Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Updates

Sorry blog world, life has been crazy lately. Talk about transitions! A lot has been going on in the past month. But first and foremost, tell me everyone isn't embarrassingly as obsessed with this song as I am....
I had to choose the video made by a few of my lovely sorority sisters, and special appearance from Sir Fidel of course. Anyone who has negative perceptions of sorority life...this is honestly Phi Mu in a nutshell. Sometimes I really miss college.

Speaking of sorority life, my big sister Anna got married a few weeks ago. Check out the guest blog I wrote for her while she was on her honeymoon! I was in her wedding, so the boyfriend and I made the drive down to South Carolina for the festivities. It's oddly emotional to see such a good friend walk down the aisle and into the next chapter of her life. When did we get this old?! The wedding was a blast and absolutely perfect. Anna looked like a porcelain doll, she was literally breathtaking. It was also so nice to see all my long distance best friends. We stayed in this very pretty but perhaps slightly haunted bed and breakfast called the Rosemary. 
We danced the night away at the wedding, and I was on cloud nine. Anna and Mike were glowing, and I was back with all the people I love and miss so much. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend:




In other news, I started my new j-o-b! The training period was overwhelming but I'm getting the hang of things. I love my coworkers, and the day flies by. There is so much to do throughout the day that 5 o'clock is there before I know it. I also have the prettiest drive on GW parkway every morning. Check out my view!
Above all, I'd say everything is finally falling into place. I have the best friends, roommates, boyfriend, and family that a girl could ask for. Now the countdown is on until Brandon and I jet set to Jamaica for all-inclusive sun, sand, and cocktails in paradise! 
I definitely have a much greater appreciation for the weekend now that I'm on a real person 8-5 work schedule. I've spent my Sunday baking, and laying around on the couch with my roommate watching The Descendants. Hello samoa cupcakes and peanut butter brownies....They turned out fantastically if I do say so myself.

Above all, life is perfect, and I couldn't be happier. Thank you to all of the special people in my life, I feel so blessed!

Hope everyone has a good week, only 5 more days until Easter weekend! More baked treats to come....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Money < Happiness...Right?

As the wise Eleanor Roosevelt said:

Well then this post counts for the entire week. With all these career decisions and soul searching, I feel like I'm in the middle of a personal conflict within my own belief system. Like there is a little angel and devil on my shoulder confusing me further than I ever thought possible.
 I was watching "The Pursuit of Happyness" a week or so ago and it really hit a nerve. I've seen the movie plenty of times...I love me some Will Smith. ;) Anyways, who doesn't love a fairy tale story of the common man giving his all to attain the American dream, and celebrate the ability to "pursue happiness?" Although Smith's character claims to be pursuing happiness, what he's actually striving to attain is a high profile career position, and the salary that goes along with it. Then of course with that salary the ability to pay his bills, support his son, and gain personal independence. Does this mean we are naive to think money isn't a building block to overall happiness? This has been a slow coming realization that is disheartening to say the least.

I probably have a unique perspective on this topic because of my background and upbringing. I literally cringe as I type this, but without some weird sugarcoating rant...my family has money. That is something I really don't like talking about, and I'll tell you why:
A. You cannot choose what socioeconomic class you are born into, and it says absolutely zero about your character
B. I myself, am quite poor, actually zero income currently to be exact, so taking credit for my family's money is taking credit for my father's success, and that is discrediting his hard work and accomplishments
C. It automatically gives people the opportunity to judge you, and assume that you live a really easy life
Now, I know that my life definitely isn't the norm, and everyone's always shunning the "dreaded 1%." I'm not going to go on some "poor little me" rich girl rant either. All I'm saying is for the outsiders looking in, and those who are out there chasing money at all costs: it isn't everything.

