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Friday!

Lake Wylie sky

Happy Friday, friends!
Do you have any plans this weekend?

I have nothing particular in mind except that I plan to spend as much time away from the condo as possible. I’m thinking a morning trip to Crowder’s Mountain, a visit or two to Barnes & Noble, several trips to the dog park, and maybe an evening picnic to the park with a good book and a blanket.

Ciao! xo

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

Guillaume Apollinaire

I thought this was a perfect reminder, especially due to my last post.

For What It’s Worth

I recently decided to take on a part-time job to add to my current income and try to get ahead. My full-time job is your average, 40 hour per week office job, Monday through Friday and while the pay is okay, I certainly believe I am worth more (however, that story is an entirely different blog post on its own). I decided to get a job at a local bakery here in Charlotte for multiple reasons but mostly due to the fact that I worked full-time at a bakery in Greensboro and was already well accustomed with what duties were to be expected (plus, I love baking!). I was hoping to work 25-30 hours a week (crazy, I know!) due to the fact that she was only going to pay me $8/hour. When I said 25-30, I thought it was very clear and assumed that it meant I’d like at least 25 hours but I could not handle more than 30. Unfortunately, after two days of work, I became aware of the rest of the week schedule: six days in a row, just about 37 hours (depending on how fast we could clean up the shop at night, some days are obviously longer than others). Now, I don’t know about you, but working two full-time jobs is not something I want to do! Perhaps it would be different if this 2nd full-time job was paying me quite a bit more than just $8/hour, or if the job was something that would benefit my career, or help with my undergrad (and future graduate) studies — however, none of these are the case.

After two days of waking up at 7, working 9-5 at my office job, and then working 5-10:30/11 I was miserable. Even after the first night I was snappy with my boyfriend, whom I live with. This morning I felt absolutely terrible driving to work thinking of how the morning went, I was a zombie, I could not get out of bed, and all I did was complain about how absolutely exhausted I was. I practically ruined Jordan’s morning with the fact that I was miserable. I don’t like to quit, I don’t like to give up, it is not in my character — I follow through with my commitments — but in this situation I felt I was left with no choice. Alas, tonight will be my last night at the bakery, my last 16 hour day. And while I feel absolutely terrible about quitting, as I’ve never quit a job before in my life without a proper two-weeks notice, I also feel an overwhelming sense of relief. I was so stressed just thinking about working close to 80 hours in 7 days I was shutting down completely. I am feeling slightly guilty over my relief though…
This situation has really got me thinking… Is it worth giving up your happiness, your sense of self, sleep, and life to work? I understand it’s a necessity in life to work, I have bills to pay and accomplishments I want to achieve in my future like owning a home, buying a new car, and providing for my family. But at what risk? I’m 24, I want to enjoy the life that I’m living. I already plague myself with so much stress and anxiety, why make it worse by never giving myself a moment for me?! It seems absurd. I am not a drone, I cannot give up my happiness and my life to add an extra $400 to my income monthly. If I continued with the bakery and working ~80 hours a week my relationship with myself would fail, my relationship with Jordan would fail, I’d have no time to take care of important personal matters and household chores, everything would come crumbling down, and for what, a paycheck? Money? That is no life that I want to live. I am not that desperate to add to my income.
I relish in the little things: a beautiful blue sky, some white puffy clouds, sunshine all around, a good book, a lazy Sunday morning that quietly and unabashedly turns into a lazy Sunday afternoon, a good run, a night spent with good company, a hug, a kiss, a  happy heart — all things that do not require any money at all to thoroughly enjoy. Working ~80 hours a week would not allow these little things, and even if little things were occurring, I’d be too miserable to even notice them. If I’m even going to consider working 80 hours a week, I want it to be something I’m passionate about, something I wholeheartedly want to do.
I can at least say I am confident in my decision to quit. I am not going to give myself a hard time over this, and make myself feel terrible because it’s not worth it! For now, I am going to enjoy the beautiful blue sky (from my office), the love I have in my heart, and delicious greek yogurt and granola with blueberries I’m eating for lunch as I type this.

Not Just in November, but Always

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, November, and being thankful… I have come up with 31 things I am thankful for on a day-to-day basis…
     1. my parents, enough said
     2. my sisters, I wouldn’t trade growing up with them for anything in the world
     3. life, breathing every day heathily and easily
     4. all things love; experiencing and knowing how to love, people who love me, loving people, etc
     5. my boyfriend – and even the boyfriends of my past, who taught me the lessons I’ve learned and given me the outlook I have that I appreciate more than anything
     6. having a job, and a way to pay my bills, even if I struggle at times
     7. my past, and how it has molded me into the person I am today
     8. a chance for a future
     9. my childhood
    10. a free spirit, the flexibility of my mind and accepting life and it’s curve balls and appreciating any and every opportunity presented to me with the knowledge that life goes on and I will make it
    11. friendship, and forgiveness that goes along with it
    12. nature – trees, flowers, the beach, the mountains, crisp air, the earth, the sun, stars, and the universe
    13. dreams – what they say to us, show us, and tell us about ourselves
    14. music, enough said
    15. reading & writing, and the knowledge of how-to do such a thing; isn’t it insane to think there are still people in this world who don’t learn how to read or write? I cannot fathom
    16. the ability to see beauty and positivity in every situation – even if I have to sit down and really think about how a situation can benefit me or the people in my life
    17. 23 years of life, and adding another year to that in January
    18. ears, and my likeness of listening to others and their problems and wanting to help, whole-heartedly
    19. friendliness, to complete strangers and to people I care about deeply – a smile can change some ones entire day, entire outlook on life and mankind
    20. appreciating what I’ve been given in life, knowing I’m blessed to have what I have and to know what I know and not taking it for granted nor taking advantage of it negatively
    21. smiling and people who smile
    22. new year’s eve – my favorite holiday, the freshness and newness it brings to life
    23. holidays and the opportunities to spend time with family if you don’t get to see them otherwise
    24. communication and all the means for it these days – I’m thankful I can talk to my mom, my dad, my sisters, my boyfriend, my friends – whenever I like in several ways
    25. traveling out of the country when I was at a young and impressionable age; and the need to see more than what I know and continue learning throughout life by experiencing new and different and even sometimes uncomfortable or frightening things
    26. my sense of humor, the ability to laugh at myself, at life, at the little and silly things that ought to be laughed at
    27. the little things – sunshine through cracks of the curtains, a fireplace with a real burning fire, fresh and hot coffee in the mornings, the laughter of children, a smile or compliment from a total stranger…
    28. and open mind and welcome to change; welcoming the norm, not the norm, and people for who they are and their experiences and not shutting something out simply because I’m not familiar with it
    29. God. I may not be the most religious person, but I know nothing on this earth, in this universe, is possible without SOMETHING out there greater than what we are. While I do believe in the big bang theory, I think something greater out there made it all be able to happen and for us to mature and for evolution to exist
    30. photography, capturing moments and forever reliving them in the photograph
    31. the past, the future, and most importantly the present