Another Revolution

Well, I made it. I made it to 29.

My birthday was yesterday, and it was the perfect birthday for me, the me who’s lived nearly three decades now. I went to work and celebrated with donuts and lattes–little treats I don’t normally have. Then I struggled with an Excel chart until I flip-flopped some info and finally got the stupid thing to do what I wanted. I felt accomplished, as it was another treat to learn and figure out something new.

I left early, practicing balance and self-care; that was my present to myself. I decided on getting a haircut, and the stylist who saw me turned out to be a Filipino brother. We talked about food and our experiences growing up Filipino. Another unexpected treat, I’d say.

IMG_6003.PNG

I took a nap on the couch–one of my favorite things to do, and then made my way to the gym for my birthday WOD. It was a workout with some of my favorite things in CrossFit (not the med ball carries, though), appropriately timed for my age. Once I was done and rendered to nothing more than a sweaty mess, it was off to switch modes and try to put myself together for dinner with an absolutely fantastic guy.

The thing about me is I love my birthday. When JD asked about my preferences for my birthday dinner, he said I could either pick the place or he could choose something. I chose to be surprised, and I also chose to have the dinner spot kept a secret (note: I also love surprises… Surprises and a birthday?! Perfect.).

He chose well.

We headed downtown–after I flipped from sweaty mess up to more or less put together (I had on a dress!) in 45 minutes–and he hinted it was around Pike Place. I had not a clue what it could be, though so, the hint meant little. We parked and went looking for the place, as he had not been there before. We walked into Post Alley, past several quaint shops and some bars, and stopped at the end. We had almost decided to turn around when he remembered, “There isn’t a sign out front.” Next to an unmarked door on one of the buildings, there was a tiny business hours sign. We walked in, down the stairs, I still had no idea where we were, and JD confirmed with the hostess that he did have reservations at the restaurant in which we stood.

It was The Pink Door, an Italian-American restaurant/cabaret with a beautifully decorated interior that was rustic and sophisticated and dramatic and quaint and all sorts of different things all at once. It wasn’t too dark nor too bright; everything seemed just right.

Just right. That’s what I would say for the rest of the dinner date. The wine and food were both spot-on, and the company I had was even better. It was a nice, relaxed time, and I did, indeed, feel very special. Even when the waiter forgot my dessert’s candle–unlike all the other birthday girls around, whose cakes and tarts had candles. Our waiter realized he had forgotten (which really was no matter because the Cabaret Cake was so delectable), and brought out my candle on its own little plate.

IMG_6018.JPG

Take that, other birthday girls in the room!

All in all, 29 started very well. It was a day in which I felt loved–loved by others and myself. I look forward to exiting my twenties, to leave this decade behind, but I’m in no hurry. Like I did with every moment last night, I plan to savor these upcoming days.

I have a feeling that 29 will be just right.

PS – Thank you to everyone who made it such a great day, especially my swole mate and significant other, JD. (He’s just really great, you guys.)

IMG_6010.JPG

Birthday selfie! Whoo.

Twenty-Eight

I love my birthday. There is no doubt about that. Today celebrated an especially good anniversary around the sun on an especially good day.

Sure, I worked. And yes, I went to the gym like I normally do. But everything is so much more special on a birthday. There was a holiday party, full of cookies and good conversation; I, of course, insisted that the party had been thrown solely in my honor. And later, I set a new personal record for back squat–30lbs. heavier than my last maximum attempt in June.

During late dinner, friends from different walks of life joined me, ranging from a friend I’ve known for almost a decade to a brand-new friend from my new gym. It was lovely, that’s for sure.

This year has taught me so much about myself. I’m stronger than I thought, physically and mentally. I still have weaknesses to face. I can love fiercely, and I can thrive independently. (This was the year of #bestsummerever, after all.) I am curious and thirsty for new knowledge and new skills. And I am finally becoming confident and ready to stop holding back.

Here’s to 28. May it be the best year yet.

20131203-233840.jpg

Happy Happy

Birthday week is a good week. Even when it ends with running several 300m lengths carrying a sledgehammer and then attempting multiple rounds of hang power cleans at a weight I’ve never tried before. It’s a good week even though I worked my full work week and was notified that one of our advising scenarios from my academic advising course came true. It’s a good week even when I realize I haven’t done laundry in a long time.

It’s a good week because it’s humbling and full of reality checks but because it also just makes me feel so darned special. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Northwest SunsetAlso, here’s a picture of the sky when I left work today!

This is Going to Be Brief

It was birthday week in my world, which meant it was time for a shake-up of the normal routine. I spent Saturday and Sunday in Seattle with friends, and I got the chance to take a certain someone to Pike Place for his first experience with the market. We went to the Oriental Mart Kitchenette and had delicious Filipino food. Masarap. We split orders of pork adobo, pancit, and even some salmon sinigang. I spent the remainder of the afternoon full.

The rest of the weekend was comprised of hanging out with my former roommate, a fun night on Capitol Hill, and some good catch-up time with other friends. There was, of course, also a lot of good food: Manhattan, Cupcake Royale, Wild Mountain, Samurai Noodle, etc. So. Good. Maybe not for my waistline, but definitely all sorts of good, quality food. There was no cutting corners throughout my short trip.

Since I posted late last week, the only work-outs I’ve done were brief.

Tuesday, Dec. 4th
Morning yoga at home

I had the chance to sleep in late after my birthday extravaganza on Monday night. Snugs took me to Jake’s Grill downtown, followed by the Passion Pit concert. So, after a night centered on fun, delicious fish, unfortunate workarounds to avoid eggs, and a concert where the headlining band had a case of food poisoning, I wanted to rest. However, I knew I needed to do something. So, a yoga video to start my day was in order.

I did a Google search for morning yoga videos and found a site I hadn’t seen before. It was some kind of “My Name” Method website. I wasn’t suuuuuper impressed because I almost feel like the site is this person’s own ego boost. She’s a self-proclaimed “super bendy!” person, and there are photos of her looking super-skinny, picking out produce and essentially being better than me. It’s definitely a site that just puts out high-end vibes; I can’t really relate to the feel that’s exuded. Homegirl studied at Harvard, wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, auditioned for Madonna in dance, teaches CEOs and celebrities, etc. and so forth. That’s alright, though; it just wasn’t the yoga instructor for me.

Anyway, I did my morning yoga, and it felt good. It was the first thing I did in the morning, so I was a bit stiff and not so bendy. It did set the tone for a good, productive day at work.

Wednesday, Dec. 5th
CrossFit HEL – WOD: Legs Like Oak Trees

First day back since last week! Here’s what went on.

Back Squats: 3 rounds of 3 reps
My working load was 95lbs. So close to reaching 100lbs.!

then:

5 rounds “For Reps” of:
Max reps: Back Squats (I used a 65lb. load for this portion)
5 Burpee Box Jumps – max height (I used a 21″ box for step-ups)
1 min rest

I moved fairly quickly and focused on form in my squats, as well as keeping some power through the burpees. My reps for the back squats ended up at 55 reps, 10 reps for the first four rounds and then a final push to 15 reps in the fifth round.

After the WOD, I came home, cooked up some chicken and squash in the oven. While that was cooking, I set up my dining set. Booyah.

And now… I snooze.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Happy birthday to me. It was a great day, even with a regular work day. There was candy and a TARDIS gift and cupcakes that weren’t even intended for me. There was dinner and a concert with a boy (which was great except that Passion Pit got food poisoning and had to play an abbreviated set). There were texts and messages and all sorts of happy.

So, thank you, everyone.

Bring on 27.

Almost There

It’s finals week, and I’m just about finished with all my work for the quarter. I will effectively have two more quarters–just six more months–left in my graduate school bubble career.

I have train tickets in front of me, and I’m ready to head back to the snowy side of the mountains for what will most likely be my last winter break ever. I feel good about what I’ve accomplished this term: an assessment-heavy internship at a private university, trying to find meaning in personal struggles, improving my ballet technique, reading for fun, writing more in-depth graduate school reflections on my blog/portfolio, and retooling my resume and cover letters (and submitting them to various positions). Although, so far, all I have heard back is, “No, sorry,” I am at least happy I have gotten an early start.

Fall quarter, on the fun side of things, always brings my favorite time of year. I celebrated my birthday, which was on Saturday, starting in Corvallis on Friday night and moving to Portland for the rest of the weekend. It was such a good weekend, filled with lots of fun people, good food, and a few random adventures. OMSI was on my Sunday agenda, and my “little brother” and I went and played with all the exhibits. There’s a paper airplane station that’s pretty fun. I made a basic airplane, tested it out in the mini wind tunnel, then gave it a vertical stabilizer and some winglets. I was proud of myself.

Okay, enough about being an airplane nerd. I don’t have that much to say today because I spent the majority of the day completing the write-up for my internship, as well as a reflection (which will later be posted here).

Wish me luck. Just a few more days left.