Where Have I Been?


It's been over 2 weeks since I've logged over here onto my formal little space on the internet and let some strangers peek into my life. I thought it was important to give an update on what I've been doing and why I haven't been very into blogging lately.

  • I've been applying to grad school. The energy that I expend typing away on these posts was being directly channeled into something super productive and difficult which were my personal statements and formal graduate resume. And now they are DONE AND SUBMITTED. PRAISE. (and check one box off for January goals).
  • I've been on tumblr. This website used to be one that I hated because of all the young, immature people on it. But I've cultivated a page filled with art, inspiration, health-minded people, and positivity. It's like a mood board for everything I can possibly think of and I feel that the age group over there is a little more geared to where I'm at in life, as opposed to the blogger/wordpress world.  
  • I've been livin' life! Sometimes recapping every single thing that happens to me, or feeling that I have to take photos of everything, takes me out of the moment. When it comes to my daily life, I've been using the Grid Diary app again (every day in 2017 so far!) so that I have small journal entries to look back on. But I think I may only use this website now to post the great, grand things that I do. Also so that I feel more comfortable sharing it with my friends and family. 

Since we're here I might as well share some favorite things of the year, so far! 
  • Kiehl's hand cream and original lip balm. Omg, so good.
  • Being a redhead again. Best decision of 2016.
  • My new electric toothbrush.
  • Vests in general.
  • This season of The Bachelor!!!!
  • Reading my Kindle (book reviews are likely on the way!)
  • Following a pretty strict workout plan.
  • Keeping track of my food intake in a very cute Moleskin notebook.
  • Micron fine tip pens.
  • The most adorable black leather (I'm assuming faux) backpack with gold hardware that I received as a Secret Santa present. 
  • Rosehip oil all over my face. 

So that's it folks. I felt it was important to step away from the blog, re-evaluate what I want out of it this year, and deliver when I have some good content to deliver. 

Reflecting on 2016.

2015 was one of the best years of my life. You can read all about that here.

I think I've been having trouble writing blog posts this week because I don't have anything inspiring or poetic or motivational to say about 2016, like I did this time last year. My recap of the year is right here, so you can see what I actually did... but it's harder to explain how I feel.

I feel like 2016 was a year filled with grappling for things to do to pass the time, for making plans and then failing to execute them, or for not making plans at all. I am frustrated that I wasted 8 weeks on a course that I didn't end up needing. I am frustrated that I put so much energy into pursuing a grad school program that I realized wasn't right for me. I am frustrated that I am still living with my parents in Connecticut. I am frustrated that I'm in such bad credit card debt.

So 2016 was quite a frustrating year. 

And not just for me, I think a vast majority of people share these bitter feelings towards 2016.

I've already written a whole entire roadmap for 2017 and my 24th year... but this is what I want for myself in 2017...

I want to try new things and say yes to experiences.
I want to stop stressing out so much about money.
I want to be valued in my employment position more than I am now.
I want to be present in my interactions with other people.
I want to be a kind and gentle and calm and funny person.
I want to be less judgmental of things and people, even if I don't agree with them.
I want to travel so badly that it's an ache in my chest that will not go away.

How are you going to make your fresh start better than before? What are actionable things that you're actually DOING?

Let's learn from our mistakes and, if we had a year that we aren't proud of, let's do what we can to make this next one the best.

Look Back At It (2016)

The year is coming to a close. As we all know, and as many of us feel, 2016 was not a super popular year. I cannot sit here and complain about my menial tragedies, knowing of the heartache and sadness going on in the world on a daily basis.

All we can do is continue being kind to one another, giving up our time, and doing what we can in even the smallest of ways. And I think that we're only in the capacity to do that when we're acting and living as our best selves.

In 2016, I was not my best self.

Depression gripped ahold of me again in the winter months (likely seasonal affective disorder, super fun), I wasted money on a college pre-requisite that I didn't need, my relationship went through drastic ups and downs, I won't even begin to get political but.. you know. And I failed to begin graduate school in September AGAIN. I don't know how many more times I can do this.

Alas. Alas alas alas. A wise person once said:
You can't drive forward by looking in the rearview mirror. 
So we're gonna live like this for 2017. But in order to assure myself that the past 365 days were not, in fact, a wash... here is a recap of what I was able to accomplish in 2016. No matter how small it may feel, it is, in fact, worth something.

January
- took a Yoga class, celebrated a dogs birthday party, went to a fancy restaurant, built a bookcase
- went ice skating in Bushnell Park
- made a vision board
Februrary
- surprised L with a custom license plate for his bday
- house sitted (sat?) for a week
- highlighted my whole head with blonde (effectively destroying my hair, lol)
- got Spinning certified!

