Three years ago, I quit my corporate sales job and bought plane tickets to New Zealand. I walked through the office, turned in my badge, and danced next to my car before getting in. I gave myself permission to never look back.
Three years ago, I quit my corporate sales job and bought plane tickets to New Zealand. I walked through the office, turned in my badge, and danced next to my car before getting in. I gave myself permission to never look back.
(She’s back! Juggling away, as always)
I do believe this week is the craziest I’ve had yet. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the craziness is quite exciting. It’s our “big show” week at the studio, which means a week full of extra rehearsals on top of all the plans that I’m trying to cram in.
So, I’m going to do what all the other proper adults do: explain my thoughts using Jenna Marbles gifs. You’re welcome. Here are a few of my own tips and tricks that I use to keep myself sane during those less than relaxing times in life.
I learned this one myself the hard way. Coffee is always a treat for me, and holding a warm cup in your hands during your commute or at the office can be comforting. Over do it, and not only will you still have a high stress level, but now you’ll also be unable to blink. The same goes for your favorite adult beverage. Alcohol is a depressant, so no matter how nice that extra cocktail might feel now, wearing sunglasses at your desk is never a good look. Remember: moderation!
This is a tip straight from my mother. As frustrating as it is, sometimes this is all you can do. As a technique to stave off all the anxiety/impending doom/existential dread, I like to count my breaths. Count to seven when you breathe in, ten when you breath out. Just make sure the exhale is longer than your inhale, as this sends good, calming signals to your brain.
Take care of yourself!
When stressed, everyone has the tendency to neglect themselves. Skipping meals, not sleeping enough, and over-booking your schedule only make things worse. Make sure all of your basic needs get met, at the very least.
And, on this note…
Remember your cousin’s neighbor’s friend’s birthday party that you said you would go to a month ago when you didn’t have all this crap to do? During times like this, it’s ok to prioritize your own needs. Let yourself say ‘no.’ If you, like me, feel terribly guilty or suffer from the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out), make a compromise.
Surround yourself with the White Light
Sometimes, being an adult means doing things you would really rather not do. Which is ok. Sometimes things like this are unavoidable (the DMV, the dentist, that 3 hour work meeting) and you just need to put on your big girl pants and do them. If you anticipate things going badly, or being excessively stressful, do what I do: surround yourself with the “white light.” I like to think that I’m made of Teflon, and I can let all the negative things slide right off of me.
Do the things!
Do the things that make you happy! Make your passions a priority. Or maybe your life needs a few re-runs, ice cream, and some quiet time at home. Do whatever you like to do to make yourself feel better and don’t apologize.
One thing at a time…
When things get overwhelming it’s often because we’re looking at the big picture. The big picture can be scary, don’t look there. Tackle one task at a time, and soon you’ll feel back in control.
Fake it ’til you make it
You can’t have all your ducks in a row all the time- it’s just not possible. Cut yourself some slack and focus on the things that you are doing well. You got out of bed today! That credit card bill, you paid it! Go you! That’s more than many people can do, so pat yourself on the back and be grateful. You might not always feel like it, but you’re doing just fine.
Sometimes, all you need is a little perspective. Occasionally, things tend to not go quite my way, as they do for anyone, but lately I’m beginning to feel like I’ve been jinxed. Everyday this week, I’ve attempted to leave my house extra early in the morning, only to somehow consistently arrive late to wherever I’m going. I’ve also somehow managed to almost trip myself while simultaneously stepping on a stranger’s foot so hard that his shoe almost came off. Oh, and my internet is down. I repeat, my internet and cable is down.
I will be spending the foreseeable future in many coffee shops attempting to contact the outside world. Or holed up in my house making cookies while watching the same Redbox dvd rental over and over. I guess you could call this a “first world problem.” (Except not really, because everyone’s lives here in the Bay Area seem to revolve around access to the internet. Guess I won’t be able to work from home any time soon.) But, really, the whole concept of first world problems is interesting. The term itself implies that they, ironically enough, aren’t really problems at all. Alternatively, you could look at these problems as the ones you thank our President Obama for.
They’re the kinds of problems people wish they had. If you’ve made it to the point where your biggest issue is that your fresh bottle of kombucha isn’t very fizzy, you’ve done good, kid. Here are some of the first world problems I’ve recently stumbled upon:
Your pizza tracker isn’t working.
Domino’s, this one is for you. I excitedly ordered a pizza on my phone the other evening while working at the studio. I was really amused that I could see my pizza’s progress. Now it’s being made! Now it’s in the oven! Now it’s….Hey! Where did my pizza go?! What am I supposed to do with myself now while I wait?! I actually had to guess when my pizza was ready.
