I’m Back + Life Update!

Wow, I have not blogged since June! It wasn’t a break I planned, but it was a break I needed. Lots has been going on and it was definitely okay for me to put my blog down for a little bit to allow myself one less thing to worry about. Now, onto the updates…

Work

Okay, work is definitely the update I have most to say about. I’ve been working at Sephora and absolutely loving it. Sure, sometimes it sucks a little bit – but when I have a good day or do some great consultations and help women feel hope for their skin concerns, or teach them something new, or help a mom and 13-year-old pick out her very first mascara and lip gloss (oh, the nostalgia!), or even help a bride feel confident that she will be able to do her makeup well and feel that much more beautiful on her wedding day, I’m over the moon. I’m also still writing over at My Subscription Addiction, too, and that’s always a blast.

However, there’s some interesting uncertainties coming around, too. Thanks to some connections, a big marketing company contacted me about an account management position they have. The main issue is that it’s an hour south of where we live now, but it is in the area where we want to end up and settle down in. Initially, I said I couldn’t do it, but a few minutes later, I just thought I don’t have any information at all about this job – what if it pays crazy well and what if I’d like it?  So, I called them back and got more details. Turns out the salary range starts just below what my husband’s making now. Now, my husband’s been looking for months for a better job for him down in that area, with no luck so far. We’ve been waiting for that to move down to the city we want to be in, but we never considered the possibility of moving down there because of a job for me. Long story short, we have no idea what would happen if I got it (we could move halfway and split the commute to both our jobs, or we could move all the way down there and I could support us until L finds a job there, too…), but we’ve decided that I should go ahead with the interview process. Hey, maybe I won’t even get it. But maybe I do and maybe I love it. Who knows? (BTW – both the President and VP are women! Yes!) So, we’ll see, I guess.

I’m scared about having to leave Sephora because I love it and I’ve only been there a couple months so far, and I’m also scared that, if I get it, I’ll be less happy there. Terrified of making the wrong choices. All the other jobs I’ve had that I hate I can just quit with very little consequence because they’re like, restaurants and such. But this would be a big-girl, salary position. And if we end up moving halfway so that L and I split the commute, life would be so different with our income essentially doubled, and we’re so anxious to move into a bigger apartment anyway.

Coping post-graduation

This is the first Fall in basically all of my life that I haven’t been going back to school. I didn’t think it’d be weird but it is WAY WEIRD. In a way, I miss having the places to go, the different topics every week, seeing classmates regularly, being in choir, etc. Another thing I had no idea I was going to miss was my wardrobe. I have so many clothes, but all I wear anymore is yoga pants to lounge around the house or my work uniform. I never wear my nice outfits anymore. Part of me wants to just get rid of it all, but I know I want to get to a place where I wear it all again. However, I could really use the usual closet clean-out of clothes I haven’t worn in years, as always.

Also, I feel like life has definitely confirmed my theory that, at least for me, you can work anywhere you can sell yourself to work. I haven’t needed to find a job directly related to my major yet, and I’m okay with that. I have so many passions and so many skills and so much I want to learn that as long as I enjoy the work and atmosphere, and the pay works for us, I’m happy. 

Post-Wedding

I never knew my to-do lists could be so long outside of school! Aside from general, personal/home to-dos, post-wedding things are still lingering to be done, like finding a place for the cards and presents, and finishing up the wedding video edits, and making a photo album. All things I look forward to doing, but all things that tend to fall further down on my priority list than things for my jobs or housekeeping tasks, since both of those effect other people (employers + husband). Not saying that my wedding photos and video don’t effect my family or that they’re not anxiously waiting for them, but, for sure, nothing is riding on whether or not I get those done ASAP.

Well, there it is! Most of what’s been going on in my life. Speaking of to-do lists and work, I really have to go crack down on some of those things, but I’m glad to be back and hope to be posting regularly again! 

xoxo

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Currently…

Loving… having some extra time with my husband. Because he works for the school district, he gets 3-day weekends every week in the summers!

Eating… Breyer’s Gelato Indulgences in tiramisu. Oh. My. Word. These should be sins. I knew the second I saw the ad, I’d have to buy it as soon as I found it and I can tell you for sure that this container will not last long. You know how last week I talked about making a healthy version of tiramisu with cinnamon and Greek yogurt? Yeah, well, this is approximately 92401298301923 times less healthy. Oh, well!

