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Showing posts from 2013

Going Out with a Bang

BAM. Right now, I have officially blogged more in 2013 than I have when the blog was born in 2009. 54 posts of pure and unfiltered honesty. Sadness, Hopes, Dreams, Self-Doubt, Resilience, Vulnerability, Self-Confidence, and Introspection. THAT is an accomplishment.

What a crazy year.

Taking my friend's advice I found the perfect way to enter the new year "the best version of myself." On NYE I'll be painting a bursting champagne bottle in a BYOB art class. I hope it is paint by numbers for adults. I'm pretty excited because I'm an artist with words not actual paint. But everyone's photos of paintings from this studio look alike, so they make you think "anyone can do it." Way to set the tone for a creative year ahead. :-) I actually had trouble sleeping a few nights ago and checked my phone. Saw an ad for the class on Facebook. I kept telling everyone that if they offered a NYE class I'd do it in a heartbeat. Bought my seat at 2:30am.

Now jus…

A Year In "To Do"

I like to end 2013 with a "Year in Review" post, but I'm going to do something different this year. Instead of looking back with a nostalgic mind, musing of how far I've come, what I've learned, what I have accomplished....I would much rather look ahead. So for the first time, I'm completing a "Year in To Do" and listing the things I WILL accomplish or do in 2014. This isn't a list of resolutions, this is an actual list of things that will go down next year.

2014: A Year In "To-Do"  1. Detox Week I'm not going to be bold and say I'm going to lose x amount of pounds this year or fit in x garment by summer. Instead, from January 2nd-January 9th I will be undergoing a raw food cleanse. That is a fancy way of saying that for one week I will have 3 servings of fresh fruit each day and unlimited servings of vegetables. I will drink water and decaffeinated tea. Midway through the week I'll indulge in a serving of protein. The goal …

December Rumi

I have a million thoughts but not enough time to write them down. So I will post this for now.

MY WORST HABIT
My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I am with.

If you are not here, nothing grows.
I lack clarity. My words tangle and knot up.

How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.
How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.

When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,
dig a way out through the bottom to the ocean.
There is a secret medicine given only to those
who hurt so hard they cannot hope.

The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.

Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you,
or coming back towards you.

- Rumi

Until next time...

As Not Good As It Gets, I Hope

A wise friend told me she enters every New Year being the best version of herself. Instead of going out drinking and kissing strangers, she rings in midnight and the new year by doing something good and productive for herself. She said it sets the tone for the year ahead.

My friend was right.

This year, I rang in the New Year in a hot yoga studio with 60 other people, willing myself not to pass out. Then I shared a tofu stir fry with said 60 other people. I didn't know a soul and for some reason, I still kind of felt a little drunk as I walked back to my apartment at 12:30am, sipping ever so slightly on champagne from a coffee mug.

Doing Bikram's Countdown to Midnight's class was probably one of the best decisions I've made for 2013 has been a truly epic year. Like any year, it has had its ups and downs...but I recall a lot more ups. My heart has been on a roller coaster ride. I got to travel more. I went out more with friends and even by myself.

I don't want to m…

12 Random Idiosyncrasies of Mine

I felt like making a listical...aka a list of items under a common theme. I guess I'm inspired by Thought Catalog (they still won't accept any of my work) and Facebook because everyone has been playing that like-my-status-I-give-you-a-number-game where you write up a number of random factoids about yourself based on the number you got for liking someone else's factoids.

I digress.

1. I prefer the taller/thicker straws at Starbucks and Dunkin Ds for my ice coffee. As in, I get really bummed if I'm stuck with a short skinny (normal size) straw.

2. When eating Cheese Crunch Wheat Thins, I deliberately search for the crackers that have the most cheese powder on them and eat them first. I think I also pick out the cheese crackers in cheese flavored Chex Mix and eat them first as well. I'm weird.

3. If I'm flipping through channels and a Harry Potter movie is on, doesn't matter what I'm doing, I will stop and watch it through the ending EVERY SINGLE TIME.

