Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bastille Day '12

I can’t seem to fall asleep tonight. I’m lying awake, hoping that eventually exhaustion will consume me and take me into that peaceful, unconscious state. But it hasn’t. Life is keeping me from surrendering over to it. I’m awake, allowing thoughts to jump in and out of my head. It always amazes me how much information my brain can mull over as the minutes on the clock slowly turn.  It dawned on me tonight that it’s been a considerable amount of time since I blogged. In fact, I realized I have not even really opened my computer in the past month. So in my state of mindfulness, I figure I might as well get some writing done…

Last weekend, I turned 23. For those of you that may not know me very well, birthdays are my absolute favorite thing to celebrate. So when it comes to celebrating my own, well, you can only imagine my excitement. The month of July has, in my family, become known as my birthday month where I basically anticipate and expect to be spoiled for 31 days and 31 nights.

Controversially, this year my father got remarried on… my birthday… July 14th.

To be honest, when my Dad and Step Mom announced that my birthday, and that of my twin’s, would be the date of their wedding, I was a little upset. Selfishly, all I could think about was my day; my month; my big 2-3.However, after the initial shock, annoyance, and minor disappointment, I started to realize that this date really couldn’t be more perfect. On this date, I have officially known my Dad for exactly 23 years. Now 23 isn’t exactly a perfect round number nor is it a game changer like turning 21, but still, it serves as a particular point of reference for me.

For 23 years, I have known my Dad. And when I say I have known my Dad, I mean I have really gotten to know him over the years. I have loved him, and I have hated him. I have been disappointed in him, and I have been inspired by him. I have seen his temper, and I made him laugh. I have learned from him, and I would like to think I have taught him a thing or two, as well. Our relationship has not always been perfect but having had the pleasure of being his daughter for 23 years, has really allowed me to know and understand him maybe better than anyone (besides maybe my two older sisters that have enjoyed similar opportunities).

Over the past 23 years, I have really gotten to know my Dad; which is why I don’t really mind sharing my birthday with his anniversary anymore. In all my years of knowing my Dad, I have never seen him as happy as he is when he is with my Step Mom. In fact, before my Dad met, who I have come to know as the love of his life, I had never seen my dad in love- and he was married to my mom for half of my life. My step mom has changed my Dad in ways that I can only hope someone will do for me one day. She has made him better. He is visibly more patient, more passionate, more understanding... He has this new love for life that I have only recognized in a few. Watching him love her over the past few years has given me a new outlook on love and life that I don’t think I had before, as I never had a great example set for me in terms of relationships and love. They have this, “anything is possible” sort of love. One that can only be found in a deep-seeded level of respect and compassion they have for one another.

I am a respecter and lover of Love. And after having taken a step back from my own ego, I have realized how lucky I am to share my most favorite day of the year with two people that truly embody that reality.




Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brother/Sisterly Love

Family is probably the single, most important thing to me. It involves a lot of love-hate relationships, sure. But at the end of the day, it’s my family who I can count on to be there for me- sharing in my success and pulling me through disappointments. It is strange to think that I have hardly mentioned my family at all in this blog, seeing as I do hold them in such high regard. I have no idea what a normal family looks like, but if I had to guess, mine isn’t one of them. I’ve never known the reality of the white-picket-fence-lifestyle that the “American Dream” promises. Instead, I’ve known something so much better. It’s dysfunction at its very best. I think it is so crazy how different, yet surprisingly similar members within a family can be. Tonight, I want to talk about my siblings. I have 4 siblings; two brothers and two sisters. Each of us has our own personality type and disposition which sets us apart from each other. Yet, we have this same underlying competitive, aggressive drive that unites us.

The oldest, KateSpade, is an ambitious, high-maintenance lawyer living in Florida. She is the only one of my siblings that has ever really left “the nest” (as the rest of us have preferred to stay closer to home). She knows what she wants, when she wants it and basically demands that it be done that way. She is a girly-girl by nature, loves being spoiled and pampered, and is always dressed to impress- completing every outfit unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. She is probably my most favorite person to make laugh. She finds me to be completely ridiculous- which I probably am when I am around her simply because I do love listen to her laugh at me. KateSpade is someone that will argue with you about anything simply because she knows she can beat you. And I mean that in the very best way, as I probably share this trait. She is sharp and quick. Yet, at the same time she is outrageously ditsy and even sometimes outlandish in terms of her overall expectations. I don’t get to see her or even know her as well as I’d like, but hope she will someday move home- maybe one day even open a law firm with me, if I’m lucky.  

Next, is Lil’ J who is probably my best friend and is the most devoted, hard-working person I know. It’s really hard for me to really put J into words because she is probably the most influential person in my life. She owns her own company and is a ball-buster if I have ever seen one. She’s very different from KateSpade- low maintenance, independent, and a definite guy’s girl. At work, she is a woman in a man’s world and earns every bit of the respect that she deserves. Outside of work, she is an animal lover at the very core. She rides her horse, what seems like every day of the week. And her dog, Oliver, who is the best dog on the planet, is like her child. She is a woman they write country songs about- she will pick up a stray dog off the street no questions asked. It may be this same instinct which caused her to take me in and allow me to live with her for the past three years. I have no idea where I would be without Lil’ J. She has been like a mother to me. She knows me better than anyone and of all the people in my life, she is probably the one person I am afraid of disappointing the most. Like I said, I do things on my own terms in my own time, and she has always respected that, just supporting me and encouraging me along the way. When I have struggled, she is the one person I have been able to depend on to lift me up. I can be the most honest with her because I know that she will always give me honest and loving advice.

My brother, Brosopher , is actually my twin brother. Our birthday, however, might be the only thing we share in common. We are complete and total opposites. Brosopher is the president of his fraternity, an accounting major, and can sweet talk you into believing anything. Growing up, I always liked to call him Eddy Haskell. Things just seem to come easy for him. I think some people would call him a little self-absorbed, as he never misses an opportunity to flex his muscles in the mirror; and well I guess I might too if I had 0% body fat. He can eat whatever he wants and never gain a pound. Brosopher is a lady’s man and a charmer but always a little sly too. He can walk into a room and people just seem to notice him; it doesn’t take much effort for him to grab the attention in a room.  As competitive as my family is, I think that’s the one thing I have always resented about him. While I can grab the attention of an audience, it usually requires me to do somewhat of a juggling act, where for him, he just has to smile and wink at you. He will be successful simply because he has this aura about him. As he always say, “he can sell a popsicle to a woman in white gloves.” We’ve have our differences, but I found that when I need someone to turn to he’s there for me. One similarity of ours is that we love our family.

