She Geeks Out

When I moved down to Florida without knowing anyone, I spent a few weeks enjoying my alone time and getting settled into work and my new apartment. I soon began to get a little stir crazy, though, and realized I needed to know at least SOME people to talk to and get me out of the house.

I ovaried up (as my man Dan Savage would say) and began attending some of the Naples Young Professionals networking events. It was definitely an out-of-the-comfort-zone activity for me, as making mind-numbing small talk and introducing myself to strangers who seem to already know each other is not necessarily my recipe for the best time ever, but I did it. And whaddaya know, it wasn’t so bad. I made some friends. I must admit I do feel like it may be a little easier to do this in Naples, the land of the Midwestern and Northeastern transplants, than in other cities. It did seem to impress my family and friends back home, though, so I’ll pretend like it was hard and quite an accomplishment.


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Molten Glass

Now that I am living back home, am single, and working only one job that currently is mostly 9-5, I have a lot of time on my hands. This free time has motivated me to try some new things I’ve always been interested in but never had the opportunity to experience! One of these things is glass working. [Disclaimer – I mostly only started to have an interest in it after I’d found an awesome Groupon, so it wasn’t quite “always”.]

Glass working is not really an activity you can take up on your own. It’s expensive, first of all, to purchase supplies and equipment, and as good as YouTube and Google are, it could potentially be dangerous when tried alone without an expert. Fortunately, I found that great deal on Groupon for a local artist with equally great reviews, and equally fortunately I had a good friend equally excited to #trythenewthing!

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Embarking on the Job Search

This spring I embarked on the dreaded job search process. I had done so once before, the year after I moved back from Spain.

I like to think I did everything right at that point – I set up informational meetings with a number of family friends; I attended a variety of resume and job search seminars; I told everyone I knew about my search; I took on temp work through a local agency; and, perhaps most importantly, I applied applied applied. I had a number of phone interviews that didn’t lead to more, one in-person interview that was also fruitless, and a temp-to-permanent offer through the temp agency that, after much hand-wringing, I decided wasn’t right for me at that time. One of the challenges in this search was that I had no applicable real-world work experience and I was unsure exactly what I wanted to do. Ultimately, I ended up in the uniquely millennial position of creating two part-time roles for myself in two different start-up nonprofit organizations.

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Different Pure Barre Studios

About one year into my Pure Barre adventure (and three months into my everyday Pure Barre adventure), my body and health has changed drastically. I fit into clothes I never thought I would again, and I have visible abs for the first time in 27.5 years. At this point, while I am willing to pay the high Pure Barre prices for the admittedly incredible results, I also do have my standards for what constitutes a good Pure Barre studio/teacher/class.

  1. Technical expertise. It is important (surprise surprise) that an instructor is familiar with the curriculum and the subject matter. Obviously no one is perfect, and everyone will make mistakes, but I look for instructors who do make form corrections throughout the class, who ensure we get the same balanced workout on both sides of the body, and who are in-tune enough with the music to blend exercise changes seamlessly with the beat.
  2. Energy. For me, the most important thing other than technical expertise is the energy and enthusiasm the instructor brings to the room and the session. And this, unfortunately, is one of the things I’ve had trouble finding at some of the new studios I’ve visited. How am I supposed to be giving it my all and enjoying myself if the instructor is clearly not giving it her all nor enjoying herself? The instructor has the power to change the entire energy of the room, and that of each and every student, and you can feel the difference.
  3. Community. Now, I’m not working out to make friends or to socialize, but when you spend more than an hour each day every day at the same place with the same people, it’s nice to feel known, recognized, and appreciated. Not all studios greet or even acknowledge you when you walk in, and many instructors don’t make the effort to encourage students by name throughout the workout.
  4. Facility. At this point, the set up and cleanliness of all the studios I’ve visited has been excellent, so I don’t have much to say here. I’m sure I would not visit a second time if I happened to discover a dirty or uncomfortable studio. I should say that I do enjoy the studios with fans in them more! It’s nice to have some airflow within the sometimes stuffy and steamy exercise room.
  5. Musical Mix. I’m much more motivated by songs with lyrics, I’ve realized. A background electro-funk beat doesn’t inspire me to push harder and tuck longer the way a lyrical story does. The mix can really make or break the class, and so I always do my best to tell the teacher when I especially love a mix with the desperate hope that they’ll do something with that feedback… I think different studios and different teachers may take different artistic freedoms with the music choices, though.

So far, my amateur hypothesis based on this very small studio sample size is that the regular presence of the studio owner, especially a studio owner that also teaches classes on a regular basis, can make or break all of the categories above. It makes sense that this would be the case – the regular presence of the head honcho keeps other employees on their toes and can reinforce the sense of importance and sense of community for not just the customers, but also the teachers. The same way an instructor can affect the energy of a class, the studio owner can affect the energy of the entire studio.

Basically, I am missing my Pure Barre Naples home, but change can be good and force us to grow… so… I will keep #tryingthenewthings.

  • Naples, FL
  • Estero, FL
  • Boston, MA
  • Wellesley, MA
  • Fort Collins, KY
  • Nashua, NH
  • Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
  • Central Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ


Bullet Journaling

This is now where I add to the many, many posts living on the interwebs about bullet journaling.

A few months ago, one of my social media contacts started posting pictures of planner and journal pages. For a long time, I ignored them. Why should I be interested in other people’s dumb journals? Of all the Instagram pictures to spend time stalking… But eventually, deep in the bowels of Internet procrastination, the sixth-grader receiving her first homework planner and fastidiously keeping it neat and organized popped out from where she was hidden not-so-deeply inside of me. I was suddenly curious and started googling.

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