rants

All Aboard the Inept Express

I’ve been having a sort of writer’s block lately. Not sure if it’s the heat getting to me or if I am just really lacking inspiration. I guess I can say I haven’t had a rant post (and I mean truly a rant post) in quite some time and something happened recently that certainly deserves a rant post (and a few expletives that will remain untyped).

As you may know from previous posts, if I’ve even mentioned it before, I take public transportation. It’s reliable, for the most part, and it does save me money. That is of course, if the people selling you tickets can do the most basic math equation (adding) and if the people you talk to can socialize with humans. Knowing my luck, I get just the opposite.

I used to buy these monthly passes for the line I ride, but for some reason (increase in fares) they don’t sell them anymore. I, unaware of this as a lowly passenger who knows nothing, set off to the station to buy my July monthly pass. My boyfriend was with me for moral support.

At the ticket booth, I had my boyfriend ask for the pass I normally get. The woman (who I will name Moonpie, which is a name as ridiculous as the person who sold me the tickets) seemed completely complexed. She might have suspected we were asking for a trip to Timbuktu.

“Well you see, we don’t have those.”

Oh, well, why not? I might question. Do you just not sell those in this city? Can I buy them somewhere else? Do I have to keep asking you questions? Do you even work here?

With a series of those questions, she finally got to the point that they have “abolished” (using some big words there, Moonpie!) those monthly passes. Well shoot, what am I supposed to buy now? I explained to her that I used to buy these tickets that were cheaper than paying for a one-way ride on the train. She had to discuss this with another employee, and by discuss, I mean shout to the person in the opposite end of the ticket booth.

I’m just going to interput and say that I normally do not complain about anyone working in establishments/companies. People work hard in jobs no one else really wants and unless you are in someone else’s shoes, you can’t really critique the job they are doing. That being said, if you are expecting a service, or product, and it isn’t even close to your satisfaction, or if you are dealing with someone who is either rude or just completely inept, I think it’s your constitutional right to complain until your lungs hurt.

Now, back to the obnoxious screaming.

“HEY JULIE (her name was not Julie and I could care less because she couldn’t help at all) IF SHE WANTS TO GET TICKETS THAT ARE ONE WAY DKFJDKAIEKAKDKAHAHA AHAHEIWWW OOO OOO AHH AHH”

That’s what it sounded like to me at least.

She told me what type of tickets were my option. Then she showed me two different versions and asked me which one did I think I should have. Moonpie, I don’t know which ticket I used before, you should know! She had no idea. I told her again where I was going (point a to b) and she said “Okay, it’s this ticket.”

I then explained to her (using big hand gestures) that “I go from blank to blank and I ride blank days a week, round trip. How many tickets should I buy?”

The math was just way too complex so she needed to take out her handy dandy calculator, much like I did in my basic trigonometry course in college. After doing some complex algebraic equations, graphing parabolas, figuring out limits and imaginary numbers, she concluded that I should get 12 tickets, round trip. Well thank you Moonpie, you just saved me money!

She lined up my tickets, one by one, and told me my total of $78. Hot dog! What a bargain. I then asked (and then asked twice more) “These are round trip, right?” And she said, “Yes.” She also reminded me (three times) that these tickets were being issued to me given the information I had told her. Well, nothing wrong with that, I gave you correct information and you gave me correct tickets! I thanked Moonpie and went on my merry way.

Long story short, I got on the train for work the next day, and handed the conductor/ticket guy my ticket. He punched it

AND THEN WALKED AWAY. Literally, walked right out of the car I was in and into the next one. He took my ticket. Meaning, my tickets were not round trip, like I had needed and requested and “purchased.” Holding back tears and vomit, I asked the train conductor, “Aren’t these tickets round trip?” And he said, “Oh no, these are only one way.” I then explained my situation, that Moonpie had completely effed up, to say it nicely, and he told me, “Oh yeah, you were WAY overcharged.”

Thanks.

