Taking A Break

It’s Sunday evening, the last day of my Thanksgiving break, and I’m writing this with a heart that’s heavier than usual. The thought of going back to work tomorrow makes me very, very sad, especially because of the amazing week off I’ve had.

For those of you who know me, you’re caught up in my life thanks to communication and social media. For those of you who are just tuning in, I’m a 24-year-old teacher and actor living in New Orleans. I love my family. I love my friends. I love sugary carbs. And I love an Airman.

*Pretty lengthy Thanksgiving break recap in 3…2…1:

As soon as the final bell rang on Friday, I bolted out of school and high-tailed it to PR’s apartment (PR stands for Puerto Rico, which is where my dude is from, hence the blog nickname) to begin my Thanksgiving break. We walked the pup around the neighborhood and drank wine from red solo cups. It was wonderful.

Saturday morning began bright and early with my very first race, The Big Easy Half Marathon and 5k! PR and I ran the 5k (3.1 miles) with another friend of ours, and we finished in my fastest time ever of 25:16, and I came first in my age division. It was an incredible experience and feeling, and I was beaming and already setting my eyes on some half marathons! We chilled in Champion’s Square for awhile before heading to Finn McCools to watch El Clasico (Madrid vs. Barcelona) and ended the night watching the Cotto vs. Canelo fight. I’m still amazed that Canelo is Mexican… and a ginger. Before you get all, “Don’t be racist” on me, please note that 1. I am not racist and 2. seeing a man who could be a Weasley speaking perfect Spanish is pretty awesome/confusing at first.

Sunday morning, we woke up early and spent the day on Oak Street for the Oak Street Poboy Festival. It was a glorious day of eating. We had a duck poboy, a German pulled pork poboy, a Cuban poboy, and this thing from a food truck that claimed to be a poboy but was really French bread topped with chicken/sausage/shrimp in a heavy cream sauce. Oh and a cookie and a brownie. Oh and beer. Lots of it. Abita has this chocolate weiss that I am ALL ABOUT, so yeah, there’s that.

Monday was spent outdoors, as well! We drove 2.5 hours to Mississippi to hike Clark Creek, and it was beautiful. Being outside makes me very happy, which is something I’m finding myself falling in love with all over again. For awhile, I forgot that staying active is actually fun and not a chore. Who knew. We hiked for roughly 2.5 hours before taking the pup to Petco for a tick (ew!) bath and some shopping at Trader Joe’s. We also ate Chik-fil-a, because after you hike, all you want is some religious fried chicken, know what I’m sayin’?

Tuesday was spent shopping around Elmwood and trying on really warm winter jackets because when you live in New Orleans, you need one. And by that I mean you don’t, but it was beautiful and Marc Jacobs, and I feel like I should own it. Also, it’d come in handy for my January NYC trip and when I visit PR in D.C. in the coming weeks. I should go back and buy it.

Wednesday, we grocery shopped and started prepping food for Thanksgiving! I roasted some root vegetables and made this incredible pineapple souffle from one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers. It was to die for, and I could barely keep the spoon out of the casserole dish. I’m hopeless, I tell you. I also contributed some Star Wars sugar cookies that the dude and I made the night before. They turned out really good! Anything involving butter, sugar, and Yoda’s cute face is a win in my book. I think I also busted out a three mile run this morning too, which is good because I ate 1000lbs of butter, but is bad because I tripped on a curb and busted my right knee, left hip, scraped my right hand and tore my new Columbia rain jacket. But my iPhone 6 was left unscathed! A win.

Thursday morning, before most people were awake, PR and I went for a five mile run. It was awesome to get in a good workout before a day of indulging, which I did, but am happy to report I did not go overboard. Around 2pm, we sat down for Thanksgiving lunch with my family and roommate, Brittany. We had the works: turkey, two kinds of stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, roasted root veggies, cranberry sauce, rolls, pineapple souffle, gravy, and both pumpkin and pecan pie. We also had many glasses of the dude’s secret sangria recipe, and can I just tell you that it a. did not mess around and b. did not disappoint. A great day of eats! After hanging out and enjoying one another’s company, we apartment hunted for the dude and napped. Another friend of mine, Jenny, stopped by that evening and the four of us (me, Jenny, Brittany, and PR) chatted in the kitchen over more sangria and Jenny’s homemade mac and cheese. I also ate more cookies. And pie. And then I fell into a food coma and awoke Friday morning.

Friday was a day of leisure, and it was wonderful. PR and I worked out at Audubon, running there and working out at the outdoor stations, before plopping our butts onto the sofa and watching How I Met Your Mother all day. I shouldn’t forget to mention the gnarly scrap I have on my right shin. I’m a walking bruise these days, I swear. We were doing box jumps at the park (my highest yet!), and my toe clipped the end and my shin jammed into the corner of the very sharp and very metal box, then proceeded to slide down in, giving me about a six inch scrap. Ouch. I didn’t let out a peep, but damn did it hurt. Thanks to a little ice and elevation, the bruising isn’t terrible.

Saturday was another shopping-filled day. According to this post, you’d think I actually enjoy shopping. I don’t. We met my mom at Lakeside and shopped around for a couple of hours. The crowds weren’t terrible, but having a daiquiri in my hand definitely helped. In the end, I walked away with a present for mom, an outfit for Christmas (really cute red top with an open back + bow combo and a cute knee-length fitted skirt with a scalloped bottom that button up the back) and one of those weird ear warmer things that looks like a crocheted infinity scarf. Whatever, I needed it, and it was on sale for $10. A Christmas miracle! An epic lunch happened at Whole Foods and then a super exciting trip to the grocery at Walmart. After that, more apartment hunting + HIMYM. I am obsessed with this show, y’all. Utterly obsessed. I’m on season four, Barney loves Robin, and Marshall punched a man. I JUST HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT IT ALL.

And here we are to Sunday. Longest recap ever.

*Back to the original point of this post in 3…2…1:

Thanksgiving break, for me, came at just the right time. I’m entering a new phase in my life, one that I don’t want to categorize with a title, but a new phase nonetheless. I’m figuring out what makes me happy and indulging in it. Running has been making me happy lately, so I’m doing more of it. Yes, I’m getting scraped up. Yes, my right knee has been aching. Yes, my body hurts. But I’m happy, and I’m getting faster and increasing my mileage, so I’m going with it.

I’ve been drinking more wine than usual, because a glass every other day (or every day…) makes me happy. If you wish to contribute to my wine collection, please note that I am a fan of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. I will also accept a good quality Riesling or Cabernet. Glad we had this talk.

The other thing I’ve been doing lately is allowing myself to be happy.

That was a loaded sentence.

There you have it.

I wouldn’t consider myself to be unhappy. I have a lot to be thankful for, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t battle with my own issues from time to time. I’m human. But one thing that I’ve always thought about myself is that I’m unworthy, for whatever reason. I’m not worthy of this job or that part in the play or, my favorite of them all, love. After a couple failed relationships and a handful of awkward dinner dates, I have finally discovered that I am worthy of love, and all it took was me posing with a shirt that read, “You’re killin’ me, smalls” exactly one year ago today to take me on the journey to that discovery.

Who knew.

I guess where I’m going with this, or trying to anyway, is that it’s okay to break from your routine every now and then, whether that be a daily routine of waking up, getting dressed, drinking loads of iced coffee, and being called Ms. Heckel until 3:15pm M-F or from a routine of thoughts of inadequacy. Taking a break from it all is a good thing and can lead to an entirely new discovery.

A discovery about how cool it would be to earn a living by writing. Novels, memoirs, blogs, random articles for health.com.

A discovery about how maybe your dream of being an actor is just a stepping stone to something else.

A discovery about how moving to a new place every 2-3 years and starting over actually doesn’t sound that bad once you remember who you’d get to do it with.

Life is hard.

I’m working at a job that is nothing short of a hefty challenge day in and day out. It’s a place where I don’t feel particularly welcome or appreciated. It’s a place where I don’t feel happy. But I’m there for now, because it’s a job, a paycheck, and I have a responsibility to uphold until May. But I’m ready for a break, and I don’t just mean a week or two here and there for holidays.

But I’m ready for a break. A break in routine, career, day in the life of me, everything. I know I’m blessed. Lucky. Whatever word you want to use. I recognize that. But even lucky people need to be cut some slack sometimes.

It’s almost December. This month, I plan to run a lot, drink a lot of wine, and let myself be happy. If that means politely leaving my job, refocusing on a different career, or picking up and moving across the United States of g’damn America, then so be it.

If I’m happy, that’s what matters. And for goodness sake, life is entirely too short to be anything but.




What do you think?