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!

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Wednesday Things

a b

1. For the last week or two, I’ve been experimenting with different makeup products and looks with the intention of defining and practicing my wedding-day look. Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck with landing the look that feels just right for me. Many of you know that lips are my beauty soft-spot. A bold and bright lip is my signature look and I’ve decided that I just need to give up on the expected “romantic smokey eye” or “natural makeup” and stay true to myself by staying true to that. Now the fun part is experimenting between all my lip products to see which stay in place best, have the right amount of pigmentation, and the perfect amount of glam. I mean, obviously, this is what I do anyway, but I just have to pay more attention to it now!

2. Saturday night was the last shift for me at the restaurant I’ve worked at for just under 2 years. Friday night was actually one of the better nights in a long time, followed by my last shift being one pretty lame and all-around disappointing shift. Part of me is glad for this because, were I to leave on an amazing night, I may have questioned my leaving or been sad about going. But, the other part of me wished I could have gone out on a high note. The next place for me is still waitressing but I got a job in a town that is much closer to everything else in my life. In fact, it’s right between where I live now and where Luke lives. This means I get to complete training and get somewhat settled in before the wedding, and then have someplace ready to come back to once I get moved in with Luke. It’s also even more fine dining than the last place I worked and is supposedly hard to get hired into; the manager said she hardly ever interviews because everyone stays there so long. To me, this indicates that they have good systems set in place as well as consistency in the management and cash flow. I’m trying to stay more positive than anxious.

3.  I mentioned in my Wife2Wife link-up post of Marriage Goals for 2014 that I was determined to get a real dining table into Luke’s apartment for us. I’m so happy to say that I finally accomplished this goal. My university has a Facebook page for people to use as a forum to seek or offer items for free or for sale. Fortunately, when I asked if anyone was selling a table and chairs, some one reached out to me with a great set for very little money. We were initially concerned because it’s a metal frame with a glass top, but once everything was put together, no amount of leaning or pushing can even make that glass table top budge! I even got a cute, coffee-themed tablecloth for it. We were ridiculous when we got it all together: no one has ever sat down at a table so excitedly. We beamed at each other and I said “wow… what do you want to do with it??” Luke responded with “I dunno! Do you want to, like, make dinner? And eat it? Here? At the table??” I know it’s silly, but eating food while sitting on a couch for months is a huge pain. The table isn’t going to be what lasts us for the next 30 years or anything, but it’s infinitely better than no table, much better than expected, and will hopefully last us for some time!

4. I was raised thinking that everybody just went to college. I thought it was just what everyone did. Only now, as I’m nearing the end of my undergrad education and have more opportunities to meet people outside of my university, am I realizing just how few people actually finish a bachelor’s degree. Luke and I were talking about it and he made me look up the statistics. According to the census bureau, only 30% of people aged 25 or older in the US have  bachelor’s degree. Only 40% have an associates, and 8% have a master’s degree (which just makes me want to get my masters even more). I feel very fortunate for this clever bit of strategy on my parents’ part to ensure I attend and complete college.

5. Okay, so I know I haven’t shared many details at all about the writing job I got – it’s the best thing ever. I’m the first writer (other than the founder) that My Subscription Addiction has brought on to write reviews of subscription boxes! If you’re unfamiliar with subscription boxes, they’re monthly (some are bi-monthly or quarterly) packages of goodies that get sent to your door. The kinds of boxes range from makeup to kids toys and products, to organic/natural home goods, to snacks, desserts, and recipe boxes (with all the ingredients inside!), to clothes and jewelry. Really, there’s something for just about anyone. There’s even boxes like Mantry and Birchbox Man that are for gentlemen! (There’s also a box dedicated to different kinds of meats each month!) My favorites are Birchbox, Ipsy, POPsugar Must Have, and Wantable (I love their intimates box – it’s something different than all the rest and it sends you lots of high-end tank tops, leggings, socks, under garments, tights, nightwear, etc!).  Basically, I get free stuff sent to me and I get to review it for My Subscription Addiction!

One of the coolest things about the site is it has a Swap Site where you can list the samples and products in your boxes that you don’t want and swap with other subscribers for the ones you want!  It adds a whole new layer to the fun.

6. I know the whole world has already finished talking about the Oscars, but I just have to say I’m so sad that Leo’s never won one. I’m perpetually rooting for him. He’s more than earned quite a few, in my book.

7.  I have to set my own bedtime. Seriously — I’ve been worse than ever at actually getting myself to put down everything, turn the lights out, and go to sleep. Aaaand I’m definitely paying for it. I’m so exhausted all the time.

8. All I’ve been eating this whole week is fish and seafood because I stocked up on takeout on my last shift. I’m now sick of seafood. Whomp whomp.

9. Speaking of which, my first day at my new job is tomorrow night. It’s Italian, and the menu is huuuuuge. As dumb as it sounds, if I can just have someone read me the names of everything once, just so I know how to say it, that would be a big help. I get to wear all black, and I don’t have to wear a tie. It’s already an improvement!

10.  I know I applied for the Master’s of Public Health at my university, but what I’d really love to study for my masters would be Positive Psychology. I suppose the next step is seeing where that masters program is even offered! I hope there’s one in Michigan, and even better near me.

