Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Talk about it Tuesday: Hey Bartender...

I knew that as soon as someone let me behind the bar, my career in kitchen would be over.

This is how I've always explained my culinary background:
I started off as a pastry chef. All things pastry is very strict, precise, and very reliant on science (chemistry, specifically) and that makes my crazy control freak brain so fucken happy. BLACK AND WHITE RULES. YAAAAS. You must follow rules when it comes to baking- the product will expose you through and through if you just "wing it". Like classical piano, you can't "wing" Bach. You study the theory, practice until you can't get it wrong, and you don't recite it unless it's perfect. Accuracy and consistency was how I became successful as a pastry chef.

When I migrated to the savory side of kitchen, I had to let loose a little...well, a lot actually. I had to improvise when shit didn't go as planned. And shit never goes as planned in an industrial kitchen. I had to experiment with different flavor profiles outside of work and I had to learn how to take risks so that when I was under fire (no pun intended) I had enough confidence in my skills to either create something out of thin air or save a dish in the knick of time. Savory cooking is like jazz, you just gotta feel it and go with it. Some people will dig it and be into it and others might not get it, but it'll still be music to your ears. It's forgiving, just like jazz.

I LOVE creating craft cocktails because it combines my respect for rules (regarding ratios for building a drink) with the creativity and experimentation of various spirits. There is so much to learn when it comes to the world of beverages. I have gone full nerd on multiple occasions when a guest points to an obscure bottle on my back bar and asks, "What's that?" Oh how my heart flutters at every opportunity to educate (and sometimes be educated by) someone who shows genuine interest in my field.
I was sent the link to vote for my favorite Seattle bartender and I had a panic attack. How do I choose just one?!?! You're only allowed to vote once, so I broke out a nice crisp sheet of printer paper and listed out my favorite bartenders and then it got complicated as I started in on the pros and cons portion... I apparently have a really hard time seeing the "bad" in people and all my contenders had nothing on their "con" column. Clearly, this process needed a little liquid courage.

I love gin. I love grapefruit. And I love ginger.
.5 oz Domaine de Canton
2 oz Malfy
4 oz Tonic (Try Q Grapefruit if you can find it)

Holy shit, that's delicious...
Ok, back to business. So, I've been served by several extremely talented bartenders. Many of them now my friends, and many of whom I've had the pleasure of working with. But, how to choose just one? My FAVORITE one?!?! Why can't I just love them all equally? They all have displayed undeniable levels of professionalism, their hospitality is just off the charts incredible, their knowledge of spirits can carry conversations for days. My most frequently visited bartenders are quick, efficient, clean, and oh so charming (yea, they're all dudes too, sue me.)

4 ginger grapefruit gin drinks later, my rose colored glasses have slipped off my face and I was able to write some stuff on the cons column. It didn't feel right though, so I ended up trashing the entire list! I don't know why it was even a question. My favorite Seattle bartender title goes to my mentor, my darling friend, and fellow lover of gin, Tony Toni Tone! Fucken DUH! Biased opinion or not, he is in fact my favorite cocktail creator because he is passionate about what he does. He's inspired ME to be a bartender! He takes chances on people (ahem) who show the same love that he recognizes in himself.

Tony is patient and he's one of the only bartenders I've worked with who can check his (rather large), and rightfully so) ego at the door. He's a 'lead by example' kind of bartender and I'm totes not even a smidge embarrassed about me always fan-girling over his presence behind the bar.

I hope the rest of Seattle recognizes him as I do. But if you're still reading this, loyal followers, I hope you know you should in fact vote for me- since you don't actually know Tony. Hahahahaha #butforrealtho #voteforCrisM #kthanks

Cris Miller
My affiliated bars and their neighborhoods, literally pick one! =)

The Alley (West Seattle Junction)
Jerk Shack (Belltown)
The Ruins (Lower Queen Anne)
Fremont Foundry (Fremont)
Alchemy (West Seattle Junction)

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Rebooting Reflection Sunday: Fire in the Sky

Hello and welcome (back) to Reflection Sunday;  My weekly series where we discuss a particular topic that's been weighing on me. It's my goal for us to highlight a few good points to take away from this post to elicit a positive influence in our day to day lives moving forward.

