Welcome To Season 2
Hello, everybody, and welcome to Season Two of if I'm honest with Julia Landauer, I'm so happy to be back. If I'm honest, I know I put that in very early this episode, I had many times in this two month break where I had an idea. And I thought, Oh, my goodness, it would be so good to podcast about this. And so I took notes. So all those ideas will eventually make their way into an episode. But yeah, I really started to use this podcast as a fun medium for sharing ideas with you and kind of having a public journal, if you will. So I'm really happy to be back. Happy New Year. Oh, my goodness, 2024. I hope you had a good holiday. I do want to have a little preface to this episode that I put off recording it as long as I could, because I got quite sick, right around the new year. And I really don't want to sound nasally when I'm recording, and I think I'm okay, but if it is a little nasally I do apologize. And that is why. So Season Two of if I'm honest, I was really looking forward to the season for a few months now, because I had ideas of how I wanted to change it from season one to season two. And season one was really philosophical and focus in a little more serious. I think the whole season tackled some bigger somatic life issues, more, more philosophical issues. And so I'm really proud of that. But I also wanted to talk about things that we deal with more and more in our day to day lives. And so that is what this season is going to look like more, it's still going to be personal storytelling, there's still going to be a theme to the episode. But I do want it to feel like how it feels when you're sitting down with your friends and talking about what's on your mind at any given time. So I'm really excited. I'm excited for the topics that we're going to have. I'm excited for the guests that we're bringing on a few of them are already recorded. And I'm reaching out to other people to be guest. So it'll be it'll be really great. And I hope it continues to be engaging for you. For this week's episode, I wanted to take the time to go through a recap of the last two months of the holidays of the first months of work. And so I'm going to end by sharing some of my New Year's resolutions because I'm a big believer in that. And that's gonna be the flow of this episode to get caught up to reacquaint ourselves. And then starting next week, we'll get into the more thematic episode elements. Alrighty, so the last two months, we've had quite a few holidays, we ended season one on November 15. And so after that, we had Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then New Year's. So for Thanksgiving, mine was super low key we went to my parents place in the woods of New Jersey. And it was just my immediate family and Ben and we had a family come over for the meal itself. But we cooked a lot my sister really took the lead on cooking and baking a lot of different things. My family does lot of different dishes and a lot of us have different responsibilities. My sole culinary contribution is always the cranberry sauce. And let me tell you, the recipe that I use is super simple. It is one I think eight ounce bag, or 12 ounce bag of whole cranberries, and then one orange with the peel on and one cup of sugar. Although sometimes I do a little less just kind of taste and then add more as you need. And then you blend it up in a food processor. Usually I do this the day before Thanksgiving, because it's really nice to let it sit in its own juices and then it gets a little more broken down by the time you get to the next day. And that is my contribution. And I did learn this year that Ben does not really like cranberry sauce and so I don't feel at all upset that the one thing I contribute to the meal he doesn't enjoy. But here we are. So we did that and we had less pies than normal. We're big on pumpkin pies and pecan pies and my sister always makes a Mississippi mud pie. By the end of the meal, I'm usually pretty stuffed and I'll have a little sliver of pumpkin and maybe Mississippi mud pie. And then Ben and I drove back down to Charlotte and we got back on on Monday evening and we immediately bought our Christmas tree. We got the Christmas tree up, let it zhuzh and relax for about a day or two and then we decorated so this was the longest amount of time that I had a Christmas tree in Charlotte which was really great. And we we do a live tree I love the way it smells. I mean I'm I'm a big fan as most people are and we're really building up our ornament collection and we regularly get each other other gifts that are ornaments. And so some of the highlights this year that were new, which one was last year, we have this Glass Blown bird, which is really, really beautiful. We have a stand up baking mixture thing like a KitchenAid. And then I got Ben a really juicy looking heirloom tomato ornament. So continuing to work on that the top of our tree is T-rex with Santa on his back. So that's, you know, classy as always. And so yeah, that was our Christmas tree, and love all the gift giving and gift buying. And I get a lot of joy out of getting things for people and coming up with creative ideas. So that was really fun. And then we celebrated Christmas with my family. And Ben and I are officially on the alternating Christmases between our families, here in the States, and then in France. So this year was Christmas with my family, which was always so nice, not a white Christmas this year, although they did get snow this past weekend for the first time. And they got over a foot which is wild. And I'm a little sad, I missed it. But after Christmas, a few days after Christmas, we flew to France, and we were there for a little less than a week. Unfortunately, that is where I got very sick. And it's now the second year in a row where I've gotten quite sick in France. So I don't know if France is trying to send me a message that he doesn't want me. But that's too bad because I'm well on my way to being a more permanent fixture in France, even if that's just regular visits from time to time. But anyway, besides getting sick, there were a lot of highlights. So first and foremost, it was great to spend time with Ben's