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Peace

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Peace

Happy Wednesday! I saw this last night and haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. This is such a great quote in that for me personally, I feel like Im always harping on how I believe things should be and not how they are. When we take a step back and realize it is how it is, we can then learn to embrace where we are in life. Just maybe we can even see that where we are, is right where we are supposed to be.

Hope everyones had a great week so far!

NEDAwareness Week

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Last week marked this year’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week which aims at bringing awareness to preventing and bringing attention to body disorders that affect more and more people each year. Health care providers, support groups, associations and organizations band together to spread the word and help provide easier access to treatment. Eating disorders have always been a hush hush issue in my eyes. You don’t want to bring them up with anyone who may be struggling and even when you do, it seems like it’s something that’s swept under the rug. In light of last week and the realization that more people close to me have been silently struggling for years, I thought I’d share my own story.

Contrary to popular belief eating disorders aren’t always the result of a body image problem. For me, it started as more of a control issue in that I felt like everything around me was falling to pieces and I gripped on to the only thing I had complete control over – my diet. I’ve always been an emotional eater and during the stressors between my junior and senior year of high school it spun out of control. Not eating wasn’t even an option in my eyes, my family and friends would definitely catch on so bulimia seemed like the perfect solution (as I type that I’m cringing – such an altered way to think). I managed to keep it quite the secret and I felt better. I couldn’t control that my grandmother was sick, that I was uprooted for the 8th time in my life and moved to a new state and school in the middle of high school because of my dad’s job, that my sister seemingly hated me, that I had to pick a college and was being pressured to make sure it was the right choice, but I could control what went into my body and what came out.

My freshman year of college I went to a Christian university and had not purged for 5 months. My friends and family still had no idea of my previous struggle, but one day during our floor bible study the words “I have bulimia” came out of my mouth before I even realized what I was saying. I had known a few of the girls on my floor since early middle school and the tears that immediately ran down their cheeks hurt more than I ever thought. I felt like I had let them down, that I had been too weak and disappointed them in some way. I went on to explain how it had come about and how I had been doing well, though the problem never really goes away. I even ended up discussing my journey at a women’s conference, but at the end of the day my family still had no idea. Now that I had started openly talking about the issue, I knew that come Thanksgiving break I would have to tell them.

Needless to say it didn’t really go over all that well. They immediately wanted to pull me out of school and get me into treatment, which I was less then pleased about. I did end up transferring to a university closer to home and went to talk to someone who helped me see that my coping mechanism was in no way going to make the stress go away or life any easier. Back then I liked to think I was over it and that it was a “phase” I was going through. Today, I would have to say it’s true when they tell you eating disorders truly are a disease. Six years later, I still struggle and deal with it every day. I overanalyze what I put in my body and how much. If I have pancakes one day I cut back the next and run an extra couple miles. When I started CrossFit I easily put on 10-15 lb’s of muscle as I fell more and more in love with Olympic lifting and craved higher numbers every time I stepped in the gym. Even though I know my weight has gone up due to muscle gain, I can’t help but look in the mirror and pick myself apart. I even went so far as to take a break from the sport overall for a couple months.

This world can’t wait to point out your flaws. Tell you you aren’t good enough. Your legs are too thick, your stomach not flat enough. It causes us to hate the person looking back at us in the mirror and harp on what makes us unique. I know Im not the only one that struggles, I know I have many close friends who of course comment on their little flaws but are struggling much deeper then they appear. Pile our own self doubt on top of the fact that we all can’t wait to jump and criticize each other and you have a recipe for disaster. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if we could support each other? If we could stop pointing and laughing at the girl who isn’t a perfect size 4?  This year, I made a pledge to begin to love myself for all my imperfections inside and out. To embrace my curves, love the fact that I have a butt and enjoy a burger and a beer after a night out with friends. To know that I’m not the best singer yet can frequently be found belting out Britney’s newest single. To stop getting myself down for the fact that I don’t fit into the same size as my sisters or most of my friends, since when did a 6/8 become a big size? IT’S NOT. For you, I have a request. Strive to do the same. Stop telling yourself all the things you’re not and bring attention to all you ARE. If we can’t figure out how to love ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to? Know you’re beautiful. Unique. We work so hard to be a carbon copy, when in fact we were born to be an original.

