Le Sigh

Generally speaking, I’m not really into disclaimers.  As a writer it has always been my biggest pet peeve in workshops or critique groups when people start out with “well its just a rough draft” or “ Its still a work in progress” already offering some excuse as to why you might read it the way you do. I tend just to throw things out there and hope for the best.   My last blog post has ended up causing a bit of an up roaring in my personal life, and I’m trying my best not to over-think it, but I would like to clarify a few things, and then forever and always I’m going back to writing about things like baby goats, my garden, amazing food and wine, and the everyday awkwardness that is my life.

Le Sigh.

My blog is generally about my personal life. It’s a way for me to stay connected with the people that I know, some of whom I’ve met, some of whom I haven’t.  Occasionally it is an observation of things or people or situations, but I tend to write about what I know, what is in my head, and leave it at that.  Writing helps me process a lot of things, and sometimes that comes out in a bit of a mess, but it has never been my intention to purposely slander/ throw someone under the bus/ or be catty/ manipulative or judgmental.  I’m not really an “air everyone’s dirty laundry” kind of girl. That being said,  If you don’t like what I say on my blog, you don’t have to read it. Period. If you don’t want to know what I’m thinking and feeling, what my opinion or point of view is… you are in the wrong place. I’m not going to apologize for my writing, nor am I going to sugar coat or tiptoe around things because I’m worried about what other people might think. What I write about is deeply personal to me, and if you choose to be a part of that and get some insights into my life, then that is great. I appreciate that. If you don’t… well then no one is forcing you to read it. I’m sure there are a lot of other ways you could be spending your time, and I’m not going to be offended. I also welcome differing ideas and opinions.. if you want to start a dialog with me, I’m absolutely all about it.

For the record: The purpose of my last post was not to slander my ex boyfriend, nor was it expose his personal life, or to vindicate myself. Even now looking at it, I view it as a “these are some things I’m going through, this is how I’m dealing with them, these are ways in which I’m trying to better my life, an make better choices.”  I wasn’t trying to name names or point fingers, or go all woe is me… It wasn’t supposed to be a “hey world my ex boyfriend is a giant ass” and that wasn’t in my head when I wrote it. Here is what it was… a way for my to officially be able to move on.  I think that he is an amazing parent, and an immensely talented person, and at the end of the day I really truly wish him the best.  But right now, what is best for me, is to not have him in my life.  At All.  And its really hard for me, and it makes me sad… but it is what is best for both of us. End of Story…. Mostly.

He is rather upset with me, and has repeatedly asked me to take down the post, asked me to re-write it, said some choice things etc. .  ( Maybe I am crazy, but if you don’t want me to be in your life in any way shape or form, and have asked that I remove you from all social media, maybe pay me the same courtesy and don’t read my blog? That sounds reasonable, right? If you feel compelled to read it fine, but maybe don’t go so far as to threaten to sue me for for slandering you… )  Re-writing my blog, elaborating on the situation, or making amendments is not something that I feel like I need to do, but I do welcome any comments or edits that he would like to make to fill in a bigger picture, and I’ve told him this repeatedly. He has assured me that he doesn’t need to because all of our mutual acquaintances know his side of the story, and they all know I’m the fucked up one… and no one would ever read this garbage anyway… (well he did, clearly… and it apparently struck a nerve… again, not my intent)  To the handful of you who actually know us both, and do actually read this… Thanks for  being in both of or lives…  I really do  wish him nothing but good things… This was not an attempt to show the world another side of him, this was not an attempt to get his friends and colleagues to see my point of view and turn against him, this was not me drawing a line in the sand asking people to choose sides. I assumed that our mutual acquaintances and colleagues would stay mutual acquaintances and colleagues, and would not be sucked into the drama… perhaps that was naïve, as I’ve been informed that everyone in the Portland food scene knows that I crazy manipulative bitch I am, and everyone that I respect and admire professionally and personally knows the “truth about me” and is under the impression that I need to seek professional help, or am just some deranged   manipulative woman.   And to that I say, Bummer.  I am trying to branch out and make a name for myself, and over the past year, I have met a lot of interesting and amazing people that I would like to keep in my life… and because I’ve had a falling out with this person, those relationships might not be possible. But at the end of the day, I can’t control how people view me, and what they choose to believe about me… and I’m remarkably OK with that.  I’m not going to let myself get caught up in insecurities, misunderstanding, and skewed views… I know what I wrote, I know how I meant it, I know where my heart was and  If people want to judge me without really knowing me, let them. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, it is my fatal flaw… but sometimes I find it really empowering to hold onto the optimistic view of people. I want to believe the best in everyone, I want to see the best side of people… and sometimes that bites me in the ass… and by all means I don’t expect everyone to afford me the same grace. I stand by what I wrote, I don’t feel like I need to apologize for my writing and for my point of view… and I cannot fault my ex for his point of view, he is entitled to it… we clearly see the situation very differently…and at the end of the day, I have no control over how people are going to view me. Sure, I could publish all the text messages back and forth between us, I could sit here make comments about his past relationships and issues as I see them, but I’m not. That isn’t my place, nor was it ever the intention of my last post. Truth be told, I wrote it because I needed some accountability.  I needed some closure.

This is not the first end all, get out of my life fight that my ex and I have had… and yet in the past we have somehow ended up back in each other’s lives, but it will be the last. For the record, I think he is immensely talented, and a great dad, and he is so charismatic, and easy to be around… and I keep getting sucked back in. And I wanted to get sucked back in… I wanted to be in his life, and I thought that I could do it. I thought we could just be friends, and I could be ok with it… but that wasn’t being fair to myself, or honest… yes, he was always clear that what we had was just a friendship, but at the end of the day he was still the man I fell in love with, and I didn’t want to not have him in my life, but I also never really let go of the idea in the back of my mind of “well maybe some day the timing will be right.”  It will never be right, I know that with 110% certainty, but when you give that part of your heart to someone, its not always easy to take back.   And yes, I was deeply hurt by some of the things he said, by the way he treated me, how he spoke to me, and how he chose to interpret my actions… not hurt enough to write a vindictive blog post, but hurt enough to share with the people that I care about what was happening in my life.

So thanks in advance to those of you who are keeping me accountable, to those of you who know me well enough to know my intentions (or at least give me the benefit of the doubt) and a special thanks to the people in my life who love and tolerate me all of the time.  You are good people and I like you a lot.

