Revisiting My New Years Resolution

New Year ResolutionDoes anyone ever heard about New Years Resolutions in the middle of summer?  Of course not.  Most people have given up on them already, and the few who succeeded are probably already done and moving on to the next thing.  I decided to look back on my resolution and see where I’m at.  Here it is…

My resolution this year is not to have a specific resolution.  I want to continue on my path.  It’s successful, and I want to lose the weight I gained during my relationship.  I want to be fit and healthy, and strong.  I want to be happy with myself.

Have I succeeded?  I would say not yet, but I’m certainly on my way.

I didn’t give myself a specific weight loss goal, so I’m pretty happy to say that I’ve made it!  I have lost weight.  I still have some to go, but I’m certainly feeling happy about the way that I look.  Am I strong?  I’m stronger than I was, but I don’t think I’m where I imagined myself as physically strong.  My legs are getting super strong, but my upper body doesn’t get as much work.  Am I healthy?  Heck yes.  I feel amazing with all the clean eating I’ve been doing.  I mean seriously amazing.  Fit, Healthy, Strong and Happy.  Those were my goals.

I don’t think I’ve ever managed a resolution before 🙂 Continue reading

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A new perspective

stages-of-griefIt’s been seven months.  Seven full months since I broke up with my boyfriend of seven years.  In ways it doesn’t seem that long, and in other ways it seems like so much longer.  It’s funny how you think you’re over it a few weeks after it happens, but you realize much later that you were pushing it back, not dealing with it.  When I think back to how I was those first few months, a few things strike me.

I never cried.

The day we broke up, I went to stay with a friend.  I drove and met her where she was visiting another friend, and I felt… relieved.

For weeks I was relieved, but I also felt bad.  I felt constantly guilty for breaking up with him.  I felt like he was acting like a child, and I truly didn’t want him to hate me.  But I was having a good time on my own, working out, eating right, and generally feeling great.

Then came the anger.  He pulled a real dick move while we were trying to move out of our shared apartment, and he was it became very clear that he had taken the view of ‘I had seriously wronged him’ and he was the wounded party.  I mean come on.  Seriously?  Lame.  We were together for seven years and I honestly believed that we could be grown ups about it.  No one cheated.  No one got ‘dumped’.  Our relationship had been ending for some time, and we both knew it.  I may have finally called it, but it was a mutual decision.  So  how am I the bad guy?

But it helped me move on.  After some anger, I decided that if he was only going to think about him, then I was only going to think about me.  I focused on my life, and stopped trying to have anything to do with him.

But there is one thing that comes up once in a while.  I miss him.

Now let me be clear.  I don’t regret ending our relationship.  I am soooo much happier than I’ve been in years.  I don’t want to hook up and have sex, or complicate things.  But for seven years, he was my best friend.  I told him everything.  I miss that part of him.  I miss talking to him.  I miss having someone who knows me that well.  I miss hearing about his day.  I miss helping him fix his bike, or going out for breakfast on the weekend.  I miss the friend stuff.

And that’s still what I hope for.  I understand that he decided to act a certain way after the split up, but I hoped and still hope that he’ll talk to me.  I truly don’t understand how you can be with someone for seven years, and just walk away.  When we broke up, it was a conversation.  It was over.  We knew it was over.  There was no drama.  If he felt a different way, he certainly never said it.  I feel it’s not fair, but I’m not going to push it.  I respect his right to act in any way he needs too.  I respect his right to move on in the way that works best for him.  And maybe this is the difference between girls and guys.  I still worry about him, but he’s made it clear that he only worries about himself.

It makes me sad now.  I went from relief and guilt, to anger, to uncaring and now to sadness about the loss.  Did I handle things well?  I have no idea.  But I have never once felt regret.  I made the right choice.  My life now confirms that.  I only wish he understood that I was truly doing the only thing I could do, and it wasn’t about hurting him.  It was ensuring that we would both have the best chance for happy futures.

