Thursday, January 28, 2010

Playing House

Usually, this refers to an unmarried couple who moves in together in order to test out their relationship in real time.  Like rehearsal marriage.  Let's see how this works, save a little money, split groceries and go furniture shopping together.

I don't know if I was just a clueless college kid with parents who were too busy getting a divorce to really pay attention to what I was doing, but I moved in with my college boyfriend when I was 21.  And we were most certainly not planning on getting married (at least in my head.  I was waiting for 30 - I'm a feminist afterall). 

Needless to say it didn't work out too well in the end, but one of the reasons we were ready at that point was because we were both "nesters".  I've moved almost half a dozen time since, and every time I haul around my big girl (read: non-Ikea) furniture and art work.  I love to watch HGTV, paint my apartments, and go buy new towels.  I'd much rather shop in Macy's home department than their clothes department.

Now that I live on my own again, I'm totally playing house with myself.  I have been printing out new recipes to try (when I will have free time to cook between work, school, friends and unpacking has yet to be determined) and spend far too much time and money at Target.

The only frustrating part of this whole thing is that I'm not completely settled in yet.  I have an economics exam on Tuesday and I need to spend the weekend at the library and making flashcards, not putting away clothes and hanging pictures. I know I've only been there for five days, but I feel like Mary Poppins; like the whole place should magically be all set in a matter of a weekend.  I'm just glad I didn't wait until this weekend to move.

Friday, January 22, 2010


One of my favorite Sex and the City episodes is when the girls talk about their SSB’s -“Secret Single Behavior”. Carrie (pre Mr. Big obviously) liked to eat saltine crackers piled high with grape jelly and Charlotte enjoyed staring at her pores for hours in a magnifying mirror. I haven’t seen this particular episode in years, but it really resonated with me. After living on my own for five years now, I definitely have some habits that won’t necessarily jive when (if) I move in with a significant other.

They *might* include the following:
1. Eating cold pancakes with jelly for dinner
2. Sitting on the countertop and eating a block of cheese and crackers straight from the box
3. Ironing my pillowcases
4. Taking up the entire bed when I sleep
5. Listening to bad 90’s rap really loudly
6. Wearing mismatched pajamas and slippers

Over the last few years, I’ve become quite fond of my quirkiness. I’m sure this has something to do with becoming a more confident woman in general, but also because there’s nobody around to judge me. My odd tendencies, lack of taste in music and affinity for cardigan sweaters are what make me, me. Part of becoming growing up is becoming more comfortable in one’s skin. I’m definitely not completely there yet, but embracing my SSB’s is a step.

Does everyone have these? What are some of yours?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Back In the Saddle...

Call me a nerd, but I like school.  I don't think I actually love going to class (four hours is an awfully long time for this girl to sit), but I like the whole experience.  The people, the professors, the way it makes me think of things in a way I wouldn't normally.

This semester is a little different from last in that I'm taking classes I'm actually interested in.  I have a *very* liberal arts degree in economics so I am obviously somewhat enthralled with the concepts of supply, demand and elasticity (really).  At some point during class this week I even thought about just getting an advanced degree in econ. I aced accounting in high school and always wished that I wasn't too big of a wimp to take more of those kinds of classes in college.  So this is my chance.

Now believe you me, I am not the type to overachieve.  I will study until I think I thoroughly understand the material and then put the book down and move on.  I've never pulled an "all-nighter" and I'm still likely to find myself waking up at 3am with drool on my textbooks and all the lights still on.  I probably won't even ace these classes, but gosh darn it I'll enjoy them. 

Our quantitative analysis class last semester was so daunting and constantly overwhelming that I never had the chance to really hunker down and get to the root of it.  I spent all my time catching up instead of understanding.  How I managed to pull off a very respectable grade in that class is a little beyond me but I'm glad it's over.  I feel like that was too much of my undergrad experience for reasons I won't go into quite yet, but I'm glad that - at least for now - I feel like I can more fully take advantage of these courses. 

I'm also taking classes back to back this semester.  That means on both Mondays and Tuesdays I get up before the sun, work eight hours, grab a Diet Coke and some string cheese on my way to school, and then proceed to sit through class for four hours.  It's not painful, I get to see my friends, I enjoy learning and it gives me structure.  But it also means I'm super exhausted come Wednesday and the week isn't even halfway done. 

