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Long time coming.

The past two months have been a bit of a rollercoaster, both physically and emotionally. Since early May, I stopped training with my cousin and also haven’t been eating all too well, I’ve received news that I still have a material hormonal imbalance, I flew (for the first time in five years) to Vegas for a Bachelorette party, started playing softball again, got into a verbal argument at a volleyball match, I had a few rounds of physical anxiety, my boss had a baby, I took over the day-to-day trading operations at my firm, started stress eating, and most recently (between yesterday and today) my family has had issues with our next-door neighbors. It is a lot of stuff, I will try to make it all make sense.

Since January I trained with my cousin, who is a certified personal trainer. We stopped, temporarily, training in May because he was going on a trip and then that eventually became permanent because my work schedule became completely erratic and I couldn’t commit to specific times. As of result of not having my cousin and his sessions to motivate me and my new work schedule, I’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit. I did however join a new gym and have at least been going once per week. I went today and I’m hoping to go more this week, but I haven’t been that great at being consistent. My diet has been pretty crappy as well as I’m basically stress eating at work, which I will explain later. Hopefully this is my week though, I need to get into a groove.

Midway through May I got the results back from a saliva test that I performed over the course of the month of April. The results were packaged and sent out to a lab in Washington State and my naturopathic doctor received the results. She called me up in the middle of the month and we scheduled an appointment. At that visit, she told me that I still have a progesterone shortage, otherwise known as estrogen dominance. I’ve been off of the pill for almost fifteen months now and I have gotten a lot better. My estrogen levels have normalized now, but my body has not been able to raise my progesterone levels naturally, which has thrown off my periods, caused PMS, and I also have been told that at my current level, I’d have a hard time conceiving a child and if I did conceive, I’d have a hard time carrying the pregnancy to term. Needless to say, I was speechless. I thought that my body has had enough time to heal on its own and regulate my hormones once more. However, that’s clearly not the case and not only that, but now I’m facing potential fertility issues. The good part is that I’m on a progesterone supplement program for the entire summer and hopefully that will help to raise my level.

In a short note, I went out to Las Vegas for a friend’s bachelorette party. This was a huge deal for me as I have not been on a plane in five years and more importantly than that, I wasn’t sure as to how I’d react to flying with my anxiety. I will admit that I took a 0.25 mg Xanax during takeoff on the flight there and home, but beyond that it was fine and I actually enjoyed myself on the airplanes. It sounds silly, but this was a big accomplishment for me.

At the beginning of June, softball started and I’m on a new team. All of the ladies are fantastic and I’m having a lot of fun. I still play volleyball as well but it hasn’t been all fun and games recently. I play on a co-ed team and there is one man on my team who is constantly trying to move me around and control my play simply because I’m female. Well eventually I became fed up with him and at a game a few weeks ago I called him out. He claimed that he was trying to help the team out and even tried to guilt me by saying that he respects women and his mother is dead. Really? I’m sorry your mother is dead but I don’t think that she has anything to do with volleyball. Case closed. We recently played together this past Thursday actually and barely spoke to each other, but that’s OK. We played well together on the court and that’s all that matters.

In the middle of June, I had major anxiety. I wasn’t sure if it was a side effect of the Xanax in my system, stress from work, or both. I’m thinking that it was a combination of both. I didn’t have a full-blown panic attack, thank God, but still, I did feel defeated that I reacted so badly to my thoughts.

Literally a few days after my mini-breakdown my boss gave birth to her son, which then put me in charge of the daily trading operations at my firm. Needless to say I was nervous then and I’m still a little nervous now. I’m two weeks into this experience and it’s been quite eye-opening. I’ve been able to prove to myself that I’m able to handle this job and it has also helped to spark a fire in me and reignite my interest in the stock market and finance in general. However with all of that positivity, I have started to stress eat. I visit the snack closet multiple times a day to help calm myself down when I get nervous at work. This is a terrible way to relieve stress and this week  is the week where I hope to stop this phenomenon.

Last but not least, the issues with the next door neighbors. They had an early Fourth of July party yesterday and didn’t invite my parents. It really hurt my mom’s feelings and made my dad angry. As a result, it made me livid. But on top of that, I felt physical symptoms of anger and anxiety. When I saw my neighbors, I felt my chest tighten and felt pain in my head. I wanted to go over there and start screaming at them. I felt awful for my parents. I always tried to be the bigger person and continue to say hi to them even though they have basically phased my parents out of the neighborhood social circle over the years. I never wanted to be the person who just straight up ignores people but at this point I feel as though it’d be best for my health and psyche to just ignore these people. I have slowly removed myself from them as I have unfriended them on Facebook (which I’m still trying to get rid of) and have limited my communication to just the next-door neighbors but now I’ve really had enough. I really can’t afford the stress anymore and this weekend was the last straw for me.

