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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Get It From Within

I really should be sleeping right now if I'm going to get up and make it to 5am CrossFit, but if there is one thing I have learned about myself, it is this: if I start thinking that I want to write something, I need to open the computer and start writing. It seems that the inspiration and words never come to me again.

Often I read something that speaks to me. Either negatively or positively, it moves me to change who I am or how I do things. Tonight I read one of those things.

It was about self-validation - only it really wasn't. But that's what I got from it.

And just prior to that, when I had gotten undressed and was standing in front of the mirror, I was admiring myself. (I know, it sounds ridiculous.) Honestly, I have some weight to lose. And I know I could eat better. But when I looked in the mirror tonight, I liked what I saw. It was kind of soft, but it was also kind of feminine. 

But too many times throughout the day, I let myself be burdened with the words other people are saying. And the thing is, they aren't even saying them to me. Or about me. Why am I so vain to think that their words are a reflection of me?

I know that I am too caught up in society's definition of beauty. No matter how much I want to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, when someone talks about how beautiful someone is because they are "tiny" or "have a bangin' body," I feel like they are saying that I am not beautiful because I am neither of those things.

But I am beautiful. When I look in the mirror, with or without clothes, I see beauty. And at the end of the day, isn't that what matters? 

We can all spend our time listening to what others are saying and letting that dictate what we see, but isn't it much more productive to be who we are and tell ourselves that is the most beautiful thing there is?

In the end, isn't the world a more beautiful place if we are all just being our best selves?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Damn, We're Mean

So, here's the thing, I was prepared to tell you a most hilarious thing that happened to me today, but then one of my Facebook "friends" posted a link to a blog with a pretty ridiculous introduction about how she didn't agree with the post. Which got me thinking about the things I'm going to say next. So here I am, laying in bed with my laptop so that as soon as I click "publish" I can shut this thing down and roll over and fall asleep.

To begin with, why would a person post a link to something that they didn't agree with? I mean, if I read something and I don't agree with it, I don't think I post it on Facebook and tell everyone how the author is an idiot. If I don't agree with something, I don't want to be promoting it to other people. 

But the greater problem here is that we women are mean. Downright horrible to each other. In one breath we tell our girlfriends to love themselves and be who they are, and in the next breath we are bashing women we don't know (or even those we do) for doing things differently than us.

Why can't we disagree without criticism?

I'm not saying that I am above all this? I'm as guilty as the next person, but why? Why do women feel like we have to put other women down in order to justify who we are?

It's bad enough that we are hard on ourselves, why do we want to make anyone feel as bad as we make ourselves feel?

I just don't get it.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Lost

I'm lost, friends.

Not in a literal sense. In that sense, I'm sitting in my living room on my favorite chair with a glass of wine. But in the mental sense. 


And I think I just figured it out.


You see, for a very long time, I have spent my time being the problem-solver in my family. Doing the things that I thought would keep the peace. Saying the things that made everyone happy. Making sure that everyone got along. Not to my detriment, but certainly not to my freedom. (I don't even think that made sense...oh well)


So, all of the sudden, I decided to do what I wanted. To be who I wanted. To hell with everyone else. But the thing is: I don't actually know how to do that.


Don't get me wrong, I'm giving it the old college try, but it is a very confusing place for me to be.


And I think that what really throws a wrench into the whole thing is that I can't get away from listening to what everyone has to say about what I am doing or not doing. And sometimes it is contradictory to who I am. And sometimes it is just contradictory. And then I don't actually know what to do. And then I start to overthink it all. And then it all falls apart in my lap. 


And I feel like Alice in the rabbit hole. And I'm not even sure that's the proper example because I haven't watched Alice in Wonderland in at least 20 years, because I just couldn't handle the Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter thing.


