Boxed Into Your Job February 24, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Finances, Following Your Dreams, How To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I DO NOT DO SALES. It’s like I need to tattoo it onto my forehead for people to hear me clearly. I’ve done sales once or twice in my life, I’ve been fairly good at it, so that’s all people hear, that’s all they see, that’s all I am to them.What am I really? I am a human being with ambition. I am a person who wants to be constantly challenged and if I’m giving the chance, I’ll prove that i can be trusted, and that I can exceed people’s expectations. What I am not is a one trick pony. What I am not is a person who can only be good at one thing.
Do you ever feel like all your boss sees you as is what you are? For many of us, this is the case, whether it’s the profession we’ve chosen or the company we work for, we are only seen as the job we hold, we are only as good as our last day of work. There is this culture in American that if you work hard and long and always say yes, you’ll get a promotion and you’ll grow, however, for many jobs that’s just not true. If you’ve ever been labeled at your job, you understand. That new job opens up in a different department, and it’s something you know you’d just rock at, but when you apply your supervisors tell you that they’re really looking for someone with more specific experience, or that they are really happy with where you are now and a promotion in your division should open up soon. How are you supposed to respond to that? It’s both a compliment and in insult all at once. Better yet, the employers who do offer you a job, for something you did two years ago, because to them that is what you do. Despite how much you’ve grown as a person, despite your age, the place you are in your life, your expenses. Thanks for thinking I was good when we worked together 24 months ago, but now I’m even better, and I’m ready for something new! That internship was awesome when I was 22, I’m almost 25 now and I don’t want to be in the same office space as someone learning how to refill a stapler.
Hiring professionals will tell you to get some experience under your belt, do some volunteering, work for a non-profit, get a portfolio going by doing work for friends but this isn’t that kind of article. This is the kind of article that screams “I know! what the hell!”, this is the kind of article that gives the middle finger to all your past employers who felt you were good enough as you were and didn’t want to give you a chance. Sometimes, life isn’t about sitting down and looking at the bright side, it’s about getting a bottle of wine and whinnying about it.
However, there is always a time to look at the bigger picture, even if it’s not a bright one (…and maybe only after two glasses of wine). Let’s say you got that promotion, let’s say you took that job you wanted, would your boss be any different? Would they see you as someone who deserved it, would they acknowledge your talents? Sometimes what we don’t get is a sign of something we don’t need, everything happens for a reason even if at the times it never seems fair. The reward is greater with greater risk, so if there is something you really want out of life, keep working to get it, it won’t come easy, it will make you envious of others who seem to have everything you want, but when you finally get that dream job, everything you went through will be so worth it! Plus…you’ll have wine the entire time, so, it can’t be all bad, now can it.
Why You Need a Vacation February 13, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Cross Training for Life, Health and Fitness, Jobs and Work, Tips and Tricks, Traveling.
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Vacation; it’s something we can do without. It’s a luxury. It’s a self-indulgence. So, if we don’t take one for a couple of years, we’ll be fine. After all, that money should be going towards our savings, our student loans, our car payments, or just under our mattress for a rainy day, right? Wrong. Here’s why you should take a vacation at least once a year, and how to do it.
Science has shown that in men, a risk of a heart attack increases by 30% if they opt out of a vacation, that number increases to 50% in women. We hear that and we think, okay, that’s something I’ll worry about when I’m 40 and by then, I’ll have the finances to take a vacation annually…but what if you won’t? Will that be the never-ending excuse? Statistics also tell us that, not only do American’s receive less vacation days than most employees of other countries, but fewer and fewer Americans are using all their days. Perhaps there’s a feeling of guilt, being away from the job, perhaps our employers put that pressure on us, that idea that every e-mail needs to be answered, every phone call needs to be returned and there’s no good reason to abandon clients for a week while you’re sipping on mai-tais in the Bahamas. Just like a sprained ankle needs rest and healing, your mind and spirit need quiet time too. Today, it seems like you’re invincible, perfect skin, flawless hair, a work ethic for days and the energy of a small child but the truth is, if we don’t take a break every now and then we’re going to spiral out of control and soon that super hero ability will turn into exhaustion.
