Hello readers! So as some of you read last week, I decided to put myself to the test, pull myself out of my comfort zone, and complete a series of weekly challenges. Essentially every week I have a checklist of 10 generic things I can do to make for a more fulfilled life. I must complete at least one, but the idea is to complete as many as possible.
Each week I will give myself a score out of 10. (ie if I complete 5 items off the checklist, it’s 5/10). However if I complete an overwhelming amount of items in one category a certain week, I may adjust accordingly. There are no strict rules of the challenge because it’s my life after all, and I’m not a girl who typically plays by the rules.
For the full synopsis of my challenge, please check the entry out here. I also couldn’t decide what I wanted this challenge to be named, but I think I have the perfect name: The “Shallenge”
(See what I did there?! Shannon + Allen + Challenge = Shallenge. I know, I know. I surprise myself with my genius sometimes too 😉 )
So here is what I have completed between the dates July 14th and July 21st.
1. Try something new.
This week was full of “firsts.” Perhaps because I’m on overdrive, attempting to prove to myself that I can actually complete the Shallenge with flying colors. It’s also because I had some really fucking cool opportunities come my way.
I’m a lucky, lucky girl.
7/15 – Foo Fighters at Citi Field
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never before been in the general admission section of a large concert. I’m not talking about New York City rock shows where the only option is GA standing room. No, I’m talking about arena/stadium shows. Even when I was at GOV Ball last year, I had VIP access the entire weekend, so I think I maybe stood in the GA section for all of one band’s sets.
I think that I’ve always been slightly afraid of having my feet stepped on, beer spilled on me, puked on, not being able to see, or trampled to death. (At least the last one is rational.) Plus, the seats in the wayyyyy back of the stadium tend to be more cost effective. (I paid $75 dollars to sit in the nosebleeds of all nosebleeds for Paul McCartney’s tour in 2011, and it was BAD-FUCKING-ASS).
But I knew this time around I needed to really experience a rock show. So, several months ago, I bought two GA tickets to Foo Fighters without someone in mind to take along with me. I figured I would work it all out. And I did!
So, on a balmy Wednesday, July 15th, I trekked out to Citi Field at the end of the 7 line in Queens and watched the Foo Fighters play face-melting ROCK AND ROLL for three straight hours.
Yes. THREE. FUCKING. HOURS.
I was bumped into. I was gently shoved. Luckily, no one spilled or puked on me. I jumped around, shook my lovely rock and roll shaggy haircut, and sang along to pretty much every song.
Dave and the Foos played hits, lesser-known songs (which I LOVED), and covers too! You can tell these guys really love their jobs. Fuck, if I got to sing and play rock and roll and have literally thousands of people screaming and singing back at me, I would love my job too!
At the end of the show they brought out Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and did a cover version of Rod Stewart’s Stay with Me. Taylor Hawkings (#swoon) was on lead vocals, Dave on guitar, and Chad (of course) on drums.
I think it was the best show I’ve ever been to. Yes, I know, I know, I saw McCartney in 2011… but this one I think simply must take the cake. (I LOVE YOU PAUL! You’re still my #1 forever and ever!)
7/18 – New England Revolutions Game
For as much soccer as I watched my brother play over the years, you would have thought I would have been to a professional soccer game by now, right? (Well, I suppose I did go to a Cleveland Crunch game when I was maybe 5 or 6, but let’s be real, I probably spent more time nagging my dad to get me an ice cream. Dad, can we verify this?)
Over the weekend in Boston, I got to go to Gillette Stadium (also another first) and watch the New England Revs play a game agains the New York Football Club. (NE won, which gives me conflicting emotions, because, well… I live in NYC. Duh!) Our tickets were great and I even got my Instagram pic featured on the big screen during the game! (See said picture below.)
7/19 – Foo Fighters at Fenway Park
I call this one Foo Part Deux!
Yes, I saw Foo Fighters TWICE IN ONE WEEK! ROCK! ROCK! SO MUCH ROCK!
2. Go somewhere in New York City that I haven’t been before.
7/14 – Central Park Conservatory Water Pond/Alice in Wonderland Statue
I honestly cannot believe it took me THREE years of living here to get to this spot. And what’s worse is that reason I was there was for work! (The set I was on was filmed there). Still, I’m glad I finally got there!
7/15 – Citi Field
3. Do something alone that I would normally do with others.
This week I was surrounded by friends and loved ones pretty consistently. Not that I’m complaining, because that is always a good thing. I just simply did not have any real “me time,” not to mention any time to do something alone that I would normally do with others.
4. Say “yes” to something to which I would typically say “no.”
7/16 – Sending in an Audition Tape for a Reality Television Show
Last week, I recorded (with the help of an awesome friend), edited, and sent in a casting tape for a popular reality television show. I’m not going to name the exact show in order to maintain some shred of mystery (Hint: It’s on ABC).
Do I think I’ll get cast on this show? Maybe. Probably not. But the point of making this casting tape was more than just the hope of making it on the show (and what the show is about: love. See, there’s another hint. If you haven’t guessed by now, please dig yourself out from whatever rock you live under.)
Sending in this application and video was also about challenging myself; I wanted to say “YES!” with a capital “Y,” and allow myself to be vulnerable and open to things which I would typically say “No!” with a capital “N” to.
