Category Archives: Comin’ in Genius

these are the times when I learn something new

Finding My Way

Standard

As many of you may know, your twenties are a time of great opportunity, adventure, excitement, self-exploration, and a couple of really freakin’ big decisions. We’re at the cusp of adulthood – college is over, careers have started (and maybe stopped, started again), locations change, friends are made, and still we somehow find time to go to the gym. This time in our lives has such an influence on what happens next that it’s hard to take any decision lightly.; example: “If I have yogurt for breakfast instead of cereal will that change the outcome of my morning, afternoon, evening?? OMG this is serious, which one should I eat? I’m freaking out!!!!!” Just a typical morning in the life of a 23 year old.

For reals though. Recently, I’ve been very hung up on the big questions of my future: what can I do (and where) that will make me happy? Should I stay in Boston, or move closer to family? Is graduate school a good idea right now? My possibilities are literally endless, which makes things a bit interesting. Yes, I have the option of going to Paris and falling in love with a beautiful Frenchman with a vineyard in the country, but is that the right thing to do? I’ve considered being a Zoomba instructor, patient advocate, meteorologist, personal shopper, a broadway singer – you name it, I thought about becoming one. My mind has been jumbled for some time now trying to make sense of all the options, and this week, I feel like I’ve made progress.

Me, Hannah, and Juli grubbing in Baltimore

Me, Hannah, and Juli grubbing in Baltimore

After seeing 2 of my wonderful college roommates Juli and Hannah last weekend, I told them my troubles. Juli emailed me this Monday with a very inspiring quote she found about living into your 3rd decade. (it’s a long quote, so I’m going to put my favorite take-away points here)

This season is about becoming…Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month?”…life is a grand adventure. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.

Thems the troof! Take advantage of what you have at this point in life, see how lucky you are, and run with it. Be who you are, love and enjoy your friends, and take time out of the every day to go on adventures. It started to hit me that I’m not the only one with this lost feeling, and I can make my life path go in any direction. It’s all up to me 🙂

Then Tuesday, my current roommate Jane took me to an event at her job. She works for a non-profit organization called Year Up that gives less-fortunate 18-24 year olds the skills and opportunity to find a fulfilling job. It jumpstarts their lives. Tuesday night, a class of about 120 students graduated from the program, most with awesome jobs, or at least some great job experience under their belt. A couple of them gave speeches to an audience of almost 1000 about their struggles before they discovered Year Up, and how much it has turned their life around.

After hearing stories like Sean’s, it put my life into perspective and I started to see things differently. Things could always be worse, and I honestly have a wonderful life filled with amazing people and opportunities. It also lit a fire inside me that motivated me to search for something more, to “go hard or go home”, and find something inside of me that I can be proud of. I went to work on Wednesday feeling a little happier to have a great job at a great company in a great city. Great! But who knows how long this will last until I find my next endeavor. So until then, I’m going to fully take advantage of my youth and the endless possibilities that come with it. Maybe I’ll even take up French! 😉

Oh, and this video is all over my facebook, inspring everyone to “find your Space Jam”.

Let’s Make This One Count!

Standard

You should be proud of yourselves. You’ve made it through 2012, including the Patriots losing a Super Bowl, the birth of Snooki’s baby, another exciting and opinion-filled presidential election season, and record-breaking performances at the Olympics in London. Not to mention the apocalypse. Damn girl, you’re looking pretty good. Personally, I’m happy to have 2012 behind me. It was the most trying year of my life, as I know it was for so many others. Our nation sustained a great deal of injuries last year, so we’ve got to make a swift about face and tackle the ever present issues – big and small. I’m talking about cancer research, gun control, the almost 12 year war overseas, gay marriage, finding a career to make you happy, being self-sufficient, finding a bike safe route to and from work. It may seem intimidating, but as my always-right mother always says, just put one foot in front of the other and we’ll get there. We have to.