This week, we are reflecting on the fire that burns within, our "fighter" traits, and even the most literal definition of actual fire in our physical space. It's a three point monologue. Just so you're aware of how much time to dedicate to this here blog. (I estimate a good 6 minute read)

Since this blog is a one way platform for me to voice my thoughts, I hope that what I share is semi-engaging as my rants have a tendency to sound too passionate and less intellectual. I promise, there is a lot more fact-based information that can be found here than it might seem at first. I am just rebooting this series after all so be patient with me as I rediscover my writing style.

The fire I'm talking about is the inevitable devastation that comes from making the conscious decision to light the figurative match, and throw it into the pile of complacency that is my everyday life. A fear of mine is going through the motions in a life that is too stable and too comfortable. So when I realized that my life in Seattle was just too "normal" I freaked out.

I ended up quitting my very stable job as the head of a great bar program. I impulsively terminated my lease for my quaint little house in West Seattle, without securing living quarters before submitting my  notice to vacate. I gave myself 30 days to get out of dodge, while still choosing to work up until the very morning I would drive away forever.

The fire that was slowing dying inside me got doused in ignitor fluid which exploded and simultaneously lit the fuse that would eventually burn down the rest of my life. Oh what a glorious day that was, indeed!

And so now, 25 days later the raging out of control flames have transitioned into embers, glowing strong and steady. The kind of glow that will carry me onto the next phase of my journey. Fingers crossed...

There is one symbol that truly encompasses the rebirth of "devastation" (in my case, absolutely necessary devastation) from fire. And that symbol is the beautiful and glorious PHOENIX.

So what I hope to evoke within your inner dialogue as you finish up this read, is to figure out what sets your soul on fire. Is it time to light that match and burn it down for yourself? Do you need some kind of rebirth in your own life? If so, is there a reason why you're waiting to do it? What are your fears about fire? What are you afraid to lose? Is it worth it?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Do you even blog, bro?

I remember when I couldn't go a day without writing.
It was also during a time when I couldn't go a day without having a drink.
That time was also when I couldn't take responsibility for a good 75% of my actions. I used to claim that my behavior was just reactions to other people's actions. What an insanely immature way to live my life.

I write. A lot. I don't share much and that's a shame in my opinion. The next few posts are probably going to be short and random. But bare with me, I'm writing with my floaties on.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Hard facts about dating an abusive psychopath

"You had no idea 
how much of a fool you looked like in our relationship 
because of the things I've gotten away with."

Sometimes my life can be quite dark in the midst of all the charm. Truth is, I dated a guy that I knew 100% that I shouldn't involve myself with. But, at the time, and because of my masochistic tendencies and probably pride too, I went with it to prove that I could survive ANYTHING. 

At first it was pretty sweet. He would play music and sing songs that made my heart melt. He would tell me things that I haven't heard from another man in a while. It felt genuine but that was just the start of the massive web of lies I would eventually find myself in. Perhaps it was intense loneliness or guilt for my not so angelic ways at the time. I just remember being so caught up in the casual dating scene that it felt good to have and give attention to just one person. Too bad I decided on the wrong person to try an exclusive relationship with. Or maybe, good on me to have chosen the worst person right off the bat. I've learned a lot and I want to share that with you. 

1. Trust your gut instincts. 
I knew from day 1 that he and I were not compatible. I went against my better judgement because I am stubborn and I wanted to prove to myself that I could change on a dime like a fucken psychopath. *Insert major eye roll here. I am not capable of abandoning my core traits that make me who I am and to engage in this relationship was one of the most emotionally detrimental decisions I have ever made. I voluntarily compromised my integrity for this relationship and if I knew then, that it would fuck me up as immensely as it did, I would have chosen differently. For sure. 

2. Be realistic with your damn self.

If you just hate popcorn, please god don't try to rationalize that if you dressed popcorn up in fancy sauces and sweet toppings, you'll snap to it and fall in love with it. You fucken won't. You'll just end up resenting your damn self for forcing something so disgusting down your gullet. Be realistic and be about what you're about. This analogy is to highlight that I wasn't realistic with myself about how shitty that relationship started, operated, and why it wasn't a surprise that it ended as dramatically as it did. If I just cut the bullshit, and handled it like an adult I think he and I would be better people today. Better people as individuals and better people towards each other. 

