My Recomp.

I have experimented with all types of exercise and I have had all kinds of eating habits, both good and bad. I started with doing group classes like zumba, kickboxing, and yoga, then I started adding in some weights but mostly doing isolation workouts with lighter loads. I really enjoyed the group classes and it was a great way for me to be introduced to world of fitness. The deal I got on the classes came to an end and it ultimately was not a sustainable routine for me. It was too expensive and the class schedule eventually didn’t match my life’s schedule. I tried running. I hated it. But I thought that was what was needed to be fit, and what I “should” be doing. Again, not sustainable solely because I hated it yet…and yes, I stuck with it for many weeks, even months, because people told me I would learn to like it. Wrong.

Then I found heavy weightlifting, which evolved into powerlifting. The Artist and I do it together, so it is fun, supportive, and something we are able to share together. I couldn’t even lift the bar alone let alone add any weights to it. Now I am strong and have developed muscles that have explosive strength. We are able to do this at a “regular” gym that is very affordable, but we hope to join a powerlifting gym one day. During my experimenting days, missing a workout or spending the weekend visiting family stressed me out big time. I was so afraid of gaining weight or losing stamina or something. But now, I can be busy, sick, etc. and miss a whole week, and nothing changes. I change my routine as my goals change. Finally, I have found what I truly like, that fits my life, and that is sustainable for the long term.

I am currently trying to “recomp”. I want to change my body composition by losing fat and building muscle mass. I know many argue that you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat and a surplus to build muscle, so this goal of mine will not be possible without bulking and cutting cycles. But I beg to differ. I am not trying to enter a competition or anything of that nature, at least not at this point in my life. I just want to go to about life and add working out into the mix. I want to be able to treat myself, and have a semi-relaxed diet and workout regimen. I knew progress would be slow, but that’s ok. I am in it for the long haul. I am gluten-intolerant, which has led to me minimizing my overall grain intake, which I seem to respond well to. I focus on eating a diet that is high in protein, healthy fats, fibre, fruits, and vegetables, eating a bit more carbs on heavy lifting days and a bit less on the other days. I don’t count calories, I don’t weigh my food, it is all just best guess. I treat myself once in awhile. I workout as often as possible while commuting for full time grad school, working, completing a student placement, and having a life. Right now, I aim to lift heavy doing the main powerlifting lifts twice per week, and hopefully be able work in 2 days of medium-heavy accessory work. But again, I keep it semi-relaxed to allow for a good balance of a fun, life, school, work, and working out.

Here is my recomp progress after 1 year and 11 months. I really wanted to improve my upper body strength, and seeing these photos makes me so proud! My back rolls and love handles are shrinking, the cellulite on my legs (photo of me standing to the side) is smoothing out, and I am growing traps!

And I know I am making good recomp progress because my weight is the same throughout- floating around 180lbs ūüėÄ

  

 

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What if I don’t want razor abs or a “thigh gap”?

As a woman, I feel like we are expected to strive for flat stomachs, thigh gaps, and a sleek physique. ¬†I have always hated my love handles and “muffin top”, something that I have struggled with my entire life.¬† I have always felt like I jiggled a little too much in too many places, and yearned for that flat stomach.¬† I thought that eating less food, and taking up jogging/running was the answer.¬† But my problem was, I thought that was the only answer. ¬†And I thought that this was the only body that was “acceptable” and that this is what I should be striving for. ¬†So when I would try running, and hated it, I felt doomed to ever feel good about myself, because no matter what routine, style, etc. that I tried, I hated it.¬† I didn’t realize that there are many types of people and many types of bodies.¬† I also have Hashimoto’s Disease.¬† I have been living with it for over a decade, and although it presents challenges, I don’t want to use it as a crutch.

I have been feeling displeased with my body, and one day, out of the blue, thought “well, what if I don’t want a six pack?!”.¬† And I got to thinking…….What if I don’t want a perfectly sculpted body?¬† What if I don’t mind if my thighs touch, or my stomach jiggles a little?¬† What if I don’t want to be a runner?! ¬†Now, I am not suggesting unhealthy lifestyles, but rather, the expectations I had been carrying around for myself were unrealistic, and not very well thought out. ¬†I didn’t ever truly think about what I ACTUALLY wanted for myself, I just thought about what I felt I SHOULD be wanting. ¬†I just assumed that is what I should look like,¬†and being a runner with razor abs is what I should be striving for.¬† It was like a switch flipped in my brain.¬† After some reflecting and long conversations with the Artist, my goals and aspirations became more clear….

