25 for 25.

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

You are very lucky today! Why? Well, you’ve just opened my latest blog, and this is the last post that I will write as a 24-year-old! (Honestly, I hope you reading this ISN’T the best thing that happens in your day.) But, I do hope that you enjoy.

As I quickly approach becoming a quarter of a century, I wanted to share with you 25 life lessons that I’ve learned before turning 25.

  1. Self-Reflection: We have mini self-reflection moments continuously throughout the day. Should I have sent that text? Did I have the right major in college? Am I doing okay at work? I don’t know about you, but I have these thoughts all. damn. day. Though it’s important that we don’t overanalyze things, I feel that it’s completely fine to reflect on the things that you’ve done and what you’re currently doing. Set aside some time each day to gather your thoughts because it’s important that you keep yourself in check.
  2. Value Family: If you know me personally, you know how important family is to me. Growing up with five sisters wasn’t easy. But, when I look back at all of the fun that we used to have, even the stupid arguments that we’d get into, I can’t help but smile. As an asshole teenager, how many times did you get into fights with your parents? Too many. Today, I won’t even go a day without talking to my mom! You only get one family. Cherish every moment with them.
  3. Be Yourself: I’ve grown comfortable with who I am. In high school and even throughout college, you want people to like you. I’ve hit that point in life where I’ve realized that not everyone is going to like you and that’s really fine with me. The people who realize your value and awesomeness will stick around and you shouldn’t think twice about the people who don’t.
  4. Quality over Quantity: I know a lot of people and I’m friends with very few. I’ve been friends with the same people for years. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made new friends along the way as well, but I’m not out seeking to make new ‘friends’ every day. The quality of the relationships that you have is much more important than the number of friends that you have. Don’t befriend someone just to get another Instagram follower. People that you invite in should add value to your life.
  5. Relationships Aren’t Easy: I think I’ve learned this most within this past year. Whether it’s your significant other, a friend, a coworker, a family member or anyone in between, you must remember that relationships take effort. A lot of effort. Nothing in life is easy, and to maintain happy and healthy relationships, you need to be willing to put in the work.
  6. Be Bold: Try new things. Visit new places. Do whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do. You only have one life and you should live it with no regrets. Stop being afraid to do things that push you outside of your comfort zone because that’s where some of the best memories are made.
  7. Do What You Love: Don’t pursue anything that you aren’t passionate about. There are only 24 hours in a day… Why should you spend them being miserable?
  8. Take Care of Yourself: Mentally, physically and emotionally. Take up yoga. Run. Go hiking. Mediate. Make healthier decisions (but, indulge occasionally too!) Find whatever it is that works for you. You get one body to live in; take care of it.
  9. Challenge Yourself: Development and challenges don’t stop once you clock out of work. This year, I ran my first 5K and started to study Spanish. Those will seem like very small challenges to some people, but the little things that you do to push yourself count for something! Never stop bettering yourself.
  10. Don’t Be Judgemental: This is easier said than done. Very often, we can find ourselves passing judgment on others and we need to stop this. In the same breath, stop comparing yourself to others as well. Life isn’t about being better than anyone else. Life is about being better than you were yesterday.
