30 Day Yoga Challenge: Days 14/15

I was a little busy yesterday and I didn’t have time to blog, so I’m going to combine today’s and yesterday’s videos.

Day 14 of theĀ  DO YOU YOGA 30 Day Challenge was called “Juicy Yoga Twists.” Matt and I did this one together and I didn’t particularly care for it. The poses we did weren’t as “juicy” as they were uncomfortable, and not in “push through it” kind of way. I tried to follow the instructor and modify as best I could, but I mostly just felt strained.

Aside from that, I had a really wonderful day off. Matt and I took a drive up to the Monmouth County Mall and walked around for a while. I treated myself to an iced raspberry white chocolate mocha (with whipped cream). It was so yummy. After the mall, we headed to the Greek Spot in Ocean for a late lunch. Matt had never been there before, but my mom and I have been there quite a few times. We both had pork souvlaki pita and it was everything we had hoped it would be.

When we got back to my house, we watched Rush Hour 2 before Matt went home.

Today, I did day 15 of the challenge. It was called “Yoga for Hamstrings and Inner Thighs.” This video was great, especially since I’ve been using the elliptical a lot. It really helped to loosen up and stretch all my muscles. There is something so rewarding about a good stretch. After yoga, I had some oatmeal for breakfast and went to the gym. It was surprisingly busy today. The elliptical was in use, as well as the stationery bicycles, so I hopped on the treadmill instead. I walked for 25 minutes and walked on an incline of 7.0 for part of that time.

I feel really good and I don’t have to work until 2:30.

How are you going to make today a productive one?

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Return of the Wanderlust

Recently, I’ve had the overwhelming desire to go abroad again. The more I think about it, the more depressed I become about staying in this country. I don’t exactly speak openly about my political beliefs (especially on the internet), but I am truly worried about the future of America; and I feel like I will never have a future here.

I am 26 years old, working hourly as a barista to pay my bills. Overall, I enjoy my job right now, but I don’t feel like it is sustainable even if I pursue a management position. I see that the managers don’t really have lives outside the company. They are always on call, coming in earlier and staying in later than they have to. I don’t want that.

I want to leave work at work and enjoy my life. I want to travel and experience new cultures.

Obviously, I don’t have nearly enough money to make this a reality anytime in the near future. However, it is constantly on my mind. I don’t know where I want to go. Everywhere?

I had a very complicated experience in Korea, but it was mostly due to my particular hagwon. I met so many amazing people and got to see so many amazing things. Compared to what it is right now, my lifestyle was much better in the regard that it felt more financially stable.

Have you been in a similar situation? What have you done/are doing to make your dreams come true?

Foodies in New York

I celebrated my birthday on November 6 and my boyfriend, Matt, celebrated his on October 25. Since we both had off yesterday, we decided to spend the day in Manhattan to do a little more birthday celebrating. I was very lucky to have been able to spend a lot of time in NYC growing up. However, Matt hadn’t visited in about ten years, so I was extremely excited to show him around.

We woke up bright and early to head up to Jersey City to take the PATH. We may or may not have gotten into a car accident (everyone is okay) which set us back a few hours, but we were able to take care of everything and get a rental car to continue on our adventure.

We took the PATH to 14th Street and headed to Chelsea Market. The two of us were overwhelmed by mounds of colorful spices, fresh fish, pickles, and other delights. We walked around, sampling anything we could and talking about what else we would eat. After, we headed up to the Highline for a nice walk on a beautiful day. There were so many people enjoying the weather, as well as taking pictures of some protest art posted on one of the large walls.

Next, we made our way to Momofuku Noodle Bar, which was absolutely the highlight of our itinerary. There was no wait and we were seated at a bar with a view of the kitchen. I ordered an apricot soju slushie and Matt ordered a spicy lychee one. For our appetizer, we had shrimp buns and for our entrees, we shared a bowl of Momofuku ramen and a bowl of chicken pho. Everything was superb and I want to go back already.

