Saturday, December 10, 2011

Good-Bye 2011

I know its been a long while since I wrote, but I have to say: I can't WAIT for this year to be over. Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic, but next year HAS to be better than this year. This past year has been one of the hardest years I've had to go through. Yes, I know: no one died, no one got cancer, no major car accidents, but emotionally, its taken its toll on my and I'm done with it.

I've had injuries, accidents, a broken heart (a few times over). The fender bender equals: paying out $$$ I don't have that I had reserved for some health stuff I need to take care of. I guess that means no more mouth brace for me! Yay! (sarcasm). The only good thing that has come out of this year has been getting a new job that I don't hate which has lead to some new cool friends and a community of coworkers. I've learned new things and everyday, I at least know I've helped one person. That makes me feel pretty good. Sadly, the pay isn't very much and having lived by myself in NW Portland, taking care of myself, this feels pretty shitty. I constantly have to second guess my spending, have to ask the parents for help, or have to say no to a few things that a couple years ago would have been a no-brainer. Again, it could be worse. I'm trying not to complain...but I guess it does sound like it.

I do have my goals and it seems that every six months I'll need to re-assess what I'm doing, where I am, and where I want to go. The thing that I've realized this year (which I think is part of the emotional strain) is nothing is guaranteed, nothing stays the same....people change, feelings change, your mind changes, change of hearts. Change is a really hard thing for me to digest. I'm orderly, I check lists, I expect people to follow through on their word. I just want something I can hold on to...but perhaps that's the problem: there isn't really ANYTHING you can hold onto but yourself...and even that's not guaranteed. You know how many times we change hobbies? Yeah...

So I guess my big lessons for this year is don't get too attached to anything really. I don't mean that in a totally depressed way, I mean that in a way of survival. I have to learn to roll with it. I need to learn how to velco my emotions, rather than lock them on to something...or someone.

So for the next 20 days I am letting myself finish up being bitter, angry, resentful, pessimistic, suspicious, envious etc. Because once the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, 2012, I'm back to being the optimistic, positive, bubbly person I've always meant to be...with improvements of course...always improvements.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Father's Day: Extra Special Edition

This was the first year in over 40 years that my mom was NOT here for my dad's father's day. She was in Mexico tending to her sick mom and was flying in that night. Trying not to miss a beat, I decided to invite my dad out for dessert/breakfast. Not to make my brother feel left out, I told him he could join us ;)

After much thought I decided to take Pop to the Waffle Window off of SE Hawthorne. I'd been there once with a friend and I was so impressed, I knew I had to take my dad.

I was hoping to get there early and avoid whatever line there might have been. I figured it was Sunday so people were at church, or perhaps local transplants didn't have their parents here so they wouldn't be out? Wishful thinking I suppose :)

Well, there was a crowd but it wasn't that bad, thankfully. After a bit of a wait, we finally got our delicious waffles. I opted with the Nutella and Fresh Banana, Pop got the Spring Fling which included: sliced strawberries, rhubarb sauce, coconut panna cotta, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and shredded coconut while Renato opted for something savory, the The Spicy Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno Waffle, pretty self explanatory.

Afterward, we decided to meander down Hawthorne a bit. Pop wanted "un taquito" to qwell his savory tooth and we happened upon a Mexican food cart inside a bus:

It was pretty typical, since it had a TV inside blaring soccer.

But this is an extra special Father's day. I'm a fan of The Portland Timbers MLS team here in Oregon. My brother has season tickets. Last week on Facebook, they announced a contest for the Best Timbers Dad. I emailed my brother and told him how I was going to submit, he asked if he could do it too. I said sure, it's for Pop anyway.

Today the announced the 5 finalists. My essay may not have been chosen, but my dad has! My brother's essay got my dad as one of the finalists. If you happen to be on FB, could you please like my dad's entry? All you have to do is "like" the Timbers, then "like" my dad's entry. It's that simple. Just go here.

