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Lifestyle

Think of me.

An open letter to all the ignorant ass hats who misjudge individuals who are obese.

Please think of me the next time that you are judging an obese individual. The next time that you pass off this judgement as a concern for their health. If you knew me you would know that I go to the gym 4-5 days a week. You would know that I do a great mix of cardio and lifting. If you saw me in the gym, you would see me lifting heavy. You would see me working hard, sweating, and making good use of my time. I’m sorry that you saw me on the street and misjudged me as fat, lazy and out of shape. I wish you knew how much I love working out. But most of all, I wish you knew how hard I work.

If you knew me, you would know that I don’t have a desk job, that I am on my feet most days. You would know that I am active at my job, lifting and moving heavy things. You would know that I am overly aware of how much I move throughout the day. That I am constantly checking to see how many steps I’ve gotten in for the day.

If you knew me, you would know that I make drinking water a priority every single day.  You would also know that I don’t drink a drop of soda, juice or any other sugary drink. If you knew me, you would know how important healthy food is to me. You would see me eating fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins every. single. day. If you knew me you would probably come to me for advice on eating healthy, because you would know just how much time I have put into learning about health.

If you knew me, you would know that I have such an incredibly slow metabolism, that most of the time I feel powerless. You would know that I am trying my best. But that’s the point, you don’t know me. You don’t know how hard I work, so please stop making hurtful snap judgements. Everyone has a story, and everyone is living their life the way that they see fit. Who are you to judge that? Who are you to tell them that they are living wrongly? If someone loves their curves, let them. Did you know that stress can keep weight on the body? If someone loves their body, and doesn’t stress over their weight, this could actually help them drop pounds! Self acceptance is the answer of all answers.

So please, I’m begging you, think of me the next time you want to pass judgement. Think of me the next time you want to anonymously write a cruel comment on the internet, thinking that writing such a cruel comment will be motivation for someone to lose weight. It’s not motivating, it’s defeating. Please think of how hard I work the next time you want to pretend that a fat person deserves to be fat.

The next time that you think an obese individual is lesser than you, please reverse that thinking. Stop making assumptions. Stop equating fat with disgust. Just because losing weight or being thin comes easy to you, does not mean that it comes easy to others. Just because a certain diet worked well for you, does not mean that it will work for others. And please, please stop thinking that someone who is overweight needs to diet. Their health isn’t any of your concern. Is it so horrible to imagine someone embracing fat? To love being plus sized? The idea of health and fat are not mutually exclusive.

Now take a minute to imagine a world where men, and women can look however they want to look. Where little girls don’t have to grow up thinking that they need to starve themselves to be pretty. Imagine the amount of happiness you would feel knowing that you have worth beyond the scale? Now let’s stop imagining and start doing. The next time you want to pass a snap judgement on someone, stop. Catch yourself. Instead think of something positive about the person, or about yourself. The next time you want to make an assumption about someone, please, please, think of me.

Lifestyle

Paleo Results

It’s been a month since I completed my paleo challenge. Not really a challenge (although it was challenging), more like a food cleanse. I took out a lot of foods that are known to cause allergies, weight gain, or general inflammation within the body. For 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas I took out grains, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, legumes, and dairy. On top of that I tried to incorporate foods that are known to help heal the gut, since I believe a lot of digestive problems stem from good or bad gut bacteria.

At the start of the cleanse I felt so positive about how I was going to feel afterwards. I envisioned myself having regular bowel movements, dropping a few pounds, and just overall feeling better than ever. Wellllllll that is pretty much opposite of what happened. I didn’t lose a single pound. Not one. Isn’t that crazy? How can someone eliminate all of those things and not drop a pound? Since I stopped the cleanse on Christmas, I proceeded to eat sooooo much sugar and junk (I know, that’s not healthy), but I didn’t gain a pound, and haven’t gained a pound since bringing all those foods back into my diet. Not gaining is great, but it’s just sooooo confusing.