You know when you watch those court shows, and you see how people are always screwed over hardcore, and yet it’s their own fault? Well, that’s sort of me in this predicament and I’ll tell you why. First, I paid with cash (which I never do) so I didn’t get a receipt, and of course forgot to ask for a handwritten one. Second, I trusted that someone working for this public transportation company had any brains at all to help me figure out what tickets I need. Everyone with this company either has attitude, or expects you, the patron/rider/customer to know what buy. I’m sorry, but I’m only 19. I have no clue what every ticket costs/looks like, nor do I know what every zone is, every line is, etc. That is your job. You are supposed to help me, and if you can’t, please find another profession so you don’t continue to screw people out of money.

So, lesson learned. Never pay with cash, or always ask for receipts. No matter where you go. Even if you get Chinese food, or buy a candy bar from a drugstore. Just get a flipping receipt. Then, if you do experience a problem, you just saved your butt because you now have proof of purchase. I, on the other hand, will probably not be seeing the money I was overcharged. And it’s my own fault, because I trusted the people who were supposed to being doing their job. Also, if you are looking for deals when using public transportation, know exactly what you are supposed to get. Don’t expect people working to know, they’re clearly not trained to do that. Who knows, I’ve heard the state I’m in has the worst public transportation services, so maybe it’s better somewhere else.

Thanks for listening to another rant about how I expect people to do the jobs they were trained to do, and experience their failure to do so.

 

Check out a funny Seinfeld video of Elaine freaking out on the subway.

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Old Shoes

Sometimes you just find your mind wandering to old memories or things of the past, and you can’t help but sit and think. In the short span of time I have been alive, I’ve figured out some things of relationships. I know I’m not older and wiser, but I know I’ve had my fair share of experiences in the subject, and I’ve concluded one of the worst parts about break-ups or ending relationships is seeing them happy without you.

Even though I know that the relationships I ended were for the best, it still kills me to see them fine without me. I don’t know what I anticipated them doing without me, but I guess I wanted them to miss me like I miss them.

I saw an old friend at the gym the other day, and I couldn’t believe how different he looked. We parted ways years ago, but still inside of me I couldn’t help but feel anger towards him for throwing away the relationship we had. I wanted him to see that I was an older and happier without him, but he wouldn’t look my way. I wanted to be the one that was better off. I wanted him to be the same slightly overweight, fun-loving guy who liked my company and I hoped that upon glancing at me, maybe he would feel something about our past friendship.

I had this friend (ironically one who I am no longer friends with) who said, “Everything happens for a reason.” This phrase gets tossed around so often it’s hard for me to even believe it anymore. But, I have come to realize that everything does happen for a reason, and I wish I could thank her for always telling me that.

It’s hard to live a life where you tell yourself the bad things that happen are for a reason. Maybe your religion tells you that a higher being is doing things for a reason, or maybe you just believe you have this predetermined path set aside for you; either way the bad stuff still hurts for some time.

There have been so many things that have already impacted my life at such a young age, it’s hard to imagine how things will get when I’m older. I know to some I’m young and naiive and I have yet to endure the hardships that others will experience, and maybe eventually, myself. Something I have experienced is the ever-continuing loss of friendships in my life, something I nor anyone else can control.

You can say high school changes people, college, marriage, children; change is inevitable. It’s how we deal with the change that determines the marks we make on the relationships of our lives. Relationships are so crucial to our lives, and it’s certainly not a new discovery. We are taught to share in pre-school, treat others with fairness in grade school, build relationships in high school, and form long-lasting bonds in college. From there, we learn to make meaning of our lives, and then hopefully take the relationships we’ve made along on our journeys.

I’ve had friendships that have been so great and wonderful, but after awhile they just fell to pieces. It’s like a favorite pair of shoes. You buy new shoes and they’re so perfect, and then eventually they become worn down, tattered, old. You want something new, you want to replace the old. But, you know that would be so wrong, you want to fix them and turn them into what they once were. So maybe you try to tape them, glue them, tie them up in a way that they almost look new. This bandaid-technique works only for so long, and then they break again, and you’re left wondering if all that trying was for nothing. All that wasted mending, for what? Sore feet.

