A new year doesn’t necessarily equate to a new me.
I’ve always been someone who would vow to make changes and swear that the spur of the moment resolutions that I make on New Year’s Eve would stick throughout the year. Eat healthier. Don’t give up on things so easily. Care less about what people think about me. Try new things. Write more. Draw more. Blah blah blah. Empty promises that you make to yourself are the worst.
So as 2010 was winding down I began thinking to myself: “What would I change to make 2011 any better than 2010?”
My answer: “Not much.”
In 2010, I matured more than I had in any previous year. I moved out of my parents’ house for good (*knocks on wood*) and I’ve gained real-life work experience. I’m mostly an independent woman at 23 years old, except for the sterilized money that Dad likes to stick in my wallet every now and then when I visit. I’ve learned that I’m a city girl and while it’s something that I always just assumed about myself, moving into the heart of Baltimore city has affirmed my suspicions. I’ve had closer friendships and relationships grow out of those long nights out in the city. What’s that saying: “Nights I’ll never remember with people I’ll never forget”? While there are in fact nights (days) that I will never forget: every. single. night in Ocean City, all of the concerts (Jimmy Buffett, Rascal Flatts, 311) and random nights that grew into the best nights in Baltimore, it was the people who made those events the most memorable.
I’ve become better at setting a goal and actually completing it. In March, Lauren and I decided that we’d complete the Baltimore Marathon in October. We purchased the car stickers and planned a training program. The training logs had not exaacctttlyyy completed and with about two weeks before October 16th rolled around I seriously contemplated just not showing up to the starting line. After about four hours and fifty minutes of running, walking, limping and cramping, we crossed the finish line. We had done it.
New experiences and many new friends made 2010 my best yet. If I were to pick ONE thing to improve upon in 2011: Take more chances. My main problem in 2010 was over-thinking myself and not going with my gut feeling enough. 2011 brings the opportunity to improve on the things that I did in 2010 and do them to an even larger extent. I’m stoked.
Why yes, I did just quote Three Dog Night. Tell me how you feel about that one.
The roommate is off traveling the country (okay more specifically the Orange state) for the next 2-3 weeks which leaves me with a mostly empty apartment. Sure it’s grand to be able to make a mess and not have to worry about someone else being annoyed by it. (Never mind the fact that I’d actually have to CLEAN IT by myself as well.) I have full control over the living room HDTV at all times. (Which means it could be a Miracle night every night if I really wanted.) I can use her room as my laundry room. (Yes Lauren, my clean, folded clothes are currently resting upon your bed.)
So it might be surprising to some when I say, I don’t like living by myself.
Ok, I’ve only been alone in the apartment since Monday. And sure, I’ve had visitors during the night hours (get your minds out of the gutter) but going to bed alone and waking up alone for more than one day at a time is a completely new experience.
I’m an only child. Growing up in my house it was just me and them and they rarely went places overnight without me. I always had roommates through college and shared rooms for my freshman and sophomore years. Usually if one or both of my roommates went home to the parents, I went home as well, so it was rare to be there alone.
I’ve always enjoyed my alone time. In the past, I’ve never been one to constantly have friends or people around me. I reveled in my “me” time. I can go out to eat alone, I can go shopping alone, I don’t need someone to talk to all the time. Hell, when I was first job hunting (before deciding to move in with Lauren in Baltimore), my original thought was moving to a place by myself once I landed a job. I figured it would be great.
However, somewhere along the line I’ve changed. I enjoy the company of people more (not necessarily just friends but rather acquaintances and strangers): laughing, reminiscing stupid stories, learning the ins and outs of a person. It’s those times now that I revel in.
No, I’m not depressed because I’m alone and certainly I’ll survive until she comes back but without the ability to have stupid chit-chats before we go to work in the morning and without someone to quote Cameron Diaz movies with (Mwah-sha), I might be going slightly loopy.
Plus, I’m starting to talk to myself. Oye.
No, not Christmas. (Although a large part of me can’t wait to put up lights on the corn plant that we have in our window.)
Fall is coming. It’s hoodie and jeans weather, or at least it’s supposed to be. Mother Nature, you are on my bad side right now. Ninety degrees in September is not what I signed up for. I want to wear jeans and a light jacket, gosh darn it.
More importantly, the fact that it is now September means that the DC Metro area’s best athletes are back in town. No, I’m not talking about the Redskins. I’m talking about those beautiful boys in red. No, baseball season is nearly over and the Nats will actually be hitting the golf courses soon.
It’s nearly hockey season for those of you who aren’t “in the know”. The boys of winter are slowly trickling into Northern Virginia as the rookies officially hit the ice on September 12th with the “veterans” starting a week later as the Washington Capitals begin their 2010-2011 season. Truthfully, the 2010-2011 season began as the clock ticked down to zero during Game 7 of that first round bounce thanks to those pesky Montreal Canadiens (which really, I’m still not okay to talk about because I cried like a baby for the last few minutes of that game and a good twenty or so minutes after I turned off the TV and threw my remote across the room). However, now it’s about to really go down.
