Take mixed signals as a no.
Category Archives: Affirmations
No spouse, no second job, no overtime, no travel, and no school obligations. Not anymore. Now the only person standing in my way is myself. So, here’s to my 90 Day Hot Yoga Challenge, where I go to the studio every single day for three months in search of a full-body and lifestyle transformation.
Benefits and goals throughout the 90 day challenge and beyond:
- Weight loss in belly, waist, arms, and neck
- Toned arms, legs, and gluts
- Stronger back, shoulders, and core
- Reduce the impact of aging — eliminate these new shoulder, neck, and lower back pinches by developing stronger and more limber muscles
- Stress relief; stillness of mind
- Development of routine, balancing the rest of my day and disincentivizing distractions
- Endorphins; a blossoming of self-worth. Taking 2 hours every day for my own betterment, and reaping the mental rewards of doing so
- Support healthier eating — the classes require fruits and veggies to perform well, so going full yogi forces the issue. I can see a stark difference in my grocery cart; it’s changed my entire shopping praxis
- Improved breathing; mastering slow, steady breaths during physical strain fights my asthma
- Greater physical endurance to improve walking, lifting, and other regular tasks
- Improve posture; reduce concavity of the lower spine
- Reduced overall alcohol consumption (because I literally can’t drink, or it ruins the next day’s practice. This will also tie into weight loss.)
- Fitting my cutest clothes again
- Improved digestion
- Increased energy and blood flow
- Longer, more restful sleep
- Becoming less physically dependent on sugars that come from carbs
- A practice so entrenched in my psyche and body that I can continue it past the 90 days with no burden
✔️ 2016: Finished my M.S. and graduated; fixed my teeth (Invisalign, babyyyyy)
✔️ 2017: Moved out (womp womp got dumped); fixed my personal life kinda; started going to more concerts, accidentally rebounded with a woman (??????)
2018: Start fixing debt structure; lose 30 lbs
Fuck, I’ve been busy being awesome. This year’s improvements were particularly challenging due to the longevity of their dark cloud. Debt AND fat? Can she tackle both, ladies and gentlemen?
Here’s something I drafted when I was in the midst of keto in the spring to commemorate the struggle:
Every day I have the same meticulously crafted fantasy. It all takes place in my kitchen. First, I pull high end pre-cut french fries out of the freezer and lay them out on a cookie sheet. I season them with oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. I put them in the oven while I move on to prepping the toppings. I fry the bacon until juicy (with just a hint of crispy edge) and then finely chop it. I clean the cutting board and then chop fresh green onions. Ding, the fries are done. I pull the sheet out of the oven and slowly dip my head over the fries to smell them. Into a large, oven-safe serving bowl they go. Now, I grate a block of extra sharp Vermont cheddar over the bowl. Keep grating. Keep grating. Not. Yet. I bite my lip. After the entire block is grated and my wrists ache, I sprinkle the bacon bits and green onion. The bowl goes in the oven for 5 minutes. I take it out and dollop sour cream and chives over the display and reach into the fridge for the finishing touch: the honey mustard. I gorge. And gorge. And gorge. I look up and smile. I fall asleep satisfied. You know, when I was a kid we called this anorexia. Glad to see that in adulthood we can rebrand with a more friendly, scientific name and swap ketosis tips over a juice brunch.
Wow, going back through blog drafts is rough. I have so many drafts that I never published. This one from March 2017 is especially gruesome to review, and it gets nostalgic in a way that doesn’t feel awesome on the cusp of 2019. But, I feel like I should finally publish it. I don’t even live there anymore because it was ultimately too expensive to be on my own, but I do look back on that apartment with fondness. It was exactly what I needed at a bad time, and back then I didn’t realize that one of my best friends had already started sleeping with him in secret, and that another was about to start. The modern twist is that I can look back and say that ignorance was bliss even while I was miserable, compared to knowing now and hating everyone I ever trusted.
2017 draft: Living alone is a critical boomerang to my previous living situation. While living with friends is a wonderful, fun, and meaningful experience, it also has many risks. When you let quirks and certain selfish personality traits of your friends overwhelm you on a day to day basis, it can hurt your relationships with them. I feel for even that one reason, leaving after three otherwise wonderful years at the house was the right call. There is such a thing as overstaying, and I think I was just on the cusp of doing so, but escaped before the little things stacked up and threatened to hurt my interpersonal relationships. An additional concern was my own growing antisocial nature. There is a certain expectation of friendliness when you live with your friends; one that my up-and-down financial crisis, frequent late night work hours, constant weekend trips away, and avoidance of the literal ex-in-the-basement make impossible to live up to. It is simpler to live alone when you anticipate being consistently away.