  11. Share Your Story: Think of all of the things that you’ve been through in life. The good and the bad. Guess what! There are other people in life that have gone through similar situations and you can share your story with them. This can make someone who feels lonely a little less alone.
  12. Be a Good Listener: This probably should’ve been number one on the list. Listening is critical. How irritated do you get when people don’t listen to you? Listen with the intent to actually hear what the other person is saying. Don’t listen with the intent to respond. Truly listening to others will help you at work and at home. It will literally help you with EVERYTHING.
  13. Give Back: Whether you give your time, money or resources, give back whenever you can. I had a pretty easy life growing up. I never went without anything. I had food, clothes, family, friends, a roof over my head and more. Not everyone is as fortunate as you and me. Even the smallest gesture can seem like so much more to someone else. Find your cause and make a difference… I believe in you.
  14. Be Kind to Others: I hope that you were raised with manners. USE THEM! Say thank you. Hold the door for others.Don’t talk down to people. I hate to say it because it’s so overused, but seriously, treat others the way that you would want to be treated. Living a life of kindness is the only way that we can make the world a better place.
  15. Say You’re Sorry: I’m not perfect. I’ve screwed up many times. I’ve hurt others in the past and I’ve learned to apologize for my actions. Say you’re sorry, but make sure that you mean it. And don’t just say it, take the actions to prove that you’ve realized that you fucked up. Change your behavior and change your attitude. Most importantly, don’t let it happen again.
  16. Forgive: You can’t hold grudges forever. Life is too short to be petty. Accept the apology and move on.
  17. Love: As often as you can.
  18. Laugh: Who doesn’t like a good laughing session? Not to mention it’s a kickass ab workout. Laugh at yourself. Make others laugh. Smile more often. You’re alive and that’s undoubtedly something to smile about.
  19. Cry: Life isn’t always going to be a ball of sunshine. Within my 24 years of life, I’ve gone through some of the hardest things I think that I’ll ever experience. It’s okay to cry. You are a human. You are not indestructible. You have feelings and that’s okay. Just make sure that after you cry, you continue to move forward.
  20. Say Yes and Say No: We often find ourselves saying ‘yes,’ even to things that we aren’t necessarily thrilled about doing. We do this because we are worried about pleasing others. It’s okay to say no if you don’t want to do something. Just make sure that you say ‘yes’ to the things that you really want to do! Spur of the moment mini road trip on your day off? Sure!
  21. Treat Yourself: You work hard. You deserve to spoil yourself from time to time. I’m not telling you to go buy yourself the most expensive new bag or anything like that, but do kind things for yourself. Sleep in sometimes. Buy yourself flowers. Take a break. You are special and you deserve the best. *Insert hair flip emoji*
  22. Find a Hobby: And I’m not talking about Netflix… Craft. Play a sport. Read. Get involved in something that doesn’t revolve around social media. It’s so refreshing. I promise.
  23. Have Fun: This is your one shot. Make your life count.
  24. Ask Questions: There was a point in time when I was a know-it-all. Ask my mom… These days, I ask about a million questions per day because I’ve realized that there’s so much that I don’t know!
  25. You Still Have So Much to Learn: I’m never going to have this whole life thing figured out… I’m older than some, but I’m not old at all. I have so much to learn and I have so many people to learn from. Experience all that you can. I’m looking forward to the new opportunities and experiences that are in my future.