Mini-life detox.

Here is the thing about blogging: Its so much easier to write things in your head. I might be slightly biased, but I write some amazing mental drafts of things. I then finally find a few hours to sit down at my computer, and what comes out on the screen is usually a little bit more like verbal diarrhea. Sometimes I edit it, sometimes I delete it, but mostly I just post it, hope for the best, and move on to the next thing.  In case you haven’t noticed, I’m wordy. I go where my mind takes me, and I realize for other’s it might not be the easiest to follow… But at the end of the day this is an exercise. It is getting thoughts into words, and it is exposing my jugular by putting them out there for other people to read. You might relate, you might not, you might think its funny, or terrible, you might only read it because you feel slightly obligated, or like my parents, you are looking for some more insights into my life. (love you guys). Whatever your reasons, thanks for reading.

 

I had a doozy of a weekend. The kind that makes you take a step back and decide I need a mini-life detox.  Which is exactly what I’ve done this week.

Backstory: Saturday night I had a fight with my ex-boyfriend. Mostly I was calmly saying “can we just talk about this like rational human beings?” as he yelled obscenity’s over the phone about how crazy and unstable I was, that I was too immature and that I needed to seek professional help for all of my issues etc.  (all I’m going to say about that, is that I was not the one yelling at my ex over the phone at 2AM… but I’m the immature unstable one, right?)  The fight was probably a good thing, it really helped me process some things, and see the situation a little more clearly, and overall I walked away feeling like “well, I sure dodged a bullet”. But it also left me feeling really sad.  I know that everyone has baggage and issues, and life is never simple, but arguing with him made my heart hurt, just seeing the reality that he lives in thinking that everyone and everything is against him. I know we all have defensive mechanisms, it’s a form of self preservation, but its really hard knowing that he decided a very long time ago that his life was too messy for anyone else to handle (which isn’t true, but he thinks its true) and so he just pushes people past their breaking point each and every time they get close.  It’s a self fulfilling circle… It’s hard to see yourself through someone else’s eyes, especially when you know that your heart and your intentions are come from this genuine and true place, and that someone else has twisted them into something completely malicious and negative.  Knowing that there is this version of you out there somewhere, even if it only exists in someone else’s mind is a little unsettling.  But overall, I’m just trying to let that go. As I writer this is something that I deal with a lot as well. Putting things out there and not having any control about how people interpret them is a really scary, and sometimes frustrating thing.  (I am constantly thinking, “But that’s not how I meant it! If someone took it that way does it mean that I’m not being very clear? Am I not able to get my point across? Do I basically suck at this?”) And then I let it go, because at some point you just can’t worry about it any more.

 

And at some point on Saturday I decided that I just can’t worry about him anymore. And it’s hard, because there are his kids to consider, and though I do worry about them every day, I have finally come to terms with the fact that he can no longer be in my life in any way shape or form. (12 hours after I decided this he was still texting me verbally abusive things about how what a crazy bitch I was… and saying that I was the one who kept bugging him etc… No communication seems like a no brainer).  I’m not trying to bad-mouth him, and I do really want what is best for him and his family. He is damaged and I knew that going in, and I hope he finds what he is looking for, but I also know that it doesn’t involve me in anyway, and that I need to focus on my own happiness.

 

I’m also going through a transition at my job right now. Over all it’s a really good thing, but I’m no longer Managing, and I went through a few days of mental battles with this. I love having more free time, and it’s a bit of a relief to not be in charge of people, to be able to clock in and out and leave things at the door.  I’m not exactly passionate about washing dishes, waiting tables etc. but I am passionate about the place that I work, which is at least something. I had a few fleeting moments of  “I have a liberal arts degree, I’m 28. All of my friends have careers and THIS is my life?”  but I have let go of that thinking. I’m thrilled to have a job that pays the rent and puts food on the table, and for the first time since I’ve been out of school I’m not married to my job. This is wonderful and also terrifying. I’ve been able to hide behind my job for so long… (I am fine being single 100%. However when every other person on the planet tends to repeatedly ask you a million times why you aren’t dating someone, its nice to be able to say things like “well I work  a lot, and not a lot of available men are frequenting the lavender farm these days” or “I barely have time to walk the dog most days, do you think I have time to go out and meet men?”) But all this to say, I’m not entirely sure what I want to do with my life, I don’t have a 5 year plan, and every time someone brings this up, I get a little panicky. Had you asked me this a year ago, I could have told you with unwavering certainty exactly what I wanted with my life.  (move to Portland, Marry this guy, go to graduate school, be a part time step mom, teach yoga. Things change. It happens. I haven’t picked a new dream yet… but I’m giving myself some time to work on that… and hopefully now that I do have more free time I’ll be able to follow some more passions. )

 

ANYWAY, long backstory per usual, but Sunday morning left me feeling like I was kind of hit by a bus… well actually more like my face was stung by like 10 bees. I was sad, and puffy, and emotionally belittled and I decided right then and there I was going to do a 5 day mini-life detox.

 

Mostly this just consisted of a few key things. 1) exercise daily. 2) make healthy choices. 3) surround myself with positive and uplifting people. 4) drink a whole lot of juice. 5) be joyful.  Mission accomplished.

True, I’ve eaten some junk food, and rolled my eyes a few times this week.  But I’ve also gotten up every day and made the decision to be happy. I’ve frolicked in the amazing fall weather, I’ve seen and talked to some great friends, I’ve been moving my person, and focusing on the good things. And you know what? Life is pretty delightful.

 

Here are some other things I’ve done recently to detox my life and work towards being a better me.

 

3 day Juice Cleanse from Portland Juice Press:

AKA the best thing ever. I had such a great time doing this juice cleanse, and Portland Juice Press was amazing to work with. They offered us a group rate, even delivered it all the way out to wine country, the juices were interesting and delicious, and it was such a great way to jump start some healthy habits. I cannot recommend it enough.

Post Juice cleanse I kind of jumped on the juicing wagon. I got a hand me down juicer from a good friend, and started juicing up a storm. After juicing at least once a day for a month, I thought it was time to invest, so this week when I was feeling a little down, and maybe a little impulsive (though if I was really feeling impulsive I would have bought the $300 Frye boots… instead I got a juicer… which is really just investing in my life) The new juicer is amazing, and I’m juicing just about everything in sight. Yesterday I put fennel bulb in there! And you know what, it was delicious.  Some of my other favorite things to add to juice, Cilantro, Collard Greens,  and red peppers.  But the fennel was like blow your mind good.