Screw the ‘fad’

tightfitting_LargeI wear jeans every day.  I mean every day.  I work at a company that is very specifically ‘business casual’ and our boss insists that we keep it that way.  I wear nice blouses and make sure my hair is done, but it is a jeans kind of office.

For years I’ve bought the same kind of jeans.  Hip hugging skinny jeans.  And yes, I buy jeans that fit, not jeans that are too small and give my crazy muffin top.  But I do have one thing that makes jeans a little annoying.  That’s a nice, round and substantial behind.  Yes, I have a butt.  Normally I like it.  I consider it an asset.  But in jeans, they low rise that is the style now-a days always leave be pulling them up.  I love how they look, but sometimes I simply  need to bend or crouch, and that’s just not pretty.

So I caved and bought higher waist jeans.

Holy hell.  I can’t believe I’ve been suffering all these years!!

It made me think about style and how we try and fit ourselves into things that don’t work with our body types because it is the latest fashion.  Now I love fashion.  I love dressing up.  I love finding new things.  But I will never buy low ride jeans every again.

I’ve always prided myself in fitting to my form.  I believe in dressing for your type.  A pair of jeans that are the right size with a shirt that doesn’t hug the wrong place can look fantastic!  Even if it’s not the latest fashion.

Shopping with a girlfriend recently, we talked about what does and doesn’t work on our shapes.  She has no ass and thin legs.  Her new job at Lulu lemon is going to put her in yoga pants often, and she’s a little stress about it.  Her behind simply doesn’t look good in tight pants.  She needs to do some serious squats before she’d comfortable with it.  So we went to Lulu lemon and tried on pants.  They had a pair that were looser, cropped, and looked fantastic with her thin legs while hiding her not so voluptuous backside.  They’re not the ‘popular’ pants there, but on her they look amazing.

So why have I been wearing low ride jeans so long??  Why didn’t I even try another pair??  I was conditioned to think that those were the ones I needed to get.  An really, the only reason I decided to try another style is because they were on sale and money was tight!  I’m glad it was, because now I can bend, crouch, crawl, jump, ride my bike… and anything else I want without getting the dreaded crack show!!

At lunch today, I took a look around me.  At the table a short distance away was a group of girlfriends.  They could have been sisters maybe, but the same things apply.  All three of them would be considered ‘larger’ then average.  One had a beautiful thick main of black hair, glossy and perfectly straight.  She was wearing a adorable polka dot red dress that went to just above her knee, and black heals.  In a word, she looked amazing!  Her friends…not so much

Her friend was the same size and about the same body shape.  Maybe a little taller.  She was wearing too tight jeans, an over-sized hoody and had her hair pulled back in a too tight bun.

Now I don’t want to judge someone for their style.  I’m simply now that kind of person.  Everyone has the right to look the way they want, and the only important thing is that you look in the mirror and like yourself.  If she got dressed and felt good about herself, then great.  But in contrast to her friend, she looked… uncomfortable.

I think of myself, putting myself in jeans that were not made for my body type for so many years.  Yes they annoyed me, but it didn’t occur to me to try a different style right away.  I just sort of assumed that’s how jeans fit me.  My body shape didn’t like them, and so I was always a little uncomfortable.  I would change before doing anything active because jeans just didn’t work.  But jeans are made to be worn.  They’re made to get dirty and to work in.  Clothes are meant to make you look great.  If only we could all accept our body shop as it is, and dress it accordingly.  I’m short with a long waist and larger behind.  My friend has a shorter waist and not so much behind her.  We don’t share clothes often.

Sometimes a Step Back is Good

I haven’t written a post in awhile, mostly because I find my time suddenly taken up by a huge pressure at work that seems to press down on my all hours of the night and day.  I know I mentioned early that I love my job, and that is most definitely still true.  But something changed recently, and I find myself wondering at my chosen path.

The first thing that happened was I had a wonderful walk and then cheesecake at a cafe with my best friend.  She and I talk, gossiped and laughed our way through the afternoon.  Then she mentioned a new job that she’s applying for, and how much it would pay.

