Faith-Sowing and reaping and loneliness

There’s an immense pressure to take advantage of every single weekend in the summer. If it’s not jam packed with a BBQ, hiking, the beach, and at least one pool party you’re not living.

Last weekend I didn’t have a lot planned. Ok, basically nothing. Friday night was a Yankees vs. Sox game through Northeastern Alumni. Saturday was bootcamp then a house “cooling” party at night (great idea, by the way! She was moving out). Sunday was literally nothing.

At the YMCA I was consistently friendly with everyone. I had my moments, as it was customer service, but I did pretty well. There was one woman who would come in with Red Sox gear like she worked there. Turns out her husband does. She brought up that they have extra tickets, so we exchanged numbers and I said on the off chance you do call me!

Sunday rolls around, I’m thinking about what to do with my life, and I get a call from her. It’s an hour before the game starts, do you want two tickets? I tell her to give me time to call to friends to find someone to go.

I start texting/calling people and no one can go. In my head I’m thinking “I’m such a loser, I have no friends, should I go anyway because I have nothing else to do? Take advantage of it? Ugh.”

I call her back and accept the tickets. I’m on the train to the game messaging people including people from my dating apps. One offered to come if I’d make a bet with him that if they win we’d have victory sex. Yeah no.

I get brave and post on Facebook about the tickets. What’s everyone going to think? I’m a loser because I have to use Facebook to find someone? Whatever, I guess it’s better than going it alone.

I’m thinking to myself what a loser I am, I should’ve stayed home, why am I on this train, I’ll just go for a couple innings and if I hate it I’ll leave. I can’t believe I was sucked into the peer pressure of needing to take advantage of every moment of the summer.

I get to the park, find the tickets, find my seat. They’re awesome. Behind first base. I sit for a little and keep checking my phone. Now I’m that loser at a baseball game not living in the moment. But alas! A Facebook message. My mentor told me that a couple of our mentors were at the game and that a mutual friend was looking for them in Boston all weekend. So I call him, and he’s almost in NH, about 45 minutes away. In my head I am begging him to turn around, but I try not to show it. He does! He comes to the game and he tracks down our mentors that he has been trying to find ALL weekend.

Because I dared to be lonely, to go and do even when everything was screaming at me not to, I made his dream come true. It was the perfect ending to the perfect weekend.

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Faith-Rollercoaster Wednesday

There are more times than not lately that I’ve asked “God, are you listening at all?”

He has come to answer that in a big way.

My driveway is being worked on and the roommates upstairs have an average of four cars in the driveway (they are only supposed to have one). There’s not a lot of space as it is and it’s easy to get blocked in. So out of courtesy and mostly because I would get very emotionally agitated if I woke up and was blocked in I parked on the street last night. Street cleaning is a thing in the city, but since I’ve lived in one it’s always been during the day (i.e. 9am, when I’m not there). So I didn’t think to check. Well, turns out Somerville is from midnight to 1am on what day? Wednesday. My car had a $50 parking ticket. Thankfully, it didn’t get towed, which happens in many cities.

Finances have not been where I want them to be lately. It’s been a sore spot, mostly because I haven’t been diligent and disciplined. I’m still saving more than I’m spending, but not at the rate I’d like.

I get to work and login to Amazon. For some strange reason, my Husky email has defaulted as my login and my password worked. I go to buy a pair of shoes and Amazon automatically applies Prime (which is free for students, and a $99 value). This also saves me on shipping ($14?). Ok, God, thank you.

Work is going swell and I ended up getting promoted. Yay! CAD III, $5,000 raise.

I stepped on the scale yesterday, and even though I feel SO much stronger and fit at Title boxing, I’m up 5lbs since ending my food study. I have mixed emotions.

I leave work, am exhausted, so I come home and nap. I leave to go get groceries and am having a really difficult time managing my emotions around eating.

I come home and there’s these two young young kids and their grandmother, Spanish, looking through garbages for cans. My heart breaks for them. I walk in the door and God says go give them money. And I thought “That’s really weird, what will they think, will they accept it, I don’t have cash”. And God is like GO. So I find a $50 VISA card I got from work for being their five years, whoopie! And I walk to find them. They’re stopped out front of this guy’s house who has a garden and he gives them veggies. I hand her the card and explain in Spanish that there is $50, and she thanks me. He then gives me some veggies!

