daily life

Illuminating

I’m really bad at questioning. I have always felt that in a science-y way, it was best to accept the mysteries of the universe. That feeling comes from a Disney channel original movie that I saw long ago about a girl maybe being a mermaid. Unclear, but probably best for me to move forward.

This feeling to move on was most recently inspired by some street art that I zoomed past on the bus.  If you’re in Chicago and on Chicago avenue, in that confusing little triangular area where the blue line is and Big Shoulders coffee (which looks like a nice spot) you will see this…

illuminate

Would it be better if it weren’t a gold toothed lizard spreading that message? For me, yes. But it really made me think. I still don’t know quite what that thought is, or what I will do with that message inside of me moving forward, but I do find it illuminating.

In other life news, I am taking a mini pause from my double life of being teacher and a beer maid so that I can attempt to be social. As an introvert in a profession where I act extroverted most of the time, I need my weekends to cool off and be away from people, yet I feel pressure to take advantage of that time to have fun, live my best life, etc.

This school year I give myself top marks for effort. I have gone out during the week at least three times, attended PD’s during the week that went late, took a weekend trip to New York and somehow taught the whole next week through, likely wearing the same pair of black pants everyday. Not to mention, working every Saturday (minus two). I’m sorry, but single people have to brag like this because the only other people that care are parents and it’s like yeah that’s nice but also my mom loves home made poorly written poems and misshapen mugs that you can’t grasp, and hold one drop of liquid. #doinggreat

inspiration

Last year It was easy to convince myself that I had become a much better teacher. I’d made it to year three, growing each year with experience and reflecting upon my observers critiques and feedback. It was super easy to get a big head when I taught honors kids. You say read, and they start reading? Wildly different things are happening in regulars, and it is teaching me how to be a better teacher and how to make them better learners.  It is essential to me that they actually learn things and not just rest upon their laurels; in the process of being discovered.

Another fabulous Angela Ritchie ACE camp -- I did an ACE camp in Sweden with Camilla Engman in 2011 and it was life-changing.  Martha Rich | Be Your Own Authentic Artist | New Orleans, Louisiana | September 4-8, 2014 — ace camps

I hoarded all of their work from Quarter 1 for three reasons. One, so that they couldn’t throw it away. Two, so that they couldn’t compare their grade to the person next to them. I guess the culminating reason that I didn’t think of initially was so that they could create “portfolios” which by definition is a whole other thing that requires much more work than what I’m doing. Basically they picked two things that they were proud of or perhaps disappointed by, and then tucked them into their little barf green folder until Q2.

I asked them, what does this show you about yourself as a learner. Why did you pick the things that you did? Who were you Q1?

a lazy person

I don’t know if that will change who they are moving forward, but they were quite honest.  As an adult I have gone through a lot of life experiences and milestones, but ultimately haven’t changed, so I really don’t have any answers.

aliceI posted this on my Facebook 5 years ago today to represent that I wasn’t sure where I was going with my life or what I was doing. Now I still have a lot of questions about what happens next. I certainly didn’t see myself where I am now. That god damn cat could just give me some clues.

rachel-wedding

What I want to know about this photo is, if I’m not looking at the happy couple kissing, where am I looking and why? Blissfully unaware….

Also this entire post would lead you to believe that I exclusively wear flower crowns to special events, or even on a daily basis. If only.

it happens everyday.

Deep thoughts,

xoxo

 

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Yes!

I just walked home from work, and it took me back to those feels that I had in July and August, seeing people sitting out on patios, sweat on the glass, laughing, holding hands, the good stuff. The stuff that makes me think, why did I already smash my jorts into the summer is gone bin? To make room for “professional” clothing probably…

So. School started. The first week was a blur, but then part of my car got stolen so I woke up from the haze of memorizing 130 names give or take.  It made for an interesting week but I am #blessed that a really kind colleague was able to chauffeur me around and remind me to take advantage of good Alliance coffee.

There were all of the usual hiccups that go along with remembering how to teach and use school technology and what not, but I’m trying to improve each year in remembering that work is work… but going home when it’s light out, going out to eat, working out, having friends, those are real life. Could I be working right now? Yes. Should I be? Actually, also yes, but that’s a bad example.

Aside from having no car, and then getting a rental that was actually meant for an NFL player and his family, there were other low points in my week that somehow my friends resolved instantly. They truly came to my rescue with a phone call, a text, a “want to go to riot fest Sunday even though it’s not the best idea?” and immediately after that a “want to go to New York this random weekend” and the ever popular, “want to drink all of this wine?”

YES. YES. YES. What am I even doing if I’m not taking advantage of this moment in my life… besides working and then ultimately getting criticized and having nothing go as planned?  Might as well just load up on the espresso.

Believe it or not, a lot of babies come to the brewery. It’s cute and their families are cute, and I like babies now that I know one (Campbell- hey!) But I also think about how they have to go home and keep hanging out with their baby nonstop for the rest of their lives. No babies here. No dogs, not even a plant needs anything from me. Not even a cactus, because those have died under my care.