Now it's hard to argue when this is how you take vacations:

And this is one of the houses you visit your Dad and his family in (Along with his next door neighbor Mark Cuban...like, seriously?)
A putting green and chi pond are total necessities right?
And 2 guest houses because the house isn't quite spacious enough
And not to forget we are members of the most elite ski/mountain resort, The Yellowstone Club along with our pal Bill Gates
I realize and appreciate all that I've been privileged enough to have and experience in my life. I was able to attend any university I wanted without any fear of student loans, live a stress free life when it came to money, go on some pretty incredible vacations, and even see the world this summer. Money makes life easier, without a doubt, and I can't relate with many of my friends' real life financial struggles. 

I will say, as cliche as it sounds, I would trade it all to have a tight knit family, and a dad who cared more about attending my lacrosse games than running his healthcare company. But there's just not the hand I was dealt, and there are obviously a lot of really amazing aspects of my life, so complaining is selfish and pointless.

What I don't think people realize is the amount of pressure and responsibility that comes along with this lifestyle. My mother did not spoil me or live the lavish lifestyle that my dad did (although growing up on 10 acres in horse country isn't exactly modest living either). I know the importance of hard work and making your own way in the world. But with this ridiculously high bar to measure up to, it's hard to ever feel like you can really ever consider yourself a success. It's also hard to not look at wealth and money as the negative catalyst to many flaws in my family life. With money comes more complications, and lately I've found myself yearning for a simpler lifestyle. 

Since I was so unhappy in my last job, I've really been thinking, what's in store for my pursuit of happiness? In college I developed a true passion for service and helping others. My philanthropic days and those as a recruitment counselor helping the girls find their place on campus was the most fulfilling and rewarding experience to date.
So then I started thinking, should I pass up the high profile position in the corporate world, and step out of my father's footsteps? Perhaps going back to school is the right decision. But is it really smart to go get my master's in counseling or similar position that may be very fulfilling, but won't pay my bills in the long run? That's the irony of it all isn't it? I'm discovering that it isn't realistic to believe that money plays no role in your happiness, and that's a tough pill to swallow. Now I'm in a struggle of finding a position where I can support myself and cut financial ties, prove I am capable of my own independence, but yet still enjoy what I do for a living and make a difference. 

The meaning behind this whole story is that it's really rare to have it all, but I'm not going to stop striving. I will wake up and love what I do everyday, make a decent living, and have meaningful relationships with people I love all at the same time!....Someday. I guess having even one out of the three is okay for now.

Hope you all are out there living life to your fullest, whether it be in your career or personal life- or hopefully both! I'll just be sulking in my constant life debacle. I'll let you know next week if my upcoming career move is more towards Wall Street or the Peace Corps, it's a toss up as of now! ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

August- month of the concerts!

It's official...I am unemployed yet again! By choice of course. I have had several interviews, but nothing to write home about. Hopefully something absolutely wonderful will just fall into my lap shortly. That's totally how it happens right?! For some reason I'm not freaking out just yet. Perhaps it's the reinforcement from my friends, family, and co-workers that I made the right decision. Or maybe it's just my body going into a temporary shock by my steadily depleting bank account. Anyways, I digress....The REAL topic of this post is finishing up this 2011 recap. I am slowly realizing that this might have been an overly ambitious project.


August was one of those "all over the place" months. For some reason I decided that I needed to attend EVERY single live concert performance in the DC metropolitan area. That was a responsible way to blow my graduation money...


First started off with the last minute Taylor Swift concert. I've seen Taylor in concert once before and couldn't pass up the opportunity to see her again. If you've never gone, or enjoy being surrounded by middle school aged screaming girls, I'd highly suggest it. Her concerts are SO theatrical, she sounds fabulous, and is so overly appreciative of her fan base that you can't help but love her more. 
video


