spring is coming

The weather has taken a turn, y’all! The last few days have been sunny, breezy, with highs in the 50s and clear blue skies. I’m in love. It feels like a breath of air after the gray, snowy month we’ve had. I can’t help but get excited for spring and summer and all the good those seasons bring. COVID cases have decreased, I put myself on the waitlist for a vaccine, and I am excited! I truly do not mind wearing a mask, but I don’t love trying to wear sunglasses with a mask. And with all the sun we’ve been having, I need my sunglasses again! I’ve also leaned into it being shorts weather. If it’s above 40, I declare it shorts weather from here on out.

Anywayyyy, in an effort to not rush seasons and time I’ve decided to not only list what I’m excited about for warmer weather, but also what I enjoy about winter. Seems fair. It’s also my attempt at tempering the desire for time/life to move faster, because I don’t actually want that.

Winter has been great. I’ve loved:

  • cozy sweaters
  • hot tea (sleepytime tea is so nice)
  • soups and stews for dinner
  • fuzzy socks
  • the snow (sometimes)
  • winter sunrises (they’re different somehow!)
  • the feeling of stepping into the warm house
  • having trails all to ourselves
  • being nearly finished with maybe the most challenging grad school course yet
  • finding a face moisturizing regimen that works
  • freezing cold adventures followed up with coffee
  • the occasional sunny day that feels extra bright
  • that masks help your face stay warm

But, of course, I am looking forward to the spring and warmer weather. How can I not?

  • brighter mornings and longer days
  • sweating – I like to sweat, it’s true
  • wildflowers
  • turning off the AC and opening the windows
  • tank tops and shorts and swimsuits and dresses
  • ice cream on bike rides
  • fun running adventures planned for May
    • coincidentally both of our adventures are planned around our birthdays!
  • grilling and eating al fresco
  • planning a beach trip
  • wider availability of the COVID vaccine (hopefully!!)
  • iced coffee and lavender lemonade
  • tomatoes coming into season
    • omg and my little herb garden (cross your fingers that the seeds germinate)
  • sunshine, so much sunshine

You know, I remember learning in some biology class I took in college that animals/people with longer extremities and bigger bodies fare better in the heat because they have more surface area to cool their bodies with (think giraffes and elephants on safari). Smaller animals with shorter extremities are supposed to be more adapted to cooler climates because they don’t lose heat as rapidly (less surface area).

At 5′ 4″ you would think I’d not mind the cold, but I think I forced my body to adapt to the heat during the summer of 2014 (when I was training for Oilman the first time) and my body has never gone back. I can hydrate and sweat all day. Weird flex.

Anyway, I am very excited about the forecast for the next week or so – even if there is some rain to come as well! This spring is loaded with fun stuff and I’m very ready.

ttyl,

Juliana

thoughts for the week

Good morning and happy Monday! I don’t know why, but I felt inspired to show up here today. I had a wonderful, running-filled, outdoorsy weekend and now I am feeling tired but very happy. It took a while for me to get out of bed (I was just so comfy), but a couple of cups of coffee and some oatmeal did the trick.

Yesterday Patrick and I did our run in the afternoon as opposed to our normal early-ish morning start. It was cold and snowy and rainy and the forecast showed some potential for sunshine in the afternoon, so we decided to wait it out. We headed to C&O Canal Towpath and enjoyed some mileage through some slush and snow, but mostly on soft dirt surface. We talked as we ran but sometimes pushed along in companionable silence. Eventually we decided to split the AirPods and listened to a pleasant playlist! Earlier in the run we had had a conversation about adventures and goals and the things we want to do with our bodies and lives. We have some fun things lined up for the next few months which we are pumped about.

Even on the drive to the canal I had been telling Patrick that time has really slowed down. In my previous job I anxiously hoped for 4:30pm, for Friday, for the end of a pay period because it meant I had survived. Before that, I had awaited Patrick’s graduation, our wedding, our big move, a new job. There was always something to be desperately waiting for! Now, Patrick and I discussed, there’s no big, life-changing event on the horizon. And I’m in a job that I enjoy and doesn’t make me pull my hair out (literally). It feels really really good.

It means that the things we look forward to are things we get to create. We select our adventures, our challenges, our hopes and wishes. All in all it may come down to feeling some control again, but it’s also an appreciation of what we have right now. So as we were running, I found myself thinking on this. We’ve had discussions about how life could potentially feel boring if we didn’t have adventures and if we just worked all day and then did nothing but sit around. Honestly, it’s easy to fall into that. School has been keeping me busy too, so sometimes I log off of work and immediately start taking care of school work.

