Observations and Prioritizations

Yesterday, I was thinking about how much working out and nutrition has become my PRIORITY in the past three months. To be honest, I’ve always been the type of person to prioritize work above all else. Part of the reason why I wanted to leave the food industry is because I wanted to start prioritizing my relationships with my family and friends. However, even as I went into teaching, work was still my priority. At the beginning of the school year, I would wake up, be at school by 6:40AM and leave around 6:00PM. Or bring work home and work until about 8:00PM and then start thinking about taking care of myself. On the weekends, I would still work and lesson plan for at least 4 hours a day. About a quarter of the way through the school year, I started feeling a little burnt out, so I backed off on my hours. I still worked 7 days/week, but by the time February rolled around, I could no longer keep up. I started thinking about working out again and committing to it as a way to get my energy levels up and de-stress.

I went to the gym a few nights a week with my (now) husband. Then I started really getting into working out and started working out 6-7 days/week. When Whole30 started, food prepping became a priority hand-in-hand with working out. If I didn’t work out in the morning, I would workout when I got home. I am now going into work at 7:30AM and leaving every day by 4:00PM (the latest). I share this because, today I was getting observed (which usually means someone from the district comes by to check in). I found out we may be getting observed on Monday. When I prioritized work, I would spend hours ruminating over what to teach, how to teach it, and plan extensively for lessons to make extra sure that I was doing everything I could to make sure the observation went smoothly. Yesterday, I noticed a huge mental shift because I rushed home to work out and made sure I had dinner before I even thought to prep for the observation. Old me would’ve freaked out, panicked, rushed home, spent hours looking for the “best” lesson and then another few hours prepping everything. I am typing this up today because I wanted to wait and see how the observation actually went before I went on to say what I’m going to say now. The observation went just as well as any observation in a classroom can go. I got kudos for doing what the district and principal is focusing on for our school and I didn’t feel unprepared at all. I say this not because I’m an experienced nor excellent teacher (this is my first year and I’m far from both) but because I’ve realized that work should never be the priority.  If I don’t spend those extra hours obsessing over the details of doing things perfectly, and I spend some extra hours taking care of myself and my relationships, I can still excel at work. In fact, the positive mindset that comes from having taken care of myself makes me do better at my job when I’m at work and allows me to relax when I’m at home.

So, I guess what they’ve been saying all along is true. It’s important to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. Because I no longer miss a workout and am eating healthy 90% of the time (Okay maybe 85% if you count Almond Butter as a unhealthy food) I don’t feel guilty for letting myself down. Because I don’t feel guilty for letting myself down, I’m better equip to deal with all of the other things I may have to prioritize on a daily basis. So, here’s a little “Wohoo, go me!” I have a hard time telling myself I’m doing good, but I’m feeling it today!

 

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So…how does it feel?

The top question I’ve received as a newlywed is “So, how does it feel being married?” Or, “Does it feel different being married?” Much like waking up the day of your birthday, or after your birthday, it’s not like you (or the person you’re married) wake up a drastically different person overnight. So, it’s mostly true when I say, about the same!

However, to explain the nuances that go from being in a relationship, to engaged, to married to the passerby wanting to make small-talk is much too philosophical of a conversation. I’ve been honest, for the most part, my favorite thing about being married so far is that we no longer have a wedding to plan. I know that it sounds like such a trivial difference, but the reason why it’s my favorite thing is because we now have the rest of our lives to plan for, the rest of our lives. As we both have agreed to become our very own little family (of two). I find comfort in knowing that I get to create and plan the traditions, rituals, and life with someone as a partner as opposed to following those things as someone’s child. So, in a way, I guess I feel a strange sense of freedom to create and pursue my own happiness as long as I’m learning to compromise with this partner of mine.

To add onto that same sentiment, it also means that I do have to spend most of my time compromising with this partner of mine, regardless of how frustrated we may both become with each other. That responsibility is something that I have been absorbing slowly in my engaged life and I feel much more evolved in as a married woman. Not for any reason other than it has been a slow evolution, and I’m growing each day knowing that is going to be our biggest challenge. (I like to know how challenging something is and prepare for that before I ever give myself the illusion that anything worth pursuing comes easily).