I’ve been listening to Gary Keesee’s podcast about prosperity. It’s been awesome. This was part of the inspiration for following this request from God. It was hard! But I knew I’d be more upset with myself for not following it.

That was the highlight of my day. Even though getting a promotion and amazon prime for free was great, I wouldn’t have traded giving them the VISA card for the world. As I was walking back to my house I thought to myself “who am I to care about those 5lbs? Things could be so much worse. You could have such bigger problems. Thank God that’s your only problem.”

This post isn’t well edited or thought out, but I had to get this day down before I forgot. And I haven’t posted in a while.

Fitness-Title Boxing

Time to get serious about my upper body/core strength. I’ve dabbled in boxing before, but have yet to attempt a Title Boxing workout. That is until yesterday.

They offer one free class, but you have to buy the $10 hand wraps.

It was an hour long. 15 minutes warm up, 8 rounds of 3 minutes of punching, 1 minute rest in between, 15 minutes abs.

They have a 45minute and 85 minute class. Of course I’m getting on that when I can.

Pros-

  • Engaging, I didn’t feel like checking the clock for time endured but mostly for that “when is this round over I’m exhausted” check.
  • Cute men.
  • Early class times (5:30am M+F)
  • Core, core and core
  • Community seems ok
  • I would definitely stick with it

Cons-

  • Form not really emphasized or taught during class.
  • Groupies-there are some people that seem all-in. I guess that’s not terrible, but sometimes I roll my eyes and say they have you hook, line and sinker
  • E-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. I think we’re talking $119 a month.
  • I felt dizzy at one point 😦 I think I need to gauge my effort better
  • Not sure if it’s enough to get me to a pull up.

I thought I’d walk out of there 100% sold but I wasn’t. I was ready to buy a membership, but when they didn’t really teach form and a lot of people I saw were there doing it haphazard I kinda lost faith.

I had a really good discussion with the assistant manager about this and we had real talk. I told her I was a personal trainer and spin instructor, she told me she became involved with boxing after her boyfriend died and she stopped powerlifting and gained weight (yeah, for some reason people confess this stuff to me often). She made me feel better and told me I get a complimentary 30 minute form training session with my membership.

After thinking about things more I emailed her asking about getting something to cover me now until Sept. 1st. I figure that’ll give me a month to get settled, get form, and really experience the gym before I commit. Then I go on vacation for two weeks, then I’ll come back and make a long term commitment in mid September if that’s what I decide is right.

I get $150 reimbursement from my health insurance and maybe I can ask my parents to give this to me as my Christmas gift this year.

Of course, all I naturally do is beat myself up for not making more money for this to not be an issue. Then I beat myself up for not wanting to spend money on my health. Sigh, what a catch-22. My rent is going up by $300 a month and my income is going down because I’m not working my side gigs as much (by choice). I’m really beating myself up about my finances. Need to start to get educated and organized again. My thoughts are all over the place. I could work more side gig to make up for it. But I don’t know if I want to.

I need to analyze my budget is what I need to do. I’m going to wait until August because of a cool reason which I will let you on about as soon as I hear officially. 😉

God, what do you think?

Faith-Weddings are hard

What a crazy couple weeks it’s been! Re-cap: WI-MA-CO-RI.

I’ll be doing more posts about my adventures, but I wanted to start with last night’s-my friend’s wedding.

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This picture was taken before the reception and after the ceremony. Yes, I look beautiful (despite the few things I could point out I don’t like) and genuinely happy.

What you don’t see is me fifteen minutes earlier crying in the car ride because I was going to another wedding that wasn’t mine. Crying because my friend has miraculously found her soulmate and I’m being bitter about it. Crying because I’m so mad at myself for being bitter. Praying desperately to release this hurt to God, only to feel like He isn’t listening. Yelling at God about my frustrations.