Taking a vacation does not mean going to your parents house and sitting on Facebook all day or simply taking days off but staying at home – vacation means a total change of pace, in all ways. Log off, shut down and take yourself off the grid. Do not check your work e-mail and make it clear that you won’t be available while you’re away. You don’t have to eliminate yourself from the world but rather than sitting by the pool and checking twitter leave the phone in the room and check it once a day if you want. Even being in your humble abode can causes stresses, the things that need to be cleaned or get things done, or even worse the stress of boredom which can result in binge watching TV or eating unhealthy. Get out of town!
Sure, vacation can be pricey and that’s what stops many people from taking them. Check for “off-season” deals. For example, the high season in places like Cancun starts in January, so check for flight and hotel deals in December. Much of this information is available on sites like Tripadvisor. Also, check alternate methods of travel, taking Amtrak is typically much less expensive than airfare and it can be part of your adventure! Bring friends, four people splitting the cost of a room, cab, and dinners is much better than one or two! You can also combine trips with other things you have planned, if you’re already going to your friend’s wedding in LA, come before or after and spend some additional time relaxing, you’ll be buying the airfare anyway! Use points and miles from previous travel to help alleviate costs.
Most importantly, don’t feel bad and don’t allow yourself to think about home while you’re away. Vacations don’t need to break the bank but if you’re spending the money, make sure you enjoy yourself and don’t come back even more anxious than you left. Vacations open your mind, they let you evaluate life and see things from afar once you’re removed from the situation. They can also help you make important life decisions that you may have been dwelling on for a while. Allow yourself to take a vacation, mentally, emotionally and physically. You’ll come back refreshed and happier!
It’s not fiction, it’s fact! For more studies and information on taking vacations read these great articles:
Why You Need To Take a Vacation Even When You Can’t Afford One: http://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/why-you-need-to-take-a-vacation-even-when-you-can-t-afford-one.html
Vanishing American Vacation: http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/vanishing-american-vacation
The Benefits of Being an Adult January 15, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Family, Finances, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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They say that with great power comes great responsibility. Well, I supposed that’s true, but I’m guessing many of us, myself included, wouldn’t really consider themselves to have great power, right? Wrong. Power has been feed to us as this majestic, magnificent thing, but the truth is as an adult you have a lot of power. The power to make decisions, the power to speak your mind, the power to have things, buy things, the power to help others. So with all the privilege and freedom being an adult comes with, you have also responsibility.
Responsibility can mean many things to many people; it can be taking care of others – children, pets, loved ones; it can be making sure you take care of yourself – support yourself, pay your bills, find a nice place to live. It can mean being successful – buying your first car, getting married, getting that promotion you’ve been working for. No matter how you define responsibility for yourself, know that being an adult comes with certain expectations, understanding that the world is bigger than you.
Responsibility means having the right to be the bigger person – perhaps something has happened at work that you’re not pleased with or perhaps part of your job has been reallocated to a different department. You can voice your concerns, you can state your position, but at the end of the day if your bosses decide something over you, take it with grace. Don’t huff and puff around the office, don’t continue to bring it up, don’t speak under your breath about how stupid you think it is. Why? Because you can’t be empowered if you don’t carry yourself in a respectful way, not just respectful to others, but respect to yourself.
Responsibility means taking the time to do something you don’t want to do, because it will help the greater good. Sure, tackling world peace is a good place to start, but smaller obstacles are too. Maybe your family is having a hard time getting together for the holiday, going out of your way to pick someone up from the airport, or help them search for an airline ticket, being outside of just your world. Explaining to the marketing department you’d like to stay late and help them work on the promotion because you want your clients to get the best deal. Whatever that something extra might be, it’s your responsibility to help achieve it. If you don’t do it, then you don’t have the right to complain about it.