Additionally, I feel that it’s finally time to let go of any sort of blame or anger I hold on towards my parents (which again is something I have slowly been evolving towards), but now in my married life and newfound crevice of adulthood I feel it is so much more important. I owe it to my new family member to create a life of light and happiness (mainly). To hold onto negative and non-present problems is no longer necessary to my survival as the pain I’ve experienced no longer needs to exist if I do not allow it. Rather, I need to save the space for perseverance through challenges that are real and worthy of this life my husband (tehe) and I have decided to create.

So, per my previous post, depression sucks, but I have more reason than ever to understand and fight it off. Onwards and upwards :).

Sugar is a Helluva Drug

Hi Internet World!! I am finally returned from wedding and honeymoon bliss. Both were, in every sense of the word, bliss. I will definitely share my feelings on traveling to Bali and being married as well. This post however, unfortunately, will be about the delicate balance of my body’s chemistry and the dangers of sugar.

During my honeymoon, I decided that I was feeling so good, I wanted to eat the sweets and things I enjoyed without worrying, and indulge I did. Was it worth it? In many senses of that word, yes it was. I enjoyed the heck out of my honeymoon. However, one week post return, I must report that I am still feeling the awful side effects of depression from my sugar indulgence. Upon returning, I decided to administer my lack of motivation and my devotion to sleeping 10+ hours to jet lag. However, after a few days of this and the napping in the middle of the day until dinner time and then sleeping right after dinner and sleeping in during the morning, it was a positive sign that my depression was back. I definitely worked out every day since my return (and even during some days of my trip), but I want to curl up into a ball and shut out the world.

Thankfully, I married the most understanding human in the world, who tries his best to understand this confusing duality that haunts my life. How I can go from waking up at 5 am, doing laundry mid week, and having bountiful energy to not being able to stay awake long enough to function beyond my work day. How I can go from wanting to talk to everyone to not wanting to leave the house to run simple chores. How I can go from being a positive and motivating person, to someone who only sees hell in a dark hole.

I share this because now I know that over-consuming processed sugar contributes a large share to my depression. It must somehow deplete me of my natural endorphins and set off triggers that normally wouldn’t bother me. Alcohol is also most definitely included in this equation, however my need to consume a sweet baked treat is a million times stronger than any need to consume alcohol. Sugar is a dangerous drug for me and leads me to this dark hole. I’m trying my best to ride this out and not let my cravings take over. I am holding onto dear life to get past this (hopefully short) lapse of depression. I could say, what a horrible way to start a marriage, but the sake of my husband is what is keeping me afloat to fight this off as quickly as I can.

To New Beginnings!

Hey Guys! My wedding is in exactly two weeks! I started this space to reflect on my feelings, and then I landed on this health journey, but I’m going to start a balance of the two. I thought that wedding planning would be most stressful right before the wedding, but as of last week, it felt like this weight has been lifted from my shoulders. In fact, I feel zen AF. That’s not to say, I still don’t have things to do for the wedding, but I think the reality of actually being married to someone is finally sinking in. I am overjoyed to finally have the anticipation of a wedding be gone and to be able to marry my closest, dearest, and nearest friend these past few years.

Like all humans, we are both flawed. Like all friendships, we have our differences. But throughout this process, I’ve found more amazing crevices in this other human’s soul. We’ve reached deeper connections through sharing our deepest fears. Thoughts to be shared in detail possibly never or for another time, I had been deeply wounded by a few people closest to me throughout this whole wedding planning process. Some in ways that they will never understand or be enlightened to. In a sense, I’ve been emotionally grieving the loss of these people in my life as I no longer wish to surround myself with their toxic energy. The closer I get to my soon-to-be husband, the more ready I am to cut ties with the years of pain and negativity that these people have landed on me. The wedding planning stress (for me) has really lied heavily (almost completely) in the stress that comes from someone else’s emotional guilt-tripping, abuse, and inability to admit wrong-doing towards you (and therefore placing all blame on you).

I’ve been reflecting a lot on whether the fault lays in me, or the other parties. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that love feels a certain way and positivity radiates a certain light. I want to lead the rest of my life with a lightness and positivity that holds no space for competition, guilt, toxicity, and jealousy. I want to go into my marriage upholding my values to the people who have brought me to this point (regardless of how they’ve treated me) but I am excited to move on and cut ties as I enter this new chapter in my life. I thank my soon-to-be-husband for showing me unconditional love, positivity, lightness, and perseverance. My heart is certainly full, and I’m excited to let some of that emotional weight go.

