Black Friday Shopping

I have decided that I am the perfect target for all forms of Black Friday shopping and Cyber Monday deals. It’s a bit of a problem but it’s a problem I am actually okay with. This Black Friday, I spent the morning scouring the internet for all sorts of deals to see what I could get and surprisingly enough I spent money on practical items. I didn’t think that I would actually get to a point where all my purchases would be all practical items and I feel pretty proud of myself.

That being said, I spent a decent chunk of money because I also realized that I was only a few weeks away from my big trip and I hadn’t purchased any flights or hotels.  So I used Black Friday as an opportunity to find some discounts through Expedia to get cheaper hotels and flights.  But unfortunately, I spent quite a bit of money because I was pairing all of my shopping with the travel bookings.

It’s interesting because what I learned through this entire experience is that I feel more than okay purchasing hotels and flights. In fact, when it is time for me to pull the trigger on a travel experience, it is so very easy for me to decide that it is something I want. When it comes to purchasing anything really tangible, I have a hard time actually making the purchase. Usually I will put a million things in my cart, and then continually shop around until I decide what I want.  This usually ends up with me removing a bunch of items from my cart and then purchasing about one item total.

I remember back when I decided that I wanted to purchase a vacuum for my apartment – I shopped around for days and months and couldn’t pull the trigger to purchase one.  Even though Target had one for about $50 that could do a quick loop around my tiny apartment. I still couldn’t get myself to actually purchase the vacuum until I absolutely needed it because I hadn’t vacuumed my apartment in months.  But on the other hand, I purchase flights without hesitation.  It’s kind of surprising but to be honest, I am totally okay with it. I feel like this allows me to maintain a minimal lifestyle with what I own and I get to experience all the great things.

Anyway, I am so very excited for all my packages to start appearing for the things that I purchased.  I know that there’s a possibility I will return a decent amount of these items but I love opening packages.

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Adulthood – Letting go

Recently I was told some news that rocked me to my core. Not in the same way that someone passing has but in a different way. That night, I felt physically ill and attributed it to eating a bad burger.  I couldn’t sleep, I remember spending that entire night tossing and turning in my bed feeling waves of nausea and thinking that it was the burger.  Or at least, that’s what I tried to convince myself that it was but let’s be honest – I have an iron stomach. Over the next few days, I felt queasy on and off, I lost my appetite and I was hardly sleeping.

To be honest, I don’t think it was the food. In fact I know it wasn’t the food.

I think it was the realization that something I had invested so much of myself in was officially over. But not in the sense that something terrible happened but in the sense that I had to officially let go. I wasn’t ready to let go and I think there was some part of me that thought I would get a second chance. That everything would fall into place, sacrifices and compromises would be made and second chances would turn into less of a chance but rather something permanent. It was just under a year of thinking that if I said and did all the right things, everything would work out in my favor and I would come out on top.

But that didn’t happen and I became physically ill. I’ll never admit it to anyone that I think that this was it.  This was supposed to be the forever because I had never felt this way before. This was the only thing I could focus on for the last two years and it was all I wanted. Even when I thought I could logically tell myself no, everything else in me said yes and to continue. I remember trying so hard to talk myself out of it in the early days, but I couldn’t stop myself.  And now, it’s over.

This is only the third time in my entire life that my heart has physically hurt in relation to something external to me. The first two times were when people in my life passed away and this time was when I realized that what I wanted is something I can’t have.

I still play the conversation over and over in my head, I can feel the heat in my face when I think back to hearing the words. I remember feeling my stomach drop when the words settled in.  I remember how quickly I walked away to avoid the tears. But there’s nothing I can do but move forward. It wasn’t meant to be. And if it was, maybe another time that is not now.

To be honest, this is the closest I think I’ve ever been to being in love. And now, I suppose in the best cliche possible, if I love something, I need to let it go.  If it’s meant to be, it’ll come back.

So here it is. I am letting you go. Officially. Good-bye.