Now I have to say that I love my her with all my heart, and I want nothing but success for her.  We’ve been friends for ten years.  When we met, we were both still in school.  She dropped out to work full time, and I continued on, struggled, and almost killed myself trying to do full time university with a full time job while living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.  I struggled and fought, and came out the other end with my Degree.  She worked full time, steadily got promoted, and lived at home where she doesn’t pay rent.  To her credit, she did take over a few of the bills to help her family out, and she has some student loan debt from her brief year in college.

And now, ten years later, she’s making waaaay more money than I am.

I know this sounds bitter, and I hate that I feel this way sometimes.  But I’m jealous.  Everything I struggled for seems, at this point in time, like it wasn’t worth it.  I keep telling myself that the difference will be in the future.  In five years we’ll be singing a much different story.  And I have to say again how much I want success for her.  I do not wish her badly in any way.  I don’t want her to make less so I feel better about myself, I want to re-evaluate my life and see where I went wrong.

Now here’s the second thing that happened recently to make me question my current position.  There was this project that we did.  It took a week where I pulled several almost all night-ers, barely slept, was too stressed too eat, and finally we got it done.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve done in years.  And it feels like it broke me.

Shouldn’t I feel some sort of accomplishment?  Shouldn’t I feel strong and powerful that I pulled off the impossible?  The whole thing went over really well, the project was a success, and I showed just how hard I’m willing to work to get things done.  But I don’t.  I feel… tired.  My self doubt has surged forward from where I’d beaten it down months ago.  Since my breakup, I’ve slowly been feeling better and better about myself.  I’ve come so far.  And with a big crash, I slammed right back down.  My goal was to never feel this way again.  I didn’t want to let myself get this low.  And I don’t feel like I didn’t anything deserving it.  My recent success should leave me elated, not broken.

So what went wrong?

The truth is, I don’t know.  But I’ve started to look at my life outside of work a little more.  The one thing I didn’t have during that stressful week, was free time.  I went from working some major hours, to a week preparing for a big event in which I had to stand up in front of hundreds of people and give a lecture, and now I’ve spent the last few weeks working way to much with no weekend days off and zero free time.  Is that what I need to work on?  Is free time what makes us happy?  I haven’t done anything for me in weeks.

This past Sunday I did have a single day off.  I woke up early, went for a super long bike ride, had a coffee by the beach while reading a paper, and then wandered around taking pictures of my neighborhood.  It was nice.  But I was still stressed about Monday.  I seemed to be stressed every day going to work.  My mornings had become calm and sort of easy, and now I can’t sit still to sip my tea.  I just have to go and get to work early, in case something comes up.

This blog is sort of a musing.  I don’t know the answers to any of this.  For six months I’ve been focused on recovering from a seven year relationship that left me uncertain and riddled with self doubt.  I’ve been so focused on seeing past that, that I have no idea what actually happens in real life anymore.

But I’m determined to try.  From this moment on, my free time needs to be spent doing the things I love.  The trouble is, I have no idea what I love.  So it’s going to be a continuous adventure to try new things and figure out what I love again.

Updates on Life

updateIts been awhile since I posted anything, but rest assured it was not due to laziness.  It’s more an overwhelming amount of things happening.

Here’s the biggest update.  I have my own apartment!!

That’s right, I’ve finally moved on from Dee.  I feel bad sometimes for how frustrated I got with her at the end, but living on my own has taught me that having roommates is hard work for everyone.  You learn things about people when you live with them that you don’t always want to know.  I learned that Dee always spouted words of ‘we’re all family’ but really she wanted me to understand that it was her house and she was doing me a big favor.  You thought I forgot that?

I moved in May 3rd to my new places, got internet hooked up, and spent a solid few weeks getting the place exactly as I want it.  I bought a new chair, donated some random things to the salvation army, re-framed all my pictures, and generally made the place mine.  In a word, it’s me.