Learning… do not send an email angry. REPEAT: DO NOT SEND AN EMAIL ANGRY. Valuable words of wisdom here, folks. But DO write when you’re angry. Write to whomever you want to write about and say whatever you want to say. Get it out of your system and don’t hold back. You’ll feel worlds better. But? Once you’re done, close it, forget about it, and get on with your life. Life’s too much fun for that silliness.

Playing… Guild Wars 2! This is really the only MMORPG that L and I play, and I absolutely love it. Plus, it’s not a monthly subscription.

Anticipating… CHICAGO!! It’s just a short trip that may or may not have enough time for too much exploration but I have brunch plans with this lovely lady and this is my first time visiting there. (Okay, my family went once when I was like, 4, but all I remember is the American Girl Doll museum/factory/whatever and it doesn’t count.)

Trying… to be the best me I can be. There are definitely hiccups, but I fortunately have an amazing, loving, and kind husband who fortunately puts up with my crap when I mess up. =]

Celebrating… L’s graduation! He finished his undergrad classes in, like, March and was able to take off a semester but he walked at his commencement ceremony on Sunday! I’m so proud of this handsome guy.

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Wanting… my own personal chef? Is that too much to ask? I’m stuck on like, the same 5 meals/snacks for myself and one of them may or may not be ice cream and I have got to challenge myself to branch out and try new recipes!  Any recommendations?

So. How’s your life going, currently? What’s new?

 

Wednesday Things

Nelson Mandela

1. Tonight, I get to sing Carmina Burana with some amazing people at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. If you’re sitting there thinking you have no idea what Carmina Burana is, you actually do. It’s where this is from – it’s actually the first and last movement of Carmina Burana. You know that song. It’s not something I have to do, but I’ve been rehearsing with people all year and when am I ever going to get the chance to sing this like, ever again in my life?

2. Okay, okay, here’s the big news this week: I quit my job. I know, I know, I have three jobs, but the main source of my income has been from waitressing, which I absolutely hate. So I quit. The bottom line was that there is just too much wonderful in my life right now that I am being held back from enjoying or really immersing myself in because I had this dark cloud of work hanging over my head. Also, I wasn’t planning to work in April anyway, really; I knew I’d be crazy busy and basically unavailable for an actual work schedule anyway. This is only a good thing for me right now, and I’m really committed to making sure that my next job is a day job (so I can be on the same schedule as my soon-t0-be-husband), that’s not retail or waitressing and is somehow related to my degree (Wellness and Personal Development/Health and Wellness).  Besides, it’ll be so great to be able to come home to a fresh start after the honeymoon.

3. Don’t even make me get started on the dang snowfall in April. I don’t care if we did break our most-snow-ever winter record, I was not a happy girl about it. Get your stuff together, Mitten State.

4. Countdown update:  I walk for graduation is 10 days and the wedding is in 18! I’m officially in giddy freakout mode, which also consists of not caring one single bit about the remaining paper/exams I have for my classes.

5. Next week, I’m taking a road trip with my Momma to PA to spend a couple of my last single days with my best friend Sandra at my old school and also finally meet Liz from My Subscription Addiction, for whom I review/write. I’m really excited about both of those things, and it’ll be great to have some girl time before the wedding with a friend I never see, especially since I’m not able to really have a bachelorette party because all my girls are scattered in different states.

6. My new mantra is one that my new internet friend, Rachel, tweeted: “Life is too fabulous to be sad.” Seriously, I need that on a shirt or bracelet or something!

I know that’s short, but I now have to go get ready for the performance tonight/actually do my homework later!

Ways to Feel Better Instantly

The past 9 months has been a whole lot more on my plate at once than I’ve had to deal with, probably, than ever before. Two deaths, my dad losing his job (and starting to work for himself!), getting engaged, planning a wedding, finishing university, and trying to cope with the fact that my life will look completely different in two months. I am 100% uncertain regarding just about every important aspect of life in the next year; I don’t know where I’ll be living, where I’ll be working, what I’ll be doing, how often I’ll see my mom, what I will be able to afford, etc. In addition to all this, my personality definitely makes it easy for me to get caught up in stress about the future. This is why I decided to flesh out a list of ways I know that I can start to feel better instantly. If there’s ever been a time I need a list like this, it’s right now!

