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Follow Your Dreams…No Matter When July 9, 2014

Posted 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.

turned-cants-into-cans-dreams-into-plansIf 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, 2014

Posted 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!

Simple as Sugar – A Review about Simple Sugars Skincare! (Yum)

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!

Oh…and by the way, WE TURNED FOUR IN JUNE! and there was lots of cake!

Detaching From the Situation June 16, 2014

Posted 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.disneys-peter-pan

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, 2014

Posted 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.

inspirational-quotes-3I 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, 2014

Posted 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.

baggagecheckoct9It 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!

Why I Do What I Do May 14, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Family, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, MTA/Public Transportation, Real World, Relationships, Traveling.
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If you’ve been following Doing Laundry in Heels on Twitter you’re awesome and if you haven’t, you’re seriously flawed.

Just kidding, what I meant to say, was that if you’ve been following Doing Laundry in Heels on Twitter you’ve also been following the DLIH travel trials and tribulations. You may have also been wondering what I’ve been doing, where I’ve been going, and mostly, why. To answer your questions, my fellow DLIHers, a while back I accepted a job that required me to start traveling in early 2014, so off I’ve been; planes, trains and automobiles all over the country. What makes a business traveler a business traveler? Well, a cocktail of things: a love of traveling, seeing new places, visiting with people, enjoying being in an airplane, road-triping by oneself, enjoying staying in hotels, tolerating packing, and being brave enough to handle the problems as they come, unforeseen and sometimes inevitable. I do this because I enjoy it, it’s a fabulous opportunity, but sometimes you do things because they benefit other people too.

You’ve always heard mothers tell their children “Your father works very hard to give us this life that we have, all these nice things.” it’s a foreign idea, when you don’t have children, or a spouse, or a “nice job” that gives you “nice things”. What I’ve learned from my travels, and from the people I’ve met, is that “nice job” and “nice things” are in the eye of the beholder.
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At the start of my traveling journey, I met a couple who, once they found out I was in a relationship, asked me how I enjoyed this aspect of my job. He has traveled for the majority of their marriage, and she was always at home, waiting for him to return but then leave again. From the outside, it appears like a very uncomfortable way to live, but to them, it was a lifesaver. They “appreciated” their time together much more, they rarely fell into a rut or boring norm, and they had the time to miss each other and be excited to see each other. Once he retired, they spent much more time together, but it didn’t hurt them; because they had so much time apart earlier, this was a new thing for them, and they were enjoying it. It got me thinking about how valuable this job was to my relationship. We were never having problems, but space is healthy, and missing each other is fun. The more I travel, the more I find I still get butterflies when I come home, something I can’t really admit I felt in the last two plus years that I had a normal job.

Having a job doesn’t just give you spiritual and emotional things, but of course, monetary things. There are rewards that don’t involve getting a paycheck. Points for hotel stays and car rentals, airline miles and even a bump in your credit score from a company card. These aren’t reason to take a job, they also aren’t reason to try to be out of town, but they are a nice reminder of why you do what you do. One of these days, we’re going to go on a nice vacation; if my mom wants to come visit me, I can treat her with an airline ticket; if we’re ever in a bind and need a rental car fast, I can use my points in an emergency. These are the little things you don’t think of.

I love to travel, but I can’t say I love being away from home. After all, working so many days in a row, being by yourself, then coming back and needing to catch-up, none of these things are fun. If I had it my way, and only my way, maybe I wouldn’t travel, or I wouldn’t travel as often, but when I’m out there driving three hours all alone, I keep in mind, not only the valuable experiences I’m gaining, but what I am giving back to the others in my life. Sure, I don’t make a six figure salary, I don’t have a fancy car, or a luxurious apartment, or am able to buy my parents expensive things from brand name stores. I can’t give “nice things” in that way, but I can give things that might be more valuable. Love, generosity, selflessness.

In our world, everything is physical, material, weighed in gold and green, but taking a step back to see how I can contribute to what’s really important in life; the larger lessons, makes what I do, a little more worth it.

Your Best Investment April 5, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Education, Finances, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I’ll be perfectly honest, for a long time I didn’t believe in college. I thought that I had gotten through life well enough doing my own thing, on my own path and I could do it all without wasting time and money on a degree. Sure, at some point everyone thinks that but for me, it was different. Many of you know I didn’t go to college until I was 22 because I was dancing professionally. It’s also true that many ballerinas don’t ever go to college because, after their careers, they don’t need to. However, I didn’t really value a college education until I realized I didn’t have one. When I was fifteen I told everyone I would get degree in marketing. I didn’t know how or when or where, but I knew that’s what I’d eventually do. Over ten years later, I did do just that, and that’s a great feeling. So, its pretty rough for me to hear about all the people out thee who think getting a college education is no big deal, like they can Cruz through life, and it’ll all just be okay for them.

