Confessions of an Overexplainer

I overexplain everything. Sometimes I can’t stop the words from coming out of my mouth, but most of the time I feel a need to keep talking. Even when I see comprehension or boredom on the face of the person I am conversing with I still keep talking.

The thing is I think I may unintentionally insult people, confuse them or annoy them. So give me a minute to explain these situations to you.

When I go on about something you may have done incorrectly…

I’m not trying to belittle you or continue to point out your mistake. I realize that is probably how it comes across but that’s not what I’m trying to do. I just want to explain it especially if there is one small detail you missed or clarify something to prevent you from making the same mistake in the future. I’m trying to help you.

When I keeping talking about a mistake I made you pointed out…

I want to explain to you why I did what I did even though it was wrong because I want you to understand why it happened. I also want to clarify the issue so I can fix it moving forward.

When I give you the world’s longest answer to a simple question…

I feel like it makes more sense if I give you an abundance of information instead of an abbreviated version. I just want you to get the answer you seek.

When I offer an excuse for ordering fast food instead of making dinner…

I feel guilty for doing it and I need to explain to you that I don’t always do it. I’m not lazy and I can cook. I just want you to know that.

When I ask you for a favor and explain why I need it long after you have agreed…

It’s because I don’t want you to think I’m trying to take advantage of you. I want you to know just how much I appreciate it and how great you are.

I think it’s safe to save I have a problem. Fortunately I have finally stopped denying it and plan to work on it moving forward. So please if I babble at you and continue to explain something that does not need to be explained please do not be offended, annoyed or insulted. Bear with me as I try to break the habit.

 

Things Can Change

It’s been one heck of a crazy year. So many things have changed for me. Fortunately, most of those changes are for the good. As twentysomethings we’re at that time in our life where big decisions are made, change is commonplace and we’re all navigating vastly different courses.

Around this time last year I was terrified. Not only was I changing jobs less than one year after accepting the first position of my career, but one of the factors in play for this decision was my boyfriend. Now, please don’t miss understand me, I was smart with this decision. I made sure to find a job in my field, that I wanted and where I got a raise.  However, Mike’s location did play a factor and it was scary to include that in my decision making process.

The first two months were a HUGE transition period. First, adjusting to living under someone else’s roof which Mike’s parents generously offered me while I was apartment hunting and then setting up the new place while acclimating to a new type of position and worrying that I had made a mistake and I would find myself alone and heartbroken in my boyfriend’s hometown.

Fortunately, here I am a year later and my heart and my life are still in tact. There have been a few bumps and curves along the way, but that is to be expected. Despite the frozen tundra that enveloped the apartment when the heat went out and the ant invasion of 2017, I am moving soon to a pet friendly house where I can finally own my first puppy.

Over the last year I ran my first half marathon, bought my first set of brand new tires, attended a Packer playoff game and became a derby girl. I built my first 3D puzzle, published another poem and stayed in my first all-inclusive resort. I even cleaned out my closet.

Looking back over the last 365 days, it feels more like a lifetime. I am proud of all that I have accomplished and to have learned from the mistakes I made. The move was scary, but ultimately the right decision for me. Thank god! Things can change and that’s okay. Embrace the changes, attack the challenges and live life to the fullest.

To everyone that has Feels Good at First stuck in their head, here you go:

20 Animal Photos that Perfectly Illustrate Adulting as a Twentysomething

Recently I have gotten the sense there are a number of people out there having a tough time right now. I’m not sure if it’s the pollen or the time of the year or what the issue is. However, I thought it might be a good idea to post a few animal photos to try to put some smiles back on the faces of those having a tough time.

So I scoured all my files and gathered a bunch together to help illustrate adulting as a twentysomething told through animal photos. I hope you like them and, most importantly, I hope you smile. Enjoy!

1. Me right after I graduated college:

Who me?

 

2. Actual photographic evidence of me trying to stand out on my resume so someone will hire me into an entry level position:

Trying to stand out on your resume

3. She’s looks like doing it better than I am. Should I be doing what she’s doing?

Should I ge doing things like her

4. If I pretend I know what you’re talking about maybe you’ll drop it and then I can Google it later.

IfI act like I understand will you stop asking ahrd questions

 

5. Me when I successfully make a recipe: “I’m an amazing cook! Feel free to call me Betty Crocker!”

I'm an amazing cook

6. Me suffering through a recipe gone wrong: “This tastes like crap. I am never making this recipe again. Maybe I should just run out for take out?”

