Me, Myself and Time

First time I’ve blogged in a year (exactly one year actually, weird how that happens) and I bounce back naming my first post after a Demi Lovato song. Bold, right? I know, I like to keep it interesting.

So much has happened over the past year. I’ve changed a lot, I’ve grown a lot and I’ve made some super, amazing, incredible memories. I can’t possibly put it all into words, which is actually kind of the best part. Life, man, I’ve been living it. But…to sort of recap:

A Handful of Ways My Life Has Changed:

  • I’ve got a new gig now. I spend my days doing meaningful, challenging stuff to manage the people side of change with a team that inspires me. At night, I do whatever I want. Which usually consists of some combination of running, reading and sports.
  • I wear heels on purpose. Crazy, right? Remember this? Yeah. I rock those bad boys at least twice a week now.
  • I firmly believe a good night of sleep is pretty much the greatest thing ever. And I protect those eight hours with every ounce of my being. Well-rested is a thing guys, a pretty necessary thing in fact.
  • I’m just simple, uninhibited me. No longer defined by people, things, hobbies, ideas or traits. I’m happy and I’m just me.

A Handful of Ways My Life Hasn’t Changed One Bit:

  • I still have zero pets. Who has time for those things anyways?
  • I still kill plants despite my best efforts. I still adopt more plants anyways.
  • I still listen to an unhealthy amount of country music, annoy my neighbors by screaming about baseball and eat way too much guacamole.
  • As always, my family and friends are the absolute greatest. I live for them.

It’s been a whirlwind of year, but if there’s one (okay, two) things I’ve learned, it’s that a) life is one hell of a beautiful ride and b) life goes on.

Well there you have it. I’m back. Let’s do this blog thing more often.

8 Signs I’m (Almost) A Grown-Up

Not that growing up is a bad thing, but it’s definitely hilarious to think about the “grown-up” traits I’ve picked up since graduating in May and starting a full-time job in June.

1. I’m usually in bed by 10 or 10:30 p.m. In college, I was usually just arriving home at this time from student org meetings or sporting events. In high school, I didn’t get out of swim practice until 10. Now though, you can find me zzzz’ing into my pillow.

2. I bought a swanky blender…and a swanky food processor. Then, I spent an hour and a half digging up and saving recipes of things I can make with said swanky kitchenware. (So far, I’ve only made smoothies but they’ve all been amazing.)

3. I now own more dress pants than I do jeans. Which makes total sense since I spend the majority of time at work, but still. It’s a little weird.

4. My iron has a permanent home…on my kitchen table…where I use it every night.

5. Cleaning and organizing are basically my new favorite hobbies, right behind pinning apartment decor and ideas for curtains on Pinterest.

6. I’ve starting couponing. But not extreme couponing. I just cut coupons out and then I actually use them at the grocery store. Sometimes I get excited when I get a really great coupon like $3 off turkey burgers or BOGO Greek yogurt. That’s when I know there’s no turning back.

7. The first boy I ever kissed is getting married. Actually, pretty much everyone is getting married. My point is, I now know more people who are engaged and planning their wedding than I know who are approaching their 21st birthday. So basically, I’m old.

8. I forgot that recess was a thing. As in, my brain completely forgot that I used to have a short (in comparison to the real world) school day from 8:30 to 3:30 AND get a break to go outside and play.

Well folks, looks like I’m fully on my way to grown-up-hood. I’m definitely happy about some of the things I’ve learned and traits I’ve picked up in the real world so far, but it does make me giggle when I compare it to my college days. On the bright side, I still drink cheap wine, make frozen food in the microwave for dinner and freak out when I get packages from home so I guess I haven’t fully crossed over to the “grown-up” world yet.

I Am A Champion

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I am a champion. Wanna know why? Last Thursday, I spent 12 (yes, 12) hours in high heels. If you happened to hear about my epic tumble down the stairs last month, then you know this is a big deal.

To be honest, I rarely wear heels. I wish I did more, but I’ve always cared about the comfort and care of my feet and ankles more so than being able to strut around and tower over people. I’m also about as tall as my boyfriend, so wearing heels makes me feel a little bit like a giant.

Though I definitely prefer flats or sandals on a day-to-day basis, ideally I’d like to be able to rock the heels at special events or weddings. Apparently though, if you never wear heels, you fall down the stairs in a dress approximately 15 minutes after putting them on for a wedding and do many other highly embarrassing things whilst wearing them.

This leads me to one of my October goals: invest in a decent pair of heels and survive a full work day spent walking in them. Well last Thursday, I CRUSHED this goal.

Besides the thrill of hitting a goal, it also felt pretty bad-ass to walk around in heels all day successfully, without falling down the stairs or tripping, etc.

