Working on Myself

I am going through a rough period, although I don’t want to get into the painful details of what’s been going on. However, I will happily discuss what I’ve been doing to work on myself during this time because honestly, I’m proud of myself.

I have never been confident in my life when it comes to cooking. I have had success baking here and there, but cooking? Nope. Growing up, my responsibilities when it came to dinner was setting the table or cleaning the dishes. I never helped out when it came to cooking. I was recently talking with a dear friend of mine, who told me she was always in the kitchen helping her mom, grandma and other extended family members. She was shocked when she heard that I wasn’t, although I imagine hearing this about me made her go, “Ohhhh. That’s why she’s struggled with cooking.”

When I lived with my ex, he was such a picky eater that I ended up never really cooking for the two of us. Any time I tried to cook, he had more criticism than praise, and I just gave up. It was demoralizing whenever I tried for him. I’d just cook for me whenever I did.

My recent ex, he always wanted to just go out and eat, and he generously paid for 95% when we went out. Don’t get me wrong – I won’t complain that a significant other of mine took me out to nice dinners on a regular basis when we were together. It just meant that again, I wasn’t really cooking.

When I did actually cook for myself in the past, I would do the same recipes over and over again. If I didn’t mess the recipe up and it worked in the past, then it would earn its place in my rotation. Nothing wrong with that, but it meant I wasn’t being really creative or confident in the kitchen.

Well, that’s going to change now. I want to get confident in the kitchen once and for all. This old dog is going to learn new tricks. This past week and a half, I have been trying more new recipes than I probably have in years, and oh my god, it’s like I’m opening my eyes for the first time. I seriously did not realize how bad my lack of confidence in the kitchen was until I started trying new recipes and techniques.

I like this version of myself. I feel proud, and I have even had a couple of days where my stomach hasn’t tried to murder me. While I regret that I didn’t try this earlier, all that matters is that I’m here now. This truly feels like significant self improvement, and I’m happy about this. I put myself on a good path here, and it’s not dependent on someone’s else mood or tastes. This is just about me.

About damn time.

My New Year’s Resolution

(I know, I know.  I am a couple of days early, but I wanted to get these thoughts out before my schedule gets crazy busy again.)

1.) Less social media.  This past week, I actually deleted around 300 people from my friends’ list, and I took the Facebook app off my phone.  For a long time, I began to feel social anxiety regarding my Facebook account and my friends’ list.  “Oh, these friends had a party, and I wasn’t invited.  I am the worst!”  “[This person] just unfriended me.  Why?  Did I say something?”  The whole point of Facebook is stay connected, so why did I keep feeling such negativity?   It’s not worth it.  I wanted to get rid of my account altogether, but I would lose my Get Up Swinging Facebook page, along with my photography Facebook page.

I really want to focus on quality of friendships, not quantity.  I found myself becoming complacent in my relationships because of the social media connection with them.  What happened to emails, texts, phone calls or actually getting together and having dinner?   I have a great group of friends, and I want to have authentic relationships with the people who matter the world to me.  I gave too much of my time and energy to people who in the grand scheme of things, aren’t that important to me.

2.) READ MORE BOOKS.  My 2014 Reading Challenge over at Goodreads was 25 books.  I’ve read 13.  That’s just unacceptable.   Granted, I probably read 4 or 5 books in 2013, which is completely horrendous.  I’m better than that.  2015 will be the year I get my bookworm on’ – this I vow.


3.) Write more, increase breast cancer advocacy.  I have so many ideas I want to do for Get Up Swinging, and I should take advantage of the fact that I can cross-post to the Huffington Post.  Metastatic breast cancer still and always needs more, and I can always find ways to help and increase ways for those who need it the most.

4.) Run three half marathons, run a 15 mile race, run a Ragnar relay and run the Rachel Carson Half challenge in June.  I’m not going to disclose my desired time for my next half because who knows if I’ll even come close to that.  The beauty of running when you don’t accomplish the time you wanted: there’s always the next race.  Get up and try again.

5.) Dedicate as much time and energy as I can into my photography.  Shoot more, learn more, create more.  When wedding season rolls around in 2015, I hope my mentor will keep having me around and we can inspire clients to HIRE me as a second photographer.

Like I do every year, I hope and pray that this year will be one of great, positive changes.  Since becoming a runner, I believe in my heart that I can make these changes happen (two years ago, I never would have believed I could have run 5 miles, nonetheless 13.1).

I don’t want to dwell on the negative because that’s how you get stuck, and I’m tired of feeling stuck.  All I want to do is move forward and upward.