April Showers 4/18/17 – A Day Lost 4/20/17 – The Way From Here 4/24/17 – The Strength to Leap 4/20/17 – Idle Hands 4/25/17 – In Celebration of Life 4/22/17 – Quest in Progress 4/26/17 – Sunday Funday 4/23/17 – Fri-yay 4/28/17
April 18, 2017
Hello, my beautiful, fine feathered friends! It’s been a while, but I’m back! The past few weeks has been odd and busy, so my extended absence is warranted. I hope. There have been a lot of changes here in Casa Jenna, and a lot more coming, so I’ve been a little overwhelmed.
Within the past few weeks, I have: quit my job, gone to Miami, started grad school, decided on a move, started looking for jobs, etc, etc, etc…and I’ve been trying to get my diet and workouts back under control at the same time. It simultaneously feels like time is at a stand still and like time is moving so so fast. I’ve been trying to manage my time really well, and keep myself organized, but it definitely hasn’t come easy. I’ve been trying to combine things to maximize time, but in reality, have had to resort to planning out my days by the hour.
But it’s SPRING! A time for new beginnings, and even though I’m overwhelmed, I’m really so excited. That feeling where the main thing you can you can do is basically wait for things to happen and your crazily antsy? Pretty much my main feeling right now. I’m at a weird kind of turning point in my life right now, and I’ve decided that it’s time to follow my dreams, but you know, turns out you need to know exactly what you’re aiming for? Kind of? Or not? Who knows, I’m kind of just trying everything that’s in my wheelhouse.
But for today, I’ve been focusing on paperwork, school work, and food, so it’s been pretty quiet, overall. I just got back in town from Louisville, KY yesterday, so today is essentially my Monday. I still need to grocery shop and meal plan for the rest of the week, but first I have a meeting for a class, so reading, reading, reading. It’s been great that keeping a tight schedule has been really helpful in keeping my other goals on track, too.
But you know, as they say…April showers, May flowers, all that! One day at a time, for now, and I’m keeping some rewards on deck for keeping to my plans! How do you motivate yourself?
A DAY LOST
April 20, 2017
I woke up at 2 pm today. I got almost nothing done. I’ve been wandering aimlessly for most of the day feeling sorry for myself because my fave if off on a trip right now, while I’m stuck at home being lame and broke. I thought that while he was gone, I could at least get some stuff done which tbh I often can’t do when he’s being a touch distracting, but instead, I’ve just been distracted by being down and bummed. I’m trying to keep my mood to myself mostly, as I don’t want to bring him down when he’s having a really good time. So, in true Jenna fashion, I’ve just been going in circles all evening, and making myself feel worse! Whomp whomp.
So, I went out and got myself a pretty little Unicorn Frappuccino from Le Starbucks, which looks beautiful, but was promptly dumped down the drain for tasting like the 3 Snickers bars that it matches in sugar. YOLO! I put on makeup, put in contacts, veg’ed out on Facebook, did all those guilty pleasure things that I usually try not to let myself do. For a while today, I actually felt kind of bad about myself about it. I have a to-do list a mile long, after all.
Now, though, as the day is winding down for me, I feel a bit better. After all, there’s nothing wrong with feeling emotions. Sometimes, they’re irrational; often, they’re ridiculous. But–they happen, and I don’t believe that you should ignore them. Am I bummed? Sure! But that’s what next time is for! And I want my fave to have fun, and meet lots of people, and be motivated (it’s a business trip), so I want to be positive for him. Sometimes, to do that, I think it’s good to allow yourself to wallow for a while.
I did actually run some errands, went to the grocery store, did some school work, etc. While moving slowly in circles like a puppy with no one home to pet them, haha.
My day was uneventful, unaccomplished–but I got coffee, I made meals, I spent time with my cats, and that was okay for today. Tomorrows are there for a reason. And tomorrow’s agenda is already done, so I can hit the ground RUNNING. There’s a reason I keep like 14 planners/calendars/notebooks, and it’s not ONLY to keep myself calm as I antsy-ly try to get myself through the next few weeks until my next big step.
You have to take care of yourself! And when you love someone, you gotta take care of them too after all. Thank God I have cats. Today is a lost day, but tomorrow is a new one! Happy Thursday!