3. Only push boundaries if you give zero fucks about consequences.

This one hits hard. I am not proud of the fact that I pushed this dude's buttons simply because I didn't respect him as a human. I didn't care what happened if he was upset, or embarrassed. I didn't give a single fuck if I destroyed his dreams or if I kicked him while he was down. I pushed all kinds of boundaries out of pure boredom. What I've learned is that being heartless will eventually catch up to me. Because all the things I've done to him, found it's way back to me. And while I was suffering from those poor actions of mine, I just crazy laughed because I deserved it all. 

4. Abuse comes in many forms.

I had such a closed minded idea of what "abuse" is. Turns out, that's clearly not the case and I encourage you to go down your own research rabbit hole to educate yourself about the different kinds and very present forms of abuse that we can be subjected to. 

5. Victims can be villains too. 

When pushed for long enough, the victim can become resentful. With resentment comes the inspiration to retaliate. But because that contempt is mostly driven by fear, that victim can potentially out smart their abuser and evolve into a fucken super villain. And let me tell you, the second you come face to face with a super villain, you'll learn so much about yourself- it'll force you to make some serious life changes.

All in all- I'm the kind of person who WILL find the gold in a shitty situation. I took everything from this piss poor excuse of a relationship and made promises to myself that I'm so proud of today. I have set boundaries for myself and for the people I've chosen to date after him that have been nothing but positive and pleasant. Butterfly effect of high impact happiness. And for that, I am thankful. 

Dating an abusive psychopath doesn't usually end up with a rainbow and glitter bomb parade but damn, I'm glad that's how it turned out for him. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Surrender Sweet Girl

One of the most interesting things is how I can love someone so much despite the immense amount of pain he put me through. I often think I'm madly insane because it doesn't make any logical sense to feel this way. I feel sympathy for him, that he's not being loved properly if he's not being loved by me. M is the greatest love of my life and although I've been in love once or twice before, this love was so much more intense for me. I'm older now and I have had the time to understand how different partners can be and still be so compatible in daily life. We were a very successful couple. We were the perfect compliment to each other.

The break down happened once a lie was discovered. I'm not one to blame so I'll spare you the details but I can't stand by a liar. I can accept and move past really shitty things if it's owned on the spot. Trust has always been an issue for me personally, but he made it easy to trust him. Until the end of the relationship, I still trusted him to be a better man than all the others. I was tremendously disappointed.

What's happening now is the grieving process and I know that men and women grieve differently. Just as introverts and extroverts do, just as narcissists and empaths do. We all process tragedy differently and I did my best to be compassionate towards what he needed for himself. For me it's a matter of knowing when to just cut my losses. I have a terrible tendency to just push through the shit in hopes of a grand turn around, or a shocking epiphany. Too many times have I been let down by that overly romantic notion of a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Most days I do just fine. I distract myself with work and superficial conversations with other men. I know full well that none of it is allowing me the proper way to deal with my great loss. I see him out there, living his life with no qualms about anything. I don't know what goes on inside him, as that's no longer a place he allows me. But what I do see, scares the shit out of me. I fear that he's not ever going to allow himself anytime to grieve. At first I took offense to it. He doesn't seem to be sad at all about the break up. And of course that hurts.

But on nights like tonight, when I miss him so much- I must remind myself that all things happen as they should. We did the best we could with what we had and it didn't work and that's ok. I'm doing whatever I can to remind myself that there is a glorious lesson to be learned here. I'm just too hurt to see what it is right now. I still crave him in all the best ways. I miss his smile. He has an incredibly bright smile. I miss his smell, and the way he chuckles when I do something silly.

On nights like tonight I allow myself to smile at the beautiful life we had without feeling sad that it's no longer my reality. I loved him with everything I am and I will never regret that. On nights like tonight, I must remind myself that I am a very strong woman who made the absolute best decision for herself to step away from him. It's challenging to convince myself that I'm worth so much more than he was willing to give. The truth is, he's worth everything to me. I miss my best friend and I miss my Love.

