Identity crisis or quarter-life crisis?

June 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I’m struggling with who I am right now, and I feel at some weird crossroads.

Recently there was a job opening at my workplace, and it was in an area that I thought I was desperate to transfer over to, something I thought was ideal. I tried for a similar job in the winter and never got it, so I knew that at all costs I would make it work next time. Well, next time is here and I turned down an opportunity. (I wasn’t given the job, just a chance to try out.)

This whole event, on top of my sister’s high school graduation, has me thinking, and hard.

I’ve changed identities before, when I went from the cheerleader high schooler to the journalist college student. The past three years I’ve changed a bit because of money: Not as many new clothes, luxuries or trips. And the past two years as a vegan has changed me a lot, too, in addition to my struggle with IBS.

Me on the right, circa 2003. Peppy, eh?

When I used to describe myself, I used to say happy, peppy, athletic, smart, loving (in highschool); cynical, night owl, smart, loving (in college).

Second from left, hard at work at the college newspaper

HIPPIES!

Now, I’m still a night owl but vegan, runner & hippie.

It is that last word I am struggling with, immensely. That word doesn’t bode well in today’s society of consume and spend like you are going to die tomorrow. It has gotten a bad rep and it’s not fair.

I’m trying to live a happy life and preserve the world. That means frugal. That means thrift stores, fixing my old bike, washing my hair with my own shampoo, canning, CSAs, farming for my food and so much more. And as I wrote that sentence, I smiled. Because that is who I am becoming.

But I am stuck between that and who I was. Friends who are more consumers, which is OK, but will they still love me as a hippie? What about family? and the world at large, when I stop washing my hair every day and wearing used clothes? (Because, honestly, the crap at some box stores just is such a waste unless it’s less than $10.)

The boy and I were driving to a friends’ house recently, which is in a cul-de-sac, where all the homes were beautiful but NEW and almost generic. Once we drove into the development, my eyes reacted in horror. The perfectly lined streets, the houses perfectly spread apart. Now, I don’t like looking at a eye-sore house all the same, but where’s the irregularity? Where is the well-worn of an antique house? Are we all obsessed with new?

And what shocked me about this is, I don’t know who I am anymore. I was the girl that wanted one of these houses about three years ago, when I got married and had 2.5 kids.

But now? I want to build that hobbit house with the boy, and have a huge garden, and sew clothes and preserve all my food for the winter. I want a small community of similar-minded people as we work together to have a farm, raise our children and help the environment (solar power!!) Don’t get me wrong, I better have running water, TV and Internet, air conditioning when I can’t take the heat anymore, and a car that can be used when I need to drive farther than I can bike.

But this is me now. But I am scared to become this person, scared people will leave my life, that it’s just another fad I’m into.

A little more pink in my life

June 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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I grew up with a clean-freak mother (sorry, Mom!) We used to dust every week (one week light dust, next week heavy dust), laundry was super separated and unless it was underwear and towels, it hung outside on the line, and my dad did the dishes every night. I also had to make my bed every day.

And despite this “craziness,” she taught me the value of taking care of stuff I own. I might have rebelled and don’t dust or vacuum ever now unless guests come, but I try to take care of what I own and make it last.

Well, I am a poor 20-sometime (formerly poorer with less time on my hands), so some of this ultra sorting had to go. I mean, it cost $1.75 for one load of laundry and $.25 per seven minutes to dry! I now combine towels, underwear, socks and workout T-shirts of lighter colors. I separate my other piles into dark warm, dark cold, light cold and brights. My sheets, when I wash them, usually go in by themselves.

When she yelled at me for putting a dark towel in with my light towels, I told her I didn’t care that my yellow and aqua towel had a few tainted lines.

Well, now I wish I listened to my mother.

Because, for the first time, I pinked my clothes. (*I have photos but they are too dark, so I will take new ones soon!*)

Yes, the dreaded pink. It got a few of my T-shirts, one the worst, a bunch of the boy’s socks (just the insides) and a couple other random things. I bought a new beach towel and it was a first wash, which I totally forgot about. Lucky for me, some of the whites was in a second load that didn’t include the towel and the items that got the worst was what was right up against it.

My one tee even has a bright YELLOW stain near the armpit! (Yes, I sweat profusely but it was the yellow in the towel this time, I swear!)

Now, I’m not sure if this is going to come out but I learned my lesson: No more beach towels with the other stuff. Also, if I buy something new, don’t automatically mix it in to my normal separation, even if it’s a pain in the butt and the wallet.

Has anyone had a similar instance to mine? Did the stains come out, or did you have to trash your item?

Is a 5K in two weeks doable?

June 9, 2011 at 9:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So, here I am, talking about running again.

I feel like the most inexperienced runner, yet I have been trying to do this going on three years now. Yes, three years. With only one 5K under my belt, which was 7 months ago.

One word comes to mind: Lame.

And so I have been searching 5Ks in the area and seeing if any of them are doable. (If you don’t know me, I work a night shift Tuesday through Saturday, so 8:30 a.m. races are not considered fun for me, more like torture.)

As you might know, I missed out on a midnight race because of my neglect to keep an eye on my schedule and to keep to my running. But I have been trying to get back on track, only to be sidelined last week by intense allergies and almost sidelined this week by intense heat.

So far this week I have ran about 5 miles. I am trying to get outside as much as I can to beat my body into road-submission, but I did intervals on the treadmill today. I have yet to run 3 miles straight since November 2010.

So, there is this 5K in Baltimore on Sunday, June 26 (The Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K).  It is screaming my name. It’s an 8 a.m. start (ouch!) and I live an hour away. June 26 is about 2 weeks away, give or take a day.

I need tips on a variety of aspects: Do I do it and train hard for it? Do I skip? (I work until 1 a.m. Saturday/Sunday before.) Do I get a hotel instead? (which I can’t go to until after 1 a.m.)

Suggestions, people, suggestions!

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