Maybe my moment is way longer than I think, and I might have the rest of my life to “do me” but just in case, I’m doing it now, making up for that lost year.

If my summer of Emma was any indication, I think I can consider this second half of 29 one of my better years of life.  Unfortunately I didn’t photograph a lot of the cool fun things that I did, but they are in my memories for sure and I’m really happy about that.

soho

rachel

daca

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xoxo from me in the future when I have a cute vespa that I can drive in heels.

Dear Future me

I came across the site futureme.org when I was teaching English in Spain because I thought it would be a fun final activity. What I should have done was start with it so that the students could receive their e-mail at the end and laugh or say “wow” or whatever. Basically you compose an e-mail to yourself and send it to the “future” and it has to be at least 6 months into the future (I think). I’ve done it a handful of times now and it’s always a nice little surprise in my inbox. Especially nice to have a break from unsubscribing from Banana Republic and UDems, which I wasn’t even really in, but now I’m permanently on their mailing list. DEM4LYFE.

I just wanted to share 99% of what I wrote. I only changed one percent to just take out a name and like one other touchy thing…

Dear FutureMe,
Hey, you just got a letter today from March- talking about breaking up….living at home…all of the very difficult times you went through last year. Right now there is a light at the end of the tunnel in ALL senses of that phrase.
1. Surgery is done and recovery is going well. Aside from having numb chin and lips, can’t complain. Hopefully when you read this you are like wtf, I can feel everything on my face yay.
2. Braces for only 3-4 more months (maybe less?!?!) Last time I had an appointment he said around 3 months, but again that was 6 weeks ago. I have one Jan 5th and I hope he can give me more of an idea of that date. PLZZZ BE SOON!
3. Moving to wicker park! I’m so excited. It’s taken me literally an entire year to get to this point. I stayed after the break up and then I just kept staying during my surgery. Now I can finally be independent as fuck. yes. yes yes.
4. Teaching is great this year. Not getting observed has really calmed me down a LOT. I also have pretty nice classes and I’m not completely clueless about what I’m doing. Thank goodness.
I can also see myself staying …… longer than I originally anticipated. I thought I’d do my 4 years and be so ready to fly out of here but the more time passes by it seems pretty easy to just stay a little longer. Get my loans forgiven. Do a really good job. I think I will move on eventually, but closer to year 10 than year 5? We shall see future me.
5. Hope you’re still eating healthy as fuck. I’m having a smoothie right now that’s like fruits protein powder, flax etc…all that good stuff. Keep it up.
Wonder if you’re still single? Obviously haven’t talked to any boys  since…… so that’s a pretty long dry spell. You are so ready to get out there if you aren’t already. Go on a date with like literally anyone. Why not. A bartender, a clown, a baker, just not a bum or a jerk lord.
All right I came to school to grade. You are on summer break now you lucky betch. Hope you’re enjoying it!

 

 

So man that last paragraph had me in tears. Just not a jerk lord. Those are my standards. And yes, I decided to eat healthy AF this morning so I’m having yogurt with berries. Thanks past me for that reminder.

Whatever it takes, figuring out the best ways to take care of yourself and be the best version of yourself. The most effective ways to get a variety of workouts in and never get bored! Studiohop Fitness! via Lauren Jade Lately

In the meantime….

xoxo

Your story

Today I’m feeling a little bit of Hamilton, a dash of a feel good e-mail, and a pinch of reflective on why I’m a big baby about getting evaluated.

I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and you laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.

– Clarissa Pinkola Estes 

I usually get pretty depresso after getting observed at work. I’m sure everyone goes through that feeling because I know of very few people that expect to give or get feedback along the lines of “great job, keep doing what your doing because you are a perfect angel.” But on the other hand, it probably couldn’t hurt to say?

I mean, that’s my mentality when I workout – which is totally a thing now that I live across the street from a gym-AND JOINED IT. I’m as pleased as can be that I actually arrive at the gym, in a semi cute workout outfit and last for a whole hour. The actual workout boils down to about 30 minutes but I stretch it out because it’s like “well, I’m already here…might as well roll around on this yoga mat in some form of stretching ab laying pose.” Plus an hour just seems like a better amount of time.

When I joined the gym they did that thing where you get a free training session, so it’s like damn, pressure, better do it. It’s free. But I did the usual like Oh no, we have to reschedule approximately 4 times. Then last night I forgot to text back confirming our session today so he was going to cancel if I didn’t reply. So when I replied I was like, I totally understand if you want to cancel and never reschedule. And he was like no worries, see you at 8.

OH. SNAP.

Trapped. But here I am, feeling literally amazing (pronounced a la Chris Traeger from Parks and Rec).

Image result for chris traeger

We did start talking about my “fitness goals” which I couldn’t help but laugh. So I pulled some stuff out of my butt from the past about how I used to run 5ks and I did the shamrock shuffle which is an 8k. So the trainer tried to dig a little deeper, figuring I like running, so he asks…

“Cool, why did you decide to do 5ks?”

me: “Because I don’t think anyone should run any farther than that. I never want to run a marathon.”

trainer: Starts talking about the movie 300 and running, and ancient Greece.

me: ……(in my brain remembering that my actual new years resolution was to become a person that drinks more bourbon). 