4. …

I'm Not Rational When You Wake Me Up From Deep Slumber

After a truly great weekend of chores, errands, fitness, cooking and a little bit of creative writing work...I went to bed pretty tuckered out. At first I thought my mind would go 1,000 mph, as it usually does on Sunday nights before the work week ahead but after a half hour or so I was out and in dreamland.

A few hours later I heard rapid knocking. It was one of those things where the outside noise is part of your dream until you actually wake up and realize the noise is real. After a minute of knocking, I woke up and realized it was coming from the hallway outside my apartment door. I listened carefully and heard someone whisper my name.

The girl that lives below me locks herself out all of the time. I figured she might be trying to wake me up to use my phone or tools or something to get back in her place. So, I unlocked my door and opened it. Outside the apartment across from mine stood, not the girl from downstairs but a kind of cute, tall guy about my age.

"Hey, I'm sorr…

Quitting

It started with a Groupon.

I bought 10 kickboxing classes for $15 or $20. The classes were held at Amerikick South Philly on Synder Ave.In my very first class I had to do 50 jumping jacks in the warm up. I was so proud of myself that I could keep in step with the the instructor. Many classes made me want to vomit and since my name is pretty unique, the instructor called me out all the time. Mary Anna, those aren't high knees! Mary Anna, put your butt down in that push up! Mary Anna, keep up! I seriously wanted to change my  name by the end of it. However, despite the fact that this energetic Vietnamese kid who tested our limits weekly was screaming at me, I loved it and I fell in love with kickboxing.

My Groupon expired and I found another deal and signed up for that. Being cheap, this was my way of cheating the system. The owner of Americks was kind of annoyed. He redeemed my voucher but called the master company to cancel all future Groupons. My instructor would be leaving in a…

Rejection

I'm sitting on the EL, ice coffee in hand. I'm having a sneezing fit and wondering if I'm coming down with a cold or if I'm having an adverse allergic reaction to the rapid weather changes we've been going through these past few weeks. I'm tired, feeling quite run down by my demanding work/school schedule and I'm also dreading the day ahead. My bus was late and cramped and even though I got to see my friend Sarah on my bus (a sign that it will be a good day), I have my doubts. I would be working 9am-7pm. I have a boatload of assessments and service plans (social work stuff) to complete. Also, tonight marks my last night of kickboxing for awhile...a decision I know is necessary due to time constraints but also disheartening because I feel like a quitter.

I grab my phone and check some e-mails. The telecommute job I applied for earlier in the week has emailed me. Wow, they got back to me quickly.

As much as they enjoyed reading my application and writing samp…

It Started Innocently Enough....

It all started with a silly e-card that I took a screenshot of and sent to three of my best friends. 
One friend immediately replied "I'm Sophia!" and that was that. So I thought about Blanche, Rose, and Dorothy and pondered as to which Golden Girl am I most like? Now, the friends I sent this to would certainty overlap in types. We'd have two Dorothys, two Sophias and a Blanche/Rose mix. So in the context of my friend who claimed Sophia, I thought....which one am I?

I thought this musing would pass and I'd get distracted by the newest viral cat video or God forbid, actual work...but it didn't. I continued to analyze the characters I grew up watching (mainly on Lifetime) and decide which Golden Girl most accurately represents who I am.

My first thought was Dorothy. See, she's very smart, snarky, sarcastic and very to the point. She has awful luck in the love department and comes off as strong and resilient. However, with these attributes comes her horribl…

We Wouldn't Appreciate The Sunshine if It Wasn't for the Rain

Do you ever get emotional whiplash? For example, one day is horrible and makes you question yourself and your tolerance for such awful conditions. The very next day, everything turns around and you appreciate the good fortune even more than before. That old saying goes, "we couldn't appreciate the sunshine if it wasn't for the rain." I suppose that is a very accurate statement.

This Monday was one of the worst days I have had in a long time. I started the day, tired, and with a dentist appointment! I had a procedure done at the ripe time of 9am. Then my dentist tells me I have to eat soft, non-chewy foods for the next 24 hours. I had to work until 7:30 and the foods I brought to last through the day were on her "do not eat list." An easy problem to remedy but I was distraught and it stressed me out. The worst part is I was SICK. Nothing like having your mouth mauled by metal objects at 9am when you are SICK. It was awful.

