ha. “My”…not “our.” Sad.
Anyways, two years ago today I bought my house. It was one of the best days of my life and still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made…despite the odd nature of it.
Everyone said I was crazy for doing it…being single and all. And I admit – it’s not what I had envisioned. I had always held onto the idea that I’d meet Prince Charming and we’d get married and buy a house together. That’s what normal people do. But I realized early on that I shouldn’t rely on that event, or necessarily count on that “dream” coming true. I knew that if I was waiting on a relationship to buy a house, then a) I’d potentially be waiting a very long time, or b) I’d wait my whole life for something that never happens. This realization + the price was right…I just did it. As silly as it sounds, it took some courage and I’m glad I had my mom’s support.
No pity party here. It’s something I’m very proud of. At times I do feel awkward and feel like I should walk around with my head hung low – because you get the mixed reactions of “wow, that’s commendable and cool that you can manage that on your own,” or the eyebrow-raised “oh…so no boyfriend or anything? You poor dear./I would never do that unless I did it with a guy.” Whatev. I’m a bad-ass independent girl, deal with it.
Which brings me to something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Everyone has the same first impression of me when we first meet: a girl that always has a big smile, is too nice, would never curse, hurt a fly, can be pretty quiet, and has pink everything so she must be a goody two shoes never break a nail or get dirty/sweaty kind of girl.
I love…LOVE…when people see that I’m anything but. Yeah, a lot of times I’ll sit and be quiet, not in a shy/timid way, but because I love to sit back and observe. You learn a lot that way and it’s to your advantage to do more listening and less speaking. So I purposely try to open my mouth only when it’s important, I know I’m right and need to be assertive, or if it adds something to the conversation. Otherwise, shut up. People talk too much. lol I’m usually pretty outgoing – I love talking to anyone, it’s interesting to hear where other people are coming from and their stories. But I’m also not the girl to be all in someone’s face and be fake. So I basically feel out situations. You can be yourself but not be “balls to the wall” with it – that’s overwhelming to people and can usually be off-putting. I don’t want people to be like “Who is this girl?” (or if they do, then it’s because I did something stellar.)
So basically I surprise people and it’s hilarious to me. Probably the top 2 things most commented on/highest shock value: that I’m obsessed with MMA and that I actually curse. Now, I’ve never been in a fight, but kickboxing and martial arts get me going. PUMPED. At first I did it as a new form of fitness to try, but it has turned into I actually want to train and do it professionally. I even have 2 pairs of gloves and a heavy bag in my garage. I’ve taken classes for a while and I get excited when UFC is on. It takes a lot to get me mad, but I’ve experienced a lot of aggression the past few years. (not like anger management level or I can’t tame it) But it’s an amazing release, and the more I do it, the more I want to take someone down (teehee). I couldn’t ask for more: a great workout, stress-release, AND it’s empowering. Not like I’m in dark alleys or potential combat situations, but it makes you walk a little taller and is a great feeling walking around the office knowing that if you have to, you could take someone down. (kidding…sorta.) And the cursing thing, I don’t curse like a sailor (it’s not ladylike) but I do drop an f bomb from time to time and people are always like “Wait, what did you just say? That doesn’t even sound right coming from you.”
Look, people. I’m kind of a bad-ass, ok? lol If you know me IRL, you’d laugh at that. Almost like you want to brush it off like, “Yeah, ok little pink girl. You’re trying to sit here and act tough…” And 4 years ago, you might’ve been right. But life has smacked me in the face the past few years – between shitty jobs and shitty relationships, I’m a hell of a lot tougher and stronger. I’ve grown a lot and have used all of my experiences to “fuel my fire.” I don’t walk around acting like a hardened bitch – no one likes that. But it’s nice to know that I have it within me and have the courage to bring it out when necessary. (that’s a key, knowing when to let it out) And it gives me a calm, quiet confidence – people talk shit all day and I just smile without saying anything or blowing up, but thinking “just wait til you see.” I totally get that from my mom too. And again, the reactions are priceless – it has a greater impact for someone like me to stand up to you and put you in your place than it does coming from someone who’s always loud and making threats and trying to talk himself up.
So anyways…I think it’s cool that I’ve grabbed onto who I am. I’m my own “mold” I guess. Yeah, I kickbox, but I do it with pink gloves on. See? Violent but cute at the same time. I smile all the time and I’m nice, but if you push me enough, I’ll make you regret it. (ask my exes – I don’t go the route of spreading rumors or keying your car or other crazy-bitch shit. I’m always taking notes and know how hit you where it hurts…in a subtle “she’s not even trying way.”)
The reason I’ve been thinking about my “bad-ass” tendencies a lot lately is because I need to channel them now more than ever. I hate my job, and have spent the past three and a half years working for a company that doesn’t give me what I deserve. I’ve busted my ass and deserve to be somewhere better. I’m done jumping through hoops and putting up with shitty people. (they’ll be everywhere, but at least make it worth it) And I know I deserve more – I had two interviews this week offering me a lot more in several respects. One I applied for, and the other firm sought me out. Crazy, huh? Someone recognizing what my own company doesn’t. Like a lot of my relationships – what you don’t take care of, someone else will. So also just like my relationships, I don’t settle. I don’t in relationships, so I shouldn’t in my career either. That’s not me. The problem is that it’s a million times easier to walk away from some no-good guy than it is a job because well…a girl’s got bills.
It’s time for me to tap into my “bad-ass” side; all of the power and motivation and surge of energy I feel when I’m hitting the heavy bag…I need to harness that “you want some of this?” and apply it to my career lol. Unfortunately I can only get so verbal at work before people start calling me “disrespectful.” Which is funny because you always hear about women needing to be more aggressive in the workplace, but when I stand up for myself (in a professional way), people don’t know what to do with it. I know why – it’s clear they get comfortable – “we can ask Lauren to do anything and she’ll go along with it, and we can bully her to kill herself to get stuff done on unreasonable timeframes.” Yeah, well…Lauren pushes back and it’s the end of the world because now we’re shook because we didn’t see this coming – who knew she was capable of this?! Gotcha.
So yeah, I’m no longer putting effort into being “aggressive” at work or stressing myself because they don’t deserve me. They don’t deserve my hard work and dedication, my efforts, and above all, my tolerance of them being rude and unappreciative. Like a boyfriend – I used to try to always do little things for him, be thoughtful, help him out any time of day he needed, being understanding if he took his bad day out on me, etc. Putting all the effort in…only to watch it not be reciprocated, and on top of that, have someone be shitty to me. One is bad, both is too much. So I walk away, there’s nothing here for me. Not everyone can do that – recognize that you’re not where you should be, deserve more, AND being able to walk away. Don’t stay in bad relationships!!! Life is too short, and you’re probably too awesome. (not preaching, that was really for me lol) So I’m drawing on my “big-girl” capabilities and getting the job I deserve. It’s overdue.
I’m all about this “live up your twenties, things to do before you’re 30” idea, and I think it’s only right that I add “walk away from a shitty job” to my list…
So far I’ve got: bungee-jumping, buying a house, walking away from The One, and kickboxing under my belt. Long ways to go, but walking away from this company will be so sweet. I got out of my last department, but it’s a lesser of 2 evils situation. Oh, also – I’ve been saying for years now that I want to go paintballing and go to a shooting range (I’m terrified of guns but I know it will be empowering to do it and overcome my fear; paintball would just be fun). Again, two things extremely contrary to my personality. That’s not why I want to do them, to like prove a point or anything…just things I want to try!
Ok, I’m off to do more job applications…like a boss.