MIMM: On Turning 25 and Getting Back In The Saddle

If you read this on May 12, then it is my birthday!! 25 and cue the quarter life crisis. I’ve had many a ramble on this here Internet space about turning 25 and “OMG MY LIFE ISN’T WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS AHH” and “all my friends have their lives together and I don’t!!!” 22-24 was totally fine, but 25 just seems like a different playing field, overall just different. 25 still freaks me out. I’m halfway through my twenties! Eek! Most of my life I’ve felt the number or stage didn’t reflect where I was. I remember doing a free write in high school creative writing class rambling that I couldn’t believe I was a senior. The seniors before me had been so old! They were so mature!  I didn’t feel I looked like they did, knew what they did, or were as cool/sophisticated (ha) as they were. How was I in their position so quickly? I felt being a high school senior was sprung upon me and I hadn’t met any requirements to prove I was ready yet no one had noticed and just made me play the part of one anyway.

I’m feeling okay about 25 (for now). Meanwhile my parents are freaking out more with every passing day. On Easter my dad leaned in to me at church and whispered, “You’re going to be 25 in less than a month. Are you ever planning on getting married? Will I ever walk you down this [church] aisle?” and every time my mom calls lately she asks if I’m “even trying” to get a boyfriend. Now I just roll my eyes and try to shrug it off at how they value 25. I’m a lot happier than I was on my 24th birthday, so that’s what I am using as my measuring stick. Life is long (hopefully) and now I just stick to what’s meant to happen will happen but am finally accepting I likely have to leave my house more for things to actually happen. 😉

Remember my spin class last year? Horrible memories…me being convinced I would die while standing up and spinning so I took off all of my resistance like a genius. Then I woke up the next day and could barely move. Good times! I still think spinning is a work-out I would like, but I’ve been too intimidated, haha. Rev Cycle Studio opened a mile from my house with Bmore’s top cycle instructors and people have the best things to say about it. I would be like “yeah, yeah, i want to go and try it!” and I honestly meant it but was scared. But luckily Rev dropped a great opportunity right at my feet. A beginners class. Free. Saturday afternoon. Boom. They took away every excuse I could think of. I pulled my usual stunt and booked my bike and picked the dead last row in the corner. I got there and they told me there were 10 people in the class so I could move up a few rows. I still wasn’t sure, but with 10 people in the class it would be uber weird to be by myself in the back corner, haha. A handful of staff and instructors showed up and helped us set up our Schwinn bikes. This was fantastic, since there were so few attendees each staff member could spend time with you explaining everything.

There were ultimately two instructors, Jim and Janet. Janet is a triathlete, and Jim is an accomplished cyclist. At the beginning of the class, Jim explained how to position your body on the bike. Janet primarily lead the class and Jim went around checking on everybody. I remember in the middle of the class thinking “Good God, these two are so kick-ass.” They were so awesome and it was such a great experience for beginners. We did a few climbs and .. guess what .. it was still hard but I managed it much better! I think the Schwinn bike made all the difference. I could see what gear I was at, how far I had gone, calories burned, RPM, etc. Seeing the gear number really helped me for the climbs. Still don’t like the climbs, but I can get through them more easily. I just really like the sitting down part, no surprise there. I still struggled a bit with adjusting my body to the bike. I told Jim (well if we’re being specific, I gasped and panted) that my shoulders hurt and was this normal or was I just being extra wussy? He explained it and helped, but I understand it will still take a few more rides. I walked there and back since it’s only a mile which was great until a thunderstorm rolled in when I was a half a mile from my house with a hoodless jacket. So bad at checking the weather. I sprinted the last few blocks home and my sunglasses fell out of my pocket somewhere which is sad. Anyway…it was marvelous and I am so glad I went! So if you are a Bmore resident who happens to read blogs and haven’t gone yet, go! I’m sure you will be better than I.

I took the day off from work and I’ll probably go back to Rev for a barre class in the morning, then grocery shop, food prep and do laundry. I’m just so crazy. I’ll send you a postcard from the wild side. My mom asked what she could get me for my birthday and I said “protein powder.” Oh how times have changed, haha. I’ll probably go to my favorite bar, get drunk and then ramble about being 25 over a big plate of nachos.

Thanks to Katie for hosting the link-up!

 

Thinking about this makes me understand why I got a B in Philosophy class

Something that I can’t ever wrap my head around is fate. This has especially been fascinating to me over the last year, as I’ve applied to jobs all over the country, and waited anxiously to see how my life would unfold and work out post-college. I’m only a few steps onto this current path, but for some reason, the other day I was thinking about the other ways it could have worked out. For example, I wondered about the other job offer, the one I didn’t take. The job in a different city, that was laid out on the table at the same time as my other sort-of job offer (read about that here). I didn’t know anyone in that city. Who would I have lived with? Craigslist strangers most likely. Would my house be even half as nice as it is here? Probably not, but the rent would probably be the same. Who would my friends be, especially if I didn’t get along with my roommates? What would life be like in that other city? I opted for the riskier path and it has paid off in dividends. I love my job and foresee a long future here. If I’d taken the other job, I probably wouldn’t love my job, but would my social life be better?