Lastly, is my “little” brother T-bone who is by far one of the most impressive people I know. He has a level of discipline that is unsurpassed by most. We used to tease him growing up because once the guy had his mind set on something, he never let it go. If he wanted something, he didn’t stop until he got it. I used to think it was spoiled, baby-of-the-family syndrome until he grew up and had the same mindset when it came to life. Like me, he finds passion in a few things and is able to completely give himself over to those passions. T-bone’s biggest passion is football. About seven years ago, he decided that he wanted to be the best football player he could be. Since that day, the man hasn’t touched a piece of sugar; he toned up and became a boss-man on the field and in the classroom. I don’t know what else to say except that he is just impressive. He has this somewhat quiet way about him if you don't take the time to get to know him. Normally I am the one that likes to be the jokester and the center of the comedic circle, but T-bone is the one person that can get me to just totally shut up and laugh. I’ll admit he makes me pee my pants. I have this special relationship with him where we just kind of understand each other. He is similar to me in a lot of ways. He does things on his own terms, in his own time and I think that’s where we have a deeper respect for each other.

I wanted to write this post about my siblings because I think that they have a huge impact on who I am. It’s funny but as I wrote this, I could see a little bit of myself in each of their descriptions.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

For the Love of Running

I have never been much of a runner; a sprinter in my high school basketball days maybe, but distance running has always pressured my usual laid back disposition into one of anxiety and stress. Maybe it’s different for track stars, but for me, running was always attached to this idea of punishment and pain. Athletics have always made it a task against time; forcing me to race for playing time and water breaks. I never understood how people could just go running for “fun.” Any running I did was purely for training purposes and getting into shape for season.

As a field hockey goalie, for years, I spent several hours a day jumping into the splits and manipulating my body into positions that, well, literally tore my hips. These tears made the repetitive motion of running excruciating.  It turns out; I spent the majority of my college career running on torn hips. The more miles I ran, the worse it got. If you can imagine the feeling, you'll understand how much I hated running; I mean I really hated it. I loathed even the idea.  I stuck to my strengths and busted my ass in the weight room, as that seemed to be the only way to keep my coaches off my back. All that time, I didn’t know my hips were tearing. All I knew was that running made me hurt so bad that I would spend hours afterward, curled up in the fetal position for relief. My trainers told me that there was nothing wrong with me; having never ordered a single test, they cheaply sent me to physical therapy. However, I knew that the pain wasn’t simply, and I quote, “in my head.” I sought out a hip specialist who determined that I did indeed have a torn labrum due to pincer impingement. This basically meant that as I ran, the ball of my hip joint would knock up against the back of the socket, scraping away the cartilage. I had hip surgery on 1-11-11, which included, chondroplasty, labral/cartilage debridement and osteoplasty to repair my left hip and give my right hip time to heal on its own.

Considering it was surgery, I had a great experience. I was walking within days and back to work in a matter of a few weeks. My doctor said that he had never seen anything like it, in terms of how fast I healed. After a few months of rehabilitation, I started being able to really run, at first only about a few laps at a time. Since about October, I’ve been running off the weight I gained, trying to get back into the groove of actually being able to run pain-free and working towards being able to run for miles.  

I have been enjoying my evening runs for a while now, gaining a bit of understanding with each run that it can be something more than a race for time, but rather something that I can do for me; something pleasurable. I went for a run tonight, and I had this epiphany of sorts; there are very few acts that really create a perfect rhythm with everything. Tonight, it dawned on me just how poetic running is. I think it is the poetic nature of this act that I always missed out on; I never understood the love of running until tonight when I really paid attention to everything that was happening, and it all happens at once.

As I laced up my tennis shoes and turn my Pandora App to Eric Church radio, I was ready for just another run. Except tonight wasn’t just another run; I created a work of art. The night and the music and my body seemed to just flow together like lovers. The air was warm, yet soft, as my skin broke through. Each evenly paced stride seemed to create a perfect rhythm which mimicked the tempo of the music exquisitely. As I danced through the cracks in the pavement, my feet never held a place long enough to make an impression. I felt almost naked as my self-made breeze cooled the sweat on my arms and my chest. My hair tickled the base of my neck as my ponytail bounced in unison with my movement.  I could feel the power of my legs, propelling me up each hill where the stars seemed to literally touch down at the peaks. At the top, I let momentum carry me downwards with ease. Not sure if I was running away from something or towards another, my feet continued to chase my shadow. I felt nothing but ecstasy as the endorphins pumped through my body. Not wanting it to stop, I continued to run farther and farther from home, knowing it would take me just as long if I ever decided to go back. Considering it was an act I had completed before a thousand times, it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. It was a complete high, so much so that I am afraid now that I created an addict. Coming down from that high, it makes me sad to think I have missed out on that feeling for all this time.  


  

If you are interested in more information about my hip surgery and the whole process, you can watch this video that will show you exactly what I had done:

http://www.orthosports.info/multimedia/femoro-impigement/cuz_femoro_impi_engine.swf

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gettin' Prepped and Ready!

I spend a lot of time talking about relationships and social interactions. I do mostly because they’re interesting, and I get more feedback on those articles than I do anything else. However, I did promise that this blog would be about me and my life experiences. I have tried to keep that promise throughout my writing; however, I have probably failed in providing a well-rounded collection of topics. I have basically only talked about relationships and life lessons. I have only given about one, maybe two post references to my professional aspirations and goals.

It’s taken me awhile to get here. There is no doubt about it. In the past year, I have talked about pursuing a plethora of different occupational avenues. However, I couldn’t seem to just stick to one. There are so many things that I love to do and there are things that I just have a natural talent for, so picking just one has been a struggle of mine basically since I quit field hockey and messed with my whole “5 year plan.” Like I said before, I’m done making plans. I have no idea where I am going to be in a year, and honestly, I don’t see any point in wasting time on trying to predict what will happen in five. Right now, I’m simply focusing on me and making sure that I am the best possible version of myself that I can be. Life seems to be perfect right now. I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’ve let go of bad relationships, repaired the ones worth saving, and well I am definitely happy with the current version of myself. As perfect as things are, I am always looking to improve, mature and grow, as everyone should. I was born or raised, (depending on your opinion of nature versus nurture) with potential. Potential to be great, I think. I have a work ethic and level of intelligence that provide me with the potential to be great in anything I pursue. And right now, as much as I love coaching and working in an athletic environment, there just seems to be a lingering feeling that I am not fulfilling my potential.

Tonight, I am going back to school. I am starting the first day of the rest of my professional life. I am going to be taking night classes twice a week in order to help me prepare for law school. I will be taking a prep course for the LSAT in June. I’ve said before that I want to go to law school, but something has held me back from really being ready for that commitment. Time is funny, but I feel like I’m finally ready to get the ball rolling. As with most things in my life, I do things on my own terms. And this has been one of them. The timing might be off a bit, but I’m finally ready. I am actually really nervous and excited about tonight. I am going to take a diagnostic exam tonight to get a baseline on where I am now and where I need to go in order to get a good LSAT score. It’s the first step towards law school, and I am ready to take it.

