Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hello Beautifuls

Finals week has finally come. My life for the next week will be reduced to little more than eating and staring at textbooks. And, as always, more yoga. Since I last wrote I believe I’ve maintained a steady 4 days/week and I’m fairly proud of that! I’ve started incorporating sequences from my Yoga Sequencing book when I don’t have a full hour and a half to devote to my primary series. I know it’s totally allowed to take a shorter Ashtanga practice, but I like doing these sequences because they incorporate poses I don’t get to do in primary. I can definitely see a significant improvement in arm strength over the past few weeks, which is odd because I haven’t necessarily done anything extra for my upper body. I suppose I am just now seeing a few new developments that have come from gradual strength development. Either way, I’m not complaining.

I also ran ten miles over four days this week! I’m proud of myself for getting four days in at the gym this week on top of four days of yoga. I don’t know where all this free time came from but I am thankful for it! I don’t see myself having this much time to devote to exercise next week, so I will probably just look to getting my four days of yoga in. That is more than good enough for me. I have a bad habit of getting disappointed in myself when I find the motivation/time to exercise more than usual and then can’t keep it up, but I am working towards realizing that I am putting effort in to my health to feel good about myself, not to achieve any sort of “goal.” There are no hard and fast rules for when I have to exercise or how often. I just need to do what makes me happy and what I have time for.

As always, my life has changed a bit since my last post. I am quitting my new job (I know, what’s wrong with me?) and I’m working at my bank again. I am happy with this decision, although I feel bad for not being able to keep a job AGAIN. I know it’s best for my professional and financial life, but I’ll be on the job hunt again after spring semester starts.

Anyway, this entire post is just for procrastination. There is only so much studying one can do at one time.

Lost

Every time I come back to you, I say I’m here to stay and I just end up leaving again. I’m not ignoring this blog because I don’t want to write anymore. It’s not even like I’ve forgotten that I have this blog. I think about writing a lot, actually. It’s just that I have been in a terrible place recently and I don’t want to bring that negativity into this space. When I redesigned/renamed this blog, I did it with the intention that this was going to be the place where I wrote about making myself better. Well, I haven’t been better. I’ve been much, much worse. I can’t even remember the last time I felt as poorly as I do right now. And I don’t want to bring that to this blog. I can’t imagine any of you feel like reading a bunch of whining from a college kid with, quite honestly, nothing to complain about. Objectively, I know my life is good. I don’t have any life-threatening problems at the moment, I’m living with my saint of a boyfriend, a month ago I adopted a dog that has quickly become the light of my life and I know I’m going to do well in all my classes this semester.

And yet, I can’t help but feeling that my life is slowly but surely unraveling. I feel like everything around me is falling apart and as much as I try to pick up the pieces and glue them back together my life just feels more and more broken. I try to start out the day as positively as possible but, almost without fail, each day throws something at me to knock me back down into this awful place. I feel so incredibly alone, and I know the only way to stop feeling alone is to pull myself out of this, but I can’t seem to get there.

It’s like I’m sitting at the bottom of a well. I can see all my friends at the top having wonderful lives and going on as if everything is completely lovely. I don’t particularly enjoy being down there, but climbing up is absolutely exhausting, so it’s easier and more comfortable to just stay at the bottom. I know that I would be happier at the top, but I just don’t have the strength to get there. 

I am having a lot of trouble finding a job, and that has become a source of non-stop stress for me. I have never been financially insecure and I don’t really know how to deal with it now that I am. I am having to rely on my boyfriend and what he makes from his job, and although I trust him, I’ve never been in a position where I couldn’t support myself fully. And, on top of needing the income, constantly not being hired is really starting to get to my confidence. It’s hard to keep trying when I haven’t been good enough for every other place I’ve applied to. At this point, it’s hard to rationalize putting forth the energy when I’m not expecting anything to come of it. I know, obviously, that I can’t actually get a job unless I actually keep turning in applications, but it is so exhausting to continually be disappointed.

My anxiety is making my life so much harder than it should be. I can’t talk to people. I don’t want to be around anyone.  And, unfortunately, at the same time all I want is to connect with people. I cling to small-take and anything any random stranger says to me. But I can’t help not wanting to be noticed around strangers. It terrifies me. Everything terrifies me.

I’m sincerely hoping nobody took the time to read through this entire post. This isn’t what I want this blog to become, but this is all that is on my mind right now. I’m still going through the motions of what I feel like my life should be- yoga, gym, healthy eating. But that’s all it is. Motions. My body is there, but I am not. I’m hoping I’ll get there soon, though. 

I’m trying. I’m trying. I’m trying.

For the Love of Books!