The next weekend I jet-setted back to Tallahassee for the first time since college graduation. One of my favorite (and craziest) sorority sisters, Stacia, was tying the knot in Biloxi, MS. We decided to make a 4 day weekend out of it and relive our college lives one more time. Stacia moved to England after the wedding with her hubby Chris, so I was so happy to spend time with her before she left.
I got to see my little while in Tallahassee which is always an added plus! :)
All of the ladies outside of our lovely Elvis casino hotel in Biloxi before the wedding
Stacia was the most beautiful bride!
The next concert on the list was Brantley Gilbert. Brandon had invited me with a big group including my roommate. It was definitely nothing too serious and I wouldn't even call it date-worthy. Nevertheless, I was extremely hesitant about accepting his invitation. Things were headed in a great direction, we talked all the time, and I enjoyed getting to know him. Of course, the little known upcoming country artist just happened to be my ex-boyfriend's absolute favorite-of-all-favorite country singers. I really didn't want to run into him since he isn't exactly one of the most even tempered or easygoing guys in the world. (Don't judge me, we've all made at least one monumental lapse in judgement in the dating department.) The last thing I wanted to be responsible for was a real life redneck smack down in the middle of DC. Especially with heartwarming, loving tunes of encouragement such as this one:
Luckily, the 930 club was packed with enough camo wearing rednecks that we steered clear of each other if he was there. Brantley is a badass and the concert was a great time. He has some pretty good slow songs too, if you know what I mean. ;) 

Just 3 short days later, Amanda, Anna-Kate, and I went to the Tim McGraw concert. You can't complain about a summer night drinking beer on the concert lawn, and singing along to his million classics. "Red Rag Top" gets me every time.
As I said before, things were going surprisingly well in the past couple months with Brandon. But eventually things came to a bit of a standstill. I was so used to the guys in college who strung you along for their enjoyment, but when it came to the point of any type of commitment they jumped ship. I hate that weird in-between time, and no one wants to have that "What are we?" talk. I call it "relationship limbo." Considering the time we spent together was solely in group activities, I started to think this was another dead end. But that is the great thing about having a roommate who is best friends with the guy you're talking to. Sometimes guys are a bit clueless or just need a hint in the right direction. Miraculously, a week later, we went on our first real date
He was still living at home at this point, so he came up on his half day and we decided to go to a restaurant within walking distance from my place. Even though we'd been talking for the better part of two months, I was still super nervous. I couldn't remember the last time I went on an actual date. Even though this was everything I wanted from him, I suddenly wanted to call and cancel. Don't worry, I didn't. He came up that afternoon. If he was nervous he never showed it. He's a pretty low key guy, which is one of the reasons I really liked him. We went to Chevy's mexican restaurant, sat in the bar, and stayed from early happy hour through closing. Despite my fears, it was so far from awkward. We talked about any and everything. The only semi uncomfortable part was getting up to leave after he paid, and the walk home. Right when we got outside he grinned at me, squeezed my hand and said, "Aw, we just had our first date!," in a silly joking voice. He still has this weird ability to sense whenever I'm nervous and put me at ease. I knew from that point that I had nothing more to be worried about. 

To round out this month, and to add one more wacky thing to my resume, Danitte and I participated in a huge flashmob at a convention downtown. Don't ask me how I come across these things, but the dance was simple to Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer." Although it was slightly mortifying, and included fireworks and smoke machines while we were center stage, we got paid over $200 and had fun with it. 
I miss summer, and am finally starting to have the desire to go to concerts again. Hope you all are having a lovely, unseasonably warm February week!

XO,
T
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

That time I tried to use pac man as a metaphor for my life...

My dad called me yesterday and said that my 8 year old brother is getting picked on at school. (I have a really "fun" family situation if you didn't already know.) Let me just say, my little brother Justin is the sweetest, most well-behaved, loving kid I have ever met. I am not biased at all I swear. There is certainly NO reason why he should be constantly left out or picked on. We all remember those early school years. Kids can be so cruel. 
How could you not love this little guy?!
Now, as we grow older you would think this idea would become a non-issue. Lately I've come to realize more and more that this just isn't the case.
Have you ever played the old school pac man game that they have at the arcades at the beach? Those scary colored ghost things would just eat my little guy for NO REASON right before I got the cherries, every-single-time. There was no rhyme or reason behind it, (besides the game wouldn't be very challenging otherwise) but you get the point.
I realize this is the lamest comparison...probably ever. But hey, apparently pac man is teaching kids cold hard facts about life! It seems like some people come after you with no actual justification or reasoning. 