family and our niece's are growing up. So that's really cool to see. I got to hang out with more of his high school friends and meet their babies for the first time. So that was really fun. From a culinary perspective, I spent the entire time in France feeling perpetually full because we were eating so much incredible luxurious food, whether that is Raclette, or fondue, or the Michelin rated restaurants that we went to there were a lot of prefix menus I put a lot on my story. They were just really delicious foie gras and then delicious dessert, there's a traditional pair dessert that's really decadent. And I just, I just was so so happy to have so much absolutely delicious food. And really fresh croissants and pan au chocolate from the local Boulangerie. Oh, it was so good. And this boulangerie has a what they call a petit pan. And it's pan au chocolate, so croissant with chocolate in it. But they also put this sugary icing on top. And it's just so so beautiful and sweet. And it is happiness in the morning in baked good form. So lots of really good food. And we got to end the trip by going actually over to Germany and going to this thermal bath house that was really lovely. It is a place where there's a floor with a bunch of saunas that are no clothing saunas. And I will admit that as a first time American doing this, the other year, it was a little unnerving. I was a little self conscious, it was a little awkward, because we don't do that in America very much, I don't think and so now it's fine. Now it really is, like live and let live, everyone's there just to you know, take in the steam taking the sauna. And especially being with someone else, it's really not bad, you can leave your towel on over you in the sauna or you don't have to. So it's it's really nice. And it's um, it's definitely better to, in my opinion, especially as an American to not go with family members. Like when I had my now in laws, there was a little little uncomfortable, a little awkward, but it was so rejuvenating. I'm happy to report that my French listening comprehension is way better than it was last year. And I hadn't been to France since last New Years and so I really got to have that that stark comparison. And I'm happy to say that's better. I personally didn't really think that my speaking was that much better. But Ben insisted that it is better. So I'll take it. And then we got back to New York five days later, and we were both super jet lagged. We've really struggled to stay up until 9pm Eastern time, but we have been luxuriating in the culinary scene that New York has to offer. And I'm going to share where we went that we really liked because I try not to gatekeep so the first night we got back we had dinner at Ddobar which was a Japanese Korean mix and it was counter service and it was in this bigger food hall and it was absolutely delicious. We had a 13 course prefix menu and I think it was $75 So really, really great price in my opinion for that kind of food and the quality and the wine list was really nice. So that was really delicious. Mari.ne was another counter service handroll place that we went to up in Midtown, and it was from a chef who has a Michelin star at Mari and Kochi is another of his restaurants so this is a more casual quick service handle place they have five hand rolls for $27 which I think is quite good. They're they're good size hand rolls the marinade and the fish is really delicious the dumpling was to die for. So 10/10 recommend that. We went to Los Tacos No. 1 twice because they were so flavorful and really fun standing room only spot. We got carne asada, we got Pollo we got the pork taco, which now I'm forgetting the exact name for it, but it was really lovely and a really great atmosphere and they have a few locations throughout New York City. We also went to Steak Frites, which is in Hell's Kitchen. And I believe that these are some of my favorite French fries that I've ever had. They are extremely thin, they're crunchy, they're potato flavorful. They're just really great. It is a fun vibe is French bistro vibe. The service is wonderful. All the people are fun, they were full of enthusiasm. So highly recommend for a nice steak frites, everything that I've eaten there so far has been quite good. So recommend. And then the last meal that we got together was I apologize if I mispronounced this, but it was Gazab, but it was Indian food on the Lower East Side. And it was truly truly delicious, more of a little hole in the wall kind of place. And there's just so much good food in New York, I love it. On top of that we spent a few hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw a few exhibits, including the costume Institute's women dressing women, which was the history of women as fashion designers. And I learned that women becoming accepted at the beginning as designers and tailors originated in France actually in 1675, when 46 seamstresses gained the legal right to practice their trade. So it was very cool to see that exhibit. And it was just nice to be in the museum. And I haven't been in a little while. So that was really, really cool. After that Ben left, and he went back to Charlotte after a few weeks away. And I stayed in New York so that I can actually work out of the New York office for NASCAR this week, because my boss is up here. And so it's great to be able to get some in person time with him, which is a great segue into talking about recapping my first few months working at NASCAR. So I'm now two months in and I have to be honest, the onboarding part of starting a new job is weird. It's it's bizarre to me to feel like I was kind of a fly on the wall for them and learning a lot and supporting them where I could, and they were finishing up projects, but I wasn't really proactively building and doing concrete work initially. But I was reassured that that is very normal. When you're starting a new job, I learned a lot in the first couple months. And I'm excited to say now that I'm getting a better feel for it. And I'm actively working on some projects. So that's all really great, still really enjoying it. And I've realized, though from a non working element of having a job, you