I Think They Call This a Breakthrough

Dating, Drinking, Personal

It’s amazing I was single.

At the ripe old age of 14, I was in lOvE with boys. I had my fair share of unrequited teenage crushes which resulted in a devastating amount of hours listening to Blink-182 in my bedroom decorated with collages of teen heartthrobs who I would never meet. Thinking back, I realized it’s not too far off from today. I’ve traded Blink for the Black Keys and the collages for photos of European places I ca’t return to quite yet, but ultimately I’m still pining away for the unattainable in my bedroom.

And it’s amazing I still am.

Why do we sit and wait for the right time or the right man or the right thing to magically manifest itself while we causally sit at home drinking wine? (besides the fact that wine makes everything better in general and increases the flow of time exponentially)

I think my inaction stems from a fear of getting hurt. I’m not sure if that’s the entire reason why I’m reluctant to put myself out there – but it’s definitely part of it. Just like everyone else in the world.

So that’s why I’m not having it. I’m keeping my butterflies in the cocoon. I’m ripping the buds off before they bloom. I’m humming in the drizzle instead of singing in the rain. (I’m also realizing I don’t really know many metaphors for being in love).

I’m picking men I can’t have relationships with. Foreigners who will eventually take their sexy accents back to where they came from. Or I’m the foreigner who will be taking my un-exotic self back to Texas. They have a schedule completely opposite from me. There’s construction on the way to their house. They live 20 hours away. They are too old. They are in a different place in life than me. They aren’t happy enough or they aren’t making me happy. I don’t want to be someone’s girlfriend but I don’t want to just be a piece of ass.

From one extremity to the next, I’m toeing this line between what I want and what I can get. But this the kicker – I have no idea what I want. Just like every other woman on the planet.

Realizing that is all fine and dandy but what’s there left to do? This obviously:

And it’s amazing that I will continue to be single until my untimely death due to alcohol poisoning. Cheers!

And afterwards? In all of the inexplicable abyss of options, I’m left with an inability to make any decision that seems right. That’s why your twenties are about doing and then learning (ah!) and I’m learning that whether I’m consciously making the choice to be with someone who is unattainable, I’m making the choice nonetheless.

Someone pass me a beer. All this personal reflection is making me thirsty.

I’ve also made the realization that I may use alcohol as a numbing agent. Whoops.

Mind, Body, and Soul Project

I Can't Wait For, Shopping

Being single has been a blessing in disguise. It’s a never ending quest for self-improvement each day. Without the distraction of a boy or a relationship to occupy my thoughts, I’ve had time to reflect and change the things about my life that make me unhappy. I’ve tried to distill my plan to a manageable set of ideas that I hope to achieve on a daily basis.

Each day I do something to better my mind, my body, and my spirit/soul.

And you know what? It’s really working.

I feel better and happier at every small accomplishment for myself. Instead of getting wrapped up in the dramatics of life, I step back and think about the little changes I can tweak to make it a happy day, every day.

Mind

Each morning I wake up and start my day with a TED Talk. If you haven’t been exposed to this wonderful site yet, it hosts videos from conferences around the world where speakers present innovative, funny, inspiring, and new ideas. Please check it out if you have even just 3 minutes to spare.

I actually do my homework. Because let’s face it, a lot of college kids take our education for granted. A reading is something we highlight and skim over in order to have a vague understanding in case the professor asks us a question over it. God forbid we actually learn.

I meditate. I try to think about my actions, I reflect on what I say to people. I’m mindful. I try to create my own internal happiness and I realize that I’m capable of anything I set my mind to, whether that’s compassion, forgiveness, or personal growth.

Body

When I went through a weight loss phase, I went to the gym religiously, counting down the minutes I would endure on the godforsaken treadmill. I would then come home and eat steamed vegetables or boiled egg whites, compulsively entering my calories into a food diary. I only drank water. By that I mean no alcohol. 

I literally and physically worked my ass off.

You can’t live like that forever. We’re meant to enjoy food in moderation. There are other ways to exercise without it feeling like torture. Now, I go to the gym each day and I run until I feel good. I smile while I’m there because I know that my body is meant to be used every day. I lift weights to foster a sense of strength, both internally and externally. I leave when I feel done, without the watchful eye of the clock looming over my workout.