Cheers to another year of this crazy, crazy life! 

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T

In case you haven’t heard, this week is Body Positivity Week! If you frequently thumb through various social media sites, I’m sure that you’ve seen a few posts and now, I have one more for you to end the week.

I’ve compiled a list of  my Top 10 favorite songs that promote positive body image and overall confidence:

  1. Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
    Favorite Lyric: “You are beautiful no matter what they say, words can’t bring you down.”
    — This song is a classic. No explanation necessary.
  2. Who Says – Selena Gomez
    Favorite Lyric: ” I’m no beauty queen, I’m just beautiful me.”
    –If you have anyone in your life who is bringing you any sort of negativity, just get rid of them already. You’re better than that and you don’t need that drama in your life. Embrace positivity; spread positivity.
  3. Stupid Girls – P!nk
    Favorite Lyric: “I’m so glad that I’ll never fit in. That will never be me. Outcasts and girls with ambition; that’s what I wanna see.”
    –Remember to always be yourself, you don’t have to change for anyone. Follow your dreams and do whatever makes you happy in life. Don’t let other’s opinions get in the way.
  4. All About That Bass — Meghan Trainor
    Favorite Lyric: “I see them magazines workin’ that photoshop, we know that shit ain’t real, come on now make it stop.”
    –I think that we often forget that nearly every advertisement that we look at is edited beyond our wildest dreams. Keep that in mind next time you’re flipping through a magazine and start to wish that your body looked like that beautiful model… I’m sure she’s beautiful in real life, but the magazine editors made her look completely different.
  5. Secrets – Mary Lambert
    Favorite Lyric: “I know I’m not the only one who’s spent so long attempting to be someone else. Well, I’m over it.”
    — Being yourself is the best thing that you can do. You are uniquely you and you should never be afraid to show who you truly are.
  6. Try – Colbie Caillat
    Favorite Lyric: “Wait a second, why should you care what they think of you? When you’re all alone by yourself, do you like you?”
    — At some point in life, you’re going to come to the realization that other people’s opinions about you are irrelevant. When you get to that point in life, you are going to feel so free and I promise you, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.
  7. You’re So Beautiful – The Empire Cast
    Favorite Lyric: “Even with no manicure, just know that I’ll still hold your hand.”
    –Of course, it’s always fun to get a mani or pedi, but even without it, you’re still beautiful.
  8. Ready or Not – Bridgit Mendler
    Favorite Lyric: “Ready or not, here I come.”
    — I’ll be the first to admit that I chose a very lame lyric for this song. I can’t honestly say that this song promotes positive body image, but it promotes confidence and the two go hand in hand. Just take a listen to the song and you can judge it for yourself.
  9. Confident – Demi Lovato
    Favorite Lyric: None
    — The song in its entirety is fire. Confidence is exactly what you need in life and it’s what Body Positivity Week is all about!
  10. Human – Christina Perri
    Favorite Lyric: “I can hold the weight of worlds if that’s what you need; be your everything.”
    — Staying positive 100% of the time is impossible. At the end of the day, we are all human and there are going to be times that we are down. There are going to be times where we don’t feel good about ourselves and our confidence isn’t going to be exactly where we would like it to be. That’s fine. What’s important is that we always bounce back. Remember that you are not alone. Remember that there are others out there who understand whatever it is that you are going through.

Never forget that you are perfect just the way you are. 

Say CHEESE! :D

Holy shit. It’s been a LONG while since I’ve been here. Mostly because my not so new job has been occupying the majority of my life. Not to mention that I’m newly engaged and we just found out that my oldest sister is having TWINS! (What a treat, right?!)

If you know me, this is all information that you probably already know because lately, I’ve been documenting my life through Instagram. And if you’re reading this, you know that I’m clearly not here to talk about the wonderful things that are happening in my life. Wouldn’t that just be a bore?

So, let’s get down to business.

A few weeks ago, I was watching old home videos with my mom and sisters. As we sat there watching our younger selves, we cracked jokes about our horrible hairstyles and our outrageous outfit choices.

We fast-forwarded through the fragments of time that my dad forgot the camera was on and he simply videotaped the floor. Come on dad… no one wants to watch that.

The night was filled with those ‘remember when’ conversations and it was exactly the happiness that I didn’t know that I needed at the moment. As it approached midnight, I decided that it was time for me to call it a night and I got my things ready to head back to my house. Just as I do whenever I leave my mom’s house, I gave her a kiss goodbye and headed out.

The second I pulled off, I began to cry. My dad has boxes and boxes filled with old home videos. Each one of our lives is documented on these tiny tapes. You want to know what I was for Halloween when I was twelve? How about what our summer was like in 1997? I have you covered.

People today say that millennials and teens are so wrapped up in their phones and social media. They say that we don’t take advantage of the moment because we are too worried about taking the perfect picture for Tumblr or getting a video for Snapchat.

I need to take that perfect picture because one day, I want someone to be able to look back at the amazing memories that we were able to make. I want my niece and nephew to be able to see how freakin’ adorable they were when they were three. In the future, I want to be able to show my children pictures of Rob and me on silly dates.

Maybe one day, I’ll end up with Alzheimer’s and I will need all of the documentation possible to recall what a beautiful life I lived. With over 2,000 pictures and nearly 100 videos just on one phone, at this rate, I will have tons of resources to help me reminisce.