So that has been my last two months. Lots of good, productive things and a few bumps along the way. My focus right now is to continue healing and working on my health in addition to participating in activities that I like with people who like and respect me. One thing that I’ve learned in the past two months is that I cannot hide my feelings (like being nervous about work or mad at a teammate or neighbor). I have to feel what I feel, take the appropriate action(s), and move on.

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Finally thinking outside the box.

I finally found a wonderful job that I believe I can excel in. The best part is that it has almost nothing to do with finance (minus payroll/budgeting) and everything to do with college kids and athletics/fitness.

I went to the human resources department website for my alma mater, where I received my MBA, to look for a job. I found an assistant marketing director job that deals with the school’s fitness and recreation programs. It requires thinking about new programs and events for the campus recreation center, in addition to some administration work, which would be great. I’ve really wanted to take on a leadership role, that’s always been a goal of mine.

I love sports and have recently gotten into diet and fitness more so now than I have my entire life. What a perfect opportunity for me.

I mentioned it to my parents, who are skeptical but happy that I found a particular direction that I might want to head towards professionally.

I’m confident that I can do this job. I spent an hour Sunday night writing a cover letter and adjusting my resume. I sent it electronically and got an e-mail receipt yesterday. Last night I mailed out a hard copy of both documents.

Wish me luck!

 

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On paranoia.

I’ve had a bit of “cyber-paranoia” recently. As I’ve mentioned a few posts back, I’ve cut a “friend” out of my life by not talking to her plus unfriending her from my Facebook account. I have to say, life is a smidge better without her really because she never added anything to my life and only basically complained most of the time. I haven’t had any contact with her since the end of January, but I decided to check out her blog to see what she’s been up to. Needless to say, I found an interesting post, one that I thought may have something to do with me, so of course my mind packed its bags and wandered far away…

This post was about people wishing her bad karma and how love is all that matters. Strange things about how “haters” need to worry about their own karma, etc.

This is a perfect opportunity for my anxiety to kick in. And for a minute, it did. Then I remembered my actions or inactions over the past few weeks just in terms of being conscious when talking about other people…

Our mutual friend gave birth to her first child two weeks ago. I went to the hospital twice to see her and her family. Both times my friend’s husband mentioned my former friend and bad mouthed her for not coming to the hospital to see them and their son. Then he egged me on to chime in. Both times I declined and said that I was staying out of that because it’s not my business. Then at their house that weekend, he started talking about her again to me, this time while my friend was in another room taking care of the baby. I simply told him that I cut her out of my life both in reality and in cyberspace (Facebook). I said that I didn’t think that she treated me well and I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less.

When I think back to that, I realize that I really didn’t do anything wrong and for once, I truly believe it. Sometimes my anxiety gets the better of me, but not with this.

My goal is to be more conscious of my thoughts that I share with others. In a way, it’s to not come off looking like a jerk, but more so to protect myself from my own anxiety and paranoia. To know that my conscience is clear.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Changing My Situation

 

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Feeling strangely fine.

I’m OK today. Tired, but alright. I went on Facebook today and a friend of a friend came up on my news feed. Her profile picture was a professional glamour shot of her in a bikini for a fitness magazine. Apparently she’s a model, certified personal trainer, former two-sport collegiate athlete, former pro beach volleyball player, NASA astronaut, Nobel prize winner… this list obviously stops right before the NASA astronaut part in reality. But in all seriousness, this girl (who’s close to my age) has done a lot of neat things in her life (some of which I’ve only dreamed of… pro volleyball player… but 5’7” is way too short for that unfortunately) plus her current work as a certified trainer (she has what seems to be a billion certificates ranging from nutrition to strength and conditioning to pre/post natal exercise) and a fitness/glamour model seems like a pretty cushy way to make a living.

As I read her “about me” paragraph and scanned her pictures I couldn’t help but get jealous of her. She’s doing what I’d love to be doing (the training, not the modeling, although I’m sure modeling is much more fun than my job) while I’m sitting in a cube doing data entry. Classic jealously and in a way, rightfully so. Then I got to thinking. She’s been training for almost ten years already, meaning that she got certified and started training heavy herself in her mid to late teens, which has eventually led to this stellar and fun career.