I can’t help but think I’ve made mistakes that I will never learn from, but I hope in time I can. Whenever I think that I’ve done something terribly wrong (in regards to my losing of friends) I think of what Demi Lovato did to her circle of friends. After rehab, Lovato turned on her phone and expected tons of texts to flow in, but instead she only had a few from close friends. She took a hard look at all of her relationships at that moment. She realized most of them didn’t have her best interest in mind, so she sifted through them and found her most faithful buddies. I like to think this is what I have been doing all along.

As I finish up the summer, I will enter my junior year of college, which means only two years left of college. I know this is a long time, but still this will go by so fast and before I know it, I will have to be ready for the real world. That’s what life is all about, moving on to the next step. I think relationships are the same way, you either move on with them, keeping up with the fast times, or you let them go.

So, for the friends that I couldn’t keep in my circle, I’m sorry. I’m sorry your best interest wasn’t in me, because I can assure you, you were always in mine. I don’t think I will ever truly forget how I chose to move on. I chose to make my life the way I want it, without you. I chose to end the five year relationship that I thought would only grow. I don’t think I will ever stop thinking about you, about us, or about the mistakes that I made; the mistakes that we made.

I tried to fix our relationship as best as I could, but there’s only so much tape and glue can do.

Sleeping with Lions

I am constantly amused and, in most cases, distraught, at the way my cats behave at night.

I have probably mentioned several times that I have two cats. Florence is only a little over a year old, and Zooey just turned one year.

Cats are nocturnal, which is rather unfortunate for any human who wants to get a full nights sleep. Dubbed house-cats, they certainly have not lost their wild-animal behaviors. They go on the prowl, snoozing all day and stalking at night. The use their fangs and claws, to show they mean business, and they are always ready to save me from a dangerous ant or fly.

They nap a good 16-20 hours a day, sleeping in hidden locations so they cannot be seen by other predators (the vacuum and brush being a common threat).

Then, at night, the hunt begins.

To start, Florence will be napping in her usual 11 p.m. location, which is either one of our couches or under a desk. Zooey comes to wake her partner-in-crime up, typically by going into the kitchen to get a snack before their late-night escapades.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can't they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can’t they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

Upon hearing this, Florence wakes up, does some pre-romping yoga and will typically trot around until Zooey is done.

And, just when I think everything will be normal, just for once, they start.

They chase each other back and forth, from the front of the house to the back, clambering into anything that may have gotten in their way. They run up and down the stairs; thump thump thump thump THUMP and then launch themselves around the corner to do it again.

Then they roll around. Zooey will pounce on Florence, and Florence will lunge at her like two lions fighting for the last bit of zebra. As they tussle, toss and turn on the floor, they meow and hiss and growl–and then stop for a brief moment, just to lick each others fur out of their toes.

It’s all good fun, for them at least.

I’m glad they like playing together, but if they could understand human-talk, I would plead, “Do you have to do this at 12 a.m.?” I snuggle into my bed at somewhere around 1 a.m., hearing silence that I have been longing for. But then, Zooey decides to go to the “watering hole,” which in my house is either the leaky sink or the fish tank. This makes more noise, either the clanking of dishes in the sink or the glub glub glub of the fish tank filter being unplugged.

Zooey also picked up a wonderful habit, which includes leaping from a chair and latching onto our hanging basket plant. If I didn’t fear the safety of the plant and ceiling, I would say this Tarzan move is hilarious.

Although domesticated and living in the comforts of our little abode, I can say these felines will never truly lose their wild side. The question is, when will my lions ever let me have some rest?

Confessions of a Not-so-Teenager Twi-Hard

You know that one thing that you have in your life that you know is bad, but you love it anyway? Call it a guilty pleasure, if you must.

Well. I’m here to admit, no matter what I have said in the past, but I have a guilty pleasure, I know it’s bad, but I must come out with it: I’m a Twilight fan.

Let me defend my case here, before you decide you never want to read anything I write again.

I’m going to start by saying the movies have the worst acting, and the books are no literary works of genius. Yes, Edward sparkles and Bella is moody. Yes, their love story is stupid, predictable, and yet unrealistic. Everything about the movies, books, merchandise, you name it, it isn’t worth the time of day.

Bet your wondering why I just admitted to being a fan and then bashed it, right?

