Monday, September 17, 2012

Blog Series Part 2: I'm an Adult

I realized while grouping my next items on my “30 things I’ve already done, accomplished, or otherwised experienced” list that I could probably group the remaining items by different themes.  For those of you just joining me (or have forgotten) this list is a reminder of things I’ve already accomplished that I am proud to have done.  This is a list I can revisit when I have the blahs, or am feeling unaccomplished, or prone to comparing myself with others accomplishments. The first 5 items on my list are here.  If I had to retroactively assign a theme to the first 5 items, I suppose it would Experiential Learning.

I'm such an adult, that when David and I stayed at a B&B for our anniversary, the first thing I wanted him to do was take photos of me sitting on all the couches. Like a Boss.

6. Learned to schedule “me” time.
This started when I was first dating David. I was working full time, going to school part-time, co-leading a student ministry, and also working as a research assistant for a professor which meant very, very little time off. Add in a new relationship, with someone who lived a half hour (or more, yay Boston area traffic!) away, and I could have easily gone into full on breakdown mode weekly. However, given my work schedule (4 days/week) I began to schedule myself “Michelle Days”. These would be on my first day off and would last until around 5pm. I would often take myself out for lunch and eat some fancy grilled cheese sandwich at the coffee shop around the corner and read trashy magazines. I wouldn’t answer my phone, I wouldn’t do homework or housework (hahaha like I did housework anyways? No), and I would love it. One day, just for me, where I didn’t have to think or fulfill obligations. Once evening time came around I’d often head into the city to hang out with David, or do laundry, or study. But setting aside a big chunk of time for that year I lived alone really taught me the value of me-time. I don’t set aside a full day anymore, but I still make a point to schedule that time in, whether it’s in the form of going to a yoga class on the weekends or having 20 mintues to myself after work. Scheduling it into my days as an actual commitment made it so much easier to say “no” to things that would pop up in that time. Saying “yes” to those things, even things I wanted to do, meant saying “no” to myself and to the time I knew I needed to decompress from my week.

7.  Lived alone
 Sometimes people are surprised when I tell them that David and I never lived together before getting married. They are even more surprised to hear that when we did get engaged, I did make a change in my living situation by moving out of a place with a roomate to live alone.   
At that point in time, I was living on my own…sort of. I was living with another woman, and basically renting a room so I didn’t have to pay utilities or any other bills monthly. I was still receiving a stipend from my parents, since I was also still in school. I knew when I got married, I would (hopefully) never be living alone again. So, I moved into a studio apartment.

 I loved it. Ohhhh I loved it. It was a two room studio (bedroom/living room and kitchen/study area) on the 4th floor of this wonderful Victorian building off Cabot St in Beverly, MA. Hardwood floors, large windows, moldings over the doorways, I was in love with this apartment. And, I loved living alone. I didn’t have internet, cable, or even a microwave, but I really didn’t spend enough time there to care. Between working 10-12 hour shifts at work and having full internet access at school, I didn’t worry about those things. But I know that I have the skills to live without roomates or anyone else. I can be self sufficient.

8. Paid off credit card…
I won’t say too much about this, except that I only had a modest amount of debt. But, with a credit card, and student loans and my husband’s credit card and student loans, I was proud to be able to create a plan to eliminate both of our credit debt so we could focus on paying off student loans. 

9. …and started/kept to a savings plan
 In addition to paying off old student loans, I wanted to prevent taking out exhorbitant student loans for grad school. I knew we might not be able to pay for the entirety of grad school without any loans, but through creating a savings plan we were able to set aside my first several semesters tuition.

10. Learned how to make (a select few) cocktails
Gone are the days of secret on campus drinking and filling a nalgene bottle up halfway with Capt Morgans Parrot Bay Pineapple Rum and topping with Sprite. (Just kidding mom! I never broke the rules and drank on campus!). But guys, believe me when I say, that above combination is pretty gross. So, I have learned how to make a few actual cocktails. I’ve made several different recipes for sangria; I’ve also learned how to make a Sidecar and Tequila Sunrise and vodka plus anything makes a pretty good drink. Oh, and how could I forget White Russians?! That was probably the first cocktail I mastered.

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