Starting Above Rock Bottom (almost)

In college I was always known as the “driven, focused one.” In my circle of friends, with professors and teachers, and with family, I was typically thought of as someone who had their shit together. And in many ways, I did.

I always got As and a handful of Bs (minus the C in math but whatever because, math), made the Dean’s List every semester, turned papers in on time and graduated in the allocated four years I had set for myself, nabbing a couple student awards and leaving with a fairly solid reputation and resume to boot.

And then I entered adulthood, where I very quickly found that I did not, in fact, have my shit together. Without the structure of semesters, an end goal (getting my degree) and friends surrounding me every waking second, things suddenly weren’t that great. Things were actually pretty scary, lonely, uncertain. And that’s how I landed where I am today.

Not rock bottom, but pretty damn close.

I am 24. I work at entry-level status at a typical office job with a salary so low that I cannot afford to move off of my parents’ couch. I battle with binge-eating disorder, which I was not aware was something that actually existed beyond my own struggles until very recently. In line with that, I am also slightly overweight and out of shape. I am still single, but that’s not to say I haven’t had my fair share of making bad decisions and spending way too much time and emotion on unavailable dudes. I don’t drink very often, but when I do, I usually drink too much. And to top that nice heap of a mess off, everything I once believed about God, spirituality and the world as we know it, has been tossed out the window, leaving me scared and full of doubt about something I never questioned before.

I went from being the girl who was juggling 18 units, an internship, a job, leading an academic/career club and rocking a decent 2-pack, with tons of friends, to being an insecure, barely making-it ghost of a woman.

And you know what? I have accepted all of that — every flaw in myself, I have come to accept and to absorb about myself. It’s been quite the journey to get to this point, but now that I’m here, huddled in a cave just a few feet above rock bottom, I have found a place to begin again. The ground floor, as it were.

I can’t tell you how I’m going to pick myself back up. I can’t tell you that I’m not going to slip and end up at rock bottom before that happens.

But what I can tell you, is that I’m going to try my damned hardest to find myself again, to set some life goals and to move forward, and upwards from the place I am now. I lost focus and I lost confidence, and that led me to this dark little space. But it’s time for me to grow a pair and get out of here.

This is just another twentysomething’s journey to adulthood and trying to figure out how to make it out alive and maybe, actually help others find their way too.

So here goes nothing.

Oh post-grad life.

Post-Grad Life Take Two

I’ve decided to give this blog thing one more shot. I haven’t been able to blog consistently since college (on a now defunct Blogspot site) and I miss it.

Capturing memories, thoughts, moments and putting them into prose is something I find to be extremely therapeutic and something I should do for me. I give a lot of my time to my job, carbs and friends, which is great, but it’s been awhile since I’ve done something to improve my emotional and mental health and that is something much needed (more on that later.)

I’m not sure how successful this second attempt at blogging will be, but here goes nothing! It comes at a good time too, as I transition from “new grad” into an actual adult — which scares the shit out of me. But exciting things are ahead (I hope) and I want to make this one of them.

I hope to fill this blog with life updates, advice on surviving an office job (and what to do if you want out), navigating the world of casual dating, living at home with the parents, combatting binge eating, and a couple entries on what I’m listening to / watching lately.

This is simply a place for me to be. Totally and unapologetically myself, whether people read it or not, this is me. This is the version of myself that possibly no one in real life sees — but this is the real me. The good, the bad, the boring and the ugly.

Oh Post-Grad Life, take two.

Chapter Five.

The five chapters of your life, repeated often.

1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

–Portia Nelson, Autobiography 

Although I spent many, many months in Chapter 3 of “Autobiography,” and played around with Chapter 4, I have finally arrived at Chapter 5. *applause all around*

You see, with the last person I caught feelings for, I was willing to put up with a lot of bullshit. I made up excuses for him as if my life depended on it. I let the “well maybe when…” and “but what if…” thoughts cloud my judgment. I let my self-respect and individuality go. I willingly sacrificed time, money, dignity and self-respect because of that intoxicating thing called lust and that more deceptive item, love.

No I wasn’t in love, but there’s no denying I cared for the kid. And so, after I began to realize he would never care for me romantically, I tried to justify keeping him in my life as platonic friends. But I still put in a lot of effort. Into hanging out (not hooking up,) into trying to get to know him better, and making room in my circle of friends for him. I wasn’t falling into the hole; I wasn’t letting myself be that vulnerable again, but I was still on the same street, I could still see the hole, and I was letting myself become more emotionally attached than I had when we were just… fooling around.

But finally, this weekend, something amazing happened. I saw him on Friday night when we were with mutual friends at an event. And I realized things. How he talked down to me. How he ignored me. How I was such a small minuscule piece of his life that my waves of affection and attention were hitting a wall. He barely noticed the splash of my presence.