On my way to work I stopped at the…

I don't know whether my life is made up of...

....a series of unfortunate events or a series of questionable decisions.


Maybe it is a bit of both.

The past week or so has been riddled with questionable choices and epic adventures. For example, one week ago I decided to run a 5K for shits and giggles. I registered for a "fun run" and stretched a little. I ran the race, came in dead last and spent the day drinking "free" beer out of a glass beer boot. I made new friends, I networked, I had a pretty awesome time. All. By. Myself.

Of course I indulged in the "free" beer a bit too much, ordered enough McDonalds to feed India, ordered pizza oh...and I fell off a SEPTA bus. I'm pretty sure I would have done the falling part even if I hadn't been drinking. Falling off the bus led to a torn LCL. McDonalds gorge led to Mighty Wing bits littering my comforter. Fast food binge led to guilt and shame. Actually, I think the whole experience made a great story but led to guilt and shame. I made up for it on…

I "want" To Believe in Vitamins

It looks as if I'm going to do some extreme fitness thing every weekend. I did some biking two weekends ago and this weekend I ran a 5K just for the hell of it. Actually, I walked and wheezed through most of it but I still finished at my usual time. I think it is because I'm chronically late to everything so I know how to hustle and power walk my way to destinations.

Perhaps I'll do Bikram Yoga this weekend. Not something I haven't done before but in terms of near death experiences, I can't get much closer than Bikram Yoga. By minute 42 I'm seeing stars, focusing on my mat and thinking "don't pass out you wimp." We'll see what happens. It is also laundry weekend and I consider my eight block hike to the "mat" exercise as well.

Lately I've been writing a lot in an effort to get stuff published and start a recognizable byline trail. I got tired of seeing my cohorts succeed in securing internships, getting published and generally do…

Please World, Stop Spinning...I'm Going to Throw Up

Today I almost got hit by a car. I looked left, saw the cars stopped at the light and began to cross. The dark grey Honda seemed to come out of nowhere. It was stopped at the intersection when I last saw it. How much time had passed from my initial street crossing look to the moment I stepped out into the street? Upon seeing the car I stopped, wide eyed, held my hand up in an apology and hastily retreated back to the sidewalk. Embarrassing.

Lately I've noticed life is becoming a bit more difficult for reasons I do not understand. Now instead of insomnia, I have a newfound habit of waking at exactly 5am every morning....going to the bathroom, and then returning to bed in an attempt to grasp an addition 2.5 hours of sleep. This new habit disrupts the second sleep cycle and before I know it I wake up exhausted.

Getting dressed takes effort. Sometimes I have to sit or even lay back down on the bed for a minute to gain the physical and emotional strength it takes to get ready for the …

When Your "Relevant Experience" Expires

Four years ago I sat in Phi Beta Kappa hall at the College of William and Mary, wondering what in the hell I was going to do with my life (and expensive degree) when I was supposed to be taking line notes for a play (I was an assistant stage manager). I Googled "Catholic Volunteer Programs," found a few, applied and then after graduation moved to Pennsylvania to live with nuns for a year and be a social worker.

Today I sit in a similar boat. I'm at my social work job, thinking about my upcoming May graduation from Temple University's Masters of Journalism program. I think about how I'm entering a changing and at times dying field. I think about how the last time I freelanced was in the early 2000s and no one cares if I was a freelance reporter for my local bi-weekly newspaper during high school.

My HTML CSS3 skills are novice at best. I'm only somewhat familiar with Search Engine Optimization. And now I think I'm falling in love with magazine writing...an…

When You Just Want To Give Up

The problem with being Little Miss Sunshine is when you're going through an emotional roller coaster or feel pressure from your obligations as a human being, you generate a lot of attention for having a dark and stormy day/week/month. Everyone inquires "What is wrong?" "Why do you seem so down?" "Are you ok?"

