Not Giving a Fuck is Easier Than You Think

My dear friend, Stella, who most of you know from our short stint of eating out and writing about our meals in the Dine n’ Dash section, sent me this awesome link of a Ted Talk called “The Art of Not Giving a Fuck”. This adds to my recent post, Routine is the Enemy of Time and how important it is to live your life the way you want.

Rather than me breaking it down for you, take the 12 minutes to watch the video. I cannot stress enough that everything she says is completely true and will help you live a happier and healthier life.

Enjoy!

Routine is the Enemy of Time

Three weeks ago, I quit my comfortable job, discontinued my lease, picked up my life in New York, and moved to Florida. Then, a week ago, I left for a 35-day European trip. As I’m sure you can imagine, there has been a ton of stress and anxiety over the past couple months while I’ve decided to make these big changes.

You must be asking yourself why? To be honest, I was too comfortable living a life that I didn’t particularly enjoy. Do not get me wrong, I have afforded myself the opportunities to travel, live independently, spend time with friends, and experience new things – and I am extremely grateful for these opportunities. But my day-to-day, between weekends and vacations were becoming tortuous. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but I was auto-piloting through a life I didn’t want, where I sat at a desk staring at a computer Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5PM and stressing out constantly about things I didn’t necessarily care about. I felt trapped by the money and benefits; trapped by this feeling of needing to stay because that’s what society expects of a person my age; trapped by the idea that if I quit my job I will never make as much money as I do now.

You know what, I’d rather give it all up than look back in 20 years and have an overwhelming senses of regret. I never want to live a “I wonder what would’ve happened if I…” or “If only I had…” life.

Once I accepted the fact that if I stayed, I would most likely never feel truly alive. Once I accepted that “failure” is a part of life and that if it doesn’t work out moving south AT LEAST I TRIED…and I can always go back.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, to be honest, this is a really long introduction to this amazing video called The Thousand Year Journey: Oregon to Patagonia where a young man, Jedediah quits his job and travels from Oregon to the southern tip of South America. This is something I would love to do, but I would not do alone. However, if you listen to what Jedediah says, including the title of this blog, “routine is the enemy of time,” I think it will be easier to understand why so many people my age are quitting their comfortable jobs to travel, to go back to school, to create their own businesses, to take time off from a routine life, and/or to create art. I think this video can help some people start to understand that happiness cannot be quantified by a dollar value, but more of an inner peace with what they choose to do with their lives that make them feel truly alive. Enjoy!

The Summer of 2013

As I wrote that title, I started singing “The Summer of ‘69” by Brian Adams. It’s safe to say, it will be stuck in my head for the remainder of the day.

I had an amazing summer; so amazing that I didn’t have time to create one blog post. Here are a few highlights from the summer of 2013 (June to September):

    • I spent a great deal of time in upstate, New York, specifically Saratoga County. I took a lot of time off to just enjoy the pool, the fresh air and everything that comes with the country. I loved every second of it. I spent a bunch of time with some old friends, and overall enjoyed country living. It was extremely difficult to not take more time, but I need the PTO days for the holiday season.
    • When I was in the city, I enjoyed the local park, some local bars and beer gardens, the east side of Manhattan, and enjoyed my last summer in the apartment I live in now. A little bittersweet, but I would not have it any other way.
    • I went out to Smithtown, Long Island for a quiet weekend to see my two close friends from college. We went to a brewery, laid on the beach and sucked up some rays, and caught up with each other’s lives. As you know, I live in Astoria, the one girl lives in, you guessed it, Smithtown, and the other lives in Poughkeepsie, NY, so it can be difficult for us to get together. It made me realize that we need to meet up more often, and hopefully we’ll do so.
    • June and July called for a lot of travel for work. I spent a lot of time in Chicago and West Virginia. I also did some time in Binghamton,NY,  and my last travel week was in sunny Florida. The great thing about traveling for work is all your expenses are paid for, which made the travel worth it. I also got to spend a bunch of time with coworkers I have great relationships with, which made work fun.
    • I GOT A NEW JOB! As much as I loved the people I worked with at my last company, and I loved the travel, the change was needed. I moved from the healthcare industry to the financial sector. It was quite a step up. I don’t have the opportunity to travel anymore, but I do get a beautiful view of Lexington Avenue from my desk. This reminds me that I should change the About Me section of this blog.
    • I saw Zac Brown Band at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) for my birthday. They were amazing even in the rain. The tailgating was a lot of fun, and the outdoor arena was perfect for the instrumentals. They are one of my favorite bands, one of the best bands to see live, and I can’t wait till next summer to see them again.
    • Oh yea, I turned 25 and I didn’t die or have a nervous breakdown. #winning
    • And to end a great summer, I went to Nashville for the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival where Zac Brown Band performed, and Kenny Chesney, Jason Mraz, and Kenny Rogers made appearances. I wish I could say I tried the festival food and saw other performances (Kacey Musgraves, Eli Young Band and Willie Nelson were all there) , but we were too busy enjoying all that Nashville had to offer. We also ate at some of the best southern restaurants you could possibly imagine. It’s still stands true that I am meant to live in the south.

Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot, but I am just now getting settled into the fact that summer is over – maybe it’s the fact that it’s snowing and the middle of November. I hope everyone gets to have a summer like the one I had this year, it really makes you appreciate all the hard work you put in all year long. Cheers!

 

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Sweet Victory: 1st Annual Cupcake Wars

I recently declared war on my office. A war on cupcakes to be exact. Ever since my first day at  this company, I have been begging to have a cupcake competition to see who could make the best cupcake. Why? Because I know that I make a mean dessert.

Over a year and a half later, the first ever annual cupcake wars competition occurred. Originally, there were seven competitors, but in the end, only three participated.

I knew that I had to bring my A-Game, so I made a pound cake cupcake with a chocolate ganache filling and a peanut butter cream cheese butter cream frosting. I baked the cupcake in a pink cupcake wrapper that looked like a flower and named the cupcake A Pound of Peanut Butter PeoniesHere’s the recipe:

Pound Cake Cupcake – Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 4% (whole) milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache – Bring the heavy cream and butter to a simmer then pour on top of the bittersweet chocolate. Mix then let stand/refrigerator until thick and creamy.

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3.5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Butter Cream Frosting – Use a hand mixer to blend all ingredients together until rich and smooth.

  • 1 cup of softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cup of peanut butter
  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 cups of confectionery sugar

To prepare the cupcake, I cut the center out of the pound cake cupcake and filled it with the chocolate ganache. Then added the frosting and additional decorations. I added gold and white sprinkles and a peanut butter cup to tie together the flavors.

In the end I brought home the victory but even if I hadn’t won I would have been completely happy with my outcome. The cupcakes were delicious and the event brought the office together. We also raised over $350 for a NYC based charity.

Back Left: “It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Black Or White” – chocolate cupcake with a cream cheese filling a frosting…Back Right: “A Pound of Peanut Butter Peonies”…Front: “e-LEMON-ators” – lemon cupcake with a lemon cream cheese frosting topped with coconut flakes. ***thank you to D. Gilchrist for this lovely photograph***

 

New Hampshire or Bust

One of the great things about the company I work for is that we have an office in New Hampshire. This means I can get out of the city for a few days and not have to take paid time off.

The office is in Bedford which is right outside of Manchester in an adorable suburban area; a fantastic change in comparison to the 8th Avenue, New York office between Port Authority, Penn. Station and Time Square, or as I call it “The Three Gates of Hell”. It’s quiet, people are nice and the air is fresh. It reminds me a little of home, just less rural.

So what is the point of this post? New Hampshire is awesome. I can admit, there isn’t much to do but I love it. I think I would take a vacation up here if I could afford a real vacation (my vacations currently consist of crashing at my friend’s parent’s house or considering visiting my parents a vacation) if I didn’t have the luxury of coming up here for work. It’s about an hour and a half out of Boston, close to Vermont and it’s extremely relaxing. During the summer, there’s a gorgeous breeze that breaks up the heat and the spring is absolutely gorgeous. There is no public transportation – just the way I like it – which cuts down on the polluted air. It’s fresh up here.

I highly recommend spending some time in New Hampshire. I’m leaving tomorrow around 10am and the only thing that lets me accept my fate is knowing that Friday to Monday I’m on vacation.

 

Like this post? Check out Kennedy Space CenterRAWRRR!!! Museum of Natural HistoryCentral Park, I Love You or South Street Seaport.

Life Expectations Based on Disney Movies

Too many times I have felt let down based on what I believed growing up my life was supposed to be like. Why do I have to work five days a week? Why is it so difficult to manage my money? Why don’t I have a huge trust fund or a rich uncle? Why haven’t I met my Prince Charming? Why isn’t my hair perfect? Why hasn’t some life changing event happened to me that has made me eternally happy?

I can tell you why.

My expectations of life have been based on Disney Princess movies and my parents telling me I can be anything I want to be. All I wanted to be when I grew up was a Princess who got to hang out in my mansion all day, sing what I’m doing in tune and have my Prince Charming come home from a long day and live happily ever after. I wouldn’t have to cook any meals because I would have butlers and chefs. I’d never have to leave the compound because everything I would ever need would be in my mansion and everyone and everything I wanted and needed would come to me. My closet would be filled with gorgeous expensive clothing from around the world. I would have children and only have to worry about playing with them and dressing them up because I would have nannies to do all the difficult tasks that go into raising children. Oh, and I would drink lots and lots of delicious wine.

Now that I’m in my mid-twenties I am starting to realize I’ve been lied to my entire life.  Let’s get real, no animal is going to have conversations with you; not all mothers/stepmothers are evil and it’s not easy to become rich. ALSO, what I expect of out a man is completely unrealistic.

What’s the moral of this story? When I have a daughter and/or gay son I am going to let them watch these movies but I’ll give him/her a pep-talk afterwords. It will probably go something like:

“Honey, I want you to know that this movie is far from reality. I realize this isn’t fair, but that’s life. A more realistic ending would be Cinderella never got her glass slipper back, so she was out about $150 and had to work extra hours to pay her credit card bill either way. Finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with at 16-years-old is completely unrealistic if you want to be successful and be happy in the long run. At 16 you don’t know who you are. At 20 you don’t know who you are. She probably didn’t get in a serious relationship till she was about 28 and she most likely met him online. You will never have perfect hair or a clear complexion 100-percent of the time. She clearly had an animal hoarding issue, which we will discuss when you’re older. She was also obviously delusional since she thought she could talk and sing with a bunch of animals. You will never find someone to clean your house and take care of you for free. She had to get a full-time job once she moved out of her stepmother’s house and she never lived in a mansion ever again. It’s safe to say Cinderella didn’t get the life she wanted. You can dream to be whatever you want to be, and I’ll support you. But let’s be realistic. Maybe you should be a Doctor or a Lawyer since Princess is not a real occupation. Any questions?”

I hope you all have this conversation with all of your future child as I am completely disappointed with the outcome of not being a Princess.

25 Things I’ve Learned In My 20s (Thought Catalog)

  1. You can’t date a jerk and expect to turn them into a good person. Jerks are fully committed to being unpleasant. Those brief moments of tenderness they give you are designed to trip you up and give you false hope. It’s best to stay away altogether.
  2. The rumors are true: your metabolism does slow down as you get older! That means if you’re still eating whatever you want, there’s a good chance you’ll start to gain an awkward amount of weight. It won’t be too drastic but your clothes will start to hang differently on your body and you’ll feel an overall feeling of unattractiveness. Start to be conscious of what you eat and strive to live a healthier lifestyle if you want to get your teen body back. (Let’s be real though, that might not ever come back.)
  3. You’re going to lose touch with a lot of your friends. With some people, it will be expected but with others it will feel like a punch to the stomach. No friendship is truly safe in your twenties. You’re undergoing so many personal and professional changes that there’s bound to be some casualties along the way. Don’t worry though. You’ll end up with the ones that matter. If someone’s no longer in your life, it’s for a reason.
  4. You’ll be jealous of everyone who’s more successful than you. That’s okay. Just transfer that jealousy into something productive, like working really hard so you can one day eclipse them and make them feel jealous of YOU.
  5. You’ll question every decision you make and never feel completely certain that you made the right choice. It’s pointless to wonder though. You’re here now so you might as well make it be the right decision.
  6. You’re going to give your heart to a few people who don’t deserve it. Then, one day you’ll come to your senses and ask them to give it back.
  7. You’ll see your parents get older. You’ll come home during Christmas break and see new lines developing on their faces. One day it’ll just hit you that your parents are old and going to die. There’s nothing you can do about it, besides treat them with kindness and visit as much as your budget permits.
  8. You’ll have a boss who makes you feel like you’re nothing. It doesn’t have to be in a Devil Wears Prada way. The cruelty can be much more subtle. Don’t let them get to you though. They have no idea who the hell you really are and you’re probably going to have their job someday so…
  9. Doing drugs is fun until it’s not, until it starts affecting your life in negative ways and leaves you feeling guilty and wrecked. If that happens, you should stop doing them.
  10. You’re going to puke in public. It’s fine. No one cares. Just puke.
  11. You’ll know how to make twenty dollars last an entire week because you spent almost all of your paycheck on groceries at Whole Foods and drunk cab rides. This lesson in frugality will serve you well.
  12. You’re going to betray your convictions. You’re going to feel shame. You’re going to continue to put yourself in situations that aren’t good for you. And then, slowly but surely, it will become less frequent. It might not ever go away completely but it won’t be as bad. In the meantime, stop shame spiraling about it. It gets you nowhere.
  13. Loving yourself is hard. Hating yourself is harder.
  14. You’re going to hook up with someone who you would never touch in the daylight sober. Just don’t freak out too much about it. Consider it to be your good deed for the day.
  15. You’re going to have people in your life who are toxic. They may say that they love you, they may say that they have your back, but they don’t. Get rid of them.
  16. You’ll have moments with someone that are so intense, it’ll feel like you’ve been electrocuted back to life. You’ll hold on to these moments for a long time. They’ll give you hope when you’re going through the motions.
  17. You’ll always care about your first love. That doesn’t make you crazy, it just makes you human. When relationships end, it’s not so cut and dry. You carry everyone you’ve ever loved into every relationship thereafter.
  18. You’ll enter your twenties as a fashion disaster and (hopefully) leave them looking fantastic. If you don’t know how to put yourself together by then, I really don’t know what to tell you.
  19. You’ll realize that the Internet can be a cruel son of a bitch but, you know, http://www.whatever.com.
  20. So much of what you think matters doesn’t actually matter at all. It’s kind of rude. Like, thanks for making me believe in things that are ultimately so inconsequential, you jerk.
  21.  You’ll treat someone terribly. Whether it to be a lover or your friend, there’ll be someone whose feelings you take for granted. We focus too much on whether or not someone is hurting us. The reality is that we might actually be the one who’s hurting someone.
  22. Doing “grown-up things” doesn’t make you a grown up. Shopping for housewares, buying a plant, embracing domesticity — these things don’t create maturity. If you’re still a baby who hasn’t figured things out, you’ll remain a baby, no matter how many times you pay your rent on time.
  23. Don’t force yourself into loving anyone. If it’s not working in the beginning, it’s probably not going to work ever.
  24. You are so lucky to have everything that you have. Stop crying about an unreturned text message and get some perspective.
  25. Don’t go too long without having sex. Ever.