I totally understand doing that stuff is weird with the whole internet thing so I won't be offended if you'd rather keep your privacy.

Anyway, whether my father wins or not...He was a finalist and people got to read his story.

Go Pop!

Cramming it all in

So, as far as I know, I am to start work this coming Monday, which means vacation is over tomorrow. I've had to change and move up a few appointments to this week. Plus, my mom had been gone for two weeks to I've been trying to cram in pre-birthday activities, early breakfast, Bar Method, working out, cleaning/organizing the house with DIY projects and finally a massage.

For a while now, I've been trying to plan out a day of Oaks Park rides and lunch with my oldest nephew, Dimitri and that day finally came yesterday.

I was planning on going to Oaks Park before lunch time, you know in case we got nauseated, but since Oaks Park didn't open till 12pm and I had done my bike ride and was starving, we decided to hit up lunch first, then Oaks Park. We knew what we were getting into.

My plan was to go to Lucy's Original food cart. Apparently they make burgers with...wait for it...cheese IN the meat. Wowsa! But luckily I'm a tia that looks ahead and before driving out there to find a closed cart...I looked it up. Yep, closed till July. I suppose I'll just have to find another excuse to go there next month ;)

Instead, I got some suggestions and decided on the Grill Cheese Grill. I've been to it before over on Alberta, but when I looked up their times, they had a brand new DOUBLE DECKER bus on SE Ankeny. At least it's a little closer to Sellwood and Oaks Park.

Off we headed to the Double Decker Bus. It was pretty cool.

We decided to climb up the stairs

Sadly, it was a little small for not only Dimitri, but me too!

After our delicious grilled cheeses (I got the one with havarti cheese, honey mustard, tomato and ham and Dimitri got the BLT with tillamook cheese) we drove back to my place, parked the car and headed to Oaks Park My plan had been to go to Oaks Park first to prevent feeling sick, but things didn't quite work out that way. After about the 4th ride, Dimitri and I were feeling pretty sick. I felt really bad because I've really been wanting to go to Oaks Park and ride the rides and I had an unlimited bracelet, but the rides that I did go on were SO.MUCH.FUN. I must say, it was a great day, other than the nausea. I definitely wouldn't mind going back...but perhaps this time on an empty stomach =D

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Times, they are a changin'

Ok, well not too much.

I'll keep this short and sweet. I got a job! Yay me! It's not my dream job, it's not even a job I thought in a million years I'd ever do. Call centers do NOT sound glamorous at all. But you know what does sound glamorous or well down right philanthropic? Helping indie artists get their music heard/online/bought. Now that sounds great to me!

Where am I working, you ask? I'm working for an online distribute of independent music based here in Portland, Oregon with International acclaim. As far as I can tell, my title will be Customer Service Support for Artists. I'll basically help Joe McShmo, guitar player extrodinaire or Juanita Wualita, vocalist to the angels, set up an account, post/sell their music and help with basically the technical aspects of the job and perhaps a little (or knowing me, a lot) of cheerleading on the side.

Since this *is* something new, if I think about it too long and hard, I'll find ways to pshyc myself out, so I won't. Instead, I'll focus on all the new things I'll learn, the new people I'll meet, the new artists I'll help and the hopes of moving up and staying with a company I truly believe in...which is based here in my home town.

Sure, the pay's not awesome but is not minimum wage. It's not within walking distance nor biking distance, the hours are early am to pm, and I'll be stuck behind a computer and phone for 8 hours a day. But none of that really matters to me. What I find appealing *is* the company, the people I'll meet, the artists I'll help, the early hours (I'm an early riser) and the fact that even though its far away, the hours I work will cut down on my driving time immensely. I get TONS of benefits (after 90 days of course) and I heard they treat their employees pretty darn well, so I'm exited. In all seriousness, I'm just ready to be a part of a company that has rules, regulations, guidelines, etc.