I am no angel in this department. In high school when I had more of my "mean girl" persona, my group of friends and I used to gather all of our cell phones in a circle on a table together after school. There was one girl who ALWAYS wanted to hang out with us who we never deemed worthy. We'd watch her attempt to call each of our phones, one after another, and ignore her every single time. It makes me cringe looking back to think how inconsiderate I was to someone else's feelings. Especially since she was nothing but nice to all of us. 
Most people do leave that type of behavior and judgement in high school, thank God. I know I did. Once I got to college I had no friends or room to be turning away new acquaintances. I realized how different people were from me and enjoyed and appreciated those unique qualities. Above all, I really am the type of person who wants everyone to be my friend. I probably take it a little too personal when people don't feel the same way.


I'm sure most people can think of those people who have no interest in associating with anyone who is unlike themselves. Whether it be back in high school, those certain "scary" girls in the sorority, that unapproachable boss or co-worker, or even just someone you're forced to interact with in everyday life for one reason or another. 


The real purpose of this whole post is my realization of how I react to these types of people. Instead of realizing that they aren't worth it and moving on, I do the exact opposite. Somehow, I revert back to the awkward, middle school version of myself, allow them to make me feel insecure, and for some reason make even MORE of an effort to be their friend?... How much sense does that make? Can you say....

People say, oh they're just jealous. They're unhappy with their lives. Yada yada yada. It still doesn't really make sense to me. 



All of this just really makes me miss my friends. It's hard sometimes when you don't have those people that "get" you next door anymore. The ones that embrace the fact that you like to bake more than watch sports, will go on random adventures at the drop of a hat, and look at your differing qualities as a positive rather than a negative. I think it's safe to say that NONE of my good friends and I have a ton in common. If you lined us all up we have completely different taste, style, opinions, and upbringings. I appreciate you all ten times more now that I suddenly find myself feeling like the kid who resorts to eating their lunch in the bathroom. 


The moral for today is: Don't beat yourself up over every person who doesn't want to be your friend or who offends you. Fahgettaboudem. Also, keep an open mind and to people who are unlike you. Some of those people could turn out to be your best friends!

...and....there should be a cure for cancer, world peace, and no more hungry people in the world.


Sorry for the dramatic life rant, but you should probably be used to it by now.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

JULYYYYY

I'm back after a long updating hiatus! I've been pretty busy/down in the dumps lately with work. I decided to stop complaining and take action. 2 weeks notice and I am out-of-here! 
Let's not discuss the irrational decision making or potential lengthy unemployment period, please and thank you.

Onto the recap. Maybe I'll finish before next New Years...

July was quite a month.

During the last weekend of June/beginning of July, I was finally getting certified to teach spin. The class was on a Sunday and was 8 hours of instructional SPINNING FUN. I somehow got persuaded to go out that Saturday night before. Worst. Decision. Ever. When you're goofily drunkenly grinning at the instructor-of-all-spin-instructors during the hardest part of the ride, she will not hesitate to call you out in front of the whole group. Fun fact. That was a rough 8 hours. The night was fun though I suppose, minus the fact that Brandon and I were galavanting across Georgetown holding hands at one point. He didn't even have my number yet. I'm really good at being sly and mysterious like that.


Also, I informed him that I don't dance. (I have ZERO rhythm) Then this happened...several times...
...and let's not discuss how much I miss my Florida/summer tan.. :(


And what do ya know, I danced. I'm sure it was a sight..

Believe it or not, I got my spinning certification...on 4 hours of sleep. I think I deserve an extra special certification for that accomplishment. 