Though I’ll never understand how heels came to be one of womankind’s best friends, I’m glad I can say I conquered them, even if it was for only a day. Baby steps…

Before I peace out, I’d like to direct your attention to this lovely video that my good friend Beth shared with me. It’s utterly hilarious and of course makes me wonder why, as women, we do this to ourselves. Enjoy!

Toto, We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

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As of yesterday, I have been a college graduate for five months. The last five months simultaneously feel like ten minutes since graduation and an eternity since I called campus home. For me, post-grad life has been full of amazing opportunity, trying challenges and substantial growth as a person.

Lately, I’ve been back on campus for a few meetings and church every Sunday. When I leave campus and head back to my big girl life now, I can’t help but feel a little bit like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. This in turn has led me to contemplate what I miss and what I’m doing just fine without.

Three Things I Miss About Kansas (college):

1. Naps. Though I definitely had a bajillion more little activities and responsibilities in college, my schedule was much more flexible in the way of napping. Even if I snuck 10 minutes of shut-eye between two classes, or between my internship and a student org meeting, I still got a chance to rejuvenate throughout the day. Now, naps aren’t really an option. Though I’m sure it’s something I’ll get used to eventually, it’s definitely something I miss.

2. the RPAC. For you non-Buckeye folk, that’s the rec center/gym on campus. And basically my favorite place ever. Five months out of school, I still haven’t joined a gym and I feel strongly that it’s a result of being so spoiled as a student. With tons of machines, plenty of pool space for lap swimming, free weights galore AND amazing smoothies, there’s basically no gym anywhere that could top the RPAC. If you know of one that comes close, please point me in that direction…

3. Proximity. As a student, all my friends and roommates, my boyfriend, all my fellow PRSSA-er’s and AC kiddos, ALL lived basically within walking distance of me. Now many of my friends have ventured to other parts of the state or even the country, some are super busy with the next chapter in their lives, others are still in school – working hard to succeed, and so on. Gone are the days when we were all in it together, heading toward the same goal and leaning on each other in the process. Though deep down, I knew those days would end, I certainly find myself a little too sentimental about it all.

 

Three Things I Love About the Land of Oz (Big Girl Life):

1. New Goals. As an avid goal-setter and futuristic-planner, setting on the path to the next chapter has been a thrill for me. Starting a career and setting brand new goals has been invigorating. Now that I’ve taken the next step after college, the future seems so giant and vast and I’m excited to see and experience what it will continue to bring for years to come.

2. Weekends. Between homework, group projects, student org responsibilities and an internship that largely took place on the weekends, I rarely had a weekend to myself in college. Now, I never have homework or group projects and I get to decide what plans I’ll have on the weekend. I’ve been able to attend weddings, travel home to visit and see my siblings sporting events, etc. I’ve also been able to spend an entire Saturday in my pajamas laying on the couch watching romantic movies. Being able to count on Saturday and Sunday as MY time has been wonderful.

3. Fresh Perspective. Being on my own and working hard to sustain myself and be successful has been challenging, but it’s also given me amazing perspective and growth as a person. Professionally, I’ve already learned so many things about the PR industry at work and feel I’ve come a long way since graduation. Personally, I’ve learned to juggle everything it takes to live on one’s own – from bills to car maintenance to student loan payments to killing spiders all by myself. Looking back to who I was five months ago, I feel as though I’ve grown substantially as a person.

Well, I guess that’s it for my sentimental rant. Hugs and thanks go out to my boyfriend who I love and miss dearly, to my family who’ve been way more than supportive in this transition to big kid life and to all my college friends who I can’t wait to see again soon.

 

The One Wedding I Regret

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In all 20-something years of my life, there is just one wedding I regret. Just so we’re clear, I wasn’t the one getting married. I’m not even engaged at this point. No, at this wedding, I was a meaningless passerby in a sea of family and friends and a beautiful, amazing couple about to embark on an incredible journey of love.

Though I really was of no significance to this wedding or even to a majority of the people there, I still felt strongly about making a positive impression, about looking and acting my best and above all, being truer than true to myself and having a great time. I had my reasons for caring so much, and perhaps they were dumb, but regardless, I spent a great deal of thought and contemplation on this wedding.

Which is probably why it’s been weighing on my conscience for about a month now. Stupid regrets.

Anyways, I showed up at this wedding, dressed elegantly (in my opinion anyways), hoping to leave a positive impression and have a great time with my boyfriend.

About 20 minutes into the wedding reception, I threw all hopes of a fun night out the window and had to focus 100% on standing upright. You see, I walked into the reception and promptly fell down a flight of stairs…in a dress. A girl on a mission just can’t recover from something like that. My mojo was toast from the get-go.

Several minutes after that whole ruckus, my chair broke. Which was obviously not a huge burst of encouragement for me.

