With 2016 wrapping up, I naturally had to do one of these end-of-the-year reviews. Here are some highlights for me this past year:
Now to come up with new petty resolutions . .
Aw jees. I wish I could tell you I had something exciting to share, but the truth is that I have nothing.
I guess just a little bit of an update:
That's all I've got. I wish I could say I have a new adventure planned, but I don't.
Yesterday I ran my first half-marathon. This was a huge feat for me because I hate running. Truthfully, I've only had maybe two good days in my life where I can recall genuinely enjoying my run.
My running has gotten more bearable with the help of learning and practicing meditation - my college roommate once described running as purely mental for her, which I never understood. But as I delved deeper into the art of meditation and realized how much it helped to pace myself into my run and to develop a connection with my running as opposed to just doing it, I got better at it. I still struggle with it, and there are days where I have to take breaks because I'm just not into it. But I'm getting better at coaching myself through my runs. It feels good to take this first step towards redefining my relationship with something I dreaded.
One my then co-workers was scheduled to work this past weekend and didn't want her bib number to go to waste. She's one of my biggest running inspirations because she's a mother of three, works the night shift, and still has somehow found a way to run the Boston Marathon three times on top of running a couple of other half marathons. Those kinds of people amaze me. I worked two nights in the hospital and just had myself to care for, and I could barely manage to get myself to the gym three days a week! The fact that she accomplished so much amongst managing her other responsibilities made me really want to step my game up.
So when she asked if I wanted to take her number, I knew I'd regret saying no. It was definitely nerve-racking, and I barely got any sleep the night before. I was still anxious going into the third mile but eventually found my groove and finished despite the rain and aching knees.
You don't have to run fast, you just have to run.
My uncle got married this past Memorial Day! Some pictures are finally up.
I'm an only child. But growing up with Tam as my uncle never made me feel like an only child. Sometimes I feel blessed with the best life because I can be an only child when I feel like it, and have "siblings" when I don't, 0:). In other words, he was essentially an older brother to me growing up, making sure I never got bullied by kids in school, picking me up from tennis practices, and giving me money for Wendy's when I wanted a frosty in the summer. It's a big deal because I was the maid of honor and I couldn't believe he was getting married. I felt like I was giving my older brother away to someone else. But here are some pictures of the beautiful bridge and groom. Oh, and of course, the adorable ring boy and flower girl (who fell asleep when it was time to present the ring). Enjoy!
Had my camera in Worcester yesterday and went back to retrieve it. Ended up going to Dairy Queen with my family and snapping some photos. Random but so cute! I love my baby cousins. Oh, and the salad . . well, bacon and arugula are two of my favorite foods. Was so perfect I couldn't resist!
I finally learned how to swim (basically)!
I've been taking adult swim lessons for beginners for the past month or so. I'd never been taught how to swim as a child and my fear of being in water started with drowning in the deep twice. I'd never cared much for learning how to swim until recently when Mike and I went to Mexico. I was grateful for the lifejacket that allowed me to snorkel the cenotes there, but realized how much more enjoyable my life would be if I'd just learned how to swim especially when I travel.
I enrolled in classes and today was the first day I jumped into the deep end of a pool without drowning. I'm 23 and finally feel pretty comfortable in the water. I've decided to sign up for a gym with a pool so I can keep practicing. I'm sure I'll still be drinking water here and there but I'm so proud of myself for taking the jump (literally) and doing something I've been so scared of.