A little update on my 10 week challenge:

I'm on week three and it really is hard to keep the gusto going. I think I have lost just 1 pound in the last week (which is the goal, I need to remember. I'm an over-achiever). I was distracted by a few outings with friends and its hard to count calories at restaurants. I also found that having limited groceries is a challenge so this week I was able to bulk up yet again on some fruits and veggies as well as meat. One thing I noticed though is that I'm very tired. I don't eat meat enough, so I'm trying to introduce meat back in 2-4 times a week. I ate a lot of veggies, nuts and legumes the week before. SO I shall continue to listen to my body and try to hear what its telling me. I know with the new job, it will be an added challenge. I won't be able to take my time with breakfast or lunch...just dinner. So I gotta start pre-packing, pre-cutting, preparing everything either days in advance or the night before. But I am very grateful to have had the foresight to start this routine where I've made myself wake up between 8-9 am. I'll just have to shave a few more hours off of that once work starts.

This is all a start of something new!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

End of Week One: Reflections

It's Sunday and its the end of week one of my ten week challenge. And how do I feel? I feel pretty good!

Sure, I get hungry, but what's really odd is that I've not been craving sweets very much, nor is it very hard to say no to many things. I said no to beer AND cake today. I have smelled the familiar scent of coffee, but I know its not off limits...just this week, so I do look forward to some coffee this week. I can feel a difference in the stiffness of my muscles, they are getting more flexible.

I've worked out every day this week that I was supposed to but due to a bit of poor time management, I've not done all that I wanted to do. I also feel like I could easily push myself so that's how I'm going to start out the week. Today, I did a "long" run, 3.5 and it felt pretty well. I feel like I"m getting back to my old pace. However, I can feel that my body *is* fighting me a little bit and random things are hurting but I"m looking forward to going to the chiropractor to get myself all lined up.

So, I just look forward to working even harder this week. I'm going to introduce alcohol and actual real breakfast back in so I hope that doesn't affect me too much. I've enjoyed cooking dinner and I have a nice vegetarian recipe to start tomorrow.

I'm exited. I think I"m doing well but I could always do better!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My 10 week challenge

I've decided enough is enough, andrea. I'm tired of listening to myself talk and complain about how I look knowing that if I made a few changes here or there, I could probably be where I want to be.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't want to lose 40 pounds, nor do I need to. Most would argue I don't need to lose any weight, but it's not about the "you" out there, it's about me. I'm not happy with how I look, but I'm also no hating how I look. I know that I feel better if I were lighter. I've been there before. Remember that 10 day Master Cleanse? Yeah, I lost 10 pounds and I was amazed by how good I felt I looked. I even got from my family that I looked "too" skinny. But honestly, I felt good, I felt that I looked good and that's what mattered. For a precious month (before I started to gain the weight back) I didn't think about my weight. It was almost a non-issue and it was SO nice to have that weight off my chest...I suppose the pun is appropriate.

I've been trying to get back to that weight and I was getting there slowly but surely. Then I hurt my foot. Man, I can do A LOT of damage in six weeks of NOT working out. I mean, I've not gained 10 pounds, heck probably just about 6, but that's 6 pounds I had struggled to lose. Pounds don't come off as easily on me as it might on others.

I realized after training for my 10k that I like challenges...and training. I challenged myself with the Master Cleanse, and last summer, I challenged myself with going vegan for 2 weeks. This will be however, a 10 WEEK challenge. It's nothing crazy, it's just working out regularly, eating better, and cooking more. I'm wanting this routine to turn into a habit the way running had turned into a habit.

So these are the parameters: Starting Monday, memorial day I will:
* Work out daily, perhaps even twice a day (I don't have a job.)
* I will allow myself 1 savory and 1 sweet treat a week.
* I will allow myself 1-2 alcoholic beverages a week.
* I will try to cook at least twice a week for dinner, if not more.
* Cut out dairy and sugar. (Does agave count?)

My goals:
* I'd like to lose 10-15 pounds, but ideally one pound a week.
* Get stronger for dancing and running
* I'd like to eat between 1200-1400 calories, depending.
* Drink lots of water!

