Thursday, July 31, 2014

I'm in Los Angeles.

You know what's weird?  I never wanted to move to Los Angeles.  I never had that thought in my brain - I always thought my next stop would be New York.  And then, in a spur of the moment decision, I chose Los Angeles.  It's so weird to me.  

A friend from work and I were talking about how we need to be "yes-woman" more.  For me, I'm kind of a home body and social situations tend to cause me great anxiety, so unless it's an alcohol-related outing (to loosen me up, y'know), then chances are I'm going to go home and cook dinner and sit on my couch, my porch or inside my building's hot tub.  Familiar places always win out over unfamiliar outings.   

Which brings me back to the "yes-woman" realization.   I turn down a lot of opportunities.  I say no way more than one who has done improv for the past nine years of her life should say no.  I choose comfortable 99% of the time.  But when I look back on all the times in my life when I actively chose the uncomfortable situation, they're probably the better moments of my life.  For example, moving to Los Angeles or choosing the BROWN oxford shoes over the BLACK oxford shoes.  Big decisions!

So recently, I chose to enjoy Los Angeles for the weird, strange place that it is.  I said "yes" to Jess and the two of us packed our gym bags (which I don't have, so I used a Madewell bag... super fancy) and went to a SoulCycle class in Santa Monica.  

I have never gone to an exercise class before.  Because again, anxiety.  I'm more of the do yoga/pilates at home and go for a jog type (and dance alone in my living room but don't tell anyone that part) kind of girl..  But, that wasn't doing me any good - and why not do a class?  It's not that I don't enjoy working out, because I actually do, it's just that working out with a group of people terrified me.  So, I think it's pretty funny that I picked SoulCycle as my first group class - but hey, Los Angeles.  

As Jess and I sat in the locker area waiting for the studio to empty out, the energy in the room was palpable and weird.  There were many people having conversations about different trendy diets they were going to try (says the girl who JUST tried a Whole30... and pretty much failed at it) and other people complaining about their days and other people just straight up talking about their SoulCycle experiences.  I was half excited/half vomity.

The class was... intense.  You get locked into your bike and you basically start right away.  There is cardio and strength training and push ups and small hand weights and bicep curls and dancing.  The lights are off, the music is blasting (it was techno... not a fan) and it's over in 45 minutes and everyone is a SWEATY MESS.  I had fun, I enjoyed it, I might even do it again.  But at the end of the day, I'm still an exercise loner.  

Afterwards, Jess and I walked our sweaty selves down the street and got acai bowls because we weren't feeling quite LA enough.  We sat on the street, blocks away from the beach while the sunset and the palm trees looked all pretty and I actually had a moment of, "Where the FUCK am I and how the FUCK did I end up here?" 

But it was nice.  I was happy.  I had a great time and I felt comfortable in my SERIES of uncomfortable decisions.  

Until, of course, it took me 45 minutes to drive home because the traffic at 9pm was STILL TERRIBLE.  

Oh, Los Angeles.  You're... something else.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

If you ever find yourself in the wrong story...

this is what has been on my mind. 

this is a lot to carry on one's mind. 

my mind is the worst.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Toxins

Well, I’ve been living in California for six months as of this week, so I guess it’s probably time to start a crash diet and rid my body of toxins, right?  And while I’m doing that, it’s probably a good idea to start an intense 30-day work out program, because hey – might as well go all out, right?

Basically, I’m an idiot.

But for really real, it may sound ridiculously corny but I have been trying to rid my entire life of toxins. I know I touched upon it a bit in the last post, but here's where I'm going with this. 

I went on anxiety medication because I’m trying to control the toxic feelings inside of my brain.  I’m trying to control the outbursts of rage (Hulk Patty Moments), the feelings of inadequacy, doubt, fear, etc.  I know that medication can’t really RID my body of these feelings, and that it’s a bit of an oxymoron to pump chemicals into my body in order to get rid of toxins – but you know what I’m talking about.  I think it’s very hard to live like everything’s normal and balanced when it absolutely is NOT normal and it’s in fact very difficult.  I don’t like being miserable and I certainly don’t like freaking out to the point where I’m unable to breathe. I don’t like holding myself back from big things because of fear (which ultimately leads to a big ol’ panic attack.)  I’m tired of being comfortable.  I’m tired of being miserable.  So I’m taking care of it.  Toxins be gone!