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I know pondering about it is pointless since I obviously live here and not there. It’s not as if I don’t love life here. I do. But it’s still just fun to imagine the road not taken. It blows my mind to think about how at this juncture in my life, I was not meant to be there. Maybe someday my life will take me to that other city, or any other city, but not now. Right now, I’m meant to be here, living in this city, with these  roommates, in this house.

It is especially amazing to me to think about my future husband and where his life was meant to take him. Obviously I fervently hope with everything that our life paths line up somewhere along this journey on Earth and we find each other. But right now, where is he? What is he doing? What’s next for him? Is he the next step for me, but I’m still a few steps away for him? God, I hope he’s in this city. I plan on staying here awhile and in May, I turn 24 years old! Family members are starting to mention to me their desire to attend a family wedding and they bemoan that I’m the best hope we have (isn’t that pathetic? Ha) It’s fun and a little bit scary to think about if he is in this city. Not to sound creepy, but where? HOW DO I GET TO YOU, FUTURE HUSBAND? Are you my neighbor? Do you work a few floors down from my office? Are you that guy I gave the fake name to at the bar because I was in a bad mood and I thought your game was terrible? Are you that guy that stood behind me in line at the ONLY open register at the grocery store and I couldn’t look at you because I was so embarrassed to be seen buying a plunger? (I swear, I realized I didn’t have one and wanted to get one before I desperately needed one. Think about needing a plunger and how awful it would be to not have one. THAT’S WHY! Make fun of me all you want, this story will never change, sweet future husband).

It’s just surreal to think that in a few minutes, when I leave work and walk toward the parking garage, my future husband could be walking toward me on the street and I might not even notice him, because I’m not meant to notice him for a few more weeks, months, *whimpers* maybe even years. At some point in my life, I could have been in line behind him at Subway or pumping gas across from him and at the moment, would have had NO idea that the guy I’d spend the rest of my life with was so near. Blows.my.freaking.mind.

Then, of course, there’s the rare thought of: “Am I screwing up this fate thing somehow?” Like, that one night in October, when I had no income, and turned down a night out at the bar with my roommates because I didn’t have money. What if he had happened to be there? What if that was supposed to be THE night I met my future husband and I screwed up and wasn’t there? But then, I reason with myself, that’s not how fate works. I was meant to turn that down. Wasn’t I? Ugh. This is why I don’t think too hard or too frequently about this. It makes my head hurt and stresses me out.

If you read this post and are terrified of me, fear not. This post is the dialogue from my head put to blog-post. I’m not a psycho. I don’t think every guy I pass by or meet is my future husband. I’m not trying to get married this year. I’m just reflecting on my life journey and thinking too hard at the moment about how exactly it’ll work out. I am that girl who always asks married couples that I’m friendly with “How did you two meet?” This is because their story is always unique and I’m amazed at how two peoples’ lives just line up at the precisely perfect moment, they meet, and from then on, their paths are intertwined forever.

Does anyone else think about stuff like this, or is it mainly reserved for bored, hopeless romantics like me?

Also…is anyone else completely blown away that it’s (very nearly) MARCH?! I’ve been praying winter would be over, but suddenly we’re in March and I’m confused and panicked about it. Time goes so fast!

Aloha to My First Aloha Friday!!

thatfridaybloghop

Serial Grocery Store Dater

Attempting to get up earlier each morning so eventually I can begin running before work is not going well. Why did I wait until this week to put my flannel sheets on my bed? They are sooo comfortable. Can anyone tell me why it takes at least 45 minutes to an hour for me to fall asleep because I’m hot (and when I’m hot I can’t sleep) and just cannot get comfortable, but when my alarm goes off, suddenly I am the most comfortable person in the world and I’m cold and I just cannot get up out of bed when I’m cold and feel so comfortable? So screwed up. I read that when you fall back asleep for a few more minutes, it does not help at all so even though I am armed with that knowledge, I just love to lay in bed and not get up ever. Flannel sheets for the freaking win. I actually hit “snooze” for an hour Tuesday morning. I sure can do whatever I put my mind to 😉 Yesterday we were supposed to get snow around 7 & snow, coupled with my fear of driving, is the best motivation to get me out of bed. I want to get to work before any snow.

