Inner Strength

Got some? I need some.

Lately I’ve been going through some mega life changes and I’ve been searching within to find my core strength. Strength, I know you’re in there, get your lazy ass out and come help me. One of my biggest fears about leaving my current job and starting my own business is that I won’t be strong enough to have what it takes. I’m afraid I won’t be able to take care of myself (financially and emotionally) when times get tough.

I’d like to think of myself as a confident, independent woman. But every 28 days once in a while I get hit with this sadness/fear. I’ve been known to emotionally eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, drown in my blanket, and watch Stepmom with the specific intent of crying. Yeah, I’m not a mess.

During these times I picture the worst-of-the-worst possible outcomes when I finally leave my job. Like that scene in Look Who’s Talking when Kirstie Alley has like 10 kids hanging off of her, with a jobless hubby, smoking and feeding them beans. (btw, I tried to find a picture of this as I was unsure of my memory, but only got distracted by several John Travolta videos on youtube. red flag?). Ok, seriously now…

My worst fears about making the jump:

  • Not being able to make enough money $$$$$
  • Having no one around to help me up if I fall
  • Getting stuck and not knowing how to motivate myself/defunkify those moods
  • Having scary people pound down my door demanding rent checks
  • Failing. Period.
  • Having to get another corporate job…please god no
  • Deciding the thing I thought I wanted to do was not in fact as satisfying as it was in my head
  • …or being completely successful in my dream job and then, still feeling unsatisfied (I am guilty of fantasizing for the escape, when this becomes a reality, what will I really have to face?)
  • Living in a van down by the river
  • Becoming a fat hermit who eventually has an apartment fit for Hoarders
  • Becoming a hard, aggressive business woman who can never turn business ‘off’ and eventually loses her feminine energy
  • Some emergency will happen, and I will all the sudden need, like $40k, and panic will ensue
  • I haven’t the slightest idea how to get my own healthcare (and other scary logistics that overwhelm me)

There are more but that’s enough for now.

While finding strength is an ongoing process for me, I do have a little checklist of things that tend to help. Here is my current “grow some balls” list:

1)   Fake it till you make it

Even when you aren’t truly feeling it, when you pretend to be strong and confident in front of others, it can reinforce your own internal confidence and push you over your hesitations. This is also a time when I tend to make myself over on the outside (fresh hair cuts, mani/pedis, waxing, a new sweater, etc.). Any little thing that you can grab onto that will serve as a pick-me-up will help.

2)   See you on the other side

Think about something difficult you’ve overcome in the past and remind yourself that you made it to the other side. This will happen again and again for you, because when faced with real challenges, you break them down and solve them.

3)   This too shall pass

My good friend and mentor always reminds me that “this too shall pass”. It helps to take a deep breath and sigh when I feel like my gusto has been deflated.

4)   Tap into the universe

As a child from hippie roots, and now a wannabe Californian, I am starting to really believe in the power of this universe. If you throw something out there, and you work hard enough for it, things will align for you. This isn’t always the most settling of answers, but it does provide me with a sense of relief when I feel alone. (sidebar – this notion was totally reinforced through the Artist’s Way for me, which I highly recommend).

5)  Could be worse?

Uhhh, I couldn’t think of a real #5. I wanted to write “go on facebook and see how much better you’re doing than some of your washed up friends from high school” but then I didn’t, because that would be mean. And I would never do such a thing to feel better about myself! 😯 And karma would make me one of those people someday. And this is why I have problems. redface

Sometimes the list helps, but it never provides me with a 100% success rate. Any suggestions?

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He’s Still a Potential: the gmail last name test

As you can probably tell this blog is a little all over the map. I promise there is a bigger plan in play. I have a lot of competing interests and right now this is a fun place for me to explore and find my blog style/voice. It will all come together soon.