And it all feels good because it’s no longer a chore.

happy

Soul

The greatest part about my project is all of the aspects are interconnected. Each workout fosters happiness and satisfaction. Each new item I learn makes me feel empowered and intelligent. So ultimately the other two could be the only things I did and I would still feel wonderful inside and out.

Instead, every day I do something that I want to do wholeheartedly. Yesterday it was reading a book and making espresso. Today it’s writing this blog at my favorite coffee shop. Tomorrow it might be yoga, making dinner with a friend, or just sitting in my room with incense and listening to music with the windows open. Last week I woke up every morning and danced around my room to this song.

Most of the time it’s ending the day with a good beer or a glass of red wine….or both.

These little things may seem so insignificant they could be considered a waste of time, but I look forward to them. These moments make waking up worthwhile. The drudgery of work, school, time commitments, and exhaustive conversations don’t have to define my day. I appreciate and enjoy those few seconds where I feel content with my choice to fulfill my desires. These inner victories give me a sense of accomplishment and provide the momentum to tackle the bigger dreams. Eventually it will be taking the steps to move to Austin, TX after graduation or finding a job that I look forward to doing every day.

But I still want to take the time to sit outside, breathe, and enjoy the sunshine. I enjoy everyone to do the same because it can change the course of your day.

Tolerance of the Temporary

Dating, Inspiration, Personal

As a religion minor, I get the great pleasure this semester to learn about Buddhism. I think what may have piqued my interest is the image of the Buddha as a fat, bald, and happily barefooted icon, which is a complete contrast to the bearded, long-haired, thin, sandaled and somber Jesus Christ I grew up with. Of course I hope it’s not as simple as that though.

Either way I’m really getting into the course and in the process of applying some of the teachings to my life. The main ideal the Buddha encouraged humans to strive for was a balanced life. He was a born as prince, given everything he would every need in life and then was exposed to disease, old age, and death. He then left that life to live as an ascetic (wanderer of religious truths) where he starved himself, practiced intense yoga to achieve meditative trance states, and basically was a baller at life. But these two extremes didn’t bring him any pleasure and he came live The Middle Path, in which he balanced the extremity of his two lives.

Then he came to realize the 4 Noble Truths which go as follows: The disease is suffering, the cause of the disease is desire, the cure is nirvana, and the path to nirvana is the 8 Fold Path which includes “right truths” such as morality, livelihood, and meditation to achieve mindful awareness, and compassion.

Still with me? Great.

Well the cause of all suffering is our desire for permanence. Buddha taught that the inevitability of life is death. Attachment to pleasures or pain causes suffering, because we are attempting to cling to the conditional things, like the security of permanence, but that everything is constantly going to change, regardless of our attachment or desire, time continues onward. We will never be constantly in a state of pleasure or pain, every emotion is temporary. True happiness comes from the ability to get beyond temporary happiness to a sense of freedom, tranquility, and internal serenity.

I’ve been meditating on these concepts with the help of incense, this radio station, and the insatiable desire to understand this concept of balance. So I pondered, contemplated, speculated, and mused over these teachings. When I finished I had a sense of clarity, an insight into how this affects my life.

I’m emotional. I feel the extreme joy in life’s moments, but I’m also insanely affected by the perception of others and the stress that creates in my life. I’ve come to accept the temporary nature of a thought – negative or positive – but I want to choose to feel more moderately and balanced with a tendency toward happiness. I want to allow my feelings to move through my in a fluid motion of mild detachment, ultimately knowing they cannot affect who I am.

I was recently put to the test when I was hit hard by a new crush. I was so excited about the potential in this new guy, his intelligence and wit were awe-inspiring and challenged me to think critically during our conversations. Oh and did I mentioned he had the chiseled body of The David? Which is ironic because we talked about Michelangelo’s famed statue.

But seriously, how do I get this lucky sometimes?

Ahem, back to my point. I was so incredibly excited at the idea of someone who could actually keep up, if not top me, so I let that excitement get the best of me. Against my better judgement I tipped the scale in the favor of an attachment to the idea of perfection that could possibly come from this individual.

