Tag Archives: About Me

Breaking Your Routine

I am a creature of routine which is something I am very quick to admit. I could tell you my day-to-day routine, or at least, what it is like on a normal week.

Monday through Friday I wake up at 5:30 a.m. PST, do blog work for an hour or so, go for a run/go to SoulCycle/go to yoga/do some at-home workout, get ready, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, do more blog work, go to bed.

Saturdays I would wake up early, eat banana and peanut butter toast, do my long run, maybe go get my nails done, walk around the city, meet up with friends. Sunday I would lounge around in the morning, go to the Farmers Market or go to SoulCycle or yoga, probably hang out with friends, go to Whole Foods, meal prep for the week ahead. Throw in some more writing in one of those days somewhere.

This fall, my routine was shaken up when I was #Funemployed for a month or so. I stopped setting an alarm. I worked out when I felt like it. I watched way too much TV and moped on the couch because I was in this weird place in between my old life in Pittsburgh and my new life in San Francisco and my friends were all at work. I shopped every day because what else was I supposed to do? It took a few weeks but once I got settled in in SF, my routine was back to normal.

This past week, my routine was broken. I stopped bothering to pack my lunch every night because I was just eating a Kind bar at some point in the afternoon. I didn’t wake up early to blog because I didn’t have the motivation to write and truthfully, sleeping felt better than running. Thursday I realized I needed to go surfing this past weekend to get back to feeling like myself. To me, I never feel more like myself or like anything is so clear as when I’m out in the water. I decided to skip my long run and if I really felt like devoting three hours of my day to running 18 miles I would do it on Sunday (until I looked at my training calendar and realized I had a 10 mile tempo run this morning).

breaking your routine almost getting it together

Wetsuit selfie.

I drove down to Santa Cruz, about an hour and a half south of SF, and surfed for a couple hours with an instructor (because it’s not safe to go surfing by yourself, kiddos). As soon as I got into the water, I felt like myself again. I remembered that I’m strong and capable and that I was in the water while I would normally be drinking a protein shake and foam rolling. The one time I probably take zero things for granted is when I’m in the water. It humbles you. It reminds you where you’ve came from and where you’re going – and can go.

Long story short, I was stuck in a rut, didn’t feel like myself and I broke my routine. Sometimes you have to revisit things that you think aren’t working. Next weekend will I run 20 miles and get my nails done and hang out with all my friends in the city? Sure. But this weekend I did something else I loved and made time to spend time with other people I love.

Chat with me:
What is your daily routine like? Do you ever break your routine? What do you do when you need to get out of your head?

One Word for 26: Confidence


It’s so weird to think of where my life was a year ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago. I was living in Pittsburgh, totally spinning my wheels, writing out goals I thought I should achieve as a 25 year old. I felt stuck and like this list of things would get me out of my stuck place.

I don’t want to focus on goals for 26 because I made a bunch of goals for this year. I want to focus on a word, inspired by a question Tina Muir asks in her Runners’ Connect podcasts. The word for 2015?


25 was kind of a whirlwind. As the wordsmith Drake once said, I go 0 to 100 real quick. I spent my birthday with my family in Savannah, pretty quickly after went on a surf trip to Nicaragua. I set a couple new half-marathon PRs, thought I fell in love, lost my job, got a new job, got dumped, moved across the country, made out with a boy I had a crush on for years (wait, didn’t that happen earlier in the year, too?), started dating someone across the country again, made some new friends, lost some old friends (actually, JK on that one… I think)… a lot happens in a year. A lot of things that can shake anyone’s confidence.


First day on the new job.


New friends!


Finding these notes while unpacking boxes in SF was tear city.

I suffer from self-sabotaging, debilitating doubt at times. It’s really weird because I can be the most confident person at times and others, I can’t get out of bed because I feel like I’ll never be good enough so why bother. My expectations for myself are much higher than anyone else would ever set for me and I need to realize that if I’m going to achieve all of the things I want to, I need confidence to do so. I’ve had boys people ask me why I’m trying so hard to appear be perfect because it’s exhausting. And it is.

