A thousand lifetimes

I used to think it would be so amazing to get to do life over and over again. Sometimes I still kind of think that, sometimes I wonder if maybe we do and I just don’t know and sometimes I realize how hard it can be and I think once is probably sufficient.

Lately though, I’ve begun to realize something else. I don’t have to wait for another life time, I can make any of those changes right now. I woke up one day and realized I wasn’t the nicest person I know. I thought to myself, I want to be nicer and every day after that I made an effort to let people know how much I care about them and to hold the door for strangers. Some of the changes I made were small and some were much larger, but all in all when I look back on it now I am so much nicer now than I was then. Maybe some of that had to do with the teenage years ending and coming into adulthood, but I’d like to think most of it was because I made that choice.

I’m pretty convinced that in fact we’re all living about a dozen different “life’s” all wrapped in the pretty package that is our ideal 80+ years on Earth.

Four years ago seems like a life time ago. I have evolved, I’ve become better (I hope!!) and I’ve undoubtably become more authentically myself. One day I might get married and have a baby, and a whole new life journey will begin. The life I’m living now will seem far away and so different. How lucky am that I get to experience so many journeys, or mini life’s as I’ve now named them, and then move to something new? How lucky am I that I can decide today that I want something to be different about myself and then I can change it?

Realizing that right here and right now I have so many opportunities for growth and for adventure has put everything into a new perspective and has challenged me to be the best version of myself that way when this life is over, I know I made it count.

How to be your best self

My all-time favorite quote is from the novel The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”

Did you get goosebumps when you read that? I do. Every. Single. Time. They’re some of the most relatably powerful words I’ve ever read. Those words made me the person typing this right now.

I cannot possibly be the only person who woke up one day and thought “holy shit, this is not who I want to be.” My moment came after a year that had been full of heartbreak and change. I had been putting on a happy face for the world but on the inside, I was broken. I was sad. I was confused. I had so many decisions to make and zero idea of how to make them…and then while mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest, I read that quote.

It hit me like a ton of bricks because I realized that I had been presenting a fictitious self to appear before the world. So, I decided I needed to stop doing that. I thought to myself and realized that at that moment my “real” self wasn’t someone I wanted to present to the world either.

I was at a crossroads. There isn’t a protocol on what to do when you don’t want to present a fake self to anyone but you don’t like your real self either.

It seemed like the only choice I had was to become someone I did like.

best self

So I wrote a list. It seems so cheesy now that I’m typing it, but really… I made a list. I wrote down all of the qualities I wanted to have: I wanted to be kinder, I wanted to be happier, I wanted to be more successful, I wanted to be a better friend and a better daughter and a better sister. I wanted to be better in general.

Then, I woke up every day and made sure that I lived life according to my list. I would listen more when my friends spoke, instead of interrupting them to give my opinion. I called my mom just to say hi. I went outside and took time for self-reflection. Slowly but surely I was able to become someone I was proud of. I didn’t have to think about the list every morning because I was the list.

There’s more work to do. I’m not a perfect person, but I am a person that I’m proud of. I’m living my best life by being my best self and trust me: If I can do it, you can too.

It’s the year of realizing stuff

Thank you Kylie Jenner for pointing out that 2016 was the year of like realizing things. Better late than never so in honor of Kylie (and my 22nd birthday), here are 22 things I realized this year.

1. You should always be a little kinder than you need to be

It goes further than you’d expect, and it makes you feel good. Trust me.

2. Taking time for yourself is not just okay, it’s important

Bubble baths, dance parties and long walks are all recommended.

3. My friends are the bomb.com

Surrounding yourself with people that lift you up is the key to success.

4. No one says bomb.com anymore

I’m living in the early 2000’s…oops.

5. Change is inevitable

People change. Places change. Expectations change. Get on board or get left behind.

6. Nostalgia is real

I find myself reflecting more and more as the years go by.

7. Adulting is hard

Why does no one tell you how taxes work? When should I get a credit card? Who decides rent prices??