You missed the green light.
I walk quite a bit in my day-to-day life. If I have somewhere pressing to be, I don’t like to stop for anyone or anything. There is nothing more frustrating than the futile speed walk that happens when you see the “good time to walk” signal and are still too far away to make it. Sometimes I wonder if things like that can change your fate. Suddenly, it’s not such a first world problem anymore.
Uh…hi. What is the purpose of this? Seeing as you can’t even figure out how to interact via text, I do not have high hopes for this interaction in person. These are best left alone. “Hey” stop bothering me.
You bought something at full price, only to have it go on sale moments later.
I’ve had this happen to me on numerous occasions, and it’s somehow devastating each time. It’s a small consolation that, if I ever do buy something full price, it’s because I like it. A lot. Sometimes I feel the strange need to just buy another one of whatever suddenly went on sale. That will show them! Stupid store.
You don’t know who the people in your Facebook newsfeed are anymore, because half of them recently got married and changed their names.
This gif explains it all. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen things posted on my Facebook, only to have no idea who “Christina XYZ” is. Hi, stranger! Do I know you? How did your puppy get on my newsfeed? It’s only after further research that I realize I went to college/danced with/met this person as a party 5 years ago. Mystery solved.
You don’t know/can’t figure out the wifi password.
Again, self-explanatory. I also have no love for the people who make their passwords insanely complicated. I do not have time to type all those numbers and letters out; there’s a kitten meme I have to show you.
The movie you want to see is sold out.
This happened with a friend of mine a while ago. We went to see Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck and couldn’t get in. The next theater we went to, same thing! We ended up buying tickets to the very last showing instead and killed some time with margaritas at Chevy’s. Everyone’s a winner in the end, right?
You don’t want to download the Facebook messenger app.
Facebook, please stop being so convoluted. I just want to chat with people and I find it really obnoxious that I need to check my email notifications or use an actual computer to see what my friends said. When is an app within an app ever necessary? Hint: it’s not.
You don’t understand snapchat.
I’m perhaps dating myself, but everytime I see one of my students acting like a doof (making weird faces, staring at their phones unblinkingly for long periods of time), I assume they’re on Snapchat. I don’t know what the fuss is all about. There’s a story, a bunch of crazy filters, and the snaps all disappear after 24 hours? I don’t understand. This seems too hard. Pardon me while I mix up my Metamucil.
Whatever your first world problems turn out to be, keep on keeping on! They’re all silly in the end, so don’t let them ruin your day. If you think about them the right way, you can absolutely change these negatives into positives. Don’t take life too seriously, practice being grateful, and know that, in the grand scheme of things, we’re pretty darn lucky.
I have some very exciting news today- I have a guest blogger on Watch Me Juggle! A while back, my friend Kelsey asked if she could share some thoughts on my blog, making her my first official guest blogger. I met Kelsey my freshman year in college, when her across-the-hall-mate wandered into my dorm room one evening. The rest is history, as they say. Even though she lives quite a ways away from me now, we still regularly share thoughts on the typical subjects that preoccupy young, single women our age. You know: work, our hopes and dreams, Instagram, and how everyone seems to be meeting strangers on the internet and getting married. Nothing too scandalous, really. But, it’s on this last note that Kelsey wanted to elaborate. I’m really glad she did.
Without further ado, I give you: “Yes, Mom, I’m Still Single.”
“So are you seeing anyone right now?” All single men and women approaching thirty have heard this line from parents and relatives. My mom asks me this almost every time I see her these days. I can tell she is getting concerned. She never used to ask me this, but the question has been popping up repeatedly over the past year or so. One time she really let her desperation show. “I don’t understand. You always had boyfriends in high school and college,” she said to me, as if my relationship status during my adolescence should have been a clear indicator of how successful I would be at landing a suitable husband at an appropriate age.
Maybe I am to blame. I haven’t introduced them to a guy since 2010. I have a policy of not telling them anything unless things are serious, and, frankly, I haven’t been at that point in a long time. Also, they might faint if they knew I dated a Republican that rode a motorcycle. Sometimes I will allude to past flings in my stories (“I toured and ate at a Google campus when I was seeing a guy that works there”), but that’s all they get. That’s because I know that my stepdad is the master of research and stalking. Any little sliver of information I accidentally let slip, he has already found the guy on Facebook. So, mum’s the word when it comes to sharing my dating life with my parents. Sorry, not sorry.