Responsibility means dancing like no one is watching. It’s taking care of yourself because if you don’t who will? Sure, we all have parents, and significant others, and friends but if you’re going to take it upon yourself to work two jobs, finish school, make it to every friends birthday party and still find time to go to the gym, then you’re going to have to find time to lay in bed and watch a movie. Especially when you’re in your early twenties, it’s hard to say no. So, if you’re not going to say no, then make the time for yourself. It’s your job to make sure you is the best you you can be!
Being an adult comes with so many benefits – living alone, not having a curfew, voting, spending your own money on what you want when you want, dating and partying, so with all this privilege remember to not act like a baby. Just like with every job out there, you can’t have only the good parts but have to deal with the tough parts too. However, the thing about the tough parts, is that they make you tough so when you look back and you remember how hard some of it may have been, you can also be proud that you took the higher road, did the right thing, and you’ve turned out to be pretty A-okay, if not pretty awesome.
Making Life Choices…and Facing Hilarious Realities January 8, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Apartment Life, Cooking, Dating, Education, Fashion/Clothes, Finances, Friendships, Health and Fitness, Humor, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Real World, Relationships, Shopping, Tattoos/Piercings, Traveling, Women.
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Check out this great post about the Catch-22’s of being in your twenties! Grab a glass of wine, and laugh your bad day away – The 20 Catch-22s Of Being In Your 20’s, by Lauren Martin at the Elite Daily.
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“When you do what you’ve always done you get what you’ve always gotten.”, I’m not sure who said it first, but I sure as hell remember the first time I heard it. To me, this statement made so much sense, it was so logical, so true, but somehow so hard to see when you were on the “doing” end of it. It’s very easy to get lost in the shuffle, or drown in your own life of stress, and papers, and obligations. So, to answer so many of your questions – “What happened to DLIH?!”, this is the answer.
The great thing about the writers of this website is that we are growing; we are growing together, we are growing independently, we are growing with you, and with this site and, in turn, things are changing. While things do change for the better, there is a give and take, it’s a dynamic process. We were just trying to stay afloat in our lives, we were working as hard as we possibly could to find five minutes to write a quick article and what happened was weeks without a post, days without an update and just an overall stress about DLIH instead of the pleasure it had always been. So after much discussion, and a difficult decision, we decided the best thing to do was to take a break, a deep breath and start looking forward, not to the past. In 2012, we wrote an article about Taking a Comma , well, let’s say we took a page break ;).
The great news is, we’re back! We’re working hard to bring back the articles you love so much, we’re ready to listen to your thoughts and fears and offer what we can from life experience, humor, a little witty intuition to make your twenties suck a little less. When this website started, we were little 20-somethings, just trying to figure it out, now we’re grown-up, and big, and see our early-twenties friends and we want to help them and mold them into awesome adults! Evolution is awesome! Change is great! It’s not always easy, and the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t be afraid to tell everyone you need a minute to figure it out.
DLIH will be a little different, but that’s because we’re a little different – We used to talk about surviving your twenties, now, we’re living them, hell, we’re almost out of them! There won’t be as much “how to”, or “what if”, but so much more information, fun times and just general getting through life tidbits about being healthy, happy, and habitually phenomenal.
Follow Your Dreams…No Matter When July 9, 2014Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Arts/Theater, Following Your Dreams, How To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I remember when a guy I was sort-of dating first introduced me as “she used to be a dancer”. It’s a good thing he didn’t see my face, because I think it was a mix of shock and complete anger. Yes, this is no longer my career. Yes, I now have expanded my resume. Yes, it’s not what my business cards say. But I, in every way, shape and form am still a dancer! It’s a part of my being, my personality, who I am and how I think. Still, I had to face the reality, it was hard to call me that, when I wasn’t spending 10am-8pm in a dance studio anymore.