I don’t know what to do to get out of this funk. I’m trying a lot of different things, like keeping busy, reading God is a Matchmaker, reminding myself of all the couples I know who met later in life, listening to John and Lisa Bevere’s most recent (and appropriately timed) podcast about desolation, being active on dating apps, and conversing with my friend Steph.

I was about to say healing takes time and I should have more patience, but I’m not really healing from anything. Loneliness was the only hurt Adam experienced before sin entered the world.

Steph and I share a lot of the same struggles. We’re both very driven and have our life together. We’re used to having control the ability to go and get what we want and make things happen. This is the one area in our lives that we really can’t do anything but sit back and wait.

God has proven so many times in my life that he will make things happen as they are supposed to when they are supposed to. Why am I so discouraged in this?

Honestly I know I could be married tomorrow if I really wanted. Ok, not tomorrow, but within the year. I could settle for some guy who isn’t a man and live the rest of my life in misery over it. My self image is too high for that.

Listening to Ed Sheeran somehow gives me all kinds of comfort. There’s something about his energy and lyricism that brings me great pleasure. Maybe it’s because I live vicariously through his love life. One lyric, in “New Man” stands out to me:

“When you’re with him, I know you’re lonely”

My friend who was married yesterday reminds me that you can be in a relationship and be lonely, too. I learned that with my last relationship. It still doesn’t help what I’m feeling.

I know I need to resign this to God and stop putting so much pressure on the things I am doing-like going out on dates and conversations on dating apps.

While I was at my business conference in WI the leader said “What question are you afraid to ask God because you want your plan to be the answer?” That for me is marriage. Maybe I’m not supposed to get married.

Then I listen to “ask and you shall receive.” Is that only applicable to certain things? Or am I asking the wrong questions? Is it about my desires or is it about asking for God’s will?

So many unanswered questions. So much more to learn.

Pray for me and my future husband, please.

Finance and Fitness-Side hustle number 6, Spin teacher

My journey to teaching spin began when I started working at the front desk of the YMCA. My fitness game needed a boost and I was able to attend classes because they’re included in membership and all employees get memberships. I had heard great things about spin, so I tried it out.

I fell in LOVE. The instructor, Jenna, had a lot to do with it. She was really organized and motivational. I still use a lot of programs she used.

I asked the group exercise director if I was certified could we add more classes. She said she’d have to see about the budget, but get certified first. On that small hope I went and certified.

I was certified through Madd Dogg, which has been rebranded to Spinning.  The course is all day and there are four one hour rides scheduled. We only did three, thank goodness. It was intense! Especially for someone who had only been spinning for three months. I also learned a lot about technical skills like proper form and bike setup.

Jenna ended up leaving that fall and thus began my permanent class at the Y. I was terrible at first. Learning how is one thing, applying is totally different! I had some friends come and support me for my first couple classes which was really great of them, I’m sure I was terrible. Over time I grew my skills and this morning when I subbed there was a woman who attended simply because she saw my name on the schedule. If that doesn’t warm an instructor’s heart, I don’t know what will.

Getting certified in spin was a no-brainer. I almost doubled my hourly pay at the YMCA, going from $10/hr to $19. Then I was recruited to another gym, the JCC, by the wellness director. They pay $40/hr. That’s a more typical pay rate. I would sub as often as I could while I was paying off my debts. Sometimes I’d work 5 classes in a week, $200 extra that week for working out. I get a workout and get paid at the same time. It keeps me accountable to staying in shape. I highly recommend to anyone to get certified.

However, I will say that I put myself in a good position to get experience. Had I not started by working the front desk at the Y, I would not have built a relationship with the group exercise manager. She was thankfully willing to give me a chance to build my skills at the YMCA. Not all gyms would give newbies a shot. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to start somewhere fresh from getting certified if it weren’t for that.

This shows how valuable taking a low paying job can be. You never know where it can take you!

Fitness-Goal Achieved

In my head, anyone who runs a sub 30min 5k is a really fast runner. It’s a sub 10 minute mile and it sounds so fast. Since I started running races that was my goal.

My first ever race, the one I ran in my bio picture, was a 35:55.

Tonight, under insane circumstances, I ran a 29:57.

