Things I’m grateful for

  • Spontaneity – I’ll admit – I’m pretty type A; I plan everything out with timelines, post-its galore, and I’m organized. But you gotta live a little. The other night at 7pm I up and decided to drive 2 hours to see newly-reignited-old-flame guy (needs a new name). Did I have work the next day? Yup. Was it worth it? HELL YES. I don’t know what came over me – the weekend before last we discussed visits at some point…me thinking they’d be far off and planned. Nope – he wanted to see me, I wanted to see him (it had been 4 whole days lol), so I did it. Just grabbed my purse. Don’t think – just do.
  • Halloween candy – does this really need an explanation??
  • Impromptu dance parties – At your desk. In the car. In the bathroom mirror or anywhere in your house. “This. Is. My. Jaaaammm” I mean, so good, right?! Sometimes you just gotta let loose, and they’ll likely act as an instant pick-me-up. I know they got me through today. If all else fails…dance. (I need that on a shirt.)
  • Pink – my favorite color; I just looked around and saw seven pink objects?…most of my life is pink…ah, this is why everyone makes fun of me. Whatever, not sorry. Especially when it comes to Breast Cancer Awareness month! More pink everywhere I look and supporting a great cause? Done.

Things I’m grateful for

  • Love – something big happened this weekend. Very big. Like blast from the past old flame style. Not just some crummy text from some guy checking in. I didn’t see any of this coming, so I’m still kinda scratching my head. All I know is this: 1) I’m proud that I only freaked out for a minute, but then let myself jump in and go with it; 2) He kisses me the way I’ve always wanted to be kissed – like in the movies that takes your breath away. Phew. So many feelings. Very grateful for this one.
  • Tailgating – Grilling. Outside air. Friends. Games. Beer. Jams. Something pretty simple brings people together.
  • Online shopping/mail – the anticipation is killing me. We’re so used to just grabbing something at the store and immediately having it. But constant refresh on that tracking number? Kinda fun in a weird way lol (Both of my orders are due by EOD tomorrow – oh, happy day)
  • Hoodies – so, so warm and comfy. I will never have enough or get enough of wearing them. Please don’t come back, summer.
  • Cuddling – oh, how I missed this.

Things I’m grateful for

So I’d like a bit more consistency on this thing here I call a blog (ha, look at me acting like my life over the next 6-8 months will be calm. Anything but…)

I really would like some kinda “regular thing”…a go-to feature or topic? I’ve noticed a common theme over the past couple of weeks as I draft blog posts in my head (c’mon, you do it too)…I’ve just had this overwhelming sense of “grateful” for a while now. Even when things haven’t been great, I catch myself smiling like an idiot (and hope no one saw it).

In the spirit of one of the first blogs I started following (if you’re not, do it now, she’s amazing), I think I’ll take Mondays as a time to reflect and be thankful for the good things I have going on – big or small. I usually find myself having a really good workout Monday morning, or reading just the right quote and coming back to that one thing all day thinking “Motivation Monday!!!” (I mean, Mondays are typically rough, so if you can focus on the good, it can really set the tone for the day and week)

(I’m starting to gross myself out with all of this positivity – let’s just go with it hahaha)

Anyways, I need to come up with some cool & catchy title (not Motivation Monday, c’mon), but for now, this is what I’ve got:

  • Feeling strongyeah, yeah – she can’t go a post without mentioning CrossFit lol But more than that – today I felt really strong. Physically, but also emotionally. It’s kinda translating. I was always a little stick of a girl, so being able to throw 135 pounds over my head, or squat about 200 pounds…is a very empowering thing. And I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s making everything else better – yesterday/this morning I got a little choked up over the family drama, but I tapped into that little place, and everything was ok. Confidence & inner strength rock.
  • Dressing up – what girl doesn’t like to play dress up? If I’m going out with friends, I’m always ready to dress it up. But my attitude in dressing for work over the past four years has been the complete opposite. I hated the thought of going to work, so it was minimal effort – I mean, who was I trying to impress? You guys are lucky if I show up in something wrinkle-free and remotely matches. I’ve also often shied away from feeling too vain or feeling like I had to hide behind makeup and clothes. But it’s ok! I’ve had this shift lately where I want to match cute outfits and I’ve been wearing (minimal) makeup to work every day. I’m even ok with wearing heels one day a week (not every day; not trying to ruin my feet) I’m kinda proud of myself for not being afraid of getting “oh, she thinks she’s cute” – actually, I wore this because it makes me feel good. Also, the whole “dress for the job you want thing” – new job has very much put me in a position to be set for life, so I’m on board with making it happen. Old/new job call for business casual, but new job is a step up given we sometimes meet with clients or have to go to the executive boardroom for meetings (fancy) #profeshtodeath lol
  • Friends – new & old – I’ve always been a friendly person, but was pretty introverted until I graduated from college. Now, I don’t care – I’ll talk to anyone, I’m like the mayor when we go out. Still, I’ve always been slow/hesitant to call someone my friend because I think people throw around the term loosely. Also, I’ve had a lot of friends screw me over/we grew apart. So it’s a sensitive spot for me – I’ll talk to anyone, but kinda stick with my core group of friends if that makes sense? But I started this year with the New Years’ Resolution mindset that I need to be more open – to stop being scared/paranoid that everyone will hurt me. I especially needed to branch out and come out of my cave after I basically took a social hiatus March-December of last year (largely driven by the falling out with The One/fed up with job sitch). Anywho, I’ve been letting myself get to know people at the gym and work without that ‘cringe’ feeling. It oddly feels nice to get to know people, and people want to get to know you, ask if you’re ok, where have you been?, come hang out with us. I feel like I get a big ol hug every day lol And I’ve even friended a bunch of people of FB (which to me feels so intimate, someone having so much info on you; not private info, but like I can sit and memorize dates and facts about you lol)
  • Forgiveness – ties back to the feeling strong thing – I’ve had exes popping up for no reason (guess I’m that awesome? jk) I’m glad that I’m able to see/speak to them without my eyes turning red or fists balling up. Instead it’s a “ah, nice to hear from you, old friend. Hope life has been good to you” (also: I know I’m hotter than any girl after me/haha you’re still single)
  • Calendar – again, after me being a hermit, I’ve been having fun filling in my Erin Condren planner with stickers and doodles for lots of work/non-work events. It’s nice to have things to look forward to in terms of stuff I can learn and memories to be made…

 

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I got my dream job. (!!!!!)

This post is long overdue. (And it took a bit of restraint to not type the title in all caps, but I hope the exclamation points give you a small taste of how happy my heart is)

It’s been a very long, miserable road. If you’ve read any of my old posts, you know that I’ve been experiencing a common twenty-something struggle stuck in jobs I hate with no end in sight, and even questioning what to do with my life.

But to be honest…a small part of me thought that my situation was a little different. I see you rolling your eyes haha “Of course you think you’re different, Lauren…” No ego here, seriously – all of my fam and friends know I’m the last to toot my own horn, even when I sometimes should. It’s just that I’ve always worked hard – almost every summer from kindergarten through elementary school, my grandma (retired teacher) would teach me in a basement classroom; I always got good grades in school, was put in the advanced classes, and was always that asshole shooting her hand up in the air like “ooh, call on me, I know!” In high school and college I was the goody-goody student-athlete – never drank or stayed out late, just won races in track and would ace a test by cramming not too long before. I got academic and athletic scholarships. Did volunteer work and was on the mock trial team as well as a board for the athletic director…

I say all of this not to brag or give you my resume (lol), but to paint the picture of how “rosy” my life has been – because I made it that way. Not luck, a lot of hard work. This was largely due to my AMAZING parents – they are both shining examples of this – my entire life I’ve watched them work hard and make a very good living. So duh, naturally I thought this was they way things work! I mean, even if I don’t confine my views to my parents, you always hear celebrities or a founder of some tech company telling their “rags-to-riches” story – they had a passion and their hard work paid off.

So THAT is why I’ve been so miserable and frustrated the past few years. I just kept thinking “I’m not supposed to be here. WTF happened?” I’d look back at the rest of my life in disbelief – “this isn’t the way things work – I’ve worked hard, so why am I not getting what I deserve??”

And I’ve finally realized that there’s something they fail to tell you growing up – it’s not just smooth-sailing down a clear cut path, and good things happen to good people because they earned it. Good people get held back and crapped on too. I’m sure many of the rags-to-riches founders will tell you that they faced some adversity and had doors slammed in their faces, yet they kept pushing on. But for me, it seemed like I wasn’t asking for much – I wasn’t out to be the next billionaire. I was just a motivated girl who had always seen a direct correlation/payoff (do well, you get rewarded accordingly), and jumped into the real world with my degrees in hand and a big smile ready to work hard and be paid accordingly.

The real world just laughed at me – my first job out of college (sales) turned out to not be what I expected (none of us survived, dropped like flies and quit); I got an entry level job at one of the biggest financial firms in the world, went back to grad school while I was working because I was sure it’d move me from entry level to something higher; and once again, after I was openly c***blocked in that role and everyone hated the department, I moved on to my current department – I just knew that this would be different…turns out I was wrong again.

You see, the thing I’ve really learned from this whole experience – applying and interviewing for jobs for about three years straight – is that not everyone is capable of, or willing to recognize your hard work. Again, the “things they should’ve told me as a child.” I almost feel like you can get where you want to go…if someone lets you. Before you jump down my throat and feed me some “you’ve got to take that job you want!”, hear me out. I’ve wanted a better job for a few years…but it’s not like I could just go walk into a new office and plop down at a new desk like “what do you need done, boss?” And no, I’m not some timid, passive girl who just takes what’s given to me – I’m aggressive when necessary by following up, asking for more money, etc. I know you can’t live life by what people just toss to you – you’ve got to put yourself out there. But again, this is where my frustration was – I’ve worked hard…so why won’t you “let me?” ME – who has clearly worked harder than the rest of these people. The answer is that a lot of the people I saw moving were doing so because they knew someone. SHOCKER. (another one for “things they never told me”) I wouldn’t say I was so naive to think this wasn’t going on, but again – completely contrary to everything I’d ever experienced or thought was logical – I thought I’d be different and I’d “stay true to myself” – surely someone would be smart enough to hire me based on recognizing my track record of hard work.

WELL…the company I’m in is actually a culture of “knowing people” – I’ve been told this by many people internal and external. It’s casually told to the college interns/new grads. I’m not saying that none of them are qualified, but I will say this – a good amount of them aren’t vs others, and I’ve seen most managers make hiring decisions based on knowing someone. That’s not ok to me. (And yes, I even tried at one point to play into the culture on my own terms by joining committees – not to rely on that though, because I was confident that I could back it up with my qualifications…I know you want to say I didn’t get where I wanted to bc I didn’t play the game – that’s not the case). I’m just not one to tap a friend on the shoulder and say “hey can you get me into this job?”, whether I know I’m qualified or not, I just think that you should be hired based on merit and merit alone. It sounds naive, I know. But I don’t settle…

So what do you do? If you’re stuck in an environment that won’t allow you to thrive or is willing to reward hard work…you change the environment. Some people think I’m crazy for leaving such a prestigious firm. And I know this place isn’t the only place driven by the “knowing someone” thing. It really came down to this – I took a deep breath, and thought: hey, at least if I have to deal with bullshit, let it be in a place where I can grow and be paid what I should be.

I ended up getting more than I expected!!! Not only do I get to actually use what I went to school for, but I get to help people, I get more $$, and the company is clearly one to hire/promote based on merit. I know this because they kept commending me on my accomplishments thus far – on the inside I was screaming “thank you, finally! Someone gets it.” haha Also, the current team members have been there for years, and they kept moving up in the team – NOT because they came in from another department and knew someone. I just have a really good feeling about this – it’s something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. I’ll actually look forward to going to work (what?) I just feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.

My last day at “yucky firm” is this Friday. Ask me how productive I’ve been the past 10 days. I mentally checked out a long time ago, but am still chugging through. And no rest – I start new job on Monday bc they said they need to train me asap. I can’t wait to jump in – I’m so eager. And I’m so ready to make the most out of this opportunity that I’ve been reading Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In.” This really is a long term thing to me – career, not “the next job” anymore. Wow, that felt really grown-up, yikes.

It feels good that I’m not just running away from something, but actually running to something awesome. Life really has just been falling into place lately – job, fam and friends, getting better at CrossFit…and even a new guy (shh – it’s early, let’s wait to see how it goes and then maybe discuss) Things are looking up (it’s about time!) It reminds me of some quote about when you move towards your “right life” your luck will seem unbelievable. Here we go – wish me luck 🙂

Oh, happy day

Y’all – something big happened today. This is a bit nerdy, but if you’ve ever been working towards a skill, you’ll get it; if you’re a CrossFitter, you’ll definitely get it.

Today I did my first pull-ups in a WOD without a band assistance. So this has been me all day long:

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I started CrossFit four months ago and thought that this was one of the most intimidating things to do. Especially since I was a bit scarred from having to do them in grade school and college, and I sucked while everyone else did them with ease…(hoist myself up with my puny arms? Like, my whole body weight? Psh, you crazy. Why would I ever want to do that?)

