Balancing Success.

Well, look at me. Blogging at night! I don't know about you but I'm fairly impressed with myself right now.

So... life's been busy. But, you know, in a good way. Tonight was this surreal thing where I got home and realized that I had the time to do a spa night. I had almost forgotten all about those. And don't get me wrong, there are a million other things that I probably SHOULD be doing, which came to mind. And I immediately thought, "No. You need this. You need balance."

I talk about it all the time: Balance. It's probably the thing I have the most priority on in my life.


Credit: Remain Simple

I've gotten a lot of work thrown my way lately. It's sort of ironic (...don't you think?...GET IT?? Okayno.) I keep having these "when it rains, it pours" scenarios happen to me. My personal life got kind of crazy, in a good way, a few months ago. Then that sort of mellowed out and suddenly all of this work-related stuff started piling up. I've gotten about triple the 'likes' on my Facebook page for this blog in this past month alone. This deserves due credit to a great friend of mine who has been advertising the blog to magazines and online bloggers for me, which I never even asked for and am beyond grateful to him for. Then I started my new job, and on top of that have been asked by my old boss to come do some consulting for him. Top that off with a magazine that I've been trying to write for getting back to me with my first assignment and you've got one busy girl over here.

I'm not trying to rub anything in here. I'm pointing out that life is very, very busy. Oh! AND I'm in my best friend's wedding in a month, NBD. But my point is that I had forgotten to relax. I had forgotten what it even meant to relax.

I had a boyfriend whose work ethic has, to his own admittance, consistently interfered with his social life. But the money made him happy, and so he kept at it. And I thought, for so long, that THIS was what success looked like: Working really hard and making a ton of money for it. And maybe for him, that's what success is.

I started thinking about it while I did my spa night tonight (and yes, I had a totally awesome green face mask on, you so missed out)... what IS success? What is it to me?

Success is, in my opinion, a universally case-by-case definition. Meaning that each of us determines our own definition of the term. To some people, success is making a ton of money. To other people, being successful means being in incredible shape. To some people, being a success might be as simple as getting out of bed in the morning. Life has different challenges for different people and scenarios.

To me, success is Balance. My visualization of my most successful self doesn't make unfathomable quantities of money, but she works hard and makes enough to live comfortably. She doesn't have to always be dressed to the nines with perfect hair, but she takes care of herself and works hard to keep her body healthy by eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep. It's more important to me to feel good inside than to stress myself out trying to look perfect outside. I want a balance between who I present to the world and the way that I think & feel inside.

Could I have gone on a run tonight to catch up with my fitness? Probably. But I haven't REALLY gotten to write in a while, and I need that balance of my creative outlet. This is why I have books by the Dalai Lama on my bookshelf: I need spirituality in my life in some form or another. It's also why I prefer hiking to running on a treadmill. I need the balance of the beauty of nature or else my life becomes robotic and monotonous.

Our lives are made up of so many components that we tend to forget about: mental challenge, soul food, social bonding... trying too hard to focus on one thing pushes all of that other stuff out of our viewfinders. We need that balance in order to life more fully.

So stop working so hard and have a spa day. Or if you've been "spa day-ing" too much, get out there and work on a project of some kind. If you're stuck in an office alone all day, call on a friend to talk about nothing in particular. Put a part of your energy in every compartment of your life, and you'll feel more complete.

Don't tip those scales, find your Balance.


30 going on 13.

Wow, what an amazing week it's been. I almost don't know where to start.

For one thing, I turned 30 last week. I can't believe I'm a 30 year-old. So weird. I still feel like I'm 23... maybe just mentally? A few friends and I went to Catalina island for a two-day camping trip. It was amazing. It wasn't a big group, because money is tight this time of year, but it was such an amazing experience and I felt really, really special. My friends are some pretty incredible people, and I love the randomness that follows us wherever we go. I'm a big fan of outdoorsy stuff, so camping was the logical choice for what to do to ring in 30. We ate a TON of food, jumped off the floating dock at the beach, laid out, fed wild deer (which we may or may not have been supposed to do), and met a few new friends. Oh, and lets not forget the awkward dance-off we had in the middle of a nightclub. I am always looking for a reason to do The Robot.

