Monday, November 02, 2015

On Confidence or lack of.

I've lived in Australia for almost six years now, and as the months pass, I feel further and further away from who I used to be when I lived in the states.

It could be because I've grown up and am no longer that College kid who thought she knew everything about the world, or it could be that I've just completely changed and have lost all of the confidence and bubbly personality that I once had. It could be a combination of both.

It makes me pretty sad when I think about the last five years in this country as 'friendless.' It's been hard not having another person to turn to to invite shopping or to go for dinner or wine dates. It's been hard looking for like-minded people to make friends with and coming up short. The first three years here were definitely like that. It's really only been the last 2 years that people have started to stick around. Protip: don't invest heavily on friendships with people on working holiday visas -- they leave after a year anyway!*

When I first moved here I was invested in making new friends, but for some reason nothing stuck.  It could have been that I was looking in all the wrong places, or maybe it could have been that people didn't want to let me into their tight-knit friend circles. It could have also been that I was awkward or loud or people didn't understand my sense of humor. Whatever it was, that year of searching for friends was futile and it ended up robbing me of my confidence.

I couldn't understand it.  Why would no one want to be friends with me? Did I say/do/see something wrong? Am I that weird girl that shows up to the party uninvited? I couldn't stop these thoughts from entering my mind. I felt pretty lonely and sad about it too. Even when Miguel arrived in the country, I was happy to have him here, but I still felt a void by not having any other friends.

What was even harder was that all of my friends back home were hanging together, and thanks to social media, I watched my friend circle grow closer without me. It was pretty hard stuff.

So the months and eventually years pass, and my attempts at making friends lessen.  I focus on my relationships with Miguel and my family, and I think that it's all I need to have a good life. Still deep, down inside I was sad about not having a girlfriend to hang out with. Three years pass like this, until finally random, but good friendships start to build from unlikely places.  Work mates become friends and randoms I've met at a party actually want to hang out after the party is over. Little by little, I build with these people until a solid friendship starts to exist. I was SO HAPPY! It was an amazing feeling to call a friend up and go on a dinner date sans Miguel or family member.

Fast forward to right before I started typing this post, where I am super hesitant to go to this spin class I just signed up for. The class is happening in 1 hour and 15 minutes and I'm still deciding if I have the guts to show up. Why am I feeling like this? Where is this anxiety coming from? I think it boils down to the fact that nearly six years ago in Australia, I lost my confidence.

...and now I need to get it back.

I figured the best way to do it was to really get out of my comfort zone. So I did the unthinkable and enrolled in some fitness dance classes. I have zero coordination skills and fitness in general makes me feel queasy. Also the awkward 10 mins before a class starts is the worst! But I gotta start somewhere right?

So I'm taking these random workout classes, and I'm standing outside of the workout room before class starts without my phone, and I'm looking people in the eye, and smiling and chatting and remembering what I was like in College, High School, Elementary School! The confidence has to be in here somewhere. I just have to keep reminding myself -- I can do it.

Any tips? Any advice? I'd love to hear. 

*Millie and Emily, I am not talking about you! ;)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sydney Spotlight: Los Vida

For the last (nearly) six years I've lived in Sydney and had to subject myself to their substandard version of Mexican food.  When I first arrived here, the Mexican food was terrible. Disgusting. Un-eat-able.  I thought often: what is this hell I'm living in where the guacamole has sour cream in it and the tortillas are cold?! 

However, instead of deciding then and there that I would give up eating Mexican food in Sydney completely, I did the opposite.  I ate at every single Mexican establishment I could find.  There were some hits and many, many misses.  However, it seems these days there are more good finds then terrible ones. Has Sydney finally figured out that sour cream doesn't belong in guac? Have more Mexicans traveled to the land down under to open up shop? OR have my taste buds changed to accept sub-par Mexican food?! ...lets hope it's not the latter.

Anyway, all of this to say that today I stumbled upon a newly opened, Mexican Restaurant in Crows Nest...and oh my gosh it was GOOD.

I went to Los Vida with no real expectations. The logo looks really trendy, which sometimes can be a bad sign. Read: hipster best mates who visited Mexico once and decided they knew enough to open up a 'cool' restaurant. Barf. Needless to say, I was fantastically surprised when the tacos served were not only mouth-wateringly good, but also authentic.

There were radishes! and warm tortillas! The tortilla chips were made on site! What was this Mexican haven I had stumbled into?

I ordered just two tacos -- lamb barbacoa and one called Yucatan Fish. The rest of the table got an array of tacos and I was able to see what they all looked like.  The beef, pork and chicken were all shredded and looked run of the mill, but still delicious.  The original fish taco was beer battered and served with slaw; not so Mexican as much as it is Baja/Californian but it came with crunchy jalapenos on the top that made me want to order it for next time. The most interesting one had octopus in it, but I forgot to ask if it was yummy or not.

All the folks I dined with had nothing but good things to say too.

The place was decorated pretty kitschy as is standard in any Mexican restaurant in Sydney, but upon looking around it was obvious that those who designed it actually knew about real Mexican Culture. Which should be right, because the website boasts that the masterminds behind Los Vida are two Mexicans born & raised in Mexico City.

So there you go. That's why it was so good!

Should you visit Los Vida? Abso-freaken-lutely.  Do you need to travel all the way to Crows Nest? Not really, they have 2 locations in the City and one opening in Barangaroo this September. If you're going though, let me know. I'll meet you there. ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Resolution Check In

2015 is over half way complete! Can you believe it? I thought I'd do a little resolution check in to see where we are now that we've passed the half way mark.

For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I'm actively working toward meeting my resolution. Now that we're passed the half way point, I'm actually shocked that I've made it this far.
I think that the reason this little goal has stuck with me for this long was because of the way I wrote it.

Instead of it being about weight loss, my resolution was about strength, endurance, power.

This year my goal was to run 5 kilometers in 30 minutes.

I know to some of you that may sound like a silly goal or easily attainable, but for someone like me running for any amount of time at all, was/is a big deal. I've always hated doing any major physical activity, especially running. In fact, I hated it so much that I used to have nightmares about running marathons where my legs would be so heavy that I would need to push myself against a wall to gain momentum.  I would dream about this so often, that eventually I started to believe that I actually had heavy legs. Freaky.

But my legs aren't really heavy and running isn't scary, so the resolution shouldn't be either right? So armed with this knowledge, I began to run.

At first it was really hard. Sweat and lycra and gyms are kinda gross. It was also hard getting a running routine going and staying consistent. I'll be honest and say there were a lot of weeks in a row where I didn't get any running done. But my conscience would always get the better of me, and I'd eventually get back to running again.

Seven months in, I still haven't met my goal, but today I reached a significant milestone which inspired me to write this post today. I'm running the farthest I've ever run for longer and longer stretches of time each time.

I'm proud of myself, really and truly because for the first time, I'm feeling fit and healthy and I'm making the right choices for myself.

Healthy living isn't always about the numbers on the scale. It's about living your life as best and as active and as happy as you can.

I'm excited to check back with you again in December to find out whether or not I've made or even surpassed my goal. Regardless of the results, I'll be sure to share.

How about you? Have you kept up with your resolutions?  I'd love to know.


Sunday, June 28, 2015


image via

I just want to take a moment to shout hooray for the beautiful decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States of America yesterday. It's such a joy to know that my LGBTQ loved ones back in the states now have the same rights to marriage that my hetero loved ones do.

Australia, here's hoping you're next.

The fight for equality is long and arduous, but when massive wins like this happen in the super power that is America, it brings with it a huge beacon of hope.

Here's to a better tomorrow!