Lovin’ on Myself

ImageHow I love on myself..

1. Wearing makeup – using face powder I love. Using my favorite brushes instead of just the crummy applicators that come with the product. Doing my eyeliner. Plucking my eyebrows. Red lips. Bronzer.

2. Doing my hair. I need to cut it again — shorter this time, so I can curl it easy peasy.

3. Buying and wearing lingerie. Black lacy bras. Little Panties.

4. Clean sheets. Organized Purse. Clean Car. Made bed. No dishes in the sink.

5. Crossing things off my list.

6. Running.

7. Painted fingers and toes.

8. Reading. Writing.

9. Drinking water. Eating veggies. Gluten free, dairy free.

10. Throwing things away. Donating.

11. Learning.

12. Fresh Flowers in the house.

13. Uncluttered surfaces.

I’ve gotten really bad at doing some of these things under the preface that I “dgaf.” But when I don’t give a fuuu about how I look — that’s the same as not caring about myself.

Conquering My Lists

ImageI spend a lot of time lurkin’ on tumblr.com and Pinterest.com. I love it. Especially the home decor stuff. Not to mention — I’m so exhausted when I get home, and it’s hard to get my butt off of the couch to clean and hang photos. Sometimes, killing an hour on tumblr satiates that desire. 

But not really. I mean, if anything, I feel even more hungry for new things — new curtains, new sheets, new headboard, new picture frames.

I spend so much time planning and making lists, not enough time crossing things off that list. The catch is, though, if I put it in writing it’s like a verbal vision board (I prefer words to pictures anyways). I’ve found that making lists of things I want helps draw me to them. But what’s the point of having some great pictures and some great frames, if I never put them together and hang them? What’s the point of writing thank you notes, if I forget to send them? (Sorry Ma, pretend you didn’t read that…)

So from here on out, I’m going to take a page out of my mom’s book and do things within that moment that I’m thinking about them. Already I’ve cleaned my car, hung up frames, hung up clothes, changed the sheets on the bed to the white ones I love so much (even though Masey turns them black no matter how many showers he takes). I’ve updated my phone and my laptop. I’ve written this blog post. Already I can feel the weight lifting off of my shoulders. And when I feel less stressed, I feel less tired, and therefore more inclined to take on the world!

Here. We. Go.

Little Musically Inclined Adventures

ImageRecently took Britt and Jackson to see Brittany Myers’ last show here in California before she moves to Seattle. Crazy girl is following her dreams. She doesn’t know anyone, nor does she have a job or an apartment. She’s destined to succeed — she has no other option but to succeed.  I mean, as long as you don’t have a plan B, you do everything in your power to make plan A work. And this girl is an incredible musician… so she has that going for.

Watching her play at WitZend was really fun, though. Little musically inclined adventure to spice up the week.

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT

After 19 years of believing whole heartedly that love didn’t exist, I found myself head-over-heels in love with MyMason. This wonderful, kind, loving man who cooks me Jordan-friendly dinners every night (I.E. gluten-free, no red meat, not too spicy). And once, when I told him he didn’t need to do that, he replied, “Yes I do. You won’t eat otherwise.” So not only do I have this thoughtful partner, he’s also aware of who I am and my tendencies. I’m blessed.

But I look at the world, and love isn’t something that thrives. It’s something that’s beaten with the stick of financial problems, love affairs, drinking, careers coming before family, and the list goes on and on.

So now, even though I’m in this incredible relationship, I know we aren’t immune to the world’s hackneyed predicaments. So I set off on a mission to find out why relationships don’t last, and what I can do to prevent that from happening to me.

Not an easy mission, let me tell you.

But still, I went out and asked all my friends – old and young – some of the hard questions, and this is my conclusion:

Young relationships often don’t last because we’re in it for the love and the sex. When we get older, we’re less flighty, and we are able to COMMIT. Ultimately, love is fleeting. It comes and goes on a whim. But commitment is steadfast. It’s what builds long lasting relationships that can handle the beatings the world brings.

It’s been about a week since my conclusion, I’ve been keeping it in my thoughts, trying to act on it, but I came across another problem – people treat us the way we treat ourselves.

IMG_6282So this is a little more of an uncomfortable topic to dive into, because it’s not one that makes me look good. And it’s hard to publish stuff like that. However, I’m going to try my best because I think this is an important epiphany:

All along, I’ve been thinking that I need to have my own life and always make sure that my friends and loved ones treat me with kindness and respect. I demand it. I don’t put up with people who treat me like paper that can just be crumpled up and thrown away. That’s BS in my book.

Here’s the catch — while I was demanding this respect and appreciation (and doling it out to them), I wasn’t giving it to myself. How can anyone respect me, if I don’t respect myself? Monkey see, monkey do, right?