I want to…

  • exercise regularly doing a variety of activities, and lift even heavier weights then I already do
  • improve my yoga practice
  • get a minimum of 8 hours of quality sleep every night, 9 is actually my preferred amount for me to feel well rested
  • eat a clean, whole foods diet

I DO NOT want to…

  • rely on meal replacements or other “diet” products
  • be a runner/jogger, because that is not me or where my interests are, nor do I not enjoy it…kudos to all you runners out there!¬† Doing what you love is the most important thing!
  • wake up at 4am every morning to work out
  • want to work out in my living room (I know this works well for others, and that is awesome, but this is not for me.¬† My living room is my special relaxing space, where I read, listen to music and spend time with my Artist, and I do not want it associated with working out.)

I want to aim to incorporate exercise and fitness into my life, and NOT the reverse- trying to fit some “life” into my exercise schedule. ¬†But mainly, I want to feel healthy, energetic, and most importantly: STRONG.¬† As I said above, there are different types of people and different types of bodies- we are all different! ¬†And if we are all different we should have a variety of goals, and I should not be comparing myself or my goals to others. ¬†I consider myself as “thick” and “dense”, and for the first time, I am perfectly ok with that.

The Artist and I are 2 months into our new workout routine. ¬†To simplify, our routine goes as follows: lift often (3 times a week for us), and left heavy. ¬†That is all (with the occasional walk or bike ride thrown in there). ¬†When I started dabbling in weight lifting about 3 years ago, I didn’t really know what I doing, and I was more experimenting to find what kinds of exercise I enjoyed. ¬†I wasn’t really lifting anything heavy, I wast just trying to figure myself out. ¬†I thought it would be pretty cool, if one day, I could put 25lb plates on the squat bar (95lbs total) and do all of my sets that way. ¬†This was my “dream goal” that I 100% thought I might never actually achieve.

Here I am, 2 months into our “lift often, and lift heavy” regimen, squatting 25lb and 10lb weights on the bar, for a total of 115lbs, above and beyond what I thought I might never be able to do!

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And I also wanted to share a video of me doing deadlifts. ¬†My “dream goal” on this was 45lb plates on the bar (135lbs total), and again, I 100% thought I would NEVER be able to do this. ¬†I could barely do a 40lb barbell 2 months ago, so I am really proud of myself on this one ūüôā

When watching these videos and viewing these photos of myself, I was kind of disappointed at first. ¬†I don’t look nearly as strong or good as I feel, but then I realized that is the most important thing right?- how I FEEL! ¬†So although I am still working on changes and improvements, and as I feel discouraged when things aren’t happening “fast enough”, I just remember that me going to the gym, or taking that bike ride, or going on that walk, is better then me sitting on the couch. ¬†Everyone knows that famous quote, that every journey starts with a single step, and it is very true. ¬†I am just trying to make healthy choices for myself, one day at a time.

Surprises and My First Tattoo.

I get home from work on December 22nd, 2014 in the early evening, carrying my bags, binders, and change of shoes (I don’t like wearing heels driving) in my arms and fumbling through the door. ¬†Steve hands me the phone and tells me to call my mom on her cell phone ASAP, not letting me empty my hands or take of my coat and boots. His sense of urgency concerned me a little, thinking that maybe something is wrong, or something urgent is going on. ¬†I call her cell phone. ¬†She answers and says hello, and after a few seconds on small talk her and my dad emerge from our bedroom. ¬†SURPRISE! ¬†All the way from Ontario, Canada, they surprised both the Artist and myself that night. ¬†We talk often enough, that they new the Artist was home during the days and I was at work. ¬†They knew we had one car, that I used it to get to work during weekdays. ¬†Minutes before I arrived home, they had called the Artist to have him come down and let them in the front door of our apartment building, as you need a key. ¬†He thought it was a joke- he and my mother have a very sarcastic dialogue. ¬†But there they were, standing in the rain, waiting to be let inside. ¬†I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. ¬†I have never been surprised like that before- they came from SO far! ¬†It’s not like ¬†they stopped by on their way home……they drove down from another country. ¬†We were unable to make it home for the holidays for both time and financial constraints, so they came to us! ¬†They skipped all other holiday gatherings to spend the holidays with us ‚̧

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And they brought a million presents!!!