Cooking

I get made fun of a lot because I eat a lot of food and I don’t know how to cook.  What I’ve realized is that I’m terribly impatient when it comes to eating and that mixed with my inability to really plan ahead means that cooking is an excessively difficult task for me. When I get hungry, my emotional IQ kicks in and I am not able to really control my cravings. I’ve noticed that when I start getting hungry, I don’t have the patience to wait for the food to actually cook and I start eating all of the food as ingredients rather than an actual dish itself.  So that being said, I have decided to test out some simple recipes that don’t take a lot of thinking or prep to see if there’s something that will get me more into cooking. Here are a few things hat have worked for me:

Williams Sonoma quick bread: I have never actually made bread on my own but this quick bread mix is amazing and if you want good delicious bread, check these out.  You can make quite a decent amount of bread with just the mix, two eggs, some milk and a loaf pan. Plus the actual mixing of everything only takes about 5 minutes and then it’s just waiting for it to bake in the oven.

Chia seed pudding: I had this delicious chia seed pudding with fruit compote in San Francisco and decided that I wanted to try and make it myself.  Let’s be honest, I haven’t tried to make fruit compote yet but the chia seed pudding was significantly easier than I thought it would be.  All you do is add milk to chia seeds and then let it sit for awhile (over 12 hours preferably).

Jalapeno cream cheese wontons: I like putting cream cheese, jalapenos and chopped spinach in a wonton wrapper and then baking it.  Super easy, super delicious and totally worth the prep work which is maybe about 5 minutes of making and then putting the mixture in a wonton wrapper.

Home meal kits: You can try Blue Apron, Hello Fresh or even the Amazon ones. Personally the Blue Apron and Hello Fresh ones take a lot longer to prep for me and that is rough for me but knowing that I have all everything all laid out for me really helps with putting stuff together.  Let’s be honest, it still takes an absurd amount of self control to handle making those but at least I have a full end goal in mind.

Bibigo Kimchi Stew: I love soondubu and I love Kimchi.  This was the best discovery for me because it’s super easy to make, takes only a few minutes and you can just put it over rice.  It’s amazing and delicious.  I’ve decided that these fancy kits are totally the best creations.

Top Ramen noodles as a base: I love using the top ramen noodles as a good base for my meals. I usually add various vegetables and eggs to my top ramen so that it makes me feel healthier.

Prepackaged quinoa and rice bowls: These bowls are great, and I was able to find quite a few good deals at Costco that saves me the time of having to fully prep the bases for my meals.  In addition, it helps with the portion control so I’m not stuck eating the same thing every day for a week.

Salmon patties: The salmon burger patties from Costco are a game changer.  You can just take a few out, put them on a cookie sheet, add a few seasonings or even just a little bit of pepper and then let it bake for 10 minutes on each side and you’re done! Protein for all your meals.

Do you have any tips or tricks for easy foods to cook or work with to help minimize prep time? I’m always on the lookout for new options.

How to keep your sanity

We do this thing where we share tips within our team and I was “nominated” to share some for our team. I didn’t volunteer for it, was definitely volun-told. But after reading it, I’m glad I wrote it and thought that I would share it here:

Warning: A decent amount may feel like a cliché, but it works.

1) Take time to yourself every single day. I know it can be hard, but finding 5 minutes where you can stop thinking and zone out is enough to rejuvenate and ground you again. This can be your commute, stepping outside for a few minutes, or finding a conference room to just sit and exist. Don’t look at your phone, don’t pay attention to emails or social media. Just. Exist.

2) Be present. When you’re sitting at a table with one person, two people, 10 people, be present. Don’t look at your phone, don’t think about other things. If you can, keep your phone out of sight but if you absolutely need it, put it face down on the table to avoid distractions. We’re so consumed by social media, emails, easy access to everyone and tethered to our phones (mine’s literally face up staring at me right now) that it’s easy to not focus on the people in front of you.

3) Take time to do something you love. Even if it’s for just 10 minutes a day. Doing something you love forces you to break away from work and to just do something that makes you happy. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself making more and more time for it that it becomes a habit.

