Category Archives: Random Musings

A Very Important Shout-Out


Today is a very important day.

It’s my Mom’s birthday!

happy birthday fun GIF by Ecard Mint

Those who you know me personally know how important this woman is to me and how close I am to my Mom. She’s practically one of my best friends. Hell, just last week, we went shopping together and spent one-on-one time together just because it’d been a while and we’d missed one another. I know some people think that’s weird, because who is friends with their Mom, especially that close?

Well, if your Mom was my Mom, you wouldn’t question it.


Because this woman is just too incredible to do anything else otherwise.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Nicole Evans, people smiling, closeup

She is one of my greatest supports and one of the most important pillars in the foundation of who I am as a person–not to mention one of the greatest role models I have as the type of woman I want to be and who I continually strive to be more like. She is one of the bravest people I know, amongst both women and men. She has a wonderful, giving heart and the greatest work ethic you’ve ever seen. She’s fought for and earned everything she has in her life and she deserves so much more. She is a great support for our family and has made more sacrifices than anyone else should. She gives some of the greatest advice, is willing to listen to me and my long-winded stories and randomly texts me to, “Stop overthinking!” because she knows me so well.

Traveling to London together with her last year was one of my fondest memories together and I cannot wait for more adventures in the future. Just as I cannot wait to celebrate so many more years and holidays, but especially birthdays. And today, we’ll be celebrating by having the entire family together, eating a home-grilled meal and competing in Harry Potter trivia (while probably listening to the soundtrack, because let’s be honest).

So here’s to you, Mom! Thanks for being the inspiration I always need, the support I can always count on and the wonderful, caring, loving, challenging and awesome mother that I don’t deserve. Happy Birthday! I love you!



Just That Mental Game

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this topic before, so I’ll try not to rant about it too much here. But, you know me: when I need to get something off my chest, half the time, if I don’t blog about it, then it ends up festering, and that’s not helpful or enjoyable for anyone involved.

I want to talk about losing weight.

Specifically, my journey to do that and how half the time, it’s a bigger mental game than anything else. And most of the time, it’s that mental game that is more detrimental or harder to deal with than any lifestyle change I’ve made since I started seriously pursuing this journey, a little over a year ago.

You see, I’ve lost 30 pounds out of my 40 pound goal. I knew the last ten pounds would be hard to lose, but they’ve been particularly troublesome, especially since I haven’t really gotten to work out much, thanks to the cold weather and the fact that I’m not to the point where I’ll work out, regardless of how cold it gets (and honestly, I’ll probably never get to that point). I’ve gain a little and lost it again, but mostly maintained. Which is a good thing, but I find myself getting frustrated that I haven’t really made any forward progress on losing those last ten pounds.

There are a couple of reasons for that, honestly.

One, I haven’t ran consistently since November, which is a huge aspect (and was the only element, for most of this) of my working out routine. I haven’t eaten less to make up for the calories I’m not burning, so it makes sense that I’m maintaining, instead of losing.

I also started doing some strength training, so even if I was stuck indoors, I wouldn’t just be sitting around and doing nothing. Not nearly as high in calorie burn as running, but after only doing that routine for a little over a month, I’ve felt my body change in the way it looks and is shaped. I’ve felt myself get stronger. So there’s a good chance that some of that weight I have now is muscle weight, instead of fat.

I also still have splurge days. Granted, I will admit I could do a better job at not going completely overboard, when those days come up (usually Saturdays, if not the entire weekend, when I don’t have a routine that I follow as much), but I do have those, because sometimes, I just want to eat a little extra and be a little lazy. And that’s totally okay, too, even if it slows down my progress a little bit.

All in all, I’m not doing too badly.

Yet I keep fixating on that number on the scale, how I still haven’t “truly” achieved my goal, since I haven’t hit the number I initially set out to hit.

You know and I know it.

That’s bullshit.

I may not have lost 40 pounds, but I have lost 30. My weight may fluctuate a little bit, but I have keep up a consistent workout routine and changed my eating habits to be healthier and more conducive to the lifestyle I want to live and the body I want to have. I have proved to myself that I can create this lifestyle and keep it up, even when I make mistakes or have to recover some lost ground when I slip up. I have developed a confidence and a self-love with my body that I’ve never had before.