On top of it, I ended up more constipated than I have been in a long, long time. Which shouldn’t have happened since my diet consisted largely of fruits, and vegetables. This leads me to believe that my body needs one of the nutrients that I eliminated. It took a few weeks of eating off the paleo diet to bring my body back to it’s normal baseline. And in case you are wondering what my baseline is, I have a bowel movement about 2-4 times a week, and it’s never easy (unless I’ve been out drinking). Which is not great, but wayyyyy better than when I was eating paleo.

So what’s next for me? Well, I have an appt with a Gastroenterologist at the end of February so I am hoping they have some suggestions, likely a colonoscopy. My other thoughts have been to get off my birth control… but I don’t want too! My periods were so rough (read: long, heavy, and gut wrenching painful cramps) prior to getting on birth control. Now I only have them once every two and a half months and they are much lighter. Although only having a period 5ish times a year is probably not healthy, and shows that I am really messing with my hormones. My other thought is still tied into thyroid. I have a lot of the symptoms of hypothyroid, however modern medicine tests don’t really do full paneled thyroid tests, so I would like to explore finding a thyroid doctor or an endocrinologist.  I will try to keep the blog up to date with where I am at in the journey, but for now I am going to continue to drink all the water, eat all the vegetables, and remain active. I’m also always working on self-acceptance, self-love, and body love, because I’m beyond exhausted with hating my body. I need to focus that energy into other areas of my life!

 

Lifestyle

Vegetarian

When I was 16 I was sitting in Spanish class and we had to watch a video about bullfighting. In this particular video they killed the bulls after the fights. Afterwards my teacher asked who thought killing the bull was unethical, and everyone raised their hand. Then he asked how many people were vegetarians, and no one could raise their hand. I went home that night and told my mom I was going to be a vegetarian. I had always been an animal lover, and never felt like killing animals for meat was a justified act. When I was 14 I found a PETA ad in a magazine and hung it in my locker. This is the ad:

dontgobreakingmyheartsource

For 9 and a half years I was a vegetarian. For the first 6 years I did not eat fish, but slowly my outlook started to shift, and I became a pescetarian. I made the decision to go vegetarian at 16 for ethical reasons. Health wasn’t a consideration for me at all. However after years, and years of struggling with constipation, I began to consider eating meat again. As much as I would like to say that vegetarians aren’t deficient on vitamins, I have come to learn that there are some vitamins and minerals that are just absorbed easier through meat. I also wanted to get soy out of my diet becasue for years I had been overly reliant on soy products. Oh, and I figured eating meat would make touring Europe a lot easier. So as a last ditch effort I decided to start eating meat again in the fall of 2015.

This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I know that sounds really dramatic, but for 9 years I identified as a vegetarian. It was more than a diet, it was a lifestyle. It was who I am, because even though I’m eating meat again, ethically I still find it to be so very wrong.

So did it change my health? Did it help my constipation? If you read this post, you already know the answer. I can honestly say that bringing meat back into my diet has made me feel no different. Actually I think it has had more of a negative effect than I expected. From fall of 2015 to now I have gained approximately 11 pounds. And the only variable that has changed in my life is the addition of meat. Also my skin got worse, it used to be clear and smooth, but as soon as I started eating meat it started looking rutty, and red.

Who knows if the meat itself was responsible for the weight gain. It could be because less things are off limits for me now. I do try to eat meats with low fat content but when going out to a restaurant, I will sometimes have a burger. It could also be the quality of meat. I try to eat locally farmed meat, but when eating out, that doesn’t always happen. So animals that have been injected with growth hormones, or antibiotics could definitely be playing a role in weight gain. If an animal has growth hormones injected to make it gain weight, I’m sure it could have the same effect on humans. Deep down I also think adrenaline could have something to do with it. When an animal is killed it is feeling a great deal of adrenaline, it’s pumping that stress hormone through it’s body, and that certainly can’t have a positive effect on our own systems.

