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Having Doubts, Being Scared, and Moving Forward Anyway

10 Apr

The last time – actually, the only time in my life – I completely ignored a Mental Plan and went with my gut, I was deciding where to go to college. I’d been accepted to my top choice; I’d told all my friends and their parents that that’s where I was going. Yet, there was something holding me back from signing the acceptance letter. When I received the acceptance from Gettysburg, it all clicked.

I sent in my deposit without a second thought.

In that moment – which has defined a huge portion of my adult life – I knew I had to trust my gut, despite the fact that it was entirely at odds with what my head had been thinking for months.

Since then, I’ve taken some pretty great risks and succeeded beautifully. I completed a semester with a full-immersion language program in France, even though I was “only” a French minor. I flew to California to visit a boy I’d met just one weekend, just to see what could happen. I went to London on two weeks notice for over two months without knowing a single person in the city.

I’m good at pushing myself, I think, but only so far. I never really actually leave my comfort zone; I just sort of tiptoe around the edges of it. The risks I take always have a very clear safety net, so even when I’m nervous or scared or anxious, I know that no matter what happens, the landing will be soft.

With my whole “I’m moving to LA” THING, I’m completely on board. But I think Amber’s brain hamsters got annoyed at how much control she has over them lately, because they are running rampant in MY head now.

“Where will you live?” They ask. “How will you afford to move with no income?” “Do you even know how to buy a car?” “When was the last time you even drove a car?” “You won’t make any friends, you know, because everyone there already has their friends.”

Seriously, they are being such assholes to me. They are starting to drown out all the support of my friends and family – and there’s a lot of support there! They are forcing me to dwell on all the scary stuff that comes with ignoring a Mental Plan and listening to my gut.

The hardest part, right now, is pushing forward. I know this is the right decision for me, even though it’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done. I know it’s the right decision because it’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done.

Almost 10 years ago, I went with my gut and ended up having a blast for four years. What makes me think this will be any different?

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Wine & Love v.6

29 Mar

Hosted by Nora

You might have noticed  I haven’t written anything this week. Or maybe you didn’t notice. That’s probably better. I haven’t had much to say, but I find that’s mostly the case when I’m overwhelmed by thoughts. And Wine & Love helps sort through those. So here we go …

… Wines …

  • I decided to make my vegetarianism official, but wanted to keep sushi in my diet. However, after a solid 3 weeks of absolutely no animal proteins, apparently my body’s made a different decision. I tried eating sushi twice in the last two weeks and each time immediately threw up. Looks like that won’t be a part of my diet any time soon. Rats.
  • I’ve been so cranky lately. In this annoying, terribly funk where everything and everyone irritates me. I can’t seem to snap out of it.
  • This week was the one-year anniversary of a close friend’s father’s sudden death. I never knew him, but the friend means a lot to me, so yesterday was a rough day emotionally.

… Loves …

  • Boy-roommate is out of town this weekend, which means I have the place to myself. Hopefully a couple days of cleaning, laundry, organization, and general relaxing will help catapult me out of my cranky funk mood.
  • I’ve recently made a (totally huge) decision that I can’t make totally public yet. However, it involves pretty much turning my entire life on its head and – for once – the thought of that thrills me, rather than terrifies me. To me, that’s the sign that I’m ready for this.
  • Change the Record” by Melanie Fiona featuring B.o.B. I’ve had this song on repeat for the last two days. It’s the best.

That’s all, folks. Now tell me about your week – and don’t forget to link up with Nora!

Tofu Noodles & Fake Chicken, or Meatless March Update

19 Mar

A month ago, after I finished my very first cleanse, I was pretty much driving the Healthy Habits Bandwagon. I gave up all milk-based products and went to the gym and felt fantastic.

Then I lost two more pounds and got cocky, so guess what? The Healthy Habits Bandwagon told me I wasn’t a qualified driver anymore. Feeling dejected and puffy and also after making a huge mistake by reading that disgusting, graphic chapter about meat in Skinny Bitch, I decided to be a vegetarian for the month of March.

Thus began my constant internal conflict between wanting to eat meat (primarily bacon) and thinking it’s disgusting, rotting flesh (screw you, Skinny Bitches). At first, this bordering-on-unstable struggle inside my head illustrated that I just needed to get out of the habit of eating meat all the time. Kind of like how I got out of the habit of eating cheese with everything and now I just don’t really want it.

But then, it’s like, I want bacon. Or fried chicken and waffles. I don’t even like fried chicken (except the kind my grandma makes for picnics in the Snake River Canyon), but it became this thing I wanted constantly simply because I told myself it wasn’t allowed.

Newsflash: It’s way easier to give up a food that makes you feel like shit than it is to give up a food you really love just because some skinny vegans wrote a fear-mongering book and you accidentally read the wrong chapter.