March
- took my first Zumba class
- went out to lunch instead of attenting a St. Paddy's Day parade because I belong in a retirement home, went for a day trip to Rhode Island
- bought a car!


April
- took a Rhode Island vacation and performed a dance piece at my alma mater!
- took my first BodyPump class
- went hiking and grilled outside for the first time since the deep freeze
- went to a wacky antique shop and a Polish festival all in one day
- took a Spinning class taught by an unbelievably inspiring guy with cerebral palsy


May 
- ran the furthest I've ever run (4.5 miles) as I started training for a 10K
- visited the flowers and gardens in Elizabeth Park in West Hartford
- went for a weekend trip to NYC for L's cousin's graduation party
- saw Finding Neverland on Broadway!
- wore a bathing suit and went to a lake for the first time since winter



June 
- took an accelerated summer anatomy course that I didn't end up needing...
- attended a baby shower
- performed in and witnessed my dance studio's annual recital!
- spent a lot of time studying but still managed to do so over amazing pizza and a glass of white sangria...
- did a Night Nation 5K!
- went to my first food truck festival!
- grilled hot dogs and jumped off a cliff at a swimming hole/waterfall



July 
- made red, white, and blue jello shots
- went stand up paddle boarding!
- had lunch on Martha's Vineyard
- hosted a cook out
- visited a lakehouse with my extended family
- visited L's sister in the hospital right after she gave birth
- went to the Dance Teacher Summit in NYC!



August
- ran in a Blacklight 5K with some of my good friends
- took my first barre class! 
- spent 17 hours in the ER
- started teaching summer dance classes, my FAVORITE time to teach!

September
- went to a butterfly garden for the first time! 
- went to wedding at the Bronx zoo
- went to quite a few Farmer's markets
- went to The Big E in West Springfield, MA!


October
- dyed my hair pink! 
- went to a crazy dance performance with puppets, costumes, and stilts!
- went to a happy hour and got completely wasted before 7pm
- took a drive on an amazing scenic route of southern Connecticut
- went to a Halloween party and visited Salem, MA! 


November
- took my dog for a LOT of walks
- got my nose pierced
- made Christmas cards for veterans
- went out to a bar on Thanksgiving Eve like a cool twenty-something!
- spent Thanksgiving Day with two families


December
- celebrated one year of blogging!
- went to SantaCon in New York City!
- visited the infamous Christmas House in Torrington, CT
- dyed my hair red red red
- went out to dinner with my parents and L for my birthday
- got a Kindle! can't wait to read literally everything


The verdict is still out on how I'm choosing to ring in the new year. Odds are it won't be at home in jammies this time. I truly feel like that was a bad omen for my entire year.

The year may have felt empty, but it does look pretty full.

But here's to being our best selves in 2017, yeah?
What is your favorite thing you did in 2016?

Roadmap for 2017 + My 24th Year

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me!!! 
Today, I am 24. I am taking the day off from work, sleeping in a bit, making myself a delicious breakfast, going to the gym, getting a massage, and teaching a dance class. Woo!

Since my birthday is so close to NYE, I'm going to combine my goals/bucket list/resolutions for the new year with my ambitions for my 24th year of life. All smashed together into one big shmorgasborg of a shit ton of things I want to get done in 2017.

2016 was a failed year. I hate to be dramatic, but it feels that way in retrospect. I did accomplish some things, try out some new stuff, and see some new places. But all in all, I felt unbelievable stagnant. I like to keep things positive, but it is what it is.



ON TO THE NEXT ONE. 

The mottos: 


The poetic approach:
The same time will go by and where will you be?
yearning for more or finally free...


Here is a list all the non-time-sensitive things I want to accomplish, try, fail at, see, do, experience, and test out in the next 365 days of approaching closer and closer to my quarter life crisis. I may write these down on a giant poster board and hang them in my room, but there's no precise time table for getting these done, I just want to eventually (this year!)

1. Do a polar plunge.
2. Participate in a Whole 30 eating plan.
3. Attend a gay pride event. 
4. Train for and complete a 10k.
5. Have someone perform Reiki on me. 
6. Take a professional dance class. 
7. Go hiking in Vermont. 
8. Take an aerial Yoga class.
9. Distribute hot cocoa and coffee to crossing guards in the winter. 
10. Go to an outdoor concert (I didn't go to a single one in 2017!)


YEAR LONG, ON-GOING GOALS: 

  • Take a short video every day of the year, to create a 365 second long 1SE video.
  • Dance once a week and record myself improvising to all of my favorite songs. Compile the video. Witness the growth. 
  • Get out of cc debt (or as close as possible). 
  • Stretching and yoga, to me, is the truest form of self-care. Implement as often as possible. 
  • Eat clean clean and cleaner still. You can do it, biotch. 
  • Take deeper freakin' breaths. Pause before speaking. Radiate the light you know is inside of you, daily. 


GOALS SPECIFIC TO MONTHS: 

January - apply to freakin' grad school. 

February - surprise L with a Valentine's Day homemade meal or sappy present because I am a weak, weak person. 

March - go to a St. Paddy's Day parade, visit Aunt Natalie in Atlanta and take a day trip to Savannah, GA!

April - start training for a 10K, hopefully decide where I am going to grad school!!! 

May - start process of apartment hunting. 

June - complete a 10K.

July - go to a super fun 4th of July event, with fireworks and sparklers! 

August - decide where I am going to be living for the next indeterminate number of years, move there, either travel internationally or compete an intensive 2-week yoga teacher training course in Costa Rica or somewhere equally unbelievable. 

September - start grad school (!!!!)

October - celebrate Halloween either Boston-style or Pumpkin Fest-style in Keene, NH. All depends on where I decide for grad school. 

November - Go home for Thanksgiving and write down at least one thing I'm grateful for each day for the whole month. 

December - Bake 1,000 Christmas cookies, volunteer my time at a shelter of some kind, see the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular.

This is 100x more intense year planning than what I did in 2016 so I'm hoping and praying that this year goes according to plan. Of course, with a little wiggle room for spontaneity :)

Cheers to a new year, new beginnings, new chances, and 365 opportunities to make it count. 

The Friday Five

This week... this week has been ROUGH.

This is the week that I want to just quit my job like a badass - drop an armful of paperwork all over the ground, grab my belongings, and stomp out the door with a big fat PEACE OUT. That is how fed up I am with work.

My dance classes were all over the place this week. They are rambunctious. It's almost Christmas. I understand this, but oh my goodness they were a struggle.

My mind is all over the place with my grad school applications. My college professors have almost all submitted their recommendations for me. I still have to speak with an admissions counselor for one school. But then yesterday I started contemplating a 20 day yoga teacher training retreat in another country... so there's that.

But! Here are five things about this week that brought the spark, yah?

Peppermint Bark
One of my coworkers recently returned to work from an injury and she brought with her a GIANT plate of peppermint bark and some kind of mystical blondie bar that contained m&m's, coconut, and walnuts. But the peppermint bark literally had to have had crack in it. I can confidently say that I singlehandedly ate two-thirds of that plate. Now my mom bought ingredients to make a similar recipe this weekend so I may actually just turn into a plate of peppermint bark.

Got it done lists
Recently I've been making got-it-done lists in my brain dump journal instead of to-do lists in my planner. It makes me feel infinitely better about myself to see all the shit I got done in a day (and it's usually a lot more than it feels like!) than all the shit I was too lazy to do and didn't get around to.
  
Full body circuits
For awhile I've been doing workouts just based on one or two body parts at a time (ex. back and biceps day, shoulder day, etc) but on Tuesday I did a full body circuit incorporating one or two exercises for EACH body part. So I did a circuit of chest, then a superset of back and biceps, a tricet of triceps, shoulders, and abs, and a tricet of legs, legs, and abs. And it was KILLER. I mainly focused on cables, but used a resistance band and kettle bells as well. I definitely recommend at least a couple days of full body.

Best of 2016 Spotify playlist
Spotify regularly kills it with my Discover playlist, but they put together a big one of all my most played songs from 2016. So basically all my favorite songs from a whole year all in one spot, and I didn't have to do any work to get them there. Thanks Spotify!

Back to the old...
I was a redhead for the later part of high school and all four years of college. Then I had a change of heart and decided I needed to go blonde. Now my hair looks and feels like straw and it's time to go back to the tried and true. I loved being a redhead! Today's the day!


& one unfavorite... CAR TAXES. How is it that every year I forget about car taxes? Well, last year I didn't have to pay them because a couple of weeks before they were due, I totaled my car. This year it's really cramping my style and pretty much all of my birthday money is just going to my unfortunate car taxes. Ugh.

HAPPY FRIDAY! do you have any holiday plans? Time is running out! My mom are and I are making peppermint bark, I hope to finish up my Christmas shopping (lol) and I would really love to see home holiday lights. My friends and I might also go to that Cirque du Soleil holiday show. We'll see!