THE STRENGTH TO LEAP
April 20, 2017
When I was a kid, I was poor. People often don’t understand exactly the depth of what I mean when I say that, so let me clarify: VERY poor. Homeless poor. No utilities poor. In shelters poor. I was small, and helpless to do anything about it, ruled by the adults in my life. More than once, we were evicted, and my mother hid it from me because she “knew I would be upset”. SO–when I got older, I went to college (the first in my line to do so), and EVERYTHING I DID at that point was with money and income in mind. I took all business classes. Did internships. I never partied, never went to a bar, never did a crawl of any kind. I got a job before I graduated, and started work immediately after graduation.
I worked for the government, and I made good money. But the work was boring. There was no room for growth. The culture was crazy toxic. And most of all, I wasn’t happy. I got to travel and bit, and I would come home and dream about the time that I wouldn’t be at that job.
But you know, I never DID anything. I made all these plans, but it would always be: “I’ll leave when I get something new”, “I’ll go when I have ‘X’ amount saved”, “I’ll go after overtime ends”, and at some point, I realized that I had been saying I was going to leave for 5+ years. 5 years I had been saying, but not doing. All this planning with nothing to show for it, and something needed to change. When I began to talk about it more heavily again, something definitely felt different. Before a trip in March, my employer told me that I couldn’t take a vacation that I had already planned and paid for, and it was like a switch just flipped. So I made my last day the day before my vacation. After all that, after FIVE YEARS, I just did it in the span of a day.
I’m about to move, so I’ve mostly been looking for work in my new city, meaning that I have a ton of time to work on my side projects, and more importantly to take some breaths and get back to enjoying my life.
I thoroughly believe that eventually, everyone has to make a choice about their lives. For some people, my old job would work beautifully for them! Some people do great with solid incomes and stability and like not having to think much about their work. Some people, need work that motivates them, excites them, encourages their creativity. It turned out, for me, that money was not enough of a motivating factor–something that was a struggle to accept, in direct contradiction to my upbringing. I need to find stability, but flexibility, I think. The search begins.
After my issues here I’ve come up with a small list–these are mostly my own reasons, but maybe they’ll help somebody else who’s thinking through something similar!
When you need to quit your job:
- You’re bored.
You’re not doing anything that excites you. You don’t look forward to going to work. You go in every day and leave like a zombie, and consider the rest of your life only the times outside of work. For someplace the average person spends about 1/3 of their life in, shouldn’t it be a PART of your life?
- You have different, unconnected goals.
If your goal is to become a doctor, working at Starbucks for 7 years isn’t really helping you much, is it? Identify your goals? Are you working your way towards them? If not, a career change may be in order.
- You’re not growing.
If you’ve done the same thing over and over again for years and years with no opportunities for learning, you may want to think about a change. As far as I’m concerned, lack of growth is an early death.
- You actively dread going in for any reason.
I mean it: ANY REASON. The culture is toxic. The boss treats you terribly. You hate the work. Whatever the reason, if you actually hate going in, I think people should really closely evaluate their positions. What can you change? It may be your job itself.
It’s scary. Honestly, the more I thought about it in real terms, the more terrified I became. Jumping without knowing if something will catch you…it takes a lot of deep breaths. But I truly believe that everything good is on the other side of that fear.
Did anybody make any big changes? How did they turn out? xo
IN CELEBRATION OF LIFE
April 22, 2017
HAPPY EARTH DAY LOVELIES!
This is a late post, but I’m here and I’m alive! It’s cold in the here old C to the Bus, but I’ve been trying to enjoy the sunshine, nevertheless! These days, I know that often people don’t get outside as much as they’d like to. I’m definitely guilty of lettings days go by where I don’t go outside a single time–especially since I do a lot of my work on the computer–but I do try to make sure that I make it outside regularly…and I’ve found that when I’m in a down mood, a few minutes in sunlight can really make me feel a thousand times better! So I thought that in honor of Earth Day, we could talk a little bit about ways to appreciate the outdoors!
