Doing it all.

When I sat down to write my new year’s resolutions (not the ones I shared on the blog but a list of more specific personal goals) I was so tempted to list out everything I wanted to see change in my life.

My manic list of things to do in 2017 looked something like this: Buy a house. Pay off all of my debt. Write a novel. Run a marathon. Travel to 25 different countries. Waltz around in head to toe looks straight from NYFW runways. Meet Taylor Swift. Get Gigi Hadid’s bikini body. Single handedly deal with global warming and all the girls who don’t get to go to school. Research every cult that has ever existed and write a book analyzing the psychology of religion. Get into law school. Perfectly curate my Instagram with fabulously staged photos mimicking the pages of Vogue. Ha!

I may be exaggerating a tiny bit but I think my point is clear. So often I want to do it all and I want to achieve everything so quickly. One of my greatest weaknesses is my perpetual desire for freshness, newness and change. While life should be in part about experiencing new things, shouldn’t we take time to cultivate the metaphorical gardens we planted just recently?

Big news! I’m starting a new job at a law firm next Tuesday (my 25th birthday). I’ve done a lot of job hopping since I graduated college and while I am grateful for all of the experiences I’ve gained I am ready for a career I can settle into and learn the ropes.

I’ll be honest, it’s really hard for me not to chase down every passing fancy that crosses my mind. When a new subject or idea interests me I become obsessive. I’ll dive head first into researching a new subject only to find another interest to obsess over a month or two later. I’m speaking candidly here when I admit that this quality of mine worries me. I’m not sure how to balance drive and commitment with curiousity and exploration. How do I pursue new interests while sticking it out through the difficult times we all face in pursuit of our goals?

Moving forward I want to hold myself more accountable to my commitments without forcing myself to stick to petty goals and ambitions. While there is no reason to finish that book on the nightstand that continues to bore you, it’s important to recognize that every job has bad days and every long term friendship faces disagreements or challenges.

This year I won’t be able to do it all. I can’t start saving money while still buying every pair of Stuart Weitzman boots I see on the legs of a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I can’t work overtime, buy a house, get engaged, run a blog, start law school, travel across the globe and volunteer weekly with every organization that means something to me. I have to maintain my sanity and aiming to achieve all of my big goals in one year does not make me a #GirlBoss it makes me impatient.

I’ve noticed we really like to glorify the “do it all now” mindset (myself included). Start a business, travel abroad, get married, star in a reality television show, open an Etsy shop, take acting classes and blog your dreams all RIGHT NOW. This mindset is a great drive to get going, but I think it also sets us up for disappointment. What happens when you push everything to happen too fast and end up selling yourself short? Do we do everything half way without giving any task the real attention it deserves? I’m not suggesting we give up all of our ambitions but rather that we recognize we can’t always do it all at once.

Realistically a lot of my big goals should be five year goals not one year goals. By looking at what I want to accomplish over a slightly longer period of time I can reach for my goals without selling myself short or jumping into something before I can really get my “ducks in a row” so to speak.

Looking at my life with an endurance mindset instead of a sprint mindset is very freeing. I’ve felt the tightness in my chest dissolve just typing out this post. Note to self: breathe deeply and keep persisting even if it feels like the results aren’t immediate. Instant gratification is fun but achievement that comes from long term hard work is so much more fulfilling.

How do you think about goal setting? Do you sometimes aim to do too much into short of a time frame? How do you stay motivated to reach goals that won’t be achieved over night? I would love love love to hear your thoughts on this topic, I’m certainly not an expert!

The Taboo of Loneliness

I’ve written about happiness frequently in this space (see here and here and here). Though I consider myself a cheerful person, I don’t always consider myself a happy person despite what outside perceptions may indicate. I strive to be optimistic and upbeat as I was raised to be. I believe in the benefits of positivity even when the world feels very negative. I like to be around happy people, so I strive to radiate happiness myself.

No one is truly happy all the time, and although at some points I am certainly more fulfilled and thus happier than other times-happiness is a constant balance. If I spend too much time working towards goals and too little time relaxing, I’ll feel burnt out. Similarly, if I binge watch Netflix each and every night without making time to exercise or blog or explore new hobbies I’ll seep into a lethargic depression. Life is about balance! Though many #hustle fans don’t believe in balance, I think there IS such a thing as life balance even if it isn’t the cliche way we imagine. Realistically not everyone can work from 9:00-5:00, spending weekends and evenings with family, friends and pursuing hobbies. Though I do have this simple luxury, I know in many cases balance doesn’t fall into such a neat and precise schedule. That’s okay-balance doesn’t have to mean the same thing to everyone.