I cried not only because I miss my father, but because he left us a beautiful gift that we can utilize whenever we need it. I want to be able to pass something along that special one day… Why not get started now?

 

I’m on that YOLO swag…

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So, what are you going to do next?

If you haven’t heard already, I quit my job last week. So, that’s a question that I’ve been getting a lot lately. The simple answer is: I’m going to live.

Just to clear things up, I didn’t just get up from my desk one day and leave without providing proper notice. I’m a classy professional, so, I typed up a nice resignation letter and gave my employer three weeks’ notice. Unfortunately, my last day of work isn’t until October 2nd, so I’ll be here a bit longer.

My one manager is suspicious that I’m leaving to go to a new company…

News flash, I’m not.

When I leave, I’m going to focus on things that are most important to me. I’m going to spend more time with my family and doing things that I love. I’m going to take some time to study for the GREs and enroll in grad school in January.

I’m also going to focus on going to the gym more often as well as crafting, reading and just focusing on my overall happiness.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I was working the second shift. It’s an understatement to say how altered your life can become when working this shift.

It’s not like my relationships got screwed up or anything… All is well in my love life, family life and friend life, but I just felt like I was missing out on so much.

In the daytime while I’m conquering the world, everyone else I know is at work. Well doesn’t that just suck?

The reason I quit is because I firmly believe in doing what truly makes you happy. To be frank, writing advertisey bullshit was not AND will not ever make me happy.

I’m freshly 23 years young. And unfortunately, this year, I learned the hard way that life is too short to be anything but happy.

There are millions of other jobs that I could apply for, and I’ll keep searching until I uncover what truly makes me happy. I want to make a difference in the world, not sit at a desk writing advertisements…

I’ve also been hearing a lot of this lately: “Oh my God, what are you going to do for your bills? Didn’t you and Rob just get an apartment?”

My bills will be perfectly fine. And yes, Rob and I did just get an apartment. And yes, I’ll still be paying my portion of the bills and rent.

Momma and Daddy ain’t raise no fool. Financial planning is critical and if I didn’t think I had enough money to get by, I wouldn’t have quit.

But, please be aware that I am and will be looking for a part time job… I’m just not in a hurry because I’ll be too busy living.

The Chainsmokers

Ungrateful.

Welcome ladies and gents – it’s story time!

Growing up, and even still today, my life has been pretty easy… I have a home. I have a decent job. I have a college degree. A car. A dog. A closet full of clothes and virtually nothing to wear.

Nothing was ever given to me. I have always worked hard for the things that I own, but at the same time, things have always come pretty easily to me. When I graduated college this past December, I was so worried about finding a job.

Everyone always says how difficult it is to find a job in your field. Fortunately, a month after I graduated, I found a job as a copywriter (I went to school for writing). It was perfect.

My daily concerns normally consist of life dilemmas such as this:

  • Do I want a coffee with a shot of espresso, or should I do a green tea?
  • Should I get that Michael Kors bag in the grey or the grey and white?

My priorities are so fucking skewed, and today, I realized that for the first time.

My sister and I have noticed this homeless girl hanging around our neighborhood for about a month now. She looks pretty young, she always looks so bored, and she always sits at a bus stop with a sign that reads ‘Homeless, please help.’

Generally speaking, when I see a homeless person, if I have spare cash, I always give the person a few dollars.

My sister, Briesha, had something different in mind for this girl. She wanted to get this girl a care package. Ya know, the kind that your mom and dad mail you when you’re away at college.

So, we went to Target and purchased all sorts of little goodies. Organic juice boxes, tissue, hand sanitizer, Nutella and crackers, feminine products, hygiene items and just a few other necessities.

The items were simple. Things that you and I normally have in our home.

When we approached the girl at the bus stop today with the bags, she was so grateful for what we had done for her. She thanked us, gave us each a hug, and then we left.

