Ugh and I hate myself for sipping a matcha latte while I write this.
When I think about the top 5 ways to make fun of an Iowan I would say corn, cows, farms, beer and probably……corn…..again. My top 5 stereotype slams to Californians are quite the opposite: vegan, non-GMO, gluten free, kale and yoga. Don’t get me wrong, all of the 5 (unlike my Iowa list) are great for your body – except gluten free because I refuse to believe that 90% of the population here has celiac disease, but that’s beside the point.
It’s funny how you only make fun of something for so long until you find yourself submerged in it. Kind of like everyone who thinks I’m disgusting for my peanut butter and pickle sandwich UNTIL THEY TRY IT.
Moving on. We’re lucky enough to have a gym in our apartment complex. Thank god cause gym memberships can be expeeeeeensive. But sometimes it’s just not that motivating to take the elevator to the basement and see the same 4 people that go to the gym at the same time. Not wanting to spend money (a reoccurring theme in 362), but still wanting to switch up our fitness routine, we started looking around. Turns out there are so many free trials in LA!!!! WHO KNEW. Naturally, we scoured the internet for the longest ones to try out first and stumbled upon Core Power yoga. CORE POWER DOES A FREE WEEK PEOPLE. And apparently that’s nationwide. And apparently everyone seemed to already know this before Kelly and I did……but better late than never!
The first few classes were slightly brutal. It can be SO hard to shut your mind off and I don’t think I’ve ever taken that many deep breaths in my life. But after the week was over, I had noticed EXTREME differences. During my last class I was finally able to lay there, in complete stillness, extremely present in the moment. This may seem like a strange thing to note as a victory. Of course I noticed the obvious things like improved strength, flexibility and balance. But stillness. Stillness is a weird thing. To just sit there and be absolutely content with nothing moving except for your heart and lungs. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me. Like to the point where if I try to give myself a day off to just relax, it’s nearly impossible. That’s why I felt like I took a lot away from being able to tune out all other outside distractions. I also really loved the idea of setting a mantra or intent before going into a task- yoga or not- and being fully submerged in that mantra. Actually, since my experience at Core Power, I’ve even carried that over into my dancing by making my movement tailor to these specific rules or thoughts. Some that work really well for me are patience, vulnerability and persistence.
Now I’m no yogi by any means, but I’ll be back for sure. In fact, you may have seen me in the system as Molly Zymer coming in for her first free week!!! Yeah. I stooped that low and created an alias to get a free week- don’t tell my mom.
Anyway, I highly recommend yoga for your sanity, especially if you constantly struggle with not being present. I plan on buying a membership (a major hit to the bank account), but in the meantime the internet is a brilliant brilliant thing and if you can get past feeling like a freak doing yoga in your apartment, DO IT. Also, check out free shit in your area cause it’s insane. Especially when you live somewhere as big as Los Angeles. I’ll be testing out a variety of different work out methods (fo free) so stay tuned for more adventures. And more importantly, if you have any other suggestions for free trials out here letcho girl know!!!
In conclusion, yes. I’ve embraced the yoga-obsessed Californian stereotype and now I have to go so I can finish packing for Coachella……….#california #glutenfree #nonGMO #ihatemyself
How many times have I resurrected this blog by now? At least three or four I think. But hey, guess what. I’m doing it again! This blog is like a fricken cat, man. It has 9 lives and I think by now I’m running low on how many times I can start this back up again. But if you are familiar with the whole “Boy who Cried Wolf” thing and wanna believe me this time, I’m actually going to do better at this whole blogging on a schedule thing. And like I said, half of the reason is so my family knows that I’m alive (hi guys!!!).
So I’ll start by saying that in the short time of living here I’ve learned a lot, no surprise there- I feel like that’s what everyone says when they move away from home. It’s been waaay cool to have people from the Midwest reach out to me about what the transition has been like. Even cooler when they tell me that they have been toying around with the idea of making a big move. So I figure for my first post back, I’d kind of do a fun little month by month recap of some big lessons I’ve learned each month. Like anything in life, it’s peaks and valleys for sure..but I figure if I can help some people believe that they can make the leap, then cool. And if that’s not why you’re reading this, I hope you at least get some gigz out of me trying to adult (rest assured I’m still just awkward as I have been my entire life).
Okay so last time you heard from me was November so let’s start with
DECEMBER – it’s all about the company you keep
Moving here during the holidays was a strange choice on my part. As I said in my last post, I came here just before Thanksgiving and had already been back home once before then. By the time December rolled around, I opted to stay in California through Christmas and New Years since I had just made the trip back for Turkey Day. So here I was, newly in LA about to take on orphan Christmas. Christmas in NoHo is essentially a ghost town. Many of the friends I have out here had plans to travel home to be with their family and at the time I made the decision to stay, I had no idea if my roommates were doing the same. To my relief, Kelly and Kristyn decided to as well. While I value tradition, I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a traditional person. I think this kind of helped me accept the change up. We went into the day with pretty low expectations. We took some time to talk about all of the Christmas traditions we had growing up and met in the middle to make it feel like a Christmas we would have at home.
Making a furniture-less apartment feel homey is a little bit of a tough task. Although we didn’t even have a couch at this point, my aunt had sent us a mini christmas tree in the mail and we made a quick trip to pick up some holiday decor to go with it. It didn’t look like a winter wonderland by any means, but it was a start. Our parents had also sent us a few packages in the mail so that we would have some boxes to fill the empty space under our tree.