All this said, I’m currently on a paleo diet, which is basically meat, meat meat. So why eat this way if I think meat is responsible for my weight gain? Well, as I explained in this post, I wanted to remove common food allergens from my diet to see if that was playing a role in my constipation. I’m going to give this a bit of time to try and work, but eventually I think I will shift back to a vegetarian diet. Or maybe an occasional vegetarian. I haven’t fully decided yet. But I will let you know as I go!

Lifestyle

A Month of Paleo

In the last 5 years I have lost 70 pounds, then slowly, over the last 3 years I have gained 40 of that back. Typing that is super depressing. And that weight gain is not for a lack of trying. My gym routine has never stopped. I am still going to the same awesome gym 5-6 times a week. I’ve also tried Weight Watchers (again), counting calories, counting macros, intuitive eating, etc. And while I was diligent with these approaches, I never found the same results. Or really any results.

I know how to lose weight, I’ve done it before. Losing weight was never easy, but it was never this impossible. However I’ve now gone into some uncharted territory, unintentional weight gain. And that may sound crazy. You might be thinking, yeah right, she is probably just eating junk food crap that she is not suppose to be eating. Nope.

Deep down I know something has shifted in my body that is hindering me from losing weight, and now even has me gaining weight. Awhile ago I posted about having severe, and chronic constipation. That has not gone away, despite trying everything known to man. If I had a dollar for every hour I’ve spent researching constipation, I’d have enough money to buy my own tropical island. Seriously.

Because of the constipation, and weight gain, I know that I have something internally that is not working properly. Whether it’s hormones, digestive issues, food allergies, or whatever else I have yet to come upon. I have been to a handful of doctors over the last 3 years, and most of them do not take me seriously. Why is it when you go into the doctor and say I am not pooping, and I am gaining weight, it’s not taken seriously? If I went into my doctor and said I have uncontrollable diarrhea and I’m unintentionally losing weight every month, that would be taken seriously.

In my most recent trip to the doctor she decided it was time to refer me to a Gastroenterologist to better diagnose me. My doctor said that likely they will start by putting me on an elimination diet to see if that helps any. My guess is that I will end up needing a colonoscopy.

In an effort to be proactive I decided to put myself on an elimination diet before my appt, just to help move things along. For the month of December (well, until Christmas) I have decided to follow a paleo diet, but really I am focusing on healing my gut. I’ve not been diagnosed with leaky gut, but it sure can’t hurt to be kind to my gut, can it? So the approach that I am taking is to remove foods that have a high rate of irritating people’s systems. This includes dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Sounds fun, right?chia-puddingThis is paleo approved chia seed pudding. Chia seeds  mixed with pumpkin and coconut milk. Topped with banana and cashews. Okay, so paleo isn’t all bad. I just gotta be creative, and search all the paleo hashtags on instagram!

In addition to excluding things from my diet, I am adding in foods that help to heal the gut. These include bone broths, coconut products, and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.

I will be posting a few of my meals on instagram, just to show what I’m eating, and to show that paleo is easier than you think. I am not a chef, and I hate spending hours in the kitchen. I hate recipes with too many ingredients, so in order to do this for a month, I’ve been needing to keep everything simple!

Lifestyle

Oh, America

Yesterday was a really hard day. I cried more than I ever thought I could about politics. Although electing the new president is far more than politics for me. It’s less about the man representing our country, and more about what is represented by so many people voting for him. Whether they voted for him because they liked him personally, or because they voted for the platform, I am just so disappointed in the American people.

What I thought I loved about this country was the ability to welcome people from all walks of life. But yesterday that love was smashed. Tightening borders and building a wall isn’t welcoming. Deporting children’s parents is volatile. I choose to live in a city that embraces diversity. In fact, my city just elected the first Somali American lawmaker, oh, and she is a female!

I interact with people of different skin colors every single day, and I wouldn’t and couldn’t have it any other way. I refuse to judge someone by their skin color, religion, gender, sexuality, background, or any other thing that makes them different from me.  And this past Tuesday, America elected a man that does just that. When I look at the polling maps, the majority of the places that voted for Donald are places with large white populations. How can they hate people with differences so much when they don’t even interact with them? It’s just obscene and disheartening.

