Posts Tagged ‘control’

When I first moved to Boston after college I craved chaos.

Basically, I wanted to continue with my college social life. I worked a job I hated from 9am to 7pm and then ordered takeout or went out to eat every night and frequented the bars as often as possible. I stayed over at friend’s places for an entire weekend – eating, drinking and socializing every free second of time. I did my laundry maybe once in the time of 3 months and cleaning absolutely never happened. And the gym? Not a chance.

That all toned down a bit when I got a different job and started getting my masters at night. However, it was still chaos, just controlled chaos. I’d go to work from 9am-5:30pm, run to class from 6pm-9pm, then see my boyfriend, friends or run after. Most mornings I found myself getting up hours early to attempt to write a paper or read assigned texts for a class that night. Weekends were packed with friends or travel.

And this summer has really topped the chaos meter. Don’t get me wrong, this summer has been fantastic:

  • 2 Cape Cod trips with the Townie (one with his friends)
  • 1 trip to Florida with family
  • 1 trip to NY for my sister’s graduation from college
  • Warrior Dashing through mud (resulting in poison ivy) and gallivanting around phantom gourmet’s bbq beach party
  • A night in Rhode Island for dinner with family & the Townie
  • A moving away party for a friend
  • A weekend visit from 3 NY besties packed with a duck tour and red sox game
  • A week-long training at work
  • A week-long beach vacation with a few of the girls
  • A Portsmouth weekend trip with the Townie
  • A going away party for another friend
  • A birthday bbq in the suburbs

And that’s not including tri training, dinners after work with friends, or the upcoming weeks with 2 weddings, 2 tris, a 10k, a Patriots game, 2 kayaking trips, 2 fantasy football leagues & drafts, and a weekend in Stowe, Vermont with zip lining. That’s just the end of August through September.


As the summer is coming to an end and my crazy Fall is starting I am realizing all I want these days is some simplicity and routine.

I’m craving getting up in the morning and going to a spin class, going to work, coming home to a clean apartment, cooking a fabulous home cooked dinner and sitting down with the Townie to enjoy it.

I’m craving a weekend morning where I can wake up and not have a packed schedule for the day. Instead just decide what I want to do that day.

I’m craving living off of one cup of coffee on most days and not 4 in order to keep my eyes open.

I’m craving exercise for fun, and not for tri or road race training.

I’m craving quality time with my friends, but not having to make plans multiple nights per week, squeezing it all in.

I feel like I’m ready to leave behind the chaos and even some of the controlled chaos for a while.

I’m ready to build a life with the Townie, which means fantasizing about moving in together when my lease runs up next Spring. And yes that fantasy includes a pave setting princess cut diamond ring hanging out on my finger. 🙂

I feel like I’m ready to have more space than my studio apt (umm, like a bedroom!) but also so I can cook dinners and invite people over and skip the crowded bars where I have to scream at my friend to find out how her new job is going only to ask “what” 4 times before hearing her answer.

Maybe that makes me old, or boring, or anti-social, but it’s a change I’m going with. This fall and winter I’m toning it all down. Maybe simplicity isn’t such a bad thing. 🙂


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I had my reading yesterday. Some of the things he said hit the nail on the head, some were eh. All in all it was a fun and different thing to do with a friend on a week night.

What the cards said about Love:

  • I’m past the pain of my last relationship even though it was a rip your heart out breakup. (True.)
  • I’m the one holding myself back from dating and committment. I need to actually put my own foot out the door. (True.)
  • I feel like I need to get more grounded before becoming committed again. (True.)
  • I should start realizing that I don’t have to do anything I am uncomfortable with and that by going on a date it doesn’t mean I have to marry the guy. (Ha, such a true fear.)

He doesn’t necessarily see me entering into another serious relationship for another year. Lots of little dates which will be important, one of whom may turn into a good friend, but the serious guy won’t start until next year.

I will be married, with kids and happy one day. It won’t be with B.

What the cards said about CAREER:
He sees I’m an asset in my current company and I won’t be leaving it but my role may change, especially when it comes to being creative (yay).