Recently, my mom asked again about my dating life. I said I was picky and not in a hurry, and she said I should give guys more of a chance. I interpreted that as her telling me to lower my standards. My parents would love to see me in a committed relationship because they worry about me and think a guy would take care of me. My stepdad used to text one ex-boyfriend to ask him to check the oil in my car. It makes me wonder if they have noticed that I have been a responsible, independent woman since I graduated college, even if I do fail at car maintenance. I even moved to Mexico City on my own without knowing a soul there! But no, a boyfriend would mean I was safe.
I have given them my spiel about enjoying being single and not wanting to give up my independence for someone not worth my time. I have complained about the dating scene and shown them a clip of Aziz Ansari describing the misery to Conan O’Brien. I’ve even explained that my generation is commitment-phobic because their generation has such a high rate of divorce. Most of the time, I just avoid the conversation by giving them a simple “no.” I know my friends also feel this pain. I recently shared a listicle titled “29 Brilliant Responses For When Someone Asks You Why You’re Still Single” with my friends in preparation of the Easter holiday weekend. My favorite line is, “I haven’t met anyone equally as fabulous!” Honestly, the worst part about being single is having to explain to others why you are single.
Let me state for the record that the single life is fun. I do not have anyone to answer to and I can be completely selfish. I can have dinner with this guy one night and that guy another. Or I can choose to stay in to wash my hair instead (which I have actually done). I can be friends with whomever I want and not have to worry about a boyfriend getting jealous when I spend time with a guy friend. I know that relationships have their own perks (travel partner comes to my mind first) and that falling in love can be an exciting adventure, but until I find someone who is worth my time, I am living my life the way I want. As Eva, the friend whose blog I hijacked for this post, stated, “Anyone can find some guy to hang around, but it is quality that is important.”
It seems like my arguments have not fallen on deaf ears. This week, my mom sent me two articles about the single women epoch and being single at 30. Also, she was told by a fellow juror that she shouldn’t pressure me and provided his own anecdote of his daughter marrying a loser. Thanks, stranger (although I am not exactly stoked to know that my mom was complaining about my singlehood at jury duty). My advice to my fellow single ladies (and gents) is to not let the pressure from society and family get to you. Move at your own pace, and don’t settle! You do you, boo boo!
Kelsey is an independent woman living a happy, sunny life in Santa Barbara. She loves her parents, despite their concerns about her lack of a boyfriend.
There’s an interesting phenomenon I’ve observed as of late. (Granted that I like to use the word “phenomenon” to mean anything from the latest clothing trends to actual, legitimate phenomena, like the discovery of a ninth planet, you’ll have to bear with me here.) Most of us are well-aware of the common images that a ballet dancer invokes: tutus, pointe shoes, the Sugar Plum Fairy. It’s all soft, and pretty, and that lovely misnomer: adorable.
When viewing these images from the other side, things tend to become less simple.
Dancers are some of the hardest working people I know, but, it’s widely circulated that they’re somehow unlike the rest of society… in a distinctly negative way. I’ve been told that ballet, and dance in general, is somehow not a “real job.” As in: when are you going to get “a real job”? My goals and way of life were, and are, still questioned frequently. Many dancers are subjected to the cliché of being less intelligent than the rest of the “practically employed”(read: desk job) work force. I’ll be the first to admit to the self-deprecating cracks from time to time. When confronted by the engineers, financial analysts, and medical students of the world with the question: “What do you do?” I’ll frequently joke that “I work in the arts/I teach dance….I can count to eight!” Because, if I make that joke first, there’s no way you can use it against me.
So today, I wanted to take some time and share the traits that dancers possess that make them so unlike the rest of the world in an amazing way. Despite being strong, dancers, as a whole, are a sharp bunch. They’re systematically trained to be that way, really.
Dancers are expected to be able to pick up and retain complicated information in the form of many series of steps. Everything is taught at a remarkably fast pace, and dancers have to be able to execute these combinations backwards and forwards, at a moments notice. Let’s not forget that this is not an effortless art form, and that it requires years and years of physically molding one’s body into aesthetically pleasing shapes.
In a work environment, only intelligent and necessary questions are tolerated. Like many professions, once trained, there will be no one to hold your hand as you go about your daily responsibilities. If something isn’t working, it’s your job to figure it out. Once they’ve figured out their own choreography, it’s often expected of them to learn everyone else’s work as well.
Dancers are exceptionally perceptive. They must be fully aware of not only where their own body is in space, but exactly where everyone else is in the room as well. They must navigate these spaces gracefully, systematically, and with intention. I often take this for granted when walking down a street where people can’t seem to figure out which way to pass those walking in the opposite direction. I can only play so many games of chicken while simultaneously avoiding people who seem determined to run into me.