Remember when you were seven years old and asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? One week it was a veterinarian, the next it was a fireman, then a gymnast who would go out he Olympics and also a mommy or a daddy, or a horse farmer, or a purple rainbow catcher, or a pineapple trader. Well, your dreams in your twenties are just like that, but more along the lines of wanting to make good money, have a great apartment, like your job, have a comforting relationship, make awesome friends, have a stellar career, and so forth. The enchilada, the whole damn enchilada. Then, once you start getting all these things, something really unexpected happens, and you realize how unhappy you are. At twenty-three nothing seems grander than a fancy apartment with your significant other and a dog, but sometimes what we do to get those things means giving up something else. Sometimes, the things we give up are the most important.
If you’re lucky enough your career and passion are one in the same, but for many of us, that’s not that case and we have to make the time and effort to follow our dreams. I always thought that going back to dancing seemed futile later in life. After getting a degree, building a professional name for myself, creating a relationship and making money. It felt like it would only be a hobby and not a focus, but slowly, I began to feel dull, lifeless, like I was missing a huge part of myself. I felt like someone had grabbed my very arm off my body and run away with it. I realized that I had been working so hard at life, I had forgotten what was truly important, being happy. There are going to be a lot of years in your life you can’t be truly happy and truly successful, and sacrifice is important, but once you are on the right trajectory, and you are starting to achieve normalcy again, it’s important to feel like you again. If you were always a marathon runner, pick a 5K to train for; if you used to teach acting too little kids, volunteer at a day camp for a couple of weeks. Getting back into the swing can be hard, overwhelming, and time-consuming; it can actually be scary, when you aren’t sure of the outcome or even know if you’re still capable of doing whatever it is you do, but once you put on that dance shoe, or take that photograph, or cook that first desert, it’s like you feel like you’re home.
The career of a dancer starts at about seventeen, and by twenty-seven you’re already considered old. Had I known at seventeen what I know now, perhaps I would have made some different choices, but you can’t regret the mistakes or decisions you made because they lead you to where you are today. You would not be going back to what you love, had you never left it. For many, discovering what they love happens in their twenties, a simple art class or team building retreat can open up new worlds for people. Now is the time, before kids, before mortgages, before there’s another college to pay for, to get into a habit of following your dreams too. Be realistic, you’re never going to be an NBA player, but there are plenty of leagues and teams out there looking for a good shot!
“She turned her can’ts into cans, and her dreams in plans.” What I’ve learned, which I wish I had known at ten, and sixteen, and twenty, and twenty-two was that the most important thing in life is to have dreams. They may not bubble to the surface in the exact way you thought, but the more you learn about life, the more ways you find to make them work. The only person who can do that is you, so never let go of your dreams, and never let anyone take them away from you. In whatever form they may come, they are yours, and yours to concur.
July Needs Some Ketch-Up June 27, 2014Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Beauty, Dating, GoodGuys File, Health and Fitness, Jobs and Work, Ketch-up, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Review.
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It’s KETCH-UP WEEK at Doing Laundry in Heels! June has been a rollercoaster of articles, SK traveling, Pascal resurfacing, and even with all that, it still needs some ketchup! So here’s what’s been on the grill this month and what’s been hot!
The Real Life Rules of Respect and Honesty – By Pascal
Respect and honesty are funny things. As far as my experience goes, everyone wants to be respected, and really, most people think they deserve respect in one manner or another, but what are the rules on respect? In the same vein, “honesty is always the best policy” and “relationships are based on honesty”…right?…Read more!
Turning Pretend into Reality
Many of us are very hard on ourselves. If we’ve felt like we’ve battled life alone – we are constantly trying to find the next level of achievement. If we came from wealth, or help, or a life that was created to be easy – we want to prove everyone wrong. If you’ve always been a winner – failure is the ultimate defeat. If you’ve rarely been a winner – then winning is the only thing you strive for. Most of us fall into one of these categories, if not a couple, so with people like us, we’re always searching for the next thing, reaching for the next level, wanting to prove to the world that we made it…Read more!