4) Exercise. For those that know me well, I complain a lot about exercising. I exercise but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it. But it makes all the difference. Fun fact, we’re not made to sit on our butts all day long. So stop! Try to take a small walk every hour just to get up and move, or take your meetings standing up. Or drink a lot of water which then results in multiple trips to the restroom.

5) Drink water. My tip is to get a cup with a straw and lid so that you can rest your head on the lip of your cup, drink water, while simultaneously typing and reading emails. Efficiency at its finest.

6) Write things down that motivate you, that make you think, that remind you of something good in your day. I recommend taking a minimum of 5 minutes a day to write down one accomplishment and one positive thing from the day. This practice will force you to focus on the positive aspects rather than the negative ones. You can always find at least one thing that made you smile.

7) Set boundaries. There should be chunks of time within your day in which you unplug from your email and your phone. Whether it’s 30 minutes before bed or during a meal. But make sure that you have time set aside to think about something other than work.

8) Create a routine. When I get the most stressed it is because I feel out of control, in the sense that I have no say in what is happening around me. Creating a routine, even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day, will help. It can be meditating, making breakfast, reading, etc but create some level of consistency. And it brings back a level of control, a level of focus that helps put everything else back in perspective.

9) Watch people. Yes, this sounds absurdly creepy. But sometimes the best way to learn is through other people. Find people who you think have everything together and understand what they do. Everyone’s got their own tips and tricks and you can learn from them. Then modify their solutions so that it fits you and your lifestyle. Sometimes seeing someone do one thing can give you an idea on what you want to do or better yet, what to avoid doing.

10) Travel. Work travel doesn’t count. Travel somewhere that’s not your home for fun. See something that’s an hour away or 15 hours away. Make sure you get a change of scenery and those experiences will help put things in perspective. There’s nothing like standing on top of a mountain and remembering that there is just so much more out there to be discovered and experienced.

11) Do something every day that challenges you. This can be at work or in your personal life. But if you aren’t challenged every day, then you’re not growing. When you are able to accomplish that one thing that you’ve been working so hard for, there’s no feeling like it. Like the moment you set foot in a country on your first solo trip, or you run that extra mile you never thought you could. Or you eat that giant bowl of pho that has bested you multiple times. We, as humans, are impressive and it’s nice to get a reminder of just how awesome you are.

Testing out online only products

I’ve always been skeptical of change.  Weird right?  But it’s true.  It took me years to get on the e-reader train.  I love the idea of a physical book – the smell, the feel, the ability to turn pages, the bookmarks, satisfaction of knowing how close I am to finishing a book, etc.  The only reason I actually ended up getting e-reader was because I had a gift card to Best Buy and got my e-reader for super cheap.  It’s not the latest and greatest, it’s not full of fancy technology and it definitely has Amazon advertisements because I bought a cheaper Kindle.

But that being said, I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of online only stores.  The products that are only sold online, slightly cheaper because you don’t have a middle company and you don’t need to pay an additional markup.  But what I’ve found is even though these things are so intriguing to me, I still want to find a way to test it out.  That being said, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more and more willing to take a risk on some of these various types of productions which actually seems counter intuitive.  As I get older, I should be more risk adverse but it’s been the opposite.  That being said, here are a few of the things that I’ve tried that I would 100% recommend to any and everyone.

Casper Mattress: Okay, I didn’t take a gamble on this one.  I actually monitored Casper for awhile and when it was time to buy a new bed, I actually made my way out to West Elm to test out the mattress.  This was back before the Leesa partnership that they had.  I think I spent about 35 minutes just laying and sitting on the bed testing it out.  I would highly recommend the Casper.  It’s delivered to you in a box and you can get a discount on having someone come pick up your old mattress and box spring.  That being said, I have friends who have tried Leesa, Purple, and Nectar.  They’re all pleased so realistically, I would put my stamp of approval on the box beds. They all have testing periods so if you’re in the market for, it’s totally worth it.

Kickstarter Products: I’ve ordered three separate items from Kickstarter with two more on the way and I have not been disappointed. If you’re in the market for interesting new products, try out the crowd funded products.  I got a portable air conditioner (with an ice pack), a travel jacket and a theft proof backpack.  It’s been amazing.