Over this past year, I’ve listened to two speakers preach about how they didn’t go to college. I, better than anyone, know what forging your own path is like, but is dropping out really something to brag about? Sure, there’s Bill Gates, but the company he started revolutionized the world. What per take of the population actually does that? I think if you are able to get an education, financially, physically, mentally, wasting it is really a waste of your future. When you’re 18 and your parents are probably paying for most of your schooling, you’re just happy to be out of the house, and maybe you don’t take things as you should, maybe you take this degree for granted. When your going to school as an adult, everything is different. You’re more accountable, you see the worth, and most of all you are proud of what you have done. Don’t look us, any of us who have a degree, in the eye and tell us you dropped out and here is why it’s fabulous.

The first speaker I heard, her story went something like this: I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, so I just moved to this city and worked part-time jobs. Then I went into fashion, but I hated it, so I dropped out. Then I wanted to go into law, by I hated that and I dropped out. Then I moved again and got this job, and now im starting my own company. To be honest, it wasnt inspiring, it was frustrating. Why am I pay my way through college by your on a soap box, preaching about how great you are for never committing to anything you started. Isn’t it more inspiring to come past your obstacles, triumph adversity and achieve something you never knew you could…not simply giving use.

The next speaker I heard, this story went a little different. She never really out right said she didn’t go to school, instead she bent the truth. She told her audience that she did her undergrad in a major city,  so we all equally assumed she went to the state school there. She then told us she got her MBA at an  Ivey league, where she gained the tools to start her company. It was a great story! But it was just that, a story. During the lecture break, I was inspired, so I read her bio online. Turns out, she never went to that state school, she attended a small, local college 3 towns over, which she left before her junior year, and her Ivey league education was nothing more than a 3 week summer session. It was deflating to look up to this person and then have it all come crashing down.

To anyone out there who worked hard for a college education, frankly, it’s insulting. Whether you graduated when you were 22 or 65, this little piece of paper is an achievement, it’s something that no one can ever take away from you. It was an investment you made in your future. Everyone can be successful in many different ways, success is not necessarily measured by education, it’s measured by strength, perseverance, determination, achieving your goals and honesty, among other things. You should also encourage people to be their best self, to strive for things and work now so you don’t have to work later. Giving up, or being lazy, trying to find the “easy” path isn’t something to preach about

What I learned from these speakers wasn’t that there was an easy way out, and wasn’t that I was better than them, or that I was jealous of them, but it was this: if my life came crashing down tomorrow, if I lost everything, I would still have this. I will always have a building block to step on and move forward, and they won’t. I learned that I should never take education for granted,and I should always be a positive influence to others, I should never encourage dishonesty or giving up. Most of all, I learned that I should be proud of myself, because at least in this aspect of life, I made it, I am successful.

Saying No! March 3, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Family, Finances, Friendships, Health and Fitness, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Uncategorized.
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When I was nineteen, someone taught me the law of Yes. Yes is the answer to everything when you’re young, for many reasons. In order to discover life, be successful, and have experiences to help develop the person you want to be, you have to take risks. Risks involve the word, “Yes”.

“Can you work on Saturday?” – YES!

“Do you want to start a bank account?” – YES!

“Should we take a spontaneous road trip to a city we’ve never been to before?” – YES!

“Are you available to take these boxes to the other office?” -YES!

Yes is the key to growing up. Yes teaches you that you aren’t better than anyone else, that no task is too small, or too below you. It teaches you that things you thought were below your pay grade may actually be harder than you assumed, and it gives you respect for them. It also makes you stronger, saying yes when you really want to say no. Yes helps you step outside your comfort zone, to experience new things and become a stronger, well-rounded, and open-minded human being. Yes forces you to battle things that are scary, and make them not so scary anymore. Yes grows your career, it makes you reliable, dependable, a hard worker, and someone who is willing to do a little extra to earn their way. The law of Yes is what will get you what you want.

….and then you have to learn to say no.

Dr-SeussYou spend the majority of your new adult life learning how to accept things, make choices, and open yourself up to opportunities and while all these are valuable in your early twenties, the purpose of them is to help you grow. If you never said yes to the guy at the bar, you wouldn’t be married to him now! If you never said yes to your boss, you would have never gotten a promotion which eventually landed you your dream job! And, if you never told your friend you’d totally stay out all night when she was going through her break-up, then you’d never have the amazing story to tell! However, when you’re past these things, you learn the rule of saying No.