…happily ever after, sorta…

I was never the type of girl who dreamed about her wedding. In fact, I went through most of my childhood doubting the institution of marriage. So, as a girl who has never dreamed about her wedding, doubted the institution of marriage, why the heck am I (of all people) engaged?

First, I want to give major, super kudos to my fiancé (for even getting me to call him that). Throughout my whole relationship, he has sprinkled my life with glittery unicorn poop (that substance that makes you believe in magic and dreams). He is the reason why I believed enough in myself to quit making a living to pursue my passion. He is the first man I have met to make me believe in the institution of marriage and to trust my journey through life with. The day of our engagement, he vehemently asked me to please believe that I deserve to be treated nicely to shake the stubborn self-doubter off my shoulders. And it is without a doubt that I had known since the first few months of our relationship, that I want to marry him. However, 2 years of solid evidence that I have met “The One” would not put a dent into my 25 years of never having ever dreamed of having a wedding.

The most sobering moment of my relationship with, was the moment when my boyfriend proposed to me. It was not a sugar plum and fairy dance, I had an “Oh Crap!” moment. Because, the reality is, now we have to deal with every single one of each other’s issues. Whether these issues are personal, relationship, financial, etc. We have to support one another no matter how outlandish one of our dreams may be. We have to tolerate and balance each other and when there is darkness in one of our corners, the other has to bring light. We had already been working so hard in our relationship, but now we have to work even harder. Most importantly we have to forgive and accept ourselves completely in order to forgive and accept each other. This is where, the “Oh Crap!” kicked in. I do not doubt the amount of love and acceptance I could give to others, but the love I give myself can sometimes be subpar. So, to be able to give the limitless love that is required in a marriage, I have to stop limiting my love for myself.

To me, getting engaged hasn’t been this celebratory milestone in my life or a secret unlock achievement of “YAY, I’ve made it!”. Obviously, it is a celebration of love, but that celebration is usually carried on daily (super cheesy, but super true).  The best thing I have learned from this engagement is that there is no such thing as “the right time” “the perfect moment” or “when you’re ready”. Life, just happens. I didn’t get engaged just to realize life is perfect. I got engaged and realized that my life is kind of a cluster F, and freaked the F out even more because now I’m going to have to bring somebody else deeper into my cluster. But, if I had stopped to say “Don’t come into my cluster F just yet because I’m not ready”, I would probably be saying that for the rest of my life.

My Unicorn Plan

A little over a year ago, I decided to drop my career in the hospitality industry to focus on my childhood dream of becoming a teacher. My vision a little over a year ago went something like this. I’ll go through 18 months of schooling that I will enjoy while trying to make connections with teachers. This will be easier than my life in the hospitality industry because I love school and learning. My family, friends, boyfriend, and strangers will be so amazed by my passion. This is what I will call, the Unicorn Plan. I assumed by the time I quit my old job, I would bounce back to my old self in no time and flourish like all of my unicorn friends.

Today, I sat on the floor of my new living room crying my eyes out. I have a little under 6 months of the program left and this is how my plan is feeling. I got rear ended by a wonderful human *sarcasm* last week. My car is totaled. I’m so broke from going into a career that is notorious for underpaying and I can’t decide whether or not I should buy or lease a car. I still give way too may *ahem* concerns about what my parents want me to do to feel like a real adult. I have assignments piling up, I have things to tidy at the place I just moved into with my *gasp* now fiancé. I am engaged (!) and want to be excited about planning a wedding, but also feeling terrified that I will not have a job next year. So, not feeling very unicorny right now. Luckily, I still have my 3 F’s (friends, family, and fiancé)  feed me encouragement while tread this water as every stranger who walks by tells me that I’m going to drown.

However, the one thing that brings me here is this decluttering I have done before the move. Before my purchase of Marie Condo’s book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up… I had decluttered and tidied the F out of my things. Now I have the book and will have to see what tips she has to continue on my new obsession of becoming tidy AF. This is not a shameless book plug however, it’s just the journey that brought me to the realization that now I have the time to declutter my brain by doing what I love most. Writing. Not just any kind of writing- writing about my experiences, feelings, observations, and memories. And not just writing about them, throwing them into oblivion so others can judge me find, share, and create perspectives.

Adulthood for me right now, is this paradox of successes, failures, and uncertainty. I hope to share with you (whatever audience that may entail) how I am navigating. And to those of you who think getting engaged is this adulthood final destination to allofyourdreamscomingtrue should probably just leave now. More on that topic next time…