Losing my Resolution…Again

Slightly inspired by REM’s song, this post is about my disappointment in myself for once again, falling off the New Year’s Resolution Wagon. Is it just me or does that wagon need better suspension?

Last year, I wanted to improve my posture and I am happy to say, I did that quite successfully. This year, I wanted to push myself a little more. So, after much deliberation in my mind and perhaps a little list making, I came to the conclusion that I have a lot of stuff. Looking around at my apartment, I see things that I need, that I worked hard and saved up for, and those other things that I’m not too sure why they are here. Then this lead me to thinking of my parents’ house and the amount of stuff I have there: childhood toys, homework from grade school, clothes, sport uniforms, gah!

What amazing parents I have. Every time I come home they are so gracious and tell me that this will always be my home and my room and my things can stay there as long as I need them to. That is, until my Christmas visit where it was hinted that I should start taking some of my things back with me…hmmm.

That is where it all started, my goal for being more conscious of my personal items. To begin, I broke out the following categories:

  • Need
  • Wanted and Worked For
  • Family History
  • Don’t See the Need
  • Trash
  • My Mom Won’t Let It Go

Clearly the last category is the most difficult. Having already gone through this process when I moved back into my parents’ house to finish my last quarters of college after my 4 years of NCAA was over, I knew which things my mom would not let go of.

A little history: both of my parents came from poor backgrounds and I am the first in the family to graduate from college. This is something that I am fiercely proud of. Grandpa is from the Depression Era and always saves what the new generations throw away. My favorite story is when he told my mom to get rid of this giant jar of clothes pins and two years later asked her where it was. She has learned that you save what he asks you to throw away and naturally, she had kept the clothes pins and was able to give them back. Clothes pins – so random, right?!

Anyways, knowing what can be saved for the future is in her blood and is what prevented me from donating my Barbie collection to Goodwill.

“You will be happy you saved them when your children are playing with them,” she said. “It will save you so much money and they (the children) will be happy to play whether they are new or used.”

Right now, I don’t see them being my children who get the toys because the words “mine” and “children” just don’t seem to fit. Sorry mom and dad. Maybe someday much later?

Hence, the category of ‘Mom won’t let it go’ wins out on quite a few items. Why did I start this resolution if I knew this was going to be such an obstacle??? I find myself being forced to think outside the realm of toys because clearly those are not an option.

Schoolwork. Still in the works of completing this one but, one of these trips home I plan on sneaking out my collection of homework from elementary and high school. I know that I could never, ever get rid of my work from AP Physics (which I scored a 1 on the test, you can only score 1 to 5…yeah, it did not go well) and AP Calculus (got a 2, woohoo!). But everything else can absolutely be recycled. College work was already processed before I moved home – there is no reason to keep my notes from the random dance class I took.

As for the apartment plan, my boyfriend and I constantly keep a box in the bedroom that we call, “The Goodwill Box” and throw in the items we want to donate. Actually, this has worked out quite well! I think it’s keeping the box out in the open that has really helped. Previously, when I’ve done closet cleanouts, it has always been hard to give away so much at one time. This way, I see a shirt in my closet that is old, and I’ve just lost my love for it. Boom – into the box it goes. Then that happens with some old work pants, and then a dress. And when we drop off the full box, it doesn’t feel like I’m letting go of all things at once and there are no doubts because I’ve let go of them for quite some time now.

Recently, I have fell off the wagon with make up/bath products. A big guilty pleasure of mine is high quality soaps and face products. My eyes are super sensitive so the eye shadow can’t have sparkles in it and I battle with some acne, so my face wash can’t be too aggressive and neither can my lotion. So high maintenance! (“Yes, I would like the house salad but with the dressing on the side – on the side is a big thing for you.” When Harry met Sally, anyone?)

Needless to say this was already an issue but when I got a mysterious rash under my eyebrow (it was just dryness thank goodness!), I had to stop all makeup use and start fresh in case any of my products were to blame. So into the trash everything went. Thankfully I had a few gift cards from Christmas to help me out but once you find that new magnificent brand that works for your skin, it’s so hard to stop.

First to be bought was an inexpensive but good quality black eyeliner – easy enough. Then I treated myself to a beautiful nude eye shadow palette, sans sparkles. Naturally, with this lovely purchase online came samples…this is where the problem really began. One of the samples was a delicate night cream that felt amazing on my skin and smells amazing. After weeks of stretching out the sample as far as it would go (and not having any negative skin reactions), I knew that I had to have it. Within a couple weeks of saving some extra money by not getting coffee in the morning, I did the deed and order the night cream.

