As much as I don’t want to admit it, today I enter the last year of my 20s.
Sure, I joke that I’m celebrating my first 29th birthday this year, but in all honesty, 30 doesn’t scare me all that much. There’s a certain level of respect that seems to come with the big 3-0; especially when it comes to work life. Your expertise carries more weight than a 20-something, mostly because you have more experience – in life and in career terms.
The 20s aren’t to be scoffed at, however. This is a great time of change, of learning and and molding your life for the future you want to have. It’s the times you’ll make the biggest mistakes, but you’ll also walk away with the biggest lessons, the greatest friends and amazing memories. The 20s mold how you see the world, how you reflect on yourself and envision your future.
Of course, I may soon be thinking about wrinkle creams and my ticking biological clock…
Ha, I can’t even finish that statement. Anyone who knows me at all knows I give zero fucks about any of that.
What turning 29 has done is give me a moment to reflect on my 20s – though don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not done with that process – and set a few goals for what I’d like to accomplish in this last year as a 20-something.
Some of these are specific, some are broad, some are yet to be established and won’t even appear on this list. But, I figured I’d put this stuff out there and the community would help keep me accountable.
pst – if I haven’t told you recently, you guys are the greatest! Thanks for sticking by me – even when I’m not talking about skydiving.
- Get out of debt. I’ve been wanting to stick to a budget for months but there’s always something going on in my life that makes it challenging. So, instead of doing an all-or-nothing strict budget, I’m going to set so much aside each month to pay off debt and the rest will be to spend however I see fit.
- Roll with the punches. For someone who not only craves change but creates it frequently in her life, I sometimes have difficulty adapting to it when it’s out of my control. A weakness I think many have, but don’t acknowledge. Not only do I know it exists, I want to overcome it.
- Write something important. That’s not to say what I’m doing here isn’t important. The emails I receive on the regular from jumpers who have gained something from my blog or those who want more advice, even just people thanking me for writing about this amazing sport and community, is heart warming to say the least. But I have some important things to say and a plan for saying them. I can only hope to continue being a resource to those in need.
- Show your compassion. It’s easy to walk through life saying you are empathetic to others, but it’s entirely different to actually show it. Being compassionate doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means you not only understand that people have feelings, but that you look out for others. Sometimes it’s just being there, and letting people know you are there – then following through. Keep your promises. Be the person your friends say “she said she would, so she will.” Finding the good in others helps. Positive thinking really does lead to positive action.
- Be more selfish. Wait, what? “But didn’t you just say…” Yeah, yeah, I know what I just said. But there’s a difference between being selfish in a way that hurts other people vs. being selfish in a way that helps you help others. I’m learning the process of taking care of me first. Sometimes that means compromising – balancing my obligations with my wants and knowing the difference between want and need in the first place – and sometimes, the hardest part, is knowing that it may mean walking away from the toxic to keep myself healthy, physically and mentally. It’s an uphill battle, and sometimes in my quest to find the right balance I step on the toes of those around me, but know it’s not intended.
What? Were you expecting me to say more tattoos, more skydiving, more tunnel time? C’mon guys, that should just go without saying by now.
This is just the beginning of what I want to get out of my 29th year of life. Hopefully my efforts to surround myself with good people, to be there for them as they are for me, and to dream big will help me arrive in my 30s next year at this time with a smile on my face.
Love and blue skies!
It’s not uncommon for me to obsess about music from time to time (read: constantly). I’m one of those people who will latch onto a song, switch on the repeat button and drown in it until I’m over it. Sometimes that ruins a song for me, but most of the time I end up baking the sound into a nice little memory of that moment in time and when I hear it in the future it brings overwhelming feelings from that piece of my life and I get to relive those emotions all over again.
The beauty of music.
That said, Armin Van Buuren has been touching my soul for the last couple weeks. Today in particular I’m stuck on Alone. There’s a YouTube embed below so you can listen for yourself, but there are a couple lines that hit me upside the head that I want to talk about.
