28 June 2012

List of 30: 07. What is your dream job, and why?

This is a question I've been asking myself since I left school.

I don't see any specific job as a dream job right now.

I could stay in hotels.

I could go back to school for something else.

But would I be completely content with my life -- or would I wonder "what if"?

My dream job would consist of:
  • Time for my family: I don't visit my extended family in Albuquerque enough, and now that I'm futher away, it's even harder. I'd also like time for Riley and -- when the time comes -- our kids. Families do things together, right?
  • Easily acquired time off for holidays and vacation (paid or unpaid): This kind of goes hand and hand with time for my family. Can't take many trips if I can't get time off. Pretty much the only problem I have working in hotels since they're open 24/7.
  • Something I can enjoy on a daily basis: Doing something that makes me happy will make my work so much stronger. I enjoy working in hotels, which makes going to work so much easier -- even on hard days -- than a job that I even mildly dislike.
  • Working with people: I'm a social person. I like helping people and working with them. I wouldn't be able to sit in a cubicle or office all day and not interact face to face with someone. Just isn't going to happen.
  • As little math required as possible: Math is not my strong suit. End of story.
  • Comfortable pay: I don't want to be forced to live as a pauper, but I don't need tons of money to be happy. Just a comfortable paycheck to pad my savings and afford the necessities. 
  • No more than 40 hours a week: I've done more than 40 and it's not healthy. The money is (usually) great, however my health is not worth the paychecks.

 I won't be in Cheney forever, so that means I will eventually leave the hotel. Until then, I can work with wonderful people, with 98% of my dream job requirements. I may stay in hotels after I leave here, but, since life has no roadmap, I'm not planning on anything until the time comes for me to. 

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25 June 2012

Uncut Cookie

Part of this process of finding myself means letting go.

It means shedding any unrealistic expectations I have for myself and lowering the bar, so I can excel in my dreams.

It means being myself -- not what others want me to be.

It means truly not caring what people think of me, how I look, what I do, and what I'm interested in. Because if it makes me happy, why do I need someone else to enjoy it?

It's interesting how many of us say we don't care, when we really do; how we act like we couldn't care less, when we could.

How we judge others by their differences, instead of embracing them for it.

We try to label things as humans, organize them in our minds to better understand them; tick off lists of requirements of a "true" {fill in the blank} and discard any who do not fill most, if not all of them.

We envy those with free minds, courage, mystery, determination, and the inability to give a rat's ass because we lack the willpower, independent thinking, and sheer nerve to be okay with being different and following our dreams.

So many of us are hypocrites in the sense of what we say we believe in and yet, don't live by our Facebook proclaimed beliefs.

I am not cut from a cookie cutter image. I don't care to fit some molded stereotype image that could be put on a tray and sent to grandma.

I'm like the extra pieces from outside the cut; the one you roll back into the dough so it doesn't go to waste.

Only I refuse to conform anymore. I've been rolled up too much by trying to fit into the mold.

I've always had a hard time fitting into the cookie cutter.

Only this time, I'm okay with being outside the shape prescribed to me.

It is mine and it's perfect the way it is. I've let go of trying to fit in whatsoever.

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24 June 2012

List of 30: 01. List 20 random facts about yourself.

List of 30

1. I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico born and raised, and I currently live in Cheney, WA.

2. I am an avid drinker of coffee and tea. I also love wine and beer. 

3. A lot of the bands I listen to are indie and not as well known. I find they have smaller egos, which evidently leads to better music.

4. Riley and I love most sports. ESPN is the default channel for our apartment. I don't care for the NFL or NBA much, though. I prefer college sports, baseball, rugby and soccer.

5. I've been with Riley for almost 3 1/2 years now. We met at a random house party and have got along ever since.

6. My heart's biggest desire is to be a mother.

7. My heart's second biggest desire is to travel the world.

8. I've been through a lot of pain and loss in my life, but it's made me a better person.

9. Riley and I don't live like regular 20-something's. We have a lot of luxuries thanks to his family.

10. My favorite color is pink. I have a lot of pink things: scooter ("moped"), computer, chair, phone case, teacup, bags, backpack, luggage, etc.

11. I love fine art and the performing arts. I'm also a huge history buff (just another reason why I love Europe).

12. I am a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Women's Fraternity {pause for snaps}. It's a fantastic organization. We support this and you should too.

13. As a result of being an AOII, I absolutely love pandas. I peek at this every morning to brighten my day.

14. I've collected playing cards since I was 5. I've had 54 decks at the highest, but due to lack of use and space to store them, I donated most of them and kept the best.

15. I speak conversational German and Spanish and I'm still learning French and American Sign Language. I firmly believe anyone can speak a language if they are committed enough (and without spending a lot of money on courses and software). Read this and this if you're interested.

16. I am obsessed with Disney. I don't have many big flaming signs that I'm a Disney fan anymore (posters, shirts, bags, etc), but you'll find a "hidden Mickey" in a few places if you look hard enough (try the movie shelf in our apartment).

17. I'd rather support a charity or philanthrophy than buy something for myself. 

18. I've been a reader since I was 4 and haven't really stopped since. As a result, I know about a lot of things because when I have a question...I google it and find out what the answer is. Knowledge is power people...READ.

19. I have two all time favorite books: Peter Pan (by J. M. Barrie) and The Little Prince (by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) 

20. My favorite band is The Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Corgan writes pure poetry. I also like Fleet Foxes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Sara Barielles.

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22 June 2012

List of 30

Remember when MySpace was the social networking king and everyone and their dog filled out surveys about themselves? I found this list drifting in the blogosphere and it reminded me of just that. It's originally from Hopes and Dreams, but I found it through my friend Emma

I'll be answering these at random (like Emma is) so you can learn a little more about me.

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

3. Describe your relationship with your parents.

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

7. What is your dream job, and why?

8. What are 5 passions you have?

9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.

10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.

11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.

12. Describe a typical day in your current

13. Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

18. What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?

19. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it first?

22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

23. List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

24. Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.

25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?

27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

28. What is your love language?

29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

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21 June 2012

Recovering Perfectionist

My  name is Autumn and I am a perfectionist.

The last time I remember being unattached to a rigorous schedule or rules of perfection was when I was 15, right before my dad got sick.

After my dad died in 2006, I guess I realized my own mortality and  joined every club possible in high school, went to as many events as possible, and kept a beautifully organized planner to keep track of all of my commitments. I threw myself into anything that I felt I'd belong, probably to fill the void of my dad's death.

I love planners. I love the feel of the pages turning day by day and week by week. I love using highlighters to color code commitments and reminders. I love writing a small description of the day's events or weather. I love crossing things off my to-do list. I tried digitizing and failed. Paper planners become part of one in a way digital planners cannot.

Depending on my schedule, I typically use a two page per week academic planner (what I first started out with) or a day per page planner, usually in a binder. Up until recently I exculsively used Franklin Covey, but received a DayTimer as a gift and felt it would be more frugal to use that.

Being a perfectionist, things have to be "just so," especially in a planner. I needed room for lists that wasn't there, the schedule section was too small, and I found myself hating the new planner so much I spent countless hours looking online for a new one, similar to the one I used last year with specific sections for a Prioritized To-Do List, Appointments, and Notes with ample room.

But I never found it. Each planner was too structured for my current less scheduled life. I didn't need my trusty 1" Ring-Bound binder to carry school assignments or vital information anymore, since I spend most of my time at home. I didn't need the detailed appointment times to keep track of two work schedules, know when I could meet a friend for a quick coffee break, schedule errand days, and know when to eat, sleep, and shower.

Right now, the only solid commitment I have is work, which is a simple "Work 15.00-23.00" on the page.

Knowing full well planners change as people and schedules change, I re-evaluated my needs for a planner and realized, for the first time in 7 years, I actually didn't need one. I looked through my notes in my planner, on my phone, and EverNote and realized most of what I wrote down was creative projects I wanted to finish, grocery lists, occurrences during the day, small reminders for when a bill is due, and recommendations.

And most of those were on post-it's since the days on the pages are so small they fill up quickly.

I didn't need a planner. A dated notebook would do just fine.

I looked around our apartment and noticed I neglected chores more than I did when I first got here, which probably isn't that great, but the beauty is I don't care. Things didn't have to be 100% clean all the time. I didn't need to have it together 24/7/365. I got physically sick when I moved here because I had been overexerting myself for so long and my body finally had time to relax. Imagine hiking through rigorous terrain on your own for two years and coming to a meadow that doesn't end. The overwhelming feeling of space took over my body and put it into shock.

Perfectionists tend to set higher expectations for themselves than others do; those expectations are often so high they're unattainable and perfectionists will do anything to get to that mark that notch. All or nothing; go big and go home.

And we tend to beat ourselves up pretty good when we fail to meet our own ridiculous expectations.

I'm using this time to find myself again, like I mentioned in this post and this post. I'm learning I don't need to participate in as many things as I thought: activities don't define me as a person. I can choose a few to dabble in and focus my efforts on those.

I threw out my 2, 3, and 5 year plan.

I threw out my wedding plans.

I threw out the list of schools I'd like to attend.

I threw out the work-out section I rarely used.

I threw out the meal planner and diet tracker I tried to implement.

I transferred the essential personal information, logs, and endless lists I rarely use, but would like to have -- to my phone.

The only things I have in my planner are a couple pictures of my family, the calendar pages, some yoga sequences I use, and a goal-oriented to-do list. I have a streamlined Moleskine daily planner on the way since I no longer need the binder.

I should've taken a picture of it before to show the monster I used to carry, but I was too busy annihilating useless pages.

My planner should be a tool, not an entity that dictates what I can and cannot do. My planner got me through some hard times, but it also enabled my perfectionism.

My mind is not meant to be structured right now. It used to be, since I needed a place to  keep track of my commitments while simultaneously prove how busy/organized/perfectly insane I was. 

I'm not saying organization is bad -- far from it. I love organization. I'm saying there is such a thing as over-organization and letting it enable perfectionism.

Let go.

Be free.

No one is perfect and you don't have to prove anyone you're as close to perfect as possible.

It's okay.

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19 June 2012

Happily Unmarried

No, I'm not talking gay marriage, though that does apply somewhat.

My question right now is why unmarried couples are looked down upon if they have kids and are unmarried.

Until the recent century, being married was the only way to really even have benefits for one's kids (i.e royalty can't rule if they're born out of wedlock). But this isn't 1897 or medieval Europe...and a ton of couples now co-habitate before getting married across the world. So why is it still a stigma that every child conceived out of wedlock is doomed for a difficult life unless the parents get married?

*Disclaimer: This list is in no way to discount marriage. This post came into fruition from some musings I had on the subject, from my own personal experiences of some reactions about Riley and I co-habitating and the thought process involved in timing marriage and children. 

These reasons are also unrelated to any religious debates which, in this case, are considered applied to only those who follow that respective belief.

I present my top five reasons why people that have kids out of wedlock are looked down upon:

Reason #1. "They're just playing house. If they're committed why not get married?"

"Until death do us part" is pretty solid. Some even go as far as "eternity" in their vows. Wedlock has no key to wedunlock. Marriage is the ultimate "step" in a relationship and, in some perspectives, an achievement. If a couple shuns that, it's seen as a fear of commitment, which is usually looked down upon. In some minds, a baby born into uncommitted parents eventually end up in an orphanage.

Some people argue that love can fade with age and growth. I know someone who put into her vows "until our love shall last" instead of "death do us part." Other people are just content the way things are, without the title of marriage.

Reason #2. "If they can't afford a wedding, how are they going to afford a kid?"

It costs the average couple $26,000 for a ceremony and a party -- excluding the honeymoon (source).  That's a full year's expense for the average 4 year out-of-state American university. That's also double the cost of a decent new car. Or a down payment on a house. 

Some people simply "skip" the wedding bit (including the JOP) and invest their money elsewhere besides a giant party, which can lead to nosy questions about financial capabilities.

Reason #3. "A baby should be planned"

It's no secret that pre-marital sex is probably more prevalent than marital sex (ba dum tsh). Over half of all American pregnancies are unplanned (source) -- and a lot of those are within marriages (otherwise known as a "surprise"). Sometimes it's the result of a one night stand; sometimes it's passionate coitus between a couple in a committed, long-term relationship. Forty percent of babies are born to co-habitating unmarried couples (source). 

Studies have also shown that the firstborn child sometimes pushes the parents apart, bringing stress to the relationship and possibly causing separation and/or divorce. (source).

Reason #4. "A marriage is between a man and a woman"

Ah, the gay marriage debate. Separation of church and state, people -- regardless of your beliefs. As for whether the kids will grow up messed up, well that depends on the personality -- not the sexuality -- of the parents. Some pretty messed up people have been born to heterosexual parents.