Starting tomorrow I’m doing a 21 day “Get Your Juice on” challenge. Its free, and simple. 1 juice a day for 21 days. It’s not a cleanse, its not a diet plan, its just “add this juice to whatever you are already doing, and see what happens” experiment. Last time I checked there were over 150 people signed up for it, and it should hopefully be a fun way to share recipes and stories. It starts tomorrow, so its not to late to join! http://getyourjuiceonchallenge.com

 

I also signed up for this 10 day whole life cleanse. My Good Friend Amanda over at The Savoury Soul is putting it together, and I’m looking forward to not only supporting her as she launches her first program, but also digging in and finding some ways to let go of some of my own baggage.

 

And I’m also listening to more Country Music. Um what? Since when did my Montanian roots catch up with me? Its not for everyone, and some songs are way too redneck, my cheated heart, or my mama taught me themed for my liking. But a lot of it is just happy… and lately it kind of makes me happy. Go figure. (Maybe its a phase?)  Feel free to groan and eye roll, and then listen to some Keith Urban or Darius Rucker.

 

 

 Some Pictures from this week.

Frolicking in the Fall Leaves

Frolicking in the Fall Leaves

Arebequina Olives. Its almost Olive Harvest time in Oregon!

Arebequina Olives. Its almost Olive Harvest time in Oregon!

 

My trusted steed.

My trusted steed.

 

 

 

September is for meditating, booty shaking, and fighting the fall funk.

The time has come, the walrus said…. Not that I’m comparing myself to a walrus or anything. September is here, and with it comes a lot of things. Mostly a little bit of restlessness. I’ve come to expect this every year, and sometimes even crave it along with the cooler days, the occasional rain, the change of leaves and the start of harvest. I’ve said it before (probably in a blog post from around this time, oh every year since I’ve been blogging) but I think we are programed from a young age to expect change every year. September brings the start of school, a new season, and from the time we are little September brings around change. So its sometimes a harsh reality when we reach adulthood, and realize that jobs don’t change every year, nor do living situations (well I mean they can….) and part of growing up is often settling into that stability, and yes sometimes stagnant routine.

I feel it this time of year especially, because this is when things start to slow down a little bit with work, my two best friends start to travel extensively for their jobs, and as the days become cozier I tend to become a little more introverted.  Well this year, I’m getting a jump on the stagnant feeling, I’m combatting the lonely, and trying to fill my days with manageable change.

Let me just clarify, I’m not bored. I wish I had enough time to be bored… but every waking moment is pretty much jam packed of things to do… but I can tell already that I’m heading for my fall rut, and might actually be prematurely there due to my broken toe/ the collapse of my summer project and goal of running a half marathon.  I became a bit of a slug the last six weeks, and though I’ve still been practicing yoga, I haven’t been motivated to do much else as far as moving my person.

So I’m re-focusing my energies this month, and am being proactive about doing things that are good for me mentally as well as physically, and I’m making small adjustments to my day-to-day routine to make sure that I am living a life that feels fulfilled and meaningful. My friend Amanda over at The Savoury Soul is encouraging people to build their best life. I wrote a guest post for her  blog this week, and am trying to refocus my energy and remind myself that I need to be my own champion, figure out what I need, and take little steps on a daily basis to make my life a little bit happier and healthier.  Amanda has really inspired me lately, and here are  a few of the things I’m going to do/ focus on this month to try and build my best life.

1)   I’m going to be awesome at my job. Not that I’m not already trying to be a successful and productive employee, but  I know there are days when I get overwhelmed, frustrated, and sometimes defeated. I’m going to approach each day with a positive attitude , I’m going to learn from each experience, and everyday I’m going to try to be better and more efficient. I’m going to be filled with gratitude that I have a wonderful job, understanding bosses, and co-workers who are (mostly) supportive. I’m going to be thankful that I have a happy and healthy work environment, and I’m going to focus on the positive, and let go of the negative.

2)   I’m actually going to start meditating again. Whenever life feels out of balance, I think this is a good place to start. Even if it is just a few moments a day, I’m going to make a conscious effort to take a little time to turn inward.

3)   Kick my butt into high gear. I’ve been off my feet for too long, and out of my exercise routine, and I’m feeling a little doughy. I recently purchased a package at Barre 3, and plan on finding new and fun ways to move my person. (barre 3 can get a little spendy, but there is a great deal for new students, also they recently had a deal on living social…its right up my alley with a cross between ballet, yoga and pilaties. Yes please. Also I know its probably not true, but after one class I swear my cellulite is less noticeable… for reals)  I’ve already gotten my hula hoop out of the garage (mom, bring it back!) and in another week or two I’m going to get back into running. Baby steps.

4)   I’m doing a 3 day juice cleanse next week. This I’m actually really excited about. It will probably be hard, and I will probably get grouchy somewhere around, oh the first 2 hours, but I think it will be a healthy way to detox my body, and jump start some healthy habits.  (I’m giving up caffeine and gluten tomorrow, and probably dairy the day after that to ease my body into it… so lets be realistic, I will be grouchy tomorrow… but I’ll try to compensate) I’m going to be doing this with 6 other women, so hopefully we can all support each other (and not kill each other) and it will actually be a fun bonding experience. We are going with Portland Juice Press… I’ve heard good things, and they are willing to deliver all the way to Dundee. I’ll let you know how it goes.

5)   I’m going to be better about corresponding with friends, through the mail. I love getting snail mail, and it takes literally two minutes and like forty something cents (I actually don’t know how much postage is these days, I always buy forever stamps…) and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that someone is going to open up their mail box and have a surprise note. God knows I’ve been collecting fun greeting cards and stationary since I was 12, and have moved all of it with me about a zillion times… might as well lighten the load, work on my penmanship, and start writing some letters.