Deanna and I tried to throw a 4th of July party. Unfortunately we forgot that we don't actually have any friends.... So no one showed up and we ended up taking our festive party treats to a more popular get together down the street. Womp womp womppppp.
Grillmaster with the fuzzy slippers
Friends since high school :) We ended up having a fun night, people really loved our tequila jello shots, NOT

I volunteered at the "Best of Washington" event on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I got to check in the VIP's at the beautiful National Building Museum venue and try out all of DC's best restaurants and bakeries. Not a bad deal if you ask me. 

I got to visit on of my favorite cities, Boston! It is always a plus if I can go in the summer when it's still bearable and not a big freezing wind tunnel.. My cousin Katie and one of my good friends from college also named Katie both live there. It was so nice to see them, and one of my long lost friends from high school, Sara, as well!
My other cousin's girlfriend Alex, my cousin Katie, and I

I received an unexpected text from one of my closest friends, Reynolds. "How far is Baltimore from you?" Of course he had no idea that he was only an hour away. (Florida people problems...) Anyways, I jumped in the car and spent the afternoon with him and his friends at some hipster art festival. It's always so comforting to be with the people who know you the best. He filled me in on all of his European backpacking escapades, and we had the best brunch EVER at Miss Shirley's. If any of you are ever in Baltimore on the weekend you MUST go.

We went tubing down the river on a Livingsocial adventure. It wasn't quite Bear Paw, but for Northern Virginia it was pretty close! (and no alligators was an added plus :))
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Accepting Mediocracy

I know I'm in the middle of this whole recap 2011 thing. Let's be real, no one really cares about my life last year that much, and I need a break. July will be coming soon though...promise! (Especially since I work a ton next week, oh joy)


The topic I want to talk about is one that's been on my mind a lot lately, and frankly causing me to lose some sleep. Don't you wish you could turn your brain off at night? 
Recently my mind's been wandering quite a bit about the future. How do you know what is right and what isn't when considering the long term? It's such a hard concept to grasp, especially in your early twenties. This is partly because our generation owns the right that we can change our minds whenever we feel like it. It's a blessing and a curse if you ask me.


I mean I look back at something as simple as my taste in clothing a mere four years ago and can't even understand what I was thinking. 
This was taken my freshmen summer of college. No, this wasn't a luau theme party.  And cool plastic necklace Taylor...See what I mean about my taste quickly changing!
How do you know what is going to change as far as your preference, perspective and behavior? And with that, how do you know what is permanent in life; what is bound to last forever and remain a true constant? If someone says they are going to be there forever, are they really? How do they even really know they will be? And will you want them there 5, 10, 15, years from now? What about your job, where you live, your friends, and the decision to eventually have kids? You can't exactly get rid of those once you have them.
LOL I would get stuck with this child...
I guess all these questions really lead to just one main idea. What is the age or how do you know that all that's changing has leveled itself out? Do we really finally plateau or are we doomed by our own changing perspective forever? I guess you just have to trust your instinct, maturity level, and judgement. I mean what else can you do? It's just freaking scary, I'll say that much.
My realization is that I don't understand what the big rush is. As cliche as it sounds, the journey is half the fun. If you rush into the "long term" and the "forevers", not only is it bound to not last if you aren't ready, but you also miss there here and now. Sometimes it's easy to let your mind wander, worry, or become insecure about the future. I know I have been guilty of that A LOT lately. It is important to remember to enjoy the moment and have faith. Faith that if all that you're happy about is meant to be, it will be forever. Faith that if you want to change your mind it's for the best. And faith that if you are let down you will get through it and be a better person because of it.
I don't really know if any of this make sense, but it makes me feel better to get it off my chest. Maybe someone else can relate too, or maybe I'm just a crazy person. I'm thinking it's probably more of the ladder. Oh well.


At times like these Billy Joel always sings to my heart:




So my 2012 goals are
-stop second guessing and being insecure
-enjoy the moment, and have a little more faith that all will work out
-oh and get back in shape, duh, had to have one typical resolution in there...yes I am one of those people crowding the gym in January, sorry about it!
 

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