As the start gun went off, this was the warning that flashed on my phone.

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I went out really really fast, but felt really strong. I was caught behind a bunch of people but the pack was moving pretty quickly. Then I miscalculated and thought 20mins was actually 30mins. When I realized what I did, I petered out BIG TIME and practically gave up, but stayed strong. That was craziness about this PR 1.

Craziness about this PR 2 was that at about the same time it started raining, then it started DOWN POURING. I mean, DOWN POURING.

This is the best picture I could muster while huddled under a building.

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So. Wet. This is the puddle I left behind on the train.

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The rain slowed me down a lot because I kept sliding in my shoes. Or so I thought. I either smashed the first 2.5ish miles, or I didn’t slow down as much as I thought for the last 1 ish.

It doesn’t matter. I did it.

It took me six years. SIX YEARS to accomplish this. Never give up.

I’ve been really hard on myself lately. About my weight, my career, my singleness, my finances, my fitness, everything.

I think God knew I needed this. He knew I needed a big win under my belt.

It’s also a bit of release. My other huge goal is to do a pull up. It’s almost like God’s saying ok, enough with the cardio obsession, you can take a chill pill and go lift weights.

We’ll see.

Fitness-Portion Control

Tonight I went on a date in Assembly Square. We went to Earl’s Kitchen which has a really diverse menu. Sushi, sandwiches, steak, seafood, tacos, noodle bowls, etc.

I ended up picking the Dynamite Roll for a couple reasons. One, I haven’t had sushi since before my study (August of last year). Two, it’s way easier portion control. It’s still a satisfying amount, but I don’t walk away stuffed.

Bonus reason, LOOK HOW GOOD THIS LOOKS. And spicy mayo. Ok two bonus reasons.

It ended up being perfect. It was delicious. Service was fantastic, the waitress kept my water cup full the whole time which is difficult because I drink a lot of water and the cup was small. A+ for service.

We sat on the porch and it was nice except the sun was in my date’s eyes most of the time. Whoops. Still such a newbie sometimes. He could’ve said something I guess.

I didn’t take that picture or any pictures because, well, I didn’t want to be that person. Next time I go.

I knew myself well enough to know I’ve been struggling with portion control lately and I didn’t work out today. So I ordered accordingly, and it was delicious. Make healthy decisions easier to make before you have to make them. Like ordering a dish with a small portion size. It’s ok to do that.

I bet you’re all dying to know how it went. I’ll let the suspense keep you reading.

Fitness-Boston Brunch Runners

Options. We’re overloaded with them. Since moving back to Somerville I’ve found myself overwhelmed with all that comes with city life. What Mass do I go to? What grocery store? Which gym, if any, should I join? Which fitness groups do I join? What Young Adult group do I start attending?

The last thing I wanted to do this morning was run. This is a growing trend. Thankfully, that inner voice reached out to me and said “go”. So I went and checked out this running group that is a spin-off of The November Project. NP is a group of people who work out every Monday at a different location, every Wednesday at Harvard Stadium, and every Friday at Summit Ave at 6:30 am. I am off to work at 5:45 am every day, but I’m exploring the idea of attending. No harm to try once, right?

I discovered the spin-off group, Boston Brunch Runners, probably through Facebook somehow. I’ve been meaning to check them out as one of my many fitness options. They went to Winter Hill Brewing Company a few weeks ago but I was at the bachelorette party. This week they went to NOCA Provisions, a new cafe in NOrth CAmbridge which happens to be directly across the street from where my ex lives. The good news was I am familiar with the running route it takes to get there. The bad news, mixed emotions. I’m trying to be that person that makes new memories instead of belabors on the old, but it’s hard.

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Anyway, they started at 9am ish, and they had a few routes to choose from. Walking, 3 miles or 6 miles. I chose 3 miles, since it was already a 2 mile run there and then I’d have to get back.

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I ended up pairing up with a girl named Brooke who kept me company and pushed my pace. It was warm but not super uncomfortable. Here we are!

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After we were done I ordered a greek yogurt bowl with coconut granola and strawberries. It was delicious and only $6.29. I forgot to take a picture, but the one sitting on the counter looked similar.

