Grays & Torreys- My 2nd and 3rd 14er!

hiking

Last weekend, I finally completed a goal I have had for the past year…to hike another 14er! Colorado has 58 mountains that tower over 14,000 feet. We call them 14ers, and they provide a beautiful and worthy hiking/climbing challenge. If you want to read more about them, you can do so here: What are 14ers?

My boyfriend and I were sitting at a friend’s BBQ debating if we should do it last week, and we did the one thing you should never (read: always!) do when you are debating something difficult. We told everyone our plan. This led to a peer-pressured evening of going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 2:30am. Yes, you read it right. We woke up at 2:30 in the G-D morning, and we hopped in the car. Then, we sped through the winding, wicked roads for 1.5-2 hours until we reached the trailhead at 5:00am.

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Peak of Grays!

Weary from the ride, we tried to shake off the cold and lack of sleep, and we set off on the trail by 5:05am. Headlamps blazing, we set off into the dark. I haven’t done much hiking before sunrise, so I was really excited. I loved the child-like excitement of walking through the wilderness in the pitch black. Who knows what kind of critters were eyeing our movements!

The best part of waking up early and getting outside is being fully present for the slow sunrise. It was my favorite part of the hike. For the 1 hour or so period of the slowly creeping sun, I looked behind me about 7 trillion times. It was so beautiful and quiet that I couldn’t help but swell up in gratitude. Sighhhhhh.

The hike itself wasn’t too steep or too challenging for most of the way up. I found myself facing other unforeseen challenges, though. My hydration bladder froze, or at least the important part did (the tube that transports the water to my mouth). I didn’t have water for most of the hike. Neither did my boyfriend, Adam. The other primary challenge was the wind. Holy glory, was it strong!

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Fighting the winds on Torreys peak.

But, despite a genuine concern for whether I could be blown off the mountain peaks, we made it to both peaks in one piece and relatively good spirits.

Pro tip #1: Pack a buff

Pro tip #2: Blow your water out of the tube back into the reservoir to minimize tube freezing risk.

Pro tip #3: Take a picture even if the wind is threatening to liquefy you.

Pro tip #4: Do the hard thing. It is usually worth it!

We finished our hike around 10:15 am, making the total hike time about 5 hours.

Final thing to note: Although it is *just a hike*, 14ers are challenging and there are many risks associated with high altitude hikes. Do your research, be prepared, and leave it like you find it.

PS: There were some goats hanging out around 14,000 feet on Torreys. Crazy goats!

Shame on you, not-knower!

Professional

I have toiled with the idea of becoming a professional of just about every field I have been exposed to. I hear about something cool and spend way too much time writing my story in the future…as a preparation for future interviews or documentary films 😉 about my great success.

My boyfriend and I were discussing today how we can get these stories in our minds that frame our experience. We can be told once that we aren’t organized enough, and then live our entire lives thinking we are not as organized as we should be, regardless of our level of organization. I was told when I was young that I could never have a regular job. I was told I wouldn’t be able to deal with office cultures or climbing the ladder. I would take personality tests that told me I might never fit into the world professionally. I had been internally and externally reinforcing the idea that me and work did not mesh, and we never would. I never thought to question this either. In actuality, I can work in any setting if I decide to, and I am able to fit into the professional world as well as the next guy or gal. I haven’t always known that, but it is true. And, it is crazy how much of my life I spent thinking that I couldn’t. Perhaps, it would be better to re-frame CAN and say ENJOY or WANT or even BE SATISFIED. But, I digress.

Maybe I want to be a UX designer or a bank manager, or maybe I really really don’t. Maybe I want to learn French and become a French teacher or a cooking teacher or a professional financial LEACH! Maybe…but probably not.

The truth is I don’t know. I have been so ashamed to admit that I don’t know that I have created a million narratives and worked really hard to believe them. I have primarily done this out of shame. I either took on the shame myself or allowed someone else to shame me for not having it all figured out yet. Well, you know what? I have NO CLUE, but I don’t want to feel shame surrounding it. It just makes it worse.

 

 

 

A Simple Salad and A Feral Cook

cooking

Adam and I decided to cook dinner together last night, which is something we just don’t do enough. We usually have a lot of fun and eat much healthier and more intentionally when we eat at home. I bought the cookbook Love and Lemons this weekend, so that inspired us to change our ways.

Now, I have to be honest; I am not exactly an accomplished chef or even a comfortable cook. I am deeply insecure in the kitchen. I know it is ridiculous. I know that cooking is fun and there are no rules. But, there are rules and you know it. Furthermore, sometimes people are dicks, and I have met and talked to many of these people. So, my issue is that I like to cook. I like to be in my kitchen alone with the freedom to do the wrong thing and the ability to improvise without having to explain myself. I like this creativity. What I don’t like is cooking alongside someone that learned to cook some kind of way from someone that knew…because that wasn’t me. I am like a feral animal let loose with a hot plate and some bruised vegetables, and I like it that way.