Less than average cooking skills

7. Please may I take a break from adulting?

Can I take a break from adulting

 

8. Me when I unload the dishwasher: Nailed it! I am the queen of being grown up!

Nailed it.JPG

 

9. There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Too tired

10. Free food! It’s a miracle! Take some and run!

Because I suck at cooking.JPG

 

11.  Must escape! Can I go back to being a kid again?!

Must escape responsbilities

12. How I feel  as I look into my 401k options. 

Approach with caution

13. Me after I wash and fold all my laundry in one day: “Check me out! I’m a real adult!”

Can the weekend last forever

14. Eats one salad. “I’m so healthy! This means I’m covered all week right?”

I ate a salad I'm so healthy.JPG

 

15. I cannot be bothered with cleaning today, it’s imperative that I just sit here and do nothing.

I just don't care anymore.JPG

 

16. Actual footage of me leaving the office on Fridays.

TGIF

17. When you’re the only twentysomething in an important meeting.

Is it obvious that I stand out

18. Me on pay day while I wait to be handed my check.

I did it.jpg

19. If I dress the part and try to look as cute as possible maybe no one will know I’m nervous.

19021557_10156237731774606_1353464289_n.jpg

 

20. But WHY am I no longer allowed to have winter break?

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That’s all folks! I hope these photos brought at least a little joy into your day. Have a wonderful weekend!

Coming apart at the seams

Chaos

As I tumble through the darkness I make one wish:
that when all of this is over and I step into the light,
even if things have changed and will never be the same,
for just one day let everything be alright.

As my feet attempt to navigate the unfamiliar, uneven ground
I try to take in everything I see.
I’m surrounded by a cloud of my own confusion,
and the walls feels like they’re closing in around me.

I dig for the strength I know I have hidden
so I can stay true to the person I know I can be
Even as things spiral of if control.
I will fight my way free.

This poem says it all. The past month has been tough for me. It seems like the harder I try to get back on my feet the more off balance I become. I feel like a toddler learning how to walk for the first time.

When my Grandma died my whole world tilted and it’s  been a little off balance ever since. My heart breaks a little again from time to time as I try to move on and help with things. On top of that I have been trying to figure out where I am going to live and how to start my 401k. That doesn’t include how busy things have been at work and the sense of being incredibly overwhelmed I simply cannot shake.

I miss my friends and I would love to spend a day with them not worrying about anything, but when everyone lives in a different city with a different schedule, getting together is exponentially harder.

I know it will get better and I have been staying positive. However, there are moments where it takes all of my willpower to function normally and keep it together. I have too many emotions and find myself feeling incredibly overwhelmed.

I know I’m not the only one who has felt like this and, honestly, that’s okay. Growing up is hard to do.

Here are some takeaways I have for anyone who feels like they are struggling to keep it together:

Weakness is okay

You don’t always have to be Hercules strong. Tears are okay. Sometimes putting up a brave front might make everything tougher.

Chocolate

Eating a little chocolate here and there is totally okay when when you’re feeling down. Ice cream is also a good idea. And don’t feel bad about eating it. Do you really need to feel guilt on top of all that? Let loose a little.

Lean on your friends

Lean on your friends. They aren’t just there to party with. If they are truly your friend, they will be there when things get tough as well. Take advantage of that. Embrace their support.

Breathe

Just breathe. As much as you might want them to, your problems might not go away as quickly as you like. They might not be easy to handle either. Just breathe.

That’s all I have for you. If you have any advice to share with me, I’m all ears. Also, on a unrelated note, I am open to suggestions of types of small dog breeds to own.

Crockpot recipe: Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana

I love Olive Garden. Their Zuppa Toscana soup is my absolute favorite. To be honest, I’m not even sure why I order a meal because I always end up eating a minimum of two bowls of soup and take all of my actual food home. Know what I’m saying?

Not to worry! I have solved all our problems! I have found a crockpot recipe for Zuppa Toscana! I have also tested the recipe…twice. You’re welcome.

Okay so enough chit chat, let’s get to the recipe. I have cooked it both on low and on high and did not have any issues. I also used Kale both times not Swiss Chard.

Zuppa Toscana

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound Italian Sausage

3 russet potatoes, slices into wedges then halved

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large white onion, finely chopped

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups Kale or Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped

1 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Brown Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about five minutes. Drain and discard fat.
  2. Combine all ingredients except cream and kale in slow cooker. Cook on low 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5.
  3. Add cream and kale to slow cooker, stir and cook until leaves are wilted and warmed through, 20-30 minutes.
  4. Ladle into bowls, serve immediately and enjoy!