October brings with it optimism and a clean slate. There is no room for criticism about what GM McPhee did right or screwed up. Faith and confidence are necessities.
Faith that Mike Green will have another (yes, I said another) great year. Confidence that Alex Ovechkin will out-do himself once more. Hope that guys like Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble will continue to lead this team by example with their work ethic and tenacity.
Faith that our young d-men like Karl Alzner and John Carlson will continue to improve and impress. Confidence in those young goaltenders Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth who while so young and green, are also experienced and mature (okay, at times). Hope that Matt Bradley will continue to be the cult hero that we all know and love.
The expectations are still there and surely they will be prepared well by coach Boudreau and the rest of his staff. A lot is expected of this team by the fans but this team also expects a lot of themselves. They know they are better than where they ended up last year and surely they will do their best to surpass it.
How long do you have to live in a city before you fall completely over-the-moon, head-over-heels in love with it?
Because after only living here for four months, Baltimore and I are having a torrid love affair and I’m not sure it will ever end.
I adore everything about this city. The way the lights from Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium illuminate the sky on game nights. I love how on Sundays in the fall the city turns purple. I love that every spring everyone is an Orioles fan again despite losing season after losing season. The fact that Domino Sugar and Natty Boh are still some of the first things people think about when you hear “Baltimore”. The way that no matter what I’m having a craving for I can easily find a restaurant somewhere in the city that serves it. Baltimore is both a sophisticated, professional community and a college town all at once. Pickles and the Zoo across from Camden Yards, the bars of Federal Hill, the restaurants in Fells Point, Canton and Mount Vernon: everything is right here.
Maybe it’s just my love for city living but I love being able to walk everywhere. I love that the Inner Harbor is a mile away. I love how walking down the street I see people from every walk of life. Business people on their Blackberries trying to dodge traffic, runners doing laps around the Hill, the people living their life day-to-day on the streets.
Every city has its pitfalls and Baltimore is not without its own. I’m not naive, I’m well aware of the problems that still surround my city. But like in every other relationship, you have to be able to look past the faults of your other half in order to see the beauty.
It’s Thursday, which means the monetary gods smile down on me and deposit a hefty fund into my checking account. While I’m getting the largest paychecks of my so far very brief professional career, it’s always around the end of the month when this city girl is realizing, “Crap, how am I supposed to pay my rent next week?”
If there is one thing that needs to be a general education requirement in college, it should be “How to be a social, city-living 20-something girl while also trying to pay an exorbitant amount of taxes, rent and parking in the 21st century.”
To be quite honest, I have no idea how to do that.
Yeah Mom, you’ve shoved into my brain enough times to “start saving now” and “not to let your money burn a hole in your pocket”, but it’s a lot easier said than done. When I see fantastic heels in DSW (I know I should really just avoid DSW all together but it’s right by my office!) it’s very hard to say no because they would go perfect with this dress that I bought at Forever 21 the other day.
It’s a vicious cycle and I’m stuck in the revolving door.
I’m trying though, really. Every paycheck, I throw a couple bones towards my credit card payment and another two or three into my savings account. How to save money really shouldn’t be one of those things that you learn by making the mistake but it seems that’s the only way I know how to do things. Why should this be any different?
Hey you! I haven’t written a lick in almost four months what with working and training for the Baltimore Marathon (26.2 what’s up!?), and of course my swell attempt at a social life.
Surprisingly enough, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, not writing that is. In the past, I would use my blog as a way to express myself. The feelings that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with other people just came out easier in writing. Call it what you will but I felt more comfortable in the safe guarded world of the internet.
Since May, I’ve either gotten too busy to write or I’ve lost that need that I used to have.
Part of it is definitely that I’m just really busy. Working eight hour days was foreign to me not long ago and while you COULD compare being a college student-athlete to working eight hour days, let’s face it–it’s not entirely the same.
Add another notch on the belt with my marathon training. As someone who dreaded running as recently as senior year of college, you would think running a marathon would be the last thing I would want to do. Yet, here we are less than two months from the Baltimore Marathon on October 16th and this is really going to happen, people.
Lastly, tell me how am I supposed to stay in control of my social life (and my monetary funds for that matter) with places like Federal Hill and Fells Point just a short taxi ride away?! It’s become somewhat of a problem but I don’t see it ending anytime soon. I’m just having too much fun.
And yet all of those bumps in the road aren’t going to stop me. Here I am starting yet another blog in a long line of failed attempts to write in ONE particular outlet for more than three months. I’m feeling pretty confident though that I can keep this one going. I’m gonna give it a damn good shot.