All of this is to say that my boyfriend and I had a kitchen clash. The old inferiority complex of the past reared its ugly head while we both worked away, him making a lovely salad and me heating 2 portabella mushrooms on a skillet. It culminated in an argument, some sorry saying (on my part), a conversation, and luckily some nice tasting food.

What I learned from this experience was that I can be a nut about silly things and that freaking out because you drop food on the floor is just NOT a good look. I also learned that the salad that Adam made was so lovely and so simple! A new favorite!

Ingredients:

  • Feta
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber

No dressing needed- just dice it up and toss the ingredients together. A lovely simple side salad! I forgot to take a photo, and it has been consumed already! Sorry I am not sorry!

Will be sharing more cooking adventures as I seek to get over my crisis of confidence in the kitchen!

 

 

Career Positivity

Professional

In an age of women stepping up in the career department and gaining confidence in unprecedented ways historically, I must admit I am not quite there. I suffer from quite the inferiority complex in my professional pursuits and dreams.

I found a website that claims it can help people deal with this using the law of attraction, and it has a step-by-step list.

Step 1: Determine who you feel inferior to.

The article then lists the most frequent culprits of this feeling. The list includes those who have impressive, dynamic careers. I am not sure if this is exactly what it is, but I think it fits the bill enough to display the feeling.

Step 2: Stop worrying what others will think.

I am likely as guilty as the next person on this matter, but I am more guilty of assuming that I am innately flawed than that people are judging me. If anything, I think that they are finding out! “Oh no! They know that I might not be born to do this job that I ONLY do to make money!”

Step 3: Build Confidence

The article suggests that we treat ourselves better, do what we truly love, and act confidently. Those suggestions are pretty vague, unfortunately. But, sure, overall I totally agree. I am a generally confident person, but I could admittedly benefit from building professional confidence specifically. This is a general idea that I can keep in mind until I can seek out building professional confidence as a separate topic possibly.

Step 4: Replace negative talk with self-affirming talk

This idea is what drove me to write this blog post in the first place! I had a moment today during work where I felt inadequate, exposed, and downright shitty. I wallowed for longer than I should have. Then, I thought it might be beneficial to change my mindset. That led me to the post. And, I need to practice self-affirming talk in my professional life more often…i.e. all the friggin’ time!

Step 5: Surround Yourself with Positive People

Yes.

….No more steps!

But, when do I ask the universe for some stuff? I was waiting for this part. I guess I will have to try again tomorrow!

 

A Wanna Be

Professional

I am a “wanna be”. There are pretty specific requirements for such a role.

  1. Not be much of much.
  2. Have had potential at one point of life to be more.
  3. Not follow through.
  4. Not know how to follow through.
  5. Dream about being someone or something else.
  6. Repeat.

This is the life of a wanna be, a loser, a me. I am pretty smart, pretty nice, pretty funny, but I am not good at anything. I am kind of a loser in a lot of ways. I feel like I am not crushing it at work. I feel hopelessly in the middle. I am Middle Michelle… not bad, not great, not sad, not happy. I am not passionately engaged or passionately disengaged.

Am I sedated? Am I lost? Or, am i painfully mediocre… just another regular ass person that thought they were going to change and save the world. I am just NOT a big deal, and I am really bummed at the prospect of coming to terms with this reality.

I thought I was going to be interesting and wild and weird forever. Most of those parts of me were aided by the intoxication of myself and those around me. I was never those things. I was always just me.

Is there a version of me that can still do something great? Is it possible to be the lame, loser, underachiever that is me…and still DO something great. Like, maybe I can’t BE great, but maybe I can DO great. Be is what I am. I can’t change that. I was always screwed in this regard. Perhaps, though, I can DO something new and interesting. Maybe I can be scared but still do something. Maybe it isn’t over even though I am increasingly SUREEEE that I am a lame, loser, freakazoid, boring, wannabe, idiot that stresses out a lot over dumb stuff.

Maybe I can still do something. Maybe I haven’t sung my last song after all. Maybe, this wannabe can fly.

This might be it.

Professional

At times, life feels devoid of purpose…a purpose-less life. I have heard people who recover from various life crisis, such as quitting a corporate job or selling a business, call it a purpose problem. A purpose problem seems to be there when you are crazy successful and you lose your way. Then, your story can turn into a tale of changing gears and being successful at something new. What about those of us that feel like we never have found purpose? What about people like me that usually feel like their days are boring and bland and that there isn’t much they can do about? Where are the podcasts and the inspirational books and seminars for those people? Have they not been made or created because no one who has “made it” can understand that line of thinking?

