Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Five Things

No, this is not a post about my five favorite things today.  I haven't whipped up a great meal of which I want to take pictures and share (I made a mean spaghetti sauce Friday night but it was definitely not photogenic - I like my meals to be just like me), I have no amazing news to share (I did buy tickets for a weekend trip to Chicago in March, but that's pretty unspectacular), and I will spare you the existential (and emotional) angst I experience every time I think about looking for a job and possibly moving across the country in the next six months. 

Instead, here are a list of the five things I've accomplished in my relatively short life that I'm proud of. (And they're in no particular order - that would require too much brain power for a Tuesday.)

1.  Breaking up with my college boyfriend.  To this day, he is the only man I've ever truly been in love with.  Our four year relationship taught me things I will never be able to articulate, and he was my best friend through some of the most trying times of my life.  Breaking up was inevitable, given our vastly divergent visions of the future and eventual boredom of one another, but it was gut-wrenching, mind-numbing and courageous.  That moment in time propelled to become the woman I am today.

2.  Moving to California. I was young and dumb and I would never had done it knowing what I know now. But isn't that the beauty of life? I've been here for almost six years and sometimes I still experience a little culture shock, but making it on my own and discovering so much about myself has been truly invaluable.  While I miss my family and friends, sometimes space and time is truly necessary to heal and get proper perspective on things. 

3.  Being able to keep my job in commercial real estate. My first real corporate job in commercial real estate was amazing.  I got a raise, a fancy cubicle, an even fancier wardrobe and some great friends and mentors.  I immediately fell in love the with the whole industry and was totally devistated when I was laid off.  Having very particular skills in what was a niche market taking a serious hit at the beginning of the Great Recession, I was convinced I was going to have to settle for a job outside the industry.  Instead, I landed where I am now, continue to work with great brokers and am constantly learning and networking.  While it's not always particularly challenging, it has been a great home for me while I'm in school. 

4.  Playing kickball.  It sounds silly, but joining and eventually captaining a co-ed kickball team changed my life.  It forced me out of my comfort zone and threw me into a world of fairly like-minded people who joined together for comroderie, friendship, compeitition and of course drinking. The people I met over those two years are counted amongst my best friends and our relationships have endured far beyond the dirt fields of Venice. 

5.  Going back to business school.   This is a no-brainer.  It took me years to get up the courage to tackle this most spectacular of experiences and I'm so glad I did.  While I occasionally have regrets about how I went about it, I've met people who have changed my life permanently.  Having to juggle school, work and a social life has not only taught me a lot about my own priorities, but what I am capable of and what I want out of life. The challenge isn't over, and while it's completely daunting, I'm amazed I've been able to get this far and am looking forward to what it means for me down the line. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This Better Be Good

I haven't written a good blog post in a long time because I've been so completely overwhelmed by my over scheduled lifestyle.  But there are a few things I'd like to share.  And we all know how much I like to make lists (and number them), so this is how it's is going to go.

1.  I'm sitting in business law class.  Normally, I'd pay attention.  But our professor is telling the same stories he's told for the last twenty years and I'm over it today. Maybe if I had some food in my stomach I'd be more prepared for his droning today, but frankly I'd rather blog.

2.  I've rediscovered yoga.  I really wish I had more time for it, but it was actually one of my favorite unemployment activities.  But now I can just go to classes at the gym either before (sunrise yoga is amazing!) or after work.  And I'm not your typical crunchy granola hippy-chic, but I love a good earthy yoga instructor. Sometimes ours even sings; I dig. I've learned how to do shoulder stands and all kinds of fun poses.  It's not the cardio I still try to fit in two to three times a week, but it has the same calming effects as a long beach run in a shorter period of time. 

3.  Speaking of being a crunchy granola hippy-chic, I just invested in a few reusable grocery bags.  I ordered them online (on sale, of course), paid shipping and handling, and possibly even showed them to half my coworkers when they were delivered to the office.  I've used them at Target, carried them around in my purse and told my friends about them. Clearly, the sunny California disposition is going straight to my head. 

4.  Have we already discussed that I pierced my nose? Well, I did. Like five months ago.  I've wanted to have a little diamond stud in my nose since I was eighteen.  So a decade later I had a few strong drinks, went to an amazing little piercing parlor in Palm Springs and had a tiny little piece of titanium put in there.  It didn't hurt and frankly, I absolutely adore it.  It's sexy, rebellious and super feminine, all at the same time.  I've had mixed reviews from the boys, but I really think they all secretly find it attractive.  I obviously think it's awesome!

5.  Last March I bought a new camera.  It's a fancy digital SLR and I've taken literally thousands of pictures with it since then.  But this very well might be my last summer in LA and I want a new toy.  Maybe a Fuji Instamax? Or a Diana F+ lomo?  I can't decide; I should probably just learn how to really manipulate and play with the one I have. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hamster Time

I'm taking a commercial real estate boot camp that takes up six hours of my weekend for four weeks.  I'm taking my regularly scheduled two classes during the week, and on top of everything else I'm taking a six week strategy course that requires an incredible amount of team work, analysis, and writing. 

So yes, I feel like a hamster on a metaphorical wheel.  I continue to go out with my friends on the weekends, make lunch and dinner plans, and work a full-time job that has become increasingly demanding.  And I'm just grateful I'm not training for a half marathon right now.

The downside to my usual over-scheduled life is that sometimes the things I like to do (the very things that keeps me sane) go by the wayside.  On a good week, I run twice and go to yoga once or twice.  This week I slept through sunrise yoga, had to work through my gym routine and have to be at school so early both days this weekend I can't possibly make it for a morning beach run. 

Now I'm not asking for your pity.  I did this to myself.  And the hope is that I'll reap the rewards when all is said and done.  I just clearly don't know my own limits.  The more I take on, the more invincible and powerful I feel.  But I feel equally overwhelmed and powerless when it seems as though I'm losing a grip on what needs to get done.  Heaven forbid my proclivity for taking on too much diminish the quality of my output; then maybe I'd have to rethink my general life philosophy. 

I'd really love to be blogging more.  And connecting more.  And looking for investment banking/commercial real estate jobs.  And figuring out what I'm going to do next.  And fretting about the big decisions I need to make in the next six months.  But if I can just get through February, I might just have a shot at getting it together.