Rainy Hump Days

So, as many know, I work a pretty fluctuated schedule that leads me to have sporadic days off and rarely have weekends. But thanks to my fabulous boss changing my schedule to now give me two weekends off a month, I actually get to experience what a “hump day wednesday” is! The mid-week slump, the “half way done”, the…I don’t know, excuse to drink on a Wednesday. Right now, I’m drinking Sleepytime Tea…because I’m just cool like that.

Today was a definitive Hump Day though, that’s for sure. It’s been downpouring here in Maryland since around 2pm. I woke up around 10, my usual no alarm wake up time, and meandered downstairs. I’m lucky in that my Wednesdays now are shorter shifts, only five hours. It throws me off a bit when I’m at work, but it’s nice to have the extra hours at my fingertips. I try to find something to do, but today I pretty much lounged on the couch. I feel bad, I had actually decided to roll off the couch and peel myself away from the TNT Bones Marathon to take Steve for a walk when it was still nice outside, and as soon as I’d gotten everything together, it started dumping buckets! I let Steve out just to show him how bad it was because he kept giving me puppy eyes and even he ran right back inside. I made it up to him by playing in the house and cuddling with him. 

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He was more than intent to watch the rain after it started…and bark at the leaves moving in the wind.

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His love of my fleece blanket is probably as strong as my love of…this fleece blanket.

The beautiful weather bursts this fall/winter have me all over the place. I used to be the kind of girl that played “Animal Town” with Beanie Babies and my favorite Barbie couple at the time inside with my little sister growing up. I actually cried once because people wanted to play outside. Over the past probably two years, I really found my ingrained love of nature. I’m not sure what brought it out, but you won’t find me inside on a nice day. Even on a crappy day. I run in 20 degree weather, hike when the wind may possibly knock me off of the overlook, and go on walks in the rain. The latter is probably depressing. Anywho, I used to hate camping (bugs? no mattress? bugs? …BUGS?), and now I freaking love it. That could be a combo of growing up and having the ability to listen to guitar and drink beer around a campfire but still.

Now that I’m beginning to reincorporate jogging back into my schedule, after my shin splints were too dangerously close to stress fractures for my to continue running like I was, I’ve been doing a lot better with timing my mornings. I used to run after work, at night. But the past few weeks, I’ve been running in the mornings when I first wake up. I always used to scrunch my nose up at people who ran before work at, say, 5am, but I get it. After work, I always have plans, or I’m too tired, or some other excuse. But in the morning, I rarely have plans or anything else I have to do so desperately, I can’t take 40 minutes out of my day to go for a run. I started with 1.5 miles every other day, and now I’ve built up to 2 every other day. I’m just making sure to take it slow and pay attention to my shins. And streeeetch.

Yesterday I ran a little over two miles, interval. I think I did a pretty good job of following the interval times I’m supposed to, and reminding myself to use my hamstrings to push myselv forward instead of my shins/calves. That’s what I usually get into the habit of doing, and that is also why I get painful shin splints. So, today is supposed to be my day off. But I didn’t want it to be. Because it’s the halfway point of the week, I wanted to push myself in some way, define my day as something more than just “laid on the couch and looked at blogs for three hours then dragged butt into work”, which is kind of what I did. So, after I submit this, I’m going to be doing some work with my medicine ball and resistance band. Yes, right before bed. My triceps and biceps are ABYSMAL. A-BYSMAL.

Lastly, I’m going to follow in the footsteps of one of my new favorite bloggers, Peanut Butter Fingers (pbfingers.com), and list my meals of the day. It keeps me accountable, because I have a tendency to slip and I don’t want to keep counting calories, and will probably make me update my posts more often. See? Getting through these New Years Resolutions like it’s my job.

