Things I’m Working On

2015-08-25 things I'm working on

I’ve already started warning people that there’s probably a breakdown coming when I turn 27 this year. It’s not that it’s closer to 30, it’s just that 27 sounds so adult (which as I’m getting older I’m beginning to realize might not actually be a real thing?). If you had asked me when I was in middle school what 27 was going to look like it was going to involve a husband, at least one child, a house in the suburbs, and there was definitely never a question about whether I was going to own a car. What self-respectable 27-year-old doesn’t own a car?

I’ll tell you who. A non-married, no-kids girl who living in Philadelphia, specifically on a street small enough that cars barely fit down. And don’t get me wrong. 27-year-old Chrystina doesn’t wish she was married or had kids, but considering that was the last “plan” I had and I’m not currently heading that direction, it’s probably time to create a new plan.

On my recent trip to Portland I found myself thinking, I wish I was one of those girls who kept flowers in her house. Which, for anybody who knows me might be moderately shocking because I really dislike the smell of flowers. That said, they can’t all smell, right? And I like what flowers stand for in principle, that they brighten up a room without even trying. I’m at least moderately proud of myself that I realized relatively quickly that all I needed to do to become one of “those girls” was to just buy some gosh darn flowers. I’m going to go do that today.

This morning, at 6:34am, I texted Ben “Chances you’re awake and driving to work? Looking for a discussion about the meaning of life on my walk home from the train station.” He was both awake and willing to humor me. When the conversation was over, we had essentially gotten to the point that it doesn’t matter what you do with your day to day as long as you’re happy. (Admittedly, I told him he made that sound way easier than it was.) But in honor of this conversation and all my self-reflection, today we’re going to talk about some things that I’m working on. Sure, I’m working on my photography, defining PHLBloggers, figuring out what to do with my online greeting card shop, and towards a promotion, but sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and figure out what you’re personally working on too, right? That’s the key to happiness. Or something.

What I’m Working On Now

  • Defining what happiness looks like for me. I’ve realized happiness for me usually entails working towards a goal, I just need to figure out what that goal is.
  • Adding color back into my wardrobe. I have spent a lot of time in the past two years weeding things out of my wardrobe that just don’t do it for me. I’ve noticed a lot of black and white clothing and a lack of personal style. It’s about time for both of those things to chance. In the past few weeks I’ve bought some olive green things, a burgundy top, a burnt orange cardigan, and even a hot pink dress. I’ve also been making an effort to try more things on in stores that I normally wouldn’t to see how they look, some wonderful advice courtesy of the lovely Sarah Moore.
  • Adding more fruits and vegetables into my daily diet. It feels good to eat healthy. And keeping produce in the house usually makes it easier to decide what to have for dinner. As for using all the produce I buy in a timely manner so it doesn’t go bad, that’s a “working on” for another day.
  • Creating a more functional living room space. I took out a large piece of furniture that didn’t belong in the room, got rid of a lot of crap, found a coffee table that fit better, and put the door back up on the hinges instead of a curtain (not before it fell on my head once though). Now I need to figure out how to add more seating and possibly some storage for blankets and pillows that are taking up way too much space in my bedroom.
  • Putting my clothes in the hamper when they’re dirty instead of thinking I can get one more wear out of them. My mother’s going to be so proud (or completely embarassed that I admitted this on the internet. Hey, at least I’m honest, right?
  • Keeping my room clean. I am a much happier person when my bedroom is clean. Having a place for everything in it’s place makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Which means that I should probably get the extra computer pieces off my floor from a few months ago.
  • Making an effort. I’ve been trying to dress a little nicer, add the extra touch of jewelry, and fix my hair in the mornings. I’ve noticed that makes me feel better throughout the day, which is cool. That said, in the midst of my getting rid of things that don’t bring me joy I threw out my 9-year old mirror that was impossible to clean and was $6 from Target, so now I can’t see what I look like while I’m getting dressed. I probably need to remedy this soon.

Things I’m Working On Next

  • Finding a better way to display my jewelry. I feel like if I could see it better I would wear it more.
  • Spending less money. June and July were big spending months for me. Mostly due to the fact that I bought a bunch of camera equipment I don’t know how to use yet. I’m going to try to stay on top of this better in the next few weeks so that I’m not stressed out going into the holiday season.
  • Trying new things. I realized on this vacation that there are very few things that I’m set in my ways about. And by very few I mean a grand total of one. I am dead set on the fact that cilantro will make everything worse. That’s it. Everything else is open for discussion. I also need to remind myself that the way to not get stressed out about trying new things is to do research on them first. I feel significantly less nervous about things if I understand what I’m getting myself into.