Here is where I would like to fulfill my promise of discussing my whole life story- more than just my social one. I am going to make a tab, much like my “Gettin’ Skinny” tab, where I will talk about my LSAT courses and practice. I think accountability is one of the biggest tools one can have in achieving their goals. I can hold myself accountable sure. But there is something about being held accountable by others that really makes me work. It’s like working out with a partner- they make sure you wake up in the morning and get to the gym even on the days where you just want to sleep in. So in this tab, I will track my progress and practice schedule. If you would like to check in on how I am doing, you’ll find everything you need under the "LSAT Prep" tab which I will start after tonight's class. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Life is a Great Love Story

So I was having a conversation with a friend recently about, what else, relationships and love. They’re easily my most favorite subjects, if you couldn’t tell. There is something about the bond between people that truly fascinates me so if you’re willing to go there in a conversation with me, you should probably pull up a seat and grab a beer because it’s going to be awhile. I could talk forever about people; about life, love and relationships. In this particular conversation, we somehow stumbled upon the topic of what my ideal relationship looks like.

My friend made a comment to me during the conversation that really surprised me. He said that in knowing the way I look at relationships and at life, that he couldn’t believe that I haven’t had any success in the relationship-department since JD; that, and I quote, “you seem like every guy's dream.” I was just really taken aback because 95% of the time I feel like I get put into the “friend zone,” mainly because I probably do think more like a typical man than a woman. As sweet as that comment was, it comes down to the simple fact that I don’t want to be anyone’s dream girl right now. Eventually I would love to be, and as simple as relationships are, it takes the right person to make the right relationship work. And I’m willing to wait for that person to come around rather than jumping into something with someone that I know isn’t right for me.

I think I have seen enough relationships that just go through the motions. I see those relationships all the time; the unfulfilled ones. The relationships that are built singlehandedly on comfort; out of fear that that relationship is the best they can do; out of fear of being alone. These relationships can often times be full of respect and support, but the passion and the love just doesn’t quite find its place. People go through the infatuation stage, get comfortable and decide to settle down. Once they settle down, they get married and have kids and “live life” (if that’s what you want to call it). And as deep as this sounds we just started talking about how we wanted more than that. All of those things sound great don’t get me wrong, and I want those things. But I want more.

I want someone who will be a free spirit with me; someone playful that recognizes that I’m not some delicate little girl and that will rough-house with me and joke around. I want someone that will go on an adventure with me. And I don’t mean a safari or something like that. I mean someone that can bring me to life- in every passionate, loving, playful way possible.

It’s corny, but I really believe that every life is meant to be a great love story. Whether it’s with yourself, with your job, with God or a hobby. As long as you love something with everything you are, than you have that great love story. I know that my greatest love will be another person. I know that I have the ability to love another person in a way that is incomprehensible to most. If I do nothing else in life, I will make that other person feel what it is to be completely and unconditionally loved. And this person will have the ability to reciprocate that feeling. It may sound completely corny and cliché, but that is how my life will be. And because I will have that fulfillment, I will be successful in everything else. And that’s why I haven’t had any successful relationships as of late. I’m not ready for that yet. But when I am and that person comes along… it will be something great. The great thing about a great love between two people is that it is bigger than anything.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Pick-up Artist

Men. Oh Men. If women can ever get over the obvious offenses that men make against them, they might find that these members of the opposite sex are actually quite funny. And by funny I mean in a very pathetic sort of way; as in I’ll-give-you-a pity-laugh-now-and-later-rip-on-you-to-all-my-friends-kind-of-funny.  (Disclaimer: this does not include all men. Some actually can muster up a real laugh from me!)

It’s 2012. I think that it is safe to say that the “pick-up” line has been a universal joke for quite some time now. Or so I would like to think… Recently, I have fallen victim to a pick-up line or two, and I think that it is time that we put these to rest. Honestly, I can’t imagine that these work on anyone. Now I’m not talking about the really dumb ones like “Was that an earthquake or did u just rock my world?” I’m going to give you my top three favorite pick-up lines and hopefully in seeing the obvious hilarity, you men can knock it off and try something a little… smarter.

 First we have the “betting man.” This one might seem somewhat clever except that it is almost insulting to my intelligence- it’s the approach from a man that wants you to “settle a bet” between him and his friend. I’m sorry but no. You’ve been standing at the bar by yourself for the past 20 minutes, and you didn’t come with a friend. Let’s not kid ourselves here. I totally get that sometimes guys do make bets with their friends and that they need someone to settle them, but that’s a one and done question. These guys that stick around and want explanations and force a conversation to drag on and on in a desperate attempt to keep your attention long enough to feel a sense of self-worth… are just sad. So when it comes time for them to ask me if they can buy me a beer, the answer will most likely be no… unless I feel sorry enough for them, in which case I will accept and find an excuse to walk away. Sorry I’m not sorry.


This one is actually my favorite, and I do get this all the time- we'll call  him “Mr. Fix-It”! This may only apply to me personally though, but it is hilarious every time. See I have this thing that I do with beer bottles when I drink them. If you’ve spent any time with me at a bar you will have noticed that I peel the labels off of all the bottles. I honestly have no idea why I do it, but it is an automatic impulse I have when the bottle is in my hand- I think it is a good pacer. Anyways, apparently peeling off the labels is some sort of sign of anxiety or sexual deprivation… So at least once every few weekends, I get some jerk asking me if he can help “loosen me up” or “take care of that problem.” BAHAHAHA! I am about as laid back as they come, and if you have to ask, than the answer is no! Seriously though, does that actually work on people? Because I cannot imagine why anyone would think that line is going to get them anything besides a smack in the face or some clever remark from me about their small penis size. But hey, at least you've gotten me to laugh at my own joke!


Lastly, we have the “sweet-talker.” His first words will be something incredibly nice, and you might even think this guy is a winner. This guy wants to come off as your prince charming that is going to sweep you off your feet. He compliments you over and over again. Which can be nice every once in a while. However, this guy could give a flying pig about you at all. If you pay attention between the “you’re the most beautiful woman in the room” lines and realize the guy has just been talking himself up the whole time, you’ll see the red flags a-flyin’! He’ll tell you about his really great job and his expensive car and blah blah blah. Guess what, you lost my attention about 20 minutes ago, and I still don’t know your name- so the answer is no.


I really just want to know why men feel like they need to come up with all these outrageous strategies to get the girl. What happened to “Hey, I’m so-and so, let me buy you a drink?” Easy enough, no? Seems confident to me and at least names will be exchanged for heaven’s sake. We aren’t stupid and even with all the alcohol in the world, I would never fall for those lame lines. So grow a pair and realize you can just talk to a woman like she’s just another one of your friends. So if you are an offender of any of these strategies or ones like it, try something else please?!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Theory of Emotions

I know I haven’t been able to blog much lately; I have been pretty busy with lacrosse season, and my new workout schedule has replaced most of my blogging time so I apologize to my avid followers- if there are any! Anyways, over the past month I have had quite a few conversations with my family and some of my friends regarding emotions, empathy, and understanding. I want to talk about where I stand when it comes to these matters because I tend to look at things differently than most people so it often leads to misunderstandings. (You can absolutely argue with me on these points; I am not saying that I am right- I am simply explaining where I am coming from). I generally believe that negative emotions are irrational. I’m going to give a few scenarios to describe what I’m talking about.


First of all, it really bothers me when men call women emotional, and they say it like it is a bad thing. Everyone is emotional; we just display those emotions in different ways. For instance, I am not a crier. I simply don’t cry, and honestly it makes me slightly uncomfortable when other people cry. The last time I cried was back in November after a horrible fight with JD, marking the finality of our relationship. I can’t remember the time before that. I just don’t cry. My defense mechanism is to laugh instead. So when I tend to laugh during situations where other people would normally be crying, my ability to feel is called into question. My own mother asked me awhile back, in all seriousness, if I even had any feelings at all. I am not a sociopath, and of course I can feel. In fact, I probably feel emotions more intensely than most people. It’s not that I don’t feel sadness or pain, I just don’t show it in the ways that other people do. Instead, I feel more comfortable making light of a situation and try to change the negative mood. It might not always seem appropriate, but that’s the way I deal with things; the same as most people cry to deal with the same feelings.
 

Empathy is another quality of mine that has been questioned lately. I absolutely have the ability to put myself in another person’s shoes and feel what they are feeling. But again, I don’t display my emotions quite like most people. … A little background: a friend of mine gave me this scenario just last night: he asked me if I could put myself into the shoes of a person who had worked their entire life and felt the feeling of desperation after no longer able to afford to retire…. Yes, I can imagine that person’s disappointment and frustration and even exhaustion in such that situation. I can understand those things because I have felt them, although not in the same context of course, but I can imagine. What I was trying to explain to my friend is that it is a waste of time to feel that way because everything can be broken down into rational responses.
See I believe that people make decisions based on what they believe in that particular moment will make them happy. To me, happiness is a state in which people choose to be in or not. I use the phrase, “in the pursuit of happiness” all the time, but I don’t really think that happiness is something that you have to strive to be. Happiness is not an end goal; it is a state of mind. So there are two options you are faced with when you begin to feel a negative emotion: you either accept the way things are or you change the situation you are in. While I understand the person who is unable to retire; I would not react the same way in the same situation. Instead, if I were truly unhappy about the circumstances, I would rationalize the situation and react accordingly. Maybe that sounds irrational, but I am a firm believer in taking a step back and working through things in your head and redirecting the thought process. That is what cognitive behavioral therapy is based on is it not?

 
Another situation I was in recently involved my BFF Kitty. (Hopefully she won’t mind me telling this story). But she recently got upset with me over a few things, and she bottled them up for so long that one afternoon she sort of just blew up at me. I was pretty surprised by this because I was unaware that there was even a problem. But the problem ended up being that we just don’t react the same way to certain situations. Things that don’t seem like a big deal to me, really upset her. But we had the discussion about how we would handle things like that. See when she does something that bothers me, I choose to forget about it and move on. I don’t bottle them up because I will never pick a fight with Kitty. I think that it is a waste of time to fight with her because she is my best friend, and I would rather stay friends than create drama over what I can rationalize as nothing in the big scheme of things. To me, I look at it as why threaten the relationship over something that won’t mean a thing in a week? Kitty, on the other hand, can’t just move on from a bothersome situation. So we have the understanding that if I do something that makes her upset, she will call me on it right then and there, and we can move on. And I understand that she needs to do that in order to deal with things so I can’t get upset at her for calling me out. Our relationship seems to work because of our basic understanding of how the other person works.


The problem tends to occur for me, is when people think I am insensitive. It’s not that I am insensitive; it’s simply that I just process things in a different way. I make the choice to feel a certain way by readjusting the way I look at a situation. I make the choice every day to be as happy as I can on that given day. If that makes me seem insensitive or lacking emotion and/or empathy, than hopefully this post will allow you all to readjust the way you look at my reactions or lack thereof.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Age-Appropriate

We’ve all lied about our age.. When we are young, we lie to seem older. When we are old, we lie to seem younger. But what about all of the lies that we tell ourselves in regards to our age? There are moments in everyone’s life; moments that come about once a decade, where you just have to be honest with yourself about your age. Because there are too many moments in my life where I look around and say, “You are straight-up delusional!” See, there are three types of people that just love to lie about their age. Now obviously these people know how old they are. However, clearly when they look in the mirror they are able to tell themselves they look age-appropriate. We have the 15 year old that thinks she’s going on 25, the 30 year old that still hangs out with 20 year olds, and the 50 year old that insists on dressing like they are 25.

I have a really hard time with kids these days. Now I know that when I was 15, I thought I was all cool, and I dressed and acted the part. Lord knows with all the make-up and push up bras I never actually looked older than 15 though. But these days, it is just starting to get a little ridiculous; there are 15 year olds that actually look like they are 25! I don’t know if it is because spray tanning and hair extensions are so popular with today’s youth, but if they didn’t have their arm around a boy with acne and shaggy hair, I’d believe they were older than me. And the sad thing is- they actually act older than me too. Well it’s really more funny than anything. The way they carry themselves and talk down to other people, they seem to think they own the place. You’re almost fooling everyone-that is until your mom to pulls up in her mini-van to pick you up.

Then we have the person that is desperately trying to hold onto their youth. Now I am friends with a lot of people that are older than me, so it might be a double standard to say that older people can’t hang out with younger people. That’s not what I’m saying at all, or I wouldn’t have any friends. But I’ll give an example; last weekend I was at a college party- a party that I felt too old to be at, honestly. And at the beer pong table (yes, beer pong table if that gives you any indication of the age of the party-goers) there was a 29 year old woman playing with a 19 year old boy-man. It was extremely obvious that she was by far the oldest person in the room, and well it was just awkward to say the least. Worst of all, she left with him. Now a ten year age difference might not be that big of a deal, but when the other person is barely legal I think it is. The point where this woman walked into the party and realized that the kids in the room weren’t old enough to drink, she needed to leave, and preferably without the man-child.
   
Last, we have the people going through the mid-life crisis and think its “hot” to wear tube tops and hot-pants. There is a “self-conscious” part of our brain for a reason. It’s so that you can look in the mirror, see the fat roll over your jeans, and say this shirt is too tight. The only 50 year old women that are allowed to dress my age are the ones with better bodies than me- than hey, good for you! And older dudes: stop dressing in Ed Hardy. That became a universal joke when the dad from John and Kate Plus 8 got reamed for it like five years ago. So stop dying your hair platinum blonde and dressing like a fool. No one is buying it. I’m sorry people, but no boob-job, tummy-tuck, or face-lift is going to hide the fact that when you walk into a college bar, you’re just too damn old to be there!  I would bet that most of you would be really good looking if you would dress and act your age. I know a lot of 50 year olds that are super-hot without looking like an ol’ lady from some motorcycle gang or a guido off of Jersey Shore.
 
Age is a scary thing. I get that. But could everyone start acting their age? (And no I will not take this perfectly good opportunity to call out the men of the world that insist on acting like a five year-old).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day: Love & The Little Things

It’s that time of year! Valentine’s Day! I’m sure that most of you are expecting some loud-mouthed rant about how much I hate Valentine’s Day because being single sucks; maybe talk about how it is a holiday designed to target a consumerist society. However, I feel quite the opposite; I love the idea of Valentine’s Day. We set aside holidays to honor our mothers, fathers, religious beliefs, birthdays, etc. What is so wrong about celebrating the people we love?

Some will argue that we should celebrate the person we love every day and not just on February 14th. You won’t get an argument from me, there. I think a man buying me flowers because it is a Tuesday is much more romantic than when he does it out of some felt necessity.   I do think it is a bit ridiculous that men are made to feel as though they have to spend an outrageous amount of money on roses and a five course meal. Instead, Valentine’s Day should just be about being with the person you love and celebrating what you have together. Leave out all the superficial charades and high-priced jewelry. Don’t get me wrong, I love flowers and jewelry. Just not on the one day that is meant to celebrate “us.” Don’t make the day about one person and their reaction to all the hard work you put in trying to make the night into something epic. Instead, I think today is about the little things. In my opinion, it should be spent with Chinese food and a funny movie, curled up on the couch before a wrestling session breaks out when said-Valentine passes gas and stinks up the room. It’s about the little things. Or I think it should be, anyways.
      
I know there are a lot of singles out there cursing the holiday because it is somehow unfair that they don’t have a special someone to share it with. We all have love in our lives though. Just because it doesn’t involve a love-interest or a romantic relationship, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the love you do have. This year, I am going to spend the evening with my best friend and her parents. And at some point I can count on the chocolate covered strawberries my dad gets me every year to say I love you. Honestly, it’s the valentines I get from the people that aren’t my significant other that mean the most because they don’t have to do anything for me; they simply do because they love you. There’s no reason to spend the evening depressed over what you don’t have or wish you had. It’s about celebrating all the love in your life! And who knows, the holiday you curse this year, might be the holiday to remember next year. So just enjoy it today. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Skinny Tab

For those of you that are interested, and to save those who are not from being bombarded with my weekly dieting updates, I have created a tab that you can choose to access or not. At the top of the page, you will see a tab titled, “Gettin’ Skinny.” Here is where you can follow my diet/exercise program and check out what I’ve found to be successful or not. From now on, every Sunday I will be updating this page instead of writing a post. Since I’ve only been writing about two posts a week, I felt that one per week on dieting could get really monotonous. So if you are interested you can click on the tab and follow along. If you are following along and want to leave a comment on the page and talk about your progress, you are more than welcome to!   

Also, for those of you that are on Pinterest, I created a tab that will take you to my Pinterest page and allow you to follow me and learn a little bit more about what I like.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Up Against The Current

One year ago, I quit the field hockey program at SLU. I would say that this decision is the biggest decision I have ever made. I would even go so far as to say that the person I am today is a direct result of that decision. 

It was like it was yesterday. I can still remember walking (on crutches at this point) into the arena alone to talk with my head coach and a couple of administrators. We had spent about a month going back and forth on some disagreements regarding the direction that the program was heading. That day, I finally chose to “agree to disagree” and part ways with the program. I simply told them I was leaving, signed a few papers, and walked out. It took a total of 10 minutes. 10 minutes was all it took to walk away from a love I had spent years trying to perfect. Although it should’ve been a really depressing day, I remember feeling completely liberated and excited.

Don’t tell my dad this because he’ll kill me… but I had to go to class right after the meeting. I drove my car to the building the class was located in and parked Iight outside. While I was so busy calling everyone that I knew to give them the news, I left the keys in the ignition. I came out of class an hour later, frantically looking for my keys, when I realized I had a 'blonde moment' and left the car unlocked, running on Lindell Blvd the entire time. It was still there, thank God or I might not be alive today. I just remember getting in my car and laughing to myself for probably a good five minutes (which when you’re alone, is actually a very long time.) This was honestly the first day of the life I have today.

Last year, you would not have even recognized me. Everything that I did in college revolved around that field hockey team. I hardly ever went out because of the team rules. I never joined a club because I didn’t have time. I’ve never tried recreational drugs because of drug testing (not that I necessarily want to, but on principle it’s one of those “everyone is doing it” kind of things that I never got to do). I don’t want to say I was robbed of a college experience because what I went through and the lessons I learned are far more valuable than a college experience. Nevertheless, I do think I missed out on things. I could write a book about all of the horrifying experiences I had as a collegiate athlete. I don’t even like watching scary movies because it reminds me of the crap I went through. Although the best writers in Hollywood couldn't come close to doing the experience justice. Reality was much worse than anything you could find on the big screen. Despite all the horrors and insanities, my decision came down to the fact that no one really cared as much as I did. Even my teammates; after the class above me graduated, there was no sense of passion left. The school didn’t care. The administration didn’t care. My coach didn’t care. They didn’t care about the program, the team, or the players and they certainly didn’t seem to care about whether or not we were successful. I cared though, probably a little too much. My whole world revolved around it all. In the end, I realized I was just swimming up against a very strong current that would no doubt take me under unless I chose to get to shore and put my feet on solid ground.

This idea of caring too much is crazy. I guess it’s a bit of a gift and a curse. Sometimes, I set myself up for disappointments and failures. Sometimes I feel so strongly about something that it clouds my judgment, and I make mistakes. But when I care and when I have passion for something, it is the most incredible feeling in the world. Since I quit field hockey, I haven’t really found that something that I can truly be passionate about. I love coaching the sport, don’t get me wrong, but it just isn’t the same. I think that during this past year, I’ve spent so much time trying to make up for lost time that I forgot to focus on finding something new to care about. So I’m going to take the advice that I would give anyone in my position, and “get a hobby"- something I hope that will allow me to float a bit easier down stream.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Time to "Get Skinny!"

The title of my blog, as you may or may not have noticed, is “Gettin’ the Skinny.” I chose this title for a number of reasons; mostly because of its play on words. Skinny just seems to be an all-inclusive word. It’s about being in the know and recognizing the naked truth of things. “Skinny Dipping” leads us to think of adventure and excitement. After prohibition ended, people used the word “skinny” to refer to a dime-piece or money. And then there is just the word “skinny” which we use to indicate the shape of a person’s figure. The latter expression is what I would like to talk about now.  It’s time to “Get that Skinny.”

As I mentioned in my profile, I am an athlete. I’ve played sports all of my life but focused mainly on field hockey and chose to pursue it in college. One of the major benefits of being a collegiate athlete is the training. As much as I hated waking up at 5am every morning to go workout, it taught me a lot of discipline and especially how to work out my body. Now back then, I was working out to get strong rather than toned, so I packed on quite a few pounds in muscle and basically just bulked up. After I had my hip surgery; however, I really wasn’t able to lift weights or run at all. I quickly went from a workout-regimented lifestyle to a somewhat static one. Between the 3 year bulk-up session, my bout of inaction after surgery, and the 4 month long, post break-up, pity party I threw for myself – I’ve turned into a little bit of a chub-ster.

I read this quote the other day  on Pinterest that said, “It would be a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable.” It really kind of hit me that even in my years of intense workouts, I have always pretty much eaten whatever I like and have never really seen what my body has the potential to look like. In every area of my life, I am a lot of talk and a lot action; I am willing to put in the work to get the results I want… except, for whatever reason, when it comes to my body.