I have been studying and pursuing a more mindful and present approach to life. Perhaps I need to practice what I have been reading about in this regard. Perhaps I need to accept that I may not have a purpose on this earth. Perhaps, I am actually like floating accidental-like on a breeze. It is possible that I have no innate or unique talents in this life or on this plane. This might just be as good as it gets for me. Can I learn to be okay with that?

Now maybe this way of thinking will open up new avenues for me…avenues I hadn’t thought of or allowed myself to explore. But, maybe…just maybe… I am meant to do exactly what I am doing in this moment. And it doesn’t matter what I think about it or wish I had. This right here….this might be it. Perhaps I need to accept that this…is my fate.

Often times, when I have received a stroke a good luck, it is after I have given up its possibility or inevitability. Maybe this is what will happen. Or, maybe it won’t. I might have to be okay with that. I am not completely there yet. That is where I am at. And, that is okay. Everyday, I will try to remember that exactly where I am is perfect, regardless of whether this currently reality changes in any way. I am right where I am meant to be…even in my confusion. This is it. This is life. Accept it.

Day 50: That is a wrap?

My 500 Words

Wow! Day 50 of #my500words….here we are. I don’t know if I want this challenge to end. While I have found it exhausting on busy days, it has been so enriching! It has forced me to put my crazy thoughts onto a “page”. And, this alone has been therapeutic…even when I wasn’t saying all that much. What a great gift. I feel grateful that I have been able to take on this challenge with the first 31 days and then the additional 19 days, making it 50 days of 500 words…without missing a single day. Talk about starting a new habit!

As my previous post detailed, I still want to keep blogging. I just don’t know in what capacity. Maybe the primary purpose of this blog is that I write my thoughts down each day. Maybe that is the benefit of this, period. I am not sure, but a break will be nice. It is funny. I thought about starting a blog for so long, wanting a reason to write crap everyday, as though you need a reason! I think I put too much pressure on myself, too much pressure to be interesting or funny or to make money. Now that I have thrown all of those things out the window (and much more), I am able to just write and to start a habit. So that has been great. And, as we all know, blogs are still important for marketing purposes, but the market for “bloggers” is saturated and such. So, apparently, I need to know that things are “dead end” to motivate me to get involved hehehe.

This brings me to an interesting thought I have been having today…hobbies. My boyfriend is really great at getting involved in the community. He goes to meetups and talks and happy hours. Everything he does is related to his professional goals and network. I am just NOT like that. It is funny how different we are. I want to take classes and go to meetups that enrich me personally and bring fun into my life. I don’t want to go learn how to enter data into excel sheets. Maybe this means I am a loser, or maybe it means I haven’t found a career that lights me up. In any case, going to a happy hour to discuss my day job makes me ill to think about. I would rather walk around the library.

Speaking of the library, there are a lot of homeless people that hang at the libraries here. One such homeless lady complimented my boots today. “Hey, I like your boots, man!” What a compliment! I was so stoked….”THANKS!” I yelled back at her. Sometimes, it really just is the little things. How lucky am I?

Speaking of the little things, today I went for a walk (to work and then back home) and got my heart rate up. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was nice. I got sweaty and warm, and it was good for me. As Sophie Lennon says in her act on the Amazon Prime Series Mrs. Maisel, “PUT THAT ON YOUR PLATE!”

XOXO

Day 49: Pure Potentiality

My 500 Words

I am 1 day from reaching my goal of 50 consecutive days of blogging 500 words! Wow. Once I complete this, I am going to (I think) take a little break and reevaluate what I want to do with this goal and this blog. But, I think it has been really helpful for me to be forced to express something every single days. Some days, I don’t know if it was that meaningful. I am referring to the days when I forgot until 11 PM and wrote whatever gibberish I could until I reached 500 words. Other days though, I had a great window to explore concepts, feelings, and thoughts. I like to write, and it would be fun to put it into a bigger goal. I want to write a book. I always thought writing a book would be an impossible task, but I have learned through this blog that consistency can actually get you to a word count that equals a draft. And, a draft could lead to another draft…which might lead eventually to a finished story or product. This experience has taught me that little by little one travels far…and not just one…but me. Little by little, I travel far. And, I can continue to travel farther. The road is only just beginning for me. I want to continue to write, but I am not certain of the format. I had previously thought fiction wasn’t my style, but it might be. If I can write a story in nonfiction, I can certainly write a story of fiction. Fiction is just an anonymous way to express something that is probably happening in the real world anyway. You can do fun things with it, but the humanity and the expression of the human condition remains and is even magnified. So, I am exploring that concept. I want to try this out. So, I am not certain yet what my word count goal will be or even what my process will look like, but I am orbiting around a plan. If you don’t do the things you want to do, you will do them. If you don’t take that trip to Kenya, start an exercise routine, or learn how to cook, you will never do them! Do now! I might make my goal to write 5 days a week, rather than 7, since my weekend posts are often an afterthought. Also, I am not sure how I feel about posting a rough draft on the internet. Is that a thing? Do people post fiction stories on their blogs? I have no idea. I also suppose I don’t have to NOT do it simply because it is a strange thing to do. It is just such a sensitive thing to do. Perhaps, I can write 500 words a day in my private writing collection and post once a week with an update about how it is going…such as Sunday night? I am going to do some praying on this to come up with a schedule that works. Also…guess I better get started on an outline 👊