I’ve figured out how to push myself out of my comfort zone, which I think was a big theme for 25. Now I have to figure out how to own it. Own that I’m capable of running 26.2 miles. Own that I’m talented and I have the ability to be successful. Own that a boy would actually want to be with me and likes me for me, not the idea of me (gasp!) because, I get it, I’m great on paper (great job, great apartment, athletic, pretty, decently smart) but in real life, I’m kind of all over the place and mentally a mess at times.

So here I am. Three days from 26 and starting to embrace feeling sure of myself. Because, let’s be real – confidence without arrogance is sexy.

Chat with me:
How do you embrace having confidence? What do you want to own this year? What is something you want to work on?

The Most Romantic Spots in San Francisco

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I’m actually going to get in the spirit of things. I don’t believe in actually celebrating Valentine’s Day because I can go out to a fancy dinner with my boyfriend whenever [we are in the same city, that is] and I’d rather us both save money on gifts and save it for an awesome trip.

I do like Valentine’s Day for what it is, single or in a relationship – I think it’s a good way to celebrate love and good vibes. Anyway, this is going to be a really honest, maybe surprising post. I also feel really weird giving away all my secret spots but hey, SEO.

I have to tell you a secret. I’m really, really good at making boys like me because I take them to do cool things. I put SO MUCH THOUGHT into what I take boys to do. I put so much thought into what I take anyone to do – we’re talking hours of research on brunch with friends (as Kay can attest to when we spent over an hour trying to find waffles in the city). I am always late on giving people gifts because I put way too much thought into it as well. (Sorry, friends.)

The Most Romantic Spots in San Francisco

Lyon Street Steps
SF is all about them #hills and you can make some gains in elevation with the Lyon Street Steps. If you’re in the Marina District or Presidio, if you walk past Broderick Street you’ll hit Lyon Street. Cars can’t really go up Lyon Street – you have to hike up a million sets of stairs but the views are breath-taking. I accidentally stumbled upon this when I had the great terrible idea to run from my apartment to Ocean Beach one Saturday (see below).

lyon-street-stairs-san-francisco | almost getting it together

Insta-worthy views.

Presidio Batteries
In case you didn’t know, the Presidio in San Francisco was an old military base. It was founded in 1776 by Spain and has changed hands between Mexico and the US since that time. If you’re not familiar with the city, the Golden Gate Bridge basically starts in the Presidio. My daily run takes me through Chrissy Field to the bottom of the bridge. If I’m feeling real ambitious and my Achilles isn’t bothering me, I run up to the batteries.

Skip the crowds at all of the overlook vantage points and drive or hike up to the batteries. You can climb up to the top for amazing views of the bridge and the bay. If you do it at night with a cute boy, you’re just asking to get kissed… not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

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Presidio Bluffs… by day.

Foreign Cinema
I actually ate at Foreign Cinema a few years ago when I was here on a trip. When I told a friend from college who was living in the city he replied, “Your boyfriend must really like you”. Anyway, dinner and a movie is totally upgraded at this restaurant in the Mission that plays old black and white movies on a projector in their garden dining area while you’re eating. Extra points if the boy you’re with went to film school.

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Photo via Foreign Cinema

Ocean Beach
I geek out around water but what is more romantic and cliche then walks along the beach? Not much, I’m gonna be honest. You can also have bonfires at the beach which I haven’t done but hey, the option is there if you want it. Grab a blanket, a bottle of wine but don’t get drunk and get in the water because it is A) cold and B) the riptide is a real thing, not just a Vance Joy song.

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Ocean Beach vibes.

San Francisco Botanical Gardens
I actually plan on doing a cute little series about cool places to check out in SF and featuring the Botanical Gardens, but you can spend a couple hours walking around the gardens after you picnic and drink some wine in Golden Gate Park.

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Grab your blanket and picnic among some fancy trees and flowers.

I know, not truly SF, but after a conversation with Kay this weekend about how many people go to wine country for their honeymoon, it made sense. I’m going to be honest – I’ve been to various wine regions (Chianti in Italy, Willamette Valley in Oregon and of course, Napa and Sonoma) and it’s super romantic, even if you’re with your girlfriends. I’m going to do a whole post on Scribe Winery because I’m hardcore fan-girling over it… and I’m also sure I’ll have some more wineries to talk about after A and I head up north this weekend (#romantic). If you want to be real cute, rent bikes and bike around the vineyards.