That’s it! It’s as simple as that. If I can do it, you definitely can. I hope you like it. Feel free to comment with questions or anything you did to the recipe to make it even better.  Think of all the money you’ll save! Also there are still no updates on my housing situation. Cross your fingers for me!

Microadventures and Me

Wisconsin. Lakes are always just a quick drive away. Hiking, biking, cross country skiing, fishing and canoeing- you name it, we’ve got it.  Plus we have the Packers, good food, great beer and even better people. You can tell I’m a Wisconsinite through and through. I’ve been exploring and “Travel[ing] Wisconsin,” as our state tourism slogan boasts, for all of my 23 years.

I grew up camping with my family who decided a cabin was never quite the right fit because that would be too much commitment to one place.  There are too many lakes to swim, rivers to fish, and trees to climb. Our cabin was a mobile rig that included a boat, a few tents and some air mattresses in the back of a truck. Sometimes we would get a little luxurious and take bikes and a kayak with too.  This idea has fundamentally shaped how I view the world- so many places, so little time. We’ve made our way around exploring not only Wisconsin but national parks and outdoor havens across the U.S. and Canada.

IMG_1177
Me –  majestically looking off into the distance at sunset. Peyto Lake, Banff National Park. Photo cred: my mom.

I studied abroad in college, taking trips every weekend and exploring as much as I could of Liverpool and the surrounding countryside. Once I hopped back across the pond, life seemed a little less exciting. Transitioning from having everything be new and exciting to returning back to the same college town was a little rough. I felt like a piece of me was missing. I wanted the excitement of discovering the best hot chocolate in town or hiking a hill to find an expansive view of a lake far below while the rolling Welsh hills surrounded me. (Pictured above- Connwy, Wales)

In order to fulfill this missing piece, I intentionally started taking microadventures. Microadventures are short adventures that are cheap and close to home yet still fun. I strive to check out new places often. Whether a it’s new restaurant that I’ve lived around the corner from for a solid six months, a new trail during one of my frequent visits to Lapham Peak State Forest, or an adventure across the country, I make an effort to keep exploring and pushing myself to never be comfortable. Some people strive for comfort, I strive for change.

So that’s what I’ve decided to write about in this blog. I will catalogue my microadventures and tell you all about the best beer I’ve had in Milwaukee or an adventure that happened while I backpacked in Ecuador. Or it might be a simple change of perspective on a normal day. I hope to inspire you to take a quick microadventure.  Microadventures are not just for weekends and days off, but it’s about taking on a perspective that allows you to be constantly surprised and never complacent. You may never know what adventure is waiting.

Living that Pet Friendly Life

I want a dog. I have wanted one for as long as I can remember. It might finally happen. Man, I hope it does. I absolutely cannot wait. However, it’s proving to be a much more daunting task than I imagined.

Rent

Unfortunately I have not struck gold since I moved to Baraboo so the first thing that I look for in a new property is the price tag. I am well aware that there are generally pet fees at properties that allow dogs. I also understand duplexes and houses often require yard work and, typically, less utilities are included in the rent. I was willing to make these sacrifices to finally adopt the dog I had been dreaming about since I was three years old.

Availability

I wish that being aware of all these things would be enough. Sadly that is not the case. Properties that are reasonably prices, not surprisingly, get snatched up pretty quickly. Those that don’t seem to be either available too soon or not soon enough. It’s a tough decision when a place is available too soon. Is it worth it to pay that much extra rent when you know rent is about to go up? How nice is the place? Can I afford that before I get my security deposit back?

Size Restrictions

I have always wanted a Golden Doodle. However, some apartments and buildings don’t have enough space and/or yard for me to justify getting a dog that size. No, Doodles are not huge but I also don’t want to force one to live in a smaller space than it would be comfortable with. On the plan B, to Pomsky.

Breed Restrictions

Okay so I find a place that’s affordable, is available at a convenient time and has enough space for a Pomsky, but there are breed restrictions. To be perfectly honest, I would be happy with virtually any dog. I want one that badly. But I had my heart set on a Pomsky and Huskys or anything mixed with a Husky are on the restricted breeds list. I cannot win.

I have not yet made a decision regarding where I will be living. The fact that I haven’t made a decision has me stressed out beyond belief. Should I cave and resign my current lease? What if I don’t and someone else looks at it, likes it and decides to live there and I haven’t found a new place yet? What if I do sign it and then find the perfect pet friendly place?

I have until the end of next week to decide and I’m so sick of looking for places, filling out applications and worrying I could puke. There are a few more options for me to view over the next few days and then it’s decision time.

Cross your fingers for me. I need all the help I can get.