Only to get stood up. Yes. Stood the fuck up for our third date.

As you can imagine, infuriating doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings. Outraged, vengeful, and murderous are some of the emotions that coursed through my veins along with disappointment and embarrassment. I had allowed my emotions to overwhelm me in the beginning and in the end they once again bested me.

So this morning I woke up. Did some yoga, drank my coffee, and realized that my life is going on, regardless, because that’s the only way that time moves – forward. This miniscule person has no effect on my personal well-being.

I am the captain of my soul, the sole author of my story, and the only owner of my sense of self.

And for that, I am grateful to that lying bastard. (I’m still working on the compassionate nature the Buddha also encourages. Baby steps.)

Revamping the Blog (and my life)

Personal

Out with the old and in with the new.

Since being back, I’ve felt like I’ve changed a lot of my priorities in life. I’m not as driven in my career as I was previously. For the past year or so I’ve been struggling to figure out which department I’d like to focus on in advertising – design, account service, copywriting – and I think I’m finding a better direction with that at least. I’ve also realized that being in a small agency is definitely where I’d like to work, as opposed to the big name agencies who suck the living soul out of their employees….in my opinion.

But see, here’s the thing. I’ve decided to put my career on hold until I get back from Europe.

Andddd I’ll be going to Europe in May 2014….indefinitely (and by indefinitely I mean until I run out of money…)

So until then I’m kind of figuring out what I want to do. I’ll obviously be working to save up money, but I’m not sure I want to get a job at an agency where I’ll become comfortable at because then I won’t want to leave.

My boss at one of my internships this summer suggested that while I’m off gallivanting in Europe, I should blog while I’m there and spin it as a ‘creative writing project’ and use it in my portfolio when I get back.

GREAT IDEA I KNOW.

This blog has largely been about traveling and advertising (and some fashion, of course) but now I want to start using for more personal topics as well in order to start finding a voice for my writing since I’m starting to focus on it more.

All in all, I feel like “Young, Wild, and Free” pretty accurately reflects how I’m living my life at this point. I’m exploring myself and the world, without an attachment to a boyfriend or a career path for the first time. It’s an adventure to say the least. I still want to write about places I’m planning on going like Dublin, Krakow, and Portugal, but there will less emphasis on advertising.

What to Expect Now: stories, a little more humor, some booze, and a lot of self-discovery.

Sorry if that’s disappointing. But I hope it’s still interesting, if not more.

May Florence Be With You

Inspiration, Personal

This weekend was essentially my last weekend in Florence because I’ll be traveling to Cinque Terra, Sicily, Prague, and Budapest during my last three weeks abroad. It’s becoming harder every day knowing that I won’t be able to walk these streets anymore. I’ve made so many memories in this city that it’s going to be hard to remember them once I don’t have visual reminders like landmarks and streets to reminiscence on. I started to make a list of things\goals that I want to bring back with me when I get home and it’s been a good way to reflect on my experiences here.

1. Take time for yourself. In Italy, I’ll wake up and make breakfast, coffee, and listen to music while I take my time enjoying the morning. Why can’t I do this when I’m home?

2. Everything works out, don’t stress about all the little things. 

3. Take the time to appreciate people, things, and places. Enjoy making memories and sharing moments with any body and everyone, especially good friends.

4. Yoga, yoga, yoga. I’m so excited to get back into it when I get home!

5. Stay positive and open-minded about life and the people in it. 

6. Always travel. Some places I know I want to come back to in Europe are Germany, the UK, and Paris again. Then there’s a whole mess of continents that I wanna get over to as well.

I am really excited to go back to Fort Worth this summer and move in to a new home with one of my best friends. I’ll be starting a new internship and returning back to a former one as well. I miss my friends and family more than ever so I’m quite excited to see them as well. But I just can’t let Florence and my experiences slip away from me. Sounds of a baristas singing while they get my cappuccino ready in the morning and the way the Italian language sounds in general. The smell of Florence after rain and wine corks. The way the sun looks shining into a piazza and the reflection of the Ponte Vechhio on the Arno. The way I feel here, no stress and filled with a kind of detached happiness, I don’t want to ever forget these things.