6)   I renewed my passport today. I always thought I was the kind of girl who kept her passport at the ready in case an exciting adventure called me away at a moment’s notice. So when I pulled out my passport earlier this summer, I was pretty disappointed to find out it expired in February. Good thing I haven’t needed to flee the country.  Realistically I haven’t left in the country in oh, 6 years, but I like to think that my next foreign adventure is right around the corner (Pfeff I am 100% seriously looking into tickets for Paris…I’m just putting that out there)

7)   I’m going to watch less tv. It’s a noble goal. I have a lot of books I want to read, and though I do enjoy being able to mindlessly unwind when I get home from a late night at the restaurant, I’m pretty sure my life will be a little bit more balanced with a little less CSI NY. I’ve started to find myself wondering what sort of forensic evidence I’m leaving in my wake at every single place I visit… if I crime ever happens at the yoga studio, I’m totally going to be a suspect. Especially since I took toby to class this week, and he was probably shedding, and even though I swept I’m sure there is some lingering pet hair, and that will definitely link anything back to me even if I’m not involved in a crime in any way. I’m just saying… THIS IS WHY I’M CUTTING BACK ON TV.

8)   I’m taking a yoga sabbatical. After working 60+ hours a week, I needed to step back a little bit, and recharge. I’m still going to be teaching one class a week, but being responsible for teaching two classes on my “day off” was beginning to be more of a burden than a joy. I adore my students, but needed to respect my own limits, and give myself a change to re-coup.  I think as a result I will come back in a few months as a better teacher.

What steps can you take this month to make your life a little bit better? How are you fighting the Fall Funk?

Throwback Thursday: AKA traumatic stories from high school, and why I need a new summer project.

Well, I’m looking for a new summer project. I know, life isn’t crazy busy enough… like I really have time to put something else on my plate… but I do find that I am the happiest and the healthiest when working towards an attainable goal, and I need to be doing something creative… Up to this point my summer project has been training for the Wine Country Half Marathon. And then two weeks ago I accidentally broke my toe while watering the garden. Bummer.  This of course put training on hold, which has put the 13.1 mile race on hold until next year. Wah Wah…. I’m pretty sad. This would have been my second half marathon, and I was actually getting pretty pumped to run the 13.1 miles. (I even talked my two best friends into training with me… so yeah, have fun guys… I will drop you off and pick you up…)

After I ran my first in 2010 I decided that I didn’t really need to do another one, but as time went on and things in my life once more drastically shifted (the last time I trained for a half marathon I was dealing with not getting into graduate school, and trying to figure out next steps etc.) I found myself running a bit more. In January I was broken hearted, unemployed, and had a remarkable amount of free time, and frustration so I began running again. A few miles here an there, turned into 3+ miles consistently multiple times a week, and as I dealt with trying to find a job, and the frustrations of unemployment hearings, I started adding on miles. One day, I just randomly went for a seven mile run, um what? Who am I? So I took the motivation, and signed up for the half marathon again.  Yay summer project, yay pushing myself! And then the toe thing happened…

It’s actually somewhat humorous that I’m kind of turning into a runner (ok that is maybe pushing it… I’m not really a runner. I still have to talk myself into it, and quite frankly, I trot. Maybe I’m a trotter, or a jogger or something… but I certainly wouldn’t call myself a runner yet… I am a person who goes running. There are days when I’m out there training and I think “Wait… I’m actually paying $100 so I can run 13.1 miles… what the hell is wrong with me?” but those moments pass. ) Without a doubt, the most traumatic experience of my high school years was having to run the mile in gym class my sophomore year. (This is saying a lot, because once I accidentally farted on the bus at like 6AM on the way to a Speech and Debate meet, and my friend Stephen made a cheer, and then told everyone on the bus, and practically everyone at the meet that I ripped one on the bus. Literally the cheer was “Tayler Brisbin, Ripped one!” and then there were two farting noises afterwards…  and he was prancing up and down the bus, yelling this., and by the end of the day, I’m pretty sure that every Speech and Debate member from high schools across the state were referring to me as the farting girl…And yet, the running incident was somehow more traumatic for me personally… Maybe even back then I knew that  farting on a bus would make for a really good blog tangent someday.)

Anyway, flash back to 10th grade. I had been home-schooled up to this point, and so my “version” of PE was essentially going to ballet class twice a week, and jumping on a trampoline, and occasionally running away from Moose. I wasn’t out of shape, but I most certainly wasn’t a runner. I was at an extreme disadvantage, because every other person in the public school system had been running “the mile” once a year since like 5th grade, and they knew what they were getting themselves into.  I, however did not. So there we are, in PE and it’s the girls day to run the mile, and come to find out to be on par with our age group or whatever, we are supposed to run a mile in 9 minutes or under…. UM WTF? Yes, as teenagers we are supposed to be young and spry, and full of bountiful pep and energy… but jesus a 9 minute mile? Let me just clarify, that to this day, I do not run a 9 minute mile. I am a person who runs, and a person who runs multiple times a week… and even though I’ve been training for a half marathon for over 6 months, and am living at what, maybe 500 ft above sea level? I still don’t run a 9 minute mile! (yes, I realize I’m slow, and this is maybe pathetic. I’ve come to terms with is, so should you.) Let me also just tell you that the elevation of my home town is 5,555 ft above sea level. (no joke. There is a sign telling you the elevation as you drive into the town) That is a lot of ft above sea level, in case you were wondering, and yes the air is a little bit thinner up there in the mountains.

I’m not sure how “the mile” works at other schools, but at my tiny high school, the boy s and girls ran it separately even though we had a co-ed gym class. Therefore when the girls ran the mile, we each had one of the boys from the class assigned to us to count our laps. I guess this was so we didn’t have to keep track/ couldn’t cheat… which, full discloser/ spoiler alert, I totally did.

