Monday, September 27, 2010


I'm not good at being sick.  I suppose nobody really is.  But I seriously give up all my grace and composure when I'm ill.  I'm prone to laying in my bed, crying to my mother and generally feeling sorry for myself.  Being sick makes me sad, lonely, homesick and depressed.  It's no fun at all.  I've had a head cold (and refused to see a doctor) for five days now and while some moments I'm feeling better, I'm losing my voice and am zapped of all energy. 

I don't know if it's the perfect Cali weather, but since moving out of the Midwest I get sick so rarely - maybe once a year.  These colds last about a week, take up home in my lungs if I'm really lucky, but don't come back too often.  No sinus infections, bouts of bronchitis or trips to the ER for my asthma like I would get in the Michigan winters.

Before my first set of finals as a freshman in high school, I came down with the walking pneumonia (whatever that is).  I was completely wiped out for over a week and remember laying on the couch shaking and crying between study sessions.  It was probably the sickest I can remember being and it was then that I truly discovered the mind/body connection.  See, my parents had just taken me to see a psychiatrist for the first time and it was a completely traumatizing experience.  I literally left the doctor's office a thousand times more physically ill than when I entered.  I firmly believe that I might have been coming down with a cold that day, but the experience of going through what I did completely wore my body down and brought on the pneumonia.

Since moving to California, I've been able to shed some demons. Now, I'm not perfectly happy all the time, and there's been a certain loneliness front moving in lately, but I'm generally more confident and content than I've ever been.  It's most certainly a combination of the ideal weather and enlightened attitude that allow me to be more healthy more often. 

Now I say ideal So Cal weather, but we hit a record high today and it's almost October.  One hundred and ten is a scorcher.  And I have a second floor carpeted apartment with no air conditioning.  Pity yet?  Also, we have midterms next week.  Now I suppose I'm always in the middle of some school crunch, and being sick gives me an excuse to stay home with my books, but the last thing I want to do is study when it is this hot and I feel this lousy. I can only drink so much water and take so much ibuprofen.  Despite this head cold/allergies/whatever is making me feel like my head is full of cotton and my throat is closing up, I'm going to start running again tomorrow.  Maybe sweating it out will make this body feel better.  Have to get back on the horse sometime, and it might as well be sooner than later. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Living By Myself

Living by oneself is often mesmerizingly perfect (that's not a word, but it works so I'm sticking with it).  I have picked out everything in my apartment (or at least approved of it- I still have some leftovers from the parental units).  I know where everything is; nothing moves if I don't touch it.  Everything is exactly where I want it to be and all the artwork is mine.  I only have myself to blame when I come home to an empty fridge and I can leave my blow dryer on the bathroom counter all day.  My home is as messy or as clean as I want it to be on any given day and I don't have to wake up on the weekends to anyone else's schedule but my own.  I can take an afternoon nap if I please and wear my favorite, softest, holiest t-shirt to bed.  Heck, I can even have a terrible chic flick on while I iron in complete bliss.  (Yes, iron and bliss in the same sentence.)

There is, however, one drawback that seems to repeat itself regularly.  Sundays are particularly difficult when I'm not really busy.  I like to have a set schedule (running, meetings, lunches, errands) because it keeps me from getting lonely, and sometimes I even enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon to get homework (and housework) done before the start of the week.  But some weekends, the solitude takes its toll.

Normally, I would sulk, read a book, go to bed early, and try to be productive.  But yesterday, I couldn't take it any longer.  So I let someone in.  And lesson learned.  I generally have a hard time letting myself look vulnerable or asking someone for what I want (and we wonder why I have difficultly with the boys), but I managed to do exactly that.  Well, sorta.  I didn't exactly ask for what I want, but I told a friend how I was feeling and he gave me precisely what I needed, plus some.  After all, spending time with a person is what makes them feel special.  I'm still having a hard time digesting this... so I'm blogging about it.  I guess I should make more of a habit of not only letting others in, but opening myself up to the people around me.  It was definitely the highlight of my weekend and I wouldn't have enjoyed those hours of company had I not been brave enough to put myself out there.   

Saturday, September 18, 2010

An Ode To My Legs

My legs hurt. They hurt like they haven't hurt in nine months (when I ran a half marathon and then sat in the office and at school for two straight days).  I've gone from a little gym cardio (a couple miles a couple of times a week) to full on overachiever-style half marathon training (i.e. from 2 miles a week to 12 miles a week overnight).  I severely pronate, have the occasional bout of tendinitis, and get blisters when I wear the wrong socks, but I generally feel good when I run.  Except for today.

This morning I had one of those runs I'd just as soon like to forget.  The kind that makes me nervous when I do longer runs.  As in life, we have our good and bad days - our good and bad runs.  Failure (is it still failure if we run three miles?) is inevitable and means that we are truly challenging ourselves and doing something worthwhile. 

But back to my legs.  I love them.  They're strong.  They're tan.  They're smooth.  I've gotten compliments on them from old ladies and handsome young suitors alike.  There are muscles in my thighs that come out when I'm in training mode and they look spectacular in a pair of white cotton shorts.  They're perfectly proportional and slightly scarred and imperfect, just like me. 