IMG_0379

P1000141

IMG_0605

(that is my attempt at symbolizing “the road ahead” and “one step at a time” but now I’m questioning that foot picture)

I don’t know if I have any New Year’s resolutions per se (other than the obvious ones of learning the Single Ladies dance, buying a horse, and marrying a man with an English accent), but I’m trying this new thing called “organization”. Over the holidays, I spent a few fire-sitting, wedding craft-making, tasty food-eating days at my sister’s house in Virginia where everything has its place, and in its place it lives. Now, she has been organized ever since her Crayola markers stayed in their original rainbow order, so it doesn’t surprise me that her house is in tip-top shape. Except now that I am officially in “adult” status, it makes me feel like a bum with a very low cleanliness threshold. Thus, I counteracted this unfriendly thought with a productive weekend cleaning out my room, hanging pictures that have been leaning on the wall behind my hamper for months, and finally bringing order to the pile of paid bills I kept because I think that’s what I’m supposed to do with them…In any case, it’s giving the new year a feeling of competency, something hard to come by at my point-in-time.

So far this year, I’ve gotten (and potentially already lost because it’s not in my wallet but we’re going to keep that one on the DL) a library card, updated my GPS maps, finally made it to the gym, had a great girls night this weekend, and even had time to watch the first episode of the Bachelor (oh Sean, Sean, Sean…). Yes, I am a bit easily amused and excited, but I’d say it is a success!

Hope you’re staying warm – my hands are in a constant state of mild frostbite. Happy Wednesday!

307569_803045483511_1978044233_n

Hard Days

Standard

Sometimes, all you need to get you through a tough day is a good quote:

Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.

Days that seem to drag by, without any notable things to inspire you to keep moving until you can hit your face to the pillow, with unexpected plot twists that are unfairly distributed to the world, days where you see a bicyclist give a car the finger (I always thought bicyclists were a peace-loving bunch), when a good kickboxing session would solve a lot of your problems. Today was one of those days.

But then you see a quote like the above that makes you think about the small (albeit very, almost infinitesimally, small) things that you are grateful for. Seeing a friend at the gym, a leftover 1/2 sandwich for lunch that was just as good as it was yesterday, planning a birthday party, and that my hair looked better than normal today. These things can be overlooked by larger, more worse things, but we can’t forget about them and how they made even a minute of our days happier.

A preview to my weekend post, which will be posted when I’m not forcing my eyelids open….

To a much happier Tuesday!

Looking for the little things

Standard

This week has been fairly unexciting to say the least. The 4 day weeks always seem to feel longer than a 5 day week – why is that??? Cruel torture. I’m pretty much on a post-vaca lull and don’t want be at work. Spending the whole weekend outside in the sun was too much fun, and sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day just isn’t cutting it right now. Luckily, Boston’s weather cooperated with that sentiment and rained on and off all week. That, plus a yucky muggy atmosphere, I guess I don’t mind the air conditioning too much (looking on the positive side).

I’m looking at the little things to make me happy:

I found this little token in my backpack while searching for my GRE flashcards (still studying!) and it brought a smile to my face:

Must be from Canada

There’s a small town near the small camp we go to in Canada with even smaller souvenir stores. This gem must have come from there. For those of you who don’t wish you were Canadian, the image on the left is an inukshuk – a structure originally built by the Inuits to mark trails, fishing spots, or good hunting places back in the day. We build them in Canada because they’re pretty (the one in my banner is on our little slice of heaven up in the wild North). I like having this in my bag all the time – it seems like the perfect token to guide my bike rides to safety 🙂

And speaking of art………….I miss art classes. Even in college, with the thousands of classes that Penn State offers, I didn’t take any art courses – not because I didn’t want to, but because I had used up all my general education classes freshman year on landscape architecture and horticulture classes (so much for my landscape architecture dreams…). My mom is an art teacher for kindegardeners (I know, how cute?) so I grew up with art projects out the wazoo. Every once in a while, I gotta get my art fix. In fact, I’m feeling crafty right now. My scouring of Morgan’s beach last weekend provided me with enough little pieces of sea glass to make something awesome.

Yes, even the brown ones are pretty!