The concern is nice, but tends to be overwhelming. Especially when generated by your superiors in a professional environment. What is supposed to be genuine concern comes off as some sort of self-fear inadequacy. Today my boss did a friendly check-in with me, noticing my demanor was a little down and wanted to make sure everything is all right. I should feel happy that I have a boss that actually cares about how I'm feeling. Instead I immediatly felt somewhat defensive replying, "I am very overwhelmed right now but I am working through it. At least my work and productivity is not suffering and assignments and tasks are being completed on…

Breaking My Silence on Syria

After watching "Orange is the New Black.," my new guilty pleasure, I decided to check the news. I quickly regretted that decision. As a journalism student, I check the news everyday to see what is going on in the world or rather, what is being reported about. Of course we all know the hot button topic of the month/year is Syria.

CNN, God love them, posted videos of chemical attack victims. They did their part by stating "view discretion advised" and "Graphic content warning." Viewers/Newsreaders had the CHOICE to click "play" and view the graphic content.

I always hit play. I have a very morbid curiosity and I can handle graphic content quite well. So I did. Yes, it was horrific. You see people foaming at the mouth, lifeless bodies of Syrian children, people having horrible reactions to the chemical attack which lets face it at this point, definitely happened. They haven't officially confirmed what party was responsible but it went down, a…

Adventures of the Morning Commute

Most days my morning commute to work is quiet without incident. I usually have my routine of the elderly lady that loves to talk to me at the bus stop, panhandlers on SEPTA and the occasional "I got hit on at 8:30am story." I was hoping after using my last Dunkin Donuts coupon for August that me and my latte would have a quiet venture into work. The Market-Frankford EL proved to be quiet and uneventful. But that all changed when I reached my stop.

I'm pretty tired and very lazy in the morning. So when I depart the EL, I like to look out for the trolley that literally carries my lazy ass about three blocks from work. I get to work faster, I don't arrive a sweaty mess and I get to just sit for a minute. However, the trolley is typically full of characters for it services a stop which is near a methodone clinic. Ergo, I usually can't ride the trolley without an incident.

I got off the EL this morning and was so happy to see the trolley parked and letting on passeng…

A Year Older But Probably Not So Wiser

MA's epic birthday weekend was a success. I've yet to have a bad birthday in Philadelphia (not that I want one). Every year I do something different with a new group of friends. I sort of copied off of my plans from last year but it turned out to be pretty spectacular.

I started off birthday morning by biking to a free yoga class near my work neighborhood. I signed a wavier to allow me to participate and told everyone it was my birthday. haha The Yogis were excited for me. After that I biked to kickboxing and then to Reading Terminal for some watermelon and fresh squeezed orange juice. By the time I got back to my apartment, I was exhausted and it wasn't even 12pm yet. I will say this, while biking around the city, people talk to you a lot. They ask you where they can find coffee shops, or yoga places, or just say good morning. It is very interesting.

So after the epic triple threat workout, I got a shower and took a birthday nap. Around 4pm, I went to pick up my best fri…

That Icky Sicky Feeling

Right off the heels of one of the most fun weekends I've had in awhile, my body has decided it wants to shut down. It is like my body is saying "You had too much fun. Time to die."

Not really die, just be incapacitated for a few days.

Friday night I saw Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20 in concert in New Jersey and it was amazing! It was an epic concert with some great people. I loved every minute of it. I then crashed on my friend's couch, woke up, and we went to graduation dinner which consisted of all you can eat, all you can drink, Brazilian Steakhouse style food. I ate my fill of meats, meats, and drank unlimited alcohol. It was pretty epic! I had a blast. Saturday night I returned to my humble abode where I watched Netflix and digested all the protein I consumed.

When I woke on Sunday morning my throat was scratchy. I'm a mouth breather when I sleep so I figured I dried out my throat with the A/C and fan on. I drank hot liquids all day as I completed my weeken…

Sometimes Espresso Is My Ritalin

I woke up at 5:45am this morning, wide awake and well rested. Almost to the point where I considered getting up and going to work two hours early. Than I thought "nahh, I'd rather just listen to music and get up at 7." Of course the music was so relaxing that it made me fall back asleep so when my alarm went off to wake me up, I was grumpy and tired again. Such is life.

