I can’t believe

I can’t believe it’s been almost exactly one year since I’ve visited and used this space. My desire to journal ebbs and flows for a variety of reasons. But lately, all I can think about is writing down my thoughts.

I can honestly say the past year has changed me. (Can’t I say that about every year?) I am a different and stronger person than I was last year, both mentally and physically. I’ve also been through some pretty horrible times. I’ve had some great and wonderful times too.

My focus right now is on me and my family and finishing my degree. I feel more at peace with my present circumstances than I have in quite sometime. With that peace comes motivation and drive to be a productive contributor to every part of my life.

Random things update:

– Currently reading: Wheat Belly and The Brass Verdict

– Currently watching: I can honestly say I haven’t turned the TV on in over a week. By the time I get home at night I am ready to eat, crawl into bed, and read.

– Currently hoping: That the next few months come and go smoothly. That current circumstances I am in are temporary and will be distant memories this time next year.

– Currently feeling: hopeful, driven, peaceful…

– Currently excited about: becoming a fitness instructor again; kind of like journaling, my motivation for teaching fitness kind of fell to the wayside for a while, I’m happy to report it is back and better than ever

– Currently thinking: about my tasks to complete at work today, that I’m going to have a great workout this evening, and that things will happen exactly as they are meant to…no matter how out of control things may seem at times.

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My Choice

Another Monday. I’m having one of those periods of time where life is feeling monotonous again. Day in, day out, my days pretty much look the same and are very predictable. I can’t help but feeling that part of my anxiety about this comes from living life looking “in” rather that living in the moment and experiencing everything fully. It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling, I guess right now I feel like I’m an observer rather than a participant in my life. As depressing as all of this sounds, I’m generally happy right now. I’m just struggling to figure out where I want things to fall into place and who I truly, truly am at this point.

I realized over the weekend that I depend on others to make decisions for me. And it seems to primarily be over the little things, like going out or picking a place to meet. It’s funny, I don’t want to make decisions, but I also hate getting into situations and feeling out of control. That is an anomaly. Do I want to be in control and make all of the decisions, or do I just want to go along for the ride?

Control is not real. I can’t actually be 100% in control. I can steer my life and my day to day to the best of my ability, and the rest is up to the universe. But, the only thing I do have control over is my decisions and my choices. I can decide what to do each day and I can choose to be happy and content in that decision. I guess I’m still struggling with trusting myself.

Maybe that’s why I leave decisions up to someone else. Decision-making still makes me uncomfortable and fearful. I’d rather blame someone else for things not going well than hate myself for making the wrong call. And, that is the honest truth about it. Even though there’s no such thing as perfect or “right”. Every situation can be labeled. That’s another choice I have. I can call it whatever I like. But deciding to shed positive light on the situations in my life is a heck of a lot more productive and healthy than shedding negative light on everything and feeling regret and anxiety.

I want to live my life. I want to be an active participant. I want to love everyday and know that I lived it to the fullest. That’s life. This is life. Right now. There’s nothing better around the corner, and tomorrow is not promised.

Get on it, Monday.

7 Thoughts

Wow, I cannot believe it’s been over a month since I written something to this blog. July went by like a whirlwind, and I was out of town for an entire week, so I guess that’s why it feels like it never happened. Today, August 9th, I am sitting in my NEW home, at my kitchen table, drinking coffee before work. I LOVE my new place. And I love the fact that I have a roommate again. I’m doing so much better than I was two months ago. I’m happier, less stressed and overall more satisfied with my life.

I came across this post this morning, and I thought it would be fun to use it as a template to write some things down. I am in no way perfect and happy 100% of the time, so journaling is a helpful way to get any kind of stresses or worries off of my mind.

7 Questions to End Your Week With:

1. Pleasant surprises of the week?

That I am capable of more than I realized at work. We had a few hectic days in the lab this week, and it really forced me to leave my comfort zone and step up to some responsibilities I’m not used to having.

2. What lessons did my work teach me this week?

Mostly, that my role in graduate school is a process. Nothing is going to be finished in 24 hours, nor should it be. There is a need for feedback, conversations and thinking before anything is made final or fully planned out.

3. Short-term and long-term goals still aligned?

I actually am pretty satisfied with myself on this front. My short-term goals (starting my dissertation, getting data for my September presentations and submitting an abstract to a conference by December) all are going to build on the much longer-term goal of earning a PhD and going into a solid post-doc position.

4. What could I have spent more/less time doing?

I definitely, definitely could have spent less time checking social media this week. I am very aware that a lot of my time is spent going between facebook, twitter, instagram or tumblr. I am going to try to unplug this weekend and see how things go.