 

XOXO

Day 48: Let go & let go & let go (repeat)

My 500 Words

Yesterday I cried. I cried from what I assume was stress or a whole web of complicated feelings. My post from yesterday was not that well written or thought out…but it was full of feeling. I was bubbling over last night, but I couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t express it. I have this frustration, this feeling…but I am not sure how to resolve it. I can’t resolve it. I can only let it go. I can only accept it exactly as it is. I can accept it as it is, and I can continue to love everyone and myself. I think that is my option.

As I wrote this, the person I was thinking of in regards to this struggle texted me. Synergy feels good, even the little stuff.

Another interesting thing happened to me recently as well. I had been feeling…wounded…for lack of a better term regarding a small situation involving a person very n/dear to me and my career path. I felt like I wasn’t completely supported or that my professional woes and goals were of less consequence. I didn’t know how to vocalize this feeling and decided to, instead, use it as fuel and perhaps an opportunity to better find out what I wanted in this life, without the input of anyone else. Then, I let this go. Just yesterday this person decided to vocalize a feeling/realization that had been dawning on them that they had not been as supportive as they could have been of me professionally. I acknowledged their feeling, and we moved on. BUT, I found this to be both shocking and delightful. I would have figured it out and made the best of it, but I was happy to know I have a greater ally than I believed. Faith restored, 2 fold.

I am going to continue to practice letting go. It seems to be working pretty well for me. I am blessed truly beyond measure. Everything I have let go…hasn’t felt like letting go or anything really. Maybe letting go feels like doing nothing. We can overthink the things we need to do to better our lives and to love and laugh more. Maybe this is one more thing. Perhaps letting go is the easiest thing we can do, except we do not like to do easy things. Humans like hard things. We like big problems and impossible situations that we can figure out and then show the world our smarts.

So I will practice thinking good thoughts and then doing absolutely nothing with my bad ones. Let’s see how this goes. Perhaps it can be a weird, grand experiment on how to best live my life. If letting go is one of the greatest things we can do as part of manifestation and alignment, let’s learn how to let the heck go.And, my favorite way to learn is try every wrong way first. So, I shall get started on the wrong way in my pursuit to learn the right one. 😀

 

Day 47: Control and Love

My 500 Words

Love and control…control and love. Two sides of the same coin? Or, are they just confused. Parents and children…children and parents. A confusing relationship that is so rich but is often fraught with frustration. Why is that? And, why do we try to control the lives of those we love the most. Is it fear? Is it like the mind? The mind is the watchful parent, and it can be so misguided and so gripped with fear that it can miss the point entirely. Maybe that is it.

I feel the struggle. I want my family to be healthy, to be thriving, and to take control of their lives. You can’t force someone to take control of their life. That would kind of defeat the purpose. If I force someone to take control of their life, they haven’t taken control at all. They will simply be doing it because they were forced. And, eventually, they will either resent me for telling them what to do or change their behavior anyway. It isn’t the path to positive. Why does it feel so damn tempting then? Why do I want to tell my loved ones to stop watching television or to take a walk instead of eating another cookie? I know me telling them isn’t going to change anything in 9/10 situations. Do I keep trying because of that 10% of possibility (made up statistic).

How can I work on letting go? I want to let go, but I am not there yet. I need to ask GOD for his help with this one because I am not letting it go on my own. I want to love my family whether they smoke crack in gutters with the scourge of society or are friends and colleagues of Bill and Melinda Gates. I want to love them unconditionally, and I don’t know if I am there yet. I want to be there, but I fall short. I will keep trying.

Today was a frustrating day for me. I had to acknowledge that I do fall short of unconditional acceptance, but perhaps not the love. I think I love. But, I do not always accept. I want to control some things and some people, to have a say over things I cannot have a say over. I want to resist the control of others that are struggling with the same needs. I am not there and have often fallen short, but I want to get better with this. I want to amaze people with my ability to be so secure in myself that they can be whoever they want. I do not want to amaze them for my ego or to build my name as better or holier than thou. I want to amaze them simply because I have gotten THAT comfortable being comfortable. Divine intervention, come at me bro.

Perhaps this is common, especially among families. I want everyone to love them as much as me, to see them as the funny and beautiful people that they are. But, by doubting them, I dim them. Rather, I should lift them up higher.