I got up and got my gear together and starting spazzing out because despite my tiredness I was WIRED. I had a billion thoughts circulating in my head at one time. I'm also very excited because tonight I'm going to see Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls in concert with my best friend. I haven't seen my best friend in a long time AND I haven't been to a concert lately. Both are exciting things to look forward to. Then tomorrow, I've got best friend's graduation party at a Brazilian Steakhouse in the burbs. All you can eat meat. All you can eat smoked salmon. All you can drink open bar. Al…

Sometimes I just have to Stop, Hang My Head, Smile and Laugh

I swear to you that I am not bipolar. Even though, yesterday I was cursing out a frying pan and today I'm laughing my ass off. Much to my chagrin, the cosmos/fate have turned my frown upside down and today has been exponentially better than yesterday.

I went in late to work by choice because I didn't want to get up and was met by a beautiful crisp breeze, akin to fall weather, on my way to work. Alas, I got to work and was not a disgusting sweaty mess. This was a refreshing change from my daily grind. Oh, and I think my bus driver said "good morning, baby" when I boarded.

I threw myself into work to make up for the fact I did jack shit yesterday. I cleaned my office and it is now immaculate. I cleaned my desk off so it is now a functional work space. I got materials for my class today. (I teach school age kids problem solving skills and emotional recognition once a week). Today we made bagged ice cream in teams and it went very well. No big problems, the kids had a …

What Do You Do With Anger?

I am a pretty patient and peaceful person. I'm the person that lets little old ladies cut in line at the grocery store. I hold elevator doors for mothers with strollers. I say "thank you" to my bus driver every morning. When I get angry 7 times out of 10 it is at myself. Sometimes people or circumstances grind my gears but it usually takes a lot for me to reach that point.

But when I do get angry, its a chain reaction that sets me off into a downward spiral. When I get angry I also am anxious. I get mad at inanimate objects for no reason. I throw things. I kick things. When something simple doesn't go my way I lose it. One time I was having a really bad day and an egg fell off my egg shelf in my fridge onto the floor. I cleaned up the mess and somehow knocked the egg shelf again and ALL my eggs fell onto the kitchen floor. I flipped the F out. I cried, I screamed, I jumped up and down. I cried some more. It was eggs. $1.79, 10 minutes of cleaning, no big deal. But t…

Pure Talent. Pure Love

So I'm sure if you read Thought Catalog or the news or any kind of quirky website that highlights personal stories, you saw this:


Meet Neil Hilborn. He has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He found a woman who he fell in love with so much that she helped him without even trying. The video is viral at this point but his use of words, his talent, his raw emotion reminds me that new talent is born everyday. Neil's story is not a happy one, for his girlfriend became overwhelmed by his disorder and left him. The most captivating lines of his spoken word are "I leave the door unlocked. I even leave the lights on."

Now whether Neil actually leaves his door unlocked in case his girl comes back, or leaves the lights on so she knows he is home is a mute point. He probably doesn't because his disorder won't let him. However, those final lines of the poem just hit home. You can hear people's reactions as the "aww, wow." He found a way to express his longing, …

Astrology

My horoscope for today:
Your detached approach won't be enough to get you through the day. You need to experience the uncertainty that goes with expressing the raw emotions that evade logic and rational thought. Any attempts to sidestep your truth will only cause more trouble down the road. Your mind is active, but you must avoid the temptation of reducing complex emotional networks into overly simplistic statements of fact. Feel your way today, instead.

My horoscope for the week:
This week you might have a breakthrough when it comes to matters of intimacy. Perhaps you harbor anxious feelings from past experiences that prevent you from getting too close to someone now -- even if you're in love with this person. If so, on Wednesday a sudden insight about what's holding you back from truly revealing yourself will help you push past this fear. The Moon in your 5th House of Romance will help foster this awakening this weekend, especially when it touches Pluto on Saturday.