At another end of it, I’m starting to eat “cleaner”.  I’m not doing a cleanse, per say, but I guess that’s sort of what the Whole 30 is.  There are a lot of restrictions and some moments of the day, it’s pretty hard.  But it’s actually been good for me.  I made rice out of cauliflower last night!  I pan seared lean pork chops and covered them in some sort of apple, bacon, onion mix (what I call pork on pork.) I’m drinking coffee black and pounding water all day. My only concern is maintenance after it’s all over.  So I’m trying to make it more of a lifestyle change than a total crash diet.  Basically, I’m focusing on eating less processed junk and making everything at home… and also buying the more expensive, organic stuff because it’s better for your body.  Ugh, expensive.  Meal planning is hard and annoying.  I have to remember to take meat out of the freezer to defrost, and properly use up all the veggies I’ve bought throughout the week.  I’m sure that I’ll get into a groove soon and it will be second nature eventually, but shit – it’s time-consuming now.  But worth it.  Or something. 

Another thing I’m trying to do is just clear my life of bullshit.  I spend a lot of the time wondering why certain friendships of mine have disintegrated.  And every time I think of possible answers to the question, I think those reasons would be absolute bullshit.  I'm sad, because in some of these situations, I actually do feel like I've lost great, quality friendships.  But hey, that's life.  And if I keep dwelling on it then... TOXINS!  See? Toxins!! 

It sucks.  But you know what else sucks?  Seeing a picture of a donut and not being able to eat it right now.  I want a donut!  I never really crave sweets but the lack of sugar I’ve been consuming is turning me into some sort of donut/sugar monster. 

You know what else I want?  A new pair of shoes and a car that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg.  I need those things.  One to walk with and one to drink my black coffee and eat my sugar-less foods. 

See you guys in 30 days where I will bake myself into a loaf of bread and eat my way out because I've missed grains so much.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Everyday I'm Strugglin'

The past week or so has been WEIRD, guys!  WEIRD! 

Last week, I had a doctor's appointment for a regular check-up/physical/normal stuff.  I told her that I've been dealing with a little more anxiety than usual and that I've been having panic attacks pretty frequently.  Just a few days before, I had a panic attack that came out of nowhere simply by walking down the hallway at work.  There was honestly no trigger whatsoever, I just started getting dizzy and panic-y and almost blacked out.  It was weird.  Typically, panic attacks rise from fear or stress or whatever, but not this time.  

Needless to say, I got put on some anxiety medication and given a list of psychologist referrals.  

Pretty nice for "just a regular check up" huh? 

Then, days later, I started to feel really sick.  I lost my voice completely over the weekend and then could barely breathe and had severe chest pain on Monday, I was forced to leave work and go to the doctor and I had bronchitis.  I was put on antibiotics and prescription cough medicine!  I also was pushed by my office to stay home sick.  I've used 3 sick days this year... I don't know why I keep getting sick.  It's odd. 

Oh, and did I mention that I started a "Whole 30" on Monday where I completely cut out alcohol, sugar, alcohol, grains, beans, alcohol, dairy - did I mention alcohol?  So, while all this is going on, I'm also dealing with a constant headache from the lack of sugar I've been consuming.  Which is probably a good thing in the long run - but it's not the most pleasant thing to deal with during a week where YOU'RE DIAGNOSED WITH EVERYTHING.    

All I'm eating is vegetables, fruits, nuts and meat/protein.  It's really not hard... but I'm wondering how I'm going to maintain it after it's all done.  Mainly the alcohol part.  Man, I'm really selling myself here! 

I'm done complaining.  Or, venting.  Or whatever it is that I'm doing.  But this has been my life for the past week!  

The plus side is that I'm feeling a lot better.  I'm excited that I finally took care of a problem that I've been dealing with for a long time.  I'm trying a WHOLE bunch of new recipes that I've never tried before instead of the same five things I make every single week.  I'm being more healthy, working out and I've got a pretty damn cute cat.  So, life's not that big of a struggle.  This summer has just been a strange, eventful summer.  It's all gonna be all right! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Things to Love on a Monday

1. i can't stop wanting a half sleeve.
also, my friend Sonja pins the best pins.  

3. gorgeous teased hair.


