... dance, fitness, food, health, life...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Five After 5

Hold on to your iPads because tonight's Five After 5 is a bit on the epic side. There have been some significant shifts in the Jessi Universe recently...

I quit a job today.

"A" job, because of course I have (had) more than one. This decision was inspired by an epiphany about a week and a half ago that I am unhappy and unsatisfied because I have allowed myself to be distracted {yet again} from doing what I should be doing. Today I took a leap of faith so I can get back on track.

Le blog is getting a makeover
Related to #1, things are going to start be a little different around here, from looks, to feel, to focus. Stay tuned and please pardon the mess.

No, thank you
I suffer from a bad disease called Guilt-Induced Yesitis. After some solid reflection, I realized that many of my commitments were for others and not myself, so some serious housekeeping has ensued. This is still in-process and some conversations have yet to take place, but so far so good. "No, thank you" is quite healing.

I will not be graduating this May
I did not return to school this semester. I only have a few classes to go, but for now it's on hold. I'm not stressed about this. If it's supposed to happen, it will. And my path to a dance career is not dead-ended, it's just detoured down a different route.

I'm moving across the country!!!
In t-minus 5 months, I will be packing up and heading east to Pittsburgh, PA! Boyfriend received acceptance with full-funding (a very big deal!) to Carnegie Mellon University for a PhD program, and I will be accompanying him to Pitt. This is huge. I've lived in Colorado my entire life. Despite the big change, though, I am very excited for this adventure and new zip code!

Happy Monday!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Five After 5

Nowruz mubarak!
Happy {Persian} New Year!

The Persian calendar is different than ours and so their new year celebration is now! Last night I joined Boyfriend and other Iranians for a night of delicious food, dancing and great company to ring in their New Year. I'm absolutely exhausted today, but it was worth staying up for. What a fun night! Here are five shots I snapped during the festivities...

Items with specific significance to the holiday

Persian "Santa"

Because they swim over and around each other in cyclical patterns, the fish symbolize how life comes full circle. Consequently fish is the traditional food served on Nowruz, such as salmon... Sorry we ate your cousins, little buddies!

Someone was gettin' down so fierce I couldn't catch 'em on camera

Boyfriend's bromance dance

Nowruz mubarak everyone!
("no-rooz moo-bar-ack")


Friday, March 16, 2012

Kiss me, I'm really Irish!

Looking forward to my annual fish 'n chips (I don't dig on corned beef, vom) and Guinness tomorrow...

Last year's St. Pat's (before going back to brunette... eek, look at those roots!)

Everyone have a safe and happy and fun St. Patties Day!!

Erin go braugh!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

I still stand

Not surprisingly, the Kony 2012 video sparked some serious dialogue and heated reactions last week. I initially questioned whether I should have been so quick to post the video in my last post and jump on that bandwagon, so I took a step back to read and watch and listen.

Some arguments are valid food-for-thought and are causing me to pause. I think that's a good thing. Good points are being made. I don't disagree with some of them and I think it's important to keep processing. Hard questions definitely should be posed before sending your money off to some organization and organizations should be held accountable, absolutely.

But some of the hatred and anger incited last week is baffling to me and all I keep thinking is, isn't awareness the first step to getting people to move to action? How can someone act and do if they're not aware of something in the first place??

Invisible Children isn't perfect; no organization is. Maybe their approach should evolve to something better. And I realize that bad business is going down all over the world all the time, that this is just one issue out of many. But I still stand supporting this. I've met a girl who survived that crazy child soldier business and that shiz is real. Actual, real-life people with real-life stories seal the deal for me.

That is all.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Where you live shouldn't determine whether you live

Last night, as I was snuggling into bed I was scrolling through my Facebook feed on the Crackberry one last time before slumber. I noted that a couple different friends had posted something about Joseph Kony, a very bad, bad man.
Ever heard of Invisible Children? Essentially, it's a movement to stop the kidnapping, forcing into soldierhood and sex slavery and robbing children of their life in Uganda and other African countries. The entire nasty biz is being led by Joseph Kony.

