29

Wednesday, I turned 29.IMG_7893As a little girl, I would constantly dream up what being an adult would look like. Usually I resembled a Babysitters Club member, but nevertheless… I thought about my career, who my friends would be, how my parents would live forever and ever, and how I wanted to always be loved and surrounded by people I cared about.

I never really put a number on it though.16 might as well have been age 30. I didn’t know any better – grown up just seemed GROWN UP. A steady state you just sort of took on one day at a magic moment, where your ponytails always looked perfect and you could hang out past 10pm on a week night.

And then suddenly, I found myself a week out from turning the last age in my twenties. A decade that has been punctuated by education and best friends and heartbreak, bookended by moves cross-country. And suddenly, I realized I was terrified.

Never in a million years did I think I, of all people, would be nervous about turning 29. I mean, what’s age, right? Nothing but a number. But the thoughts started piling up – of the things I had done, that I hadn’t finished, that I hadn’t started. And more so, what was missing, or that I had assumed I’d already have had by the time I was such a grown-up, nearly 30 years old.

I think, without ever voicing it consciously, I had assumed I would be sure by now…. of everything. I’d have the concrete career path, and that marriage thing that I had honestly never given much thought about, well it would have just already happened. To be standing on the edge of a decade of life and growth and realize I was still growing and learning and figuring s*** out…. surreal.

All my favorite song lyrics personified, and amplified by 1,000.

Let’s be real – I didn’t expect to be 29 and single, Beyonce style, or still feeling the need to dip my toes into multiple career pools to see where my passion fit best. Or, ya know, having yet to publish the next New York Times bestseller.

So many enormous visions of my life and expectations that I didn’t even realize I possessed,  tucked so far down into my heart that it took a flippin’ birthday to pull them out. Who knew, huh?

It’s a little absurd, in my opinion, to boil your whole life down into one age, as if 30 is a finish line and you’ve got to wrap up everything un-done into a tight little bow by the time it hits 11:59pm on the last day you’re 29. I’m not a fan of “30 before 30” lists for that exact reason. There’s no time limit! So what was I getting all flustered for?

I love birthdays – yours and mine – in an obnoxious way, because I love celebrating life. Can you think of anything better? And birthdays are synonymous with growth. Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, I have GROWN in these last 28 years. No doubt about it, and for that I’m so grateful. It wasn’t until literally the night before my birthday this week when I received a text from my mom, letting me know that at that exact time 29 years ago, she’d been reading a baby book panicked herself because her water had broken and she wasn’t sure if that meant she and my dad really had to go to the hospital yet, that the fear finally broke. Something quietly switched inside me, and I woke up the next morning ready to own age 29, and whatever it might throw my way. And gosh, am I curious what’s next!

I’ve been a lucky gal, but I’ve also worked my booty off… and I’m ready for more goodness to float in. I am so incredibly thankful for all the people in my life, and all the experiences I’ve been blessed to have – this last year and really my entire life so far. I know – corny as all get out, but I’m throwing down the birthday card here, okay? My 20s have been ridiculous in terms of amazing highs and a few heart-aching  lows, and probably yours have as well. But the good has far outweighed bad….The good always wins.

And so, fresh into this next trip around the sun, I’ll leave you with the main thing I’ve learned in these last 28 years: BELIEVE. In yourself, in others, in love, in life. Believe it, and it will happen.

Cheers for what my 29th year has in store, and happy Friday! xo

Growing Up

Hiiiiii.

This is going to be a babble post, okay? I’m having one of those days where there’s too many thoughts, and I need to get them out. SO… you’re welcome in advance.
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In two days, I will be 29. Last year of my twenties… how’d that happen? 

This song is my current obsession (hence the title of this post).

Last week was a WEEK, if you know what I mean. Technology failed me (thanks, iPhone, for completely spazzing out), work was challenging + busier than even usual, and I was just exhausted. Waking up at 5:30am on the daily and then not getting home from work til 7pm-ish is going to take some getting used to….

Over the weekend, I went down to San Diego to celebrate another friend who’s getting married in September. Two of my favorite people are getting married in San Diego, in September, a week apart from one another! Being there Saturday reminded how much I love SD. We had brunch on the rooftop of the Andaz Hotel downtown, which was just lovely.

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I spy Petco Park.

A friend mailed me one of the most thoughtful (and random) birthday gifts I’ve possibly ever received – homemade pasta and sauce. I’m not kidding. Opening the box was bananas in the best way.

I finally tried Grit Cycle in Costa Mesa yesterday morning, and it was fantastic. Like a slightly toned down version of Soul Cycle. I was drinking the kool-aide within a few minutes of bopping around in the dark… too bad it’s $$$$.
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In 45 minutes, I learned how uncoordinated I am when it comes to dancing on a bike (shocker), and remembered how fun spin is.