I’d say I’ve achieved a damn lot, even if that number on the scale still isn’t exactly where I want it to be. Even if I have cheat days that sometimes go overboard, like last weekend. Even though my own brain tries to diminish my progress by pointing out what I haven’t yet achieved, thus also trying to derail my ability in attempting to achieve those lingering goals, before I make new ones.

I should be proud of all of that, instead of beating myself up for a bad eating day, a missed workout or that number on the scale. Because at the end of the day, I’m putting in the work, I’m creating a lifestyle I enjoy, I’m happy with who I am and I can look in the mirror without cringing.

And that’s pretty damn important, too.


I Need To Up My Game

So, today is International Women’s Day.

black panther GIF by Marvel Studios

Shout out to all the badass women out there.

My feed on Twitter was filled with people shouting out to some of their favorite female authors and some of their favorite series written by women. I had some come to mind, too, specifically from science fiction and fantasy, genres that I love so much.

Sharon Shinn.

Tamora Pierce.

Melissa Caruso.

Erin Lindsey.

Evie Manieri.

Rob Thurman.

Megan O’Keefe.

And that was just some of my top favorites. There are other authors, like Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, Melissa Meyer, K.C. Alexander, who I’ve read and also enjoyed. Then, in the romance genre, I got some of my top authors, too, because I am a sucker for a good romance novel with plenty of heat.

Bec McMaster.

Tessa Dare.

Meljean Brooks.

Amanda Bouchet.

But, honestly?

I had to go to my Goodreads account to remember some of the female authors that I’ve read and loved. Looking through the books I’ve read, I changed the list setting by author and scrolled through.

And was blown away by how many series I love are written by men.

Not only that, but it wasn’t really surprising that I was having trouble remembering female authors whose stories I love and whose work I’ll always support. Because I haven’t, in the grand scheme of things, read that many. Especially not comparatively.

Obviously, I need to up my game.

I already have some female authors on my list that I want to read (and honestly should have before): Robin Hobb. Ursula K. Le Guin. Naomi Novak. Tomi Adeyemi. Elisa Kova. Sarah J. Maas. Sabaa Tahir.

But I feel like I’m missing a lot.

So, have any female writers you think I should be reading or should have read yesterday? Let me know in the comments below–though I definitely plan to be actively seeking for more female writers to read, support and be inspired by. Because next year, on this date, I want to have a lot more female role models to point you towards and beg you to read their books.



Simply A Matter of Perspective

I wrote a post about balance the other day, specifically about trying to balance work and life, and how I’ll probably never master that balance, because I don’t think balancing is something you can actually master. You can only try your hardest and keep learning and adjusting as life throws things at you, no matter what. And that’s totally okay.

But as I was thinking about balance, I also thought about some pretty key elements that come into play in that, too.

Happiness, contentment and change.

I live a pretty happy life. I’m really freakin’ lucky. Yet, sometimes, I get caught up in all the things that I don’t have or things that are yet to come and I become impatient or anxious. Like wanting a job that’s your traditional 8am-5pm so I can have my evenings free to see the few groups of people that are important in my life, instead of cramming everyone I want to see into two days on the weekends and never having enough time. Or wanting a house with a fence so I can get a dog instead of living in a 600 square foot apartment. Or wanting to sign with an agent and get a book deal and a publishing contract.

Thinking about all of those things, I find myself wishing this was already my reality now or trying to figure out ways to make that happen immediately. Yet, at the same time, I think I also, at this point in my life, should focus on where I am right now and being content with where I am. Not that I’m saying I shouldn’t look at ways to improve or increase my happiness or make things better. I’ll always search for that. But I also need to focus and work on just enjoying the moment and situation I’m in right now, because honestly? I’m in a pretty great place.

It’s just easy to forget that, at times, wanting more.

The job one is a pretty big one, so that’s what I’m going to focus on breaking down here, in this post. Working 3pm-12am Sunday through Thursday is a really weird schedule. It makes seeing my family, my friends and boyfriend really difficult, especially on a regular basis (especially if you count me trying to just have a lazy day or time to run errands). Then, there is having to cook dinner before going to work and heating it up later, limiting what I can actually cook. There’s staying up super late and having a schedule that changes a couple different times a year, every year. It’s strange and, recently, it’s been tolling and I think often about wanting an 8am-5pm.

It’s so easy to focus on those things I want to change, instead of looking at what makes me happy about it already.

Like the fact that I can sleep in or if I oversleep, I’m not screwed and missing work. I have time to work out in the mornings, which I find harder to do when I work 8am-5pm, like I do a couple weeks out of the year during this job. I can run errands or make appointments in the mornings without missing work. The work week seems to go by quicker, when Tuesdays are your “halfway point”. My job, thanks to the hours and the type of work I do, allows me to work on other things, like writing or blogging, during the slower times at the library, allowing me to be much more present in the writing community and blog more consistently than I would at your traditional 8am-5pm. I make enough money to support myself. And I enjoy my job and the people I work with, which isn’t always the case (sadly, it’s much more rare).

When you read that paragraph, there are actually a lot of positives, even if my job is a bit unconventional and there are some things I wouldn’t mind being different. Sure, if an 8am-5pm turned up that I think I’d enjoy, I’d probably look into that opportunity, but at the moment, I don’t think I need to stress and worry about changing my job to try and get the benefits of working an 8am-5pm when I already have a wonderful opportunity that is working for me.

Instead, I think I need to get more creative with my time, because not getting to see the people I want each week is the big drag for me. So I just gotta think about what I really want to do, protect that time, make plans in advance and be honest with the people I want to see about how busy I am with a limited weekend and hope that they are empathetic when plans don’t work out or if plans change. Plus, not to mention not being afraid to just take a weekend for myself without feeling guilty.

That’s just one aspect of my life, where if I look at things a little differently and realize I actually am happy, just have a couple hangups that I need to work around, then I can continue on the path I am now, just with some tweaks to increase my overall contentment to consistent happiness with minimal change.

Of course, that isn’t always the answer. Sometimes, drastic change is necessary, especially when you look at whatever situation you’re in and you realize you’re actually unhappy, instead of simply content and wishing for a few changes.

But sometimes, it’s simply a matter of perspective and getting creative with the solutions available to you now, instead of trying to change everything.

And for me, right now? That’s exactly what I need.



Something A Little Different

So, this is the first year I’m not celebrating Single Awareness Day, but instead, celebrating Valentine’s Day in all it’s couply, mushy, over-priced messiness.

That is…such a new feeling, for me.

And I couldn’t be more excited.

And something that, if you’ve been following this blog since I started it, back in 2012, you’ll know I’ve wanted for a very long time (it’s almost embarrassing, to go back and look at some of the posts I wrote, but hey, they were valid at the time, so I’m not ashamed of them or how I felt; I’m a hopeless romantic, after all). Not just to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’ve done that before, alone, in all my singleness glory. Like when I took myself to see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies one year alone in the theatres and ordered nachos, a large Sprite and Buncha Crunches and went ham. Or how I bought and played For Honor while eating an entire pizza alone in my apartment.

When I was single, I slayed Valentine’s Day.

No, what I’ve always wanted was that relationship, to find that person who liked me for me, who wanted to be with me and didn’t care who in the world knew about it. To have that connection with someone, who knows how to make me laugh, who recognizes the signs when I’m not doing okay, who knows my quirks, weirdness and nerdiness, and not only appreciates them, but loves me more for them. To have someone else to count on, to support me, challenge me, uplift me, believe in me. To have someone to come home to, someone to go on adventures with, someone to make my heart flutter, my face flush, my knees weak.

I finally found that person.

And friends, he is wonderful.

hou hsiao-hsien love GIF by Film Society of Lincoln CenterHe puts up with me. He gets to deal with my heightened anxiety, paired with overthinking and worrying all of the time. He supports me through my depression bouts and has adjusted to the fact that my go-to response to any emotion is usually to cry about it. He’s learned not to run away in terror when I send him a novel as a text message. He’s learned beside me and stayed patient with me as I experienced so many firsts that come with my first relationship ever (hey, it only took 24 years *fistpump*), which is even more complex when I’m still battling self-doubt and the occasional round in the ring against self-hatred, so I know I gotta test his patience sometimes. There are a lot of things I’m still working on, but he’s right there beside me, every step of the way.