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Then, we walked around a bit and made our way to the Pour House across from Webster Hall. They had $6 Don Julio margaritas! Delicious. Times Square was next. All the buildings, lights, and masses of people were overwhelming, but the energy was exhilarating. We also made a stop at Rockefeller Center and admired Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

After that, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was next. It is one of my favorite museums in the world, but Matt had never been. I couldn’t wait to experience it with him. We explored Egyptian art, arms and armor, Japanese art, and so much more. My friend Candice from college was also in the City yesterday, and she ended up meeting us at the Museum. So that was a really nice surprise.

The three of us walked from 81st street and found ourselves at Milk Bar on 56th Street and 5th Avenue. Candice and I got cereal milk milkshakes and I split a piece of their signature crack pie with Matt. We continued down to 42nd Street where Candice left us to head back to Grand Central Station. Matt and I stopped at the Bryant Park Holiday Market before walking down to 33rd Street to take the PATH back to Jersey City.

We were exhausted by the time we got home, but it was a truly wonderful day.

What did you do today?

 

I Didn’t Choose the Mug Life

The mug life chose me.

Three years ago, I had just graduated from college and needed a job. My good friend Greg was working at a new coffee shop in Montclair, NJ and said he’d give the manager my resume. After an awesome interview (spent talking mostly about unicorns), I was hired. I was a barista, and eventually a key holder and trainer for a year. After struggling with some personal issues, I ultimately quit and had to move to Ocean County. During my year at that coffee shop, I had my fair share of meltdowns (like I do) but I always kind of missed the environment. I learned some sweet skills and met so many interesting people on a regular basis.

About two weeks ago, I took a job at Starbucks. And I’m really excited about it. I will be starting out as a barista but hopefully within six months, I can become a shift lead (more money!).

Starbucks seems like a great company to work for. The offer benefits after 90 days to all employees who work at least 20 hours/week (medical, 401k), free drinks during shifts, 30% off orders when you’re not working, and free ground coffee or tea to take home each week. I even get a free premium Spotify membership. Pretty sweet.

After completing my introductory computer training, I started training on the floor. The espresso machine is not one I’m used to, but the trainer was impressed with my steaming. I even successfully made a flat white on my first try and the manager walked by just in time to see it. Learning how to make the specialty drinks will come in time, but I feel really confident about making the regular espresso drinks. It’s just a lot of memorization.

Anyway, it might not be a museum or a gallery, but I feel like working here is a good opportunity right now. I need money and I need stability. If I could manage to climb my way up the corporate ladder, it might be very good. After looking up how much managers make here, I realized it’s probably more than I would ever see in a museum anyway.

I’m trying not to feel like I’m throwing my dreams away, but I kind of feel like I’m throwing my dreams away. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where dreams are enough to succeed anymore. My peers were told that we could be anything we wanted growing up, but it’s just not the truth. I can probably count on one hand the number of friends I have who are doing what they went to school for.

Blah blah. Depressing shit. That’s the end of my rant, I guess. I’m just happy I’m employed right now.

Return to Unemployment

Once again, I find myself unemployed. The job I took at the interior design studio turned out to be a real life Devil Wears Prada, overflowing with rich white women looking to spend $10,000 on sofas, designers who belittled me every chance they got, and a lack of sufficient training to do the job that was expected of me.

After my intelligence was insulted for the final time, I picked up my purse and walked out the back door never to return. In celebration, Matt made pulled pork tacos and we drank tequila.

I refuse to be mistreated in the workplace.

Now, here I am: sad and broke. I have applied to many jobs and am even working with a recruiter. I have gotten several rejection e-mails and the only (potential) interview I have (kind of scheduled) is with a tile design company and the owner seems like a flake. I have absolutely no desire to go back to waiting tables.