ThirdLove: I’m sure you’ve seen all the advertisements for ThirdLove bras.  I tried it and to be honest, it is pricey, like incredibly pricey. But I personally have been purchasing cheap bras all my life (specifically Target and H&M bras) and the last time I purchased a new bra is not a time that i will mention because it’s embarrassing.  So I decided that if the bras that come from ThirdLove fit in the way that they advertise, then I will keep them because I am an adult.  The bras came in the mail and I have zero regrets.  You get a 30 day free trial which is realistically just a 30 day return/exchange period. So keep that in mind when you do this. Read the fine print if you want to try this out because I believe the tags have to be on them to be returned if they don’t work which kind of defeats the purpose of the 30 day free trial. Luckily, the bras I ordered worked and they’re staying with me.

Thinx: Menstrual underwear.  I have zero regrets and zero complaints.  If I had to rate all of my purchases in my life, these might be number one best decision as a female and as someone who loves to travel.  If you were contemplating trying these out, I would put my stamp of approval on this and recommend it for everyone.

Lola/Cora: Two different types of organic tampon brands.  I tried both, I honestly have zero complaints.  My office just provides free ones and now that I have changed my routine for when I am on my period, I just didn’t think that doing a subscription service for tampons were necessary for me.  So if I need more, I’ll order them as a one off.

Function of Beauty: Personalized shampoo and conditioner. I love the shampoo and conditioner that I picked and it comes with the most adorable packaging ever.  They put your name on it to help with the personalization along with your ability to choose the color. If you’re into this, I would say it’s great.  The packaging is great, the smell is great, the product is amazing.  If I wasn’t coloring my hair as often, I would be ordering their products more often.

FabFitFun/Birchbox/Ipsy: I’m still currently subscribed to FabFitFun (testing this out to see how I feel).  I love the surprise of the various types of products that come in the box.  Birchbox was great and so was Ipsy because you could test out all sorts of beauty products and they usually come in travel sizes which is great for those who travel. That being said, I couldn’t use these products fast enough so I was literally just collecting products and then eventually throwing them away without really getting a chance to test it. But I did discover some really amazing products that I am now obsessed with and very loyal to.

Everlane: Okay, so technically Everlane is no longer just an online retailer. But I have loved this brand since around 2012, maybe even earlier. But I was never really brave enough to test out their products.  I finally got up the courage and haven’t looked back since. Everlane is now a stable for my wardrobe and let’s be honest, I’ve been following their journey and watching them grow.  I check out their stores when I’m in town and I am more than willing to test out any new products because I know it’s good quality.

Outdoor Voices: I am torn on Outdoor Voices. I tried their products via online ordering before I actually visited the store in Melrose. I got a pair of their 7/8 tri-colored leggings and their runnings shorts.  The shorts are great, I haven’t tested them out for a long run yet because it’s been way too cold to be wearing shorts.  The leggings are great but definitely more for looks and lounging in rather than actually working out like advertised. The material for the leggings were not what I expected, they aren’t as stretchy as I would have liked, the material isn’t the softest for leggings and putting them on is a fight but as soon as they’re on, they fit like a glove. It’s the strangest thing. The running products I actually got to feel when I visited the store in LA seemed pretty good quality but I wasn’t really willing to risk it at that point after my experience with the 7/8 leggings.

Oiselle: They started out as an online retailer but now they a store in Seattle. I have yet to be disappointed with their running products. Obsessed, will love forever and will always give them my stamp of approval.  Their products are made by women for women athletes and are of great quality. I personally am currently obsessed with their pocket joggers and wish I could own a million pairs of them.

Allbirds: Obviously these are the latest trend and apparently the shoe of Silicon Valley.  They’re as comfortable as people say they are and I love them.  They’re actually doing a pop-in with Nordstrom right now if you have some concern regarding returns/exchanges so order them through Nordstrom and then you can return them through Nordstrom instead. I’ve never tested the loungers but I love the runners.

Away: This was not as much of a gamble for me because one of my friends swears by her Away suitcase and so I was able to just ask her a million questions before I made my decision.