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I come from a small town, and everyone knew about the surprise. ¬†Lots of folks sent gifts for us down with them, and holidays cards as well. ¬†I know this is going to sound SO cliche, but it was a Christmas miracle ‚̧ ¬†My family doesn’t have much, but they are willing to spend what they do have one us ‚̧ ¬†I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family- there are no words.

We enjoyed some local museums, shopping, and lots of cooking. ¬†And of course, lots of cooking meant lots of eating. ¬†They even brought down a bunch of my favourite snacks from home that are unavailable here. ¬†It was very hard when they left the following weekend. ¬†There were many tears. ¬†I think I am still recovering from the post-holiday blues……

To get ours spirits up, the Artist gave me my first tattoo on New Years Day.  Actually, he gave me two!

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The one on my finger is the crown motif in Basquiat’s paintings, and the Artist has a larger version of this one his ankle. ¬†This was his first time doing a tattoo on someone else other then himself. ¬†The one on my heel is the deathly hallows symbol from Harry Potter. ¬†These are both very intimately meaningful to me in so many ways, but I am not going to divulge them on here. ¬†Instead, ask me sometime.

As they heal, they are becoming more of a grey tone then black, and I have no idea why.  My skin is crazy, the Artist said I am like a member of X-Men.  I never get sun burns, I have very little body hair, and my skin is very oily and soft.  Like, so oily.  These tattoos have healed very well, and have caused me little inconvenience.  So we will see how they finish up!

Happy holidays ‚̧

Summer 2014- A Glimpse

This summer has gone by SO fast.  I had to take a moment and think about what  I actually did because it really just flew by.  Then I realized, we had some great adventures!  Here is a sample:

1. Went to the zoo.

2. Went to the botanical gardens.

3. Picnic in the park on a sunny day.

4. The Artist got his first tattoo.  See: https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/the-artists-first-tattoo/

5. We spent a weekend with my sister and brother in law.

6. We played darts at Blueberry Hill.

7. Horror movie marathon with a friend.

8. Became good friends with our new neighbour across the hall.

9. Discovered a great, brand new Goodwill store nearby with great items.

10. Went to one of our favourite restaurants for Pad Thai, called Basil Spice.

11. Saw the latest Wes Anderson movie in theatres, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

12. Went to the circus.

13. Each celebrated a birthday.

14. Went to some art shows.

15. The Artist made homemade alfredo pasta with grilled pork loin. ¬†I don’t even like alfredo sauce but he had a vision. ¬†So I tried some- it was AMAZING! ¬†I guess it is the stuff in jars or pre-made sauce that I don’t like because this homemade sauce was delicious.

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16. Went bowling.

17. A walk in forest park at dusk on a brisk, beautiful day.

18. The Artist had his thesis show and I threw him a little surprise.  See: https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/surprise/

19. We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.  Read about our love story here! https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/3-years-of-the-best-marriage-ever/

20. I got a job!  Which involved the getting work permission, which was stressful, but  I did it!

21. The Artist got gallery representation. ¬†Yes, that’s right! ¬†He has been a busy beaver with that.

22. I got my ears pierced- for the very first time ever! ¬†Most women get them done so young they don’t even remember it. ¬†I have never had a piercing at all, and it was no pain(or blood)-free! ¬†But I love them and am so excited to try out all kinds of earrings after they heal ūüôā

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No wonder summer went by so fast, we were so busy! ¬†I am so fortunate to be able to do all of these things! ¬†The Artist and I are officially announcing that we are staying in St. Louis for now, because I have got a job ūüôā ¬†What a whirlwind it has been these last few months ‚̧ ¬†Cheers to our future!

Cheers!

We all have friends on Facebook whom we don’t talk to regularly, or haven’t seen in years. ¬†But I find myself smiling whenever they post something and I enjoy seeing what they are up to these days. ¬†As we get older, I am finding that life is passing me by so quickly, and friends often take a back seat in the pile of things to do and places to go. ¬†This post is dedicated to a few friends of mine who have been a huge part of my life, who I wish I got to see more often, and who have greatly contributed to this adventure we call life. ¬†I wish we had more photos together, so if you have any, I would love to see them.

Cheers.

Dear Vjay: You were such a great friend to me when we lived in Calgary, and were always there for me when I needed it the most. ¬†I had some hard times out there, and you always stood by my side. ¬†I miss our silly laughter and adventures out on the town. ¬†I remember walking to Tim Horton’s with you during our lunch break together at work (work was so much more fun with you!), and it was just a moment that I remember realizing what a lucky girl I was to have such an awesome friend.