My happiness struggle doesn’t stem from balance in the sense one would assume. I have plenty of time for exercise (though I don’t always utilize it), plenty of time for fun and plenty of time for cooking dinner, going to bed early, etc. My biggest threat to happiness is often the most difficult to speak about. The biggest threat to my happiness has always been loneliness.

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It’s strange thing to be both an introvert and someone who feels perpetually plagued by a cycle of loneliness. To both crave human company and the comfort and isolation of my own home is a strange paradox. Almost every day after work I long to go home and spend several hours in quiet solitude but almost everyday I do so I find myself craving friendship and human interaction. So I force myself to make (and keep) plans I know I’ll dread until they begin. Every dinner, coffee date or happy hour is at least a small source of dread and anxiety until I’m happily immersed in conversation with a friend, or dancing with a glass of champagne. Yet, the idea of a weekend spent all alone terrifies me exponentially more. It’s a paradox I struggle to balance, usually failing in one small way or another. Guilty when I cancel plans with a  close friend I really do miss, and guilty when I spend an evening alone scrolling through Instagram and watching Project Runway on Hulu.

Loneliness is especially difficult to discuss. I’ve rid myself of any shame when it comes to discussing social anxiety, depression, anger or grief, even jealousy feels worth talking about if only to rid myself of it. Talking about loneliness feels especially pathetic. While we can sympathize for a sad person an anxious person or a depressed person, a lonely person appears especially broken. We can’t help but ask “But why are you lonely? What is wrong with you?”. I even find myself doing it occasionally and I know how awful it is to feel lonely.

Recognizing our own loneliness can be just as problematic. When I identify myself as lonely I often whirl into a stage of reclusively if only because I doubt my likability as a person. I spend time laying in the bath wondering why I am so bad at making friends instead of going out and doing things to help me make friends. It’s a vicious cycle!

I must add, with all this talk of loneliness, I am not especially lonely right now but at times I feel jabs of loneliness. Perhaps loneliness is my biggest insecurity, I know how painful it is to feel so alone and knowing I can feel that way so suddenly and without warning is nerve wracking. Talking about loneliness, even when I am not very lonely seems like the best way to normalize the conversation and eliminate the taboo of loneliness.  If we admit when we are lonely more often, maybe lonely people will carry less of a stigma. We’re all lonely once in awhile whether it’s for a brief nostalgic moment, for a weekend or for a season in life.

I wish I could end this post with a call to action, a crusade to end loneliness. However, intellectually I understand loneliness is somewhat beneficial. I think everyone should feel lonely every so often, it’s a great opportunity to build your identity, to learn about who you are and what you’re most afraid of and propelled by. It’s surely not possible to eliminate loneliness altogether, nor is it beneficial. Loneliness is one of those important feelings we never wish to feel again.

Perhaps my message is this; 1. It’s okay to be lonely and it’s okay to talk about being lonely and 2. Being a happy person doesn’t mean you never get lonely.

 

& the World goes on.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling grumpy I wouldn’t have time to “get ready” before Jordan and I met his friends for brunch. I was in one of those “moods” that made every little inconvenience feel like a travesty. None of my clothes seemed to fit me right. My hair was greasy and no amount of dry shampoo seemed to fix it. Oh, and heaven forbid Jordan try to tell me we would not have time to stop for coffee on the way to brunch…because I couldn’t wait until we actually got to the restaurant. Bratty and overtired I stumbled into Starbucks and scrolled through the news on my phone while waiting for my drink.

When I read about the Orlando shooting my petty nonsensical issues melted away. I felt nauseous; as I grow older violence affects me more. The headlines and witness accounts from the weekend are haunting. Imagining the families of any victim of any act hate or terrorism breaks my heart. I am so fortunate that my family and friends are safe and accounted for, yet, it is these terrible events that remind us every single day is an uncertain gift. When I read about events like the shooting in Orlando where so many innocent people were killed, I can’t help but wonder…how does the world keep going on? Each day we witness new tragedies, our hearts break as the world proves it is filled with so much hatred. Life must go on though. Despite the brutality of the world we still hit snooze on Monday morning, or giddily make happy hour plans for the evening. I still day dream about new shoes and far off destinations and worry about saying something embarrassing or socially awkward. It’s as if the world is shaking viciously and we must pretend not to feel it.

I could never pretend to understand the pain of the mothers who lost their children, the sisters who lost their brothers, men and women whose significant others were taken- that sort of pain I have not experienced. Reading through the names and brief descriptions of the Orlando shooting victims I am both saddened and enraged. An 18 year old high school graduate lost her life, a twenty-something’s last legacy is featured on Snapchat as the shooting begins, life after life is summarized in a few brief sentences and it’s hard not to wonder who these people were and what they dreamed and aspired to be.

