Posted in 20somethings, life, opinion, thoughts, women

What Makes You Think It’s Okay

As I am about to share my most personal post to date, I must make it known that what happened really weighed on my mind heavily throughout the day. I contemplated writing this all down in the fear that it may be taken as a ‘poor me’ post but maybe that’s the problem with everything on my mind. If something happens to us, why must we be so fearful of speaking out or what others may think? You’ll get what I really mean in a moment.

My Sunday mornings have been pretty typical over the last few months; sleep in a bit (most likely until 8:30/9- my teenage years are behind me!), eat a quick breakfast, head to the gym and settle in for football. Today was supposed to be nothing different. I wasn’t supposed to feel out of sorts.

As I began settling into my workout with Eminem’s ‘White America’ blaring in my headphones, I was approached by another gym-goer that I had seen before. Our first encounter was less than appreciated. He made uninvited comments about my looks and how he’d been watching me workout over the course of a few months. Pretty much enough to make anyone feel creeped out! Since then I have made a conscious effort to avoid this person and to not give them the idea that I have any interest in entertaining anything he has to say. Today was the first time in a while that he approached me.

Seeing him leaning up against the machine I was using, I tore out one of my headphones with a “what is it?” sort of look. What he said next really shook me.

“Good morning. How are you doing?” he asked. “Fine. Thank you,” I responded, eager to get back to my workout. Before I could get that earbud back in, he quickly said the following: “I just wanted to say what you did last week was very mean and unfair.” Not knowing what he was talking about, I responded with a “what are you talking about?” His response: “While I was doing my back workout, you were standing in front of be bending over and that’s just not fair.” I’m sure at that moment, the color was gone from my face and my mouth was wide open. A very small handful of times I am at a loss for words and it was happening right then. Where was my typical witty response? What happened to the big “F-U” that would take this guys out at his knees? Nothing was coming to mind so I put my headphones back in in hopes that the rap music would fuel my anger. It didn’t.

As I moved from machine to machine, all I could think about was what he said and how he said it. It was so causal, like someone talking about the weather equipped with a sly smirk. What makes a man or anyone think that saying something like this is okay? I started to feel insecure. What was I doing that day? Were my workout clothes revealing? Were my move provocative? Should I be more aware of what I am doing? This isn’t me, I thought. Why should I be blaming myself over this situation when I am not the problem here?! I even quickly thought about changing gyms and getting away from this person but again it’s like why should I change who I am and what I do over someone’s words?

When a girl gets raped, it’s probably because her skirt was too short. When a girl uses her mind, she’s a bitch. When a girl feels confident in her gym clothes and her workouts, she’s a distraction. What can we do as women where we aren’t the ones to blame?

20161002_103726

From the photo above, you can see the change in my demeanor. I kept looking down at my feet in-between weight sets because I felt insecure. I kept going over the scenario in my mind and started to feel angry that I didn’t put the guy in his place.

Well, the chance presented itself.

Wrapping up my workout on the treadmill, eagerly pushing to make it home for the Patriots game, he appeared again right in front of me. I was suddenly so angry about the situation, my safety and having to defend myself, I took my headphones completely off this time and before he said a word I said, “You need to get away from me and leave me alone. I am not interested in anything you have to say. Stay away from me.” I said it loud unsure it if was due to the fact that I wanted people to hear or that the music had been blaring in my ears to drown out my thoughts. Of course he started laughing and walked away. I was glad that I said what needed to be said but still didn’t feel safe.

He told me before he was watching me, expressed an uncomfortable attraction and already crossed the line in communication. What am I to do now? Why are we as women constantly faced with these situations and what makes anyone think it’s okay?

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in 20somethings, life

Give Me Some Breathing Room, Bro!

bb

I’m not sure if this is a new revelation on my part but what is the deal with people and their ridiculous separation anxiety? No, I’m not talking about the dog that evacuates his bowels when you leave the house in fear of being alone. That makes me sad. In fact, I’d probably quit my job or strongly negotiate taking my pet to work with me. Unfortunately for humans, I’m not as emotional or passionate about your loneliness and would prefer if you would get the heck away from me!

What is my rant about this time? Well it’s about the people who have a false sense of personal space and really don’t have any issue in invading yours. Don’t start shaking your head and say this is mean. Come on! You have experienced it too! For instance, let’s talk about all the times when I bring my dog to the park. I purposely park in a spot far away from any other cars. You know the one spot that isn’t anything special, not near anything, but surrounded by 50 OPEN parking spots. Yup, that one. So off I go thinking I don’t have to worry about trying to limbo my way back into the front seat only to return to a godforsaken Honda Civic on top of my door! I often look to try to find the person that dared to invade my area but they are nowhere to be found. Why must they do this? Do they have a fear that their car will be lonely when they leave it?