Dear Eric: We spend an entire summer together, inseparable, going on adventures and hanging out with friends.  You were supportive, and so very caring, and I thank you for that.  I remember going to Wasaga one afternoon to a bar for some food and some drinks.  I got a Blue Lagoon, and for some reason that day really stands out for me.  Just hanging out, I felt like I could be myself around you.  Whether you put up with it, or actually liked it LOL, thank you.  You were also a great dance partner at my cousins wedding!

Dear Nicole: I know we chat often, but we don’t get to see each other much. ¬†You always know what I am going through, offer a “shoulder to rant on” when things are tough, and encourage me through everything. ¬†We have been friends for so long, it feels like just yesterday I remember seeing you come into family studies in grade 9 carrying your backpack with you everywhere ūüôā ¬†I really cherish our friendship.

Dear Pam: I looked forward to our shifts working together, and we had really good talks. ¬†I love bragging about my cool older friend ¬†to all my high school buddies ūüėČ ¬†You were always available for such good advice, life stories, and laughs.

Dear Lindsay:  You always had gum in the best flavours and were such a good partner in drama class.  Remember eating bowls of frozen cookie dough?

Dear Sam: You always made me laugh, and I looked forward to every time we got to hang out and just talk. ¬†We never ran out of things to say, and every morning when I got to school I would be looking for you to have cookies and chocolate milk with ūüôā

*Sam and Lindsay, I really loved all of our sleepovers, hangouts, lunch hours in high school, and the laughing.  Oh, the endless laughing.

Dear Adam: I have known you since we were 5.  You have been such a dear friend to me for so many years.  So many lunch hours in high school spent talking and talking and talking, especially about movies.  I think we have the exact same taste in movies.  You came to visit me when I had my tonsils out when I was going to Georgian, and remember our fun night at the GNE?  You are down right hilarious, and seriously one of my oldest, best friends.

Dear Justine: Drama class. ¬†Drama festival. ¬†The headset was on the whole time while I talked about the lighting guy. ¬†Need I say more? ūüėČ

Dear Evan:  I wish I met you at the beginning of high school instead of the end.  I loved all of our talks, hangouts, and parties together.  I remember giving you rides to farmhouse parties, talking on msn all the time, always having good talks about life and love.

Dear Sarah: My class buddy at U of Calgary! ¬†I always looked forward to class instead of dreading it because I had such a wonderful friend to sit with ‚̧

Dear Ashley: I think we set a record for the most childhood sleepovers at one another’s house. ¬†Remember when you stayed with us for a week while your mom was away?! ¬†Sneaking candy into bed and eating it after lights out.

Dear Heather: My girl guide buddy.  Again, me, you, and Ashley probably sent a record for sleepovers.  They seemed endless!  I loved your dress up trunk full of such interesting things and our bike rides to buy candy at Shell.

Dear Tom: We spent an inseparable summer together. ¬†I appreciate your friendship and I really felt like I had someone to talk to who understood what I was going through. ¬†You were always full of good advice, and I really cherish those memories we made that summer. ¬†Wasaga, Mr. Norms, bonfires, Sour Puss, surprising me at work with Iced Capps, and so many more great memories. ¬†Seriously, I couldn’t have gotten through that summer without you, and was so sad when it ended and I moved to Waterloo. ¬†Your friendship means a lot to me, and will always have a special place in my heart.

Dear Turner: Remember that time we went to see strippers in Barrie? ¬†Haha! ¬†What a night. ¬†You introduced me to, and changed my life with, cheese croissants from Tim Horton’s. ¬†I remember countless high school lunch breaks at Marriah’s, hangouts, and laughing until I cried. ¬†You are awesome ‚̧

Dear Mel: My skating buddy for so many years. ¬†I was always sad when my parents couldn’t come to an overnight competition, but secretly happy because I knew it meant a weekend with you ūüôā

Dear Tara:  Grilled cheese sandwiches at the rink and so much silliness.  I had so much fun.

Dear Emma: An inseparable summer of pizza, bike rides, renting movies, and sleepovers.  Another record for sleepovers I think.  And you had the most awesome bedroom and the coolest birthday party I had ever been to.

Dear Heather: My Georgian carpool buddy.  I seriously loved all of our talks.  When we got to school I was always a little sad that we had to get to class and stop talking lol!  You rock.