That was clearly the vague overview of what he said but for the most part he or the cards sounded about right. I don’t know what is holding me back – for a long time I blamed it on getting over B but recently that’s just no longer an excuse.

Part of its fear, part of it is this lack of control feeling when it comes to dating. It’s easier and more comfortable to just cancel on dates or not put the effort in.

It also causes me such anxiety to feel smothered quickly when it comes to dating or love, like with DC boy, or really any guy I’ve gone out with.

Part of me also just feels this chaos in my life right now. Like I need to get my own shit together before being committed again even though I miss having a guy in my life. I want to get ahold of my workout routine, I want to focus a little more on my career and figure out what I’m meant to do, I want to spend a lot of time with my current friends and develop some new friends who might have similar interests in me. I want to dedicate time to training for my upcoming tri’s or planning my sister’s wedding or figuring out my faith and what I believe in and how I want to practice it.

The truth is I could probably do all of that with someone by my side, but it would mean compromising. Maybe I’m not ready to compromise yet. Because when I was with B as much as he wanted me to “do me” I held myself back. Maybe I need to spend some time learning how to be a stronger healthier version of me so when it comes time to being committed again I can compromise without giving up too much of myself in the process.

I want to put aside the friends and family who keep asking why I’m not in a relationship, and how I could possibly be single. I want to put aside the wedding and baby fever that’s going on all around me and realize things will happen at the right time for me, even if it’s not the same time as my friends or sisters or cousins.

I’m going to keep putting my foot out the front door and dating, but for the most part I’m going to start focusing on settling this chaos feeling I’m having.

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Yesterday was just the most ridiculous day of ups and downs intermingling with pure chaos. Work was draining. I haven’t been this drained in a really long time. While I love being busy, I’m feeling more and more burnt out. After 9 hours of running around at work I couldn’t wait to get to boxing.

I know my crush on my boxing instructor is the type that is fun, and consuming, but it’s not real if that makes sense. I’m just happy to be attracted to someone again. The son of two Irish immigrants, he grew up in one of the more rough neighborhoods around here and I can’t quite get a read on what his life outside of personal training is at this point. We somehow connected that I had been to Ireland and while we were going to chat about it we were both racing out of class and didn’t. I get excited to see him but I wonder if it is the opposites attract thing going on right now? He’s outgoing, a little self-centered, and rough to my…well the opposite of that. He’s Eminem meets B. It’s fun and exciting if nothing else. Clearly my pheromones are talking.

Anyway, boxing itself was amazing. I keep learning more and more but I really need to work on my technical aspects. Keeping my feet apart, not throwing my body, and not tilting my wrists are the parts I find the hardest. I have bruises along my right ring and pinky knuckles today from a really hard punch (and that’s through tape and boxing gloves).

After class I raced out because B was waiting in his pick-up truck to grab me to go to dinner. It was by far one of the nicest times I’ve ever spent with him…including when we were dating. I don’t know if it’s because we have both accepted where we are and what we are that it just worked. We talked about what’s going on for me at work (it’s so nice to talk this out with him because he is in the same field and can relate to so much), politics, life updates, and life in general. It was just a constant flow of conversation for over 2 hours. I left him feeling so content. He hugged me goodbye saying, “this was the best conversation I have had in months”.

And then I walked into my apartment. I checked my blackberry and spent the next two hours frustratingly responding to emails that I had missed in my few hours off. I was past my breaking point but I had to just suck it up. At 12:30 I called it quits and got into bed. Needless to say my mind was racing and I couldn’t sleep. I hate feeling like I’m leaving things unfinished or not done properly.

Finally it got to the point where I actually moved to my couch in hopes of getting myself to just feel tired. At around 2:15am I started to drift into sleeping when I heard loud shouts outside my window.  And then someone yelling they were calling the cops. And then a kid yelling, “That kid f*cking jumped me, I’m literally dripping blood.

What is going on in my area? This is the second time this has happened. The cops were there (and by there I mean directly below my fourth floor window) until about 3am. Even after they left my adrenaline was going so much there was no chance I’d sleep. I kept trying to calm myself into sleeping and then my heart would start to pound and I’d play out in my mind these horrible scenarios where it would have been me walking outside in the courtyard.