That’s all I have for right now. I hope everyone’s doing well!

What’s something you’re excited about in your life right now??

New Kids on the Block

Last night was the most dramatic night I’ve had to deal with at work in my life. First of all, I had a section full of tables requiring lots of attention and maintenance. From reasonable high-maintenance requests (bringing in a birthday cake for your son for me to present, cut, and serve – reasonable, but it takes a lot of time away) and those that were not-so-reasonable (grown men yelling at me that the strawberry lemonade we made him “didn’t have crunchies,” leaving me to figure out that what he was talking about were strawberry seeds and had to go bug the kitchen for real strawberries to mix into his lemonade, just to watch him chug it and pick out the strawberries with his fork from the ice left in the glass, and then proceed demand another all over again), I was already quite overwhelmed. I wasn’t behind or in the weeds (as we servers call it), but I was definitely to the point of asking for help from servers who weren’t busy at the time. I was in focused “go” mode. The moment I actually had a chance to stop for a second, I got caught up on some drama that was occurring among some of the people I work with. However, I’m very proud of myself because I actually stood up for myself against one of the managers regarding an (unrelated) issue that has happened more than once before and hadn’t been addressed. It wasn’t easy but I stood my ground and was ultimately commended for the way I handled the situation from him and my friends there. Personal victory: Check!

However, there was a whole bunch of “he said, she said” junk going on immediately after (again, two unrelated events). What was particularly difficult was not knowing some of the new hires that were involved very well at all, and therefore had no relationship or rapport with them already. We didn’t have any trust built, didn’t know each other’s character, nor what kinds of things are or are not just typical behavior of the other. I actually didn’t even know two of their names.

I’m currently the new kid in my university’s chorale. (This will tie in soon, I promise.) At work, I have seniority, I know people who have come and gone, and I’ve seen a lot of changes throughout my time there. In choir, I’m the new hire. I’m not even a music major, but I’m working to find my place in the group and become a real part of the team. Although everyone has been very sweet, supportive, and excited to have me there, I still feel the “new kid” awkwardness enter the scene when others tell stories about old choir members who have graduated, other music department faculty and events, and when hearing about the great times they had together over the weekend.

Know that I am in no way complaining or blaming them for the “new kid syndrome.” (How could I? There’s absolutely no justification for anyone claiming a preexisting group should revolve around the new kids or pretend they didn’t have an awesome time and group before we came along. In fact, celebrate it with them.)  Auditioning and getting this opportunity is the best chance I’ve taken in my entire college career. What I’m getting at is that it is that newness is weird and scary for everyone. At work, I am one of those people who reminisce about coworkers that have moved on or how things used to be, and it’s hard figuring out how to connect with new hires and figure out their unique place in the team. It’s hard finding myself on the opposite side of the situation, being the new choir member and figuring out how to relate to people who have had such a strong and familiar family for years before I showed up, and are now adjusting to new members. I know it’s hard for the new kids at work, and I know it’s hard for the others in choir. It’s weirdness, for all of us.

This juxtaposition just recently occurred to me, and I can’t help but to find it odd just how different the emotions and the responsibilities are from one situation to the next. In one, I have to decide to put effort into getting to know the newbies; in the other, I have to put effort into speaking up and showing people I really totally want to be their friend.

My tagline for this blog is “just for today, everyone be 10% less cool & 10% more open-hearted.” As the big kids on top, it’s easy to really enjoy just how cool we are. In any situation this is true. Heck, even as a new kid, it’s natural to use how cool we are to hide our fear of being inadequate and our awkwardness. If we can remember to just step outside of that, at some point we could find people, connections, friends, experiences, knowledge, that we hadn’t anticipated. The important thing is that we don’t have to “turn a new leaf,” or have some life-changing existential experience, or decide to become a whole new person. I’m just asking for 10%.

(However, I will admit that when you think about how freaking awesome YOU are, 10% less cool is still a lot. And just that bit can make a huge difference to some one else.)

 

Yoga and Flexibility

Since December started, I’ve been working full time as a waitress, and that means all I have been doing is running around and walking and such. I’ve been bad and haven’t gone off to the gymn lately, and I’ve been noticing a large change in my flexibility – more so than in my muscle toning or size or anything like that, which is where I was expecting to see a difference. But thinking back, it obviously makes sense; my muscles have had a limited range of movement and I also don’t stretch like I do after a workout.

So, I’m adding to my (admittedly already doomed) ambitious list of New Year’s Resolutions This 21-Day Yoga Challenge. I’ve been looking for one like this for a while, and it’s perfect! Day-by-day videos, a progressively more challenging sequence of routines, clear instructions, and and mediation tracks! Oh, yeah, and it’s free!

Aaaaaand, I have to get back to the gymn. Currently, I’m in a tough position. I have been wanting to sign up for a class at my YMCA (or multiples) but between working and school, both full time, I haven’t thought to remove another couple hours from my availability to sign up for a class. So honestly, the thing that will be most easily stuck into my schedule is working out on my own.

So, now not only do I have to commit to a yoga routine, but also get serious about working out again and getting my motivation in check to do so.

Oh. And work. And schoool.

But hey, at least I will be on my way to a tranquil and, frankly, freaking awesome morning work out routine like this: