A roller coaster day

Does anyone else take a two-hour nap after work and before bed? I just woke up from one.

I hope that gives you an idea of how the past 2 days have been. I’m drained.

First – new job is AWESOME. Everyone is super nice and helpful, really knows their stuff. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for and I really feel like I’m in the right place finally. I spent most of yesterday meeting everyone/a two-hour lunch at a nice seafood restaurant. All day today was training in a classroom on all of the systems and a few processes – same thing tomorrow. I forgot how rough sitting in class and paying attention is – all the coffee.

So I’ve been on this new job high…was feeling good after leaving the gym this morning, looking forward to another day at work…then boom – a very unexpected text from The One. That’s right – that guy. I haven’t talked to him in over, hmm, 16 months?? My heart sank. It was just a nice “hope all is well.” And usually I ignore any messages for fear of feelings resurfacing after I’ve worked so hard to suppress them and heal. But I realized that I’m in a really good place and strong enough to handle it; and I don’t like being a jerk, so I replied with a nice “you too.” Short and sweet. Let’s leave it at that. Got another text in the afternoon…and we ended up spending the day catching up on each other’s lives. It’s like nothing ever happened – no weird air or tension. Lots of laughs. Comfortable. Effortless. -sigh- Then he asks how my parents doing. Ironically…at that very moment…turns out…

My parents were in a meeting for getting a divorce. Yep, I’m serious. My mom told me indirectly after work – not “hey we had a meeting today bc this is happening,” but just about how things got ugly and they were bickering. It’s a mixture of emotions – relief and heartache at the same time. They’ve both been unhappy for a while, so no surprise. I know this isn’t a big deal bc plenty of people have had their parents split up, but usually when they’re little and don’t know what’s going on. I’ve heard it’s worse when you’re older bc you actually understand the underlying feelings and feel pressure to side. Ugh…that’s a whole nother post. Don’t feel like crying right now, and I need to read stuff for work (after Catfish goes off!)

Thank you for all of the well wishes! You’re gorgeous – all of you 🙂

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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 🙂

I’m baaaaackkkk

Yay! Ok, so after a hiatus from blogging, I recently felt the need to dust the cobwebs off of this old thing. I know so many of you have been on the edge of your seat lol

I decided to take a break from the blog because well, I felt like it became too much of a venting forum for me. Yes, it’s good to vent and often therapeutic to get things out, but I realized that it allowed me to focus too much on all of the negatives in my life. Ya know, like get too bogged down, kinda stuck and just swimming in a pool of “poor me.”

Well no more! Trust, there will still be the occasional rant (because hey, life gets real sometimes), but I’ve been focusing on pulling myself out of the rut that has been my life for the past, oh 1-2 years haha Between HATING my job, a broken heart/love life, and a few other common quarter-life crisis woes, life’s been a bit bleh.

But I’ve been on an inspirational roll over the past five months. I’m talking avalanche, steam roll, all kinds of momentum over here. No, my life’s not perfect (ha) or where I totally want it to be yet, but focusing on the good things and realizing that things won’t always be this way have helped me out a lot lately.

So what have I been up to? Big things…(for me lol)

  • I’ve been dating (ish) – nothing promising, and I even ventured into the online thing, but I’m proud of myself for getting out there and trying again! If nothing else, I’ve gotten some great (horror) stories to share…
  • I started CrossFit – ok, ok. I’ll try not to talk about it 24/7 like everyone else, but it’s basically changed my life. For reals. I’d actually been interested in it for a few years from watching the games on ESPN, but was super hesitant to try it. My bestie joined and had me go to the open house – that’s all it took. Game over. I joined, am obsessed, and wake up at 4:30am to go. I drank the kool-aid and could go on, but will have to make that another post…
  • I’m back on Facebook – don’t laugh! We all know it’s totally unheard of for someone to not be on FB and have your life revolve around it haha I took the “brave” step last March to deactivate my account because I needed to be away from anything related to “that guy,” and was just fed up with a news feed full of babies and engagements and my life is wonderful crap from all of these people I went to high school with and haven’t seen in years. So I kinda retreated/became a social media hermit lol But I reactivated a couple months ago; can’t say I missed it…I guess I can stomach the posts now, and some people actually post interesting things worth reading. There are also a few friends/family members it’s nice to keep up with. (silly, I know)

Hmm, nothing else really jumping out…nothing monumental. Oh, on the job front – the search has been going a lot better! Had some good interviews…I actually have the biggest interview of my life tomorrow, and will hear back by Friday for one I had last month & they said I’m the top candidate. So I’m feeling good about these two! Additional positive energy you want to throw my way is much appreciated 🙂

So yeah…I’ve just been getting out there, living life, and being my happy self again. So I think it’s good I get back to documenting all of these things, especially since I bought myself a fancy camera – I need to put it to good use! I think I’ve distracted myself enough now from my interview jitters…and Catfish is about to come on (hello! can we discuss??) Hopefully I’ll bring home some good news!

30 Before 30

So my recent 27th birthday has caused me to realize that I’m making the turn from mid-twenties to late twenties, also known as Looming Death & Turning 30.
Thirty is a big deal – nothing really happens after 21, you just sort of cruise through your twenties without a milestone. Then BAM – 30 smacks you in the face causing you to re-evaluate your entire life if you haven’t gotten married, had kids, or established a career.

I can’t say too concerned about turning 30 – as I’ve said before, I think I’d actually pat myself on the back for being strong if I happen to still be single then (read 99% chance). The things I will freak out about?? If I’m still stuck in a career I despise and if I’m not a mom. The first shouldn’t be too hard, but the second entails the whole marriage thing so, eh…

In any event, I bought a Smash Journal over the weekend – perfect for where I am since I like to write/create things/document things and am doing more photography. (Again, all of my hobbies to distract me from misery) The journals often feature lists like top 10s. I love a good list (I make about 5 a day, it’s how I survive and stay “sane”). So all of these factors taken together, along with New Year’s Resolutions coming up…I’ve got some work to do.

I’ve seen a few 30 Before 30 posts and bucket lists floating around the Internet and blew them off – “Ick, that’s SO far away, whatever…” But guess what? I’m in my late twenties now (is 24-25 mid & 27-29 late??) and 30 is right around the corner. I’ve been inspired to create my own 30 Before 30 list and spend three years tackling it, which is a good pace spread out. I’m still finalizing the list, but I found comfort in noticing that I’ve actually already done a good amount of significant things:

Bungee jump
Get a tattoo
Learn how to live alone
Get a master’s degree
Tell a boy you love him
Own your own home
Swim with dolphins
Learn to walk away from a crappy job
Learn to forgive
Take a dance class
Put a baby to sleep
Go to dinner/a movie alone
Hit on the hottest guy in the bar

So yeah, not too bad – a good foundation. I’m looking forward to lots more. And getting out of this quarter-life crisis; hopefully this list will serve as a guide/help keep me on track and focused!

Today’s my 27th birthday

As usual, it’s time for a bit of reflection. Every year I try to make it a point to have some sort of milestone or “big thing accomplished.” When I was 24, I bought my house. When I was 25, I finished grad school. Neither of these things are necessarily age-specific or age-related, but still things I should be proud of I guess.

So I just finished my 26th year and what do I have to show for it? What spectacular thing happened that I will one day look back on and be proud of? I learned to walk away. This year was pretty shitty. I hated my old job, was getting screwed over, and had no business being there – I deserved so much more for all of the hard work I put in, and instead was held back. Then there was my “love life.” A relationship I put more into than I care to admit…we planned on getting ma for God’s sake. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief. Bottom line, things somehow got shitty.

I walked away from both this year. It really, really wasn’t hard to walk away from the crappy job. But I can honestly say that walking away from him is still the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not everyone has the balls to walk away from a crapy situation – it takes real strength and it takes practice. Look around you – how many people do you see stuck in relationships that are beyond over? Or they deserve better? Or people stuck in jobs? Or wasted talent? Or just settling in general? A lot, I know. I’ll admit, I stayed in some relationships longer than I should’ve. But I was younger and not as “wise.” So I’m proud to say that at the age of 27, I finally got it right.

I’m not saying you should just throw your hands up when anything little arises, and use the excuse of “this is enough, I refuse to settle.” But I’ve learned that it’s important to 1. Be able to recognize when your efforts aren’t being returned and you’re getting screwed over, and 2. Actively doing something about it. Obviously the second part is the hardest, but I know plenty of people that aren’t even capable of the first – they make excuses instead.

Well now what? Now that I’ve learned to walk away, the next question is…Where am I walking to? lol I’ve got this clean slate to start over with and I need to decide what to do with it. I’ll admit, I just had a cliche tearfest because I am NOWHERE near where I had planned on being, or deserve to be for that matter. Ever since I was 16, I decided that by 27 I’d already be married and about to have a baby. My mom had me when she was 29 and my parents had been married for 3 years prior. YES, YES, I know – it’s not realistic to have such a deadline on such things, that’s not the way life works, you can’t measure your life by your mom’s, times are different now, it’s pathetic to cry over your birthday being a reminder of what you haven’t done. I know all of this. But it’s not so much about the timing – it’s more about the fact that I’ve worked so hard to achieve the things I want, that there’s no good reason they haven’t happened yet. Yes, I know the world works at its own pace and you have to let some things happen and can’t plan every second of your life. But shit not paying off…sucks. A lot.

And as I’ve said plenty of times before – the fact that I’m single and probably will never get married does not bother me…at all, I swear. Yeah, it’s what I’ve always wanted, but my years of wisdom have shown me that it’s not for everyone, you haven’t failed if you don’t do it, and actually…you’re probably better off if you don’t because most marriages don’t work and it’s better to be alone than dealing with a crazy situation. But here’s the thing that’s been bothering me lately: I think I’m dodging something that I’m actually cut out for. This keeps coming up in heart-to hearts with a close friend. We constantly battle because I tell him I’m a jaded bitch who has given up on relationships not because I’m a quitter, but because all of my experiences and everyone around me has shown that I’m better off alone, and more people would realize the same thing if they used their heads but most don’t because they’re scared to be alone. And he always replies (because he knows me better than anyone else): I can talk crap all I want to, but he knows I’m a nurturing person who enjoys being in relationships and is awesome at them; and then he spends 20 minutes trying to convince me that I just need to try again, and take a leap of faith – after all, I can’t expect perfect or assume the relationship will fail; and my “favorite” part – I just need to find someone as willing to work at the relationship as I am. HA. And he tells me that I have nothing left to lose since I’ve already hit rock bottom, I can’t get hurt any more, it can only get better. hahahahaha Hilarious.

The point is that out of all of that garbage and feeble attempts at proving me wrong (not gonna happen, EVER), he is sadly correct about one thing – I’m awesome at relationships, and “all of this” is being wasted. “If you’re so good at them, then why have all of your past ones failed?” Yeah, well…just because I treat someone well doesn’t mean that they are smart enough to appreciate it, it’s enough for them, or that the timing is right (people can just be at different phases of their lives). It comes down to what’s between two people – there isn’t one man on this planet that’s so nice that every woman placed with him would make a perfect couple. But I do know this – I feel like I’m cut out for it – the whole white picket fence and 2.5 kids thing. But not in a Stepford Wives/barefoot and pregnant way, I still rock a career. I mean, I already do all of the things you’re “supposed” to do; the things girls prep for in setting to go out husband-hunting. Going to the gym, making sure their hair and nails are done, cooking, cleaning, nurturing/being able to do the baby thing, managing household finances, entertaining, picking out gifts, planning trips, etc. I do all of these things for myself! I’ve got them down lol Minus the baby thing, but I think my dogs have given me a leg up.

That’s just been popping up in my head over the past two months or so – also why I’ve been blogging m.i.a., because I’ve been busy throwing myself into every hobby possible: collecting millions of recipes, trying out said recipes, doing crafts, finally decorating my house after 2 years, and mastering household cleaning tricks that you think only moms know. (it’s important to note that most of this is of course fueled by Pinterest, with a lot of HGTV thrown in; I’m proud that I actually turned simply pinning things into really doing them). I’m slightly ashamed of all of this because these are 45-year-old mom things. For instance: my gift from my mom was super-foodie fancy cookware (instead of like a cool purse or VS gift card, who am I?), and I took a few craft classes with her (she’s pumped that I’m into it and got me a sewing machine; I mean, I turned my guest bedroom into a craft room). UGH. Between the Crockpot and the sewing machine, please someone just get me some mom jeans and the soccer van, I mean really.

I’m sort of kidding, but I just keep thinking that I’ve got all of this stuff down and it’s a shame no one benefits from it. Ok, yeah I enjoy my house and have to eat to live, but cooking good food…you kinda want to share it with someone; like give someone something to look forward to; some fulfillment comes from knowing someone has been looking forward to you making their favorite for dinner, or you can’t wait to try out a new recipe because you found it and immediately knew that they’d love it, and then it’s awesome when you see that they love it. Or getting to plan a dinner party – being the cute couple to host it, even though you do most of the work, but it’s fun to plan drink recipes, themes, and desserts, and spreading everything out in a nice presentation on pretty platters, and you send him to the store to get wine, and he even offers to help set up or clean up, and you all sit around playing a board game…And the shared experience of buying baby stuff and seeing how excited he is to try to be a good dad…You see?!?! I’m pathetic. I guess it’s normal to want all of that. It just sucks that all of that is “in me” and I don’t have anyone looking in the same direction. Yes, it’s fun to do it on my own, but some things are better shared. So for me to a) likely never have that, b) have worked towards it and planned it already with someone, and c) try to sit here and pretend that I no longer want it…sucks.

Ok, this has been the longest, saddest post ever hahaha All in all, I know everything happens for a reason…but I can’t help but ponder: Should I just be ballsy and set out for my 27th year goal to “get back out there”? I mean, it only seems right – now that I’ve walked away from bad situations, and since this is something I really want, then I should shift my focus to getting in the mindset of being open again? Or go all out and try online dating? Not in a “this is it, this has to work” desperate way, but just as a first step to at least expose myself to potentially getting that dream? Eww, gross…nevermind. I feel like even considering this goes against my independent personality, everything I have been taught and stand for lol But I guess it’s ok to be independent and still wanting to have someone…I just feel like wanting this is “needy”…and it’s not something I need to feel complete at all…just something that I wouldn’t hate. Bah…the adventures continue…

Oh. I became a vegetarian and MMA fighter in one week.

No big. hahahaha Super casual.

Yeah, I know. Kinda random and crazy but not really. They’ve both been in the works for a while, and upon implementing, my life is already so much better!

So I’ve never really been a meat-eater – just chicken and fish if I have. It’s a combination of taste and health concerns. I’d been toying around with the idea of becoming a vegan, but there are two huge things in the way: eggs and dairy. I can’t go without them! I love scrambled eggs and they’re amazing for protein instead of meat, which is great for me; and daily coffee and yogurt are kind of religious things for me. Every day. I actually really don’t like the taste of coffee but chug it for keeping me alive and focused at work, as well as the metabolism boost. Soo I can’t have it without some yummy creamer! Yes, I’ve tried almond/soy milk – not even close. So I settled on being vegetarian instead of hardcore vegan. Honestly, it hasn’t been hard at all. I don’t crave or miss meat, mainly since I was never really into it. I decided I’d give myself until the end of the month and then possibly convert into a pescatarian (my fav meal in life is salmon/salmon sushi. sigh) Today is my 8th day 🙂 Kinda proud: I feel noticably better and have even lost a few lbs.

