rebranding

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Almost two years ago, I moved to LA to pursue a career in writing. I had a foot in the door, flirted with the prospect of maybe, kinda, sort of having a measure of success in getting into the industry at the lowest level.

I came home.

For the past few months, it’s been challenging. I’m happy to be closer to family and friends, thrilled to be a new aunt, and proud to be working as a personal trainer and helping people on their health journeys. I’m also happy to have tried LA, lived it, experienced and explored because I do miss it, more than I anticipated.

More than anything, I’m a little lost. As I edge nearer to 30, I feel like I should have my life figured out more than I do. I get so caught up in thinking how my life should be going rather than focusing on where I am right now. I’ve been a little ball of anxious, negative energy and I’m ready to come out of it.

This is evidenced more in what I claim to be most passionate about: writing. In all the articles and books, random words of advice I’ve poured over to make me a better writer, the message is clear, in order to make it as a writer, you need to write. I haven’t.

So here we are again. When I first created Give Me My Crown Already, I was on the brink of graduating college, I had just lost 100 pounds, and I felt as confident and prepared as I ever had in my life.

Since, I’ve learned a lot about what I don’t want to do professionally and more about sacrifices and failures that were unexpected. I’ve gained a few pounds and sometimes hate myself for it because I think I should have this down by now. It makes me skeptical and negative and exhausted.

When I first was losing weight, I knew nothing. I just tried. Exercise was my best friend. Going from nothing to something had fantastic results and working out helped me better to manage my anxiety. I enjoyed food more than I ever did when I was heavily overweight and was making better choices and having fun concocting fun, healthy, and delicious dishes. Over the course of these past six years, I have maintained most of the weight loss, but I long to get back to my lowest. I slipped into some old, bad habits, not necessarily with eating, which I’m okay with, or exercising, which I do six days a week, but with my negativity.

No more.

As I rebrand this blog, here’s what I promise. I’m writing, in many different fashions because I miss it and agonizing over stringing the perfect words together is far more satisfying in the long run than researching what I should be doing with nothing to show for it. I am going to be honest about my progress and how I feel. I am going to try to not let negativity devour me, which means forgiving myself my humanity.

With my two passions, writing and healthy living so intersected, I have the opportunity to share my story and learn a lot more about myself and life. Thanks for your patience.

Join me?

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).

Two Days!

Pretty soon, I’ll be off on my adventure and I hope to share with you all as I go through it. I’m now two days out from my big adventure and there’s a million different feelings and thoughts circling my head. Change is big and scary and necessary, and not in the least easy. These past few months have been a whirlwind of preparations intermingled with the usual workdays and summer happenings. Especially in these past few days, I’ve spent a lot of time with family and friends, not exactly saying ‘goodbye’, but more ‘see you at Christmas,’ but it’s still weird.

Many people have asked me if this move is “it,” meaning I’m not coming back. I understand the sentiment, but I don’t think there’s ever a way of knowing if anything is  “it.” What I’m telling people is that I’m going on an adventure. It’s as temporary as it is permanent, which sums up everything we do in life. I’m going for a multitude of reasons, number one being that I want to write for TV. I will never feel settled in anything that I do professionally until I give this a shot. It’s my dream.

As my mom said, when I mentioned it was hard that my dreams were taking me far away: “That’s the point of dreams, you have to chase them.” People may think I have a glamorous view of moving to Hollywood and pursuing my dreams. They’re not wrong because it’s hard not to envision this complete change of life, with a lot of fear, but much more hope, thinking that things might just fall into place, but I also have no delusions that this journey will be easy. That’s what makes up a journey, struggles and triumphs. The whole “blood, sweat, and tears” trope is very real. I don’t know if I will succeed as a writer in a place where there are thousands of people doing the same exact thing, but I have to believe in myself and my talent, and give it my all. At the very worst, I will have tried, learned invaluable lessons, and lived.

I’m entirely fortunate to have the very best family and friends to support me through it.

