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the science of good days

I asked you guys where a gal could get some damn confidence the other day. I still don’t have a concrete answer, but I DID go to my book club last night where we discussed The Confidence Code. They didn’t have the answer I was looking for either, but they DID pose some helpful definitions.

Ruminate on the following:

“Confidence is the purity of action produced by a mind free of doubt.”

“Scholars are coming to see it [confidence] as an essential elements of internal well-being and happiness, a necessity for a fulfilled life. Without it you can’t achieve flow, the almost euphoric state described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi as perfect concentration; the alignment of one’s skills with the task at hand. Flow is like being in the athletic zone; it is a state of mastery impossible to reach without confidence.”

“…confidence is thew ay we meet our circumstances, whether they are wondrous and wonderful or really hard and difficult. It’s almost like a wholeheartedness, where we’re not holding back. We’re not fragmented. We’re not divided. We’re just going towards what’s happening. There’s an energy to it.”

And finally,

“Confidence…is not letting your doubts consume you. It is a willingness to go out of your comfort zone and do hard things.”

Simply put, but oh so hard to master.

I woke up today with these ideas in mind, and I tried to cross the busy Seattle streets with confidence. I walked with purpose. I ate lunch with a new friend. I said hi to new coworkers I barely know. I took multiple phone calls without lapsing into shaky quaky phone anxiety voice. I stopped to take a photo on the street, even though I knew the million people around me would mock me in their heads saying, “TOURIST! Stupid tourist.” But I didn’t care. The sky was blue, the leaves were golden, and the bricks were white. I wanted to capture it. So I did with about 93% confidence and only about 7% of “you are an idiot and everyone knows it.”

Today was a good day. I wrote what needed to be written, and I said what needed to be said. I liked it. And I think I felt the “flow” they were talking about.

I’ll leave you with this: last night someone blew my mind by telling me that I needed to reframe confidence. It’s not being showy, and it’s not being fearless. It’s embracing fear and reframing ALL of it as a big fat learning experience. With a capital L. Here I was, all this time thinking confidence meant I never had to feel scared. I always felt scared, so I assumed I didn’t have it. But BAM–mind blown.

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Feeling nervous doesn’t mean a lack of confidence. It’s what I DO with the nervousness that puts the proof in the confidence pudding.

So here’s to reframing. Maybe we’re all a little more confident than we thought we were. Now enjoy some pumpkin patch photos from last weekend and FEEL FESTIVE. Halloween is a mere day away, bitches!

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fire walk with me

Three things making me crazy:

1. Attempting to grow out this pixie cut. It’s been fun, and I wouldn’t say I regret it necessarily, but I am 2,000% ready for it to grow out so I don’t have to cut it every 4 seconds. All I ask is a sensible bob. That’s it. Is that so much to ask? I have a painful 6 months ahead of me. Especially because I have these two identical cowlicks at the base of my neck that make growing my hair out a really 80s buttrock mullet experience.

2. I can’t find the perfect Dana Scully lipstick. Alarmingly enough, it’s the same shade that Kylie Jenner has been blowing our minds with. I KNOW. Judge me and judge me harshly. I’m ashamed. But I LOVE THIS COLOR. I’ve heard there’s a Nyx dupe, but the one I bought today isn’t cutting it. I’ve also heard rumblings that it’s MAC Faux. True? Someone tell me how to look like Dana Scully. Serve me ALL of the 90s realness. ALL OF IT.

3. Dinner and/or lunches. That is to say, grocery shopping. Which is really to say, no, I’m not interested in being an adult today or ever. I can’t get my shit together and pack lunches. And I also can’t get my shit together to make dinner. Do you have any idea how many grilled cheeses I’ve consumed in the last two weeks? And Costco curry? Although, that curry was delicious. “BUT WHEN WILL I LIKE COOKING?” I angrily shout to the universe, shaking my fist with fury.

What is AWESOME, though, is seeing the Twin Peaks waterfall in real life. We drove about 40 minutes out of Seattle to see Snoqualmie Falls and giggled like the giant fangirls we are. Other than being famous from our favorite cult classic, it was probably the most phenomenal waterfall I’ve seen to date. 10/10 would visit again!

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Today I’m attending my first work book club and wearing a plaid JCrew skirt I thrifted for $5 at Goodwill. Don’t you worry, old and dear blog readers! I’m still just as avid a thrifter as ever. I just never blog about it like I used to. Perhaps I ought to.

Happy Tuesday.

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I have FOMO

It’s true.

I have the fear of missing out. FOMO.

I’ve had it ever since I graduated college. It’s worse now that I’m living in Seattle. Moving to a new city knowing nobody has me practically festering in FOMO. I know I’m in a culinary oasis, but without knowing anyone and with Mitch working evenings, I don’t go out. I’m not mad about it, but oh boy, do I have fomo. Every noise I hear out the cracked window seems to scream “AMY YOU AERE MISSING OUT AND YOU WILL NEVER MAKE UP FOR IT.”

So yeah. It’s not a new sensation. I’ve been hearing the whole FOMO craze thrown around here and there. Something about how all of us have it in our 20s. And I was listening to this podcast on Friday, I was reminded of how goddamn lonely our 20s are. We all feel so lost, frustrated, disillusioned. We think we’re doing it wrong and everyone else is doing it right, but the truth is, we’re ALL feeling the same way. (I’m using blanket statements here, though I realize I’m sure not ALL 20-somethings feel it.) We’re all feeling lost and lonely. And that feels extra lonely. Can’t we all band together and be lonely and lost together?

Guy Raz sums it up nicely with, “being your 20s can kind of suck because up to that point, your whole life has been mapped out – high school, then maybe college and then you’re 22 or 23 and you’re out. The safety net’s gone and the world is like, go figure it out.”

I’m 27, and I still want my safety net. It’s not there.

But then Meg Jay’s section of that podcast initiated a giant PING moment in my brain.

She says there are over 50 million of us 20-somethings out there. I’m willing to bet most of them have had some sort of brush with “BUT WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?” So why does it feel so alienating and lonely?

Jay goes on to call our 20s a “developmental sweet spot.” Sure, 30 may be the new 20, but that doesn’t mean your 20s are a total wasteland of trudging through the muck and the mire. She says, “claiming your 20s is one of the simples yet most transformative things you can do for work, for love, for your happiness, maybe even for the world.”

Also, “80% of life’s most defining moments take place by age 35. That means that 8 out of 10 of the decisions and experiences and aha moments that make your life what it is will have happened by your mid 30s.”

Here’s where, for me, the big PING happened.

“We know that the brain caps off its second and last growth spurt in your 20s as it rewires itself for adulthood, which means that whatever it is you want to change about yourself, now is the time to change it.”

Homegirl is saying, hey guys–your brain is rewiring itself. Mellow out. Pursue curiosity. Find passion. You are in THE defining decade of adulthood. It doesn’t have to be ALL BAD.

She goes on to say, “The brain is basically saying I’m here to learn about adulthood. Show me what I need to know. We sprout thousands and thousands of new neurons. And neurons that fire together, wire together. And that process goes on from the teens through the 20s. If you can take that changing brain and put it in an enriching environment, so allow that 20-something to invest in adult roles in the workplace or in adult like-relationships, it feeds back into the brain.”

Lastly, my favorite part:

“…forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. Do something that adds value to who you are. So now is the time for that cross-country job, that internship, that start-up you want to try. I’m not discounting 20-something exploration here, but I am discounting exploration that’s not supposed to count.

Second, 20-somethings who huddle together with like-minded peers limit who they know, what they know, how they think, how they speak and where they work. That new piece of capital, that new person to date almost always comes from outside the inner circle. New things come from what are called our weak ties, our friends, of friends, of friends.

…So what’s wonderful about that critical period in your 20s is that you’re poised for transformation and change. It’s an incredibly easy time to change yourself and especially for 20-somethings who aren’t happy with how their lives have gone, this is really life’s greatest do-over.”

I guess my point here is that she’s laying down what I needed to hear. I don’t need to have FOMO–I just need to embrace this transformative time as just that–transformative. I’m not going to have all the answers. And I’m not going to ever know what it’s all about. AND THAT IS OK.

So chill out. Explore. Don’t be worried about missing out, but don’t be afraid to go out either. And don’t be afraid to spend a lot of time alone. Just find your “identity capital” and work on something that adds value to who you are. NOT who everyone else is. (read: FOMO) Just who YOU are.

At least that’s how I translated it. I’m not 100% behind the “whatever you don’t like about yourself change it” thing because you know me. Self love forever. But I guess emotionally, psychologically, etc., I’m down with the sentiment. As long as it’s not hurtful to you while you do it. Do what you gotta do I guess.

Anyway, deep thoughts on a Monday. I’m continuing to work on my confidence on the daily, so I’ll radiate my confidence/self-efficacy/self-love vibes your way. Now let’s go accomplish some shit this week with this inspo from my one of my favorites, Danny Brito:

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