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Today is my first day at my new job, and I didn’t sleep much last night in anticipation. I got plenty of rest over the weekend though so I don’t feel too tired this morning. Starting something new is always exciting and also a little scary. Of course you want to do the best job you can, but there is usually a learning curve for a week or two as you become familiar with new people and new surroundings. Keep me in your thoughts today!
Happy Halloween! It was a long, but great weekend. There were ups and downs, highs and lows, but overall it was a lot of fun. I’m glad that today is the actual holiday though, as I love to celebrate for as long as possible.
Today is a me day. Since I am starting a new job tomorrow, I need to revisit some of my other big dreams and figure out how they fit in with my new life. I would like to spend some time in a coffee shop after lunch just writing down ideas and evaluating where I am at this very moment on all fronts. I feel like I need to put the focus back on me instead of external things or people. A common struggle with being single is looking for your happiness in others instead of yourself. Or maybe that’s a common struggle in general.
I still think a lot about what happiness is. Can happiness only come when things are going the way you’d like them to? When you finally get what you want? Is it possible to still be happy when things around you are not the way you’d like them to be? I think the answer is probably yes, but it’s a journey to get to that kind of self-awareness. Happiness can come in many forms from a lot of different places, but the kind that lasts indefinitely is one of true acceptance and peace. I have a hard time with acceptance. I always think I can do better, do more things and be something more. I think I mistake the adrenaline rush of exciting events with true joy. The problem with instant gratification and fleeting moments is that they don’t stick around. What about the day after the party, the day after the big race, the day after something significant… when the big moment is gone. If you can find happiness during the quiet times, then I think you’re on to something. When everyday moments become enough to make you smile, then you’ve found the key.
I think I am done with Halloween 2011. Last night was a lot of fun, but I couldn’t get home fast enough to take off the purple. You know what sounds wonderful? Curling up under a soft blanket and watching horror movies. That might be on my agenda for tonight. But first, I have a ton of cleaning up to do… it looks like someone opened a can of glitter in my bathroom and poured it everywhere. Also there are purple feathers as far as the eye can see. My cats have really enjoyed that part a lot.
If it’s possible, I STILL do not have a full body shot in actual color to share! I did take a lot of photos last night with random people, so maybe one will pop up somewhere over the next day or two. I think I am going to make this a short post today, as my energy levels are a little low. Happy Sunday!
Yesterday was a good day. I attended my last staff meeting at my current job and a lot of kind words were said about the work I have done while being there. Of course, I cried. It’s not everyday that you get to hear such special things. I’m really going to miss seeing them every day and working together for such a great cause. I even had flowers sent to me (thanks Andrea!) since today is my last day. I feel very appreciated. It’s not often that you get to say that about a job.
From the time I started working there two years ago up to this very moment, significant life changes have happened to me across the board. Two of my coworkers/friends pointed out to me yesterday that I’m a very different person from when I first walked through those doors, both internally and externally. One of them said that I was more mature in a sense, too. That’s probably a fair statement… as it would be hard to go through those big transitions without learning a few things here and there.
Last night after having a drink or two with some of my work friends, I met Vero for dinner and an art event downtown. Since I didn’t want to wear my “official” Halloween costume just yet, she let me borrow her pickled okra costume from a few years ago. I honestly felt like a large green penis walking around. It was pretty funny. I always have a good time with Vero, we are very close and familiar with each other’s lives so there is never any need for exhausting back stories during conversations. We’ve shared many private details while on morning runs. I enjoy having that kind of emotional intimacy with people where there is nothing to hide. I feel like you don’t truly know a person until that level of communication has been reached. I think it is good to practice being vulnerable and transparent around others as it puts us in touch more with ourselves.
So today is Day 1 of Halloween dress-up!!! I am super pumped. I meet my friends at Rocky Horror tonight at 7:30, and I’m going to need every second of that 2 1/2 hours after work to get ready. I will be sharing photos tomorrow. Have a great Friday!
