Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Well, today is the day that I go from being someone in their 20s to someone in their 30s.  I honestly thought I would be depressed but I think the impending doom of this birthday was worse than anything. I don't feel any different.  I mean people told me I wouldn't but I can now confirm that I do not.  I hate saying the word thirty.  It feels a little chunky coming out of my mouth but overall, I feel pretty accomplished.  Other than a few tweaks and some super unfortunate financial stumbling blocks, I'm educated, employed (one of my jobs being a teacher which is what I absolutely love to do) and surrounded by people that I care about and that care about me.  So, cheers! 

I've read a couple of posts from different people on various sites about turning 30 and many of them list 30 things they've learned so I kind of did the same thing.  For many of these, I don't always follow my own advice but I think that part of the process is always making sure that you are trying to evolve and change for the better.  I'm a work in progress.  Always.  There are some pictures over the past couple weeks below the list. I am a a swollen balloon right now because of all the birthday food/celebrating so I haven't been on the scale.  I won't post the next two weeks because I will be on my way back from the beach on Monday and then the next Monday is Memorial Day.  Things were so hectic with school and tornado season but now I have a break.  So, after the beach I hope to be back to my normal diet and losing weight and posting recipes so my next post will be on June 2nd.

1. Family and the friends that have become your family are all that matter in life.  I have been showered with so much love over the past week that it's just ridiculous...an embarrassment of riches.  I must have done something right in a past life to deserve the family and friends that I have.  I haven't cured a horrible disease or saved the human race from a villain.  I turned 30.  And yet so many people helped me celebrate as if the pomp and circumstance was a necessity and I have never been more grateful in my entire life.  I've cried a lot about how lucky I really am.  Get rid of the people you don't need y'all.  I don't mean literally.  You don't have to kill or harm anyone, just shed the toxic junk.  I would do anything for my friends and family and it is so obvious after this weekend that they'd do anything for me.

2. Watch out for the greener grass.  Ever been to dinner with a friend and their food looks way better than yours and you wish that you had ordered what they did?  That's life.  There will always be something more appealing out there.  The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not the choices you make are worth the risk.  Are the consequences of your actions worth it?  Will the outcome benefit you?  I want things all the time.  I can thing of something I want now (It's ice cream).  I just have to know what I'm getting myself into.

3. Quick fixes don't work. I can't stress this enough.  I've always been against diet pills.  I lost weight the old fashioned way.  Diet and exercise.  I trusted my physician though when I told him I was frustrated because the older I get the hungrier I am.  He prescribed me Topamax.  This pill was initially prescribed to those with migraines but it was found to also curb the appetite of many. He told me it may make me "jittery" and "agitated." Stupidly, I didn't do enough research.  Since then, I've had horrific headaches, numb hands, feet and limbs on a daily basis, panicky tendencies, severe concentration issues and  lack of taste in beer and soda,with limited benefits in appetite decrease.  I wanted to come off the pill immediately but read that I needed to taper because many people that stopped taking it had seizures.  I was mad at my doctor but more mad at myself.  I know better.  It's taken me years to get to a lower weight and I'm still not done.  You owe it to yourself to get healthy the right way.
4. Exercise y'all.  My friend David Earp mentioned this yesterday on Facebook and he's so right.  Exercise is so important.  Get moving! Even if it's slow at first, get out there.  You can also try new things.  I played tennis with my brother a couple weeks ago.  I thought I was in good shape but it nearly killed me.  It will lengthen your life span and make you feel so much better.  

5. Pickles are the worst.  Pickles will always be terrible.  The juice gets everywhere and you can taste it and it makes your bread soggy.  I will never eat them.  However, I do encourage to branch out and try new foods.  Since I've been a grown up, I've started eating onions, olives, black beans and all sorts of things I never thought I would.  It spices up your life.  Trust me.

6. One attribute of your life does not define you.  Humans are very complex.  Don't assume that just because I'm an English teacher that there won't be a typo in this post.  There will be.  

7. Don't sweat the small stuff.  Anyone that knows me knows that this is something I'm terrible at.  I sweat small stuff all day y'all but I'm working on it. It really does get you know where.  My anxiety can be overwhelming at times but I do try to manage it.

8. Throw expectations out the window.  According to the laws of the South, I should be married with 2.5 babies and a dog named Red by now.  None of that has happened yet and if I lived my life on the timeline of the girl I ran into at Wal-Mart that I used to go to high school with that was all "When are you gonna have kids?!" I'd be in trouble, wouldn't I?  Sure, I have a maternal moment once or twice a year but that doesn't mean I should have children right now.  Y'all.  I received two bottles of Fireball and a bottle of Grey Goose the size of a toddler for my birthday.  Not only that, but when I found out there was something called a mucus plug, I almost called in to being a woman all together.  I'm not ruling anything out.  I'm 30, not 45.  Quit rushing me world.  All I'm saying is...forget what you're supposed to be and just do you.