Sweet Treats!

Alright ladies and gents, we’re at the end of another week. Congratulations, you survived! Now I don’t know about you but with all my travels lately I can’t wait to do nothing but kick my feet up and throw in a good movie. Well and maybe do a little healthy baking too 🙂

Black Bean Brownies – now these are delicious! I know, I know they sound pretty weird but take my word for it. The first time I made these they were gone within a couple hours. Now I cant take all the credit, my best friend first introduced me to these a couple months ago and then I found the recipe below here!

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sucanat or light brown sugar
1 tsp instant coffee
1/4 + 1/4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips*
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 – 2 TB powdered/confectioner’s sugar for dusting (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9″ x 9″ (8″ x 8″ works too) baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. Leave enough parchment paper on the sides to create a sling. This will make it easier when you lift out the end product.

Add all of the wet ingredients – beans, oil, eggs, and vanilla – together in a blender. Pulse a few times to get the ingredients to come together. Then blend until the mixture is smooth. Add the dry ingredients – cocoa, sugar, coffee, and baking powder to the blender. Pulse a few times again and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add half of the chocolate chips. Pulse a few times again and blend until the mixture is smooth. The chocolate chips do not have to completely disintegrate.

Add the other half of the chocolate chips to the mixture. Mix, NOT blend. You want these to be whole. Alternatively, reserve the chips to sprinkle on top before baking. Pour the batter to a prepared pan. If you chose to reserved the chips, sprinkle them on now. Bake for about 20-23 minutes, until the center is set. Don’t overbake.

Allow the brownie to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Cut them into squares and enjoy them with a glass of milk or a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

Cook’s Note: It’s important that you don’t over-bake these brownies. Due to the nature of the ingredients, the brownies will become powdery or cakey if you over-bake them. Just bake until the center sets.

Black Bean Brownies

Not too much of a brownie fan? Have no fear, because one of my amazing CrossFit coaches (thanks Hil!) has spread the paleo wealth and sent out this recipe for chocolate chip cookies!! You cant even tell they are healthy, and some of my friends request them OVER the other kind.

3 1/2 cups almond flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup raw honey

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven 375. In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients, beating with a whisk or hand mixer. Slowly add wet ingredients to the dry with a hand mixer or fork until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and drop dough onto baking sheet (evenly spaced). Use 1-2 tablespoons of cookie dough depending on desired size. The cookies tend not to spread out a lot while baking, so if you want a flatter, more cookie shaped cookie spread the dough balls into discs before baking. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until done to your liking. Cool on a rack and enjoy!

We also wanted to take this opportunity to ask what YOU want to see on here. We know we’re slacking with the restaurant reviews (we have one brunch spot and at least two dinner places in draft form on reviews so they are coming promise), but what do you want to see more of? Recipes?  Quotes?  Funny life stories? This place is our little sanctuary, but we love the fact that it’s become yours too. Leave us a comment and let us know and within the craziness that is our lives, that we LOVE to share, we’ll fit it in!

Hope everyone has a great Friday night! We just whipped up a batch of brownies and couldn’t be happier 🙂

I guess they’re right when they say ‘time heals all wounds’…

If you had asked me anywhere between a year ago and two months ago what I thought about dating, I would have told you that it’s exhausting, frustrating, a little bit depressing, and completely anxiety-provoking. If you had asked me when I would be willing to consider opening my heart to someone new, I probably would have said ‘it’ll take at least a few years’. If you asked me when I would fully trust someone again, I probably would have said never. It’s interesting and quite amazing how your perspective of things (such as dating) can change over a period of time. In the past year I’ve bounced between feelings of extreme heartbreak and sadness over the loss of someone I loved and at the same time, the complete loss of my sense of self because of the person I loved; a willingness to date others (because I felt that I should), and a feeling of being content with how my life was progressing after said heartbreak. Not once in the past year did I feel hopeful that I would ever find someone who would TRULY make me happy again. I wasn’t sure if I was even capable of trusting someone enough to allow them to make me happy again. That sort of thinking was not only awful and pessimistic, but also not a true indication of who I was…and definitely not who I am now.