This realization came all at once. And it didn’t hurt. It was refreshing, it was glorious, it was freeing. I’ve felt free of his claws for a long time, but there was always that singular chain of friendship keeping me in his orbit.

As I saw how little he cared for me as a person and friend I snapped to my senses quickly.

This fool was not a true friend.

This fool was no longer my love interest.

This fool means nothing to me.

He hasn’t done anything wrong. I am simply not a top priority in his life, and I need to realize that and stop making decisions based on him, what he thinks (Lord knows I’ll never be good enough for him), what he does and who he hangs out with. I need to stop making him a something in my life at all.

I need to walk down another street and leave him and that hole in the past.

And that’s where I am at, finally.

I may not ever see him again, or at the very least, never hang out with him extensively again, and while that thought saddened me greatly a month ago, today I couldn’t care less.

There is no hole. That hole is filled. This new street is paved with friends, career possibilities, family, new adventures, new memories to be made, new goals to pursue and dreams to try on. Maybe there’s another boy waiting, but who cares if there isn’t?

To live in a world without him is completely mind-blowing. He has taken up so much space over the past year and a half, and I am amazed to blink and realize he is no longer going to take up so much as a corner.

I haven’t felt this exhilarated since the last time I realized I was moving on from a man, another person who barely takes up room in my universe.

I am elated to finally reach this point with another person. To close another chapter. He didn’t work out. On to new heights and new places. On to moving forward!

And on that note, Happy Monday.

Peace out, 2014

When I look back on this year, only one word comes to mind: fun.

I just wanted to enjoy life this year and I really did. I made the decision not to wait around for friends to join me to do things I wanted to do. I just went for it, and it was the best thing I could have done for myself.

A lot of my friends don’t like and/or have the time to do things I enjoy doing. I spent a lot of 2013 being bored, dissatisfied and unhappy with how I was spending my free time. At the end of 2013, I was basically unhappy and unfulfilled. The thought of spending another 365 days in the same way was unthinkable. So I changed.

The result? I have new friends, beautiful memories and more confidence than I did last year. I’m beginning to own who I am and be proud of that. To not care who laughs at me or looks down at me and just do what I want to do. It’s freeing.

2014 Favorites:

  • Bungee jumping off the Bridge to Nowhere
  • Skydiving
  • Outsidelands Music Festival // San Francisco
  • Life Is Beautiful Festival
  • Renewing my Disneyland pass
  • Getting more involved at Reality
  • Seeing Kaskade
  • HARD Day of the Dead weekend
  • Surviving another Fair: weddings, drama, hotel parties, animals, parades, concerts, giveaways and all
  • Seeing Yellowcard finally at Vans Warped Tour
  • Seeing one of my best friends get married // being a part of that
  • Palm Springs for bachelorette party :)
  • VEGAS — all of it
  • Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara, as always
  • KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas
  • Reconciling with two very close friends
  • Hikes with my family
  • Taking my sister to Six Flags for the first time
  • Petting a wallaby (yes… it was that awesome)
  • Meeting Joseph Vincent at the O.C. Fair <3
  • Going to my first Lakers game… in Hyde Lounge
  • Wine nights with my girls
  • Carving pumpkins… hah
  • Deeper appreciation of family

Looking back, I know that 2014 was amazing. I still feel the highs each memory brings me.

But it also ended on a sad note; my grandma (Bachan) passed away unexpectedly in mid-December. It’s the first time I’ve experienced sudden loss and it’s taken my whole family for a whirl. I wish I could say we are spending Christmas in a whirl of pretty lights, laughter, hot chocolate and great memories but the truth is, we are mourning and we are sad. We are still spending time with family and we still laugh, but our hearts just aren’t into it. Christmas is almost non-existent to me. Sure I went to the work holiday parties and helped decorate the house but really? Truly?

It’s the last thing on my mind, even now on Christmas Eve.

I’m already looking forward to 2015 and just want to put this month behind me. I’m tired of the holidays; my heart isn’t in it. And even though 2014 was beautiful through and through, losing Bachan? It puts a grey veil over every other thing that has happened. I’m ready to say goodbye to 2014. It was a great year, and then it ended.

Peace out, 2014. I hope 2015 is a good one.

Fuck Yes Or No

I hadn’t planned to kick off the fall season sharing an expletive-titled article, but it leapt out at me and I felt compelled to share this very important read. I have another post in the works that recaps my summer and the progress I made with my Bucket List as well as an explanation of my lack of prose, but this article hit me in the gut hard and it needs to be shared NOW for all you other post-grads/singles out there.

If you haven’t already read the now-viral “Fuck Yes Or No” article by Mark Manson, you should.

In essence, Mark gives these sage words of wisdom in the form of the Law of Fuck Yes Or No.