Let me not forget to mention the gym because we all know who I’m talking about. That annoying person who needs to pick the machine directly next to you even though there is a bank of identical ones open, free, and ready to use. Anyone ever give the side-eye to these people and then strategically look around to emphasize the fact that there are plenty of other machines they could use? Yea well they don’t take the hint and instead you’re subjected to viewing them stretch their hamstring up on the treadmill rail next to you. That whole scenario just ruins my workout flow. You feel me?

Finally, to the people on the train, get a flipping clue. Public transportation is creepy enough riding along with a bunch of smelly people you don’t know. The last thing I need is for you to grab the seat closest to me in the empty train car. If I can see you in my peripherals, you’re too damn close. If I can hear you breathing through your mouth, you’re overstepping my bounds. And (yes, I’m starting a sentence with “and”) if we lock eyes during this joy ride, you can guarantee that I hate you and I have your creepy face saved to my phone in case I have to call the cops. I can see it all unfold tonight on Channel 7.

Posted in 20somethings, life

Why Summer Doesn’t Feel Like Summer

DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince made it all sound simple:

“Give me a soft subtle mix
And if ain’t broke then don’t try to fix it
And think of the summers of the past
Adjust the base and let the alpine blast
Pop in my CD and let me run a rhyme
And put your car on cruise and lay back cause this is summertime.”

 

IMG_20140621_004053

Sure, I can play Pandora at my desk and get whisked away in fantasies of sitting on the beach with the sun hitting my face and a good book on my lap but it isn’t the same. Although visiting the ocean and playing some upbeat tunes has come true a few times this summer, the thought of taking it easy like Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith argh,um,The Fresh Prince vocalize seems to be long gone.

Was it ever a reality?

The First Years

Sure! When I was a kid (below the standard working age) summer was a crucial break from school and the constant structure of scheduling. My days were spent hanging out on playgrounds with friends, going away on vacation, or even getting pumped up over sleep away soccer camp. What was there to stress about? Maybe your mother calling you in for dinner before the street lights came on and you were about to miss a critical game of kickball!

Sweet 16

“You want to drive, you better get a job.” Words spoken so many times by my father that I’m sure somewhere on Google he is cited as saying them. In a blink of an eye, simple summers were over and parents assumed you were an adult and had to live like one. Don’t get me wrong, I had no issues making my own money but those once relaxing summers turned into scrubbing plates in a dish room at the hospital. First job memories……frightening to say the least!

Present

The innocence of summer breaks is gone and as most of us know, it’s just another three months of working but just in hotter temperatures. I will say, at least for me, summer is my chance to come up for air and loosen up the shackles that have kept me close to my desk all year long. Obviously the dynamic has changed and instead of checking out for some much needed vacation time, we are very much still plugged in. Is it me or does work send you even MORE emails when you are out of the office? How will I overcome my summertime sadness (see what I did there 🙂 )?

I’m going to plan.

I’m going to figure out what my next moves are and what risks are worth taking. I’m going to get more organized and get my financial life in order. I’m going to see friends more because the weather gives you more flexibility to do new things. I’m going to go back to the beach with a new book and soak up what I have earned all year, time for myself.

“And this is the Fresh Prince’s my new definition of summer madness”

Posted in 20somethings, health & fitness, humor

Why Am I Still Here?

As I have taken a longer look at the title of my blog known as “Where Am I?” I’m sure the readers out there (if there are any) are wondering what is going on with these postings. Yes, I’m a bit all over the place, sort of like my life. One thing might happen and instead of texting my friends about it, I decide to make it a blog entry. I figure why not share my thoughts about something so out of my own control and let my fingers fly while recapping it all! 

To keep with the “Where Am I” theme, at least for today, I’m going to share why I constantly ask myself how I ended up here. 

In one of my very first posts, I indicated that I am a member of a Women’s Only Fitness Club (yes, I’m still there and unsure why) which started out as a very interesting experience and transition from my previous gym. The culture of a women’s only facility differs greatly from the all the other types of health clubs out there. If you have been a member of one, you understand this greatly!  It’s cool though, roll out of bed looking half dead and not really care who is there to judge you is a pretty descent way to work out. As time has gone on though, I have become a bit annoyed with how things are running there. Equipment is broken, bathrooms are nasty, and a few months back, members were charged with an “upgrade fee” of $50. Yes, I’m still waiting on what the heck those upgrades were. Maybe it is the cotton balls and the Kotek pads added to the shelf in the bathroom? 

