Monday, January 27, 2014

Finding Wrong.

I have driven the distance between Boulder and Colorado Springs an inestimable number of times. It seems an endless trip that started when I drove myself to visit my brother, continued through the years of my own undergrad, and now I drive from here to there because Boulder is where That Boy lives.

(Actually, let's call him M, because I've never been able to figure out at what age I'm supposed to start calling a boy a man. Or when I go from girl to woman. Those sound so serious. Any opinions on this topic would be much appreciated.)

The distance is longer, but I usually opt to drive Highway 93 and Santa Fe, because I can breathe into open spaces instead of car exhaust. And the foothills fill the route with moments of unexpected beauty that appear to me, just for me, because I look for them.

This morning, the light in the sky was a buttermilk sun. Clouds sighed onto the landscape. I turned off the highway onto a road I've never taken. I stopped my car and stepped out to watch a world that was covered in fog like opening your eyes underwater. A falcon landed on a pole above me. He ruffled his feathers. I blinked snowflakes off my eyelashes.

Joseph Chilton Pearce, an author of books on child development, says, "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."

To me, creative and happy are intertwined. My head tells me it is wrong to be unemployed, focusing on my success in happiness and health. But maybe that's okay. Maybe wrong is something we need to strive for. 

I want to be wrong by detouring on my drives and in my life. I want to keep taking too long to get where I'm supposed to be. I want to keep taking turns just because I've never taken them before. I want to be wrong by living my life slowly in a world that moves too fast. I think I move slower than most people. I breathe slower, I'm often late, and it took me too long to say goodbye this morning when M needed to go to work. I closed my eyes to imprint the feeling of his lips on mine.


I'm trying to soak this entire world into my memories. From those memories, I want to create beauty in this life, a life that drives others to distraction. I want people to find wrong with me.

My Wrong This Week:

1.22 Finally Back to Yoga//Someone Said I Look Like An Archer With My Mat.
1.23 Caught Up With Old Friends//My Cat Was Less Enthused Than I

1.24 Breckenridge with SweetBananie//Lucky For Another Mountain Getaway.

1.25 Gl├╝hwein//We Never Got Out of Our PJs

1.26 Skied the new bowl on Peak 6//OMG That's M :)
1.27 Keeping My Eyes Open//On Average, The Horizon is Only 3 Miles Away

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Start of Things

When I set my goals for this year, I split them into three sections (Financial, Physical, Emotional). The goals within each section followed the SMART[er] principle: Specific, Measurable, Applicable, Realistic, Timely [&evaluate&reevaluate]. Too many years on Student Council, I guess.

Most of this month has been devoted to my emotional goals. This year, I want to focus on my connections with people, because I sometimes close myself off. Another emotional goal is to spend time finding&doing things that make me happy, and to rediscover the feeling I had when I was younger that anything is possible.

Ideally, I'll work on updating in more manageable chunks, since two weeks at a time is kind of a lot for you dear readers, but alas, for now, here's how I've been working on my emotional health. My happiness health. :)

1.7 Discovered SkyGuide//Found a Way to Reach for the Stars Wherever I Am

1.8 Watched a TEDTalk by a Nine-Year-Old//Was Inspired to Focus on Happiness as Work


1.9 Date at The Cruise Room//Became Giggly&Giddy Mess Around Cute Boy

1.10 Extended the Date//Tried to Spot the Aurora Borealis From Way Above Denver

1.11 Girls' Weekend Cabin Getaway//Resetting with Quiet Air and Great Friends

1.12 Bonded with Horses!//New Goal: Horseback-Riding Lessons

1.13 Knocked Out with a Fever//Finished the Crossword for the First Time Ever

1.14 Still Sick//Finding Emotional Inspiration in Unexpected Places


1.15 Stayed in Bed to Work on Birthday Party Invitations//My Fever-Delerium Inspired Surprise Mini-Dinosaurs that Represent My Inner Child


1.16 Finishing Touches//Embracing My Silly


1.17 Sent Out My Dinosaur Army//Hope I Make the USPS Wonder&lol


1.18 Ski Weekend At Steamboat with Cute Boy//Felt Like a Fairy Wonderland


1.19 Ran Into My Incredible Friend Kate&Her Family//Realized I Know Amazing People


1.20 Came Home to This Guy//Cat Naps All Day

1.21 Dad's Birthday//This Picture Makes Me Wish it Were Summer

We're three weeks into the new year already; a realization that I find both invigorating and terrifying. Looking at this post, I realized that picking one picture to represent each day makes it look like I've been a busy&adventuring human being, rather than the bump-on-a-log like I've rather felt lately. So I suppose this blog is helping me with my other emotional goals this year: Be kind [to myself and everyone else] & be grateful [for everything].