Breakfast

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Twinings Green Tea and Chobani Raspberry Greek Yogurt

I’m usually not super hungry in the morning, as I’ve mentioned before, it takes me a while to actually get hungry. So, I wait an hour and even if I’m not actually tummy grumbling hungry, I’ll eat something. I love tea and drink it preeeetty much all the time, and I love the very low fat (today’s was 0!), high protein greek yogurt has to offer. It’s really been a process actually getting used to the texture and taste, but I’m starting to like it a lot. I…basically eat yogurt every morning.

Lunch

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HEALTH – Frozen buffalo wings with southwest yogurt ranch dressing, an orange, and skim milk.

Not super healthy, I’ll admit. But, again, accountability. I wish I could say I ate a salad of mixed greens with a myriad of health on top but…it was Wednesday.

Dinner

…I ate three packets of four cheddar and peanut butter crackers. I was at work and they were closer than the freezer where I have frozen steamed dinners. I have no excuses. That was my meal.

Snack

When I get home from work, I’m usually pretty hungry. During the week, my meal schedule gets mixed up. I usually eat a light breakfast, “lunch” at 5pm, and dinner or a snack when I get home at 11:30pm. I originally was eating pretty unhealthy snacks, I naturally crave unhealthy food later at night, but I’ve been doing better. Tonight it was a cup of steamed green beans with garlic, kosher salt, and a smidge of butter and an orange. And my tea!

 

That’s all! Two more days and then the weekend!

-a.

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You know what? I have great hair.

For the past few weeks, maybe even months, I’ve been feeling pretty down on myself. Blame it on the weather, my stagnant career situation, the weeks upon weeks I went without running, the spotty male attention, what have you; I still felt like crap. Nothing I put on looked good, no matter how much time I spent on my outfit it didn’t look as good as :insert name here:’s – I was living up to an imaginary standard that wasn’t within my reach at the time. Weirdly enough, I don’t even know why it started. It made me wonder, “is this a normal human feeling? Is it unique to women put on by society to always look better than they can? How can I go back to feeling satisfied?”


I kept trying to write answers to those questions but, in all honesty, it made for a long-winded and boring set of estimates with only one good joke about men posting pictures of themselves on Instagram. When it comes to others and what’s so-called normal, my guess is as good as yours. But it doesn’t change the fact that I have felt like a fat spotted pony in a dress more days than not for a while. It made me unsure, grumpy, jealous, and tripled my “get ready” time. None of those are things I want – I’m notorious for getting ready in ten minutes max, twenty if I have to shower. And frankly, when I don’t feel so great about myself, I seek attention elsewhere.

I’m not one to expect male attention, even from the guy I’m sleeping with (seeing? spending time with? I don’t know the proper grammatical ethical term, nor do I care), when I’m out and about. I am very good at entertaining myself. But the past few weekends, I watched myself get upset when I was all but ignored, heard myself bitch, whine, moan, and complain and then shut up the second he paid attention to me. I wanted to kick myself! I am not co-dependent when it comes to a good time! 

Maybe it was a dangerous cocktail of low self-esteem, too much alcohol, and a questionable ‘relationship’ that’s making me turn into this humped drunk crone waxing poetic about how life isn’t fair. I use the term relationship as loosely as humanly possible, but I’m not sure what else to call it and writing “questionable situation in which I spend time with the same guy every weekend” takes too long to write over and over again. 

But the past two weeks, after a weekend chock full of moping, grumping, and generalized annoyance with myself, I have begun to slap myself back into shape. I droned on and on over how I was going to do this and that in the new year and you know what? I haven’t written a blog post until now, hadn’t exercised, ate out…ohhh…almost every day, and wasn’t expanding my horizons. And as much as I could eat goat cheese on top of fried pita bread EVERY DAY (go to Main Cup in Middletown and get the Build-Your-Own-Bruschetta…immediately), I knew it was only pulling me down further.