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Views from Scribe Winery.

Chat with me:
Have you ever been to SF? Any other romantic spots I should check out? Where are the most romantic spots in your city?

Goals for 2015

McConnels_Mills-1 | almost getting it together

I know, I’m late to the “New Year’s Goals” game. I basically completely lost any semblance of routine, health or normalcy for 16 days while home in Pittsburgh. So now my goals are even more pertinent than normal.

I’m just going to throw my goals for 25 out the window. My life has changed so immensely from March 2014 and I’ve achieved the things I’m going to achieve so now it’s time to refocus and get back on track.

This is the year I’m actually going to take running seriously. I saw a lot of improvement in 2014 without really challenging myself so now it’s time to actually do some work and see what I’m capable of achieving.

marathon training | almost getting it together

Marathon training + tea at night.

  • Run a 1:45 Half-Marathon
    I’m going to actually do speed work and real tempo runs and stuff like that. It’s 8:01 miles and taking 7 minutes off my current PR which I am allegedly capable of according to my running friends who tell me to actually push myself.
  • Run a Full Marathon
    Yeahhhh…. Savannah kind of crashed and burned with my move to SF. I am going to run the Pittsburgh Marathon and hopefully be at the point where I can run with Lesley’s pace group (3:50-4:00), you know, thanks to speed work and tempo runs and things.


  • Get Back to my Happy Weight
    I’m not going to say my goal weight because my goal weight is kind of unattainable and only happens when I’m being insanely active and not eating a ton… but that’s two pounds from my happy weight. And I’m 5 pounds from that. Being home just equaled eating out a lot and drinking even more and not running for a week. (My ankle was not happy with a solid 40ish miles of hills and trails within a week). Disclosure, my clothes all still fit and my happy weight is 107 so everyone can hold me accountable to that.
  • Stop Snacking After Dinner
    I was actually doing pretty decently with this at home and really, for the past three weeks or so. Minus that night I ate a bunch of leftover Thai and Pittsburgh Popcorn Company Maple Pecan Popcorn after drinking a bottle of champagne (aka New Year’s Eve). I need to just drink tea and go to bed.
  • Strength Train Four Times Per Week
    I don’t have any excuse to not strength train. I know it’s what gets me lean and will get me faster. I’m going to aim for 30-45 minutes. I’ll probably tack two days a week onto running days and two onto non-running days.
  • Go to Yoga AT LEAST Twice a Week
    I’ve been terrible about going to yoga since moving to SF. I finally found a studio that will do (it’s no Amazing Yoga but it’s heated power vinyasa and there’s music and it’s walkable from my place). I bought a 20 pack of classes so I should really use those.
  • Go to SoulCycle Once a Week
    AKA cross train. I’m not going to join a gym right now because I’m not going to use it enough to make it cost effective and I don’t need Equinox to find a boyfriend (kidding but also kind of not kidding). My Gram bought me SoulCycle classes for Christmas because she’s the best.
  • Juice More Regularly
    I own an expensive juicer, I should really use it.


  • Post Four Times a Week on AGIT
    If I want this to be a legit form of income, I need to treat it like a real job.
  • Improve My Photography
    Pro Tip: Date a photographer who will help you do these things. And actually shoot. And make an effort to take nice photos.
  • Business Plan
    This is kind of a secret, some people know what’s going on, but I’d like to have a full business plan for what I think is next for me (and others!) finished by the end of the year (preferably sooner!).


  • Actually Go Surfing
    And buy a wet suit. Goals for next weekend haha. I allegedly moved to California to be able to surf more so I should probably do it.
  • Be More On Time For Things
  • Stop Procrastinating
    “Reading blogs” doesn’t count as being productive. Neither does back stalking myself on social media.
goals for 2015 | almost getting it together

No part of this constitutes as being productive. Except for my ghetto standing desk AKA my counter top.


