Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Southern Comfort

Moving to Colorado was probably one of the best decisions I'd ever made.

I love it here. I love the mountains. I love the seasons. I love having the opportunity to go outdoors and enjoy myself without drowning in humidity. I love the fact that it's appropriate to wear sweaters, scarves, and boots. I love my job.

But there are definitely some things I miss about Florida. I guess it's hard to spend your whole life in a place and not miss things - aside from the obvious, of course. I miss my family and my friends like crazy. There are other things, though, that I didn't anticipate missing so much.

1. Publix. Seriously. I visited my boyfriend's parents in Birmingham, Alabama for Christmas, and one of the highlights of my trip was going to Publix and getting groceries. Everything about that place is wonderful. The employees don't hate you when you tell them you'd only like one piece of chicken, not twelve. The bread is fresh and delicious - second only to the baguettes and croissants I've had in France. BOGO is my favorite word - er, acronym. In Colorado, nothing compares. I have to go to three different stores to strike a balance of fresh and affordable, and it's a bit of a pain.

2. Road reflectors. Honestly, I didn't give these things a second thought when I lived in the south. They're everywhere. Driving at night or in the rain isn't a headache or a challenge because your lane is illuminated. You can actually see where you're going. For some reason or another, this idea hasn't migrated west. It's tolerable when it's a sunny day, but if you're brave enough to drive at night, good luck. In the rain or snow? Forget about trying to see the lane markers and just give it your best guess.

3. Good seafood. I know, I know. Before I moved, I'd accepted the fact that I wasn't going to have super fresh shrimp anymore. But what I didn't expect was for everything to be completely intolerable - even the stuff that's frozen and hauled in from places like Alaska. In theory, it should be fresher, right? Salmon coming from Alaska takes less time to get to Colorado than to Florida - thus, it should be fresher. Nope. Not even close. The only times I've been brave enough to peruse the seafood case at the supermarket, I've been incredibly disappointed.

It's the simple things, right?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

One Resolution for 2014

I love the new year.

I think it's just because I like fresh starts. To me, there's nothing more satisfying than the pages of a blank notebook, or starting a new job. I guess I like the fact that the opportunities are endless. I don't know what's going to happen next, and it's up to me to make sure things unfold just the way I want them to.

However, despite my love for the new year, I really dislike making resolutions. "Lose twenty pounds!" "Read 100 books!" "Try new foods!" Every time I tell myself that I'm committed to achieving these specific things, I never seem to follow through.

So this year I'm trying something new. I have one resolution: to focus. Specifically, I want to make these things a priority in my life:

1. My passions. It's been ages since I've been able to say that I legitimately have a hobby. When people ask me what I like to do in my free time, the first thing I do is laugh. "Free time? What's that?" But people usually don't take that as an answer, so I usually follow with "umm... naps? Drinking wine? Reading Buzzfeed? Food?" Now that I actually have some time on my hands, I'm going to rediscover the things I used to love - and maybe try something new! I want to start writing again. I want to get into photography. I want to read books just because I want to. I want to hike and bike and explore Colorado. This year, I'm going to make sure these things actually happen.

2. My health. I'm not really unhealthy, but I could certainly stand to get better. Last year's combination of sedentary job + fast food lunches didn't really treat me very well, and the massive quantities of food and alcohol consumed over the holidays hasn't helped anything. I'm going to start eating healthier. No huge changes, but actually forcing myself to do the little things that I often neglect. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Make enough food to bring leftovers for lunch so I'm not tempted to grab a slice of pizza. Drink more tea. I'm also going to start exercising more. When I first moved to Colorado, I was really ambitious and decided to join a gym. That worked until morning temperatures dipped below freezing. I've accepted the fact that I can't make myself leave the house to go workout, so I'm assembling an at-home gym in my bedroom and starting the Insanity program. No excuses now!

3. My future. When I was in school, I thought I had everything figured out. I thought I'd graduate with my Political Science degree and put it to good use working for an international organization or government agency. Nope. Didn't happen. And, frankly, I don't know if it ever will. I'm not as idealistic as I was while I was in school. Nothing makes you realize that you're an adult and it's time to get it together like paying off student loans. I know I need a career that allows me to advance and pay my bills, but that's about all I've got. I love my current job as an office coordinator, but I don't know where things will go from there. I'm all about letting things unfold naturally, but I want to stay on top of this and be proactive about moving forward and advancing.

New Year, New Start

Hello! Welcome to my blog!

I've decided to start this for a number of reasons. I want to write more. I want to take more pictures (and let them live somewhere other than in the depths of my phone). I want to be inspired to try new things and travel to new places.

Ever since my freshman year of college, my life has been a whirlwind of obligations and not much else. School and work consumed my life, and the only breaks I got were due to family emergencies. Sure, I spent time with my friends and had fun, but I wasn't really able to focus on anything other than what I had to do. There wasn't much room for things that I truly wanted to do.

I decided it was time for something new. Over the last year, I've made some changes. In August, my boyfriend and I filled his car with our belongings and moved from Florida to Colorado. The change of scenery was much needed, and I've fallen in love with the mountains. I changed jobs, too, from a soul-sucking sales position in a massive corporation to an office coordinator role in a small start-up. Again, major upgrade.

But there's still room for growth. I want to read more books. I want to bake more delicious things. I want to explore my new home. After living in the same state for my whole life, it's refreshing to live in a place with restaurants I haven't eaten at, bars I haven't frequented, cities I haven't even heard of before. I want to meet new people.

And I want to use this blog to chronicle all of this. I'm not quite sure what direction this will take, but I'm excited to see where things go.