Lo & Sons: I have their original Hanover backpack. I use it every single day of the week for work and then when I travel for weekends. I love this backpack because it is durable, simple, just enough pockets, water resistant and fits quite a bit of stuff in it. Plus the inner liner can actually be removed if you need just a little bit more space.

Quip (toothbrush): If you are looking for an electronic toothbrush and you don’t want to pay the price for a Sonicare, I would recommend Quip.  It’s a lot cheaper, they send you refills for a year, it’s more attractive, it’s smaller and it’s good quality.  I haven’t had a consistent dentist over the last two years since I have been moving so I can’t say that my dentists have noticed an improvement but they definitely haven’t said anything about bad brushing so something must be working.

These are just some of my favorite things that you used to be able to only get online.  Do you have any products that you absolutely love that you discovered online?

 

Adulthood – The art of not really caring

On my drive from Los Angeles to Seattle, I decided that I wanted to do some Audible books on my drive up. So I settled for The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. To be honest, my little Corolla isn’t in tip top condition and I’ve blown out at least one speaker, if not two so it was a little hard to hear the book on the trip up. Plus, my car is a bit older so the road noises were definitely louder than what you would hear in some of the newer cars. And, my car doesn’t actually have a hook up for my phone so I’m using an FM transmitter to play my phone when I drive. I may or may not have actually listened to only about 50% of the book on the drive to Seattle. I recently started listening to the book again at work as a to better myself instead of listening to music but I find that I keep getting distracted by other things so it’s hard to stay focused on a book.

That being said, I’ve noticed that ever since I started listening to the book over the two attempts, I have slowly started to notice a change in my habits. Of course, I can’t say that this is due to the book but I can say that I have started to care less and less. Granted, I have to admit that I think a large portion of this is attributed to the fact that over the last three years, my jobs have challenged me in such a way that the only true way to survive the ridiculousness is to learn how to stop caring too much about it. By finding a way to let it go after I exit the door every day and finding a way to focus strictly on my statement of work rather than on the people that can affect me.

Regardless, I have begun to notice that my ability to care about what people think of me has decreased more and more over time. I do think it comes with growing up and I think it does come with the territory of moving from place to place. But I’ve noticed that my actions and the way I am in public has drastically become more carefree and I am actually pretty okay with that.

As I type this, I am sitting in a coffee shop in Seattle moving to the music I’m listening to and constantly staring off into space. I didn’t realize I was doing this until I realized that the table is constantly shaking since I can’t seem to sit still and I keep making awkward eye contact with people at my table. I’m sitting at a coffee shop that has communal tables so I’m not necessarily making friends, but I am definitely sitting with a bunch of strangers as I bob along to my music. Come to think of it, hopefully they don’t mind….Oops.

But I have noticed that my ability to care about how I come off to others has drastically decreased. I stare a lot more (rude, I know, working on it) but I’ve developed a love of people watching and observing who is around me and my surroundings. I’ll try not to stare as much but I won’t make any promises there. I have been caught multiple times dancing at my desk because I love my music. I have purple/blue/blonde/gray/white/pink hair right now because I got a little colored conditioner happy over the last few weeks and I am excessively loud. Also, I’m more comfortable sitting with my legs on my chair than I am sitting like a proper lady. Come to this realization has made me wonder what drives this new lack of self awareness or rather this lack of awareness around public opinion.

I think what sparked this was that I was at a conference recently where we had an end party that was amazing. There was a DJ and a huge dance floor and I got dancing like there was legitimately no tomorrow. We danced for four hours there then made our way to the club where I danced for another two hours. Let’s set something straight first though, my dancing is not sexy. My dancing is not coordinated. My body does not body roll, my arms do not look wavy but rather like sticks shooting out in different directions and my body is not fluid. I trip over my own feet often when I dance, and sometimes it reminds people of the Elaine dance from Seinfeld. I usually have one signature move that I am obsessed with for a few months and right now it’s a full body shimmy. Not in a sexy way but almost in a compulsive full body shake. And to be honest, I probably should have been more aware of myself and my surroundings especially at this party because it was a work party and I was surrounded by people who are supposed to take me seriously.  The best part of all of this is that I was 100% sober because I am highly allergic to alcohol. But I love to dance so nothing will stop me.

