Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Lessons I'm Taking into Marriage


I know it has been said before, but growing up I was never one of those girls who dreamed of getting married.  I was never the typically cute girl in middle school/high school and I didn't realize that it was possible that one day the person I had a crush on might like me back.  Having never dreamed about the big day with the white dress, I always just hoped I would meet someone who was as into me as I was into them, made me laugh, and made me feel like I could unapologetically be myself.  
I found that in my husband.  Aside from being the person that everyone in the room loves, he has made me realize what true love is, and what respect in a relationship means.  When we got engaged a year ago I was less excited to plan our wedding, than I was to collect life lessons that I should be carrying with me into our marriage.  Because I recognized that as incredible as your wedding day is, it eventually fades and the foundation of your relationship along with what you decide this new chapter in your life will be ultimately is left standing.  That being said, I am so happy to now be married to my best friend, and these are the lessons I am taking into our forever:
  1. Maintain your sense of self, even though you are now one.  Continue to have "me" time, different interests and varying ideas of the perfect day.
  2. Put your phone down and acknowledge one another.  Don't let your partner walk into the house without acknowledgement and warmth.  Because without these walls, they are your home and its in your best interest to nurture it.
  3. Don't go to bed angry.  An age old one--but really a night of sleep loss is worth the resolution.
  4. You are different.  Remind yourself that there will always be things they are better at, and things you're better at.  Hoping for them to suddenly be how you are will only end in disaster.
  5. Communication is key.
  6. Never stop laughing.  If a day comes where I am not laughing in pain at least 5 times, I will be extremely alarmed.
  7. Do things you don't want to.  For Carlos, its going to bed at 10pm some nights.  For me, its enduring the sounds of drum & base blaring through speakers.
  8. Never disrespect one another.  As heated as arguments may get, as upset you as you may feel, the basis of your relationship should always be respect.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Starting a Conversation: Debt

Today I did something a bit revolutionary for me: I cut up my credit card.  I have never been a big credit card spender.  I tend to charge a little here, a little there, and almost always its on something I can live without.  Just looking at my purchase history on my credit card its exclusively comprised of clothes I didn't need, dinners I could have gone without and crap I can't even excuse (hair perfume from Sephora has and never will be a necessity).  But this big step for me is part of a bigger step that I really want to tackle: becoming completely debt free.
It's extremely disappointing to me that my generation never wants to talk about money but is so obsessed with making more of it and showing it off any chance they get.  Social media has made it very easy to compare what you don't have to what everyone else does.  It can be extremely depressing scrolling through Instagram, constantly wondering "How the fuck is she affording that?".  This comparison to others is an entirely different problem, but why don't we ever talk about how we are (or aren't) affording that?  Why is it still taboo to talk about money?  And why aren't we honest about our debts?
I recently watched a video by vlogger Aja Dang that I found incredibly refreshing.  I had watched Aja's video's in the past for an escape from my own reality.  She's smart, entertaining, beautiful, in great shape, and overall a great distraction from the dirty dishes in my kitchen sink.  So when she posted a video revealing her student loan debt, I was really taken aback.  I thought this girl was perfect--I mean none of these vlogger girls have any real problems right?  At least that's the narrative I would tell myself when I compared my life to theirs.  It was so damn refreshing to hear someone talking openly and honestly about money.  It gave me perspective on my own life (and my own debts), reminding me that I am not the only one with a little baggage.  Aja now vlogs her bi-monthly budget which she says keeps her accountable, but it also inspires the hell out of me!  
So here goes: I am not perfect.  I have some baggage.  Some financial baggage.  And that is OK.  What I have decided is not OK is sitting back and doing nothing about it.  Considering that I am getting married in a couple months, I can think of no better time than now to come up with a concrete plan of tackling my debts so that we can live with less anxiety and more freedom.  My fiance is truly the bees knees and I would never want to be a burden to our love.  Being that we struggle to fight about anything, I would hate it if money became a point of conflict.  In an effort to avoid any of that happening, and to hopefully inspire a few of you to have honest discussions about money, I am listing all my current debt below in the order I plan on paying it off.  Full transparency.  Because this kind of stuff only gets worse living in the shadows.  Considering that our generation is the first in American history that is projected to do worse financially than their parents, we need a bit more financial honesty!

Credit Card: $930.44 (Goal: payoff by March 31, 2018)
Auto Loan: $10,700 (Goal: payoff by January 31, 2019)
Graduate Student Loans: $98,000 (Goal: payoff by March 1, 2023)

This is a start (and a big step for me) but it will be something that I document here, sharing my process for tackling my debts and what works/doesn't work for me.  While this is all extremely scary, and a bit embarrassing to document, I think it could be extremely powerful in starting a conversation about money within our generation.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

27 to do before 28

Ah 28!  That's a scary thought.  Anyways, 27 has been a number that has always been very present and recurring in my life and while I tend not to look too deeply into things like that I do think this will be my best year ever!  Making this list a little late, but already it is a wonderful year..