For anyone going through heartbreak, it's almost like trying to process death. The man I loved and saw myself growing old with is no longer present in this life. When I feel like reaching out to him to hug him or kiss him, it's a stabbing pain to realize that doing so is no longer an option. And then the pain subsides just long enough for me to find something distracting. And then I ignore the yearning for him until I obsess over the fights and the mean, hurtful things that were said between us. I don't think it's the healthiest approach to grieving- the focusing on the bad, but it seems to work for me right now.

It is my wish that he is healthy and that he knows he's loved still. It is my hope that he finds peace and happiness within himself. I hope that as these days come and go, I am healing for myself. I'm not closed off to love- I've fought so hard to become who I am and I am at the mercy of life experiences and in that I find strength. It takes way more strength to surrender sometimes. Most times, I fight and tonight. I've chosen to surrender.

When you surrender it's not that you're weak or anything. It's you recognizing that you're human and emotions are part of who you are. Some of us have gotten really good at pushing down emotions and operating in a very black and white space. M taught me to see color, to feel... Tonight I surrender to the happy memories and the great love we had for each other. Tonight I send him love vibrations like none other. And on that note, I feel proud myself.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Falling in love after losing yourself

I was married for 9 years and after the divorce I wasn't sure who I was anymore. I was scared that I wouldn't know how to behave in the world as a single lady. I was afraid that no one would like me or be attracted to me. Turns out many women feel that as well. It took a good long time to understand what I was experiencing and after a lot of weird dates, a couple failed attempts at relationships, and a lot of alone time- I've realized that I still had no idea who I even was. That concept that I should get to know myself didn't resonate with me until I found myself terrified of opening up to someone.

We had a very funny first interaction. He's a bartender and I went visit a friend who worked with him. I walked in and saw him and he basically ignored me. Which definitely doesn't happen often to me so that took me by surprise. We ended up running into each other a few nights later and I don't know why but when I saw him, I ran across the room and threw my hands in the air, screamed his name and gave him a giant hug as though we've been friends for years. I'll never forget the look on his face or the way his arms came in and hugged me back. It was genuine and intense and that was the night I fell in love without even knowing it. After the hug, we just went on about our night with our separate groups of friends and that was that. About a week later we found each other at the same bar, surrounded by pretty much the same people and to skip all the details- he basically saved me that night. I was cowering in the corner because my ex followed me into the bar and it was a weird forced situation and I just wanted out. So this new bartender guy friend dragged me across the street to buy a bottle of tequila then led me down all these dark alley ways until we got to his car. He and I drove down to the beach and just laughed the night away. It was 3 in the morning before I realized he was schnockered and I wanted to go home. We went back to my condo where we ended up falling asleep in my bed together- without any monkey business, believe it or not.

The next day, we woke up and we just fell into this groove, it was natural and felt so right. As cliche as that sounds. There wasn't really any sexual tension or intention even though we both were attracted to each other. We parted ways for all of 3 hours before he texted me inviting me out to grab dinner with a few of our mutual friends. I agreed excitedly of course, and to be honest- the rest is history. We've been together ever since. Granted, we maintained our friendship for a little while before we fessed up to our feelings. He hit me out of no where, the love bubble exploded in my face like a ton of glittery hearts.

What is most interesting to me about this whole new love I've been gifted is that I feel so at home with him. I feel as though I've been searching my whole life for him and it's unreal that I wake up next to the love of my life. He's intrigued me since the day we met and every day, I thank the heavens for allowing me to find him in this great big world of ours.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

On saying goodbye when you're not ready

It's always been a fear of mine, the running out of time. The lost chance at the perfect goodbye.
This is a story about how I had to get good with saying goodbye without getting to say goodbye.

It was a whirlwind love affair, as they always are. The kind that hits you out of no where when you least expect it. For me, he was right on time. You came into my life exactly when I was ready for a man like you. You took my hand and immediately recognized the hard work it takes to build callouses on the pads of one's hands. We laughed and bonded over being "bros". We shared a sub par caesar salad loaded with black pepper and laughed about picking out the croutons, because we don't eat "that shit."

You saved me that night. In more ways than I realized at the time. You saved me from myself. You took my hand and led me down some creepy ass dark alley ways but I wasn't afraid. Not even for a second. I knew, you were going to be something grand.

It was late August, the tail end of the most interesting summer of my life. I was in a good place. A strong and centered head space. I knew full well what this meant for me, and excited about the journey. I was ready for you!