I’m not exactly sure what lap I was on when I decided that I was going to die, but I’m pretty sure it was about lap 15 (20 laps around the gym for the mile). I will fully admit that now, as an adult, I have a bit of a gift for melodrama… but at the time, I was just pretty quiet, shy, and misunderstood. I was not the scene causing type of girl… Hello wallflower. So when I started to tell the PE teacher that I couldn’t breath, I wasn’t trying to draw attention to myself. I had never been that short of breath before ever, and I started to get a little panicky.  (of course at the time it never occurred to me to just stop and walk… though come to think of it, I’m not sure that was an option since we were being timed, and there was that 9 minute standard we were all being held against… again, who runs a 9 minute mile at 5555 ft? Olympians?) I was gasping for air, and kind of flopping around, and like “Um… I…. can’t…. breath…. Something…. Is …. Wrong….” And for reals, I was worried about passing out.  Just keep running but all the while freaking out a little bit, and being a little vocal about the fact that I was worried for my wellbeing. Of course at this point most of the boys were thinking this was hysterical, and none of the other girls seemed to be having a problem, and they all seemed put out that I was making a scene… but come on, not being able to breath is kind of scary!  Anyway, I’m not sure at what point most of the other girls lapped me, but it happened. They were all one lap ahead, and I was one behind… and all I knew for sure was that I was going to die.  And so, as most of them finished their final lap I also stopped running. I looked my  assigned counter in the eye, and I either gave him a look of “you will die if you rat me out” or I was so pathetic and floppy and red faced, that he genuinely felt bad for me.  Maybe it was both… I was pretty socially awkward back then, and mostly I was just shy because everyone else gave me a homeschooling complex, but this was just interpreted as me being a bitch… so I kind of just went with it.  Either way, everyone else knew that I was only on lap 19, but the gym teacher looked at him, and asked if that was my final lap, and he lied through his teeth and said that I was done running.  (Seth, in case you didn’t know, you are kind of my hero. Or at least you were at that moment) Unfortunately, my BFF at the time also had one lap left… she was doing much better than me, but everyone had lapped her as well, and so when everyone else finished, she still had one lap to go.  She would have of course finished running the mile before I did, but I cheated and stopped at lap 19, so at the end of the day, she was labeled with the slowest mile time in our grade. My bad.   Lets just say, she was not happy…  (this might have been the beginning of the end of our friendship, who even knows… girls are petty)  But I was too busy gulping for air and flopping around to really care.  Clearly, I feel bad about it now, but at the time I was just happy to be alive and vowed to hate running for the rest of my days.

It might not sound THAT traumatic… and come to think of it, I’m actually surprised that the farting incident didn’t scar me nearly as bad as my semester in PE… then again, this happened when I was a lowly sophomore and still adjusting to the ways of public school… Clearly the event stuck with me, because I’m pretty sure I even wrote a paper during my Freshman Year of college about how much I loathed running.  What? Who writes college level papers about that? (the whole graduate school rejection is maybe making more sense…) I’m that girl, and it makes me cringe a little.  Thankfully, times have changed, and I got over it. Look at me, training for half marathons and things…

It’s kind of like the time a baby sitter made me sit at the table and eat pizza even though I wasn’t hungry, and everyone else got to go watch the Wizard of OZ, and then for the next 13 years or so I hated pizza. I was a nightmare to have at birthday parties, because I wouldn’t eat pizza, and all the moms would have to order other food for the “picky eater.” For the longest time my parent’s thought I just didn’t like cheese, which is probably the biggest tragedy of my childhood… As far as I’m concerned, cheese is gods gift to us, and the more cheese the better.  I often wonder about how much cheese I missed out on in those thirteen years because people just assumed my aversion to pizza was actually an aversion to cheese… why did they think this? Obviously I ate the nachos that had to be special ordered for me at birthday parties because I didn’t eat pizza… but then again, as a child, I was also a vegetarian, and so it probably made perfect sense to everyone that I didn’t “like” cheese. False. I just didn’t like pizza. Clearly, I got over it. (liking pizza that is… obviously, I’m still a little sad about the mistaken cheese deprivation.) Its kind of ironic that the child who hated pizza is now the front of house manager at an establishment that is know for its woodfire pizzas, and I eat pizza at least 3 times a week…. Shoot, good thing I also got over my hatred of running… Fact: you don’t have to run as much if you hate pizza.

But, I got over my hatred of running, and my hatred of pizza…  really all this is to say, that now I need a new summer project, because training for a half marathon and a broken toe are not two things that go together, but thanks for hanging in there through the awkward/ traumatic throwbacks to high school.

Reciting poetry to my raspberries & wondering who will inevitably rescue me.

I know, will this crazy lady ever be done writing blog posts about her raspberries? The answer is yes. Probably. In a while when there are more different fun things to harvest like blueberries and figs… I just cannot get over the fact that I have a garden that is growing real things that can feed me and my friends and co-workers. There are So. Many. Raspberries. ( and peas, but that is an entirely different post)

Everyday when I’m out picking raspberries two thing repeatedly pop into my head without fail. The first is the poem by William Carlos Williams “The Red Wheelbarrow” ( I of course tried to be “fancy” or just normal and link this, but once again blogging from my phone =epic fail. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15537

Anyway, everyday I recite this poem to the raspberries, only I replace the word wheelbarrow with raspberries, and the word chickens with bulldog. Yeah, I’m the girl who recites poetry to her plants… Daily. I can’t help it. Go find some raspberries & try not to say that poem to them… So much depends upon the red raspberries… I’m compelled.

The second thing that pops into my head while pretty much leaning my entire body weight across the raspberry patch to reach that one perfect berry is ” dear god, if I were to fall into this raspberry patch, I wonder how long it would take for someone to find/ rescue me! I’m due at work in 45 minutes, so hopefully someone would start worrying, and my dad should be here in about 3 hours to let the dog outside… So he could fish me out of here”. Literally every day I think about that, because when you live alone you need to start coming up with a backup plan in case you fall into a bramble of raspberries…. At least I wouldn’t go hungry…

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Personal Weekend Rules, and how I always manage to break them.