I forgot how once in awhile it’s really scary to live alone. That of all things that I fear, I fear living in fear the most.

I’m ok today. I’m exhausted clearly but most of all I’m so angry. I’m angry that these violent idiots can make me feel so unsafe in my own neighborhood.

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The difference in my myself today versus Sunday night through last night is incredible. Thank God I only feel like that for a few days a month. Even though today physically I’m not 100%, mentally I’m coming back 🙂

So in highschool after my parent’s divorced my Mom tried to have all of us girl’s (her three daughters) attend therapy. I actually really connected with my therapist and found her a great resource for talking, learning to communicate, and understand my feelings through my highschool years.

One thing my therapist always said to me. “Caitlin, you burn your candle at both ends.” I had a pretty serious class schedule between AP classes and extras, I had what looking back now was almost a full-time job (and not legal to have me working that many hours) at 25-30 hours a week, a serious boyfriend, friends and other commitments while applying to colleges. I remember the summer before my senior year of high school I even decided to take college classes at NYU on top of everything else.

The thing about being a “candleburner” (what as a joke I started calling myself) is that when I’m really busy, that’s when I become the most productive and the best version of myself. The more I have to pack into my day, the more I seem to be able to fit in and the better I am at doing it.

It’s why the past 3 years juggling a pretty hectic full-time job, part-time graduate school, a boyfriend, friends, family, traveling, working-out, races, etc worked out so well. It made me feel really content. Sure there was always one huge I-have-too-much-on-my-plate melt-down day every few months but I learned that I always needed a little “me” time each week and I would be OK.

So now that I am single and I don’t have graduate school I have noticed I have felt a bit empty. I have been clearly searching more and more with all my goal lists. I’ve also become more aware and sensitive when I don’t see my friends multiple times a week.

So this all brings me to my mini melt-down yesterday when I realized I didn’t have a packed weekend schedule. I actually started to feel really lonely, lost, and depressed.

Today I’m feeling a bit better. Partially the hormones are back on track, and partially because I realized it’s OK. I do actually have some plans but (gasp!) I may have some free time for myself.

Thursday night: drinks with my friend S
Friday night: no plans
Saturday morning: a long catch-up brunch with my friend J
Saturday afternoon/night: no plans
Sunday: 10k with B and lunch together after

Today I’m looking at it in a different light. Wouldn’t it be nice after work on Friday to go home, cook dinner and watch some tv and just relax? And maybe it would be nice Saturday afternoon to make a quick trip to JCrew at the outlets for Fall clothing without a herd of friends. And Saturday night I can actually clean my apartment, write-up an excel budget list, work on my vision board and get a good night’s sleep for my 10k.

I think my overall feeling of being somewhat lost, and the lack of a boyfriend has definitely been taking its toll on me. I’m working on it.

In other good news…

My photography class on Monday night was awesome. We learned more in one night than I could have imagined. The class itself is a mix of people who used to be really into film photography and beginners like myself. Quite a few foreign students too. I think overall I’m going to learn a lot and I’m thinking of creating a page with some quick tips about what I learn. I am sooo loving my camera 🙂

And now I’m about to head to my first boxing class. I’m nervous! One hour of boxing with a semi-pro and a few other people?Ahh! I’m excited to change it up though and it would be nice to meet some gym friends.

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A few more after thoughts about my first triathlon:

  • The people – the spectators, the volunteers and the participants were the nicest, most encouraging people. The experience was so positive because of them.

For example, one woman who I played leap-frog with during the bike high-fived me as her “bike pace girl” during the run. At the very end she came running over and gave me a big hug.

While I was walking at one point during the run a girl came by and said, just think “blueberry pancakes – you can do this!” (we got free blueberry pancakes at the end).

  • You make it what you want it to be. I can see why some people may not want to do triathlons. If you let yourself stress out about the “what ifs” or go in with a negative attitude – that’s what you’re going to get.

My friend who was also doing the tri happened to be like this. I struggled to block out some of her negativity because I really wanted to focus on my experience being positive. The day before she was questioning wearing socks to save time during transitions. (For a tri newbie saving 20 seconds versus saving your feet during the bike and run seems like an easy pick.)

She admitted to having a total defeatist attitude by the beginning of the bike ride. And her first thoughts at the end were complaints about everything that went wrong. That just wasn’t what I wanted it to be about.

Although I will admit one little poke to my endorphin happiest mood ever, I found out last night that you’re not really supposed to do the backstroke during your swim (out of respect?)  It made me feel a little shitty because I’d never heard that before but all I can do now is practice enough so I won’t have to backstroke next time around!

  • If you want support from people you know, make sure to let them know it would mean a lot to you to have them there. I knew I wanted family and friends to be there so I made sure to mention it months in advance, and of course knew if some couldn’t make it that was understandable. Yesterday afternoon I went and got snail mail thank you cards and printed out pictures to send to all my family and friends who came. It truly wouldn’t have been the same without them.

In the end, I mean it when I say, my first Tri was one of the most positive experiences of my life.


So this morning I was reading Tina’s blog (I’m an avid follower, though not much of a commenter) and somehow I ended up on this post: Life’s To Do List

In her words, “When I graduated college and moved to Boston, I had a really tough time. I didn’t have a full-time job, I gained 20+ pounds, and my boyfriend of 1.5 years broke up with me. Obviously, I was not a happy camper.

I felt so lost during this time. In college (and even high school), I always had a plan and direction, which kept me on track with achieving my goals. This was the first time ever that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.”

She goes on to mention how she is goal-oriented/not a complainer etc and came up with a “Life’s to do list” to help herself get out of the funk. Reading about that really struck a chord.

I have been in such an on and off funk for a while. But I’m at this amazing point where I can create myself and my life into anything I want right now. Since I’m single I really can make decisions that don’t have to involve anyone but me. Sometimes that’s scary but ya know what? Sometimes it’s really exciting. Something about crossing that tri finish line made me start thinking. I have been single since the day I turned 25 and I have accomplished so many things. I have about 3 months left in my 25th year so what else do I want to do?! 🙂

So today I:

  • Signed up for a small group training boxing class with a “pro” boxer once a week night at my gym. It starts mid-September and runs through early November. It allows for only 7 others in the class meaning a tough workout, I can’t miss it and maybe even meeting some new gym friends. I’m really excited to try something new and start strength training!
  • I also signed up for a night photography class at New England School of Photography. Once a week for 8 weeks starting mid-September I’ll learn the basics of using my SLR camera. (I mean, I need an SLR first haha.) I’ve been wanting to take a photography class since before college and never could. Now my more “open” fall schedule is perfect. I can’t wait to be able to post pictures on here that aren’t dark and fuzzy!
  • I also revisited “My Summer to do list“.
    So yeah, I did not accomplish everything on my summer to do list, BUT, I’m proud of what I did do. And it makes me rethink what types of goals I want on there. I’d like to write another post tomorrow really revisiting these (I mean, I need to see how many of them I can fit into tonight ;)) and spend some time thinking of a few fall goals.

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One thing I’ve noticed about eating healthier is that the more I do, the more I notice and feel it when I don’t. Over last weekend and the few days prior I was eating way more than I needed to (I wasn’t hungry but was eating to just eat). The weekend was filled with chips, sour cream, cake, candy, chinese chicken lomaine, more chips, etc. Needless to say it didn’t help my “eh” mood yesterday to be feeling really lethargic and still full from the bingeing.

Actually, I also know why I was feeling a bit “eh” yesterday and it relates to a friend so I’m trying to figure out the best way for me to write it out, vent, and release it because it’s definitely bothering me…

Anyway, after a Heidi spin class last night (awesome class again) I hit up the grocery store. When I got home I made an assembly line of sorts.

I had been buying oatmeal at work each morning last week. What a waste of money! Last night I just made 1/2 cup serving for each day for the rest of the week and packaged it up with a few strawberries. I brought my serving today and actually just poured a little skim and cinnamon on it and ate it cold!

I also found a new gem from reading about it across many blogs. Barney Butter! I bought myself a jar of Barney Almond Butter – Crunchy. Spread a bit on bagel thins with a cut up banana, paired with carrots is a yummy lunch. (It kinda makes me feel like a young camper again actually!)

I have my greek yogurt with a handful of fiber cereal for an afternoon snack. I also baked a bunch of zucchini and squash so that I can pair it with chicken sausage, whole wheat pasta or omelets for dinner this week.

And I didn’t buy cereal. I have been having an obsession with cinnamon toast crunch (at least it’s the less sugar brand) but two boxes in 1 week (meaning multiple late night bowls in front of the t.v.) just can’t keep happening. I am hoping to bake up some type of cookie or bar for desserts (I always want dessert!) but something with portion control. Time to learn moderation.

Last night I looked at my long list of things I need to do around my apartment and do before race day. I looked at it, felt overwhelmed and decided on watching the bachelorette instead.

So instead of writing a giant list (I’m such a list lover) I was thinking I could break it into mini lists for the week. Just 1-2 things to get done each night. That way there’s NO excuse to not just do them.

For tonight:

  • Spin class (meditation teacher’s class tonight)
  • Take out garbage (this means bathroom, kitchen, and all random magazines & crap thrown across my floor!)


Countdown to weekend with the girls and my cousins in CT & NYC… 3 days!
Countdown to the girl’s vacation 11 days!!!   
Countdown to the Tri…25 days (ahhhhh!)

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A few mini-lessons have basically slapped me in the face this week so I really wanted to share them.

1. It’s MENTAL

All of my workouts this week have been amazing but they have something in common. They have been brutal, mentally.

During my hour-long spin class on Monday my legs were tired and let’s face it, I felt lazy and I just wanted to go slower. I talked myself into pushing it as much as I could and at the end I felt sore, wiped out, and aaaamazing.

My original (what I thought was a push my limits goal) for my Tuesday night swim was 20 laps. Once I hit 20 I told myself to just keep going. A few more. I can do this. I got this. And I did. 33 laps later = VICTORY.

Then last night, I ran a 5k. I don’t know why but it was haaaard. My legs felt tired, my body felt heavy and I just wanted to stop. But I pushed, harder than I have pushed myself in a long,long time. And I did it. I ran the entire 5k with no breaks.

The truth is my body can do it but can my mind convince it of so? Your thoughts during a workout are so powerful. As soon as you let yourself think about stopping, or think you can’t do it , you’ve let yourself give up. Change your mentality – you can do it.

This leads me to something else.

2. Accept negative thoughts, dismiss them, then change them to positive.

My post here and then this morning reading Angela’s positive post here – it all makes sense. As soon as I accepted that shitty things happen and have tried to (for the most part) turn my thoughts positive, my optimistic nature has been creeping back in. It feels fan-friggan-tastic. Of course it’s normal to have negative thoughts, and that’s why accepting them is so important, but then switching gears to the positive is seriously the only thing that has helped me get through and move past the negative.

3. It’s OK to not do things you don’t want to do.

So I don’t mean here that you should let yourself skip out on things, or not try things out of fear or laziness. What I do mean is, it’s ok not be everyone’s friend or to say no on a night when you need your own time.

Last night I had dinner with an old co-worker. I was irritated before I even got there. I knew I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to spend two hours eating shitty bar food, having drinks and trying to re-connect with someone who I just don’t think fits into my life anymore. I gave up a night with people who mean a lot to me because I felt like having dinner with him was something I should do. 

I kept telling myself I had to have an open-mind, make the best of it, don’t be selfish but then I realized afterwards. It’s OK to grow apart from someone and it’s OK to just say no.

I didn’t enjoy dinner. It was filled with his irritating comments (he likes to tell me things I should do – or tell me how to lead my life) and I find that really insulting especially from a 30 year-old lacking ambition who still wants to get wasted 3 nights a week and most importantly who doesn’t know me anymore. We’ve grown apart. Even as friends. And that’s OK.

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