We spent every single day together. I didn't understand how that would become my greatest weakness. It's been so long since I've found a deep enough connection that never seemed to get old day in and day out. Even when I was with you, I wanted more.

The thing is, we've gotten to the point that the pain is more satisfying than the happiness we bring each other. That's an unhealthy relationship in and of itself. Not to mention all the other bullshit issues we shed light on. It's because we care about each other so deeply that the idea of growing old together scares the living shit out of us both. Except, I can see it for what it is. It's not fear of growing old in my case. It's fear of growing apart.

We created rifts just to see if we can patch it up. We put ourselves through impossible circumstances just to see if we can make it through. I've always believed that love is simple. And what we were doing was the simplest thing I've ever had the pleasure of doing.

Tonight was too much for me though. All the empty threats about walking away, don't scare me. Tonight, I hit a breaking point when you decided that it was ok to laugh at me and rub it in my face that Lawrence had divorced me. That is unforgivable and there are many things that I could and did turn the other cheek to. But Lawrence... that is untouchable and you poked and prodded like it was just another thing to be dissected and judged for.

Saying goodbye to you was not easy. Especially because I didn't actually get to say goodbye. But that's life for you. It just hits you out of no where and you gotta get good with it. Life will go on- as it always does. Until the day it just doesn't anymore. And at that point, I mean really, it is what it is.

If I had the opportunity to tell you goodbye, I believe it would go a little something like this:

"You are a good person. A strong man who has a kind soul. I wish I was enough for you, I wish you were strong enough for me. We tried, we succeeded, yet there is just something much greater than the two of us, that is at work here. I will hold on to our good times, and be grateful for the not so good. Both will eventually fade and I'm ok with that. I've learned more about myself while we were together than I have in the five years past. Thank you for attempting to love me. Thank you for allowing me to love you. I hope you find peace. I hope you remember that you're worth it. You deserve happiness in whatever form you can accept. I love you and I wish you all the best."

Saturday, July 30, 2016

30 years old and how it went.

I waited my whole adult life to turn 30. I had this grand plan of being holed up in a cabin surrounded by my closest friends, drinking hot chocolate, and gearing up to make snow men outside... Oh! Also, I was supposed to be celebrating my 30th birthday in the southern hemisphere where snow actually happens in July. But... that wasn't the case.

I was in Seattle for my 30th birthday, surrounded by half empty boxes, and it was most definitely hot outside. Bleh.

I just finally cut ties with probably the worst relationship I've had thus far. I moved out of my quant little abode in West Seattle and got into a bomb ass pad in Queen Anne. The move with absolutely necessary to the job situation, not to mention the personal life necessity. I was managing a cafe in North Seattle at the time and the commute was garbage.

Anyway, it was a whirlwind of events as life typically throws at me and I feel like I managed it with grace. So for my birthday, it sort of hit me out of no where. I didn't even have time to plan any festivities.... Not even a cake.

What I ended up doing tho was kicking it in my new spot, all alone, listening to the girliest of pop jams whilst dancing around and organizing my life. It was quite perfect for the moment. I macerated a bunch of cherries in some booze with the intention of making my ultimate summer boozy cupcakes but ended up getting schnockered on the cherries alone, sans cupcakes. Then I get a knock at my door... THE HELL!?!?!

I frantically threw on some clothes (yea, I was definitely in my birthday suit) and lo and behold this gorgeous man was standing there with an iced soy sugar free hazelnut latte in hand. He was kidnapping me for lunch and I was unbelievably thrilled to have such a great friend in my life! For the first time ever, I was put in a position where I didn't have to make any decisions about my day. It was nice. It was nice to know that I have a new person in my life who observed enough about me to just know what I'm into. So we went for a little drive listening to more Katy Perry and Bad girl Riri (definitely NOT his kind of music, but it was my birthday so... haha he was a wonderful sport about it) and we walked and talked and then he took me to an awesome sushi bar and we grubbed for what seemed like hours. After the fact, we walked and talked some more, just exploring my new neighborhood (something I didn't have time to do until then) and then he took me to get birthday ice cream!