Firstly, let me apologize for my falling off the blogging earth. My computer died, like completely is without power with no hope of turning it back on sort of dead, and so my internet access is limited to my cell phone, and brief moments at work when I’m sending official e-mails and updating the company facebook page. I contemplated blogging from my phone for a good 2.5 seconds, and then decided typing a blog post on that tiny key board just wasn’t worth it. I still don’t have a computer (I had to pay a hefty sum to the US & State government…. how does that work exactly?) so it will still be a few paychecks until I get fully back into the tec world, but in the meantime I finally borrowed my Dad’s teeny tiny laptop… and by teeny tiny, I mean, this is just a step up from typing on a cell phone keyboard… please excuse the multiple typos that I’m sure will follow.)
I’m just finishing up two glorious days off of work…days wich, of course, were not nearly as productive as I would have liked them to be, but what can you do? I really only have four set “rules” for my days away from work, and they are as follows: Excercise, put on real person clothes, cook myself something, and socialize with other humans. These rules are so basid they probably don’t really need to be stated out loud…These are kind of common sense things, that arguably most people do… then again, have you read the warning labels on a hair dryer lately?  Most people probably wouldn’t get in the a tub while operating a hair dryer, and yet they put the warning lable on there anyway for the poor saps who can’t quite figure it out. It’s for their own protection. I am not a poor sap… and mostly I do not struggle with these four things, but sometimes it is nice to state them outloud, to put them out into the universe, and to know that the rules are put into place for my own protection. That being said, rules are often meant to br broken.
I usually do really good with these rules on my first day off and this week was no exception. I ran 7.1 miles (and let me tell you, the last time I ran 7.1 miles was in Septemer of 2010… this is kind of a big deal for me!) I curled my hair, put on a dress,made a healthy breakfast, met up with some old friends… Tuesday I was all about my day off rules, and I even upped the anty by doing a few loads of laundry, gardening, and taking myeslf out to lunch. Go me.
Wednesday, was of course a horse of a different color… (who even came up with that metaphore, and what really does it mean? Just now I flashed back to this weird Howie Mendel educational computer game  I had growning up that was all about life on the farm, and of course there were rainbow horses that popped up and said “I’m a horse of a different color!” needless to say, this did not help clarify anything.) Wednesday, my alarm went off, and already I’m starting to make bargains with myself. I still really want to get up and excercise, but my tendonitis is flairing up, and so already I’m thinking to myself ” well I am teaching two yoga classes today… that mostly counts as excercise.” FALSE. Teaching yoga, and taking yoga are two very different things,but at 7AM, its pretty easy to justify it as you push the snooze button. The same logic applies to getting dressed. “Well I have to teach two classes today, I should probably just stay in my yoga pants all day.” and the practical side of me cannot argue with this… who wants to make 3+ wardrobe changes in a day? Not this girl… already, two of my grown up life rules out the window minutes after getting out of bed. Rules were made to be broken!
In my defense, I did actually attempt to go for a run… I made it 1 mile before the tendonitis took over my life…looks like I pushed a little too hard with the 7.1… but lately my mantra has been “you’ll only get out as much as you put in.” Full disclosure… I came up with this mantra because i was finding it ridiculously difficult to wash my face before going to bed. I realize this post makes me sound increddibly lazy/ unmotivated about life as I’m having to use little gimics to get me to put on real clothes etc… but sometimes I really feel that as a women, getting ready for bed takes a lot of work. The makeup has to come off the face washed, moisturizer applied, teeth flossed and brushed, contacts removed… and often pores are examined, eye brows tweezed… and sometimes putting in the effort to get through all of that is hard… Shit, maybe I am just really lazy… anyway, since I started working in a restaurant my skin has been flairing up a little more… and I would stare down my giant zits and remind myself that if I wanted normal adult skin, I had to act like an adult and wash my face every night, or stop caring… a mindblowing breakthrough to have at age 27… And really the same goes for just about everything in life. excercise, diets, relationships, work… if you want to see the results you have to put in the effort. (except on the occasional Wednesday when you really just want to wear yoga pants to the grocery store… and even then, I think its actually safer not to put on normal clothes to go to the grocery… have you seen the types of things that people are buying? today the guy in front of my was purchasing 30+ fitness waters, about 6 boxes of snackwells, 10 frozen dinners, 3 boxes of waffles… yes indeed, you get out of it what you put into it… and at this rate I think it is probably safe to say, I’m not going to meet my soul mate at the bargain grocery store…)
This is getting awfuly rambly, especially since I’m basically blogging about being lazy/ unmotivated to be a real person…this could perhaps be a clue as to why I am single… or maybe its just a little dash of realism that makes me relatable?

Shifting Direction

I’ve been at my new job exactly one week (or 5 actual working days) and I’m settling into the change of pace. Life is definitely taking a different direction than I ever expected it to, but I’m pleased to report that I’m actually pretty happy. There have been a lot of ups and downs, and I think I’ve had to adjust my life plan about 17 times in the last few months… and now that I’m on plan Q) I’m realizing that sometimes it really just is better to not plan out your life… This method has really worked for me up until a few months ago when I actually started to make plans… suddenly I was thinking about my future, my education, getting married… what I really wanted to do with my life, and my efforts to actually take a step towards all of those goals pretty much crumbled around me… (got the rejection letter from graduate school last night).

But I have a really good feeling about this new adventure that I’m starting on, and am deciding that, at least for now, I’m a-ok with living one day at a time… Sure I’m still making plans… I know that my computer is about to bite the dust, so I’m going to start saving for a new one… and after that, perhaps a Dyson vacuum (Bulldogs shed more than you would ever think possible… seriously… imagine a shedding dog, and then multiply it times a million… Tiny. White. Hairs. Everywhere. It’s a good thing I love him).

I’m still in that awkward phase of training where everyone I will be managing has been there much much longer than I have… and knows much much more about what needs to be done… but overall it is very humbling. I’m not so full of myself to go in there and say “I’m the manager, lets shape things up. “ I’m more the female version of George Michal from Arrested Development trying to manage the Banana Stand “I’m Mr. Manager!” and then he lets Maebe throw away all the bananas and take money from the register. (just to clarify, I’m not throwing away product, or taking money out of the register! But my employees do know a little more than I do, and for right now, I’m perfectly ok with that). I know I will find my stride… in the meantime I’m running the till like a rockstar (as the owner told me “on the weekends, if you are on till, don’t leave your station unless someone has a gun to your head” he was kidding of course, but it is good advice) I’m also testing the waters as a Barista… which I mostly have down until it comes down to the milk steaming/ coffee art… My first attempt at latte art was rather phallic looking… who knows, maybe I found my niche, some people might be into that! But since it is a family friendly place, I’d better keep practicing… (side anecdote… We had to go to the coffee headquarters for training, and the barista who trained my group just happened to be the barista that I may or may not have asked out 3 years ago by passing him a note… personally I thought the note was kind of charming…but I never heard from him, so obviously it wasn’t that charming… anyway… there I am somewhat terrified of making coffee, and then I end up making a latte with foam in the shape of a penis for a guy I awkwardly asked out 3 years ago… Welcome to my life.)

