Take Me, Baby, Or Leave Me (to quote RENT)

I came across this quote on another blog the other day. I’m inclined to take it as a sign.

A little background: I had a conversation several weeks ago that convinced me that I’m just around the corner from that elusive “having it all.” The catch: I needed to recognize the signs and follow my instincts. So, yeah, seeing a quote so applicable to my life? Sign.

I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason, and that there is a plan for us – one that we may not always understand, but will be much better off once we finally accept.

That said, I’ve also been referred to as “intimidating” on more occasions than I’d care to admit. Why? I have no idea (honestly, I think I’m one of the least intimidating people in the world). Some claim it’s my looks. Some claim that it’s the fact that I have been pretty successful in just about anything I’ve set out to do. Some claim that it’s that I’m a group fitness instructor (and this one continues to stump me more than any of the others).  Seriously?

Now that I have you thinking I’m totally conceited, let me make one thing clear: I have spent most of my life feeling judged. Under the impression that I’m not pretty enough, or skinny enough, or smart enough, or funny enough, or any other something enough. I often just assume that people don’t like me, and wonder if I were just a terrible person in a previous life, and now I am left paying for the sins of a former me.

And yes, that is what has, in many ways, held me back.

And yes, I’m trying hard to stop letting it.

The fact is, attitude is everything. The way you look at a situation or a circumstance is the way that you will see it. I’ve spent a lot of time joking that I’m going to die old and alone. That my family has just stopped asking me if I’m dating anyone, because they know the answer is no.

Instead, I’m going to keep doing what I love, and doing it well. I’m going to keep positive and know that the happiness and positive energy within me is going to draw like-minded people into my life. I deserve to live my life and make myself happy rather worrying about what other people think about it. I don’t want to hold back, and I don’t want to settle. I want it all. I deserve it all. And when the time is right, I will have it all.

I shouldn’t have to justify who I am, and I shouldn’t have to apologize for my mama making me pretty, working my ass off for what I want, or loving exercise so much that I want to share it with others. You know why? Because it is the man who’s impressed by these things who is the right one for me.

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The Countdown Begins …

Today starts what I usually think of as the longest day of the year. I leave for the beach on Friday, and it’s pretty much the only thing I can think of at this point. There’s a half-packed suitcase sitting on my bedroom floor … a few bags full of “stuff” that we’ll need throughout the week in another corner of the room … and a list of things I need to make sure I find the time to do throughout the week.

To say that I need a vacation is more than an understatement. I’ll admit it – I’m a little burnt out. Going on all cylinders week in and week out can wear you down, and I’m definitely about there. It’s taking every ounce of energy I have to do … well … much of anything right now. Lucikly, work has been insanely busy the last few weeks, so that’s made the time to my break go quickly (as I told a few people throughout this crazy busy spell, I’ve been definitely earning my vacation).

It’s not just the sitting on the beach, doing nothing that I have to look forward to – it’s the company, too. I spent some time with my mom in early June, but I think the last time I saw my dad may have been at Christmas. So the family time is definitely going to be a good thing (although, in talking with my parents yesterday, I’m a little concerned about what I’m gong to have to hear thoughout the week – apparently my dad knows about three words to Nicki Minaj’s “Starships.” I’m screwed. Last year, he was obsessed with “that song about the Fireworks” … and his twin brother knew two words from Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.” Naturally, those words were “the edge” over and over again).

So, just a few more days to go! Words do not describe  how much I am looking forward to getting my toes into the sand on Friday!

Holy Thunderstorms!

Well, it was an interesting night here in NoVA. I was settled into bed, getting ready to fall asleep … and then the storms began. Though it probably wasn’t the best idea, it prompted me to hop out of bed and peek through the window to check out what was going on. I swear, this was the second time in my life I’ve seen rain coming down SIDEWAYS (the first time was about 18 years ago). I’m pretty sure it wasn’t this bad when the hurricane whipped through most of the east coast last summer.

I’m looking at it this way – maybe it was my sign from above that I needed to relax today (as expected, the power is out at the gym … and I woke up about an hour later than I would have planned to anyway … you know my Saturday gym schedule revolves around opening time at the pool).

It’s an understatement to say it’s been an exhausting week. You know how they say when it rains, it pours? (Wow, what a fitting analogy!) Let’s just say that the crazy thunderstorm sums up my week at work. There were four solid days that it got to be close to 1 p.m. and I started thinking, oh, I should probably have lunch (we normally lunch around 11:30 a.m.) – and shoved salad down my throat as I continued working. Pretty sure yesterday was the first day this entire week that I had two seconds to breathe. This week KICKED MY BUTT – I’m definitely earning my upcoming vacation!!