I know the world can’t pause the chaos even for a brief moment. I know there’s no reason for trains to stop running, businesses to stop growing or children not to jump rope happily and skip merrily- but imagining the pain of those families I know their worlds have been absolutely shattered. I know their lives aren’t resuming as usual. I know that this morning there were survivors who couldn’t get out of bed because they were too busy sobbing into their pillows. I know their were families that woke up this morning to relive the brutal pain all over again when they realized all of the horror and heartbreak was not just a nightmare but a reality.

I’m laying in my bed watching the street outside my window grow dark as I type. My apartment is utterly silent, all I can hear is the faint hum of the dishwasher from my kitchen. For just a moment time does seem to pause; it is as if the whole world is muted, still and grieving for the beautiful people who went out looking to have fun.

If the world were truly to stop spinning, to pause and grieve the magnitude of this loss and all of the losses we’ve experienced this year I’m not certain it would even do much good. Stillness and silence can’t undo hatred. The only way we’ll ever combat darkness is a great deal of love and education. I’m not sure why there must be so much evil and darkness, but I want to be the type of person who recognizes the impact those who were lost had on the world.

My most heartfelt condolences still fall flat as they cannot erase violence, alleviate pain or bring back the deceased. Our words though are our mightiest weapons, perhaps our most impactful legacies, and I can’t allow a major world event to weigh so heavily on my heart without using my words to vocalize my acceptance and love for people of all religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations. The world may go on, but we must hold this moment in our hearts and continue to fight for love, for peace and for understanding.


“Tutu
Welcome to Tutu Tuesdays a linkup with The Blush Blonde and The Fairy Princess Diaries! Linkup whatever you’d like and make sure to do a little mingling – our goal here is to create a community of bloggers where we can all connect, find new blogs, and support one another. We love new friends, supporting other blogs, and meeting fellow girl bosses!
There are just a few rules we ask you follow to join in on Tutu Tuesdays:1. Please follow both Kristin and I, your lovely hosts, on Instagram and/or Bloglovin.
Kristin: The Blush Blonde | Bloglovin’ | Instagram
Jordyn: The Fairy Princess Diaries | Bloglovin’ | Instagram
2. Link to your specific post, not your blog’s main page.
3. Grab our super cute button or share a link to Tutu Tuesdays in the post you are linking up so everyone can know about the party!
4. Have fun and mingle with other bloggers that have linked up! Like I said we want everyone to make new friends!

Thrown Together

Saturday morning Jordan and I lazily made our way to my favorite brunch spot (Bounty Kitchen) for a leisurely egg sandwich before taking on Saturday adventures. At the time we didn’t specifically have any plans for the day, but Jordan was itching to get out of town after a stressful week at work. While I hoped more for a weekend at home in Seattle, I knew Jordan needed a change of scenery to ultimately feel relaxed and refreshed. After a bit of debate tossing around destination locations we decided to meet one of his oldest friends in Portland, Oregon.

We stopped at home after brunch and threw together weekend bags without so much as looking at the weather or booking a hotel. I generally take a calculated approach to packing with organized lists and pre-planned outfits however due to the impulsivity of our getaway I didn’t have the time to do anything but throw a few pieces into a duffle and run out the door!

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Our mini-getaway was not the most structured adventure we have experienced. Everything from booking our hotel, to finding a restaurant for dinner to dressing appropriately for the weather was a bit of a struggle. Why did I think packing ballet flats and sandals would work well for a rainy weekend? Why didn’t I pack a proper jacket but somehow remembered not one but two pairs of earrings? A simple weekend trip reminded me of one of the core traits I lack-spontaneity.

I often become frustrated when day to day activities do not meet my expectations. Though I may impulsively pick up a pair of sassy heels or a bright new shade of lipstick I rarely order meals off of the menu that I haven’t tried and easily become overwhelmed when thrown into unexpected adventures.

Rather than focusing on my distaste for the unplanned and unregulated I want to draw attention to a larger parallel. A recent heart to heart with my Aunt reminded me the spontaneity and unexpected surprises life in our twenties often brings. Though I am still a naturally goal oriented person over the past couple of years I’ve slowly realized how silly it is to expect myself to stick to a rigid one year plan let alone a five year plan. So I’ve started to focus on one month or sometimes even one day at a time.

Most mornings start with a grande peppermint mocha and a to-do list. I remind myself that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time (though the thought of eating an elephant is rather disturbing no?). Whether I am making a list of tasks to complete each day, or outlining my goals for the month I’m trying to embrace the components that are calculated and the random quips and quirks that were thrown in to the mix.

Thrown together-both the contents of my suitcase and my life are approximately one part calculated and two parts entirely spontaneous. At twenty-four I can’t always control each portion of my career, my secular life or my relationships…a perfectly calculated life is both impossible and improbable. I can choose to control my reaction to the unknown, the unpredicted and the spontaneous. Whether it is a new career opportunity, a whirlwind weekend trip or a new shade of nail polish, the un-calculated path may be intimidating (and occasionally overwhelming) but that sure of heck doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the ride.

