everyday. I couldn’t contain my excitement. The “Everything is Awesome” song could have been the soundtrack to my life that year.

That’s what I want to recapture in 2017. I want each day to be an active choice. I want to start living on purpose again. Take more risks. Commit more fully to each moment. The last few years have somehow managed to be both turbulent and stagnant simultaneously. It’s time to shake things up and stop living in the kind of fear that is holding me back. It’s time to get reacquainted with the better version of myself that embraces the new and unknown and see where that takes me.

…In with the new

25…an unsettled age in many ways. Who knew that as you get older the more you realize how little you know? Lots of people, probably, but not me. I’m slowly becoming more comfortable with the fact that I’ll never really feel like I have my life figured out. There are moments of clarity, sure, and I try to absorb them into my being, but the peace they bring is fleeting. I only hope that as I get older I continue to grow in kindness, patience, and understanding. With that, here are my goals for the year:

  • Create more. I’d like to get into weaving and maybe try embroidery. I have a few sewing projects that have been on my mind and I’m always down to play with paint.
  • Feed the travel fever. It started with Iceland last year. I’d like to continue to go to at least one new place each year. I’m not sure where I’ll go this year, but Ireland, Banff, Montreal, Colorado, and Utah are all on the short list.
  • Get 110 Proof off the ground. I’ve set up a proofreading company as a side hustle. I’m hoping to nail at least a few regular clients.
  • Bake the perfect macarons. My first two attempts were disappointing in different ways. I want to nail this tricky cookie! I just have to psych myself up to try again.

Now for the deep stuff:

  • Ask for what I want. For someone who prides herself on being a good communicator, I am embarrassed by how often I let things go that bother me. I hate to feel like I’m a burden, but I want to remember that my feelings deserve to be acknowledged and if something upsets me it’s probably worth a conversation.
  • Find some stability and keep an open mind. 24 ( 22 and 23, too if I’m being honest) was a year of emotional turmoil in a lot of ways. It could also be categorized as a high growth period. At 25, I’d like the roller coaster to stabilize a bit. I know I hold the keys, but I’m not quite sure which door I want to open.
  • Be kind. The world needs kindness more than ever. I want to contribute as much positivity as I can and remember that we’re all in this together. Kind words and gestures don’t cost a thing.

With that I say, cheers to a new year! There is so much potential in this quarter century mark. It’s 70 degrees and sunny in mid-November. The gods are clearly smiling down on me. Time to crack open a bottle of champagne, wolf down some pizza, kiss my dog and my boyfriend, hug my parents, and maybe head to the beach tonight. It’s going to be a good year.