9. Never too late to start over. If you wanted to go to college. Go. If you want to come out to your parents. Do it. If you want to be single.  Be it.  Just saying.  

10. Dogs are the best. That's all.

11. Organization is important. My planner is my life.  I'm probably a bit extreme on this front but I like it that way.  I may have to "pencil you in." Don't be offended. I don't think I'm special. I just literally have to have that tiny binder tell me what to do every day.

12. Life is hard.  It always will be.

13. Hatred is dumb and exhausting.  Please stop being rude.

14. Politicians suck MOST of the time.  Find the issues that matter.  Find the best ways to you can to organize and fight for what you believe in.  Be prepared to be disappointed but don't give up.

15. Music is good for the soul.

16. Gay people are here to stay y'all. Get over it.

17. Go to your dream concert/event.  Jordan has seen Shania.  Cassandra is going to see Beyonce.  My Dad has seen Iron Maiden. Ian is seeing Moe and going to watch his Arsenal play this summer.  My brother is getting to see Linkin Park.  I've seen many of my dream concerts.  It's worth it y'all. I'm so excited for Cassandra, David and Ian that I can't stand it.  To breathe the same air as your idol is something everyone should experience.

18. Take a dose of perspective every once in awhile.  I'm so dang self-indulgent.  Look at me...I'm posting 30 things I've learned in my short, highly privileged life.  Sometimes, I got to open up a news story or look at someone's life and realize that I'm a mere speck.

19. Chocolate solves a lot of problems.

20. It's OK to be emotional.  

21. Money is important. Don't get the power turned off to see those dream concerts.  Suze Orman would have a stroke if she knew how I handled my money.  However, I am a firm believer in doing what you want when it's possible.  I've seen and done so many amazing things.  Just make sure you can pay the bills!

22. You should back off of people's choice in brain candy.  I know a lot of literary and music snobs.  It's so annoying y'all.  Let people like what they like.

23. You should read the Harry Potter Series. 

24.  The philosophy that "We accept the love we think we deserve" from the Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the truest things I've ever known.  22-24 are clearly thematic.

25. Find a place where you can be completely yourself. Home. The bar (Top Shelf). Wherever.

26. Things that are made of pure evil: health insurance companies, student loan companies, credit card companies that give teenagers money.

27. Perfection doesn't exist.  Trust me.  No matter what I do, without plastic surgery, the stretchmarks and spare tire I earned from my college years will never go away.

28. It can always be worse.

29. There are still people out there that are genuine and kind. We should be more like them.

30.  Thirty isn't the prettiest sounding number but it's the number that I have and I'm breathing so I am grateful.  My twenties were amazing.  I learned so much about who I am.  Everyone keeps telling me it's the best decade so I'm just going to go with it.

Enjoy the next couple of weeks!

Happy birthday month to all my fellow May peeps! (Jordan, Nish, Nichole, etc!)


Monday, May 5, 2014


Happy Cinco de Mayo y’all! I know that when it comes to My Life Without Ranch I’m a total slacker lately but I can assure you that is not the case in any other area of my life.  Normally, I’m quite talented at balancing three jobs but since the semester is coming to an end and students have been extra demanding, my full-time job combined with my part-time job combined with tornado scares and traveling and fitness and general busy-ness I’ve barely had time to remember what year it is.  No seriously, this morning, I put 2003 on something as if that were the year.  In short, I’m losing it.  What’s sad is this week is going much more smoothly so far than last. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to post today either but I wanted to check in.  The goal is to keep up with things this week and have a gigantic catch-up style post next week which will be the very last post of my 20s! That’s right, I turn 30 on May 13th.  I have a lot of thoughts and feelings on the subject that I haven’t had time to process but perhaps after my grades are submitted on Wednesday I’ll be able to breathe again. 

In the meantime, have a wonderful Fifth of May, Y’all! Happy belated birthday to my best friend Jordan! We had a blast this weekend celebrating in Atlanta!  I lost most of my Easter weight last week.  I didn’t do great over the weekend but I can assure you I’ve had worse traveling weeks in terms of food.  I don’t have high hopes for weight loss during the month of May.  In addition to December, it’s my fattest month.  I will do my best to keep it under control though.

Again, I hope to have a much more picture laden and conclusive post next week in which I say sayonara to my youth.  Until then, everyone!