So, back to the (freezing) sidewalk did I trot. I have been, almost unintentionally, been running a mile and a half every other day. Not the three miles I was over the summer, but I also haven’t had any shin splint issues yet either. I’m forcing myself to get up Friday mornings and go to seven a.m. yoga even if that is the only time I go to yoga that week. I’ve been making my own meals – trying to keep emphasis on things that are green and steamed. I hiked Harpers Ferry’s Maryland Heights Trail again and you know, it’s still my favorite trail for a work out. My butt was sore the next day, but that is totally okay

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It was freezing up at the top and SUPER windy so we only admired the beauty for a few minutes before sneaking back into the trees. But it was so worth it. Always is.

And strangely, ever since I started putting my focus back on bettering myself rather than trying to force having a good time (and actually just pulling at my shirt for three hours), I’ve noticed things. I go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, get more done, feel more satisfied, and feel more sure of myself. I eventually want this blog to turn into something more than just my place to journal out thoughts that feel repetitive, I want it to actually be a blog. I want to post pictures of my life, of the fancy food I make that’s only 300 calories and has cheese, and describe the beautiful twists and turns that make life interesting – especially in your 20’s. So, readers, I’m breaking the fourth wall here but, thank you for putting up with my ups and downs and my long-winded inner conversations. I promise that I have a life. I do things, fun things. Sometimes even every day. And I want to share them with you! And I will. Because even though I may have gotten a bit of a late start to my resolutions, I actually am working on them now.

I’ve been hounding a manager for a social media coordinator position now for almost a week. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily positive, but at least he knows that I’m really interested in the position

And this is that point where I wrap up by actually getting to the point of the title – last night I was driving home from work and checking my makeup (totally normal habit at 11:30pm on a Tuesday night) and had this moment of self-assuredness. Maybe I won’t like myself every day, maybe I’ll feel fat and unattractive more often than not sometimes, but I have AWESOME hair. I elicit hair envy. And you know, that perked me right up. So I flipped up that mirror and actually focused on the road. That shit’s covered in deer.

– a.

Year of the Snake

Well, it’s officially 2013. I’m not sure about you, but I certainly was swallowed up by the fiery pit they called the Apocalypse. Or maybe that was just my reaction to my first student loan bill, I’m not sure. Which other than making me feel the heat of the maw of Hell, has certainly made me feel even less like I’ve accomplished much of anything because now I am SERIOUSLY FREAKING POOR. But I’m going to stop what will likely be a 20-page tirade on where my life isn’t going right now because it will be a. boring b. whiny and c. make you think about your own bad life choices. So, let’s focus on the positives!

Which, ironically, was not listed anywhere in my New Years resolutions. Which I will create off the top of my head in an elegant flourish at the end of this post. But first, I want to recap my 2012 in a slightly nostalgic way but not so much that you go “aaaaand I could have just stayed on Facebook and done the same thing,” and judge me.

This past year was an interesting one for me, I experienced growth in a lot of places I hadn’t before (to everyone that knows me – drop the chest size joke right now) and learned a lot about myself that I believe will be fundamental in how I live my adult life. Sure, in the past I’ve learned that dating men who do drugs like heroin is generally a bad idea and that I will procrastinate myself into an anxiety-ridden, shower-deprived coma-like state in my bedroom when given the opportunity and Anthropology minor, but this year I feel like I really saw a piece of myself that I’d hidden away to grow on its own. Imagine opening a closet and seeing that your little sister, niece, or son left a plant brought home from kindergarten on the bottom shelf and somehow, there was something blooming. Then, naturally, you pull the Styrofoam cup out of the closet and put it on the lip behind the kitchen sink to really get some sunlight. I feel like this year was less trimming away weeds and brushing away dead remnants and more encouraging the hidden and wonderful to start to come out.

Maybe I just talked one hell of a big game about my own self-actualization but I’m going to go with it, and not just because I kind of love the metaphor I just created. This year I realized that I am a neurotic, detail-oriented, easily distracted, terrifyingly controlling big old ball of love and cuddles. And I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically. Well, maybe a little bit. Throw “and not sarcastic in the slightest” in there.