In addition to all this, dancers are incredibly resilient. It’s been said that it’s the only athletic endeavor in which you’re not allowed to show pain, or exactly how hard it is. Unfortunately, pain and discomfort are often unavoidable in ballet. I frequently tell my students that if ballet were easy, everyone would do it.
The resilience isn’t only physical, either. In fact, the majority of it is mental resilience. Critiques and corrections are to be accepted as gifts; there is never a moment when you stop attempting to make something better, jump higher, or turn faster. It’s hard work, 100% of the time, no matter what else might be going on i. And sometimes, you feel like you look like this:
When you’re expected to look something like this:
Dancers are very much aware that the potential for growth is limitless in their art form. It’s not for everyone, but those who do it love it in an exceptional way. In my humble opinion, anyone who makes their life their passion is incredibly smart and brave for pursuing it, for sticking with it when other people might look at them sideways. I’m very proud to consider myself a part of the dance community, and, yes, I can make a living counting to eight. It’s amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
That is all.
Dear Fashion Bloggers,
I love you, but you’re bringing me down.
I appreciate your fabulous, artfully staged Instagram feeds (like this one), but, let’s be honest, when I attempt anything like it, this is what I get:
My roommate/boyfriend/husband isn’t a professional photographer. I have to use some very awkward angles and the timer on my phone if I want to get anything done.
Hey, maybe my life isn’t that Instagram-able, but this is what it looks like 80% of the time. I wear yoga pants, have bed picnics, and have nothing to hide.
Dear fashion bloggers, I love that you feel comfortable sharing all aspects of your life with us, but sometimes I don’t necessarily want to know that your new dress from Nordstrom is really bad for breastfeeding. Or anything at all about your breastfeeding schedule, for that matter. Your trendy snaps and inspirational outfit ideas are what keep me coming back, and while your baby is adorable, I pretty much just want to know what shoes to wear with my new shorts. Does that make me a bad person?
Dear fashion bloggers, I love following your local adventures. San Francisco has some pretty tricky weather, and so dressing practically is almost always a given. That being said, why are you standing on top of Russian Hill in your $3000 Valentino stilettos? Sure, it might look cool to someone living in Nebraska, but you and I both no there’s no way in hell you’re hiking anywhere in those. On a similar note, fashion bloggers, it’s 50 degrees and Karl the Fog has taken over the entire Bay Area. Seriously, it’s July and it looks like this outside:
Dear fashion bloggers, do you ever repeat outfits?
Dear fashion bloggers, I know your blog is your specially curated space where your life is aesthetically pleasing and pictured just as you choose. However, I would appreciate a semi-realistic post, just every-once-in-a-while. If you’re going to post things about your perfectly bred dog chewing up your underwear, surely a real-life post isn’t that far behind. It would certainly make us all feel a little less like plebes.
Dear fashion bloggers, I’m sure you’re sick of this question, but what do you do? Hey, if it’s “just” your blog, then all the more power to you- go out and kick some ass. Many of us ask that question because we aspire to be in your exact shoes someday.
Dear fashion bloggers, how can you travel so much and still look serene and airbrushed? How can you travel so much, period? I don’t get much vacation time between my two jobs, so It’s honestly depressing me. I also always look/feel like a drowned rat when I get off of a plane, no matter how hard I try. I don’t know how you do it.
P.S. Please do continue the Nordstrom, Sephora, and Neiman Marcus hauls so I can live vicariously through you. You’re women after my own heart.
Yours truly has had a new catchphrase lately, and, although those of you who know me in real life might have an inkling, I bet you can’t guess what it is.
Aka: Thumbs down. Do not pass ‘Go.’ Do not collect $200.
I find myself saying this both in my head and out loud to other people more often than not. The great thing is, people of any age, race, or socioeconomic background can use “Next.” Unfortunately, there are plenty of moments when this phrase is more than appropriate. For example:
That guy you’ve been seeing can’t seem to pick up the phone to call you back? Unless both his arms are broken: NEXT.
(The same goes for those men who can’t be bothered to open a door when you’re struggling with bags, whose eyes glaze over when you’re speaking, or those who tell you to make them a sandwich. NEXT. There are 3.4 billion of them out there, ladies.)
Those “friends” you have at school that can’t find one positive thing to say about you, but continue to grace you with their presence? It’s time for you to say: NEXT.
Your boss pass over you for that well deserved promotion again, even though all the men in your company seem to be conveniently climbing the ranks? NEXT.
Everyone has that crazy/bigoted/drunk relative that seems to have all the opinions, none of them good. Tired of hearing their offensive ranting? NEXT.