  • Visit One New Country
    At least! Hopefully Morocco, preferably another
  • Visit Vancouver
    Can’t fit it into number one since I’ve already been to Canada (Montreal & Toronto).
  • Take More Advantage of the West Coast
    I don’t know how long I’ll be in California so I should really take more advantage of all the amazing destinations on the West Coast, including places it’s easier to get to (Alaska, Hawaii, etc.).

Chat with me:
What do you think of my goals? What are your goals for 2015?

Four Questions

san francisco | almost getting it together

I don’t usually do surveys but Ang tagged me to answer sets of four questions so I feel basically obliged to do it because she’s my bae. Also I’m going to SoulCycle late Monday so I know I’m not going to come home and write a post for Tuesday. I have some real exciting posts coming your way though, so get excited.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name.
1. Chip (My dad’s nickname for me)
2. Bug (My grandfather’s nickname for me)
3. Cassie (I guess that isn’t technically my real name?)
4. Sassafrass (old lingering term of endearment)

Four jobs I have had:
1. Working “top of house” at Theatre West Virginia, aka running the concessions register/hanging out with my friends and flirting with boys
2. Sales associate at AEO (hah)
3. Social Media Coordinator (ha)
4. Professional actor (no really, I used to do professional theatre when I was in junior high/high school… see above)

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1. Lost in Translation
2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
3. The Royal Tenenbaums
4. Marie Antoinette

Four books I’d recommend:
1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
2. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by BJ Novak
3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
4. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

Four places I’ve lived:
1. San Francisco, CA
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Morgantown, WV
4. Hong Kong, China (wildcard)

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Hong Kong throwie. (throwback)

Four places I’ve been:
1. Siem Reap, Cambodia
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
3. Rome, Italy
4. Hawaii, USA (four different continents, boom.)

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Hawaii vibes.

4 places I’d rather be right now:
The real answer is nowhere, I love San Francisco so freaking much. BUT if I have to be somewhere else:
1. Pittsburgh (GAME CHANGER, I KNOW.)
2.  Hawaii because, duh.
3. Morocco
4. Iceland

Four things I don’t eat:
1. Anything that isn’t real… i.e. all processed foods
2. Refined sugar, for the most part.
3. Shrimp, because I’ll die.
4. Pasta/gluten/bread (except I am planning a trip to Tartine, whoops)

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Greek Yogurt
2. Avocados
3. Nut butter
4. Ice cream

ice cream over the moon san francisco | almost getting it together

I have got to stop with this.

4 TV shows that I watched:
1. 30 Rock
2. Parks and Recreation
3. No Reservations (and it’s cousins The Layover and Parts Unknown… loveeee Anthony Bourdain)
4. The OC

4 things I’m looking forward to next year:
1. Angela visiting
2. Having another visitor in February :) (!!!)
3. Hopefully going to Morocco (HEY JESSI)
4. Finally going surfing on a regular basis once I buy a wetsuit haha

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Four things I’m always saying:
1. “Okay, perfect”
2.  “Like, WTF” (except I actually say what it stands for)
3. “OMG really?”
4.  “I’m running late” <- HA, there’s my New Year’s Resolution

Chat with me:
Did any of my answers surprise you? Answer one (or a bunch) of these questions so I can learn more about you!

What I Learned From Being in a Sorority

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

This isn’t the post I had planned for today. I hadn’t even thought about writing it until my dad asked me what I thought about what happened at my alma mater, West Virginia University, last week. I am not going to give my opinion but I send my condolences out to that student’s family and friends. What I will give my opinion on is how Greek life is often mistakenly painted in a negative light.

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

Sisterhood after college… DC Half-Marathon with Alexis.

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

Turkey trotin’ with my sister Kayla last year.

The one thing I told my dad was that all of Greek life shouldn’t be punished for what happened. I feel like WVU might remove all of the sororities and fraternities from campus because that is the kind of rash decisions that are made after catastrophic events. Would you remove all freshman from campus if this happened in a freshman dorm?

Where else on a college campus can you find an entire community that requires their members be better people through volunteering, academics and holding themselves to higher standards than the average student? At WVU, members of Greek life have higher GPAs than those who are not affiliated with a fraternity or sorority. Study hours are required for new members and if you don’t have a high enough GPA as an initiated sister, you are put on standards.

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An initiation my junior year. Can you spot me?

Being part of Greek life is not all about partying. It’s what you make it. I really wasn’t into hanging out with fraternity boys (incase anyone hasn’t noticed, that isn’t my type at all) and I never lived in the sorority house, but being a sister of Sigma Kappa made me a part of something bigger.

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My pledge class… what up Fall Sigma (I think).

No matter where I am, if I called any one of my “sisters”, they would be there if I needed them. I wasn’t necessarily close to every single girl in my chapter but I have never hung out with one of my sisters post-grad and not had an amazing time. I’m 3,000 miles away from school but I have plans to get lunch on Sunday with one of the girls who pledged my senior year. What other organization nourishes that kind of a bond?

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

I still consider Courtney and Jessica two of my best friends… and I wouldn’t have met them without Sigma Kappa!

I can’t tell you how excited and proud I was when my cousin Madison told me she was going to go through Formal Recruitment at Alabama this past fall. Although there wasn’t a Sigma Kappa on her campus, I knew that no matter where she ended up, she was going to have a rewarding and enriching experience. I ask any young woman who is entering college if she plans on rushing – and if she isn’t, I encourage her to at least explore joining a sorority.

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

My Greek fam.

During this conversation, I realized what I learned from being in a sorority. I learned to be a better version of myself. 19 year old me who walked into that house during formal recruitment in September 2008 was awkward, unconfident and a little high strung. The girl who walked out was way more laid back, self-confident and on the path to turning into the type of girl she admired. She knew how to walk away from a situation that wasn’t serving her, to be a friend and sister no matter what past events may have happened, and how to run in high heels. She learned how to be the best version of herself through the love and friendship of her sisters.

Chat with me:
No comments, just your thoughts! (Unless you have a question about sorority life for me!)

Getting it Together Thursdays: What’s Next

san francisco | almost getting it together

The hardest part about actually getting my life together, in a sense, was keeping it a secret. I dreamt of the day for so long where I would have a new job, would be leaving Pittsburgh, etc. etc. I truly thought it would never happen. I would get so frustrated and cry and feel like I wasn’t good enough to ever work anywhere else again nor was I really ready to freelance full time. I’m moving to San Francisco at the end of the month. I’ve wanted to move to SF for the past two years, to be completely honest.

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Spotted this while in SF two weeks ago.

I’m leaving social media, which took a lot of soul searching to feel like I was comfortable doing. Like I mentioned, I was feeling a little disenchanted with it, and even though I’m a marketer, I hated how it had just become all about making money and not about branding. I like to do both at the same time. If you couldn’t tell, I really try to limit the ads on Almost Getting it Together, I turn down sponsored posts and giveaways that don’t make sense, and really keep my social media profiles pretty focused. I’m all about the personal brand.

So, as you’re reading this, I’m either en route to San Francisco with my dad to look for an apartment or in San Francisco looking for an apartment and crying over the insane housing prices.

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Me in SF two years ago which started my love affair with the city.

Commonly asked questions:
How are your dad/grandparents/family handling it?
Dad and I had a total crying fit on Friday because I mean, we’re best friends and all. He is excited that I will “be so close to Hawaii”. He’s already talking surf trips so it’s cool. My family is worried I will no longer like Pittsburgh sports but promise to visit lots.

Are you sad to be leaving your friends?
Uh, duh. I feel like in the past year I really found my groove and core group of friends whom I actually like in Pittsburgh. There have been a lot of emotional text conversations with all my friends and apparently, two bouts of crying with Angela on Sunday night. Also, my apartment is always open to everyone who wants to visit. Please do so frequently. I promise to feed you well.

So like, I’m trying to be an adult and getting it together. Don’t worry though, I won’t have it all together, I can’t change this blog name.

san francisco | almost getting it together


Chat with me:
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY NEWS? Do you live in SF? Do you want to be my friend? (I am totally looking for friends right now haha.)