Anyway.

I decided to inquire to the management about the fee since I was not too pleased with unethical funds being taken out of my account. After being passed around to two different people, the General Manager/Owner? wrote me an email riddled with grammatical errors and run on sentences. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out 1.) why this person did not use/have spell check 2.) how they were in a customer service role 3.) if this was a joke. Of course I was pretty baffled and stared at the email for a good ten minutes wondering what the heck to do with it. I decided not to respond because it was clear that if they were not taking the time to fully and correctly address my concerns then they probably did not care anyway. 

As months went by and things continued to go unchanged, I encountered the same error filled words on a flyer hanging in the gym area. This time though, things were a little different. I know that I said that the all women’s gym is a weird environment but one thing is for sure, leave it to a woman to correct a man’s mistakes. 

Image

(The sign was corrected in pen by a female member)

I’m not trying to put this person down and make fun of the fact that they have some limitations in the spelling department, hey we all have our weaknesses! It’s just a matter of effort and purpose and while I was annoyed that the email I received seemed careless, it was pretty comical to see the errors corrected by “Ms. Anonymous.”

So Where Am I now? Still a member of this gym that hasn’t fixed the studio (as indicated above) and yet address my concerns. How long will I last? That is yet to be determined but hey, when you have a group of ladies who will whip out a pen and call you out, that’s not exactly a bad place to be. 

No but seriously, I need to find another gym. Just wanted to end the post on a somewhat positive note 😉

 

Posted in 20somethings, humor, life, women

You’re A Mean Girl

Image

I’m sure by now that you are well aware that the 10 year anniversary of “Mean Girls” was yesterday and like me, you probably thought it was pretty awesome. As the day went on though, the number of quizzes and “Did You Know” articles were a little overwhelming (… “the limit does not exist.”) I promise you that this posting isn’t like the others but instead a witty analysis on what  being “mean” really is.

As a female, I have experienced all different areas of mean from all different types of people and situations. In short, GIRLS ARE MEAN! Even nice girls are mean. It’s a tatic in order to survive in a world of judgement, confrontation, and competition. Want to know how to identify these mean girls? Check out my categories (and yes, I may fall into a few myself ;):

Bitchy Mean

When you are considered a mean girl or a bitch, you already know it’s true. Even Janice Ian put it so eloquently when she said, “At least me and Regina George know we’re mean!” When you are bitchy mean, you have an air about you that says “sorry but not sorry.” You really don’t care to know what’s going on with someone’s life and those around you have accepted that. I like to think that bitchy mean girls permanently suffer from Resting Bitch Face and although this doesn’t necessarily translate to being mean 24/7, it’s a good indicator to not mess with you.

Business/Work Mean

We’ve all been there; dealing with someone in the office that is a total biznatch! They walk around constantly being a Negative Nancy while you sit in your cubicle counting down the minutes until you can run the hell away from her! My other favorite type of representation of work mean is the one-upper. “Oh, you closed a deal with a client today? Yeah, well I closed four last week.” “You went for a run on your lunch break and did 2 miles? I did 5.” You can only hope one of you will give your notice before you claw your her or your eyes out!

High School Mean

One would think that after high school some girls would grow up and leave that cafeteria clique mentality. Unfortunately (for them) it doesn’t happen. One specific and legendary scene in Mean Girls captures their mantra perfectly: Regina to girl: “O my god I love that skirt, where did you get it?” Girl: “It was my mom’s in the 80’s.” Regina: “Vintage, I love it.” Girl walks away. Regina: “That’s the ugliest F-ing skirt I have ever seen.” Do you or know someone that does this on a regular basis. I’d raise nine hands if I had them!

My Friends Are Mean, So I’m Mean

When it comes to circles of friends, you find out at a young age whether you are a leader of a group or a follower. If you fall in the leader category, it’s your lucky day! Your entire flock of peasants will disapprove of anyone you feel is beneth you. If you’re a follower, then you are just mean by association and everyone else will think so too.