So I’ve been practicing about twice a week. Practice them til my arms burned…then did some more. Plus, the whole kipping motion is awkward. Who knew that whole “practice practice practice” thing actually works?! (Think of all the things I could’ve done by now if I had listened as a kid…I could be President.)

So yeah, I’m kinda proud. And my heart smiled when our coach and fellow members cheered me on (totally had to play it cool). I’m looking forward to conquering more things and continuing to get better and stronger every day.

 

THAT is why I CrossFit – it seems like a cult lol But for me to give 101% in my career and love life, and still get crapped on…and then have something like this to turn to where your hard work pays off and NO ONE can get in the way of that…it’s amazing. Don’t know what I’d do without it.

I’m baaaacckk

In case you were worried. Basically, I have my life back now – the exam that I’ve been studying for/bitching about for the past 7 months? Took it on Saturday. Did I pass? Do I care? Am I thrilled to be done? Probs not, no, and YES. Hopefully the outcome will be irrelevant soon since I’m…

Still working on the whole move 800 miles away and live my dream thing. Listen: I am EXTREMELY proud of myself – I’ve been talking about it for so long, but now I’ve actually turned my words into actions. After lots of researching apartments and jobs/salaries/companies, I pulled the trigger on Sunday and applied to a bunch of jobs in Atlanta! I’m so excited. No, nothing is concrete yet, but I really like grabbing life by the…er, taking control of your future and doing things you said you’d never do…in the midst of a quarter-life crisis.

Not to mention that I’m growing less and less fond of new job every day. Yeah, I still like the “challenge” and most of the people are really nice and smart, but there is one asshole I just can’t deal with, and I can’t avoid the interaction, and this is saying a lot because I get along with anyone. Yeah, I make a special effort to get along with him too and act like it for the most part, but it is clear that everyone else thinks he’s an asshole so I don’t feel so bad. Kill em with kindness. And I won’t lie – every time I feel the sharp words rising up inside me to throw a shot back at him, it’s nice to take comfort in the thought: “wow, I am SO glad that soon I won’t have to deal with you anymore!” Clearly, I don’t want to leave because of him (I can go toe to toe, don’t try me; the managers still talk about how I threw some words at him, thankss). But not having to deal with him, working in something more in line with where I should be, getting a pay increase to save up, and duh – Atlanta…all great reasons to peace out. Also, the department has become a bit of a disorganized crapstorm. I’ve only been there for 2.5 months, but soo much has happened and that doesn’t make newcomers feel too comfortable, seeing everything crumbling around you. Good to roll out before I get comfortable / in too deep (like a bad relationship) It may be short-lived, but at least I haven’t had to be miserable in old job for the past few months, and I’ll still count this as a good experience…

So yeah – moving towards living my dream is pretty awesome. Sure, I’ve only taken the first step, but it kinda makes your day a little brighter: “hope” I think they call it. And no, I can’t jump directly into it once I move down there, I’m being realistic – but the beauty is that even in the interim, my life will be a million times better. Just that new start/fresh feeling – I’m looking forward to taking in new surroundings and feeling cleansed of all of the emotional bullshit that old job and a couple of relationships have dropped on me. Not running away from my problems – just embracing newness and all that comes along with it: like my dream job. But not those people/feelings, they don’t get to come along.

On the boy front: I think I have a mutual crush situation happening in my building?! Some new guy. Hot. Tall. Dresses well. HOT. I mean, he initiated conversation with me…twice in the past 6 days. (we caught each other checking the other out; yeah.) No, I don’t know his name, and yes, I will accept an inviation to a romantic dinner. Or just lunch in the caf, whatev. My mother is relieved that I still have a “giddy” pulse, and I guess I even surprised myself – even after the past year’s events, I still have a heart? What, what’s this? It’s such an odd feeling, considering I’ve been dead on the inside for a while. NO, PEOPLE. Let’s all calm down – I still am repulsed by the thought of a relationship/still have the same stance on not wanting to get married. But hey – I still appreciate some eye candy – especially when it’s conveniently placed in my office buliding for daily enjoyment. I like to look…just keep them at arm’s length: You’re hot, and I’m sure you’re a nice guy…but I’m emotionally unavailable, bye!

I love myself.

Also…exes have been coming out of the woodwork this week. “Sorry, I’m caught up in a non-existent, emotion-free relationship with a guy in my office building. I don’t know his name, but it’s pretty serious.”