And honestly, even though I probably looked like a fool during that party but it was one of my favorite things. Some of my favorite memories with friends is when we do dance parties and sometimes, my favorite thing to do is blast music in my apartment and jump around like no one is watching (cause no one is). But I think that this has been what started the lack of caring how I look. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life worrying about what others think of me and how I can be cool. I may not be cool, but I am happy. I am comfortable with who I am, how I look and I can focus my energy on other things like plotting how to travel more, how many books I can read in a 12 month period of time and all the delicious food there is in the entire world.

If I had to give one piece of advice for the rest of my life, it would be: Caring what others think is a lot easier than not caring about what others think. Spend the rest of your life not caring and that will be conquering the greatest challenge.

Adulthood – Food Poisoning

As someone who prides themselves on their love of food and puts a focus on food during almost every hour of the day, food poisoning is the worst.  To be honest, I used to think that I had an iron stomach. I am proud to say that I have only ever really gotten sick once while traveling and that was in Guatemala and my own fault. Note, never travel four hours in 80 degree weather in an non-air conditioned van with creme filled pastries and then decide to eat them after a meal filled with a milk based savory cream. It can really mess up your system… But that’s what I get for not giving up my pastries when I should have.

That being said, I recently got food poisoning. The only other time I have gotten anything close to food poisoning was the stomach flu in high school that left me bed ridden for a week and dropped me down to 90lbs. It was rough. So getting food poisoning this time really just threw me for a frenzy. I was not prepared for this and I became just how unprepared I am for being sick in general.

I ate some pasta and it was the only thing that I ate that week that was a bit out of the ordinary in terms of where I ate from and it left me ill for three days. That being said, here’s what I learned about myself and what I learned about how to get over food poisoning.

  • Those that said carbs make you gain weight, it’s not 100% true. When you’ve got major stomach issues, you should stick to the BRAT diet which is bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. That’s what I lived on for three days straight. There was one day I decided to try plain noodles with some vegetables and it ended up being a terrible idea. Stick to the basic carbs and easy to digest fruits. I, unfortunately, lost weight which was due to the lack of other food coming into my system.
  • I hate being trapped in my apartment for so long. I left once to go to the grocery store to get apple sauce and bananas. Otherwise, I just stayed inside, weak and unhappy. I get stir crazy way too easily.
  • You can get tired of apple sauce…. and bananas.
  • Plain rice is not exciting. That being said, brown rice is a bit harder for your system to digest when you’re suffering so keep that in mind if you are dealing with stomach issues.
  • Hydration is key. I was told to drink gatorade but half diluted. I forgot to buy Gatorade so I just chugged water. But less of a chug and more of small sips because chugging hurt my stomach.
  • I realized that I may have a caffeine dependency. I had a permanent headache for the days that I couldn’t drink caffeine.  I need to do something about this.
  • It sucks to feel so lackluster. I hated not having any energy to really do anything or feel like I could really move around too much because I was so weak. I was so tired and had a hard time really focusing on anything.
  • I have never craved cheese so much in my life. I legitimately dreamed about eating cheese while I was sick. Never raved something so much in my life.
  • I was and am terrified to eat food again. As much as I want to eat all the food again, I am terrified of a repeat experience.
  • I’m really good at throwing a pity party for myself. Oops.
  • It’s surprising how many dishes one can accumulate when you’re sick and trying to continually live off the same food over and over again.
  • I’ve never gotten so much sleep in my life and still felt so tired.

Let’s just say that I am so happy that the food poisoning is over. And we shall see when I’m going to eat pasta from that place again.

I hope that as an adult, I will be better equipped with how to take care of myself when I’m sick going forward. Wish me luck.