What I’m reading now:

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Damned, by Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk is by far my favorite author. I have his Invisible Monsters book cover tattooed on the inside of my left arm. His books always have a way of making me change, or at least reexamine, how I view and life my life. He writes in a way that makes you unsure of everything you believe to be true. For a long while there, I snapped up each of his books as he wrote them, but I got behind after Pygmy and am just now catching up. Damned, first off, is great so far. To my disappointment, it’s a lot tamer than his earlier works I know and love. It still has his distinct style and that alternative, kind of uncomfortable charm that I love so much, but this book is quite, diluted, I guess, in comparison to some of his others. Luckily, that is my only complaint about this book. It’s funny, it’s sassy, and absolutely beautiful in that “This is going to piss a lot of people off and I don’t care” kind of way. I’m almost finished, and I have read enough to know that I have no idea how this book is going to end and I can’t wait to be completely blown away. I have the sequel on my computer, so hopefully I’ll get around to reading that soon as well.

What I’m reading next:

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The Core of the Yoga Sutras

Okay, I might not actually be reading this next because I have to wait until my anniversary (MY ANNIVERSARY) with Sam to get it, but I wanted to talk about it because I am SO EXCITED about it! I am trying hard to rekindle my relationship with yoga, because I know it will make me feel so much better about pretty much everything. So I’m asking for this and Kino’s book on Ashtanga yoga for my anniversary gift. I’m going to try to approach yoga completely this time instead of just going through postures like I normally do. I’ve done a lot of blog-reading lately (Daily Cup of Yoga is my current obsession) and, at least right now, this is what I want to focus my energy on. So there’s that. More on my yoga happenings later.

On Balance and Taking up Space

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I promise one day my life is going to be free enough for me to resume blogging regularly. I have at least two partially written posts in my drafts and I’m currently writing this at work. My internship ends in two and a half weeks and I start school in a little under a month. If all goes well I won’t be working during the fall semester, so things should slow down shortly. And thank God for it. I love my job and I am so appreciative of the opportunity to get this experience so early on in my (inevitable) banking career, but spending my summer working 40 hour weeks, not to mention working out 6 days a week (meaning waking up at 5:30 am on weekdays), has WORN ME OUT. I’m tired. I’m cranky. I’m sure Sam is counting down the days I have left to work because I know his patience for my attitude recently is running thin.

Something else that is not at all positively contributing to my mood is my (slight) weight gain. Back in Greece I rarely ate out, I was doing cardio almost every day and I was smoking almost a pack of cigarettes a day. Since I’ve been home I’ve transitioned into (what I think is) a much better lifestyle. Unfortunately, we can’t cook where we live now, but I am making sure to eat regular amounts at regular times (most of the time), I’ve incorporated a lot of weight lifting into my workout routine and Sam and I are quitting smoking. As many times as I tell myself I’m doing good things for my body, I can’t help but freak out that it has caused me to gain a little bit of weight. We’re talking 2-3 pounds here, nothing major, but when you’re in a situation where you’ve spent years and years trying to get to a certain weight, when you finally get there (and have the motivation to stay there), a few pounds is everything. I know, I know, how many times have I said I’m going to stop worrying about my weight? It’s a process, guys. I’m trying.

I am having a lot of trouble balancing my responsibilities and my, well, me. I feel like I’m always either at work or being a girlfriend or a daughter. Working out just seems like something I have to do and not something that brings me any kind of happiness or accomplishment. In general, I just feel sort of uncomfortable with my current situation. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m not living in my own place. Right now I spend the majority of my time on one half of my bed in Sam’s room. I don’t have any of my own friends in Memphis. I feel like I’m taking up space I don’t belong in.

The more I write about this the more it is clear to me that I have to believe that I am a person who deserves to take up space. That’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it? Why else am I so determined to continue losing weight? What would losing five more pounds bring me? Another pant size down or inch less around my waist? What good will it do me more than focusing on being happy, healthy and STRONG? I don’t understand why I continuously base my worth over how much space I don’t take up. I’m sure that has so much more to do with my feeling out of place than my actual situation.

…Still, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about living in my own house in Oxford. 8 Days!

Life happens

Wow! The past month of my life has absolutely flown by. I honestly haven’t even had time to process that I am back home, much less blog about everything that has been going on in my life. Let me give you a quick run down of how things are going in my life right now.

My internship is going well. I love my job and everyone I work with. I’m not so sure I’m adjusting to the 8-5 life very well, but I’m glad I get to practice this summer before I dive in in a few years.

Much to my own amazement, I’ve kept up my workout routine splendidly. I’ve even started strength training because my boy’s roommate has a set of adjustable dumbbells. I’m trying so, so hard to forget about the scale, measurements and calories and just focus on eating clean and killing my workouts. Hopefully everything else will work itself out. Every day is a struggle to not constantly obsess over my weight, but I’m making an effort to be happy and confident and secure in myself.

I am moving to Oxford in three weeks! Sam and I haven’t even started packing or preparing in any way whatsoever for this. I’m trying not to worry about it, but the phrase “we’ll do it next week” isn’t really going to fly soon. Maybe we really will do it next week. Maybe.

