Back on the boat.

NY

Wow it has been a long time since I last blogged. (Pretty funny that my last post was about my 2013 resolutions, and on the list was to blog more…yeeeaahhh…) Well, I can’t/won’t promise that this is a turnaround and I’ll be blogging more often now, but I am happy to take the time in this moment.

Two days ago I drove back to Santa Barbara to reunite with my girlfriends for our second annual girls night out. Recently I’ve been pretty ill– I took on too much and became overwhelmed.. my body just kind of shut down in response.  So, it was a big relief to just force myself to take a break.  Spend time with my strong, beautiful girlfriends, spend time to treat myself a little, and spend time to do a little body work at Core Power Yoga.

1. Yoga

This was definitely necessary.  I have been doing literally no exercise for the last few months, so I took what I thought would be a chill level 1 yoga class.  A little down dog, a little warrior, end with shivasana and call it a day. I envisioned myself glowing with intention and flowing gracefully through powerful pretty poses. Well, it was definitely a level one class, nothing crazy, but I was really struggling. My down dog was super stiff.. my shape was more like a trembling wet cat. I felt like fainting for what felt like half the class. The core section- simple bicycles and crunches- was BRUTAL.  BUT… it was so worth it.  I feel like my ass was chained to desk chair for so long that it developed Stockholm syndrome. After class, I felt AMAZING. I also felt like I’ve been really dumb for not taking the time to take care of my body for so long. Obviously,taking time to do my body good is positive and necessary to be a well-adjusted human being.  Duhhh!

2. Treat Yo Self

Parks and Rec is one of my favorite shows for so many reasons, but the Treat Yo Self episode has by far been the most influential to my life. Well, OK… it’s at least given me the best excuse to add a little indulgence to my life.  Yesterday, Donna and Tom were my spirit animals as I walked along State Street and treated myself to some little gifts. I went to Free People and got a bra with super fun straps that I’ve been eyeing for ages along with some giant cute-as sunglasses. Treat. Yo. Self. Then I went to Core Power and laid out some cash money for a yoga class. Treat. Yo. Self. I got lunch with my girlfriend and we went to Sephora so she could pick up a nail polish.  Well, I saw the prettiest little lipsticks from Tarte and well… Treat. Yo. Self.

Yeah. It felt good and I love my purchases. #noshame

3. Girlfrands

OK. I am so stinking lucky and I think I have the best girlfriends in the world. They are a combination of strong, artistic, outdoorsy, down to earth, powerful, fun, non-judgemental, and supportive. THEY’RE THE BEST, KAY?

Friday was girls night out for nine of us gals. Appetizers and drinks at Blush, dancing at Wild Cat, decompressing and drunk snacking at James Joyce. Success.

The real good stuff was in my one on ones, though. Yesterday I did happy hour with one of the girls that I hardly ever hang out with individually. I’m so glad we made the time because our conversation was insightful.  She is one of the most intuitive friends I have and she’s a self-described “fixer.” I love her for it because she really has a knack for opening me up to see the root of where my deepest fears and insecurities are. OK this sounds dark, but just trust me, it is awesome. How can we ever hope to be better, more compassionate people if we can’t be honest with ourselves? I felt like I walked away from our conversation recognizing a couple major things:

1. I am afraid of failure because I am afraid of being “normal” or “average.”  I have always made excuses to not do competitions because I tremble at the idea of someone judging me to be -gulp- not the best. I am totally okay with admitting that I am ultra competitive with myself and I have an unhealthy need to be at the top.  Worse, this need has made me self-destruct multiple times before.  Previously, if I had even a breeze of a feeling that I wouldn’t get an A in a class, I would just withdraw from the class or stop going to school. I’m way way way more healthy about my fear of failure these days, but it is important to to recognize where this comes from and to BE KIND TO MYSELF and remind myself that I am not perfect, I am not the best at most things, I will fail, and that. is. just. fine. In fact, it is more than fine, it is way preferable to being the best all the time. When I have let myself fail, I have let myself be humble and I have let myself grow. Way important stuff.

2. I am in a good place.  I found myself thinking loudly to myself so many times during our conversation, “Damn. I feel so freaking good about where I am in my life. I love my friends. I love my partner. I love who I am. I love my path. I wouldn’t take back a thing.” In AP psychology class in high school, we learned about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Physical needs at the bottom, love/belonging in the middle, self actualization at the top. I feel like I’ve been stuck in the love/belonging part of the pyramid for a really long time, but since I’ve moved to California I’ve steadily been overcoming my insecurities and needs for love and moving through the esteem hierarchy. Respect for myself and respect for others.  I’m still stumbling a little bit on this one, but I can honestly say that I think I’m becoming a less judgemental person and a less jealous person.  It isn’t yet natural and easy for me to be unconditionally happy and respectful for other people’s successes, but I am conscious of it and I am working on it.  One again, I am trying to be kind to myself.  Notice without judgement the monsters under my bed, and take small but significant steps to face them and deal with them.

Good stuff, right??

This morning I had breakfast and coffee with another girlfriend.  This one is stupid hard working, incredibly career savvy, and has this beautiful gift for making friends and connecting people. She is also wonderfully weird and, just like me, has a need to push herself to be the best in all the facets of her life. Like us all, she has skeletons in her closet, and in our friendship I’ve watched her struggle with them.  But today, she talked about some incredible life changes she is making and how it is affecting how she interacts with her skeletons.  I can sense her also making conscious and healthy decisions to move up her own hierarchy of needs, and I just felt so proud, happy, and relieved for her.

I’m still in Santa Barbara, so maybe all these good feelings are simply connected with place, but I’m really hopeful and optimistic that I can carry them with me through the rest of the school year.  Here’s my intention: to be kind to myself, to be honest with myself, and to take care of myself as I continue with school.

booze girlsnight Fiesta Birthday

ps..This post wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to the household I stay with when I come back to Santa Barbara. They are my home away from home, my second family.  Sometimes I feel like I am in a sitcom a la Friends or How I Met Your Mother. So many times I wish I could freeze time so I could capture these bubbles of perfect moments. I had plenty of these perfect ‘bubble’ moments this weekend, and they have contributed a lot to the revitalization I have experienced while I’ve been here. Woop woop! :D

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