As I ran I thought of what it would be like to maximize every single day instead of looking forward to the weekend. Easier said than done and I know many people have had the identical thought. I wondered what it would be like if I found or created an adventure, however big or small, every day. It would be something to put some thought into, but wouldn’t necessarily require a ton of effort. Today we are going on a lunch break walk in the sunshine. It felt like a good start.

So that’s what I’m going for this week! I’ll also be drinking plenty of water (I track 160 oz a day, in fact), enjoying a light week of schoolwork, and planning our XC ski trip this Saturday!

What’s your week looking like? And what little adventure will you have today?

Much love,

Juliana

Note to Self: Job Hunting Edition

Hi! Long time no see. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. My AmeriCorps term ends on June 29th and then I’ll hopefully have another job lined up. It’s been a heart-wrenching and stressful thing for me to think about and plan for and I’ve wanted to share why that is the case, but it took me so long to even understand it myself. I struggled to put my anxiety into words. I ended up writing a note to myself about it. Maybe it’ll connect with you, too, if you’re about to graduate or are between jobs. Anyway, enjoy.

Note to self:

What happens next is not the end of the road. It’s not even close.What happens next does not dictate your life path. It does not control the love and joy and passion you’ll feel in your life. Regardless of what you do or where you end up, you are still fulfilling your purpose here on this earth.

It does not matter if the job description does not match the one you’ve created in your head. It will not cement the impact you’ll leave on this earth. Dear self, you feel driven and passionate about what you want to accomplish, but you’ve also let your fear of not accomplishing those dreams blind you from all the other ways you can do something.

Let’s say the food bank (post-AmeriCorps dream job) thinks you’re the worst candidate they’ve ever come across. Girl, you redirect. You do not allow your passions to putter out, although it is terrifying to imagine them doing so. You move full force onto whatever is next. Your energy and soul were not constructed for a single organization.

No. You were born for people. For the world.

The next few months will be intense and intimidating, but you are nothing if not relentless. Keep going. Keep doing. There’s something out there with your name on it and you will find it, no matter what it takes.

Job hunting is exciting and also the worst, but Juliana, no job is wrong for you. Every person, every position, every day teaches you something more valuable than you know. Allow this. Give yourself the grace for this to happen.

No one will judge you for straying from the absurdly rigid path you’ve created in your mind. And if they do, then they do not understand what you have to offer.

“But I’m supposed to be changing the world by now!” you think to yourself. You are. Calm down. You touch the lives of the kids you work with. You make them smile and think about their actions. You tell them that they will change the world. And they will. And so will you.

Also, Juliana. Never let anyone convince you that you are naive or overly ambitious. Move forward through life with full certainty that you can positively change the world in your lifetime. It can be done. It must be done. We need more people willing to protect and uphold that belief.

Breathe. You’ve climbed over so much and yet you’re focusing more on your fear of heights than on how far you’ve come.

You’re doing this perfectly. I can’t what to see what happens!

Love,

Juliana

whirlwind

Hot dang. The last week has been quite the whirlwind.

Last Tuesday, Patrick and I left to go to his parents’ house in Alabama where we stayed for a couple days. We went shopping and went to the beach and ate a lot of delicious food. It was also a welcome break between so much driving.

IMG_1691

We left at 6 am on Friday morning and it was quite the road trip… Let’s just say that food poisoning + a 14 hour road trip do not pair well. After a grueling 20 hours in the car (+ a stop in Decatur, GA for our fav burrito place), we (aka I desperately pleaded for the sake of my body) stopped at a hotel 90 miles from our final destination. Y’all, I am all for honesty and being real so let me say this: I had never been more fearful for my intestines.

The world was my litter box that day.

Anyway, we eventually rolled into Arlington on Saturday afternoon and after some frustrating encounters with the concierge at our apartment complex, we finally got into our apartment. I was still feeling sick and so exhausted, so we walked to buy some groceries and came home.

Groceries are so expensive here. People. Guacamole cost $8. I die. Also, sweet potatoes for $2.99/lb. Girl, bye. HEB for life.


Erica got into town on Saturday night and Patrick picked her up from the airport because I was still suffering from the ill fate of a Publix sub sandwich.

Sunday was my birthday! It included lots of walking (so much walking here. driving/parking is impossible and it’s just not worth it to take the metro), food, and exploring. 22 has been pretty great so far!


