Fuck I miss this.
One of these days, I will blog.
Warning: I’m about to get all kinds of mushy.
I don’t think any of us are fully aware how much potential we have to influence people. I do think that a lot of people who don’t blog or tweet or use social media very much at all, think that the idea of blogging is a tad narcissistic. I remember telling a friend of mine last summer that I was considering starting a blog and his reaction was a hefty eye roll followed by accusing me of believing that I’m important enough that random people on the internet will want to read about my every waking move. I assured him my blog wouldn’t be a daily collection of Facebook statuses, just a way for me to filter my overloaded brain, process and create and connect with myself and others. To talk about my FEELINGS. He rolled his eyes again.
How exactly can I make someone understand what sparked my love affair with the internet and why almost one year later my life direction and choices are often inspired, reaffirmed and/or influenced by women I’ve never met? How strangers can help give me guts? How a post or a comment or debate can make me want to hug my computer because for all that’s scary in this world, there are not only people who get IT but are able to articulate it better than I ever could. Why my bulletin board is hoarded with print outs and hand written scribbles of quotes I’ve stumbled upon?
Ever wonder why so many bloggers write about their addiction to cheese or cake or champagne? It isn’t because they (we) believe that liking all things gouda, death by chocolate or fizzy makes you some kind of original, it’s because bloggers seize every opportunity to ACTUALLY LIVE THEIR LIVES. They tweet their brunches and weekend plans, links to recipes and motivational essays. They post the things most people are too afraid to admit. They set goals and hold themselves accountable, they take chances and sign up for BiSC and VEDA. They don’t let things just pass them by or life simply happen to them because they know to be young in 2011 means the possibilities are nothing short of endless, that life is too short to wait for “worthy” occasions, that cheese and cupcakes are fucking delicious and champagne makes everything better, so yes please and thank you I will have some. They live examined lives and they live them NOW, inspiring others to do the same.
So, why the love fest? Why the fuck NOT.
This blogger I’ve never met, who lives an easy 3000 miles away from me, commented on my anxiety ridden post saying we as humans are very adaptable. Some of us may fear change, but we survive by adapting to it. This girl, who posted this comment which probably didn’t feel like rocket science to her, upon reading it sobered me the hell up. I felt as if she tossed cool water on my fevered face. Her two sentences helped start a shift in how I perceived my current situation.
And then, same said lovely girl posts her To-Don’t List and talks about never letting yourself be bored, how lucky we are to have the freedom to go out and LIVE, how we have the ability to change and create our own lives as we see fit. So, for the past two days, her words have been swirling in my head, popping up every time I think about my beautiful, sweet little life and am about to complain about it, making me ask myself tough questions about whether I’m doing justice to the symbol I had tattooed on the back of my neck. I brought up her words over Blue Moons with my sister which prompted a conversation about life changes and fear and taking direction. And if I never typed this post on my lunch break, she might never know how much her words impacted me and that is simply not ok.
The blogging world thrives on reaching out and forming connections and I’m hella happy I’ve found my way here. For all of the times I want to throw up my hands and be done with it all, you brilliant, gorgeous women remind me exactly why I keep logging on.
I turn 24 in 6 days. Mid-twenties. I hope this age will look good on me, that by the time I reach a quarter century old, I’m proud of the woman I’ve grown to be.
Growing up (for me at least) is hard. I think that I make it look like I have my shit together more than I actually do. And I mean, when I think about it, I pretty much do have my shit together, but that’s never how it feels. How it feels is that I’m one paycheck, anxiety attack, bender away from dropping the ball and making a mess of everything. I doubt myself a lot and let myself feel increasingly petrified that I have no idea what I’m doing and it’s only a matter of time before everything catches up to me.
So, what does growing up mean? Am I “there” yet? Is it defined by an earlier bed time, more managed bank account, Big Girl apartment? Because if so, then not so much. With all our freedoms and choices, how much does growing up have to do with a lifestyle versus a mentality; choices versus an outlook?
Growing up for me has meant realizing that priorities come in all different shapes and sizes, you may not understand other people’s but they are the most important thing to set for yourself if you want a gratifying life. Growing up has meant learning to sit with the uncomfortable, the uncertain and try desperately to tackle my anxiety instead of just being stunted by it. It has meant no one is there to stop me from closing the bar on a Tuesday, but no one will also be there in the morning to help get my ass out of bed and to work. Growing up has meant coming to terms with my pace in life and (working on) putting an end to the constant comparison to other people’s lives. Growing up has meant self acceptance while also picking out the not so pretty parts of my character, the ones I don’t want to be defined by and making a true effort to change them. Growing up has meant crying. A lot. Growing up has meant learning from the past and making peace with it.