  1. Close out of all of you tabs on the computer, and actually shut it down/restart it.
    I know I’m not the only one who tends to keep tabs open on their laptop because I plan to read or make some sort of use of it in the future. Having a cluttered computer without actually shutting down or restarting it for a few days just begins to feel like being in a cluttered room. Clearing off my computer makes me feel like I can breathe a little bit better, and go about the things I actually need to do on my computer with more organization.
  2. Clear out your inbox.
    No, seriously. How many emails are in your inbox? How many have you already handled? How many are spam? I just looove going through all my emails and mass-deleting useless ones, or unsubscribing from newsletters or subscription emails. On top of all of that, I couldn’t survive if I didn’t label and archive my emails. If my school sends me an email about graduation, I read it, label it, and archive it. Same with important emails from anything else (especially online shopping receipts and such). Archiving in folders means I know exactly where to look for it later, if I ever need to reference it. It’s like deleting everything without having to worry about losing it.
  3. Clean your room.
    Just do it. Start by putting everything all in once place – a chair, bed, the middle of the floor, etc. Play music. I end up reaching a state of flow at some point and just go until I know I’ve either finished or made some significant progress.
  4. Just do one thing. Then do another.
    Mail that letter. Answer that email. Make that call. Set up that appointment. Doing one thing will help you feel like doing the next thing, and soon enough you feel like you’ve been at least marginally productive.
  5. Chocolate! 
    This is self-explanatory. Treat yourself. Be nice to yourself.
  6. Write it out.
    Here I am, doing just that. Whether it’s a blog post, a journal entry, a letter to a friend, or a list of some kind, getting it put down on paper helps you separate yourself from and organize the things buzzing around your brain.
  7. Hug someone
    This one is science, peole. Oxytocin is released in your blood stream when you hug or shake/hold hands with someone for more than 6 seconds.
  8. Look at baby things.
    Watch youtube videos or browse pictures of baby animals and baby people. This is science, too. Don’t pretend you don’t love doing this.
  9. Stretch.
    Whether you do yoga or just need to stretch out a bit, it feels amazing. Put down your phone, take your eyes off of your computer, step away from the to-do list, and just stretch. There’s no way to doubt that this will make you feel better right away.
  10. Work out.
    It’s okay if it’s just going on a walk! You don’t need to go spend an hour at the gym to gain benefits (both physically and emotionally) from exercising your body. Getting up and going on a short walk outside is worlds better for your sore back than pain killers or further resting. (Also science.)
  11. Look at pretty things
    The specific way I tap into this is browsing and curating my Inspiration Board on Pinterest.
  12. Remember that there are more important things.
    Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that there are more important things than killing yourself over not getting 100% on a school project, or being 15 minutes early to everything. Cut yourself a little slack once in a while, and remember that there are people who love you no matter what. That you’re not going hungry. That you are smart, capable, and special.

If you’ve been feeling like you really need a pick-me-up (who hasn’t at some point during this ridiculous winter?), hopefully some of these ideas help, or at least get you thinking about what makes you feel better.

What kinds of things always seem to brighten your day?

Guys I had a really bad day... I found out that one of my friends got hit by a car and died. I was crying like CRAZY in my first class and everyone stared at me. He was so nice and funny. I'll miss him. And on top of that I have a massive headache, I don't feel well, and I failed two quizzes... I'm so sad :'(

Wednesday Things

Gold Foil Print - Let Go of the Heavy

credit: BrittanyGarnerDesign on Etsy

1. I know I’ve been MIA for about a week or so. This past week, my fiancee’s grandfather was admitted to the hospital, then hospice, and then went home to glory last Friday morning. My weekend has been full of time spent with family and catching up on homework. Both grandparents that I have lost (my Grandaddy in 2008 and my Grammy in this past October) were taken from tragically and suddenly. I still struggle every day with the loss of my grandmother and I’ve never been in a situation where my loved one had been suffering for a year (or any extended amount of time). Being able to find some solace in the fact that at least the pain is over for them now is a new concept to me. I’m so used to being angry and confused in the face of tragedy. I was so grateful for the immense number of family members who are so close to each other coming together to celebrate Grandpa Ervin’s life.

2. The wedding is in 45 days. THE WEDDING IS IN 45 DAYS. And, I have to admit that the panic starting to set in a little bit. Not only did I just realize that I had to like, get some one to make a cake and other details like that, but I’m also starting to second guess things because I’m neurotic right now between school, tragedy, and wedding plans and decisions. No second guessing about the marriage at all, but little things like the guest book I’ve already ordered. Silly (?) things.