One thing I really want to learn is how to draw comics. I have a big box full of post-its and scraps of paper with comic ideas just waiting to be born. I struggle with the tools. I would love to take a class in photoshop/illustrator/fireworks/whatever it takes. Until then, I’m a bit limited but I still have fun.

So, *disclaimer disclaimer* my blog isn’t quite set up for comics yet, and I did not have much control over the size of this one, so please bear with me while I learn the tools and just blow it up to read for the time being. K thx bye. 😉

Mom Jeans and The Rebel Collection

I never thought I’d say this in any part of my adult life, but today, I go in search of mom jeans (eeep!). I know, I’ve been fighting it too. But I have a situation. You see, I’ll be spending the next few months on and off a shipyard for my job. We will be doing lots of ‘down and dirty’ work. In the trenches sort of thing. Normally, I’d like to believe I’m still at an age where I can pull off the low-riding (below the belly button) cuts.

(via banana)

But riddle me this…say I’m on a ship, and there’s a server on a lower rack that needs repairing, do you know what I’m afraid of?

Plumber's Crack!

(source)

or even worse, in my opinion, the dreaded whale tail!

FREEEEEE WILLY!!!!!

(1,2)

Yes, I had to go there. So you see my dilemma. On the one hand, I want to keep my style and not lose any sense of who I am, even if I have to be working at this job. On the other hand, I’m not about to be whale tail girl.

So today I will be picking up some of these: High-waisted, unflattering, should-be-discontinued-unless-you-have-to-work-on-an-oil-rig or…a ship, jeans.

(source)

I’ve been struggling with this concept of beating my current job. I hate the business casual dress code we are supposed to adhere to. It’s not the fun funky business woman of Express clothing you might think, but rather the matronly, frumpy, you-might-as-well-call-me-your-grandma look of Coldwater Creek that they expect us to wear. It’s utterly disheartening. I’m not trying to dress like a slut here, but I do want to feel feminine and cute.

So about a year ago I started what I’ve come to call my “Rebel Collection”. It makes me so happy just typing it. 🙂 When I am forced to wear business casual, as I am every day at this job, I decided I was going to start sneaking in pieces that are more representative of my personality. Not anything big that people would notice, but little items that I can claim all for myself.

For example, on Fridays, I wear this giant ring:

woah there, is that thing street legal?

(via Stella & Dot)

I started picking out nail colors that are NO WHERE even close to the appropriate spectrum of business-casual shades:

excuse me, do you think we work at a marketing firm here?

(source)

Oooh it gets better! Heh heh heh.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling really spicy, I wear HOT PINK underwear. Absolutely no one knows, but it gives me this strange sense of personal power. When I have to sit through a meeting, I appear perfectly poised and professional on the outside. But secretly, on the inside, I’m having a wild party. I can’t describe this effect, I can only recommend that you try it at once. It’s completely exhilarating.

Haha suckas, you may be boring me to death and I may have to sit through this, but I’m having the last laugh.

(via American Apparel)

For me it comes down to winning a little bit. To make sure I’m hanging onto myself as I feel like I have to conform to this outdated definition of business casual that my company holds us to.

Another one – earrings. If my company had it’s way, all the women would have studded earrings and wear a man suit.

So, also on Fridays, I’ve been known to pull out these babies a time or two:

heh heh heh. so sneaky!!! 🙂

(via Forever 21)

Take THAT, work!

Ok, back to the mom jeans. In order to feel balanced, and not completely miserable about burying my identity, I already have a plan to get through the mom jean crisis:

Helloooo 50's Hollywood Glam bodysuit!

(via Skinnygirl)

who's laughing now?!?!

(Source 1,2)

Mom jeans on the outside *shudder* –> sexy body suit on the inside. PARTY!

I will get through this. I will get through this. I will get through this.

walking + sunshine at Torrey Pines

Today I reconnected with an old friend, Nature. It’s been far too long since we had our last playdate and we were overdue.