Growing up has meant that some days I forget all of these things and throw myself a Pity Palooza.
Growing up means some days I will feel it and some days I will have to fake it, but I need to show up anyway.
Growing up means living for the small things while never forgetting to marvel at the bigger picture. The Discovery Channel helps me with this one a lot.
Growing up means making a shit load of plans. And managing to be adaptable when the Universe laughs at those plans.
Overall, I have witnessed that growing up means trying your best, putting in a lot of effort that may or may not go unnoticed and taking a lot of risks that may or may not work out in your favor. Growing up means you shouldn’t keep score, but you should pay attention.
Growing up means you can pick your own friends, budget and food but should keep in mind those choices can help make or break your health. You reap the rewards or consequences of what you put in to your life.
Growing up means you don’t have to have it all figured out, no one has it ALL figured out. Sometimes you are going to be scared and lonely and feel misunderstood. You are going to have answerless questions and make mistakes and feel like you are so overwhelmed you can’t breathe, but that’s when you show up anyways, listen to your gut, let people in, tell someone you fucking love them, ask for a damn hug, eat your favorite food and realize the older you get, the more time feels increasingly fleeting and you more than anyone have control over your happiness.
I have a really hard time not belting out the songs I’m listening to while running on the treadmill. An actual, really hard time.
Hashtags scare me. I think I’ve used one once and then immediately followed with a tweet that went something like “I JUST USED MY FIRST HASHTAG AND I’M FREAKING OUT BECAUSE I CAN’T TELL IF I DID IT WRONG”
I’m really terrible at coming up with titles for my blog posts. As in, I find it more difficult than writing the post. This is one of many reasons I would absolutely suck in a marketing position.
I’m not internet hip. It took me a very long time to figure out what FTW meant and I still am lost as to what TWSS means. Help?
I don’t mind things that a lot of people normally hate. I’m perfectly fine eating the same thing for lunch every day for 2 weeks. I like the smell of skunk.
I haven’t visited my grandmother in a really, really long time for completely selfish reasons.
Sometimes (a lot of times) I wear leggings as pants. Also, sometimes (all of the times) when I’m at home, I don’t wear any pants at all.
Still be my friend?
Introvert. Adventurous eater. Will try any food at least once*, but being a creature of habit, often eats the same thing at lunch for days on end. Lover of all things peanut butter and cheese, but not together**. Does not like Red Velvet anything. Curious as the day is short (because come on, 24 hours isn’t nearly enough). Clumsy by nature, athletic by habit, runner in the making. Driven. Awkward. Constantly needs to learn lessons her own way. Says yes a lot, which sometimes gets her into trouble.
Has a tendency to procrastinate, but hits the ground running once she starts. Functions best when busy. Thinks kisses on the cheek are often forced and hugs are more personal. Hates the top sheet. Steals the covers. Struggling domestic, but can make a mean pie. Rarely does her hair, unless a braid counts. Fidgets constantly. Reformed nail biter, current cuticle picker. Breaks into a Roseanne-esq laugh when tickled. Feels prettiest in a dress, happiest in plaid.
Can’t decide between New York and Boston, except when it comes to baseball. Dreams of traveling her country and the world, but knows that for her, happiness means living within driving distance of family. Prefers dive bars to clubs. Loathes house music. Would almost always rather be reading. Quit a five year, pack-a-day habit years ago, but still considers cigarettes to be one of the Great Loves of her life. Realizes how silly this sounds, still believes it anyways.
Intimidated by technology. Hates talking on the phone, hardly listens to voicemails and needs to get better at emailing back. Texts too much. Wannabe vlogger. Sometimes resistant to change, though she knows it’s the only sure fire way to get where she’s going. Stands on the couch during intense movies. Terrified of heights, but goes skydiving. Terrified of most things, but needs to do them anyways.
Child of divorce, but believes in love. Also believes there is good to be found in everyone. Imperative that she talks it out. Will try to see your side. Isn’t shy to change her mind. Finds asking for help to be a sign of strength and human connection. Views holding hands as intimate an act as sex. Trusts too easily, cries a lot and wears her heart on her sleeve. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
*Exception: peppers so hot I will hiccup or cry. Those, I will not do.
**I stand corrected. How could I forget Skippy’s Dare!? It’s a white pizza involving bacon, PB and provolone and is hands down one of my favorite pies.
This blog serves multiple purposes in my life and one of them is to record my life, what matters to me and the things that happen to and because of me. Every month has its moments and every month deserves some reflection.
