take your broken heart, turn it into art

Before I begin my weekend recap, I want you all to know that Meryl Streep made me bawl. She’s had a hell of a career, which we’ve been lucky to watch. But at the Golden Globes last night, she gave her best performance. It was raw, real, and so important. Donald Trump’s presidential platform ran on bigotry, hate, and ignorance of anyone who is different than him, and thank everything, so many people are different than him. But so many people aren’t. Electing him president validates the heinous actions and words of trying to make other people feel lesser. Now we all get to suffer the consequences.

Meryl ended her speech on a bittersweet note, quoting the late and beloved “Princess Leia,” Carrie Fisher. She quoted, “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

Let’s make that the credo of these next four years.

Saturday morning began on a perfect note, pancakes, coffee, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. 

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After I digested my meal and hydrated, I headed to the gym for a killer upper body body strength workout. Lots of push-ups, tricep dips, and shoulder work on this one. For cardio, I ended up doing a lot of walking for the day.

My post-workout snack was my first ever green juice. Spinach, kale, and pineapple. Delicious! I almost hate myself for loving it, especially because I don’t want to adopt an expensive habit!

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My friend Sara and I headed into the heart of Hollywood to the Second City improv open house to take a class. I wasn’t sure what to think, considering I’ve never done improv and only dabbled in acting when I was in elementary school, but I had fun! And I wasn’t terrible. I’ve read a lot about improv in books by Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Rachel Dratch, so even though I’m by no means an expert, I’ve learned from the experts. Glad to realize that my childhood stage fright has diminished.

So inspired were we after class, we decided to see an actual improv show. Second City was sold out, so we walked over to UCB to find that they too were sold out. Bummer. Plans diverted, we opted for Chinese takeout, Friends reruns, and some wii games.

I set my alarm early for Sunday (and by early, I mean early for Caitlin on a Sunday), ate an omelet, toast, and fruit breakfast, and headed back out with my friend Sara to hike.

I’m like, kind of obsessed with nature, you guys. My advanced apologies to all those back east who suffered through a snowstorm and are house bound thanks to the cold. Los Angeles hit the seventies this weekend. I’m not that sorry.

I’ll allow you to live vicariously through me.

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I’m obsessed with open roads. Metaphors or something.

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Seriously, the clouds.

 

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I climbed a rock and made it my temporary home.

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After our adventure, we ate the best tacos I’ve ever had in my life, journeyed to Ikea (my first time), then went to Target so I could buy a blender. Laundry, cleaning, crying over Meryl Streep, and writing this post made up the rest of my Sunday. Happy Monday, live well!

 

 

 

 

Breathe

“The hardest thing to do in this world is to live in it.” (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) 

These past two weeks have been bordering on terrible, with a few good things sprinkled over, but thus has been 2016. It’s an actual thing, people hating on 2016. There’s been a lot of major celebrity deaths, bad political happenings, and a general consensus of unhappiness.

Seventeen days into 2016, I lost my beloved cat. A few months later, I lost my aunt and one of my best friends in the world. I also became a personal trainer and moved across the country. I made new friends, tackled challenges head on, took off on adventures, and made memories with family. I’m still living and breathing and pursuing dreams. This year, I learned the true depth of a human’s ability to adapt. I am both proud and sad considering this revelation. Do we adapt because of our strength or because, in time, we forget?

There is not happiness without sadness, joy without anger, or relief without fear. Nothing is more challenging or damaging than forgetting the specialness of life, but mundanity and exhaustion are very real.

I keep waiting to snap out of my funk, to get out of my own way, and to be given a break. And I’ve got an amazing life. Being so far away from my people does not help.  I’m learning, adapting, and delving into my own strength, and those shared by loved ones, and beginning to understand that life doesn’t care who you are or what you need. Life is one big trial and error experiment and I’m realizing my failures are just as, if not more, important than my successes. Instead of feeling bad for myself and moping, I’m persevering. Some days are harder, or easier, than others.

“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”(Harry Potter).

Finding Strength: Uphill, Downhill, On the Way

As of late, I’ve been fascinated with strength. It wields so much power, both in the physical and emotional state. Through my emotional strength, I built physical strength. I don’t succeed if I don’t have the two strengths combined.

Picture this: you’re running; it’s hot; it’s uphill; it’s downhill; it’s uphill again; your legs say no more; your mind says stop; you stop.

Picture this: you’re running; it’s hot; it’s uphill; it’s downhill; it’s uphill again; your brain says no more; your legs stop; you stop.

Two scenarios that happen to me all the time when I run. Sometimes, it depends on the sneakers or the playlist. It could be what you had for breakfast or how much water you had during the day. It’s having to use the bathroom or the workout from the day before. Sometimes, it’s necessary to stop. Sometimes, it’s necessary to keep going. I can’t tell you what’s right in each situation. It’s a matter that relies on the mind-body connection. That connection deserves to be strong.

Strength does not just mean you have the will-power to go to the gym or that you lift heavy things and put them down. It doesn’t just mean that you avoided eating the cookie or you burned 400 calories on the elliptical. Strength does not just mean success and it does not just mean overcoming failure. Strength for you, does not mean what it does for me. It’s immeasurable. It can’t be defined. Strength is your own to build, to learn, to discover.

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Strength is having the will to lead a happy and healthy life to the best of your ability and to what you can control. To quote my favorite show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which you’d know if you were paying attention!), “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.” So let’s live it our way.

If I did the math right, which could very well be wrong, then my 26th birthday is 80 days away. I decided to do something productive about it.

Every day, for the next 80, I want to reflect on at least one thing in which I found strength. At the end of each post, I am going to share what I found strength in that day. I would love if you would share along with me. It can be anything that makes you feel happy, strong, healthy, and powerful. It does not have to be about exercise or any other subject in particular. I know it won’t always for me.

Today, I ran 6 miles. Some of it was uphill, some of it was downhill, and some of it was flat. My legs were beneath me, my mind was above, and my spirit within. That run, during and after, gave me strength because it’s the first time I ran in weeks (maybe months) that I didn’t feel like I was struggling to get through. I didn’t feel the need to walk or to give up. I pushed through this block and I found my strength again. It feels good.

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Let’s go for 80 days strong!

Quirky Quips

I’m not exactly sure why I watch Grey’s Anatomy because I don’t like blood and can’t stand seeing fake body fluids being moved around. It’s addicting though.

My cousin Erin doesn’t seem to mind seeing squishy, bloody parts being played with. I suspect she might even like it. Anyways, when I suggested that one day she might have her own autopsy, she said “Well, I’m a spirit, I’ll just float away when I want to.”

Touché.

In other quotable moments, it appears that using incorrect words in sayings runs in the family. When telling a story, my brother claimed to be a wee little tad. He did try to make up for it by comparing himself to a tadpole and calling older people frogs, but we all know he was pulling at spoons.

Yes, that was a joke.

My appreciation for the day goes to quotable moments and the brains that say them.