A little over seven weeks ago, coincidentally on New Years Eve, Kels and a few other friends approached me about a guy who was coming to our party. I had never met this guy before or even heard of him, but at the time, they all said (with great excitement) that ‘they couldn’t believe they hadn’t thought of this before’ and ‘how we would be perfect together’. I filed the information in the back of my mind like I always did when approached about anything remotely related to dating or relationships. It was New Years Eve and I was surrounded by my closest friends, two kegs, lots of vodka, and a vat (?) of sangria; my number one priority for the night was to have an amazing time and get 2013 off to a great start. Little did I know how right my friends were at the time…

After totally hitting it off and exchanging numbers, I started talking with this new guy almost every day. I wasn’t thrown off or frightened by the pace at all…in fact, new texts from him were welcomed with a smile and I could feel myself getting excited anytime I heard my phone ring. I suddenly realized I hadn’t felt that way in a long time and it was quite a refreshing change. I was finally starting to feel hopeful again.

We saw each other a couple times over the next few weeks and got along as if we had known each other for years. I loved every moment that I spent with him and was always disappointed when we would have to return to our respective states. The more I learned about him, the more I wanted to know. I couldn’t get enough. The best part was, he felt the same way and I knew this because he TOLD ME. It’s hilarious how something so small as telling someone how you feel can really be a game changer. It almost seemed too good to be true after what I experienced during the last few years of my life. There never was confusion about how he felt and feels about me, and I him. There’s also no confusion about the fact that I want him to move to Boston so I can see him all the time.

Valentines Day came around and I was slightly anxious as my Valentine’s Day last year was quite memorable…in the worst way. Instead of receiving a romantic love note or even some gesture that someone was thinking of me, I received the news of ‘Dearest Ariel, I’ve found someone new. She’s a 30 year old physician, she’s wonderful, and you will never compare. Sorry!’ Oh and did I mention this happened during the first week of my dream job? But this year was so much different. I received a call at around 6:15am and was told to look under my mattress for something that was left for me the weekend before. Not only was his approach for delivering the card the most exciting and thoughtful approach I’ve ever seen, but inside was a hand-written poem. At that point, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I think it is safe to say that I put in my time and am now getting what and who I truly deserve.

It’s funny how life can catch you off-guard; sometimes in a bad way and sometimes in an amazing way. I have no idea what my future will bring and I have no expectations for how things will end up, but if you asked me now what I thought about dating, I would say that you have to kiss a lot of frogs once to find someone who is worth kissing again. If you asked me now when I would be willing to consider opening my heart to someone new, I would say that it’s already starting to happen. If you ask me now when I would fully trust someone again, I would probably say that it will still take a little while, but is definitely going to happen one day. I knew the time would come when I would look back on my horrific (understatement) past and smile at how it is no longer my present…and I think that day has arrived. I still carry the scars of what I’ve been through, but they make me appreciate the amazingly thoughtful, caring, and honest guys that enter my life THAT much more.

“Your Friends are the Family you Choose”

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Rel’s friend got her that quote on a canvas for Christmas last year and it sits above our coach on a shelf. As I strolled lazily (totally a word – in my world at least) into our living room this morning, cursing the sun for coming up to quickly signalling the real world was calling, I couldn’t help but smile as that was one of the first things I saw. These past few months have been a constant reminder of just how true that is in my life.

Now I have an amazing family. A mom and dad that have given me so many great traits and are goofy for days, that I really do enjoy hanging out with, and have taught me to be the strong woman I proudly say I am. Two sisters who amaze me every day with the challenges they overcome, how much they’ve grown, and how beautiful they are as they find their niche in life and get older. I miss them a lot as I now live a couple hours away and we’re all busy with our own lives, but I take comfort in the fact that I STILL come home to a family every night though it may be different. My roommates have become so much more to me than just the girls who live down the hall. We rarely go more than an hour without texting, g-chatting, facebooking, and snapchatting (if Lans ever gets her shit together – Behks and I would greatly appreciate it). And I find that at the end of the day whether it be good, bad, or mediocre I cant wait to come home. Family dinners, late night work sessions together in the living room, or even just hanging out in Rel’s bed while I read and she does homework is what makes the bad days a little better and the good days great.