This past week has consisted of starting my new job. I'm a Marketing Assistant for a company called Premier Mounts, and I love it. I'm so excited to start on this new adventure. I feel like every day has been sort of exhausting, but in the best possible way. I'm learning SO much, even in the first week. I know that this is going to be an ongoing project for me, but it makes me feel so happy and satisfied. I love being busy, and I love that I'm learning new things and really dedicating myself to my career. I also feel like it's sort of serendipitous because I'm starting this RIGHT when I turn 30, almost like this whole new leaf for me to turn over. I love it.

I apologize, in advance, for my lack of blogging. I am going to have to get used to writing from home, rather than work, and it will take some adjusting. For one thing, I'll need an office chair and a real desk, I suspect. But I'm up to try and make this work, and hopefully I'll be able to swap my inspired time from the morning to the evening when I can sit and write to you all. Challenge accepted.

So needless to say, there are a lot of new and exciting things on the horizon for me right now. It's borderline overwhelming and I can tell my brain is working hard to keep up with all of this new information, but it's a good thing. I'm sleeping better than I have in a LONG time. Reading books on Marketing Strategy and watching Lynda.com videos on design programs for work. It's amazing.

Stay with me, I promise that once I get in the swing of things, there will be much to say.


Final Episode.

One of the 5,000 selfies I've taken on slow days

So today is my last day at a job that I've had for over seven years. It's so surreal. I think that everyone kind of has this idea in their heads that when they leave a job, they're going to dance gleefully out of the office without looking back. I am both far too nostalgic and far too much of a writer for that kind of attitude.

I look back.

I look back on my first day. Because, yes, I remember my very first day here. I vividly remember driving on the 5 freeway and blaring my radio, singing along without even caring if anyone saw how into it I was. I had a legitimate office job now, and I didn't care about anything else that day.

I look back on my old boss taking me to lunch for my birthday one year. We went to some place in Fullerton and I felt like the most special person in the world because someone who wasn't my family or a close friend was treating me to lunch. I forget what I ordered, but I remember that it was delicious.

I look back on the days when I used to wear pajamas and no make-up to work, since I was alone a lot. Then, Brooke from my high school wandered into our unit by some freak chance- looking for a different building- and I was mortified that I looked like such a hobo. I never came to work like that again, because you just never know.

I look back on all of the run-ins with "The Homeless Guy" who my boss hired to come in and help clean around the office. I can't tell you how many people have told me I should write a book about him. This is a guy who, for example, once showed me the giant Grim Reaper tattoo on his chest and told me that if I got a huge tattoo like his, no one would notice my scar after my surgery. There are just too many ridiculous scenarios... maybe one day I'll write them all on here.

I look back on the day I figured out that my boss was a movie buff like me. Up until then, we never really talked. I had finally found something to relate to him on! Since then, we've started going to lunch fairly often and talking about Game of Thrones or the latest movie releases. Figuring out a common ground formulated a sort of friendship that I look back on with a smile.

This job has seen me through boyfriends, houses, cars, surgeries, and countless phone calls with news both good and bad. I can remember sitting in this office chair and finding out that my sister had gone into Cardiac Arrest. This is the chair I sat in when my tumor burst and I had to be taken to the ER. I found out about a few of my nieces and nephews while sitting here. I've laughed with my co-workers and I've cried over heartbreaks in this chair. I've been so bored that I've spun in circles, videotaping my feet, in this chair. I've done office yoga next to it. I've played with three puppies and one cat while sitting in this chair.

This job has been my longest relationship. It's taught me more about myself than any friend or boyfriend ever has. I came here as this naive little kid, really. I didn't feel very capable, or terribly smart, and I made some pretty dumb choices on the regular. I guess I just didn't think I COULD do or be more than I was.

Now I know that I can. It's been through this that I've learned that I am actually pretty smart. I'm better with people than I assumed. Things I previously would have been terrified to try at, now I know I am fully capable of accomplishing. I learned about confrontation here, and how to assert myself as someone worth listening to. This job has transformed me in so many ways that it seems strange to imagine my life without it.

And I guess... I guess there's a final lesson for it to teach me, now.


