The Difference Between Giving Up and Moving On

The Difference Between Giving Up and Moving On

The past two weeks I’ve been agonizing over one simple decision: whether or not to continue taking my improv class. I completed four levels (each six weeks long), which is definitely much more than I expected to complete.

At some point towards the end of Level Four, I started thinking I might not want to continue to Level Five. I had a few different pros and cons, which I found myself weighing over and over again with the help of my friends, boyfriend and family. (In case you can’t tell, I am a very indecisive person). The gist of the pros is that I enjoy having a hobby that allows me to step outside of my comfort zone while spending time with new friends. The gist of the cons is that I often feel overwhelmed with too much going on each week and it was starting to not be as much fun for me as it was in the earlier levels.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that what I truly wanted was to stop improv, even though I knew I might feel some regret about my decision. I’ve never liked the idea of quitting something, and in a way I felt that stopping before I completed all six levels was a form of quitting. However, I decided that sometimes you have to move on from something, and you don’t have to think of it in such negative terms as ‘giving up’ or ‘quitting.’ Everything in life has an ending, and there’s nothing wrong with choosing to stop doing something if you no longer wish to be doing it.

My friend Heather told me a really great quote the other day, which went something like: “If you’re not saying heck yes to something, you shouldn’t be doing it.” I really liked that because it made me think about what I am saying yes to, and what I should be saying yes to. The fact that I was so unsure about whether or not I wanted to do improv proved that I shouldn’t be doing it anymore, because I was giving it an I guess so at best, rather than a heck yes! 

Saying yes to another level of improv when my heart isn’t fully in it would not do me any good. Instead, I should be spending my time doing things that I know with certainty I want to be doing. I’ve decided that means putting more energy into this blog. Writing blog posts brings me a lot of happiness, and I have been wanting to take it more seriously for a while now. Here’s my chance!

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My improv class 

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know in the comments if you have ever struggled with the difference between giving up and moving on, or if you have had any particularly tough decisions to make lately, and how you were able to come to your decision.

 

May Recap

May Recap

 

I was planning to write a May Favorites blog tonight, but then I was looking at my calendar to remind myself what all happened last month, and I felt inspired to just write about it instead! So I’m going to share some of the highlights from last month, and if you enjoy reading it, I will try to make it a monthly occurrence! I think it will be fun way for me to look back on everything I did each month.

Week One

I ended April and kicked off May driving up to Plano, TX for my boyfriend’s younger sister’s dance recital. It was a pretty short trip since we drove up Saturday morning and left Sunday afternoon, but it was a lot of fun and it was nice for my boyfriend to see his family for the first time since he moved down to Austin.

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Me, Brian and Meghan after Meghan’s show
Week Two

The second week of May brought Mother’s Day. I went to brunch with my parents at a restaurant we love called Bouldin Creek Cafe, and later that night I took my mom to the Pentatonix concert, which was so much fun! She’d never heard their music but she really enjoyed it and it was great bonding time.

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Me and my mom at Bouldin Creek Cafe
Week Three

May had a lot of special occasions to celebrate. We went from Mother’s Day right into my mom’s birthday the following week. We split the celebration into two nights, with a family dinner at Casa de Luz (her favorite restaurant) on Sunday, and dessert at Mozart’s on Monday.

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My family and I at Casa de Luz
Week Four

This week brought a scary but rewarding experience for me, which was my first showcase for my improv class! I was really nervous, as was the rest of my class, because we all invited our family and friends to come watch, and it’s just scary to perform in front of an audience! But as soon as we started and I heard the crowd laughing during the scenes, I knew it was going to be a fun time. I’m really proud of myself for getting outside my comfort zone!

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Being silly with my improv family
Week Five

Last but not least I had a great three day weekend celebrating my sister’s birthday, as well as Memorial Day! My family and I celebrated her birthday by going to the Blue Cat Cafe, which is basically a cafe/restaurant that has a bunch of cats wondering around for you to pet and play with. Yes, it’s just as strange as it sounds. But it was fun and definitely a new experience! After that my sister and I went shopping for a bit, and then later that night my grandma, her boyfriend and my parents met us at Mozart’s for dessert (can you tell we like that place?)

Monday was Memorial Day, and my boyfriend and I spent the day at a park playing bocce ball and enjoying the nice warm weather. I had never played before, and I unfortunately lost, but I still had a blast!

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Selfie outside the Blue Cat Cafe

Overall I would say that May was a great month for me. I had something going on every single weekend which is always nice, and I got to spend plenty of time with my family. So far June has been another awesome month, so stay tuned to hear all about it in a few weeks!

 

College Grad Ramblings: Social Life

College Grad Ramblings: Social Life

I have officially been a college graduate for one year (and three weeks), so I thought I would start a little series where I share some of the big lessons I learned this year.

For the first post, I want to talk about my social life since graduating. Hopefully some of you can relate to this, and those of you who are still in college can get an idea of what to expect.

College is so great because you have all of your friends in one place; you can walk to each other’s dorms, meet up in the cafeteria, or say hi to each other on the way to class. After freshman year you will probably even live with your friends. Hanging out is an effortless task.

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My sophomore roommates and me, the day we moved in
Post-college life is much different. Not only are you most likely not living in the same city as your college friends anymore, but you’re working a full time job. Finding time to see your friends, much less meeting new friends, can seem almost impossible. I was lucky in that I moved back to my hometown and already had a lot of friends here. But I still had to learn to push myself to invite them to hang out, and also had to get outside my comfort zone to meet new friends. I found that with the stress of starting a new job, I often felt too tired or too busy to hang out with friends, even though I knew I should.

If you read my New Years Resolutions blog, you know that one of my resolutions was to make more time for friends. Though I haven’t always lived up to my goal of seeing friends three times a week, I have definitely been pushing myself to jump on any opportunity to be social, no matter how much I feel like just staying home and watching Netflix. A secret I learned is to just say “yes” to any opportunity to go out with friends, before you have time to second guess it or convince yourself you don’t want to go.

I have also been making an effort to meet new friends, which I think is extremely important for anyone who is newly graduated. My improv class has been my main way of making new friends, and I would highly recommend finding a hobby or activity outside of work where you can meet new people. Growing up I always enjoyed having multiple different groups of friends, so this has been a great way for me to find a new group to spend time with.

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My awesome improve class
All in all I think I’ve done a pretty good job of adjusting to my new social life after college, but it is always a work in progress. I still have those days where I don’t feel like being social, and I still feel anxious about meeting new people every now and then. Reminding myself that I will never regret spending time with friends is my main motivation.

Let me know in the comments if you experienced any of these things when you graduated! Also, I’d love to hear ideas for other ramblings I should do about post-grad life.

Life Lessons From Improv

Life Lessons From Improv

Hi everyone! As some of you may remember from my My Plan for a Happy 2016 blog, one of my resolutions was to take an improv comedy class. Well, that class ended last week, so I thought I would give you all an update and talk about what I learned! Even if you have no interest in improv, or have never done it yourself, you will still enjoy this blog because it is focusing more on the life lessons I took away and less on the details of the improv class and what we did.

The class was six weeks long, and met once a week. Each week’s class had an overarching theme or “big idea”, so I will talk through a couple of my favorite lessons from the class and how I think they can be applied to everyday life.

Be present

In improv, being present essentially entails paying attention to what is happening around you, and not zoning out or thinking about other things while you’re in the class. This can be surprisingly difficult, especially for someone like me who tends to overthink everything and try to plan out what I will say or do next.

Unfortunately or fortunately, the whole point of improv is that you can’t plan anything out, and you just have to go with the flow. This has been a challenge but has helped me grow over the past few weeks. Learning to just be in the moment and react to what happens around me is a great lesson that I have tried to carry over to both my work life and my social life. I often find myself zoning out while talking to my friends or getting stuck looking to the future too much instead of just focusing on the here and now, and I think improv is helping me overcome that and be more aware of the present. My question for you is: How can you be more present?

Be committed

One of the biggest challenges of improv is going “all in” so to speak, or not being afraid to make a fool out of yourself. There’s a certain level of commitment that you have to make both to yourself and to other in your class, that you will try your best and not hold back at all. It is not nearly as fun if you spend the whole time worrying about if you’re doing it right or if people will think you’re silly.

This is something that I struggle with every single day. At work, I sometimes feel hesitant to speak my mind or offer my own ideas because I’m worried about what everyone will think. Luckily I do think this improv class has helped me to realize that everything is better when you make the effort to go all out. Whether that is trying to offer up a few of your own ideas at a meeting, or not backing out of plans to hang out with friends. I am always striving to get to a point in my life where I can honestly say that I am fully committing to all of my choices and that I am going through life with confidence. My question for you is: How can you be more committed?

 

All in all I am very glad I joined the improv class. I got a few compliments after the class was over; people told me that they thought I had really grown and broken out of my shell throughout the six weeks, so that was great to hear! I have met some awesome people in the class, and I even decided to sign up for Level 2! So expect another improv-related blog in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried improv. I’d also love to hear your answers to my questions about how you will personally try to integrate these lessons into your life.

And one more thing: I got the exciting opportunity to be featured on a blog that I greatly admire, and I will be sharing the post with you all tomorrow morning, so keep a look-out for that! 🙂

My Plan for a Happy 2016

My Plan for a Happy 2016

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Hey everyone! I know January is already halfway over, but I figure it’s never too late to share my New Year’s Resolutions with you. My goals for this year all revolve around a specific desire to be happier than I was last year. Now, that’s not to say I wasn’t happy in 2015; last year was actually one of the best years of my life! But I think everyone is always striving to be even happier, so that is what I will attempt to accomplish in 2016.

With this in mind, I came up with a motto of sorts that I hope will define this year:

Take risks, and take care 

To me, this means that I want to focus on leaving fear behind me, and I also want to focus on self care and being more aware of how I am treating my own mind and body. I often feel frustrated or unhappy with my life, which I have talked about in past blogs. I want to take this new year to really take control of my own happiness and make changes in my life that I feel will improve my happiness.

I have separated some specific resolutions into two categories based on my new motto, along with a description for why they are my resolutions and how I hope to achieve them.

do-one-thingRisks:

  • Take an improv class

The idea for improv to be my new hobby came to me rather suddenly, and the more I think about it the more sense it makes. I used to love acting in middle and high school, and I took an improv class one summer and really enjoyed it. I think this will be an awesome way to get outside my comfort zone, meet new people, and pick back up an old passion. I signed up for a 6 week class already, and I’ll start in February!

  • Learn to cook

My inability to cook has actually been an insecurity of mine for a while. My mom and sister love to cook and I have just never followed in their path for whatever reason. I was always either too busy or lacking motivation to learn to cook in college, but now is the perfect time in my life to go for it! I put this in the category of “risks” because for me, it is a bit of a risk. I have always been scared to try new things, and cooking is definitely new territory for me. My plan is to learn to cook one new recipe per week this year. Wish me luck!

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Care:

  • Exercise regularly

I got really good at exercising three to four times a week for a while, but as soon as I started my job in November that all disappeared. While it used to be easy to work out in the middle of the day if I wanted to, I am now constricted to either early in the morning, late at night or on the weekends. Unfortunately I let this slight hurdle stop me from even trying. This year, I plan to find a yoga class or another type of class at my gym during weekday nights, and also go to the gym to work out on weekends.

  • Make time for friends

This one is very important to me. Spending time with friends brings me a lot of happiness, and I don’t feel like I make enough time for my social life as of now. It’s just too easy to go home and watch TV every night. I think making an effort to see friends at least 3 times a week, even if it’s just for a quick dinner, will make a huge difference.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my plan to have a happy 2016. I’d love to hear what some of your resolutions or goals or just general thoughts are for this year!