Monday, October 31, 2016

All The Good Stuff

I've been in a wicked baking mood lately, which made me go through my phone and reminisce about food.

These are paleo chocolate chip cookies from Ambitious Kitchen. So good, you could make these for a bake sale and no one would know they were grain-free. Amazing!

This is a coconut flour chocolate chip zucchini bread I made about a month ago, I basically just combined a bunch of Ambitious Kitchen recipes based on what I wanted and what I had. It turned out pretty good, just grain free bread doesn't raise a lot so you have to make sure you're pan is just as full as you want your loaf to be.

For a church potluck, I made Gluten Free bacon mac and cheese! I used rice pasta, and sprinkled Parmesan on top so it got all crusty. I wish it was creamier, but I'll try harder next time. I just am always at a loss about what cheese melts the best.

Did you know that Annie's is selling cinnamon rolls now?! I tried them yesterday morning, to celebrate that this morning, I'm starting a new job! Onwards and upwards!

Happy Monday, xoxo

Monday, October 24, 2016

Gilmore Girls

I make up a minority of the American female population, in that I have not yet watched all of Gilmore Girls. Shock! Horror! Shame!

As a book-obsessed, comedy-loving 90's child, I realize that this is ridiculous. When it was actually airing, I was just a tad too young for it, and more interested in I Dream of Genie re-runs, anyways. But now, with Netflix at my fingertips, I'm finally living out my fullest potential, and binging it as quickly as possible. There is a revival to prep for, after-all!

You ever notice how some things, like a quote or a book or a blog, find you exactly when you most need them? That's how it was in 2014 when I read Someday, Someday, Maybe Lauren Graham's (Lorelei Gilmore) debut novel about an actress in NYC struggling to 'make it' before her self-imposed deadline. That book was life changing for me. As a junior in high school, it spoke to everything I was feeling as I entered my senior year and faced what adult life would be. There were times that I felt my dreams were silly, and not possible, and this book taught me to hope, and chase after them anyway. I felt so seen and understood after reading this, which was welcome after all the hard questions like "so where are you going to college?!" that I was getting daily.

So, when she already had that much impact on my life, maybe it's not surprising that I completely fell in love with Lauren Graham and everyone else that brings Gilmore Girls to life. I feel like it is yet another moment of finding what I need, exactly when I need it the most.

Right now I need community. I need friends, and neighbors, and the small-town vibe of Starshollow. I was starting to really feel it this year. At my job, I knew everyone that come in. Since it was a grocery store, I knew every local chef and driver and restaurant owner. I knew all the local construction company guys, all the elderly couples from assisted living, all the elementary teachers that run in before school starts. I had my favorite manager, and each morning we'd have a new story to update each other on.

But I just got a new job. I start the 31st. I am over the moon excited and grateful, and it's going to be such a better situation than my old job. But Saturday, I also found out that my favorite manager just got transferred. I won't even get to say goodbye, he's in a new store starting Monday.  And that all just feels like too much change. I'm already missing my little community. It took me a while to feel a part of it, and I don't know if a new one will be easy.

I wish I lived in Starshollow. Right now, I need that community. I wish I could walk to everything. I wish I knew exactly who to call when I'm feeling down. I wish I had a Luke, with a diner that is magically open at any time of day, yet also incredibly easy to leave so that he can come help me fix problems. I wish I could eat burgers everyday with no repercussions.

Everything is looking up right now. This is going to be a great winter, I know it is. I've been anxious about everything I've said above, because change is scary and I'm very easily spooked. But I know in a few months, I'll be happy with the new situation. But right now, when I forget to calm down and enjoy, I turn to Gilmore Girls for the reminder. There will always be family to turn to. There are always more people than I think willing to help me. You need to find friendship before romance. And we all need something to work hard for.

Currently on Season 2, episode 18. No spoilers, please! I know a few are obvious but I'm trying really, really hard here!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

If Everyone In The World Did This, We'd All Be Happy

If everyone in the world...

...had as many conversations with their mom as possible,

...actually made their bed in the morning,

...took every opportunity to cook a brag-worthy breakfast,

...this world wouldn't be so stressed.

If everyone in the world...

...had a waitress that memorized their order,

...a close group of cousins, nieces, nephews,

...a co-worker that always had their back,

...this world would have more compassion.

If everyone in the world...