I knew right when I woke up that I was going to need some walking and sunshine today. It was one of those days. I just had to walk and think. So I grabbed my shoes and sunglasses and headed for the California coast. It was a beautiful drive up Carmel Valley to Torrey Pines.

From there on out it was just me and my mapa.

I started out with the Guy Fleming Trail and wrapped my way back to High Point, followed by parts of the Beach/Broken Hill Trail. All in all it took me about 3 hours, partially cause I was stopping so much to enjoy the views.

That’s my trail ahead of me! It was absolutely stunning and calming.

“hey there little guy, please stay right there on that rock cause i’mma scared of you, k??”

Then came my favorite part. I walked down these steps to a mini lookout point at the ocean. I turned my ipod on, watched the waves and took in her full beauty.

Just me and the ocean blue.

Here’s a little video from the lookout point, which doesn’t do it much justice. (Sorry it’s a little janky, I need to work on my skillz!)

It was also cool cause every so often some jets from Miramar would fly over. An interesting combo of nature + technology.

can’t. get. over. these. views.

Jets and Helos. Helos and Jets.

The walk up to Broken Hill Trail.

There are no words.

And to top it off, I got some fitbit love!

My fitbit flower grows as I’m getting enough activity for the day. This is a full flower (woot!).

This place is so fricken beautiful I just can’t get over it. The hike was exactly what I needed and I know the memories from today will stay with me longtime.

Running on 80%

Lately I feel like I’ve been running on 80% capacity. And, because I’m a gigantic nerd, every time I type “running on 80” my mind plays out that song, Running on Empty. No, I was not born in the 70s and no, I do not like that song. But it’s forever engrained now.

♫ I’m running on 80….

Anyhow.

Let me clarify. I’ve been almost getting my crap together lately, but just not all the way. I will clean my dishes except for the few that don’t fit in the dishwasher, and those will like, just sit there…for a while. Or my apartment – It’s mostly clean, except for some storage bins that need to be taken out…or my goodwill pile that just keeps growing and never goes away. I’d say I’m at about 80%. I just can’t quite get it together. And don’t even get me started on that “deep cleaning” business because it’s not on my radar.

I was talking to a friend about this to try and get a grip on why I feel so stuck. He suggested making a “Honey TODO list”. A Honey what-the-what? He said a Honey TODO List is a list that a woman gives to her husband when she wants him to clean up and do chores and stuff. News to this mama.

Me: So in my case, isn’t this just a regular TODO list?

Friend: Just make the Honey TODO list.

Me: But…?

Friend: JUST MAKE THE HONEY TODO LIST.

Ok. I did. My goal is to cross off 1 or 2 items every night, until this place is spic ‘n span. I know that I always operate 10x better when I have a clean living space, so here’s to getting it done. Wish me luck!

Five Hundo Miles

Today I found out my job is sending me to lovely {Marinette, Wisconsin} in a few weeks. I feel like this should be one of those recordings at a travel agency, where they reuse the same phrase and then say the city name in an obviously-inserted different voice recording. Howdy, folks! Welcome to beautiful [robot voice] Marinette, Wisconsin!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

(source)

You know I love my Midwest…but I’m just not sure about this. Something tells me *cough*GoogleStreetView*cough* that I’m not going to love it.

Exhibit A:

hi kids, wanna play?!

Tonight on The First 48, local police seek missing girl, age 27, who dissappeared into the steamy back alley in local downtown Marinette. EEEEEK! I can see it now!

nothin' to see here folks. move along...

A town so great that Google did not feel the need to wipe off its camera lenses and roll through again…

ooooh! She's a beaut!

Wow. Maybe I should stock up on a can of mace, or two or three? Thanks, WORK! For telling me I get to live in beautiful San Diego and then tricking me by sending me into the deep dark [robot voice] Marinette abyss!