-------…

I Just Need A Second. Ok I'm Good.

I almost did a terrible thing today. I ALMOST regressed into the state of paranoia that I used to experience whenever I saw mass quantities of people getting engaged and having kids on Facebook. Yes, there was a time when I was actually worried that I wasn't keeping up with the Jones' and doing everything backwards. But, then I did a lot of soul searching and reached a nice and cozy point of self-acceptance that what I'm doing right now is what is right for me. It might not be right for most of my peers but it works for me and I am happy.

But damn, I almost relapsed. A slewwwww of people got engaged this weekend. One or two announced their pregnancies. It is funny, many of my friends up here in Philly are amazed that I know so many people getting hitched and popping kids. They are sometimes dubious that I can find out about seven engagements in one weekend with four of the individuals being younger than me. But for realsies, it happens all the time. I'm at the point, …

This is What MA Did at Work Today

Today I spent a large portion of the day cutting out giraffe heads/necks/bodies. This is my tailless giraffe, aka tonight's Family Literacy Craft as we read "Giraffe's Can't Dance." I hope my program will have many attendees for I feel I could have spent more time doing actual work and less time cutting out giraffe heads.

Yesterday I built a bike. I stayed late at work to use my office as a work space and assembled a genuine 26" wheel women's mountain bike BY MYSELF without help. Of course the chain popped within 3 minutes of riding but that was already installed therefore I don't blame my handiwork for that one. I think it is just a matter of tweaking the chain and learning how to gear shift correctly. I haven't had a bike with functional gears since college.

Speaking of college, I called to update my contact information for this epic alumni directory thing. Yeah...that costs over $100 for the stupid hardback book. I'm all for nostalgia but…

This song is so beautiful and perfect it makes me want to cry

All Of Me

[Verse]
What would I do without your smart mouth
Drawing me in, and you kicking me out
Got my head spinning, no kidding, I can’t pin you down
What’s going on in that beautiful mind
I’m on your magical mystery ride
And I’m so dizzy, don’t know what hit me, but I’ll be alright

[Bridge]
My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

[Chorus]
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all, all of me
And you give me all, all of you

[Verse]
How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every move
You’re my downfall, you’re my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can’t stop singing, it’s ringing, I my head for you

[Bridge]
My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy a…

Eye Tracking & Brain Tracking

So you know when you're watching a fast paced event, like a hockey match or something? Well, your eyes dart back at forth, attempting to track all of the movement which is taking place. I'd like to think that your brain does that in an attempt to track all of your thoughts at any given time. But when you're thinking 1000 things and feeling at least seven different emotions at once, your brain feels like it might explode.

That sums up my current state of affairs. I've got a bike coming in that I'm going to be assembling by myself and hopefully riding by the weekend. I have various gifts to buy people. I have school starting up in three weeks. I turn 26 in 18 days. I'm entering a manuscript poetry contest which has a deadline in less than a month. My Twitter has been poppin for reasons unbeknownst to me. I'm writing almost daily. Things at work have been changing rapidly.

Also, I'm questioning whether our careful precautionary movements regarding Yemen a…

I've got Cilantro, Lemons and Limes....Now What?

Today was a day of mini adventures. The first being my resolve to get up very early and truck on down to NoLibs for a free outdoor yoga class. The class ran 9-10 and I had kickboxing 10-11 and the two exercise venues are in adjacent neighborhoods so I thought, hey...let's do a double workout.

I did. It was hard and it rained the whole time. I did yoga with over 60 other people in the Piazza, in the rain. It was pretty awesome. I don't mind yoga classes where instructors creep up behind you and next thing you know their hands are on your hips positioning them in a direction you didn't want them to go. That happened several times. Downward dog hurts when you're doing it on concrete....yoga mat and yoga towel and all. Also I got really acquainted with my knees and decided I didn't like how they look. They're pudgy and full of cellulite. Got to work on that. Anyway, after having raindrops land in my ears and eyes and everywhere else, 10:02 rolled around and we did…