That person in your life who insists that whatever you’re saying or doing is wrong, and can’t seem to listen to reason? Unfortunately, we’ve all been there at some point or another. Hold your head up high, keep calm and NEXT.
That stylist that gave you the horrible haircut? NEXT. The doctor that seemed a little too high-and-mighty? NEXT. It even works with that annoying voice in your head that tells you you’re not pretty/smart/successful enough. Say NEXT.
Once you start applying “Next” to your life, you’ll be amazed at how much easier the little things are to let go. You see, there’s no reason in the world why you need to voluntarily subject yourself to negative people or things. Of course, some situations are unavoidable, but now you’ll have a convenient escape plan should you find yourself in them more than once. As cliché as it is, life is much too short to spend time dwelling on the things that make you unhappy. More often than not, these are also the things that you can’t control. In this respect, there’s something wonderfully proactive about “Next;” you get to take charge, you make all the decisions. It’s really that simple (and also that complicated). So, take the time and flex your muscles at the situations that bother you. Give ’em a big thumbs down, tell them to take a hike, because you have much, much better things to do.
Things have finally slowed down a bit in the Watch Me Juggle house. And by slowed down, I actually mean come to a dead stop. Anyone else ever experience that dip in motivation that seems to happen after really busy periods in your life, like the holidays or peak times at work? Suddenly, your whole life feels like a Sunday evening, slightly lethargic and underwhelming. The thing is, when you’re used to running around like the energizer bunny, it’s really hard to take that much needed break. As much as I know it’s essential to have some scheduled down time, I have the hardest time just…relaxing. For those fellow “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” fanatics out there, you might call this having the “mean reds.” I, quite literally, have to force myself to stay in and just have some time alone in my apartment.
You would think that sitting down and catching up on your favorite tv series, having some quiet time, or folding some warm laundry wouldn’t be so difficult to get into, but for some reason it is. We’ve also been having less-than-stellar weather here in the Bay Area as of late, so that certainly doesn’t help things. It’s my belief that everyone needs this kind of time to recharge, but, when I finally get the time to do it, I don’t really want to. There’s both a literal and figurative cloud hanging over my head, and it’s endlessly frustrating.
To be totally honest, when I’m left alone for too long, things tend to get really weird fast. I’m talking full-blown making faces at myself in the bathroom mirror, dancing around, dismantling my closet, unnecessary cake-baking shenanigans.
I like to think my being candidly embarrassing is somehow endearing (at least I hope so). Also, the other day I might have just eaten lemon ice cream for multiple meals. Luckily, I have my lovely little apartment to do all this embarrassing stuff in, where no one can see me.
Fundamentally, I’m kind of a quirky person, I’ve even dedicated whole blog posts to my quirks. I’m not sure if this quirkiness helps or harms my designated alone time, but I guess it does make stuff a little more interesting. What’s the point of today’s post? I’m not entirely sure. I’m just hoping that in sharing, maybe one of you out there feels a little less strange about “saying yes” to staying in, and spending time alone, even though it might not necessarily be the easiest thing. You’re better for it.
Today’s post is going to be on the rather rambly side, which is probably not that much of a surprise to many of you, dear readers. I’m sure many of you internet dwellers can relate to the ever-popular lists, like the ones you find all over Buzzfeed? You know, things like “29 Important Lessons Jane Austen Taught You About Love,” or “21 London Street Foods You Must Try.” One of my recent favorites has to be “19 Inanimate Objects That Perfectly Sum Up Your Hangover.” Who has time to think of this stuff? Oh, wait, that’s right people like me….nevermind.
Anyway, the boss lady likes to occasionally send me funny or inspirational little emails, two of which found their way to my inbox this morning. While obstinately insisting on staying in bed, I had some time to read them and was very much inspired. One that particularly struck me came from James Michael Sama’s blog, and detailed the “12 Things You Should Expect When Dating a Strong Woman.” Unlike many similar articles I’ve read, this one seemed, well, realistic. Rather than focusing on over-arching generalizations, everything was refreshingly relatable. In a nutshell: no indecisiveness, flakiness, or disrespect will be tolerated. Of course, you would hope that most of these things would be a given, however, I have all too often found otherwise. I decided that I would elaborate with a few of my own personal, albeit slightly whimsical “strong woman” characteristics:
These are, perhaps, just the tip of the iceberg. Ladies, don’t let anyone make you feel badly about having your standards. Even better, if you stick to them, you’ll find yourself surrounded with the kind of people that you really want to be with.
And, because I’m so much of a lady, of course I’ll have to end today’s post with the necessary Karen Walker gif: