The end of an era

Photo by Crazy nana on Unsplash

It’s funny, but it hadn’t actually occurred to me until recently that it’s the end of a decade.   So, not only do I have this year to reflect back upon, but I have a whole ten years!

Here’s a quick n’ dirty recap of my decade:

ONE: The number of life-changing vacations I took.  I went to Europe last year with my BFF, and it was my first time leaving the continent and really stepping outside my bubble.

TWO: The number of relationships I had, both being in the top 2 worst relationships of my life.

THREE: The number of jobs I got laid off from.  All three times it was due to industry volatility.  Also, these companies were more or less high-profile, and I love having them on my resume.

FOUR:  The number of cats I adopted.  I only have two now.

FIVE: The number of years I’ve been at my current job, which blows my previous record of 2.9 years out of the water.

SIX:  The number of different colors my hair has been.

SEVEN:  The number of years I’ve been extremely overweight.

EIGHT:  The number of different homes I’ve lived in.  I used to move so much that my family joked I was running from the law.

NINE: The number of different roommates I had.  Only one of them was a Craigslist stranger, and he might be the person who I keep in touch with the most!

TEN:  The number of times I’ve said “Next year is going to be MY year!”

The early 30s were very good to me.  Those times were, hands down, the most fun of my life so far, mostly due to working in the video gaming industry.  I met celebrities, had an article written about me in a local newspaper (my 5 minutes of fame) for putting together an epic concert in town, made lifelong friends, some lifelong enemies, and partied my ass off.

I spent my mid-30s being bitter and angry, having gone through the aforementioned two worst relationships.  I was gaining and gaining weight and feeling most out of control during this time.  During this time is when I moved homes a lot, and I started embracing a more minimalistic lifestyle after getting sick of schlepping boxes back and forth.

My late 30s got better because of my career.  I officially became a Software Engineer, and then a hybrid Software Engineer/Project Manager.  I want to keep climbing the ladder, wherever it takes me, and for the first time, I feel like I’m not stuck.

But as age 40 is just around the corner, I feel lonelier.  My career is about the only thing I’m proud of in my life at the moment, and I’m determined to make lasting changes in 2020.  I’m going to go ahead and say “Next year will be MY year” again because, honestly, if I can’t lose this weight now (within 173 days!) I’m probably just not going to.

In other news, my friend Eliot can’t join me on my trip to Korea.  He’s getting married, which is a totally valid reason and, out of all my friends, I might be the happiest to see him get hitched.

But it does throw a wrench in how I pictured next year.  I’m not sure if I want to try to go alone still.  It would be the single scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and although I see that as a good thing, I’m not sure I’m quite ready.  I’m going to think about this for a bit.

In conclusion, I’m looking forward to the challenge of flipping my whole life on its head next year.  I hope to be writing here 365 days from now as a different person, and I plan to make my 40s the best decade of my life.

The real journey starts now.  Thanks for joining me.  ❤

fragmented thoughts

Been thinking a lot about what I want the rest of my life to look like.

I wonder if my entire world will change when I reach my weight goals, but I also wonder if it’s because of new habits I will have formed on the journey to getting there.

I wonder what my career is going to be like in ten years, five years, even one year.  I’ve pivoted so many times and, in doing so, haven’t developed a strong enough foundation in any one area.

I picture myself doing the same old things, living the same old life, but a little healthier, a little more financially secure, a little happier.  It’s hard to picture someone else in my life, although I do want that eventually.

The travel bug is starting to hit me again.  I’m still planning a trip to South Korea next year, but this is dependent on whether or not my friend Eliot can join me.  He’s fluent in Korean and has family over there, so I can’t think of a better case scenario than going with him.  I think about going alone and the trip is much less appealing.  If it were any other country it wouldn’t be as big of a deal, but returning to the mothership as a dumb American, feeling like an outsider at home and an outsider in my birthplace, is a different experience than traveling just to see the sights.

178 days until my 40th birthday.  I installed a countdown app on my phone so I can keep myself on track to reach my weight loss goals.  If I’m being honest with myself, I haven’t been trying that hard up until now.  I’m still eating like shit and not exercising at all (Vermont winters are next-level brutal, and I don’t want to leave the house!).  My weight is trending downwards so I tell myself that’s OK and I’ll get there eventually.  But having this countdown timer will be a sobering reminder that I actually need to put in work if I want to reach my goals.  What a concept.

40 before 40…

In other news, I feel a million times better than when I posted my last update.  I think the  Prozac was probably still working its way out then, but I’m 100% back to normal now.

I’ve been writing code all weekend to catch up on work, and realizing how much I miss it (most of my work is in management lately, with very little coding).  It’s getting me motivated to take on other projects.

Holidays are hard for sticking with goals and developing new habits, but I’m trying to stay on top of things.  I’ve made my “TODO” list for 2020 and I’m feeling ready to tackle it.

Stay tuned for a wrap-up post about 2019.


Progress and changes

I’ve officially been off Prozac for a little over a month now.  

Weaning off (this time) wasn’t bad as I did it extremely slowly.  I had the spins for a few weeks but that’s about it.

But now that I’m back to my baseline I’m noticing things that I don’t like.

First and foremost, I can’t focus.  My mind is constantly wandering and I grow bored with things far too easily.  Trying to keep up with my work has been a struggle, and even though I have a second bedroom that I can turn into an office, I’m trying to find an external place where I can go to shut out all distractions.

Secondly, my emotions are just below the surface these days.  The smallest things can fill me with rage or bring me to tears.  I feel… not unstable, but like I have an uneven surface.  Prozac smoothed out those bumps and made me feel like everything was going to be fine all the time.  Ironically, it’s what I used to say I hated about Prozac — that I felt sort of like a mood-less zombie.  Right now I miss Zombie Me.

I also stopped taking all supplements except Magnesium and Vit D.  Before, I was taking all sorts of homeopathic animal organ pills that propped up my energy levels throughout the day (which worked for sure), but were really expensive and reaching ridiculous levels, quantity-wise.  So my body is back to making its own energy, and that’s also an adjustment.

I’m basically having to re-learn how to be an unaltered human and it’s hard.

Also, I went (mostly) vegan.

It’s been three weeks since I watched a documentary that scared the pants off me for health reasons (“The Game Changers”, on Netflix) and caused me to get rid of any and all animal products in my apartment.  I had literally just gone grocery shopping to make a big pot of beef chili, and I ended up returning everything to the store.

The “mostly” part is built in because I know myself.  I’m human, I mess up (a lot) and I don’t want to count it as a failure if I slip up here and there.  I have slipped up a handful of times in the past three weeks and I got right back on the wagon afterward.  I think that knowing I have some wiggle room built in will help me succeed in the long term.

I already feel better and my fingers are slimming out.  I always notice that my fingers get bloated when I’m eating crap, which is weird, but it’s kind of my gauge.  Also, my sense of smell is better than ever, which isn’t always a good thing 😉  And my face used to be really oily all the time, but now it’s so dry that I have to moisturize it.  It’s a good problem to have.

I joined a strength-training program.

This week I went to the local gym and got weighed, measured, interviewed and evaluated so I could join their strength-training program.  It’s three classes per week of mostly weights with a little bit of cardio.  I’m going to try it for a bit and see if I want to stick with it or go for personal training.  I really like the trainer, and I think that’s important.  In my mind, personal training sessions were super scary and intimidating, but the trainer guy was super friendly and personable, and the gym was fairly non-threatening.  The last time I did a program like this, I saw results almost immediately, so I’m pretty excited to start.

I’m starting to plan the vacation of a lifetime.

I turn 40 next summer and my gift to myself is to vacation in South Korea for 2-3 weeks.  I was born there, adopted as a baby, and I’ve never been back.  This is a blog post for another time, but I’ll just say that it’s top of mind lately.  I’m frantically trying to learn the language and get my shit together before then.

More updates later.  Things are starting to gain traction and hopefully I’ll have more to say in the upcoming days, weeks and months.