Thank you so much for your kind words on yesterday’s big reveal. Don’t worry, I already have something lined up that I’ll be talking about in the days ahead.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to tell you how I’ve been spending my new found free time since I don’t have to look for another job. Disclaimer: it’s honestly been a lot of drinking. I had a total College Cassie moment Sunday night. I’m not really sorry about it, I definitely needed it.

I haven’t been working out or running as much as I thought I would without a job. I always thought I would  go running, go to spin/swim, go to yoga… no, I really haven’t.

I’ve had a lot of random appointments and meetings and have been trying to spend as much time with my friends in Pittsburgh as possible, so I typically spend a couple hours in a coffee shop working in the afternoons. I haven’t set an alarm in well over a week. Also, I’m not training for a marathon anymore so… there’s that. I’ve also become a permanent fixture at Lululemon Shadyside… where the beautiful Fluff Yourself Jacket in hunter green has went unpurchased because I don’t need it where I’m going.

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My friend Keelan and I took this bottle down Tuesday night. I bought it on purpose.

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Spending my mornings submitting recipes to Foodgawker instead of responding to work e-mails… #win.

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Well, I did make it to spin one morning, just in time for an awkward secret selfie.

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Lunch at Bluebird Cafe with my friend Jordan from college.

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When I should be looking for apartments… looking at my blog traffic with the requisite iced coffee.

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Yoga before coffee with a friend. I’m going to miss Amazing Yoga so much.

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Making pumpkin mochi.

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The official sponsor of #funemployment: jogger pants and catching up on The Mindy Project.

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#TRT in Shadyside with Emily.

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Dranks with my college roommate/sorority siste/future neighbor (when we are both home in Pittsburgh!), Courtney. Love this girl.

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Beer and Prantl’s almond cake for Emily’s birthday.

#funemployment | almost getting it together

Pro tip: Buy lots of things at Lululemon and Madewell so you have more things to move.

#funemployment | almost getting it together

Uhh… Sunday night got a little rowdy with shots from the shot wheel at Mario’s with Angela and Keelan. When in Rome, right?

#funemployment | almost getting it together

The benefit of having a friend who works from home: lots of lunch and coffee dates with Erin. Ignore how hungover I look.

#funemployment | almost getting it together

Stolen Instagram photo from Lesley – coffee date at Tazzo d’Oro.

Chat with me:
What would you do if you had unlimited free time?

What to Do When You’re Laid Off

what to do when you're laid off | almost getting it together

Remember my secret number one goal I had for 25? I can finally let you in on that secret: I wanted to find a new job and leave Pittsburgh. The only thing that was really stopping me was that I was comfortable. Too comfortable, really. And safe. I am 25, living at home, no bills or expenses. Basically the only difference between 25-year-old Cassie and 17-year-old Cassie was the fact that I went to my job all day instead of school. Oh, and I typically cook for myself.

what to do when you're laid off | almost getting it together

My desk, late night.

It’s no secret I don’t really love Pittsburgh. I love living so close (ahem, in the same house) as my family and friends, Pittsburgh sports and the opportunities the city has afforded me. I love my rituals: Saturday morning runs, Amazing Yoga, way too many chips and way too much guacamole at Mad Mex. But I don’t love the weather – I can’t be cooped up from January until March and I can’t handle the humidity in the summer. I want to be near the water so I can go surfing. I want to be able to drive an hour to experience something completely new. I need a change.

We’ll get back to that though. This is about what to do when you’re laid off. Because that is exactly what happened to me on October 7th. If you follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat, you’ve probably inferred that something is up (probably because of a bunch of drunk tweets Sunday night, but like that kind of happened for another reason). I won’t say anything negative about my former employer because a) I’m not dumb b) I couldn’t have asked for a better first job and such amazing boss(es). Truthfully, they just forced me out of the “Cassie safety bubble” by making the difficult decision I couldn’t.

what to do when you're laid off | almost getting it together

My nameplate. RIP.

It’s also not a secret that the retail landscape isn’t great right now, so I kind of expected this to happen. I didn’t expect it to happen to me, but if I had to do the math, I understand why one of these positions that was eliminated was my role. When the rumors started spinning that there were going to be layoffs, I joked that it was going to be me, cleaned out my desk (for other reasons as well that I will explain later) and knew exactly what was going down when I got a meeting request with my VP and HR Monday night for Tuesday morning.