I’m not sure exactly how I need to adjust this – but I know that I do. I know that, I’m always questioning everything, and that’s okay, but there’s a way to do it where I don’t seem like I’m putting myself down. A way to convey the fact that – yeah, I’m questioning life and culture, but I’m not necessarily questioning myself.

Recently at work, my boss has stressed that I need to “fake it till i make it.” This is something she both practices and preaches. It doesn’t matter if I’m picking up the phone at 5 AM, I better have a bubbly attitude – because acting that way, is the only way I’m going to attain it. Using the excuse, “But it’s 5 AM!” is just laziness. I need to be able to grab hold of life no matter what day or time it is, no matter how I’m feeling, no matter what’s going on in my personal life; because, I never know what’s coming, and Ganesh forbid I turn away success because I’m feeling grouchy.

Well, after a couple months of practicing, it’s becoming a part of me. I mean it when I tell people, “You’re a rockstar!! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish!” I mean it when I get a call and say, “Oh I’m so glad to hear from you!” I even mean it when I’m talking to a vendor and I say, “I’m so glad we’re going with you! You are so helpful! Thank you!”

And I have to admit… it’s seeping into other parts of my life as well.

So now, back to my relationship – with myself. I need to fake it till I make it. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that we all ( Read: Women) feel insecure and unsure. But dammit, there’s no reason why we need to act that way! How on earth can I ever expect to have people believe in me, if I don’t act like I believe in myself? I do believe in myself! And acting otherwise is just shooting myself in the foot.

Those Basic Necessities

ImageI woke up this morning exhausted and achey – even though I go to bed around 10 pm every night. I can’t figure out if I’m getting too much sleep, or maybe I’m stressed, or I need more water. Or maybe my workout yesterday just pushed my body harder than I thought. No matter, I need a little push to get my butt into gear this morning. 

So here’s a little reminder to myself about what it is I’m doing, and why I need to work hard: 

Within the next year and a half (So, by the time I’m 25), I want to be an amazing writer. I want to write about culture and people. I want to experience life and write about all the untold stuff. I want to write in a way that reaches the younger generation and inspires them to get out and do important things. 

Within the next 3 months I want to continue to grow into a master personal assistant. 

I want to market the shiznit out of Terry’s wonderful company. I want that damn website to be done by the end of November. 

Within the next 6 months I want to have changed my spending so that I, once again, have a savings account.

At the same time – when I do buy clothes, I want them to be legit pieces. 

Within the next 4 months I want to get my body in the best shape possible. Use Erica’s Equipped to be Fit to really kick it up a notch and help me train for half marathons again. 

So… the things I need to work on? Organization. Follow through. Will power. Staying off Facebook. Eating well. Not giving in to cheese. Or chocolate. Do the work – the meal prep, the shopping before hand, the saving. I need to take care of myself in the most basic way. 

Dem Vision Boards Doe

72334_498223560230562_1201263980_n“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” Britt reminded me yesterday.

The thing is,  I struggle with who I want to create myself to be.

Terry – my wonderful boss – told me that one of the stronger pieces of my personality enables me to adapt easily – which means it’s easy for me to make  lots of different friends and I enjoy partaking in a whole spectrum of interesting things. I rarely say NO to new things – unless it’s  food.

The counter side, Terry says, is that I don’t know which version is the true me. A painfully accurate statement.

Don’t get me wrong – I know my True North – I know what’s morally right and wrong. But this predicament of not always knowing WHO I am adds to my constant struggle with ego. Not to mention I’m 23 and am still trying to figure out who the heck I am, regardless of my personality type.

I look at Instagram in one finger pull and I think –

“Damn. Those Billabong surfer girls have it made! I want to spend my life in beautiful oceans.” Never mind that I’ve have yet to stand on a surf board because I’m too busy thinking about the unseen animals in the dark water bellow me.

“Wow I want to be a hippy like my friend traveling the world with no strings attached!” Never mind that I work so hard to put down roots and routines.

“Man oh man I want to grow up to be like Rachel Zoe or Lauren Conrad! Work in the fashion industry! Work my butt off and create my own company!” …actually this is kind of true. 

“Maybe I’ll just settle down like my girlfriends having babies and become a stay at home mom! That looks so rewarding!” Despite the fact that I crave a career so badly. You can’t really wear a blazer when burping a newborn.

(Side note: The one common factor that I see amongst all these lifestyles is that they all work their butt off. Something I truly admire and value. I just need to dump my fear and do the same. And maybe delete my Facebook.. heh.)

I know who I am and what I admire, I just get lost in all of these potential lifestyles.