Reason #5: "Marriage is better for the child"

Honestly, kids don't know the difference if their parents are married or not -- as long as they're present and together. A kid really isn't going to gripe about how their parents are living together and unmarried (unless some religion comes into play at some point). 

Studies show that kids in traditionally married families have a higher chance of success in life. However, the UK publication The Daily Mail reported:

"[A 2010 study] found the most important factor in a child's development is their parents' background, including their ethnicity, education, social status, wealth and relationship history. And it is couples who are wealthier, healthier and better educated who are more likely to get married. Cohabiting couples tended to be less educated, younger, had a lower household income than married parents, and the quality and stability of their relationship also differed, it added.
A child's success in life is a result of ' differences in the sort of parents who decide to get married rather than to cohabit" Read more

As in the case argued in Reason #4, it's the personality of the parent that produces the outcome of the child. 


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17 June 2012


Four months ago, I was convinced I was finally moving on after being trapped in Flagstaff by debt. I was convinced I was going to begin my life and do what I wanted -- something that had been denied to me for years.

I moved in with Riley and after three months of being in Washington, I realized nothing had really changed in my circumstances from my life before I moved. My work hours were shortened and I went from a long distance relationship with my boyfriend to a long distance relationship with my friends; but as for feeling fulfilled or productive, there was still a sense of emptiness.

I'm still not doing what I really want. I'm only working to pay the bills and possibly have a career in something I'm good at. I'm happy to be reunited with Riley, but he's the only reason I'm here in Washington.

However, within the last three months, I've "shed a skin" so to speak. I have changed, while my circumstances haven't. I've had time to analyze my own thoughts and figure out who this 22 year old woman in limbo really is.

I've had the free time to rediscover myself, something I haven't done in four years. Before, I was working 70 hours a week and the little free time I had was spent with friends or sleeping. It was as if I had put my personal growth on hold and threw myself into a robotic rhythm of daily life.

Since I only knew Riley here, I can step back and see myself independent of my friends' influences and expectations. I had that feeling any person has when going somewhere one hasn't been and doesn't know anyone.

Instead of reinventing myself, as I did my freshman year of college, I rebuilt myself. I rediscovered sides of my personality that I hadn't unearthed in years. Pieces of my character that I had suppressed for reasons ranging from lack of time to insecurity.

It's a beautiful thing to finally know yourself without influence from others. To finally know how to "be yourself" instead of what you think people, society, or divine beings want you to be. Someone's opinion of you only matters if you let it; and if you agree with it and it's negative, change it.

I've embraced that I'm a free spirit, like my late older brother, who left this world three years ago tomorrow. I always thought it was weird he didn't want to be "rooted"; he was constantly on the move and in search for knowledge on topics like cultures and spiritual beliefs.

I've embraced that what I want isn't necessarily traditional; my life has taught me that I'm not a traditionalist anyway, so why try to be one?

I've accepted subjects I'm interested in that seem "off" and learned to cherish them as special things I can enjoy on  my own.

I've learned being alone isn't something to be lamented; it's something to enjoy because it doesn't last long.

I've learned to be okay with who I am and where I am, even if it isn't my first choice.

Be who you are. Forget about those who you want to be like and don't appreciate your quirks and interests. There's bound to be someone out there who accepts you for who you are. Those who don't simply aren't meant to be your friends.

Take advantage of the circumstances that you have, good or bad. There's either a lesson, objective, or reason you are there.

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16 June 2012

Life Lessons from the Arts

Not everyone knows my background in the arts.

Over the course of my life I have:
  • Danced several forms of dance
  • Participated in color guard
  • Played flute...
  • Guitar...
  • Piano...
  • Sang
  • Taken classes for oil and pastel painting
  • Figure skated
  • Went to drama camp
And, of course, going to plays, ballets, operas, musicals, poetry readings, and just about every other type of performance there is.

While reading online, I found this article:

Things I've Learned From the Arts

Which I can say, is pretty dead on for life lessons, not just training in the arts. I figured I'd share it with everyone. Here are my favorites taken from the list:
1. Chasing your dreams is scary, but not chasing them is scarier.
3. When you think something is impossible, try anyway. You might surprise yourself.
5. "Nobody enjoys setting themselves on fire, but when it comes to being passionate about something, it seems like a metaphorical given."
7. If you don't know what to do, just do something.
9. Pour your whole heart into the things you love.
14. You can make the world beautiful.
17. Push yourself. Be uncomfortable.
22. Don't wait for inspiration to hit you. Go out and find it.
24. You don't have to know what you're doing. "Passionate people who don't have it all together change the world."
26. It's okay to be afraid, but don't let it cripple you.
27. Life is exciting and beautiful. Live it.
29. Have fun.
30. Make mistakes.
33. Your vision is endless.
34. Believe in your
35. Never give up.

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15 June 2012

A Little Perspective

We all have bad days. But when those bad days are everyday and it's hard to even get out of bed or off the couch, you may be a little depressed.

I've struggled with depression all my life, and I can tell you it's not fun. When my depression relapses, I don't even want to be around myself, so I can't even imagine what I put my friends and family through. (Love you guys for putting up with me)

Pinned ImageLive in the present, having learned from your past.A M E N .

Depression is more than being sad. It encompasses you, fills you with despair and darkness. You want to cry for no reason and you desperately want to feel better. Ironically, the best treatment for depression is getting out and doing things, which is the last thing you want to do.

Day by day and week by week, you have no desire to do the things you used to enjoy.  Hobbies fall by the wayside, eating and personal hygiene become chores, even getting up and putting a movie into the DVD player seems unworth the effort it takes to drag yourself off the couch ad walk 4 feet over to the media system.

A lot of people discount mental illnesses as mere moods or ungratefulness. Depression is more than low self-esteem or a bad perspective on life. Someone with depression has high and low days, like everyone else. However, the low days tend to outnumber the high days.

Be you, you'll never know who will love you for it. :) #quote #lovePrepare for launch! :-) 

I think of depression -- or any other mental illness -- like a wound in one's side.  One knows it's there, but doesn't think anything of it and leaves it untreated, thinking it'll get better on it's own. Only after it's grown worse, infected and much more serious, does one take it seriously.

As a recovering depressive, I find taking life one day at a time helps a lot. Today I didn't want to get off the couch and go buy myself a treat. After I forced myself to, I relished in the thrill of riding my scooter and the beautiful day we've had here.

Always.It is true!keeping this in mind and looking forward to better days

The wound doesn't heal all at once. It takes time, maybe some help, a lot of honesty, and maybe even some tough love with yourself.

Remember, when you feel you're at rock bottom, the only way to go is up; when things get even worse, they remind you things can always be worse.

If you struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts please call these hotlines. They help, I promise.


Photo quotes taken from my Pinterest board which has been my own form of tough love.

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14 June 2012

New Content

First off:
I really need to get back into the blogging world. I'm sorry, dear readers, whoever you are, that I kind of abandoned you.


I declare that I shall write at least once a week. I think I can commit to that for now.

I'm thinking of changing things up around here. Maybe a more simplistic sophisticated feel would kickstart me into blogging more.

Let me know what you think of the new look!

Other than that, I need to find new material to blog on. This blog started as a record of my daily life and, honestly, my life isn't that interesting. Lately, my life consists of work, AOII advising (now done since summer has started), and spending time with Riley (usually in front of the TV).

Not too exciting. I don't have kids or even fur-babies so my life is as interesting as a dead goldfish.

So I'm going to blog about:

  • What I want for the future. 
  • Cool things I find online.
  • Maybe my past (I like to leave that can of worms alone)
  • My thoughts on current issues
  • My language progress
  • Reviews on things I find interesting (or uninteresting)
I'll still update you on super cool things I do on the irregular so this blog doesn't get too exciting. :)

As for an update:

Riley and I went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway! Whoohoo! Tickets weren't too bad for Terrace seating and we were centered so they were great. (Though, I did want to slap the little girl and her mother behind me because they wouldn't stop talking).

View down to the lobby

The acting, dancing, and singing were fantastic. Better than I've ever seen before -- which is saying something because I've been to a ton of performing art productions. Guess that's why Broadway has it's prestige though!!

I got off work 2 hours early today, which is great and I probably won't miss the money I would've made. As I write this, I'm at home watching Spain kick Ireland in the balls in the Euro Cup. 

It's kind of a personal match between me and Riley since he's Irish and I'm Spanish (genetically anyway). So I'm pretty thrilled to have Spain -- the World Cup champions -- still dominating (even Torres has made a goal!)

I believe the Globe and Mail said "It's like Muhammad Ali fighting a dwarf". Wouldn't it be more accurate to say a matador fighting a leprechaun?

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