Now more than ever it’s very sad to be a woman. Not just because an extremely qualified candidate wasn’t elected to be the first female leader, but more so because the man that was elected thinks of women as lesser than he. Donald has supporters who would like to repeal the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Did I go to sleep and wake up in 1919? I’m just so confused.

So to recap who America just elected as President, I have compiled some clips of things he has said, and done. Warning: this was hard enough for me to research, and write, so if you still don’t want to see Donald’s face, then I wouldn’t click on the links.

Half of America voted for a man who has no experience in politics. Would you hire a football player to perform open heart surgery? Probably not. You also probably wouldn’t hire a reality television star like Kim Kardashian to lead the military. Oh wait, yes, apparently, you would.

Half of America voted for a man who thinks grabbing women by the pussy without permission is an acceptable practice just becasue he is famous. This perpetuates rape culture on such an unacceptable level. He has proven on many occasions that he only views woman as objects, and worthy of respect only if they are a 10 on the beauty scale. I don’t have children yet, but I just wouldn’t know how to explain this to them.

Half of America voted for a man who thinks it’s okay to mock and make fun of disabled people.

Half of America voted for a man who was endorsed by the Klu Klux Klan. Let that sink in for a minute. The fact that the KKK is still an operating organization is repugnant.

Half of America voted for a man who believes the large majority of Mexican Americans are bad men hombres, rapists, bringing crime and drugs. Mexicans aren’t the ones I’m scared of being raped by; rich, powerful white men who grab women by the pussy and can still be world leaders pose a bigger threat to me. Oh wait, actually he probably wouldn’t touch me because I am not attractive enough.

Half of America voted for a man who believed John McCain, a war hero, was weak for being captured. I am extremely liberal, and even I respect John McCain more than Donald does. Should he really be running our military? Will he turn his back on POWs?

Half of America voted for a man who chose a running mate who believes the gay population should receive shock therapy.

Half of America voted for a man who wakes up in the middle of the night to cyber bully a Miss Universe contestant, oh, but don’t worry, his wife has pledged to stop cyber bullying…..

Half of America voted for a man who wants to defund a clinic that works so hard for women (and men). Planned Parenthood is near and dear to my heart, not because I have had an abortion (although I shouldn’t have to clarify that), but because they provided me with my yearly exams when I was too broke to go anywhere else. I don’t know what I would have done without this organization, and I plan to work hard to keep this place in business.

I could go on, and on but I’ve read and watched enough articles for today. I cannot listen to him any longer. I am really not sure how I am going to handle the next 4 years, but I plan on doing so with optimism, kindness, and empathy. I am not rooting for him to fail, after all, I do live here. I very much hope he succeeds and has a successful presidency. I just hope he does so without harming the many minority groups that I fear he will tear apart.

I cannot call him my president, because to me, he never will be. I’m sorry if that is unamerican, but everything he stands for is unamerican to me. I’m not pouting because my candidate didn’t win, I’ve not agreed with everything all of the past presidents have done, but I still stand by them. Bill Clinton was my president. George Bush was my president. Barack Obama was my president (can’t he just stay forever). But Donald Trump is not my president.

**I hope this doesn’t spark mean, or rude comments. I wrote this because I needed to. Writing is my therapy, and to move on with life, I needed to write this down. I have not used insults throughout this entire post, I have not called him crooked, or orange. I have used his name, and linked actual videos of him. I have not slung insults at his supporters, so please be kind when reading. If you unfollow, that’s okay.

Lifestyle

Blogging is Hard

I haven’t blogged in quite some time. Which is sadly very common for me over the last few years. Life gets in the way, and I hate being on my computer once I am at home. Also, I get frustrated with technology. Why don’t my comments link to my email? Why can’t I figure out my wordpress ID so that I can comment on other blogs? It’s a big ole struggle, and I just gave up for awhile. But at the end of the day, this blog has always been for me, and maybe my mom and a few friends that read. So what does life look like for me right now ?