Detaching From The Situation
“You’re a horrible person.”
“You did the opposite of a good job.”
“What made you think this was a good idea?”
“You’re seriously under performing.”
Things we’ve all probably heard at one point or another. Whether it’s coming from a boss, or co-worker, a friend, a parent or a partner, it’s the worst thing to hear and it’s shocking. When you’re sitting at the opposite end of a table and someone looks you dead in the eye and starts telling you that you’re, basically, worthless, your first reaction is shock. In your mind you’re thinking “What is happening right now? Is this for real?”…Read more!
Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes with me knows that I have an enormous sweet tooth, probably more so than most other people on the planet. If there’s dessert, I’m there, but I recently found a product that is as sweet as sugar (literally!) but rather than making you breakout and plump up, it does something good for your body…Read more!
The Sides of Needing Space – this month’s GoodGuys File
There are two types of people out there, those who need space and those who do not. Most people like to think they’re one kind, but are probably the other. So, what happens when you’re in a relationship and spending the majority, if not almost all, your time with the same person? What happens you ask? Fights, tension, lashing out or snapping for no good reason. Human beings weren’t meant to be alone, but they weren’t meant to be together 24/7 either. Finding the balance in a relationship is a fine line, but it isn’t an invisible one…Read more!
Detaching From the Situation June 16, 2014Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Family, Friendships, Health and Fitness, How To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Tips and Tricks.
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“You’re a horrible person.”
“You did the opposite of a good job.”
“What made you think this was a good idea?”
“You’re seriously under performing.”
Things we’ve all probably heard at one point or another. Whether it’s coming from a boss, or co-worker, a friend, a parent or a partner, it’s the worst thing to hear and it’s shocking. When you’re sitting at the opposite end of a table and someone looks you dead in the eye and starts telling you that you’re, basically, worthless, your first reaction is shock. In your mind you’re thinking “What is happening right now? Is this for real?”, then you’re next reaction is defense, followed by total loss. You want to spurt back “I did a great job! And you know it!” but what actually comes out it something more along the lines of “I..well, I, after looking over the report, I, we,…it appeared that it would be the best..more appropriate decision.” Which usually only opens the conversation to more details about how much you suck. No one, human being is built to withstand a verbal hurricane, no matter how strong you are or how many times you’ve been through it, there is no way to prepare yourself for a sudden blow.
In a recent experience, someone I highly respect was delivering a message from someone else, once again, telling me I was failing at life and should probably just stop trying to impress anyone with any attempt at pathetically proving them wrong. Then she paused, looked into my eyes, and said “I think not caring comes with age.” I laughed. I laughed because the girl next to me was near tears, and I was considering putting my fist through a wall, and I laughed because it was true. Both still in our twenties, we took this reprimand to heart. When you’re an adult, there is no more first grade teacher around to tell you that even though you didn’t write all the letters correctly, you’ll try again tomorrow and it’ll be better! No, in the real world, sometimes you get one shot to not make the N backwards and if you fail, you fail. You failed. And someone is going to make it known to you. I laughed, because I realized how stupid it was to care so much about something that would, moving forward, be fairly insignificant in the grand scheme. I decide that, regardless of being young or old, I was going to learn how to not care.
My mother told me that confident people don’t put others down. Confident people also rarely refer to themselves as confident. A person who is secure in their profession, their relationship, their situation in life, won’t spend the time to find small faults in others. So, when your significant other of six-months starts outlining how you’re just not emotional invested enough in the relationship, maybe stop to think if this is something that he or she is actually dealing with? Perhaps your boss insists that low sales are a result of you not trying hard enough; a good boss is going to give you constructive criticism, not blame you and waste everyone’s time. Maybe you’re not so close with your parent or sibling, and they’re always highlighting your imperfections; sounds like this is something they’re insecure about. The examples could go on and on, but the lesson is more valuable than the stories.