As one to try and find the positive in every situation, I do believe I found a silver lining in this mess. What may have seemed like an added annoyance, after much detective work, has turned into a little luxury. Let me explain. There are no direct flights from San Diego to Marinette. Instead, you have to go from San Diego -> [Detroit or Minneapolis] -> Green Bay. It just so happens that with my schedule, I had to go through Detroit. So SAN -> DTW -> GRB. Can you guess the first thing I did?

Detroit Metro Airport

(via DTW)

Wait for it…

Still wait for it…

Getting warmer…

Oh yes, I can feel it. I can feel it, Dave.

Hellooooooooooo gate A74 my new best friend! Caribou!

And I will walk 500 miles…

…from my gate to this BOU!!!

And I will walk 500 more…

(via Delta)

…to Detroit (ROCK CITY!). All for Caribou. And for no other silly work reason. Just Caribou. (I think this is becoming a little obsessive). 🙂

Workin on the Night Moves

Oh Bob Seger, how I love/hate you. You know when you get a song stuck in your head, and you just can’t shake it, no matter what? That song, my friends, is Night Moves. Tryin to shake those awkward teenage blues. Yes, workin on our Night Moves.

I mean, how can he be such a creep mastermind?

To the backroom, the alley, the trusty woods
I used her she used me
But neither one cared
We were getting our share

Getting our share? Oh were we Mr. Seger? You devil, you!

I have to say, this song is a perfect reminder of what it’s like to be young and innocent, in the “sweet sweet summertime”. Sigh. Off to dream about my glory days of youth!

taking care of (lady) business

One thing I love about California is their emphasis on health. Getting a massage is not a luxury but a necessity. If you sit at a desk all day long, it’s just considered a cost of health to get a massage once a month. Girls in California spend mucho effort on skincare, waxing, nails, tanning, hair, fitness, and all around looking good. To them, it’s not a costly splurge but just a part of life. I’ve always believed that you gotta spend a little to get a little. When you spend money on a beauty regime, the way you feel and the added benefits to self-esteem are priceless. I am no stranger to pampering myself, but even I feel like I am not up to par with these Cali natives. I am trying to continue to adopt the mindset that taking the time and money to look good really does help you feel better inside and therefore boosts everything on the outside. I believe it.

Check out a funny difference I found. This is the waxing menu at my old salon in Minnesota:


They’ve definitely expanded over the years (now they offer one option for men), but it’s nothing over the top. Here is the waxing menu for my new salon in San Diego:

Jiminy Christmas, that’s a lot of wax. And WOW! 4 package combinations for a Brazilian. FRONT AND BACK. (for you noobs – a Brazilian is an ALL OFF everything goes wax). Funny how the men’s prices are so much higher.

Ok, I’m off to take care of my lady business. On the menu for me: a brow wax, facial, and a mani. Relaxation here I come. 🙂

San Diego, I’ve arrived!

Holy. Guacamole. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve checked in and it feels like months have passed! So much has been going on and I’ve barely kept my head above water. I moved to San Diego (yay!), have slowly been getting my new apartment in order, started a new job, and finally got internet/cable installed yesterday! It’s been mostly positive and I know I’m going to like it here. Since we last spoke…

I packed my life’s belongings in a tiny Ford Escape.

Took off for the open road and headed to San Diego. 8 hours of thinking and reflecting time.

Started to unload, fueled by Starbucks, and waited for my other goods to arrive.

Realized my mug collection is getting out of hand (only about half pictured here…).

Had many a picnic-style dinners on the floor. 🙂

Ate a fancy pants dinner on NYE.

Had another fancy pants dinner in celebration of getting most items moved/sorted. Whew.

Took a little boat ride for work.

Got to see the views underneath the Coronado bridge.

Saw the city pass us by as we headed for open water.

Shared a sunset with sailors.

I managed to make it to the ocean yesterday.

After all, it’s only 10 minutes away now…

Smelled the fresh sea air *cough* and felt like I was on some strange planet.

Oh, and got to play with these guys.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! 😉