know, before starting I had primarily been by myself during the days, right, I work from home, I work with my agent, but we're not in the same city. And I would be in person with clients or anything related to racing. But for the most part, my day to day is by myself. And I now interact with many people every day all day. And I've learned as my friend put it, my social battery drains somewhat easily. And so it's a different level of energy needed to be able to effectively and respectfully and thoughtfully interact with people throughout the day. So I am learning how to balance that. But overall still really great. I'm excited for what this year is going to look like I'm excited for what I'm working on and ready to make the most of it. All right, to round out this first episode of season two, I want to jump in to some of my New Year's resolutions. So my family always talked about New Year's resolutions growing up. It's something that you know, we thought about and we're all about constant self evaluation and growth. And you know, if you realize that you want to be doing something differently throughout the year, obviously do it. But the new year is a nice time to reset and to think about things and so I want to share three of my New Year's resolutions. The first is to continue working on being more present. I honestly think that once I decided to move on from pursuing racing full time and to focus on this next chapter, I feel like because I was dealing with so many emotions, and I was figuring out how I felt about everything. And I was no longer focused on this this goal All of constantly trying to get funding or build a brand or training or you know, watching videos like there wasn't all that immediate work to do, I feel like that lent itself to helping me be more present, and allowed me to be more present with people and friends and Bennand when I'm working at something, don't be worried about making sure I get done quickly so that I can do everything else. I'm definitely a bit of a type A Type A- person, and, you know, really, really organized a little compulsive, all of that. And so I would try to keep to a schedule. And I tried to just let go of that and just exist more presently. And so I want to continue doing that I want to continue doing that not only with people but with activities that I work on or work that I'm doing to to try to be as purposeful and as involved in what I'm doing as possible. And that lends itself to my second New Year's Resolution, which is to really go on all cylinders, professionally. Now, that isn't to say that I wasn't working hard before. Like, I've always worked very hard at what I'm doing. But I believe I mentioned this in a previous episode or two that because of the nature of speaking is very spaced out and brand partnerships were spaced out, and I was spending all my time trying to get sponsorship and train for racing and watch videos and make connections and all that stuff. But it wasn't really resulting in things. And so I kind of felt sometimes that I would just have very slow days, even if I would do a lot of work, there wouldn't be tangible results. And so now that I have these three very clear pillars of my full time job at NASCAR and my podcasting and speaking, it allows me to feel like I'm doing a lot of really good productive work a lot more of the time. And I know that Americans tend to be super productive and focus on being super productive. But it just it feels good after so many years of feeling like all of my hard work was not amounting to very much. So I want to use this time to continue to save up more and to be more fiscally responsible because race cars are not necessarily the most financially responsible expenditure, but that's okay because they're so worth it #BecauseRacecar, but yeah, I'm I'm really looking forward to just working really, really hard and to learn a lot more and all of that, that also leads into my third New Year's Resolution, which is to continue to figure out kind of my my wellness balance and how that plays into this new day to day routine that I have of working. And, you know, I had a little bit of a difficulty adjusting to not training really hard many days a week when I didn't have to for racing. So balancing how I'm getting the, the working out that I want to get and you know, being healthy and working out for health and longevity, and not specifically for Motorsports and how that changes, you know, focusing on eating and drinking and what I'm doing to help my body be as nourished as possible. And then also, I don't really ever sacrifice my sleep very much. And so I'd like to continue to maximize my sleep so that everything else is going well. And I think this is a little bit harder for me with the nine to five job. And I know I'm not asking for sympathy from anyone because I know that I am late to the party and that everyone has to deal with this. But it is tough to find out when I can get adequate working out. And I think guys, I do think I'm gonna have to buckle down and become a morning workout person. And let me tell you, it hurts my heart a little bit to say that because I love my morning routine. I love feeling cozy. I love taking a leisurely morning. But it is really tough sometimes to get home from work and have the motivation to workout. So I'll keep you posted on that. But that's kind of what I'm thinking. So again, my three new year's resolutions are to continue to work on being more present, to go on all cylinders professionally, and to continue to figure out my wellness balance so that I can do the aforementioned things. All right, that wraps up episode one of season two of if I'm honest, and I'm really excited for next week's episode. The first theme that I'm going to get into is having good relationships with your siblings and the why and how to do that. Team. Thank you so much for coming back to season two. If you liked this episode, please share it with someone who you think might also like it, please subscribe to the podcast and follow it and rate it and leave a review that is super helpful for us. And, as always, thank you for letting me be honest with you and I look forward to seeing you next week.