I truly think that spending time in the fresh air and around plants is a soothing, calming experience. Something about it makes me feel closer to my ancestors and the planet. So something I like to do MOST often is take a walk! I have several parks around my area with trails and I love to head up there and take a walk and look at the greenery. Sometimes I take music and dance along the trails, sometimes I just listen to the wind or the people around me. I can truly say that parks and trails are my happy place; not much compares to being out in nature AND being active for a serious endorphin boost!
If you’re less interested in walking, something I’ve found that it seems like most people have never done in most of the areas I’ve been is a Conservatory! Here in Columbus, Ohio, we have Franklin Park Conservatory, which is a little small, but really well maintained and they have different exhibits all the time! They also do great events like wine tastings and cooking classes, if that’s more your speed. The picture below is from Kew Gardens outside of London, one the biggest I’ve ever been to, easily taking multiple days to go through, in my opinion.
Some other things I really like to do is prepare a plant-based meal. Particularly something from another country, because it encourages me to get out of my comfort zone, and experiment with new techniques, new ingredients, and new flavor combinations. If it’s with freshly grown food from a farmer’s market?? EVEN BETTER. Nothing quite like being able to talk to the people that grew your food, and have them show you the best picks.
One of my most recent plant-based meals, pan fried ramen with sauteed baby bok choy, mushrooms, and zucchini! SO good.
So those are some of my ideas! I had to work today, so I didn’t get to do a lot, but I did go outside just to sit and soak in the sun, and you know, sometimes that is enough.
What did you guys do to celebrate Earth Day, if anything?
April 23, 2017
It’s Sunday, and you know what that means! Well, maybe not, but anyway…it means prepping for the week ahead in Jenna-Land. I actually got up pretty early today, all things considered, since I went to bed at about 3:30 am last night! Up at about 9, so I had plenty of time to take a leisurely shower and get ready this morning, with many cat breaks. Being Sunday, I took serious advantage of that, going to get my coffee at about 2 pm. Ah, what a day! Definitely one of my favorites. Coffee in hand, it’s time to get started on my day and I actually have quite a few things that I like to do on Sundays.
I find that making Sunday organized and making a plan really sets the tone for a week, and for me, if I DON’T so that, I often just kind of flounder throughout the rest of the week–my natural instinct is more of a “laissez-faire” kind of thing. I like to think of it like I’m setting myself up for success. So, my first
So, my first priority is always food! If I have food made for the week, several things happen:
- I eat healthier!
I tend to prep food that’s pretty healthy in general…I like to focus on plants and limit my meat and sugar intake in general.
- I eat out less
It is much much easier to convince myself to go home to eat when I’m hungry when I know I can heat up something previously made in less than 10 minutes.
- I eat SO much less
Since I don’t get as hungry eating faster, I don’t overeat as much (a for sure bad habit of mine)! So this week I have several things on the agenda, to prep, including some
sausage and pepper hash and a white bean and kale soup that are some of my old go-tos that I fell out of making too often. Now seems as good a time as any to make them up, since I’m trying to get back on the food and workout wagon. There was a while that I was working out like 3 hours a day, but these days I’m lucky to hit 3 hours a week, and I’m definitely starting to feel the increase in flab. BUT the most important part of weight loss and health is in food first, so I want to make sure I get that back in line first. Then once I’m fueling up properly, I can start adding more workouts in…slowly (no injuries here, please!).
Once I’m done with this stuff, I plan to do some of the -around the house- things that seem like they always need to be done; cleaning, laundry, cat stuff–and then it’s on to the real plan for next week!
I’m a serious calendar user to keep myself on track, with probably 4 that I use from day to day, so every Sunday, I make sure that I have everything plotted out for the rest of the week, from meals to school work to to-dos, just so that I can see everything visually. I have quite a bit to get done this week, including job responses and applications, organizing my portfolio, auditions, and looking for apartments, so I have things listed by day and time. For me, it’s really easy to let everything go, so I have to keep a tight hold on myself, haha.
Overall, for me, it’s going to be a very low-key day today so I can build my chill up for the rest of the week before things get crazy…
Anyone have any techniques for their time management??
THE WAY FROM HERE
April 24, 2017
It’s another Monday, folks, and everything that goes along with that. Honestly, I work 7 days a week on various projects, for the most part, but I still like to keep things organized by the work week. Last week, I wrote about why I quit my job with the government. These days, I’m trying to gain some more traction in more what I want to do with my life, which is unfortunately not so well defined JUST yet, haha! Woot woot!