So I tried, the next time I got a snippy e-mail, or saw a rude Facebook post, or even just felt discouraged at my job. Before I could let myself really get down, I thought of something that makes me happy. Not something superficial like sitting on my yacht, or on a beach with a cocktail, or driving around in my BMW – none of which actually exist; but something real like what I would be doing with friends that weekend, or a nice dream I had, or an event that recently occurred that made me smile from ear to ear. After I got this mental picture in my head, I just moved on with my day. Whenever I felt that tension or frustration rise up again, I pushed it away with happy thoughts [Peter Pan and Tink really had something there]. You can’t just push it away though, you have to release it, not hold it in. Don’t talk about it too much with others, don’t harbor on it, basically pretend it’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard in your life and forget about it!
I tried…and it was super hard! It was so hard to pretend it wasn’t bothering me, it was hard to think of something else, it was tough to just not keep bringing it up. I don’t even think I’m that great at it yet, but I tried, and I got over what was bothering me and most of all, I didn’t let insecure people get under my skin! Be the cream, rise to the top and just be above it all. People who want to be insecure and cause tension are welcome to relocate back to high school. Space is always open snd registration is free. Focus on being s better you and let losers find a way out of their own mess.
Turning Pretend into Reality June 11, 2014Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Dating, Family, Finances, Friendships, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships.
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Many of us are very hard on ourselves. If we’ve felt like we’ve battled life alone – we are constantly trying to find the next level of achievement. If we came from wealth, or help, or a life that was created to be easy – we want to prove everyone wrong. If you’ve always been a winner – failure is the ultimate defeat. If you’ve rarely been a winner – then winning is the only thing you strive for. Most of us fall into one of these categories, if not a couple, so with people like us, we’re always searching for the next thing, reaching for the next level, wanting to prove to the world that we made it!
When I was a little girl, I played house where I had “children”, and I washed “dishes”, and life was perfect. When I got older, my cousins and I would pretend we had fabulous clothes, and fabulous cars and handsome boyfriends like the ones from the Barbie Queen of the Prom Game, and we’d drive to the mall to get our nails done. When I was a teenager, I dreamed about my loft apartment in NYC, my amazing career, and my cool friends who I’d meet a fancy lounges and cute bistros. Even after that, I thought about meeting the man of my dreams, living with my boyfriend, going on vacation together and getting engaged. These are all just dreams, they aren’t real, but within them is an element of very, very honest truth.
I always felt like once I’d get five steps ahead, I’d fall back down a mile. No matter how far I got in life, something, somewhere, would take a turn and we’d be starting from scratch. If my apartment was amazing, my friendships were in shambles; if I was dating a great guy, work was bumming me out; if I found the greatest opportunity, it didn’t pay enough to justify taking it. Never seemed like I was getting where I wanted to be, but then I’d look back and realize I had come leaps and bounds, and I had much to be proud of.
The other day, I was really beating myself up. Feeling like I wasn’t any closure to my dreams in life and then, something very unique and reflective occurred to me. Ambitious people always feel like they’re reaching, because they always have something to reach for. Each step you take in life brings you closer to a goal, a dream becoming a reality. Four years ago I couldn’t fathom buying a car, realistically or financially and now, I’m probably less than a year away from owning one. It’s a strange thing to strive for, but a huge milestone in life, buying your first car by yourself. I used to go to my friend’s apartments and look around and think “Compared to this, my place is a sardine can from the 70’s. I want an apartment to look like this, feel like a home, and be decorated like a magazine”. Today, I have a beautiful apartment, that’s decorated like a magazine. I always wanted to give to my parents, to have a nice place for them to stay when they come visit, to buy them nice things, and treat them to trips or dinners. I may not be 100% there, but it’s on the horizon. However, when I was twenty, all I dreamed about was having a good job, a good man, and enough money that I could afford to shop at Ann Taylor and Banana Republic almost exclusively. This is my reality, I can buy $40 capris and not feel it too much. So, the thing about dreams is that they change, so even if it feels like you’re always going backwards, you’re actually climbing up a ladder. If you can’t see the top, maybe you should look down, to see how far you’ve come.
