Work. Life. Balance?

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I was about to post this...

Lately, I've been gnawing on the idea of the pursuit of finding a balance for myself and what I want to do professionally.

A little over two weeks ago, I was offered a position at a different company in the same field. The health company where I was working was in the thick of an event, so HR was amazing enough to pay me for a week where I could take time off since my articles were already finished.

What. A. Gift.

This was the time for me to turn off Netflix, remove all social media icons from my phone, and do what I've always wanted to do: de-stress.

So I did that.

I'd wake up with Adam as he prepared for work, but took my time with my morning. I'd read a few chapters of the books that had been piling by my nightstand, and then was prepped and dressed at Luci's Marketplace by 9 a.m.

I finished my e-book and wrote a children's book for submission, just to do cross that off my bucket list. I did the phantom blogging idea, where I wrote a few half-chewed articles.

Around 2 p.m., I'd go to Burton Barr Library and exchanged books, or I would to Bookman's to buy a few books. When I'd return home, I'd clean the apartment, play with Zooey, meditate, write in my journal, make dinner, went on walks and did yoga, and just reveled without (too much) technology.

I even went on a few road trips.

But, this was me. This was my rhythm, my pace.

As I get older, I realize that I have an increasingly lower threshold for the people and environments that don't suite my personality. I know that I'm a sensitive person easily affected by others' emotions and reactions. This is an inherent trait and instead of trying not to be that way--because trying so hard is draining. I've decided to embrace these parts of me that I lay out at home, but guard elsewhere.

Easier said than done, right? Why do I even do that? It's like I'm doubling or something.

I know, innately, that I am headed in the wrong direction. I feel it. I know it. My body is so outstandingly amazing at saying, "No! This doesn't fit." And yet I head (pardon the pun) there any way because I think: "I'll make this fit. This has to be me."

But, it's not. So... a crossroads.

Adam and I move into the new home in mid-September, and it'll be beyond the word for wonderful to leave this apartment and start a new chapter. We've needed this. It's been difficult since Adam's left teaching, and he's relying on this contract position as a resume builder with his bachelors in history and masters in teaching. He's where I was after I stopped teaching--trying to build temporal credibility towards a new career, and paying his dues to show that he has job experience in a certain field before something, anything, becomes steady.

Listen, I know life isn't perfect. I'm not striving for perfection. I'm striving for a balance when I can get so easily overwhelmed by my personal and work life. And, I find that that's been often and happening for more than a few years.

Kind of over it. Like now.

I need a new game plan away from the shingles, the ulcers, the anxiety, the psoriasis, the panic attacks, the fear of... what?

Not doing what I want to accomplish in my life or being true to myself? Ack--that sounds so cliche, but I wish I could be like those where I went to work and just did my job and didn't let it affect me. I need to have a purpose or meaning in order to achieve something greater. If the majority of my day is at work of course I want it to have meaning.

Yeah, I know a lot of people don't work that way. I do.

You know, I Google: "Careers for sensitive people" instead of wondering what I want. So here's the gazillion dollar question that I keep striving toward... What do I want to do with my life?

But what about putting up with your job? The retirement funds. The benefits. The 401K. The home. The everything that I want in life, but can't achieve if I don't... what?

Be emotionally healthy and not overly stressed? Not taking the chance to find intellectual, emotional, and physical balance? What chance am I trying to take that I don't see, but am trying (very poorly) to write out? Is it the fear of actually doing it? The fear of job hopping to be happy in a job when maybe there's nothing like that? The acceptance that this is life and learning how to adjust to stress strategies?


But I wasn't going to post this because I was feeling self-conscious and stupid, wondering if I would feel differently in the morning for maybe being too dramatic or emotional, when I found Kelly at HighlySensitivePerson.net.

It's now 1:46 in the morning, and I've listened to about 15 of her podcasts, and I've found myself tearing up saying yes, yes, YESYESYES (in muh head) to everything and anything on her website. I even donated because she's clearly given a huge part of her self with courage of owning her voice and traits to help empower others HSPs to feel normal.

And it's making me feel ahhmazing to know that there is someone who went or is going through what I described above. Anyway, kudos to Kelly and I commmmpletely suggest her blog/podcast if anyone relates to what I originally wrote about because it's completely reassuring and diminishes my "crazy" feelings.

Let me know what you think and if you relate (or if have your own stories!). :)


10 instant happies: The David Foster Wallace edition.

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1. I did a little write up on one of David Foster Wallace's best lectures This Is Water once upon a time. Aside from that, I met Molly's boyfriend yesterday and we went on a double date to Urban Taco and then off to see The End of the Tour, which was about David Lipsky's interview with David Foster Wallace as Wallace wrapped up his book tour of Infinite Jest in 1996.

Not a lot of people will like this movie. It's dramatic. It's subtly humorous in a very weaved-in way, and that's not often. Jason Segal is not Marshall or his slapstick character he typically plays. (Totally Oscar worthy to me.) And you have to know about Wallace to make it work for you.