Probably the source for most of my panic is this lurking feeling I have like I’m a 6-year-old worrying that no one’s going to come to my party. I can’t have a bachelorette party, either, because my bridesmaids all live in different states (save for my sister/matron of honor!). My mom made the point that at least Luke has a huge family so even if only family shows up, it’ll still be a big party. That both did and didn’t make me feel better.

I don’t know, I just want every thing to be fleshed out and for me to be able to just sit back and enjoy the party. I keep visualizing being at the resort on the honeymoon and the amazing beaches and it’s really what’s holding it all together in my brain right now. I know that no matter what happens, I’ll get to that beach. =]

3. On to good news… Luke’s done with school! He just took his last final for his curriculum for his bachelor’s degree. This is such a wonderful thing in and of itself but also because it means I only have to worry about getting myself through school. No more of those Sunday night “I hate everything” panic attacks… for him, at least. I’ve still got 37 days. Struggling with it. But I’m so close!!

4. I went to a Bed Bath and Beyond registry event last week, and it was a lot of fun, plus I walked away with an amazing goodie bag with some really high-quality kitchen tools, gorgeous crystal candle holders, two pretty nail polishes, and lots more. It got me wondering… can I just like, go to this every year? At different locations? For the free things? How would they know? Am I a terrible person?

5. I’m out of TV shows (as usual), and I’m thinking of either re-watching Gilmore Girls or actually wacth Friends for the first time?

I’m out of things to say. I’m unfocused and uninspired right now. I’ve been so far from the top of my game (no, seriously. I went to the wrong class room for my class today and I also thought it was Thursday instead of Wednesday?)  I’m looking forward to taking more time to clear my mind and take care of myself this week!  =]

How’s life for you??

Wednesday Things

Image

Hey, everyone! I feel like it’s been a while since I posted, but that’s just because I’ve been really busy (in a fun way!) (except school) (gross).

  1. I know we’re already more than 1/12 of the way in, but 2014 is going to be so seriously exciting and challenging and new and fun. My fiancee and I both have some really cool new opportunities and ideas that may help to bring in some more money and enjoying ourselves at the same time (who would have thought?). And then there’s that whole getting married thing, of course. That’s exciting, too (obviously)!
  2. Some of you may know that my dad lost his job a couple weeks ago. But, before he even finished editing his resume, he got a call from some one he used to work with who needs help with programs my dad designed years ago! Now, my dad gets to work for himself as an independent contractor AND work from home (his dream!). This is awesome. Especially with the added stress of planning a wedding, it gives us just that little bit of breathing room that does wonders for our sanity.
  3. I really miss my Grammy. She’d be so excited to hear about everything new going on and planning the wedding and everything. It’s still hard. But I’m really excited to have a reason to bring my family all together again for a happy celebration, since the last time we were all together was a funeral. It’ll be so great to dance and visit with my family and make those memories.
  4. Count-downs: 73 days until I walk for graduation! Oh my goodness. I just have to survive 73 more days. Basically 10 more weeks. I can do that. Counting down has never really done much for me in the past but when it comes to counting down my undergrad, it seems to make it feel like there’s actually a light at the end of the tunnel. Also, there’s exactly 80 days until I get married. Holy crap. This is the one countdown you probably don’t want to feel like it flies by because there’s so much to get done! Now that my dad has a job again and we have more options, I’m really trying to get back on track and as much done ahead of time as possible so that once finals and such come around, I can focus on finishing those strongly.
  5. Valentine’s Day! I’m celebrating tomorrow, on the 13th, because there’s no getting out of waitressing for Valentine’s Day. I’m really not looking forward to it (like that even needs to be said). It’s one of what we call “amateur holidays,” where people who don’t usually eat at expensive restaurants come out to eat. They often set a budget and then spend just under that, leaving only a small amount for a tip (which often ends up being 10% or less). Also, just about every reservation is a 2-person party, which means smaller check averages. Oh, well. Hopefully this will be my last-ever Valentine’s as a waitress.
  6. Speaking of which, please send some good vibes my way. As I eluded to above, I’m looking into new ways to bring in some good money and I’m really hoping I can quit the restaurant really soon. I die a little inside every time I have to deal with anything related to it.
  7. I was really struggling with some of those evil, self-critical demons this morning. Do you ever have times or days when you just hear those awfully negative voices in your head so much more strongly than usual? That was today. Fortunately, grabbing some coffee, having a sit-down lunch at the table with my Daddy and going on a walk with my parents later all helped me feel better. For now, at least. I always seem to struggle in January and February (Hello, Seasonal Affective Disorder), but being aware of this pattern for myself and having some lovely people supporting and surrounding me is more helpful than ever.
  8. The honeymoon is officially booked! We’re going to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Right before the travel agent put the first payment down, I had a moment of panic about how we could probably settle for some hotel somewhere close by for a week. But, I know that one tip for wedding budgeting that I keep reading is to cut money from the things that aren’t so important to you personally (flowers, alcohol, etc) and put the core cash towards the things that are. In this case, I know this trip will be amazing and once-in-a-lifetime. I know that paying for experiences rather than material things can be scary but oh so great. And now that it’s booked and set in stone, I have to be happy about it! It’s a win-win.
  9. Oh, I got my official wedding website set up! CLICK HERE to go see it!
  10. I have GOT to get myself a massage soon. My right shoulder + that side of my neck have been in constant pain for the last couple weeks and my right shoulder actually looks swollen because of how big the knot is in it. Friday’s payday – maybe I’ll finally get around to making an appointment then!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s, whether you celebrate or don’t, are single or not, go out somewhere fancy or stay home and eat Chinese. =]