The reason I love Twilight is because it’s nostalgic. It reminds me of those painful tween-early teenager years where I didn’t fit in and all I wanted was a “true love.” Twilight stands for a time period of my life where I could read stupid novels and not be ridiculed, both publicly and privately. There was no worrying about whether reading a certain type of novel would damage your reputation, and you certainly didn’t need to hide the hard-cover editions and your poster of Taylor Lautner every time Jessica from gym class came over.

Me, 2010. Camping, somewhere north, maybe? In the height of my Twilight craze, here you can see me crouching as I hunt (I'm clearly a vampire).

Me, 2010. Camping, somewhere north, maybe? In the height of my Twilight craze, here you can see me crouching as I hunt (I’m clearly a vampire).

Truth is, why does anyone care how bad a novel is or a movie? No one is forcing you to watch it, or read it (unless they assign it for English 101). My point is, I’m tired of people looking at me like I’m crazy just because I like a corny romance that just so happens to include wolfish, shiny and/or pale faced boys. I’ve had people say, “You like Twilight??” Hey now, just because I enjoy The New Yorker, Earl Grey tea, and my go-to hairstyle is a coiled bun, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some poorly written vampire saga.

There are several confessions I’d like to make at this time. Yes, I had a poster of Taylor Lautner, shirtless (I had to take it down once I started dating Colin). Yes, I have all of the books, and I have read them cover-to-cover four times. And yes, I have Twi-hard merchandise, including a “Team Lautner” necklace and purse, and I have a tote bag with Bella and Edward on it.

Did you just lose respect for me? Well, you probably shouldn’t, in fact…you should gain some respect for me. The fact that I love one of the world’s most hated piece of entertainment and I’m not afraid to admit it is pretty gutsy.

I finished Breaking Dawn Part 2 (that’s the movie) and let me tell you it felt good. There were those obvious scenes that I rolled my eyes at, or mocked (Kristen Stewart’s angry voice and “Bella and Edward” having sex) but overall I was happy with how it ended. It’s a little bittersweet, having both the books be completed as well as the movies. Good news is, there is always Netflix or a rainy day for me to start it all over!

So, it’s okay to like things that people loathe. In fact, I think this is what makes us human. I stopped liking Twilight because it’s what everyone else was doing. I figured I couldn’t have people thinking badly of me, so I switched to more popular series like The Hunger Games or to authors like James Patterson. But, I’m a closet Twi-hard no longer. If this is what makes me, well, me, then so be it!

“Death is peaceful, life is harder,”Twilight 

Trying to Put on my Happy Face

A co-worker of mine explained to me the best way to understand why people are rude to those in “customer service” type jobs. She said that most of the time, a person doesn’t mean to be rude, but that throughout their day a serious of events that were probably unpleasant occurred and we just happened to be the ones that they chose to lash out on.

My belief is that they just aren’t nice people to begin with.

I can understand what she means though. Sometimes I get in bad moods and take it out on others. But, I certainly never have acted the way some people act in public. Frankly, it’s just embarrassing.

There is a difference between being rude to someone because they deserve it (come on, you know the people) and being rude to someone because they are doing their job. I’m 19, do you really think I’m the one that created all the rules, regulations, policies, etc.? I really don’t care about any of them, but it’s my job to make sure you, as a customer, visitor, patron, follow them.

So, arguing or yelling or belittling that person is simply a waste of time.

I think what bothers me the most is the lack of patience and understanding people have. No one wants to take the time to understand why things are the way they are. Companies have policies for a reason.

There have been numerous accounts of me explaining to someone one of our policies, and I say they have the option of talking to my supervisors, but instead they choose to yell at me or say they don’t have the time for that. But they did have the time to yell at me and make me feel bad for something I can’t control…

Sometimes, this is how I feel at work.

Sometimes, this is how I feel at work.

I’m an extremely personable person, and I always try my best to make each person that comes in to my work (I’m trying to not really mention my job so people don’t think I’m bad-mouthing where I work–I love where I work!) but sometimes it gets hard when people make me feel so bad. Being the bearer of bad news is never a fun thing, and although I have worked at this place for three years, it’s not getting any easier.