Looking back on these three weeks in this format, 2014 has been an incredible year already. I found inspiration on how to learn&create happiness&love&wonder, I got to spend time with so many of my favorite people, I started&finished two creative projects, I was kind enough to myself to slow down&heal when I needed it, I created a back-up plan (Ski Bum) if I don't get into an amazing graduate program, and I spent a weekend away with a boy&realized how much I would like to keep spending time with him.

I'm amazed by all of these things. I'm grateful for all of these things.

I can't pretend that these last three weeks have been perfect. I've been struggling with insecurities and questions about what to do with my life//what I am doing with my life. But with proof like ^^^this, I firmly believe I can create happiness with 1. Gratitude, 2. Respecting&Accepting that Happiness Can Coexist with Sadness, and 3. Sheer Determination.

Because I know y'all have been on the edge of your seats wondering about it, the title of this blog, "There's No Gelato in the Shade," is an exact quote from a hot day when I lived in Italy. A dear friend of mine was using gelato to persuade me that I had to leave the shade of the building where I was deliciously pressing my sweating forehead against the cool sandstone wall. The quote has since become more than that. First, it's motivation to leave my comfort zone to get those things I really want. But it also holds the reminder that sometimes the gentle kindness of the shade is the gelato. (Whoah. Deep.)

Regardless, I got my gelato that day, and I'm going to continue to get my gelato (and eat it too), for the rest of my life.

Who's with me?

:)

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014, Here We Go.

Alright.

Now y'all have stuck with me while I slogged through 2013. I appreciate that.
To recap in many less words, here are the 13 things I learned in 2013 (+1 more to honor the new year):

  1. I can't work a job where I don't feel like I'm making a difference.
  2. I actually like to drive long-distances.
  3. I have the best friends.
  4. I prefer being brunette.
  5. I know when giving up isn't giving up; it's knowing my limits.
  6. I learned how to say no. To myself and to other people.
  7. I'm better than bulimia.
  8. Yoga is one consistent place where I feel still for an hour.
  9. I'm never going to be able to give up chocolate. And that is okay.
  10. I need to be away/in the mountains to feel like I can think.
  11. Little kids. I love them. I want them, but I am not ready for them.
  12. I love running. I believe I can be a runner.
  13. I never want the type of wealth that let's me forgot what hard work is.
  14. I really want to live this life. Even when it gets hard.

When I started this blog last May, I admitted to having no idea what it was about. I thought about making it a yoga blog, a running blog, a fashion blog, a cooking blog (only if you count refried beans), a nannying blog, a health blog, a dating blog, and a cat blog.
So far, it's mostly a brain dump.
This year I'd like it to be some semblance of something.

So I thought about what drives me to do all of ^^^those bloggy things, and I realized all I really want is to do everything.
I know. It sounds like I'm trying to be the YOLO poster child, but it's really more of a FOMO thing. ;)
But seriously, I am afraid of missing out on what could be the best option, so I want to try everything, before I make up my mind.

But that means I am letting a fear drive me, and that's a problem. Because I have worked hard to be fearless. My fear of heights? I did yoga for balance, so that I could trust I wouldn't fall off a ladder. My crippling arachnophobia from childhood? I tried to view spiders as neighbors who were just more efficient at walking than I am.  Already this year I've already rescued two of them when they got stuck in my sink. Rescued. Spiders. #growingup.

So this year, rather than feeling endless anxiety about how many different things I can do, I want to focus on what I am doing. I want to work to make each day memorable. If I don't do anything "memorable" that day, that's okay, but I want to at least make sure I'm doing something to grow as a person. And if I didn't do either of the first two options, I will express gratitude for what did happen that day.