And who knows, maybe I will hear back. Negative thoughts make for a negative life, just as positive thoughts lead to a positive life.
5. Do something that scares me.
7/16 – Sending in an Audition Tape for a Reality Television Show
7/17 – Driving on the Highway from NYC to Boston
Oh boy. I HATE driving. Hate may not even be the accurate verb to describe my adverse feelings toward driving.
Detest. Loathe. Resent. Abhor. Despise.
You get the point.
But, alas, after avoiding driving for the good part of the last five years (other than the occasional trip to the grocery store when I go home to Cleveland,) I found myself driving on a freeway for part of the trip from New York City to Boston. I think most of the reason I hate driving is A) I am not very good at it and B) it scares the shit out of me.
I don’t like the idea that my life, the other passengers’ lives, and those who are on the road, depend on my precision in driving to continue living their lives. Now, I’m not a horrific driver; I follow traffic rules and rarely speed, but I don’t drive with the ease of others.
You can find me white-knuckled, leaning so far over the steering wheel, looking like a member of the elderly community when I drive. This is especially true at night, when it’s raining, and on an unfamiliar highway.
But I did it. I got myself, the passengers, and two lovely dogs home safe. I also gave the driver a well-deserved break.
6. Make a new friend.
7/15 – Reconnecting with an old friend
I took an old friend who I haven’t seen or spoken to in a very long time to Foo Fighters. We figured out that it had been about a year since we last saw each other, and even then, we only hung out for max 45 minutes to an hour. It was really nice to see him and experience a show that we both considered to be of equal awesomeness as aforementioned.
7/15 – Meeting a Wonderful Classical Singer
After Foo, I went to visit my friend who helped me make my casting tape as he closed at his bartending job. I ended up meeting a lovely individual who was a classical singer from Chicago privately auditioning for Les Miz on Broadway. I sincerely hope his audition went swimmingly, and that he gets a callback, or even cast!
7. Go on an actual date with someone. (Drinks do not count)
I knew when I came up with the Shallenge, that this one would be difficult. I was only in New York City for a total of three full days this week, so I knew this one probably wouldn’t happen. Not to mention, that my definition of a “date” has drastically changed.
Small tangent: I received a slew of texts from a few different men with whom I’ve “talked” to in the past few months. Most of the opening texts consisted of something like, “What’s up?” or “Hey you!” or “Hey stranger!”
No, no, no, no, NO! The only reason a man texts you something out of the blue that is so un-tactfully ambiguous (I think I just made up the word un-tactfully. Oh well.) is because he is A) lonely, B) horny or C) a combination of the two.
I have no time for this.
8. Purge the unnecessary.
7/16 – Starting to Clean the Monstrosity that is my Closet
I’ve started making a clothing pile.
Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
This needs to get finished, lest my closet rod break in half down the middle from the weight of the inordinate amount of clothing hanging on it.
7/14 – 7/21 – De-friending People who Openly Display their Bigotry on Social Media
I always feel bad de-friending people, and I don’t know why. In real life, when a friendship is no longer working, it’s not like I feel bad and keep them around to make my life miserable. (Well, perhaps some of you do this in real life, but I sure don’t.)
But lately I’ve gone on an un-friending spree. I simply cannot get on board with bigotry, racism, sexism, ignorance, bullying, hate, negativity, or just sheer lack of respect and humanity toward others.
I just want you off my Facebook wall. I want you out of my thoughts.
Now, this is not just those who post things I don’t agree with. Everyone has the right to an opinion, even if it differs than mine, but if that opinion contains hatred, marginalization, or degradation of a specific race, class or group of people, I will not stand for it.
I will continue to spread the love, and keep those who also love to love close to me.
To you others: #GirlBye
9. Do something that makes me feel beautiful.
7/18 – Trying on Dresses at Nordstrom Rack
I tried on two gorgeous, flattering gowns the other day at Nordstrom Rack because… why not!?
These dresses flattered my shape and made me feel beautiful. And I told myself I was going to do something every week to make myself feel beautiful!
10. Surround myself with nature.
7/15 – Ungluing Myself Temporarily from Technology
During Foo Fighters at Citi Field, I took all of three pictures: one of the opener, Royal Blood (who are AMAZING and worth checking out), one of the Foo Fighters’ logo before the show, and one of Dave and his infamous Broken Leg Tour throne.
That was it. Three pictures. I took no video. I was not holding up my phone for the entire show, and missing THE GREATEST SHOW I’VE EVER SEEN. I experienced that show. I lived through that show. I was tuned in, which is more than I can say for all those fuckers missing Dave and Taylor and Chris and Pat and Nate and Rami ROCK THEIR FUCKING FACES OFF because they are hiding behind the shitty-quality video (that they will NEVER look at again) behind their phone screen.
Shallenges completed: 7.5/10
I say 7.5 because I really didn’t fully complete my nature challenge. Sure, I was attempting to be more aware of my surroundings, but what I was really thirsting for was a grassy knoll, a beach or something non-man-made.
Shan Baby Score: 8/5/10
I really busted my booty this week to do almost everything on my list. I missed two and a half: going on a date, and doing something solo completely, and nature by .5 points. However, I really did have a great week as far as getting out of my comfort zone and attempting to live my life more fully.
And here’s my Happy Face of the Week: (Perhaps it’s more of a Rock and Roll “smirk”)
Peace and Love