I am filled with crippling anxiety and depression. I graduated three years ago and feel like my life has, in no way, worked out the way I had originally imagined. I make posts on Facebook, I’ve reached out to my mother’s friends. Nothing. As time goes by, it feels harder and harder to start a career. When I interviewed for the interior design studio, the owner bluntly asked me why I hadn’t held a full time position up until that point.

How do you even respond to that? I don’t fucking know.

I have a four year degree and I’m in a lot of debt because of it. I am literally three credits away from my Masters degree.

However, I feel like the fact that I didn’t grow up with money and connections to the art world has seriously hindered my search for my magical museum job. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t have majored in art history. If I was given the chance to go back and do it all again, though, I don’t even know what else I would study. English education? Communications? I guess it doesn’t matter now.

At this point, I’d take anything full-time with benefits.

I can’t help but break into hysterics on a fairly regular basis. What am I doing wrong? What did I do to deserve my current situation? I’ve worked hard and I have absolutely nothing to show for my efforts.

Has anyone else found themselves in a similar situation? How have you coped with it?

30 Day Challenge: Day 21

What Three Lessons Do You Want Your Children to Learn From You?

If and when I have children, the following are three things that I would hope to instill in them.

  1. Be Yourself – I am very grateful that, growing up, my mom was very supportive of my often alternative interests. I would definitely want to teach my children to throw stereotypes out the window and do whatever makes them happy. That includes personal aesthetic, interests and hobbies, religion, sexual orientation, whatever. If my kid wants to be a green-haired, guitar-playing, Buddhist pansexual: go for it. I’m going to love them just as much.
  2. Be Honest – It’s cliche, but honesty truly is the best policy. Lies will always find their way back to you. Whether it’s telling your parent that you’re at a friend’s house when you’re really at a party or padding your accomplishments/resume to get into a better school. I feel like lying could potentially evolve into other negative behavior, so it’s best to avoid it all together and just tell the truth!
  3. Be Kind/Considerate – Everyone has feelings and you should always take them into consideration. I think it’s also very important to try and understand why someone may be feeling a particular way. Was it something that you did? Something that someone else did? As a super emotional person, I always find that talking about what I’m feeling can help others to understand why, even if it may seem irrational to them. Everyone is entitled to their feelings.

Also, if anyone would like to do this challenge with me, it can be found here.

30 Day Challenge: Day 18

Post 30 Facts About Yourself

  1. I’ve seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show over 100 times in theatres.
  2. I’m an only child.
  3. I’m 5’9″.
  4. I hate red bell peppers.
  5. Walking on grass with bare feet freaks me out.
  6. I was a heavy metal radio DJ for four years.
  7. I’ve been published in print and on-line a handful of times.
  8. I have a piece of Morrissey’s shirt from a concert.
  9. Amanda Palmer (of the Dresden Dolls) kissed me after a show.
  10. I’m chronically early for everything.
  11. I got my first tattoo as soon as I turned 18.
  12. I love swimming in the ocean.
  13. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a paleontologist.
  14. I started playing cello in fourth grade and performed in an orchestra through college.
  15. I’ve always been interested in the occult/new age movement.
  16. I’ve been to Canada, Mexico, England, Italy, Greece, South Korea, and Japan.
  17. I had a brief stint as a roller derby girl.
  18. My appendectomy in college almost killed me.
  19. I am really picky about my liquid eyeliner (and most of my makeup).
  20. I can’t stand when people don’t use their directional when they’re driving.
  21. My favorite foods are ice cream, fried chicken, and sushi.
  22. New York City is my favorite city in the world.
  23. I love cats and I really want one.
  24. I’m really shy around new people.
  25. I haven’t read a book cover to cover in about six years.
  26. I’m terrible at sharing food.
  27. I didn’t eat meat for five years. And then I went to Austin, Texas.
  28. It’s really easy to make me cry.
  29. I’ve kept my hair short for nearly 10 years. But I’m trying to grow it out!
  30. I really miss doing Greek folk dancing.

Also, if anyone would like to do this challenge with me, it can be found here.