Random aside that’s moderately related – Please note that I totally made goals for this year that I have completely thrown out the window. Make a pie? Make a sauce? Reread Harry Potter? I’m not sure any of those things are actually going to happen this year. It’s time to reprioritize. That said, I do think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of living out the word “experience” this year and I’m excited to see what comes next.

What are you working on right now?


Related Post

  • Didn’t you make a pie for pie day? And sauce is easy… you should do it, everyone should have a favorite sauce recipe. And if we are keeping it really, I always get at least two wears out of everything that isn’t an undergarment, and not soaked in sweat, but I’ve been told I’m a dirty hippy.
    Anyway, I know how you are feeling. Getting married soon has my mind whirling through all of these same questions, and thoughts. I wish I knew what I wanted out of life, and what would make me happy, but hell if I know at this point.

    • I made the inside of pie for pi day, I didn’t make the crust of pie for pi day. Confusing, I know. Johanna ended up deciding that the amount better that homemade pie crust is wasn’t worth the amount of effort to make 20 of them. And yeah, I know, I should really do the sauce thing. I just don’t have one of those huge strainer things that my mom had. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. RIGHT? Happiness is hard. Hope everything is going well 🙂

  • Thoughts:

    – Why did we all think we would have our lives together at 27?? I did/do too! But now I think of 30 as being pretty young, based on the 30 year olds I know.

    – I wonder if, instead of getting flowers, you could get a plant? I feel like you would enjoy keeping up with a plant. I just bought a snake plant and I’m SO excited about it. Also here’s a link to the most air-cleaning-plants according to NASA: I personally always get sad when flowers die and I’ve spent good money on them!

    – The day I master eating all my produce before it goes bad is the day I become an adult.

    – If you’re interested in really investing in a mirror, I saw this one from Ikea in a friend’s house the other day and fell in love. IT HAS HOOKS ON THE BACK! For jewelry and scarves and bags and such! SO BRILLIANT! However, I bet there are less expensive mirrors that even have hooks on the front….I just wanted to put it out there since you also have a note about hanging jewelry!

    – I love the idea of 1. throwing out goals that don’t make sense when your life shifts and 2. making word-based resolutions for the year. This year mine was to “be myself, bravely” and it’s been nice to keep that in mind as I make decisions and come up against things that make me nervous. “Experience” is a beautiful one, and one I want to consider for a future year!


    • – Because we were 14 and didn’t know any better and everybody in television shows seemed to have their shit together by 27, so we thought we were going to too.
      – A plant is a commitment. I have one. It does okay. I was thinking about getting some little cacti or succulents. I just need to clear a space in this bedroom of mine to make it look like they’re intentional.
      – Yeah, seems nearly impossible.
      – Oooh, interesting, I’d need to see it in person, but it’s definitely a contender. And yes, I’m interested in investing. No more $6 Target mirrors for me.
      – Experience is all yours, it’s been good to me 🙂

  • Mary

    This was a good read! You should get one of those hanging plant baskets and avoid having to make a space for the plant. Building up your wardrobe is something I desperately need to do too, but I’m clueless and have no patience when I’m shopping.

    • Oooh. That’s a pretty good idea. My ceilings are high enough. Also, style is definitely still a mystery to me as well. I’m glad we’re friends lol.

  • Oh I love these kinds of posts. I remember growing up, I was definitely going to have kids, a dog, a house, an awesome job, and be married by 24. Well. My apartment still doesn’t allow dogs, so we are progressing QUITE slowly on that list. Ha!

    I just got rid of all of the dead plants in my apartment. But now I also need more color and life. Chances are high that I will kill anything I buy though…so let me know if you figure out a good flower to get. Ha! Currently, I’m trying to find jewelry pieces that i can wear that make me feel more confident and put together. My collection is so small and I don’t even know where to look for reasonably priced jewelry!

    • I totally agree about that jewelry thing. Hence, me splurging on a $110 bracelet this past weekend. Everybody seems to have some clutch statement pieces that they wear. Let me know if you find anywhere good to browse for them 🙂

      As for the flowers, I’ll keep you posted. I think I’m just going to buy little bouquets, less of a commitment.