Umm…where have I been?

While neglecting this digital space, I:

  • Finished grad school
  • Visited Italy, India, and Canada
  • Traveled all over the US, ranging from Seattle to Washington D.C.
  • Solidified bonds between new friends and long-time friends
  • Found out my grandma has cancer
  • Ran a marathon (but SERIOUSLY when will I break that 4-hour mark?!)
  • Got a promotion
  • Cut back on marriage counseling (because we’re in a much better place)
  • Had a few dozen emotional breakdowns
  • Deleted Instagram
  • Started a podcast
  • Met a baby that made me consider having a baby
  • Almost finished Gilmore Girls and made a pretty good dent in The Office
  • Turned 30
  • Relearned how nice it can be to spend time in the real world, not online

I want to share so many stories on this space. I want to show you some of the things I’ve seen. I want to bring you into the emotions I’ve felt. Sharing the bad, tough moments alongside the good things is important to me; I’d want to show you the raw realities of life instead of some pretty lies.

But honestly? The thought of writing it all out overwhelms me because blogging can stress me out. So I haven’t blogged. It’s like, why stress myself out over something that’s supposed to be enjoyable?

On that same note, Instagram stressed me out. It stressed me out the way that Facebook used to stress me out. I’m over Facebook now but IG is a wholly different drug. It was an ideal platform to easily document my life while also keeping tabs on people I care about. (I jumped back on Instagram recently to promote my podcast and discovered three sorta-distant friends who got married, two people who had babies, one couple struggling with infertility, and like a billion trips that everyone took over the last eight months.) Oh, also, lots of great travel, food, and clothing inspiration. Not gonna lie about that.

The most important thing, though, was that I wanted to keep documenting my life. Practicing gratitude is something I’ve tried cultivating in my life and documentation helps me when memory and mindfulness fail. When times get hard, it helps me to see all the beautiful, good, wonderful things I have in my life by looking at pictures, watching videos, or interacting with friends via Instagram messaging.

Even so, Instagram was a major emotional and time suck for me. I felt addicted to it. Last September, I decided to quit it for a month and see what happened. Whatever happened must’ve been good because I didn’t log back on until May—over nine months later.

While in my off-IG phrase, a good friend told me about this app called “1 Second Everyday.” It captures 1-second clips each day and mashes them into a single video. (You can add two 1-second clips each day if you can’t decide on just one). My friend managed to do it every day (since January 2018!) when she told me about it in October 2018.

I downloaded (*bought) the app and started my own 1SE video literally as she was talking to me about it. Since then, I’ve used the app every day: nearly 9 months! WOW.

So, while I’d love to write about a lot of the things I’ve experienced in the last few months, I feel like this video covers the highs and lows. When I’m having a tough day, I watch this video and remind myself of everything I’ve experienced: both the highs and the lows. These one-second clips take me back to some of my hardest places and some of my happiest places all at once.

I feel the same fear, elation, anxiety, and love watching this video that I did at the moment when I captured it. It’s helped me see life as a continuous story: bad days, negative thoughts, and tough moments are not traps and they will pass. The joys are infinite and the sorrows are passing phases that teach important lessons.

Ok, enough already. Here’s the video.

(Don’t worry, I’ll probably write some stuff here eventually. But for now, I’m out living my life.)

Thank you.

Since my previous post, I’ve received a tremendous outpouring of love, support, and insights from so many people. Believe me when I say that, aside from the day of my wedding, I have never felt such love and gratitude for all the people who share in our life.

My closest friends reached out and reassured me of their loyalty. Family members and relatives shared their inner demons and marriage struggles. Other couples (married or not) have reassured us that what we’re going through is not abnormal and worth fighting through.

Even people who lie on the peripherals of our social sphere have offered companionship, coffee dates, kind words, and a glimpse inside their own hearts.

To all these people and more, I can only say:

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

(And also, here is a photo of Grand Traverse Bay for you. It is one of my favorite pictures and it fills me with joy:)

Grand Traverse Bay Travers CIty Michigan Lake.jpg

Your words, gestures, and vulnerability make us feel less alone. You encourage us to turn towards each other and ourselves. You provide a safe haven during a very rough storm.

One thing I feel I must say, though.

Continue reading “Thank you.”

Confessions

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A friend of mine who saw one of my recent posts on social media reached out and asked if I was feeling better. He knew that I’ve been going through a tough time, and wondered if my recent upbeat post was an indication that things were looking up in my life.

“I thought it was universally acknowledged that people only show their best selves on social media,” I replied.

In that very moment, standing in my kitchen waiting for my tea kettle to boil, I despised the kind of person that I’ve become.

It’s unclear how long I’ve been slipping into this person. Maybe it’s been my whole life, the way everyone conforms a part of themselves to societal standards. Or maybe it’s been the last few years, navigating through the world post-college. While I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, I think it’s happened slowly over the last 10 months. I’ve navigated a lot of difficult territory in the last 10 months, but I’ve not been very open or candid about that journey.

I don’t know how else to say this: I’ve felt very lost lately. It could be just your standard quarter-life crisis, but it doesn’t stop it from feeling real to me. It’s felt very, very real. Over the past few months, I’ve had some pretty monumental breakdowns. During that time, I’ve made an effort to dig deep, investigate the scary spaces in my heart, and ask myself hard questions. The result is that I’m lead further and further down into a space that I don’t often go:

Continue reading “Confessions”

Makin’ Waves: Big Changes

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If you’re a regular reader of my blog (i.e. my dad, my grandma), you’ve likely noticed it’s been a while since I last posted. To be exact, it’s been over a month since I wrote on this blog. I’m not sure if I can even consider this a blog when that much time passes between posts.

