Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Six Years and Nostalgic

"I never dreamed home would end up where I don't belong."
-babykeek11 AIM profile quote summer '06

On this very day six years ago, I packed up my stuff and made the move to Connecticut. July 31, 2006 I had a "moving mix" on my little pink iPod and blasted it all the way up 95, over the DelMem bridge, the Jersey Turnpike, over the GW bridge and into southern CT. 

The mix had some great songs about growing up, leaving, moving on, etc. One in particular was super dramatic...Rascal Flatts aptly titled "Moving On." Not upbeat for a car ride, but definitely thought provoking. I am sure this song is about some very real life thing that happened to someone and at the time, I definitely felt that I was going through a huge change.

"There comes a time in everyone's life when all you can see are the years passin' by and I have made up my mind that those days are gone." 

I don't think those days are ever gone, I think you always want more time, one more hug, one more minute, more life to live. It's also just more about what you do with the time and I was ready to make the most out of life. I graduated college that summer and was still debating what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. I actually cried the day after graduation because I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. The uncertainty terrified me. I always felt that I would go somewhere other than Northern Virginia, and wanted to be close to NYC. I did an internship between my junior and senior years of college in southern CT and Manhattan and I loved it. That was probably one of the best summers of my life. Sleeping on the floor in my brothers room, living with three boy roommates, hiding in the trunk of a car to get into an "elite" beach in Greenwich, going out with my brother and his friends, the memories are awesome:) I digress...but that summer is definitely one of the reasons I looked so fondly upon southern CT. It wasn't until the fourth of July in 2006 when my mom and I were up here visiting my brother and some family in the area that I made my final decision to make the move. 

So, the rest of the month I packed, hung out with Megan on my parents deck laying in the sun drinking gin and tonic all day, and squeezed every last moment in with my M7 before being the first of our group to make the journey to live in a different state. 

I moved in with Cameron and began looking for jobs. A friend's father owned a head hunter agency and she hooked me up with him. I was sent on an interview to be a receptionist at a yacht club in Greenwich. It sounded swanky and I was excited. I could figure out what I really wanted to do while working at the front desk and maybe meet a rich Greenwich boy (that was mostly dad's dream;) I was hired on the spot and started the next day. I loved it there, the main woman who ran the reception area was in her forties and so nice and welcoming. She became like a motherly figure and friend as she showed me the ropes and introduced me to the other employees. One of whom was Oliver:)

I was still looking for other jobs in the media field (had to do something with my Comm degree!) and found a freelance position doing encode for a media group. It was in the same building where I did my internship and just so happened to be the same building where Cameron worked (ha, none of this was a coincidence:) 

After about four months of this job I began thinking about what else I could do. I received an email from a friend who was an Au pair in Italy about another Italian family looking for a summer Au pair. It sounded awesome, but I had just graduated, started a new job and should be getting my life on the right path, so I didn't act on anything. A month or so later, I decided what the heck, this could be an awesome opportunity and I checked in with my friend to see if the family had found an Au pair. They had not. The family got in touch with me, had a little phone interview and bam, I was moving to Italy! During this time, I also decided that the media field might not be for me. It was kind of stagnant, not easy to move up and it wasn't as glamorous as I had hoped it might be working "behind the scenes" of TV. I looked back and realized that the happiest I ever was in a job was when I was a camp counselor. I love kids and I always had teaching in the back of my mind, so I began looking into grad school for teaching. I applied to grad school and took the entrance exam less than a week before I left for Italy. I actually found out while in Italy that I got in and I would start as soon as I got back! Super exciting time.

Italy was AMAZING, I had an awesome summer, learned so much about myself and came home to the greatest boyfriend waiting at the airport for me with roses and the brand new Kelly Clarkson CD. Doesn't get much better than that!

I have come a long way since that move in '06. Since coming to Connecticut, I have worked in the media field, gotten a Master's degree, taught in my own classroom for two years, gotten married and I no longer have to hide in a trunk to get into that beach!

Northern VA might not have been where I belonged, but it's always gonna be home:)
"I always find another piece of me walking around these old familiar streets. Thank God for home towns."
-thelifeofkeek blog quote summer '12

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm a Walker

So, I've written many a blog about exercise and healthy living. Some of you followed me through my boot camp, then through the month of movement, etc. I've been walking for a while now, I'll get really into it and walk everyday and then take a hiatus for whatever reason. I am back into it now. Oliver and I signed up for a 5K and started "training" a few months ago. I put that word in quotes because we aren't training to run the 5K. "Train to WALK a 5K?" you might ask? (as many have...) Yes.

What we wanted/needed was the date. September 9th. We just wanted a goal to work toward and to know we had to be prepared to get up and be responsible for something on a certain day. I have been advised by doctors and trainers NOT to run. EVER. And every time I start walking, get confident and want to go faster, I do...and within days I am injured. I'm not meant to be a runner. Fine. Walking is actually better for your joints and body, so I am okay with it. Plus, I can walk fast and get my heart rate up. So, I am sick of hearing people say things about me and my 5K plans. I don't have this blog to rant and complain, but here I am trying to feel good about myself getting out there and some of the reactions I get about walking are anything but helpful. "You don't need to TRAIN to walk a 5K," "why did you sign up for it if you're just going to walk it?" "what's the point?"

What's the point people? The point is that no matter if I walk one mile in one hour, I am still going further, harder and faster than the old me on the couch. Plus, we are raising money for a good cause. We found an event in Fairfield that raises money for CancerCare; an organization that provides free support, counseling, education and financial assistance to anyone who has been affected by cancer (self, family member, friend.) If you'd like to donate (even the smallest amount!) please visit our site

C and O Donation Page

Anyhow, we will not be walking one mile in an hour because we try to go faster every time we go out. On one recent walk, my trusty MapMyRun app (who speaks out loud to me:) startled us by saying we hit the one mile mark when we were only 14 minutes into our walk. 14 minutes isn't a fast walking mile, but we weren't even trying really and it shocked us that we were moving so much more quickly than our average (slight effort) 18 minute mile. Oliver even said, "wait, is that thing accurate? are you sure?"

The point is that really the goal is to get up and move, be outside, spend time together away from TV and electronic devices (yes, O has become a big fan of the iPad.) We get to breathe fresh air, talk about life, take in the scenery (our fave spot to walk is at the beach) and enjoy each other. Neither of us has lost very much weight (our diet def needs some changes...we eat out way too much) but it's getting in the routine of things and like I said, we are totally lapping our former couch potato selves:)