“Everyone’s connected, but no one is connecting. The human element has long been missing…”
“Is anybody out there? Is anyone listening? Is anyone left in this whole world?…”
This is something I’ve harped on the last couple years as technology continues to infiltrate our lives. My pet peeve has been, and continues to be, those instances where people I’m conversing with pick up their phone mid-sentence to check an email, respond to a tweet, check Facebook…the list goes on. Now, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, if you’re waiting on an important work email or text about someone who is in critical condition in the hospital, get it, free pass. But if I’m telling you something and you interrupt me (yes, even if you don’t speak you’re still interrupting) by sticking this device in your face instead of listening to what I am saying, don’t be surprised if I slap it out of your hand – or, simply stop talking to you altogether and walk away. Seriously, anything other than an emergency can wait 10 seconds while I finish my thought. Otherwise, you’re telling me that whatever buzz your phone made is more important than anything I have to tell you.
I’ve walked away (permanently) from friends for less…why we continue to put up with this behavior as a society is amazing to me. Seeing signs at stores where service will be denied to anyone on their phone makes me want to high five the nearest employee. Good for you guys.
It goes beyond this, though. Living in New York City, a city where you come in contact with hundreds if not thousands of people a day, and saying “hi” to someone in person, in real life, is seemingly startling to them (yes, this happens to a very personable friend of mine all the time), is a disheartening. Are we really living in a society that is that averse to face-to-face human interaction?
It’s entirely possible, even living in New York City, to feel completely alone. We are in an age where we are more connected than ever, but at the same time there seems to be a larger societal disconnect.
Today I tweeted a video that Gizmodo posted about the possible future of Google Glass. It’s worth a watch, but I have to admit this scares me more than a little. Sure, it’s exciting to see where technology is going, what possibilites lie ahead and where this might take us, but it’s also pretty frightening to think that your main verbal interaction every day could be to the fucking glasses on your face!
The ability to have technology at your fingertips and on your person at all times is quite incredible when you think about it. But is it getting to be too much? Are we losing touch with one another?
Here’s a story for you: two days ago I was on the subway and the train I on my commute home goes from underground (read: no cell service) to elevated a little more than half way to my destination. I had a few glasses of wine under my belt and was in full on people watching mode. As the train poked out from underground and 4G returned to smartphones, I was shocked what happened. Quite literally everyone in the car I was on pulled out their phones and stuck them in front of their faces. Conversations that were taking place came to a screeching halt. My mouth dropped open. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Even 10 minutes without virtual connection to the outside world clearly makes people uneasy. Can that much have happened on Facebook and Twitter in the time you were on the train?
As someone who has lived in 6 cities around the country in the last 10 years, none of which are even within 100 miles of where I grew up, I’ll be the first to admit that without Facebook, Twitter, Facetime and texting my relationships with friends and family hundreds of miles away would suffer. I rely heavily on social networks and having technology at my fingertips to keep in touch in those times when I may only have moments free but want to let those close to me know I’m thinking about them, even though we don’t have the luxury of proximity. But, I certainly don’t want that to be at the expense of the relationships with those who I get to look in the eye every day.
I like to think I’m good about that – though I’ve been informed I tend to turn to my phone more than I should sometimes. I am guilty of this too. But, generally speaking, not only do I want to ensure my attention is focused on the people in the moment (and not send the message that there’s something out there in cyberspace that’s more important than spending time with the people in my life) but I know the value of living in the moment (thanks, skydiving) and there’s something to be said for unplugging to enjoy the real world.
Of course, I want to be better about this. I find myself uneasy when I leave my phone at my desk during a meeting, because, what if? I want to start having dinners where devices aren’t even allowed in the vicinity, and if they have to be there, they are turned off. Yes, OFF. I want to be more comfortable disconnecting and reconnect with the real world and the human elements that reside within.
There’s gotta be a 30 day challenge built in there somewhere, right?
Okay…thoughts, feelings, opinions? I know you have them.
And here’s that song…
Love and blue skies!
It should come as no surprise when I say I’m addicted to adrenaline. Between the skydiving and the tattoos, and the fact that I have the adrenaline molecule in permanent ink on my leg, it’s pretty obvious, to say the least.
What surprised even me this morning is the extent to which another addiction is running my life: caffeine.