Any ideas? I’m thinking of a picture frame, or simply filling a cool vase with it. I already have a lamp filled with sea glass, thanks to my mother. We’ve been sea glass collectors for decades now, so it’s in my blood to pick up any piece on the beach. This weekend, Katherine and I are planning on going to the SoWa market in Boston to get inspired and buy some local crafts. I’ve never been, and can’t wait to see the stuff (jewelry, paintings, photos, pillows, knick-knacks…but mainly jewelry) people have made!

I also made a new discovery today at the gym. Tonight, I attended an all-staff orientation at the gym (high fives for more than one job!) where we went over all the boring stuff most of us already knew. But we also got to test out a brand new not-so-little machine –  a water rower!

There is actually a tank full of water, so it’s like you’re actually rowing! And don’t worry about adjusting the tension like on those out of date “regular” rowers, the faster you row on these, the harder it gets. I saddled up thinking: whatevs, rowing is something I do at the gym to pass time, not my go-to machine for a hard workout. Two minutes on this water rower and I’m huffing like Michael Phelps after losing in the 400IM. I couldn’t believe how challenging it was – there was a two minute challenge to see who could row the farthest. After it started, I looked at the clock thinking “I’ve gotta be almost done…” and it had only been 40 seconds. I could feel it everywhere: back, legs, arms, pinky toes (?). But really, I’m going to have to try a fitness class using these! I love finding new ways to mix up my workout!

I’ve seriously been working for the weekends recently, and tomorrow is Friday, so that makes me a happy girl! Another bike ride to and from work on a gorgeous almost fall day? Check.

 

With Good Friends, Come Great Quotes

Standard

A good friend of mine from college told me this quote years ago, and it is still my favorite:

Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy”

It resonates in so many instances, but most recently with applying to grad school. Like I said before, I’m trying to figure out how to go back to school to become an occupational therapist. The idea is so appealing: learning more about the human body and how to make it work after it breaks, working with people every day, teaching them how to get healthy, creating relationships with clients, and maybe even working for myself. Give me even one of those and I’ll be happy, but combining all of that into a career? Yes please.

Going into this, I expected applying to grad schools to be like applying to college – alas, no it is not. Do I have the right prerequisites? Will I make the deadlines? Do I need volunteer hours? How many letters of recommendation do I need? And most importantly…will I be able to afford this? So much to take into consideration and it’s blowing my mind. I’m getting all wrapped up in how hard/confusing this is (so grateful for college counselors and parents when I applied to college….Mrs. Mudge? Where are you???) that it’s startign to make me feel discouraged but I can’t let that get to me. One step at a time. Take the GREs. Find OTs to shadow. Call potential schools about the classes that I’ve already taken – will they count? Instead of looking at the big picture which happens with me all the time, I have to take it slow and look carefully at each part of the process. I get intimidated easily with big changes and obstacles in life, so I gotta remember to stand back, breathe, and put one foot in front of the other to continue. Being an OT is something I really want to accomplish, so I’m going to stick to the idea and be suuuuper proud when I finish it 🙂

Isn’t he just the cutest??

Stay inspired and make it work!

Childhood Part 1 and 2

Standard

Remember how awesome being a kid was? I mean, who doesn’t miss PB&J’s for lunch, not caring about getting covered in sand at the beach, and taking naps literally every afternoon? Not to mention you didn’t have bills to pay or relationship problems. All dudes had cooties – which I’m beginning to think it’s still kinda true…

I digress. Boston Children’s Museum realized this nostalgia exhibited by adults in Boston, so they created a Grown Up night for anyone over 21 (with a ticket) to explore the museum and its exhibits sans the kiddos. Of course I’m going to jump on that. Morgan, Katherine, Rosie and I met a couple friends here this Wednesday night to learn about natural defense mechanisms of plants and animals, finger painting, comparing my 5’3″ to Shaq’s 7′ frame, and supermarkets in Cape Verde. All while drinking Harpoon. Talk about an exciting night! Here are some pics from the Boston Children’s Museum Facebook event (as I didn’t take any for myself)

We made it on the page!!!

