• We were supposed to go to the zoo and Uwajimaya but instead took photos, played video games and watched television. Worth. It.
  • For dinner, Wes took me to 3 Doors Down Cafe, not to be confused with the band. I couldn’t eat steak without thinking about the song Kryptonite. It was the perfect birthday dinner.
  • Afterward, we went to Powell’s on Hawthorne, and it was surprisingly huge. I found Song of Solomon for $5! I can’t wait for Wes to read it.
  • We walked back home, and I wanted to stay outside longer.
  • We will explore a bit more tomorrow.

In the photos:

  • My orchid is growing two root dicks.
  • Niko sleeps in the cutest positions. Also, why does she look so regal all the time?
  • My hair and eyeliner game is on point this week. Also, I’m noticing how much weight I’ve lost in my face.
  • I somehow always take a photos of Marson with his tongue out.
  • We bought sparklers for 4th of July and finally used them.
  • I know I’m late in the game, but I wanted to grow more basil. It smells so good by my desk.
  • Dippy doesn’t like the catnip all that much.

I turned 27 today and though work was a little stressful, I came home early. It was really hot, so we had to cut our walk short. We went to Guerro’s for tortas and sat in the backyard eating. I am now in bed not ready to go to sleep.

On the bus home, I sat next to a couple. I thought the woman was talking to herself at first, but she was looking at the guy to her left and telling him he wasn’t worth anything but “what was down there.” She talked about how he’s abused her in the past, and how can he talk to other women? I spent more time watching people as they awkwardly looked over their shoulder to see the one sided conversation. The guy didn’t say anything. At one point, she turned to me and asked if I smoked. I was honestly waiting for her to ask me what she thought of her situation.

The older I get, the more I accept people around me, even those I don’t agree with. Every person comes with new thoughts and experiences, and I can’t judge them anymore than they can judge me. I used to feel so caught up in what other people thought of me, but I realize people are too caught up in their own insecurities. Even when someone judges me, I realize part of their judgment could be a projection of their own internalized fears. I find human fragility beautiful. Even the woman sitting next to me. And though I hope they either go to couple’s counseling or just break up already, I can’t help but think in another world they would be just another couple having a nice day and riding the bus home.

How did I forget to mention this? Yesterday, I canceled my gym membership. I truly loved working out there, but I love the weather here and would prefer to get my exercises done outside. Also, we have a ton of workout videos I downloaded online, so there’s always something fun to do. As I’m cancelling my membership, two gentleman are helping me. One asks what I’m doing now for workouts, and I tell him I usually walk outside. There was a long pause between my answer and his next question and when I looked up, I saw them both smirking at me like, “Uh huh, I’m totally sure you do that.” Then again, that might be my insecurity being in a gym in general. I’m thinking they assumed I had given up and am never going to workout again. I had to run another errand and decided to take a long walk before going back to work. As I’m walking, I noticed one of the guys from the gym, and I think I saw a look of admiration from him. Obviously, I wanted to say something like, “SEE, I WORKOUT, ASSHOLE.” But my awkwardness will claim the silent victory.

Do you ever see certain flaws in yourself that never came into focus until a specific event/time period in your life? I guess I mention this because I never considered myself to be an awkward person, but I realize now that I am. I finally see how certain mannerisms would scare away potential friends and how my bluntness can be perceived as rudeness. And I try so hard to reshape the way I say/act, but I’m finding it too exhausting. I do feel there are certain things I’d like to change. I’d like to be more open with others but also kinder. I’d like to be someone who is dependable and easy to relate to. But there are other parts of me that I feel cannot change under any circumstances. Where do I draw the line? How can I still be who I am while also improving and changing for the best? I fear losing who I am in order to accomodate others. But I also fear missed connections due to my inability to open up. It’s hard finding out who I am. I’m not sure I’ll ever know. It feels good to try though.

This year, I want to be fearless. I feel ready for the changes ahead. My only goal is to wake up everyday thankful and with purpose. To never spend one day questioning who I am and what I’m working to accomplish. If I am feeling stuck, I want to refocus. If I have failed, I want to learn from it and go. The time between failure and next attempt is getting shorter.

Ready. Set. Grow.

IMG_20150819_202048 IMG_20150819_202005 IMG_20150819_201705 20533038600_c51af41199_b

Note: I really wanted a photo of me enjoying the delicious torta I had for dinner, but I think the film knew it wouldn’t be very attractive.

Since Wes wakes up earlier now, I usually get up with him and have about two hours before I have to leave for work. I usually do the dishes, water the plants, play with the pets and read. Lately, taking photos is a part of that morning routine. Whenever my birthday inches closer, I feel a need to document myself. My hair and make up were on point, so I went with it. Will I ever tire of double exposures? Probably not. I see a progression over the years that I like. I feel a little sad that I only have about five packs of Softtone film left. I love how it makes my skin look.

This week feels unbearably long. I’m worried about the position I interviewed for earlier this week and analyzing what I did wrong in the interview. But there’s little I can do about it now. I did my best, and they’ll either want me or not. This won’t define me.

Anyway, I’m procrastinating. Another long day ahead of me.

Wes always gets free food from work, and last night he brought home tortilla chips. We had delicious nachos with lots of veggies and shredded chicken. We practically inhaled them as we watched the West Wing.

Things feel very different lately. I am more confident in myself, so I speak up more at work. When I walk, I no longer stare at the ground wishing I was a shadow. I make sure to take care of myself everyday. I’m not tired all the time. When I don’t want to do something, I force myself to just do it for five minutes and end up just doing it.

I cringe sometimes thinking about the past. Is that how I really lived? Whenever I want to give up, I think about those moments. Is that what I want back? I feel free from the things that held me back (including my poor attitude in the past). Instead of my anchor, they’ve become my catalyst. Even on the worst days, I’m better than I ever was. I feel like that is the best thing I could ever give myself.

Meal prep for next week:

  • spaghetti & meatballs with zucchini pasta
  • shredded chicken (we make quesadillas everyday — I’m lazy)
  • sweet potato hash with bacon and eggs
  • ice cream with berry compote

My interview today went really well. I fumbled a couple times, but I think the CEO was impressed. He’d like to call me in for a second interview soon. I’m excited and nervous and uncertain. Bleh. It seems like a fun challenge. I’ve gained so much experience in my current position, but this one would definitely be a lot more adventurous and challenging. I think I’m ready for it. When I originally sent in my application, I received a test (I think it’s called a DISC assessment). He mentioned that we’re complete opposites, which is a good thing. I never realized how important it is to work with people who complement you well. I don’t know. I have a really good feeling about this position. I feel like my gut is telling me, “Do it, ho.” I would also be making a lot more money. The commute is longer (probably no more walks to work for me, boo), but I can read as much as I want on the bus and take a walk to the bus stop. It’s about a mile away from home, so I’ll still get in some decent walking. My only issue is that it’s located in a not so pedestrian friendly area. And there’s fast food everywhere. Wendy’s is like a fart away. I’m used to food carts and Target being a short distance away. I will definitely miss downtown if I get this position.

As of Saturday, I am three pounds away from my lowest weight in years. I feel like this is the part where I fuck it up completely and binge for a month straight and stop walking everyday. There’s that inner voice telling me I’m going to fuck it up anyway, so I might as well enjoy a large pizza with a side of wings. But now I hear a different voice, much louder than this one saying, “You got this.” Thanks, inner voice 2.0 (is this my inner goddess? Is this what Fifty Shades of Gray referred to???).

Overall, I feel like things are going well. It’s August, meaning by next month the air won’t be fire. I turn 27 one week from tomorrow. I’m working hard to accomplish my goals. I feel like I’m taking action when in the past I kind of just waited for good things to happen to me. And then I’d get mad when nothing good happened. Oh, Jo of the past. We’ve learned so much. And we’re going to learn even more.

I have an interview on Monday and at first I thought “crap, I have to go out and buy interview clothes.” Then I realized something… all the goal outfits I purchased fit. I have a gorgeous blazer I couldn’t even fit my arms into, but now I can wear it comfortably and button it up. A blouse I’ve always adored just never fit right, and now I can button it up and it’s almost loose. I’m also wearing a shirt I bought a year ago. I had to roll it down my tummy. Now, it fits perfectly. This feels so strange sometimes. I’m doing the thing.

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. I should be really tired now, but today is quite productive. I even had a half hour to take a couple photos. My eyeliner is on point today.

20185954179_51f7b8292a_oI have no idea what to do for meal prep this weekend. I could definitely go for more chili. I also have a ton of mayo I made last week, so I might make dressing with it for salads. We have plenty of ripe bananas, so ice cream is definitely on the list.

Okay, I think exhaustion is finally hitting me.

I turn 27 in a couple of weeks. I always like typing this out every year, because it’s the only time I can say it. Is that weird?

Sometimes I worry about spending the rest of my life battling my weight. I really feel like I’m improving for the best, and I try really hard not to let setbacks affect me more than they should. I’ve come a really long way. I was looking at a journal entry I made a year ago today, and it was my first day walking to work in a long time. I had originally intended to do it when I felt like it but a year later, and I’ve missed maybe a handful of days. And the beginning was rough. I was always out of breath, walked really slow and had horrible leg cramps. Today, it just felt like a really nice walk before work.

I had moments earlier this year where I wanted to give up, and I finally asked myself, “What am I giving up?” Because this isn’t about binging. It’s about me, and I’m not giving up on myself. There just ain’t no other way. Just thinking about what my life was like a couple of years ago strengthens me. I owe it to me. Every time I binged, gave up, felt I wasn’t worth it… I’m going to take back all those moments and do this for me.

  • Graham. Cracker. Ice. Cream. Cake. That’s right. I did it. And it’s amazing.
  • I think I like doing dishes. Maybe it’s out of necessity considering I can fill up a sink within a matter of minutes.
  • My favorite form of self-care is taking a really long shower and then dousing myself with coconut oil. I feel like a queen.
  • I always hate beginning books. I’m so slow and then after the first hundred or so pages, I race through the end.
  • I’m itching to buy a new camera. Since my Minolta X-700 is out of commission, I’m thinking about getting a Canon A-1 or Nikon FM2.
  • I feel like I’ve reached adulthood. If I were to be fired on Monday, I’d have enough funds to last for six months at least. Having a savings account feels like an invisible blanket of security.
  • Homemade pizza is ten times better than buying it from a restaurant. And I save a ton of money!
  • Film photography problems: preparing film for a vacation. I think I might need to mail Dillon some film considering I’m already bringing 3 cameras. I think we’re going to be majorly nostalgic while we’re together, and I want to remember everything.

I had another struggle last night with binging. Wes got home late, so I made him dinner. I almost made myself a second dinner. Instead, I attempted to distract myself with reading. It worked a bit. I felt better this morning, but I have a feeling tonight will be another struggle. Bring it.