It’s sad, really. Dragging my ass out of bed is becoming increasingly challenging as the week progresses, and until I take that first glorious sip I don’t feel fit for public. Today I waited until I got to my office to get my fix - nearly an hour of commuting sans java and I have to admit, it was pretty awful. It’s like that paranoid feeling you get after smoking a joint and going out in public (not that I have working knowledge of such things), I was on the subway thinking “everyone knows I haven’t had my coffee yet…ugh, I’m disgusting.”
Once that first drop hit my lips I instantly felt more alive. That was also the moment I cringed as I realized my inability to function without it.
A couple years back I gave up caffeine for more than two months and honestly, it was great. I didn’t have an afternoon crash, my body let me know when it was legitimately tired, and getting out of bed was, for the most part, a breeze. This morning, I considered going down that path again.
Maybe that’ll be my next 30 day challenge. I can only imagine the headaches that will ensue.
Okay, or you can keep reading and listen to the one at the end of this post. That works too. It’s relevant to what I’m about to talk about as well. So yeah, do that instead.
One of my favorite Ted Talks of all time is surprisingly impactful given that it’s less than three and a half minutes long. It’s about challenging yourself to make changes in your life that you’ve always wanted to make by doing things for 30 days – at first.
Anything can be done for 30 days if you really want it badly enough, and that’s a great amount of time for creating new habits and sticking with it. As they say, it only takes 21 days for something to become a habit (yes, for all you naysayers I do know that’s based on anecdotal evidence and everyone is different when it comes to change, but keep reading and you’ll see my point goes beyond that little nugget) and as Matt Cutts says, those 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not spend that time making small steps in what you see as the right direction for you?
This morning I came back to this talk as I knew it would inspire my Friday to be the best it can, and that it has. I’ve decided that he’s right, or at least I’m going to test it out and see if he is right, by starting my own 30 day challenge. And in an effort to stay accountable not only to myself, but to everyone keeping track here in my little corner of the universe, I’ve decided to share this with you.
So, starting today (because, waiting for the beginning of the month would just be silly), I’m challenging myself to do some form of exercise every day for the next 30 days. Now, this is going to be extra challenging because I have a tattoo session this weekend and anyone who has ever been inked before knows that you need to cut the sweat sessions out for a bit while you’re healing, but I’m confident I can make it work.
Anyone with me?
It doesn’t have to be the same challenge. In fact, I encourage you to find something that you’ve been meaning to do – if exercise is it, great, if not, tell us what it is!
Expect to hear back on June 10 for the results.
Oh, and here’s that video I was talking about.
Diets have never been my thing. I get cranky and pissy when my food options are restricted. I don’t like to have to think about every bit of food I take in. Yes, I like to eat healthy, but honestly, I’d rather toss in a couple extra spinning classes each week than restrict myself to the point of avoiding entire food groups.
I’ve never been much of a red meat eater. In fact, for about two years I was vegetarian. The only thing I really missed was ham and bacon – I like my salty meats.
*I’ll wait while you remove your head from the gutter….
We good now? Okay.*
Anyway, I like to eat healthy in general. I feel better overall. But if I want pasta or rice, I eat it. Bread isn’t a daily thing for me, it never really was, but moving to NYC where there’s bagels quite literally on every corner, I got into a bad habit and ended up with intense cravings. What can I say, everything bagel with cream cheese, that’s my jam.
So, I decided to go to what I consider extreme measures to change this behavior and attempt a pseudo Paleo diet. I eased in at first, mostly because I didn’t want to throw out all the yogurt and granola I had in my apartment. I don’t like to waste. But bread was out immediately. So was pasta. Rice was occasional – I like sushi far too much to say I’ll never eat it again, that shit’s just wrong.
What is it about “dieting” in general that just sucks balls?