The Law of Fuck Yes Or No

The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.

The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” also states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them.

And it’s a bloody brilliant law. Think about it — why would you waste time with someone who makes you feel mediocre and only sees you as mediocre? Or if it’s just a one-night-stand, why jump in bed with someone you aren’t feeling “f*** yeah” about? And why would you want to waste your time and energy on someone who you aren’t gung-ho for? To what? Fill a void of loneliness? Make sure you have a plus one when you’re feeling insecure? Someone who’s “just there” when you need to feel significant? What’s the effing point?

I have spent a better portion of this year waiting for/working for/trying for men who just aren’t that into me, and vice versa. I’ve been on boring dates and I’ve played the desperate fool in equal measures. It’s time to put a stop to both ends of the dating spectrum.

I need to respect myself enough to walk away from situations where, quite frankly my dear, he just doesn’t give a damn. I’ve lived in that rut for far too long and it’s time I picked my ass up off that worn down path and started towards something better.

I’m not sure where this revelation will carry me, but I know it’s away from toxic, one-way ships’ and an escape from the mundane and boring… From now on, it’s going to be “Fuck Yes” or “Fuck No” and I pray I have the confidence to walk away when the answer is the latter.

So, hi  Fall 2014. Let’s see what you have in store for me…

Summer Bucket List

IMG_0150Even as a post-grad, summer break-less working girl, there is something about summer that screams adventure.

The promise of romantic warm nights and blissful summer afternoons permeate through the walls of my cubicle and beg me to start living a little more instead of spending my free time stuffing my face and watching Netflix. 

I have made some extreme positive life changes lately (more on that later) and with this new release from unhealthy habits, I find myself just wanting live, and live beautifully. When I was in college I used to make bucket lists of things I wanted to try out or accomplish and it led to some of the best times of my life!

I want to bring that idea back into my adult life, so without further ado, here is my Summer 2014 Bucket List. I hope to document my way through this list on the blog. So here goes nothing! 

 

2014 Summer Bucket List 

  • Go to a Dodger game 
  • Do a fun run  (blog post to come!)
  • Swim in the La Jolla caves 
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain 
  • Go hiking someplace new 
  • Sleep under the stars
  • Swim in the ocean, go to the beach more
  • Vegas 
  • Go to a music festival 
  • Kiss someone new 
  • Lose 15 pounds 
  • Try a new fitness class (pilates, kickboxing etc.) 
  • Try one of the restaurants/bars on my ongoing Bucket List 
  • Get tan 
  • See Manhattan Beach Six-Man tournament 
  • Read one new fiction book
  • Read one new non-fiction book 
  • Visit the Getty Museum or another art museum 
  • Get a new tattoo 

Summer is supposed to be about doing things, being active, being adventurous, exploring and really, truly enjoying being a twenty something. I encourage anyone who reads this to create a bucket list of their own, or at least start going out there and trying something new :) 

Cheers to you, summer two thousand fourteen. 

“Do I Wanna Know?” – Arctic Monkeys

Have you got colour in your cheeks?
Do you ever get that fear that you can’t shift
The type that sticks around like summat in your teeth?
Are there some aces up your sleeve?
Have you no idea that you’re in deep?
I dreamt about you nearly every night this week
How many secrets can you keep?
‘Cause there’s this tune I found that makes me think of you somehow and I play it on repeat
Until I fall asleep
Spilling drinks on my settee

Do I wanna know
If this feeling flows both ways?
Sad to see you go
Was sort of hoping that you’d stay
Baby we both know
That the nights were mainly made for saying things that you can’t say tomorrow day

Crawling back to you

Ever thought of calling when you’ve had a few?
‘Cause I always do
Maybe I’m too busy being yours to fall for somebody new
Now I’ve thought it through

Crawling back to you

So have you got the guts?
Been wondering if your heart’s still open and if so I wanna know what time it shuts
Simmer down and pucker up
I’m sorry to interrupt. It’s just I’m constantly on the cusp of trying to kiss you
I don’t know if you feel the same as I do
But we could be together if you wanted to

Do I wanna know
If this feeling flows both ways?
Sad to see you go
Was sort of hoping that you’d stay
Baby we both know
That the nights were mainly made for saying things that you can’t say tomorrow day

Do I wanna know?
Too busy being yours to fall
Sad to see you go
Ever thought of calling darling?
Do I wanna know?
Do you want me crawling back to you?