More time could have been spent on my aims. I was really motivated at the end of the week, but for some reason, as the week progressed I started feeling a bit lost and not sure how to approach them. Hopefully I can get back on track today.

5. Fear and uncertainty?

Those two things, especially the uncertainty part, really affect me on a daily basis. I’m a lot better than I used to be, but decisions are sometimes still pretty difficult to make, and I think a lot of it has to do with trusting myself. I want to gain more trust in myself and hopefully a side effect of that will suppress some of the fear and uncertainty I still experience in my head.

6. What mental clutter can I clear?

Body NOISE! More specifically, constantly wondering if what I’m doing for my body is the right thing (what I’m eating, how much I’m working out…). Furthermore, I am having a hard time getting out of the comparison trap lately. I want to be assured that I’m not doing anything “out of the ordinary” so I compare my actions with those of others. UGH. So annoying and really wish I could de-clutter that.

7. For next week…

– Take my time when making plans, appointments, promises etc. Everything will get done in a decent amount of time, so there’s no need to stress or overwhelm myself before things happen.

– Be more open. Don’t shut down thoughts and ideas before you give them a moment to sit in your head. You never know where one might lead.

– Love myself. I know I am a smart, capable, amazing woman. I just need to live that way.

Over the Hump

Over the hump of this week and I must say today was the first day I’ve felt *almost* normal in an entire week. I got some work done this afternoon and didn’t feel the need to rush home and crash on my couch. I actually had a good deal of energy today, so even though we did a brick workout (spin-run-spin-run) at F360 this morning, I decided to venture to a PM Spin/TRX class to get some strength work in. REST day tomorrow!!

I must say that going to rough experiences lately has reminded me how important it is to reach out to others. And I’ve been reminded of how many amazing, wonderful and loving friends I have. Every day I get a text from someone, near and far away, that just wants me to know they care about me and that they are there for me. It feels pretty amazing, and it causing me to come out of my shell just a little more each day.

I need to remember that reaching out to others is key in making people feel loved and cared for and comforted. I will return the favor, because everyone goes through a time in their life when support is needed.

To end on a positive note, here’s a list of things I’m excited for in the coming days:

1. Baseball game tomorrow night with my dad. Free food and beer provided by his law firm 🙂

2. It’s almost Friday, which means this week is over and another one is on it’s way. I need a new week to get myself back to normal.

3. I’ve got my usual Saturday bike ride planned for this weekend. Always at the top of my list!

4.  Getting out of my comfort zone in the next several days/week. I’m going to work on myself for a while, and work really hard at it.

Rainy Tuesday

It’s a rainy Tuesday morning around here. The rain woke me up at about 3am, thunder and lightning, the who shebang. I still slept really well last night. I needed it. I also am glad and thankful to get back to my routine. I did my usual 5:30am workout (weights + HIIT cardio). My left knee was feeling funky last night, probably from no rest day this weekend, so I kept the cardio to the elliptical, which always helps.

I definitely try to listen to my body these days. Yesterday, I only stayed on campus til about 12, when I decided I was too tired and emotionally exhausted to stay the entire day. So I came home, ate lunch, and laid/napped on the couch for the next 4 hours. I woke up feeling a bit better. Sometimes, your body nudges you, sometimes your body screams at you to slow down and take a break. Yesterday was the latter.

I saw this post yesterday, and considering the direction my life is taking currently, I was intrigued and had to read it and subsequently email it to myself.

I found this quote to be exceptionally striking:

“I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

I have so many questions, fears, and worries at the present time. So much is unknown to me and so many things I do not have the slightest idea how I’m going to achieve. I remind myself to have patience. To live each day at a time, and do not push myself further than I am currently able. I know that I need to live the questions right now and ride out this experience. Does not make this any easier though.

Monday Motivation

Even though Monday is basically over, I still needed to start this week off on the right foot. There are some personal things going on right now that have been taking up a lot of mental and physical energy and time, which is why I’m not writing as much. As I think about it, it’s probably during these times that I would benefit from writing the most, if only to get my thoughts out of my head for a little while.

Regardless, I wanted to share a few thoughts/quotes/images that are inspiring and motivating me on this glorious summer Monday…

1. I always find myself saying this during tough workouts! It’s so true, and it really puts things into perspective. Even when it has nothing to do with working out, when things get tough don’t quit, it won’t last forever and you’ll be stronger for sticking with it. motivation1

 

2. My mom and I talked a lot this weekend about how everyone has a role to play in life. It may not seem very obvious when you’re in the middle of difficult circumstances, but if you just step back a moment and try to see outside of yourself, you realize how true it is. What might seem like a pointless situation really does have a purpose and if you can’t see it, then look harder. Learn from everything, because, why not?