Adulthood – Pretending to be an adult

Recently, I had the opportunity to go and chat with a group of students at my alma mater about how the university shaped my career and where I am today. It was an interesting experience because, as I sat in front of these 35 business students, I had to pretend that I had all of my life figured out. They were looking to the panelists of alumni to talk about how we got to where we are and provide them tips and tricks on how to be an adult, find a job, handle stress, etc. I walked out of there feeling like… well feeling like I wasn’t sure I was the right person to be sharing tips and tricks with soon to be graduates because I am so far from having my life figured out.

It was actually interesting sitting there and talking about my previous experience because of the three of us, I was the only who had actually changed jobs multiple times. The other two members of the panel have been working at the same career and company since they graduated college. Sitting there and chatting with the students made me feel almost like I was an imposter because I was talking about the challenges and the risks that I’ve taken as if I knew what I was talking about. Little do they all know that I have and will always fly by the seat of my pants.

That being said, here are the tips that I gave the students.  I want to have them written down because looking back, I want to remember these things. I felt calm and in a good place when I was talking to these students and I want to make sure I follow my own advice.

  • Self care is key. When times are hard, whether in your personal life or in work, self care is absolutely necessary to make sure you are ready to take on the world. I find that most of the times that I am feeling like things are stressful, it is because I feel like I have no sense of control or I am losing control. Self care is where I can regain that level of control and it’s been amazing. This includes doing yoga, writing, sitting in silence, meditation, drinking water, eating right, exercising, and doing all the things that I enjoy doing when it comes to pampering myself.
  • One of the hardest decisions to make is knowing when to leave. I think that this something I need to keep remembering. It is up to me to make my experience a good one and it is up to me to decide where I am going in my life. No one else will determine that for me. When things are tough, if I am not able to handle it then it is up to me to fix it or get out.
  • Getting fulfillment out of your job doesn’t necessarily mean doing something that you love. I know that this one sounds weird but one of the best pieces of advice that I ever got was, “don’t live to work, work to live.” This was by far, one of the best pieces of advice that I have ever gotten. My mentor once told me that I just need a job that I can tolerate and am happy/satisfy with to pay the bills that allows me to do what I love outside of work. If someone is able to find a job that they love and are 100% fulfilled by, I need them to tell me how they got there.
  • The worst thing someone can say is no. We had to give advice on applying for jobs, internships and leadership positions. And I think that is one of the hardest things that I have had to remember and overcome. Sometimes the fear of rejection is the reason why I haven’t applied for a job or gone for something that I’ve wanted. But what I need to keep remembering is that the worst thing someone can say to me is no. I have to keep telling myself this over and over again. Even after applying to multiple jobs and being an adult, I still cannot quite get used to this idea but eventually I will be able to.
  • Your network and your friends are amazing. I have been so lucky to meet some amazing people and honestly, I probably would not be where I am at this point in time if it hadn’t been for my friends and my network. One thing that I love is that I will always help out friends and acquaintances the best that I can. I honestly wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today if it hadn’t been for my friends and my network.

What’s funny is that when I write these down and share them with the students, it feels normal and obvious. They seem like the easiest things to do in the entire world and it all makes sense. But in practice, it is significantly more difficult. I know that I’m a few days late on the whole new year thing, but I want to make sure I remember these all the time as one of my new goals. If my current situation isn’t the right situation, I don’t have an obligation to stay. I have an obligation to myself to take care of myself and move on when I need to.

Moving again, new adult life.

So, I feel like this post is so fitting and deep down I’ve been waiting for that actual moment in my life where I can share this whole fauxadulthood thing that my blog is named after.  I have this running joke with my friends and family that I’m a pretend adult and to be honest, up until just a few days ago, it was 100% true.  To be honest, I’m still a pretend adult at this rate because of what I still need to learn and such but with this move to Seattle, I made some pretty big adult decisions that made me feel pretty cool.

Some background. When I was in college and had finally moved out of the dorms, I had a twin bed that was a hand-me-down from a friend who had upgraded their bed.  It was great because it was free.  I had that bed for two years and then my friend gave me her full size mattress and box spring because she was graduating and moving to another state. So I got rid of my twin mattress and upgraded to a full size, but I didn’t want to buy a frame so my box spring and mattress were housed on the floor of my apartment.  Later, I made my way to another apartment and decided to finally buy a frame.  At the time, I really wanted a very specific Ikea frame but the local Ikea didn’t have all the right pieces for my full size bed. So I purchased a queen size headboard and footboard with full size side boards.  If you can’t image it, it just means that my bed fit length wise but width wise, I had some extra space on one side which I then decided to use as storage.