I started to think about what I was doing at that time. I was 16 (for argument’s sake), looking at colleges even though I had no desire to go to college but was pressured to go by my family (especially my mom as she was and still is a high school guidance counselor), playing volleyball for my high school and a club team (both of which made me extremely happy), taking a rigorous workload at a college prep high school, and sleeping on the weekends because I was exhausted (exhaustion has been a common theme in my life since high school). I had no idea as to what I wanted to do in life; I contemplated physical therapy, marine biology, financial analyst… the list went on, I just can’t remember that far back anymore. The point was that I had no clear direction back then and wound up picking a random university when I was 17 and still confused – I attended random university at the tender age of 18, transferred to another school, got depressed because I didn’t fit in, failed my classes, returned to random university, struggled to finish my accounting degree (semi-random, *I somewhat appreciate accounting, degree pick based on practicality, knowing that I’d need a job that made good money with all of the debt I would have incurred upon graduation), interned 30 hours a week at a hedge fund on top of that, graduated, and starting working at a hedge fund in Manhattan at the age of 21. I still had no idea if this is what I wanted to do with my life, but I didn’t mind it, plus it paid the bills and paid them well. I’m now 26, still working in investments (just in NJ now at a different firm) and I now know that I don’t like my job. I’m still not sure what it is that I want to do.

Reading all of that might sound negative but helping me think back to where I was when this girl was starting on her career path makes me feel better and not jealous anymore. Strange but true. I realize that I was young, pulled in many directions with many mouths in my ears. I just went along with what other people wanted for me. The path I went down wasn’t terrible (nothing life-threatening,etc.), it just wasn’t ideal for me in retrospect and that’s OK. I need to accept it because I cannot change it. It also has taught me a lesson – to slowdown and think. I haven’t slowed down yet, which is probably why I’m still questioning what I’d like to do with my life, but at least I have the time (staying at my current job until my boss’ maternity leave is over) to think. I have a few ideas in my head already, but more time and care need to be put into the thought process.

Now if only I can just slow down…

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Changing My Situation, Life's Goals

 

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Stuck at a crossroads.

I feel as though I’ve been stuck in the mud; spinning my wheels, trying to get out of a ditch with no luck. I hate complaining about it because I think back to when I was so depressed that I didn’t see the point in living this life anymore.

I’m not depressed now, I know that, but I feel somewhat indifferent, especially in the past few days and I’m not sure what’s worse. It seems as though I’m just going through the motions with no specific goal or purpose. Sure I have things that I’m working towards such as changing my body and the way that I take care of it, thinking of possibly getting my personal training certificate, and so on.

But on the other side of that, I’m not thrilled with my everyday life, especially my professional life. I used to be proud and happy to be working in my industry (and I’ve been in the investments industry for about six years now), but things have changed and I’ve seen the darker side of it – through the way the economy has blown up in the past few years in addition to things that have happened during my tenure at my current job (which I’ve had for four years already). I’ve never been this unhappy with it.

I wonder if it’s really my circumstances or my attitude. I’m really leaning toward this being an attitude problem. I’ve been in plenty of situations in my twnety six years of exsistence on this planet where they weren’t pretty, but I was able to put it all aside and enjoy life. I just haven’t been able to do this since 2010. As of right now, I have a bad attitude and that’s pretty clear. Certain members of my family and a few friends have taken notice of it and that kills me, because that’s not me. I’m usually pretty easy going, happy but it’s been hard to get to that point again. I don’t want to push people away because I’m so negative. I need to make a change.

I have to do a total attitude overhaul. My problem right now is that I’m going through a transitional point in my life. I’m thinking that I’ll probably move out of my parents house next year, my boyfriend and I have been dating for four years already (but there’s no timetable for marriage), and I have no idea as to what I want to do with my life. For whatever reason these and other potential events/ideas have been driving me up a wall. I feel as though I haven’t done enough and that I’m not where I should be professionally, socially, etc. It’s a strange feeling, I’ve never felt such pressure before in my life.