“Wasted” – Tiesto

I like us better when we’re wasted
It makes it easier to fake it
The only time we really talk
Is when our clothes are coming off

I like us better when we’re wasted
It makes it easier to say it
Lay all your laundry on the bed
And then I’ll lay in it instead
I like us better when we’re wasted

You are a glass half empty
Sipping my ocean dry
Emotionally spent me
Til none of our planets could align
But I could stand you one more night

I like us better when we’re wasted
It makes it easier to say it
Lay all your laundry on the bed
And then I’ll lay in it instead
I like us better when we’re wasted

You are a catch 22
Either way I miss out
All of the grief I’d give you
Is energy I can live without
But I could stand you one more night

I like us better when we’re wasted
It makes it easier to say it
Lay all your laundry on the bed
And then I’ll lay in it instead
I like us better when we’re wasted

Image

I was being a total lurk on Facebook and happened upon one of my old friends from college who was tagged in some photos. I clicked through mindlessly until it suddenly it me — Despite nights turned into mornings, hours of conversation, dozens of secrets shared, tears and laughter rolled into one — I don’t know this person anymore. And it’s both brutally heartbreaking and apathetically expected at the same time.

Isn’t it weird how you can know someone so deeply and relate to them so intimately and then two years later it’s like they may as well be strangers because they are, in fact, strangers? I am new to this phenomenon but I am sure it is something I will encounter frequently as I go forth into adulthood. 

When you invest enough time, emotion and commitment to an individual, you are giving a piece of yourself to them. You are allowing them to change you and vice versa. You are experiencing life together, learning and celebrating wins. You are giving the finger to fate when things are just not going your way. You are eating fast food at 2 a.m. because you are young and alive and that means your metabolism is on crack. You are becoming more of you who are, because of these people you have let connect with you in so many aspects of your life. 

And then all of a sudden, for myriad reasons, that person has disappeared from your life. You stop talking, you stop hanging out and you aren’t there to see what else life has to throw at them, and they are not there to see how you’re doing either. You don’t share their highs, their lows, their revelations and their stupidity. You don’t see them fixing their flaws or falling into new vices. Time goes by and as you live your life you begin to change and they begin to change and while you’re dating, working and dealing with life they are doing the same until suddenly, months or years later, you are a different person. And so are they. And the only thing you know you have in common with them is that you are a completely changed individual than who you were when you were with them. It is jarring to realize that 80% of the people in your current life know 0% of the life your past friendships were a part of. 

I don’t know what music they like, what movies they have seen recently, how their dreams and goals have changed or stayed the same. I don’t know if they are emotionally okay or if they need help with something. I know nothing. I am not privilege to the inner workings of their minds and hearts anymore. 

As I sit here and ruminate on those haunting Facebook photos — the ones of a stranger who happens to look like someone I knew inside and out — I think about my weekend. I spent a large portion of it at work and jumping hoops in many ways. My co-workers know me as this happy-go-lucky and confident individual and I can affirm that yes, that is who I am a lot of the time. But they aren’t aware of what it took to get me from the insecure college freshman I was to who I am now. 

After work I went to grab a couple drinks with some high school friends. They have changed a lot too and we are very different from each other, but they have consistently been in my life and I am able to adapt to these changes because I am still connected with them. And yet even they do not know how much I learned and grew in college — they were not there for that. 

And it is crazy to think that the two people who knew all of my struggles, saw all of my flaws, accepted me at my best and worst, who experienced some of the most memorable collegiate events of my life, who pulled all-nighters studying, who raced foolishly down the highway at 2 a.m. with me, who ate countless lunches, dinners and brunches with me, who played such influential roles in the way I see myself and how I interact with and treat others, those important people in my life, are not around anymore. 

They have NO idea who I am or what I am going through in my life. And I do not know who they are or what they are experiencing in theirs. 

Facebook gives us the false impression that we are aware of what’s going on in our friends’ and acquaintances’ lives but the truth is, unless we are speaking to these people and having real conversations with each other, we have no idea whose profiles we are really looking at. We haven’t the faintest idea of what is going on at the core of their lives. And for the most part, that’s a good thing. We don’t want or need to know the inner workings of Bob from Psychology 101 or what’s going on with Susie from that one time we went to Vegas. We don’t know and we don’t care. 

But the people who used to be our “bffs?” The people who we barely talked to on Facebook because we were so busy getting to know each other and were so in contact in real life? 

It’s weird to see their photos and see how they have physically changed and yet not know a thing about who they really are. All I can say is, I hope they are happier and doing even better than when we were friends.

As for myself? I don’t know if they think about me ever. I don’t know if anyone from my past is asking the same questions about me. I am happy where I’m at. I am meeting new people, learning new things, losing weight healthily and about to dive into a few new adventures in the next couple of weeks. I am growing and experiencing life and hope to go even deeper into what the world has to offer. I have dreams, fears, insecurities, highs and lows that a few people know about, but the people who used to be the first and only individuals to know all of that, are strangers. 

It has been two years since my world began changing without them. 

It will be decades of change and by the time Facebook dies out we may have forgotten we were in each others lives at all.