After a few weeks I realized that I was right in that I’m not cut out for diets. Being on this Paleo nonsense pisses me off more times than not. Truth is, when push comes to shove I’m likely to pick healthy options over the alternative, but having to analyze how many carbs are in my balsamic vinaigrette to make sure I don’t go over my allotted amount…not for me. Having to alter every order when eating out is annoying as shit. The chef prepares them this way because that’s the way they taste best, right? I also found that instead of eating five or six small “meals” a day, I would eat two or three large, prepared meals that would fill me up so I didn’t have to think about what I was going to eat next for a while. I don’t like the feeling of being full, so my body didn’t exactly take well to this.
But, it’s not all bad, in the end…
What I did realize though, is that I feel SO MUCH BETTER without that daily bagel. In fact, I attempted to have one before my last tattoo session and after eating less than half I threw it out. The part I did consume sat in my stomach like a brick for hours. So I’m okay with special ordering my meal without bread if necessary, I know I’ll feel better for it. I also found that I love me some eggs. I’ve always been a savory breakfast eater (pancakes in the morning sound terrible) but there are so many ways to enjoy eggs that I don’t know if I’d have learned without this diet. I’ve also learned to enjoy my coffee with less sugar / sweetener – all I need is a little soy milk and I’m good. Oh, and avocado pairs well with just about anything. Really.
Truth be told, this probably wasn’t the best diet for me to attempt given that I still like to avoid red meat as much as possible so my choices were a bit limited from the get – I know I’m going to get some backlash on this statement, but that’s the way of the dieting world, everyone seems to think they are experts and know what’s right for everyone else. I’m a believer in doing what works for you. If running hurts your joints, don’t do it. If eating lots of meat makes you constipated, don’t do it. See my point?
As long as you feel well and are healthy, you’re probably doing the majority of things right. I’m more than happy to go back to my grazing way of life and when I want to try that new restaurant, I can get the chef’s special without worrying too much about it. There’s no secret recipe for a long, healthy life. Everything in moderation but remember that variety is the spice of life. Enjoy the time you have on this planet. It’s short, no matter which way you spin it.
Note: This post is 100% my personal opinion, and mine only. None of what I’m about to say represents the thoughts or feelings of my clients, family or friends. Just putting that out there.
Spending my days working (and let’s just be honest, living and breathing) social media, I continue to be amazed by the things I see there. People have no regard for others most of the time, and there’s a complete lack of common sense when it comes to things like personal information sharing.
Most people who use social media on the regular do so with a purpose of portraying the best of their personality. I’m not saying people post with that purpose at the forefront of their minds as much as stating a fact that it’s not typical for people to want to post information about their lives that will put them in a bad light. Unless of course you’re a drama-seeker, in which case, there’s no hope for you anyway.
There seems to be this interesting trend among people, businesses and even charities that I follow in social: they’re quick to mention, whether overtly or in a read-between-the-lines sort of way, their “goodness,” without actually proving it with their actions.
Some brands want to be perceived as fun – even when they’re clearly not. Some people want to be perceived as exciting, interesting empathetic, caring or even selfless, when they’re clearly not.
Sorry guys, just saying you care doesn’t mean you do. Prove it. Act.
Same goes for people who spend so much effort trying to make people believe they are interesting or exciting. Now, keep in mind, these terms are highly subjective – what’s exciting to me may not be to you, and that’s okay. The point here is, if you want to be something, then go out there and DO it. It takes action to be the kind of person you want to be, and simply saying that you’re a certain kind of person doesn’t make it so. Sometimes you actually have to put in hard work to get the results.
Act, improve, and prove to yourself that you’re the type of person you want to be. Then you won’t need to prove it to others, it’ll be obvious.
Stepping off my soapbox now so I can continue working on my career.
You may recall from my last post that I made a list of all the things that make me, me. Well, I was trying to figure out how to incorporate “how I define myself” into that post, but the truth is, a top 5 list isn’t going to cut it here.
I’m at a place in my life where I’m incredibly comfortable with who I am. It took me nearly 30 years to get to this place, but knowing that some people never achieve this level of comfort with themselves, I feel pretty good about that.
As someone who participates in handful of activities that others like to judge (read: skydiving, tattoos, EDM raves, etc) I’ve found that it’s actually easier to feel good about the things you do when you find yourself in situations that require you to defend you actions.
Now, that said, you also quickly learn that it’s completely unnecessary to defend the things that make you happy to others. People love to hate. They LOOOOVE it. So don’t let people who say shit like “why would you want to do that?” about anything, make you think for even a second that maybe you shouldn’t. They’re just projecting. They’re scared, or some other shit, and because they can’t bring themselves to do it they think you shouldn’t either. Walk away. Those people don’t support you – there are plenty of people out there who will, even if they don’t have tattoos, skydive, go to raves, etc.
Having the ability to embrace and own the parts of yourself that define who you are is great. But having the ability to recognize the imperfections and realizing that those things don’t define you is pretty incredible.
That said, I wanted to visit a few of those things that really do define who I am every single day:
My life has been focused on my career for as long as I can remember. Even in high school all I wanted to was to be successful. I’ve moved from Michigan to Texas to Ohio to Illinois to Georgia to New York and to multiple cities within these states chasing the next best career opportunity. I can’t imagine my life any other way. Personal success is critical to my happiness and I have to say I’m pretty proud of where I’ve been able to go in the last 8 years. Can’t wait to see where this path takes me in the next 8 years.
I got my first tattoo when I was 20 years old. It’s two interlocking hearts on my foot. I had a needle on my skin for all of 2 minutes to accomplish this. I got another one to symbolize my love for music. Then I waited years to get another. I thought I was done. Tattoos didn’t define who I was at the time, it was just a “phase,” or so I thought. In recent years I’ve gone from a chick who has tattoos to a tattooed chick. My tattoos tell a story of my life. When I look at them I have great memories and great stories to tell. Each comes from a time in my life where I felt strongly about something – something that defines me. My tattoos are my way of visually expressing the parts of me that make me who I am. Sometimes I get disapproving looks, stares and friends and family members who shake their head. I’ve even been told that I don’t look like a chick who would have tattoos. Other times I have people stop me on the street or in my office and want to see them closer, want to know more. Those are the moments I thrive. My tattoos are for me. But, like them or not, they’re certainly not going anywhere – and there are more to come, you can count on that.
Having lived in numerous cities across the country, and visited dozens of others on business, I have gained an added appreciation for travel. I take any opportunity I can to visit places I’ve never been. I like to take opportunities and turn them into travel experiences. For instance, when I go to Tomorrowland (in Belgium) this summer, I’ll also be visiting Amsterdam and Germany – turning a 3-day festival into an exploration of Europe. This is just scratching the surface and I definitely need to go back, but at least I get to see more than I will in Boom, Belgium. I’ve also been known to extend business trips over weekends in order to visit friends or explore new places.
As a girl you grow up thinking of fairy tales and princesses and having this perfect life with a perfect partner. With experience I’ve realized that life is about personal success and if you can have people in your life that you can share those experiences with, life becomes even more amazing. Relationships, whether friends, family or significant others, are mutually beneficial – or at least they should be. You have each others backs, you love each other to the extent that being there for them is not a burden but a role you’re happy to fill. I take a lot of pride in my ability to love others to this extent. I have a lot of love to give and those who are in my life see and understand this – and hopefully, cherish it.
I have amazing friends. The ones who live in NYC and the ones who don’t. I’m so incredibly lucky to have the people in my life that I do, and honestly, I’m proud to call them friends. I’ve learned over the years that I don’t let people into the “friend zone” unless they’ve earned it. And I’ve also learned when to remove people from that zone that don’t deserve it. Friends do, with the exception of a special few, come and go. But the impact they have on your life in the time they’re there is invaluable.
I joke that I’m the “black sheep” of my family, and for the most part that’s true. Not only have I “moved away” from home but I continue to move around the country to chase experiences. I skydive, I have tattoos, I’m divorced, I go to raves and spend my money on experiences rather than “saving for retirement.” Regardless, my family continues to stand behind me. They support me when I need it the most and are there to let me know they’re there if I need them. I’m closer with my parents than I’ve ever been even though we live hundreds of miles away. I’m lucky to be able to return home for visits and say that my blood relatives are pretty “normal,” whatever that means.