My stunning work lunches have been put on a halt all week since I have been unable to get out of bed early enough to go to grocery store. The lettuce from last weeks attempts has browned so I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast and lunch again. I did however pull myself out of bed yesterday morning and go to the grocery store so today produced a breakfast and lunch that I was fervently hoping would become staples.

Is this strange…I have three grocery stores I shop at. They’re all different chains, ha.

1) The grocery store down the street from work. It’s so easy to drive to and just convenient for when I really need groceries, but didn’t get up quite early enough to go to #1 or #2.. They also have the hummus I like.

2) A grocery store 3 minutes from my house. I like their lean cuisine / smart choice / healthy choice frozen selection best. This is where I get my lettuce. This is the store I went to yesterday morning.

3) A grocery store 5 minutes from my house (just down the road from #2, actually) that I went to this morning. Here is my favorite place to get my strawberries, apples, grapes and carrots for my salad and hummus. They also have a good frozen dinner selection.

Is it strange going to multiple grocery stores? Do a lot of people do this? I feel like I’m on The Bachelorette….I have a different connection with each store, they’re all so special to me, but all offer something different. 

Courtney at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life and many other food bloggers I stalk, always seem to have yogurt bowls for breakfast or a snack. So what if they all use Greek yogurt? I like regular yogurt, surely Greek yogurt won’t be a problem.Come to think of it, most people seem to eat Greek yogurt. My roommate Dana can’t get enough of it. I will totes like it. So yesterday I bought a big thing of Chobani vanilla yogurt.

Here is my yogurt bowl:

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Yeah, I got overzealous and there’s a lot in there. This breakfast is perfect because I bought SO much granola when I was making my fruit & granola concoction. So I dumped in there vanilla Chobani, granola, strawberries, and a little hint of ground cinnamon. Greek yogurt is…different. I don’t think I hate it, I think it’ll take some getting used to. I don’t know what’s different, but it is somehow. Whenever I look down at it I think of sour cream, which skeeves me out since I hate sour cream. I need to stop thinking of it as sour cream.

This is my salad.

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I totally and completely gave up on the idea of making my own salad dressing. So I bought Newman’s own lite honey mustard since it appeared to be the healthiest. I like this dressing so far. However, I repeated my past mistake and drizzled the salad dressing on the night  before. My lettuce was all stuck together and a little wilted. Also in the salad is cut-up string cheese and sliced almonds.

Happy Valentines Day! I hate this holiday.

Here’s a beautiful love story regardless: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/liveblog/wp/2013/02/07/when-bill-met-shelley-no-disability-could-keep-them-apart/

 

 

Aloha to My First Aloha Friday!!

Here We Go, 2013! Resolutions.

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I’ve never been one for resolutions mainly because I either forget them or lack the willpower & dedication to actually go through with them. But 2013 is going to be my year. I turn 24 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So gross) in the spring and I need/want things to get going. So to keep me honest and also so I don’t forget, here are my resolutions.

 

Work:

-Get a raise once I’m eligible for it in November. I NEED a raise. My pay is pathetic. It’s the price of doing what you love, I guess.

Engage .  I want to make “work friends” in 2013. I also want to become as knowledgeable as I can about the work we do and not be so afraid to speak up in our department meetings. I have good ideas & I want to share them.

 

Health:

-Learn how to cook, dammit.

-Lose 20 pounds.

-Develop better eating habits. I am a compulsive snacker & don’t like to eat in front of people. When I’m alone in my room, I eat A LOT even though as I’m putting food to mouth, I’m aware that I really am not hungry.

-Figure out a way to get fit. I want to make this work, but in all my research I’ve done so far, the gyms in my area are either A) sketchy and not in a safe area or B) out of my budget. I’m not sure I’d feel safe running alone with my I-pod either. I might just have to resort to Youtube videos, buy some weights and make it work on my own.

 

Money:

-Figure out a budget.

-Only buy cheap books for the Kindle unless I have a gift card. Since June, I have spent way too much money buying books for my Kindle. College did a good job of keeping this at bay since I’d have classes and internships all day, then homework, studying, meetings all at night. Now, I come home from work and read all night. During the weekends, I spend all day reading and since I’m a fast reader, I blitz through 3-5 books a week. A full year of coming home and reading all night has an extremely good chance of getting out of control so I need to rein this in.

-Start paying for my cell phone. My mom & dad, knowing how dire my financial situation was, have been oh so generous but now I need to start doing grown-up things like this.

-Get my car registered in my new state & switch my license. This is pricey.

 

Social:

-Be more social. A few times since moving here, I’ve turned down going somewhere because I either: didn’t feel like it, was in the middle of my book, or thought going out would be a pointless expense that I could do without. I need to find the middle ground here.

-Stop relying on other people to make the plans. I’ve never, ever been a good planner. I always feel so responsible and worry that people think my plan/idea sucks, is stupid, or won’t be fun so I let others make the plans and just drift along.