Finally, after living with family or friends for my entire life–and particularly in the same room with a partner for many years–my personal zen requires the space, peace, and quiet only a private apartment can provide. Endless granite counters, perfect living room, balcony over the community garden and lagoon-style pool deck, personal herb garden on the porch, harmonious bedroom and decor/accents…. and all for me. Privacy.
- Painting in the living room without taking up group space
- baking pies at 3am
- laundry at all hours
- loud, overnight guests on a whim
- candle-lit baths without thought for hogging the restroom
The possibilities are endless and carefree. I can’t wait to cook more with my own kitchen. No more fridge and cabinet Tetris, no more washing other people’s dishes and counter messes, and no more juggling stove usage across four people every night.
But most of all, I’m looking forward to losing “the cloud” of my daily surroundings. Even though we retained all our friends, even though we parted as amicably as possible (all things considered), and even though I’ve moved on emotionally (as much as can be expected), the breakup still tainted the home. While I was out of town visiting someone on weekends, my ex would often go on the same kind of outtings with our friends I used to enjoy. I’d see the pictures trickle in on saturday and sunday afternoons and give a soft sigh, wondering why he or no one else thought to ask me. Every weeknight was interrupted with the logistical struggles of sharing an in-room bathroom with him and the forced conversation that ensued. Our breakup loomed over everything about the house like a fog. Even the house’s farewell party was tainted: we were the unspoken reason for the diaspora. I didn’t even want to attend. I fought about it at length with him the day before. It was all so forced. Everything there reminded me of our failure: my bedroom that’s too-big-for-one, my closet still filled with his clothes, his furniture and equipment in the corner, the second sink that never gets used, the front door of the house that took me past the basement every day…. I’m ready to be free of it.
Update on the red text: HAHAHA it’s because they were fucking! [stares in Morgoth] 😒
Imagine spending your whole life with someone who, in the back of their mind, doesn’t think about moving forward with you. Imagine spending your whole life with someone who wanted to leave you–who feels like they should have left you. Remember: even at your best you’ll never be right for the wrong person. – Jay Shetty
Every now and then I need to hear this so that I stop feeling sorry for myself. I need to continually remind myself that he found a thousand ways over the years to describe why I wasn’t right for him which, with his next girlfriend, didn’t seem to be issues anymore. Remember: if someone doesn’t want to be with you, they will find reasons, as inauthentic as they might be. Listen. Leave.
No emotional disorders.
“But people with blahblahblah need love too–”
✋ I’ve done my time. I don’t need to devote my entire fucking life to charity.
On this, my 31st trip around the sun, I want to announce that I am undyingly devoted to my weird-ass friends, who fill every day with laughter, previously unsaid sentences in human history, and utter happiness. I wouldn’t trade a single bizarre moment with these hooligans for a million bucks, and I don’t spew wholesome content like this nearly often enough to deserve them. Now, let’s go drink beer and throw axes in the forest while blasting Swiss folk metal.
P.S.: Pour one out real quick for this year’s starter kit
I learned this lesson as a wee lass, but I pass it down to you, the next generation.
It seems like a good idea when you’ve got nothing going on. I assure you, it isn’t. Back away from the stud from accounting and rethink your life. Even a decade down the line, that fateful day/week/month fling will still annoy the shit out of you.
P.S., I forgot to wish the web a happy Valentine’s Day! Sorry, I was grating cheese blocks for literally hours. #liveyourbestself #eatthecheese
I lost track (a great thing), but eventually I realized that it’s now been over one year and counting since I’ve sent or responded to a message on a dating site. It feels fucking incredible to be disconnected from those dehumanizing, lying cesspools disguised as self actualization. #offthegrid #readarticlesnotbios
My recommended ads involve vibrators, jumpsuits, and Target. It’s like internet algorithms knows me better than I know myself.
Someone recently said to me the world would be better if women were more open about what they want and what they didn’t. The observation certainly calls out a fault with current/evolving gender roles and expectations as well as social norms. Our culture frequently supports donning a positive demeanor and being open to others’ requests at the expense of our own selves, like southern hospitality run amok. To ask for things is greedy. To expect that your standard be met by someone is selfish. I realize that many things in relationships need to be a negotiation, but your basic principles need not be. We shouldn’t surrender our own needs to please others, whether they be family, colleagues, friends, or romantic partners. Sometimes displeasing another can ultimately be a service to you both, forcing the readjustment of expectations. To circle back to the initial comment, people can’t really be happy unless they start feeling more comfortable admitting out loud what they want and what they don’t.
In the spirit of committing to being my truest, happiest self this year I’d like to openly think about and consider these categories.
In Life: WANT
- Travel adventures: From European metropolises with cobblestone and old houses that are too close together, to snowy national parks where I can camp under the pine trees. I want to traverse busy streets and watch the northern lights and lounge on gulf beaches and climb pyramid ruins. If I can’t afford to leave the country this year while I work on my credit debt, I’ll plan circuits for national park tours and lodges.