And I'm doing it with pictures. Clearly I write enough already. ;)


So, here goes. This has been my 2014 so far.

1.1 Masquerade Party//New Year. New Identity. Meow.
1.2 Goal-Setting for 2014//Power of Positive Thinking
1.3 First Chair at Breckinridge//Got to Wait in the Operating Booth!

1.4Thank You Crafts//Wish I Knew Calligraphy

1.5 Wedding Planning with Kelly//Brunch&Shopping&Girlie Swooning

1.6 Playing Interior Decorator//Made Myself a Reading Nook
I'm pretty pleased with this first almost-week of the new year. I feel happier, and healthier, and more productive already, though this is mostly a result of my New Years resolution to put on real pants every day. You'd be surprised how this helps your sanity when you're "funemployed" and living in your parents' basement. :)

Did you guys make any goals this year? I'll tell you about more of mine next time.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013, Part 2.

Last year was a big learning year for me, and I'm so grateful for the experiences. I left off in June, becoming a nanny and starting yoga teacher training. As I mentioned, I was a wee bit busy.

Mostly, I was go-go-going without breathing. Truthfully, I felt like if I stopped to breathe, I'd have to stop to think. And I didn't want to think about where my life was (or wasn't) going. I was (am still) at the ripe old age of 24, and was (still am) having ever-increasing anxiety about what the heck I was supposed to be doing with myself. Do you guys ever feel this way? Yeah, of course you do, because it's the basic question of humanity. Why are we here and why is being here so hard? ;)


July

The last two weeks of July were a lesson in determination. I had double-booked myself for both teacher training and a three-week trip with my "nanny family" to Crested Butte, CO, and Sonoma, CA. So, this happened:

Teacher training ended Tuesday night at 10 pm. I slept until 2 am, woke up and raced the sunrise 250 miles to Crested Butte, watching Colorado wake up before the kids did at 7:00. 



Then we went hiking!

Then I jumped in that waterfall you can sort of see behind J!
It was bone-numbing!
It was better than caffeine!
Friday night the kids went to bed at 10:00 pm, and I drove back up to Denver. I arrived at 3:00 am and woke up for teacher training Saturday from 8:30 am-4:30pm.

The next day, I went for a hike to "find myself." I'm not sure if I did, but I did find a hitchhiker. Dangerous? Maybe. But he led me to this hike on the Colorado Trail.
So I say let's hear it for risky behavior!
Two days later, I made the same midnight drive back down to CB.


This is the Butte.

This is the cat. He has a snaggletooth & is weird.

This is K. Also weird. Also snaggletooth.


August

That Saturday, we took the family's private jet to Sonoma Valley. Yes. I said it. Private jet. I rode in it. I flew co-pilot. It was AWESOME.


Trying to take covert-ops photos. Trying to act cool.
That week in Cali we had an entire 35-acre vineyard property all to ourselves. The kids and I hung out in the pool, went down the 100-foot rock water slide that led to our lake, played tennis, jumped on the trampoline, jumped on the water trampoline, and jousted on paddle boards. I lost my glasses in the lake and was blind for 24 hours. Whoops!  The adults cooked every night in the full outdoor kitchen and drank a lot of wine. It was the most wonderful, extravagant vacation ever. Well, except I was technically "at work." 

Technicalities.

We flew back to CB the following Saturday, and I hopped in my car and drove 325 miles to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to meet my real family for the Indian Arts festival. Because I apparently didn't drive enough the two weeks before. It was worth it. Everything was gorgeous. The craftsmanship was unbelievable.

Sunday night I drove back to Denver to be at work Monday at 6:30 am.

In those three weeks, I logged 1500 miles on my 1998 Ford Explorer.

I got pretty good at taking pictures out of my car window at 80 mph.


September

The only nannying I had to do was to get the kids ready for school, so I became the mom's full-time personal assistant. I also started the "extensions" program for yoga teacher training.

And I still had a second job. And I was still not sleeping.  