...introduced themselves to everyone that sparked their interest,

...spoke their minds kindly, but honestly,

...knew how to plan dates that are actually enjoyable,

...this world would have a lot more confident people. And probably less single people, too.

If everyone in the world...

...could support each other with a 'yay! you tried something and completed something!' attitude,

...valued the process as much as the result,

...understood that not having all the answers is normal,

...this world would have so many more dreams inspired, tried, grasped.

Somehow it's easier to talk about the whole world being more this or more that, than it is for me to make these same changes in myself. I never make my bed, I rush through everything, and my pessimistic inner voice pops up at the first sign of 'failure'. But maybe, 'changing the world', or, even more difficult, 'changing out lives', starts with just getting the simple stuff really right. Being in our communities. Noticing the world around us. Working really hard. Running after stuff we love. Maybe that's a lot to ask of everyone in the world. But, what if I?

Till next Monday, xoxo.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Last Quarter Goals

I feel like God presents you with the lessons, or quotes, or people, or opportunities, that you most need at the time. I believe that good can come out of any situation, as long as we stay hopeful and make the most of what's presented to us. 

As a future-oriented person, I've always had a fair amount of anxiety about goals and careers and what I want my life to look like. While it's not a good thing, I'm a worrier by nature, and sometimes I can channel that worry into drive, and use it to help me actually reach my goals. I tend to have a lot of skill-based worries. I never doubt my vision, I never doubt my work ethic, or my stamina. But I'll often find myself worrying about my inadequacy in one specific area, and then using that as my excuse for never moving forward.

I have always wanted to audition for skating shows. In many ways, it's the only thing I've really known I wanted to do. And while I've put myself out there in various ways (like Knoxville!), I've also sometimes found myself holding back. I haven't always understood this, but now I do. I've held back because I'm afraid of being inadequate. I'm afraid of being rejected, of people thinking it's a silly thing to try and then me looking silly if I try and then fail. But I've also held back because I'm afraid of being successful, and then found out. I'm afraid that somehow, I'll get cast or start talking to someone or something, only for them to slowly realize that I'm actually not that great. And I fully realize that this is the most ridiculous thing I could possibly be scared of. But I'm terrified of it.

One of my coaches pointed out, though, that I am doing this for me. I love skating as a lifestyle, and I don't ever want to stop skating. I love performing, I love practicing, I love experimenting, but the enjoyment of those things don't diminish just because I'm not being recognized, or because I wish I was better.

I have tunnel vision. Some say it's a good thing, but lately I've been working on fixing the negative side effects of it. My tunnel vision tells me that if I don't get my act together and become a perfect skater in a month I will never be anything, period. But I know that life is so much more full than that. And that while skating is a huge and ever-growing part of me, it's my attitude, work ethic, what I do with friends, the conversations with my mom, my go-to coffee order, and my favorite sitcoms that make me me, and a much better me than the tunnel-skating-me. In the same way, within skating I can get so focused on landing a particular jump, that I start to obsess over it to the point that you'd think it was all that skating was. And it's not. I love choreography, combination spins, footwork patterns, making faces. Just like we need well-rounded lives, it's well-rounded skating that provides the most fulfillment. And messing up one jump doesn't  diminish that at all.

We are all so much more than one thing, and thank goodness for that. Our lives hold every possibility of infinite things to do. We would be pretty boring if we limited ourselves to only one specific thing.

I am so excited to be entering this last quarter of 2016. I am excited to try new things and buckle down on old things. I'm excited to put forward my best self, free of inhibitions and crippling doubts. I wrote a list of goals for October-December that is making me wicked motivated, because while it's a tough list, it's also a totally doable list. In the interest of privacy (I know! Strange concept for me!) I haven't shared all of them, but don't worry, you'll see the rest once they're completed.

Goals for October-December 2016:
-Pass Intermediate Freeskate.
-Compete in a showcase competition (Cannot wait to tell you more about this!).
-Read The Two Towers.
-Pay back some bills I've had to sit on. 
-Make progress saving for this year's travel.
-Consistently workout 3 days a week (Currently have zero off-ice routine and it's a problem).
-Get an internship/shadow/become a staff writer, do something. And do a good job, preferably.
-Code something. Just a random thing to learn!
-Do at least 4 social friend things.
-Meet friends in Boston.
-Blog post once a week.
-Knit 10 more things.
-Make an audition video.

I am excited for what's next. I'm ready for what's next. What's getting you motivated for the last quarter of the year?

Happy Monday! xoxo