I found out that I have to work at an event the night before I’m supposed to run the Healdsburg Half in October… and the event is here, and the race is up in northern California. TBD how that is going to play out…. i may be in the market for a new fall half marathon, and forced to kiss that already paid Healdsburg registration fee goodbye.

And on a sorta related note, it appears growing up really just means letting the universe do its own thing, because if you let is, you may actually float somewhere better than you could have possibly imagined.. you just sorta have to hang on for the ride sometimes.

Aaaaaand that’s it! Do I get my birthday cookie now?

Happy Monday, lovelies! xo

Healdsburg Half Training Begins (+ MCM10K Team Info!)

Hi friends! Happy Monday. :)

Today happens to be week one of training for my next race – the Healdsburg Half Marathon! It’s October 11th up in wine country (aka northern California). I’m doing basically the same training plan as when I ran the San Diego half in March, except I’ll be doing Crossfit workouts 2-3 times a week instead of body pump.  More on that Crossfit biz soon….

Of all the available half marathons in fall that I could have signed up, this one may seem sort of random. I chose it mainly because it reminded me a lot of my first half back in 2013, also in wine country (in nearby Santa Rosa), which had such a warm, community feel since it was smaller. And wine, duh.  Large races are exciting, but I almost think that the smaller town halfs are more fun since spectators tend to get super excited and the whole town’s involved.

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(Photo from Santa Rosa – still my very favorite day ever.)

And that reminds me- the sweet folks over at the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) recently reached out to let me know about their involvement in the Marine Corps Marathon 10K, which is also this fall (October 25th). OAR funds autism research, educates teachers of students with autism, provides support to families, offers scholarships, and more. I’m passionate about community outreach and supporting nonprofits (both personally and professionally), so of course I was more than happy to share their info with you guys.

OAR is forming a charity team right now, and looking for runners to sign up! If you’re on the hunt for a fun 10K race for the fall, I highly suggest this one. The MCM 10K was actually my VERY first race ever (here’s the recap from 2012), and holds a special place in my heart.

The crowds are great (MORE COW BELL) and it winds through great areas in D.C. that make the miles fly by. Plus a Marine will place your medal on you when you cross the finish line, which is pretty rad. The only thing sort of stinky is the massive hill in the last tenth (?) of a mile or so, but it’s sort of a rite of passage for all D.C. runners.

Some facts about Autism, via OAR:

  • 1 in 68 children in the US are diagnosed with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome – that’s more children than are affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and Down syndrome combined
  • There is still no cure for autism
  • OAR is the only autism organization that focuses solely on applied research

To join their team, just register for the 10K first, and then sign up with OAR’s team on their website.Picture5

(image c/o OAR)

Personally, I’ve never run a race as part of a charity team, but I would really love to. Ya’ll know I use the SD half to raise money for the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, and although that was on my own, it felt really good to feel like I was running for someone other than myself and a medal, you know? And let’s be real – training for a race is overall excellent motivation for getting into the swing of running (or back in, if you’ve taken a  break).

As part of OAR’s team, you’ll be provided with:

  • A specially designed singlet
  • Food and drink before and after the race
  • An exciting race-day team environment
  • A runner’s recognition dinner

Heck, I wish I could come join!

Anyways, I went to Crossfit this morning, and am trying to figure out how sore legs + training runs (and weekend long runs!) are going to mix from week to week… we shall see! It’ll be an experiment. 😉

Have a good one, lovelies. xo

 

Anyone blend Crossfit in with half marathon/race training? Any tips?

And Saying YES

Hi hi!

SO. We were last talking about saying no, and removing the things and people sinking your soul, right? Cue T.Swift’s “Bad Blood.” (Kidding.. but not  really.. I’m obsessed with the remix.)

Anyways, since you can’t really stomp through life being negative about ALL THE THINGS, I’ve also adopted a “say yes” policy, which basically extends to everything that feels… right. Descriptive, I know. But by “right,” I mean using my gut, and I don’t mean safe. I don’t mean not scary, or not different than the norm. Nothing good ever came from comfort zones, right? Isn’t that what all the smart people in the universe say? 😉

And now I’m saying yes entirely more frequently to invitations from the universe than I was just a few months ago…. I suppose singledom has allowed that in many instances, but I also think a positive mindset and the type of company I’m keeping helps too. I’m lucky enough to have some lovely people in my life, including here in OC, who have stuck by my side after I ended a relationship, and have pushed me to try now things and explore new opportunities.