Watch this. It's long but worth every single second. So grab a cup of tea, settle in and take a gander...


I never voice my political/social views and passions here, but this is worth getting on the soap box for. You and I were very privileged to be born where we were. While our lives and families were not without their problems or struggles, I think it's safe to say that we had(have) love, a home, food, education, money, friends and safety in some capacity. So much so, that we never thought twice about it. I don't want us to feel guilty, but to think twice about it and be thankful with every fiber of our being.... and to take it a step further because we are so privileged. Don't just think about it, DO SOMETHING. Spread the word. Share the video on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your own blogs. Spam the hell out of your friends and family with it. Talk about it. Get on the Invisible Children site and make a pledge. Shop the IC store. Write to your senators. Blanket your city on April 20th. I'm going to. Join me.

One tribe, y'all. ONE TRIBE.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Five After 5

I enlisted the Boyfriend's help this week for my Five After 5. His scientist mind decided it would be fun to do a Jessi-style Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, since there are 5 levels. I agreed, but then suggested why doesn't he pick what he thinks my needs are at each level. He loved that idea, so here we are!

The original Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs triangle:

Boyfriend's rendition of Jessi's Hierarchy of Needs:

Oh, how he knows me so well ;)

Happy Monday!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Small victories

2012 has been a bit of a rough ride so far.

About mid-January, I started experiencing pain in my joints. It started pretty specific, mainly in my knees and in of my hand knuckles. I didn't go to the doctor right away. I began regularly taking ibuprofen for inflammation and I bought joint supplements. I also {mistakenly} started doing research on WebMD... not that WebMD is bad in and of itself, but if you're like me you start reading about one illness after another and suddenly you've diagnosing yourself with all kinds of problems. I since have cut myself off from WedMD.

Oh the pain! Strangely, it migrates around... my left elbow one day, my right wrist another, my left shoulder on yet another, then a couple days later the other shoulder, the middle finger in my right hand, the pinky toe joint of my left foot... Some days are so bad that it hurts to simply walk, write my name or put on my coat, let alone dance.

So, what the heck is going on?? Still don't know. I finally went to the doctor and his initial assessment was arthritis. This might seem crazy as I'm not old but it's a legit possibility. My dad has rheumatoid arthritis, as did my grandmother, so the genetic predisposition is there. But he wasn't entirely convinced as my symptoms are asymmetrical and inconsistent - arthritis usually starts in the small joints such as the hands or feet, not the knees, and are equally on both sides of the body. So he ordered some blood tests. He tested me for all kinds of things, including lupus and a bunch of other things I'd never heard of. My blood work was normal. Well, the rheumatoid factor was the highest out of all, but it's still within the "normal" range. Now he's sending me to a joint specialist to see if he can figure me out.

I have three and a half more weeks of waiting until that appointment. The specialist was booked six weeks from when I called to make the appointment. Awesome, six more weeks of mysterious pain.

It has been really, really hard dealing with this. Like I said, it's so difficult to even want to dance when simple everyday movement is painful. But I push through. My dad told me that the best thing for arthritis, if that's what it is, is to keep active. So I take my supplements, my ibuprofen, I take my Epsom baths and sleep with a heating pad, and I keep showing up to class. Some days I have to back off and dance lightly, but other days I force a smile as I pliƩ and pirouette. I will not give up.

Everyday in class we do a series of stretches after we've completed all of the barre exercises. In one stretch, we're standing on one leg as our other leg is bent in front of us, resting up on the barre. We then take our foot in our hand, extend our leg forward up off the barre and then bring it around to the side of our bodies. The goal is to hold that leg up at 180° - very few are there. However, ladies and gents, yesterday I pulled my right leg around to the side and it was pretty damn close. Maybe 170°...? I did not expect that but I was so happy. And that little victory made my heart soar above all the pain and frustration I've been dealing with for the last 8 weeks.

I will not give up.