 

(More) Personal:

-NOT BE SO DAMN MESSY. I need to figure out a cleaning schedule because my room and bathroom always look like a tornado hit. As dumb as it sounds, I need to learn how to clean. I just Chlorox Wipe everything usually. I want to be efficient at it.

-Become more organized at home and at work.

-Work on not being so freaking paranoid about driving and learn how to put air in my tires. One of my biggest fears of driving is getting a flat tire / blowing out my tire & flipping my car. This is somewhat ridiculous as my car shows me the “low tire pressure” icon-thing so if I learn how to put air in my tire, that alleviates that problem.

-Send snail mail more, like “happy birthday”, “thinking of you” or like “happy valentines day!” type cards. Today we’re so digital. How nice it would be to get a handwritten card?

-Start going back to church. My Catholic faith was so important to me growing up. I considered being a nun in 5th grade. In college, it slipped away. Now, I don’t go to church anymore (I still don’t know all of the new Missal translation, I know maybe 20% of it). This is due to laziness and not knowing where a good church is. I want to walk there, as again, I hate driving and parking lots. I ask God for a lot – and often don’t thank Him. I curse at God a lot. I don’t trust God enough and bemoan how awful my life journey is going, and if this is God’s plan, he better start paying more attention. I think going back to church will make me happier and more at peace.

-Not carry around so much resentment and so much bitterness. I KNOW it’s not healthy & weighs me down. I need to let things go and not get so bothered.

-Fall in love for the first time. With a normal, nice boy. I know this really isn’t up to me, it’s more “fate”, but I’d like it a lot if this could happen 😉

Holy cow, 2013 is going to be nuts. I have a lot to work on, but I’m determined to make 2013 my year. I love reading other peoples resolutions so if you wrote a post about it, comment with a link!

 

Wishing you all the best in 2013,

Caitlyn 🙂

Root Of All Heartache

I’m 23 ½ . I always said I wanted to be married at 27, first baby at 29 or 30. I would like to date my sweetheart for at least a year and a half.  I haven’t had a serious boyfriend ever, so how realistic is that the first guy I fall in love with will be the one I swap vows with?

The Shakespeare quote rings in my head: “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

And I get it. I know I need to stop worrying and let my life unfold as it should. It’s unfolded so beautifully since graduation in May. Why am I so distrusting and so anxious now? I asked for a good city, a nice enough home, good roommates, and a good job. And I received. Now I can’t just sit back and enjoy and let my life’s story continue on as it should, with the pitfalls and the blessings?

I know I need to stop getting caught up in the numbers. But I come from a town where all the girls got married at 26-27. My neighbor who got married at 34 was the subject of such cruel speculation. Even now, when I go home, I’m fending off questions about how far away a wedding is.

“I haven’t said ‘I love you’ to a guy yet, it’s pretty far off, Mrs. L.”

“But you don’t live in your town anymore…” you might say. But I have a mom who will be asked, and will relay to me, “You know, Caitlyn, I saw Mrs. H in Acme today, and she was asking all about you, and wants to know…and I want to know too. I mean, come on! Lower your standards.”

I know my standards are high. I know that no guy is perfect. I know I am not perfect. I know I have a grocery list of flaws and I know my own husband will have many flaws. I welcome that.

But it’s not my standards, I fear, that’s keeping guys away. It’s me. It’s also fate’s plan for me. I’m still figuring out myself. I need to learn how to be me and I’ve never made that a priority before. I need to learn more of who I am. I need to be happier with myself. I need to gain more confidence. I need to lose 10 pounds.

I want to learn how to be a grown-up. How to do taxes. How to cook.  How to clean my bathroom and those tricky surfaces. How to budget. That may sound stupid. But these are things that I want to learn how to do. I can certainly do them with a guy by my side but for now, I think it’s fine to be on my own and get to know myself better for a few months.

But as, I tell myself things like this: “You’re on your own, doing you, and it’s fine to be single now” I keep waking up every day and age 24 is inching closer and closer. 24! That’s an age no one associates with college. That seems like such a daunting, grown-up age. It’s so close to 25…a quarter of a century old. I think about getting another year older and I throw my “It’s fine to be single now” mantra out the window and ridicule myself for thinking it is okay.

To be in a long, happy, successful marriage is what I want more than anything. And to think that I might not ever find it is a crippling thought. I’m relenting on the “Bride at 27” thing. I think 28-30 would be fine to get married at.

So I guess my big worry, and why I’m rambling so incoherently, is that I’m getting worried that it’ll never happen. That I’ll never find him whom my soul loves. That it’s taking too long.

This is one of those things “I know I need to stop thinking about it, and let it happen”, but as I’m seeing it happen for everyone else around me is making me obsess and squirm.

Any advice?