I’ve been on the same course since birth – High School Go-Getter, College Student Over-Acheiever, Great Career at a Young Age. No gap year. No backpacking. I can’t even watch a movie without doing 3 other things at the same time. Both my nature and nurture have made me who I am.

But I know there are other ways to live and work. Other ways that aren’t as encouraged by my family. Sometimes I worry that I’m too scared to follow these routes. Most of the time I know that I’m doing what’s right by me.

But after an incredible October filled with family (Mason’s and mine), friends (old and new), and adventures (of every kind)… I just feel like I finally know what makes me happy. I know who I want to be.

  • I like tattoos. (Sorry Ma). I don’t want tattoos all over my body like some of my lovely friends, but I do like having a couple private ones. 
  • I like piercings. (Again.. sorry Ma.)
  • I like eating in ways that benefit my body, the earth, the economy, and all the animals on this planet. 
  • I love to run and work my body hard. I’m going to start training for half marathons again!
  • I love fashion. Especially neutral colors. Lacey things. Black black black.
  • I prefer music to movies. 
  • I love writing and reading. I want to be a freelance writer so badly.
  • I really admire women who work their butt off at a young age. These are my role models. 
  • I love people. Especially people who are different than me. Especially people who are similar to me. 
  • I like to party. I prefer it to casual drinking and sports. When I’m at sports bars I always feel like I’d rather be working or doing something productive. At least when I party I make memories.
  • I freaking love coffee. 
  • I also freaking love freaking. Go ahead and judge me for saying it out loud haha. 
  • I am creative. I can write. I can draw. I can design. I have ideas. I love the lifestyle of an artist, even if it’s riskier.

After listing it out, I can see my vision board and all of these things were already on there. I feel content. I know who I am. I’ve always known who I am. I just need to summarize it every now again. I just need to partake in this life. Work hard, party, love, live, eat, enjoy.

LoveJordan

Opening Up to Humility and Graciousness

ImageHumility is a quality that’s vastly under-rated, but subconsciously appreciated when we come across it in others.

My favorite people to be around are the ones who are so gracious and humble and loving, they feed my soul. And yet, as a Type-A personality, I’m constantly trying to be the best.

I’m drawn to description words like “vixen” and “intoxicating.”  Mas once told me that I “could charm the paint off the walls,” while another old friend told me that for him, I was “a relapse waiting to happen.” An old girlfriend whom I rarely talk to now, told me that I’m “too smart for my own good.” And a girlfriend whom I talk to all the time told me that she knew I’d be successful because I’m “so vibrant.”

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love hearing all of this. Even the ones that should be negative.

I strive to be a force to be reckoned with. I want to be the “type of woman who wakes up in the morning, and when my feet hit the floor the Devil says, ‘Oh crap she’s up.’” I have no idea who said that, but I love it nonetheless.

So it was a natural for me to focus on finding adventure – to think that, that was the answer to all that I was searching for. But as I reflect back, I’m starting to see the true message I’ve been ignoring: Putting my ego in check.

I’m looking back and realizing how many of my wonderful friends have talked about their own battles with their ego in the last month. Ego takes many forms – self-obsession, self-destruction, self-criticism. And it can be easy to miss.

I’m recognizing now, that I obsess over doing well, as well as ensuring that I look like I’m doing well. I also obsess over acknowledging my flaws because in order to be a perfect human I can’t ignore my shortcomings.

But lately, I’ve been continually hit over the head with my own imperfection, struggling, and mistakes. I feel like I’m constantly searching, constantly making amends.

A few days ago, I was scrolling through Instagram and I stumbled upon my friend Lauren’s post, “God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.”

I thought, DAMN RIGHT.

But then I saw a large comment underneath where Lauren’s mom wrote, “Or maybe to His weakest, so that God can show His self through them. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.’ say The Lord of hosts. Zachariah 4:6.”

Well now that threw me for a loop and made me uncomfortable. I was so annoyed by my discomfort that I didn’t even like Lauren’s photo. Talk about ego.

But human’s react to discomfort because it’s an unfinished thought in their mind. This is something we learned copious times in upper division marketing courses. When you present an unanswered question or an unfinished thought to a human, it’ll embed itself in a human’s mind until they can close the circle with an answer. It’s probably why we’re all obsessed – for better for worse – with Miley Cyrus. Like damn, is she on drugs or is she just nuts or is it a clever ploy!? Meanwhile we all understand what’s going on with Lindsay Lohan, so a majority of us don’t mind stepping away from all that nonsense.

Well, the same thing applies here. I keep thinking back on this Instagram post, trying to look at Zachariah 4:6 with an open heart in order to discern what it means to me.