Like before Vani and I run a race, I get all kinds of nervous before the start of a new semester.  Like somehow there is always an option of failing.  But there isn't, really.  I will work as hard as the course requires.  Period.  I will tackle the hills, probably complain along the way, and enjoy the challenge in different capacities. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Years Resolutions

My resolution this New Year is to find balance. To balance what I want to do with what I have to do. To balance my spiritual and personal life. To balance my checkbook. To balance my diet and my eyebrows. To stay physically and mentally active and allow myself effective down time in order to stay refreshed and energized. To work and play harder. 

This sentiment has been echoed by my classmates and is perhaps more important for those with family lives to juggle along with work and school.  But really, life is constantly about finding balance for all of us.  I might not have a family of my own, but I have to find a way to juggle dating, exploring and spending time with my friends along with everything else.  After all, those things are just as important at this point in my life. 

I don’t believe that New Years should be the only time we resolve to do something, but it certainly gives us perspective and impetus. I run races because they give me a deadline and it's kinda the same thing with the new year.  Despite it being an over-hyped bar night, it is a symbol of new beginnings.  A chance for us to reflect on the past year  - all our accomplishment and not-so-great moments - and clarify how we want to spend the next 365 days. 

The last few months I've done an increasingly better job of living the life I've always imagined and making decisions for myself.  Between going back to school and moving to a new apartment by myself, I am consciously living according to what I value.  I hope to attend more bschool events, study harder and make more time for the people I value. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another Day, Another Dollar

And it's time to start my SECOND semester.  The five week break has not flown by for me; I can hardly remember what it's like to sit through a four hour class.  Maybe that's because I've been extraordinarily busy.  A little 10 day trip back to Detroit, New Years madness, a half marathon, apartment hunting... there's always enough to keep me occupied.  Despite having a lot to do, I'm actually really ready so settle back into that routine again.  I miss my classmates and the structure of classes, homework, reading, and group projects. 

Yesterday I finished my third half marathon in fifteen months and though I would have liked to shave off those nagging three minutes at the end, I set a personal record (barely).  The first nine miles were amazing and I felt awesome.  I'm confident that if I add just slightly more consistency to my training regimen, our race in May will be even better and I'll finally get into shape. 

A half marathon was actually the perfect way to start off a new year.  Despite being in an immense amount of pain (it's a good pain!), I'm really happy we decided to do it.  Though the course wasn't very scenic, the weather couldn't have been more perfect and the crowd was really friendly.  The sense of accomplishment will keep me running for a little bit and it's a great impetus for eating better and taking care of my body as much as I'm taking care of my mind. 

And I just have to say thank you to my running partner's boyfriend for being such a rockstar.  He woke up before dawn to drive us to the course and then picked us up at the finish line and took us to breakfast.  It's so important to have someone cheering you on at the end and he's amazingly supportive of both of us. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This Blog

If my lack of recent posts is any indication, it's that I can't quite decide what to do here.  I love blogs.  I love good ones with good stories and lessons.  They make me laugh, they make me think, break up my day. And I think I have some pretty good stories.  I'm going through an awful lot these days and blogs are pretty much a public journal.  I'm not a great writer and I don't always have time to keep up with this thing, but this is a start and I have something to say.... I think.

I thought I would write mostly about school.  But as it turns out, part-time bschool isn't all that exciting. It's been a huge adjustment, but in ways that aren't necessarily tanjible. The majority of my days are still spent at the office and I fear writing about the antics that occur at a commercial real estate brokerage might actually get me fired. 

I could write about my social life.  Like I've said before, I met most of my friends through kickball, meaning that the majority of our time together - atleast initially - was centered around social drinking.  Not exactly something I want the future employer to focus on here, folks.

Or I could write about how a new boy, looking for a new apartment, getting ready for another half marathon in four days and a new semester starting in five days might be the end of me.  I'm oh so worried that none is this is going to work out, but in the back of my mind I know it will.  For better or worse, I'll find an apartment to live in by myself.  I will get through both accounting and economics this semester, with a great deal of help from my classmates.  I will finish the half marathon if I have to crawl across the goal line and my friends, family and coworkers will continue to be amazingly supportive. 

So where should I go with this?  Maybe I'll have more stories to tell this semester... economics and accounting are pretty hilarious afterall.  Being single is my schtick and I'm pretty good at it... there are definitely a few juicy stories there.  The Bandit, Lil Sprout and The Girls are great fodder for a good laugh at the weekend, but I doubt they'd like those stories to be spread around the interwebs... Woof.