I love almost everyone that comes into my work. As a result of my friendliness, I’ve even made friendships. But, I’ve also been called stupid, and gotten comments like, “How long have you even worked here” and “Is there someone better to talk to?” I’ve also gotten yelled at over the phone, and in person (always a fun time).

My one co-worker today had one “customer” yell at her, including the 13-14 year old daughter with her, about something that she had no control over. After they finished being extremely rude, they just walked out and said they were never coming back. My co-worker just went on with the rest of her day. She also had another woman roll her eyes and talk back, something I’m not sure I would have been able to tolerate, but there my co-worker was, acting like nothing even happened (wish I had her willpower).

I think you could say that it takes practice to handle customer service jobs. I think it also takes understanding that there are people out there that really don’t care about your feelings, and they will do anything to either prove they are better than you, or prove that they are right. It’s a hard thing to cope with if you are a person who only tries to be nice to others. I wish I could advise these people, if you feel like you are in a bad mood, please do not go out in public.

‘Leaving a Mark’ on This Blank Page

Although much of my complaints is work or school work, I have to say this semester is the best one yet. My Theory of Writing course is showing me how to become a more expressive writer, critical thinker, and excel at reading between the lines.

We finished Blankets, an illustrated novel by Craig Thompson. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read something with images, think deeply, cry a little, and feel every emotion in the book (a bit ironic, right?) Long story short (again), this book is Thompson’s narration of his life, his struggles with his art, and the story of first love and disconnected families.

One moment stood out to me the most in this book, and relates mostly to current situations in my life is the following, “Even a mistake is better than nothing.” The context is that one of the characters wanted Thompson to paint for her and he was afraid he would mess up.

What stands out the most in that quote is how bold it is. While it may be in a completely different context, I still took this moment to heart. Even a mistake is better than nothing, wow, is all I could think.

We have this idea that making mistakes is such a terrible thing. But, aren’t the mistakes we make a way to make ourselves better? There’s sayings like, “Have no regrets,” and “Everything happens for a reason,” because they are true. There have been so many mistakes and regrets I have, but I take them with me and make meaning from them, much like the novel Blankets discusses.

Throughout high school I had this idea that the people I was close friends with would stay true forever. At that moment where I graduated, the only true thing I was thinking about was how the sun was directly in my eyes; giving me a migraine, but I also was thinking about how this is it. That was the moment I never had to see the people who wronged me, the people who hated me, or the people who I loved.

It sounds like such a depressing way to look at graduation, but I disliked high school so strongly. I had always been a different kind of girl, someone who wanted to stand out rather than fit in, and we all know how disconcerned people are to differences. College is a growing experience for me, and I highly recommend everyone try it once in their life. In all seriousness, it has been a time where I realized who I want to be. All I do is try and reach that goal, and at the moment, I’m doing a pretty darn good job. But, the person who I am doesn’t start and stop with me, it’s the people I have encountered and spent my life with that have shaped me.

I have found, much like Craig Thompson, that even though friendships and relationships may not last forever, the mark they have on us never truly leaves. Thompson falls in love with a girl in the novel, and even though they are young and need to discover themselves, I can’t help but feel something for them. The fact that they both make such an impact on each other, even being a teenager, is astounding. The idea that someone can make such a powerful impact on your life is true to my life. Sometimes all you want is for them to stay and be with you, but eventually you come to a point when you realize they can’t.

There have been those friends who have come and gone and have meant nothing to me, and there have been those friends who have stayed but then drifted away (college does this, I have found). There have also been those friends who still remain, and always will.

It wasn’t until very recently, I discovered that finding yourself means making sacrifices with these relationships. It’s a sad realization, cruel and bitter, but it’s also something that I needed to bring to my attention. I start my real story here, and it’s much to my satisfaction rather than all of you reading.

The falling out I recently had with someone was certainly no easy one. This person has meant more to me than any other person on this planet. She had been there through every failure, every mistake, every heartbreak, every detail of my life; she knows it. Likewise, I have been there for her every step of the way.

We have watched people come and go, laughing, saying, “That’ll never be us.” But, if there is one thing I have learned from heartbreak it is you can never predict it. You want life to be perfect, candy-coated, but in reality no one plans out the bad things that may happen.

