Glitter Jitters

Yes, you read that right……glitter, jitters.

My best friend’s son started kindergarten this year. This is her first child to approach school age so I know it’s a big deal for her.

While we were catching up the other day, she told me all about the open house, taking him to meet his teachers and the conquest of getting all his school supplies. She seemed to be really happy with her son’s teacher for the year. While at his open house, the teacher gave him a sealed bag filled with glitter. The bag had a label attached that said “jitter glitter” and a short little poem.

Apparently, “jitter glitter” is supposed to help kids with some of the nervousness that comes with the first day of school. Kids place the bag of glitter underneath their pillow the night before the first day of school to help put them at ease for the next day to come. I’d never heard of this before and thought it was a super cute idea.

And, I can say that I definitely had some “jitters” before the start of graduate school.

I’ve been thinking a lot about when I first went away from home to start my undergraduate college career. I was in my late teens with (let’s be honest) not much real-life experience and my world revolving just around the small world of high school. I was definitely nervous about being away from home and college classes.

But overall, I was walking into college looking to get an education and, make college my life.

For grad school, this feels like a different ballgame.

And yes, while there are similarities between the jitters of starting my undergraduate and my graduate college careers, like nervousness over coursework and grades…..there’s a huge difference.

At thirty, college doesn’t define my life, rather it’s just a part of it.

It’s doesn’t feel like school, more like a part-time job. (At least, that’s how I feel).

My life is already developed from and consumed by my full-time job, friends I try to stay social with, normal adult responsibilities, and trying to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Most of the nerves come from the uncertainty of how graduate school will fit into all of this.

So what was my glitter?

Before the start of school, I grocery shopped and meal prepped meals to have over a week’s time.

I cleaned my bedroom and car.

I organized my desk workspace to be cleaner. And don’t get me wrong, more could be done…..but, I did just what I had time to and enough to make a difference.

Basically, I prepared. Preparing, getting ahead with some “life” things, and creating a less-cluttered environment helped me to feel less anxious.

I knew with the start of school, I could be in the right mindset.

Also, I treated myself out to a really fun girls night with my best friend. Some live music, drinks, and great conversations were great jitter glitters…..also, nights out like these keep everything in perspective.

Balance in life is possible, even though it may be work. Here comes the challenge!

Hope all of you students are having a great start to your year!

Staying Sane in the Change

This year feels like one big whirlwind so far. In my last post, I mentioned how being discontent with my job was affecting my happiness. While there were many parts of my job that I enjoyed, I yearned for change. I was craving a different environment, different challenges, and different information to learn.

These feelings started last year, right before Christmas. For a long time, I felt lost, trapped, and confused. Change has NEVER been easy for me. And for whatever reason, changing jobs at 30 felt a little more daunting than when I was 25. While I could go on for a whole post of how this happened/the process, I will say that the one thing I did that started the ball rolling was just casually searching job postings. Even if there was nothing available or anything that caught my eye, I was persistent. Eventually, after 5 months, I found a position within my same organization that caught my eye.

This position was in the same field and specialization I was currently in, yet different enough to have me interested. Long story short- I applied, interviewed, accepted the job.

And now, here I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited about this much-awaited change. But, change for me is always bittersweet. Leaving familiarity, for me, can be stressful.

Whenever a change like this and the accompanying stress enters my life, I tend to self-destruct in a way. My eating, working out, self-care, and healthy habits, in general, take a turn for the worse.

The reason for this post is to document the fact that I stayed very self-aware this go-around and worked hard to not take my usual route of self-destruction.

Instead of opting for unhealthy take-out, I’ve been pretty consistent with meal prep and saving eating-out for a “treat” during the week.

Instead of stress eating junk food, I sweated my stress out at the gym.

Instead of sweeping my anxieties under the rug, I journaled. I don’t think I’d be human if I didn’t question myself at least once during all the change. But, I forced myself to think of the worst possible things that could happen. If I didn’t like the new job? I eventually could transfer back to where I came from. And….the thought of “it’s better to do something than nothing” kept coming into my mind.

Instead of worrying about things I couldn’t control, I put extra time into face masks, nail polishes, and researching hair care routines.

Instead of using Netflix binges as a way to de-stress, I took myself to the gym.

Instead of mindlessly scrolling social media in bed 30 minutes before falling asleep, I put on a face mask and pulled out a book for a better way of preparing to sleep.

And let me just say……there is NOTHING WRONG with a Netflix binge, fast food dinner, or relaxing by surfing Pinterest here and there. But, I know what habits keep me on track for the goals and the life I want to achieve and…….in this current season of my life, I know the certain habits and behaviors that will detract me from achieving my goals.

And don’t get me wrong….this has been SUPER hard…….and I know that eventually, I will have moments of downfall. We all do. But, I just wanted to put out there for people like me…..it can be done. Change is inevitable, but you can persist. You can grow. Don’t forget to focus on yourself.

Starting Here

Here I am in the blogosphere.

While I’ve never thought of myself as the blogging type, I’ve been craving to have an outlet to place my thoughts, ideas, and inspiration.

So here I am. Eager to write. On one hand, this blog was born as a result of my recent 30th birthday. While the “I’m turning 30 life crisis” sounds annoyingly cliché and dramatic…..for me, it was real. And raw.

I guess we all have these moments in life at one point or another. I felt as if a fog was lifted from my eyes and I could finally see my reality for what it truly was/is. I wasn’t happy at my job, with myself, with my relationships, with my achievements, and I wasn’t taking care of myself.

We all know that life is short. So short. And I refuse to continue living the way I have been…….aimlessly floating through life, purposely just trying to fly under the radar, not fiercely pursuing my passions, forgetting what I’m even truly passionate about, and doing just enough to get by………ultimately fully knowing I’m not living my best life.

On the other hand, this blog is also a result of being tired of being sick, and tired. I have always struggled with weight loss and food. In fact, this battle has been one of the only constants I’ve had in my life…..my whole life. I can’t tell you how many diets I have been on, or how many times I’ve lost the weight….just to gain it back. With the realization of turning 30, I became so frustrated and saddened because I see how my weight has held me back in pretty much all areas of life including relationships, hobbies, activities, career……I mean, unfortunately, everything.

All these regrets flashing before my eyes kicked me out of it and into gear. I want a better life. I want to better myself. I want to be happy. I want to cultivate real and lasting relationships. There has to be so much more to life.

With all this said, I guess you could say this blog is a way to document my journey of living better and practicing self-improvement in all areas of life. Ultimately, I hope this blog will perhaps hold me more accountable, provide a place to gather and place ideas, and be a way to look back on my progress/struggles to see how far I’ve come.

When I was brainstorming names for this blog, The Living Lola kept coming up. And maybe it’s a little cheesy……..but it just fits. I want to be the girl taking chances. Experiencing the world fully. Loving fiercely. Having no regrets. Being inspired and inspire in return. I want to be the girl who is living and living her best life.

Here’s to the journey.