- Fitness: I want to do more than fall in and out of fads and quick fixes. I want to make my fitness strategies a regular routine. Living alone now, no one can interfere with my progress except myself. There are no more scapegoats.
- Continued financial growth: I don’t want to be rich. I’ve never wanted that. My goals for financial growth are to make enough to be comfortable, do the things I want to do, and never have to stress about funds. The ability to put money away for a rainy day would be great too.
- Cultivate experiences: I want to continue what’s been an amazing decade of cultivating happy, memorable experiences, both on my own and with friends or partners. Experiences and happiness over things, always. Say Yes to indulgence.
- Peace of mind: I need to focus on my own happiness, progress, prosperity, and nature. Never get lost in the petty details, and never give excessively of my time to the nefarious siphons of others. Take care of myself.
Pinterest mosaic of my 2018 aesthetics
In Life: DON’T WANT
- Kids: The stresses of childbirth, care-taking, and family building. At least, not this decade while there’s still so much independent life to live. Maybe later ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- A breached inner sanctum: Poor choices for friends and acquaintances that are toxic, controlling, untrustworthy, or altogether bad influences on my time, priorities, and emotions.
- Uncomfortable workplace environment: It may be easy to win a battle, but it makes the war unbearable. I need to be a team player at all times, avoid shining at the expense of colleagues just to be the one that was “right”, and never try to take someone down. It’s just not worth it and puts my goals in jeopardy.
- Irresponsible habits: As I fight down my debt, I’ve done a great job excising a few old habits that added zero value to my life but monopolized resources. Good riddance, I say, and let’s continue fighting those urges in 2018.
In a Partner: WANT
- Expressive and outgoing: Let’s face it: I’m a lot. I want a partner who can keep up with my energy and spontaneity (dare I say, my capriciousness???)
- Amenable to change: Strong principles are important, and I do value those. But it’s also important not to take your rigid positions to your grave. When new evidence presents itself, one must be willing to adapt one’s perspective to include that evidence and accept a change in perspective.
- Tender: Has feelings and is not afraid to tap into them. This is connected to good listening skills, so I’ll include that here also.
- Responsible: His maturity and independence must reflect his age.
- Live and breathe humor: Life is a comedy; nobody gets out alive. We need to be able to laugh together, always.
- Socially aware and empathetic: His thoughts on immigration should be more educated and critical than a few paltry, black and white talking points that sound like “just come here legally”. He should be thoughtful, empathetic, and open to the concerns of his fellow humans.
- Geeky AF: And, here’s a hill that I’ll die on. At the same time that he’s geeky, he needs to also not be a pretentious gatekeeper about it. How can you love me if you simultaneously question my authenticity; if you think my identity and hobbies are nothing but performance? Let’s share our hobbies and hope we perk the others’ interests in new things! Explore geekdom together! There is room for everyone, and endless new fandoms to discover.
- Lumberjack aesthetic: Not required, but it sure helps.
In a Partner: DON’T WANT
- Narcissism: Now that I’ve developed a radar for this personality type, at least I can avoid it in the future.
- Emotional problems: I can’t get sucked into any more caretaker roles. My personality demands that I give, and boy… do these people take.
- Indoorsy: My interests lately seem to revolve around nature: national parks, regular parks, beaches, and/or roughing it. He needs to want to live this life with me, not just put up with it. Snow, rain, cloudy, or shine–let’s go out in it!
- Triflin’: At the first sign of a conflict-oriented demeanor, I’m out. My lifestyle goals don’t involve petty quarreling and losing ourselves in the details.
- Endless dietary restrictions (and won’t manage their own diets, if they have an issue): I love to cook. Don’t be a pain in my ass. And if you do have a special restriction, manage it for yourself. I’m not your in-home caretaker.
- Religious and serious about it: Being atheist affects everything that I am–my values, my priorities, the way I process experiences, and the way I plan for the future. My outlook on life just doesn’t jive with those susceptible to faith.
- Gender Fluidity: Unfortunately, I was successfully indoctrinated by societal gender norms. I’ve learned through trial and error that I do, in fact, require a man to have more body hair than myself and to wear less makeup than I do. My own jealous nature requires exclusive rights to the feminine features and accouterments. And, as it turns out, I need a man to be more interested in my ass than his own (mild shock).
- Hobbies that c o n s u m e: Hobbies are great. They accent your life and add to your general happiness. They should not consume you to the extent that you go weeks without speaking to your significant other. They should not become your sole identity trait. They should not drive you to think of your friends and loved ones as mere vehicles for praise of your work. And, most poignantly: I should not have to take on your hobby just to get your attention.
Accepting injections of live diseases from the developing world for science.
Sound self-help words for 2018 from The Magicians:
Be regal, miscreants.
Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them in an argument. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their therapist, if you prefer the analogy). Rather than responding to the emotional chaos—focus only on the facts.