I am alive.

by Penelope Smallbone

My vacation to Greece meant something very different to me than it did for Moneypenny. I didn’t realize how badly I needed a vacation from Everything until I was there, sitting in a street cafe enjoying wonderful Greek cuisine. After I returned from my trip I didn’t go back to many of the things I had been doing before. I didn’t read a single thing on the internet (non-job-related) for about 3 weeks. It’s summer in the city right now; one of my favorite times of the year. There is so much going on, and I have absolutely no desire to sit on the computer when I get back from an 8 hour day of designing for the internets. It’s been a fabulous and refreshing change to be out, about, and outside all the time. I’ve even been running and am up to 2.5 miles at a pretty decent pace. I’ve lost all the extra weight I put on this winter (as evidenced by my looser belt) and am tanned, toned and feeling very pretty and great. I’ve been on a few dates with a guy whose brain has me hooked already but I’m trying to keep things slow.

There’s so much that I am thankful for in my life right now and I am in a really good place with work and my own self awareness. Despite the daily trials I am experiencing with my “friends” who I am slowly discovering have matured and grown in a very different direction from me, I am taking things one day at a time and loving it all. I don’t have anything figured out, but I also don’t feel the need to figure it out anytime soon either. Last night I ended up ditching a dud birthday party at a bar (where the only activity was drinking and being hit on) in favor of hitting a local burger joint with a friend. At 10am I am definitely regretting the giant chickpea burger and onion rings that I had at 2am, but at the time it seemed like a fantastic idea. The bartender set us up with a lot of free beer in exchange for our company eating at the bar and we made a new friend who just got a job working at the local Cuban beat bar, an alliance that will surely come in handy.

A year and a half ago I was in a terrible job in St Louis. I hated it (and life) with a passion. But it taught me so many important lessons about life and about people, and the trauma I endured there was worth that alone. One of the lessons I always think about is that you shouldn’t complain to the wrong people. It just makes you even madder because you’re getting fired up about it, but it doesn’t do any good in the end because the wrong person can’t actually make a change. This is something I’ve applied to my work life and it has paid off. In my personal life I realized that I was complaining A LOT to the wrong people (hello, web readers 🙂 ) and it was making me very unhappy as a result. I would love to say that I’ve started speaking up to the offenders in my personal life instead, but I am not that brave yet. However, I’ve found that not bitching about so much has made me a lot happier. As far as speaking up and getting what I want? I’m getting there. Small steps…