My existence can currently be summed up with the following words: stress, excitement, anxiety, messy, drunk. Let’s be real, my life can always be summed up like that. For the last few months I have been experiencing a great deal of stress with my job. I work for a college, school started which meant 6ish weeks of preparation, and customer service hell. In addition, the light of my work life, and real life (read: coworker) went out on maternity leave. The stress resulted in a complete and utter breakdown on my part. I sobbed at my desk, in front of my boss. And I could.not.stop.crying.

You would think that the next part of my story would be a natural progression, but it’s not. I recently took a new job. Not because I don’t like my current position, I actually like my current job, but because it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I was not expecting to get this position. I have a history of job rejection, so despite telling myself that ‘I am enough’, I just did not expect this outcome. I am not coping well with the idea of change, and it’s all happening so quickly, I need a little more time to adjust. I expected to be in my current position a little longer. I don’t want to start over, again. What if the new job is not at all what I need it to be. Fun fact: I’ve had some not so great jobs (read: out-fucking-rageous jobs), that I thought were going to be great jobs, so to say that I am a little worried is the understatement of the year.

So how am I coping with all of this? Drinking. I am drinking. Not everyday, but this past Saturday I went to an Oktoberfest and it was great to think about something other than this life altering decision.

Other than being an over analyzing, anxious, stressed mess with my emotions, I am very excited. I feel so fortunate for the opportunity, and I really think it’s going to be a good fit for me. So that’s where I am at with life. Still unsure, still working for a paycheck, and still a mess. And still trying to love every second of this stupid, crazy, beautiful, terrible life of mine.

Thanks to every single friend, stranger, and co worker who has listened to my rants lately. I really appreciate the support, and well wishes!

Lifestyle

Jobs I Would Be Great At

I am always daydreaming of my perfect career. I have no idea what it is, but there are a lot of things I’ve considered doing in my lifetime. Some of these aspirations are serious, some are simple dreams. So I figured I’d go through and list some of the many jobs I feel I would be great at!

1) Ice Cream Taste Tester- growing up I spent 4 summers working at the local ice cream shop, Sweet Scoops. It was pretty much a dream come true, well despite the fact that I wish I would have got some serving experience. I made very little in tips, and pretty much hated all customers. But I got to eat all the ice cream I wanted, so really what more could you ask for?

2) Ice Cream Shop Owner-I would love owning my own ice cream parlor, getting to hire high school minions to work under me, and call me Mr. Manager. I’d also weigh about 400 pounds. But whatever, I’d be fat, happy, and have minions.

3) Baseball Wife- Baseball is by far the best of all the professional sports. I’d marry a baseball player tomorrow, I’d just have to lose about 100 pounds, get some plastic surgery, and figure out a way to meet a guy in the mlb. A girl can dream right? Most people are not familiar with the reality show Baseball Wives, but someday I will resurrect this show, and be the main bitch, stirring up all the drama.

baseballmn
Clearly meant to be a baseball wife….

4) Ball Mudder– this goes along with the baseball theme. In order to make baseballs less slick for the pitchers to handle, they rub mud on the balls before each game. I mean really, I know I’d be good at handling balls.

5) Jello Shot Maker- I am pretty great at making jello shots. And I am always looking for a reason to make jello shots! This weekend I am going camping/tubing (again), and of course I am making the shots!

jelloAnd if you think this list is fabricated, you’re wrong. I’ve actually considered doing every single thing on this list. Jello shot maker is probably most realistic, if only I could figure out a way for my friends to pay me per shot!

Lifestyle

(Almost) Everyone Poops

I haven’t felt like myself in a very long time. This isn’t to say that I feel bad, or unhappy or anything like that. I just don’t feel like myself. And with that, I haven’t felt like blogging. I like to think of myself as healthy, even though sometimes my appearance might not represent society’s picture of health. But overall I live my life in a healthy manner. I eat nutrient dense foods, I work out 4-5 times a week, and I chug water like nobody’s business. Yet I feel there is something wrong with my body.

waterbottle
This is the water bottle I use at work.