Highlight Of My Week

Most days, work is pretty uneventful. I come in around 8:30am, attend meetings, create documentation,  jam out to my iTunes (mainly my “Glee Perfection” mix), have fantastic conversations with my boss and a few coworkers, create more documentation and head home around 5:30pm. My highlight most days is a YouTube video I send out to some of my coworkers as the “Clip of the Day” or something that doesn’’t happen in the office; despite the fact that most of my week life is spent at work. So, when the highlight of my day, more/less my WEEK does happen at work, it is something that most of the time you had to be there to appreciate it. This however is not the case.

Let me set the stage. It’s a quiet day in the office. The weather outside is gorgeous (not that it matters since I’m stuck sitting at a desk with poor lighting all day) and everyone is in an okay mood. The office is also very quiet because just about everyone is out in the field this week. However, the few of us that are in the office are wishing we had worked from home.

The general area I work in is laid out like this (The office is a lot bigger than this, but for the story’s sake, let’s just stick to this layout):

As you can see, based on the proximity,  I can basically hear just about every conversation anyone has near me.

Coworker #3 is on a call. With who? Not sure. What I do know is that Coworker #3 is speaking loud and clear.

Silence.

Coworker #3: ““Oh, well i like anal. Actually, i prefer it.””

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

My Boss, Coworker #1, Coworker #2 and myself burst into uncontrollable laughter. It’s absolutely contagious. Loud and obnoxious.

After about a minute of gut busting laughter:

Coworker #3: (mutes their phone) “”I can’t believe i just said that. I say the worst things on calls.””

We spent the rest of the day laughing hysterically. Actually, we are still talking about the situation. It’’s safe to say that when Coworker #3 is on a call we are all silent in hopes that they will say something else that would make our day.

Note: Basically, the baby in this video was me for a good hour after the incident:

***Thank you so much to Coworker #3 for allowing me post this blog!

 

Like this blog? Check out WATCH WHERE YOU’RE WALKING!!!!!! or I Almost Scratched My Eyes Out…

Kennedy Space Center

It has been a while my friends, and I do apologize for that. I recently started a new position with the company, and now I have very little time during the week to blog 😦 … Oh well.

Any whoozle, I spent two weeks in Cocoa Beach, Florida for work back in June. IT. WAS. A. DREAM. Obviously because it’s a Florida Beach in June, but because I was blessed with fantastic weather (except for the one day it monsooned while I was driving to work). Because of the fantastic weather, and  the fact that the NASA programs are slowly coming to an end, I decided to drive 20 minutes north to Cape Canaveral to go to the Kennedy Space Center.

I had so much fun, it’s kind of ridiculous. I was surrounded by children, but NASA brought the child out of me. I sat in on a couple presentations, and by the end, my dream job was to do public relations for NASA. The only thing that didn’t work out was I didn’t find my future husband, Astronaut Mike Dexter (for those of you who get that joke, you are simply the best).  Below are some pictures of my visit. Enjoy! xoxo

Like this post? Check out RAWRRR!!! American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, I Love You, South Street Seaport or New Hampshire or Bust.