8. Working hard in silence makes your successes that much louder

Everyone deserves credit for their hard work but no one wants to listen to your to-do list, they’d rather celebrate once it’s done.

9. You don’t have to be the person you were yesterday

You can be whoever you want to be, whenever you want to be.

10. Jealousy and envy exist and are often disguised as anger

Emotions are complicated and hard to understand. Cut people some slack and understand that often, problems they have with themselves get pushed onto you.

11. Wearing flats on a night out optimizes your chance of success

Self explanatory.

12. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else thinks you should do and to loose sight of what you want to do

Chasing your dream isn’t easy when everyone has an opinion on which life path is the “right” one, but stay true to who you are.

13. Waking up before 9 am automatically makes the day seem productive

Even if you just watch Netflix all day, you feel better about it.

14. You should always carry a little cash

Not having money for snacks, cover at the bar or just some random expense really sucks.

15. Road-trips are not overrated… if you do them right

Great friends, snacks and playlists are recommended.

16. It’s okay to be vulnerable

It’s scary but worth the risk.

17. It’s okay to be yourself

Also scary sometimes but totally worth it to know people like you for you.

18. It’s okay to not know exactly who that is just yet

Change brings growth and figuring out exactly who you are.

19. Everyone loves compliments and giving them feels even better than receiving them

Seeing someone smile and knowing you’re the reason why is amazing.

20. Dogs are undeniably the better species but cats are surprisingly tolerable

Sorry cat people, I just can’t get on board… they’re growing on me though.

21. Time heals all wounds

Some take longer than others but one day you wake up and even the biggest heartbreaks start to feel a little more okay

22. Dancing to the song “22” on your 22nd birthday is a necessary life event

I waited for this moment for years. Even if you’re not a Taylor Swift fan, this will make you smile. Promise.

Dear John

Ever since I can remember, whenever I’ve had to face something difficult in life I would turn to music. Music has gotten me through heartbreaks and mistakes. When I think about the lyrics that have influenced me the most, I think of a line from The Heart of Life by my boy John Mayer. No idea why I just referred to him as my boy. I really like him, okay?

Annnnnyways… the song is incredible. Listen if you haven’t, but the part that resonated with me the most was: “Bad news never had good timing. Then, the circle of your friends will defend the silver lining.”

Holy guacamole, that’s powerful. Just typing it gave me the chills. How easy is it to stay quiet and retreat to your own little corner when something is going wrong? For me, it’s what I’m best at. I hate telling people when something has gone awry and I really hate admitting something has me down. During some of my biggest struggles, I’ve kept a smile on my face and pushed through and…it sucked. Things would have been so much easier if I told the friends that love me what was going on.

It took me laying in bed, tears streaming down my face, listening to The Heart of Life on repeat before the message finally got through my stubborn head. So I talked to my friends. I let them know when I was sad or happy or just having a weird day. I leaned on them when I needed it most and they DID defend the silver lining.

I’m happier than ever before because I’ve been able to surround myself with incredible girlfriends who are there to pick me up when I’m feeling down and to celebrate the wins.

Great friends are hard to come by and I’m a lucky girl to be surrounded by so many. So thank you, John, for delivering a message that was much needed and thank you to these lovely ladies for proving him right.

First blog post

Hi there!

In case you couldn’t tell… this is my first blog post. I thought I would start by saying hello and telling you a little bit about where I am in life right now.

I will be feeling 22, in 15 days. I will be a college graduate in 45 days. I have a major interview scheduled for next week. Life is changing. It’s both terrifying and exciting. Soon I’ll be making huge life decisions, adulting if you will. I remember when Red, the album by Taylor Swift first came out. It was right before my seventeenth birthday and I remember thinking how far away my twenty-second birthday seemed. In case you didn’t get that reference, Taylor has a song on that album called 22. Now my birthday is only two weeks away and I feel just as unsure about life as I did at seventeen. Major decisions ahead though…stay tuned.

These past four years have been full of growth for me and I’m excited to start the next chapter of my life. I still have a couple of college months left though, and I intend to make the most of them.

Until next time…