So the moral of this story is: don't be me, kids. Codependency is real son-of-a-bitch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's The End Of The World As We Know It

I was talking to Match last night and she was telling me a story about being in Costco in the last week and watching an older woman put back a regular turkey that cost $.99/lb. and pick up an organic turkey that would cost her $2.99/lb. She was willing to pay two more dollars a pound for a turkey that was "organic." And like Match said, how does she know that every bug that turkey ate was "organic?" How does she know that one of them didn't happen to get sprayed at some point, but just not enough to die? 

I told her that I believed that the fact that people were so willing to throw money away at an idea was signalling the end of the world. 

She agreed and shared another example with me that is really unimportant, because we then decided that the other sign was that men no longer have the ability to be men.

Seriously, if one more person tells me that I need to be the one who makes the move on a guy, I'm going to burn this place to the ground!

When did we get away from men courting women? Why do we only have a culture of "hanging out" and seeing where it goes? I don't want to hang out with you. I can hang out with my friends. If I want to date you, I want to go on dates with you. Obviously, we will be "hanging out" together on these dates. But I want them to be purposeful hang-outs. And I want you to ask me on dates. 

This is not too much to ask. I want a man to be a man. I want to be the woman in the relationship. I'm not saying that we can't be partners, but I want to be courted in the beginning. Show me that you want to be with me.

I woke up this morning and I was thinking about it some more. And here's what it comes down to:

I deserve to be with someone who wants to take me on dates. Who wants to spend time with me, and not just when he's had a few drinks to give him the courage to ask. I may like him, but I like me more. And I'm not settling for less than what I deserve.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hitting Reset

Way back around the time I was in college, Bridezilla and I decided that November was going to be "our month."

I can't necessarily remember the events surrounding us deciding that we needed a month to believe that everything was going to go our way, but it happened and it was November.

This morning I woke up and decided that I am going back to that! November is going to be my month. I am hitting the reset button and things are going to go my way.

I let October get me down and I need to get back in control. Of everything. Eating. Working out. Just being me.

Starting right this moment, I am focussing on me and me alone for the next month. I am going to eat clean. Limit my alcohol intake (I'm not sure I'm ready to give it up all together). Prioritize my workouts. Add some additional workouts in during the week. Maybe start yoga.

If you catch me being negative. Slap me.

If you catch me eating sugar. Slap it out of my hand.

If you hear me making excuses for not working out. Say something.

Let's do this shit, November!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Real Talk and Triathlons

I have a story to tell you. I'll get to that.

First, a couple of weeks ago I posted a Throwback Thursday picture on my Instagram of Granny B and I on our trip around the Northeast, and one of you commented on it that you loved reading my blogs from that trip.

That comment prompted me to go back and read those blogs and laugh hysterically. And realize how much I missing blogging. This really is like my journal.

The thing is though, other people don't read your journals, so you don't monitor what you say or worry about it not being good enough. These are just excuses - real writers don't care. They write for themselves.

That's another thing that 34 years have taught me, do the things you love to do for yourself. I have to stop worrying about what other people think. Or what their goals are. Or what successes they have had. They aren't doing their things for me. I shouldn't do mine for them.

I am a work-in-progress. Today, more than ever, I can realize that.

I recently became closer to an acquaintance and as we have gotten to know each other better, we have learned things about each other. One thing is that we are very similar and sometimes I think we share a brain. The other thing I have learned from her is that I am actually very mean to myself.

I exude confidence to the people I am not close to and I would love to tell you that confidence carries through everything, but the truth is - I am VERY hard on myself. I am learning to be better. I am learning to love every part of me.

It's a battle.

I still worry every day that I will not leave a mark on this world that I can be proud of. I worry that I will disappoint my parents and grandparents. I worry that I am not living up to my full potential. 

I have to stop worrying and just start living. 

Now, your story...

A long time ago I set a goal to complete a sprint triathlon. About a month ago, I achieved that goal.


To say that I was scared out of my mind would be the understatement of the year. On Saturday, when I had to go pick up my race packet and check-in my bike, I thought my heart was going to explode.