3. I aim to work on my attitude right now. I say I’m “stressed”, “busy”, “spent”…WAY too much. It’s not good for me, it’s not good for the people around me. The more I say those words, the more true they become. And I want to remember that.

 

 

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4. My dog. How would I ever get by without his sweet cuddles? He’s the best way to start and end each day. No matter what happens in between.
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Life Lately

Life lately has been FULL. Full of bike rides, puppy walks, research, friends and family. I work hard and I play hard and it’s never felt better.

Walks in the afternoon with Luc are still part of my agenda. It’s relaxing for me, and I *hope* fun for him. He’s such a good companion, and puts up with me no matter what.

IMG_1922Walks, then crashing on the couch. I could do this forever.

IMG_1925I dropped my friend’s dog off at the vet on Friday. He’s a Bull Terrier and one of the most unique dogs I’ve ever met. He’s also deaf, so communication can be a struggle sometimes. But he’s a good one…

IMG_1929Dinner out with my parents on Friday night to kick off a long Memorial Day weekend. We ended up at a restaurant where they serve the single best vodka martini I’ve ever tasted. So, obviously I had to order one…with bleu cheese stuffed olives.

IMG_1931A quick 15-mile bike ride Saturday night followed by a beer with the group. We decided we need to start ending our rides like this more often.

IMG_193524-mile bike ride on Sunday, then afterwards I introduced my parents to “bushwhackers”–essentially a chocolate, alcoholic slushie. In a word: delicious. Another word? Dangerous. Don’t have more than 2.

IMG_1936And finally for Memorial Day I did a group ride at sunrise (5:30am). It was glorious and the perfect way to end a fun-filled weekend.

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IMG_1946Even with all of the wonderful things I’ve experienced in the past few days, I still found myself getting “antsy” at work today. I suppose it’s just because summer weather has arrived and my trained response for basically all of my life until now is to drop everything and relax for 2 months. It’s strange, I don’t have a summer anymore and I’m okay with that. I don’t really know what else I would do if I didn’t have my research. Obviously, I love to ride my bike, workout, walk my dog, grab drinks with friends, but these things aren’t permanent. And neither is work. We have to spread life evenly with all of these things to feel well-rounded. Too much play, and we stop appreciating when things are really fun. Too much work, and we stop appreciating the feeling of success and achievement.

I guess that’s what I mean by work hard, play hard.

The Intangibles

I’ve had a whirlwind week. 56 mile ride on my bike last Saturday, followed by a week in North Carolina, where I was fully immersed in my favorite topic: Behavioral Pharmacology. I did’t take very many pictures while I was away, in fact, I really don’t have anything to show for my trip at all–in the material sense. Everything I’ve gained in the past week has been entirely personal and “intangible”.

At first, I was upset that I had not taken more pictures, shared more instagrams or documented my trip more. But now I realize that the important things came home with me. I’m more motivated, inspired and excited than I have been for some time. I’m excited to go to work, I’m excited to read and I’m excited to be back in my element. What seemed like work now seems exciting again.

I have more confidence than I did when I left. I met some amazing people in my trip, people that I most certainly will come into contact again in my future. And that is exciting. More than ever, this trip brought me back to where I needed to be. No, nothing is different about my home, my school, my lab…but a LOT is different about me, and that makes all the difference.

This Year

I had a party-filled birthday weekend for my 25th birthday this year.  It reminded of how many wonderful people I have in my life. I feel so lucky to have so many loving friends and family to call my own, and I don’t want to know what life would be like without them.

I might have partied a little too hard this weekend. I’m still trying to recover a bit today. But that’s me. I’m not perfect. I certainly try to be a lot of the time, and it usually backfires. Because not one of us is perfect. There is no such thing. We make mistakes, we fuck up, we hurt people we love…we are human. It sounds depressing, but it should be refreshing really. Of course, we should always try to learn from mistakes and less-than-great choices we might make in life, but we should be kind to ourselves too. Know that, hey, it’s okay.

keepcalm

I was thinking about how I’m 25 now. I know, it’s not old and it’s not a huge deal. But to me, I try to take meaning out of most things in life. Just because I can. And to me, 25 means I get another year. Another year of living life, learning about myself, and finding out who I am. Another year to strive to be my best self, to love myself, to enjoy life and to live in this moment, because the next one is not guaranteed.

 

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If anyone needs me–I’ll be living life, making mistakes, learning faster from some than from others, and trying to find myself in this 25 year…

 

This Moment

This is partly for fun, but partly serious. I’m loving this song right now, not only because it’s duh, Christina and Pitbull, but also because of what it reminds me to do.

 

Happy, HAPPY Friday!!