Well, hello again!
After a very unintentional 3.5 month hiatus, I’m back! Over the last few months, life got insanely busy…and well, this passion project/outlet of mine fell to the wayside in a big way.
So, in the style of one of my favorite blogs - Erin’s Inside Job - here’s Life Lately…a brief update on what has kept me so busy (if it’s even possible to condense a quarter of a year into one post).
I don’t talk much about my 9-to-5 on here purposely (I don’t think a job should define you, per se), but to be honest…this has been the real reason I’ve been so MIA. So, without further ado…
Time flies! I’ve been at my “new” gig for 6 months as of this week. I still feel brand new, but I also feel like I’ve been there for a long time. Anyone else feel that way about their jobs?
Over the last few months, I have been working like crazy. I’ve put in more than a handful of 70+ hour weeks and have consistently been working nights and weekends to try to catch up on my never-ending to-do list. Between two clients that were in their busy season (one particularly demanding) and the addition of two new clients, it’s been hectic. I’m still balancing learning the ins-and-outs and the nitty gritty of a newer field, while also trying to get things done confidently and efficiently. It’s been a struggle…and with full transparency, it’s caused quite a few crying, exhausted breakdowns about my career at a larger level. Am I good at what I thought I was skilled at? Is my introversion a negative in my space? Ultimately, at the end of the day, though, I love what I do on the day-to-day. My job allows me to plan, to write, to create and to connect. Everyday is different, and the variety keeps me engaged. But, I’d be lying if I said the last few months have been easy for me.
The learning curve and heavy workload has impacted my time to freelance write, but I’ve still managed to get a few pieces published here and there (and to see a project I’d been working on come to fruition!). Here are some of my favorite articles I’ve written in the last few months:
Who Run the World? (pages 53-60)
As challenging as it is to admit, I’ve really struggled the last few months. I’ve had some really high highs and some really low lows.
I typically manage my stress through exercise, writing, self-care practices, alone time, a solid routine and friends…but between various commitments and work, I lost a good chunk of each of these things over the last few months. I found myself in a lot of really sad, lonely, angry moments. My panic attacks have been out of control, and I’ll be the first to admit that I lashed out to the person closest to me. So, a few weeks ago, I decided (at the encouragement of a dear friend) to really commit to managing my stress and anxiety: returning to church, solidifying a routine that helps me feel a little more in control (with enough room for flexibility) and establishing really clear boundaries around how far I can extend myself. Happy to report: so far, so good.
But, while the majority of the last 3.5 months did feel really unmanageable, there were a ton of fun, light, joyous moments thrown in. Moments of playing in the ocean, laughing with Justin on long car drives, dancing around with friends, walking around the farmer’s market, munching on yummy food, receiving the sweetest surprises from friends, watching good movies, seeing sunsets and sunrises…and every single little thing in between.
But, at the end of the day, I don’t want to skirt around the truth that I struggled (and still struggle) with my mental health.
As dramatic as the last paragraph sounds, I have had fun this summer. I’ve managed to see my friends for some fun time - paddleboarding on the bay, gorging myself at the fair, watching the Symphony perform, working out in the park and gabbing on the couch.
Speaking of the couch…Justin and I have now been living together for three months. Contrary to everyone talking about how hard it would and how much of an adjustment it would be since we both had lived alone for so long without roommates, I am pleased to report that it all feels natural and exciting and fun. I’ve loved every second of making our cottage our home. I’ll stop here before I get mushy gushy, but it’s really nice getting to come home to your best friend.
Health & Fitness
As I mentioned, I haven’t had a very consistent routine - including my fitness routine - to thrive on over the last few months. Not only had I been feeling pretty lethargic (I needed those endorphins to perk me up!), but I started to become really self conscious.
I started to settle back into a routine two weeks ago (bootcamp, hiking, yoga and rest days included), but last week, I had some blood pressure, blood volume and chronic stress medical issues that set me on bedrest for a day and resting most of the weekend.
But, I’m feeling healthy and ready to kick it back into gear. This week, I’ll be at bootcamp, yoga and the trails for a post-work evening hike.
Speaking of hiking…I’m the first to admit that I am quite a bit behind (9 hikes to be exact) on my 52 Hike Challenge - one of my 2018 goals. I’m still determined to make the goal, but if I don’t hit it, I will sure as hell enjoy the process and the way the challenge has gotten me outside like never before. Stay tuned…and let me know if you ever want to hike with me if you’re local! I’m always in need of company.
At the end of May, I traveled to Wisconsin for Memorial Day Weekend to spend time with (and meet!) Justin’s family. I admittedly had a hard bias against the Midwest state before visiting, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it. I could see myself living there (I say that before I see snow…). Everything was lush and green, and people were so friendly. Parts of Wisconsin were reminiscent of Nashville, and it made me “homesick.” Naturally, Justin’s family was so nice, and we spent the bulk of our trip hanging out at the house he grew up in, running through thunderstorms, playing board games, sifting through old photos and hanging out. It was a whirlwind (so many people!), but I loved it. I can’t wait to go back, honestly!
The following weekend, I headed out on a completely different day trip to Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California for a day of wine tasting with friends. The wine and conversation flowed all day. And between a lobster lunch and a dinner full of elevated tapas, we ate as well as we drank! It was an absolutely beautiful region of Mexico…and my first time driving past the border. I’ve already started to make a list of wineries I want to go to on a second trip!
This October, I had planned to go to Germany, but based on a variety of factors, the trip fell through. It’s been a few months since I decided against going, but I’m still bummed. It’s been my goal for the last 10 years to travel to Europe by the time I turned 25…and well, it’s another goal I’m missing. Yikes. But, I know at the end of the day, I’ll be able to go another time.
I am looking forward to two brief weekend trips to Muir Woods and Ojai that I have planned this fall, though!
What I’ve Read
I truly haven’t read much until the last week (where I finished two books), but I just got a giant stack from the library that I can’t wait to dig into. Here are the few books I’ve read, though:
Idaho - Emily Ruskovich
Marlena - Julie Buntin
Tell the Wolves I’m Home - Carol Rifka Brunt
Pure Hollywood - Christine Schutt
What I’ve Watched
I love background noise…and I’m fairly decent at multitasking, so I’ve consumed quite a bit of TV and a few movies in the last few months (namely in the last two weeks). Here are a few of my favorites:
Jane the Virgin - Season 4
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
What’s Coming Up
I have virtually zero planned for the remainder of September, and I’m so excited to rest and leisurely explore San Diego and work on projects around the house…and this blog!
In October, life gets a little crazy again, but in a good way. I’ll be celebrating my father’s birthday and retirement. I’ll also be celebrating my birthday (and a visit from my best friend/other half Emily). Near the end of October, I’ll be heading up to Northern California, and I already can’t wait.
So many exciting things in store!