Dear Jackie, Marriah, and Robyn: Oh, the laughing.  Serisously.  So.  Much.  Laughing.  We would get told to be quiet in the halls from laughing too much!  Sleepovers, out for lunch, parties, boys, high school- we went through it all.  You guys are the reason that I actually enjoyed, and survived high school.

Dear Maureen: The coolest boss ever.  Full of wisdom.  Taking me out for drinks and dancing with Jenna on my birthday.  You are so sweet and lovely.  You were so supportive to me when I needed it.  Thank you.

Dear Jenna: Taking me out on my birthday as I mentioned above. ¬†So stylish. ¬†I loved when you did my hair for my cousin’s wedding. ¬†I really loved having you as a friend in Calgary, always brightening my day with you smile.

Dear Amanda: I can’t even begin to start to write about our times together. ¬†So much time together, which was easy since we were neighbours! ¬†Bus rides to school, sleepovers, Spice Girls, singing 24/7, dances, and so much more.

If I haven’t mentioned you here, know that I am thinking about you and fondly remembering all of our good times together. ¬†Even though we have grown up, grown apart, changed, live far away, etc. I cherish everyone’s friendship. ¬†I cannot thank you all enough for being such awesome parts of my life.

How insanely lucky am I to have so many awesome friends throughout my life?!?! ¬†I really, really, hope that the universe reunites us again soon ‚̧

Until next time.

 

The Artist’s First Tattoo.

We were getting ready to go walking down Delmar and the Artist was looking in the mirror and said that he wanted a tattoo of the letter X on the right side of his chest, near his armpit. ¬†I was confused, this was oddly specific and a weird thing to want as a tattoo. ¬†And he didn’t want a fancy letter X, just 2 straight lines. ¬†I asked him why. ¬†He said that it was my spot ‚̧

The story of my spot….

My side of the bed is the right side, and I like to lay on my left side facing the Artist, with my head on his chest/in his armpit, while his arm wraps around me tight. ¬†I am then in perfect range of motion to receive a forehead kiss, and his hand can stroke my shoulder and arm. ¬†It is so sweet and cozy, my favourite way to fall asleep. ¬†My favourite place to be at all, really. ¬†We always have the best talks like that too. ¬†And when I get all sleepy at night, I literally CRAVE to be laying like this with him. ¬†Those minutes before falling asleep, is my favourite part of the day. ¬†So I felt very privileged that he wanted this tattoo in honour of me. ¬†There happens to be a tattoo parlour on Delmar, so we popped in to see about the pricing. ¬†One thing lead to another, and the Artist and the tattoo artist did an “artist swap”- a painting in exchange for the letter X tattoo that he wanted. ¬†And boom- it was done. ¬†It took longer to apply the stencil and disinfectant then it did to complete the tattoo, haha. ¬†It was that simple and quick.

The Artist hugely suits tattoos.  A lot.  He is such a big, strong guy, with a huge beard and long hair.  He looks rather intimidating, actually.  But inside, he is the sweetest, most sensitive, cuddle bug that I know.  The contrast that I am describing is one of my favourite things about him, and the idea of even more tattoos would just further it.  He has practiced a few more with a pen to test out his ideas, and they look awesome.  Nothing crazy or anything, but rather symbols, interesting drawings, and even one in memory of his childhood dog that recently passed.

It was a wonderfully spontaneous, spur of the moment adventure.  And I think that in life, we all need to remember to have a little spontaneous adventure once in awhile.  It is good for the soul, in my opinion.

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No turning back now!

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It’s done! Doesn’t his missing chest hair look ridiculous?! Ha!

On the way home!

On the way home!

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After a few weeks of his hair growing back. ¬†And no, his hands are not tattooed (yet!), he is just drawing ideas with a pen to see what they look like ūüėČ

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My spot ‚̧

 

Getting Out of This Funk- Update.

I think it is time to update my get-out-this-funk status. ¬†I have been working hard at my checking off everything on my list, and feeling much better ūüôā ¬† No more letting these winter blues bring me down!

– Clean the house, top to bottom. A cluttered and messy living space makes for a restless and overwhelmed mind. And a clean and tidy living space makes for a more calm mind, or so I have found for me. DONE!

– Catch up on laundry. IN PROGRESS! (I never have enough quarters….)

– Schedule a day that works for both the Artist and I to prepare our taxes. MAILING OUR FINAL PAPERS ON MONDAY!