I learned that it’s not just men that lie, but people. And that I was one of them, and I don’t like it about myself anymore.

It used to be scarily easy for me to lie to and manipulate certain people, to get what I wanted by making things more or less important, but creating elaborate stories so I could get out of work or an assignment. I cried to get out of suspension in high school…and you bet your ass I got out of it. I pretended to be ignorant of others’ wrongdoings so that I didn’t have to deal with the cognitive dissonance that would bang around my conscience afterwards – even if the wrongdoings hurt me or someone I cared about. This year I was not perfectly honest, because, if you’re reading this and you didn’t tell a single lie this year then I’m super excited because the Dalai freaking Lama is clearly reading my blog post. But, I was conscious of my actions and decisions and especially when it came to friends, I tried to really just be open or, if it really didn’t involve me, back the hell out of there and choose not to stay involved. I watched multiple friends get screwed over by people they romantically cared about (and by multiple, I mean closer to ten than five) and 8 times out of the ten, it wasn’t appropriate for me to intervene. But I still gave my honest opinion of the lying, unfaithful scumbags when I could. The one time it was appropriate, I may have overextended and sent a three page email to said lying asshat’s girlfriend and told another girl he’d been leading on about it but I have to tell you, I felt great afterwards. Which leads me to my next realization…

I am a vindictive little asshole when I’m angry…for about a day. Then I can’t stay angry even if I want to, even if I beg really angrily.

My temper is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. When I was younger, I thought I was just part of the “normal crowd” by throwing around that I’m an aggressive driver. Until I realized that I am, in fact, a seriously aggressive driver. I yell at everybody. And not just “way to go asshole,” but “ARE YOU FUCKING BLIND?! ARE YOU USING ECHOLOCATION AND IS IT BROKEN? DO YOU SEE THAT DOTTED WHITE LINE YOU ASS-FACED REDNECK FUCKBAG -” etc etc. And I include a lot of elaborate hand gestures. And it’s not just when someone cuts me off, which is appropriate to yell then, but when traffic is just not moving quickly enough for me or if the 18-wheeler behind me has decided to ride my ass like a coked out rapper. Separately from that, I am the world’s most bubbly, cheerful if slightly cynical, fun, and appreciative person about 90% of the time. Five percent I’m depressed and self-hating and the other 5, I’m blowing my head off like Mt. Freaking Vesuvius. I’ve been, I think, seeing this guy for a little while now and when I found out that he had drunkenly spent the night with some drunk girl, I lost any and every shit that my short little body could possible have had. I threatened to kill two people and just…I mean I scared my friends and myself. And the worst? I was totally calmed down like two hours later. I’m still hurt, because I’m a human being and we don’t like when people let us down (even if they aren’t quite sure it can be considered  let down, but still know that it wasn’t really right), but I do regret going off like that. It’s something that gives me an inner fire that helps me to find my assertiveness when I lose it, like I need this ability to get angry or everyone would continue to walk all over me, but I also need to keep working on my initial response. And it usually only happens when, in all honesty, someone I’m “with” (sleeping with regularly, dating, whateeeever) sleeps with someone else or when, say, I get stuck in the big group room at work all night. The latter is just irritating but the former hits me where it already hurts: my self esteem. Which leads to…

I’m definitely on the path to true self-love, but I really need to give myself a break.

