The (Late) 2017 Bucket List

At the beginning of college I got my first credit card. Don’t worry, I’ve always been ridiculously responsible about budgeting, this story’s not going down that road. What I recall almost as deeply as the nightmares I had about the possibility of interest payments, is getting my first statement.

It wasn’t that I’d spent a lot of money, it’s that every line item on the statement was a fast food restaurant or something I ordered from the internet. My credit card statement was a story of me as a shut-in. It was not an untrue story.

I wish I could say I saw this sad story and immediately changed; went full Eat, Pray, Love and traveled the world, sky dived and moved to a new city, danced like no one was watching. I did none of those things, because isn’t life lived in the small changes and the tiny moments?

Yes, it is.

So I went to a few more stand up shows and plays, I made my meals out into dates with friends, and I traded a few pretty dresses for road trips and ridiculous midnight adventures. I learned to get back into the world and be a bit more brave and a bit less tied to things.

When I heard about Eventbrite‘s GOMO, or Get Out More Often, I thought “that sounds pretty baller.” And then I thought “damn, son, you need to stop picking up slang from your students.”

In all seriousness though, there’s a huge life lesson here and you know how I love those. So in the spirit of GOMO! (something I will be yelling randomly all over NYC’s subways), here’s a list of 10 adventures I’d like to have this year.

*I’m putting a couple on here I already did, because, well, I want to brag a little too*

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1. Go To the Oscars

I did this. So…

2.  See a Play

I hadn’t totally planned on it, but I did this today too. Casually went to see Hamilton with my students. More on that later.

3. Get Out of Town

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New York is draining, which is surprising since I’ve yet to live in a New York apartment with decent sink and shower drains. In our year plus here, Boyfriend and I have only left the city a hand full of times, mostly to fly home or get out for a weekend camping trip. This year I really want to go somewhere quiet, stay in a B&B and relax for real. I want to be not just New York relaxed, but actually relaxed.

4. Have a Picnic

It doesn’t have to be in Central Park or Prospect Park or any park. I just want to make sandwiches and pack them to green, nature area and eat them in the company of those I love.

5. Go Camping

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This tends to happen a few times during the summer but it’s something that I really like and Boyfriend LOVES. Nature is the great healer and no matter how hot/humid/disgusting this summer is, we have to get out there.

6. Write a Story

I’m keeping expectations low because I won’t even finish grad school until August. So, not a novel, nothing epic, just a story. I have ideas in my head all the time and I used to do a lot more writing them. Time to get back to that.

7. Do a Yoga Retreat

Yoga brings me as much peace as nature does and I’ve been wanting to try one of these for a long time. This year I want to bite the bullet and go all in for a weekend (or maybe a week).

8. Take the Train

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Not the subway. Dear god, never the subway. The actual train. I don’t even really care where I go, I just want to go. On the train.

9. Be Present in the Blogging Community

I have made a few great blogging friends and interacted with other bloggers and I genuinely love this community so much. Grad school and teaching tend to keep me from both blogging (whoops) and making deeper connections with other bloggers (double whoops). This year I want to get back to the blog and jump in to the community.

10. Get a Tattoo with Boyfriend

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I should note: I definitely don’t mean matching tattoos. I truly believe though that it’s an experience worth having with someone you love and Boyfriend has not yet gotten a tattoo. I’m working on designing one for him and as for me, who know, could turn out as anything.

Best of luck.

P.S. Eventbrite also has some crazy cool planning tools, like this one. Check them out!

Moving Away Part 2: How Do I Packing?

It’s been a productive week. Let’s see; last Wednesday I send off boxes via greyhound, Thursday I sold, donated, and packed the remainder of my things and Friday I casually moved from Seattle to New York. No big.

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I’m not gonna lie, as I laid on the floor of my tiny, new apartment, listening to people yelling in the hallway, I considered whether I’d perhaps made a mistake. I panicked a little. And then I slept and got up and got moving and, well, we’ll get to all that later.

First: How Do I Packing?

Moving is right up there with student loans, taxes, and healthcare when it comes to adulthood. It’s terrible but necessary. But as  with most terrible adulthood tasks, if you’re going to do it, do the crap out of it. Here are a few things I learned on my first cross-country move.

  • Fly Southwest: Dude, just do it, ok? Southwest is the only remaining major airline that doesn’t charge for bags. That means two checked bags up to 62″ and 50 lbs that go for free, plus a carry-on (up to 10 x 16 x 24) with no weight limit and a personal item. That’s a lot of stuff to transport for free. The ticket prices are also comparable to other airlines, we paid $200 one way Seattle to New York, but we also bought our tickets only a week ahead of time. If you’re flexible on dates you can also use the flexible dates tool which shows you the ticket prices for a given month, or several months, on each day so you can choose when to go based on prices. Southwest_free-bags_f680x2001.jpg

 

  • Ship Things: Typically shipping companies like USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex are a no, but plenty of companies exist simply for people to ship their sh*t when they move. This go around I chose Greyhound to ship dishes, small appliances, and several other items. I sent three giant, extremely heavy boxes for under $200. Greyhound sends them on their buses and you pick them up 7-10 days later in your new city. Some cities offer home delivery for a small fee, NYC does not because I wouldn’t deliver here either. If you are transporting bigger items and don’t fancy driving a U-haul, try pods. A friend of mine just moved her entire household, including large furniture, using pods for about $800.3efd279b46834fd24d287daeead46faa