I never thought I would have a feeling where our friendship wasn’t worth it. I never thought I would think about her constantly, miss her, wish she would text or call, wish she would just reach out. I never thought I would stop trying to connect. I knew the conversation would be mundane, the same old, “What have you been up to?” The person she was becoming and the person I have become do not match anymore. I think as harsh as it may be, if she were reading, I have grown and learned and become who I want to be and I think she is still discovering that. I know there is someone who will change her, make her who she needs to be. Or maybe she won’t ever find out.

There are these moments in our life where we can’t breathe, and it feels like we can’t do anything but sit and stare at the wall. All the memories come swirling back to you in these moments, when you want to forget but you can’t. A break up, a falling out, a death; you won’t ever forget them. You can paint over the memories but there is still that tiny spot in your mind that reminds you it’s more than a memory, it existed.

I’ve always had a hard time saying I’m sorry, or admitting my mistakes. I know I’m stubborn and I hate to be told I am wrong. But, I refuse to sacrifice what I believe in for someone else and their satisfaction. I know I have said things in my past and present that I regret. I am so sorry to everyone. I am sorry that I never went to your graduation party. I am sorry I didn’t want to go on a date with you. I am sorry you didn’t love me. I am sorry you turned out you needed a therapist and I couldn’t help you. I am sorry that we couldn’t be what we dreamed of being. I am sorry I said those mean things to you. I am sorry we are over.

Life is meaningless without mistakes. I know she thinks I made a mistake. I know she thinks that I was the worst friend anyone can have, and I know for awhile, maybe forever, she will think that. I can only thank her for the memories. Thank you, for all that you have given me and all that you will continue to give me. I will miss and always love you, like the sister you were to me. You can’t ever understand what I went through, my inner-termoil, because you never listened. It is all my fault that I couldn’t try harder to reach out, that I gave up. I wish I hadn’t given up, but it’s what I needed to do. I hope that you can understand one day.

If I could speak to her, although I think I will never be given the chance, there are so many things I would say. I could lash out and yell at her for making me look like a villain, when I know who is at fault. I know that’s what I want to do, but I think now I would say to her, if you have to be mad, be mad not at me but at the fact that we need to change. We can’t be the same person we were at 14. We will never be the same. We thought that change was an okay thing to accept into our lives, but the truth is it’s a hard concept. You can’t stop it, and you can’t predict it. We can only live from it.

I want to continue to grow, to make meaning of this life I have been given. I can’t take everyone with me on this journey. I’m constantly on this journey to find myself, and even though I think I have reached a high point in my life, I know I will never end the journey. I know I will continue to make mistakes, but I have accepted it’s a natural part of life, of living.

 

“How satisfying is it to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement–no matter how temporary.” –Craig Thompson, Blankets 

Being a Better “Me”

I do this every year. I claim that I will work out, and be healthier, but it never happens. Do we every truly commit and complete our resolutions? I know I never did. Sure, the month of January would go smoothly with me eating right, but I would soon give up and go back to my bad habits. I think this year it will be different. I decided I truly will be a healthier person. But let me blab to you about my life story, so you really will get the feel of why I want to make a change.

I had a good childhood. I was always the smallest kid in my class, and the most petite. I did have stick-like legs and arms, and rarely gained weight. My friends parents would call me a garbage disposal, and they would always plop extra helpings of food on my plate, trying to “fatten” me up, so to speak.

Then of course, puberty took its toll, and I realized I no longer had that awesome metabolism like I once did. Sure, I could still eat as much as I wanted of all the delicious foods my friends were wary about, but I had noticed I was developing a pudgy tummy. I still was the smallest of my friends though, so I never thought anything of my growing pouch of flubber.

I ran a lot my with my family when I was younger, and we always played a ton of sports that involved getting too sweaty. Both my mother and father were extremely fit back then, and are to this day, even if they are creeping into their mid 50’s. My mother is in better shape than I am, and my father has enough muscle that scared any of my potential boyfriends away.

I joined track in high school, and with all the working out I was actually hungrier than if I wouldn’t have been working out. The good thing was I got toned, and I felt a lot more in shape, even if I did have the appetite as a hungry-hungry-hippo.