You have a great job, you’re in a good relationship, you’re saving up for a home you’ll love, and you have wonderful friends; you need to create a work life balance. Staying late at work shows dedication and hard-work but staying late every other day sets precedent that you’re okay with this. No matter how amazing your boss is, you have to tell yourself that somedays you’re going to go home at 5, no matter what, and that’s how it is. When your friends invite you to an all-night bar hop, maybe you realize this is something you no longer enjoy; you want to see them, but you really aren’t in the frame of mind to dance to “Shots”, nor do seven of them. You also know what you deserve at this point, you can say no to a salary that’s lower than your previous; you can say no to your friends who have planned an off-the-cuff trip and need to borrow your couch; you can say no to little indulgences you once didn’t mind, like buying new shoes every month, or spending every night eating hot pockets in bed while watching Hulu. So, no isn’t always a bad thing. It can be taking a stand, knowing that you need to spend time with family, or go to the gym, but it’s also about knowing your worth both when other people don’t recognize it, and when you know you need to take better care of yourself.

Saying yes is hard, reversing the processing to saying no is even harder! You learned once, you can learn again!

The Fifteen Items a 20-something Should Own February 27, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Cooking, Fashion/Clothes, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Shopping.
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Inspired by this article, the DLIH 15 Items a 20-Something Should Own:

A Watch:
We live in a world where we use our cell phone for everything, from telling time to following recipes. While this handy (pun, totally, intended) device is definitely a lifesaver, it’s also sucking away at our minds and our reputations. Imagine your Born Pretty Watch 4absolute idol asking you for the time on the street, you could just look down at your watch, or you could shuffle through your bag or pocket to find your phone. By the time you’ve found it, your superstar is gone, or has already gotten the answer. More importantly, being at a job interview, in front of the boss, on an important date, or other defining life moments, having a watch says that you are responsible and care about, not only, your time but other’s. It also doesn’t look half bad.

A Sewing Kit:
The mom’s are long gone friends. Whether you’ve been stitching all your life or simply need to learn how to put a button back on, a small sewing kit with the essentials will help you exponentially. It’s time to be grown-ups. It also doesn’t hurt when someone you’ve got thing for needs some sewing assistance, and you’re their to offer.

A Coffee Machine:
In the amount of time and money you spend at Starbucks, you could have bought 80 coffee machines. Let’s start saving our money for things we need or deserve and stop leaving home fifteen minutes early to stand in line at our nearest Coffee Bean. A coffee machine also serves as something for others, when you have company or overnight guests. You don’t want to be caught with a caffeine addict sleepover and no java to offer them!

A Passport:
A passport opens doors; literally and figuratively. Even if you don’t have any trips planned outside of the country, being prepared never hurts. Owning your passport will not only make you feel like a citizen of the US (and the world!) but open the door to traveling at the flick of a wrist. It can also be a convenient employment document so you don’t risk losing your social security card.

Books:
Kindles are amazing…but they’re not books. There is something beautiful about starting your own library. Invest in your favorite books, or books you have great respect for. You don’t need to read them over and over, but collecting literature and having the option to read it offers a new level of intelligence, conversation, and curiosity. Also, get a library card, it will help you in your adventure to building your own collection.

A Photo Album:
The most fun you can have is reminiscing about old times. NO one is going to reminisce over an iPhone screen. Building a photo album is like building a little home for your past; you won’t look through your albums often, but when you do it can kill hours of time! Remembering where you took each photo, how you felt, and the fun you had, with the people there. Think of your parents, when they wanted to show you their memories, they didn’t pull out a computer, they pulled out an old book of photos.

Board Games:
board gamesNothing is more exciting than pulling out the best board games of your childhood and
playing them with friends during a rainstorm. With every generation, new trends are made, protect the trends you know and love by buying a few! Everyone has their five or six games that they remember fondly!

A Bar Set:
A bar set is a special gift a 20-something can give themselves. A bar set can be anything from a shaker, strainer and the whole shebang, to just a small corner of wine and liquor and some glasses. Invest in nice wine glasses (Pier 1 Import sells them for $1!) and a good cork screw; and if you’re feeling adventurous buy a cocktail book (Bed, Bath & Beyond sells books and sets)

Address Book/Phone Book:
Going back to our anti-technology theme, how many phone numbers do you know by heart? How many addresses? What would happen should you be on vacation and your phone suicides itself into the pool? Now what? Having important numbers and addresses written down not only makes them memorable and easy to find, but also prevents the embarrassing “Hi Guys, phone is dead. If you need me, get me on here” Facebook post. Not to mention, it gives you an excuse to buy a really beautiful, old school, phone book. Your phone should only have immediate contacts; for those people you need to know, but don’t necessarily need to know everyday, you’ve got your phonebook.

A Good Pen:
Growing up means doing grow-up things, it also means having grown-up gifts. When I was little, I didn’t understand why my dad had one really nice pen that he always used during really important moments. Now I get it, there is something about having one beautiful, expensive pen that you whip out during important meetings or check writing that makes you feel like you’ve made it in life…at least a little bit.