I have been doing multiple things that I love to kind of get a feel for what I might be good at and what I could do day to day for the next 10-20 years, and I think a big thing that I’m realizing is that I kind of what to do ALL of it. And I mean…why not? I think that I can figure out a way to do it, as long as I’m am consistent! Who knows, I don’t suppose anyone knows until they try!
So, today I’m going to talk a little bit about finding your way! When I put in my notice at my job, I was euphoric! But of course, like almost any human being facing a big change, the closer it got, the more terrified I got. The unknown! Holy smokes! What was I going to do? There was so much I wanted to do, but you know there’s always the fear of failure. Of making the wrong choice. I’ve had friends telling me not to end up under a bridge (thanks for the vote of confidence, guys), people that chastised me for quitting, so on and so forth, and it certainly didn’t help my own fear. What I learned, however, is that sometimes– often –you have to do things in spite of your fear. You have to look for things that you’re scared of specifically, in fact, because those are the things you care about the most.
I’m struggling through the fear for this reason, just like I’m struggling through the fear in other areas of my life (relationships, much? lol)…and in so doing, even though I don’t have what you might call a “normal” job, I’ve been busier than ever. Writing, and traveling, making contacts, making blog posts, attending events for the arts…auditions and model calls, trying to improve my photography. People keep telling me I have to find my brand, but I’m starting to think that my brand is actually just this ridiculous.
Wandering is my -thang- I guess. You might say…questing. Hahaha!
What do you want to be when you grow up??
April 25, 2017
I taught myself to knit a few years back. I decided I wanted to learn, bought a bunch of supplies, and watched YouTube videos until I could knit a scarf. I knitted that scarf, and promptly put down my needles and never picked them up again. Occasionally, I remember that: “Hey! I can knit!” and that’s pretty much the end of that.
I’ve always been one to have a lot of things going on at once. Even when I was little, I cheered, I sang, I wrote stories, I was in the theater. I tend to have a large variety of interests and as such, I’ve found that I can flit from thing to thing without really delving deeply into any one particular topic. I just get so bored! Or, sometimes, I get so excited! It really all depends, but really the end result is that I know a little bit about a lot of topics. VERY little in a lot of cases, haha. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to worry that I’m stunting myself or not achieving what I could be in any single area.
Becuase I recently quit my day job, my schedule is a lot more flexible than it had been previously. I’ll be starting a new day job soon, but for now, I’m enjoying the open time. I don’t want this time to lead me to laziness, however. I thoroughly think idle time is wasted time.
In that vein, without a traditional 9-5 job, I have been able to dedicate a lot more time to what had previously been more of what you might call passion side projects, the things I really want to do in the first place. But of course, as I’m human, the temptation to just play video games or do random stuff is strong. I’ve been trying to stick to the stuff I already have in process, and I’m trying to force myself to utilize this period of time while I have it, in the hopes that I can generate a path for myself OUTSIDE of the 9-5. Eventually. Someday.
Anytime I find myself not doing anything, I pick up my list and see what I could be doing, so it seems like I have even less sit down time than I used to. But it’s SO NICE! Auditions that I would previously have to pass on because I couldn’t take time off? Done. Staying up until 4 am so that I can finish grad work and do research for a writing assignment? Check. I’m traveling more, working on my photography more, working on my novel and my portfolio.
I FINALLY HAVE SOME FILM FOR MY DEMO REEL. (OMG)
Don’t get me wrong though…I also went to the beach.
Self-care is important, too!
What are your “passion projects”? Or do you just have to relax when you’d got time?
QUEST IN PROGRESS
April 26, 2017
I’m in Louisville, KY today!
I’ve been spending a lot of time down here lately, and I’m really enjoying it! It’s funny, Louisville was really not on my radar at all until relatively recently. I met someone last year (yes, on a dating app), who I met in Ohio, but was actually living in Louisville. He invited me down to visit, and even though I had visions of Tinder murderers and such in my head in place of the usual unicorns and the sunshine I encourage, I accepted. You have to take risks, right? And let’s be real, I gave the address I was going to 4 different people and checked in on the hour, just in case. Anyway, the person I met took me to a tailgate–my first ever, incidentally!–where I met my boyfriend, with whom I made a weird, instant connection, the likes of which I actually didn’t really believe in previously (let’s hope he doesn’t read this too closely, or I’ll hear something about this, haha). Uh. Also, sorry, original guy.