Today was an adventure in more grocery shopping aka trying to figure out what would be the cheapest. Turns out Whole Foods produce is cheaper than Safeway. F you, Safeway. $2.99/lb of golden delicious apples? That ish is $1.14/lb at HEB. HEB HEB HEB HEB HEB!!!!

Poor Northeasteners. You’re all getting majorly ripped off.

We also rode around many of the monuments which was as crazy as you could imagine. Patrick starts work tomorrow (I start next week) so Erica and I are going to explore some more bike trails around where I live!


Life has been absolutely whack, but good. Arlington is so different from Austin, but I am learning pretty quickly. I have been overwhelmed multiple times and have cried. #noshame

What will tomorrow bring?!

Love,

Juliana

 

 

 

 

ramblings of an almost grad 

Ohhhh Lordy I do not have the words for my thoughts, but I’m going to give it a go anyway.

Y’all. This period of my life is stressful and also boring at the same time. And it has me feeling all sorts of things. 


I graduate in 8 days, move in 10 days, and start my internship in 24. I also have a final on Monday and can’t bring myself to study whatsoever. 

I feel ready to move on from being a student and start to engage in other aspects of life, but also have to wait patiently for that time to come. While also enjoying this time in the process… So much emotional conflict!

I’ve also noticed this duality in my running. I feel mentally and physically primed to start running at the level I used to, but I keep running into obstacles like my IT and groin acting up again (ugh ugh ugh). [Granted I haven’t been the best to my body lately, but I’m going to work on that!]

Ultimately I feel like I’m just waiting for stuff to happen rather than making it happen.

Today I was listening to Kelly Roberts’ podcast and then later was reading this blog and both times was reminded that I have to do things before I’m ready. Stepping into the unknown and risking it all is where we thrive. I think I’ve been talking myself into complacency a lot lately. I’d tell myself “no you’re not holding yourself back, you wouldn’t do that to yourself” yet I’ve totally been doubting my abilities in many things.

Am I making any sense whatsoever? If not, whatevs, this is more like a stream of consciousness I suppose. 

I just really want to get going. Full throttle, zero apprehension, just move. And now I’m figuring out where to start! 

Love love love,

Juliana

joy joy joy

If you have read my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I feel passionately about a lot of things. I’ve probably posted about passion more times than I could count. I know how passion works like a magnet and I feel drawn to people that are willing to share it. But it came to my realization the other day that I’ve always focused and really mulled over the passion in my own life.

So for the past few days I had been trying to focus on what lights other people up.

In my opinion, passion equates to joy. Joy for life, joy for others, joy joy joy.

A feeling so great and incredible that it really cannot be put into words.

I think that sometimes we shy away from getting to know that aspect of other people because we’re afraid of being shut down or we’re afraid of being overloaded with information. You know what? Open your arms and take it all in.

This passion is what makes us. It can also set us apart. To ask and to tell are both vulnerable, courageous acts. In the moment that you open yourself to truly speak passionately, you risk being ridiculed. In the moment that you dare to prompt someone’s story with a question, you risk being scoffed out.

Please please please seize the fear and run with it. Run until you’re red in the face. Until you’re breathless and laughing and feeling how alive you are.

I have two friends that come to mind. I’ll call them Friend One and Friend A because it somehow feels wrong to make one of them Friend Two or Friend B.

Friend One speaks so lovingly and deeply about her family that it blows me away every time. Even if it’s a story about a family member acting like a fool, it obviously comes from a place of love and gratitude and I respect that so greatly. Whether she’s aware of that or not, I don’t know. But in every story and conversation about her great big family, her smile gets bigger and her eyes look like she’s replaying a happy memory to herself.

Friend A has a story to tell. Riding across the country on a bike is an experience in and of itself, but to develop such real and human relationships along the way is where the story lies. A carries this around with him, bursting at the seams, as would anyone that has had a formative experience. But to witness the overflow is something else. Experiences cannot be put into words, but it’s still a beautiful thing to try.

Passionate people inspire us and challenge us and change us and make us see life differently.

And we become those people without even realizing it because there’s always room to grow.

Never ever ever shut your mouth about what you care about. Please never ask for permission to talk about it, to me especially.

Don’t smother that fire inside of you. It’s working its magic and it’s not finished yet.

If you don’t know where to start when talking to someone else, I recommend this question:

“What lights you up?”

Oh, all the ways I would answer that question.

Go make things happen. Go listen to what someone has to say. Go grow.

Love,

Juliana

passion

 

451 and Snaps

The day really didn’t get started until after noon…

I woke up at 8, broke the fast, then went grocery shopping, came home, got back into bed, had an early lunch, then got back into bed.

