Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Circle of Life

When I entered the big, bad world of Sales, I did everything but shout it from the rooftops that going back to school wasn't worth the investment for my career, and proud of that I was. All I needed to succeed in Sales was non-stop networking to build and maintain relationships for years to come! Who needs an MBA for that? Then time happened, and here I am a year and half later at the ripe old age of 26, well into my quarter-life crisis............ and back in school.

After I attended a conference in Atlanta in February that pushed us to "live our passion", my gears were in motion figuring out what my next step would be. My predecessors are in fine health and have held their positions for 20+ years, so I've reached a plateau with nowhere left to climb. Thus, I concluded, it's almost time to hit the road, Jack. After all, in this day and age, 4.5 years with a company is an eternity! I should get a plaque or something. (Love to the Babyboomers)

Then like icing on my careercake, I spent 10 days in July on the Great Recession Road Trip with the fam. The vacation afforded me plenty of time to reflect on my life and my career, and the decision was all but made. Come with me on this flashback:

It was a cool, July morning. We were operating on CST in a PST zone, expecting a nice lunch, yet offered a nice breakfast. After inhaling a huge blackbean and chicken breakfast burrito that was seriously the size of an armadillo, we headed out for a brisk walk along the Grand Canyon edge.

A chat with the maternal parent ensued. With topics ranging from daily annoyances, to exercise, to my career, we spoke . . . . . .

"Mom", as I like to call her, "I think I want to be a dietitian. What do you think?"
"Sweet, precious daughter of mine," as she likes to call me,"I think you'll be fantastic at anything you do."
Okay fine, she actually said - "well, I think that would fit you nicely, but it's quite the career change, babe..."
"yeah, but I've been thinking a lot about it and the only downfall I can see to being in nutrition is the pressure people might feel when they eat around me. I don't want a friend to stress about serving a vegetable/whole wheat option at her party just because I'm invited, ya know?"
My dearest mother said, "Oh, I wouldn't worry about that, sweetie - you already make people feel like that."


I love those moments. What are parents for if not for the cold, hard truth? Love you, Mom.

But seriously, the rest is history.

I sit here today, stretched oh-so-thin between school and work and extracurriculars. . . and I love it, I really do. I never thought in a million years I'd be back in school and I especially never expected to be chasing a dream realized after college graduation... but it fits. Nicely.

This time next year I'll have a Trapper Keeper and an insulated lunch box. And I'm thinking about making my case for a school clothes allowance from the parents. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, October 16, 2009

500% Humidity

For the last few weeks, Houston has been one huge, dirty sauna . . . even the sun with its infinite power couldn't break through the mass of humidity and pollution. This affected my mood and my unfortunate skin tone. I say "unfortunate" because I can whip out my tribal card and receive funds for being American Indian, but I have nothing to show for it physically, except for a long nose. I'd give anything to skip the nose gene and get the tan-skin gene.

Either way, starting way back in 2001 when I moved here for college, I always got the same two reoccurring questions when the topic of Houston arose- which do you like better, Dallas or Houston? and doesn't the humidity just kill you? Up until a few weeks ago, I can honestly say I never noticed the humidity. Now granted, when I went home for the holidays and my skin would shrivel up and flake off by the pound if I didn't bathe in lotion, I realized there must be a teenytiny difference in atmospheres, but it never occurred to me on a day-to-day basis that I lived in one, huge dirty sauna.

Thank you October 5-15, 2009 for showing me what humidity is all about

And I hate it. I hate walking outside and "sweating" before I start running. I hate putting on my sunglasses when I get out of the car, only to be blinded by the immediate fog effect. I hate feeling sticky everywhere I go, and most of all... I hate hiding from the outside. Needless to say, I was a class-a C R A B for a couple weeks stressing out about things I didn't need to stress out about and getting more pale.

Then by the grace of God, Friday, October 16th happened.

A semi-cold front came through and washed away the dirty sauna. It was a glorious 70 degrees in the sun, 0% humidity. Smiles to be had by all! The "young-guns" took a long lunch to the Bakerstreet patio where I spied a disabled bird. You're probably thinking he had a bum wing, which I won't fault you for... that seems logical... but NO, this bird had a peg leg. Somehow he lost his 3 little, pokey toes and was moving from table to table begging for food like a homeless man at Montrose and Westheimer. I made up a little story in my head about how he lost his toes -- I think it was a tragic bird feeder accident -- but counted myself lucky for spying this freak of nature. He's kind of like a 4-leaf-clover. I mean, have YOU ever seen a bird with a peg leg? Didn't think so. Well this little birdie just added to the glorious day of October 16th, and October 16th led us into the most beautiful weekend Houston has seen in years. I spent all day each day studying outside and soaking up some vitamin D with my favorite studying partner, my Pumpkin. Pumpkin Spice Latte.

In conclusion, Houston can be humid and super gross... but the October 16ths of the year make up for it 10-fold.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sentimental Moment

About this time of year, I'm usually planning my next scandalous Halloween costume or starting a Christmas wish-list to distribute to family members.

This year, I'm planning something of greater importance.

In a little over a month, when my family is gathered around a table full of turkey and sweet potatoes and it's my turn to speak, my cup will runneth over with a laundry list of Thanks.

From the new Flavia machine in our breakroom that allows me to make my morning coffee my way, to the miracle of life that we may or may not know in the flesh on Thanksgiving day, I will rattle off my life's delights.

If not for the fleeting moment of Thanksgiving Day, I would always be the "overemotional, hypersensitive one"... but on November 26th ... I will be the "thoughtful, thankful one"

(It's just like the Whataburger commercial. He's not the guy "that's late for the meeting", he's "the guy that brought breakfast")

Timing is everything.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stood Up

I'm a Type A fighting for control of my life every day.