But, since I’ve been coming down here quite a bit for some time, I’ve been starting to feel a little like this is a second home for me! And since I’m here this weekend, I thought I’d just mention some of my favorite things down here!
Obviously, my first favorite is the reason I come down…but second is food!! I’ve been a little irked at Louisville being called a food city, while Columbus is just as competitive, but nevertheless, I can appreciate that the food down here is damn fine. One of my favorite places to go is El Taco Luchador on Baxter Avenue. The tacos are great and consistent, with my personal favorite things there the fish and pastor tacos…and please please please do not forget the Maduros–sweet plantains with crema and queso. Holy smokes. So delicious. I’ve been to several taco places down here, and while this is my favorite, this has been my favorite. Parking can be tough, but worth it for sure. The last time I came down, we parked a bit away and walked here and to le ‘Bucks for a lovely macchiato. We might have also gotten pie. I like food. Ha.
I was also super pleasantly surprised to find a pretty excellent Korean place! I’ve found that outside of areas with really well-established Korea-towns (looking at you LA and NY!) good Korean restaurants can be really hard to come by. But Sarang (which means love in Korean) on Bardstown Road, not only has great food, they play K-pop on the TVs inside! And I heard Korean in the kitchen! Yay! I might have practiced my Korean, but I’m a coward. Both the bibimbap (pictured below) and the Japchae were awesome.
Something else I really like about Louisville? The amount of green space and walkable places. The bridge pictured up at the top of my post is a great walk that crosses the water and the cuts right into a little area right by the waterfront. I’m excited to check it out in the summer time. The area is filled with distilleries, vineyards, and bars and clubs if you’re into that sort of thing (I am, but you won’t see any pictures of me there…).
It may not be that far away from home for me, but sometimes you don’t have to go far to get out of your box and explore! And I’m really happy that I made that kind of dangerous, impulsive decision all that time ago because now I have another home.
I’m only here for today, so I’m going to eat and visit with my fave, but…where could you travel that isn’t that far?
April 28, 2017
There was a bloggy break yesterday while I got some other stuff done! Whomp. But I’m back and I’m peppy A-F! I’ve got a lot to do today, as per usual, I guess, but I think if I monitor my time, I can get it all done! My first stop today was the gym, for the first time in a while, and MAN did it feel good! I didn’t go too crazy today, just some time on the ol’ treadmill and a couple of rounds on the weight machines, but I still feel great. I was a little worried that I would lose my stamina build up from when I was working out consistently–and OFTEN (I may have read this articleand also freaked out a little tiny bit), but it wasn’t actually as bad as I feared! I definitely wasn’t able to do QUITE as much as I was able to a few months back, but I could still push pretty hard. I can tell I’m going to be sore tomorrow!
It was a struggle today…I was hungry when I woke up, and it only got worse through the rest of the workout! I started to wonder if the rest of the gym could hear the cry of my belly to its people. But I tried to keep myself focused! I need to get back on the path to wellness; I was well on my way to my weight loss goal at the end of the summer last year, and I definitely let it fall off a bit.
BUT! I just need to keep reminding myself that I actually LOVE working out–I’m licensed to teach Zumba and Turbokick for a reason, lol–and I have a goal to work towards. 43 pounds. That’s the goal, for now, depending on muscle build, and I need to keep it in mind because if I’m not working towards it, then it’s just a wish. I’ll probably document it a bit better when I have more of a chance to take real measurements and really track out what workouts I’m doing from day-to-day, etc, etc. I’ll feel better about showing a before when I have an after…LOL.
For now, though, I’m home! And I’m FINALLY eating. At least for today, I feel pretty accomplished, and I need to try to keep it in mind for the next few days, get back into the habit–maybe not the 3-4 hour hours a day I was doing back in the summer time–but at least a solid hour or two…which mean my workout playlist needs a LOT of work.
Does anyone have any recommendations?