I was so happy and completely content with this purchase until…I tried the samples that came with it.

The face cleanser wasn’t at all harsh on my skin and the moisturizer soaked in and stayed smooth all day. How could I resist? Going through all the reasons why I should spend a little extra to get these high quality products included but was not limited to: you don’t use a lot of make up and this is for the betterment of your skin, and no one has to know.

So, now I am up to the face cleanser, moisturizer, and night cream. Honestly, I do feel like I’ve taken a step off my path to having less, then again I did save up and reeeeeeeeeeally wanted these items. Plus, I use them every single day, even multiple times a day with the cleanser! But now I feel that I need to make stronger moves on a different front to compensate.

It’s not exactly staying on course when you get more items and the goal is to actually have less.

Darn it you lovely, high quality, amazing smelling products!!! Perhaps this is why I chose this as my resolution? Did my subconscious see this problem coming? I highly doubt it but I am pushing myself to dig deeper into what means the most to me.

Looking around the room, I see some ancient tubes of paint that probably have dried out years ago. And maybe there’s some old art supplies I haven’t touched for ages that I can donate. Those can go, at least it’s a start.

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Still Working on that Great Masterpiece…

Just like any other girl growing up, I wanted to be:

  1. A gymnast – Not coordinated enough.
  2. An ice skater – Saw my friend break her head open on the ice, get stitches and I was done.
  3. An actress – Still haven’t made my big break, but haven’t auditioned since I was in elementary school.
  4. A novelist – Started one in high school and haven’t looked at it since I went to college.
  5. A photographer – Not sure where to start and make this happen but still taking pictures.
  6. An artist – Acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, landscapes and flowers…why haven’t I tried harder???

Looking at this list, photography and art are still semi-attainable in my mind but I definitely need to keep my day job.

I feel so silly wanting my childhood dream job to come true! But now that I understand the state of economy (kind of) and what it is to be an adult (almost? not really…), it just doesn’t make sense for me to try and go after my dreams of being a full-time artist/photographer. Security at this point in my life is too important. Planning for retirement is crucial for me after my “Quarter-Life Crisis” occurred a few weeks ago.

But, that should not stop me of still picking up one of my paintbrushes right now and finishing that landscaping painting I started last week. A few weeks ago, I went on a shopping trip for paint supplies. Similar to those, “If I buy this new pair of workout pants, then I’ll want to workout more” false motivations, I bought my fresh primary colors and a pallet knife to make myself paint more. Clearly that motivation lasted for one day and I still have yet to use the pallet knife.

As I stare at my cup full of brushes, pens, and pencils along with the box full of paints on the floor, I feel that little bubble of excitement start in my stomach. Then I scroll up and down the draft of this post and the words give me a little hope for that novel.

Yes, that day job I love is going to stick around and that may make me ordinary during the week but this weekend, I might get creative with my pallet knife and finish the landscape painting to the left of my desk. I feel an adventure of color and texture coming on…

Intro to being Ordinary

How much pressure do you feel everyday? An intensity drifts through the air that always comes down to whether or not you succeed. So much comes from different directions…your supervisor, coworkers, teammates, significant others, parents, and society in general.

Videos are going viral everyday and the internet is making it hard for me to keep up with who is the current “big thing”… It is absolutely exhausting!!!

Escaping my embarrassment for the moment to make a confession: I studied marketing. Yes, I spent four, almost five years, on an area that I find to be overwhelming. My professors in college were absolutely fantastic and insightful and current with the times, so maybe it’s just me who finds Twitter too demanding and Instagram a race for the perfect filter.

Well, to put it simply, I did not become a marketing wizard (though I would like to think that one day I’ll get some awesome super power or finally get that letter from Hogwarts). I am an absolutely ordinary college graduate who did not end up with a fantastic “perfect match to their degree” job, but my current job is fantastic! That first job out of college was a nightmare, but this job is absolutely wonderful and I am so happy with life right now.

There is no extra effort being put toward that novel my mom believes I will write some day or research into more “career-focused opportunities” as the love of my life would say. Eventually, I get to the point where I feel guilty that I haven’t achieved these things for them and especially guilty that I am happy with the job I passionately interviewed for.

How terrible it is to be ordinary.

But I want to embrace it – at least here. Away from the judgement of not striving to exceed their expectations. (Funny how that sentence just made me feel like I let them down.)

So here I will write about the beautiful ordinary things that happen, like turning on the TV to workout and I catch the very start of Gilmore Girls or how I just read a great book (Outlander – read it, read it now.).

Hopefully someone out there can relate or enjoy this collection of ordinary thoughts.