We moved my brother from Alamosa to Basalt. I started training for a marathon. Guess when I did my training? At night.


Well, other than this run. Clearly daytime.


October

Teacher-training ended. I quit my part-time second job. There was light at the end of my worn out tunnel.
I dyed my hair back! I was ready to feel like an asian teddy bear myself again.
I ran a 15K with mah best gal, Annie.
I went on a hike to "find myself" some more. 


And when I got back from that hike, I quit my full-time job.

Wait. What, really? Again?

Yes. Really.

But they had a private jet! And vacations in California! They bought you a season pass to Crested Butte! You were going to Switzerland with them next summer! The kids were so cute!

Yes. I know. I know all of those things.

But I was worn down to the bone. I couldn't see straight. My diet consisted entirely of chocolate, caffeine and protein bars. My stress hormones were so out of control, I had gained 20 pounds, even though my average daily caloric intake after running and yoga was only 1200 net calories. My body was apparently preparing for itself for a slow, painful death.

Beyond how I was feeling, my mom had suggested she could use some help around the house, as my dad's health was in rapid decline. Ultimately, I had started nannying to make a difference in someone's life, so when faced with the choice of helping a family I had adopted and helping my own family, I went with blood.  It runs thicker than money.

November

I moved back into my old bedroom in the basement of my parent's house. I redecorated.
From this (age 13) purple...

...To this.
I did not redecorate the cat.
He stayed just as cute.
Then I took another swing at the trust-fund life and jetted off to visit Andy who had moved to Austin, TX. It was such a fun trip. We went to some really neat bars with some really amazing people. And we spent twelve hours in a book store browsing potential reads, because Andy and I are basically the same person.

My socks matched the decor/Andy's shirt.
Also in November, I met a boy...

Oh my gosh. Did you really just put that in your blog? Like, for all the cyberspaces to see?

Yes. Yes, I did. I am also having a conversation with myself in blog form, for the second time this evening. So I'm not sure which is worse.

I admitted to meeting a cute boy I might like because, if you recall, one of my goals in this blog was being honest. And if I'm being honest, I am trying to accept that having a crush means potentially opening myself up to hurt again. Like 2012-sized hurt. Like my-relationship-falling-apart-25-days-before-my-wedding hurt.

Wait. I didn't tell you that story yet? Hm. Well. It'll come later.
For now, just know that I have a crush on a boy, and I am fuh-reaking out about it.

In a good way. :)

December

I started submitting applications to graduate school. I'm going for it. I believe it's going to happen. 

My OG best friend Kelly asked me to be the Maid of Honor in her wedding. (awwwwww!)

I went snowboarding.

Riding up the T-Bar on a snowboard makes me a giggling mess with burning quads.
And I tried to settle down. I did a lot of moving in 2013.

As the year ended, I started thinking about my goals for the upcoming year.

By the time I rang in 2014 with more of my best lady friends, I was ready to start working on them.


And here I am, blogging away, which is one of my goals.
Next post, I'll tell you about what else I plan to accomplish this year.

It's going to be a good year. I can feel it.
It already is.
:)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013, Part 1.

The beauty of the new year is that we all start it together.
We all start with a fresh hope of becoming our truer, shinier, more beautiful human selves.
And if you are lucky enough to have friends like mine, we celebrate those hopes knowing that, if next December rolls around and we didn't quite hit our marks, we'll still love each other anyway.

The beauty of a new year is that we take time to reflect on the  past. For me, 2013 was a great year. Yes, I had some dark moments, but overall, I became more conscious of myself and who I am and who I am trying to be. I learned so much about my strengths, my weaknesses, and in a big way, my limits. Those insights inspired actions that looked crazy but that moved me slowly closer to where I want to be.

And where I want to be is happy. 

Here's what my first half of 2013 looked like. (Yes, I 'll have to do this obligatory summing-up-of-the-old-year in two posts//yes I should have done it in December but, meh). I promise I'll get around to the other obligatory goals-for-the-new-year by the end of the week (I'll give you a hint, blogging more is one of them).


January

I rang in 2013 with a midnight yoga class. It was stellar, but sort of started a sleep-deprivation trend that I kept up for most of the entire year.

