Category Archives: Uncategorized

Go Your Own Way

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I remember reading about this “challenge” a couple months ago. You take one photo every hour and post it to your stream (I used Instagram and Twitter). I thought it would be neat to look back at how my day unfolded for a regular Wednesday workday. Since WordPress is being an ass, you’ll have to visit my sights to see where I was all day. It’s riveting stuff, I tell ya. 

Sigh. 

It’s been a long couple of days. I’ll be honest and say that the gray cloud from the weekend is still hanging on. My nightmares have all been wedding dress related. Last night, I got ketchup on it. Like, Carrie style. And I HATE ketchup. The night before, I dreamed that I was stuck in an elevator and my dress kept getting cut up by the doors. I’m pretty sure that’s a metaphor. 

As I told my therapist last night, I am more of frustrated at myself. It would be one thing if I wasn’t doing anything to lose weight. If that was the situation, I would be more depressed. With this, I am just red hot mad. I am doing the right things and am seeing zero or negative responses. How can someone work out and eat relatively well for three months and end up gaining a pound? 

Frustration station. 

Out of that anger and frustration, I decided to join this dietbet. Basically, you put money in the pot that you can lose 4% of your body weight in 28 days. Being a bigger girl, that number is HUGE for me. Ok, not huge. But it’s a pretty hefty amount of weight to lose in less than a month. When I saw the number, I was like “No way.” But I’m pretty confident that I just need to kickstart myself in gear. And 28 days is long enough to do it. Wish me luck! I’d like to keep or earn some money! 

Ok, I’m out of here. I’m going to try to shake off this miserable, no good feeling by hitting a yoga class. I’ve been pretty tight in the hips, so I’m hoping it will help. Plus, I heard from my favorite travel blog that the hips are where all of your pent up emotions are! 

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Candy Canes of Holiday Cheer

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OMGI’MFINALLYHEALTHYENOUGHTOUPDATE.

Isn’t it funny when you’re sick for a very long time and then you wake up and you feel about 90% better? That was my Thursday. After struggling through a workout on Tuesday morning and writing my complaining post about how much I suck at life, I got worse. And then I got better instantly! Not-Really-Christmas-Day-Miracle!

Saturday was my last doctor’s bronchitis related appointment, and my fantastic holistic, witch doctor spent a good half hour going over my general health since she didn’t want to waste her time checking me for the incredibly shrinking bronchitis. I was thrilled when she told me that my blood test shows that my cholesterol is low, my blood pressure is pretty much perfect, and my thyroid is right on track for my age group. Besides my weight, she would say that my body is functioning as a 25 year old should. Right on, man. 

Dont get me wrong, I am still going to hit it hard at the gym this week. I burnt about 400 calories this morning with core and kickboxing. And tomorrow, I am going to change it up and skip my kettlebell class and do boot camp instead. 

But my most dramatic change is going to be my meal plan. After speaking to a friend at a party about her use of my old favorite, Sparkpeople’s, meal plans, I thought to myself “Well, she’s doing great… why cant you get back on that wagon?” To be honest, I was never big on following other website’s meal plans. I hate too many foods. Veggies creep me out. And everything takes soooo long to cook. 

Luckily, I’ve grown up over the last two or three years. Dating a vegan means I occasionally have to suck it up and eat some broccoli. And I genuinely love to cook or bake. I’ve gotten good at freezing meals and eating them later. Oh, and I am the queen of the mug of scrambled egg whites! Sparkpeople’s plan looks pretty easy to follow. I just modified it so that I had the same breakfast and lunch every day (applesauce muffins with salami roll-ups). And then I picked dinners that didn’t sound too painful to produce or digest.

I just wish that my shopping list wasn’t a million miles long. (But then again, I’m not paying for it… champagne for all!

My biggest enemy will be three fold: 1.) My grandma’s house. 2.) My grandma’s house 3.) My grandma’s house. Oh, and honorable mention to this:

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This little jar of die-a-beet-us fun is staring me down 37.5 hours a week at work. I’m only eating candy canes out of it this week. I promise. I’ll be good!  

Recovery

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Uh. I’m sorry.

I’ve been on a somewhat of a sabbatical over the last five-ish months. Short story is that I got really depressed (and fat). And then I got better. Then I got worse. So bad that I got help. And that’s where I am at now. I’m not entirely better. In fact, today’s been one of those depression days- as I call ’em. At least when I call them “depression days,” I only allow them to last a very limited amount of time. It’s not like they are “depression months.”