There’s something huge to be said about having a space that is just yours.  When I first moved in, I was a little worried about being alone.  I haven’t lived alone for over five years, and it’s a little nerve wracking.  But the first night I puttered and unpacked until I was so tired I collapsed.  The second night Kim came over and we walked around my new neighborhood.  Then Monday I rode my bike to work (only 15 minutes), and smiled the entire way there.  I realized that living on my own is not lonely.  I have friends, and a new neighborhood with tons of things to do, and an apartment I love.  Loneliness is something that can weigh heavily on you if you let it.  I feel that if you’re at home, and you feel lonely, then you get on the phone and you talk to your friends, or you join a book club, or… anything.  I realized that if I’m afraid of something, I will make sure to conquer it.  The things that worried me about living alone were all things that I could do something about.

In the last two and a half weeks, I’ve seen friends, I’ve explored, I’ve experienced things I never thought I would… in short, I started a new lifestyle that I’m completely enjoying.  It’s all about choices.  I choose not to let me fear win.  I choose to face it head on, and make sure that my life living on my own is a good experience in my life.

A little about my apartment.  I am a single girl living on my own who doesn’t need too much space.  That said, the place I found is wicked awesome.  Technically it’s called a junior bachelor, which basically means it’s a small one bedroom with no door.  The living room and kitchen is open to one another with an island in the middle, while there’s a little alcove for my bed to go with a closet and space for a dresser and other bedroom things.  I have enough room for a desk area, and a balcony my mom helped me fill with a mini garden.  The bathroom is teeny tiny, but totally functional.  The shower head is great, and the water stays consistently hot.  I love it.

It’s an old building, and sometimes I laugh at it when I leave my apartment.  My space has new floors, and is super clean.  The building itself is…older, and a little dated.  The hallways need a pain job, and some of the trim should be replaced.  It could use a little update.  It’s like the building and my apartment are totally separate.  But that doesn’t matter, because my space is awesome.  I don’t mind walking through a kinda ‘ethnic’ smelling hallway to get to my space.  I say ‘ethnic’ because it smells like spices and curry.  I think the problem is that there are no windows in the hallways, so there’s no way for it to escape.  It hangs around when people are cooking.

But the best part about my new places is the area.  Restaurants, old vintage stories, kitschy little corner stores and lots of parks around.  There’s so much to do and explore.  I love everything about it.

This is my new life, and I feel like I’m finally arriving.  I’m finally starting fresh and I feel amazing about it.  And being alone?  It’s really not so scary after all.

The truth

I’m going to say something very non-feminist.  This doesn’t mean I want women to revert back to not having a single say in the world, but it’s the truth.  I like being hit on.  When I’m out with friends, and a guy buys me a drink, I blush and feel like a million bucks.  I like when a guys is attracted to me and wants to take me home for the night.

Now I’m  no slut.  I’m not going home with someone just because he looks my way.  But there is a certain amount of pleasure that is gotten from being hit on.

Why do we work so hard to ‘look hot’?  Is it because we like to look in the mirror and feel beautiful?  Yes.  But there’s always an amount of having other people look at us and think we’re beautiful that no one wants to admit they like.  Why?  Because the world is trying to teach us that the only person that matters is ourselves.  In reality, we’ve been raised social animals.  We simply spend most of our time around other people.  Those other people work with us, watch the game with us and go on adventures with us.  We build relationships every day, and those relationships are based on so many different things.

I was trying to tell my roommate why I didn’t believe her when she told me ‘looks don’t matter’ to her.  I know she wants to believe it, but it’s ignorant to truly believe that.  Attraction matters when building a relationship.  If we’re going to really form an attachment to someone, it’s probably because of a whole variety of different things.  Attraction to form is one of those many things.  It’s not the biggest or most important, but it’s still in the mix.  The problems come when we only look at someone physically.  You can’t build a relationship with someone you think is an dull lifeless idiot, but hey, they’re hot.  That sort of relationship will never last.  But if you’re honest with your chosen partner, their mind is not the only thing you like about them.

Balance is something we hear about for health.  A balanced diet.  I believe that balance is just as important in a relationship.  A balance of liking someone for their personality and their physical appearance.  To be attracted to them in every way.  Attraction is so important.