I kept that box spring, mattress and mismatched frame for over 7 years and to 4 apartments. I can guarantee you this, movers will definitely be a little confused when they put together a bed frame that doesn’t quite fit and then you have to them it’s totally fine and normal.

When I made this move back to Seattle, I decided that it was time for me to actually become an adult and purchase a bed and a frame that actually fit my mattress.  Let me just tell you that sleeping in a queen size bed that actually fits the frame and I know that if I end up at the edge of the bed, there’s not an extra few inches to the side, is a great experience. I’ve definitely found myself diagonal in my bed, starfished in the very center and I have loved every minute of my adult bedroom.

That being said, I have a complaint.  Now I have random pillows and blankets that used to have a home by my mattress in that little 5 inch space because of my mismatched frame. And now. They’re just sitting on my floor staring at me wondering why they’ve been rejected to sitting on the floor.  I need to find a new place to store them, or I should be getting rid of all the blankets…

But it is official, I purchased an actual bed!

Adulthood – What is success?

It’s funny to think that this time last year, I had just moved to a new city and had decided to embark on a brand new adventure that I wasn’t 100% prepared for.  I’ve obviously had a lot of time to think about it and reflect on the experience, especially now that I’m well past a year into this new experience, that isn’t really new anymore.  It’s been a very interesting thing to think about it and very humbling to reflect on what drove me to this point. As I’ve gotten older, I have to admit that I’ve become more and more unsure of what I want to do and what I want to be when I “grow up.” It’s a strange thing to say but even as a kid, I was always lacking some direction and it’s become more and more evident as I’ve gotten older.

I came to this realization when I started looking for jobs last year and people in interviews would ask me things like “what are you looking for in your next position?” Or “why are you looking for a new job?” Or even better yet, “Why do you want this job?”

Thinking back on it now, those were the hardest questions to answer because I didn’t quite know how to answer them in the beginning.  I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, I don’t know what industry I want to work in and I don’t know what my ambitions are.  When I was a child, I very distinctly remember having a conversation with someone about what success meant to me.  And at the age of 10, success meant that I wouldn’t live paycheck to paycheck.  Does this mean that I was and still am an unambitious person? Maybe in some sense.  But realistically, I don’t think so.  I just don’t think I’m that picky about what I”m looking for in those next steps of my life and my career.

My ambitions aren’t focused around making some huge salary, being the richest person in the world or even getting to the top of the ladder at some company.  My ambitions are more based around an every day achievable level of happiness that then transcends into the rest of my life.  I’ve thought long and hard about this and maybe this is driven by what I’ve experienced over the last few years, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life worrying about retirement or working so hard that I can’t enjoy life now.  I want to work in an environment that challenges me, makes me happy, allows me to leave an impact on the world, and pushes me outside of my comfort zone.  If that means climbing up the corporate ladder, so be it.  If it means working super long hours, I can get on board with that.  If it means, doing monotonous tasks, I can do that too.  But I want to enjoy each minute that I have and the flip side of that, I want a job that affords me the ability to continue my passions of traveling.

I feel like I am successful because I am not living paycheck to paycheck.  I do not worry about where my next meal will come from and I have the ability to travel, albeit on a budget, but I can still wander aimlessly around the world and see the beauty that the world has to offer.  I can’t do it every day, but it makes me appreciate those moments that I can do it.  Maybe I’ve hit a point in my life where I am too simple minded or making my life too simplified but regardless, this is what makes me feel successful.  I don’t know if these are good answers to the questions that I would get in an interview and I’m sure it comes off as unambitious but… this is the truth.  I want day to day happiness rather than the hoping that one day I’ll be happy with my life.  I like the immediate satisfaction that I know I’m making the right choices to appreciate life today and that I’m not always waiting for tomorrow to come to appreciate what I have.