Instead of feeling guilty for all the ways I don’t have “it” together (currently: my messy hair and cluttered office) I’m attempting to focus on dancing in the wonder of chaos while simultaneously satisfying my inner need to plan and calculate by conquering obstacles bite by bite.

I can’t tell you whether this week will be influential or entirely forgettable but today I am choosing to tackle my life with intention and purpose.

Happy Monday blog friends! How do you battle anxiety and days that don’t go as planned? Do you prefer a calculated life or a spontaneous one?

 

The Most Adult I’ve Ever Been

It seems blatantly intuitive that at twenty-four I feel the most adult I’ve ever felt. Most days I eat half of my meals from Starbucks, I am almost always buy the precut vegetables at Whole Foods rather than cutting them up myself, a part of me cries inside at the end of every month when I write a check for rent and I’d be lying if I denied that Jordan and I kept up a sheet fort in our bedroom for an entire week. I’m not the best adult there is, but almost two years after graduation I finally don’t feel like a college student anymore.

Before I left for Paris I met my nineteen year old brother for ice cream near his college campus. He’s a freshman and it’s still weird for me to think about him living in a dorm, studying for big college exams and even more strangely doing independent college-y things without adult supervision or guidance. Maybe it’s because I have finally adjusted to my little brother being a college student but I realized I really don’t feel anything like a college student, and it’s sort of weird.

I cringe at the idea of sticky frat house floors and dingy mysteriously stained couches. The idea of drinking foul tasting party punch until I vomit makes me gag and I’ve never been more thankful for my queen sized bed and wooden bed frame. For the first time ever my dresser isn’t somebody else’s hand-me-down and my couch isn’t leftover from someone’s basement or garage clean out. I eat pizza at midnight less frequently and no longer get a thrill out of buying champagne just to buy it.

I’ll be honest, when I first started writing this post, I had started to feel like I was really getting my life together. Don’t get too excited, I don’t have plans to buy a house, add a diamond ring to my left hand or anything too serious anytime in the near future, but I did think “Hey I’m paying my bills and going to work and even filing my taxes without having a nervous breakdown”. If being an adult meant more than legally buying champagne on a whim I was determined to figure out what it all meant.

Then, just a day after I first started drafting this post…the universe laughed in my face. “Ha! You think you’re a real adult do you?” it scoffed as it threw a curve ball towards me that made it apparent how small and helpless I am in this great big adult world. I stepped away from the drafts section of WordPress and let the idea of being a real adult linger a little more.

The most adult I’ve ever felt…what exactly does that mean? Does it mean financial stability? Planning a trip abroad by myself? Talking about marriage and then deciding I’m still too immature and putting it off? What are the most “adult decisions” what do real adults decide?

Somewhat recently I asked my boyfriend if he thought I was immature. At the time I was very annoyed with an acquaintance who always felt the need to emphasize the fact that she was and adult woman who didn’t have time for immature drama (when in reality she seemed very wrapped up in the drama she spoke out against). I’ve never been one to proclaim myself as mature but I wondered could I be as obnoxiously immature as the girl in question. In the end, Jordan and I came to the conclusion that really being an adult probably means you don’t constantly ask others if you seem like an adult. Even at twenty-four, the most adult I’ve ever felt, I haven’t quite reached adulthood yet.

Every few days I think I’ve reached some sort of existential milestone or epiphany, only to realize the way I perceive the world isn’t as enlightening as I’d like to believe. Unarguably I am the most adult I’ve ever been. There will be hiccups and set backs, there will be days I choose to clean out my refrigerator or put money towards bills instead of towards shoes, but there will be equally as many failures. Being the most adult I’ve ever been partially means recognizing all the ways I’m not a good adult at all.


“Tutu
Welcome to Tutu Tuesdays a linkup with The Blush Blonde and The Fairy Princess Diaries! Linkup whatever you’d like and make sure to do a little mingling – our goal here is to create a community of bloggers where we can all connect, find new blogs, and support one another. We love new friends, supporting other blogs, and meeting fellow girl bosses!

There are just a few rules we ask you follow to join in on Tutu Tuesdays:

1. Please follow both Kristin and I, your lovely hosts, on Instagram and/or Bloglovin.
Kristin: The Blush Blonde | Bloglovin’ | Instagram
Jordyn: The Fairy Princess Diaries | Bloglovin’ | Instagram
2. Link to your specific post, not your blog’s main page.
3. Grab our super cute button or share a link to Tutu Tuesdays in the post you are linking up so everyone can know about the party!
4. Have fun and mingle with other bloggers that have linked up! Like I said we want everyone to make new friends!