Just like I’m right there beside him, helping him through his own battles, challenges and struggles.

But then, while we both have our own demons, we also complement one another in so many ways, it’s uncanny. Laughter is contagious around this man. I love talking with him and learning from him. He is such a wealth of knowledge in the sciences and technology, areas where I couldn’t be more ignorant. Yet he doesn’t mansplain or talk down to me. And then I teach him about every writing/related related topic and then some. It’s refreshing to find someone who’s nerdiness both complements and expands upon mine. I love how many new things, like Cowboy Bebop, Battlestar Galactica, Borderlands and Fallout, I have discovered and gotten into, thanks to him. I love how many more adventures I go on, because he’s so extroverted and I’m much more introverted, yet he includes me in things and helps me step out of my shell. I appreciate his support of my writing and my dreams so much. His relentless faith in me is…absolutely wonderful.

He also puts up with my obsession over Lord of the Rings, my tattoo addiction, how I squeal so loud every time I see a puppy/dog (that it almost causes him to wreck when he’s driving), my travel wanderlust, my desire to hold his hand all of the time, my weird work schedule, my passion for my personal health/fitness, my Commander Shepard level dance moves, my love for dragons and animated films and KU basketball. He respects the close relationship I have with my family and he’s accepted that we’re going to own a dozen dogs one day.

Him. Us. This.

This is what I’ve been waiting over two decades for.

And it was worth every second.

So, to celebrate my first ever Valentine’s Day? We’re getting all dolled up (he even bought an entire new outfit, including a tie, that he looks absolutely dashing in, while I’m wearing a dress and heel combo ((which, hello, that never happens, but I’m so excited to get all dressed up alongside him)) and going out to our favorite date night restaurant. Then, we might do a little shopping or we might just walk around the outlet and enjoy the rare sixty degree weather. But, most likely, we’ll roll each other back to the car (because, you know, we’ll be so full) and then get ice cream (because we like to punish ourselves, apparently) before heading back home so I can steal his sweatpants and play video games until we pass out.

And you know what?

I think I can get used to this new way of celebrating Valentine’s Day.


PS: Sorry for the overly gushy post, friends. But you’ve stuck with me in my overly depressive, all-I-want-is-to-fall-in-love posts over the years, so now that I’ve finally done so, I thought you might like to see that post, too. ❤


Work Versus Life: A Constant Fight

Something I always struggle with is balance.

Whether it’s eating healthy versus pigging out, working out versus being lazy, writing versus social media, anxiety versus confidence, self-belief versus self-doubt, spending versus saving, balance is something that I always strive to achieve, yet it’s not only a struggle to achieve, let alone keep up, but it also takes a lot of work.

Right now, I can’t stop thinking about my work versus life balance.

And when I say, “can’t stop thinking,” of course I mean “stressing over it.”

Because how else do you live life, amiright?

*shakes head sadly*

Anyway, in the past year or so, I’ve started to take more days off of work. Whether it’s for a family vacation or a random concert or event I want to go to, when I first started working here, two years ago, I wouldn’t have taken that time off–even though I have vacation time saved up strictly for that purpose. That’s why it’s there. Yet I always have this fear that, if I take off work–let alone too much work–I’ll lose the job I need in order to survive financially.

So I’d turn down things that I really wanted to do.

Yet just because I’m starting to not do that so much now, doesn’t mean I’m not still stressing over it when I do (obviously).

I just missed practically two weeks of work thanks to the flu. Yet I already had a couple days planned in February to take off, for a Super Bowl party, then for Valentine’s Day and a concert next week. Yet I considered not taking off those days, because I missed so much work due to being sick. I still did (am), yet I’m still stressing over the fact that I’m doing so. Even though I have found coverage, my work I would have done on those days is (or will be) caught up and I have plenty of vacation time to cover all of those days. I still get stressed out.

I recognize that some of that stress is just the overthinker in me, but there’s another important element here.

You need a healthy balance between work and life.

Which really translates to: you still need to have a life.