Leaving gracefully and looking back with appreciation and love. There have been a LOT of days when I wasn't sure I had it in me to stay here. But there have also been a lot of days when I was overcome with gratitude for this place and the people in it. Leaving something doesn't mean that you have to look back on it as a shadow of your past. Moving on with your life doesn't diminish where you've been. If anything, I think it kind of increases the value of the places you've been, the people you've experienced, and the changes you've made.

I look back with love.


Words With Friends.

Coffee makes for some pretty profound conversations.

Today's topics: The One That Got Away and Doing Something About Your Problems.

C:  I think that over time, I gained perspective about "the one that got away" but I don't think she is the one... she just came close to getting that title :)
 me:  Exactly.
I don't have any one that got away. If they're away, there's a reason. Nobody leaves your life who wants to stay, in my opinion.
And why would I miss someone who didn't want to be in my life, ya know?
 C:  that's profound
I read something a while ago about memory and missing someone...
 C:  it basically said that any two people who spend quality time together start depending on the other person for little things... like "you are good at making sandwiches, and I'm good at fixing the TV" or remembering details...
 C:  eventually both person have a collective memory, but when they break up, there is this empty left... and it is tough to pinpoint
like knowing something is missing, but not remembering what it is.
 me:  Well I read a lot of self-help books, and I read something like that as well. But the perspective was like, "Don't create a situation where you can't do things for yourself- don't trade off you do this and I'll do that..." which, I get. I think it's good to be self-sufficient. However, there's a beauty in being a team with somebody. I love cooking for a man, or having him drive and open doors for me. There's something perfect about caring about another person that much. Can I do it alone? Of course I can. I would never encourage anyone to abandon, like, being capable of driving a car and having their spouse do it to the point where you forget how- on anything. It's just learning to let life BE. Yeah, sometimes shit doesn't work out. And you can be sad about it. But be realistic, too. Sometimes things end. And you can't beat yourself up about it. Just look back, miss it if you must. Love it ABSOLUTELY. Be grateful. And then move on.
 me:  I think one of the biggest factors of heartbreak is the fact that people try to avoid it like the plague. It's okay to be disappointed and miss someone. People think it isn't. It's that part where you try to lie to yourself and say "That was the worst thing ever" that is tough. You're lying to yourself EVERY DAY. That hurts your heart more than any outside person ever could.
 C:  The most disappointing thing I learned about love, is that you can't kill it
 me:  Eh, but I don't think you should.
 C:  You can burn it in  heaps, hide it, shove it in the closet, run it over, bury it, but it's easier just to remember it kindly and move on
 me:  My most frustrating thing has been the in-between time. Where one minute you're with someone and you're allowed to love them, and then you're not with them and you're supposed to let go. And that time in between when you're SUPPOSED TO let go and when you DO... that part is a drag.


me: I can't sympathize with people who play the martyr card. "Why is my life so shitty??" but they're not willing to do anything to fix it.
Like- I didn't like my job. So what did I do? I got off my ass and found a new one. It is literally almost always THAT easy.


Spare Changes.

There have been a lot of changes going on for me in the past few months, which is... an interesting feeling.

To say the least.

I've mentioned it before, but I am a fairly predictable person. I can be spontaneous, but I don't move a lot. I don't change jobs often. When I'm dating somebody, I don't date other people. If I find something that works, I stick with it. I guess the nicest way to put it is: I'm consistent.

This month has been a completely different story.

For starters, I got a new job. This, to me, is surreal. I've had the same job for seven years, and before that was at the same spot for six years. For being (almost!) 30, that's wild in and of itself.

So I got a job that will transition myself over into Marketing, which I'm more than a little ecstatic about. I wont go into detail because it's not a wise thing to announce on a blog- but the details of the job are such that everyone I've talked to has said something along the lines of, "This is SO perfect for you." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my current job. However- moving forward into a place where I can really utilize my talents is something I have been sitting-in-traffic-dreaming about for a while now.

I also have both of my amazing, wonderful roommates moving out. Something I am not thrilled about but they are going together to teach English overseas and I couldn't be more excited for them. It's going to be an adventure that I'm more than slightly jealous, albeit totally supportive of. I will miss them like crazy, but I'm also intrigued by the prospect of two new people in my daily life. Scary, but exciting.

I feel like my mindset in the past few months has completely changed into this place I've really never quite experienced before. Where I used to be just kind of floating downstream, I'm now seeing things as a more driven, focused person. I think I'm letting go of old ideals of where my life would be by 30 and, instead, seeing where it is and finally accepting it. Hell, I'm more than accepting it- I'm reveling in it. Which is good. I am, for the first time in a long time, sublimely happy with where I'm at.

Not that I wasn't happy before... it's just that the happiness I held was so dependent on outside forces, and now I'm seeing it from within myself. Which sounds really hokey and lame, but it's true. Rather than trying so hard to be who everyone else wants me to be, I'm settling into who I want to be- and making things happen.

Maybe this is why a lot of people tell you that life starts at 30.

I know I'm being a bit boring and self-absorbed on here today, but it's an exciting time and I want to share that. I have no idea what is coming up next, and for once in my life, that makes me really happy. Anything could happen.

...So totally rad.



I keep having this writer's block, as of late. And it drives me nuts. I know that I should be writing on a daily basis, or at least as often as I can. But lately I just haven't had it in me, no matter how hard I try.

Luckily for me I have friends. And with those friends- I have conversations. Generally that leads me to at least SOME sort of inspirational/blog-worthy thought.

I talked to a friend of mine last night about Co-Dependency. If you don't know anything about it, it's a really fascinating behavior that is much more common than people realize. One of the most interesting things about it, to me, is that it cloaks itself with a lot of good.

Co-dependent people have a need to make people like them. I think there are cases where it's more of a need for people to react to them, but I'm more familiar with the people-pleasing aspect of the behavior. Mainly because I'm one of them.

I've discussed this on this blog before, and it may be more information than is "acceptable" to reveal, but yes- I have been to therapy. I find therapy to be an incredibly helpful tool for any range of unsettling emotions from "troubled" to "out of it." If you have insurance that covers it, I advocate checking it out.

I went a few years ago because I was feeling bummed out more often than I would have liked, and had approximately two sessions with a woman who told me, after a few minutes, that I was fine and did not need to see a therapist. Which... I think is kind of dumb. But whatever.

She did tell me that I displayed a lot of Co-Dependent behaviors, which I'd never heard before. I've always known that I wanted people to like me, but I guess it never occurred to me the lengths I was going to make that happen.

The thing about Co-Dependency is that, as I mentioned, it masks itself with these beaming qualities. Being nice to people, doing favors for people, putting one's self out in order to be someone else's rock. And those behaviors, on their own, are fantastic. But the problem with Co-Dependent people is that we do those things expecting a very specific response, and when we don't get it, we're anything ranging from disappointed to angry. We feel we are owed respect or positive reactions from people based on what WE gave THEM. The thing is: that's total crap.

People are entitled to their attitudes toward me, and how they choose to interact with me is not my behavior to dictate. Sometimes, I'm going to be really nice to someone, and they're not going to care. And I'm going to have to deal with that. Sometimes I'm going to listen to somebody and give them advice, and they're going to promptly ignore me when I ask for that to be reciprocated. Again: their choice.

Co-Dependent people manipulate in order to orchestrate their world according to what THEY believe to be the correct way. Which... is sort of arrogant. Who is to say that my way is the right way? Can't there be alternate ways to handle situations, and can't all of those ways have some validity to them?

This is something that I've struggled with for years, now that I've recognized it. I think that a big part of me will always want people to like me. But, honestly, I think that's human nature. I'm okay with that. My hurdle has been to take other people's reactions and accept them as THEIR reactions. If I want to do something nice for somebody else, I no longer do it to play a Martyr or to tweak the way they see me as a person. Truth be told, I try to avoid credit for as much of that stuff as much as possible these days. The most important person I have to impress is myself, because me trying to impose any type of opinion on someone else seems sort of manipulative.

And there are people who don't like me. And it's not really my job to make them like me, and I'm okay with that. I don't want or need to be needed, anymore. I don't want the people in my life to feel like they have to have me there, but that they want to have me there.

I guess there really isn't a point to all of this, aside to say that it fascinates me. I think we all have a little bit of this type of behavior in us, and that's alright. The most important thing is to know ourselves and accept ourselves. And, you know, maybe if we're lucky- other people will appreciate who we are, too.