5. you've got soul. and everybody knows.
and it's all right. all right with me. 
oh, i want this.

6. i need more friends who host outdoor dinner parties.

7. i have such a crush on katy perry.

8. how embarrassing, they all wore the same suit!

9. jessica rabbit is the sexiest woman alive... drawn?  whatever. 

happy monday! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Back East.

Last weekend, I made a last minute trip to Boston for the weekend.  I got into town on Thursday morning and spent some time with family and friends.  I got to hang out in the kitchen of my old apartment with my former roommate and our shared cat!  I stepped into the last few minutes of a show!  I hung out on the waterfront and stared at boats in the Atlantic Ocean.  I had a delightful little road trip.  

There's just something about the east coast that I love.  I'm not sure what the big difference is, aside from geography, but I just love it.  It was funny driving around and getting annoyed with jaywalkers... when just a few months ago, I never thought twice about it.  It's not against the law to jaywalk in Boston, but it's a major deal in California.  A ton of people I know have been ticketed for jaywalking, so I am very careful while walking and ALWAYS stop at lights and use crosswalks... in Boston, it's like cows just roaming free everywhere.  

It was also pretty funny seeing EVERYONE in Red Sox hats/jerseys/shirts/etc.  I never really see people "represent" their sport in California and I just realized that.  Everyone in Boston, whether they've watched baseball or not, is pretty ride-or-die when it comes to Boston.  

The east coast just has its charms and they always know how to drag me back in!  I'm starting to feel comfortable in California.  I know my way around without using GPS (although I still use it because traffic and the Waze app is really cute.)  But there was something about being in Boston that just made me feel so comfortable.  Almost like I owned the place... except I tried to park anywhere I wanted and flip off people I didn't know  (because that's what people do when they own things) and it never worked out.  

I'm not planning on moving back there (at least any time soon) since I'm still enjoying this west coast California adventure.  But I'm so happy to be from that side of the country.  I love California and it has its charms too!  But there's something about being inside the city that you're from that fills you with joy.  I love that crazy place!  

The good news is that I came back to California refreshed and rejuvinated and ready to paint the town Patty.  Although I'm sure there's some weird California law that will even prevent me from doing that.  (There seems to be a lot of strange California laws.  Or is it that Massachusetts just has none at all?)  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Identity Crisis

Remember that time I went surfing a month ago with my company?  When I first pulled up to the beach, I immediately freaked out.  There was no way I was going to do that!  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  "I'm not the surfing type of girl!" I screamed loudly inside of my brain.  

I'm still not "the surfing type" but at the very least, I tried it.  Refusing to do things because it's not who I am and doesn't relate to my identity is a really bad habit, I'm realizing.  I turn so many things down because they're not "me".  It's nice to feel like yourself, but how does one figure out different parts of their identity without experimenting?  It's like the older I get, the less different shit I try and the less life I have inside of me and the more I turn into a couch potato. 

During my freshman year of college, I had this roommate who liked going out to clubs.  She also liked drinking, getting high and randomly hanging out with Paul Pierce.  We were very different people as most nights I chose staying in my room watching Project Runway over having a social life.  But we got along pretty well.  And sometimes, even though it totally wasn't my style, I'd go to clubs with her.  And oddly enough, I had fun.  I was severely uncomfortable and didn't love strange men grinding on me - but hey, I enjoyed it.  In fact, during that summer, I went to A LOT of clubs.  These days, I would probably never do such a thing because I hate crowds, expensive drinks and people sweating on me - but for a brief period of time, I put my identity aside and let it become a part of who I was.  FOR A VERY BRIEF PERIOD OF TIME. 

I make a lot of decisions because "that's just who I am."  I'll drink an entire bottle of wine on a Tuesday, because "I'm Irish and that's who I am!" I'll let myself be alone a lot of the time because I'm introverted and that's just the way I am.  Those aren't necessarily things to brag about!  That doesn't HAVE to be who I am!  I don't have to be drunk inside my turtle shell ALL THE TIME, right?  

I guess I don't really know where I'm going here.  Maybe I'm having some sort of identity crisis.  But I do know there are a lot of bad habits that I foster by brushing new experiences or healthier habits under the rug because they're not who I am.  And I should probably look into changing that mentality.  

How real for a Tuesday, huh?  I'm feeling very introspective this week!  


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