Question: My Greatest Aspiration in Life

I have recently been playing a get to know you question game with someone pretty fun via text. It’s really legit way to get to know someone. I’ve known this dude for about eight months and we’ve kind of skirted the surface… but in the last six days I feel like I have gotten to know him incredibly well.

Today he asked me what my greatest aspiration in life is. I wanted to post my response because I realized while writing it that I really, really meant it… and it’s a good start for the new life I’m building for myself.

So here it is:

To be a great friend and an even better lover. To surround myself with people who love, inspire and support me, and to love, inspire and support them in return. To live my life to the fullest, be fully present, embrace passion, refuse fear, try as many new things as possible, grow up without growing old and die having made a difference in as many lives as possible with very, very few regrets.

I figure if I aim for that, everything else will fall in place.

– M

Growing Up Without Growing Old

Do you ever feel like you’re terrible at being an adult? I feel like I’m terrible at being an adult.

About two months ago I decided I was going to do this whole Portland thing. Move out here, get a place, settle in and start the next chapter of my life. It was fucking time. I’d been marking time in Idaho, waiting for the moment that it would become clear to me where it is that I belong.

So here I am in Portland. I’ve been here for a little over a month, camping out in a friend’s spare bedroom, working, going to the movies and the gym and occasionally hanging out with people. I did a little dating, which I am SO not ready/cut out for, and I’ve spent more time thinking about my ex than I really should have.

I did a fucking frenzy of apartment hunting when I first got here, but since then I’ve pretty much settled into wanting this one particular place in Vancouver. I’ve been playing the waiting game for what feels like a ridiculously long time on this place, even though it’s only actually been about a month. I haven’t even seen it yet. I’m finally seeing it on Friday. If it isn’t horrible I will almost certainly sign a lease because it’s month to month and fuck it.

Knowing that it should finally happen is freaking me out, though. I don’t know why I react the same way to permanence that I do to change… I’m terrible at settling down. I’ve spent this last year knowing I could pick up *whenever* and go *wherever*. Signing a lease – even a month to month lease – apparently ends that freedom in my head and sort of freaks me out. I can’t quite figure out how much of that is money and neighbors and having to take care of adult things like paying my bills on time… and how much of it is not having any idea what I want from my life right now.

I have never been one of those people who has a plan for my own life. Long term planning is not my thing. I can plan for events and things like that, but planning for my own life… not so much. I’ve been thinking about needing more of a plan lately, though, in conjunction with wanting to be healthier and better with money.

But… how do I start?

Song of the day:

Said The Whale – Mother

Musings on Weight “Loss”.

The weight loss industry is huge. It’s fucking ginormous. It’s a crazy, gluttonous industry that is making money largely off of making people feel bad about themselves so they’ll want to feel good by eating a certain way and buying certain things and working out in big sweaty rooms with lots of other people who also want to feel better about themselves.

I read an article awhile back on why it so easy for people who are in marketing – especially those who work at home – to gain weight and so hard to lose it. No, I have no idea where that article is or when I read it. At some point will have to be good enough.

The point of the article – at least the way that it stuck in my head – was that no matter how crappy you may feel about the *cough*50+*cough* pounds you put on in the three and a half years you’ve worked from home (and spent in a relationship that most of the time was relatively unhappy) – you still don’t want to fucking lose anything. Nobody wants to lose anything. You don’t want to lose your keys. You don’t want to lose friends, lose relationships, lose your house or your car. You spend your entire life telling yourself again and again not to lose things because LOSING IS BAD.

Except losing weight. Losing weight is good. Especially when you step on a scale in your boyfriend’s mother’s house at a New Years Eve party right after pausing your breakup with said boyfriend until a more convenient time… and the scale tells you that you have broken the 280 barrier and are inching toward the 290 mark. I hit the 290 mark before I finally left, I’m sure.

I dropped a little over 30 pounds in the first couple of months after leaving Austin. I gained some of it back and have been fluctuating between 260 and 270 since September. I didn’t do anything special to lose the weight, just a lot of staring at the ocean, walking my dog and not eating like (with) a dude who is only into fried foods and pizza.

That was a detour. Where I was going with this is… this weight is me. Every pound, in it’s own fucking, often miserable way, tells a story. And while I want to be healthier, I want to feel strong, I want to be able to run and play and escape zombie hordes and buy jeans that fit just about anywhere… I don’t want to “lose” anything to do it. I don’t want to have to tell myself that who I am right now is BAD in order to make good decisions.

I need another word. I need a word that makes me feel strong and healthy and let me set goals – like working toward weighing 180 lbs – without feeling like I’m losing anything.

new_years_eve_2013_smWhile I’m at it, I would also like to devote myself to not being a fucking asshole about going to the gym or making decent eating choices. I don’t want to tell the facebook universe that I’m working out, or be one of those people who only talks about my workouts or whether or not I’m going to work out or tries to get people to help motivate me to work out because I don’t wanna go. There are going to be days I don’t want to go. Yesterday I didn’t want to go, I was fucking hung over from spending New Years Eve drinking and taking selfies. I started with wine then combined several types of liquor and was wearing a shit ton of makeup and dressed as a sort of hipster girly version of the Cheshire Cat. It happens. I have included photographic evidence here.

Anyway. So. YESTERDAY I DID NOT GO TO THE GYM. I decided I’d done three days in a row and yesterday would be a rest day and I did a few situps and lifted some weights kind of idly while I watched Denzel and Mark Walburg shoot each other in “2 Guns” because after an entire day of laying around I sort of wanted to. Then today I went and did some damn cardio. Because that’s what I’m doing right now. Cardio. My initial goal is to do 30-45 minutes of exercise five or six days a week until I start to feel a little bit stronger and more limber. Lots of stretching and a little weight lifting if I really feel like it. Then once I’ve settled into a routine (and a gym, I’ll likely be changing gyms in about a month), I’ll start thinking about doing some other things or taking some classes. You know, as soon as regular basic exercise doesn’t cause me to sweat buckets and wheeze like an accordion.

I’m joking on the accordion part. All the walking actually has my lungs – and legs – in pretty good shape. But I’m definitely one of those people who sweats buckets and turns bright fucking red. It doesn’t matter how in shape I am, I turn red and stay red when I’m exercising or drinking. Curse the long line of redheaded, fair skinned Irishmen in my family.

Oh, also… If I ever look at someone who is eating a donut or ice cream and say – or even THINK – some variation of “well, I’m glad SOMEONE feels like they can eat those calories”… I should be murdered on the spot. Seriously. I never want to be one of those people who is crazy about counting calories or so worried about what they eat that they won’t budge even to eat a little bit of something delicious once in awhile. Or worries about how much olive oil they make their roast vegetables with. Or would never consider grabbing a burger or drinking a beer. Jesus. I want to be stronger and healthier, not dead.

And if you haven’t calculated how many calories your body needs just to function at your weight, you should. Here is a lovely calorie calculator. The American devotion to some stupid 1200 calories/starvation line is fucking retarded.

One last thing on this topic (at the moment)… I’m also going to keep getting real sugar syrup in my flavored lattes and drinking real coke on the random occasions I want a soda. Fake sugar is fucking scary.

– M