What can I say? Apparently my workout yesterday was more intense than I had thought, so I woke up with incredible soreness.

As I was lounging around, I was walking a lot of Vlogbrothers on YouTube. I’m a big fan of passionate people, so listening to John Green be so passionate about books and reading and reading deeply and constantly bettering ourselves made me want to go to the library.

I then drove to Bennu to caffeinate myself. They have a line of mochas all named after historical literature.

  
I then went to the Austin Public Library, roamed around all the while realizing that I did not remember how to use a library, and then settled on these two books:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (which I somehow had gotten through 15 years of schooling without reading)

And Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz by Edward Burger (who used to make hilarious algebra videos that I watched in 7th grade) and Michael Starbird (who works at UT!)   

 
I started and finished Fahrenheit 451 and was, and for a lack of a better word, burned by it. I’m still processing what it means to me. I loved it a lot. One quote stuck out to me the most:

“How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”

Then I started reading the second book, which is an incredibly interesting and fascinating take on explaining complex mathematical theory to the general public. So far it’s been witty and comical and I’m enjoying it a lot.

  
   
 
I went to campus to swim so laps, saw an attractive dude doing impressive yoga, and then came home where I’ve been reading and watching more Vlogbrothers since.

The day began rainy and then got sunny, but it’s been completely and totally relaxing.

Hasta luego,

Juliana 

The Universe.

I get a letter from the Universe every morning when I wake up. It’s pretty awesome and I’d highly recommend signing up for the email! (Google: Letter from the Universe.)


“There is not one person on the entire planet, Juliana, better prepared to help and love others in all ways and rock their own life path and dreams, than you. All that you’ve been through has created the perfect storm of possibilities for their imminent and inevitable manifestation. 


There’ve been no accidents or mistakes, Juliana, only guts and genius. 


Yeah, guts – 

    The Universe”

peponi.

(Disclaimer: This post kind of got away from me. The usual. I can never follow one thought for too long.)

(Also, TITLE REFERENCE! 

)

Yesterday at work I was talking to a coworker about age.

I was telling her how some freshman in my Spanish class asked me if I felt old for turning twenty this May. It was the first time anyone had ever asked me if I felt old — I wasn’t asked that when I turned 16 or 18!

We talked about how I’ll be launching into The Twenties. We talked about how there seems to be a timeline for when to settle down and have a house and a career and etc..

At the time I didn’t think much of it, but today as I was swimming and staring at a pool floor for a few thousand yards my mind went to it.

It is the absolute truth that there is a semi-unspoken timeline placed on us the day we are born. And if you don’t prescribe to that belief, you probably at least acknowledge that there is a LOT of pressure to be stuff.

A college graduate.

A working adult.

A wife/husband.

A perfect friend to all.

An espresso chugging busy-bee.

A kombucha drinking yogi.

A mom/dad.

Basically, anything that popped into your head while reading this list.

But guess what… You don’t have to be any of those things.

I recently watched a video of a montage of three years of travel. In it, the narrator said that we don’t have to do anything. We only need to do the things we decide to do.

Yes. YES YES YES! What a freeing thought!

You do NOT have to be best of the best. You do NOT have to be the perfect being, because you aren’t!

Being in a college, I’ve witnessed some people have a small mental freak out about what they’re doing with their lives. I hear the word ‘should’ all the time.

“I should be getting an internship. I should be taking more classes. I should sign up for summer school. I should work harder. I should relax more. I should I should I should.”

Should is a dangerous word. It’s haunting, in my opinion.

There has been, and will never be again, a day like today. You only get one. This doesn’t mean that you should do anything.

It means that you get to.

Our lives won’t last forever. The number of days are limited. But guess what, you get today.

That is so beautiful.

I don’t feel old for turning twenty. I refuse to feel old when turning ninety. I live in today.

And what a magnificent day it is.

Stop being so afraid of what is ahead. Stop planning so hard. Stop trying to be something you’re not.

Go with it.

Stand in the rain. Let the cold air bite your skin.

Don’t fix your hair when the wind blows it askew. Don’t be afraid to sweat if it means you are soaking up the sun.

Get your hair wet. Smile as much as you possibly can.

Dance. ALWAYS! When you’re sad. When you’re so happy you could explode.

Life will throw you hurdles. Keep your head up. Front flip right over them.

Scraped knees are okay. Scars are glamorous.

Refuse to see life as anything less than wonderful.

Because it IS wonderful.

Happy happy happy Sunday night.

You’re a rockstar.

The week ahead of you is your stage.

good thoughts

Love,

Juliana