 

We ended up getting along great though, and he is super knowledgeable and showed me all of these creepy pictures of him competing in body building competitions. I didn’t think we were close enough yet to ask why you have to dye yourself orange to participate,  but I ended up purchasing some more sessions with him, so I will keep you all posted.

In other news my lower lip and chin are still trying to drive me nuts by remaining tingly. However, I don’t have to eat with a mirror anymore. I still find the occasional dribble on my chin, but I’m more comfortable in how to manage my bites. I have stopped taking selfies because I’m waiting until I actually notice more of a difference in my face and the differences have been so slight that I don’t want to get frustrated. It is good to look back where it all started though.

In way other news I got bored one night and actually clicked on a Facebook ad because they can read into your soul and know your deepest thoughts that you don’t even know that you have and decided to try this thing called stitch fix. I got my first package and let me tell you, it did come at a good time when I needed my spirits lifted, but I really geeked out more than I usually would over clothes. If you know me at all, I actually HATE shopping. It’s so weird. I can’t explain it. I like having clothes and I’m into style and what not but I have approximately zero endurance. Grocery shopping is my jam. I go down every aisle. Twice.

Anyways stitch fix is like having a personal stylist for poor-ish people. You take a little quiz and then you say if you have any specific wishes for that month or however often you want to do it and then they send you stuff they think you might like. You just have to decide if you want to buy it and then you send the rest back. Super easy, fun, cool, exciting, etc.

I’m going to sign off before I lose this weird workout momentum that I got that made me feel excited at the thought of cleaning my apartment. PS Living alone is the best thing that anyone can do in their life ever. If you missed that experience you seriously need to move out of your house that you share with your husband or wife and be like, look, we can still be married but this is super important. Bye.

Big shout out to all of the women, children, cute dogs, men, and everyone else (half women, whole martian, clowns, etc.) marching today. Power to the people.

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Image result for borges quotes on time

Great decisions

I have had some very “if you give a mouse a cookie” moments lately. It’s a technical term that I use to describe realizations regarding things that one cannot do. For example, one cannot make pasta without a pot to boil the water. A strainer is also a luxury item in an emergency, but really pretty helpful when making pasta.

So I get to Target (#dangerous) and I head towards the aisle housing the pots and pans. En route to get my little pot, I realize that I need a dish towel if I plan on drying the pot afterwards. And it should be cute because it will be displayed. Once I get the pot (is there another word I could be using? I’m not talking about drugs, but it could seem that way out of context), I  realize that I may also need to uncork my wine that I will likely drink with the pasta. And once I see that, I see a lovely turquoise can opener. I need it to be top of the line because I have had full on giving up on eating experiences opening cans. Easy is a problem you can throw money at.

So this experience continued on until I had to make two trips  from car to apartment, one of which included various stops and handle adjustments and hipster stares.

As I lamented the fact that until two days ago, I didn’t even own silverware, my cousin said, “yeah, but you lived in Spain? Would you take that away to have silverware?” #wisdom.  I’m not entirely sure that I can still use that as an excuse though, because although my memory doesn’t serve for much, Facebook likes to remind me that Spain happened about 4 years ago. Am I still within the window of using that as an excuse as to why I have as many belongings as Ron Swanson? The thing is that I’ve always had roommates. I always counted on them to have the stuff, and they delivered. Again, not a drug reference.

It’s only been three days but I count living by myself among the top three decisions of my life. The other two being going to Iowa and selecting La Rioja on a whim. All of these decisions were arrived at with very little thought. I think I probably convinced myself and others around me that there was a lot of deep thought, but there wasn’t. I won’t necessarily advocate for  living your life without thinking things through, but sometimes it’s not worth all of the extra stress. I have anxiety about other really useless things, so it balances out.

I haven’t taken many photos of the new place yet since it’s still a work in progress, but I can share one snapshot, and then other photo updates.

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I made it through the first week of break warding off the inevitable sickness that comes when my body realizes it can be “at rest” and now I have used the first day of 2017 to research pet adoption, apply to adopt a bull dog (oops?), eat as many emergen-c tablets as the bottle allows and slam throat coat tea as if it tasted good.

Tomorrow I will finally have cable and official internet. Currently ‘borrowing’ from Alliance bakery. Plan on  being a loyal customer and good neighbor, so it’s fine. I’ll probably also attempt to not die in my laundry room that looks like the set of the movie Saw.

P.s- Jaw update: Still numb in my lower lip and chin area, but not as bad as before. I can eat without a mirror but I still get the occasional dribble so I have to just check  myself often. I do get tingles when I move my mouth around so I’m taking that to be a good sign. I haven’t officially hit the 6 month mark, so fingers crossed that my nerves give me a special anniversary gift of growth.

A trip down memory lane.