If we were on a coffee date…

A few bloggers I follow update their readers on the more mundane bits of their lives with posts structured like this, and I like the idea, so I stole it.  (See Rachel Dawson’s blog here.) I miss my Texas people a lot, so if you’re a friend I just moved away from, please call me and tell me what YOU would want to talk about if we were on a coffee date. Since you will have read this, I’ll be able to skip all the parts about me. 🙂

If we were on a coffee date… I’d tell you that all the rain we had this weekend was good for me because I was forced to stay in and organize my apartment a little more. When the weather is good here, I tend to abandon all responsibilities and find any excuse to be outside. Apparently some Mizzou faculty are predicting a drought for many parts of the state this summer, so I’m working on some drought publications for work, and it just feels strange when parts of Columbia are literally under water right now.

If we were on a coffee date… I’d tell you that I’ve been all about audiobooks lately. Literally all household chores are made more bearable if I’m also listening to something engaging. It feels doubly productive, I’m more thorough in my cleaning, and I’m on track to read (or listen) to about 20 or more books this year. I just finished listening to “A Man Called Ove.” It’s a sweet story about a grumpy old man who begrudgingly finds a new sense of community in his neighbors after his wife passes away. If you like lighthearted, sweet, and short, this one’s for you. I’d also talk about “Hillbilly Elegy,” which I’m about halfway through listening to. This one’s a memoir of a boy from rural Kentucky who grew up in Ohio. It’s a commentary on the white working class and upward mobility from his perspective. It’s engaging, funny, and well-written, but some of his comments that are clearly from a conservative perspective certainly make this liberal girl bristle a bit. Definitely worth the Audible credit, though.

If we were on a coffee date… You’d tell me to stop fiddling with my hair and/or stop gazing at my reflection at every opportunity. You see, I just got my hair colored for the first time in ages. As long as I’ve been alive, my hair has never been this light. I’m mildly obsessed with it, and for this, I apologize. I need you all to keep my vanity in check.

If we were on a coffee date… I’d complain about how little storage my new apartment has. I mean ZERO closet space, y’all. I’ve never been called organized in my life, so this is providing all sorts of challenges as I try to come up with a system to fit all my clothes in tucked away places in ways that I’ll actually keep up with.

If we were on a coffee date… I’d say that living alone for the first time ever has brought out the true weirdo in me. I graze on the strangest of food combinations when I’m ravenous upon coming home from work. I talk to myself. I thought I was lazy before, but when no one’s there to judge me, I apparently will live my best sloth life and watch three whole episodes of Shameless, not do the dishes, and proceed to slink to my bed to do it all over again the next day. I’m getting better, though. When your kitchen is barely large enough to fit your wingspan, you appreciate waking up to a clean one in the morning.

If we were on a coffee date… I’d probably talk about a hard decision I had to make since I got here. I’d say that I know I did the right thing, but life still feels different in some uncomfortable and kinda sucky ways (Side note – How is sucky for journalistic vocabulary today?!). I’m leaning in to it all, trying to use every bit of the extra time to my advantage by reading, writing, and getting to know myself in all the necessary and existential ways that come with being 25.

If we were on a coffee date… I’d marvel that somehow, it’s already May. I feel like I just turned 25, but next month I’ll be rounding that birthday corner yet again. Life is weird, man. And since it’s a new month, I have some goals to keep me focused:

May goals:

  • Read (or listen) to four books. This should be easy seeing as I’m close to finishing three different ones already. (Hillbilly Elegy, Help Thanks Wow, The Book Thief, and Between the World and Me are on this month’s To-Do.)
  • Break a sweat at least four times a week.
  • In bed by 10 on weeknights. Mizzou’s 8 a.m. start time has been rough.
  • Successfully pitch an essay to an online outlet. I’ve pretty much already done this, but an approved pitch does not equal publication. That depends on whether or not my submission is trash. Fingers crossed.
  • Save a big ole chunk of change.

I dream real big, don’t I? Baby steps, y’all. Baby steps.

If you’re like, “Oh, real cool, Alex, you write down the basics of what you want to accomplish in a month. We all do that, we just don’t feel the need to share.” I feel you, I really do. I’m pretty insecure about these posts because I know I probably won’t hit each of those marks, even though they are relatively easy, but putting them out into the world help keeps me accountable. If you don’t need that extra push, I am genuinely jealous of you. Please roll your eyes at this and carry on; I promise I don’t blame you.

If you read this, I would love to know:

What are your goals for the month?

Some of my more creative ones have been stolen right from the blogosphere.

If we were on a coffee date, what would you want to talk about?

Shoot me an email, give me a call, or if you’re in Columbia, let’s actually go for coffee.

 

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One Big Announcement & February Goals

Remember when I said I’d only self-reflect like this about once a month? Well, it’s February 1st. Your rent is due, and it’s time for me to look ahead a few weeks and set some personal goals for February. More on that later. First, to catch you up on my January: In a nutshell, I have never experienced so many emotions in such a short time.

The breakdown:

Jan. 6 – Approached for a possible job by an old friend.

Jan. 10 – Landed an interview with a different job that I applied for in December, scheduled for the 23rd.

Jan. 18 – Had a great but emotional conversation with a family member about what we both can do to improve our relationship. New year, new us, ya know?

Jan. 20 – Caught my ex boyfriend breaking into my car on camera. For no known reason. Knew he had been doing this repeatedly.

Jan. 20-22 – Called police. Filed a report. Got a fancy alarm on my car. Bought pepper spray. Changed my apartment locks. Cried some. Got really angry. Spent the weekend hiding at my parents’ house. Drove myself crazy wondering what he was doing and why and what I should do. Spent too much time thinking about how I could have prevented this. Didn’t really prepare for the interview as much as I would have liked. (Side note: I knew I wouldn’t make it more than two blog posts without oversharing.)

Jan. 23 – Had the job interview via Skype as well as an editing test. It went well, I guess.

Jan. 26 – Was offered the job. (!!!)

Jan. 30 – Interviewed for the job from the old friend.

Feb. 1 – Decided to accept job offer #1. Told my current employer. And now I’m telling you.

Talk about burying the lede, right? I am ridiculously excited to move back to what feels like my second home, Columbia, Mo., for an editor position with Mizzou. I’ll be editing materials developed from MU’s faculty research for the general public to use as a resource through MU’s Extension office. My office will be on campus. IT’S ALL HAPPENING, YOU GUYS.

While I’m so thrilled for this opportunity, I’ve really loved being in Dallas. My apartment and who I share it with has been the joy of my life for the past three years. I love being close to family, and I’ll seriously miss all of Dallas’s delicious restaurants (Eating is just what you do here). My first job, apartment, and city were the perfect places to navigate the first few years of post-grad life, but this move feels so, so right.

I can’t wait to do all the bucket list things I never got to cross off while I was there. Chief among them: Riding a bike on the MKT to Les Bourgeois winery in Rocheport. I’ll also finally get to see a lot of films at this year’s True/False fest. I’ll hike the Pinnacles. I’ll eat at some of the classic restaurants I missed my first time around. I’ll sit on the alumni side of a football game. It’s gonna be good.

And this brings me to February. Last year off and on my little nerdy self would write down actionable goals for each month. (Read two books, make a dentist appointment, work out at least three times a week. I aim real high, y’all.) I liked it. I’ve decided I’ll do it this year, too.

My biggest February goal: DO NOT DIE.

Others include:

  • Get pre-approved for a home loan before moving.
  • Buy a couch maybe.
  • Let myself cry as many times as I want to. Moving = all the feelings, all the time.
  • Make time for alllll of the proper goodbye lunches, dinners, and happy hours. Packing can wait.
  • Visit my Texas grandparents one time before I go.
  • Make sure my current employers like me when I leave by getting all the things done to help with my transition.
  • Continue to be a nice person even while very stressed.

2017 has been a bumpy ride so far, to say the least, but I’ve already seen how the bad was a blessing in disguise and there’s been SO MUCH GOOD, too. Columbia, I’m comin’ for ya.