Maybe I’ve become so ego driven that the greater power in this universe is trying to wake me up – “Girlfriend you are not all that and a bag a chips. And all these people who hurt you are NOT the scum beneath your shoe. You are all human. Be humble! Be gracious!”

Then, this morning true epiphany struck! (Well, actually afternoon, but I didn’t wake up till noon haha). I was listening to a Talking with Terry – monthly inspirational talks that my boss puts out, and it was as if I was smacked in the face with the answer I was so carefully avoiding: Adventure is really the last piece to happiness.

It’s not that it isn’t important, but I had forgotten basic Comm. Theory. Self Esteem is the most basic and important piece that one needs to build up in order to find satisfaction in life.

I’m sitting in Starbucks listening to Terry talk about the fundamentals of life, and It’s taking everything in me not to cry. I’m so mad at myself for being so closed, but I’m so happy that the answer has finally struck me. I finally feel hope and relief.

The irony of finding my answer through work isn’t lost on me: I’ve been so self-absorbed, focusing on my pitfalls and shortcomings, I didn’t have anymore room left to appreciate this beautiful woman and all that she knows. Instead I was acting like a 14 year-old who thought she knew it all.

I feel a resurgence of energy. She and I both knew coming into this relationship, that based on our birth dates, she had something huge to teach me. And perhaps this is just the first piece. In order for me to learn anything from her, I first had to chip away at this wall I’d built up around my heart. This wall of mock perfection, faux empathy, and blatant ego.

I feel as though, in process of knocking down my wall, I’ve fallen on my back; but as a result it’s created an opportunity for me to get back up and climb even higher than I ever thought possible. Without the wall, there’s nothing to hold me back. No more boundaries to hold me in.

Chasing Adventures

ImageWhen I was in college, and my parents paid for EVERYTHING, I  found that I had way too much free time, and not enough extra cash. So, I did the natural thing and got a job — specifically one working front desk in a prestigious hotel. I also got an internship, acquired leadership positions in a couple clubs, and worked as a teacher’s assistant for a couple different professors. Your basic over achiever to the max.

In addition to building my resume, I was building my life — growing my group of friends, dating mason.

I am aware how lucky I am to have such a wonderful net work, but I always wondered, if I didn’t have the steady job, the steady boyfriend — would I be like my friend KP and backpack through Europe alone? I met Mas on a train trip up north to visit my girlfriend for a week. Would I continue to go on spontaneous trips to other parts of the country? Image

In the past four days I’ve had three conversations with people whom I really respect and relate to about taking off and going on an adventure to another country. One friend wants to take off to South Africa and work at an animal sanctuary. Another wants to live in Thailand. A third wants to travel the United States playing music on street corners, living in hostels.

I’ve had quite a few people — friends and strangers (awkwardly enough, including the woman waxing me at the Pretty Kitty) — commend me for being brave enough to live in another city where I don’t have a network or a community of friends. I love living here. I love the huge buildings, the intimidating free way structures, the tags, the street art, the homeless people, the music, the street food… LA is a place filled to the brim with culture. And yet, I don’t know if I’m fulling taking advantage of the opportunities this place holds. Moving to LA could be just as cool as living in Thailand, as long as I stop running home to Orange County every weekend.

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So, I’m making the conscious decision to have adventures and take advantage of the copious opportunities presented here. And I’m going to do it sober. A vodka tonic is lovely and an excellent social lubricant, but I’d rather remember all the craziness I have a habit of getting myself into. Not to mention, I need to be able to socialize dead sober anyways, even if it’s difficult to learn.

Thus, I’m starting a new bucket list — an LA List : Los Adventures List

(If anyone happens to stumble upon my blog and has any suggestions, I’d love love love to hear them! )

  1. Join Meet Up and find some friends… and probably some weirdos.
  2. Discover free concerts (and events of all kinds)
  3. Attend the Buddhism Young Adults sessions…even if it’s alone
  4. Eat at new (gluten free/vegan) restaurants… even if it’s alone.. I’ll bring a book ( I need to read more anyways)
  5. Go out with my friends who already live here…even if their new/undeveloped friends
  6. Use my weekends to go other places besides Orange County — Slo/San Fran/San Diego/Palm Springs/Santa Barbara… I’m sure I can find thrifty ways to make it happen
  7. Write about it all.

I’m so lucky to have found the love of my life — a fellow adventurer at that. But I used to do everything on my own and I loved it, and I don’t think it should be any different now that I have this wonderful partner. So many of my friends are settling down — getting married and having babies, but Mas and I talk about how it’s too soon for all of that. I might as well take advantage of all this freedom now, so that I can fully appreciate settling down with Mas later. It doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to go on adventures with Mas, but I want to make the conscious effort to fight the urge to hold back when he can’t go exploring with me.

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