Most importantly, their strength (and pain) is a constant reminder of all I can accomplish and how far I've come.  That hard work pays off, no matter how discouraged one gets in the process. They get me where I want to go, can be wrapped around the ones I adore, get weak around cute boys and hold me up long enough to conquer the world.  So to my shapely gams, the miles of pavement they've pounded and the genes that are responsible for their awesomeness, I say thank you. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Answers... Well, Not Really

I've linked to and written about Penelope Trunk before.  Hers was the first blog I started reading with any regularity and its the honest to goodness inspiration for this here ranting and raving.  But anywhooooo, I think she's brilliant.  A little mislead at times (she definitely wouldn't approve of my MBA because it's not from a Top 10 school), but brilliant. (Another side note, it was her blog that introduced me to the Pioneer Woman.)  Penelope has the audacity to write about career advice when she is not even the CEO of her own start-up, but it's her lack of convention that is usually at least thought provoking when everyone else sounds like a broken record. 

Today, she wrote a blog post that again goes against my usual way of thinking.  As we all know, I seem to be struggling a little bit lately with the question of where on earth this MBA is taking me.  Literally.  Do I pursue jobs in Chicago (possibly even Charlotte) to be closer to my family and settle down or do I make the best of what I've worked so hard to build here in LA???  Well, Penelope would say that I need to pick something and stick to it.

Now that's usually my train of thought as well. When I first moved out to LA, I knew it was wasn't going to be temporary.  I don't do anything temporarily.  What's the point?!  If I'm going to do something, anything, I'm going to put my heart into it and try and make it the best experience possible.  I'm a fervent believer in making the best out of any situation, but I also think we should know when to quit and walk away.

I've found myself in the situation of waiting and being blindly loyal one too many times. In relationships, at work, with my family.  So I've unfortunately turned into a person who cuts the cord first.  I'm the first to run away before I can get hurt.  And oddly enough, it doesn't work.  In fact, that itself is the reason for a lot of the pain in my life so I'm definitely working on letting myself be more open.  And trying not to run away so quickly. 

And while the job will ultimately determine where I go (they're not exactly plentiful at the moment), I'm pretty set on moving to the Midwest when this is all over.  I'd stay in LA for two extenuating circumstances; neither of which are looking overly likely.  That being said, I can and will change my mind tomorrow.  Penelope Trunk be damned, I will go where my gut tells me to.  I've followed my instincts thus far and while in my weakest moments I'm convinced they're flawed, I know better. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mona Lisa Smile Part 2

I come from a long line of trailblazers.  Fifty-five years ago my grandmother got married in a blue dress.  That sounds lame, but back then it was a big deal.  She did it to be be different.  To show that flare we rarely get to see.  Nana couldn't imagine the kind of life her granddaughter would one day be able to live.  I'm educated, well-traveled, independent, and have an active social life that includes lots of exploring and tons of great friends. 

When I moved to Los Angeles, my family was super supportive.  My cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents all gave me more than their blessing.  They never wanted anything more than for me to be successful, happy and fulfilled. None of the things that a city, a relationship, or a job can bring.  Five years later, they're shocked I'm still in Lala Land and sad I'm missing my cousins and little brother grow up.  And frankly, I'm right there with them.  While I cherish my friends, my go-go lifestyle, being able to run along the ocean, the constant sunshine and the never-ending surprises, I too miss my family. 

Life is the journey of pursuing happiness.  One rarely gets all they've ever dreamed of by the age of twenty-eight.  And how boring would that be?! God willing, I've got nearly half a dozen decades left in this life.  Heaven forbid it all make sense before I'm thirty.  But I could use a little consistency.  And maybe that's why I like school - I can control exactly how well I do and it's nothing if not routine.  And not a little bit exciting. 

Part of me thinks I should be married by now.  That a picket fence, a brood of children, a doting husband and a sparkler on my left hand would make me happy.  I see my high school and college friends pursuing all these things that make sense, but that I haven't honestly given it too much thought to until now. 

But let's face it.  If I really wanted those things in life, I would have made very different decisions for the past six years.  I could have married my college boyfriend, stayed in the Midwest or had a linear and predictable career.  Instead, I moved away.  I followed my career, learned to live on my own, and when I finally got bored I started running half marathons and applying for business school instead of joining an online dating site and learning to knit. 

So I realize this post is all over the place, but I've started and stopped it nearly a dozen times at this point.  The whole thing was going to be about how watching "Mona Lisa Smile" made me think about how expectations of females and their roles have changed so much in just two generations.  But let's face it, this is where I come to rant and write in circles an try and digest what I'm going through during this bizarre and transitional period in my life. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Dreaded Grind...

I had three weeks off to catch up with friends, do a little shopping, finish some *fall* cleaning, and read brainless books.  After nearly a month of relaxation and a little weekend away in Palm Springs with the girls, it's back to school.  And work.  And the rest of life.

School, work, gym, laundry, friends, studying, sleeping, eating... not enough time in the week.  I know I get bored and obsessive when school isn't in session because part of me needs to be super structured and scheduled, but the start of a new semester is usually a little bit overwhelming because I haven't quite gotten into the swing of things yet. 

I haven't even had extra time to blog because I've been so caught up catching up.  And it kinda felt good to do nothing for a little bit, knowing that it wasn't going to last long.  Last semester I went home to Michigan for almost a week and felt like I fell behind right away. I struggled in my finance class up until the very end and I know this is NOT going to be the easiest semester. 

I bought a new Kate Spade planner (swoon!) but my computer bag isn't in yet and I haven't found a new wallet (the old one broke and the outlets this weekend were of no help).  Strangely enough, it's those little things that help me feel in control.  Knowing everything is in its proper place and having a to-do list calm me down when the the minutia of everyday life feel a little overwhelming. 

So before the weekend, my piles of ironing, the grocery store, a friend's band, game night, a long run and some errands get in the way, I'm going to publish this post that has taken me the better part of a week to write.  I know you're just dying to hear about my oh-so-exciting life so I promise to get back in to the swing of things first thing on Monday.  Or something like that.