Later that month, I celebrated my 24th birthday with my best girls that I've known for basically forever.

duck face!


We closed out a bar, waited way too long for a taxi (outside, in January, in Colorado, in dresses, without tights). And then "amused"our taxi driver with our fifteen-minute rendition of a Red Robin commercial.

Red Robin...YUMMMM.

It ended in hilarity in my apartment.
I made pancakes for everyone the next morning.

February

I don't remember much of February, because this was the month that I actively considered suicide (remember those dark moments I mentioned above?). Thankfully, my friend Andy (shout out!) talked me off the proverbial ledge with 49% empathetic understanding and 49% blunt honesty. The other 2% was my own concern for the emotional health of whoever discovered my body.

Plus, let'sbehonesthere, I didn't really want to miss out on the rest of my life.  I've got a long bucket list, and I haven't gotten to nearly enough of it. It seems bizarre now to think of myself as that so sad girl. But! The only way to go from there was up...

March

I went blonde! Hollahatyergurl!

Since I didn't want to live my life the way it was going, I decided to reinvent myself, starting with my hair. I highly recommend this as therapy. I felt like an elf, elves are awesome, and I didn't recognize myself when I looked in the mirror That was a good thing.

I also hung out with my cat.


Like, a lot.
#inappropriate!

April

I quit my job. In the middle of a recession. This was the first of the crazy decisions. And it was the best decision I've made in my life thus far. I was burnt out, and I didn't feel like I was making a difference in anyone else's life.

I want to make a difference. It's my biggest goal in life.

Last day with some of the amazing ragamuffin Urban crowd.

I celebrated that evening with ferrets. (What?)

I went to a Spring Rockies game with my dad. This may seem inconsequential, but I'm really trying to bond with him to make up for a decade or so where we hated each other a little bit (#puberty).

Aw. That's where I get my cheeks.

And I started the Whole30 Paleo cleanse. 30 days of eating nothing except nuts, fruits, seeds, vegetables, and meat. No sugar (anywhere; like, not even ketchup), no alcohol, no grains, no starches, no dairy.

But, I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I've always struggled with body image and my relationship with chocolate food. I wanted to lose weight and thought (ignorantly), that cutting everything out was the best way to do so. But, actually, all it did was ensure that I relapsed into bulimia. I couldn't keep up the elimination diet, and so I purged myself of the restricted foods I did eat. I love the idea behind Whole30, but for most people, it's not a sustainable lifestyle, and (I would argue), simply perpetuates disordered eating.

What I should have been focusing on is this:
Chyeah. Say it again!

May

You guys know about May.  That's when I started this blog, after all! I went to Europe with my brother, and we had a grand time.  You can read all about it, here, here, or here. (There's more posts, but writing "here" six times seemed excessive, so you'll have to find them yourselves).

I also drove around Colorado on my funemployment, visiting my best friends.

 This is Andy, he saved my life.

Cinco-de-mustache, obvi.

And I went to Vegas with mah girls.

The guy on the left was in a group of men from London that let us share their table service.
We drank rounds of Dom Perignon.
It was a $15,000 bar tab. 
Thanks!


It was amazing.

Memories are a little blurry, but we were clearly having a great time.

June

After a month of living the life of a faux-trust-fund child and traveling to Europe, Las Vegas, and most of Colorado, I decided to start paying taxes again. So I started nannying.

For these crazies.

I also started yoga teacher training. Because when you're a twenty-something who quits a socially acceptable, successful career and yoga is the only reason you put on pants for most of the month of May, it seems like a great idea. And it was.

But it was a busy June, July, &August. Weekly, yoga TT was nine hours of training, five hours of practice, and I had three hours of cleaning the studio (plus about 10 hours/week of showering). This was fit around my 40 hours of nannying, my second 15-hour/week retail job, and my time with my friends (and my cat). I was on FIRE. 

The only thing I wasn't doing was sleeping. And by August, I crashed. Hard. Which, incidentally, is what led me to be writing this post from my old bedroom in my parents' basement. 

But, that's getting ahead of myself. July-December are coming atchya. Promise.

For now, Happy New Year, y'all.

:)