I am going to preface this by saying that I know losing weight is realllllly fucking hard, I am not trying to whine about being fat. But in the last year and a half I have slowly starting gaining weight back. And I have been fighting like hell to stay below 200 pounds. I attributed a lot of this to stress, and high cortisol levels. I went through two very stressful jobs last year, one even caused me to throw up from experiencing too much anxiety. However I was completely discounting one major component, and that’s constipation.

I have been constipated most of my life, but I think I was too embarrassed to talk about it so I never actually knew how severe it was. Well I am no longer embarrassed, in fact I think it’s an issue that often gets overlooked. Many American’s experience constipation as a result of diet, which is exactly where I started when trying to fix the problem. For the last 3ish years I have tried every single remedy for constipation. Every.Single.One. Here is a lovely little list, just in case you don’t believe me:

  • Probiotic supplement
  • Upping my intake of healthy fats
  • Giving up soy
  • Magnesium
  • Prunes/Dates
  • Stool softners
  • Exercise (duh)
  • Starting the day with lemon water
  • Drinking apple cider vinegar
  • Coffee
  • Aloe water
  • Trying to go when I feel the urge
  • Trying to poop at the same time everyday
  • Chugging water in the morning
  • Dandelion tea
  • Flaxseeds
  • Consuming healthy gut foods/bacteria
  • Psyllium husk
  • Eating popcorn
  • Not consuming a lot of cheese

And the obvious:

  • I don’t consume a lot of processed foods/sugar, so that really wasn’t something I had to change.
  • Fiber, fiber, fiber. High fiber diet, then lowering fiber but not below 25 grams. Fiber from fruits, and vegetables. Fiber from grains, nuts, and beans. Fiber from supplements. Fiber. I eat a fiber filled diet. I meticulously count my fiber every single day. Fiber is not the problem.
  • Drinking more water than humanly possible.

fruit

I have tried it all. I am sure I am even forgetting things. I have gone to several doctors for this. And every single time I have heard the same thing: you just have to drink more water, and eat fiber. If I have to hear that advice one more time, I might pull out all of my hair. I am not an idiot. I am health conscious. I am a vegetarian, my diet consists greatly of fruits and vegetables.

So finally someone told me that I am probably experiencing trouble with my thyroid. Which made total sense to me. When researching (googling) hypothyroidism, I felt I could check off every symptom on the list. Weight gain, tiredness, constipation, sensitive to cold. So I finally went in, and right away my doctor said “it sounds like a thyroid problem.” I was so relieved. I have felt like I have had internal problems for years, and years. I felt like this could finally answer all my questions.

I got my blood drawn, annnnddddd of course my thyroid is fine. Or by medical definition it’s fine. As long as the thyroid is between a 0.3-5.0, levels are considered fine. But I have read (googled) that anything above a 1.9 is out of whack, and mine is a 2.2. Still, that’s not thaaatt far off. So then what the heck is wrong with me? In my opinion, chronic constipation is a sign that something is wrong. The body is not doing what it’s suppose to. If I wasn’t peeing, that would be a problem. So I don’t know why I am not being taken seriously.

And by experiencing constipation, statistically it’s causing me to gain up to 20 extra pounds a year. Not to mention that my body is probably filled with toxins because I have stool just hanging out in my body, not going anywhere. My doctor’s only other idea was that I have an extended colon, which means my colon is longer than it should be, and there is no cure for this. Laxatives. But I have been avoiding taking laxatives because I believe they can be so harsh on the body. Plus I was hoping to find the solution through food.

Wellll I am giving in. I am buying laxatives. Or rather a natural laxative supplement (something stronger than magnesium). I am sick of feeling like this. I am sick of feeling full and bloated. This morning I almost threw up because I felt so blocked up. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I go about 3 times a week. Some people go 3 times a day. No please, doctor, tell me again that I just need fiber and water.

So now that I have written the most unflattering post on the internet, I am going to go bust open my bottle of senna that I got from Whole Foods last night and hope that I will have a bowel movement by Sunday. But if I drink Saturday, which is very likely, I will for sure be able to poop by Sunday. The only cure to constipation that I have found is binge drinking, so really I think this means that I should be drinking everyday. Never mind the fact that the only reason drinking causes bowel movements is because alcohol is like poison to the body, and it’s trying to escape the system in any way possible.