Celebrating the Small Things

After breakfast yesterday, I got started on my workout. Up first was a dumbbell circuit that included bicep curls, standing tricep extensions, shoulder raises, weighted lunges, alternating front raises, and inverted rows. I performed each move in 6 sets of 8 reps and felt strong after my rest day on Sunday. For something a little extra, I went through a plyometrics/cardio circuit of box jumps, jump rope, rope swings, push ups, and sit up twists.

To top things off for the day, I hopped in the pool for a swim. I’ve learned the hard way that my watch does not track swimming, so I still have to count laps to make sure I’m staying on track. It can be a pain, but I break the laps down into groups of twelve, as each set is 1/3 of a mile. When I started, it took me a good 17 minutes to finish each round of 12 laps, which totaled approximately a 51 minute mile. Swimming is slow, especially for me, but I’ve been growing stronger and faster as I practice and learn good form. Yesterday, I swam a consistent 13 minute 1/3 mile swim and put in a little extra effort that last bit to make up a 39 minute mile. That is three year’s dedication right there! I think, when you put in effort and determination, we’re allowed to celebrate the small things as much as the big.

Whether in swimming, running, or lifting as of late, I’ve been noticing myself growing stronger and I take a lot of pride in that. For exercise to be effective and consistent, you have to find what works for you, what you enjoy, and be mindful of how it takes care of your body!

This should be the motto for anything we do in life. It’s hit me lately that if I put as much work, consistency, and determination into other things in my life as I do exercise, I can really make things happen. I consider myself lucky that the greatest challenger to myself and what I do in life, is myself. Not everyone can say that.

To recover from my workout, I enjoyed a lunch of leftover whole wheat spaghetti with peppers, mushrooms, and spinach along with a piece of parmesan crusted tilapia I had prepared the day before. I will share that recipe soon!

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While grocery shopping on Sunday, I checked out the sushi section and decided to try something different. I’m new and unadventurous to the sushi world, but I went with the spicy tuna roll and thought it was delicious! For an extra hit of veggies and protein, I enjoyed a side of carrot and celery sticks with peanut butter for dipping.

Breakfast this morning was a one-egg, two egg-white omelet with spinach, peppers, tomato, and jalapeño and some cheese. I paired the delicacy with two pieces of buttered whole wheat toast and a side of fresh blueberries and raspberries.

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With a little blogging and digesting, I’m off to the gym to fit in another great workout!

Humbled by Fame: A How-To Guide

Whoa. This weekend has been so much fun and it has everything to do with my mild internet fame. My mom and I want to thank everyone for reading and sharing and for the overwhelming support of my latest post, which you can read here if you have no idea what I’m talking about: http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/09/19/dear-joy-behar-a-thank-you-from-a-nurses-child/.

Nurses are awesome, especially my mom and I’m so happy that so many are agreeing!

Here’s all of the wonderful things that have happened to me since I experienced the instant rush of success:

  1. I was offered my own TV show deal
  2. Chris Evans proposed
  3. Amy Poehler and I are best friends
  4. I lost 30 pounds by increasing my daily calorie allowance
  5. I made delicious pumpkin waffles

Okay, so only one of those things happened. Any guesses as to which??

Yes! You are exactly right. We’ll be married next summer and all of you are invited!

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Psh, wishful thinking. Plus, that ring would have been a whole lot bigger had it been real. Reality is more like:

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Still pretty delicious.

This weekend was fun with or without Chris Evans. On Friday, I got my day started with a dumbbell strength workout, worked, then headed to my aunt and cousin’s nail party. I got some Jamberry’s picked out based solely on my mom’s choosing all of the holiday options they have available. They were cute though so I won’t complain.

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Clearly I’ve mastered the pout.

On Saturday, I worked through the morning, but ate this yummy oatmeal to fuel me through it.

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After helping cover up the pool for the season- it’s now fall!- I had this for lunch. I’m big on waffles and eggs these days and I don’t care for which meal I eat them!

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I wrote my now famous blog post, then met my friend Katie in the city. We went to a Greek festival for dinner and ate yummy gyros and baklava before meeting another friend at a Gatsby-type themed bar.

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Sunday morning started with some grocery shopping. My mom and I met my Aunt Stacy and cousin Erin for lunch. Blackened salmon salad for the win!