I wouldn’t say that I am an unhealthy person by any means. I love dessert and chocolate, but I am relatively conscious of what I am eating. I wouldn’t say I’m fat either. There are parts of my body that I love and parts that I would change. I am at a point though, where I am really interested in what my body is capable of looking like if I actually walked the walked and put as much effort into myself physically as I do academically, socially, and emotionally. Right now I am in an awesome position where I am not in school, so I don’t have to worry about that. I have the best friends in the world and a wildly fun social life. I am in a great place and am emotionally high on life. So I am going to spend my free time and the positive energy I have been running with to work on my physical well-being. It’s time to combine the workouts with the diets.

I want to use this blog and all of you, as my followers, to hold me accountable. On Sundays, I am going to post about what I’ve done throughout the week in terms of diet and exercise. I am not going to put a number on the amount of weight I want to lose. My only goal is to stick with it long enough to find out what my potential is. So if you would like to follow along and do it with me, the first day of the rest of our lives starts tomorrow. It’s time to trade in the brownies for a tangerine and wake up an hour earlier to get that workout in.  Whoa! Here, Weego! (We’ll have the train the dog to bring me bottled water instead of a Bud Light!) (That's a Super Bowl joke, for the un-Americans that didn't watch- youtube it)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Country's More Than Country-Wide

It’s about 6am, and I can’t sleep. It’s not from my usual case of insomnia- I’m not lying awake tossing and turning over the craziness of the day and hopes for tomorrow. Nope, instead I’m just caught up in the music. I should probably be writing this after the first day of spring, when I’ve spent the afternoon driving around St. Louis with the windows rolled down and the radio turned up. Rather, in its place, I’m in my bed with my iTunes playing on shuffle. There’s just something about country music that makes reality better than any dream-state I could fall into.

If you’ve never been in the car with me or have never caught a glimpse of me on the highway, I am that embarrassment. I don’t really care who is watching or how big of a fool I am making of myself, I will be singing to the top of my lungs to every country song I know. I usually limit my performances to the shower or the car, but something about tonight and the music that has me jumping on my bed, singing with an amplifying hairbrush in hand.

Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Brad Paisely, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Lady A… to name a few… and new up-and-comers like Brantley Gilbert, The Band Perry, Chris Young, and Justin Moore, Kip Moore- and I will mention David Nail, of course, because of his notable connection to my St. Louis Cardinals- all of these musicians and more change my life. Their music speaks to every experience I have ever had or hope to have. No matter what is going on, whether I am dealing with love or loss or if I am enjoying a summer day or a cold winter’s night, every song completely envelops me and forces me to sing a long.

I don’t care who you are or what kind of music you appreciate, I think you would have a hard time arguing the fact that country music is just all-encompassing. Whether you can handle a little twang or not, every song is relatable; white-collars, blue-collars, rednecks, it doesn’t really matter. Country music is about life. People say that it is just about pick-up trucks and hunting dogs- which are two of my favorite things so hell ya!- but it’s so much more than that. It keeps me up at night.

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's About Right Now

In my blog post, “A Lightning Strike,” I articulated exactly what it is that I eventually want in a future, long term relationship. However, I am not sure that I properly emphasized the words “future” or “long term.” Everything that I talked about in that post is what I want. I just don’t want that right now, and I think I failed to get the point across in that particular post. I do know exactly what I want- but what I want now and what I want in the future- those are two very different things. So for this post I am going to write about what I want currently, right now. 
 
As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, I somewhat, recently got out of a very serious relationship. Five years; I spent the last five years (which is almost a quarter of my life) with the same person. And while they were some of the best years of my life, I am not looking to jump right back into that kind of relationship. I am not looking for Mr. Right. I am not even necessarily looking for Mr. Right Now.

See, my ex, (who, for the sake of all future posts, I am going to refer to as John Deere (JD) so that I can stop using the word ex- it just seems so harsh for regular conversation) sort of jumped straight from me to his new girlfriend- which is great for him- but I just don’t understand why, I guess. For the first time in basically my adult life, I am making decisions without wondering how they are going to affect another person. It’s not as though I was held back from doing the things that I wanted to do, but I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with JD; so in making life decisions I always took him into consideration. He was, for lack of a better portrayal, my ol’ ball and chain. See, I find there is something truly remarkable about freedom (please do not mistake me in my choice of words; I do not think that relationships are prison-like or restraining in any way- the right person can make your world completely limitless). In a way still, it does feel as though I am free to do anything; I can do whatever I want to do and go wherever I want to go. For example, sadly, I don’t think I would have considered that job opportunity in  Dallas if I were still dating JD. I want to keep those options open as I pursue graduate degrees and different career opportunities.

I am honestly enjoying being single. Sure, I have days where I feel lonely, and I do miss having someone to come home to at the end of the night. But after five years, I just feel that I need to explore my freedom, meet new people, and just have a good time. That is what I want right now. I want to continue to be on my own and to continue making decisions for me. With all that being said, I am completely open to something great if Mr. Right comes along; I will absolutely accept invitations to go out on dates or whatever, but I am not looking to force anything. Right now, if I were to consider dating someone, they would have to allow me to be alone without feeling alone- if that makes any sense. For right now, anyways... I am never opposed to my future-wants becoming present day realities. But for right now, I am happy on my own.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Where the High Road Meets Low Street

The high road; it sure can be a hard one to find, and it is definitely the road less traveled by.
 
I think we all have those people in our lives- the ones that test our patience and even our sanity. They know exactly which buttons to push to make you consider taking “Low Street.” There are very few people that can push me to a point where I consider abandoning my principles completely. Those few people cause a huge internal battle for me; I’ve got the devil on one shoulder saying, “Rip them a new one,” and an angel on the other saying, “You’re too good for this.”  Most of the time, I can keep my cool and be the bigger person. There are those other times though… when the devil wins out. See there is a side of me, one that you really don’t want to meet, that is completely ruthless. If you don’t know me very well, you’ll find out quickly that I hate to lose. And when you push my buttons, it becomes an all-out war that will not end until I have made you regret the day you came after me. I hate confrontation, but I am very, very good at it when I have to use it.
I know that I talk a lot about my ex, but most of my life experiences happened with him so bear with me. About three years after we started dating, he did something; something horrible and almost unforgivable. Something that made me lose every ounce of respect I had for him. It was in this moment that I learned just how malicious I could be. I should have  known here that our relationship would fail, but I was probably too young and naïve to see it. Instead, I forgave him, and we were able to move forward. Except we had crossed that threshold; we found out how mean we could be towards one another. It seemed that once we found that out, every argument from then on (which I will say really wasn’t that often) turned from something small into a button-pushing session that wouldn’t end until we had dug up all the old skeletons in the closet. But why? What was the point? Why did we feel the need to hurt each other?

I’ve come to learn (and maybe too late) that I don’t have to let the devil win out. I’ve found that conflict isn’t so much a game of winners and losers, but rather one of just losers. I don’t like the person I become when I sink to that level, and I don’t feel much satisfaction in tearing people down. No matter how much they deserve it.