Think back to your life five years ago, and how drastically different it was. Imagine yourself five years into the future, how accomplished you will be. Ambition and goals are probably one of the most valuable parts of a personality, but pride is too. It’s okay to pat yourself on the back, it’s okay to spend one second not tearing yourself down. Most of all, it’s okay to feel like you’ve succeed. Truthfully, none of us will ever be fully successful; our job as a partner will never end, our responsibility to pets and children will always exist, our continuos strive to be a better person is ongoing, there is no utopia of perfect that we’re trying to reach, but maybe if there was, success wouldn’t be fun. Knowing that the adventure lies ahead is what creates dreams into your reality.
The Age of Growing Up May 18, 2014Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Dating, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Uncategorized.
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I was probably the only kid out there who never wanted to be eighteen. Eighteen symbolizes adulthood, independence, opportunity, recognition, but I never once felt a single one of those things. From the moment I turned eighteen, I was waiting to become nineteen. Whether you consider it a stigma or a right of passage, eighteen came with more baggage than I had ever wanted. I just wanted to be seen as a person, not an eighteen year old, but I felt like that was the label, stuck to the front of my forehead. That same thing happened at twenty-one. I hated being asked my age, whenever I said it, it came out in a slow and painful, apologetic moan. After twenty-one was no better, every time I got the same comment “Oh! you’re still so young!” (I even wrote about it!). Finally, I remember when I turned twenty-five, relief spilled over me. I was no longer “so young!” or “Finally, old enough”, I was that ambiguous age where people didn’t really care how old or young you were. It was bliss. I’ve continued to live with this “flying under the radar” age and I’ve been loving every minute of it, until recently.
It seems like, for many of us, there’s no catching up with your age. There’s always an association with where you should be, or how you should be, and for the most part, the social “norms” don’t bother me, but the warranting respect part does. After you reach a certain age, you can’t comment on certain subjects because you aren’t knowledgeable enough, but you’re expected to have an opinion anyway. So, you’re old enough to warrant an opinion, but not one that really carries weight in the conversation. Example, I may not know how to start my own business, I may not be able to comment on running a company, but because I have a college degree and have been a manager, I can be involved in the conversation, I can voice my thoughts, but no one really takes them seriously, even if they ask for them. I’m in no rush to get married, but somehow living with my boyfriend is no longer an acceptable long-term relationship; I’m not married, so I might as well be single. I don’t own a home or a car, so I’m a “cute” driver, rather than a good one; it’s “sweet” that I still rent. People have begun to make me feel like I’m still in college and my views on life are very endearing rather than true. Even when at dinner with other couples, who are married, sometimes they just smile and laugh at my home-life stories, instead of relating. It leaves me looking both ways, whipping my head around, wondering if I’ve missed something.
Sure, it’s frustrating, feeling like you’re finally a decent part of society and then two years later feeling like you’re a kid again. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if that’s ever going to go away. Maybe when I finally get married, I’ll have a newlywed stigma around me, maybe when I finally buy a house, I’ll always be an inexperienced homeowner, maybe once my kids start elementary school it’ll be “oh, wait till they get to Junior High!” Who knows! So, I’m trying to ignore how other people sometimes make me feel and, instead, be excited about my life. So what if I’m not married yet, I’m actually pretty proud of myself for taking my time and not rushing into it. Who cares that I don’t have a car of my own yet, I’m saving so much money a month by not owning one! Sure, there are things that warrant insecurity, like living in your parents basement at 29, but I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be in life. Making it work, one high heeled step at a time!