As we were driving away, we got caught at the red light, so we watched her for a moment. She immediately pulled out the hand sanitizer and started cleaning her hands, and she continued to search through the bag to see what else we got for her.

Just before the light changed colors, she jumped up from her seat and started waving to thank us again for what we had done.

I immediately started to cry.

This story here isn’t to toot my own horn, or to pat my sister on the back for doing a good deed.

This story is here to show how the simple things in life can mean so much to people who have so little. This story is to show how much we take things for granted.

My heart is breaking for all of those who don’t have the luxury of living in a home surrounded by loved ones. I hurt for those who don’t know when their next meal will be.

I’m disappointed in those who make jokes about the homeless and the people who think that they are better than the next person. I’m angry at those who have the opportunity to make a difference for someone, but don’t.

I’m upset with myself for having such a materialistic outlook on life…

This blog really doesn’t have an end, because quite frankly, I am at a loss for words.

No new friends.

When you’re in elementary school it’s so easy to make new friends. High school is obviously a little harder with cliques, drama and so on, but you power through and things end up being a wonderful experience.

Then you get to college and making friends is pretty easy all over again. But then, the inevitable happens. You graduate.

If you’re anything like me, your friends move back to their hometowns all across the county and that leaves you back to square one.

How many of you have friends from middle school or high school? How many of you have children, boyfriends, full time jobs, relationships, etc.?

With so many things occupying every hour of everyday, how do you even really have time to meet new people?

As you grow older, it just gets harder and harder to develop relationships with new people.

If you’re lucky, every now and then, you’ll meet some new, amazing people here or there, and maybe you’ll end up being BFFs. But really, what are the chances of that happening?

Research shows that Americans average about two close confidants each. Now, that’s not a large number.

If you only have two close friends, does that make you feel like you need more? Sometimes I feel that way, but then I remember one thing; it’s quality that counts, not quantity.

Cherish the amazing people that you have in your life, because those are the people that really matter.

Just a little food for thought. Have a great day.

#WhereTheSpiceAt

Hello World –

It’s been quite some time since we’ve spoken.

I hope that you are all well, but unfortunately, there’s no time for chit chat; we’re just going to jump right into things.

A friend of mine recently ended a relationship. As I was learning more about what happened, I found out that one of the reasons the relationship ended early was because my friend “gets bored easily.”

Do you see where this is going yet?

My boyfriend and I have been together for just over four years. (Yay me! — My longest relationship, can you tell?) It’s no secret to say that sometimes you just get into a slump or a routine.

We’ve all been there, but there’s certainly a way to come out strong. Instead of moving on to the next one, there are many things that you can do to keep your relationship spicy and enticing.

About two years ago, I saw a post on Pinterest about a fun gift idea for the lover in your life. What you do is plan a set of twelve dates for you and your significant other to do throughout the year. Each month, it’s something unique that can bring you two closer together and out of your comfort zone. We’ve done rock climbing, skiing, road trips and more. What you decide to do is totally up to you and your personal interests.

Missionary is so outdated.

Whether you think you’re a pro in the bedroom or not, there’s always room for improvement. (Rob – that’s not directed at you!) Maybe you two always fool around in the same position, or you always have sex in the same room, but whatever your existing style is, it’s probably getting a little played out, and there’s no better time than NOW to embark on new sexual adventures.

This year, we tried out a sex calendar filled with 365 sex positions for every day of the year. Do I really need to say more? Get a book, go online, hit up your local porn store…. Do whatever you need to do to keep things exciting or else it’s never going to last.

But it’s not just sex…

Rob was looking to do something different as well. One day, he called me and insisted that we begin watching a series on Netflix together. I thought it was complete bullshit. I’m like ‘I don’t want to watch a series with you – how lame!’ But then, we got into this one show, and we both loved it! Now, we’re on our third series and I just can’t get enough!

It’s the little things that count.

You’ve heard the saying ‘A little goes along way.’ That statement couldn’t relate more to relationships. The little things are what count most. Keeping your relationship exciting by doing small, new things really makes all the difference.