Besides being in one of my favorite lines from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the word anticipation would be a pretty accurate word to describe my feelings for this weekend. I am not sure where all of this excitement and energy comes from in general, and it is hard to contain if I’m being completely honest. I actually wish sometimes that I wouldn’t get so excited about things because it makes me so wound up. And I think I’ve said before in my blog that excitement and anxiety can be closely intertwined in my brain. They feel very similar, except that one is obviously positive and the other is negative.
I think that I should have been a professional athlete, performer or something else outward because my energy levels are always through the roof. And it’s not necessarily physical energy, it’s the kind that can express itself in many ways. It’s like something inside of me wants to burst out when I feel it. It makes me do silly things really lame happy dances in people’s offices at work. Or create elaborate Halloween costumes that I will only ever wear for 2 nights in my whole life. I am definitely grateful for the enthusiasm, but when it turns into something else… that’s when I have to learn how to control it, which I think I have figured out how to do for the most part.
To quote another one of my favorite lines from Rocky Horror, “You’re lucky, he’s lucky, I’m lucky, we’re all LUCKY! Ha ha ha ha ha…”. Click here to watch Time Warp.
Weigh-In Wednesday: 151.6
I kicked some serious ass last night working on my Halloween costume. There is still a lot of work to be done though, and only one night left to do it in. I was a little worried there for a minute that I wouldn’t be able to live up to my Katy Perry costume from last year, but I think this is going to be just as cool. I am kinda impressing myself with my ability to sew and put a pretty cool theme together, especially since I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually sewn something in my life. With that being said, it still isn’t my favorite thing to do since I’m constantly poking my fingers with the needle.
For those of you who live in the Birmingham area, there are several great things to do in town this weekend. First, Friday night is the traditional Rocky Horror Picture Show and costume contest at the Alabama Theatre. It is definitely one of my favorite Halloween events in town. I usually get there pretty early to watch (and sometimes participate) in the two costume contests, dance to DJ Stevo (whose V mask will be extra relevant this year), then I stay for about 3/4s of the movie itself before heading off to some other parties around town. Saturday night is the big Peaches and Scream block party on 2nd North, then my friend Philip’s annual party on 1st North, and finally the always super awesome MCCS Halloween Bash at Avondale Castle. They have the best drag costume show in town. That was definitely my favorite party last year by far.
I only have three days left at my job, and I’m becoming a little sad. I am really going to miss my friends, who just so happen to be my coworkers, that I get to see everyday. I know that I am going to make equally as good of friends where I am going, for sure, but I just get so attached to people and sentimental when it’s time to say goodbye to a big chapter in life. The good news is that I’m only going to be a little over a mile away from where I currently am, so I can come visit and have lunch or drinks with my girls any time I’d like. I am very lucky in that respect.
Without going into too much detail, it’s time to spill the beans: I start a new job on November 1st! While it’s definitely no secret that I love where I’ve been for the past few years, especially the people, this is an opportunity for growth that I couldn’t refuse. It’s also a move outside of the non-profit world, which is bittersweet. Having a cause is always a great motivator, but this specific move is going to allow me greater creative freedom and new responsibilities to learn from. I am very excited indeed… so keep me on your mind as I go through this transition! All positive vibes are accepted.
Last night I got down to the nitty gritty of my Halloween costume. It’s going to be equally as awesome as my Katy Perry costume last year, I do believe. I am glad I got started a few days ahead of time, as I have a lot of hot gluing and sewing to do. My cats are especially enjoying the extra fabric and feathers lying around. As a matter of a fact, Kit-ten never came back upstairs last night… she feel in love with all of the plastic bags and slept on them instead.
I have a big thing coming up in the next day or two – my 600th consecutive post! That’s pretty hard to wrap my head around (that’s what she said!). I’m not sure if that’s awesome or if I’m just plain crazy… or maybe a little of both. People still ask me why I write every single day, and the answer is simple – it’s momentum. I get great motivation from consistency, especially when everything else in life is changing at a rapid pace around me. I was talking to a friend the other day about how everything in their life was new, just to realize that I also fall into that same category. There are few things that are the same compared to January of this year, and now adding to that a new job. Sometimes significant change can leave you drained and unstable, but I think it’s done just the opposite for me. Instead I feel challenged, energized, excited and powerful. I did this all by myself, I changed my own life. Things could have very easily stayed the same, as so many other people choose the path of least resistance. I am proud of myself for going out on a limb and taking big risks. And because of my actions, I think the coming rewards are going to make it all worthwhile.
Today should be a good day. I’ve decided that I’m going to reinvent my wardrobe by visiting some thrift stores. I think I could be a really cute dresser if I actually tried, and for some reason as of late the inspiration has struck. My friend Vero is an expert thrift store shopper, and so is my mom actually. I am learning that it’s important to have “basic” pieces that you can mix up with more creative clothes. I also want to find some more big earrings, as they look really good with my haircut. You know, in all 595 (!) posts I’ve done on The Jen West Quest, I think this is the first one where I’ve talked about something more external and internal. I’m not really sure what that means, but I’m going with it.
I feel like I woke up this morning with a lot of self-awareness, clarity and confidence. Not sure what triggered these positives vibes, but I’m going with. Could be because I had a very quiet day all to myself yesterday. I even went to see a movie alone, something I like to do from time to time. I saw Paranormal Activity 3 which was a lot of fun & made me jump about 3 feet every ten minutes… but I needed the ending to be better than it was. But that’s ok, that part was a very small fraction of the movie itself. I think sleep also has a great deal to do with my outlook today as I got at least a good solid 10 hours last night. Sometimes it’s weird spending time alone on a weekend, but it’s all in how you look at it. Next weekend is Halloween and I am going to have so many things to do that I won’t be able to see straight. And on top of that I start something pretty significant the following week. So peace and rest are good right now.
One of the highlights of my day yesterday was spending some time with my niece Lily Bean. Definitely made my heart explode with happiness.
I think I’m officially a My Morning Jacket stalker, since I have gone to three of their shows in the last 6 months. However, I do have to say that the more I go the less special the experience is. So I think I will wait until Bonnaroo 2012 to see them again. It’s a little like eating ice cream every day… it’s good in theory, but you will eventually get sick of it. (OK… maybe ice cream was a bad example.)
Speaking of ice, I figured out a few nights ago that my heater upstairs is broken. It is so cold in my bedroom that when I woke up this morning Baby Kitty was under the covers with me. I am going to need to that fixed ASAP. Me no likey being cold.
I have a free day today leading up to the weekend. I think I will go for a good run here in the next hour or so, then visit with my mom and the Lily Bean a little this afternoon. Since I got home close to 3 a.m. last night, a nap will probably be in order too. Sometimes when I am off on a workday I feel a little restless or guilty, so I am going to try to shake those feelings and have a relaxing day. I deserve it.
I realized last night that I haven’t been doing a good job of keeping everyone up to speed on our short film, Crush! It is moving along nicely and on schedule. Our editor Joe Walker has it pretty close to the final cut, and we are passing it along to Ted Speaker this weekend for the final phase of placing the music in. Our goal is to have it completed in the first week or two of November, so it’s very exciting that we are almost finished! After we have the final movie, we will start submitting it to film festivals. Hopefully it will have a good run… it’s always a gamble. I am very proud of what it ended up being and I think others will enjoy it too.
I had a really good night last night. First after work I met my dear friend Debbie at the J Clyde for a drink or two and caught up on everything under the sun in both of our lives. Debbie is such a breath of fresh air for me, and we always seem to cover the gamut of emotions when we are together. After leaving her, I went to David and Vero’s house to accompany her to a Masquerade party… only to learn that I had the wrong night (that’s been happening a lot lately!!). So instead we went as a group to Silvertron and had a yummy meal and great conversation. THEN, finally, I went to a really wonderful show at Bottletree and rolled home about 12:30 or so. Wonderful night!
Today I am off of work and heading to Nashville with my friend Chex Knox Rox to celebrate her birthday and to see My Morning Jacket later on this evening. Should be another good day… looking forward to getting out-of-town and just letting go for a short amount of time. This weekend I plan to lay low and not be so busy!