So here's the first instant happy: Many essays that EVERYONE should read in their lifetime are available online. (Read Consider the Lobster before tackling Infinite Jest!) Check out a few of his essays online for FREE, from Rolling Stone and A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again here.This is where we bow down to the Internet and thank it. And this is where I really miss teaching, and introducing compelling literature to folks.

2. Free cultural passes available at the Phoenix Public Library! Okay, so I have been on a hyper Wikipedia kick for Greek mythology and language. Right now, I've been super into the period before the Hellenistic period and I'm seriously thinking of taking a Greek language class. Went to the library yesterday, and lo and behold are these duh-like, date-night ideas that fit Adam and my's budget. Thank you, City of Phoenix! Next week: SMoCA.

3. Writing an article for "Quiet Revolution's" blog. Not sure I'll be accepted, but I had a talk with someone up the food chain about the difference between introversion and extroversion, and that person explained that introversion is about being shy... When that's so far from what it actually is. Anyway, "How Pursuing a Quest Can Bring Purpose to Your Life" is one from the blog that's definitely sticking! Which leads to...

4. I've signed up for Torch Theatre's Level 1: Beginning Long Form Scene Work. Really missing acting and just being a student again, and thought this would get me out of my comfort zone. Being in front of a computer nonstop is fine and all, but sometimes I need to be more in the moment with people. I'm a great writer, but not a great conversationalist unless I'm one-thousand percent comfortable with you. So. Thiiiiiisssssssswilllbefunnnn.

5. Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend stand up is just soooooo good. It's definitely up there with My Secret Public Journal. His stand up isn't full of one liners. He's definitely a writer/performer who knows how to tell a thoughtful, slightly self-deprecating story with wit.

6. Because I Said So. I've just watched it like 10 times within 7 days. It's just like comfort in the background. There's just something so endearing about this movie and I can't stop rewinding the static cling scene. ILERVEIT.

7. Taking Mara, my niece, to Slide Rock in Sedona with Adam next weekend... It's her well overdue birthday gift.

8. Okay, Adam's a cat person. I'm a dog person. We love Zooey, but our cat is just... crazy. She's sweet and kind one minute, and then RAWR the next. Which is totally characteristic of torties. But, in a way, this worries me because if we have small children I can only imagine a scenario like this one:

Sooo, once we get the keys to the home and it's ourrrrrs we've decided to adopt a fun-loving dog. Because Zooey needs to socialize and she needs a friend. Maybe we're taking on too much... But either way, looking through the Arizona Humane Society page is exxxxciting.

9. This blog called Budget Bytes. Yeahhhh: Work it. Grocery it. Eat it.

10. These photos of the graduate session we went to about a month ago. Just stumbled upon them yesterday, and they make muh laugh. <3

Happy Sunday, folks. What are your instant happies today? Feed me the Internetttt.


Ear calories: Summahjamzzz.

Image via, well, myself. After a long day of work, stumbling across a surprise letter and flowers from my best friend and husband Adam.
This is the soundtrack to signing contracts for our first home. Driving to and from Office Max to print, sign, and scan documents to our real estate agent and lender. Making a thousand phone calls from and to those folks. Connecting with new people. Celebrating friends and their marriages. Reconnecting with old friends. Considering fresh opportunities. 

But most importantly, this soundtrack is all about sending out those good vibes to amazing friends who deserve the opportunities that they worked so hard to achieve. Because without the intent, there's no purpose in sending those positive thoughts. 

That's why I love music so much... It gets me in the groove of gratefulness. (Yup, I'm a total dork.) So with that, I am sending out those happy thoughts to those thoughtful, fun-loving friends!

And if you haven't already surmised, Adam and I ditched the rental idea with homes and we've now officially found a home in north Phoenix! Escrow closes on September 15, so all I can think about is mileage on the Elantra and extra expenses that have a lovely way of adding up...

Eek + it's also a happy Pinterest time, too. That's for sure.

We also decided to take one thing at a time. First, tackle purchasing and settling into the house. Then, as Beyonce and Jay-Z say, onto the next one. ;)

So to you, my readers, relax on your road trip, or your weekend trip to Target--or whatever--and soak up the rest of the hot summer with a few of my latest favorite songs. You know, to gain that "ear calorie" weight.

1. Daydream / Wetdream / Nightdream - Saint Motel
2. Low Tide - XY&O
3. Will You Dance? - the bird and the bee
4. Feed Me Now - Saint Motel
5. Young and Dumb - the bird and the bee
6. Kill Your Attitude - Darwin Deez
7. Speakerphone - Kylie Minogue
8. Gasoline - Alpine
9. Postcards from Italy - Beirut
10. Hot in Herre - Jenny Owens Young (brilliant cover; great listen.)

I know this post series isn't outstandingly popular, but I just love sharing music. It's sharing a part of myself, and I definitely want to know what you're listening to as well! I'll add your suggestions to my Spotify list... 

So tell me, what are you jamming out to this summer?