Looking lightyears away from competent when I had tried so hard to have a good time was a huge blow to my confidence and led to me TOTALLY ruining the rest of the night for myself (and likely my boyfriend too, though he appeared to be having a great time).

Looking back, I hate how much I let a couple embarrassing moments and a few emotional thoughts rattling around in my head kill my confidence, mood and mojo for the entire night. That’s the thing about the past though. It doesn’t really make sense to dwell on it since it’s not like we can redo it. We must learn from it.

Though beautiful and amazing for the wonderful bride and groom, I can’t help but wish I could cut myself out of this wedding and paste in an edited redo. Unfortunately, I can’t and I’ll just have to live with the fact that I want to redo the entire thing.

On the bright side though, I’m sure I’ll be invited to plenty other weddings (or at least I hope so) in my lifetime and now, I’ll be fully prepared for whatever is thrown my way.

The Breakfast Bribe

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I’ve been having this problem lately. Somehow I ended up in an unhealthy relationship with my snooze button. I don’t remember it starting with a first date, but now we meet five or six times each morning.

This new boyfriend in my life has been wrecking havoc on my ability to get ready for the day and arrive at work with a fully-functioning (and properly caffeinated) brain.

So last night, I took matters into my own hands. In a drastic effort to break up with my snooze button, I promised myself I would take myself to Peet’s Coffee & Tea for breakfast if I didn’t hit snooze at all this morning.

After first experiencing Peet’s on a trip to San Francisco last fall, I have been obsessed with their vanilla lattes (as I am all vanilla lattes) and fresh oatmeal. With dried blueberries, almonds and brown sugar, their oatmeal is to die for and I’m a huge fan.

When my alarm went off this morning, I thought of breakfast and kicking my day off the right way and for once, I popped out of bed like a daisy. Breakfast was delicious and it was amazing to have extra time in the morning instead of rushing around.

Needless to say, the breakfast bribe worked. Now, hopefully I don’t have to bribe myself everyday.

Here’s to no more snooze buttons!

Three Reasons to Celebrate

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Given that post-grad life isn’t quite as glamorous as I had imagined as a disillusioned college kid, I like to celebrate the little things each week. This week I’ve got quite a bit to be happy about including:

1. I made my first college loan payment. With two months to go in my “grace period”, I decided to bite the bullet and start chipping away at the gross things called student loans. Not going to lie, it feels pretty good.

2. I ran. I used to run a lot but working full-time and sleeping enough to have the energy to work full-time have pretty much consumed my schedule and I’ve been struggling with finding ways to get exercise in. I’ve started running again right after work which has actually been pretty successful so far.

3. AppleFest. Every year in my itsy bitsy little hometown, we have this thing called AppleFest. Live music, amazing local goodies and bunches of people come together to celebrate Autumn essentially. I love the fresh apple cider and pumpkin-flavored everything that you can find there. I haven’t been able to attend the last few years because of college commitments so this year, I’m extra excited to be able to go.

What are you all celebrating this week?

Home is Where the Heart Breaks

Home-is-where-the-Heart-isI know you’ve heard it. That catchy, sentimental phrase that’s emblazoned on white picket-fence décor everywhere – Home is Where the Heart Is. For almost 20 years, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it really did.

But now, I disagree. What or where do you consider home? I was born in the small town of Bevis (pronounced BEEE-vis in case you’re wondering) but moved to Hilton Head Island mid-grade school. I once lived in the hilly no-man’s land of Morrow, Ohio before moving to the antique gift shop city that is Lebanon. I moved to Central Ohio for college, and still live in Columbus now. I consider myself a Cincinnati native and a Columbus dweller but really, I’m a conglomeration of every place, city and state I once considered home.

For me, home is where my family is. It’s where I went to grade school (all three of them). It’s the pool I had swim team practice in every day on the island and my favorite Hilton Head restaurant, Amigo’s Café and Cantina. It’s the halls of my high school and the antique downtown streets of small town, Ohio. It’s the loud boisterous atmosphere of an Ohio State game in the Shoe and it’s the broken pavement I once broke my hand on. It’s the island trails I use to take early morning bike rides on with my dad and the dip behind the plate at the old softball field where I learned to catch for my southpaw sister. It’s my big girl apartment that I come home to now and it’s the bunk bed at my parents’ house that I share with my younger sister. It’s my boyfriend’s apartment where we’ve cooked dinners together and his family’s home in Cleveland where I’ve spent countless weekends. If home is where the heart is, then my heart is broken. Into a lot of pieces.

Not that this is a bad thing. I’m pretty happy with the places I’ve been so far. But so just we’re clear, home isn’t where the heart IS, it’s where the heart BREAKS.

I hope your heart’s broken, too.