Be Truthful, Gentle, and Fearless

The title of this post is a quote from Gandhi. It’s a quote I saw on Pinterest at some point not too long ago, and it instantly inspired me. As most quotes do, this left me feeling introspective about what exactly these words meant to me. My interpretation and meaning may not be the same as yours, but that’s fine. That’s how these things work.

Truthfulness, to me, has a lot to do with vulnerability. I’m not always good at that. Acting and theatre were a huge part of my childhood and growing up. It’s no coincidence that I am comfortable with using acting as a safety net. Throughout my life, I’ve made it through social situations and meeting new people and surviving group projects by being a person that I knew would do well in the situation at hand. This has always left me feeling disconnected and distant from a lot of people I’ve met in my life. I still pick up on times that I’m doing it. It’s just this past year that I’ve really been feeling progress towards being myself regardless of what situations I find myself in. It’s made a big difference, and I’m really proud of myself for learning how to be truthful to myself. This may not have made much sense, but that’s okay.

Gentleness is often construed as an unhelpful quality, and we are told that we have to be tough to “make it” or that we need to pretend like nothing gets under our skin. Not caring has become regarded as being so  “cool” and nonchalant. Not caring has been praised, preached, and pretended. While there is certainly  something to be said about being resilient, I think there is an aversion or maybe even a stigma to caring too much about anything these days. In reality, what I really admire is people caring a whole darn lot. It’s brave. It’s inspiring. It’s passionate.

And, fearlessness? Where can that even fall into my normal life – I’m not a soldier or a missionary or a cutthroat journalist or a revolutionary.

I’m not used to thinking that fearlessness has ever really been a concept that I can play into my own life, especially not day-to-day. Sure, there may be plenty of things I’m scared of (disappointing people I love, intimidating professors, and the classic show-up-to-class-and-there’s-an-exam-I-knew-nothing-about nightmare), but what am I really fearful of? I think, at least at this point in my life, the things I really feel fearful about seem to be more abstract and unknown and undefined (maybe the abstract and unknown is scary itself).

My life is on the edge of, well, a lot. 2014 is one big, challenging, and momentous year for me. This year, I will be (somehow) making it through a semester with four 4-credit, writing-intensive courses; I will be graduating; I will be getting married (and planning the whole thing); I will be moving out of my parents’ place; I will be getting a new job (or two?); I will be apartment hunting in the fall for a second place for me to move to this year. The list can go on as long as I let it. There’s a lot that’s coming at me, whether I feel ready for it or not.

This past year, I’ve tried to become more open to being uncomfortable and being outside of my comfort zone. Looking at what I’ve been through in college, and the year ahead of me, I’m starting to think that life is just one big challenge of our comfort zones and limitations. In 2015, I’m sure there will be a whole slew of new decisions for me to make and things for me to adjust to. And the same in 2016. It’ll probably never end. Knowing this, accepting it, and standing up tall to face the challenge (even if I don’t “feel ready”) is what fearlessness means to me.

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