I wrote a lot while I was depressed. But I protected all of those posts simply because I wasn’t a fan of sharing them. I try to be honest with my blogs, but I’m also not big on sharing. I missed that day in pre-school, obviously.

Either way, I’m here. I want to write and post more just because it might help. And if anything helps, I’ll try it.

Ask my therapist. She’s got me doing this EMDR treatment. Basically, you are training your thoughts to leap past negative, ingrained ones with rhythmic, eye movement exercises. I’m not sure if it is working. I still have some repeating thoughts that can cause a downward spiral of my mood real fast. But I’ve only done four treatments so far. I’m still hopeful. Plus, it gives me really vivid and strange dreams (both regular and day dreams), so that’s a positive.

Part of my self-imposed therapy is to expose myself to things I did when I wasn’t depressed. So, I’ve also gone back to working out consistently. It’s been two weeks now of doing Insanity workouts on top of some other workouts (including getting a bike for my birthday). I’m not enamored with the whole Insanity thing as most people are. I get super sweaty and I’ve lost some weight, but it’s nothing for me to write home about. We’ll see how I feel at the end of the 60 days.

[Side note: I miss spinning and swimming, both which I would do if I had money and lived closer to a gym.]

Oh! We got a dog and that’s totally changed my quality of life. After 7 fosters, we found our fur-ever dog. And oddly enough, she was the exact opposite of what I originally hoped for. She’s an extremely girly, super selfish long haired chihuahua/pomeranian mix named… get ready for it… Vanna White! I plan on writing about her and her crazy tendencies to play with food and sulk when a homeless person doesn’t pet her. I’ll probably become a crazy dog person, so apologizes in advance.

So, uh, that’s that. Gosh, this has been one awkward post. This is not going well.

Bali Hai

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Yes, it has been awhile, and I have no excuses. So, I’m not going to pretend like my life has been busy or spiraling out of control. Neither are true. I just haven’t had much to say.

That’s also not true. I have a ton to say. 99% of it cant be posted to a blog with my name on it when I know I have over 20 subscribers that it would offend.

I’ve been working things out, though. Slowly. My mind feels much slower these days. [side note: God, I’m getting old]

I’ll be 25 in 62 more days, and I feel like I’ve hit that quarter life crisis just in time. I’m not off to buy a motorcycle or quit my job to write the novel of our generation. Though, I do often wonder what would happen if I had enough balls to do either of those things. It seems like the people I admire most are the ones who, between the ages of 21-29, gave up everything to do something risky.

My greatest risk? Taking on more student loans for grad school, which I am going through slowly. Remember, my mind works slower these days.

Even then, my risk is minimum. I’m in a profession and studying a subject that is very establishment. Even when we are studying anti-establishment, it’s certainly establishment.

Why dont people just get up and move away? Why are we tied to things like roots and family albums? Why are we allowing ourselves to only go as far as our paycheck allows? Why do we insist on finding others to tie us down? Why do we insist on anything at all?

Cant we go on with our lives without being tethered like a shipwreck to the sand? Where are our lifeboats and rafts? We are all stuck on this island of wanting to be here and now. To raise more islander kids, to make islander foods, to share our coconuts with our island friends… And all the time, we are missing what’s across that ocean.

What is across that ocean? [Literally and figuratively, though, I’ve been for short periods]

I remember seeing an episode of House Hunters International. It was a young couple, maybe my age or a bit older. They were buying a surf shack in Nicaragua or some coastal country. When asked about their jobs, they had none. When asked about what they wanted to do in this new land, they said retire. I think the man said something along the lines of “Why should we retire when we are young? We can work when we’re older. Right now, I want to explore.”

At 21, I thought he was disillusioned. He’d end up back at home (probably in New England somewhere), crying on his mother’s apron. His wife would be there, clutching some malnourished, mosquito bitten child. They’d have to swim back, so they’re clothes would be tattered and their faces burnt from the sun. They would fail.

I wish House Hunters did updates.

At 25, all I can think about is that couple, eating dates and grapes and other tropical fruit while sitting peacefully in their surf shack. They own a rental shop. Their customers are tourists, but they spend their time laughing at with their ex-pat friends about how they escaped. They have their island.

