Monthly Archives: January 2014

5 miles

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My weekly goal is 5 miles. I think that is conservative enough to achieve but steep enough that I have to take 2-3 days each week to complete it. This target of 5 miles was a big factor in my birthday plans. Last weekend I spent a few days in Chicago. I had a great trip and definitely had a crash course in how to get around in the snow.

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Eighteen degrees on Michigan Avenue

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Walking around Lincoln Park

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Realizing the beauty of snow

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Another Lincoln Park shot

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Brrrr

Southern girl meets snow

Southern girl meets snow

Chicago has a great transit system, which allowed me to walk around and get my five miles in while enjoying the city. This makes me realize how much this country girl enjoys the city. Who knows maybe when I finish school, I can finally move to a big city. And maybe even one that gets snowy.

Have a great weekend and bundle up for those southern Louisianans reading. And for those that aren’t, snow is such a rare occurrence down here when it even threatens to do so the city shuts down. So I’m at home due to my “snow day” reminiscing about my very chilly trip to the Windy City.

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3-0

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In exactly three hundred and sixty-five days, I will be 30.

This is how I feel about turning 30 next year!

This is how I feel about turning 30 next year!

In my opinion, that’s the first significant birthday of an adult woman’s life. I feel that’s the age when you always imagine you’d be settled. Marriage, career, kids, whatever you thought you’d achieve at this age. I am not excluded from that. I always thought by 30 I’d have the husband, kids, dog and house that I’ve always wanted. But the funny thing about life is some things you just can’t plan. That’s the lesson of my twenties… Shit happens. Some of it is good and some of it isn’t. Some things aren’t fair but the good thing about life is it keeps going.

I feel after your 20s you can’t live life with wreck less abandon. In my mind, I’m a very adventurous, cultured world traveler.

I told you a bit about wanting to live my life more carefree and emotion filled than ever before in my last post, but I didn’t share exactly what I had planned. So here’s my list of things I’ve always wanted to do and other things that I have yet to accomplish. I decided to leave off things that I feel are beyond my control such as a life partner and things like that because no matter how hard I try that is one thing that I can not plan.

Here are the things that I’ve already completed…

  1.  Go natural (stop relaxing my hair)
  2. Complete a 5k race
  3. Buy a house
  4. Visibly dye my hair a different color
  5. Hiking, kayaking, Pilates, yoga
  6. Fire a gun
  7. Learn to swim
  8. Approach/ask out a guy
  9. Pay off credit card debt (about $7-9k)
  10. Work on my spirituality/ Get closer to God
  11. Cut my hair off (Accomplished Twice! J)
  12. Take a solo trip
  13. Mentor a child (This shouldn’t count, it was a bad match and didn’t last long)
  14. Speak up for myself (professionally)
  15. Live in a different state
  16. Host a dinner party
  17. Play matchmaker for a friend
  18. Let myself fall recklessly in love
  19. Conquer a fear
  20. Build a substantial savings

And here are the things I’m (mostly) still working on…

  1. Get my MBA
  2. Weigh under 200 pounds
  3. Start a business
  4. Travel internationally
  5. Travel to every state in the US
  6. Build a shelf, bench, etc
  7. Invest money
  8. PAY OFF CRDIT CARD DEBT AGAIN!!!! (AKA realize I have a spending problem)
  9. Listen to God
  10. Visit the mountains
  11. Purchase an original piece of art
  12. Grow a garden
  13. Write a book
  14. Join a church
  15. Run a complete 5k (jog)
  16. Watch Kobe play at Staples Center (Was originally watch Phil Jackson, but I let the opportunity pass me by when I was 16! A huge regret!)
  17. Bikini wax
  18. Buy an expensive pair of shoes— maybe I should scratch off 27 & 28!
  19. Learn to use a sewing machine

This list is compiled of some things I thought I’d always do and some recent additions. I’m pretty happy that about half are finished. There are quite a few that are pretty easy to accomplish and some that I may not quite get to in the next 365 days. I don’t think there’s time (or money) for me to travel to each state or write a book. And if you knew the balances on my credit cards you’d see that was impossible to do in a year as well.

I really believe I can handle a few of the others. I mean how hard is it to grow a garden??? Or at least a few plants! I have probably killed almost a dozen since I’ve been in my house. And I couldn’t be happier that I’m on track to graduate a few months after my 30th birthday so I’ll go ahead and scratch that off when the time comes, if the good Lord says the same.

And I have one more to add to my list that I can control… Fall in love with MYSELF. I have to stop being so harsh with myself. I was recently asked to name three things I love about myself and you have no idea how hard that was. Especially when the last one had to be something physical. It’s sad that I had to struggle to find just one thing I like about my physical features. I forgot what I settled on, I really didn’t mean it because I can’t even remember. But that’s all going to change.  Challenge yourself… what are three things you love about yourself???? I really hope you have an easier time answering that question than I did because I bet you’re all pretty awesome!

So, please excuse me because I have a hefty list of things to try and accomplish in the next year as well as a birthday to celebrate today! And I’m incorporating fitness into my weekend. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Have a great and active weekend!

Superwoman

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I am not Superwoman, but isn’t that what I’m supposed to be?

Maybe it’s all in my head that I have to be stronger, smarter and tougher than the woman next to me. That’s what I try to live up to everyday. I can do by myself what any man, woman or couple can do… Perhaps that’s why I always feel like I’m failing.

It depends on why you ask, some people may not think I’m failing at all, but that’s far from the point. I hold myself to unrealistic expectations. I want to do well in school, work, life, spirituality, love, fitness, and finances. But last year I realized I can’t do it all. While trying to stick my hands in too many pots, it’s no wonder I get burned in a few of them. It feels as if I’m drowning and just can’t quite keep it all together.

So what’s the solution? STOP. Those simple four letters that are so easy to type but so difficult to execute. This year I want to take great risks and live life freely. I don’t want to be bound by my expectations of myself or expectations of anyone around me. I want to do things that move me, just for that simple reason and nothing more. I want to live life in color instead of the safe grayscale existence I’ve forced upon myself. I want to be beautiful, feel beautiful and live beautifully.

I’ve always loved the song Superwoman by Alicia Keys, but never quite examined the lyrics. Here’s the first verse…

Everywhere I’m turning

Nothing seems complete

I stand up and I’m searching

For the better part of me

I hang my head from sorrow

state of humanity

I wear it on my shoulders

Gotta find the strength in me

The song is actually about NOT being a superwoman by the traditional definition, but being exactly who you are and doing it gracefully. So I’m going to work on being more patient and kind with myself and accepting all my flaws as I would accept them in others. That is my task for this new year.

I teased one of my dear friends about her more than 25 revisions of a blog post that she recently shared with the world, but I can not tease her at all. I understand the difficulty in sharing the personal stuff that you don’t even share with your closest friends, but yet here it is up on the internet to be seen by any random passerby. I can not tease her at all because I originally wrote this on December 17th and have made various changes and shyed away from sharing this ever since then. But thank you for unknowingly helping me find the courage to put my words on this screen. Thank you for being brave ad showing me how perfectly imperfect a woman can be. You are a Superwoman.

For everyone that comes across this page, I hope that you become the best version of yourself, not just this year but for countless years to come. Happy New Year.