Attending orientation for grad school and feeling the biggest rush of excitement I’ve had for school in, well, ever. Making my first vlog. Taking risks and feeling glad I did. Yankee/Red Sox game in NYC with MC. My graduation party. Being reminded of how vibrantly eclectic the collection of people in my life is and feeling grateful for all of them. Training my replacement at work. Being pee my pants excited over knowing within a few shorts weeks I won’t have to spend 40+ hours a week doing a job I’m not remotely passionate about. Afternoons spent reading outside. A new, leather bound journal. Reconnecting with one of my (two) cousins. Getting back into running and feeling all its benefits. Pushing myself. Setting new fitness goals. Feeling a heavy sad. Focusing on self reflection. Having an old school girl’s sleepover with two of my favorite ladies (complete with pinot grigio and prosecco of course). First wedding of the 2011 season. Drinking and dancing in the same room where four years earlier we celebrated my brother’s wedding. A bold, deep plum lip. Father’s day BBQ. Losing the movie passes. De-cluttering my apartment and getting rid of any item that didn’t make me feel happy and any clothes that didn’t make me feel pretty. FINDING THE MOVIE PASSES. True Blood. A rooftop bar. New mac and cheese recipe*. A week alone. Feeling really fucking sad again. Examining why and focusing on gratitude. Feeling content. And independent. And hopeful. MC coming home from vacation and being reminded exactly why my life is better with him in it.
Currently looking forward to July with all its fireworks, beach days, BBQs, a 5k, Boston visit and Shark Week which starts ON MY BIRTHDAY!
“Life Advice I’m Probably Not Worthy of Giving” was the original title of this post until I said, you know, fuck that. I retract that statement. Everyone who has ever lived has learned some important ass, noteworthy shit. This is mine.
Write down brilliant, funny, inspirational quotes. Frame them, make a bulletin board collage of them, write them on a mirror, post them somewhere, ANYWHERE, where you will see them everyday and be reminded of how downright beautiful things always have the potential to be.
Read more than you write and way fucking more than you watch TV.
People (especially in CT) are fucking rude. Smile at them anyways.
Crossing To-Do lists off in (pink!) highlighter makes actually doing the items a little more fun. Allow yourself the freedom to make any annoying task a little more fun.
Email people you admire, even if you’ve never talked to them before. Tell them exactly why they are wonderful.
Music is a heal-all. Creedence on Pandora can turn even the worst days around.
Friends drift. Make peace with that and when your paths do cross again, meet them with warmth instead of bitterness.
Wear only lipstick and underwear while you clean.
Return your library books, fill out your FASFA, make the appointment. Basically, just DO all the little avoidances you have shoved in the back of your mind. After you are done kicking yourself for putting off doing the SIMPLEST THING ON THE PLANET, you will feel like a million bucks.
Give your parents the benefit of the doubt. That being said, recognize your right to be your own person with your own opinions and what is right for them is not always best for you.
Share the wealth. Don’t hoard pretty, fun things you find out about. Tell people about the sale, the new found band, the make-up trick.
Leave people happy they were with you.
Don’t ever stop learning, examining and questioning yourself. Accept that judgments and biases are a part of who we are as humans but don’t be afraid to ask why you feel certain ways about certain things. We all have the tendency at one point or another to judge a book by its cover- take the time to re-evaluate.
Give people more chances then they sometimes deserve. This may burn you from time to time, but it is also a path to learning forgiveness and compassion.
When you need that second (or ninth) chance and people give it to you, appreciate it.
If you need to go out and do something downright silly in order to learn the lesson, by all means, but then? Actually learn the fucking lesson.
Push yourself. Find things that make you feel drunk with ambition and don’t let them out of your sight.
Greetings can be awkward. Be the one to go in for the hug.
Learn things. Ask for help. Help others.
Hold the door. For fucks sake, have some manners and say please and thank you, even to the salty bitch at Dunkin Donuts.
Don’t define yourself or anyone else by who they were in high school (or any one period of their life for that matter).
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want- at a restaurant, at your job, in bed, IN LIFE- people are not mind readers.
Show appreciation for your freedom, your home, your five dollar chai lattes, your education, something Every. Single. Day.
Stop focusing on the areas of your body you despise and concentrate on your love for your perky boobs or unique smile or curly hair.
Eat delicious food every day.
When it truly matters, get on your soapbox and don’t be afraid to speak your brain.
Listen when people tell you things. Actually, truly hear them.
Drink so much water you pee like a pregnant lady, take your vitamins and use big girl face cream.
Take your own advice.
