Traveling by Myself

Last weekend I went to Tulsa by myself for a show. The plan was to go with a friend, and we had the tickets and a hotel room booked when those plans fell through. Instead of skipping the trip and loosing the money, I decided to go by myself. I didn’t like the idea of traveling alone, but I was excited to see The Gaslight Anthem and figured I’d have an okay time.

The week leading up the show was stressful. Work was crazy and I was nervous about the trip, so I was kind of an anxious mess. The show was Friday night, and the plan was to leave right after work which would put me at the venue just after the first opening act finished. (I didn’t know the band, so I was cool with missing them. Against Me! was playing second and The Gaslight Anthem was headlining.) Friday at work was ridiculous. Nothing was going right, and I was convinced I’d be stuck late trying to finish things up. Right after lunch, the venue tweeted out that they were moving the show up an hour. If I followed the plan and left right after work, I would miss AM! and possibly the start of GA’s set. Luckily my boss is amazing- I told him about the show, and he told me I could leave whenever I needed to.

As soon as I got on the road, my anxiety started to disappear. There’s something so relaxing about driving alone, blasting my music. I made it to Tulsa without incident, and even found a parking spot downtown right around the corner from the venue. I had just enough time to find a spot in the crowd before Against Me! came on. I’ve seen them before and they don’t disappoint. They played a fun set and the crowd was into it.

Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!

Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!

I love a crowd full of punk kids, they always bring tons of energy to the show. There’s nothing worse than a show where everyone just stands around like statues.

The Gaslight Anthem was amazing! Brain talked between songs and interacted with the crowd, which isn’t something I’ve seen for a while. There’s something to be said for that rock star personality (hello Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys), but sometimes it’s cool to see a band that just seems genuinely happy everyone came to check them out. The music was spot on and the crowd was awesome. It was an excellent show, exactly what I needed after a stressful week.

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem

Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem

After the show I checked into the hotel, opened a bottle of wine, and relaxed with some HGTV.

Originally I had planned on going home first thing in the morning, but Alex was having friends over in the afternoon, so I decided to stick around Tulsa for a while. I went to breakfast and then did some shopping. I was in Loft for probably an hour, and it was nice not to feel rushed or like I was holding anyone else up.

Around 1 I headed back to Wichita.

Recently I’ve realized how much I love spending time alone. The stress of the workweek dissolved during my trip, and I got home feeling refreshed. I definitely enjoy spending time with my friends, but there’s something so calming about alone time.

I’m proud of myself for going on that trip. The days leading up to it, I was convinced I’d back out. But it was awesome, and it made me realize I can go to the shows I want to without having to drag Alex along. He hates all my favorite bands, and is generally uncomfortable at shows we go to.

Strong Women

My unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.

- Tina Fey

Other great quotes from strong women here.

Attitude Adjustment

In my personal life, I’m a very positive person. Life is just easier with a sunny outlook. In my work life, this is something I’ve been struggling with. Lately I’ve been quick to get irritated, and my tolerance for other people is low. I thought I just needed a vacation, and I took one. But when I got back, I was still experiencing the same annoyances.

I don’t want people I work with to think I’m mean or rude, so I’m working hard on my attitude. Yes, it’s difficult to request the same things from the same people over and over again. And it’s difficult to be thrown a load of work at the last minute and told to handle someone else’s problem. I think I have every right to be annoyed by these things, but I don’t want annoyance to turn to anger, and I don’t want people to feel my anger is directed at them. (Even when it is.)

It’s Friday morning, and I’m already annoyed. So today I’m going to concentrate on keeping a sunny disposition. I’ll bite my tongue and try to have helpful, honest conversations with people instead of frustrated ones. And I’ll go home after work, have a great weekend, and come back next week refreshed and ready to keep the positivity going. I hope.

4 Years

4 years ago today Alex asked me to be his girlfriend. On that day I never expected we’d get to where we are today. I never imagined we’d be this strong, with our own home and little family, and the beautiful life we’re building together. I was 22 years old, I lived with my parents and I spent my free time partying with my friends. I don’t think I expected our relationship to be long lasting. I really liked Alex, but I didn’t have the best track record with relationships, so why would this one be any different?

But here we are. We’ve both grown and changed so much in the last 4 years. We’ve worked through tough, crazy times, and we’ve experienced true happiness and joy together. Through all the ups and downs, I think we’ve become exactly what the other one needs.

I am thankful for Alex and our relationship every day. When I come home, the chaos of life melts away and I get to be with my best friend. What more could I possibly want?

Alex and Jillian in Seattle