A couple weeks ago I took a long anticipated trip to NYC. I say long anticipated because they are a whole different kind of family that I’ve been missing for months. We were all on a not so great, long term engagement when we first started with our Firm and made a connection that rivals that of college friends you spend years with. As we all dispersed onto new projects, we did our best to stay in touch but life happens. You get busy, fall into a new and most likely opposite schedule, and it gets harder to make the time to keep in contact like you use to. The best part is that the minute we’re all in the same room, it’s like nothing ever changed. The eight months we hadn’t seen each other seemed like days and we picked up where we left off. Girl’s brunch was full of random chatter, tears from laughing and reminiscing on the craziness that was our lives just a year ago. Meeting up with the guys nothing changed as we were all just as rowdy, going through the city arm in arm, and excited to see where the night will take us. It’s funny how meeting someone at first can seem so insignificant, but now looking back I can’t picture not having them in my life. Not being able to banter back and forth, call each other after weeks and still get the same great advice, planning trips and laughing at the ones we’ve already taken (the bottom picture below is a little reunion shot from the group who went to Mardi Gras – what an adventure). I’m pretty damn lucky that I have them, and I doubt they will ever realize how much just knowing them has made me a better person. Some of the toughest times in my life overlapped seeing them every week, and it’s because of that I was able to push through and keep smiling. I’ll love them forever for that.

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Now this past weekend was the real kicker in the “WOW, how am I so lucky that this is my life.” Rel and Lan’s have a group of guy friends from college that decided to pull together and organize a ski trip. Lucky for me, I had met a couple of them and they were so great and invited me to tag along. Going into this I have to admit I was a little nervous. I really didn’t know more than 5 of the 16 people going and wasn’t sure how it was going to play out. I get along with pretty much anyone, but everyone already had such deep roots established. I couldn’t have been more wrong as more and more people arrived at the house and it was clear that for this one weekend the rest of the world didn’t matter and we were all going to be family. Night one us girls had already banded together and planned out the meals for the rest of the weekend and people that were just introduced were already laughing and snapping selfies of each other with random cameras on the counter. It only got better as we started exploring the town, skiing, bobsledding (picture below to prove it – AWESOME; highly recommend it), snow shoeing, lazy movie watching, and starting up Twister competitions. At one point during the last night when a dance party had just wrapped and we were on to another card game, Lans and I looked at each other and exclaimed at the same time “HOW is this our life!” A year ago, never could I have ever thought I would be in a house in Lake Placid with these people. Heck a year ago I didn’t even know most of these people existed! Now here I am wishing I was still there.

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Moral of the story – I am SO LUCKY to have these people in my life. To be able to travel and get away from the city for a weekend and kick it in a house at an address that google doesn’t even recognize. To come home to roommates who love me like a sister and would be there in a second if ever I needed them. To have family in different cities, near and far, and know no matter what our friendship will always be there. No matter how much or little I see these people they are my family. They are the family I choose to supplement what I’m already lucky enough to have.

Thought Catalog has some serious gems available, and this one is no exception. I find that when Im lost and cant really figure it out, they’ve already outlined a pick me up or a little something to make me smile and help me through the day. Here are 21 things we all need and we all should remember. Im fortunate enough to be able to put a name or thing with each of these during some point in my life. I dont think I’d be who I am today without it. Enjoy!

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Einstein Knows Best

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It’s been a particularly rough couple weeks for me with trying to balance work with life and manage to keep my sanity. I stumbled upon this quote today and it made me smile and remember to slow downnnnnnnn! I tend to hype myself up and get in a tizzy easily when stressed and this helped me breathe.

On a side note, we are LOVING all of your comments. Keep em coming! 🙂

Heartbreak Hotel

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This past year I have had a lot of learning in this department and have found heartbreak presents itself in a multitude of different ways.

Personal Heartbreak

As I’ve mentioned previously, I had my first big kid heartbreak this year which spawned the ride of a lifetime and quick move to Boston. I’ve been sitting here mulling over how to put this, what it felt like and how I got over it, but to be honest I don’t really think there are words for it. It hurt. Bad. And a lot. It does for everyone who has to go through it. It’s a pain you can’t describe, a loss you think about constantly, and it happens to everyone at one point in their life. For me it was a little different because my immediate reaction was to throw myself into something new (aka moving) so it took a little longer for it to set in. How I describe it is I did the breakup process ass backwards – things I do not recommend. So there I was, five months after the fact and I finally realized I had nothing else to distract me and I had to face this dark cloud. First instinct – run home to mom. I didn’t even make it in the door before she came at me with a monster of a hug and tears running down her face to match mine. My mom’s pretty great. She knew I had yet to even touch the issue, but let me go about it in my own way. My stubbornness tells me to “rub some dirt on it and get back in the game” when in reality, you gotta face your demons. So, almost a year later and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t still sting. I didn’t just lose a boyfriend, I lost my high school best friend and it has yet to be determined if we’ll ever really be a part of each other’s lives again. I no longer think it makes me sound weak to say I still miss him and his family, how could I not? They made me a better person by having them in my life. Now looking back on it, he was 100% right. We weren’t right for each other, at least the people we were then (I can say I’ve changed – I’m sure he has too). This is going to sound a little odd and I’m sure many of you are going to think “GIRL – YOU ARE CRAZY,” but I’m glad I had my heart broken. I had to start over and figure out life with just me to worry about. I’m glad I got the chance to pick the pieces up and start again and finally see that I hadn’t been myself and that I really didn’t know who I was. This past year, being on my own and not having anyone else to worry about has been refreshing and I’ve learned more about myself then I realized was left to know. I enjoy writing (who knew?), sitting in a coffee shop off Tremont and people watching for hours, travelling for fun vs. just for work and seeing our world, painting my nails wacky colors just because I can, I love to cook, walking through the lights on Newbury St and in Fanheuil Hall during the winter, hiking, wine, and late nights with friends I didn’t know existed a year ago. These all seem like such small things, but for me they have been the big things this past year. The things I never knew I loved before because I had been working so hard to be what I thought someone else wanted me to be. If I had to have my heart broken to figure out those things, I’d do it again.

Watching a Heartbreak

I had a conversation with Lans one night about whether or not it’s harder to go through a heartbreak yourself or, knowing how it feels, watching someone you love go through it. I still haven’t really determined the answer to this as I think they are both awful in different ways. After going through my own saga a few months earlier, watching my little sister have to go through it was one of the most painful experiences for me. I will never forget the day she came home from college to find that her first love had a new girlfriend. The tears and the shaking soon followed and not just for her, for me too. I remember going into her room and not having any words to say. How do you tell your little sister it’s going to be alright, when you don’t even believe it in your own story yet. I sat next to her in an overstuffed chair and just held her as we both cried for an hour. I would have done anything in that moment to take away her pain. Anything to take the helplessness and the unworthy feeling I knew she had in her heart from her and stack it on top of mine. I could tell her everything happens for a reason, he can’t love her like he loved you, you’re meant for so much more than this, and a serious of other short quips I had been telling myself ever since I found out a new girl had taken my place. I also knew they wouldn’t mean a thing and that no matter how hard I tried to get her to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it just had to hurt for a bit. I have a theory that when something bad happens, everyone gets a day. Pitch your tantrums, cry your eyes out, drown yourself in the world’s biggest cup of froyo, whatever you have to do in that day to make yourself feel better. Then you wake up in the morning and you paint a smile on your face and take a step towards getting over it. After that day, you have to do everything you can to pull yourself together and be strong. With true grace and beauty as she always does, my sister did just that.

Friendship Heartbreak

This is one that hits closer to home at the moment. What I mean when I say this is when a friend you care for deeply walks away for one reason or another, or even you yourself make the choice to take that step. Whether it be a fight, distance, what have you the bond and closeness deteriorates and fades into a memory. Re-reading that it seems kind of dramatic, but as I sit here and go over my recent break with a friend that’s how I really see it. The time we spent together, the chats we had, and even being able to look across the room and know he understood exactly what I was thinking – all a memory. Its rare you find friendships that will withstand pretty much anything, and when you do you have to hold on to them closely. The hard part is life is tough, and it wears on the weakest points in every relationship. Sometimes it wears on you so much the things that bind you break. Could I be any more elusive? You get the gist.

26 Fun Facts About Grad School

Of course, as I spend my Sunday morning on thoughtcatalog.com instead of reading two chapters of accounting, I found this hilarious article…which made not doing my homework totally worth it.

26 Fun Facts About Grad School

Being a grad student is twice the work of being an undergrad and only half of the fun. No, I’m just kidding — it’s none of the fun.

I hope you like reading. Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha! Excuse me while I jump out of a high window with the five weighty text books I’ve been assigned this semester strapped to my torso.

This won’t happen as I have all my books on my iPad…shout out to AJ and UC!

You have no idea where the f—k anything on your campus is except the two or three buildings you have class in.

Fact.

Despite what you may have learned as an undergrad, Thursday night is a weeknight. You’re expected to wake up early and get stuff done the next day and everything. Crazy, right?

Ohhh how the glorious days of Nickel Night are so far behind me.

You’re also expected to refrain from drinking Sunday through Wednesday — including day drinking. Seriously.

Yeah, I’m way too old for that anyway…

There’s a good chance that you’re a commuter student. Enjoy lugging 60 lbs of text books with you every day and dealing with gas prices/parking/public transportation. Remember that you are paying exorbitant amounts of money for these privileges.

Yep….and for this exact reason, I own a backpack…but in my defense it could be worse! Like if it were a wheelie backpack…

Believe it or not, you actually have high expectations for the rigor and quality of your classes. Having a half-witted, drooling simpleton for a teacher has lost a bit of its luster, even if they are an easy grader. You find yourself wondering, “What did I get from this class? Was it really worth my time?”

BU B-School Professors > UConn B-School Professors with the exception of Rex, Kramer, and Richard Kochanek…we love you Dick!

You have absolutely no school spirit. You’re pretty sure your school’s colors are a light color and a dark color, but you can’t remember which ones. You also think your school’s mascot is a half-man, half-goat with black eyes that tells you to burn things, but, then again, you haven’t slept for days because you have five finals next week. Maybe you should go take a nap or something.

I wish this were true but I have so much school spirit that I look like a college freshman at times…

You also have no knowledge of campus events. When you see people gathering joyously in the school plaza, you’re not sure if they are celebrating a national football title/tuition decrease/campaign victory, recreating the end of an 80s comedy, or just overturning a pharmaceutical delivery truck filled with Adderall.

Speaking of which, you got any Adderall? It’s, uh, for a friend… Ned. Ned Pillow.

There’s one student that everyone in your program hates and loves to gossip about.Since graduate school usually means taking a lot of classes with the same people, this is a nice way to give everyone something to talk about. You hear things like: “God, did you see that skirt she wore yesterday? This is grad school, not a frat party!” and “If she raises her hand one more time, I’m gonna throw my desk at her. Like, the entire desk.”

If you don’t think the above is true, you are that person.

If you’re not in a serious relationship, you’ve started to feel really, really self-conscious about the percentage of your classmates that are in serious relationships.

Yep.

You periodically return to where you did undergrad for a fun-filled weekend with your old friends. You leave completely amazed that you were able to live like that for four years.

Yep.

You’ve gotten to know your professors a little too well, including a lot of unnecessary details about their personal lives. They might even invite you over to their house for dinner with their family one day. You may think this is a little odd at first, but you’ll justify it as a good opportunity to further a relationship that could be beneficial to you. But you shouldn’t, because they’re probably planning to kill you. Try and remember: did they say “I’d love for you to come over and have dinner with my family” or “My family and I would love to have you for dinner”? Think hard, because this is the difference between Mr. Feeny and Hannibal Lecter.

Your daily planner looks less like the responsibilities of one person and more like the projected plans of a small government or Fortune 500 company.
You drink coffee. Large, large cups of dark, dark coffee. “Thank god for caffeine!” you shout nervously at confused strangers, attempting to conceal your involuntary facial twitches as you take enormous strides down crowded hallways.
Your professors and advisors continually make cryptic remarks about the importance of a resume/cover letter/portfolio/etc. You spend a great deal of time fretting over what is essentially the corporate version of a Facebook profile.
You’ve done some truly inspired doodling, including that sketch of an urbane giraffe wearing a three-piece suit that you swear was a work of art but you’re pretty sure you accidentally threw out.
You’ve developed incredible arcane, esoteric knowledge that is only useful in a professional/academic capacity. You overhear people at social gatherings talking about “last night’s game” or The Avengers, and you interject with observations about the complex nature of post-colonial economics or the sculptures of the Byzantine Empire.

People look at you funny and slowly slink away, avoiding eye contact.
You fondly remember the time when it seemed acceptable to wear sweatpants and a t-shirt to class.
Due to your overwhelming schedule, you’ve had to sacrifice old habits like healthy eating, recreational sports, and working out. Somewhere around February, you looked down and realized that you are the size of a mid-level commercial airliner. But don’t fret, that IKEA bean bag chair you call a stomach makes a nice paperweight for holding your text books open while you read.
You’ve made a few really good friends. But, you’ve also met a lot of people that are really more acquaintances than friends. I mean, they’re cool and all, but they’re not going on your MySpace Top 8 or anything.
You realize that you squandered a lot of opportunities as an undergrad.
You’re pretty sure that “graduate student” is an oxymoron, but you didn’t realize it until your final semester.
You’re probably excessively worried about that thesis/final project/research paper your program requires for graduating, but you shouldn’t be — you’ll be dead long before then. TC mark

How I survived my first week of GTL…

I started this post after my first class ended on January 22nd and at the time, was thinking ’16 hour days aren’t that bad…I feel great! I can definitely keep this up for the next 3 years!’ At the time, I half expected to be so tired by the end of the day that I would somehow fall asleep on the landing between the second and third floors of my apartment building and not even make it back to my bed that had been calling my name since I left it at 4am that morning. At the time, I thought my idea of GTL…gym, taking care of business (work), and learning (class) made perfect sense. Just keep yourself so busy that you don’t even realize how tired you are, right?! Those were famous last words! Just a side note, public transportation in the wonderful city of Boston, Massachusetts does not start early enough to get me to a 6am gym session (40 minutes away) by 6am…I definitely should have thought that one through first. Not only did I miss the one bus that could get me to the training session remotely on time, but I also had to turn around and walk to the T which was 3/4 of a mile in the opposite direction while shuffling my feet to avoid slipping on ice while carrying 30lbs of stuff (to be honest, I’m not even sure what I brought) on each shoulder….oh, and it was 10 degrees out (not including the wind chill).

Cue the next morning when I wake up to Ilana’s text message at 7:15 am (I’m usually on the bus at around 6:45), get dressed in 6 minutes, catch the bus with no makeup on (don’t worry world, I put some on when I got to work), and had to wait 15 extra minutes because the usually reliable red line had come to a complete stop due to a disabled train at the station I needed to go to…awesome. When I finally sat down at my desk with a large coffee in hand (insert sigh of relief), I thought I was home free. What’s a half an hour late to work when I log additional hours on most other days? I had to remind myself that it was really FINE. I didn’t miss any meetings, I didn’t sleep til noon (which I probably would have done if it wasn’t for Ilana), and it’s quite possible that no one even noticed my tardiness as I sprinted through my office doors, disheveled as ever (which, come to think of it, happens more often than not). My thoughts must have jinxed me because 5 seconds later, my large coffee (which I desperately needed to ingest) was knocked ALL over my desk with piping hot toasted almond coffee (with skim milk and 2 equal) barely missing my brand new iPhone 5…oh yeah, and soaking half the important papers on my desk. Fortunately, I think my stream of bad luck ended there.

After my 6am gym debacle, I smartened up and decided to switch the time to 7:30am. I have come to terms with the fact that I will be slightly late for work once a week. It’s okay…I’m not missing anything, I’m not hurting anyone, and it’s something I NEED to do in order to keep my marbles…which I fear I’m losing by the day (if anyone finds them, let me know). Classes are great and the homework has already started pouring in (anyone remember how to do accounting??) but I’m working towards finding my groove for the next 3 years, and trying not to oversleep in the process.