I saved this one for last because, well, it’s pretty obvious. This is my 5th season as a skydiver. Being a “skydiver” is something that has changed over time. At first it was “cool” and now it’s about being a part of this amazing community, always having people who get you and get why you jump. It’s about the freedom you experience with each and every jump. It’s about pushing yourself, your limits and having as much fun as you possibly can. The sky is my playground and with each jump I feel a little bit closer to my 8-year-old self.
So tell me, what defines you?
Blogging is a time capsule of sorts. Writing down thoughts, experiences and dreams all in one place gives you a) a good foundation for realizing and articulating life goals while capturing experiences along the way and b) seeing how far you’ve come. Writing, no matter the form, essentially allows you to forecast your own future and make changes based on lessons learned along the way. It also allows you to see how much you’ve changed over time.
I’m amazed at people who make bucket lists as if they’re written in stone. As I get older I see how much my goals, my desires and my perceptions change over time. For me, blogging gives me the freedom to go back and see where I was one, two, ten years ago and truly take in all I’ve accomplished, learned and experienced in order to apply it to my future.
That said, I like making lists every now and again to mark points in my life to provide those types of comparisons in the future.
This time around I’m making a ‘top 5′ list of those things that are important to me, that define me at this point in time. Most of these are in no particular order, because honestly narrowing some of these categories down to only five is hard enough.
I’ll build my other lists based on these favorites. You’ll see.
3. Skydiving (duh)
4. Travel & Adventure
EDM is big for me right now. Time is running out for me to be a 20-something festival go-er but I have a feeling my post-Tomorrowland self will have an appreciation for DJs for years to come. Right now I’m loving:
1. Gareth Emery
5. Swedish House Mafia
Yes, I know SHM is a supergroup, and yes I know they’re no longer together, but I don’t care. Still love them. This was a huge challenge for me because I wanted to add Hardwell, Tiesto, Nero and Crystal Castles to this list too, but I had to stick with my favorites.
Ways to spend my downtime
You’ll notice skydiving is not on this list. Downtime for me is when I’m not working, traveling or skydiving. Just for clarification.
1. Exploring my city (New York currently)
4. EDM Concerts
5. QT with my dog
I used to have running, photography and yoga on this list. I’d like to get those things back.
1. Freeflying with other intermediate jumpers
3. Freefly coaching from advanced jumpers
4. Helping beginner jumpers and getting back to basics
5. Reading books and watching videos
All of these are valuable, these are just my current preferences.
Ways to treat myself
3. Special yoga or pilates class
5. Ice Cream
Yes, I treat myself with a new tattoo from time to time. It happens.
This is different from DJs, obviously, but felt the need to clarify.
2. Walk off the Earth
3. Walk the Moon
4. The Shins
5. Imagine Dragons
I do enjoy improving myself – hard work pays off people!
2. Hitting the gym
3. Regular writing
4. Reading everything I can get my hands on (for career, skydiving, travel, you name it)
5. Goal setting
Areas for improvement
That said, there’s always room for improvement and I’m in a constant state of trying to better myself. Here’s how.
1. Regular gym routine
2. Open lines of communication – especially when it’s difficult
5. Finding happiness in all areas of life
I’m add a 5.5 to the list, because I can, because this is my list: not letting people’s actions stand in the way of my own happiness. This has been a struggle my entire life and something I will probably work on till the day my ticket is pulled.
What’s on your top-5 list these days?
Love and blue skies!
Well, I’ve been in the city for about two months now and I still haven’t made a jump. But, the weather is looking up so hopefully I can get out to the dropzone soon. I’m starting to twitch over here.
Regardless, I still had a pretty amazing weekend in the city. Looking back on it yesterday as I was walking through Union Square with a Starbucks in hand, it’s quite amusing how the weekend turned out.
Having planned to stay pretty low key, given that I was sick all last week and just wanted a solid weekend to recover, it didn’t quite end up that way. It went a little something like this.
The Plan: Dinner with the girls on Friday after work. Brunch with out-of-town friends on Saturday followed by a trip to WTC since I haven’t seen ground zero, and a tattoo session on Sunday.