I’ll be honest; I don’t really want to find out how “good” I am at conflict anymore. Rather, I want to find out how good I can be at conflict resolution. I will say that in taking the high road, sometimes the only resolution is just walking away because well some conversations will only ever lead you down “Low Street.” However, there are those relationships we have with people that know us maybe too well- where they know exactly which buttons to push- and it is worth it to work things out.

It’s all about taking that step back. It’s picking your battles and figuring out what you can control and what you can’t. It’s being able to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and saying what you’re saying; it’s about getting to the root of an issue without the attacks and all-out war. I’m not trying to say that I am all high and mighty because I certainly am not. I am a self-proclaimed A-hole to the core. What people don’t seem to realize is that the high road wasn’t meant for saints and angels. It’s meant for smart folks, even A-holes, with a sense of self-control and principles enough to guide them down a lesser beaten path. And I’ll quote Frost here by saying that when you do, it will make all the difference.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Reality Check

Men and Women... Interest… Dating… Reality Check…

It all brings me to my next topic of conversation. There are a few key tendencies that people have as daters that I really want to talk about. This is a bit lengthy so I'll just jump right in. I’ll emphasize the point that both men and women are guilty of these things; I know because I have been on both ends. I am going to point out and add some insight into these general mishaps.

First, we misread the signs and the signals. We take what people say and twist it around, making it into what we want to hear. It’s not that we do it on purpose or because we’re crazy. We do it because we want to be liked almost as much as we don’t want to be alone. We want the person we are interested in to be interested in us in order to validate our feelings of self-worth. Now some people can be very hard to read or even send mixed signals. I get that; I probably do it, actually. But some of us need to take a step back sometimes and pay attention to body language and tone of voice. I think that the majority of a message can be heard right there. When we try and read into words and actions and make them more than what they are, we are just setting ourselves up for disappointment later on.

Also, when we find someone we are interested in and they don’t return the interest, we make up excuses as to why they didn’t; there’s the old “they lost my number,” or “they aren’t a big texter,” “they’re busy,” "they're not ready for a commitment," or “they must be gay.” I get that it’s a defense mechanism and most of us are just trying to protect ourselves from feelings of inadequacy, but let’s all just stop making excuses. If someone is truly interested in you, they will call or text or show up at your door. No one is too busy and they probably aren’t gay. We can call them an A-hole or a b**** for not being interested in us, but let’s be honest here; they’re probably really nice people. They are probably so nice that they don’t have the heart to tell you to your face that they aren’t interested, and that’s probably why they’re ignoring you or not responding. Stop wasting time on people that don’t feel the same way and aren’t eager to be with you.

Then we have what my dad likes to call “rose-colored glasses.” For those of you unfamiliar with the term, this is when a person can do no wrong in your eyes; everything they do is as good as roses and you can't distinguish the red flags. While it’s great that we can accept faults in the person we love, it’s necessary that we at least recognize them. The glasses- ya, they’re blinding. We will tend to completely ignore or choose to overlook certain negative attributes about a person because we obsess over the fantasy. Here, the idea of a future with this person is much better than the actual reality. We’ll overlook anger or drinking problems, the fact that they aren’t financially stable or responsible, or that they are just plain A-holes. We do it because we want them to be something they’re not. We find one attribute that we like, and we hone in on it in hopes that the rest of the person will play catch up. Guess what? Stop hiding behind the glasses and realize that the person just isn’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Dating can suck. It can. But I think often times we make it way worse than it actually is  because we waste so much time on nonsense. Instead of being honest with ourselves about what we want and what we know, deep down, the people around us want- we drown ourselves in the drama of this fantasy. Well I am going to give everyone a little tough love here. Sometimes you are going to get rejected. Sometimes you are going to do the rejecting. You live and you learn. Sometimes it will hurt and other times it’ll feel like a relief. Stop wasting so much time trying to make something into something it’s not. If you’re with the right person, you shouldn’t have to read between the lines because they’ll tell you they love you or they like you- and you certainly shouldn't have to convince them to feel that way. If you’re with the right person, you won’t need excuses. If you’re with the right person, you’ll simply recognize and accept their shortcomings. So for everyone that finds themselves doing any of the above, KNOCK IT OFF! Trust me, being alone isnt half as bad as the mess you're making trying to make something wrong into something right.You’ll thank me later.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Target Practice

I realize my posts have been somewhat serious lately; lacking a bit of my troublesome charm, to say the least. So I want to lighten things up a bit and talk about “that guy” and “that girl.” You all know who I am talking about. (You may even find after reading this post, that you are that person).

I want to preface this discussion by saying that I would not consider myself a mean-spirited person. I am 100% completely capable of being a jerk, but I don’t go around looking to put people down. I am just usually willing to say what the rest of you are thinking, and I’d love it if you didn’t fault me for that.

With that being said, some people are just asking for it.

Everyone knows that one person in their group of friends that just makes themselves an easy target. As a bit of jokester myself, I usually appreciate a challenge. However, if someone is just going to hand-feed me material by simply showing up, well hey- I will never pass up a chance to make a wise-crack. Now, it’s not necessarily that they aren’t liked or accepted in the group; it’s that you can basically rely on them to be at the butt of a joke… every time. And I appreciate them for it because they provide me with SO much fun and entertainment!

Now if you haven’t noticed yet, I love putting my observations into groups or classifications. (I like that they make people easier to spot). I’ll narrow this down for time’s sake, but there are two types of people I like to use for target practice. There are your stereotypes and your sitting duck.

The stereotype is just an easy one really. It’s easy because, whether people like them or not, there is truth to them. It’s because of these people that the stereotype even exists. You have your token black guy, meathead, prepster, slut, frat-bro; the list goes on and on. While I realize that everyone can be put into a category of some kind, these people just meet the definition to a tee. It really is almost as though the stereotype was created after them. These guys are usually proud of whatever it is they’re representing so most of the time they won’t even realize you’re making fun of them (which I think adds some to the fun sometimes).

Then you have the Sitting Duck; the name itself offers really all you need to know. They are an easy target simply because they never fight back. They just sit there and take it. Now you actually need ammo for this type of person in order to crack a joke. They won’t always just give it to you- you may have to wait for them to open their mouth or something, but once you've found their weakness, it’s like taking candy from a baby. This type of person is a different kind of fun because they can usually laugh with you- they just lack the quick humor it takes to shoot back.

Joking around is really a competitive sport for me so I enjoy shooting it back and forth with people more than I like just going after “that guy.” I like to work for my fun a bit more, and I don't like joking around when it is just plain mean- it really is about the funny-factor for me. However, I am going to give a shout-out and dedicate this post to all “those people” we know that provide us with easy amusement time and time again. Thanks guys!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's a Pie to the Face...

You know, life happens. It just does whether we want it to or not. We are forced to learn and grow and change with it. I would say that I have done that, good or bad, in the best way I know how. In hindsight, I haven’t handled every situation the way I would have liked or probably should have, but the choices I’ve made were always with good intentions. There have been times where things didn’t go the way I had planned, but at the very least, I have always tried to take the high road.

I do wish that I could go back and do some things differently. I’d be lying if I said every decision I’ve ever made was the right one. Yet, with every choice, there are lessons to be learned. I finally understand that. I understand now there are things we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to realize; and people we can’t live without but have to let go.