While I don’t want to apologize for my lack of writing or come up with a bunch of excuses for my absence, I do want to fill everyone in on some updates in our lives. Maybe I needed a full month to fully process everything I’m about to share or maybe I just didn’t prioritize the time to write these past 30 days. It’s tough to say.

What’s important is that I’m ready to share some things now. Are you ready?

Here are the big changes in our lives:

Continue reading “Makin’ Waves: Big Changes”

Whole30 – Week 4 Recap

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I thought we’d never get here: Day 31. The other side. It’s intimidating, a relief, and a tease all at the same time.

It doesn’t help that Week 4 still held a lot of challenges for us, including a near-quitting day for me and a work conference filled with the most beautiful vegetarian and vegan options I’ve ever seen in my life. Week 4 also had major breakthroughs for us both and we feel like we really did need a full 30 days to “see the light.”(Tiger Blood still feels like a myth, but that’s ok). My awareness about how food interacts with my body is at an all-time high, and I won’t be able to forget the things I learned on this journey.

OBSERVATIONS

 

  • I feel too touchy-feely saying Whole30 was “life changing,” but the truth is that I will never be the same. My life is different now, and I can’t view food the same way: even the foods I really, really love and truly cherished before I started this. Do I still want to eat muffins and pizza and cheap Mexican food? Well….I do, but I also kind of don’t. I know too much now, and I know what it feels like to fuel my body with real food sources. It feels good. It feels so good that it may counteract the temptation of foods I know taste delicious for a few minutes but make me feel crappy later. Time will tell.
  • We’re doing a slow-roll reintroduction plan. This means we’ll reintroduce certain food groups for one day, then two days of W30 so we can evaluate how the reintroduced foods made us feel. After investing this much time into cleansing our bodies, it seems like a waste to skip this step. We’re excited but a little nervous about this part, since it’s going to teach us what foods work well with our bodies and which don’t. What if I discover some of my favorite foods (hummus, quinoa, oats) actually make me feel like crap? There could be hard decisions to make. Anyway, for the next 10 days, our food schedule looks like this:
    • Day 1: Non-gluten grains (rice, quinoa, corn, etc.) followed by two W30-compliant days
    • Day 4: Legumes (soy, chickpeas, peanuts, etc.) followed by two W30-compliant days
    • Day 7: Gluten-containing grains (bread, pizza crust, waffles, oats, cereal, etc.) followed by two W30-compliant days
    • Day 10: Dairy (yogurt, milk, cheese, etc.). I’m already pretty sure that dairy screws up my system, so I asked Sam if we could do this one last.

Continue reading “Whole30 – Week 4 Recap”

Whole30 – Week 3 Recap

WOWOWOWOWOW. Somehow we’ve made it to Day 25! I can’t believe it! This month is definitely one of those “the days go by slowly but the weeks go quickly” scenarios. We’re a mere 5 days away from completing our Whole30 challenge. Spoiler alert: it’s still really challenging. Read on for more about our third week, and make sure to check out the short video!

OBSERVATIONS – WEEK 3

  • SO. MUCH. FLOSSING. Normally I floss before bedtime, averaging 5-6 times a week, but now I’m flossing after practically every meal. Chai seeds, salmon, spinach, apple…it’s like I’m storing my next meal in between my teeth.
  • My sense of smell is driving me crazy. Even though I’m 75% done with this challenge, it is still agonizing when someone eats warm, delicious, gluten-chewy pizza right next to you. Or even across the room. My nose is picking up all kinds of smells, and smells from foods I really crave are sensory explosions in my mind.

Continue reading “Whole30 – Week 3 Recap”

Whole30 – Week 2 Recap

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Well, we made it through two weeks on the Whole30! Halfway there! There were a lot of things on our minds this past week, so I’ll do my best to recap my observations. If you’re interested in learning more about Whole30 and my experience so far, check out my week 1 recap.

OBSERVATIONS – WEEK 2

  • Getting the Whole30 book is definitely worth it. Even in college, I used any excuse to not buy a book. Unless it was a textbook I would need every day, I put off buying (or renting) a book as long as possible, and sometimes I wouldn’t buy a required book the entire semester. I found a lot of great Whole30 resources online—enough survival tips to get me through the program—and I assumed it was enough. But you know the gym guy that Sam says I spend way too much time talking to? Well, he gave us the Whole 30 book, and it’s made this whole past week a lot easier. There are two great resources in here: 1. a fundamental breakdown of why the program is designed this way and why it will change our lives; 2. a calendar of what feelings to expect on each day of the program (and it is really on-point). To be totally honest, I wish I had this book before we started the program.
  • It turns out our first week was pretty normal for active, healthy eaters (but we didn’t know it until we had the book). We were hungry, irritable, and eating a billion nuts…well, at least I was eating a billion nuts. We wanted to quit on the exact days (days 10 and 11) that they estimated we would quit. We didn’t experience any of the major withdrawals of unhealthy eaters, but we still had the peaks-and-valleys kinds of energy levels they outlined in the book. If nothing else, I wish I’d known to expect these feelings during my first week —ESPECIALLY on day 10 for me—instead of feeling isolated and alone in my angst. 

Continue reading “Whole30 – Week 2 Recap”