twenty-nine I heartI have been twenty-nine for between 10 and 11 months. I have thoroughly enjoyed this age, as I feel like my chronological number is finally catching up to my life place and I can still joke about not getting things or wanting to deal with hard facts “until I’m in my thirties”. In fact, I could still describe myself as a “twentysomething” but I don’t because that would be gross.

I have been thinking about turning thirty for at least three years–and not in a foreboding or even a nostalgic way–I like a good milestone and I appreciate this opportunity to enter a new decade. In some ways I get to decide what I want the next ten (or twenty or forty) years to be, but in many, many other ways my life is set on a path at this point and I carry much more certainty into this decade than and previous.

I know sometimes there is a joke about Generation Y (but probably all generations as their third decade sunsets?) that we’ve wasted our twenties. I know full well I haven’t, and that is one of the reasons I’m also looking forward to tying this space up with a neat little bow and moving on. When I went back to grad school I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment that I could finish that before thirty. There are a few other things I’d add to that list also (ahem, tummy tuck). I can’t imagine a more complex, transformative, productive and overall jam-packed era than my past ten years. But that is for a post to come.

For the moment I’m focused on enjoying post-grad school life and the last few weekends of summer, settling back into my job, and getting into the best shape possible to kick this next decade off right. And I’m feeling a bit more reflective than my norm.

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To be real.

I find myself in a somewhat profound space lately sitting with the weight of understanding that we have but one life. And it’s passing and we are living it, whether we are able to acknowledge and embrace that fact or not. I can speak only for myself, but I want, desire, and strive to live a full life. To be a whole person. To be an authentic being muddling through in the same vein we all are.

authenticity defintionI have many thoughts, observations, insights, theories and fears that have build up over unplanned writing sabbatical. I think I’ve learned to better express myself in the course of my “real” life (i.e. non-virtual). I like the person I am, and I have developed a wide network of relationships with amazing people whom I cherish. I would say I am “real” with many people in many different facets and strive also to be “real” through social media and other mediums.

I’ve always felt blogging was my most authentic outlet–more than a status, a picture, or a 140 character snark. When I engage in those platforms without this, I lose the depth of myself–the current under the surface, if you will. It is easy to veer into “image crafting” which we all see and consciously or unconsciously respond to on Facebook/other daily. I always want to tell the whole story and the back story. And it’s okay if most don’t want to listen.

I do struggle now with a new identity as a professional. I have been blogging off and on since I was a sophomore in high school and the weight of it seemed very different. I am eager to explore the nexus and/or balance between expressing the whole of my worldview and experience within the context of professionalism.

That is my long way of saying I am ready to be back in this space, though I have many considerations over the content/context, whilst being clear on my own intent.

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It’s been 440 days since I wrote a blog post. Written like that it seems so much longer than to just say “last April”.

I’ve done a lot in that time–most notably complete a graduate degree. A crazy, trying, and rewarding, jam-packed, twelve months that left no time to write for pleasure (much less introspection or self-actualization). I thought often of this blog though. I come back to it constantly (even in it’s inactive state) as one of the biggest joys and possibilities in my life. Likely not this blog specifically so much as writing, creating space, being authentic, finding footing on a platform (but, please God, not one of those platforms so many spew from), and perhaps above all leaving a trail.

I so love the process of checking in with self and others via the written word. In a more formal, free, and permanent fashion than a social media status. I love to look back occasionally and recall, relive, realize and recognize. Even more than that, I find much comfort in the idea that my thoughts, my process, my life exists somewhere outside myself, both stuck in a moment and progressing through the years.

There is much settling to be done in my life over the upcoming months. I feel like I legit missed a year of my girls’ lives and my marriage began to more closely resemble and series of co-parenting business transactions. The deficits in connection are real. Not to mention the more mundane things that matter little in the grand scheme but are necessary evils to daily living: organization, cleanliness, maintenance.

I guess what I’m saying is, more to come. Four hundred and forty days worth. And a lifetime beyond that…

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Sitting with possibility.

which way to go decision dilemma choice life tongue in cheek literal

I’ve found myself sitting between two life changes this spring. And also the realization that this is nothing new. I will always be who I am and it’s becoming obvious I’m a sucker for more, harder, higher or just plain different. I’ve been in a near constant state of transition since I graduated high school ten(!) years ago this June. Going big and going new and going crazy may be just what I do.

Currently, and for the past 2-3 months, I’ve been sitting at a fork in the road waiting to see which road presents itself among the land of opportunity. Trying not to force it. Trying not to stress it (at least not unnecessarily). And trying my very best to fully prepare for either outcome–knowing that one or both of my efforts will be wasted energy.

So what are these newly presented paths? The most likely one is grad school. Deep breath. A one year program to get my Master’s in Social Work. While working. With an internship. And havoc wreaked upon my family, our lives, my sanity. For 11 months…

The other option isn’t really an option. I don’t think. Usually. But sometimes a look or a comment or the mere reality of the situation has me feeling differently. So it’s an unknown. I’ve applied for I job I really, truly, believe I’m crazy unlikely to get, yet am uniquely qualified for. And the crazy unlikeliness of it has my feeling like if that were to happen, it would obviously be where I’m meant to be. And so I’d go there. Not even sure of how that would look.

I expect in the coming weeks this all will be sorted out rather quickly. But I’m in a weird spot here. I’ve been for awhile. Unable to fully commit or clearly foresee either possibility. But spending a lot of time making sure I’m fully prepared for both scenarios (applications, resumes, interviews, financial aid, orientations, schedules, etc.). I look forward to the resolution.

Though, to be quite honest, I’m fucking terrified for either to become reality.

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Make your own drama (shoe shopping)

Please tell me I’m not the only one who creates these situations for herself.

Spring has been in the air in Portland. And on the shelves at the mall for…a month or two now? I have a notoriously hard time finding shoes that fit–heels and ballet flats especially. Last year when I got a foot tattoo in January (genius!) I bought some cheapo leopard ballet flats from Payless and ended up wearing them and my one trusty pair of brown gladiator-style strappy sandals to work all summer. They’re now fairly beat up and I’m working more than ever. Need. More. Shoes. (always, right?)

The shoe that started it all (orange not available online)

Long story short(er), I hit a few stores last Saturday and fell for some orange ballet flats. I love orange accents, so the color was perfect but it was at Old Navy and I don’t trust their shoes at all, so I didn’t even try them on. I head home and I’ve got shoes on my brain without time to shop around (ah! first world problems!).

Thus, I’m madly online browsing most of the weekend and find the perfect shoe at a discounted price from Zappos. Free shipping and returns, here quick, yes. Love Zappos.

While waiting for that to come, I’m able to stop by and try the shoe I just ordered on–in a different color and for about $13 more. Shit, I need a half size larger. Not available on Zappos or in store. (meanwhile, I did pick up the cheap Old Navy ones just in case they beat the Lucky flats)

Another online browsing bender. Macy’s has the shoes discounted and another 25% off when you spend over $100. That’s okay, I need many shoes! Ha. Ha.

Lucky Emmie flats in mandarin

So both packages come and the smaller Zappos size ends up being perfect…but was $12 more than the Macy’s shoe (Zappos $47, Macy’s $35) and while you can exchange in-store this color is not available…blah blah blah. Ultimately I’m stressing and scheming over a $12 savings! Isn’t that the life of a deal hunter?! Gah.

Finally, do you think Zappos would notice if I sent back the same shoe in the wrong size? ;)

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