It was a perfect day spent in a very perfect way. And again, him knowing when I've "had enough" he chivalrously returned me to my princess palace and sent me off to a late afternoon nap. Happy 30th birthday to me!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How the mighty have fallen

Time is precious and I've been MIA from this blog due to that fact.

I am in total disbelief that it's been over a year since I've posted. It's never that I don't want to it's just always been this one thing (work, school, gym, relationships, chores, family things, dog things, etc.) versus sleep. And when I'm not doing that "one" thing, I collapse on the nearest horizontal space and go "Should I write or should I sle...." [passes out on computer, wakes up 4 hrs later with keyboard keys embossed on my face and about 20 minutes to get my shit together and run out the door to tend to one of those things mentioned above]

As a matter of fact, this post has taken me almost two days at this point.

So let me set the scene for you. I'm sitting on my balcony at my new place. Oh! I moved! I moved from West Seattle to a swanky new spot in Queen Anne. Not that it really matters but, I feel that it's important for me to express that moving into this new CONDO is right on track with who I am. I've always had 2 plus bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, just as a standard because I have a lot of visitors come into town. I'm a gypsy, remember?

So my humble little apartment in West Seattle went against the grain in that respect and no wonder why I always felt so displaced! It was barely a bedroom, 1 bathroom, no space to live or breathe. Which was fine, in retrospect,  since I didn't really have any time to sit and be still. But now.... today especially, I have TIME. Again.

I went through a nasty break up not too long ago (early spring 2016) and took some time to rediscover what it is that I'm afraid of about exclusive relationships. I had to think long and hard about the kind of partner I am while in a relationship. And what I've learned is that my partner actually does make a difference. The kind of partner I'm with has to be a solid individual on his own. I am too easily influenced by his personality, his characteristics, daily traits, etc. I wouldn't say that I'm that chameleon girlfriend, but I definitely mimic behavior especially if I'm exposed to it on a daily basis.

The person I was a mere six months ago makes my skin crawl. I've developed habits that are heartbreaking. I want to claim that it was because of his actions, that I reacted the ways I did. Truthfully though, I just used that as an excuse to justify the deep, dark corners of my heart. We all have dark tendencies and the partner I was with exemplified that dark side to a thousand degrees.

Coming out of that very unhealthy relationship was like coming up from the deepest sludge of suffocating quick sand. I can breathe again, I can breathe cleanly, freely, and without ever taking that simple act for granted.

I'm doing well after the split- I'm resilient. He.... is as well? I'm not sure actually. He's the only "ex" I haven't kept up with since the split. Which just goes to show the magnitude of that poor decision. Anyway, it's time for me to clock off the grid.

Until next time, much love!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hello? Is anybody out there?

Well yes, it's been quite the gap in posts and I have totally valid reasons for updating this here blog now. Times are a changin' and it has ignited the voice within myself to SPEAK UP and say "what up, world!?"

I'm going to have to inch back into this blogger life because I've adapted and become quite comfortable in my own little bubble of secrets and omission so sharing my life via this one way platform still freaks me out. Sure, I did it for years so it should be like riding a bike, right? Wrong! I no shit jumped on a bicycle a few weeks back and just stood there, because I wasn't sure if I really knew how to ride a bike in the first place.

Silly girl, I know... I know...

So, let's recap:

My name is Cris I go by CrisM on here because of my last name. It just has a ring to it... CrisM CrisM CrisMmmmm haha Born and raised on the beautiful island of Guam. I have two lovely and supportive older brothers and my parents are modern day gypsies. Kind of... more on that later.

I love animals and I have a darling little pet child with me here in Seattle. I also have 3 little kitties (they're actually 11 year old mask and mantle twins and then a 10 year old full on tuxedo) they live with their Dadz in Florida. Fun fact: the twins were born in Florida!

I've moved around my whole life ("military brat", sure...) and it's a part of who I actually am. I'm a gypsy myself and I wouldn't have it any other way. As of right now I've set up in Seattle, Washington where I've been for just a little over 2 years. Which means, I'm about 1 year out from picking up and moving again. I'm definitely a "go with the tides" kind of girl...

So Hello (again) world. Let's see if I can continue to share my ultra charmed life- Seattle Edition!

