Friday, April 27, 2012

The race is long & in the end, it's only with yourself.

The final scene in my favorite movie of all time has been playing in my head on repeat since last Thursday. If you are actually reading this blog, then you will probably ruffle your brow in confusion and wonder how it could possibly relate to my given situation. And thank God, because the truth is it really doesn't.

So maybe I feel some sort of emotional connection to the scene because my favorite song of all time also happens to be playing in the background. Either way, the symbolism of the long open road in front of Annette, er Reese, and the fleeting feeling that comes with it is what I am referring to. Why you ask? Drum roll please...

It has been exactly one week since I left my job at Xerox. Yes, that is right: I quit. Further more: I left without knowing what will come next. And it feels damn good. It was no secret how unhappy I was with the company. Of course there are a whole host of reasons that I won't even begin to get into (at this exact moment at least). But the single most important factor was my lack of passion, inspiration, and knowing Xerox was never going to allow me to fill my life's plan. The ironic thing about that is that I actually have no idea what my life's plan is. I've learned that I am much better at deciphering what I don't want from what I actually do. And I am fortunate enough to be in a position, practically and financially speaking, that I can take the time to figure that out.

The response, feedback, and support I have received this past week has been overwhelmingly positive. I've caught myself smiling for no reason at all. Laughing much more. And appreciating what I have instead of what I don't. I've focused on reevaluating my personal definition of success and have found myself having many conversations that question the status quo while trying to make sense of the meaning of life- as cheesy as that sounds.

There is no doubt the next coming weeks will be filled with change. I've got a boatload of opportunities to chase and have already met with three great companies that have all presented three great opportunities. And as my mind races with questions like what I want to do next and where I even want to live, I know two things are for sure:
  1. I am simply uninterested in anything or anyone that will make me less than happy. 
  2. My next step will shape the rest of my life and that is fucking scary, stressful, and exciting all at the same time. Emphasis on the f-bomb.
I could go on and on right now but I'll leave it at this: I now understand what people mean when they say "a paycheck can be compensation for putting up with bullshit". That is no way to live, especially if you are like me and find a great source of pride in your work. So if you are feeling that way, I encourage you to read these articles, challenge yourself to change your situation, and be thankful you have the ability to shape your future. Happy reading!
  •  Emily's announcement. Foreshadowing current events, my friend, former co-worker, and founder of the fabulous blog actually went through this very thing almost one whole year ago. Eerily our posts on this topic are quite similar. It's a great motivator to see other people (especially one's you know) make radical changes and have amazing things happen.
  • A field guide to quitting your job. Also featured in Emily's post, I have read this article frequently over the past few months. I especially appreciate the "zip it" part and it's because of that I have refrained from firing off a less than pleasant note to a person I used to have to deal with at work. I'm not one for holding my tongue but for whatever reason I am practicing self control. I'll probably thank myself later.
  • Every other quote I find and pin. Self explanatory. And it's funny to say Pinterest helped change my life.
  • What to do before you quit your job. I actually read this moments before I went into a meeting with my bosses and the ultimate decision was made. It's a great read for anyone who is evaluating their current life situation. Sometimes the grass is not greener and it's wise to figure out who or what is the problem before doing something drastic.
  • Don't work. Be hated. Love someone. A friend of mine posted this after the fact but it resonated with me and helped reassure myself that everything is going to be fine and I've actually got a pretty good handle on life.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Beach Essentials: What to pack for vacation

By any seasoned traveler's standards, I suck at packing. There simply isn't any other way to say it. It doesn't matter if I plan for weeks or shove things into a bag the night before. I will inevitably over-pack and have an absurd abundance of clothing, shoes, accessories, and underwear in proportion to the length of my stay.

My boyfriend goes by the rule, "pack as much as you can carry"- which is great since all my luggage has wheels or he ends up carrying it for me [Editor's note: Josh, if you are reading this I totally appreciate it and thank you]. I on the other hand justify my packing "skillz" by proclaiming "it's better to have too many options than not enough." Except now that it costs a million dollars to check a bag, my motto is proving to be a bit flawed.

I spent last week in Key West, Florida. Before I left, I made an honest attempt at narrowing down a practical list of necessities and accessories for someone taking a similar vacation. As expected, I failed miserably and wore maybe 25% of the items I actually brought. So it goes without saying, this is simply a guide intended to help streamline others that subscribe to my theory of bringing everything but the kitchen sink (keeping under 50 lbs of course). And hoping your boyfriend will carry it.

Vicariously experience my Key West vacation through the lens of my third appendage.
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Destination: Key West

Quote by Isak Dinesen | Photo by me (in Mexico)
I've been in quite the funk lately. So it brings me some solace to read this quote and think of where I am headed this morning. I'll be off the grid (as best as I know how) until Friday as I venture off to Key West, Florida for the first time. I am looking forward to soaking up some quality time away in hopes to return with a clear head and restored outlook. And maybe even the next Mega Millions winning numbers.

While I have every intention to go through the days at a leisurely pace, I know my mom and her friends will inevitably convince me to join in on their shenanigans as detailed in their meticulously planned itinerary. Let it be known that the only real plan I have is to rent a bike, find this food truck, and enjoy a few yoga practices on the beach.

Of course, suggestions are welcome. So if you have been to the area and know of a place that I must see please leave me a comment. You can also follow me on instagram and vicariously experience Key West through the lens of my third appendage.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

April Showers

It's been said that you can tell a lot about a person by how they handle a rainy day. Now, don't get me wrong I am a big fan of cuddling on the couch on a rainy afternoon. But when you live in a really, really rainy city doing so on a daily basis is simply not an option. So it can be hard to keep your spirits up and tackle the day. Not to mention dressing for wet weather can dampen your style. Pun totally intended.

What better way to welcome the spring rain by dressing in something that can always make you happy- like a sequined frock and sunshine-hued rain boots! Unexpected and a bit impractical, yes. But perfect for splashing in puddles while you venture out to visit a new coffee shop or that art gallery that you've always wanted to check out. Just make sure you don't forget the waterproof eyeliner.

Shop this look:

What's your favorite rainy day accessory?