But instead of dealing with my feelings and just being happy for what I have and all that I’ve accomplished, I don’t take good care of myself, plus I harbor negativity and it sometimes comes out when I’m dealing with others at home, work, or in a social setting. I have a loving family and boyfriend, I have a handful of loyal, good friends, I have my MBA, and I have a good paying, stable job (not interested in the job function though). Yet it seems as though for now, it’s not enough and I’m not sure why. I sound like a spoiled brat and honestly, I feel as though that’s how I’ve been acting recently and I’m thoroughly disappointed with myself.

All I’ve been saying is that “I’m going to change, I’m going to change”, but I haven’t. I’m still wakling around with this chip on my shoulder at work, I’m complaining constantly to my family and friends, and I’m just not at peace. It’s a rough position to be in and at the end of the day, it’s 100% my fault.

So where do I go from here? For one thing, I feel like I have to be honest going forward. Perhaps that’s the first step. Limiting my time of Facebook was a good starting point for that; I had to admit to myself that as much as I “didn’t care” about what I was reading, I actually did care… a lot, too much even. With that said, I actually went on the website more than once this weekend. I did a lot of cleaning up on there, I unsubscribed to most of my friends’ posts, I subscribed to some great female fitness professionals to catch some of their articles and I even went a step further. I’m not sure if I’m going to delete the account or not, but for now, I’m just glad that it’s less toxic for me now. One interesting point that came from Friday’s “cleanse” is that I unfriended someone who’ve I’ve been relatively close to in recent years. I’ve had this friend, who hasn’t really treated me like a good friend would. She’s been dating this guy and has completely ignored me unless he’s not around. She’s been pissing me off for some time, yet I’ve been too afraid to cut her out of my life because I’m just generally afraid to lose friends. On Friday though, I decided to cut her, electronically speaking. Granted, that’s not enough and eventually I’ll have to say something to her in real life, but for me that was huge. I “unfriended” her because I couldn’t stand to read her posts that bragged about her awesome life that she so happily kept me out of for no reason. I had have enough and finally did what I should’ve done a long time ago.

There are a few things that need to be changed in my life right now. First and foremost I need to be honest about how I’ve been living. I’ll admit, I haven’t been taking great care of myself. It’s been nothing insanely bad, as in I don’t smoke or do drugs. I’m not much of a drinker either. But in terms of diet and exercise, I’m doing better, but I tend to make a lot of excuses for myself when my consistency comes into question. In addition, I don’t take good care of my appearance. I have to do my skin care regiment every day, not once every few days. I need to wash and take care of my hair more, even though it’s a pain because it’s so thick and frizzy. I need to portray a better appearance every day and take care of myself. Perhaps put on a little bit of makeup for work. Wear some more jewelry. Make sure that my clothes are ironed and not all wrinkled. I think me letting go of my appearance reflects a bigger problem and that’s my attitude and indifference towards life right now.

Another thing that needs to be addressed in my life is the “relationship garbage”. What I mean by that is all of the gossiping and poor treatment given to me and given by me. I’m not a saint. I’ve said and done some not-so-nice things and I know this. I need to change the way that I treat other people; instead of talking behind someone’s back, I need to talk and address my concerns directly to them. I also need to stop critizing and judging others’ actions and beliefs. People are going to do what they want to do and I am no one to judge.

In terms of the treatment that I receive, I need to stop lying to myself and let go of people who do not have my best interests at heart. I tend to keep people around because for whatever reason my brain associates “a healthy social life” with a larger quantity of friends rather than having quality friends. This is wrong and I know it but my thinking has clearly been so off that I’m not surprised. I’m not surprised that I’ve kept people in my life who only use me for favors, but when I need them they’re nowhere to be found. This needs to stop and I need to tell these people exactly how I feel instead of ignoring the problem and letting it fester in my head.

As you can see, I’m at a point in my life where things need to change. I can’t let this go on any longer. I can’t keep making excuses for not changing my every day life, not changing my thoughts, for not even trying. It’s been too long and I am tired of feeling so indifferent and negative, depending on the day.

Here’s hoping that tomorrow is truly a new day and I’m not just bullshitting.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Changing My Situation, Communication, Life's Goals

 

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The lessening of Facebook withdrawal symptoms.

Sad to say, but I have had some withdrawal from Facebook this week. I haven’t looked at the website since last Friday with the exception of sending a message to a friend of mine and my boyfriend’s who is currently serving in the U.S. Army overseas in Afghanistan. But I haven’t seen others’ photos, status’, nothing for almost a week and needless to say it’s been an overall good experience. However, I still think about what I may be missing, but those thoughts have decreased throughout the week, which is a plus.

