Baby Feminist

Disclaimer: This post is solely my OPINION. I do not claim to be an expert on feminist theory. If you aren’t interested in my OPINION on my PERSONAL BELIEFS, then don’t read further!

I never used to think I was a feminist. Primarily because I want to be a stay at home mom and do the housewife thing. I used to think that if you wanted this type of lifestyle you couldn’t be a feminist because this is exactly the type of life that feminists are fighting against. I was of course wrong. It is about fighting for every woman’s right to either be a CEO or a stay at home mom or something in between based on what each woman wants! Obviously there is more to it but at its heart feminism is about women being able to decide for themselves the life they want to have and be treated as equals. For anyone who thinks I am talking about the “man-hating, women should rule the world and only use men for breeding purposes” brand of feminism, here is the Merriam Webster dictionary definition that I personally take my definition of feminism from:

Definition of feminism
1:  the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

So now that I identify as a feminist I still have a long way to go in my feminist knowledge. I know very little about feminist theory and history. To use the term that my favorite podcast (only podcast I listen to) Call Your Girlfriend uses I am a Baby Feminist. Which leads me to the point of this post! I am starting a Baby Feminist Reading list based on other feminist reading lists that I found and suggestions from other feminists. I will be sharing my thoughts on each book that I read and adding it to the list on the page! So to kick us off here are my thoughts on The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…”

My Thoughts:

Ok. This may have not been the best place to start but I really wanted to watch the Hulu series based on it that is coming out in April. This book is seriously scary in a way that some of the other dystopian future books aren’t. I kept saying to myself “This could never happen” but mostly as a way to keep my own nerves calm because this book felt just on the edge of possible. For being written in 1986 it feels eerily prophetic. While being pretty dark and scary I highly recommend! It was a fascinating read for anyone who likes the dystopian genre. I’m definitely looking forward to watching the Hulu series next month!

I have a list started of the feminist books that I’d like to read but I welcome all suggestions! 

qlc

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Year 27

When I chose 27 goals to attempt before I hit my 27th birthday, I knew I would likely not make them all. Here’s a list of the ones I did:

1. Take two online courses (2/2)
2. Quit at least one bad habit (1/1)
5. Complete two 5Ks (2/2)
6. Move up to the Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Ballet classes
13. Pay my Dad back for times I’ve skimped on my car payment 
14. Volunteer at least once per season (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)
17. Visit Rachel, Amy Marie and Kaitlynne
23. Shoot a gun
25. See at least two touring Broadway shows (2/2)

While this isn’t a very long list I’m not super disappointed with how this last year went. Here’s a list of things that happened that weren’t on my goals list but were pretty cool:

Started Grad School
Got A’s in my first two classes
Got Engaged and started wedding planning
Got a job in my actual chosen career field
No birthday meltdowns (2nd year in a row!!)

So now it’s time to set goals for year 28! I’m going to be leaving most of the goals that I didn’t quite make from last year as well as adding in a few more! 

Check out my new goals here!

Happy New Year!!

qlc

Trying New Things- July Edition

Welcome to the July edition of Trying New Things! I hope you enjoy reading about some of my new experiences from July!!

21 Day Fix/ Meal Planning

So the operative word here is “try” because so far I have been mostly unsuccessful on the meal planning side. Same with the 21 Day Fix! I have been monitoring my calorie deficit sometimes instead of the 21 Day Fix because some of my standard low-cal staples don’t really have 21 Day Fix equivalents. I also keep cheating so it hasn’t really been a super successful weight loss month! I’m thinking of trying a different rewards system where instead of getting a reward for hitting the end goal, each day would add up to earning the earning the reward! I’m still working out the details but look for it in the August edition!

Shooting a gun

I finally tried shooting a gun for the first time. My uncle and cousin took me and my brother to the shooting range over Independence Day weekend! I’ll be totally honest, I did not care for the experience. It was way too loud (even with ear protection) and I jumped every single time someone fired. When it was my turn to shoot I was really nervous. Every time I shot I jumped and the kick of the gun hurt my hands. My cousin swears that I would prefer a different kind of gun and maybe at some point I will try again but I did not love my first try at shooting a gun!

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Not the most flattering angle! Never let an 18 year old boy do your photography work!

Pokémon Go

Yes I got sucked into this highly addictive game. Before now I had little to no interest or knowledge about Pokémon other than things I remembered from making my brother give me his triples. (He refused to give me cards unless he already had two of it!) So when the Boyfriend got into it I of course mocked him for a while and then in a moment of boredom, downloaded the app. It’s actually been pretty fun! The crazy thing is how much of a phenomenon Pokémon Go has been. For instance we were in a park after 1 am on a Saturday night and there were about a hundred other people in the park too! It felt kinda like a party!

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Saturday in the park!

 

Wizard World Comic Con/Cosplay

Speaking of Pokémon, I went to the Wizard World Comic Con and Cosplayed Misty! Misty is a character from the Pokémon show! I also reffered to my costume as “Hispanic Misty” because Misty is supposed to be pale, green eyed and red-haired! And that is everything I know about her but I had all the pieces of her outfit and my Princess Leia costume got packed away with white wine down the front so it was a good back up costume! Another new thing I tried within the cosplay was having midriff showing! So there we go! Two for the price of one!

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What new things did you try last month? Any suggestions for things that I should try in the future?

 

qlc

Never Say Never

When I graduated with my undergrad I swore that I was “Done with school forever!” In the years since, I had toyed with the idea of grad school but kept backing away from it because it just didn’t feel quite right. Also, because I have never been a good student and I wasn’t ready for the level of commitment that a Master’s would take.

Fast forward to about a month ago when I was writing a blog post about dreams, both abandoned and future! (Click here if you want to read that one!) As I was writing, I realized that I wanted to go to grad school for real. Honestly, the idea had kind of been at the back of my mind but it manifested itself as a real desire while writing that post.

So I started searching for non profit management programs that I could do completely online because I do not want/can’t afford to quit my full time day job. I also searched for affordable ones because my undergrad was not cheap and I will be paying it off for years to come! On a list of cheapest non profit management programs I found one through Grace College. Grace College is a small Christian college in Indiana. It kind of feels like coming full circle because I started my undergrad at a similar small Christian school. It’s a fairly inexpensive program and the application process was very simple to get through which was super helpful. Seriously the application process had been a hindrance to me applying to grad school twice before.

Finally yesterday (about two weeks after my application was complete) I received this email!

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So there you have it! In a little over a month I start a new adventure in learning not only about non profit management but also about being a good student (for once in my life)! I’m super excited, a little scared and have already done some school supply shopping (something I have truly missed the last four years)!!

What are some helpful tips for starting grad school? Who else is starting a new adventure?

 

qlc

Trying New Things

Welcome to my new monthly post about the new things I’m trying!! I have a goal of trying six new things and blogging about them but really why stop at six?

So here are a few new things I’ve tried in the last couple months!

Cavern Zip Lining

For the Boyfriend’s birthday weekend we went to Louisville, KY with his family to go underground zip lining!! Now this is not the first time I have been zip lining, but it is the first time I have gone underground! It also turns out that the last time I went zip lining (through a rain forest while I was studying abroad in Costa Rica) was five years before TO THE DAY!

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Left:Costa Rica, 2011 Right: Louisville, KY, 2016

The guides were fantastic and the style of zip lining was so much better than Costa Rica! In Costa Rica we were given gloves and had to slow ourselves down by pressing on the cable above us.It was scary! In Kentucky the guides are there to slow you down and all you have to do is hang on! While the style and guides were better in the cavern, I must say I preferred zip lining through the trees!  I’m not the biggest fan of heights and combining it with a cold mostly dark cavern did not help! Overall though it was super fun! If you get the chance to visit the Louisville Mega Cavern DO IT!!!

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Couldn’t seem to get one of us both smiling at the same time!

Golf Tournament

The Memorial Golf Tournament is held every year in Dublin, Ohio. Because my work does a hospitality house at the tournament, I was able to get some tickets for the tournament practice rounds. I had never watched live golf before! I’m not sure I’ve even ever been to a golf course! Since I had the tickets and the Boyfriend had to work, I invited my dad so it could be a sort of early father’s day present. It was definitely cool to watch and unlike any other professional sporting event I’ve been to! Also, I wore a super sweet visor and a polo shirt so I totally looked like someone who knew how to watch golf!

 

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My super sweet visor and my dad actually paying attention to the golf!

Grad School Application

That’s right, I applied to grad school. Right after college I thought about doing grad school and I completed about half of the application process before I decided it wasn’t something I wanted to do (I did this two years in a row). But this time I finished the whole application process! So now I’m waiting to hear back about official acceptance! I did get an email from the director of the program that totally sounded like I’m accepted but he didn’t say “hey you’re accepted” so I’m still waiting for something a little more official!

Junior Committee

I found my summer volunteer option! Actually I found my permanent volunteer option! I found the Junior Committee through the Central Ohio chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association! I think I’ll do a full post later about my connection to Alzheimer’s disease but for now joining the Junior Committee, a group for young professionals that are working towards an end to Alzheimer’s, is one of the new things I’m trying and loving! The people are great and the events are super fun ways to raise awareness and funds for a fantastic cause! Also, there’s the opportunity to volunteer directly with people who are struggling with this terrible disease.

 

What are some new things you’re trying or some things you’d like to try?

qlc

You Can’t Follow Every Dream

Today’s topic is a little on the deep and a teensy bit depressing side. So of course I have decided to insert images from the internet (pretty much all from Tangled except for one from Les Mis) to lighten it up!

 

You hear it all the time, people tell you to follow your dreams, that you CAN have it all, to go where your heart takes you. But they don’t really ever say “Pick a small selection of your dreams because some of your dreams may cancel out the option of other dreams,” or maybe, “You’ve waited too long to follow all of them, pick two.” No one tells you that you need to prioritize and start early enough to get them all in. No one warns you that some dreams just can’t be followed and that sometimes some dreams end up being more important than others. Maybe this is just something you can’t realize until it’s retrospect.

I once had the dream to become an actor and live in NYC, but I let other people shake my confidence in my own abilities so much that I changed majors and gave up the dream entirely. I also won’t pretend that the relationship I was in at the time was a huge factor, which stings because that relationship ultimately fell apart.

I once had the dream to join the Peace Corp. and work abroad making peoples lives better, but I let myself get scared that the commitment was too long and that I would miss too much of my loved ones lives.

I once had the dream to be an Academic Adviser at a university or college, but I let the frightening idea of grad school stop me from trying. Just the application process was daunting to me.

Now some people would tell me (and probably will when I publish this)  that it’s not too late to follow some of these dreams. Apply  for grad school! Join the Peace Corp! It’s never too late.

And on many levels I agree with them, it’s never too late to make a change and live the life you want to live. But I also think that sometimes old dreams are better left in the past. Yes you mourn them. Sometimes it stings when you see a play, read about friends living abroad or see friends that graduated undergrad AFTER you get their masters’.

But you learn to move on. You participate in community theater, you volunteer with organizations locally and you encourage college students to send you their program evaluations and four year plans (SERIOUSLY guys send ’em my way!!!).

Because with time other dreams take their place.

I have the dream to become a wife and stay at home mother. While this one may still be a ways off in the future, everything I’m doing now is with this dream in mind. This dream has always been present for me for as long as I can remember. Every single other dream was a “in the meantime” dream while waiting for this one. It may still be a in the future dream but I wouldn’t do anything to delay it any further.

I have the dream to work for some sort of non-profit and/or charity organization when I do go back to working. Potentially something related to the arts. All I know is that I want to work for or start an organization that’s primary goal is making the world a better place. I’m starting with volunteering with a couple different organizations to get a feel for it and make connections.

I have the dream to at some point get either a post-bachelor’s certificate or a Master’s degree. This has been on my mind for a while as something I would like to do but for now I’m researching the types of programs that might interest me. I feel like there is more I need to learn to have the type of professional career that I want to eventually have.

These are all three dreams for the not so distant but also not so near future, but I’ve come to realize that the choices I make now set up that future. So that’s what I’m working on. I’m building my dream life. Like the journal I bought just for the quote says: “Chase your dreams, you might catch one.”

What are some dreams you’ve stopped chasing? What are some dreams you’re currently chasing?

qlc

Goal Update January-May

In case you haven’t noticed, I have A LOT of goals that I’m working for this year. Not only do I have the 27 to reach before I turn 27 but I have a handful of more immediate health and fitness goals to achieve. Yes, some of my goals feed into each other but there’s still a bunch of them so here’s a little update on some that I’ve been focused on lately!

Complete GOTR 5K in under 40 minutes
Reward: New Workout Outfit!
Result: 59:28

As you can see I didn’t quite make this fitness goal! The race was super crowded along some narrow trails and had a very non-competitive atmosphere. This made it really hard to get around the groups of walkers to run. I spent a large portion of the race walking! So I won’t be getting my new workout outfit (right now) but even though I didn’t make this particular goal, it still got me halfway to my 27 by 27 goal (#5) of completing two 5Ks this year!! AND since I volunteered as a Girls on the Run coach for the whole season it also covered my Spring season volunteering for goal # 14!

Another 27 by 27 goal that I’m close to is:

#25. See at least two touring Broadway shows (1/2)

The Boyfriend and I saw Book of Mormon in April and I already bought tickets to Wicked for August! This goal is pretty much wrapped up!

Goal #21 is also underway!

21. Be in at least two theatrical shows (1/2)

Rehearsals have started for the ballet version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz! The show may not actually be until November but I’m counting this goal as half done!

JUNE GOAL FOCUS

Since June is less than a week away I’ll share the goals that are going to take a primary focus in the month of June!!

10. Create and follow a budget for at least 3 separate months (0/3)

May has been an expensive month! With Mother’s day, my mom’s birthday, two of my best friends birthdays, and last but certainly not least the Boyfriend’s birthday! Add in a BBQ festival in Owensboro, KY and you’ve got a pricey month! For June I’m creating a budget and STICKING TO IT!

1. Take two online courses (0/2)

If you haven’t heard of Coursera, it’s a way to take online college courses for free! Obviously you don’t get actual college credits to work towards degrees (you can pay for classes that will earn you certificates and/or specializations) but you can learn about cool topics for free! So whether its pure pleasure learning (I’m signed up for a class called “Sexing the Canvas: Art and Gender” starting in June) or adding a skill set that will give you an edge professionally, there are TONS of courses to choose from!

14. Volunteer at least once per season (Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall)

In June I want to at least decide what my Summer volunteering will be! There are sooo many options in my city so I want to at least narrow it down this month! Suggestions are welcome!

So there’s a little recap on the goals I’ve been and will be focusing on! What goals are you working towards next month?

qlc

That Ballerina Life

Like many little girls, I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up. My childhood bedroom was decorated in ballerinas and even when I grew out of having them on the walls, I couldn’t get rid of the ballerina decorations. (Pretty sure they’re still in a bag at my mom’s house right now!) The love of ballet and the idea of being a ballerina has always been part of me.

Never mind the fact that I quit ballet at 6 because the teacher was “mean.” (She was probably just strict and I was overly sensitive!)

Never mind the fact that by the time I tried ballet again at 12, I didn’t like any form of exercise and was too lazy to try hard enough to learn the steps. (I wanted it to just come naturally.)

Never mind the fact that choreography is something that comes very difficult to me, no matter the style.

Never mind the fact that I did not grow up into a graceful person. (I have fallen countless times including into an orchestra pit… and no one was surprised.)

Regardless of all of those facts that would keep me from being a ballerina I am finally living that dream! Kinda… Obviously I am still never going to be a professional dancer. That’s just not happening. I won’t be quitting my day job. BUT I am taking Adult Beginner Ballet classes and I LOVE IT! I take classes 2-3 days a week and I wish I could take them everyday!

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

Not only am I in ballet classes, the studio that I take classes at has a ballet company that is OPEN TO ALL SKILL LEVELS! Now I would have probably said I needed to wait until I had improved my skills a bit before I attempt to perform. HOWEVER. The Ballet that the company is doing is none other than “The Wonderful Wizard of OZ” and most exciting of all is that it is based on the BOOK AND NOT THE MOVIE!!!! (As many of you know, the book is by far my favorite version! I may do a Wizard of Oz spin off/version ranking sometime!)

Shockingly enough this will be the first production of the Wizard of Oz that I will perform in! I always pictured my self playing Dorothy or one of the witches. Instead I am playing a Munchkin and a Yellow Winkie and I couldn’t be happier! Now I can say I’m from Oz right?

What did you want to be as a kid? Are there any hobbies you’ve picked back up (or would like to) as an adult?

Now you’ll have to excuse me, it’s time for ballet class!

qlc

Same Title, Different Blog

This is my new blog. Yes, it looks A LOT like my old blog. It even has the same name and similar description. The about me, goals and weight loss pages are pretty much the same too. Even the content will pretty much be the same type of content. Sometimes I will probably take the same topic I used on the old blog and update it for the new blog.

Ok, Ok so this is still the same blog. BUT I am approaching it a bit differently this time around.

For one, I’m going to stop apologizing for when I don’t post much. Last time I checked, this is MY blog. Plus, it’s not like anyone was clamoring for my opinions. This is just my space to share what I think and how I feel about stuff that is relevant to me. So I’m done feeling guilty for not posting. It is what it is.

Secondly, to help with the first thing I’m scheduling “office hours” to keep myself organized. Not just with the blog, but with life. My schedule has filled up and I just need some me time to organize for the week ahead! I may even find coffee shops, book stores and libraries to get myself out of the apartment and get focused. (Somehow I always focus better in places like that!)

Third, I paid for a domain name. I have now officially put money into this blog. For some reason spending money on something motivates me. Every blog post I write makes all the rest “cost less” and more economical. Granted I did not spend a large amount of money, but still, it’s the principle.

Finally, I’m going to stop worrying so much about whether my content has big thought provoking ideas or is going to inspire others. I’m going to write about life and my interests and then see what happens. I started this blog as a creative outlet for my over-active brain, not to change lives.

So welcome to the “new” blog! Hope you like it!

qlc