Womanhood Mean

As woman enter their mid-twenties and early thirties, it’s like their brain shifts and they feel the need to express how “adult” they are. Seriously, stop talking about your engagements, weddings, ultrasounds, and Instagramming your new home furnishings from Pottery Barn. You may be thinking “well this bitch is just jealous.” See what I did there? Trust me, this bitch knows all of those things are going on in your life and you’re being a bitch for talking about it! What was it that Mrs. Norbury said in the movie? “You’ve got to stop calling each other sluts and whores.” She should have added “bitch” to that list! (That word cuts deep!)

Boy Mean

One would think that I would change the heading to “guy mean” or “man mean” but come on, we all know that they remain boys until they reach the age of our grandfathers! (That’s not mean!) I believe Boy Mean goes hand and hand with those in Bitchy Mean, High School Mean, and Womanhood Mean. Bitchy Mean because any guy who is not up to your standards will get shut down in about 2 seconds. High School Mean due to the fact that if he was uncool in 10th grade, he will always remain that way in your adult years. Womanhood Mean because you’re looking for a husband and not a drinking buddy so clearly any single guy is a red flag. Sorry boys, don’t even think about adding her on Facebook…DECLINED!

As you can clearly see, there are various stages of “Mean” that we all can identify with and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, you can be labeled mean even though you’re not negative to anyone else. Jealousy, competition, and personal accomplishments come with a whole lot of negative baggage you may not have anticipated. The film “Mean Girls” taught us that and it also let Cady Herron leave us with words that we know deep down are true: “Calling someone fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. Ruining Regina George’s life didn’t make me any happier. The only thing that you can do in life is solve the problem that’s in front of you.” 

 

Posted in 20somethings, life

The Simple Life

As the saying goes, “age ain’t nothing but a number,” but I cannot shake the fact that I will be 28 years old in just a few weeks. Although society tells us that this age is still rather young, I can’t help but wonder where the time went and how quickly it went by. Working in Higher Education and interacting with students as young as 18 years old almost forces me reflect on what life was like in the “old days.” Ten years ago, I was wrapping up my senior year of high school and wondering if I was going to be accepted to college. My schedule consisted of waking up, going to school, basketball practice, socializing with friends, and traveling to my part-time job. Life seemed so “simple” yet stressful then.

Fast forward to present day and of course, most of my priorities have changed but surprisingly, on my own terms. When I graduated college and was struggling to find a job, I always wished I could go back in to the “simple” life, the comfort I had in that four year cocoon; no school loans, insignificant bills, and parents to rely on. The handcuffs of school work had finally come off and though I sought independence, I still wanted that security. That was six years ago and up until not long ago, I still held on to some of those feelings.

My last few months of being a 27 year old in this world has taught me that where I am right now may indeed be the real definition of the “simple” life. I chose a job that I truly enjoy. Stay in touch and keep up relationships with those that I want to. Schedule my life on my own terms, without having to ask permission. I have a new perspective on the world and about life that I didn’t have even a year ago. Yes, bills suck and life certainly doesn’t go the way that you plan it to but I figure if you stress over achieving the perfect life, you may not get it!

Posted in 20somethings, life

Mid 20’s Crisis!

A midlife crisis is typically defined as someone that gets to the point of realization that their life is almost over and ultimately feel the need to change their personal goals and accomplish something soon. My question is does this type of crisis only exist in midlife? I believe that you experience similar thoughts when making your official transition into adulthood. I am not talking about the move from high school to college rather the time in your life when you have been out for a few years but still scramble to figure out who you are. 

If you haven’t experienced what I like to call a “mid-twenties crisis,” then you either have a sweet life plan laid out for you or haven’t experienced the strain of college loans and career moves. I remember when it first hit me that I was experiencing this and to be honest, feel at times, that I still am. I was standing by the copy machine a while back and started to think about what I was really doing with my life. Although I had a great job and good friends and family, I still felt that something was missing. “What is stopping you from picking up one day and living somewhere else?” I thought to myself. I’ve always had this feeling that I needed to do more with my life and even though I thrive on making conscious decisions, I needed to take a chance. I have had three jobs since college, well technically two professional ones, but always felt that I was ready for the next big thing. When you are this age, everything seems to go by so much slower and even the people around you seem to be your competition. Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates advertising all the great things everyone is doing can really put your life in perspective. What I have learned from my crisis is that this is a significant time in my life to take chances and really live, what most consider, the best time of my life. No, I won’t be running out to purchase a red Ferrari or receive a job offer as a vice president of a company but I will continue to stay hungry for more. I believe that is the outcome of feeling this way and although these thoughts will still enter my mind from time to time, I need to remember that I have so much time ahead of me to figure everything out.

Here’s looking to the future!