 

  • Take Care of Yourself: Boyfriend and I caught a pretty terrible cold a few days before flying and after altitude changes and climate changes, it’s got a grip on us. I can tell you I’m almost certain that we might have avoided the sickness had we taken better care of ourselves. Moving is stressful, but try to get enough sleep, eat well, and take a walk when you can. Give yourself enough time and grant yourself mental health moments when you need them. (Yes you do, put down the packing tape and go outside.)hqdefault.jpg

For anyone out there moving, I feel you, bro.

Best of luck.

Monday Motivation: Figuring It Out

You Don't Have to Have It All Figured Out to Move Forward

When I have an important task to finish,  I like to have a pristine work space, a perfectly warm beverage, and good lighting. It’s actually not procrastination, I like to give myself the perfect situation in which to work.

The thing is, life isn’t like that. If you wait for perfect lighting, cleanliness, and temperature, the best things might pass you by. Some of my best days were also bad hair days, some of my best memories were made on the off days.

In two months I’m moving to a new city, entering one of the most prestigious teaching programs in the world, and finally starting my career. Just as I’ve settled a bit in Seattle, I’m switching it all around again.

Truth is, I have no idea what I’m doing and it’s terrifying. I’d love to take the time to make sure everything is absolutely perfect before jumping into this ocean but there simply isn’t time if I want to go and experience.

So I’m trying to be brave. It comes in between bouts of irrational tears and total despair but it’s there. Because moving forward is much more about bravery than perfection.

Best of luck.

 

How To: See Seattle

This week I’m celebrating my one year anniversary of returning from Peace Corps and was so lucky to have a little reunion with volunteer friends last weekend. Brittany and Dd are my fellow Northern desert pals who I hadn’t seen since closing my service.

In planning for them to visit, I knew that we could realistically sit around on a roof, drink beers and BS the whole trip, but I wanted to show them Seattle.

And so we saw, we experienced and we had a pretty damn good time.

Of course we started at the Space Needle, though we didn’t go to the top because, expert tip, it’s overpriced and not very tall.

We visited the Pacific Science Center which is a must for children of all ages. Six year old Becca was obsessed and 27 year old Becca totally still is.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  

We wandered around after dark in search of food and found amazing Vietnamese at the Green Leaf in Belltown.   Continue reading

The Sunday Morning Life Hack: Dollar Shave Club

About a month ago I realized I was out of razor blades. On my next trip to the grocery store, I looked around and found that a pack of 6 would cost me an arm, a leg, my soul, and my first-born child.

Desperate to find a deal, I looked at cheaper stores, I searched Costco, I went for disposable. Only to find that these tiny, sharp devils didn’t really get any cheaper.

Enter: Dollar Shave Club

If you frequent facebook, instagram, or, well, the internet, you’ve probably seen the ads for DSC. I know I have.

With all the subscription services out there, I was hesitant. It seems these days you can get meals, snacks, make up, skincare, clothes, the souls of children, really anything you want in a subscription service. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Life Hack: Khan Academy

You know how sometimes you wonder about the Civil War or algebra? You lie awake thinking about Organic Chemistry or macroeconomics. You yearn to explore the secrets of physics and computer science.

Ok, it’s not exactly like that, but I do enjoy learning something once in a while.

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I’ve noticed many adults harboring regret at not paying better attention in school and hopelessness at ever learning math. Outside of going back to school, there really aren’t a lot of resources for adults who want to learn new skills.

Wait. Except there totally are. Meet my best friend: Khan Academy. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Lack Hack: The Diva Cup

****Disclaimer**** The following is about menstruation and female genitalia. If you are uncomfortable with these topics, please don’t keep reading. If you don’t care about these topics, please stop reading this post. If you don’t want to read the word vagina…oops. Oh well, vagina vagina vagina. It begins…


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What is that? How does it work? What if it gets stuck though?

All of the questions I field when I tell other women that I use a Diva Cup. All solid, reasonable questions with solid, reasonable answers.

First thing’s first: Of your menstrual product options, the Diva Cup is probably the safest in the long run, not to mention that it’s more economical and environmental. In case you don’t know what a Diva Cup, or any other kind of menstrual cup, is or you need a refresher:

The Diva Cup is a reusable, bell-shaped menstrual cup that is worn internally and sits low in the vaginal canal, collecting rather than absorbing your menstrual flow. – from Diva Cup website

I bought mine in 2012, during my first few months in Peace Corps. Mind you, I was living in the desert with no running water trying to deal. While I’ve heard the concern about having to change the Diva Cup and the gross factor that can accompany it, let me tell you having to deal with my angry shark week vagina once or twice a day instead of several times a day was ideal. So, I thought I would respond to some of the questions and concerns I’ve encountered. Hopefully I can address the bad rap menstrual cups have gotten, and if I don’t answer your question feel free to go to the Diva Cup website here or ask in the comments*. Continue reading