Unfortunately, once high school ended, I certainly wasn’t driven towards exercising and eating healthy. I (embarrassingly) consumed too much fast food the year before freshman year. Obviously, this is a huge cause of weight gain, and add on the fact I wasn’t very active (I worked all summer) you can bet I packed on the freshman 15 before school had even started.

Thankfully, college changed my eating habits. I lost the 10-15 lbs just by cutting out fast food altogether (and swearing off the garbage). Since I commuted, I was forced to pack a healthy lunch, or I would be forced to spend $10 on a salad from my school’s pub.

Since I am still a commuter, I spend a good portion of my day running to and from either the train or my house. It takes up time that could be spent napping, relaxing, or you guessed it, exercising. My courses were hard freshman year because I had a lot of classes that had nothing to do with my major, so I often spent most of my free time keeping my grades up. I would go straight home and change for work, or sometimes, go straight from school to work. I always work until 9 p.m. so I don’t have much free time when I get back home. It’s quick eat dinner, get ready for tomorrow, and do my homework or study. As you may guess, exercising was not on my to-do list.

Now, this year, I had a hard time managing my time. I have another job working at my school in the marketing and communications

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. " Thomas A. Edision

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ” Thomas A. Edision

department. It’s not a grueling, physical job, but I do have to be in the office for it to count as work. It takes up time that I would probably spend doing homework (or maybe exercising?) but I love the job, and I love the experience I am getting. So, it’s been hard to work in eating right and exercising, on top of going to school full-time, working two part time jobs, and having a social life.

Some people tell me, “I don’t know how you do it, working and going to school.” Sure I love the money, but to be honest, I love the jobs just as much. I always wondered how other people stay active even with a busy life. How do they get up at 4 a.m. and go for a 5 mile run before heading off onto their commute for work? How do they squeeze in working out at the gym after an eight hour day at the office? How do they find time to pack a healthy lunch, when it’s easier to just pick up lunch at convenient store?

Well, they love it. I’d also say motivation. If you think positively, you can pretty much do anything.  I also like to think you need a support group, an entourage, cheerleaders; you name it. Just someone who will be there for you no matter what.

One of my challenges has been finding my motivation. I am lucky to be surrounded by people who only want what is best for me. But, a flaw I have is comparing myself to all my close friends and family, which gives me nothing but doubt.

It’s hard having two extremely fit parents because it seems like everything they do works for them. It’s hard having a naturally in-shape boyfriend, and friends. I look at them and think, why can’t it be that simple?

Every time I have tried to get back into my healthy habits, I have been surrounded by discouragement. Not by everyone, just some people don’t understand. They see me eating carrot sticks and a yogurt and complain, “You don’t need to eat like that, here, have a cookie.” And so I eat that cookie, because they make me feel like I don’t need to eat the healthy food. People are always telling me, “Oh stop. You don’t need to cut back, you’re skinny” or “You’re tiny what are you talking about??”

No. I’m not tiny. I’m not just some insecure girl who wants to be like the girls she sees in magazines and movies. I just want to be a healthier person. It’s not weird to like yogurt, nuts, protein bars, salads, vegetables, or fruits. I sure do love my sweets, my carbs, and my sodium. But I can’t consume it all the time. That’s not me.

I’ve started this “New Madi” thing Monday. It’s only been about a week, but I’m keeping it up. I haven’t gone crazy and eaten a whole cake. I downloaded this app on my iPod called My Fitness Pal, which helps you keep track of exercising, diet, and calories.

It sounds like every other calorie counting app out there, but so far, I have nothing bad to say. When I look down at my iPod and it tells me I ate cookies and cake as my snacks, it’s a slap in the face. It’s right there in front of me, and it gives me the motivation to do something good for myself. So, when I look down and see all these healthy things I have eaten for the day, it makes me smile, and gives me the strength to keep going.

I’m trying to add more cardio, strength exercises, and yoga into my life. Hopefully I can work out at least three times a week for the rest of the semester. I hope to hear from others about their motivation for working out, or maybe if you have a story of how you changed and became healthier!

 

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis