Meatless Me

I’ve written a lot about my recent revolution.  Losing a hundred pounds, finding a better work/life balance, overcoming my extreme shyness.  The key to making it happen has been to slowdown and take things one step at a time, rather than trying to do it all at once.  


One thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but could never quite commit fully until now, is convert to a vegetarian diet (not vegan, mind you, I still eat dairy).  There are a lot of reasons for it.  Environmental, ethical, health.  But ultimately, I’ve never really liked meat.  I ate it because that’s what I had always known, therefore it was what was “normal.”  

I’ve been quietly working towards making the change for awhile.  Cutting out red meat and only eating turkey or chicken (free range of course) a few times a week.  I felt ready to commit completely, so I told myself that I would do it the day after I went to the State Fair.  It was something on my calendar and seemed like a good benchmark to use.  

It’s been just about a month now and I don’t miss meat… at all.  

I will admit, though, it was a little challenging at first because I was so used to my same routine.  I’ve been forced to break free of that familiarity and find new foods to enjoy, which has actually been really fun.  Now that I’m in the swing of it, I’ve started sharing this new part of my lifestyle with people and either get an eye-roll or a high-five, depending on who I’m talking to.  

So it is with life, I suppose.  There will be cheerleaders and there will be hecklers.  I used to live my life, somewhat unknowingly, trying to appease those who jeered.  Now, I realize, a life worthwhile is lived with those who cheer you on, no matter if they agree or not, without worry about those who sneer.

Be well, friends.    

Crazy is a Necessity, Part 2

I’m not sure I know how to put into words what was learned during my brief road trip last weekend. The influence of the experience is still lingering in my mind and I want to hold on to it as long as possible.
I’ve always had this illogical need to do things quickly… or not do them at all. 

From the 847,296 failed attempts at losing weight where I’d quit when results didn’t come fast enough, to a lightening fast career path where I went from being a Client Service Rep to a Director within five years… I’d always been one extreme or the other.


It wasn’t until I started hanging out here in middle ground when things started to change.  The fat girl who worked too much is gone.  In her place is a lighter person who is just living life without worrying too much about the end goal in whatever it is she is doing.


After the show last Friday, I stepped off the elevator at the hotel where I was crashing for the night.  I turned down the incredibly long hallway and headed towards my room located at the very end.  I caught myself in an unnecessary hurry, trying to reach my destination as fast as I possibly could.  I was going to conquer that hallway, damn it!  The colorful carpet on the floor suddenly seemed to jump up in my face, swirling around me as if in a dream.  I felt myself calm as I realized my old tendencies emerging, steadying into a normal pace.  (Captain Obvious says: we aren’t just talking about hallways.)

When I reached my door, I stuck the keycard in the lock.  Doing so exposed the wristband from the show from under my jacket sleeve. I smiled as it all came together. The lesson… the key… the point of my trip… the… whatever you want to call it…

Crazy is a Necessity, Part 1

There was a hint of pinkish-orange along the horizon as I pulled my car onto the interstate this morning.  A gentle fog rolled over the pavement ahead of me as I took a sip from my bottle of water. 
 

 
Sunrise across the Nebraskan countryside is pretty beautiful.  I was headed back to Minneapolis after a whirlwind road trip that had my tires pick up gravel from three different states within 24 hours.

I do my best thinking while passing little white lines at 80 miles per hour and I’ve wanted to go for a long drive by myself for some time, but had always been a bit hesitant.  What if my car broke down?  Was it safe for a woman to travel by car alone?  I fly all over the place by myself all the time without thinking twice about it.  But there’s something about being out in the middle of the countryside alone that’s pretty intimidating. 

My job has been building a big ball of stress in my gut for a while now and this past week I thought I was finally going to break.  I just had to get away. 

I took a couple personal days on both sides of this weekend and made arrangements for my dog to be taken care of, thinking I’d go take photos up on the north shore or something. 

Something popped up in one of my social media feeds that sparked another idea, though.  It was absolutely crazy.  But, I’d find it was exactly what I needed. 

One of my favorite musicians was playing in Omaha Friday night, which is roughly a six-hour cruise from my home base in Minneapolis.  The sticking point was that I had to be back in Minneapolis the following afternoon for a get together I’ve been planning with my high school friends for weeks.  It was an extremely tight window if I was going to go for it.  I paced around my house on Thursday night, trying to decide if I was going to hit the road in the morning.  Should I do it?

I did.

I didn’t want anyone to know I was leaving or where I was going.  I wanted to be totally on my own.  Free.    

I rolled into Omaha last night with smile on my face.  I was out of my mind and loving every second of it. 

As I walked towards the club where the show was, I noticed groups of people and couples heading inside.  I realized in that moment that I’d never been to a concert by myself before. 

I’ve gone to Broadway shows by myself several times when traveling on business, but that’s different.  At the theater you sit in the dark and stare forward.  But at a concert, especially at a club, you are on a floor with a bunch of other people.  You have time to kill in between sets.  This could be weird. 

With a deep breath that seemed to fill my gut with confidence, I headed inside and found a spot up front just before the first opener came on.   

It was one of the best shows I have ever been to.  Seriously, ever.  I danced, I laughed, I talked with people who I’d never see again.  It was an incredibly freeing experience.  The me of the past never would have had the guts to do that.  (The continuation of my personal evolution aside, the actual show was amazing, too.  All the acts were really, really good and they all collaborated on each other’s sets.  It was fantastic.)

When I left Minneapolis for Omaha, I spent the entire drive asking myself what I was doing.  I told myself I was being crazy.  People wouldn’t get it and think I was insane.  A couple of times I considered turning around.

On the opposite end of my little adventure, I spent the drive back home thinking about everything.  I thought about the book I’m trying to start and found a couple of ideas to mess around with.  I thought about new songs I wanted to try and write.  What was next for me?  A lot of things rolled through my mind.  I felt happy and inspired. 

And as I usually do, I looked for parallels with life in general. That’s coming in another post…