Monday night after I got the meeting request, I just decided to go to the gym as planned and continue with my life as normal. There wasn’t anything I could do about it, I wanted it to happen and I was expecting another phone call in the next day or so that would alleviate anything that happened in this meeting. I won’t lie though – I was a nervous wreck. I couldn’t sleep Monday night. I thought about what I would wear, what I would do, what I would say. “What do I wear to get laid-off?” I texted my girl friends. The consensus: The best outfit I’ve ever worn to work.

what to do when you're laid off | almost getting it together

The original AEO social media team.

Tuesday morning, I woke up before my alarm and did my normal Tuesday morning speed work out. I listened to Yeezus, because I always run to Yeezus when I’m upset or angry about something. I came home, showered, washed my hair and wore a black wrap dress, black knee high boots and a maroon scarf because I didn’t want the total funeral vibe.

Walking to the office from the parking garage, I thought “I wonder if this is what Marie Antoinette felt like walking to the guillotine – nervous for what is about to happen but relieved that it is all about to be over”. I walked straight up the back staircase (per usual) and right to the conference room.

I went in the room before HR & my VP. The packet of tissues and notebook on the table gave it all away. “Welp, I know what’s going on here” I thought to myself. They told me what was going on and I said “Okay.” They looked at me horrified that I was taking it so well and I just mentioned that I had something else in the works, not to worry about me. I thanked them for all the opportunities I had been given and that I couldn’t have asked for a better first job. I turned in my corporate phone, credit card and badge and they walked me out. That was it. Less than 15 minutes and the last three years of my life were over.

what to do when you're laid off | almost getting it together

My hands in our BTS 2014 video – fake sewing jeans!

I walked out the door of the office for the last time. I did start crying at that point – out of relief. The anxiety of the past 15 hours was gone. I decided walking back to my car that I needed to go buy a bottle of champagne. I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing – I was disenchanted with social media, bored with the routine and not feeling challenged. I came into work each day for my cushy paycheck and that was about it. They had made the hard decision that I wasn’t strong enough to do on my own.

what to do when you're laid off | almost getting it together

The day I got my official offer from AEO after freelancing for almost a year.

Luckily, Erin was working from home that day so I met her for a coffee. I was still nervous that I wouldn’t get the phone call I was waiting for, but I suddenly felt a sense of relief. I was at peace for the first time in a long, long time. I was free to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I decided then that if I didn’t get the call I was waiting for, I would take some time to travel, maybe to Central or South America or Australia. Unfortunately things didn’t pan out for me to take a holiday.

what to do when you're laid off | almost getting it together

On a photo shoot in LA, November 2012.

What do you do when you’re laid off? You take it gracefully. You understand that it’s the company, not you. Keep your attitude positive. If I wasn’t going to make jokes and laugh about this situation, I would be spilling way more tears than needed. The world works in mysterious ways, even if you don’t understand why something is happening, you should know that it is happening for a reason. Trust me, my life has been turned on its head about 5 times in the past week. I have to understand that this is all leading me to something bigger and better.

what to do when you're laid off | almost getting it together

Coachella vibes.

Thanks for the memories, AEO. I had a lot of really, really awesome opportunities. I got to fly on a private jet! I got to go to Coachella! I went on photo shoots and did a lot of really cool projects. I even coordinated an entire shoot myself this summer. And most of all, I met some really amazing people. If it wasn’t for this job, I wouldn’t have met Emily, Lesley or Angela and probably wouldn’t have started this blog. I am going to miss everyone at AEO – and in Pittsburgh – so, so much.

what to do when you're laid off | almost getting it together

As I said on Instagram, here’s to happy endings and happier beginnings.

PS: Looking for photos for this post made me so sentimental.

Chat with me:
No questions, just your thoughts.


Why I’m Jealous of Non-Runners

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

Allegedly, I love running. Why would I ever be jealous of non-runners? People are “jealous” of my will-power, my dedication, my… whatever. No no, don’t be jealous of me. I’m jealous of you.