So, today I relax. And buckle down for my final Sunday Spinning class at XSport Alexandria tomorrow morning (if you’ve ever checked it out, I recommend reading my reflections on the past two years here: http://wp.me/p2fdg2-70).

Weekend with Mom: Jackie’s Shower, Shopping, Newseum and Cupcakes!

It was a busy couple days here! Last weekend mom flew out for a whirlwind of a visit. We headed out to Pittsburgh, on Friday, and had a girls afternoon at the nail salon with Lindsay and Jackie. Caught up with the cousins and aunts Saturday for Jackie’s wedding shower, then headed back home Saturday night so I could teach my classes on Sunday morning, and mom and I could continue to play.

It was great to see mom’s family – unfortunately, we don’t have the opportunity to get together too often. I don’t even remember the last time I got to see Anita (my hilarious, goofy, pretty much awesome godmother), and it was so much fun getting to play with Andy, who just may be the smartest kid I’ve ever met (Seriously. Two years old. Dominated that iPad. Jaw. Dropped.) – and he’s pretty darn cute, too.

Once we made it back to Virginia, mom and I did some shopping Sunday, went to the Newseum and had dinner with Bryant and Jaci on Monday, and checked out Georgetown before she left on Tuesday (yes, I made sure she got a cupcake).

It was a fun little visit … with the exception of the bronchitis mom picked up somewhere along the way … and it definitely got me ready for the week at the beach with the family next month. It’s funny, your family drives you crazy when you are younger, but you really appreciate them so much more when they live far away. I definitely don’t get to see mom, dad and the brothers as much as I’d like to – which is too bad, because they are some of my best friends 🙂

Welcome, Summer! (Pool’s Open…)

What can I say about this weekend? WELCOME, SUMMER! The pool opened for the season on Saturday, so you know where I spent several hours both Sunday and today (I know, you’re already asking … why not Saturday? Because clearly when I scheduled my hair appointment for this Saturday back in March, I failed to think about the fact that the last weekend in May is Memorial Day weekend).

Things got off to a little rocky start on Sunday – the weather was absolutely beautiful, but they kicked everyone out of the pool around 3 p.m. after some little kid threw up in the pool. Can’t say I can remember ever going to a pool that completely shut down for something like that, but I’d already gotten about three hours in by that point, so I guess maybe that was my sign to head in. Speaking of signs … the sign the lifeguard put on the gate made me roll my eyes. It read: “Pool closed due to vomate.” I realize I’m a spelling and grammar snob, but does anyone else notice something wrong here? And yes, unlike the last few years, the lifeguards are definitely native English-speakers.

Today was another beautiful day – headed out to the gym just after 8:00 this morning, so I had plenty of time to get my two hours in and still get back in time to get sunscreened up, dressed and down to the pool in time to stand at the gate for a couple minutes before they opened up (although I did have two other people beat me down there – that doesn’t happen often). I managed to get about four hours in before the clouds started rolling in … meaning I’ve managed to grow several shades darker this weekend. Happy summer!! 🙂

A Little Reminder to Myself …

Came across this the other day (thank you, once again, Yogi Teas, for your inspired labels), and I found it particularly applicable this week.

I don’t know what provoked it, but I’ve been a little down this week. Feeling a little lonely. Alone. Ostracized. Excluded. I guess I was due for it – this year has been pretty free of lows for me.

That’s the thing I’ve never been able to quite conquer – the fact that I seem to be somewhat of a walking contradiction. I’ve never been afraid to go after the things that I want the most, but I’m consumed by fear of rejection when it comes to getting the one thing I truly want more than anything in the world. I love being around people, yet I find myself so crippled by fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, or what other people are thinking, or of judgements, that I have a hard time really being completely comfortable around anyone until I know that they are receptive to my friendship.

Much in the same vein, I do have trouble letting my guard down, and being vulnerable. Maybe it’s age, or maybe it’s just oversensitivity, but I feel like the few occasions in which I have allowed myself to open up, I’ve ended up getting hurt. I realize that pain and struggle is part of the process, but so much of me wonders why it has to be so hard for people to just be real. Say what they mean. Mean what they say. Avoid conflict. Though I’m starting to think that in my attempts to avoid conflicts, I’ve hurt myself – squandered opportunities, been passed over for someone more assertive. And that truly hurts my heart.

But I’m not going to wallow in the fallout of a bad day (which, by all accounts, should have been a great day – had I not allowed myself to feel like the outsider looking in). I’m going to use it as a learning experience, and motivation to know that something amazing is at the end of the tunnel. A reward for the struggles. To finally get that ultimate happiness that is sure to be the result of overcoming what may now appear to be impossible challenges. As much as I hate the saying “good things come to those who wait,” I do hope it’s true – because as long as I feel like I’ve been waiting, something pretty amazing has to be ahead of me.