When I start to wonder about what I’m “missing out on”, I bring myself back to Earth and realize how much more time that I have to LIVE MY LIFE. My REAL life. You don’t realize how much time you waste on social media until you cut it out of your routine.

With this newfound free time, I’ve been visiting and reading so many wonderful blogs that I’ve found or who’ve found me on WordPress. I’ve been able to devote much more time to this blog and my fitness blog, 6 in Six. I’ve been catching up on the news and communicating more with my friends and family via traditional means (the phone, face to face, etc.).

I’ve been devoting more time to thinking about my life; i.e. what are my passions, what would I like to explore and possibly pursue both personally and professionally, etc. Granted, self-exploration hasn’t been a pleasant experience for me as it’s made me frustrated and downright depressed in the past few days, but it’s productive. It’s better than staring at my computer screen reading Facebook statuses about people who “love their lives and their jobs” or how “everything is perfect”. Because then I’m just sitting there, not being productive and probably more envious/jealous/depressed/angry than I am today. Let’s be honest, if you have to say it out loud, it’s possible that it’s not exactly true. I believe that there are people on Facebook who like to play the impression management game; they show everyone their wonderful lives, but in reality, things aren’t what they seem. Regardless of the truth, the impression or image that they reflect affects the viewer (in this case me). Even if I know something is not true, sometimes I have a hard time separating the truth from the lies, I believe what I see, and then I get anxious or depressed about how my own life doesn’t even compare. Then again, there are genuinely happy people on there, people who are like the way I used to be. Trust me, I’m happy for people who are fulfilled and pleased with their lives – more power to them. I aspire to be there myself one day, but if I ever get there again, I will NEVER brag about it, especially on a social media website. I was fully appreciative of my happiness when I had it; it was sacred to me because it made me feel genuinely good. I haven’t felt genuinely good for a long period of time in almost 2 years. Granted, things have gotten a lot better for me – I have little spurts of happiness here and there, so at least I’m grateful for that. But I still have a lot of work to do; I need to get out of “going through the motions” and really try to live a meaningful, fulfilling life.

Ever since I developed anxiety and depression in early 2010, I’ve valued happiness so much more, which is what keeps me fighting to find it again. When I was happy, I never took it for granted because I knew (and still know) others who have suffered from anxiety and depression. I never understood these conditions, I always thought that they should be easy to pull out of, but the reality of the situation is that they’re not. They require effort and lots of it.

I believe that by cutting out Facebook, I’m just putting more effort into improving my life. I’ve come this far (6 days) without the site at all. I’m seriously wondering if I should even go on it once per week anymore as my plans to not look at the Newsfeed or take a few days off haven’t worked out well. I’m over the general anxiety phase that I had on Saturday and Sunday where I wanted to look at the site so badly and didn’t know what to do with myself.

Why would I want to relive that start all over?

Maybe I’ll see how long I can holdout for and if I’m feeling brave enough and ready, perhaps I’ll finally delete my account.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Changing My Situation, Facebook Rants

 

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I need a change of pace.

I sat at my desk at work today and was bored. I am just plain bored there. I’ve been getting better at telling myself that I’m only staying there until after my boss’ baby is born, then I’m restarting my job hunt. Some days just get hard to sit through though, especially since my job is rarely intellectually stimulating and I get little to no respect.

In the meantime, I’ve really been trying to change things up in my life – I’m training with a personal trainer three times per week, I play volleyball once per week, and I’m a member of a women’s volunteer group that meets a few times per month. So far, doing all of this has certainly helped, but I’m still not fully happy. Before my anxiety and depression blew up almost two years ago (wow, time flies), I was always happy regardless of my situation. I was courageous and had lots of faith in myself and the world at large. I’ve been a lot better, my depression is gone and my anxiety is phenomenally better, but I still have to fight to relax and just be happy and enjoy.

I feel as though my job is the one thing that’s really holding me back at this point. I want more flexibility and I want meaningful work. The day-to-day boredom is mind numbing and I want to be excited to go to work in the morning. In theory, I’d really like to start my own business, but for now, at 26, I’m just focusing on having steady employment within my field. However, for now, I’ve made the decision to stay put and do the right thing for karma’s sake. I also needed a break from the job hunt – looking for a job in investments is difficult in this economy.

In a selfish way, I hope down the line that my patience pays off and I am rewarded for helping my boss out.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Changing My Situation, Life's Goals

 

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