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Here’s a picture of the whole group.

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I was feeling pretty depressed after the run so I called my friend Lisa to talk about things, which made the two mile walk back enjoyable and quick.

I didn’t quite feel like I belonged, but I also didn’t make a huge effort to be outgoing so it was mostly my fault. I think I’ll go again. So 7 miles and a nap it was for me today.

 

 

Faith-The Dating Game

I use a dating app called Coffee Meets Bagel. I have had the most success with this app.

If you read anything about dating today you probably hear a lot about how hard it is. Here’s an example of why.

This guy was oddly familiar. He is conservative, shoots guns, and rides motorcycles. He asks for my number, which is odd to me because every other guy has asked me on a date before asking for my number. So I told him no, he has to earn it. Conversations close after a week, which basically puts pressure on the two of you to make moves. Our conversation lapses and honestly I’m a little relieved because I’m not that excited about him. He ends up using points (you get a certain amount) to open our conversation back up. He then says “did I earn your number now?” What the heck? Because you used points on an app to open a conversation after it lapsed because you didn’t have the guts to ask me on a date by now? Where do men get these ideas from, honestly?

Here’s the conversation that ensues.

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Well at least we’ve established I’m smart and I know what I’m talking about? Ok moving on from here. He finally asks me out on a date and I offer up Saturday lunch or Sunday dinner. I then realize that’s very committal and intense, so I back track and say we can just do drinks at either time. He replies with “let’s do Saturday”. Then the following occurs…

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First of all, be decisive and take the lead Mr. Conservative. We’re already talking about doing date 2 and date 1 hasn’t even happened? Do I have a say here? He doesn’t end up picking, he talks more about his surgery. Then this was last night, Friday, almost like an after thought.

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I thought it was in some dating 101 manual somewhere that women want men to plan dates aka take the lead. Did that get taken out? Again, I was put in-between a rock and a hard place. I look like a witch for backing out the day before, but if this is any indication of how the relationship will go I want none of it. I hope the way I said this was loving enough. I gave him a chance to say he didn’t see the message, I gave him the chance to say I didn’t know that’s what you wanted, I gave him the chance to fix it, and he didn’t reply.

Men seem to want this hybrid conservative/pro-woman woman that let’s them get away with doing no work. Keep looking, my friends. A woman is still a woman at heart. She wants to feel beautiful, be pursued, and to be lead even if she is the CEO of her company.

Finance-Cooking Class

I’ve been meaning to take a cooking class for a long time. When I was looking up things to do in Somerville, going to Shiso Kitchen was one of the top suggestions in TripAdvisor.

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I emailed Jess, the owner and chef, and she responded with a couple open classes. She didn’t have enough people registered for today, but eventually my friend Gillian and a couple registered so we were in! Today was the Provencal French Dinner. “Get a taste of Southern French fare with a menu featuring regional favorites such as: Spring Greens with Champagne Dijon Vinaigrette, Socca de Nice (traditional French skillet flatbread), Peppered Beef with Herbs and pan sauce, Ratatouille OR Provencal Vegetable Tian, and Caramel Glazed Berries with Vanilla Cream.”

It was really fun. There was a lot of hands-on work obviously so not a lot of picture taking options. Here’s us making the Vegetable Tian. We learned basic knife skills and she shared that Shun Knives are her favorite. The company will sharpen the knives again for you if you send them in.

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The whole thing was pretty complicated and I’m not sure that I would be able to do it alone or again. I personally cut the onion, eggplant, and strawberries, made the caramel, whipped the cream, made the pan sauce, and assembled the Tian. Here are some pictures of the final products. I loved that we made our own salad dressing.

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Although I would have a hard time reproducing the entire dinner, I can now use a knife better, cook steak, and make my own vinaigrette. I’m going again next Friday for Asian Bao Steamed Buns & BBQ.

The price was $89, but I was discounted $13 because I am going again next week. I added $11 gratuity. Well worth it for a fun, rainy Friday night activity. I’m glad I paid off my debts so I can do these activities guilt free.

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Bon Appetite!