– Apply for an external scholarship. IN PROGRESS!

РGo to the Soulard Farmer’s Market. To stock up on fresh and healthy foods, support local farmers, and get some fresh air and out and about in the community. I like to eat local and organically as often as I can. NOT YET, BUT MAYBE TOMORROW!

РDo some yoga. I enjoy kripalu yoga. I find it is relaxing, stress relieving, and is really beneficial for my body’s needs. NOT YET

– Work with the Artist on fixing up the chairs from Goodwill. DONE! (refer to previous post)

– Stock up on lots of healthy foods to fill my body with nutrients, and to entice me to cook lots of home cooked meals, and healthified baked goods. DONE! (Still some items I would like to get, but still bargain hunting for a good price!)

My favourite salad.

My favourite salad.

Pork and veggie kabobs.

Pork and veggie kabobs.

Home made Mongolian Grill style stirfry.  AMAZING!

Home made Mongolian Grill style stirfry. AMAZING!

Chocolate peanut butter cups, healthified.

Chocolate peanut butter cups, healthified.

The middle is organic, natural, unsalted PB with some vanilla protein powder to help flavour it and thicken it up a bit.  The chocolate is organic unrefined coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey and pure maple syrup to taste.  The flavours of those don't come through, they just sweeten.

The middle is organic, natural, unsalted PB with some vanilla protein powder to help flavour it and thicken it up a bit. The chocolate is organic unrefined coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey and pure maple syrup to taste. The flavours of those don’t come through, they just sweeten.

– Switch up my exercise routine to include heavier lifting and more cardio. LIFTING HEAVIER ūüėÄ FOR MY VERY FIRST TIME EVER IN MY LIFE, I GRABBED WEIGHTS ON THE BOTTOM FREE WEIGHT RACK! STILL TRYING TO WORK IN MORE CARDIO.

– Clean out and organize the fridge, freezer, and pantry. DONE!

– Find good homes for clothing and other items that I no longer need, and that are contributing to the clutter. NOT YET

– Do a little thrifting. I could some some non-winter shoes that are more fancy then every day wear. DONE! (refer to previous post, although you can never do enough thrifting lol!)

– Pick up my knitting. WORKING ON SOME LEG WARMERS!

– Finish my current novel. IN PROGRESS!

– Watch some good movies. YES ūüôā Among others, I recently saw Gravity. ¬†It was amazing, but really scary. ¬†Space really freaks me out. ¬†It is like my worst nightmare, being lost in space. ¬†Or bring lost at sea on a rubber dingy, with no land in sight. ¬†The vastness of the ocean also freaks me right out. ¬†I could never go into space, or go scuba diving. ¬†I don’t even like doing for deep sea swims in a lake or something where the bottom is waaaaay down there. ¬†I’m not sure what it is, but it is so scary to me. ¬†Way more scary then horror movies with fictional monsters or villains.

On a happier note, I listened to an interesting story on NPR recently.  The Artist and I were in the car, arriving at home, but ran into the house as fast as we could to turn on the radio to continue listening.  It was about a man who was several months behind in his rent and had to go before a judge, and was facing eviction.  He was given 15 days to come up with the money his owed, and had no idea how he was going to do it.  He entered a rap contest and the grand prize was exactly the amount he owed.  He was struggling to make a living, trying to follow his dreams.  In the end, he and another contestant were tied for the win, and he was able to pay off his rent debt.  Shortly thereafter, having been seen at the contest, his career took off and he was going off on tour.  He said that if this is what it took for him to make it, then it was all worth it.

The moral of story is, don’t give up on your dreams. ¬†Don’t settle for anything less then what you want. ¬†I think the reason why the Artist and I enjoyed this radio talk so much was because we are living this story. ¬†We are struggling, we are broke, but we keep on going. ¬†One step at a time, we are headed in the right direction. ¬†We figure out whatever obstacles are presented to us, and we become that much closer. ¬†Some think we are crazy to “choose” this struggle, that it is really worth it? ¬†The answer is yes. ¬†Without a doubt. ¬†We know what we want, and will stop at nothing. ¬†As the saying goes, “even the longest journey, begins with a single step”.

I know what I want in a home.  I know what I want in a career.  I know what I want in a family.  I am in an amazing marriage.  I am head over heels in love.  I will work hard to achieve my goals.  I will never give up.

Am most importantly, I am happy. ¬†And really, isn’t that all that matters?