J was working on a project for a running brand a couple months ago and was obviously chatting with me about it because, running. He said there are basically two types of people – those who “have to run” and those who “need to run”. The people who have to run, he said, are the people who wear the “I Hate Running” shirts and actually mean it.

The people who need to run are people like me who get cranky and bitchy and irritable if they don’t run. In our heads, we start getting muscle atrophy after not running for more than two days. (I actually thought I was getting muscle atrophy in Europe like 7 years ago when the airline lost my bag with my running shoes in… I cried every night.)

So why am I jealous of non-runners? On average, I spend roughly eight hours a week running. That’s an entire workday. I can tell you the last time I slept in on a Saturday and didn’t do a long run was the last time I was in Portland. That is literally the last Saturday I didn’t run at least 13 miles. My alarm goes off anywhere between 6-7 a.m. on a Saturday morning and if all goes according to plan, I’m out the door by 8 a.m. What does a non-runner do on Saturday morning? I have no idea, but probably it involves sleeping, relaxing and eating a bagel.

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

Runners’ Saturday morning breakfast: Gus.

When I’m not running, I’m probably thinking about running or doing something related to running. Yoga, despite the fact that I love it, is a necessity for my ever-tight hips and calves that just want to bulk up. There’s another four hours a week for at least three classes. My goal for October is to actually cross-train (i.e. swim and bike), so there is another three hours a week. Can’t forget strength training – two more hours. We’re at about 16 hours a week working out, which basically means I’m working a full-time job seven days a week at this point.

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

Casual three and a half hours spent running on a Saturday morning.

People think running is cheap, but it isn’t. Most races are at least $100. I go through four or five pairs of running shoes a year, which we’ll round up to $1000 total. Since I do love fashion despite my penchant for denim shorties and racerback tanks in the summer, I  have an addiction to Lululemon and Nike which is not cheap. (Speed Shorts & Dry Fit for life.)

Non-runners don’t know what it is like to be constantly hungry. Runger is this crazy, knawing type of hunger that is all-consuming. When I wasn’t running a lot two years ago (maybe 12-15 miles a week, tops) I just didn’t have an appetite. It was kind of wonderful. I ate when I felt like it, I didn’t eat when I didn’t feel like it, and I just wasn’t constantly worried about my next meal.

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

1/3 of my long runs is spent thinking about what I’m going to eat that evening.

Let’s take a minute to discuss the current state of my body. My toes on my right foot are constantly in pain. I had a super cool blood blister on my foot since sometime in July. I don’t know what it’s like to not have legs that are a little tired all the time. My once sufficient seven hours of sleep have now been replaced by at least eight. Oh, and should we discuss the water retention?

The past few weeks I’ve hit the wall training. This morning (Monday morning) I had a great pace run (I typically do 8 miles in between my half-marathon and marathon pace, aiming for negative splits), I was having fun and felt good again. The two weeks previous, I couldn’t force myself out the door. Emily is constantly the kick in the ass that I need, which is why I love her so damn much:

why i'm jealous of non-runners | almost getting it together

Last Monday, I couldn’t do it. I made it out the door, on the trail, and my legs did not want to move. I was angry at a lot of things that morning, stressed out over stuff I needed to get done and the last thing I wanted to do was go spend over an hour running before work. I decided a half mile in I was over it and turned around. My mood and spirit suddenly lifted. Maybe that was what I needed, just an extra day off running.

People often say, “skip your workout, it’s just one day, what will it hurt”. Well, if I skipped my workout or run everyday that I wanted to (i.e. at least once a week) it would start to hurt my running performance. One every month or so, okay. One every week, no. Sorry, that advice is bad.

In summation, don’t be jealous of me. I’m jealous of you. I’m jealous of knowing what it’s like to have a morning all to yourself to do something besides run. I’m jealous of the fact that you don’t have to carry snacks in your bag lest the runger hits. I’m jealous that your body isn’t rebelling against you. I’m jealous of the freedom that not running allows you.

Chat with me:
Who/what are you jealous of? Are you a runner who’s jealous of a non-runner? Are you a non-runner who is jealous of runners? Is the grass just always greener on the other side? (Typically.)