Friday, May 29, 2015

The struggle is real

Today I've learned that I'm way too stubborn to return to the working class of corporate America. You know, the kind of work that demands I show up early, leave late, work through lunch hour (which is really only 30 minutes to begin with), smile through bullshit as to not hurt anyone's precious feelings... yea- I'm most definitely not cut out for that kind of job anymore.

After a long internal debate and for reasons beyond my control, I've decided to take the month of June and use it as an experimental period in my life. What this means is that I've accepted a position as a medical administrator for a private practice office in my neighborhood.

Yea, I used to do a very similar job just under 5 years ago when I lived in Phoenix. And the funny thing is that I promised myself I would never look back once I quit that job. I did really well and lived up to my promise. Shit, I moved to Italy, travelled, did all kinds of things in all kinds of places. I got into college for culinary arts, started my own small business, and landed the sweetest contract of all time with Eat Seattle Tours. Life has been grand!

So, why the bullshit occupational experiment? Well, I'm doing it because initially I was bored. Initially, I sent out over 50 applications to all kinds of places around Seattle just to see if anything would stick. The reason why this position is the one I settled on (and trust me, settle is the absolute most appropriate word to use in this instance, I just know it) is because I really am smitten with the negotiating I was able to pull off.

Did I ever tell you that I was being primed to be an awesome international criminal defense attorney? Yea, I was going to do that... Turns out speech and debate was a piece of cake, and 10 years after high school, I still have my sweet negotiating skills on point. Boooooyah!

Anyway, I accepted this position because I love to wear fancy shoes and eat all the food. I know that it's just a temporary gig and the bigger picture is to ease myself back into the "being and employee" mindset without committing to a job that'll hold me down for another x amount of years (ahem Luke... circa 2006) If you don't get that reference, don't worry about it.

Because I know myself very well, I'm giving myself one month to get on board with this experiment. If I happen to like this job I'm going to run with it simultaneously while knocking out classes for my degree. If I happen to hate it, well, I'll just have to log into my bank account- that'll be a real quick reminder to suck it up.

My goal with this blog post is to document the detour and see if I'll learn anything new about myself, my tolerance to bullshit, and whether or not I even possess the ability to change. So wish me luck, and here we go!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

I did this for me.

I spent all day going back and forth debating with myself whether or not to post this. As you can see, it's live and out there...

What I think my struggle was about is the fact that this is a very intimate photo. It's a side of me that is reserved for someone I'm in love with, someone who has earned the right to this primal image of my body. But that's just the initial perception of what this faceless self portrait represents.

It has been a really challenging battle to have any confidence about my body. I still fluctuate between content, mild shame, and pure disgust. I was very unhealthy, overweight, and utterly unhappy with how my body was. Four years ago, I wouldn't undress in front of my husband because I didn't want him to fall out of love with me for having a body covered in stretch marks. Let alone even think about buying undergarments like this. Trust me, I tried but being told that I should go shop at a specialty store for larger women kind of knocks the wind out of you and makes it very hard to try again.

My thighs rubbed together when I walked, my bat wings were stuffed into shirts with sleeves, my tummy rolled over my stretchy pants... It was the lowest point of my life. I felt like garbage because I ate garbage and instead of making changes to fix the problem, I drowned my sorrows in gravy and covered it with rainbow sprinkles.

After my workout this morning, I showered and started to get dressed. I was walking around my place with a cup of java pro coffee protein.  I caught a glimpse of myself in my full length mirror and I literally stopped dead in my tracks. I didn't recognize that body... THIS body... the thigh gap, the bubble butt, abs, mild horseshoe definition in my triceps... my jaw literally dropped and then my eyes welled up.

I EARNED this body. I have spent hours in the gym, pushing myself to lift heavy, to only count the reps with proper form, forcing myself to do the worst thing on the planet- cardio... I earned THIS body. I'm still pushing and fighting to get as lean as I physically can. I'm still turning to grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies instead of indulging in pizza and rib eye steaks.

I'm no where near where what I envision my body to look like but I sure as hell am proud of what I see today. This post is not about attention or validation, it's about stopping for just a second to revel in how far I've come. To take pride and credit for the hard work I've already put in. This photo captures the woman who said "No more!" and got off her flabby ass to change what she could about the physical appearance of HER body.

I did this for me. And I am so proud of myself.