But even so, my word for 2012 is COMMIT, and I’m neurotic enough to absolutely have to follow through.

So I’ve been eating a lot of chickpeas and celery and bread and pitas and hummus (which, hi, is actually more chickpeas) and avocado and more bread and some tomatoes and onions. After a few weeks, that’s gotten really freaking boring. Also, most of my diet was just carbs. You know what meat does? Adds options of the non-carb-variety.

Alas, I made a commitment.

Then, one night I went grocery shopping and found these tofu noodles I’d heard about on the Food Network’s Hungry Girl show. Situated right next to the fake noodles were the fake chicken cutlets! I could pronounce all the ingredients in them and they were reasonably priced ($5 for four cutlets). Also, yay fake imitation food that’s actually healthy and good for you!

So basically I figured out a way to have a super healthy meal of “chicken and linguine in tomato sauce” without consuming ALL THE CARBS or any meat. The “chicken” was awesome, but no, it doesn’t taste like real chicken. Except that real chicken doesn’t really have that much flavor, so it kind of does.

And the noodles are … well, they are tofu noodles. Pretty much flavorless until you put something on them and chewier than real pasta. If you’re a person who hates weird textures, never eat these.

I just happen to be one of those freaks who loves tofu.

In conclusion, I’m probably going to turn this Meatless March Challenge into a Meatless Life Habit. Except for maybe sushi.

Wine & Love v.5

15 Mar

Hosted by Nora

This is the longest I’ve ever stuck with any blog theme, so yay for that! Everyone should be doing this, really, so go over and link up with Nora and don’t forget to tell me what you’re loving and w(h)ining about this week!

… Wines …

  • One of my very best friends lost a dear family member this week and I can’t be there to give her hugs. She’s been there for me through pretty much every big family event in the last 12 years; this is the first one of hers I’ll miss. It breaks my heart.
  • I seem to be stuck in this cycle where, when I drink, which is maybe once a week, the drinking extends into hours on end. Then, predictably, I feel like shit the next day – even if I’m just exhausted. Balance really needs to regain its spot as a top priority in my life.
  • Week two where I want to throw all my things away. I wonder how long I should feel like this before I actually do something about it!

… Loves …

  • Love, love, loving all the songs by First Aid Kit. Listening to their country-folk songs inspired me to start listening to Paul Simon’s Graceland album, which is another of my all-time favorites.
  • Spring is here – almost! It’s been super warm and sunny this week in NYC and since we gained that extra hour, I’ve been able to walk home from work! What a treat!
  • I met a boy who actually called me and who actually wants to take me on a date. It’s been a terribly long time since I’ve had this happen without the insecurity of ulterior motives haunting me.
  • Being a vegetarian this month has had some ups and downs, but I finally discovered some meatless recipes I am in love with! I’ll have to share them soon!
  • I’m getting a haircut this weekend! My hair is very fine, so it only grows so long, and it’s at that length now. (Which is to say it’s creeping down toward my elbows. It’s long.) I’m excited to chop off several inches for a new, spring-y hairstyle!

Sorry, but this post is all about dead animals. In a funny way, I swear.

9 Mar

Every night for the past three months, I’ve gone to sleep listening to a yelling cat. This thing yells and yells outside my window for hours. Just like this. I swear.

I call him The Dying Cat, but clearly he’s not dying since he’s been yelling about who knows what for months on end.

At first, I was nervous about the cat. What if he really was a dying cat? I mean, like, what if there was this starving stray cat yelling outside my window? I’m not nervous about the cat coming in my room – I’m on the fourth floor and I know cat’s can’t jump that high. I’m concerned the cat will die and I’ll be all the way up here listening to it yell itself to death.

You know how I feel about dirty mice dying in my bedroom; can you imagine the trauma I’d suffer if this poor cat was just starving and yelling to death outside? I’d probably enter some kind of catatonic state of horror. Or maybe I’d take up yelling just like the cat did. (Like it does. Since it’s not dead.)

But anyway, the cat’s totally not dying. He’s just angry about something. Or maybe he just has a lot to say?

Here’s the other thing. I’ve never seen The Dying Cat. He’s like this mysterious dying cat ghost, except ghosts are already dead and this cat’s probably not even sick.

Also you can’t see outside in the dark when the lights are on inside. So maybe that has something to do with it, too.

My main point here is that lately there have been a lot of dying animals around me. I mean, maybe I’m exaggerating since there’s really just been one dead animal in my vicinity in my entire life, excluding roadkill, but who counts the roadkill they see? Do people do that?

I’m sorry, what was I talking about? Right. The Dying Cat outside my window.

What I’d really like to know is this: If this cat isn’t just angry, but if he’s already dead and he’s also angry, then what did I do to deserve being haunted by an Angry Dying Cat Ghost?

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