Also, I should probably hide this post from any future boyfriend. After reading this, there are no secrets left. Plus talking about poop is oh, so sexy! Come and get me boys!

Lifestyle

There Are Two Kinds of People

There are two kinds of people in this world:

Those who let you merge in front of them when you’re entering the freeway, or those who are grumpy assholes who apparently never need the good karma of a car letting them in.

Those who believe in using a GPS to quickly get to an unknown destination, or those who believe in winging it, and spending a frustrating amount of time lost or backtracking. I’m looking at you, Mother.

Those who send out individual snap chats to recipients, and separate my stories, or those who make you see their snap 2 times. Sorry if this reference is lost on you non-snap chatters.

Those who believe the government is out to get us, control us, or lie to us, and those who don’t give an eff if the government is out to get us. What are you going to do even if they are lying to us? #yolo

Those who use a blinker to change lanes, and those who think getting into an accident is a fun past time.

Those who like showering in the morning, and those who prefer that few extra minutes of sleep.

Those who find my irrational, over thinking behavior charming, and those who need to spend more time around me to understand…. I’m an acquired taste! 😉

Those who don’t look at how much is taken out for taxes each pay check, and those who make dream vacations with the money they wish they could have back each month.

So tell me, tell me what kinds of people do you encounter in this world!

Lifestyle

Finding Success

Last weekend I went to my sister’s high school graduation. I would be lying if I told you it was a fun filled event. I don’t think anyone, even the graduates themselves would say it was enjoyable. The ceremony took place in a crowded gym, with screaming kids, and student/teachers giving mediocre speeches about how to best navigate through life now that high school has ended. Cue the “we are the future – this is not an end but a beginning – we did it!” speeches.

kenzEven with all the cliches, is it bad that I found the students to be more inspiring than the teacher? The teacher made a speech about starting over, making the choice right now about the person you want to be as you move forward. She asked them all to decide how they wanted to portray themselves for future encounters. They better figure out the legacy they wanted to have on the world…. Talk about putting unneeded stress and pressure onto 18 year old kids.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t inspire our youth, get them to think about their future plans. But I think it’s completely asinine that we expect 18 year old graduates to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. I mean the long standing joke between my parents is that they still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.

I was a mess at 18, even more so at 22 when I graduated college, and  I am still mess at 25. I’ve embraced it. I wish I could tell every single high school graduate to go easy on themselves. Shoot, I wish I could tell every single person struggling to find their career the same thing. Those young people who find their calling in life are the lucky ones. But this is not to say that those of us who work for a paycheck are unlucky. This doesn’t mean we haven’t left a legacy, or made the world better. This doesn’t mean we lack passion, ambition, or creativity. It just means we haven’t found the fire yet.

I just finished rereading This Is How by Augusten Burroughs. It is a phenomenoal book, I highly recommend it. There is a chapter when he talks about chasing dreams, and he talks about Grandma Moses. Grandma Moses didn’t start her painting career until she was in her late 70s, eventually having her art exhibitions break attendance records.

Success can come at any age, and is defined however you want. Your career can happen at any time, and can change at any time. For so long I felt lost and vulnerable because I didn’t have a career. I’m still lost, I’m still working for a paycheck, and I still feel a mess. But that’s okay, life is more fun when you’re not put together. Plus most of the things in life that I am good at are outside of the work world. I mean, I am pretty good at throwing back shots without a chaser. I am also great at bitching about the weather, overdressing for a situation, and making jello shots. If only my high school guidance counselor could see me now.

And this would be the part where I could post inspirational quotes about learning to dance in the storm, taking the road least traveled, or following your dreams. However that is not the kind of blog I write, soooooo instead you get a picture of me drinking at a baseball game, which is something I’m also pretty good at. And also something I happen to be doing this Saturday afternoon.

baseball