The yes’s have come in waves, and built upon one another. It’s funny how welcoming one new positive thing/person into your life can cause a positive domino effect. The yes’s have been centered on putting myself in new experiences, with new people. Example: I finally agreed to give Crossfit another shot, and lo and behold – I love it. The workout, the new friendships, the chance to challenge myself in a new way. Never did I ever think I’d be saying I was regularly doing Crossfit and actually enjoying it, but here I am… because we change, we grow, and we learn new things about ourselves, and figure out what will help us become better versions of ourselves.

 

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If you want something you’ve never had before, than you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.

And as a result, I feel more myself than I’ve felt in literally a year, and freer. Not that I had such a miserable existence 365 days ago – don’t get me wrong, I did not at all. But the no-ing and the yes-ing with precision and care in the last couple months have reminded me that for a while, I was squeezing myself into a mold I didn’t belong in, trying to be someone else’s version of perfect because I didn’t want to interrupt our day to day, or ruin a perception someone else had of what I should be. That’s not a reality you can sustain, friends, and it will only diminish you in the long run.

Adopting a mentality of yes really just means opening yourself up, allowing a chance at something new or different. Doors are now open that I’d long before closed off inside myself. It’s a precious balance alongside saying no to whatever drains you or depletes your spirit; the yes’s are refreshing and bring in a renewed wholeness. And now I sound like I’m drinking some hippie Kool-Aide, but hear me out.

It’s just that recently I’ve been ever reminded (again) that’s fate’s a real thing, and things DO happen for a reason (promise). Example numero dos today: After over a year of hunting, I just started a brand spankin’ new job (!!!) last Monday, and, in a nutshell, that career opportunity was discovered because: I moved up to Orange County to be with my ex -> which led me to the getting involved with the local chapter of Girls on the Run up here and being accepted onto their Board of Directors -> which caused me to make a wonderful new friend from that board who knew of THIS particular company and that they were hiring. Boom.

Funny, right?

Granted that is a long and dramatic example, but I believe in signs and I believe to succeed in life, we have to have faith that things will eventually work out however they should. You just have to be available to the potential.

Happy Monday, loveys. xo

Saying No

Oh maaaaaaaan, you guys! You have blown me away with your comments/messages regarding my last post. I appreciate the warm welcome back, not to mention knowing some of you can relate to dealing with life’s ever changing-ness. You’re the best.

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(source)

So with the whole break-up/new chapter thang has come a little bit of clarity. Okay, make that a lot of bit of clarity, actually. I’ve taken a renewed commitment to living my life with intent, and saying yes (and no) to things with mindfulness and authenticity. I realized I’d somehow, in the last year, allowed my allegiance to my heart and gut to slip, and let far too many people and things in when they probably didn’t deserve a spot in my life. That’s precious real estate, folks… we all only have so much time each day/week/month/year, and your attentions and commitment should be to all that enriches your soul and helps you further celebrate life. People and things that invigorate you and challenge you and make you better.

And so, this new chapter has begun with clearing out the weeds. Saying NO with intention, and meaning it.

I feel like I’ve heard the term “soul suckers” before in relation to sortaaaa what I’m talking about here, but that sounds a little aggressive, don’t you think? But those people or activities in your life that add stress, or tear you down, or poke holes in your resolve or your spirit (even  subconsciously)? Yeah, those — you don’t need them.

I have always been a big advocate of giving people the benefit of the doubt. I hope for the best and I believe most people are truly good, and like to assume people I’m willing to invest my time in and spill my secrets to are true and genuine and investing their own time back in me, and that even if they make mistakes or disappoint you at times, they’re still worth your patience. Here’s the thing, though, loveys-  eventually, if a person constantly lets you down or betrays your trust, it’s not fair to your own heart to let them stay in your life. Respect yourself enough to walk away.

Respect yourself enough to say no.

Good vibes only, you know?

And ohmigosh, everyone and their mother is always telling you these days to stop doing the things you don’t really shout-from-the-rooftops LOVE, and I’m here to just reiterate that. If working out at 5am is adding anxiety to your life, stop. If talking to your ex is making you sad, stop. If checking social media is stressing you out, stop. If you don’t truly enjoy something (like running or drinking or racing) but are making yourself do XYZ because you think you’re supposed to, oh man – stop. Just. Say. No.

It’s fine. I promise. All of it.

The world will not stop spinning because you decide so-and-so is not worth squeezing into your schedule, or because you no longer want to volunteer after work making care packages for orphans in India. You are not suddenly becoming a terrible human being.

You’re just being true to yourself. And hey- high five for that!

Being almost 29 is a nice reminder to cut the junk out and focus on what matters. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So yeah, I’m saying no….. a lot more than maybe I ever have.

But I’m also yes-ing a lot, too. More on that in the next post, k?

xox

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