On Sunday morning, I started my triathlon in Tempe Town Lake. For those of you who don't know - this is not a lake you would choose to swim in on any other occasion. The water was so cloudy that when you put your hand into it, it disappeared. Wearing goggles was just a formality because you seriously couldn't see anything if you wanted to. We were swimming into the sun so the glare off the water made it virtually impossible to see even the boy where we were supposed to turn. People were running into other people, I got felt up at least four times in the first 100 meters, it was a logistical nightmare!

Finally, the crowd clears out and I make it to the first buoy. I think, here's my chance to make up some time. And I start swimming freestyle. Bad move, Airplane. Bad damn move.

Next thing I know, I look up and I'm totally off course. Apparently, when you turned the first buoy, you were supposed to swim diagonally to the next one - it wasn't a square. Shit! Time to give up the freestyle, put the goggles on my head, and breast stroke the remainder of the swim.

I get out of the water and run into the transition area to dry off, get dressed, and start the bike portion of the race. I'm feeling pretty good. I get out of transition in about four minutes and I'm off on the course. About two miles in, I get a flat tire. I wish I was kidding.

Long story short, I walk my bike up to the nearest police officer and ask where I can get air in my bike. He lets me know that there is one support truck (for 1400 racers) and he will call it. It takes at least 40 minutes for the support truck to finally pull up, they load me and my bike into it and off we go to bike repair. On the way to the repair tent, the driver tells me that if they can fix it he will take me back to where he picked me up and I can finish the race.

Part of me was hoping they couldn't fix it.

They could. New tube and I'm off again. Pretty sure I'm the last person on the course, I decide that I'll just cut it a bit short. You see, there was a super sprint distance and their bike turnaround was right past transition and about 6 miles closer than mine.

I come around the corner still planning to cheat a bit, and the freaking support truck driver is there picking up signs. I can't turn around now - he'll know I cheated. Damn!

I ride on. Then I saw someone in front of me on their bike - I'm not going to be the last person on this course, so I speed up and pass her. Victory!

I finally finish the bike portion and put my hat on for the run. Again, the super sprint distance had a shorter run - I think, I'll just take their route. 

One problem, I have no idea what their route is and there is no good signage. Foiled again, I proceed to finish the 3.1 mile "run." Which was really more of a fast-paced walk for me.

But the moral of the story is: I finished! I finished a sprint triathlon under my goal time (if you subtract the time that I had to stand around waiting). But I'm not sure I'll ever do that again.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Things 34 Years Have Taught Me

I have written this post in my head at least a dozen times. It is truly the bane of my writing that inspiration and words come to me at the most inopportune times. Like when I'm driving down the road and can not jot down my thoughts.

Being 34 and a single woman is interesting. I am certainly not the only single 34-year-old woman on the planet. I'm not even the only one I know. But for some people, meeting me is like encountering a unicorn - and they just can't understand me. 

But the thing is, that's not very important to me. What matters most to me is that I know myself. And know myself, I do.

Having the opportunity to be unapologetically who I am (be that good or bad) for so long has taught me a few things. Now these things may not make sense for everyone, but they make sense for me and I want to write them down.

So here it is, in no particular order:

There is a good chance that not everyone will like me. As a matter of fact, it is inevitable. However, I can not change who I am to suit another. And in many cases, there is no reason and no solution for someone not wanting to be my friend. That is ok.

My sisters may make me crazy (and I can assure you that I make them crazy), but when my world is crumbling around me, there aren't many places that comfort me like being in their presence.

Lipstick makes all the difference. I shunned it for so long, but the truth is, it completes a look and Match.mom was right.

Never let an opportunity pass you by twice. Especially if you had regrets the first time. There is a reason that it comes around again.

Don't let someone else define your beauty. This one is a constant struggle, my friends. But I won't give up.

People will be quick to judge and criticize the things that they don't understand or that make them uncomfortable. That is on them.

My family is the best around. For too long I have taken for granted how lucky I am that my parents are loving, giving, and stable. Everyone does not have that in their lives.

Success means something different to every person. I can not judge my own success by there standards. I can only decide what I want and get it.

A lot of problems can be solved with a bottle of wine and good friends.