So when a guy hits on me in a bar, or whistle at me on the street, there is that part of me that is instantly excited.  It’s not the long lasting relationship part that needs a variety of different things, it’s the physical attraction part.  I like to know I’m physically attractive.  God knows I work hard enough.  It’s a spurt of motivation to tell me that every run I do, every squat and every push through a sweaty workout is working.  Not just for me when I look in the mirror, but for how I hope to appear to other people.

It’s not vain to care what other people think.  Just remind yourself that their approval isn’t the be all and end all.  When you look in the mirror and see yourself, I hope you smile and think ‘damn I’m hot!’.  But don’t feel like you’re shallow if you like when someone hits on you.  We all like it, we just think we should deny it.  If you love yourself, and you feel confident, than attracting other people is going to come naturally.

So there it is, my secret that we’re not supposed to talk about.  I like when guys look at me and think ‘I want to have sex with that girl’.  It makes me feel hot.  Judge me if you want, I’m still going to smile every time it happens.

Does the Idea of Forever Totally Freak You Out

MonogamyWhen I was a teenager, I used to think about my ‘future spouse’ in an odd way.  This is going to make some of you think I’m totally off my rocker.  For some reason, I always pictured loving them unconditionally, but ultimately losing them to some kind of illness or sudden accident.  Weird, right?  I mean who dreams of having their heart ripped out of their chest.

In my last relationship, when things started going bad, I started dreaming of my life when we broke up.  I didn’t have the courage to actually break up with him, but I started thinking about my ‘single life’ like this magical thing that I was eventually going to get, like winning the lottery.

Am I a one foot out the door kind of person?

The answer to the question ‘does the idea of forever totally freak you out’ is yes.  Honestly, yes.  The problem is that I don’t believe we ever stop growing or changing, and I’m not sure people can really ever grow together in exactly the same ways.  I believe in love, and I believe that I am capable of loving someone, but I’m not really sure if ten+ years is possible if we really think about it.

There’s always the argument of ‘when you meet the right person’.  It’s the same argument I get when I tell people I don’t want to gave kids.  ‘When it’s yours’ or ‘when you hit 30’.  It’s not that I believe it won’t happen, I just can’t see, in my current life view, it ever happening.  I’m a ‘you never know’ kind of person.  But I am freak out by the idea of spending the rest of my life with a single person.

Early on in my last relationship, we had a weekend breakup that ultimately should have ended the relationship.  Of course I see that now, but I was in love, so went out of my way to make it work.  The argument was that ‘experience’ was so important  that you couldn’t be truly happy without it.  Meaning, how could you choose to be with one person when you didn’t know all your options?  It was him who said it, and me that was like ‘what the fuck does that mean?!’.  But was he right?

Of course he turned around and changed his mind the moment I wasn’t cool with it.  But maybe my overreaction to that was because I knew that I felt the same way?

One of my friends from high school would argue immediately with me.  She met her husband when she was sixteen, they got married in their early twenties, have two beautiful children, and could never imagine being happier.  And I’m happy for them.  I feel like in my generation, that is rare.  But are they the exception?

With the belief that we’re all worth something, which we are, we’ve stopped putting up with being not completely happy in relationships.  It’s easier to say ‘I’m out’ and just walk away.  It’s socially acceptable and everyone has baggage now.  I consider it a good thing that we all feel the right to happiness.  But are we missing out on the great things in life because we always believe we could be happier?  There could always be something better?  Instead of working through a relationship when things go bad, we just instantly give up.  But that fear of wasting time on someone you’re ultimately going to break up with makes running much more appealing than staying.

Unfortunately I have no idea if it’s better to have the experience before you settle down or not.  So far, I’ve only had the one serious relationship.  I met him when I was 21, and we were together for almost 7 years.  Before him, I had a few boyfriends in high school that really didn’t mean much now that I think about them, and a few sort of random dates/hookups in my first year college.  So what do I now about relationships?  Nothing.

If you know more, let me know.  I’ve love to hear about which side of this argument you fall on.