With that being said, life happens. It comes at us sometimes like a pie to the face. It’s up to us to either moan about the mess or lick our lips and say, “that’s good pie!” Let’s just say I love a good pie. And I relish in an opportunity to get dirty and make a mess. If you don’t quite understand my metaphor, I’ll speak more directly…

S*** Happens. We make a choice to either learn and grow from it or not. We make a decision to be happy or to be miserable with the hand we are dealt. I know a lot of what I say sounds completely cliché, but I’ve spent enough time in psychology to know that we have the ability to control our own disposition in a given situation. Everything we do is a choice. It’s just up to us to make the most positive, well-informed decision possible.  Life’s too short to spend it miserable and unhappy. So when you get caught with a pie to the face, I challenge you to lick your lips and enjoy the mess.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Takin' Lemons and Makin' Lemonade

I made it 22 years of my life without facing rejection… until tonight. I was never rejected from a college, other job opportunities; anything really.  But I did not get the job. I wish I could lie to save face and say that I got the offer but turned them down. Instead, they made the decision for me. Honestly, it may be a defense mechanism kicking in, but I am actually relieved. It was a great opportunity, but I had a lot of apprehension about committing two years of my life to it and then going to back to school. Instead, I have spent a little bit of time today reviewing my options and came up with a new plan for the next year. I am going to apply for SLU’s one year MBA program. This way I would graduate in the spring of 2013 and be able to start law school the following fall. (I jump around quickly, I know.) But I figure with a bachelor's degree in psychology, my MBA, and a law degree- I would a triple threat of the legal world! I'll let ya'll know how it goes!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Waiting Game: Will Patience Pay Off?

So as you may or may not know, I just graduated this past December. Since then, I have basically just been coaching basketball and hanging out… waiting…

I’ve tried to restrain myself from making five year plans because, well, I’ve learned that too many things happen and change in five years to ever plan around them. Nevertheless, it is important to me to have somewhat of an idea of where I would like to go and what I want to do. This past year has been extremely crazy for me and has made me question exactly what it is I want to devote my life to, occupationally. I’m a psychology, polisci major and a coach so I have a variety of different options available to me in terms of future career paths. This has been a bit of a problem for me because well the only thing harder than having no choice, is having too many. I’ve applied to grad schools for counseling, and I’ve continued to take coaching jobs in hopes of it leading to teaching positions but for whatever reason those options just didn’t seem like me. So I devised a new plan and have worked tirelessly to ensure it works out. I have decided I want to go to law school. However, having graduated early, I have literally been in school non-stop, through the summers with school and field hockey since I was in high school. Being somewhat burnt out, I know I’m not quite ready to dedicate myself to the time and effort that law school requires, just yet. So to extend the time before I will go back to school, I have spent countless hours over the past 4 months applying for a position in a particular organization that will allow me to build a great resume and help pay for and get into law school. That’s what I’ve been waiting for. I made it through phone interviews, tests, personal and educational background checks, and even final personal interviews. I nailed the interviews, have a stellar resume and all the credentials one would need for such a position. Still, it’s extremely competitive and you just never know…

I have been left to simply wait to hear back for over a month now; providing a patience I didn’t know that I had. I hear back tomorrow. I have to say I am nervously excited. This particular job could potentially take me to another city outside St. Louis, a place I’ve never left. For the first time, I have a plan but also face an unknown. Tomorrow I will be faced with one of four new challenges. One, I don’t get the job and will have to create a new plan for myself for the next year before the 2013 law school year begins. My second option would be that I get a position in St. Louis; one that I would have to choose to accept and commit to for the next two years. The third challenge would be that I am offered the position in a new city (most likely Dallas or Jacksonville), in which case I would have to seriously consider leaving the life I’ve built here in St. Louis. And finally the possibility would be if I was offered a position, I could choose to turn it down.

It’s finally here. I’m down to the last 24 hours of waiting and almost wish I could push it back a few more days. After tomorrow, I have one week to make a decision that, in essence, will affect the rest of my life. The idea of growing up and being an adult sounds really great; the reality of it actually being here is pretty nerve-wrenching. So wish me luck, for whichever option you hope I get! I’ll let you know how it goes… in the meantime, I will be here waiting…

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Lightning Strike

I was going to make this post all about what women want from a man in the long term. I was going to talk all about communication and passion and compromise. But what do I really know about what women want in the long term? I haven’t quite lived the long term so I’m not going to pretend to know. Instead, I’m going to talk from a realistic, rather than idealistic, standpoint. I’m going to write about what I want.

I want that feeling again- Love. I have no idea who can bring that feeling to life for me or if there will ever be anyone who can. But it’s what I want. For anyone who has ever known the feeling of true, bone- chilling love, than you understand. They say love like that only exists in poetry or in novels, but I would say I’m one of the lucky few that know it is real. It exists in a way that shatters all logic and reason. I’d even hope that I am one of those extremely lucky people that can get struck by lightning twice-which is exactly what it’s like- a surge of power that hits you to the core. For those who have never felt it or can’t imagine, I can only attempt to describe what it is like…

It’s an understanding; a complete knowledge and acceptance of another person. It’s recognizing the person as a whole, in all their faults and strengths, and choosing to accept them in spite of differences. It is a playful romance that takes the form of a wrestling ring in the middle of the living room. It’s a feeling that comes to life in the middle of Target after chasing each other through the aisles and stealing a kiss in home-goods when you finally collide.  It’s asking them to drive around the block a few more times just so you can watch them sing to your favorite song on the radio. It’s going out with all of your friends and the only PDA necessary is the catch of their eye from across the room- one that’s held just long enough to feel all alone. It’s chicken noodle soup when you’re sick. It’s kissing the tears from their face when they’ve felt defeat or sadness. It’s knowing exactly how far is too far in a tickling war and being able to laugh it off when you “accidently” get punched in the face. It’s being able to find that feeling and even forgiveness when you desperately want to hate the other person. It’s the challenge to make each other better than either one of you could be on your own. It’s that adventurous spirit that makes you try things you never thought you could. It’s a chocolate chip fight in the middle of the kitchen. It's being completely selfless, yet spoiled all the same. It’s not arguing over who pays the bill at dinner or who drives. It’s a nap together in the middle of the afternoon and waking up to the feeling completely personified in an act that only you two can put on. It makes you crazy and sane all at the same time. It’s the belief that the measure of that feeling can only be in the distance to the moon and back.

So now you know- I’m an asshole and a hopeless romantic.

It all sounds corny and cliché, sure. But it exists. I know it does because I’ve lived it. I’m not writing this to say I want to live it the same way with the same person. This isn’t some ploy to win anyone over or strike up an old flame. I'll leave that up to the ol, "if it's meant to be" mumbo-jumbo. Instead, I’m writing this for a couple reasons. I want the lucky ones out there that know the feeling I’m talking about; I want them to never take it for granted. I want whatever ma/en that may be in my future to know that I won’t settle for anything less. And most of all, I want that feeling to be what every woman wants.