Overall Goals:
* Run another 10k this summer
* Run a half marathon next summer
* Run a marathon eventually (???)
* Cycle around the Gorge or something equally cool!

So that's my goal starting this Monday. I want it to be flexible enough and close enough to my reality to just work its way in. These are things I've wanted to do for a long time (cook more) so I just want to make sure I'm cooking the right things.

So any tips, advice, suggestions and RECIPES are totally welcome. You have a great bean salad recipe, let me know! You know how to make the most delicious oven baked chicken breast, please tell me!

This is me just kicking ME in the pants. No one can change my life but myself, so here I go!

Monday, May 23, 2011

For those who love Law and Order

I'm a huge crime show fan. My crime show of choice is Law and Order: SVU. I started watching it while homesick in Mexico the Fall after graduation. Howerver, about a year after back to back hours of rape, kidnapping and all crimes against woman and children, I grew a more than usually sensitive heart and stopped watching. A few years later, I'm back. I just love them, I'm not sure why. Perhaps its the mysery of solving a crime, of justice being served or just knowing that there are literally crazy people who think that kind of behavior is normal. I dunno.

So it all started at 3:00am Sunday night. We'll come back to that. (I'm going to be vague on the details just in case.) I wake up Sunday morning from a panic dream. It's not the first one this week, but this time I was late for a party and everyone was waiting for me and my cousin was in the shower so I couldn't get in. Yes, I know for some this is no big deal but for me...that's stressful! So fling off my blankets when I finally wake up and say to my self "Ugh, I'm done sleeping!" and get out of bed in a hurry. Suddenly, I realize I'm super dizzy and bounce around my room like a ping pong ball to the bathroom. "What is wrong with me?!" I ask myself!

After bathroom duties I hop back into bed where I decide to watch the season finale of Bones. OMG, don't get me STARTED on that!

Halfway through, my mom calls: "Nena, are you ok?" she says with concern. I'm slightly annoyed cuz um duh, of course I am. I only just saw you about 10 hours ago (I picked her up at the airport late the night before, then I went straight home to watch my boyfriend JT host SNL. What?) So she proceeds with the story:

I thought it was a dream, she says. In the middle of the night, my cell phone rang. When I listened to the voice mail, I heard someone say "Hi Ma...". I thought it was a dream. So, I was in the shower and I thought to myself, 'Wait a second, was that a dream?' So after the shower, I go to my room and look at my phone. It's not where I usually leave it at night (Mom and I are very systematic about our patterns.) and I saw there was a voice mail, so I check it and it sounds like a young girl...It sounded like you. So are you ok?!

I tell her yes. And finally when she's 100% I did NOT call her at 3:00am last night in the middle of the "freakin woods", she tells me more of the voice mail: "freakin woods", *"juan", "van with no windows" and she says it sounds like someone takes the phone away from her and that's the end of the voice mail.

I tell her we need to call the police and I know she won't do it. So I tell her I'm going to eat breakfast, take a shower and head over. I'm supposed to head over anyway for my nephew's award ceremony, so I don't want to go back and forth.

As I finish up bones and breakfast and am in the shower, panic sets in: what if this is time sensitive, what if she really was kidnapped and here I am, taking a shower. I freak out. I throw on my clothes, pack my make-up bag and rush out the door.

Upon entering my mom's house I listen to the voicemail. The gist of it is this girl is pregnant (!!!), she moved away with *Juan, who got her pregnant but now she's scared and she doesn't know what to do, she's in the middle of the "freakin woods" in *Mississippi, and she's scared and she doesn't know where *Juan is taking her and she's in a van with no windows not knowing where she's going. Then she says "just..." and the phone rustles and its over. I check the ID: unknown. I check the time: 3:00am exactly.

I call a friend who is a social worker and she advises me to call the non-emergency hotline. I do. The woman there is very sympathetic but says there isn't really much information to go on, but to call a state patrol agency in *Mississippi. I pick one that's open on weekends and talk to a woman there. She says the same thing, but tells me to call their Bureau of Investigation Monday.

