13.1

how i survived my first half marathon:

  1. find a training schedule
  2. complete half of the training
  3. try to eat healthier-add in a couple protein shakes every month
  4. get sick for the two weeks leading up to race day
  5. drink beer and bike around the day before
  6. don’t practice waking up earlier to prepare for 6 am race start
  7. realize you’re probably going to die and do it anyway

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2 hours and 20 min later my legs felt like they were going to fall off.

13.1

say hello to your quarter-life crisis.

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at twenty-five i have said hello to my quarter-life crisis. in september i left a highly sought after ICU nursing position, moved to a new city, have more student loan debt than when i graduated, & had never felt so lost. it seemed like the best time to figure out who i am, what i want, and how to get what i want.

there has always been a plan, or rather society had sketched out a plan for me. go to school, then soccer practice, graduate, go to college, work, obtain a well paying and stable degree, foster a successful career, and top it off with an instagram worthy lifestyle.

the year plus a few months i spent as an ICU nurse was a brutal realization that i needed to take control over my life. to stop letting fear, laziness, and societal pressures determine my life course. the ICU was a place that fueled a lot of anxiety and fear for me. multiple codes and extremely tough patient situations fresh out of nursing school, played a toll on my emotional well-being. i also knew there was something missing and i wasn’t playing the game of life in the right field.

an ache in my belly had me questioning if what makes me feel fulfilled may be in something more creative. i grabbed Christine Hassler’s Twenty-Something, Twenty-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction and began the most honest time in my life. it was terrifying telling people that i had no idea what i was doing as everyone else shared their perfected self/career/life intro. it went a little something like this.. “Hi, I’m Coli. No, it’s Coli. Like broccoli. Yeah you got it. What do I do? Oh, well I don’t know what I’m doing with my life at the moment. I’m trying to figure that out. I’ll get back to you.” for a short time it began to feel a bit liberating to be so honest with strangers and even the closest people to me. then as time passed the liberation turned into depression. questioning the process, what i was doing, and if i would ever figure it out took over my mind. but through it i kept myself open to opportunities and am now on the upside.

that time also led to me to the release of a lot of regret and blame. there was a moment in college where i left a degree path toward emergency medicine (which i had followed someone else into) and my next step was uncertain. i took a moment to explore the possibilities of transitioning to a marketing degree, but after realizing how many extra credit hours and length of time in school it would add, as well as some outside influences i nixed that off the option list. i felt that belly ache and thought for a moment about taking a more creative step in life, but decided to make the safe choice and continue down the medical route. my transcript was bloated with biology prerequisites and it would assure me a viable career. thus, i applied for nursing school. making the “safe choice” had been my clutch.

this time round i am not choosing life’s safe options. i know this will be a long road for me, but it is a very exciting one. i am forever grateful for the support and the love around me at one of the most vulnerable times in my life. now more than ever i am ready for the beauty of what this life has to offer.

currently i have a steady income from nannying, taken a variety of creative classes, an evolving position with Tiny Atlas Quarterly, a come and go exercise routine, newly acquired photography skills and knowledge, and have thought about no longer procrastinating doing my taxes. with the help of zach, my boyfriend, i have created what i like to call “my studio” tucked in the corner of our bedroom. this space is where i am creating stained glass/suncatcher art. i don’t know where this art will take me, but i am very excited for the possibilities.

trying not to sound too cliche throughout this post (yeah right) i have to end on the cheesiest note… i am on life’s rollercoaster and i’m not getting off. it’s just too good.

say hello to your quarter-life crisis.

p is for practice.

practice, practice, practice. this seems to be the theme for me at the moment. practicing routines to make them habits. practicing habits to create a lifestyle. practicing photography. practicing my self reflection & awareness. practicing practice. (have you ever said or spelt a word so much it seems foreign all of a sudden?)

these photos are from a visit to the conservatory of flowers at golden gate park. i took the day to explore the exhibit & practice my newly learned photography skills. i am working on understanding how to adjust for depth of field, angle of view, exposure, & what catches my eye.

p is for practice.

tahoe unplanned.

snapseedfor weeks we had been looking forward to our hut trip with friends in tahoe. we had to head up a day later than everyone else due to z’s work schedule, but we had everything figured out. with snowshoes rented, packs stuffed, & the hope for lots of snow we headed out of the city. it was pouring.. the entire time. we stopped at a general store to buy trash bags for our packs & decided we would have to hike in rain boots to stay dry. obviously we were ill prepared. z & i like to call ourselves the “in moderation” adventurists. we are by no means “hardcore” or have all the latest gear to get us to far off destinations, but we also don’t stay in plush hotels or just visit the safe tourist sites when we adventure. well this trip we felt a bit more “hardcore”. who would have know rain boots attached to snowshoes would work well & trash bags would keep everything other than the bottom of your bag dry? well, we didn’t. it is fun to improvise & put yourself in unknown situations. this was also my first time snowshoeing & even though flooding of the trail prevented us from reaching our friends we had a blast. after feeling defeated, but warm back at the truck we decided to make the most of it & stay in tahoe for the night. we came across a darling hotel right on the lake, snagged a room, & headed to dinner. a couple rum runners & we were feeling even toastier. we spent sunday exploring south lake tahoe & took the mountain drive back. although the weekend didn’t go as planned, it turned out to be another adventure for the books.

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tahoe unplanned.