And with that being said, it is my day off, and it’s gorgeous outside, and I have a plethora of things to catch up on… so I’m going to go do just that… I’m sure I will be blogging a bit less until I settle into my schedule, but I hope to keep it interesting, I hope you keep reading… and if you are in the area, stop in for a latte so I can get some practice!

 

Budget ramblings from a poor and happy writer type.

“In those days, there was no money to buy books.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

 

I have always been able to live within my means… sometimes more comfortably than others…Budgeting has always been somewhat of a creative endeavor, and sometimes I have been better at it than others. As I’m unemployed at the moment, I’m definitely trying to reign in my spending, and prioritize my purchases… and as with everything, I have good days and bad days.

Being unemployed has had a few unforeseen budgetary side effects. Obviously, I’m trying to cut a lot of corners, and  though I’m not going out and spending a lot of money, I am now spending a lot more time at home, and with that I’m noticing a much higher heating and electricity bill. I’m torn… should I be going to bed earlier so I use less lighting? Using more blankets? Lighting more candles? Would I actually be better off spending a few bucks on a small cup of coffee and sitting in a café afternoon with my laptop?  It’s hard to say…

When it comes to finances, I think a lot of people in my generation are used to treading water. Sometimes doing really well with their heads way above pool level, and other times floundering. In the past I’ve been really good at saving money, but to some degree I save money for the same reason I exercise… so I can enjoy indulging a little bit without feeling guilty. Thinking back on some big purchases over the past few years, I’m sure they weren’t always the smartest financial choices… (Bulldogs are not cheap, and neither are their medical bills!) But there is something to be said for fulfilling a dream, and I definitely would not trade in Toby for more money in the bank. I seem to be living in the cycle when I do great at saving money… and then of course life happens, and my car insurance is due, I go to the dentist, take Toby to the Vet, get my hair cut, and visit the gynecologist all within 2 weeks of each other, and the cushion gets depleted, little by little, and built back up again little by little.

Maybe someday I will have a job where I’m making more money than I know what to do with… maybe someday I will be able to think seriously about saving for retirement, and planning for investing in my future…But is it bad that I’ve never really dreamed of that? I know you need to be able to work towards a dream… but being a Creative Writing Major, I don’t think I ever had the dreams of making copious amounts of money…  at least I’m not disillusioned… and I don’t think I’m “settling” either… I just think I’m realistic… and I think there is something that is just a little bit enchanting about the idea of living within your means. Was it just me, or was anyone else excited to be out of college, and be somewhat dirt poor living in a shoebox apartment, eating raman noodles? Wasn’t that what we were supposed to be doing, at least for a while until we figured our lives out? And those years right out of school were some of the happiest I’ve ever had… Then again, I realize that my whimsical writer dreams aren’t always on-par with the rest of society, but  mostly when I think about my 20s, I always go back to that quote from A Moveable Feast  where Hemingway says “We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.”  And maybe I need to have bigger dreams… but living well and cheaply being in love sounds like a pretty amazing way to go through life.  And if I could somehow attach my current yard to my tiny-loft apartment, I would go back in a heartbeat!

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be in a situation where I’m not living paycheck to paycheck, where I don’t have to worry about how many times I go out to eat during the week, and how much money I’m spending on gas… But I’m also really proud of the fact that I am totally able to live within my means, and able to budget, and have the ability to make good financial choices on a daily basis… and I’m really happy doing it!

Sometimes this involves saying “no” and sometimes it means being a little anti-social… but mostly it just means getting a little creative. I was supposed to drive to Portland yesterday and go to the ballet with some friends… we were going to wait in line for “pay-your-age” tickets, which would have been a great deal, and overall something I actually could have afforded… but I made the choice to instead stay home, and spent the money on electric toothbrush heads…it was at this moment, that I felt really boring, and maybe a little too adult… but hey, cleaner teeth/ better oral hygiene is future money saved on dentist bills, right?

Though I have always been fairly good at budgeting, my dad always says that I have champagne taste on a beer budget, and he is kind of right. My biggest indulgences when it comes to spending are usually food and wine related… (and books… I love buying books… I’m trying to be better at the library… key word trying… but I also passionately believe in small independent bookstores, and I think they are really struggling right now…. So though buying books might not always be the BEST financial decision for my personal situation, books are ALWAYS a guilt free purchase.)  This goes back to the eating and drinking well thing… I started working in the Oregon wine industry when I was 21 years old… meaning that my fairly inexperienced palate quickly developed a taste for fine wine… and along with that came fine food… because, let’s face it, they go hand in hand. I wouldn’t say that I am a wine snob… more so I have wine/food snob tendencies. Over the past several years I have really developed an appreciation for good wine, and a healthy appetite for good food. It’s all but unavoidable when you are in the industry…(it also helps when you are dating a chef)  because everyone around you is drinking good wine and eating good food, everyone around you is talking about good wine and good food… it becomes a lifestyle, the universe is kind of wrapped up in good wine and good food… and with that comes good coffee…  And there are worse lifestyles to have… but there are also cheaper lifestyles to have.  Hence the champagne taste on a beer budget…  And yes, my wine/food snobby tendencies haven’t completely turned me over to the dark side. I still eat an occasional packet of Top Raman, and I have been known to keep a box or two of macaroni and cheese in my pantry for emergency dinner situations. I shop at bargain grocery stores most of the time, and make a few special trips for Organic Kale, and specialty cheeses… because life without at least a little indulgence is just too dull, but I am being a lot better about eating in!

So I’m not buying books, and I’m cutting back on designer coffee, I’m wearing a few more layers, and trying to drive a little less. It’s not the perfect budgeting strategy, (and yes, I still desperately need to find a roommate), but it’s something.

Simple meals, burnt kale. It happens.

Last night my dinner was really simple. I love taking a few key ingredients, and making a completely simple and satisfying dish.  Some left over sausage, soft boiled eggs, a healthy scoop of quinoa, a handful of roasted or steamed greens, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of salt… these are the meals I eat over and over, my basic fall back meals… They are hearty, and satisfying, and best of all they are easy.  These are the meals that I make when I get home late after teaching, and the meals that will be recycled throughout the rest of the week in some form or another. Call me bizarre but kale and quinoa are my comfort foods… (ok, ok, so is cheese… and pasta… and polenta… and a lot of other things).