IN BIGGER NEWS. As we all know, I’m obsessed with all things health & fitness. I’ve always been an athlete and am always looking for new activities/workouts to challenge myself and have fun. Especially with my whole quarter-life crisis/he broke my heart/I f*ing hate my job thing…ya know, distracting myself with things. I’ve been doing fitness kickboxing on and off for about 10 years or so. Nothing crazy. Two years ago I really got into it and bought a heavy bag for my garage & gloves, and started doing the “fitness MMA” classes offered at my gym. Crazy good workout but piqued my interest for the real techniques behind the fighting styles, especially after watching UFC.

I’d been looking around at local studios/gyms but was kinda meh. Then a month ago I got a free pass for 2 trial classes at a karate studio for kickboxing. Thought it’d be cool to see if they’re more technique-oriented. Fun. Great music. But not so much. I saw people in full karate gear there doing serious things, but it just didn’t seem like they had a good variety/skill levels. Kinda weird crowd too, mostly kids. ENTER LIVING SOCIAL. I’ve always heard people raving about it, and I’ve just said “mm, sounds cool but it’ll just give me discounts on buying things I don’t need.” But I finally signed up for it like 2 weeks ago only because I was looking into CrossFit and the prices here are obnoxious without a LS deal.

Fast forward, last week I randomly scanned my e-mail and saw a deal for unlimited MMA classes for a month for 70% off. Don’t mind if I do. It was meant to be. I stopped by yesterday and signed up in a hurry. Went back in tonight to do my fitness evaluation (max reps of push-ups, sit-ups, frog jumps, squats, and squat thrusts aka burpees you can do in 60 sec each. I felt sick). The owner told me that most people do the evaluation one night and start classes the next. NOT ME. Watching everyone got me too hyped. I just stared in amazement. And everyone is super chill and nice – as I was remebering how to breathe against the wall, one of the instructors stopped to introduce himself and told me to jump in whenever I wanted to. I felt weird because everyone knew what they were doing and had their assignments – I didn’t want to waddle in and disturb them. Like “eww, new girl, you’re taking up my space.” But upon meeting the friendly instructor, and because I already had my awesome pink gloves with me, I walked right on over and said “What do I do?”

After jokingly calling my gloves “toy gloves” (hater – they’re Everlast; he wishes his were pink), the owner walked me through the right way to punch – as in, keeping in mind you need to protect your face lol – and then had me keep going. Then he had one of the “pros” come over and work with me more. To paint the picture: think legit UFC fighter. He was shirtless with tats allll over; fauxhawk and I think a nose ring. Bad ass. And he was one of the 3 guys in the actual ring. So I know I’m learning from someone good; he clearly knew what he was talking about and was very encouraging. Highlight of the night: as he was first holding the heavy bag for me to punch, I threw my first few punches and made him say “wow, girl – you got some power! You clearly have good leg strength which is a good base for punching.” Duh. hahaha I’ve been told that before and I guess it makes sense with all of the track. It feels good to be “naturally” good at something you love.

I could go on and on. I’m obvs going back tomorrow. Can’t wait. Oh, sidenote – my mom’s not too thrilled. I told her a few years ago that I want to train and become a pro cagefighter, and she laughed it off/got sad saying that I’d get hurt and it’s dangerous. When I told her yesterday that I signed up?? “Why can’t you just do something safe?!” lol Sorry, I love our crafts and photography classes, but this is my calling, mom. She’ll be front row at my competitions, I’m sure. Oh yeah – this gym has a team that competes on like pro and amateur circuits and the owner asked if I want to compete. (yikes – a lot different from training; I could do it though and think I’ll try it & surprise myself)

Ok, ok. Gotta get to bed. Yay for things that make me happy and forget about my job/feelings! I can’t change my situation yet, but this helps a lot!

Today’s my anniversary!

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.

 

Wrong.

 

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.