That’s about all that’s going on. My life is basically workout, work, sleep right now. Hopefully I’ll have some free time to do things that aren’t in any way productive soon.

Do good things, guys. I’m still here, I promise.

Constantinopoli!

Wow! It feels like just yesterday we were booking hostels and buying bus tickets for Istanbul, and just like that it’s over. I am so, so happy I decided to go because I absolutely fell in love with that city. I know I wouldn’t have known what I was missing out on if I hadn’t gone, but thank god I made it there before I left Europe. Monday and Tuesday were two absolutely crazy ridiculous days, but they were worth every second. 

Our adventures started right off the bat. An old Turkish man in a suit approached us as soon as we got into town and not only went to find someone who knew English to read the directions to our hostel, but actually took us all the way there. I will never know why that man had the time or the desire to help six random Americans and take an almost 30-minute walk with them, but I don’t even want to know how long it would have taken us to find the place without him. We took an overnight bus (which means basically no sleep), but since we only had two days we only sat down to eat breakfast and then we were out. After we walked out the door, the only other time we sat down that day was to eat lunch, and that is not an exaggeration. We went to the Grand Bazaar, which is completely appropriately named, and the Blue Mosque before heading back to get ready for the concert.

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ImageWe found the Grand Bazaar randomly on the way to the Hagia Sophia. The only problem with that was that those two things aren’t even close to each other… Like I said, I was pretty lost the entire trip. We spent over two hours there and I don’t even think I saw a tenth of it. Image

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We had to wear these inside the mosque. I think we pull them off, don’t you?

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I think the best part about not knowing where we were was that we honestly just wandered our way to and from everywhere. Walking for two days straight was absolute hell, but we would have missed so much taking taxis or public transportation everywhere. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to just because of how much time we spent walking, but I’m glad that we got to take our time actually seeing what little of the city we did see. 

The JT concert was absolutely incredible. He puts on one hell of a show. And I have no idea how he is so good at everything he does. I don’t have any good pictures, unfortunately, but just take my word for it. Absolutely worth waiting an hour listening to “Some Type Of Way” on repeat for an hour, standing for over three and climbing a fence to find a taxi that we overpaid for to get home. 

The second day we got to go in the Hagia Sophia and we went to a Turkish bath, after a serious struggle with the number one worst hostel receptionist of all time. Let me tell you, that bath was quite the experience. Not an experience I’m sure I want to repeat, but definitely something I’m glad I got to do once in my life. After we ate dinner a few of us went last minute shopping to spend the last of our Lira and we ended up getting to our shuttle pick up at exactly the right time. Seriously, if we had been two minutes later we would have missed it. I have no idea how we managed that so perfectly, but it couldn’t have turned out better if we had planned it that way. 

I can honestly say I will be back there. Two days was nowhere near enough. I could spend forever just walking down every side street and spending too much time looking in all the random shops. I left my heart in Turkey.

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AmsterDAMN

(sorry, really. sorry.)

Last week I skipped school and flew up to Amsterdam to see Caitlin for a few days. I was only there for three days, but I absolutely fell in love. I think it’s the one place I am really passionate about visiting again. I loved everything about it. Amsterdam is a BEAUTIFUL city. It’s also incredibly clean, which was a nice change from what I’m used to in Thessaloniki (not that I MIND having to look down while I walk, of course). There are also a TON of bikes. Seriously, bikes everywhere (the internet tells me bikes are 60% of transportation in the city. I believe it.)

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Here’s a church, please note all the bikes

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I was not exaggerating.

The first day we explored downtown. We ate lunch right by the canal and went to the Anne Frank museum. I did NOT bring the right shoes for three days of standing up/walking, but I could have walked through the city all day (you know, with periodic coffeeshop stops).

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should I be smiling?

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Speaking of coffeeshops, we found some cool ones. Here’s the first one we went to:

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 My photos don’t do the city justice by ANY means, so trust me when I say it looks better in person.

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Okay, this picture is more about the randomly leaning building than the beauty of the city. But really, what the heck?

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Wednesday morning we set out to find the I Amsterdam sign. Unfortunately, we were less than a minute away on Tuesday but we didn’t notice, so we had to basically walk the same way we walked the day before.

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And Wednesday night was, of course, the Drake concert. Absolutely, incredibly amazing does not even begin to cover it. The Weeknd opened for him and they sang Crew Love together, I absolutely could have DIED.

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“I know there are smokers in the building… get your lighters up”

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You see that tiny little silhouette? DRAKE.

 

This seems to be the recurring theme, but my pictures don’t do it justice. We were far away but it was still one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I mean, damn. I saw Drake in Amsterdam.

It was hard for me to leave on Thursday. It’s Sunday and I’m STILL wishing I were back there. No matter how many times I say it was amazing it won’t be enough.

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Here’s me being a good college student representing the 38655. Hey Oxford, I see you.