I find myself unattractive about 90% of the time. The other 10% I’m pretty sure is when I’m making faces in my driver’s side mirror while driving to work. And that’s when I Instagram myself. Oh face it, you would (or do) too. This year I quit smoking, started (and stopped for what’s going to be, unfortunately, a couple more months) running, committed to most of the time eating relatively healthy and staying health conscious (I had fast food, I think, twice this year), and really started to fall into yoga. And I mean fall. I love yoga, I love the spirituality, I love the physicality, I love everything. I now own all sorts of fun yoga equipment and two books on it, including “The Yoga Bible” (thanks little sister for my Christmas present). I even have toeless yoga socks. Which are the bomb diggity. But, while I’ve clearly been making strides in actually giving myself the time of day and treating myself right, I’m still in the throes of self-loathing when it comes to my appearance and where I’m at in my life. Even tonight, I kicked myself all over my bedroom because I was struggling with my job search. I realize that I have a job, which makes me blessed, a degree, which makes me doubly blessed, and the ability to interview like a champ. But actually believing in myself that I will do something great with my life and I need to just give myself time and room to grow and breathe? That’s another story. I keep breathing down my own neck wondering why I haven’t accomplished more, done better, worked harder. It’s exhausting! Same goes for my appearance. I pinch, and squeeze, and groan, and hairy-eyeball (is that a verb? It is now) my body constantly. I found myself spending an awful lot of time last year looking at other women (oh come on, no, not in that way guys) and being envious. I know that there are people born with much more than I will ever have, but there are so so many born with so much less. That maybe I am not naturally 110 pounds and wickedly intelligent and platinum blonde (or red or whatever color hair I’m drooling over), but I’m open, intelligent, kind, and driven. But fully understanding what that means is what seems to keep up the struggle. So many times this past year I found myself “sitting it out” when everyone was dancing or feeling ashamed of my body around my friends or the guy I was with. I, no seriously, I was uncomfortable with certain sexual positions at times because I didn’t want to look unflattering to the guy I was, uh, entertaining. Half of me is screaming “what is wrong with you?!” But the other half keeps getting locked up with anxiety and fear of rejection. It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve when the guys went on a hunt to find a friend “strange” (if you don’t know what it means…just, a really random hook up. I don’t know either, I just nod my head and smile like a donkey) that I actually danced honestly with my friends. I love dancing. I do it, literally, all the time. In the car, in my room, at work (probably too much at work)…but in front of a guy that has seen me naked or partially naked more times than I really think I could count? THAT terrifies me? See, I’m still confused and it’s a new year. But clearly, it’s what I finally started seeing about myself. I am not a truly confident person. I faked it for years and it’s just not possible anymore if I want to continue to grow.

So, in the end, what I realized and what it means for 2013:

I am not perfect and will not be ever. And I will not be close any time soon. But the blossoming part of me I really started to see this year was a semi-serious, deep-hearted, sensitive woman with a terrifying fear of being hurt, a damn awesome if innapropriate at times sense of humor, a serious interest in her own self-worth, and a loyalty to her loved ones that could move mountains. That being said, I am starting to love myself a little bit. Because the person I just described? She’s someone I like being around.

So my resolutions?

…Okay I was totally hoping to do something flourish-y but honestly it’s almost 3am and I can’t believe I just wrote all of that SO on with the show:

1. Own what you want. Not monetarily, but the dreams you have, take by the gnarliest balls and follow them like a pre-teen on Justin Bieber. DO IT.

2. Find something to love everyday.

3. Stop trying to rely on others, especially a guy, to feel good and wanted. You spent the better part of six months with yourself in your free time and enjoyed it immensely. You don’t need him. Plus, if he wants you, he knows you’re there. He can text first too.

4. Lose the weight. Stop rolling your eyes, stop making excuses, stop eating cream cheese and just get it over with already. You’re just scared that you’re actually going to pull it off. So pull it off and see what happens. If you hate it, go back to eating cream cheese.

5. Write a novel. A whole one. From beginning to end. And not after reading a new book that you find the plot interesting and basically recreate it. An entirely original novel.

6. Write blog posts regularly. You like it, your friends like it, some strangers like it…your family doesn’t really read it but in the parental realm that’s probably for the best but still. You have a zillion thoughts a second. Write them. With extended metaphors and soliloquies.

7. Stop hating the number 6 so much. Seriously, you’re 23, get over that shit.

BOOM LONGEST POST EVER I NEED SLEEP SO BADLY.

– and love and everything else that could start your year right, a.