Be kind to people in pain.
Send thank you cards and say meaningful things in them.
Don’t keep score in relationships.
Kiss hello, goodbye and as much as you damn well please in between.
Last Monday, MC and I had a lovely date night which consisted of visiting his sister at her work for some pizza (and blood orange margaritas!) and then going to see Hangover 2. Have you seen it? No? Good, don’t. Or at least not in the theaters. I want my 2 hours and 20 dollars back, please and thank you. Anyways. Before we were leaving to go out, I was searching, searching, searching for these free movie passes I have. A few years ago I got a shit ton of movie passes from Triple A for FREE and since we hardly ever see movies in the theaters, they’ve lasted. And now, when I say we don’t usually see movies in theaters, we realllyyy don’t see movies in theaters. It has probably been about six months and my brain seems to have forget where I’ve placed them. ANYWAYS. So, I’m searching for these fucking passes that I can’t seem to find. I’m searching through purses and drawers and they are NOWHERE. I’m getting really fucking frustrated because there is just so much shit (most of it mine) all over the place. How can two people have so much SHIT? WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE MOVIE PASSES? And then it hits me.
I am becoming my mother and THIS IS NOT OK.
I realize I have “conveniently” stuck these movie passes somewhere for “safe keeping” so they will be “easy to find” when I need them. I will, inevitably, find these passes one day (likely in the bread drawer) and sit mind boggled for five minutes trying to figure out what backwards reasoning I used to determine that THIS was the most logical place for the things. Along with this lovely gene, I’ve also inherited the one where I hold onto random ass shit, shit that I don’t need and is not only taking up space in my apartment, but also my brain. Clutter = not being able to find things (LIKE MY MOVIE PASSES) which in turn = stress (and less money). This has got to end.
Michael has left me for the next five days, off to go hike the Long Trail, and I’m really hoping to de-clutter the apartment, I’m hoping to make the bookcase not just look like a random pile of books, to put an end to the ten minutes I spend digging in my craft drawer to find the right stamp and to (finally) purge all of the clothes that I haven’t ever worn but regardless never fail to end up on my floor because I relentlessly try them on weekend after weekend determined that ONE DAY I will like how I look in them. Note to self: They will never look good on you.
This is my project for the week. Or something. Please tell me, what has helped you? If you are orderly by nature, spill your habits. If you are a reformed clutterbug, share your secrets. What magazines, blogs, organizational gold mines have you found?
I’m trying to clean up not just my home, but my habits, to make my small (but lovely!) space with MC feel a little more like a Grown Up Apartment and I don’t want a pile of Vickie’s catalogs that I’m too poor to shop from be a major road block in my happiness.
The ever awesome Andrea came up with a reverse-to-do list, The To-Don’t List which was made of up all the shit we need to NOT do. I absolutely adored it. And then when I read Amy’s this morning, I knew I had to make one of my own. Also, I need to start getting a lot better at taking my own advice.
Disclaimer: When I wrote this, I wrote it as an “in general” list of shitty things one should not do. I re-read it and felt this was important to note because although I really do need to work on things like talking shit to myself and visiting my sick grandma, I’m also the anti-waitress jipper and I quit tanning years ago. Not everything on this list applies to me, as I’m sure not everything will apply to you. Just wanted to clarify : )
Don’t jip your waiter.
Don’t talk shit about people behind their back.
Don’t talk shit about yourself.
Just don’t talk shit.
Don’t feel guilty for eating 3 peanut butter cups. Or 8 slices of habanero cheddar. Or anything that’s your Favorite Thing Ever.
Don’t deprive yourself.
Don’t ignore your body.
Don’t not go visit your sick grandmother because it puts your stomach in knots. You’ll regret this later.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Don’t spend money you don’t have.
Don’t blow off your friends.
Don’t let fear get in the way of the things you want out of life.
Don’t apologize for things that are beyond your control.
Don’t let your pride keep you from apologizing for the things that are in your control.
Don’t use tanning booths.
Don’t wear a dress without panties.
Don’t nitpick at your relationship.
Don’t forget to use spellcheck. (Funny, spellcheck just told me I’ve spelled spellcheck wrong)
Don’t give a shit whose watching.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Don’t worry. Just. Don’t. Worry.
Sometimes I get The Sads because I stumble upon these fabulous blogs that started in oh, TWO THOUSAND SEVEN (yes, I did have to spell it out. For emphasis.) and I feel like I’m missing out on 85426 posts of their awesomeness. What’s a girl to do? Can reading through four years of internet archives count as summer reading? Am I really creepy? Le sigh.