Thursday, March 26, 2009

Everytime We Touch

Tonight, right before she went to bed, I asked my roommate for a hug.
That sounded strange, didn't it? The thing is, I'm realizing more and more that one of the biggest things I miss about college and being 45 minutes away from family is the physical human contact. In high school and college, I was super affectionate with my friends and I took it completely for granted. I don't know if it's the fact that I've become a little hardened from living in the city or because I have this notion that adults just don't hug willy-nilly whoever, but now hugging and touching the people I love is not part of my daily life.
I realized that tonight as I (sheepishly) asked my roommate, who is also one of my best friends, for a hug and she said, "Of course! Are you OK?" While I appreciated the hug and her concern, it dawned on me that when needing a hug only indicates that someone is hurting, there's a problem.
The thing is, I come from a pretty touchy-feely family and adore human contact. But tonight, not only was I appalled that I felt silly for asking for a hug from one of my best friends, but I was shocked that I couldn't recall the last embrace I'd had. I ran into a friend on the street on my way to the gym downtown a while ago and when we parted ways, I gave her the biggest hug ever. And before then it may have been when I saw friends at a bar for St. Patty's. And before that it was when my sister visited in mid-February. Guys, I'm averaging less than one hug per week. Sad, isn't it?
Anyway, I think maybe I should try to change this. Maybe that's part of why I've really felt down and not quite myself in Chicago yet. Not only am I losing touch with who I am, but I'm losing touch in general in a very literal way. In fact, hugging has become such a rarity that I've occasionally come close to bursting into tears from a quick squeeze from a good friend. (crazy woman alert) I've never been excessively emotional, but this little act overwhelms me, like someone is throwing me a life preserver and reminding me of who I am and that people are pretty wonderful. You didn't know the topic of hugging could be so philosophical, did you?
As silly as it might seem, I may have to start requesting hugs from my friends. I have plenty of people that I know here, so that's not the issue. It's that I shy away and remain aloof when everyone is hugging in big groups. And on top of that, I forgot how integral it is to who I am as a person and to my satisfaction with life. Hugs should be natural, yes, but I think I'm out of practice, so I'll just have to ask. I read a study somewhere (correct me if I'm wrong) that humans need something like seven hugs per day to maintain a happy lifestyle. So maybe I should make that my number one goal for the month of April (or start now so I can stop being a Debbie Downer ASAP)-- get a hug everyday and work my way up from there.
What do you guys think? How important is physical contact and hugging to you and your happiness quotient?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Change Would Do You Good

You know what, guys? I am in a serious dry spell. With pretty much every aspect of my life. I'm in need of inspiration from... somewhere. My love life (or lack thereof) could use a little shake up, my workouts have been boring and repetitive, my job is seeming a bit more monotonous than usual (still WAY better than my last one, so don't think I'm not thankful to have a job in this economy), my motivation for well, anything, is almost nonexistent, and I feel like I do the same thing every single weekend, if I really do anything at all. In short, I'm in a rut in a big way.
I'm not trying to be a downer here because I'm not usually a wallower, and I know i wrote about this before, but I guess I just need some advice. I can't get rid of this feeling. How do you shake things up when you really can't make any drastic changes? As much as I would love to move to Italy on a whim and just write and live this amazingly charmed, romantic life, I can't right now. Plus, even if I could, sometimes I'm a little too practical for my own good. I've got all of these grand plans for myself, but I am paralyzed by logic (dammit), and I worry, worry, worry. I'm only 23 (almost 24, eek), so this should be the time when I should try to up and leave the country or do the job I really want to do (personal training while freelance writing... that would be living the dream!), right? That way if I fall on my face, I can easily pick myself back up without worrying that I broke a hip or blew my kid's college fund. I mean... right?
Anyway, back to the original point of this post... how do you shake things up when you have limited room for shaking? Once i tackle that then I can conquer the rest of my big dreams. But for now... ideas?
BTW, this is something new and different for me... I'm telling you to go and check out Kelly T's blog to enter her amazing giveaway! Plus she's freaking hilarious, so if nothing else, you'll be laughing, even if you don't like free, cute workout gear. Which would make you crazy.