Kwaking up to cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning so that was something we made sure to incorporate into our day. My mom even sent me some of her BOMB ASS caramel corn she makes every year. And since technology is freaking WILD, I was able to FaceTime my parents and watch them open up the gifts I had sent them (and my dogs, who are basically my sisters). From here the day only went up. We headed down to the pool, Kristyn grilled us some steaks and we (Kristyn) made us a HUGE Christmas feast. And when I say huge, I mean all of us had to unbutton our pants to make room for seconds, which were obviously a huge priority. Who only gets one serving of Christmas dinner..??? Stomachs full and cheeks sore from laughing all day, we scooted over to this sports bar called Big Wangs and enjoyed a few drinks (ON THE HOUSE CAUSE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IS THE BOMB).
It was that day that I knew I was going to be alright here alongside these people. I felt so lucky to have walked into this living situation. A new family. A new year filled with all sorts of new traditions. And how lucky am I that I get to meet a completely new set of humans and hand-select those in my life that fulfill me (and vice-versa)?! Change can be horrifying, but a new normal is so much easier to find when you surround yourself with people who keep you grounded and thankful.
JANUARY – make yourself a priority
Once January rolled around it was all aboard the New Year’s Resolution train!!!!! Which was a cool idea in my head until I found myself working 45 hours a weak on a schedule that didn’t allow me to do anything that I came here for. Now I know those of you who maybe went a more traditional route post-grad are probably like “boo hoo poor Holly had to work normal people hours.” But I came out here on a limb to pursue my love for dance and obviously several of my goals for the new year (and since I was like five) revolve around that. And as with any goal, it takes more than just having it to make it happen. Who woulda thunk?!
I’ve spent my entire life as a perfectionist, probably to a fault. Even as a kid I remember trying out new games at recess or different sports and being so upset with myself if I didn’t win or do it right the first time around. My parents would spend hours explaining to me that it takes time to be really really great at something and that to reach a goal it takes effort and patience.
So this January I kind of found myself falling back into old habits, forgetting to devote time to nurture my goals and myself in general. I would feel so beat down from my work situation (not just the hours but I’m not going to dive into extreme detail) that when I would finally have an off day that aligned with a dance class or time to devote to my fitness goals, I would feel like a piece of shit if I didn’t take it or execute it to perfection. Stuck somewhere between wanting to relax and taking advantage of living in a place with so many opportunities at my finger tips, I realized that I had stopped making time for myself. When you share a two bedroom apartment with 3 other people, you have to physically schedule some alone time to goal set, call your friends and family or for me, to write. Once I started giving myself some more time to enjoy this beautiful state, I found a lot more clarity and enjoyment.
FEBRUARY – you are in control of your own life
I think at this point in my journey, I hadn’t fully comprehended that I was actually living here. It kind of felt like some strange extension of college that was only temporary. Looking back I can see that I was putting SO much pressure on myself to do so much in the short windows of time that I had free. To the point where I was unable to give 100% because I felt like if I wasn’t perfect in that one chance I had to dance that week, I had wasted my chance to grow just like I was wasting my days way at work. I was so stuck in my head. For those of you that know me, I’m sure this is not surprising to hear.
Something had to change, and like I said, I had started scheduling days in my planner (around my paydays) that were devoted to me and nothing else. Even if it’s as simple as getting my nails done or spending some time alone on my balcony. But even still, I felt a little bit stagnated.Coming home and complaining about my day and waking up the next morning to do it all over again.I had more or less turned into the post graduate version of myself that I wanted to avoid and what was I doing about it? Nothing. So FINALLY I took control over my own life and made a change. I found a job with a schedule that allowed me the time to pursue my dreams. I realized that if you want something, you can’t just wait around for it and hope that it magically happens, especially out here.
To tie these thoughts together, I would say that understanding the importance of patience is also something that came with this realization. I LIVE here. It’s not like I have one week to make all of my dreams come true. I have an unlimited amount of time in this amazing city to sort it all out, create myself and meet some insanely incredible people in the process. If you want something, make it happen. And if you can’t right away, surround yourself with the people and opportunities that will set you up to do so.
MARCH – don’t be afraid of self-expansion
Alright, alright, alright. March was a great month. I started a new job. Picked up a few side adventures. Met some new friends. Became a member of a contemporary dance company. And I called this crazy place “home” for the first time. My family even came to visit and surprised me with 4 of my closest friends and one more came later this month; I was feeling energized and more ready to grow than I had been since moving here.
Isn’t that kind of a weird thing to say when you think about it..? You shouldn’t be unready or afraid of growth. I don’t even think I knew that I was afraid of it until I realized that I had been holding myself back. The whole first job situation in February helped me see that. Why the heck would I waste my time complaining about something that is COMPLETELY in my control? It’s almost like I subconsciously liked being unhappy from time to time. I think I liked that I could place the blame on all of these external factors. With dance too….In reality, I only had myself to blame for being discontent and failing to do anything to change that.
So I continued the flow of taking things into my own hands. I started checking things off my checklist. I got my headshots taken and have begun to take myself more seriously. And, most importantly (and perhaps for the first time in my entire life), I started to actually believe in myself. I’ve started trying to knowledge my strengths as a dancer, and as a person, and hone in on them. I am unexplainably grateful for all of the opportunities to test the boundaries of comfortability in a new and unfamiliar place.
I’d say what I’m most thankful for is the support of my family and their undeniable ability to talk me down from a tree. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard them say “Rome wasn’t built in a day” but they’re right (I HATE THAT I JUST SAID THAT PUBLICLY). I guess what I’m saying is if you’re considering doing something outside of your comfort zone, even if it doesn’t involve moving to a new place, freaking do it. And do a better job of updating everyone on your life than I have.
Alright, that’s all for now. Expect to see more of me on your timeline. Byeeeeeee.