Now, it's Monday and I call. The gentleman was very helpful. I gave him my mom's cell number, my cell number and he said that he'd look into some missing person's case. He said that if she is of age, there is nothing he can do, but if they find that she is underage, then they'd need to get the voice mail message. He said that if he didn't hear from me in a couple days, then to not worry. I said ok.

And that was that. Wow. I just hope, whatever it is, it turns out ok or to be nothing...Crazy crazy Sunday!

Note: * Means info has been changed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Letting go

Ok, I know I'm getting ahead of myself. I always seem to do that regardless of what my rational brain says. I do it with job interviews and with dates.

You see, this last month I finally came to a conclusion about what direction I want to go in my life. There are two goals I have right now: write my parents' story and another one (ok, yeah I'm lame, but I'm going to keep that to myself for now.)

Both of them require me to get a full-time job and after almost a year of being unemployed, I am very ready to have some sort of schedule.

I've decided that I don't really care what kind of job I get as long as I enjoy it, enjoy the people and get benefits. This will entail me to take the classes I need to take for either my MFA (for my parents' book) or the other thing.

So that's where I'm at. I've also been looking at getting a couple part times, since I can't seem to get a full time.

However, I just interviewed for a job as a floater at a pretty prestigious animation studio. She insisted that no matter what, its getting my foot in the door and getting contacts. She said she likes to learn what other interests potential candidates have so that she can better place them. Things in my mind got turned upside down. This is not what I had in mind...but my mind, regardless, is racing with ideas and new opportunities. Even though it would mainly be reception (and the pay is MUCH BETTER than what I've seen out there for office jobs) I could potentially move and grow into another position.

I told her idea number two and how I'd like to be more involved in the art department and see what works. I told her organizing and coordination are my bread and butter but I'd really like to see and try out different departments. She seemed open to that and she seemed to like me. So basically, I would be in a pool of receptionists in case they need me to come in just for the day, or for a few weeks. I mean, it is something...its not what I had in mind, but its something.

I suppose my fear too is that I'd get comfortable and end up not pursuing idea #2 because I have *enough* money and I'm content...but I dunno. I just had this epiphany that perhaps coordination and producing is not what I want to do, perhaps being involved in the art process is? We shall see.

So basically, its good to have a plan, an idea, but at the same time, if opportunity knocks on my door in a different disguise, then perhaps I just need to let go and let opportunity wash over me...but it's scary. Uncertainty, plain and simple, is scary.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bridges to Brew 10k

Well, if you've been following my blog, or well you actually know me, you know that I had taken a running hiatus for about two years. Since so many doctors said that running was bad for my back, knees and hips, I listened. There was, however, a nagging in the back of my head. Not only a nagging saying "no, I can do this" but also a nagging that said "I love this, I can do this." So even though 2 of the 3 professional medical practitioners I sought advice from advised surgery, I went with what my chiropractor/acupuncturist said: strengthen the muscles around the affected area, then go from there.

So after a year of doing various different work outs to strengthen my quads which would help my knees, my core which would help my lower back and hips, I decided to slowly start running again. Man how I missed it.

To welcome myself back into the running community, I decided to sign up for the Bridges to Brew 10k this year. There were many years I was gonna do it, but never ended up due to injury or fear. A 5k is a cinch, but a 10k? 6.3 miles? That's a little tougher to swallow. My sister-in-law has also been training. She used to hate running but a couple weekends ago, she ran the Roses 10k and has been encouraging me to join her for the Rum Run in Tualatin. I told her depending on how this 10k went...and well, it went great!

When I first started out on the run, I was a little worried about all the inclines! I forgot you actually had to run uphill to get to the Fremont Bridge. I was a little disappointed that we ran on the bottom half of it versus the top half, but nonetheless, I still took some pictures, never stopping. It was hard to get my pace running on an incline and man, it was so crowded. Every time I felt I had found my rhythm, there was someone in from of me to slow me down. Not only that, a few days before the run, I was starting to feel very fatigued and was fighting off a cold, so about half way into our 3 miles, I got a really bad headache. I passed one water area, but decided I'd have a drink of water at the next one and *poof* headache gone!

My personal goal was to finish under or at 60 minutes. I keep forgetting the added .3 miles to the 10k. And since it took me a little over to 50 minutes to run 5 miles during training, I figured I'd give myself some leeway, perhaps a 10 minute mile is where I'm at at the long distances, but I did better than I ever expected. I ended the 6.3 miles at 58:38 minutes! That's about a 9:27 minute mile, the pace machine tells me. That's awesome!

So what's up next? Well, I think I'll be signing up for that 10k Rum Run with my sister in law, then after that, we'll see. I have a couple friends that have said I've inspired them and it's terribly humbling, so I might join them for the 10k Run Like Hell later this fall, but I'd like to get back into finding other races through out the state.

My goal, however, for next year is to run the Sauvie's Island Half-Marathon. I think that would be a great birthday present to me!

And if all things go as planned, meaning I am healthy, no injuries and still enjoy running, I might just sign up for a marathon by 35. We'll see. It's always good to have far reaching goals, but of course, never at the cost of my health. So if my body says no to 26 miles, then I will listen and continue on to do my best times at the 10 and 15k lengths.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Well, I feel like I should change my blog back to "reading, writing, running". I've been running...against doctor's orders.
I took about a two year break and it made me really sad. I itched to go outsides. I substituted running with various other low impact activities: dancing, walking, hiking, Bar, but nothing compares to the feeling of wind in your hair, and the accomplishment of finishing a mileage you never thought you could, or perhaps could but then end up beating your own time doing it. So with these various activities, I decided I'd take this break, strengthen my core and my legs to help out those nasty knees and see what happens. One mile turned into four and here I am. A ten minute mile turned into a 9 minute mile. Granted, that nine minute mile I can only keep up for two miles, but I'm still below the 10 minute mile mark on most of my long distances which was my goal.

A few weeks ago I started training for my second 10k and I might just sign up for another one in May. The thing is, no matter what the doctors say, I love to run. I never thought I did. Like so many non-truths, I told my self I hated running. I've told myself a lot of things like this: I'm a bad writer, when really it was just my grammar was bad, I'm not smart when I'd get almost straight As with the occasional Bs. I"m not very pretty when apparently, via my friends observations, I'd actually turn some heads. But in my mind, I kept telling myself all of these things until I got tired of getting down on myself. Running was one of those things.

I started running probably back in 2004 mainly to try to loose weight. Then I got laid off and I had all this excess time, so I decided to train for a 10k, but ended up running a 5k because I pulled my hamstring 2 weeks before. But after that, I was kind of hooked. I'd been running in shoes two sizes to small, so I remedied that. I was running in HORRIBLE sports bras, so I forked over the mula that would hold these puppies in place and I got some running gear. I read up a lot on what was competetative, what was realistic, etc cuz I'm not about the pushing myself to my limits, I like going right before the limit, testing the water, then pushing. I don't like to get injurted so why force myself? So running I went...but no matter what, my back hurt and my knees ached. So now what?

A year ago I decided to get all this stuff checked out which is when I decided on the break. My hips and lower back pop out of their natural alignment because my lower ab muscles aren't used to holding them in. Sometimes I walk and run with a "duck" butt, sticking my butt out to mimic JLo's ginormus but. But mines not that big so I need to pull that sucker in, and stand up straight. SO after a year of building up those muscles in my back and strengthning my quads for my knees and getting finally proper running shoes, I went running and I'm doing pretty well in the back department, but the knees? They still ache, especially during long distances.

Now, not only am I running again, I'm reading like a fiend. Currently, it's "Born to Run" and man, is it inspirational and informative. I've described it as "exciting" to read, like a marathon unfolding chapter by chapter...sports commentary at every page. I love it! I'm almost done with it and I know I'm going to be sad. But for a while already, I had this nagging thought "should I just go barefoot?" Other people have done it, my friends do it, friends of friends do it and they've sung of the benefits...But should I? This coming from a girl who's family never let us walk around without shoes, let alone without socks, "Don't step on the cold surface with your bare feet, you'll catch a cold!" This over and over again, ingrained in my brain. I slowly started to go barefoot in places I felt safe: beaches, parks, my apartment. But I think come October, its time to try this "Barefoot" running thing out and by those toe shoes. I'm actually really excited about it because yes, as much as the side affects of running are losing weight and becoming stronger, helping my heart, blah blah, I really just enjoy running. I love that I can do it by myself, with or without music and what better back ground scenery than Portland, all over Portland? I've also noticed that whenever I feel like my head and heart are going to explode from too much thinking, all I can think about is putting my running shoes back on and heading out...I've yet to follow that impulse.

I'm not going to become an ultramarathoner because I've always sworn off marathons, but what if...what IF I actually could run a marathon with minimal pain...what if...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

No go

So the new job is a no go. It was tough. I basically had three interviews and in the end, they went with the other person, it was down to them and me. The last part of the deciding factor was Spanish translation, which honestly, I don't feel very confident about but I did my best. I know I'd pick it right back up once I'd start doing it again but in the end, it's still about hiring the best person NOW not the person now who could be great LATER, so I accept defeat. It's ok, disappointing but ok.

So life has now gone back to "normal" I suppose, but I've decided, now with my unemployment extension, it's time to shake things up and I must start taking control of things that I *can* take control of, cuz sometimes feelings cloud your sense of reality and well can be paralyzing. So I've decided to no longer baby-sit. I want to start volunteering and I figure I have a higher chance if my schedule were free. So by the end of this month, I will be done babysitting. Other than that, I'm just going to keep doing things that keep me sane: dance, run, work out, cook, socialize with friends, get out of my comfort zone once in a while and see what happens. At the same time, I'll start making a schedule, a list of places to volunteer and start at it. Something needs to come of it.

I've been a bad girl, however with my writing project. I think it's just so daunting and scary that I can't seem to break it down into chewable pieces. It's a guilt I carry every day until I decide the guilt is too heavy and enough is enough. But not yet. I'm going to other things and perhaps why doing that, the book won't seem so scary any more. I don't know, that's just hopeful thinking.

On an other note: This was my horoscope yesterday:

The physical changes you seek may be coming at a frustratingly slow pace, but they are coming. To speed things up, all that's required of you is self-discipline and positive thinking. Cast your mind ahead a few months and visualize things as you want them to be (and want them to look). Your full commitment to a tough task will be required, but a strong dedication on your part will benefit your reputation and your attitude. A big confidence boost is coming.

That's exactly what I needed to hear because I feel like I've been going and going, working and working and nothing comes of it. I've been practicing optimism for the past year and its at times like these that I need to keep it up even though I don't want it and it'd be much easier to just be mad at the world and blame everyone else and just assume life sucks cuz I suck. But I refuse to do that any more, so here's to optimisim.

Also, I suppose yes, yesterday I got a tiny confidence boost, so there's that sprout.

Till next time!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

On the eve.

I'm on the eve of something new.

Tomorrow I have a job interview. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet. I think I was telling my sis (in-law) that if I think too hard about it, I'll freak out. All I need to know right now is that, as far as I can tell, I like the job and I *know* I can do a great job. The other things are frivolous fears that I will deal with as they unfold. I think one of the many things I need to do here in 2011 is calm my mind and be patient. I have trouble with that, I want to know NOW how things will work out and if things are BAD, BAM, change it! I think for me, it's a pendulum effect because for YEARS, I let things go and go and go and look at that 10 years later and nothing or 5 years later and I'm still here. So this year will be a year of patience and trust, in myself.

With that being said. Holy crap! Change is scary but also exciting. If this job turns out...I'll have a job. I've not had a job since August. A job. And it's not a media job. I've been in and out of the industry in various fields for quite some time...And if I do have a changes, things change. My schedule will change, my patterns and habits will change and I'll form new ones. My life may very well change. I figured, it's time. I have to stop what I've been doing and do something else and see where that leads...That very statement is terrifying...but also kind of wonderful. I don't deal well with uncertainty, but over the last few years, I've learned that the reason I didn't was because I just didn't trust myself. I doubted each and ever decision I made...but now. I know I am in control of my own destiny. If I make a mistake, it was my mistake to make. If awesome things happen, I made it happen. Only I can create my own happiness and I take full responsibility for all of it, good and bad. I'm only human and I'm still learning.

I have goals and ideas and dreams for myself but I'm trying really hard to keep all doors of opportunities open and hopefully, with good guidance and persevering, they'll lead me there, or to an even better place I could not have imagined.

I have hope for all of it!

Friday, February 25, 2011

And it begins.

I must say, 2010 has thus far been one of the best years to day, one that I feel I was really present for: I dated, I had a surprise party, I turned 30, I got laid off, got unemployment, went to Europe and met a special fella.

2011 however, is not turning out quite as giddy as the year ended, but still hopeful, hope is the last thing to die, right?

I've been applying for jobs left and right because I feel like I have a clear direction of where I want to be in a year, what I want to be doing, but that entails a full-time job...which I've yet to find. Applying to jobs is like dating, you go out on dates with guy after guy and either they don't like *one* thing about you and its over, or you don't like one thing about them and its over. Double edged sword.Just because your cover letter said this and not're out. So on that end I've been getting a bit discouraged. It's tough to crawl out of that hole.

On the boy front, my fella and I broke up. Man, did we like each other. The big things were great, the, for simpleness sake, superficialities were great. The little things? The day to day things? The conflict resolution? The communication? Kind of sucky, and that's not good for him nor for me, so I ended it about a two months. I can go weeks with being ok about it, followed by days where I'm heartbroken about it. It's really weird when you know you did the right thing (I guess selfishly for myself) and you still can't shake off the feelings...the heart break. And I also know its compounded by NOT having a being at home (with the exception of baby sitting two days a week) thinking and thinking and and re-living. I have no real distractions. I've decided that I need to make myself a schedule. I already apply to at least three jobs a week and I look monday, tuesday and wednesday and apply on thursday and friday. That's my routine. But still there are daily reminders: red Toyota trucks, SELLWOOD, Mumford and Sons...But I know time makes it fade so I just have to give it time. I've been here before and survived, I know I will survive once again...but with time.

So, now that the gloom is out of the way, the good news! I have an interview for a job on Monday! Yay me! I was honestly caught off guard when she called while babysitting the youngster, but I had an hour long phone interview with her and it went quite well.

I'm thinking perhaps 2011 is the year of unexpected gifts. Or how could I say it...Opportunities in disguise because this job, even though it sounds fantastic, is not quite idea. So maybe the universe is telling me "Andrea, get out of your comfort zone, try new things, you'll figure it out." This job is only part-time, its in Tigard, and it *might* even be temporary. So why take it you ask? This is why: full medical benefits! How many part-time jobs out there have health benefits? Also, since it's in conjunction with school, I get two weeks off for vacation, one week for spring break, all holidays AND all summer...Plus, I get to speak Spanish and help out my Latino community. I've been itching to find a job I felt proud of...after having made the decision that it doesn't matter, haa haa. Silly me! If I get this job, I'll just have to budget and figure out what to do about the money...I'll have to work nights, or weekends but I'll figure it out. If the gratification out ways the ramen noodle grocery budget, then it's worth it. Plus, if it means I can end up going to school with some income, then hells yeah. Oh yeah, that's what I want to do...Ok, I'll leave that for another post.

But for now, I'll leave you with some beautifully crispy cold pictures of Sellwood after our "blizzard" yesterday.