A Recipe Book:
Every single recipe comes from online, your head, or your mom. Every time you forget how to make Lasagna you have to re-find the bookmark on your computer, then post it up somewhere “safe” in the kitchen, or waste paper printing it out. I once heard a story about a mother who gave her new daughter-in-law a book of recipes. She said “So you can learn to make my son all his favorite dishes, so they can become your family dishes like they were our family dishes”. I not only thought this was a great idea, but how symbolic, a passing of the torch. Recipes on the internet will come and go, but a recipe book is something you can have and hold forever.

Stationery:
Whether it is something you buy, or something you get custom printed, stationery is old school. It tells people you’re serious, you’re personable, and you go the extra il_fullxfull.184108110mile. It also provides a greeting card anytime you need one without the added expense, and gets you away from the computer and informal, speedy e-mails. It’s romantic but still practical and fun.

Business Card Holder:
The coolest thing in the world, when you’re in your twenties is getting your first real business cards! But then…where to store them? Taking them out of your wallet or pocket looks awful and unprofessional. Even if you don’t have business cards yet, having something in your sight can motivate and inspire you to get that job you want, or get through school.

Your Very Own Negative Nancy February 8, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships.
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ddnn“Oh My God! I’m doing to be here till midnight! YOU HAVE TO HELP ME”, she yelled as she poured a pile of papers onto my desk. “This is ridiculous, how can they expect us to get anything done when we’ve got to keep up with so many departments, this is just too much, this is ridiculous!”.

So, here I was, staring at a mountain of sorts, on my desk, paper of different colors and post-its on 8 1/2 x 11’s, scribbles of chicken scratch here and there. So, do I say “No”, do I say “I don’t have to help you”, do I just do it? Maybe this is an extreme situation, but I’m sure we’ve all been there, that one person at work or home who just finds the bottom of the blackhole, worst possible outcome of any situation ever. That’s not to say that we don’t all have a day here and there like that, we’re tired and overwhelmed and our boss just told us that report we had another two days to get done needs to be in before tomorrow morning. We contemplate picking up our desk chair and throwing it into the glass door, but we don’t. We huff and puff and stay an hour or two late and we make it through. However, there are some people who seem to spazz out at the slightest bit of hectic  in their lives and they need to take a serious deep breath.

There are two types of Negative Nancies; extroverts and projectors. Extroverts are those people who spend 30 minutes of time they “don’t have” walking around the office complaining, complaining, complaining. They need to tell everyone how “unfair” everything is, how “stupid” and “ridiculous” their bosses are, how they are going to be there “forever”, how this “isn’t in my job description”. Perhaps these are all very valid points, but most people don’t want to hear about it, and if they are cool hearing about it because they’re you’re friend or confidante then that’s fine, but eventually, it’s going to get annoying. Projectors are even worse, they sit at their desk and sigh, shuffle papers louder than normal, keep saying things under their breath like “I can’t even believe I’m dealing with this”, type super loud and slam drawers. Essentially, yes, they are a fourteen year old  teenage girl who just got her phone taken away. Because that’s mature.

I was the kind of person who never knew how to deal with a Negative Nancy, and perhaps I am still learning, but here’s a few basics to help you get through your work day without getting arrested for assault. Let the extroverts be who they are, I know it’s annoying, but it’s kind of like being cornered, you really can’t get away from it. Listen to them and offer some small suggestions but don’t spend too much time indulging them. Whatever you do, don’t offer to help, suddenly all their extra work will be yours. Real Life Experience: I offered to help make some phone calls, and stayed 45 minutes late, next thing I knew the co-worker I helped was making jokes in the break room and left on time. My eye’s probably turned fire engine red. If the extrovert just won’t leave you alone, try this line on for size “I hear ya! I should probably get back to my pile of work so we’re both not here till 9pm! ha!” Whether you’ve got a “pile” or not, relate to them and then separate…otherwise, they’ll rope you in.

Projectors are a more difficult species. If you ask them what’s wrong, they’ll either launch into a Shakespearian drama or they’ll shrug it off and continue stomping around. Ignore it for as long as you can, put music on, immerse yourself in your work, try to relocate if that’s an option, but if all else fails, distract them. They are frustrated because they want to be, not because they actually have “hours and hours” worth of work. Chances are, they’re going to leave at 5:10pm like the rest of us. Ask them what they’re getting for lunch, find a funny buzzfeed and e-mail it to them saying “hey, I just sent you the funniest thing!”, try getting them to take a break, “I heard there was birthday cake in the break room, noticed you didn’t get a piece, you should hurry!”.

The truth is, negative people are no fun, and sometimes there is absolutely no way to get them to just shut up. The lesson we can learn from this is not how to deal with them, but how to not be one. Learn from your peer’s mistakes, learn how to deal with your stress, and for God’s sake, don’t dump your work on other people! The best lessons in life are those that we gather from mistakes, you don’t always have to stumble over your own two feet to know you shouldn’t fall.

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