From time to time  I do start to feel a little bit bad about my quinoa addiction… someone will post on my facebook wall about how Bolivian natives can no longer afford their one time staple grain because the demand here is so high… I guess you win some and you lose some…

There was going to be a photo or two to accompany this post, but I burnt the kale. I mean really super badly burnt the kale… The once green and thriving leaves were brown… way beyond kale chip, way beyond crunchy, but in a moment of desperation, I threw them on the plate anyway. I was feeling bad that my lunch consisted of a box of mac & cheese, and there was no way that something green (or at least something that had at one time been green) was going on my plate… it actually wasn’t terrible, but it definitely was not photograph-able, and sometimes that is just the way it goes.

Maybe it’s a karma thing.  I was feeling a little defeated when I came home at 8:45, a meal plan already formed in my head, and all the kale in my refrigerator was moldy. I tried for a few minutes to sort through it, maybe find something salvageable… but moldy kale is moldy kale…there were no survivors. But wouldn’t you know it, I just happen to have a raised bed full of kale in my back yard, and I was feeling rather proud of myself for having a winter vegetable supply, so I got out the flashlight and headed out into the darkness, returning with a handful of baby kale. “Look at me, I’m so resourceful, I just saved dinner!” is pretty much what I was thinking to myself as I washed the leaves, drizzled them with oil, and threw them in the oven to get crispy. And crispy they got. I was feeling superior, and on top of things, and oh, so practical… and then I burnt the crap out of the kale. At least it added some texture?  You know what they say, waste not, want not…

 

 

 

What I like most about running, and a tangent about make-up

One of the things I love most about running is the healthy afterglow that takes over your face. Sure I love the exercise part, and the whole mental clarity thing is an added bonus for me right now, but I really really enjoy that perfect post run flush of color.  Especially this time of year when us Oregonian women need as much color as we can get. (this past week aside, since we are in the midst of that perfect week in February where there is actually a promise of spring and blue sky. It’s the savior week that gives us a glimpse of the hopeful season ahead, and makes the gloomy days of January, and the looming rainy days of March & April totally worth it). You’d think makeup companies would capitalize on this, I mean Nars has their best-selling shade “Orgasm” why not create a blush called “Runners High”?  I get the whole sex appeal thing, I’m guilty of it too, I have more makeup with somewhat scandalous names than practical ones (because who doesn’t need an eye shadow in the shade of Sex Kitten?) but somewhere out there are the women who would totally grab a compact full of that perfect color, and I am one of them.

Photo  from Sephora.com

Nars Blush in Orgasm Photo courtesy of Sephora.com

I love wearing lipstick, and have more makeup floating around in my bathroom than a sorority house, but I think there is a time and a place for every look, and as of late, my life isn’t exactly conducive to copious amounts of makeup. We’ve all seen those women, the kind that put on mascara before heading to the gym at 7AM… and to each her own. Who am I to judge? If you need mascara before leaving the house, then by all means, but that is SO not me. I’m hard pressed to even slap on under eye concealer before heading out to a 10AM yoga class, let alone a full blown lashes affront before coffee. It’s just not my style… (though maybe I should make more of an effort to not look like a dead yoga teacher, even when I’m just heading off to take a class, and not actually teach. It’s a fine line, dressing for success and all, but also there is a huge authenticity issue. If I went to a 5:30 AM class and the teacher was wearing makeup, I would probably have to fight the urge to punch her in the face… and yes, that might just be the early morning, pre-coffee me talking… and no I don’t teach 5:30 AM classes, so I’m hopeful that if I show up to my morning class my students are not in fact judging me if I have managed to get my life together and actually throw on some foundation and blush) I think it is really freeing to not feel tied down by makeup… and I know so many beautiful women who make a point of not wearing makeup at all.  I was actually shocked the other day when I friend of mine showed some hesitation about leaving her makeup at the place we were getting ready before going out dancing. She didn’t want to come back and get it in the morning, because she didn’t want to brave public transportation without makeup. It was such a good reminder about how big of a crutch it can sometimes be… Who knows, maybe I should be more like this friend… I cannot tell you how many times I have run out for a quick errand looking a little disheveled (it doesn’t help that these no-makeup circumstances are usually accompanied by frumpy work-out clothes, and somewhat questionable hair situations) and run into several people that I know… Which is my own high risk behavior… it’s a small community, of course I’m going to run into someone I know! Do I care? Not usually… but again, maybe I should start caring, as networking needs to be a higher priority on my life list.

And then there is the a makeup conundrum I’ve been having lately. I am by no means a high maintenance kind of girl, I fully believe in the practicality of a five-minute face, and typically when it comes to the everyday I’m into less is more. Again, I think there is a time and a place for heavy makeup, and I also believe that some women can pull it off flawlessly and not look ridiculous. Most days I try for a more subtle look. And in theory this is great, I’ve got my routine down, and I leave the house looking fresh faced, bright eyed, and am not feeling weighed down by too much makeup. But lately I have been hitting that 3 hour wall, where I look into the mirror, and it is like all the makeup has evaporated from my face. How/ why does this happen? I could understand if I was out working up a sweat, but most days I’ll be at a desk or working retail for a few hours, and then I look in the mirror and my face it completely void of color. Suddenly I start to resemble Leo McGarry post heart attack on The West Wing… And it’s not like I’m wearing cheap makeup… this is the whole reason one invests in the mineral foundations, and the blush with sexy names… when I put on my make-up I expect it to stay on, and I don’t think this is that unrealistic.

Of course it doesn’t help matters that when I actually spackle on make-up for a night out it will stay flawlessly until the next morning. How is it that I can have the perfect amount of makeup on my face, and it won’t stay for 3 hours, but when I am arguably wearing too much makeup, it can survive dancing, sweating, drinking, and 8 hours of sleeping, and still be perfectly in place? Someone explain that to me.  And why can’t I have it both ways? Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too… (maybe I can… when it comes to me and make up, there is a very good chance that I’m just doing it wrong… but I like to pretend that I know what I’m doing…)

In the end I’m sure it doesn’t matter…I’m still not going to put on my full face before running out the door to a yoga class, and I’m still going to somewhat awed when I wake up after a night out and my lipstick is still perfectly pouty. I will probably still shake my fist at the mirror later today when my blush/bronzer has magically evaporated, and I will still think fondly back to this morning when I came bursting in the front door after my run, and my cheeks were perfectly flushed. Seriously, will someone please create this blush color?