I recently finished reading The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. Before I wanted to be a nurse, I wanted to be an architect. I remember going over my best friend's house in middle school and looking at her dad's floor plans for construction sites he was working on. The lines and maps fascinated me, and growing up, I loved drawing lines. I hated drawing people, but I loved drawing lines, buildings, streets, and landscapes that required a lot of lines! While a little over my head during some parts, Botton draws on our relationship with our surroundings - our reactions to our environment and how the environment is sculpted in response to mankind and its needs and times. Below are a few of my favorite lines:
The last quote is certainly my favorite. These quotes, in congruence with having just finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, really made me appreciate the value of my environment and the things that I own. I've always liked decorating for as long as I've known - don't we all? When you had a room as a kid, what posters did you put up? And then your locker in middle school? Were you one of those people who had cut-outs of a magazine pasted all over the inside? If you weren't, I'm sure you decorated your dorm room in college. We all want our space to be a testament to the person we are. We all want our personal belongings to be reflective of the person we aspire to be.
These books really made me reflect on my journey on my personal space.
I decorated my rooms like crazy from childhood throughout college. Not only was it fun, but it allowed me to be in a space that was purely my own. Marie Kondo challenges the reader to imagine how delightful it must be to be in a room filled only with items that bring you joy. Now that I'm older and have moved into a small, one bedroom condo apartment with my boyfriend, I realize how necessary and mature it is to declutter and have the balls to let things go. I'm a sap, so I hoard everything. I used to keep old birthday cards, pictures, random trinkets and etc., but I now realize that objects contain emotional value and once you inherit that emotional value, there's no need to physically hold onto it anymore. Do you see the interplay? Botton says that when we see something beautiful or enticing, something that appeals to us, our natural reaction is to want to own it. Really, though, you pay such little respect to that object by merely owning it or buying it. You could be doing yourself, and the object, a much bigger favor by appreciating its merit and absorbing its true character. The short of it is, you don't need to keep things around. So once you've owned it, let it go. And I don't mean own by buy and keep. I mean own it, breathe it, feel it, understand it. You don't need a physical, tangible being to remind you of the type of person you are. Those qualities have been, in essence, mastered. And you don't need the object to show it to you.
I had a friend who was part of a really great dance team one time. He felt honored to be dancing alongside one of the best in the game, but the dance team was also ginormous and so he figured the director didn't recognize or remember him. That director, Pharside of Academy of Villains, came to Boston one weekend for World of Dance Boston, a huge dance competition. During intermission people had the chance to line up for autographs. My friend got in line in hopes of getting a signature from Pharside, only to be surprised that he wouldn't give him one. No way was he going to sign my friend's hat. And why? "You don't need my signature man, get out of here." Okay, maybe he didn't say those exact words (I can't remember them to be honest). But that was the gist of it. He didn't need this man's signature to prove he had danced with him because he had that experience for himself, it happened, and he didn't need it in writing.
So back to the idea of the value of the things you own. Think of your favorite t-shirt. Why'd you buy it? The wallpaper on your phone. Why'd you choose it? Pretty common sense, but the items we choose are the characteristics we hope to embody one day. You can learn a lot about a person based on the clothes they choose to wear. The things we buy in stores and the things we crave to have on social media are things we think we need to live a happy life. We get them to make us feel a certain way. The relationship you have with something before you even buy it, to me, is astonishing, powerful, and fascinating.
Pay attention to the things that ring with you, because whatever stirs a reaction out of you is telling you something about yourself in one way or the other.
Just food for thought, as I'm growing older and starting to appreciate all the little things in my life a little more. Now to deep clean the house before our new couch arrives next Monday . .
I finally purchased my first Wacom tablet. I am so in love with its features. The best part about it is how much it cuts down on vectorizing time. I wanted to sketch my stationary before, scan it, transfer it, vectorize it, and print it. When I realized how long vectorizing took, my production took a back seat for a long time. I was sick of purchasing tools and materials only to find out that my progress was still stagnant. It's only my second day with this beauty, though, and I really do think this will change how I produce my work and what styles I can put forth. Can't wait to put these babies on card stock!
The inspiration behind today's piece is the realization that it's been a little over a year since Mike and I started dating. We joked around in the beginning saying that in a year, we'd stop texting each other every five seconds and wouldn't be as excited anymore. It's been a year, but I am happy to announce we do not hate each other yet and how sweet it is to be loved be you.