And I’m here in Chicago. And across the water is Michigan. Nothing looks great when your option is Michigan. [No offense, the Tim Allen parts are beautiful]

Where is my island?

I am a Rock

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A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
Don’t talk of love,
But I’ve heard the words before;
It’s sleeping in my memory.
I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

Pet Problems

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A list of pet peeves:

  1. Cracking knuckles.
  2. Un-flushed public toilets.
  3. Loud talkers. Double points for profanity or politically charged rhetoric.
  4. Issues that take math to solve. More specifically, issues that require geometry to solve.
  5. Triangles.
  6. Girls who wear makeup to the gym. Also, girls who do their hair for the gym. Also, girls who wear perfume to the gym. And finally, girls who sit on the recumbent bike and text at the gym. Double points if they are skinny.
  7. Smelly grocery stores.
  8. The word “tacky” and all those who use it. It’s tacky.
  9. Unsupervised middle school and high schoolers on the same CTA car as me.
  10. Stars, which I hate. They’re creepy.

Rainy Days and Mondays…

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I’m sure someone out there that does the hiring for the places I’ve applied for has found this blog. And they most likely think that I am some depressed, oppressed being. But in fact, I am not.

Now that I think of it, I dont really think that my current cover letter (all custom tailored to the jobs I’m applying to, of course) really convey how awesome of a worker I am. So here’s a new version that I hope some HR rep finds and gives me a gold star (or better yet, a great job) for:

To whom it may concern:

I have recently come across your posting for a position that made me sit up a bit straighter, tuck in my shirt, spit out my gum, and stop twiddling my thumbs. You see, for the last two years, I have been working a job that has not challenged me, repressed my creative side, but has allowed me ample time to wikipedia the royal family and occasionally read news blogs. So, to know that there are better careers out there for me obviously catches my attention and makes me dream of the awesome potential there is in work.

I wont bore you with what I know. I promise you that it is standard. I can type, create, file, answer phones with a smile, and send out countless emails. I also know my way around cameras, sound equipment, and industrial sized printers. I’m willing to fix things when they are broken, and when I dont know how to do it, I can read a manual. I’m willing.

But there is much more to me. I am creative! That description is general, I know. But let’s just say that I like to think outside that cubicle. I research, analyze, color scheme, and design until things are perfect. I obsess over details, but I’m flexible to change. I take criticism for my work personally, but in a way that inspires me to want more. When I work with students, I want them to know that I am there for them, that I care about them, that I want them to succeed. Because them succeeding is me succeeding. And who wouldn’t want that warm, happy feeling? I guess you could say that I am passionate. Part of me is political and the other part is full of this need to make sure that I can do as much as possible in this short time we have in the office. I believe that all humans, even office slaves, are entitled to good. And I want to work my butt off to see that happen. To wrap up my skills: creative, obsessed, passionate, flexible, and empathetic.

What can you do for me? Well, I’m young enough and without child, so give me long hours. No, seriously. GIVE ME LONG HOURS. I like to bring my work home. Challenge me. Give me tasks that will take a long time to do. In fact, give me impossible deadlines. Everyone needs stress. And if I dont get it from time to time, I do stress. Ask me to travel or work outside the office (bonus points for sunny locations). Again, I’m at the point in my life where I can and want to do both things. Weekend work? Sure! Event planning? My specialty? Assisting you with an overseas project? Let me download my translator ap and pack a carry-on.  Like I said, I want challenge. I get joy and ownership from finishing projects, especially if they are tough and/or depend on my involvement. When I dont do well, I want honest feedback. Dont threaten my job, just let me know what I can do better. You, I am assuming, would be my boss or supervisor. Please treat me like I want to eventually be you. Show me the ropes, give me advice, occasionally force me to see reality. I want that. Really.

This job search is hard. And I am sure you have 100 applicants just like me. But I hope you see my earnest want to work, learn, and grow with you. I hope that you have a sense of humor to enjoy this. It was done out of a passionate need to feel like I am going somewhere in life- to settle down with a true career that will last me a lifetime. I dont want to go anywhere soon. And I believe that makes me a pretty unique 20-something. If you agree, you have my contact information. Please feel free to ask me questions, send me flowers, or send my correspondence to your spam box.

Thanks,

Michelle A.