I have a plan for most emergency situations. First thing I'll do if I happen to OOPS, drive off a bridge over water, is hit the automatic window button. It'll save my life, people. In a previous post, I discussed my plan to run in the opposite direction if my roommate and I are attacked while running. I also think if I'm one of those unfortunate people that witnesses a man beating a woman, or man/woman beating a child, I'll approach and scream, not ignore and walk away. Now whether or not my adrenaline derails this plan in the heat of the moment is a whole other story... but the point is I have one.

So last night I found myself in an emergency situation with no plan - the cardinal sin for Type A's

I was stood up (sort of). Yes, this is an emergency for me. I like to have an obvious purpose in whatever I do. I'm just not the meandering, loitering type. I don't go to bars to enjoy watching other people have social interactions... that's what Creepers do (HOWEVER, I derive an insane amount of joy people watching at airports, but that's completely acceptable because I still have a purpose: I'm waiting for my flight and people know this). Sitting alone at a restaurant or a bar for extended periods of time is like fingernails on a chalkboard for me. A true emergency. And that's what I did last night.

I was supposed to have happy hour with two new friends I met at a conference in San Antonio at 5:30pm. I was raised that "10 minutes early is on-time", and OH how I wish my parents weren't over achievers like that, because life has taught me that we're the minority in that thought process..... in every avenue of my life, most people are 10 minutes late. So I went inside, took a seat at the bar and ordered a margarita, occasionally glancing over my shoulder at the door to greet my new friends. 10, 20 minutes go by. I start getting anxious, looking at the door more often, even took a stroll around the restaurant to verify their absence. Nothin. So I scoured my blackberry for a number to call. No answer, but I kindly waited 5 minutes for a return call. Nope, nada. At this point, they're 30 minutes late and haven't tried to reach me at all, so I texted bitterly, "I'm leaving after this margarita if you guys aren't here!" even though I didn't really mean it....... if these were old friends, I would've walked out 10 minutes ago, but I can't just leave like a biatch on a new set of friends! I have to give them the shadow of a doubt -- there MUST be a valid excuse for this madness.

Thus, I've made friends with the bar back that can hardly speak english, so we're actually just exchanging awkward glances. I've looked through menu 4 times for the meal I'm not planning to have. I've chatted with my sister about her impending childbirth, chatted with my other sister about her impending travel for soccer, and chatted with my mom about how embarrassed I am that I've been sitting here alone for 38 minutes. I've responded to emails, texted friends, even pretended to enjoy the baseball game on TV.

I mean, REALLY, what in tarnation keeps someone from calling with an explanation or at least responding to my fake-threatening text?? Then, I got a call. They told me some BS story that made no sense, but ended it with "we'll be there in 10 minutes! so sorry! soooo sorry!"

Fighting back my critical instinct to scold them immediately about how being late is selfish and rude, I took a very, very deep breath and realized my social pain would be over in 10 minutes and I was happy again. First time, shame on you; second time, shame on me. I should've known "10 minutes" didn't mean 10 minutes. 25 minutes later, a total of 1 hour and 5 minutes late, they walked through the door. I smiled and hugged them, "so good to see you! It's no problem!" After all, we're all adults here and I'm a forgiver sometimes, but after an honest discussion about the real reason for their tardiness. . . . . . .

a previously scheduled hair appointment

. . . . . . . . . I presented them with the opportunity to buy my drinks and the chicken fajitas I decided to have since it was now dinner time. They happily accepted, so I think this friendship will last. And thanks to this little emergency, I now have a plan for being stood up:

1) I'll have a Glamour magazine in my car at all times for entertainment during the 10-15 minutes my friends normally make me wait
2) If our friendship/relationship is established, I will wait no longer than 30 minutes, no exceptions (well, maybe termination from a job, a car wreck or anything requiring hospitalization)
3) If you're a newby to my life and my rules, I'll wait for you, but after 30 minutes... you will buy me things. With a smile.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Burgeoning Belly

This topic has managed to squirm its way into many conversations I've had over the course of my life, mostly because I'm 'baby crazy' (as some dear friends like to call it) and I stand firm that the entire process of reproducing is the most magical of biological phenomenons out there... so as it pertains to the burgeoning belly, I'm of the cup-half-full variety. If you got it - flaunt it, or shake what your baby gave ya, whatever trips your trigger.

Sans stretch marks (since all they do is remind people of the pain and anguish your body is gradually going through), a fit pregnant woman in a tight shirt or a bikini is just as beautiful as the next, if not more... and I will declare it right here, right now, even at the risk of offending any closet readers I might have.... women that think otherwise are just plain jealous or belong in the 1800's when hiding your pregnancy was all the rage.

Now I'll admit, I've gone overboard with my pregnancy infatuations once or twice in my day. A while back, I was walking towards a running trail and passed a woman putting something away in her trunk. From behind, she looked like a marathon runner in her matching black and pink dry-fit tank and running shorts, then BAM!! she turned like an airplane and my estrogen released in vast quantities at the sight of her 8-9 month belly. I instinctively said, "oh my goodness, you are so cute pregnant". I might have sprinted at her with open arms for a hug if it weren't for the look of sheer terror on her face. A few moments later, I realized we were in a random parking lot, it was almost dark, she never saw me coming, but most importantly, Private Practice just aired their final episode where Violet was attacked a few weeks from her due date by a crazy patient that thought Violet was carrying her baby........ apparently they don't make this stuff up, it actually happens!......... so I can only imagine what was going through that poor woman's mind. So that was that.

A n y w a y

This is the inaugural Kodak moment of me with my first nephew :) The first of many precious photo ops with the little bambino. Squirm at that belly and I'll come after you. It's just Beautiful.