The Actual Weekend: Dinner and drinks with the girls lead to me coaxing my friend Charlotte’s accent out of her (she’s English) and going to another bar for follow up drinks (and shots) while mimicking her accent – or trying anyway. A friend from Cleveland was going to show up for a drink and he texted as he was in a cab going through China Town saying it didn’t look good. Bummer. Our Boston friends decided that going to a strip club was in order, so it was off to the East side for me. Thankfully, one of the girls escorted me there so I wasn’t alone in a strip club waiting for my other friends. A few hours, many drinks, and a couple lap dances later it was time to go home and shower.
Saturday brunch turned into massive hangover and mimosas to cure it – and some pretty fucking amazing eggs benedict. We walked with our friends from the Upper West Side down to the World Trade Center and checked out the view of Freedom Tower and the construction from their hotel room while convincing them to hang out in the city longer, rather than catch their train back. As they checked their bags at the front desk we got to watch a guy get trapped in the revolving door and attempt to find his way out. I believe he wasn’t drunk, so it was all the more entertaining. The rest day was spent walking the city, some intense people watching and drinking until they were convinced to stay at my place for the night. A couple bottles of wine later it was bed time.
Sunday included a diner breakfast to cure a couple hangovers (thankfully I was smart enough to quit drinking around midnight – no hangover for me) followed by a quick nap and a trip to The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop before a 2-hour tattoo session. Exhaustion set in as we walked through Union Square sipping coffee so going home and ordering food was the perfect end to a rather crazy weekend.
I guess this is what it’s all about, living in New York, having adventures you never imagined. As much as I miss the sky, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring my city.
How did your weekend unfold?
Self-awareness is one of those things that can be rather challenging to achieve. No one likes to admit, even to themselves, when their behavior isn’t up to snuff. It’s just easier to stay blind to it. On the flip side of that, people often have trouble realizing the positive aspects of their personalities and the good they bring to the world. Being self-aware requires you to take a critical look at yourself and the impact you have on the world around you. It’s also something that can come and go, so once you’re actually there, it takes quite a bit of mental discipline to keep it.
I’ve been lucky (lucky?) in my life to have experiences, both positive and negative, that have allowed me periods of acute self-awareness. I still struggle with some of the success moments – it’s just not in my nature to be all “I’m the shit.” But what I find beneficial, difficult as it may be sometimes, is that I’m able to take a look at myself and course correct so that my behaviors don’t negatively impact those in my life – at least that’s the hope.
I’m someone who regularly struggles with unnecessary guilt. The people in my life mean everything to me and the last thing I want is for anyone to feel less than 100% amazing 100% of the time. So even when events out of my control cause them pain or struggles, I tend to feel as if I could have done something to make their experiences more pleasant.
Let me give you an example: say I were to fly my family out to see me in New York for a weekend, but their flight was delayed and they were going to miss their layover so they had to rebook the flights and all this is happening while I’m in a meeting at work and can’t be available to help them. I would feel guilty for a) not being able to make this process easier for them by stepping in and helping and b) having booked a flight that was delayed in the first place.
Obviously the latter is irrational, and the former is something they would completely understand. Like I said, unnecessary guilt. Don’t judge me, I’m working on it.
I foresee myself always wanting to make sure the people around me are happy and content – it’s just part of my nature, and honestly something I take a bit of pride in. That said, I realized recently the impact that some of my behaviors were having on people I truly care about. It wasn’t easy to come to terms with the fact that by doing the things that I needed in my life, I was unintentionally hurting those around me. “Hurting” might be a bit of a strong term – it’s more like I wasn’t giving all of myself the way that I prefer. I am struggling with a balance between ensuring that I get everything I need for my own mental well-being and giving enough of myself to support the people in my life.
Needless to say, I’ve been failing at that as of late. I’ve been selfish. I don’t like being selfish – not for one second. But I also realize that sometimes, I need to be. It’s that delicate balance that I’ve yet to quite figure out. I’m just thankful I’m capable of taking a critical look inward to realize the issues so at least I can acknowledge them and head down the path of figuring out how to make it all work.
So, if you’ve been in the path of my selfishness as of late, I sincerely apologize.
Love and Blue Skies!