1.  Run another half marathon
2.  Start training for a full marathon
3.  Visit a new country (Thailand plllllease!)
4.  Buy less things I don't need (this will probably be the hardest one)
5.  Save at least $6k by the end of the year
6.  Learn to ride a motorcycle
7.  Get stronger and stronger
8.  Complete a Spartan Race
9.  Meditate
10.  Get better at rowing
11.  Minimize/simplify my home
12.  Continue building strong female friendships
13.  Grow my hair long again
14.  Trying camping (I promise!)
15.  Cook more for people I love
16.  Travel more (locally and beyond)
17.  Be kinder and not take out life's frustrations on those I love
18.  Give more time to the man I love and adore
19.  Rest more (this has been difficult lately, sadly)
20.  Drink MORE coffee (goddamn right)
21.  Start my practicum for school and figure out exactly what I want to do with this adult life
22.  Cut out all the negativity
23.  Gossip less
24.  Get one more piercing (or maybe two)
25.  See Beyonce with the strong women I love and adore
26.  Take time in the summer to lay in the sun and do nothing (truly something I've never done for very long)
27.  Go see the California Poppies 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Final Update: 26 to do before 27

26 was the best year EVER even if I didn't reach all my goals...but I know 27 will be my best year yet, back to the drawing board!
1.  Read 1 book a month: 12 total/year Textbooks count too, right?
2.  Run a half marathon I ran 2!
3.  Visit a new country4.  Save enough money to buy a new car
5.  Do Salvation Mountain
6.  Start grad school
7.  Go to New Orleans, LA
8.  Take a salsa dancing class
9.  Attempt camping at least one more time
10.  Make more plants for friends/family
11.  Do volunteer work
12.  Continue the healthy kick I've been on
13.  Learn to relax and accept the things I have no control over
14.  Learn to cook at least 10 new dishes
15.  Finally go see the Antelope Valley poppy reserve in the Spring
16.  Take a break from technology more
17.  Get back to writing again, whether it just be for me or otherwise
18.  Get better at Pilates
19.  Love more, be aggravated less
20.  Hike Pine Ridge Trail in Big Sur
21.  Sleep in a yurt because c'mon why not?
22.  Get more organized in my work
23.  Learn to ride a motorcycle, even if it gives my parents a heart attack
24.  Read up on transcendental meditation
25.  Get back into reading/writing in French so that I am competent enough to pen a letter in the language
26.  Take more polaroids

Friday, January 9, 2015

26 to do before 27

Oh 26, so far so great.  Let's make it an accomplished year!

1.  
Read 1 book a month: 12 total/year
2.  Run a half marathon
3.  Visit a new country
4.  Save enough money to buy a new car
5.  Do Salvation Mountain
6.  Start grad school
7.  Go to New Orleans, LA
8.  Take a salsa dancing class
9.  Attempt camping at least one more time
10.  Make more plants for friends/family
11.  Do volunteer work
12.  Continue the healthy kick I've been on
13.  Learn to relax and accept the things I have no control over
14.  Learn to cook at least 10 new dishes
15.  Finally go see the Antelope Valley poppy reserve in the Spring
16.  Take a break from technology more
17.  Get back to writing again, whether it just be for me or otherwise
18.  Get better at Pilates
19.  Love more, be aggravated less
20.  Hike Pine Ridge Trail in Big Sur
21.  Sleep in a yurt because c'mon why not?
22.  Get more organized in my work
23.  Learn to ride a motorcycle, even if it gives my parents a heart attack
24.  Read up on transcendental meditation
25.  Get back into reading/writing in French so that I am competent enough to pen a letter in the language
26.  Take more polaroids

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Final Update: 25 to do before 26

Well haven't I been just the worst at keeping up with this thing?  2014 was a tough year, but I definitely grew.  I grew stronger, smarter and into a better version of myself.  So with my 26th birthday just days away, let me recap the goals I have accomplished/neglected.

1.  Visit a new country
2.  Start saving more
3.  Open a retirement account (yikes!)
4.  Take my GRE Exam and apply to grad school
5.  Do more with my hair and get out of the habit of boring looks
6.  Keep up with my fitness and continue to work out four days a week  I work out 6 days a week now!
7.  Drop 5 lbs Dropped 10lbs!
8.  Take a break from technology more often
9.  Take a trip to Big Sur
10.  Do volunteer work
11.  Take more pictures of friends and loved ones, because I know I will treasure every photo as the years pass by
12.  More long walks and activities after work (i.e. don't allow myself to get so tired after work!)
13. Send letters to friends abroad MORE!
14.  Read 10 books
15.  Be the kindest I can be to others and work on my temper (especially while driving)
16.  Go on more hikes (because Los Angeles is beautiful)
17.  Drive much, much less
18.  Consume less celebrity gossip (sorry, it's my weakness)
19.  Get strong enough to do 10 pull ups (sounds easy but soooo is not)
20.  Go make-up free more
21.  Become better at time management (I'm pretty good with this already, but I know there are minutes that add up to hours that I am wasting!)
22.  Get a couple more holes in my ears
23.  Cook more veggie meals
24.  Do Angel's Flight in DTLA
25.  Drink more wine (because I don't do it enough and it makes me happy!)


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

recent realizations

1.  The city of Los Angeles give you no incentive to abide by the law.  Dealing with my awful hit & run accident from October has shown me that despite having video & photos of the incident and basically all the information you could need to catch a person, people suffer no consequences for the actions.  Where is the justice?!
2.  Beyonce can do everything we normals cant.  Case in point:  hats with ears
3.  Aquafor is better than all else.  Don't even bring that burts bees mess in my vicinity.
4.  Sushi burritos exist and they are EVERYTHING
5.  People who constantly talk about sex/boys on social media are most definitely terrible at life