Work takes up so much of your life and so much of your time, it’s easy to let it consume you completely. And don’t get me wrong, I realize some jobs are more demanding than others. I’m very lucky to have a job where I can leave work at work and time enough at that job to get everything I need done, as well as have the flexibility and ability to take off work (usually) when I want to/feel brave enough doing so. But even if you have a very demanding job, I don’t think that should consume your life, either. You should still have a life outside of it. And I feel, as I continue to grow older, the chances are that more of my life will be consumed by work (making this assumption based of what I’ve seen and experienced). So now, while there are still opportunities to do things that I want, even if it means I have to take off work occasionally to do them, I’m going to seize that opportunity.

Now, to stop feeling so bloody guilty about it when I do (any tips?).



A Reality Check, In Two Parts

There are a lot of reasons why I’m really excited for spring to get here: the warm weather, to not feel cold all of the time, not having to worry about trying to drive in the snow, getting to wear tank tops again, the huge fluffy clouds and feeling of renewal with the sun shining every day…

…to run again.

I won’t lie: ever since I started taking fitness and the shape of my body seriously, I got seriously concerned about surviving the winter months. Especially since I can’t afford a gym membership and running outside was just not a option, with how cold it gets here and the less than ideal pavement conditions. Over the holidays, I did really well, only fluctuating between a pound and two. I was still walking over 5,000 steps a day, which is not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

Then, I got sick with the flu and hardly moved at all for two weeks. And this past week, I ate worse than I have in…well, a long time. Don’t get me wrong: the food was good, but I completely threw out all of the lessons I’d learned, through Naturally Slim, which were some key components to the healthier lifestyle (and weight loss that accompanied) I was creating.

I had to force myself to weigh this morning, because I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty.

It was, “You just gained five pounds in one week” kinda ugly.

I wasn’t that surprised, honestly. It reflected the time after being sick and not moving, not eating well and not taking the best care of myself, while also trying to get back to being 100% health wise to begin with. On top of that, there was also a lack of willpower, when I’d snack even though I wasn’t hungry, drink my calories and just eat poorly, even though I knew, mentally, that wasn’t what my body needed or had become accustomed to.

I’m absolutely 100% disappointed in myself.

Today, I returned back to the principles I knew. I’ve been drinking water, I got back to my normal eating schedule (and logging my food, something I haven’t been doing, either) and am back eating within my needed calorie range. I also did some indoor exercises today that aren’t going to help with weight loss, but I want to get stronger and strengthen some muscles, and these are exercises I want to incorporate into my routine, once I’m able to run again, so I’m doing cardio and weights. Plus, working up at least some sweat was needed.

I did all of this instead of beating myself up (too much) or giving into despair and diving even worse, abandoning everything I learned and worked for in the past year.

In that way, I’m proud of myself. The scale provided me with the reality check of how easy it is to let your habits slip between your fingers and how easy it is to slip up.

Yet I also got the reality check that I’m putting too much pressure on the number on that scale.

Honestly, looking in the mirror, I’m not seeing too much a difference, physically, now that I added those five pounds back. Granted, I still plan on getting rid of them (and more besides, to reach my end goal), but I’m not suddenly the whale I feel like. I do feel not as well, though. I’m getting hungrier easier and I can tell I’m wanting to eat more, even though I know I don’t need to. Yet I know, I continue to work and shape my body the way I want and that number on the scale was the same as it is now, I’d be okay with that, because I’m still looking and feeling the way I want.

So why am I beating myself up so much now?

I think about this a lot, this change I’ve made in my life. I stress about it often, as well; fearing going back to where I once was, where this wasn’t an important aspect of my life. I actually really enjoy it. I like being in charge of how my body looks and feels (as much as I can) and shaping it into something I’m proud of. Yet I don’t like getting stressed out over it; for beating myself up when I slip up or when my progress falters ever so slightly. Five pounds is a lot, yes, but it isn’t something I can’t conquer. Plus, I learned how strong my willpower will have to be in the winter (or how I’ll have to adjust my wallet to make having a gym membership a necessity, in the future), which is a good lesson to learn, too, even if it means I have more work ahead of me to reach my ultimate goal.

It’s always a learning process, deciding to take your health in your hands and getting into fitness. Honestly, though? Learning to be forgiving is probably the hardest lesson I’ve encountered so far. Right now, all I want to do is beat myself up for messing up, but really?

I’m still doing just fine.