Learning how to use a screwdriver

Disclaimer to that photo: we were just in the arts and crafts room where a collaborative paper plate sculpture was being made. Hence Katherine’s brilliant fascinator 🙂

Note to self: don’t climb this in a dress.

Bubbles can entertain people of all ages

There were so many rooms, so unfortunately we couldn’t make it to each one in the 3 hour time slot. Too. Much. Stimulation. Over 800 people attended – what a success! Thanks Boston Children’s Museum! Let’s do more of these nights 🙂 mostly because I didn’t get to the shadow room and I hear it’s a hoot!

Tonight, I explored another part of childhood – the part in the womb. My “sister-in-law” is having a little babe in October, so Meg put together a lovely baby shower for her. Since this was my first rodeo, I only had an idea of what a stereotypical baby shower consisted of – little food, baby games, and opening of gifts, along with a lot of advice. That’s pretty much how it went! There were little baby turkey burger sliders, a potato salad with little baby purple taters, quiche, arugula salad (my favorite stuff ever), and tomatoes with FRESH mozz and basil. Obviously, what baby shower would be complete without cupcakes? They were there too. The food was amazing – thanks Meg! We played a game about Carrie as a kid, and I definitely owned that. Then Carrie opened gifts. This was a reasonably sized party – only about 10 people – so it wasn’t too much to watch her unwrap the good stuff. There is a lot to know when having a baby. How can anyone feel prepared?? Needless to say, I learned a lot and heard a lot of stories. We even had a prediction chart about the sex, weight, and date of the arrival. Fingers crossed for a girl on Oct. 20 weighing 8lbs! Congrats, Carrie! Can’t wait to meet the bump 🙂

All this talk about childhood makes me want to go back, but also excited for the future because there is so much still ahead for me. Being a kid was undoubtably awesome, but now I have even cooler stuff to look forward to – going to grad school, traveling, falling in love and making a family of my own someday. I want to take advantage of the time I have and my youth, because truthfully, it only comes once. No matter how many times I may go to the Boston Children’s Museum 🙂

Finally Unstoppable

Standard

What a busy Tuesday! Fortunately, I didn’t have the same travel woes that I did yesterday, so I got to work on time and ate my bowl of Life while doing my morning Facebooking per usual.

Until today, every time you saw me like this:

without glasses

….it meant that I was blind. I have worn glasses since the fifth grade and it has never created a problem. My sight really isn’t that bad; it all started because I couldn’t see what Mrs. Davis was writing on the board, but I really thought that no one else could either. I’ll never forget the first day with glasses – the trees had leaves, signs appeared out of nowhere with writing on them, and faces started making more sense. The need for contacts has never been so evident as it has recently. In college, I knew where I was going, so street signs were insignificant; thus I could go out without my glasses. But here in Boston, I’m lucky if I make it to the first street light without getting lost. Sight is a must. I thought, after 12 years, it was finally time to give in and get contacts.

The doctor gave me my first trial pair today! She told me before we started our learning session that she had this psychic feeling that I would be totally fine putting them in and out, so I guess that’s the vibe I’m giving people? Turns out she was right and I’m a natural contact-wearer. It took me a minute but I successfully covered my eyeballs in flimsy plastic…twice! Apparently I have a crazy astigmatism so I need special lenses that are weighted at the bottom to keep them in place and aligned correctly. It takes a little bit to get them in the right place, and my eyes are still getting used to them, but we’ll see how the week goes with them. All you contact-wearers out there: I’d love to hear any tricks of the trade you may have! It’s crazy how well I can see without glasses when I wear contacts. I feel so aerodynamic and without limits! So that’s what everyone was talking about, huh?

Meanwhile back at the farm, I mean work, I had my yearly performance evaluation. Scurry at first (are they going to talk about my recent internet searches: “how many inches is 42mm?”, “how to road trip across the country”, and “truculent definition” to name a few) but it was super helpful. I was happy to hear the good stuff and really interested in things I can improve upon. They like me, they really like me!

After work, I had dinner with Meg, Dave, and Luna – always a staple in my week. We had a particularly delicious summer meal this evening. After Meg helped me with my contacts, we got to work on dinner:

Grilled polenta stackers complete with homemade pesto, local tomatoes, and mozz. So. Flipping. Good. We also had my favorite turkey burgers made with cilantro (LOVE cilantro!) with an apricot preserve on top for a little sweetness. I mean I’m literally dreaming of this meal and it’s still sitting in my belly doing a little belly-dance (get it?!?!?!)

in all their glory

I had a cupcake for dessert, but not just any cupcake. We stopped by a cupcake stand in Meg’s neighborhood that was manned by the 3 cutest children I’ve ever seen. All siblings, all with the best freckles ever. Since Meg is gluten free and can’t eat cupcakes (sad), Dave and I both got one for a little treat after dinner. Take a look at this guy:

Talk about a trendy cupcake

This cupcake has more neon then I have in my closet. I couldn’t resist. And yes it was glorious. Thanks kids! Meg will be back to buy tomates in the fall!

Our post-dessert-TV-shows are in limbo right now: some have ended (Rizzoli and Isles) and others haven’t started back again (Glee, New Girl) so we scrounged for a good show. We landed on a Shark Week episode that aired last week. Remind me to never go in the water again.

Food for thought: I’m thinking of going on a no processed food week to see how it goes. Has anyone ever done that? Any advice??

Trying to be a Student Again

Standard

Sorry this post is a little late, I couldn’t keep my eyes open last night because SOMEONE kept waking my up at the crack of dawn this weekend to have breakfast and go for a walk:

1. LUNA!

Luna always needs to have a toy in her mouth when we go for a walk – that’s Foxy

M and D are out of town for a bit, so I took care of their pooch Luna for the weekend. We went on countless walks and had some snuggle fests while watching some trashy TV – it’s her favorite! Having grown up with many many animals in the house, I miss having a dog in my life, so I’m happy to get my fix in with the Loony Tunes 🙂

2. You will be proud (or you should in any case) that my ab exercise that I previously mentioned has proven to be a standard in my workouts every other day. That’s right, I’ve successfully kept up with something for a whole week! A record. The routine isn’t too bad either. Remember how I said I hate abs workouts? Well this may just change my views! I just had to find a good set of exercises to get me pumped (literally and figuratively).Vacation starts in 10 days – finally! – so my abs best be in tip-top shape.

3. I’m still trying to sort out my new OT grad school life course. The more I look into it, the classes, the schools, the career, I get more excited! Something that every grad school student needs in order to go to school – the GRE. Ugh, it’s like the SATs all over again. Except bigger and scarier. Not to mention that I haven’t had a math class in 5 years and my vocabulary is anything but developed. These are all things that I need to work on. Luckily, both of my roommates have either taken the GRE or are currently studying for it, so the three of us have all the prep work we need to ace this thing! I just borrowed a book tonight and I can’t wait to get into it! Ironically, that’s not totally a lie – I used to love math, so hopefully it’ll come back to me.

Gotta get through these puppies…

After reading the first example question, this was my feeling:

Oh $*!#

What’s the formula to get the area of a circle? What the heck does “panegyrical” mean? And who cares what the passage was mainly concerned with? This is definitely going to take some time…
Anyone have any suggestions as to how to study? My plan was to study on my own for a while and then take a practice test, assess how I did, and either sign up for a class ($$$$$) or keep studying by myself. I just have to keep in mind that this isn’t the only thing that gets me into school.

4. I saw the most fitting quote on Pinterest today:

Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.

This is exactly why I started my blog. Today is a perfect example: I had the most boring day at work today and left feeling discouraged and frustrated. But I went to the gym (successfully and painfully completing the 300 abs) and then came home to make dinner with my roommate. We watched Design Star together and had a pretty awesome time talking about GRE bull. I’m going to bed tonight in a way better mood then at 5:00. The little things can really change your attitude, and your outlook, so keep an eye out for things that make you happy!

🙂