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After, we all scooted over for a Paint Nite afternoon. I can totally see why people love painting, and I also love to draw, but I never know what to create without someone telling and showing me how. I have a lot to work on when it comes to painting, but I don’t think it looks half bad.

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Glowing from our newfound fame.

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It was so beautiful out yesterday and by the time I got home, my legs were itching for a run outside! I headed down to the track to run on a consistent flat surface and I felt s-t-r-o-n-g. The intention was to go 4 miles, but by the time I reached my third, I knew I was in a good place, so I kept pushing. By the end, I got to 6.4 miles (had I realized at that point I was .1 away from 6.5, I would have gone for it, but oh well). I think I honestly could have run longer had it not been dark out, but also my legs were chafing! I can’t wait to run with pants on instead of shorts because it soothes things so much better!

I watched bits and pieces of the Emmys. My goal is to one day host and I think I could do a better job than Andy Samberg who felt choppy. I suspect we got spoiled by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey so many times. Maybe within the next few years, I’ll be receiving an award for my own show and hosting, and you can say you knew me when!

A Review of…January…Kind Of?

Are we supposed to start a month by our first words being, “Rabbit, rabbit,” or something? I’ve heard that somewhere, so if you’re superstitious, I hope you remembered to say it…

I’ve been bad and haven’t finished a book in a few weeks. I’ve mentioned before how I go through phases. When I do read, it’s the only thing that I can do, but when I’m not in that mode, I get distracted. There simply does not seem to be enough hours in the day sometimes when it comes to extracurricular activities. I’ve been trying to focus much of my attention and energy on writing, which has been better in the past few weeks, but I am feeling the itch of getting lost in a good book.

My problem is that by the end of a long work day, I’m tired and don’t have much energy to expend on things in which I have to focus. Starting my day at 5:00 AM always makes me feel energized and able to take on the day, but it cuts down on the hours I have at night because I need my sleep.

My problem is that I am a giant procrastinator when it comes to doing things other than browsing the Internet or sitting in front of the television. It’s jut so easy! In some ways, I am diligent and disciplined, especially for my workout routine, but I’m unfortunately not quite there yet when it comes to reading and writing. I know that in order to be successful, I have to work at it extremely hard, but the hours and the days get away from you and all of a sudden you realize you haven’t been very productive in some facets of life.

A new month always brings a new sense of hope. I’m actually not certain where January went. In some ways, it feels like Christmas and New Year were a lifetime ago, but then I wonder how it’s already February. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the snow all seems to be falling at once now after we’ve had nothing at all for so long. I mean, the day after Christmas I was running outside with my jacket around my waist!

I’m trying to reflect back on January and though I know I have a lot to be grateful for, I’m struggling to remember the specifics. The winter in general tends to do this to people. Just from the number of days in the month, I know that February is going to pass by even faster, so now is the time to pay attention to how I spend my free time.

At the very least, I’m happy to be able to say that I have kept up with my blogging! Even for this though, I feel as though I have only done the regularly scheduled posts that I typically do- Meals on Monday, Rave Review Tuesdays, and Workout Wednesdays- but I haven’t contributed any extra, fun material lately. I hope my blog hasn’t been boring, but I will try and make more of an effort to post more than those allotted topics.

For the reading, I am making my way through two interesting nonfiction books on writing, the one on screenwriting that I discussed and another on writing in general that I read a bit from college. They are pretty inspiring and enlightening, but they also say a lot of what I should already know- in order to be a good writer, you have to write.

I always had a romantic view of creative outlets, like writing, thinking that people could simply rely on pure talent to succeed. To be fair, I don’t think I can be entirely blamed for this perception based on what our culture sees as “quality” entertainment, but the more I grow up, experience, and observe, I’ve noticed how hard people have to work in order to pursue any of their passions. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.

There will always be excuses not to do something, and it’s much harder to actually get yourself to do things, but that just means it will be worth that much more in the long term. The expression that the journey is far more important than the end result rings truer the more I experience in this world. No one is made by successes and failures on their own, but by the processes taken to reach them.

Now let’s see if I can put my money where my mouth is…or so they say.